Judge calls Magolski a ‘sociopath’
By Robert Cloud
Waupaca County Judge Philip Kirk sentenced Chad Magolski, 35, to life in prison without parole Thursday.
On March 29, a jury found Magolski guilty of the murder of 77-year-old James Park.
Park’s body was found on Dec. 15, 2007, partially under a table in his apartment. Stabbed 11 times in the neck, chest and abdomen, Park had been dead at least a week before he was discovered by his landlord.
Ruth Larsen spoke about the cruel irony associated with the table where her father had crawled to escape his attacker. She said the table had long represented the many meals shared by her family, the special moments and personal accomplishments they celebrated, her mother’s efforts to stain and varnish it, and her father who “had pride of place at the head of that table as I grew up.”
“That table full of precious memories was turned into my father’s last refuge,” Larsen said.
Calling Magolski “an odious stain on humankind,” she asked the judge to sentence Magolski to life in prison.
Park’s son-in-law, William Larsen, explained how painful it was for the family to hear witnesses testify that Magolski had described Park as a stinky old man who drank too much,
Prior to his retirement, Park served in the Air Force, earned degrees in mathematics and computer engineering, and had a role in the development of the Saturn 5 rocket and the nation’s satellite defense program, Larsen said.
“His obituary appeared in the Washington Post,” Larsen said. “We received condolences from 15 countries.”
Assistant Attorney General David Wambach said prosecutors and law enforcement spent more than three years investigating the case because they were stymied by the crime’s level of sophistication, “which nearly allowed the defendant to avoid any consequences for his crime.”
Kirk also noted that the case had been extremely difficult to prosecute and said he initially thought the case seemed weak.
“But the strength of a case is determined at its end and not at its start,” Kirk said. “I’m convinced the state found all the evidence they needed.”
Kirk told Magolski during sentencing that his sociopathic personality was responsible for Park’s death.
“When hubris and self-absorption coalesce at their apogee, you have a sociopath,” Kirk said. “You are a remorseless killer beyond redemption.”