It’s one of the most common stories in crime journalism: Someone is accused of a horrific act, and reporters find that his neighbors uniformly believed him to be a nice person. The latest example is Darryl Littlejohn, the New York bouncer accused of brutally murdering a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice. The New York Daily News says that people on his “humble Queens block” described him as “polite but intimidating, soft-spoken but muscular.” The 41-year-old ex-con is the case’s prime suspect now that blood evidence links him to the crime.
“It’s a shock,” said one neighbor. “He appears to be a regular guy. He doesn’t seem like someone who would commit such an act.” Said a man who lives across the street: “He just kept to himself. He’s a loner. He dressed in military stuff. He’s just a quiet, strange guy.” Other neighbors called him “a self-styled police buff, dressing in fatigues or black SWAT team-type uniforms, tucking his trousers neatly into black combat boots, sometimes wearing paraphernalia that identified him as a federal agent or U.S. marshal.” Unbeknownst to the neighbors, he had spent 12 years in prison on robbery and drug charges.