Inmates do not take kindly to those convicted of molesting, raping, or killing children. Because these convicts have targeted someone who was not only smaller but more innocent than they were, they destroyed a life because of their criminal abuses. Now one Oklahoma prison inmate took justice personally when he learned the terrible crime his cellmate had been convicted for and felt like the justice system had failed the young victim.
59-year-old Anthony Palma met a violent, brutal end when his cellmate, Raymond Pillado, beat and strangled him to death in prison. The incident occurred on January 11 while the pair were held together at the Oklahoma State Penitentiary in McAlester.
When Palma was found dead in his cell, his corpse was quickly removed and brought to the medical examiner. They found that the cause of death was “ligature strangulation and blunt force trauma to the head.”
Just two years ago, Palma began serving a life sentence for a 1997 cold-case murder that involved a beautiful eight-year-old girl whose body was never found. Her family was tormented by her disappearance and suspected death for years until police finally tracked down Palma and connected him to the case.
Pillado, the cellmate, is 35, and ins prison serving several life sentences for murder and shooting with intent to kill. He has also been convicted of other charges.
Last month, the prison reported Palma’s death. However, they kept the reason for it undisclosed as a prison killing for justice is still a murder. Now the Department of Corrections is confident that he was killed because his crime was against a beautiful eight-year-old girl who was innocent of all things evil – until she met Palma.
“Those who are serving time for victimizing children, they are definitely more vulnerable,” explained DOC spokesman Matt Elliott.
Palma was found guilty of killing Kirsten Hatfield. She lived two doors down from him. DNA testing linked Palma to her disappearance. He was then found guilty of kidnapping the girl, sexually assaulting her, and then killing her to get rid of the evidence.
Back in January, authorities said that they hoped to interview Palma this year to finally learn the location of Kirsten’s remains.
“We’ve not had closure on this case, and we may never have closure because we wanted to find her body and bring her home,” said Midwest City Police Chief Brandon Clabes. “Our hopes are, with any case like this, the suspect who’s convicted … in this case, it was Anthony Palma … that hopefully, he would have some inkling of a conscience, maybe intervention by a higher power, maybe God, and come out and tell us exactly what he did with her.”
Although her daughter’s killer is now dead, Kirsten’s mother, Shannon Hazen, refuses to “give up hope.”
She added, “I’m not going to … I’m just not. I don’t have to at this point.”
The girl’s family has gone through hell since her disappearance and presumed murder. Now they can rest knowing that her killer no longer has the chance to victimize other children.
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