|Steve Goff confessed to a 1990 murder claiming to be haunted by visions of the victim's mother at night.|
A southern New Jersey admitted killing a teenager 23 years ago claims he did so because he was haunted by nighttime visions of the boy's mother.
Steven Goff, 41, of Ventnor, turned himself in to police Monday and confessed to the 1990 stabbing of 15-year-old Frederick "Ricky" Hart in Galloway Township. The incident happened over 23 years ago when Goff was only 18 years old. Hart was reported missing and his remains were only discovered by a hunter one and half years later after decomposition had made determining any details about the cause of death impossible.
Alan Rickel, a close friend of Goff, revealed that Goff had been tortured by his actions and had trouble living with what he had done. "He couldn't bear it anymore," Rickel told The Associated Press on Wednesday. "He told me he had nightmares. He'd go to sleep and see the kid's mother staring in his face."
Goff, known to have undisclosed mental issues, was en route to Canada after informing Rickel that he planned "to meet his maker and 'fess up to what he had done," but had a change of mind and returned to New Jersey where he turned himself in. Goff revealed to investigators details about the murder of only the killer could have known.
Goff was charged with murder and a weapons offense for stabbing Hart in the woods behind a condominium complex on May 7, 1990. At a court appearance scheduled to present the charges to him, Goff surprised the judge by confessing and saying he was ready to enter a guilty plea, sobbing lightly as he said, "I did the crime." Goff accepted the council of a public defender but only to expedite things.
"I always thought it was that he was a moody guy, but now it's obvious that it was because of this," Rickel explained. "He had some demons in him."
New Jersey Man, Haunted by Victim's Mother, Steven Goff Confesses to 1990 Murder