Sleepwalker kills his lover in a bizarre trance at NBC Dateline

March 16th, 2009 - 7:11 pm ICT by David M N James  

Can a sleep folk kill really? Well, he can. According to a victim of his own mental deception, he killed the woman he loved, slept with and went out with in his sleep. That’s as per the latest from Dateline NBC. NBC described this as a trance, something unconscious, uncontrolled, the half glimpsed world of sleep and a terrifying truth.

Eva, a 42 year old woman was a lovely and magnetic. She was in love and was loved by a man she treasured and who treasured her.

According to confessions at Dateline, she was the person you would call on. In fact, one person was quoted saying ‘girls just love to have fun’ as per Cindy Lauper the songstress. Eva fell in love with a man 17 years younger than her. Though at 42 married and then be in a serious relationship with a younger man is typical but also way off. People say she was drop-dead gorgeous and this man, just fell in love with her. But he was a sleep walker. According to April Bozarth the man was a good-looking guy, fun to be around. He was available to do pretty much anything she wanted to do, because I don’t really think he had a job. And I think that, you know, they’d go on these little trips, jaunts, you know, to different places. I think that he was kind of a trophy to her– being so much younger. You know, here she is in her early 40’s and, you know, “Oh wow, look, I’m– I’m with somebody that’s in their ’20s.” I just said, “Proceed with caution, you know?

This guy was called Stephen. Stephen was jobless and people thought this relationship could not last. In fact, it was pretty obvious, it could not last. Stephen knew she was married but he cared less. Typical of young lovers, however, the foul murder happened in a place Eva remembered often with good memories. It was called Catalina. Catalina was not just a place to be or so memorable, but it had her husbands memories on it. She wanted to recall how it felt then with the new and alluring Stephen. She was looking for a memory.

This is when she disappeared, a day before she was to go on a trip with her husband. It was the fairly tale of the princess and the handsome. There was a murder in Catalina and on this cool autumn morning in October 2001, LA County Sheriff’s detective Richard Tomlin in a helicopter went to Santa Catalina Island which has been rated as crime-free. Stephen Reitz had walked up to Catalina’s fire station and reported that he may have killed his girlfriend. Paramedics went to the hotel, tried to revive Eva Weinfurtnerbut she was already dead.

Eva was a bad site; she had a broken jaw, three places, a fractured skull, shoulder, elbow, wrist broken, A dislocated shoulder, a bruising on the hand resembling a defensive wound and it dawned to Detectives Gallatin and Tomlin that it was a much worse event that had befallen the victim. It was a bizarre murder. She had large stab wounds in her neck and on her spinal column. In her pocket they found a bloody pocket knife. A flower pot had been broken on her head.

According to Stephen he had been dreaming about a conflict. However, he was not dreaming with Eva in the picture, he felt in danger then. What Reitz was dreaming about was a battle with the sharks in the sea. He used to be a fisherman and killing sharks was on of the rare skills he had. In his dream he fought one and he killed it. However, he did it practically in his dream; he killed Eva in the event of his trance. According to his own confession, Stephen confessed that It began to occur to him that he was responsible for that ’cause of the wounds; that was what I used to do shark fishing. It began to occur to me that I was responsible for that ’cause of the wounds; that was what I used to do shark fishing. When I was a commercial fisherman, that’s the way we’d kill sharks. We’d take a knife and sever their spinal, and they would– incapacitate the sharks.”

Sadly, according to NBC Dateline Stephen Reitz claimed he was fending off an “intruder” and didn’t remember killing his girlfriend Eva Weinfurtner during the deadly dream. But he did recognize his fatal handiwork. But he could not recall physically assaulting Eva, all he could recall was Just “flashes,” a hazy feeling that he’d fought against this “intruder.”

However, Chris Frisco, DDA a lawyer says that “What I was concerned about was looking at the injuries and trying to determine if, in fact, the defendant is or was sleepwalking.” According to Dateline NBC, A world-recognized sleep disorder expert from Stanford University joined the case. Reitz was sent to a sleep for a battery of tests to diagnose if had a recognized sleeping disorder that could lead to such violence. He was wired, and monitored and recorded. And as he fell asleep, cameras rolled. Then, the tests revealed not only a propensity to sleepwalk, Reitz also suffered a significant night terror that was caught on tape and later featured in an Australian documentary on sleepwalking. Stephen also suffered from Bipolar disorder.

However, it had to be proved whether this sleep walker was guilty of murder since the evidence was there. However, it was very difficult since there was the context of being guilty of murder consciously and guilty of murder unconsciously. Dateline confirms that the medical expert from Stanford University explained how people can and sometimes do violent things unconsciously while asleep. He detailed the battery of tests Reitz had been given, which showed his propensity to sleepwalking. A Jury was set up and after several days of trial, they claimed that Stephen was guilty of murder proving science wrong. Stephen was sent to prison to serve 25 years for murder.

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