The Determined Find A Way: Another Beheading, This Time In New York

While this beheading is quite different from the one we covered a few weeks ago, it still proves that people will find a way to inflict harm if they are determined to do so.

A headless body was found in the middle of the street last night in front of an apartment complex on Long Island, and many who initially saw it thought that it was a Halloween prank.

It turns out that it wasn’t a prank at all, but rather a gruesome killing by the victim’s own son. The woman is being identified as 66-year-old Patricia Ward, who was an assistant professor at Farmingdale State College.

As police were at the scene of this murder, another death took place just a mile away when 35-year-old Derek Ward jumped in front of an oncoming train. He was killed immediately.

Derek Ward has a long history with mental illness and was therefor unable to own firearms. If he were to try and purchase one, a background check would likely come back as denied. This crime however, was done with a machete, and Derek Ward was responsible.

It’s important to note that Derek Ward’s mental illness history dates back some 10 years, and he was even arrested for illegal possession of a firearm in 2006 when police found him with a 9mm Smith & Wesson handgun, as well as 100 Valium pills. For this crime, he spent just 45 days in jail, 3 years probation and was required to pay a fine.

After he killed his mother in the apartment with the machete, he dragged her body out into the street and placed her head a few feet away. Passerby’s initially thought that it was a prank, saying that while they were looking, they couldn’t believe that it was a real person.

“I saw what I thought was a head in the street. I saw long, black, straight hair and the head face down,” she said Wednesday. “And I did a double-take. And I opened the window and said, ‘No, that can’t be what that is.'”

Patricia Ward was a 28-year faculty member at Farmingdale State College. Patrick Calabria, vice president of institutional advancement at the college, recalled Ward as a nice and respected member of their college.

“She was well-liked, well-known and well-respected,” Calabria said. “Her department in particular is having trouble dealing with it. We are providing counseling for faculty and staff. It’s a tough day here. She was very passionate and devoted and loved working with students.”

Why is this article on Concealed Nation you may ask? I’m not taking the approach of defending yourself with a firearm (although that may have prevented the mother’s death), I am taking the approach of the fact that a determined and mentally ill individual will find a way to cause the harm they seek to cause. If they are unable to obtain a firearm, they will find another way. In this case, the man had access to a machete that he used to behead his own mother.

Brandon is the founder of Concealed Nation and is an avid firearm enthusiast, with a particular interest in responsible concealed carry. His EDC is a Glock 27 that holds Hornady 165 gr FTX Critical Defense rounds, and rides comfortably in an Alien Gear Cloak Tuck 2.0 holster.
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