Crime

Nathan Dunlap: Mom of victim Ben Grant latest to call for killer to die

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Original post, 6:37 a.m. May 13: Last week, we shared the details of a clemency bid by Nathan Dunlap, who killed four people at a Chuck E. Cheese in 1993; see our previous coverage below. Dunlap's execution has been scheduled for the week of August 18-24, and the Araphaoe County District Attorney's Office is ratcheting up the pressure on Governor John Hickenlooper to let it go forward via a letter from a former restaurant employee who was originally scheduled to work on the night Dunlap took so many lives. See it below.

The onetime staffer doesn't use her name. She notes that "I prefer to remain anonymous, out of the public eye." However, she describes herself as "a survivor of the Chuck E. Cheese massacre. I was supposed to work on December 14, 1993...."

The woman writes that she had multiple encounters with Dunlap "from work, school and socially," with that latter playing out by way of him pursuing a relationship with her. She once attended a party at his home with him because, she writes, "I was scared to turn him down" -- and seeing the kinds of people who were present, and the games they played (including, if memory serves, "Russian roulette with loaded guns") only increased her fear.

She had similarly frightening encounters with Dunlap at the restaurant and knew he was "furious" when he was fired. But she escaped dying at his hand because she was babysitting the night he came into the eatery and shot the five individuals on hand. Only one survived.

Later in the letter, the woman reveals that she is now a nurse, and based on her medical experience, and that gleaned from observing family and friends with bipolar disorder, she argues that Dunlap didn't show any classic symptoms of the condition -- one of the main reasons for mercy cited in his clemency appeal.

"He never had highs and lows, his outburst[s] weren't occasional and he was never unpredictable," she maintains. "He was always a vindictive, evil and mean dark person."

The reason for the letter, which is addressed to Hickenlooper? In her words, "I ask you, please do not grant Nathan Dunlap clemency from the consequences he was given for his actions, This is a horrible act and something that he is proud of and has no remorse for. He needs to face the consequences he was given for his actions and I pray after all of this time it will be done and the healing can continue for all that have been affected."

See the complete letter below, followed by our previous coverage.

Nathan Dunlap Clemency Request: Chuck E. Cheese Employee Letter

Continue for our previous coverage of Nathan Dunlap's clemency request.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts