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Politics

Murder as a public service?

Diane Dimond on

On the evening of May 14, 2020, in Omaha, Nebraska, James Fairbanks went to the home of Mattieo Condoluci and shot him dead. Condoluci, 64, was a twice convicted pedophile, and Fairbanks, 43, had spent years working with troubled kids in the Omaha Public School system.

After the body was discovered, the dead man's daughter, Amanda Henry, was quoted saying, "Murdering my dad was a horrible thing, but children are much safer now."

Fairbanks is now charged with first-degree murder.

During an emotional phone call with Henry, she told me of her father's death: "I was relieved. It finally happened. It's over. It has been hell."

And then Henry told me what life had been like with Mattieo Condoluci.

"I was beaten and raped by my own father for years," she said. "The man who was supposed to protect me instead belittled, humiliated and tortured me until I finally escaped at age 19." This, she told me, is why she is now supporting the man who killed her father.

 

"James Fairbanks answered a 27-year-long prayer for me," Henry said. "He was there when the police weren't there. He did something when the police didn't."

Henry described how her mother had fought valiantly to maintain custody of her 2-year-old daughter but lost touch when Condoluci took off with the toddler.

While Henry has tried to block out much of her early nomadic years with Dad -- they moved to several different cities in California, Florida, New Mexico, Iowa and Nebraska -- she remembers her father routinely preyed on single mothers with young children. "He would find a lost soul, bring her home and then do his devil's work," she said.

In 1994, Condoluci pleaded no contest in Florida to molesting the 5-year-old son of a woman he was dating. His sentence? Four years' probation. In 2006, by then relocated to Nebraska, Condoluci was sentenced to five years in prison for sexually assaulting the 12-year-old daughter of another woman in his life. He served less than two years.

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