Store employee charged with murder after strangling shoplifter

Originally published at: Store employee charged with murder after strangling shoplifter | Boing Boing


They allegedly stomped and kicked him while he was on the ground, and kneeled on his neck.


The phrasing in the linked article…ugh:

A 39-year-old O’Reilly’s store employee was arrested and charged in connection to the death of a suspected shoplifter, according to authorities.

Carl Kemppainen was charged with second-degree murder in the death of 23-year-old Diamond Steen, according to the Wyandotte County District Attorney’s Office.

“charged in connection to the death”?!?! Really? Holy passive voice, Batman.


Slightly off-topic, but what’s with the weird number of months in the sentencing guidelines? I can see that they’re basically a round number of years + one month, but is there a particular reason for tacking on that extra month?

  • 109 = 9 years + 1 month
  • 493 = 41 years + 1 month

Just for clarity’s sake, strangling another person is neither easy nor quick. WTF was this guy thinking? Living out a Rambo fantasy or some such shit?


Just a guess, but I bet he and the others thought they’d “hold” him until the cops came, but did it in such a way that was both brutal and improper (foot on the neck perhaps?). :man_shrugging:


Actively supporting company objectives is the quick way to $17/hr…


Right wing media has convinced those who watch it regularly that crime is out of control and the bad guys are taking over. I’m speculating, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this guy was a regular consumer of such media, and was primed and ready, having convinced himself “not in my store!”, even though it isn’t, of course, his store. This happened in Kansas City, Kansas. Don’t forget, on the other side of the border in KCMO just a few months ago, an old man shot a boy who knocked on his door by mistake.


I’m not positive but I think that is either the equivalent to “no parole” or making things round up for parole calculations.


I had to do a double take. He looks a lot like a guy I used to work with, and who has gotten into BJJ the last several years.

Also, yay Kansas City is in the new-- awww… :confused:


I can’t imagine loving your employer so much you’d kill another human being to protect the bottom line.


Another reason many stores discourage their employees from accosting shoplifters. Wouldn’t want to become known as that place where they might kill you if they think they saw you stealing.


I think the job was an excuse to hurt someone else.


I’ve worked lots of crappy jobs in my life but I will give credit to even some of the worst places I worked. All the companies I worked for in a customer service capacity said that they don’t want employees intervening in shoplifting or other illegal acts. Of course their concern was more about liability than anything else, but nevertheless it was the same everywhere: if someone’s shoplifting, don’t try to physically stop them.


His neck looks rather large, as if it might be steroidally enhanced.


Did he fail selection for the local special forces LARPers police SWAT team?


Yep, if the shoplifter has any family, O’Reilly will probably get sued.


My wife worked as management in fast food for close to 20 years, no shoplifting but plenty of robberies, policy always was give them anything they want.

I made a comment in a group a while back that if I was being robbed I would give them everything including my car keys and write them a check. My life or the muggers life or the trauma of me killing someone was not worth any personal possessions.

I was promptly told I am the reason there is so much crime.

Our local police scanner pages on Facebook are filled with reports of retail fraud calls, the majority of responses want the the perpetrator immediately shot.

I think that attitude is what causes stuff like this.


And the best possible reward from his employer for his ostenible heroism would be a heartfelt email thanking him.

There’s nothing that a store employee can gain from trying to stop a thief and a lot of potential downsides, even if nobody dies.

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Most of the things done to prevent shoplifting, and most other crimes too, are really there to just create a little extra friction. The thing that really prevents widespread crime is a functioning society where the norm people follow is not stealing.

It’s the same thing that largely prevents people from smashing house windows with hammers everywhere. Nobody really thinks it’s the door lock that keeps the house safe do they?

Sounds like classic victim blaming. Especially coming from people that clearly don’t know how to be part of a functioning society. Or, perhaps they don’t want to be part of one.