Jim Varagona

Category: highschool

>Riding in Cars with Diabolical Rapists

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Before tossing out an unread newspaper a week or two ago, I browsed through, making sure I didn’t miss out on a celebrity scandal, a relative’s death, or a new way that the President has devised to screw this country. While I didn’t find anything like that, one headline did catch my eye: Rapist Gets Life Plus 25 Years. Granted, it is kind of vague but you wonder what kind of brutality could lead to such a sentence, so I read on.

Rapist gets life plus 25 years
By
Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
02/10/2008

St. Louis — A man who brutally raped a woman in her Dogtown home and beat her with a baseball bat — then called her boyfriend to gloat— was sentenced Friday evening to life plus 25 years in prison.

James Thomas Fujimoto, 26, broke into the home of the woman, then 23, in the 6300 block of Berthold Avenue on Sept. 1, 2002, struck her repeatedly in the head with a bat, then sodomized and raped her for three hours. At one point he said, “Tell me you love me,” Assistant Circuit Attorney Mary Pat Benninger told St. Louis Circuit Judge Philip Heagney.

After Fujimoto left the woman’s apartment, he called her boyfriend. “He wanted him to see it,” Benninger said. “He wanted him to know what he’d done.”

Fujimoto pleaded guilty last month to forcible rape, forcible sodomy, assault and robbery charges on the day his trial was supposed to begin.

The attack was so violent that the woman had to have about one-third of her face reconstructed. She still suffers vertigo from crushed ear canals, officials said, and has since moved.

Benninger called Fujimoto a predator and a sadist and said he was excited by violence and fueled by control. He had stalked the victim and was also stalking other women, she said, and was “beyond rehabilitation.”

Fujimoto apologized for the “horrible thing” he’d done and told Heagney that he had broken into the woman’s apartment to burglarize it, not to rape her.

Fujimoto was arrested in 2005 after a DNA sample from the crime scene matched a sample collected from him as he was being paroled from prison on other charges.

I immediately recognized the name. I went to high school with this nut job for 3 years. I sat at the same lunch table as this cocky S.O.B. with this the chess team and computer club, neither of which I was a member of, yet they were one of the few groups I felt comfortable around. He didn’t fit in with them either, but if how I felt about him was any indication, he was too annoying for any others to deal with him. He wasn’t complete reject though. He tried to have his way with the ladies, and I’m sure he did at times.

Did anyone see this coming though? I certainly didn’t think too much of him, but hardly ever do you consider people around you to be capable of such psychotic episodes. I mean, I now know of someone that is in prison for life for some heinous things.

When I saw Jim’s name though, I thought back to around 2005, when I was working as a fertilizer merchandiser, such a respectable profession. I was having lunch at a nearby Burger King with a coworker. As we left, I noticed Jim on a pay phone outside, so I mumbled “Hey Jim” as I passed him. He screamed back some name that wasn’t my own, but that got us talking about high school.

Now I try not to hold how folks were in high school against him, so I was congenial with the guy. He told me that he didn’t have a car and that his sick grandmother was not answering the phone. He proceeded to ask me for a ride home, which was about 15 minutes away. Since my job didn’t necessarily require my presence, I agreed. He told me he’d give me some gas money once we got there. My coworker didn’t have much of a choice and tagged along.

I don’t remember too much of the conversation. I’m sure it was your typical small talk about the good ol’ days. Who do you still talk to? Have you heard about or have you seen so-and-so? And of course, he still rubbed me the wrong way.

When we arrived at his destination, he left his orange windbreaker in my car and ran inside. He left the front entrance open and left us waiting. We proceeded to wait for at least 10 minutes. After some discussion with my coworker, we decided to take off. We couldn’t figure out what was going on. He obviously wasn’t in a hurry to give me gas money and if something was wrong with grandma, I would assume he would run back out to us for assistance.

After reading the article, which deals with an incident that happened before this occassion, I wonder if that was his house, if there was a grandma, and even if that windbreaker was his, which I gave away to a friend of mine.

I researched further on his crime.

Man pleads guilty to brutal rape in Dogtown
By
Robert Patrick
ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH
01/08/2008

St. Louis — James Thomas Fujimoto, 26, admitted Monday that he was responsible for the violent rape and baseball-bat beating of a woman in her Dogtown neighborhood home in 2002.

Fujimoto, of St. Louis County, acknowledged that he broke into her home in the 6300 block of Berthold Avenue on Sept. 1, 2002.

He beat the then-23-year-old woman in the head with an aluminum baseball bat, then sodomized and repeatedly raped her for three hours.

Fujimoto’s trial was supposed to begin Monday, but he pleaded guilty of forcible rape, forcible sodomy, first-degree assault and first-degree robbery rather than face a jury.

Assistant Circuit Attorney Mary Pat Benninger told Circuit Judge Philip Heagney that she plans to ask for two consecutive life terms for the crime.

Fujimoto had the victim try to bathe away any physical evidence and then raped her again, Benninger said in court. He stole money from her piggy bank and took the keys to her car before leaving.

Fujimoto was not the first man arrested in connection with the crime. A drifter found near the crime scene confessed to the attack but was released after his DNA did not match semen found at the scene.

Fujimoto was arrested in 2005 based on a DNA match. His DNA was in the Missouri database because of a recently changed state law that expanded DNA taking to all convicted felons in Missouri, not just the violent ones.

He was serving time on second-degree burglary and attempted burglary convictions from 1999. He also has been convicted of tampering with a motor vehicle in Franklin County, and fraudulent use of a credit device in St. Louis County.

Fujimoto, who dropped out of school in the 11th grade but later got his high school equivalency certificate and attended some college classes, still faces a stealing charge in St. Louis County.

The victim sat about 10 feet from him during Monday’s plea hearing, at times staring at him and at times crying. The attack was so violent that she had to have about one-third of her face reconstructed, and she still suffers vertigo from crushed ear canals, officials said.

She has since moved.

So to make it creepier, he was originally arrested for this incident the year I gave him that ride and probably not too long after, considering that was during the summer that I did him the favor. You never know with people, but you should probably follow that intuition. I didn’t have the intuition that he was a brutal rapist, but that he was generally a loser, and perhaps that should have been good enough.

When I broke this story to those I went to school with, I received quite a few messages from shocked females, some even stating that they had crushes on him back in the day. It’s fortunate that they left it at that, but makes me wonder what else he may have done out there.

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>This Day in Diabeto History: 10 Years Ago

>10 years ago today, Princess Diana died. I had no attachment towards her, but for some reason, the event brought out a lot of what other crap was going on in my life. I watched the 24 hour coverage of the tragedy after returning home from a trip to Vintage Vinyl with friends. I did overhear a worker say something like “Did you hear about Princess Diana’s car crash? Apparently her boyfriend’s dead and she’s looking pretty bad.” And by the time we got to my house, pretty bad went to pretty dead.

I was transfixed by the news coverage for some reason. Yes, maybe I am the guy that slows down to look at an accident. It’s because of my concern for the folks involved. I don’t really know why, but I grabbed a notebook and started scribbling away, even with company around me in my parents’ basement. It probably had to do with intense reading of Jim Carroll and Jim Morrison poetry at the time.

For the next 2 or 3 years, I filled notebooks of this stuff. Sometimes it doesn’t seem too bad. It at least helps archive my mindstate during some tumultuous high school years. What I wrote from that span around Di’s death is below. I may post more at a later time.

i. Labor Day Weekend

Yesterday Diana died
I’m a petty, preteen eighth grader.
Irish girls give mean head
in the midst of seratonin shortages.
Needy muscular distrophy patients begging
in the night, Princess Di—deceased, and the bleached diabetic needs sleep. Sidney Omarr is idolized… under pitch black martian skies; playboy Egyptians crushed.
Jealousy is heavy in the oxygen, crotchless underwear jokes give belly laughs, the Princess of Wales is dead.

ii. The Weekend After

Mr. Omarr can kiss my ass in hell,
the A.C. can’t return my splendor.
But anyway, my mother in Calcutta passed—synchronicity reigns the night.
Replacement spectacles can misrepresent emotions, another loved one rides into the sunset.
Underbellies of sasquatches frighten my inner child—
I’m a lad in a fetal position—whining and waling—
someone come and rescue me,
someone grab my hand,
I need to feel the touch of human flesh.
[Did you hear Diana died?]
I strive for a happiness I once knew… there’s a black hole sucking at my Paxil.
Forgive Diabeto for being so selfish; his passion for a returning paradise is no longer at an underground status.
Next in the series of three, the stars point to the Pope or myself.
Cocks and pimples stare at me… singeing the hairs on my anal passage.
The Irish mumble and I remain silent.
What future lies ahead for endocrine patients?

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>Best License Plate I’ve Seen

>I hear a lot of folks say personalized plates are dumb because they make no sense, but isn’t the fun in wondering? The obvious plates are fun too, like the mom of a high school classmate with a “666” plate. This was especially amusing considering it was a Catholic high school we attended. It also made me think of the fact that it is the only “666” plate in the state, so she must have felt special when it was available.

My plates say “DIABTO”, which is of course in reference to my Diabetoboy moniker. It’s fun to have folks guess at its meaning or ask me about them.

Before we hit the road to Jesusland last year, the Filipinos of the IRS and I spotted these plates in a grocery store parking lot.


I later saw the same vehicle in transit while bar hopping with friends one night. We tried to snap a photo to no avail, but I did remember this photo which I snapped on my phone upon the first sighting. Does it help that it belongs to an older handicapped woman? I think so.

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