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R.C. Fox commits suicide, regretted taking a plea bargain

Your rating: None Average: 3 (18 votes)

R.C. Fox R.C. Fox (Carl Kirkwood), a fursuiter who was charged for criminal possession of child pornography back in October 2017, committed suicide last week. The news started to spread after posts on Twitter linked him with a news story from the Pennsylvania-based Times Online.

The article described that a body had been found in a vehicle parked on the side of the road in an unpopulated area, that hazardous chemicals had been released within the confines of the car, and that a hazmat team had been dispatched.

This happened before he could be convicted of the charges against him. Carl had plead guilty as part of a plea bargain. However, a source who knew him indicated that he'd regretted this decision:

He already plead guilty [...]. And then, his lawyer found evidence that none of the child-porn rated content was his (network hacking). But in order to appeal, he needed $25,000 and he didn’t have it. He was going to prison until he came up with the money to prove innocence and he just couldn’t bear to do it.

The source also explained that R.C. believed that by being convicted of the crime, it would put his mother's job in jeopardy, because she works as a school teacher:

Also, if he went to prison, his mother would lose her job (she works at a school) so, he figured, he could help his family by ending it.

With the addition of the isolation he experienced because of the crime he'd been charged with, the above factors had led R.C. to make his final decision.

However, the story of the fox character that Carl played may not be over. Another source indicates that he sold his fursuit to another furry, and the fursona was renamed to Agave. Whether this means that the fursuit may live beyond its original owner is yet to be seen. The passing on of the fursona from himself to another seemed to be a voluntary release of the character from its human owner who'd had their reputation tainted.

As one body passed, the other lives on, it seems.

Update: Carl's last name was corrected from Richwood to Kirkwood.

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Comments

Your rating: None Average: 1.8 (10 votes)

Well, nothing of value was lost. Never going to feel bad for a pedo.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (5 votes)

AFAIK, he was not accused of or charged with pedophilia. Not the same thing as possession of cporn.

Your rating: None Average: 2.6 (9 votes)

I feel more sorry for R C Fox than I did for Zidonuke, but not a lot and not by much.

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)

Several sources say his last name was Kirkwood including Wikifur.TimesOnline had that name in an article about the charges and some furs are leaving remembrances of him at a funeral home site, again saying Kirkwood. Not totally sure.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Yep, this needs to be fixed. Also, it's apparently also incorrectly listed as "Rickwood" in the previous article on it (linked in the first sentence of this one). Didn't notice it before. Good catch.

Edit: And the World in Rooview video discussing him being charged, Sonious calls him Carl "Richwood" throughout. O_O

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Admittedly, I have a bad habit with getting names wrong and then doing it consistently.

Article was updated.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (6 votes)

This is part of the reason why I have a problem with current laws. There was a story of a young person who probably had his life ruined because he was looking up bad videos and probably bad pictures online, and even though suicide isn't good at all, he was looking that stuff up because I think of his abused life in the past. Then after his life felt ruined, he ended his life.
He already suffered in his own life, and this made it worse.

I think it's better if someone who is guilty, they delete it and never be open about it about it because maybe it's the best option.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

You should read the article again.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

You mean where he was hacked as the story suggests I think?
I still wanted to still say my point.
BTW, I mean I am fine with some laws, but the current laws on certain porn was probably not so good. Just wanted to be more clear.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

He wasn't looking it up, he was distributing it. He also had a history of abusing Pennsylvania furs, as well as unreported sexual assaults on many people others know up there. He wasn't "looking it up because he was abused", he was looking it up because he is an abuser and this is what got him and his friends off.

The current laws are fucked, yes, but this one got someone who's been getting away with being an awful person for a long time. I certainly don't wish people to suffer, but instead to make their lives better and get healed, but there's a small comfort here that he can no longer hurt young furs (which, he was, directly, and a lot).

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

Distributing it could be another argument, anyway I think I was talking about another person. It was found on another article outside this website I think.

Hmm I still may need to research that, I have to take salt on this a lot.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

Sonious, your source says that he'd already plead guilty, but my understanding was that he was scheduled to enter a plea, but did not show up. According to Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier:

He was to be sentenced yesterday [March 14] on the 22 counts. He died so we had the case dismissed today.

So, he had yet to make any plea, guilty or otherwise.

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

As far as I know, sentencing does not always happen on the same day as a plea or verdict. You can only decide the sentence after the finding because the one will influence the other. So if someone pleads then there can be a lag when the judge considers what the appropriate punishment is.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (2 votes)

What he missed was a scheduled "Special Plea" court, though.

Your rating: None Average: 2.3 (3 votes)

He probably was guilty. It seems weird that he would plead guilty for something so serious then fight it when it turns out the content wasn't his. If he didn't have any such content then he would've known from the start that it wasn't his. He must've suspected that they had something that really was his. At least, that's how it seems to me.

Of course, the US court system is not exactly known to be promote justice. It's, I think, globally seen as more of a vengeance system where guilt only plays a minor part in who is punished or not. One part of that that is well known is that many innocent people are forced to plead guilty to charges because they don't have the money or resources to fight them and, given the nature of the system, innocence is not a guarantee that you will win and the costs of pleading guilty are usually less than if you fail to defend yourself.

Edit: I forgot Flayrah comments are broken if you reply to a specific comment and then want to make a general comment. When will that be fixed?

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Didn't you just answer your own question?

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

How? My only question was about how comments work.

If you mean my two paragraphs, only the first one is directly related to the story. The second one is a general point about the US courts. The topic sentences of each paragraph set up what they will be about.

"If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind."
~John Stuart Mill~

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

It might just be fixed now. Though the AJAX comments module is such a minefield that I probably broke something else. Probably the reason it was never fixed by the maintainers is that threaded comments had fallen out of style at the time.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (1 vote)

There's something about wearing the fursuit of a dead person...I dunno what it is.

Your rating: None Average: 3 (3 votes)

1) You'd think a defense would start with rebutting how RC admitted possessing CP to the police in January 2016. There are defenses (coercion for one) but we're supposed to overlook that AND entertain an uncredited/3rd party source claiming that he'd been taken unaware by network hacking, if regrets were honest?

2) The court docket showed CP charges for 2015... and 2017. Network hacking went on unaware over years while police were investigating?

3) Extreme reactions are common in these cases, people guilty of CP charges frequently kill themselves to avoid the consequences. There's also a denial strategy so common it's named DARVO (Deny, Attack, Reverse Victim And Offender), stuff like "the kid came on to me." Of course RC's charges had indirect victims so it would depend on blaming a "mystery hacker". We'd have to trust a coincidence that he mistakenly admitted to it, AND the exculpatory evidence conveniently isn't credited and only his lawyer knows it but couldn't show it, AND a person with legit denials killed himself not to avoid prison but because of lacking money to defend. (We're talking about a network engineer who afforded a fursuiting hobby, and it's not hard to get $25,000 on credit, mortgaging etc with a solid case.)

4) I talked to a source for thousands of RC's private messages and looked at some, and chatted some other people who were contacted because they had high profiles, and had other sources close to RC too. I looked for evidence of cyberbullying affecting him and found none (his profiles were closed before this was well known.) A few answers people reported getting from the DA's office and court clerks (and a couple of lawyers) about those charges were dubious because the DA isn't likely to give unofficial info and the lawyers (cold called) likely barely looked at documents. Some of their info about charges was contradicted by Boozy Badger who was familiar with this.

That's why I dismissed doubts that were being shared as irresponsible conspiracy theories that shouldn't be published, but that's just an opinion for a comment now. I suspect the regret in the headline was about facing the inevitable.

Your rating: None Average: 4.4 (7 votes)

Since he was never convicted and is now dead, I can't really comment about his guilt or innocence. However, I do think the commentary by Boozy is important to discuss. There has been an inclination toward mob mentality lately which is getting close to vigilantism. I am totally in favor of letting the justice system handle such matters. It's certainly ok for third parties to disassociate from accused individuals, but taking it upon oneself to actively and publicly harass them with memes and comments about how they should die etc. is problematic. In some cases people are falsely accused and you have to ask if all the people who made it a personal mission to destroy them will then apologize and take it back/make amends if they are shown to be innocent? Almost certainly not. People will move on to the next thing and forget about what happened.

That being said, I do understand the impulse to speak out against those who are actively and intentionally causing some sort of ruckus, so I think that is a different scenario. This is the distinction I draw between people accused of this type of crime, and people accused of, for example, Nazi-like activity when they are out there publicly engaging in extreme forms of speech or activities.

Your rating: None Average: 3.7 (3 votes)

The Beaver County Times mentions just who that deceased man in the car was.
http://www.timesonline.com/news/20180322/man-found-dead-in-chippewa-twp-was-sche...

Your rating: None Average: 5 (3 votes)

As far as my feelings on this.

I think there is some truths in it, but ultimately that yes, this person more than likely committed the crime they were accused of.

There is the quote from RC to the authorities that they could find the items on the computer, which flies in the face of the "I didn't know it was there" defense. That and to have someone hack your computer to put such files on yours:

1) Requires the hacker has said incriminating photos on their own computer putting themselves in danger.
2) Would be more likely if said target was more controversial. Before this incident R.C. was not an infamous figure in the fandom.

In the end though, as far as crimes against children go, the one they were charged with should certainly not be a life-ender or most heinous of these segments of crimes. They didn't directly harm kids, but through consumption did promote material created by someone that did. Getting psychological help and moving himself away from consumption of such materials could have still been possible. Reflecting about fixing the wrongness within himself, and killing only that part of himself, and not the whole of who he was, was still feasible.

My guess is that the prosecutor/DA did get Carl to take the plea, and the court date was where it would have been publicly placed on record. But it sounds like Carl's defense attorney decided to take them for a ride. Not standing in the way of letting them take the plea, but then saying "Oh wait we can try this defense, just need $25,000."

That is assuming that Carl was present with their lawyer when they took the plea. Perhaps he wasn't, but that would be quite unusual if he already had a defense attorney to converse with the prosecution without them.

Plea bargains for use in bringing down organized crime cogs, I'm fine with. Plea bargains to save money and expedite the courtroom process are a bit less than ethical, in my opinion.

In their death, the plea bargain certainly set out what it was intended to do, but perhaps more effectively than intended. Certainly saved the courts money, didn't even have to go through the booking process.

In the end though, I think it's also wrong to project the death of the furry onto the court system, or other furries who didn't want to be associated, the person took their own life. Another furry from Pennsylvania was accused of much worse, kept a stiff upper-lip in the face of adversity, and was found innocent in the court of law. I don't think it's ethical to have people change what they feel about the case for purely the action taken by the charged.

If you believe you are innocent, don't give up on yourself or take any plea. Justice shouldn't be put up for bargain.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

So, in cases where people have had child pornography placed on their computer through hacking, the individual need not be of a high profile, and the hacker wouldn't need to have the images stored on their own devices. In fact, that's pretty much the point of doing it in the first place: they remotely gain control of the individual's computer when it's connected to the Internet, and use the individual's connection to browse and download illicit files to the remotely-controlled device.

It's very hard to prove, though. $25k might have just been the tip of the iceberg for what a defense (which is typically considered a "dog-ate-my-homework" defense despite being technically possible) even if it were true.

Your rating: None Average: 2 (1 vote)

Have you thought about a story about Lupinefox?

Your rating: None Average: 5 (1 vote)

Was linked in the comment.

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)

My bad. I meant interviewing him? He posted to FA about being cleared.

Your rating: None

Why do I find deaths in the furry A LOT sadder and depressing than some on the news? I am not a doctor, but part of me thinks it is because of the fandom connection. I have no idea though.

Your rating: None

It's sad, but this is nothing out of the ordinary. Hundreds of people take their lives each day, all coming from different backgrounds, having different interests, and belonging to different sub groups, and each having their own reason to do so. And when your in your 20s and 30s, your more likely to die from suicide or an accident, rather then a medical condition. And considering a major chunk of the furry fandom fits into this age demographic, and with the growing numbers joining into the fandom each year, it should come as no surprise that something like this is gonna hit from time to time.

Your rating: None

The emotional feeling of connectedness is there. It is quite beautiful art, that of animal people, I would say. There is medication to treat those who may encounter a situation similar to as such mentioned in the article above, such a painful outcome as in this story did not have to be so. Many lonely hearted ones may relate well with animals as well as with animal people, the connectedness could still be there, even if the internet did not exist.

Your rating: None Average: 2.5 (11 votes)

Rest in peace, beloved. I never met you, I don't know who you were, but I already miss you. Everyone makes mistakes, who never? The consequences were too harsh. Isn't it odd that things would have been better if you had murdered someone? You could go to jail alone, without putting your mom in danger. I can't say for sure if the punishment is fair at all, because I don't know exactly what you have been watching or viewing. And the sympathy of people? Everyone would be out there to catch you, even those you regarded as friends. They would promptly forget every good deed you made for them, they would act as if they always hated you. So much for the "human" race. It's a crime like others. You was supposed to just go to jail, learn your lesson and come out. Why did it need to have the social consequences that it does? It's worth noting that child pornography wasn't a crime just a few decades ago and that Japan punishes the same crime with a fine. I'm not saying that Japan is right (even though it might be), nor that child porn should be decriminalized, but why Americans respond so negatively to it, to the point of denying your humanity? Couldn't you be treated like any other criminal? I do feel sympathy. No one should be driven to suicide. A person like you needed help. And no one offered it. I know I'm going to get a lot of hate for this, but fine. I'm not North-American anyway. I wasn't educated in a culture like that. Becasue of that, I can look at this and not respond like a Pavlovian pigeon trained to attack without thinking. And what if he didn't do it? The chances are slim, indeed, but think about it. What if it was you? You could be charged for viewing the wrong thing at the wrong time, or even for something that vaguely resembles child porn and, even if you aren't convicted, your life is over. Because people tend to remember accused people more often than they remember comfirmed heroes.

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About the author

Sonious (Tantroo McNally)read storiescontact (login required)

a Kangaroo from Syracroose, NY, interested in video games, current events, politics, philosophy and writing