July 30th, 2005 was a cold night in the middle of the summer. 16 year old Jennifer Parks was brutally murdered by her next door neighbor. Her body, dismembered and stuffed into a 3 by 2 foot trunk and thrown in the back of the the SUV of the killer. Jonathan Zarate, the young adult who took Miss Parks life, was arrested the next day with his younger brother James Zarate and a young man from Clifton.They were attempting to dispose of the trunk with the dismembered body in it, off a bridge in Rutherford into the Passaic river. Because this case was seemingly not premeditated and the 3 main suspects were juveniles, local police had a rare case on their hands.
Brothers Jonathan and James Zarate were immediately the 2 main suspects of the case. Police questioned Jonathan the day after the murder happened, asking him if he has seen Jennifer Parks around lately. Jonathan and James have had previous records with Jennifer Parks. Although hey had no criminal records before this point, they have been reprimanded many times in school for harassing Jennifer Parks. It got so bad to the point were James had to move to another town with his mom because of a restraining order placed on him. Police have always had these two brothers on their radar after all of the incidents with Jennifer parks, Labeling them as troublemakers in the neighborhood.
I believe this case can be related back to trait theory because Jonathan Zarate and his brother James really had nothing to gain from killing this innocent young women. They were not getting paid, this wan’t some sort of test by a gang, this was not a case of gain. It was a case of impulse and irrational decision making by a juvenile in the heat of the moment. Jonathan was evaluated to see if he was mentally unstable at the time of the murder but he was found to be sane. Some investigators thought he might have had an extraversion personality which...
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