Friday, May 16, 2014
Natel King -- "Blood Does Flow..." (Pt. II)
Nearly three weeks passed before King's badly decomposed body was found on March 23, 2004, dumped in a heavily wooded ravine near the Schuykill River in Whitemarsh County, a short drive from Frederick's basement studio. Naked except for two white socks, the model bore extensive stab wound to her neck and face as well as defensive wounds to her hands. More disturbing, King was gagged with a leather type dog-collar with a pink rubber ball in the center. The model's body was wrapped in a bloodied drape (a type often used as a background in a photo studio) and the makeshift burial shroud had been secured with duct tape. Other bondage paraphernalia located near the body seemed to match devices featured in the photos of King taken by Frederick and Mitkus. Shortly after the grisly discovery, the 46-year-old photographer was arrested and charged with first-degree murder after DNA tests revealed large traces of King's blood in his studio. Also found in the studio was a handwritten poem that read, "Cut with a knife, blood does flow/You may bleed out, death coming on slow...." Mitkus was also arrested and preliminarily charged with lying to authorities and hindering apprehension.
In February 2005, Frederick cut a deal with the prosecution that allowed him to plead guilty to charges of third-degree murder (requires intent to kill with malice, but no specific or planned intent to kill), possession of an instrument of crime (the Colt hunting knife), unsworn falsification (lying to authorities), abuse of a corpse, and criminal conspiracy in exchange for the possibility of parole in the very remote future. In his confession, Frederick admitted killing King because of a dispute over the $900.00 modeling fee. According to the photographer, King became angry when he told the model that he did not have her entire fee. King allegedly picked up the hunting knife used as a prop in the bondage shoot and began threatening him. The pair wrestled, the photographer managed to disarm King, and stabbed her with such force that the blade passed through her neck. While he was upstairs wiping the blood from his hands, Mitkus was downstairs cleaning up the crime scene with bleach. According to Frederick's statement, Mitkus admitted to him that she had twice stabbed the woman's lifeless body while he was upstairs. The couple rolled "Taylor Summer" into the backdrop screen, placed the bundle into the back of Frederick's car, and the photographer dumped the body alone. Unexplained in Frederick's account was how King managed to argue with him while the bondage gag (bearing a telltale knife slit) was obviously in her mouth both pre and post-mortem. In a statement designed to still criticism that the deal was far too favorable to the confessed killer, Montgomery County District Attorney Bruce Castor said, "I don't believe the part about her grabbing the knife, but we have separated [Frederick] from the public and he will be spending a long time in prison." In July 2005, Anthony Joseph Frederick was sentenced to a prison term of 51 years. He will be 71 after serving the minimum 24 years of his sentence before becoming eligible for parole consideration. Mitkus pleaded out to lying to detectives, tampering with evidence (cleaning up the crime scene), and the abuse of a corpse. Sentenced to 23 months incarceration, she was eligible for release after serving just six months. As of May 2014, Frederick (Inmate #GC8554) was serving his time at the State Correctional Institution - Mahanoy in Frackville, Pennsylvania.