Understanding Raindancer

Pleasant Valley Prison


This is a new segment running in the aliBLOG. I'll feature someone from my past. Then offer an odd perspective surrounding the experience. This is an informal and interactive therapeutic writing lesson so please participate with whatever thought you may have. They may be germane or off topic. Peace - diXie

Understanding Raindancer

I first met Raindancer Dickey O'Brien in Cedar Crest New Mexico in 1990 or 1991. He was a bright kid. He had fiery orange hair, freckles and an extremely high I.Q. I remember
introducing my parents to Raindancer. We took him to
an old town restaurant called Maria Teresa's for a Thanksgiving dinner. He did not really like being there.

He had anger outbursts, poor peer relations, low self image and was very depressed. He came from the Taos area where
he had been reportedly abused. He spent a few months in Children's Psychiatric Hospital and then went to live in a group home in Cedar Crest NM.
Here is what the Lassen County Times and the California Courts report
Emotional Jury Sends Raindancer Dickey-O'Brien to Life in Prison
Posted on Monday, January 20 @ 09:50:32 PST
By Tiffiney Wood
Staff Writer Lassen County News

Raindancer Dickey-O'Brien will spend the rest of his life in prison for murdering Mark "Jerry" Levitoff of Westwood, a jury decided Jan. 16, after a day and a half of deliberation.

Dickey-O'Brien showed no response as the verdict was read, which said he was sane at the time of the crime and knew what he was doing as he robbed and killed Levitoff two years ago.

The victim's sister let out an audible sigh as she leaned into her husband, tears sliding down her cheeks.

Four jurors hung their heads and suppressed sobs as the clerk read their verdict, which will send Dickey-O'Brien to prison for life without the possibility of parole.

When the trial began Dec. 3, Kaufman told the jury it could consider evidence attesting to O'Brien's mental stability before, during and after the crime to determine his mental state at the time of the crime. He clarified that being mentally ill or mentally abnormal does not necessarily constitute being insane at the time of the crime.

A defendant is considered legally insane if he or she was incapable of: (1) knowing the nature and quality of act; (2) understanding the nature and quality of act; and (3) distinguishing between right and wrong at the time of the crime.

Deputy District Attorney James Reichle, said he was relieved that his last case in Plumas County was over, expressed sensitivity for the jurors. After sitting through four weeks of testimony, which outlined Dickey-O'Brien's history of mental illness and his abusive childhood, the jurors were asked to seal his fate.

"It was the choice from hell," sympathized Reichle, "and they deserve a lot of credit. Based on the evidence that was presented, they did the right thing. Now the family (of the victim) can walk away."

Though not the most difficult case he has successfully prosecuted, Reichle admitted that this case was probably the most emotional case he has tried.

"The human part of me wishes there were some other options, but the law says there isn't."

Reichle explained the jury had to choose between locking Dickey-O'Brien up or sending him to an institution for treatment, where he could be released after as little as two years.

Defense attorney Janet Hilde, who was seen hugging an emotional juror in the lobby, declined to comment on the verdict. Judge Ira Kaufman gave Hilde until Feb. 10 to file any motions contesting the trial or verdict. Formal sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 13.

Mark "Jerry" Levitoff was a 26-year employee of the U.S. Forest Service at the time of his death. Defense attorney Tom Klute said both the defense and the prosecution agreed that Levitoff "was a good person." He was killed near his favorite Lake Almanor fishing spot on Jan. 22, 2000.
---------- end of Lassen County Times report by Tiffiney Wood ------------------

Here is how Raindancer describes Raindancer
on a web-page called Cellpals

Raindancer Dickey O'Brien

Rain - Dickey O'Brien # T 79076
Pleasant Valley State Prison
PO Box 8501
Coalinga, CA 93210

Fun, financially independent genius looking for stimulating relationship with smart, sassy female. Offering joy, laughter, excitement, brilliance, abundance, wisdom, love, more. WILL NEVER ASK YOU FOR MONEY-EVER.

6'3", 200 lbs., great shape, college-educated Mensa member, published, award-winning author. Incredible sense of humor, sensitive, compassionate, honest. No history of violence, no sex crimes. In prison for death of Good Samaritan. Deep knowledge of philosophy, politics, business, engineering, science. Great with kids. Love dogs, cats more. Into mountain biking, rock climbing, camping, fly fishing, travel, computers. Always was "life of the party", amazing outlook on life with deep insight. Writer of upbeat, uplifting letters--never complain about "how bad it is". Love classical music, jazz, relaxing new age. Well read, subscribe to many publications. Inventor of seventeen different products, first currently being patented by prestigious patent law firm. Author of soon - to - be published resource guide--world's largest. Former business owner. Very lonely due to death of parents, siblings don't write, can't relate to other inmates. No hang-ups, no baggage, I know how to treat a lady --love people, love life. Wise well beyond my years, with the exuberance and vitality my youth brings. Love women of all ages. I can get contact visits and make daily phone calls. Drop me a line if you want some light in your life--I shine brilliantly.

Anticipated release date: NONE

Birth Date: September 5, 1978


This story is quite sad. When I notice the way Raindancer
appraises himself within the context of his prison sentence it sort of makes sense. In your formative years, if all you experienced was abuse,neglect, violence and chaos. Then the result will no doubt be low self image, interpersonal difficulties, depression, aggression and social pathology.

His fantasies about his past accomplishments and his false claims regarding his exceptional personality are attempts to overpower all the dysfunction, crime and sadness that have characterized his young life.

Though it is sad and tragic that an innocent park ranger was murdered. It is nice to know that otherwise Raindancer feels OK with himself and is ready to offer someone ..... correspondence