Sample donated: Josefina Gross
Last updated: August 7, 2019
Julie Henderson Juvenile Justice Professor Adams 11/23/13 Jennifer Parks July 30th, 2005 was a cold night in the middle of the summer. 16 year old Jennifer Parks was brutally murdered by her next door neighbor. Her body, dismembered and stuffed into a 3 by 2 foot trunk and thrown in the back of the the SUV of the killer. Jonathan Zarate, the young adult who took Miss Parks life, was arrested the next day with his younger brother James Zarate and a young man from Clifton.
They were attempting to dispose of the trunk with the dismembered body in it, Offa bridge inRutherford into the Passaic river. Because this case was seemingly not premeditated and the 3 main suspects were Juveniles, local police had a rare case on their hands. Brothers Jonathan and James Zarate were immediately the 2 main suspects of the case. Police questioned Jonathan the day after the murder happened, asking him if he has seen Jennifer Parks around lately. Jonathan and James have had previous records with Jennifer Parks. Although hey had no criminal records before this point, they have been reprimanded many times in school for harassing Jennifer Parks.It got o bad to the point were James had to move to another town with his mom because of a restraining order placed on him. Police have always had these two brothers on their radar after all of the incidents with Jennifer parks, Labeling them as troublemakers in the neighborhood.
I believe this case can be related back to trait theory because Jonathan Zarate and his brother James really had nothing to gain from killing this innocent young women. They were not getting paid, this want some sort of test by a gang, this was not a case of gain.It was a case of impulse and irrational decision making by a Juvenile in the eat of the moment. Jonathan was evaluated to see if he was mentally unstable at the time of the murder but he was found to be sane. Some investigators thought he might have had an extraversion personality which means that he was an impulsive individual who lacks the ability to examine their own motives.
This case can be related to the latent trait theory in Juvenile delinquents. I believe this theory would fit this case because it was not Just 2 different types of suspects in this case.Both main suspects for Juveniles, brothers, and lived under the same roof or most of their lives. They both had a violent history, I believe they both and a certain trait in them that dominated their personalities. This also points them into the direction of continuity of crime and delinquency which is one of the biggest reasons why this case probably would have been solved even if they were not caught dumping the body.
Both brothers had a history of problems with the victim. The parents of the Miss Parks already had an idea of who could have done something so harsh like that Just because of the Zarate brother’s history.The continuity of crime nd delinquency says that the best predictor of criminality is past criminality.
life sentences plus more years on top of that. Investigators and Police did a great Job dealing with this case. The two young Juveniles were waived up to adult court because of the brutality of the case. The young man from clifton was given a lighter sentenced because he agreed to testify against the brothers and was cooperating with police and investigators. The Parks family was very grateful that Justice was served and they they got 2 killers off the streets of Morris and Bergen County.