Samuel Manzie


On September 27, 1997, Samuel Manzie committed a crime that still to this day is very controversial among many people. While Eddie Werner was going door to door selling candy and wrapping paper for his school fundraiser, Manzie was having an internal emotional battle. Upon reaching the door of the Manzie house, Eddie was strangled to death. After committing the crime, Samuel took a picture of the crime, hid the body in a suitcase, and then hid the suitcase in the woods. Many thought the juvenile system had failed. Not only from keeping Eddie safe, but also from getting Samuel help when he clearly needed it.

Manzie had been sexually molested at a young age by a twice-convicted pedophile, Stephen Simmons. He had contacted the FBI several times, by e-mail and other means searching for help and was ignored. In addition, healthcare professionals also ignored his psychosexual fantasies and misdiagnosed his illnesses. Because of this maltreatment, when it came to the murder of Eddie Werner, strangers around the world found pity on him while many others criticized him as well.

What was so unique about this murder was that there were so many warning signs, yet they were ignored. “When Manzie refused to testify for the prosecution in Simmons’ trial, the judge was forced to reduce Simmons’ sentence to five years with three years time-served. The State of New Jersey has since taken steps to correct the problem of recidivism, passing the New Jersey Sexually Violent Predator Act, which can civilly commit and detain a prisoner indefinitely beyond his or her ordered sentence if it is proven they are mentally disturbed or still a danger to the community. Feeling that he should not walk again, the State applied the Predator Act at the end of Simmons’ sentence in 2002 and committed him accordingly” (Baeli, 2002).

Eddie Werner’s murder was very sad and tragic. Although it was not preventable, there were a lot of steps prior to his murder that could have been taken to prevent this horrible act from happening. Sadly a young boy has died. Hopefully from reading about cases such as this, mental health professionals and others involved will take more precautionary measures when it comes to troubled children whose lives may lead to a violent future.

Baeli, S. (2002, December 01). The ocean county compendium of history. Retrieved from

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