Diane Bakdash arrested following son's Dinkytown hit-and-run murder charge

Categories: Crime
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Timothy Ayman Bakdash has already been charged with the hit-and-run murder of Ben Van Handel in Dinkytown. Now his mother, Diane Bakdash, has been arrested too.

Police say she's now part of the story because she signed the title of the car he was driving so that he could sell it quickly in an effort to elude authorities. For that act of family loyalty, the 66-year-old woman was charged with accessory after the fact.

Fox 9 reported that officers had staked out her home in Roseville, but eventually arrested her when she showed up yesterday at Hennepin County jail to visit her son.

Van Handel died after an argument with Bakdash outside The Library Bar on April 15. He ran down the U of M student on the sidewalk of nearby Fifth Street Southeast, prosecutors say. According to the complaint, he told the cops he felt no remorse.


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A witness told investigators that Van Handel was carried 50 feet by the car, and hit his head on a utility pole before finally falling in the street. He suffered serious brain injuries and died last Thursday, the same day that Bakdash was arrested.

His death is senseless enough, but it turns out the two women who were also injured by Bakdash weren't even with Van Handel during the argument with Bakdash. Katelynn Hanson and Sarah "Sally" Bagley had been at the nearby Kitty Cat Klub, and happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Bakdash aimed at Van Handel.

Bakdash makes his first court appearance today.

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5 comments
Anotherhongji
Anotherhongji

Briefly knowing Diane, she is a kind and loving person as well as I'm sure a devoted mother. I'm saddened to hear of everyone's heartbreak and loss. My heart goes out to everyone impacted by this tragic event.

MHP
MHP

I dunno, hard to feel any sympathy for the mom or her worthless kid. Agree that he has psychological issues that his mother should have recognized. Being a sociopath doesn't make him any less responsible for his actions. I think life in prison is fine because I doubt he can be rehabilitated and productive for society. No excuse here for the mother. She can go to jail too.

eric00000000001
eric00000000001

I hate to be an armchair psychological detective here... but if the mother Diane Bakdash is the same Diane Bakdash that is a psychiatry nurse in Minnesota she could have been trying to help her son deal with his obvious mental illness. It seems pretty clear that the kid is a psychopath (unable to show empathy towards others) and who knows what other mental problems he had. Having a history of problem drinking didn't help much either. His mother might have thought she was helping him (don't underestimate the biological impulse of a mother to protect her offspring), even though what she did was criminal.

Sadly, I don't know if there's any hope for this guy... he's going to rot in a prison somewhere. Prison is hardly the place for mentally ill people to get the help that they so desperately need. More than likely they're just going to get more f*cked up then when they went in.

Very sad story... :(

Albatross
Albatross

I should hope so. What kind of lunatic did this lunatic raise?

bronson
bronson

I was going to hate you for being an armchair psychologist, but you already called yourself out on that one, so I'll just agree that our criminal justice system isn't nearly adequate in dealing with legitimate sociopaths. It's difficult to say in this case, since I don't know the guy personally, but if this much time has passed since a moment of drunken anger and he still shows no remorse for driving a car into a group of people with the intent to kill them just because of some stupid bar argument, then someone in the court should demand a full psychiatric appraisal, because that's just insane. And I know there are countless people out there who would sooner form a lynch mob or organize a public stoning for this guy, but the whole "punish the shit out of everyone regardless of emotional and behavioral conditions" thing has only gotten us an overcrowded prison system and an absurd rate of recidivism. In any case, I hope that justice is handed down appropriately and that all parties involved can recover and move forward as best they can.

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