palm bay marks 20 years since cruse's massacre

Twenty years ago, this small Brevard County city reeled in terror as a retired librarian went on a murderous rampage in one of the most heinous crimes in Florida history. Full Story
In Sympathy

United States

#1 Apr 24, 2007
I sympathize with the victims. I can't imagine the horror. But the news is not good. Our world is filled with too many people trying to live in smaller areas, laws that enable the wealty to grow in wealth while the backbone of the country, the workers and eveyday people struggle to pay their health insurance, if they have any. I am not advocating Communism, but for large corporations to make the overwhelming profits they make while others struggle to have enough gas to get to work is just shocking. Today our people have no respect for others, rudeness in every area is normal. I find today's world a pretty scary place, but it's like people living in war zones. They carry on as best they can, as normally as they can. But the stress builds.
Wanda

United States

#2 Apr 24, 2007
So sorry for everyones loss. Its a shame that we as human beings don't have compassion and the love for one another like we did 20 plus yrs ago. A murder takes place, we some think, oh well, and move on.

“Dare to be stupid!”

Since: Dec 06

Groveland, Florida

#3 Apr 24, 2007
Why have not they put down Cruse yet? He should had been sent to old sparky 20 years ago.
Retired LEO

West Palm Beach, FL

#4 Apr 24, 2007
It shows the French are right about one thing. The more things change the more they remain the same. Human beings are capable of such greatness and such depravity. It never ceases to amaze me.
Bob

Fairport, NY

#5 Apr 24, 2007
Can anyone tell me why he is still on death row
after 20 years in prison?

seems to me that after 12 to 18 months all appeals should be over (thats the way most people think the law SHOULD BE)

anyone with knowledge please respond...
Tiki

Fairport, NY

#6 Apr 24, 2007
garym1a2 wrote:
Why have not they put down Cruse yet? He should had been sent to old sparky 20 years ago.
The Liberals took away sparky- nice job liberals
Jimmy

Silver Spring, MD

#7 Apr 24, 2007
It is amazing that we haven't executed this crum bum yet. All the members of the jury will probably be dead before we get around to it. Too many appeals and delays. If convicted, you should get an appeal. If you loose the appeal you should be executed. Enough said. Get on with it.
Oh Boo Hoo

United States

#9 Apr 24, 2007
Twenty years ago, on April 23, 1987, William Cruse killed two Palm Bay police officers and four residents,

Cruse, who turns 80 this year, was convicted and sent to death row, where he remains today.

This man has lived 20 Christmas's, birthdays, New Years, than those he killed.

After 20 years, seems this man would be out of ways to avoid the death penalty.

His punishment so far is no worse than that received for the rape of a child. But then the rape of a child should be automatic death, too!
azgypsy

United States

#10 Apr 24, 2007
I agree with all the comments here. He should be put to death, but probably never will be now. He's 80 years old and you know people will be up in arms that they are killing an 80 year old man. He should have been put to death years ago.
JCS

Jupiter, FL

#11 Apr 24, 2007
20 YEARS LATER AND HE,S STILL ALIVE AND FEEDING OFFF OUR TAXES!!!!!!!!!!1
sick of it

United States

#12 Apr 24, 2007
I remember this like it was yesterday. Never knew any of these guys and can only hope they have rested in peace, the deep peace of a hero.

Anyone out there who cannot understand should log onto the Officer Down Memorial page web site
Caryn

Davenport, IA

#13 Apr 25, 2007
We have not forgotten. As a resident of Palm Bay twenty years ago, I can remember every detail of this horror as it played out. I remember how we all sat around the radio holding each other until the broadcast ended. I remember my friends and family, including my then five year old daughter and her grandmother, who were at the store when Mr. Cruse was outside killing others. I remember all the emotions - the fear, the uncertainty, the sense of loss, the sympathy. I know I speak for all those who were present that day when I stress that we have not forgotten and we never will. God bless the victims and their loved ones.
Damien

Peoria, IL

#14 Jul 30, 2007
My last name is Cruse too. I hope i'm not related to that psycho!

“Gone Baby Gone”

Since: Apr 07

Location hidden

#15 Jul 31, 2007
I was working in the shopping center where it all began and had I not skipped out the back a bit early, I probably would have walked into the beginning of it. As it was, going to work with sharp shooters on the roof in the days afterwards while dodging the leftover media was dramatic enough. I left the job shortly thereafter. It was a terrible experience.
Palm Bay Baby

Greenville, SC

#16 Aug 2, 2007
When this horrible event took place i just had my first birthday...even though i was too young to understand or remember...It is a story that has lived on through my entire life..i will probably never forget it sadly...My father also worked in the shopping center..even though he survived the attack, since then my family tells me he has never been the same...we are not to mention this around him...infact i have noticed that any time he hears anything to do with people getting shot he flips out...how can this have such a reaction on someone? I wonder if the man that did this has had a heart attack since he has been in jail....my dad has...
Aging Hippy wrote:
I was working in the shopping center where it all began and had I not skipped out the back a bit early, I probably would have walked into the beginning of it. As it was, going to work with sharp shooters on the roof in the days afterwards while dodging the leftover media was dramatic enough. I left the job shortly thereafter. It was a terrible experience.
1992 PBHS Grad

Largo, FL

#17 Aug 30, 2007
I was 13 at Stone Middle School. Very sad, very dramatic memories of this day in time. I did not know he was still in jail. Unfair that he changed peoples lives forever and then those very same people have to support him in jail for 20 years by paying taxes. Something is very wrong with that picture.
Danny

Greenville, GA

#18 Sep 2, 2007
Aging Hippy wrote:
I was working in the shopping center where it all began and had I not skipped out the back a bit early, I probably would have walked into the beginning of it. As it was, going to work with sharp shooters on the roof in the days afterwards while dodging the leftover media was dramatic enough. I left the job shortly thereafter. It was a terrible experience.
There probably were some snipes on the roof of Publix after things settled a bit, but most were in the ditch behind the Winn Dixie and all around the entire perimeter. Volusia County had a sniper team also. Cruse is lucky to be alive. The people living around there tried to do a vigilante dance on his head just before Palm Bay PD got him out of there asap by throwing him into the backseat of a patrol vehicle which had no lights on, then one of the officers jumped on top of Cruse as the vehicle raced out of the parking lot. The PD had to engage about five Rottweilers and several shotgun-chamberings to make them stay back. About thirty were coming across the ditch. I was a law enforcement officer, off duty when it happened, and as one poster stated, I also was diverted from Winn Dixie shortly before the shooting began, and would almost absolutely been there with my family if we had not decided to visit a friend first. I was very consistent back then in carrying my .357 and would loved to have dismantled Cruse before his killing spree. I raced home and got into uniform, returning to the south side of the scene. EMT's were the only security for the south perimeter. One other undercover officer was in an unmarked unit on the south side as well when I walked up. Some of the stories I hear about the incident do not seem accurate however. Like it wasn't tear gas that made Cruse exit the back of the Winn Dixie, he was just ready to come out and fully realized he would be dead if he did not surrender. He released a hostage just around the corner of the WD just minutes before he exited himself. The undercover officer was consoling the hostage and put a blanket over her shoulders as she sat because she could not readily stand to exit the sidewalk. She was shaking like a leaf and crying for good cause. Just before Cruse surrendered, officers escorted the lady to a safer place. He came out with the M-14, but was immediately ordered to drop it, which he did as I heard it hit the ground.
Jodie1957

San Antonio, TX

#19 Mar 30, 2008
I was just leaving Publix when the terror began. I was 9 months pregnant and had just left an OBGyn appt setting the date for my C-Section. As we all watched the TV and listened in horror to the radio I realized I had in fact seen the gunman moments before the shooting spree began. I agree with the previous posts this criminal is absolutely guilty why has he been allowed to live 20 more years. It was a horrible tragedy NO ONE deserved to die that day with the exception of the shooter and how absolutely humane it was that the snipers never were able to take an exact shot at him. He killed people at point blank range with no thought about there families or lives.
no slack

United States

#20 Dec 17, 2011
May sound extreme of me, but I wish I could have shot cruse right between is eyes. I don't see why he wasn't shot before he entered the store......? Cops, swat........ It seems the only guy with the balls to fire @ him was a brave civilian... I truly feel for all of the victims and their families. I have no remorse for rapist, murderers and theifs. If u break in to my home, it will be the last home u break in to. I live in Texas and our laws are good for is in that area. I strongly believe everyone deserves the right to protect themselves.
stan da man

AOL

#21 Dec 17, 2011
I beleive he died on death row

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