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Tragedy changed suspect in slaying

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  • Dr. Daniel Nephilim
    http://www.mercurynews.com/mld/mercurynews/news/breaking_news/12959360.htm Posted on Fri, Oct. 21, 2005 Tragedy changed suspect in slaying DARK MOOD: TEEN WAS
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 1, 2005

      Posted on Fri, Oct. 21, 2005

      Tragedy changed suspect in slaying


      By Brandon Bailey and Ken McLaughlin

      Mercury News

      LAFAYETTE - In the days after the slaying on the
      hilltop, the mood at the house down the steep, narrow
      road grew strained. Behind closed doors, people spoke
      in hushed tones.

      Whether the tension was about the weekend killing of a
      neighbor or something else is unclear.

      But on Thursday, 16-year-old Scott Dyleski -- the
      teenager fascinated with dark, gothic rituals who
      lived in the house with his mother and another family
      -- was in custody on suspicion of slaying his neighbor
      Pamela Vitale.

      She had been bludgeoned dozens of times with a thick
      piece of crown molding from the nearly complete
      mansion she was building with her husband, lawyer and
      TV commentator Daniel Horowitz, according to a law
      enforcement source.

      The killer carved a gothic symbol -- a double-crossed
      ``T'' -- into her back, the source said, and stabbed
      and slashed her a number of times.

      As she lay dead in the entryway of the mobile home the
      couple shared while their 7,000 square-foot Italianate
      villa was under construction next door, Dyleski
      cleaned up, the source said.

      He washed his hands in the bathroom sink and took a
      shower. He drank a glass of water and left. The weapon
      remained behind, the source said.

      Clothing that had been scrubbed with OxyClean, a
      household cleanser that breaks down organic stains
      such as blood, was found after the killing at a
      Hunsaker Canyon Road house, although it wasn't clear
      whether it was the house Dyleski lived in, the source

      Authorities believe Dyleski was trying to start a
      marijuana-growing operation and was stealing credit
      card numbers from the mailboxes along Hunsaker Canyon
      Road to finance it. He would order lighting and other
      equipment, have it shipped to the neighbors' homes and
      try to pick up the deliveries before the neighbors
      noticed, the source said.

      A violent struggle

      Dyleski may have had merchandise sent to the Horowitz
      property, the source theorized, and when he went to
      see if it had been delivered sometime Saturday, he
      encountered Vitale. A violent struggle ensued. A
      heavy, 65-inch TV screen had even been shoved aside. A
      wall was covered with splattered blood.

      Horowitz has told reporters that it appeared to him
      that his 52-year-old wife had ``fought like hell.''
      Mourners gathered Thursday in Lafayette's Oakmont
      Memorial Park for a private funeral for Vitale, who
      was remembered as a deeply loving mother, wife and

      Dyleski, barely 120 pounds, was arrested late
      Wednesday night at the Walnut Creek house of a family
      friend and is being held in Contra Costa County
      Juvenile Hall. His face and leg were apparently
      scratched, the law enforcement source said. Dyleski's
      mother had dropped her son there for his father to
      pick up.

      She left instructions that the boy was ``on
      restriction'' and could not use the phone or computer
      -- or be left alone.

      The killing occurred at the top of Hunsaker Canyon
      Road deep in the Lafayette hills -- a rugged area
      filled with a mix of shacks, rusted campers, and a few
      pricey estates with commanding views of the East Bay

      Dyleski lived less than a mile from the site of the
      slaying down the steep, winding road with his mother,
      Esther Fielding, and two other families, including
      David Curiel and Curiel's brother and wife, Fred and
      Kim Curiel. The Curiels built the house in 1997 out of
      recycled materials and straw-bales. It had been
      featured in a ``Green Home Tour.''

      Change in mood

      ``I knew something was up,'' said David Curiel of the
      mood in the house days after the slaying. ``They were
      being very tight-lipped.''

      Dyleski had attended Acalanes High School in
      Lafayette, but had recently received his GED and
      started taking classes at Diablo Valley College.

      One of his friends since middle school said that
      Dyleski had been a ``normal preppy kid, kind of a
      nerdy kid'' through seventh grade, and was a decent
      baseball player.

      But three years ago, his sister died in a car crash,
      and friends say he was never the same.

      One day, in the eighth grade, Dyleski showed up at
      school with a full gothic look -- a black trench coat,
      black painted nails and lips, silver jewelry. He would
      often be seen reading the ``Satanist's Bible.''

      Dyleski and his friends would have rituals, said the

      ``They'd have seances and light red candles,'' said
      Keith Kingon, a 16-year-old sophomore at Acalanes. ``I
      think it was just an attention-getting thing.''

      But another Acalanes student said Dyleski was his

      ``We all dress differently. Yeah, he got arrested, but
      he's someone who's very nice. I don't think he'd do
      anything to hurt anyone. He might have been involved
      in growing marijuana, but I don't think he'd do
      anything violent.''

      Back on Hunsaker Canyon Road, David Curiel said he
      considered Dyleski ``just a normal kid.'' He seemed to
      be phasing out of the goth look -- he'd cut his hair
      and stopped wearing the dark nail polish. Curiel
      thought maybe that he'd landed a job.

      Problems noticed

      But just recently before the killing, neighbors began
      noticing problems with their credit card bills and
      unusual deliveries to their homes.

      Within a day or so of the killing, one of the
      neighbors went to the house where Dyleski lived and
      confronted someone there about their suspicions. It's
      unclear what resolution came of that.

      Dyleski's mother, Esther Fielding, had once owned a
      small cafe in Lafayette with Kim Curiel called ``Cafe
      Esperanza,'' or Cafe Hope, serving organic, fair-trade
      coffee and ``no carb'' frittata.

      Fielding also offered healing therapies from her
      Hunsaker Canyon Road house, promising ways to change
      core beliefs that ``you're lazy, selfish, useless, a

      Mercury News Staff Writers Elise Ackerman and Julia
      Prodis Sulek, and Knight Ridder also contributed to
      this report. Contact Brandon Bailey at
      bbailey@... or (408) 920-5022.
      The Mercury News strives to avoid use of unnamed
      sources. When unnamed sources are used because
      information cannot otherwise be obtained, the
      newspaper generally requires more than one source to
      confirm the information.

      Nephilim's Paranormal Investigations - http://paranorm.cjb.net

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