Child Serial Killer Joseph Edward Duncan III Dies At 58 Of Brain Cancer
Serial killer Joseph Edward Duncan III, who was on death row for killing an Idaho family in 2005, died of brain cancer on Sunday.
The 58-year-old had been diagnosed with a stage 4 glioblastoma and had underwent brain surgery in October 2020. According to court records from January, Duncan had refused chemotherapy and radiation.
Duncan was sentenced to death in 2008 for the kidnapping and killing of a 9-year-old boy, according to the United States Attorney’s Office of the District of Idaho. The convicted killer also murdered the boy’s 13 -year-old brother, his mother and her boyfriend. Duncan had kidnapped the 9-year-old, along with his 8-year-old sister and took them to Montana, where he filmed himself torturing them both before killing the boy and releasing the girl. The girl was found at a Denny’s in Idaho and Duncan was later arrested.
Duncan had also admitted to killing other children, including 10-year-old Anthony Martinez in California in 1997. According to the Riverside, Calif. district attorney’s office, Martinez had been playing in his yard with his younger brother and their friends, and when Duncan tried to grab Anthony’s little brother, Anthony intervened and he was taken. His body was found 15 days later, but his death was not connected to Duncan until after he was arrested for the murder of the Idaho boy. He pleaded guilty to Anthony’s murder in 2011, while already on death row, and received two life sentences.
“The sun is brighter today, and my soul is lighter,” Anthony’s mother, Diana, said in a statement. “The world is a more beautiful place without the evil that is Joseph Duncan. God chose to make his end a long suffering and I believe that is fitting. The horror of his thoughts consumed him.”
“While I would’ve liked to witness his execution,” Anthony’s father said, “knowing he is now standing before God being held accountable for what he has done, what he did to my son, and the horrible crimes he committed to others, that’s the real justice.”