Fourth Arrest in Stephen Moore Murder Case

The Stephen Moore murder case has moved pretty slowly so far.  Back in August three arrests were made and now a fourth has.  Read the latest here (Orange County Register, 1/12/11).

Moore was a world-class speed skater in his earlier years, but, at age 42, he was working full-time and had a 20-month-old daughter.  He had been married to Kathleen Dorsett and the pair seemed happy until their baby was born. 

At that point Moore complained to friends that Dorsett completely shut him out of her life.  The couple divorced and Dorsett got primary custody, but, when Moore moved to expand his visitation time, the dispute grew bitter.  Then he disappeared only to turn up in the trunk of his mother’s car bludgeoned to death, the car and his body burned.

It didn’t take long for the police to arrest Anthony Morris for the crime of attempting to dispose of Moore’s body.  Morris was an employee of Kathleen’s father, Thomas Dorsett.  In due course, Morris identified them as conspirators in the murder.  Now Lesley Dorsett, Thomas’s wife and Kathleen’s mother, has also been arrested.

Here’s my original posting on the case (, 8/30/10).

Stephen Moore, from all appearances was a thoroughly decent and likeable man.  While none of the defendants in his murder case has been convicted of anything to date, it looks like a conspiracy to get rid of him due to his interest in his daughter.  This is far from the first time we’ve seen a man move for greater contact with a child, only to wind up dead for his trouble.

The Mazoltuv Borukhova case in New York was a high-profile example, but there are others. 

If the facts of Moore’s murder prove to be as they seem and as prosecutors charge, it still won’t be recorded as a domestic violence homicide.  That’s because there were multiple offenders and therefore won’t be officially charged as a murder committed by his ex.  That was true in the Borukhova case too even though there, as in Moore’s case, the crime surely wouldn’t have been committed but for his relationship with his ex and his attempt to get more time with his daughter.

The greater tendency of women who want their partner dead to use surrogates to do the job skews the statistics on domestic violence homicides.  Due to the “multiple offender” coding, existing statistics likely record fewer homicides with male victims as resulting from domestic violence than actually occur.  The latest figures I’ve seen place female deaths from DV at 1,200 per year with about 400 male victims, but again, the latter figure is probably low.

For now, the four are in jail awaiting trial.  I’ll keep you posted.

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