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Did convicted sex offender Joseph Edward Duncan III molest a school boy in Detroit Lakes, flee the state, abduct an eight year old girl in Idaho and kill her two brothers, mother and mom's boyfriend? Of course, those are matters for the criminal justice system and Bill O'Reilly to decide. But right now it doesn't look good for Duncan. One reason: his prolific blogging.

For the past year and a half, Duncan published dozens of screeds about prison, the justice system and public attitudes about sex crimes at his site, Blogging the Fifth Nail. (The fifth nail refers to the nail intended for Christ's heart. Can you spell "martyr complex?"). Duncan also posted a few self-made videos, one of which is truly creepy.

Tormented by public notification and offender registration laws, Duncan the blogger reveals himself to be smart, occassionally sympathetic, and--in classic sex offender manner--utterly self-involved. While he makes no explicit admissions, his final entries, especially the one titled "the Demons have taken over," don't do much to advance the case for innocence.

Duncan is not the first figure in a notorious Minnesota-connected crime to sprinkle clues on the internet about his motivations. Jeff Weise, the 16-year-old who killed nine people on the Red Lake Indian Reservation this spring, posted extensively on internet forums about his alienation and anger. And he also made disturbing videos.


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