Updated: Friday, 16 Jul 2010, 7:36 AM EDT
Published : Thursday, 15 Jul 2010, 6:14 PM EDT
MUSKEGON, Mich. (WOOD) - It's safe to say there are few people in Muskegon, if any, mourning the death of Seth Privacky -- the mass murderer shot and killed during a prison break in the Upper Peninsula.
"I think had Michigan had the death penalty, he certainly would have been a candidate and I believe, because of the brutality of the crime, killing five people execution-style, certainly I think justice is served by him no longer being with us," Muskegon County Prosecutor Tony Tague told 24 Hour News 8 on Thursday.
Tague prosecuted the case in 1998 -- one of the worst, if not the worst, he's dealt with.
Privacky murdered his parents, his grandfather, a brother and his brother's girlfriend -- at the family's home near Michigan's Adventure in northern Muskegon County.
"When you walk through a household and see five family members killed in various areas in the house, it's something that never leaves your mind," Tague said. "I have vivid memories of it to this day."
Privacky's death, just after 9 a.m. Thursday at Kinross Correctional Facility in Kincheloe, also brought those memories rushing back to Dennis Edwards, the lead detective in the murder case. He's now the chief in Grand Haven.
"It certainly left a long-term effect on everybody involved in this case, certainly the family, the community, even the investigating officers," Edwards said.
He and Tague are both struck by the irony of his death -- shot in the head, just like his family.
"You think of irony, karma. What you sow, so shall you reap," Edwards said.
But the death leaves unanswered questions -- why he killed his family.
"I think that's the one baffling part of this case -- that to this day we can't understand why he committed this mass murder," Tague said.
Privacky gave some indications when he confessed to Edwards in 1998 -- that he was mad at his father.
"He wanted to purchase a car, and his father wouldn't let him," Edwards said.
But he gave no reason why he killed all five. In court for his sentencing, he offered only an apology.
"I'm sorry for what I did, but that's hardly enough," he told the judge.
This, Tague said, is enough.
"Certainly I was just relieved -- because I view him as an extremely dangerous man -- that the Department of Corrections took the necessary steps to ensure he didn't escape."
Justice, Tague said, has been served.
"I guess this is the last chapter in this horrific crime in Muskegon."