Posted at: 02/26/2013 10:03 PM
Updated at: 02/27/2013 8:19 PM
By: Brett Davidsen
Part I - Confessions of a Dying Inmate
An inmate awaiting trial for a cold case murder in Monroe County speaks exclusively with I-Team 10 investigator Brett Davidsen.
Edward Laraby has a murder case pending, but Laraby wants to play let's make a deal.
I-Team 10 investigator Brett Davidsen spent an hour and a half talking with him.
He agreed to the interview, not because he feels remorse. But rather, because he claims he can help police close up to 14 other violent crimes, for a price.
Edward Laraby is a dying man.
Stricken with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease, his days on earth are short in number.
I-Team 10 recently met with Laraby in the medical unit of the Wende Correctional Facility near Buffalo.
Already serving life sentences for sexual abuse and attempted murder, he is now awaiting trial for the 1991 strangulation death of a Greece music teacher, a case that gripped this community.
"It was not something I intended. Sometimes, I intended to do a given thing, this was not one of those times. But it ended badly,” said Laraby.
Stephanie Kupchynsky, 27, was an accomplished violinist and music teacher. She lived in the Newcastle Apartments in Greece.
In August of 1991, she had been planning a trip to New Jersey for a music conference. But just prior to her leaving, she disappeared without a trace. Her car was found at the airport.
Investigators immediately focused on Laraby.
Laraby was a maintenance worker at the apartment complex where Kupchynsky lived. He had just been released from prison and had a history of violent sex crimes.
Still, without a body, police had little to go on.
Then, seven years later, with Laraby back in prison for another violent crime, Kupchynsky's skeletal remains were found by some boys in a remote area along a creek in Orleans County.
"I guess what I can say is I worked at the Newcastle complex as a maintenance person, knew the individual. We were on friendly terms. I did numerous maintenance repairs in the unit. I think that's probably all I'm allowed to say,” said Laraby.
On the advice of his attorney, Laraby will not discuss the details of the Kupchynsky murder, the motive, or what he allegedly told police that had them declaring the case solved.
In July of last year, after providing police with a written statement, Laraby was indicted.
“It clearly is incriminating in nature, the statement that he gave them,” said Laraby's attorney Robert Napier.
But make no mistake, Laraby didn't tell police what they wanted to know because he had a desire to cleanse his soul.
"I had also heard that I was ging to die in a couple of days and I was just trying to clear my conscience and it was just like, it's totally untrue,” Laraby said.
No, Edward Laraby was looking for something.
"I figured, I've been 40 years with the criminals and miscreants, I figure I don't want to spend eternity with those guys,” he said.
In return for his statement, police and prosecutors agreed that upon his eventual death, they would arrange to have Laraby buried outside the prison walls.
I-Team 10 asked him why it is important to him to have those things.
"Well, I basically want to be like everybody else. I want to be in a cemetery where there are other people that somebody cared about. So I was thinking, maybe that's where I should be,” said Laraby.
When that day will come is anybody's guess.
There is no date scheduled for his trial and at the rate his health is deteriorating, there may never be a trial.
"His ability to assist in his defense continues to be compromised as far as possibly testifying. He just may not be able to be afforded his constitutional rights to a fair trial,” said Napier.
Now in prison hospice, he is confined to a wheelchair, cannot raise his arms and speaking is becoming more and more difficult, which is why he says it's urgent that police take him up on another offer.
"I have offered to resolve that particular case and several others they're interested in. The thing is, everybody is interested, nobody wants to do what's necessary to make it happen,” said Laraby.
Police said agreeing to a private burial for Laraby was a small price to pay to bring closure to the case.
Unfortunately, Stephanie Kupchynsky's father never lived to see justice for his daughter. He passed away a few years ago.
So now Laraby is offering up another deal.
This time, he says he'll tell police about more than a dozen other homicides.
I-Team 10 asked Laraby if he considered himself to be a serial killer.
He said, "I guess according to them, I must be.”
Part II - Confessions of a Dying Inmate
Accused killer Edward Laraby has already made one deal with police. Now, he's trying to make another one.
Laraby is a man with a lifetime history of violent behavior. So when he says he's responsible for many unsolved murders, police tend to believe him.
"Because of their lifestyle, and their choices, they were marked for a wrongful ending anyway. I just expedited it,” said Laraby.
Edward Laraby speaks of killing in a casual way.
He is already awaiting trial for the murder of music teacher Stephanie Kupchynsky after providing police with a written statement about the crime.
But dying of Lou Gehrig's disease, Laraby is eager to make another deal.
“You know how the world works. You get something, you give something. You get nothing, you give nothing. That's not my rule, that's the rule of the world,” he said.
Laraby says he can help police close the books on up to 14 unsolved cases, homicides he says he committed as far back as the early 1980's.
I-Team 10 asked Laraby if that was information he would be willing to provide if he gets the deal he's looking for.
"Absolutely. I would pull out all the stops. My feeling is, I'll tell you everything you need to know. You find it, you don't find it. You use it, you don't use it. You pass it on, you don't. I don't care what you do with it, but you give me what I'm asking for, I give you this. You're detectives, go detect,” said Laraby.
In return though, Laraby is making what some might consider an outrageous demand. He wants out of prison.
"My client is indicating that he has information in connection with multiple cold cases and in exchange for providing that information, truthful and complete information in regards to those cases, he is requesting a transfer to a private hospital,” said Laraby's attorney Robert Napier.
But police say no deal is possible without some proof first.
"I don't think he's given us any reason not to believe him,” said Lieutenant John Henderson.
Lieutenant Henderson is with the Greece Police Department.
"We're more than willing and more than interested to explore that. We're just looking for that one piece to be able to verify,” Henderson said.
"I told them I could direct them to (the) remains. What more could you ask for?" asked Laraby.
I-Team 10 asked for victims' names and details of these unsolved crimes. Laraby was cryptic.
"If I started giving names, I don't have any bargaining power,” he said.
But as he continued to speak, he began to provide more and more details.
Laraby says a motorcycle club hired him to kill two members of a rival club. He also claims to have killed two drug dealers.
In another case, he says he killed a man for disrespecting him.
When asked if he felt anything for the victims or their families, Laraby said, “Well psychiatrists tell me I am a sociopath. They said I don't possess the same tools that everyone else possesses.”
Laraby provided the most detail about five murders he claims to have committed in Canada in the early 1980's while he was on the run from Rochester Police.
"When I was traveling, heading west, every city I came to, I did a wrongful thing,” Laraby said.
Toronto, Sault Ste. Marie, Thunder Bay and Kenora are the cities where Laraby says he sexually assaulted and then killed five women and disposed of their bodies.
For Canadian authorities, Laraby has yet another offer.
In exchange for details about those cases, he wants them to pay for his gravestone.
Contacted by phone, an inspector with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police tells I-Team 10, "We're always interested in information that persons wish to provide about outstanding crimes in Canada, and we are presently in the midst of a preliminary assessment of what Mr. Laraby has to offer."
When asked if Laraby considered himself to be a serial killer, he said, “The FBI, in their infinite wisdom, have stated that if you have three homicides or more, you are a serial killer. So I guess according to them, I must be."
Making a deal with a man with little time left and nothing to lose is no doubt an uncomfortable situation for law enforcement.
But Lieutenant Henderson says they have to consider the bigger picture.
"It really boils down to the families of the victims and it comes down to, if you can help ease their sorrow and their pain whatsoever, then we'll do whatever we can possibly do to do that, within reason,” he said.
I-Team 10 asked, “Even if it means making a deal with the devil?”
“It depends on what the deal is,” said Henderson.
"It's potentially invaluable to the 14 families. It clearly outweighs, in my view, the cost involving his being held in a private facility,” said Laraby's attorney Robert Napier.
But Laraby warns, this is a limited time offer.
“Don't screw around if you want to know this. I can't write. I can't type. So if I can't talk, it's a dead issue, literally,” he said.
I-Team 10 asked Laraby if he would ever consider leaving the names of these other supposed victims behind once he passes so those families can get closure, but he seems willing to take the information to his grave if no deal is struck.
But if he's already in a medical unit, why is Laraby so eager to be moved to a hospital?
He says the reason is that he's not getting the proper treatments for his illness there and claims it's intentional.
Laraby tried to kill a corrections officers inside the prison several years ago, but since that time, Laraby says they treat him badly.