Nathaniel Rowland’s impulse kill.


So how does this work exactly?

A college town:  you’re parked outside a bar around 2am, just minding your own business, and suddenly a pretty young girl stumbles into your car thinking that you’re her Uber ride home.

The possibilities are quite endless.  Where do you take this?

On the one hand, you can order her out of your car…

to <thousands of other outcomes depending on your level of nefarious>


You kidnap her and kill her.


Nathaniel David Rowland


Nathaniel Rowland was arrested yesterday and charged with the girl’s murder.  (He chose the latter option).


Samantha Josephson


Police arrested a man Saturday in connection with the death of a college student who apparently got into the suspect’s car thinking it was her Uber ride. Nathaniel David Rowland, 24, was arrested early Saturday after a police officer noticed him driving a black Chevy Impala, the same type of car that Samantha Josephson got into as she left a bar shortly after 2 a.m. Friday in the city of Columbia’s 5 Points area, Columbia Police Chief Skip Holbrook said at a news conference.

Rowland tried to run, but the officer was able to catch up to him, Holbrook said. When they returned to the car, he said, the officer saw what appeared to be blood in the car.

“We believe … that she simply mistakenly got into this particular car thinking it was an Uber ride,” Holbrook said of Josephson, noting that surveillance video captured her getting into the car. “She opened the door and got into it and departed with the suspect driving.”

Rowland will be charged with murder and kidnapping, Rowland said. It was unclear if he had an attorney.

Holbrook said hunters found Josephson’s body late Friday afternoon off a dirt road in rural Clarendon County, which is about 65 miles  southeast of Columbia.


Samantha Josephson is dead and no amount of pondering and agonizing will bring her back, but what is the deal?

Was this an “impulse kill” by Rowland precipitated by the young woman’s tragic mistake?  Did Rowland wake up Friday morning having no idea he would pocket himself a little murder before going to bed at the end of the day?



If so, this is much graver than if he had planned or orchestrated the murder beforehand.  Even if Samantha Josephson was inebriated (not saying she was…but…), how did she slip into a car that was not her designated Uber ride?  Did Rowland ingeniously cloak himself as an Uber driver in order to draw a helpless young co-ed into his deadly web?  I guess we’ll find out more in the coming days, but I vote for premeditation, not impulse, in this murder.

Premeditation is civilized.

If impulse, the man is simply a heartless beast.