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Richard J. GLASSEL





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 2
Date of murders: April 19, 2000
Date of arrest: Same day
Date of birth: September 20, 1938
Victims profile: Esther LaPlante and Nila Lynn
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on January 13, 2003

Supreme Court of Arizona


opinion CR-03-0022-AP

opinion CV-02-0435-PR



On January 10, 2003 Richard J. Glassel was sentenced to the following:


  • Count 1, Murder First Degree of Nila Lynn, committed on April 19, 2000, sentenced to Death.

  • Count 2 Murder First Degree of Esther LaPlante, committed on April 19, 2000, sentenced to Death.

Several months prior to April 19, 2000 Richard J. Glassel made several trips to the Phoenix area from California. Richard Glassel reserved a U-Haul truck one week prior to the shooting and picked up the truck on the day of the shooting.

According to the police report given the number of weapons and large amounts of ammunition found Richard Glassel had obviously planned this crime for some time.

On April 19, 2000 Richard Glassel decided to take revenge on people he believed to have wronged him in the past and entered the Board of Directors meeting for the Ventana Lakes Property Owners Association at Ventana Lakes.

Richard Glassel began shooting weapons into the group of people attending the meeting. Esther LaPlante and Nila Lynn were both killed. Edward Ettinger, Charles Yankowski and Gilbert McCurdy each suffered gunshot wounds. Richard Glassel was subsequently subdued by the group and held on the floor until the police arrived.

Inmate Glassel is also convicted of the following:

Maricopa County CR2000-006872


Facts as alleged at trial:

Richard Glassel, who once owned a home at Ventana Lakes, had several disputes with the Ventana Lakes Homeowners Association before his house was foreclosed and he moved to California.

On April 19, 2000, the Homeowners Association held its regularly scheduled meeting at the Yacht Club. Duane Lynn, a member of the Board, was seated at the head table along with Esther LaPlante, who was attending her first meeting as a Board member after having been elected to the position the month before. Nila Lynn, Duane Lynnís wife, was sitting in the ďaudience.Ē

Glassel had returned to Arizona from California on April 18, 2000. He drove to the Yacht Club during the meeting and walked into the building armed with an AR-15 assault rifle, fully loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition, two fully-loaded 9-millimeter pistols, strapped and holstered to his chest, and a ten round .22 caliber pistol in his hand. He carried 384 rounds of ammunition into the Yacht Club and had another 359 rounds in his truck.

When Glassel walked into the meeting, and he said that he was going to kill everyone in the room. Glassel then fired eight shots in rapid succession with his .22 caliber pistol, paused for a short moment, and then fired the last two rounds.

One bullet struck Nila Lynn in the back and she died in her husbandís arms. She was sixtynine. One bullet struck Esther LaPlante in the arm and another in the head. Esther also died. She was fifty-eight. Paul Ettinger, Vice President of the Homeowners Association, was shot in the abdomen. Ken Yankowski was shot in the thigh.

When Glasselís pistol ran out of ammunition, he reached for the AR15 rifle but was tackled. During the ensuing struggle, Glassel managed to fire one round from the rifle, which struck Gilbert McCurdy in the foot, fracturing it and causing him to lose a toe.



Richard J. Glassel


Richard J. Glassel



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