73-year-old Carl Ericsson rang his old high school classmate’s doorbell in January, verified the man’s identity and then shot him dead.
But the question was what had prompted him to confront a man he hadn’t even spoken to in years.
The answer, a prosecutor said on Friday, was a 1950s locker room humiliation that festered in Ericsson’s mind for a half-century.
“He said that a jockstrap was put on his head,” Kenneth Meyer said. “It’s the only thing he’s ever mentioned in talking to law enforcement.”
Ericsson, who a psychiatrist said suffered from anxiety and depression for years, last month pleaded guilty but mentally ill to second-degree murder in the death of Norman Johnson.
“I guess it was from something that happened over 50 years ago,” Ericsson told a judge then. “It was apparently in my subconscious.”
He was sentenced Friday to life in prison.