SANTA ANA – A Westminster fortune-teller and her daughter were brutally murdered by a client because the fortune-teller wasn't able to grant a wish, a prosecutor told jurors today.Tanya Nelson – who is standing trial for the killings of Ha "Jade" Smith and her college-aged daughter, Anita Vo – was upset at losing her lover and blamed Smith, Senior Deputy District Attorney Sonia Balleste said.
"For some reason, this defendant believed in fortune-telling,'' Balleste said. The fortune-teller wrote a letter to Nelson and apologized for not being able to change anything, Balleste said. That letter was found in Nelson's home. Nelson, 45, of North Carolina was angered that the fortune-teller wasn't able to change reality, and decided to travel to Orange County to kill her, Balleste said.
It seems to me that reality is pretty hard for some people to handle. That's why woo is so attractive to certain personalities. Rational people tend to accept that life is chaotic and that they don't have a lot of control of life beyond personal actions and attitudes. Supernatural beliefs lend to an easier rejection of reality in the same way theistic beliefs do. They're like two different forms of the same opiate.
However, before we decide this woman must have been insane, consider her actions after the murder -
Their home was also ransacked, with Nelson stealing credit cards, cell phones, jewelry and designer luggage, according to Balleste. Nelson also took a pair of diamond earrings – worth $35,000 – off Smith's dead body, the prosecutor said. She also used Smith's luggage to travel.
That doesn't sound like a lunatic, that sounds like a calculating killer who was totally aware of what she was doing. A sociopath perhaps, but sociopaths are not the same thing as lunatics.
It seems like the only really crazy thing about this woman's crime was her motivation. It's too bad she had an irrational belief in mysticism rather than an irrational belief in religion. Were she religious, I have no doubt she would be getting a lot more support for the conviction of her faith.