Thomas Espinoza's Confession and a History of the Insanity Defense

This week's feature story tells the gruesome tale of convicted killer Thomas Espinoza's brutal murder of his neighbor, and his subsequent efforts to escape justice by claiming he was insane. Here are several brief excerpts from his taped confession. When you're done with those, have a look at this slideshow that briefly recaps the history of the insanity defense.

In this first clip, Espinoza claims he's had mental problems for years. The cops ask him what set him off and get no good answer.

In this second clip, Espinoza is asked about hitting his victim and dragging her into his apartment, and speaks of his experiences at Denver General.

In this final clip, Espinoza speaks of knowing he needed help, and about the 1978 fire he points to as the cause of his mental illness.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato