Professor talks about nanny murder, suicide

Interview with James D. Chancellor, PhD

KVOA TV/January 20, 2005
By Lupita Murillo

For the past two days, Eyewitness News 4 has given you a glimpse into the mind of a man willing to kill.

On January 8th, Ricky Rodriguez murdered 51-year-old Angela Smith in a Tucson apartment, and later killed himself.

He left behind a videotape documenting his plan and blaming a religious sect he grew up in for the person he had become.

He claimed they encouraged the sexual abuse of children. Smith, his victim. had been his nanny there.

Ricky Rodriguez grew up believing that he would play an important role in the group. He was christened "Davidito,"the young prince and future prophet of the "Children of God".

James D. Chancellor, PhD. studied the group, wrote a book about them, and even knew Angela Smith, the victim..

Dr. Chancellor says he's "Surprised and shocked about the tragedy. Very disturbed at the loss of life."

Chancellor became interested in the group in the early 1990's during their transitioning period and after they no longer practiced sex with children.

Chancellor says, "That is not to deny they young people who were raised in the 1980's and late 70's did experience sexual exploitation and difficult difficult childhoods."

But he's also interviewed others who grew up in the sect during that period who went through those experiences and remain in the family.

"Processed them as part of their normal culture and have completely come to terms with their past in a very positive way."

Rodriguez knew that and makes mention in the video tape he recorded the day before the murder. In the video, he says, "I'm glad that others of us haven't gotten to the point where we really don't have anything to lose."

Rodriguez makes it clear he wants to get back at his mother for allowing the abuse to happen, not just to him, but his sisters and the rest of children.

Dr. Chancellor says, "I've read the correspondence between he and his mother. She did make efforts at reconcilliation. She did apologize to him for the pain he endured. That didn't seem sufficient for him."

Chancellor has spoken to members of the sect and he says they are traumatized by what's going on. He also says they will have to face those facts again. There are consequences for what occurred in the past.

"Simply asking for forgiveness and seeking reconcilliation is not completely sufficient."

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