Hudlin Entertainment Forum

General Category => In The News => Topic started by: Battle on April 26, 2018, 07:20:11 am

Post by: Battle on April 26, 2018, 07:20:11 am
40 Years Later... An Arrest

By Faith Karimi

Thursday  April 26, 2018


(CNN) - For decades, a masked gunman nicknamed the Golden State Killer roamed through communities in California, raping dozens of women in a campaign of terror that left 12 people dead.

The suspect allegedly killed 12 people and committed at least 50 rapes in 10 counties in California, police said. Some of the alleged crimes overlapped with his time as a police officer in Auburn, California, authorities said.

From 1973, he was a police officer in Exeter and Auburn. He was fired six years later for shoplifting a can of dog repellent and a hammer from a drugstore, Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones said.

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Does anyone else really believe this M/Fer is the only murderer and sex offender to become a police officer???
Post by: Hypestyle on April 26, 2018, 11:39:40 am
horrible.  Now that Cosby stands convicted, I hope this guy is convicted as well.  (Yes, one case technically has nothing to do with the other, but anyway....)
Post by: Battle on April 26, 2018, 12:23:32 pm
horrible.  Now that Cosby stands convicted, I hope this guy is convicted as well.  (Yes, one case technically has nothing to do with the other, but anyway....)

The worse part is that cosby has to register as a convicted sex offender.

That means anywhere he resides, everyone will know where he is at all times.
Post by: Battle on July 11, 2018, 09:30:17 pm
Wednesday, July 11th, 2018

Alabama Governor Bans Sheriffs From Taking Funds Meant For Prisoners' Meals
by Shannon Van Sant


Alabama's governor has moved to ban jail food funds from lining sheriffs' pockets. Previously sheriffs could keep for themselves any excess money after they had paid for prisoners' meals.

On Tuesday Gov. Kay Ivey ordered that the money no longer go to "sheriffs personally."

Instead any excess will go to a county general fund or an account established for the sheriff's official use.

"Public funds should be used for public purposes," Ms. Ivey, a Republican, said in a statement. "It's that simple."

In 2009,  a federal judge held Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett in contempt of court for failing to feed inmates properly.

He made $212,000 over three years in excess food funds. The New York Times reported:

"At the time, the sheriff had retained more than $200,000, while the breakfast that Morgan County was serving to prisoners was sometimes no more than a slice of toast, part of an egg and several spoonfuls of grits. At one point, prisoners were fed corn dogs at every meal for about three months, after two area sheriffs had bought a truckload of sausages at a bargain price."

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Post by: Reginald Hudlin on July 15, 2018, 07:43:28 pm
This thread could be called Krooked Kops Kaught!
Post by: Battle on July 18, 2018, 02:46:52 pm
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Former police chief arrested on drug charge in South Carolina

by Associated Press


COLUMBIA, S.C. — A former police chief of one of South Carolina’s largest cities faces a drug charge after authorities found a fugitive in his home.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says deputies found methamphetamine in former Columbia Police Chief Randy Scott’s bedroom Tuesday as they arrested a man who failed to appear in court on a drug charge.

The 49-year-old Scott was Columbia’s police chief for less than three years before resigning in April 2013.

The sheriff said at a news conference he is “mad, sad and very disappointed.”   (

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Post by: Battle on July 18, 2018, 02:49:36 pm
Wednesday, July 18, 2018

SLED: Upstate magistrate arrested after deputies discovered marijuana grow operation

by John Randall

ABBEVILLE, S.C. - The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (aka SLED) said a Laurens county official and another man were arrested in connection with a marijuana operation in the Donald's community of Abbeville County.

Guess who it was?

Mareno Cyrus Foggie, who is a Laurens County Magistrate (read: judge), and Jonathan O'Neal Grant were each charged with manufacturing marijuana. 


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Post by: Battle on July 19, 2018, 07:35:10 am
Thursday, July 19th 2018

Nick Fury Kills Stillwater Prison guard

by Liz Sawyer and Paul Walsh


An inmate serving time for homicide killed a corrections officer Wednesday afternoon in Stillwater prison, marking the first such death of an on-duty Minnesota prison guard.

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Post by: Battle on July 27, 2018, 02:34:14 am
("Alright, here's my two cents..."

Friday, July 27th 2018

Georgia officers fired after probe reveals coin-toss determined arrest

by Farnoush Amiri and Ethan Sacks and Kerry Sanders


Two Georgia police officers were terminated on Thursday after an investigation into bodycam footage showed them using a coin-toss app to determine the arrest of a woman during a traffic stop in April.

In the termination letter, Roswell Police Chief Rusty Grant said that both officers had, "engaged in conduct on or off duty which adversely affects the efficiency of the department and has a tendency to destroy public respect for the employee or the department.

"Grant's letter also noted that the officers had violated two of the department's human resources policies by failing to perform at an "acceptable level."

"This isn't a police procedure, to bring a coin flip — whether it's an app or an actual coin toss — that's not part of that decision making to decide to take someone's freedom," Grant said.

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Post by: Battle on July 30, 2018, 06:11:50 am
Monday July 30th, 2018

How an Ex-Cop Rigged McDonald's Monopoly Game and Stole Million$
by Jeff Maysh


On August 3, 2001, a McDonald’s film crew arrived in the bustling beach town of Westerly, Rhode Island. They carried their cameras and a giant cashier’s check to a row of townhouses, and knocked on the door of Michael Hoover.

The 56-year-old bachelor had called a McDonald’s hotline to say he’d won their Monopoly competition.

Since 1987, McDonald’s customers had feverishly collected Monopoly game pieces attached to drink cups, french fry packets and advertising inserts in magazines.

By completing groups of properties like Baltic and Mediterranean Avenues, players won cash or a Sega Game Gear, while “Instant Win” game pieces scored a free Filet-O-Fish or a Jamaican vacation.

But Hoover, a casino pit boss who had recently filed for bankruptcy, claimed he’d won the grand prize–$1 million dollars.

Like winning the Powerball, the odds of Hoover’s win were 1 in 250 million.

There were two ways to win the Monopoly grand prize: find the “Instant Win” game piece like Hoover, or match Park Place with the elusive Boardwalk to choose between a heavily-taxed lump sum or $50,000 checks every year for 20 years.

Just like the Monopoly board game, which was invented as a warning about the destructive nature of greed, players traded game pieces to win, or outbid each other on eBay. Armed robbers even held up restaurants demanding Monopoly tickets.

 “Don’t go to jail! Go to McDonald’s and play Monopoly for real!” cried Rich Uncle Pennybags, the game’s mustachioed mascot, on TV commercials that sent customers flocking to buy more food.

Monopoly quickly became the company’s most lucrative marketing device since the Happy Meal.

Inside Hoover’s home, Amy Murray, a loyal McDonald’s spokesperson, encouraged him to tell the camera about the luckiest moment of his life.

Nervously clutching his massive check, Hoover said he’d fallen asleep on the beach. When he bent over to wash off the sand, his People magazine fell into the sea.

He bought another copy from a grocery store, he said, and inside was an advertising insert with the “Instant Win” game piece.

The camera crew listened patiently to his rambling story, silently recognizing the inconsequential details found in stories told by liars.

They suspected that Hoover was not a lucky winner, but part of a major criminal conspiracy to defraud the fast food chain of millions of dollars. The two men behind the camera were not from McDonald’s. They were undercover agents from the FBI.

This was a McSting.

At the FBI’s Jacksonville Field Office in Florida, Special Agent Richard Dent added the Hoover videotape to his growing pile of evidence.

Sandy-haired and highly-organized, Dent was a 13-year veteran of the Bureau, who spent his days investigating public corruption and bank fraud.

But in the last 12 months his desk had filled with fast food paraphernalia.

Leaflets for “Pick Your Prize Monopoly” and “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?” described McDonald’s games played in 14 countries.

He read small print that revealed how the odds were stacked against the customer: McDonald’s makes one piece from each set of properties extremely rare, so while thousands have three of the four railroads, the odds of pulling the Short Line Railroad—and winning a PT Cruiser—were 1 in 150 million.

Dent’s investigation had started in 2000, when a mysterious informant called the FBI and claimed that McDonald’s games had been rigged by an insider known as “Uncle Jerry.”

The person revealed that “winners” paid Uncle Jerry for stolen game pieces in various ways.

The $1 million winners, for example, passed the first $50,000 installment to Uncle Jerry in cash.

Sometimes Uncle Jerry would demand cash up front, requiring winners to mortgage their homes to come up with the money.

According to the informant, members of one close-knit family in Jacksonville had claimed three $1 million dollar prizes and a Dodge Viper.

When Dent alerted the McDonald’s headquarters in Oak Brook, Illinois, executives were deeply concerned.

The company’s top lawyers pledged to help the FBI, and faxed Dent a list of past winners.

They explained that their game pieces were produced by a Los Angeles company, Simon Marketing, and printed by Dittler Brothers in Oakwood, Georgia, a firm trusted with printing U.S. mail stamps and lotto scratch-offs.

The person in charge of the game pieces was Simon’s director of security, Jerry Jacobson.

Dent thought he had found his man.

But after installing a wiretap on Jacobson’s phone, he realized that his tip had led to a super-sized conspiracy. Jacobson was the head of a sprawling network of mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, convicts, drug traffickers, and even a family of Mormons, who had falsely claimed more than $24 million in cash and prizes.

But who among them had betrayed Jacobson, and why? Dent knew agents had to move carefully.

If they apprehended a “winner” too soon, he or she might alert other members of the conspiracy who would destroy evidence, or flee.

With the scheme still in full-swing, the FBI needed to team up with McDonald’s to catch Uncle Jerry and his crew red-handed.

Find out how they did it.

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Post by: Battle on August 02, 2018, 03:14:55 am
Thursday, August 2nd, 2018

Safeway calls police on black woman giving food to homeless man
by Avery Anapol


Employees at a Bay Area Safeway called the police on a woman and accused her of shoplifting.

The woman, Erika Martin, was giving food to a homeless man outside of the store, never stepping foot inside the Safeway, according to San Francisco CBS-affiliate KPIX.

Martin told the news outlet that she thinks the employees called the cops on her because she is black.

"Racism still exists," she said.

Martin said she often spends time making care packages for homeless people in the area, and has given to the man outside the Safeway in the past.

On the Sunday evening in question, she was giving him food for his dog when multiple officers approached her.

"The police just blocks me in. I'm like, 'what's going on?" she told KPIX. "Then [the officer] was like, 'Well, we were called here because you fit the description of someone taking items out of Safeway and bringing it back to your car.'"

Martin said that her son, who had gone into the store to see if the deli was offering cookie samples, was "crying because he thought they were there to arrest him."

Martin told KPIX that Safeway employees suspected her of conspiring with a black man and a group of kids to shoplift and bring items to her car.

A Safeway spokesperson told KPIX that employees called the police because they spotted a man who had shoplifted in the past, and were looking into why Martin was apprehended.

"I blame the Safeway employees and for them to do something like that to me is just hurtful and shameful," Martin said. "I am not going back to that Safeway ever."

A store manager apologized and told Martin that she would receive a call from the company's corporate officials, but she said that she has not yet received a call.

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Post by: Battle on August 02, 2018, 03:28:19 am
Thursday, August, 2nd 2018

‘Let him get a little chilly’: Police kept a 13-year-old in a freezing car to get him to confess

by Cleve Wootson


The 13-year-old was wearing dark clothes covered in dirt and stiffened by ice on a freezing night in January.

He was joyriding in a golf cart on a Georgia state highway — and the stories he told the officers who stopped him weren’t adding up.

The golf cart was his mom’s, he said. She let him borrow it after he promised to be careful.

Then, he said, his mom was on a date, and he had grabbed a golf cart from the apartment complex where she worked.

Then he claimed he got the vehicle from a “science school,” whose name had slipped his memory.

That wasn’t the only detail that was foggy.

He claimed he didn’t remember his mom’s phone number or name or address and was even sketchy on the year she was born.

It was either in “2000-and-something,” or in 1896, he told increasingly frustrated Roswell, Ga., police officers.

“Every 10 minutes, you tell me a different story, and I don’t know what’s going on right now,” Officer C. Dickerson told the boy on police body-camera footage after the boy told her he didn’t want to go to jail.

The body-camera footage, obtained by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was released this week. “Are you who you say you are? You have no identification on you. Are you really 13 years old?”

Their worry morphed into frustration at the boy’s inconsistent answers.

Dickerson searched him for weapons, slapped handcuffs on his wrists and placed him into the back of her patrol cruiser.

Several officers then tried to figure out their graveyard-shift conundrum.

They didn’t think this early-morning joyride merited a trip to a juvenile detention center, but they couldn’t exactly let the teen hop in the golf cart and drive away.

Finding the teen’s parents was crucial, but they had no leverage to make him fess up.

“He’s just lying,” one officer said of the boy. “He’s not going to tell you the truth. He hasn’t told you the truth since he met you.”

Then Sgt. Daniel Elzey voiced an idea that would land the Roswell, Ga., police department in the middle of its third national-headline-grabbing police misconduct scandal of 2018.

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Post by: Battle on August 08, 2018, 06:56:54 am
Wednesday, August 8 2018

11-Year-Old Girl Shot With Taser for Shoplifting

by Ewan Palmer


Cincinnati Police have launched a review after one of its officers used a Taser against an 11-year-old girl accused of shoplifting from a grocery store.

The officer, who was working as an off-duty detail at the store, shot the child in the back after responding to reports that several female juveniles were allegedly stealing items from the Kennard Avenue Kroger .

The child was treated at the scene and then taken to Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center for evaluation. She was later arrested on suspicion of theft and obstructing official business and released back to her parent’s custody.

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Post by: Battle on August 31, 2018, 05:20:10 am
Friday, 31st August 2018

Man freed from prison in doppelganger case petitions Kansas for more than $1 million

By Tony Rizzo and Kaitlyn Schwers


KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A man freed from prison last year after serving 17 years for a Johnson County robbery committed by his look-alike is petitioning the state of Kansas for compensation.

Richard Anthony Jones filed a petition Wednesday in Johnson County District Court, where a judge last year ordered his release from prison.

"Mr. Jones now asks this court to officially recognize his innocence, so that he may close this painful chapter of his life and obtain the clean slate and financial support that the Legislature intended for wrongfully convicted persons," his lawyers wrote in a court filing seeking an official declaration of innocence.

The legal action asks that Jones be awarded $65,000 for each year of his incarceration for a total of $1,117,466.

It also requests compensation for attorney's fees and costs.

"This compensation is relatively small given the unfathomable hardship of seventeen years of wrongful imprisonment," the petition says.

It also seeks additional compensation for tuition, housing assistance and counseling.

Jones, now 42, was convicted of robbing a woman in the parking lot of a Roeland Park Walmart in 1999.

At trial, prosecutors based their case on eyewitness identifications of Jones.

Jones presented alibi witnesses who testified he was with them on the day of the crime.

But a jury found him guilty and he was sentenced to 19 years in prison. The conviction was upheld on appeal.

It was only after Jones had been in prison for years that he learned from other inmates that he had a doppelganger - there was another man who looked uncannily like him.

His attorneys were able to identify that man.

They also found that the other man had the same first name as Jones and lived near the area where the crime occurred, while Jones lived across the state line in Kansas City.

At a June 2017 court hearing, the attorneys presented testimony from witnesses, including the robbery victim, who testified that looking at pictures of the two men together, they could no longer say if Jones was the robber.

After the hearing, Johnson County District Judge Kevin Moriarty threw out the conviction and ordered Jones' release from prison.

Moriarty ruled that, based on the new evidence, no jury would find Jones guilty. Johnson County prosecutors announced they would not refile the charges.

Jones' lawyers say that he meets all the requirements under Kansas law to be awarded compensation for being the victim of a wrongful conviction.

"It is hard to imagine how Mr. Jones can truly get a fresh start without the assistance sought, having lost so many years behind bars when he could have been getting an education, developing his skills, and pursuing and rising within his chosen profession," the lawyers wrote.

The petition is pending in Johnson County District Court.

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Post by: Battle on September 16, 2018, 04:18:07 pm
Sunday, 16th September 2018

US Border Patrol agent arrested in 4 deaths described as serial killer
by Ed Lavandera, Amir Vera, Simon Romero, and Manny Fernandez


A US Border Patrol agent who authorities are calling a serial killer was arrested Saturday in the deaths of four people after a would-be fifth victim narrowly escaped harm and alerted a police officer.

Juan David Ortiz, 35, confessed to killing four people between September 3 and September 15, according to a criminal complaint filed in Webb County, Texas.

Ortiz was charged with four murder charges and one unlawful restraint with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, according to Webb County District Attorney Isidro R. “Chilo” Alaniz.

The bodies of four victims were found over the past two weeks, sheriff’s spokesman Eduardo Chapa told CNN. Chapa said investigators are not ruling out the possibility of more victims.
An affidavit originally described the victims as three women and one man but the sheriff’s office later said that the victim identified as male was a transgender woman.

The victims were shot in the head, according to the affidavit.

All of the victims worked as prostitutes, authorities told CNN.

“He was profiling certain kinds of victims,” Alaniz said, adding “the suspect was hunting for his victims.”

The prosecutor says he feels comfortable describing Ortiz as a serial killer.

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Post by: Battle on September 21, 2018, 07:53:05 pm
Thursday, 20th September 2018

Two women mental health patients in sheriff’s van drown in S.C. floodwaters after law enforcement abandoned them

by Avi Selk


(South Carolina) - Two women drowned in the back of a sheriff’s van Tuesday when deputies tried to drive down a South Carolina road flooded by tropical storm Florence.

The Horry County Sheriff’s Office described the women as “detainees" but later clarified they were mental patients who had been involuntarily committed for treatment.

They were getting a routine ride from the sheriff’s office to another hospital, according to coroner Jerry Richardson.

“It’s a courtesy they do,” he said.

“Sometimes you do the right thing and it ends up wrong.”

He said the sheriff’s van picked up Wendy Newton, 45, and Nicolette Green, 43, at a hospital in Loris — a small town north of Myrtle Beach that lacked a mental-health ward.

(A county spokeswoman said they had actually been picked up in Conway, about 20 miles southeast of Loris.)

The van was bound for Florence, about an hour’s drive northwest in good conditions.

But that afternoon, in the storm’s aftermath, it wound through a treacherous maze of closed roads and floodwaters pouring off the Pee Dee River and its tributaries.

The van was only halfway to Florence by early evening, when it went underwater near Highway 76 and Pee Dee Island Road.

“They were driving through very swift water, and deep water,” Richardson said.

“It took them away. It ran off the road and sank.”

In a statement, the sheriff’s office said two deputies escaped from the cab and tried to get the women out of the back.

While some news reports said the women were chained up, a county spokeswoman said they were only bound by seat belts.

“Despite persistent and ongoing efforts, floodwater rose rapidly, and the deputies were unable to open the doors,” the county’s statement reads.

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Post by: Battle on October 19, 2018, 02:52:46 pm
Friday, 19th October 2018
Police officers in the US were charged with more than 400 rapes over a 9-year period

by Eliott C. McLaughlin





(CNN) - A police officer in Prince George County, Maryland, was charged this week with raping a woman during a traffic stop.

He's pleaded not guilty, but it's a disturbing headline -- even more disturbing when you consider there are hundreds more like him.

Yes, hundreds. According to research from Bowling Green State University, police officers in the US were charged with forcible rape 405 times between 2005 and 2013.

That's an average of 45 a year. Forcible fondling was more common, with 636 instances.

Yet experts say those statistics are, by no means, comprehensive.

Data on sexual assaults by police are almost nonexistent, they say.

"It's just not available at all," said Jonathan Blanks, a research associate with the Cato Institute's Project on Criminal Justice.

"You can only crowdsource this info."

The BGSU researchers compiled their list by documenting cases of sworn nonfederal law enforcement officers who have been arrested.
But the 2016 federally funded paper,

"Police Integrity Lost: A Study of Law Enforcement Officers Arrested," says the problem isn't limited to sexual assault.

"There are no comprehensive statistics available on problems with police integrity," the report says, and no government entity collects data on police who are arrested.
It adds, "Police sexual misconduct and cases of police sexual violence are often referred to as hidden offenses, and studies on police sexual misconduct are usually based on small samples or derived from officer surveys that are threatened by a reluctance to reveal these cases."

The nation's foremost researchers on the subject, thus, must often rely on published media reports.

The BGSU numbers, for instance, are the result of Google alerts on 48 search terms entered by researchers.

The scholars then follow each case through adjudication.

While those numbers represent a fair portion of cases, arrests rely on a victim making a report and a law enforcement agency making that report public, after an arrest or otherwise.

With sexual assaults by police officers, neither is guaranteed.

One of the greatest impediments to understanding the scope of police sexual assault is the victims' reluctance to report the crime.
"Who do you call when your rapist or offender is a police officer?

What a scary situation that must be," said Philip Stinson, an associate professor of criminal justice who served as principal investigator for the police integrity paper and whose research assistants maintain the BGSU database.

No one interviewed for this story could give an estimate, even ballpark, on how underreported these types of crimes might be.

"I have to think it's a much worse problem than my data suggests," said Stinson, himself a former police officer.

There are several reasons behind the muddy data.

The federal government cannot compel states to make the nation's 18,000 law enforcement agencies report the numbers.

Even if they could, the Justice Department wouldn't have the resources to oversee and maintain such a database, Blanks said.

Unions also work hard to protect police officers and their reputations, he said.
"They don't want their officers and membership shamed if something goes wrong," Blanks said.

There also can be legal hurdles to obtaining basic information in such cases, he said, "and that's on purpose."

Some states' laws shield the identities of police officers who commit crimes, he said, while some jurisdictions include nondisclosure agreements in victim settlements.

"The system is rigged to protect police officers from outside accountability," Blanks said.

"The worst cops are going to get the most protection."

What data is available paints a jarring picture.

One statistic from Stinson indicates that for every sexual assault that makes the news, there are almost always more victims -- on average, five more.

About half of the victims are children, researchers say.

Stinson has gotten accustomed to hearing his research assistants proclaim during their work,

"Oh my God, it's another 14-year-old."

Victims can include both the people police are supposed to be chasing and those they're charged with protecting, according to the police integrity paper.

"Opportunities for sex-related police crime abound because officers operate in a low visibility environment with very little supervision," it says.

"The potential victims of sex-related police crime include criminal suspects but also unaccompanied victims of crime."

Experts say officers who prey on people they encounter while on duty take advantage of the trust the public places in police as an institution.

"Police have a reputational advantage over anyone, especially someone accused of a crime," Blanks said, explaining that a regular Gallup poll shows again and again that police are third only to the military and small business owners in terms of trust.

"People want to believe the police."

Offenders who seek to victimize people know this, experts say, and they strategically select victims, bolstering their chances of not getting caught.
Researchers find that a predominance of the victims fall into at least one of several categories:

They have criminal records, are homeless, are sex workers or have issues with drug or alcohol abuse.

Essentially, predatory cops are "picking on people who juries won't believe or who don't trust police," Stinson said.

To be clear: The majority of police officers are good people, not sexual predators. Every expert interviewed for this story concurs on this point. But the problem is much larger than individual officers, said author and former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper.
"I think it's a huge problem," he said.

"In reality, there's probably no law enforcement agency that has not had this problem."

The ripple effect can be devastating to a community.

Stamper, who was a policeman in San Diego for 28 years before taking the helm in Seattle in 1994, recalled when California Highway Patrol officer Craig Peyer was convicted of the on-duty killing of student Cara Knott after a traffic stop.

No San Diego officer was tangentially involved, yet the department experienced enormous trust issues with the community, he said.

Residents were fearful and some motorists were anxious about being pulled over, said Stamper, whose books address the "dark side" of policing and how to fix it.

"It cheats good cops," he said.

"If a police officer is arrested for having fondled a DUI suspect in a jurisdiction, that affects all officers."

The trust issue is only exacerbated by the "blue wall" of silence that's erected when an officer is accused of a crime, he said.

That's to be expected, Stamper said, because officers rely heavily on each other, especially in dangerous situations, and ratting out a colleague could mean trouble for an officer the next time she or he needs backup.

"If I'm a snitch, then the chance that my fellow officers will not have my back is significant," the former police chief said.

Stamper and others believe the solution lies in revamping police culture.

"The paramilitary, bureaucratic structure produces a dysfunctional culture," Stamper said, adding that for one of the "most delicate and demanding" jobs in America, officers largely go unsupervised.
Specific to sexual assault, experts would like to see departments enact:

"It's critical supervisors trust officers, but trust is earned," Stamper said, adding that the job is too important to trust officers blindly.
Police chiefs and sheriffs defending bad cops also erodes trust, Stamper said.

He finds himself frustrated, he said, every time he sees a police executive step to a podium to decry the "bad apples" responsible for a crime that has tainted a department.

"If they repeatedly go back to that bank of microphones to bemoan the bad apples, it's time to look at the barrel. ... Look at the orchard," he said.

Accountability is critical to changing police culture, experts say.

Stamper believes uniformity -- via the licensing of individual officers and the certification of police departments -- is key.

All 18,000 departments operate under their own rules, based on their traditions, policies, procedures and recruitment methods, he said.
He believes creating national standards -- not for small things, but for larger constitutional issues -- could improve the quality of policing.

If a licensed officer were to violate someone's rights -- by illegally searching or arresting them, manipulating evidence, using unnecessary force or, of course, engaging in sexually predatory behavior -- that officer's license would be yanked.

Likewise, a city police department with a pattern of violations could lose its certification and be taken over the by the county.

An offending sheriff's department could be taken over by the state, he said.

It's pie in the sky, Stamper acknowledges, but until America changes the nature of the conversation around policing, things are destined to remain the same when it comes to crooked cops.

"The forces of resistance are powerful," he said. "If you push the system, it's going to push back with equal or greater force."

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Post by: Battle on October 26, 2018, 04:00:29 am
Wednesday, 26th October 2018
South Carolina prison guard tried to smuggle more than 100 pills in his groin, police say
by Emily Bohatch



A South Carolina Department of Corrections officer was arrested Wednesday after trying to bring drugs into a Bennettsville prison, according to a statement from SCDC.

William Shaquille Suggs, a correctional officer at Evans Correctional Institution, was charged with possessing or manufacturing drugs, misconduct in office, furnishing or attempting to furnish a prisoner with contraband and possession of 15 doses of MDMA or ecstasy.

Evans C.I. is a Level 2 institution that houses medium security offenders.

According to arrest warrants, Suggs tried to smuggle the drugs into the prison by hiding them in his groin area. One package contained about 40 Oxycodone pills.

He was also found with about 65 MDMA pills and 19 cigarettes, as well as a lighter, according to the warrants.

Police services also found about 450 grams of synthetic marijuana in Suggs’ car, according to the warrants.

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Post by: Battle on October 28, 2018, 07:48:58 pm
Saturday, 27th October 2018
Virginia criminal database missing 750,000 cases used for gun and background checks, crime scene investigations

by Tim Jackman


As staff members of the Virginia State Crime Commission were reviewing the state’s Central Criminal Records Exchange, they made a stunning discovery: The state court system had recorded about 11 million convictions dating to 2000, but the criminal records database showed only about 10.2 million convictions.

More than 750,000 records were not in the system maintained by the Virginia State Police, including more than 300 murder convictions, 1,300 rape convictions and 4,600 felony assault convictions.

This is the database that courts and police use to check a person’s prior record, often to determine what charge or sentence is appropriate.

It’s a database that state police in Virginia, and around the country, use to determine whether someone is eligible to buy a gun.

It’s what state agencies and employers check to see if someone has a conviction that might disqualify them from working at, say, a child-care center.

It’s also the repository for fingerprints that investigators use when trying to match a print at a crime scene to a possible perpetrator.

“What I can discern is there is confusion and breakdowns,” said state Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-Harrisonburg), chairman of the crime commission, “and these need to be resolved. The list of the offenses is pretty staggering.”

The crime commission, which researches justice issues and recommends solutions to the Virginia General Assembly, determined that the problem stemmed from failures to enter a defendant’s fingerprints into the system when he or she was charged.

If that step is missed, no record of a person’s arrest is in the database.

About 90 percent of the 751,154 missing records, or more than 675,000, lacked fingerprints.

Another 76,000 were missing due to other errors.

Of the cases with missing fingerprints, 35 percent are felonies and 65 percent are misdemeanors, the crime commission found.

But the misdemeanors can involve drug charges, assaults, drunken driving and family abuse, all of which could be disqualifying convictions for anyone seeking a gun or a professional license.

Missing fingerprints can also prevent police from solving crimes.

“That’s probably the most worrisome,” said Henrico County Police Chief Humberto I. Cardounel, who is in a group of law enforcement and courts officials trying to figure out how the problem arose and how to fix it.

“Our fingerprint system is only as good as what’s in it. If prints aren’t entered, you run the risk of submitting a set of latent prints [from a crime] and not getting a match” with a suspect who should have been in the system, Cardounel said.

Typically, a defendant is fingerprinted for a felony, Class 1 or Class 2 misdemeanor at the time of the arrest, and the prints and charges are sent electronically to the state police with a document control number for each charge.

When a conviction or acquittal comes in with the same control number, it is added to the person’s record.

But there are many ways that process can break down.

One way is when a person is arrested and released on a summons, often for marijuana possession, without being taken to jail.

Officers and deputies normally don’t take fingerprints from a person who is arrested on the street, officials said.

When the person goes to court and is found guilty, or mails in a fine, the prints sometimes aren’t taken at the courthouse.

More than 70,000 narcotics convictions, more than 70,000 simple assault convictions and more than 37,000 drunken driving convictions are not in the state database, the crime commission found in a report issued Oct. 11.

Felonies have also been omitted.

In addition to rapes and murders, more than 2,500 robbery convictions and nearly 1,500 weapons convictions are missing from the database.

One suspected problem, crime commission Executive Director Kristen Howard said, is when a defendant is charged with multiple counts but the fingerprints are only attached to one count that winds up dismissed.

Or when a new charge might be added as part of a plea deal, and the original charge is dismissed.

Though 96 percent of Virginia’s jurisdictions now use the Live Scan imaging machine to capture and transmit fingerprints, it was gradually adopted across the state beginning in 2000, meaning old-school ink fingerprints on cards may belong to defendants with multiple charges.

Even on Live Scan, one set of prints can be applied only to a maximum of 15 counts, so a person’s fingers must be scanned again for additional charges, Lt. Keenon Hook of the state police said.

Another problem may occur with direct indictments, when a defendant is indicted without being arrested and booked on a warrant.

In some courts, defendants may appear for their indictment, then leave the courthouse without being fingerprinted.

Smaller counties may not have the personnel to manage fingerprinting at every possible stage, officials said.

“At the conclusion of these cases, everyone assumes that someone else has gotten the fingerprints,” said Del. Rob Bell (R-Albemarle), vice chairman of the commission and a former prosecutor now in private defense practice.

“With the more serious charges, by having more people involved, it makes it less clear who’s responsible.

We’re going to establish a default method and make sure it doesn’t happen going forward.”

The state police have a staff of 120 people who maintain the Central Criminal Records Exchange, and they work full time to remedy discrepancies.

When a case enters the courts but no fingerprints or arrest record have come from the police or sheriff, letters go out to the arresting agency, Hook said. That results in about 10 to 15 percent of the incomplete records being completed.

The rest go into a “hold file” at the records exchange, where more than 30,000 cases per year have piled up in recent years, the crime commission found.

Even if a person was convicted of a crime, that wouldn’t show up in a background check because the case was not initially entered into the system.

When a request for a background check comes in and the database doesn’t include the outcome of the case, the state police staff will contact courts or arresting agencies to try to track down the record, often doing so within minutes, Hook said.

The same is true for gun purchase checks through the Firearms Transaction Center, where such a background check is, by law, not supposed to exceed three days.

He said gun dealers usually wait beyond three days if the check is not completed.

In addition to guns and employment, criminal history records are used for the sex offender registry, the DNA database, and bail and sentencing determinations.

Hook said 40 percent of the inquiries to the database are for background checks. He also noted that about 40 percent of the missing felony cases were probation violations, which often have prints on file from the original conviction.

Most background checks will only provide conviction data. But some agencies, such as law enforcement, have access to a person’s entire arrest record.

Howard said the crime commission staff discovered the discrepancy while researching deferred cases involving marijuana.

The commission issued 13 recommendations and a series of policy options, including requiring the state police to send monthly notices to agencies involved in an incomplete case and requiring courts to verify that fingerprints have been collected.

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Post by: Battle on October 29, 2018, 12:26:48 pm
Friday, 26th October 2018
South Carolina Rep. harrison found guilty in public corruption case, gets prison sentence
by John Monk


"Yeah...but, he...she..Well, I... Well, I... Well, I...!"

(COLUMBIA, SC) - A Richland County jury late Friday night found ex-SC Rep. Jim Harrison, R-Richland, guilty of multiple public corruption-related counts.

Within minutes, state Circuit Judge Carmen Mullen sentenced Harrison, 67, to 18 months in prison.

harrison is the first South Carolina state lawmaker to get a prison sentence as a result of an ongoing state grand jury investigation run by special prosecutor David Pascoe. Three other lawmakers have pleaded guilty and gotten probation.

Asked by the judge if he had anything to say, Harrison - known as one of most cheerful and sociable of state lawmakers - declined comment.

The jury of five men and seven women found Harrison not guilty on a charge of conspiracy. But it returned guilty verdicts on two counts of misconduct and one count of perjury, which included two instances of perjury.
The misconduct charges centered around Harrison’s secret and illegal acceptance of some $900,000 over 13 years from the Richard Quinn & Associates consulting firm. Another element of the misconduct charges is that it is illegal for a lawmaker to use his public position to earn money for his private gain.

Prosecutors charged that Harrison had, basically, sold his influence as a prominent lawmaker and chairman of the House Judiciary Committee to secretly help the Quinn firm’s corporate clients get their bills passed in the Legislature.

Quinn’s payments to Harrison stopped at the end of 2012, when Harrison retired from the General Assembly.

The verdict came down at 10:30 pm after the jury deliberated more than four hours.

Harrison had taken the stand Friday morning and, under questioning by his attorney, Reggie Lloyd, told the jury he is “an honest, honorable man.” In the end, the jury didn’t buy that.

The trial was one of South Carolina’s major public trials in years.

It exposed how state lawmakers can easily hide sources of revenue.
During closing arguments Friday, special prosecutor Pascoe told the jury that South Carolina’s last major legislative public corruption case - the FBI’s Lost Trust scandal in the 1990s that resulted in more than a dozen state lawmakers pleading guilty to accepting bribes - was a “joke” compared to Harrison’s case.

Harrison had illegally sold his influence for $900,000 over 13 years, while Lost Trust lawmakers sold their votes for just several hundred dollars, Pascoe told the jury.
Pascoe had a family obligation so he was not in the courtroom Friday night when the verdict came down.
But he told The State in a later phone interview that the jury’s verdict lets people know that corruption in the Legislature will not be tolerated.

“This verdict, and Judge Mullen’s verdict, sends a strong message,” Pascoe said.
Already, Pascoe said, he had gotten calls from lawmakers who want to explore introducing new ethics legislation in next year’s General Assembly session.

The case was a personal triumph for Pascoe. During the last three years, State Attorney General Alan Wilson had tried to derail his investigation and publicly questioned Pascoe’s competence.

Wilson also asserted that Pascoe, whom Wilson had appointed as a special prosecutor, has unlawfully usurped Wilson’s authority.
But the State Supreme Court told Wilson that Pascoe had the right to conduct a broad investigation if it was related to the two lawmakers that Wilson had originally allowed Pascoe to investigate.

Pascoe also had fought off numerous other attempts by defense lawyers to scuttle his state grand jury investigation into three other prominent state lawmakers - Rep. Rick Quinn, R-Lexington; Rep. Jim Merrill, R-Berkeley; and State Sen. John Courson, R-Richland. All have pleaded guilty to misconduct and resigned their offices. All received probation.

A common thread that linked Harrison with the three other legislators was that they all got money from Richard Quinn & Associates, a firm run by Richard Quinn, 73, a longtime political consultant known as a kingmaker in South Carolina politics.

For decades, Quinn has run the campaigns of numerous prominent public officials, including Gov. Henry McMaster, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.; U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-Lexington and State Attorney General Alan Wilson.

Quinn’s political empire, which included political operatives and officials, was so well known it was dubbed “the Quinndom” and “Team Quinn.”

During this week’s trial, Pascoe referred repeatedly to “the Quinndom,” and stressed how Harrison was part of the money-and influence-fueled network. And Harrison, on the witness stand, admitted he was a member of “the Quinndom.”

What people didn’t know about “the Quinndom” is that Quinn’s firm had, in addition to its political clients, a bevy of prominent corporate clients that paid Quinn tens of thousands of dollars every month to help them out when they had bills or interests in the Legislature, according to prosecution testimony.

Quinn’s clients included the University of South Carolina, AT&T, Palmetto Health hospitals, SCANA electric utility, Unisys technology and the S.C. trial lawyers’ association.

Last December, threatened with numerous criminal charges by Pascoe, Richard Quinn allowed his firm, Richard Quinn & Associates, to plead guilty to illegal lobbying in the state Legislature.

Pascoe then dropped the charges and gave Quinn immunity from further prosecution if he testified before the state grand jury.

During this week’s trial, Pascoe introduced 15 witnesses and numerous exhibits to hammer home these points:

Late Friday night, Pascoe said he wanted to thank State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel for allowing a small team of investigators, headed by Maj. Richard Gregory, to help gather evidence on the case, over the past three years.

SLED’s active involvement was not considered a sure thing. Keel’s boss is Gov. McMaster, who for years used Richard Quinn as his top political consultant in successful campaigns for governor and attorney general. But McMaster, who has severed ties to Quinn, gave Keel free rein to investigate the case.

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Post by: Battle on October 30, 2018, 10:45:38 am
("No need for a death penalty sentence."
Tuesday, 30th October 2018
‘Whitey’ killed at federal prison in West Virginia
by Travis Andersen and Shelley Murphy


Notorious Boston gangster James “Whitey” Bulger was killed Tuesday at a West Virginia prison, according to two people briefed on the situation.

The people spoke on the condition of anonymity.

The WV News website reported that a male inmate was slain overnight at the maximum security prison where Bulger was being held.

A union official said a man had been killed, but he didn’t know who.

Bulger, who had been serving a life sentence for 11 murders, had recently landed at the federal prison in West Virginia after a quick stop at an Oklahoma City transfer site.

Bulger, 89, had been listed Tuesday morning as an inmate at USP Hazelton, a high-security prison in Bruceton Mills, W. Va. with a minimum security satellite camp, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons website.

He had recently been moved from a Florida prison to the stopover in Oklahoma City.

A person familiar with the matter said Thursday that Bulger’s health had deteriorated, and that he was expected to be transferred to a federal prison medical facility. Hazelton is not a medical facility. Bulger has suffered from a heart condition for decades.

In a statement Tuesday, the BOP said that for “safety, security and privacy reasons, we can not disclose specifics regarding inmate movement or transfers; nor can we disclose an inmate’s health information.”

The former South Boston crime boss and longtime FBI informant was one of America’s most wanted criminals until his capture in Santa Monica, Calif., in 2011 after more than 16 years on the run.

In 2013, a federal jury in Boston convicted him of participating in 11 murders in the 1970s and 1980s while running a sprawling criminal enterprise involved in gambling, extortion, and drug trafficking.

Bulger was transferred to US Penitentiary Coleman II in Sumterville, Fla., in 2014 from another high-security penitentiary in Arizona after his relationship with a female psychologist who was counseling him came under scrutiny.

Paul Weadick, another convicted killer with ties to Boston’s underworld, is also serving a life term at the Hazelton prison, records show.

Weadick, 63, was convicted in June of murdering South Boston club owner Steven DiSarro in 1993, in a slaying that involved a former New England mob boss.

The ex-boss, Francis “Cadillac Frank” Salemme, 85, was also convicted of killing DiSarro and sentenced to life.
Salemme remains at a federal transfer center in Brooklyn.

Bulger’s former sidekick and fellow FBI informant, Stephen “The Rifleman” Flemmi, testified during the trial of Salemme and Weadick and said that he walked in on the slaying of DiSarro, then hastily left.

Flemmi is serving a life sentence for 10 murders, including one former girlfriend and the daughter of another girlfriend.

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Post by: Battle on December 19, 2018, 04:24:41 pm
Wednesday, 19th December 2018
Man wrongly convicted in doppelganger case to receive $1 million under new Kansas law

by Joe Robertson


(KANSAS CITY, Mo.) - The state of Kansas will pay more than $1 million dollars to compensate Richard Anthony Jones for the 17 years he spent in prison for a crime that was committed by someone who looked like him, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced Tuesday.


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Post by: Battle on January 04, 2019, 07:26:34 pm
Friday 4th January 2019
'Stupidity and selfishness' led to deaths of two patients who drowned in van

by Erik Ortiz


The mother of a woman who drowned in floodwaters while riding in the back of a South Carolina sheriff's office van blamed her death on the "stupidity and selfishness" of the two deputies entrusted with her care, and told a judge Friday that "no amount of justice" would heal her heart.

The family members of Nicolette Green, 43, as well as a second woman who drowned in the van, Wendy Newton, 45, spoke through tears while addressing the court during a bond hearing for the former Horry County deputies.

Linda Green, Nicolette's mother, said she is haunted daily by "the horror" of her daughter gasping for air as the rising waters trapped her last September in the wake of Hurricane Florence.

Cheryl Graham, the associate chief magistrate in Marion County, later responded that "to say that this is a tragedy is an understatement … May God help us all."

Graham set bond at $30,000 for Stephen Flood, who was charged with two counts each of reckless homicide and involuntary manslaughter, and at $10,000 for Joshua Bishop, who was charged with two counts of involuntary manslaughter.

The next hearing date was set for Feb. 26.

Both men were fired following the deaths of Green and Newton. While Horry County officials said Flood went around a barrier meant to prevent vehicles from entering hazardous areas, he had been waved through by National Guardsmen.

Meanwhile, the women were locked in the back of the van. The deputies said neither could be reached once they realized they were surrounded by floodwaters. Amid the chaos, the van ended up on its side and rested against a guardrail, and the deputies said they were unable to unlock the back door.

They waited on the roof of the van until they could be rescued, authorities said.

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Post by: Battle on January 05, 2019, 10:10:50 am
Friday 4th December 2019
Tossed cigarette butt leads to arrest in 26-year-old cold case murder
by Elizabeth Llorente


Looks like the smoking finally did him in.

Suspected killer Lee Robert Miller, 54, probably didn't think twice when he tossed a cigarette butt as he went about his business one day in February last year.

But unbeknownst to him, police who had been following him were watching - and saw the opportunity to grab a sample of his DNA.

For more than 20 years, police in Washington state and neighboring Idaho tried to solve two murder cases connected to Miller. But conclusive evidence eluded them.

No one in their databases came up as a match to the DNA samples they put through the system.

But the sample from the murders of 57-year-old Marilyn Hickey in Washington in 1992, and of 49-year-old Cheryle Barratt in Idaho in 1994 were a match.

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Post by: Battle on January 09, 2019, 09:20:14 am
Wednesday, 9th December 2019
DNA test clears Golden State Killer suspect of 1 murder... only 12 more to go!

by Gabriella Borter


DNA evidence has cleared a former policeman accused of being the "Golden State Killer," who terrified a swath of California with dozens of rapes and murders in the 1970s and 1980s, in one murder case from 1975 in which he was a suspect, prosecutors said.

More than three decades after the spate of killings and home invasions ended, investigators last year tracked down and arrested former police officer Joseph DeAngelo, 73, after comparing DNA found at crime scenes to data on commercial genealogy websites. So far they have charged him with 13 counts of murder and kidnapping from 1975 through 1986.

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Post by: Battle on January 09, 2019, 10:12:59 am
Wednesday, 9th December 2019
Five-0 Said Freez!!!
by Associated Press


A popular Pennsylvania DJ has pleaded guilty to raping and strangling a schoolteacher in 1992 after being tied to the decades-old crime when his relative submitted her DNA to use a popular genealogy database.

Raymond Charles Rowe apologized in court Tuesday for killing 25-year-old elementary school teacher Christy Mirack at her apartment in Lancaster. He was sentenced to life without parole.

The case had stymied investigators until authorities used a genealogical database to identify a half-sister of the then-unknown suspect, leading them to the 50-year-old Rowe, who lived just miles from where the murder occurred.

Undercover detectives obtained DNA from Rowe by collecting his used water bottle and chewing gum at a school where he was DJing last year. It matched DNA found at the murder scene.

Rowe, known as 'DJ Freez', was arrested last June.

Mirack was brutally murdered in her home as she prepared to head to work teaching a sixth-grade class.
She had suffered a broken jaw in addition to the strangulation and evidence of a violent sexual assault.
A wooden cutting board, believed to have been used to attack her, was found by her body. An autopsy found wounds to her neck, back, upper chest and face.

The principal of her elementary school, concerned Mirack had not shown up for work four days before Christmas and was not answering calls, discovered the body on her living room floor and called 911.

'We never let this case go,' but investigators had run out of suspects, said Lancaster District Attorney Craig Stedman.

'This has not been easy. But one of the reasons we've stuck with it and never forgotten it is it's so disturbing.'

The DNA left at the crime scene by the assailant never triggered a match, and Rowe had not been a suspect during years of investigation, Stedman said.

In December 1992, Rowe lived about 4 miles from the apartment Mirack shared with a roommate, but it is unclear if they knew each other.

Stedman hired a private company to use the DNA to search for relatives of the suspect, and that process identified Rowe.
'This killer was at liberty from this crime, this brutal crime, for longer than Christy Mirack was on this earth alive,' Stedman said at a news conference.

'And they steered us in the path of holding him finally accountable.'

After the suspect's DNA was found to be a close match of one of Rowe's relatives who had registered on the website, detectives launched an undercover operation at an elementary school where Rowe was performing on May 31.

This produced a water bottle and gum he had used, and state police subsequently established an alleged genetic match.

Genealogy databases are being used to catch suspects who have managed to evade capture for decades.

The man believed to be the Golden State Killer evaded authorities for more than 40 years was found.
Finally in early 2018 investigators used DNA and a genealogical website to identify and arrest Joseph DeAngelo as the alleged killer. He has not entered a plea.

Since the statute of limitations has passed on bringing rape cases, prosecutors charged him with 13 kidnapping-related charges. He is suspected of committing 13 murders and more than 50 rapes.

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Post by: Battle on February 14, 2019, 07:19:22 pm
Thursday, 14th February 2019
Dying witness breaks open 1973 cold-case murder of Tennessee trucker

by Ryan Gaydos


A dying witness, in his final moments, gave authorities investigating a 1973 cold case murder the break they'd been hoping for, a Tennessee prosecutor said.

The tip that led to Max Benson Calhoun’s indictment came from a witness who was suffering from a terminal illness “and wanted to tell what they knew before they passed,” prosecutor Stephen Crump said Tuesday without specifying any details of what the person told authorities.

Calhoun, who was indicted by a Monroe County grand jury and arrested last week, is being held without bond. His lawyer said Calhoun will plead not guilty in the case.

John Constant Jr’s body was found slumped over in the cab of his truck in Vonore in 1973. Investigators said he had been shot 17 times.

The 43-year-old man had been working as a trucker and told his family he’d been keeping notes on his business dealings, which police suspected included running untaxed cigarettes and stolen merchandise for the so-called “Dixie Mafia.”

“He wasn't a sterling character by any means, but he didn't deserve to die,” Richard Fisher, the prosecutor at the time of Constant’s murder, told the Knoxville Sentinel.

“You never know when you start walking on that dark side where it's going to take you.”

Fisher said he always believed multiple people had a hand in Constant’s murder.

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Post by: Battle on April 08, 2019, 03:10:08 am
Monday, 8th April 2019
Tipster helps Florida cold case detectives crack a woman's murder 21 years ago

by Robert Gearty


Florida cold case detectives say a tip has led to the arrest of a homeless man in the unsolved murder of a woman 21 years ago.

Luis Nieves, 52, was booked into the Lee County Jail Friday night on a charge of murder in the death of 35-year-old Thelma Storrs in 1998.

A tipster recently told detectives the identity of a possible suspect, according to a news release from the Lee County Sheriff’s Office, announcing Nieves' arrest.

An investigation ensued and led to Nieves’ arrest.

“This arrest also serves as a reminder that it is never too late to come forward with information,” Sheriff Carmine Marceno said.

“Cold-blooded killers will not walk free in Lee County.”

Nieves has four prior arrests for domestic violence in 2007, 2014 and 2016, online court records show.

The records show him living at a Fort Myers address at the time of the arrests.

Investigators said Storrs’ body was found in a pasture near Fort Myers on March 17, 1998.

She had been reported missing two weeks earlier.

Her fingerprints taken from a prostitution arrest three months before her murder helped authorities identify the body, the Fort Myers News-Press reported at the time.

Friends at that time told the paper Storrs drifted into prostitution after becoming a crack addict.

"She really got going down the wrong track a few years ago," one friend was quoted as saying.

"It was really hard to watch.”

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Post by: Battle on April 09, 2019, 06:55:57 pm
Tuesday, 9th April 2019
Man charged in 1973 double murder cold case that took place in Virginia Beach
by ABC News (local affiliate)


Virginia Beach police told 13News Now that officers in New York arrested a man who was wanted for the murders of two women that took place more than 45 years ago.

Court documents show that the New York Police Department's Cold Case Apprehension Squad took 80-year-old Ernest Broadnax into custody on Monday.

The New York Post said Broadnax has been living in Jamaica, Queens.

A spokeswoman for Virginia Beach Police Department said the arrest was for the murders of Lynn Seethaler and Janice Pietropola. 

Both women were 19 years old when they were murdered brutally.

The Virginia Beach Police's Cold Case Homicide Unit said Seethaler and Pietropola were vacationing from the Pittsburgh area in June of 1973.

Someone found their bodies in a motel cottage located along the Virginia Beach Oceanfront.

Their deaths remained a cold case ever since.

A spokeswoman for the Virginia Beach Commonwealth's Attorney's Office said Broadnax is charged with Second Degree Murder (2 counts) and Rape.

He's awaiting extradition to Virginia.

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Post by: Battle on April 29, 2019, 02:57:31 am
Thursday, 28th March 2019
A 1998 slaying went cold for 20 years -- until suspect in killing applied for a job

by Michelle Lou & Brandon Griggs


The person who stabbed and bludgeoned Sondra Better to death 20 years ago seemed to vanish without a trace.

Better was working alone at Lu Shay's Consignment Shop in Delray Beach, Florida, on Aug. 24, 1998, when a man came into the store and killed her.
Although a witness saw him and the killer left behind a trail of his own blood and fingerprints, police weren't able to catch a suspect -- until he applied for a job last December.

"We had the physical evidence ... but the person responsible for this heinous case seemed to just disappear," Delray Beach Police Chief Javaro Sims said at a Wednesday press conference.

Police entered the fingerprints, which were lifted off a decorative ball from the crime scene, into the Automated Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) database.
Two decades passed without any matches. DNA samples from 36 men came up empty.

Police finally got a hit when Todd Barket, 51, of Brandon, Florida, submitted his fingerprints in December 2018 as part an application for a nursing assistant job.

Barket lived about 8 miles from the consignment shop at the time of the 1998 killing.

His fingerprints and blood matched the samples found at the crime scene, and he fit the description that an eyewitness provided, authorities said.
Barket was arrested at his home on Wednesday morning and is being held in Hillsborough County Jail without bond until he's extradited to Palm Beach County, according to police.

Barket faces first-degree murder charges.
CNN could not determine Thursday whether Barket has retained an attorney.

Better was 68 when she was killed. She was about to retire from her job at the consignment shop before heading to New York with her husband to renew their vows.

"She was violently killed by an unknown assailant," Sims said. "She was stabbed, she was bludgeoned and no one deserves to die in that manner."

The lead detective assigned to the case, Robert Stevens, retired in 2007. But he said the cold case, which he worked on for 10 years, stayed with him.

"Anybody that works homicides ... will attest that once you get a case where there's a true innocent victim, it's hard to let it go," Stevens said.

After his wife's death, Better's husband Seymour volunteered for the Delray Beach Police for almost 15 years.

Although Seymour Better has since died, other family members are "very happy" that the case has been solved, Stevens said.

"Twenty years is a long time to want and ask for justice," Sims said.

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Post by: Battle on May 09, 2019, 08:23:08 pm
Thursday, 9th May 2019
Man arrested in 1985 killing of Hollywood TV director

by Associated Press


(LOS ANGELES, Ca) — Police have arrested a man charged with bludgeoning and strangling to death a Hollywood TV director more than three decades ago.

Authorities say the FBI arrested Edwin Hiatt Thursday in Burke County, North Carolina, after DNA evidence linked him to the 1985 death of Barry Crane in Los Angeles.

The LAPD says Hiatt acknowledged to investigators that he killed Crane, who directed or produced such 1970s and 1980s hits as "Mannix," ''Mission: Impossible" and "The Incredible Hulk."

Crane was 57 when his naked body was found wrapped in bedsheets in the garage of his luxury home.

The case went unsolved until police got a DNA match to Crane's suspected killer last year.

Hiatt will be sent to California to face a murder charge.

It's unclear whether he has a lawyer.

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Post by: Battle on May 13, 2019, 03:57:01 am
Monday, 13th May 2019
White Man wanted by FBI for sexually abusing young girls turns himself in after 23 years

by Amir Vera


Wayne Arthur Silsbee eluded authorities for 23 years.

He was wanted by the FBI for "multiple incidents of sexual assault" between September 1995 and April 1996 involving girls between 8 and 10 years old.

The FBI said Silsbee knew each of the victims through babysitting for them or taking them to events.

Friday, the now-62-year-old man walked into the Oregon City Police Department and turned himself in, the FBI said.

It is not clear why, after 23 years, Silsbee decided to stop running.

Silsbee faces charges of first degree sodomy, first degree sexual abuse, endangering the welfare of a minor and first degree unlawful sexual penetration, according to a local arrest warrant the FBI said was obtained in Clackamas County, Oregon, near Portland, in July 1996.

The FBI said it obtained a federal arrest warrant charging him with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution that was issued on September 1996.
Silsbee's first court appearance is scheduled for Monday.

Authorities are asking for anyone who has had any contact with Silsbee over the past 23 years to call the Oregon City tip line:


Detectives believe Silsbee most recently lived in Nebraska, the FBI said.

He also has had ties to Springfield, Missouri, the San Francisco Bay area, Colorado, Arizona and northwestern Washington state.

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Post by: Battle on May 17, 2019, 05:31:05 pm
Friday, 17th May 2019
South Carolina mom abandoned 2nd baby 30 years ago
by Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press


(COLUMBIA, S.C.) — A South Carolina mother already facing a murder charge for abandoning her baby daughter in 1990 is now charged with dumping the body of her infant son nearly a year earlier.

DNA tests determined the two babies had the same mother and father, leading to Thursday's arrest of Brook Graham, Greenville County Sheriff's Lt. Ryan Flood said.

In the latest case, Graham is charged with desecration of human remains and unlawful neglect of a child because the medical examiner in 1989 couldn't determine if the baby was born alive, Flood said Thursday in a statement.

Graham, 53, was charged with murder in the death of the baby girl given the name Julie Valentine after the infant was found dead inside a vacuum cleaner box in a vacant lot in Greenville in February 1990 by a man picking Valentine's Day flowers for his wife, authorities said.

Ten months earlier, girls playing in woods about 5 miles (8 kilometers) away, found the body of a baby boy who appeared to be fully developed inside a trash bag in April 1989, investigators said.

Graham's lawyer did not answer an email seeking comment Friday.

Graham faces up to 10 years in prison on each of the new felony charges involving the baby boy. She faces up to life in prison if convicted of murder in the death of the baby girl.

A tip from The Greenville News led deputies to reopen the baby boy's case, Flood said.

The father of the two babies has not been charged.

The DNA in the infant girl case was compared to DNA samples in family genealogy sites and first led police to the father, Greenville Police Chief Ken Miller said.

The father then helped investigators find Graham, the chief said.

The father hasn't been charged in either case, but investigators for both police agencies say more charges are possible.

Graham has two adult children and investigators said they are reviewing how they were raised as a part of the case.

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Post by: Battle on June 14, 2019, 08:40:45 pm
Friday, 14th June 2019
Whyte man arrested in '87 cold case slaying of soldier in Colorado

by Associated Press


(DENVER, Co) — A suburban Denver man has been arrested in the unsolved slaying of a soldier in Colorado 32 years ago after DNA evidence was used to create an image of what a suspect might look like, authorities said Friday.

Civilian and Army investigators arrested Michael Whyte of Thornton in the 1987 strangulation death of Darlene Krashoc, 20, a soldier stationed at Fort Carson outside Colorado Springs.

Whyte, 58, was arrested at his home Thursday on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Online jail records did not indicate whether he had an attorney who could speak on his behalf.

Krashoc's body was found behind a Colorado Springs restaurant on March 17, 1987.

Investigators said she had gone to a nightclub the previous evening with other soldiers from her unit, a maintenance company.

She was last seen leaving the club between midnight and 1 a.m., and police on a routine patrol found her body.

Investigators said they believe her body had been moved to a spot behind the restaurant, but they did not say where she was killed.

Authorities said they re-opened the investigation twice before, in 2004 and 2011, and found male DNA on several pieces of evidence.

The Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory re-analyzed the DNA in 2016, and it was sent to a private company that specializes in using DNA to create images of what someone might look like.

The company made two composites, one showing the person at about age 25 and another at about 50 to 55.

Police said the process, called phenotyping, uses DNA to predict traits such as ancestry, hair and eye color and face shape.

Authorities made at least one of the pictures public in 2017.

But they have not said if that generated a tip that led to Whyte's arrest — only that DNA led them to him.

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Post by: Battle on July 10, 2019, 01:28:38 pm
Wednesday, 10th July 2019
Texas white woman arrested in 1984 shooting death of husband
by Associated Press


(CENTERVILLE, Texas) — A Texas sheriff says a reality-based detective show played a role in the recent arrest of an 84-year-old woman in the 1984 shooting death of her husband.

Leon County Sheriff Kevin Ellis said Wednesday that the arrest last week of Norma Allbritton was aided by the program "Cold Justice," which contributed its own investigator, a retired district attorney and other expertise.

The death of Johnnie Allbritton in the couple's home near Buffalo was revisited in 2015 by sheriff's investigators and some evidence was later forwarded to the program.

Buffalo is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Dallas.

Ellis declined to say what new evidence was presented to the grand jury that indicted Norma Allbritton on a murder charge.

She bonded out of jail July 3, 2019.

A message left Wednesday for her attorney wasn't immediately returned.

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Post by: Hypestyle on July 10, 2019, 07:23:04 pm
hopefully there will be a conviction of Jeffrey Epstein and any predators associated with him.  It's astounding all the ways he was connected to jet setters in business and politics.
Post by: Battle on July 10, 2019, 07:54:45 pm
hopefully there will be a conviction of Jeffrey Epstein and any predators associated with him.  It's astounding all the ways he was connected to jet setters in business and politics.

All I have to say, Hype, is stick around until the end of July 2019...

--- You gonna see pivotal stuff you've never seen before.  'Cause that sex trafficking network is global & wide.

Some ol' real James Bond [read: BDSM] evil villain type-sh!t. (
Post by: Battle on July 25, 2019, 09:59:38 am
Thursday, 25th July 2019
Signaling a 'new era,' white man caught through genetic genealogy gets life in prison

by ABC News


In a milestone for forensic criminal investigators, a convicted killer received two life sentences on Wednesday for a 1987 double slaying after becoming the first person arrested through genetic genealogy to be found guilty at trial.

“The conviction and sentencing of William Earl Talbott II marks a new era for the use genetic genealogy for identifying violent criminals since it has now been tested and tried in a court of law,” geneology expert CeCe Moore told ABC News.
William Earl Talbott II was arrested in May 2018 and charged with aggravated murder for the Washington state cold case killings of 20-year-old Jay Cook and 18-year-old Tanya Van Cuylenborg, authorities said.

A jury found Talbott guilty last month.

"By Talbott not pleading guilty, he's put a whole new generation of people through his horror," one of Cook's sisters, Laura Baanstra, said in court Wednesday.

"Thank God Talbott is finally off the streets."

The young victims, from Canada, were traveling to Seattle by van when they were killed.

On November 24, 1987, Van Cuylenborg's partially-clothed body was found in a ditch in a wooded area, authorities said.

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Post by: Battle on August 07, 2019, 02:18:36 pm
Wednesday, 7th 2019
Fugitive hid in Mexico for years before a tip ended the manhunt

by Hannah Fry


(LOS ANGELES, Ca.) — A tip to investigators ended a yearslong manhunt for an Orange County multimillionaire accused of killing his wife and dumping her body before fleeing to Mexico to avoid prosecution, officials said Tuesday.

Peter Chadwick, 55, a fugitive on the U.S. Marshals’ most-wanted list, was taken into custody late Sunday and arrived in California early Monday.

A photograph of a handcuffed man said to be Chadwick was taken as he arrived at Los Angeles International Airport.

Police allege Chadwick strangled and drowned his wife — 46-year-old Quee Choo Chadwick — in the bathroom of their Newport Beach home, wrapped her in a comforter from their bed and dumped her body in a trash bin in San Diego County on Oct. 10, 2012.

The couple had been fighting over a possible divorce and related financial issues, police said.

Investigators later learned that Chadwick had been unfaithful in the marriage.

Inside his wife’s closet, detectives found a list detailing topics Chadwick had allegedly searched for online, including escorts, a divorce attorney, abortion costs and, chillingly, how to torture someone, police said.

When Chadwick first arrived in Mexico in 2015, he initially stayed at luxury resorts in various towns.

Eventually, those resorts began requiring identification that he couldn’t provide, authorities said, so he turned to more modest accommodations at motels and hostels.

Most recently, Chadwick had been staying at a residential duplex near Puebla, just outside Mexico City.


Last year, Newport Beach police officials released the true-crime podcast “Countdown to Capture,” and announced a reward that investigators hoped would drum up interest in the case and lead to Chadwick’s arrest.

Newport Beach Police Chief Jon Lewis said at a news conference Tuesday that the podcast, along with “good old fashioned police work” using a tip led to Chadwick’s capture.

“It’s our belief that we put pressure on Peter, which was something that we wanted to do,” Lewis said.

U.S. Marshal David Singer said sustained interest in the case made Chadwick nervous.

He moved around frequently, doing odd jobs to supplement the wad of cash he brought with him when he fled the United States, Singer said.

“When these people feel pressure, they have to keep moving and they make mistakes,” Singer said.

The probe into Quee Choo’s death initially started as a missing person’s investigation after a neighbor, who noticed the couple’s sons standing at a bus stop waiting to be picked up after school, called police to report the missing parents.

When investigators entered the home hours later, they found a decorative vase broken near the bathtub and tiny droplets of blood splattered on the bathroom wall.

The home’s safe had also been emptied, police said.

Early the next day, Chadwick called 911 from a gas station in San Diego County to report that his wife had been killed.

Chadwick claimed that someone else killed his wife and forced him to load her body into a car and drive to the U.S.-Mexico border.

He later admitted to investigators that he made up the story, authorities said.

Chadwick was released on $1 million bail shortly after his arrest in 2012 and agreed to live with his father in Santa Barbara as he awaited trial.

He surrendered his British and American passports, and showed up to hearings for two years before authorities discovered he had vanished in January 2015.

Authorities had long suspected that, even without passports, Chadwick probably had been able to leave the country.

Investigators discovered several books in his home detailing how someone could change their identity and live on the run.

Chadwick also emptied millions from his bank accounts and took cash advances on his credit cards before he disappeared, police said.

In addition, authorities discovered that Chadwick had been making test travel trips to other states, including Pennsylvania and Washington, to test the bounds of law enforcement and his court orders.

He planted items at his father’s home that Singer alleges were meant to convince investigators that he had fled to Canada instead of Mexico.

“We promised the community in 2018 when we placed Chadwick on our 15 most wanted that we would pursue and bring him back to face justice,” Singer said.

“Together with our law enforcement partners we have accomplished this and it should be an example for any fugitive on the run.”

Chadwick faces a felony count of murder in connection to his wife’s slaying.

He has pleaded not guilty.

If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 25 years to life in state prison.

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Post by: Battle on August 16, 2019, 09:18:19 am
Friday, 16th August 2019
Coral Springs Police Make Arrest In 36 Year Old Rape Case
by CBS Miami


(CORAL SPRINGS, Fl.) – A man accused of raping a Coral Springs woman has been charged 36 years after the crime occurred.

On August 22, 1983, a 24-year-old Timothy Norris found his way into the victim’s home through a rear door and raped her against her will, according to police.

At the time of the crime, authorities did not have a strong description of the suspect.


He was only described as a young white male, slender build, brown hair with strong cologne and a heavy southern accent.

Investigators did recover evidence from the scene and it was sent to the Broward Sheriff’s Office Crime lab, but Coral Springs police said the technology at the time was not able to identify a suspect and other techniques failed as well.

However, on March 14, 2019 detectives and crime scene investigators re-evaluated the evidence as part of a cold case initiative for the Coral Springs Police Department.

Using current technology at BSO’s lab, on June 27th, detectives discovered DNA on a piece of the victim’s clothing which matched Norris, according to the sheriff’s office.


Norris, now 60, is serving a federal sentence in West Virginia for armed bank robbery and has been previously arrested for armed burglary, aggravated assault, assault on a female and kidnapping.

He has been charged with sexual battery with a weapon and police have obtained an arrest warrant to bring him back to Florida.

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Post by: Battle on August 20, 2019, 04:23:16 pm
Tuesday, 20th August 2019
Former boyfriend arrested 27 years after mother of two goes missing
by Alex Wigglesworth


The former boyfriend of a young mother who disappeared 27 years ago in Northern California has been arrested in connection with the cold case, authorities said.

Richard Pyle, 55, who was described by deputies as a transient, was taken into custody in Stockton on Thursday, according to a news release from the Butte County Sheriff's Office.

Pyle lived with Tracy Zandstra in November 1991, when the then-29-year-old disappeared from the home they shared in Stirling City, authorities said.


Zandstra's body was never found, but detectives have uncovered evidence indicating she had been killed and her body disposed of, sheriff's officials said.

A Sheriff's Office spokeswoman, however, declined to say what that evidence was.

"She was a mother of two young children," Megan McMann, the spokeswoman, said of Zandstra.

"We didn't think that a mother would just up and leave."

Zandstra also left behind her purse and other belongings, McMann said.

Detectives have continued to investigate the case over the years and last week worked with the district attorney's office to obtain an arrest warrant for Pyle, sheriff's officials said.

"I am proud of the persistent determination of the many detectives and investigators who have worked throughout the years to bring justice to Tracy and closure to her family," Sheriff Kory Honea said in a statement.

Pyle has been charged with murder in the Zandstra case, with enhancements for using a firearm during the commission of the crime and for prior felony convictions, court records show.

He is a registered sex offender with a prior conviction of annoying or molesting a child under 18, according to the state's Megan's Law database.

Pyle is being held at the Butte County Jail in lieu of $1-million bail and is due in court Thursday to enter a plea.

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Post by: Battle on September 07, 2019, 09:49:42 am
Saturday, 7th September 2019
Biker mag 'fiction' leads to charges in 1972 killing
by Mark Scolforo


(Harrisburg, PA) - An Ohio prison inmate's writing published in biker magazines was cited by police in charging him with the shooting death of a motorist found along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in 1972, police said Friday.

Larry Joseph Via, 75, was charged with criminal homicide and robbery in the death of Morgan Peters, who had been shot in the back, following a grand jury investigation that began two years ago.

Via is serving a life sentence in the Marion Correctional Institute for a killing that occurred shortly after Peters' body was found in September 1972.

Via did not have a lawyer listed in court records who could speak for him.

No date for a court appearance was listed.

Peters, 29, a married father who lived in Bay Shore, New York, had been in Pennsylvania on a work trip.

He was seen getting onto the turnpike to go west from Carlisle toward Latrobe.

His truck was found about 18 miles (30 kilometers) from his body, and items were missing from it, including a black Panasonic radio, investigators said.

A woman who was with Via at the time, Charmaine Phillips, told investigators in August 2017 that Via told her to pull her sedan over while they were headed on the turnpike toward Cleveland.

Phillips said Via got out after a vehicle stopped behind them, according to a police affidavit.

"She said that Via was gone for a few minutes and that when he came back to her vehicle, he said, 'We gotta go!' When asked if she heard a gunshot, Phillips said that she did not," police wrote.

Phillips told police Via drove the other vehicle behind her for some distance.

At some point they separated, and she went on to Cleveland, she told police.

Phillips had told police in 2015 that she and Via had a "ruse" they would use to get people to pull over — "they would pretend to be hitchhiking to get a ride," police said.

She said that the ruse had been used more than once but that she could not remember more details.

After two ex-wives of Via's told police he wrote poems and short stories for Easy Rider magazine under the pseudonym "Jody Via," a trooper found nine writings under that name in Easy Rider and Outlaw Biker magazines from the late 1980s, police said.

"Dangerous Dave," published in Outlaw Biker in September 1985, was about a hitchhiking woman who lured a man to stop for her, and the man is then surprised by a gunman.

"As the driver approached on foot, a 'cold' voice from behind a tree told the man to stop and not 'move a muscle.' 'Dangerous Dave' then describes the shooter approaching the man and 'ready to shoot,'" the court affidavit said.

Another piece, "Payback in Full," involved a female suspect tying up a victim, similar to the shooting of gas station owner Harvey Hoffman in Geauga County, Ohio, investigators said.

One piece, "Moonlit Ride," contained a setting and facts similar to the murder of Jane Maguire in Summit County, Ohio, police said.

Via was arrested in 1972 for those two deaths and is serving life for killing Maguire.

Among his belongings when he was arrested, police said, was a black Panasonic radio.

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Post by: Battle on September 09, 2019, 10:10:49 am
Monday, 9th September 2019
White man charged in 31-year-old slaying suspected in other murders
by David Andreatta, Gary Craig and Gregory J. Holman


(ROCHESTER, N.Y.) - In blue jeans and a black town of Perinton hoodie, Larry Timmons, a bespectacled and grandfatherly man with a paunch, cut an unthreatening figure as a town parks watchman.

What few people who encountered Timmons when he worked for Perinton in 2014, or in his years prior as a real estate salesman around Rochester, could know was that police in his native Missouri suspected him in several killings whose investigations had long gone cold.

On Friday, police there charged Timmons, 65, who now resides in that state, for the 1988 murder of Cynthia Smith, a 31-year-old woman whose slaying he was questioned in at the time.

Investigators there said police in neighboring Oklahoma, where Timmons lived for several years, had reopened investigations into at least two homicides, namely the 1994 murder of Timmons’ first wife, Deborah Jean Timmons, and the 1998 drowning death of an 11-year-old girl who was friends with a daughter Timmons had with Deborah Jean.

“We call him an opportunist,” said Sgt. Melissa Phillips, of the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office in southwest Missouri.

“He does not target on sex or age. He has little boys in his past. He has little girls in his past. He has women in his past.”

Locally, law enforcement officials received word earlier this year about the suspicions of Timmons' involvement in unsolved homicides, and have been investigating his time here.

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office has no unsolved homicides that Timmons would be a suspect in, and also does not have unsolved rapes in which he would be a likely suspect, said Sheriff's Office Investigator Mike Shannon.

If people have information about Timmons that they think would be of interest to law enforcement, Shannon asked that they call the Monroe County Sheriff's Office.

From his early 20s through his early 40s, a period that spanned 1976 to 1994, Lawrence Gene Timmons was linked to no less than five separate violent crimes in Missouri, despite spending seven of those years in prison or on parole.

He was charged in the kidnapping and assault of a young boy, the home invasion robbery of a female college student, and the gunpoint rape of a woman, and was questioned but never arrested in the homicides of his first wife and Smith.

Timmons was acquitted of the rape charge at trial, had his robbery conviction overturned on appeal, and was sentenced to seven years in prison for kidnapping and assault, although he served just three years before getting paroled.

Then, as a single father on the cusp of middle age, his run-ins with the law abruptly stopped.

He met a woman named Mechele Lokar, a single mother from Perinton whose stint in the Army had landed her in Oklahoma, where Timmons had settled.

They had a daughter, married, and eventually relocated to her hometown in 2006.

Once in western New York, Timmons reinvented himself. He became Larry Timmons, an everyday real estate salesman and, for a brief time, a shuttle driver for senior citizens and a parks watchman for the town of Perinton.

Perinton officials say they plan to review his employment with human resources officials Monday before commenting further.

Timmons lived in two different Perinton locations, said Sheriff's Office Investigator Shannon.

Shannon said he sent information about Timmons to police across the state through an internal network but has not heard from any law enforcement considering him a suspect in an unsolved crime.

"We sent a flyer out to everybody in the state essentially," Shannon said Saturday.

Marty Lasher, who was a Perinton neighbor of Timmons, remembered going to Timmons' home once for a cookout.

"He just seemed like good-natured and everything, but I just felt like I’m not going to continue this," Lasher said.

“He just kind of made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. He was weird."

Gilbert Lester, the caretaker and landlord of a Whitney Road home where Timmons lived, said Timmons was quiet and easy-going.

"He paid his rent all right," Lester said.

"I had no problem at all." ( "Mmm-n.Hm."

The murder charge came Friday as Timmons was being held on a $250,000 bond in Lawrence County Jail in Missouri on a forgery charge for allegedly lying about his criminal past on a job application at local liquor store.

Prosecutors also alleged he falsified employment applications and used as many as 17 variations of his name, along with four Social Security numbers and six dates of birth.

Timmons was arrested Aug. 19 at his Pierce City home.

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Post by: Battle on September 11, 2019, 08:32:25 am
Wdnesday, 11th September 2019
Ohio white man, 75, charged with slayings of 2 women from 1970s
by Associated Press


(AKRON, Ohio) — A 75-year-old Ohio man faces murder charges in the unsolved slayings of two women outside Akron in the 1970s.

Authorities say Gustave Sapharas was arrested Friday by Tallmadge police for the stabbing deaths of 18-year-old Louise Bentz in 1970 and 21-year-old Loretta Jean Davis in 1975.

Both were killed in Tallmadge.

The Akron Beacon Journal reports Tallmadge Police Chief Ron Williams says police began re-investigating Bentz's death in 2013 and eventually connected both slayings to Sapharas, who also faces kidnapping and attempted rape charges.

The newspaper reports Sapharas was convicted of raping a Cuyahoga Falls woman in the 1970s and was acquitted in the 1991 slaying of a Columbus woman.

Sapharas is scheduled to be arraigned Wednesday in Summit County.

It's unclear whether he has an attorney.

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Post by: Battle on September 28, 2019, 01:03:42 pm
Saturday, 28th September 2019
Cops say they’ve got white man responsible for decades-old rape cases in Wyoming & Utah
by Buckrail


(SWEETWATER COUNTY, Wyo.) – Police say they’ve caught a man who they believe responsible for terrorizing neighborhoods in Utah and Wyoming, raping as many as nine women, likely more, over a nearly two-decade crime spree.

Investigators arrested long-haul trucker Mark Douglas Burns, 69, at his home in Ogden, Utah without incident on Wednesday, September 25.

The investigation was a cooperative effort by Rock Springs, Laramie, Layton, UT, Ogden, UT, Riverdale, UT, and Clearfield, UT police departments.

In June of 1991, the family of a juvenile female reported that an unknown man crawled through the girls’ bedroom window and forcibly raped the girl at gunpoint.

After the assault was complete, the man left through the same window and ran away.

At that time there were few leads developed however physical evidence including suspected semen was found at the scene.

At that time DNA processing was in its infancy and only a blood type of the suspect was immediately identified.

In 2007, the semen sample was reexamined by the Wyoming State Crime Lab at which time a DNA profile was identified and entered into the CODIS (Combined DNA Indexing System).

Almost immediately, that profile was matched with two additional DNA profiles—one from Ogden, UT and the other from Clearfield, UT—that took place in the 1990s and early 2000s.

A Detective with RSPD made contact with investigators in those cases at which time an MO (Modus Operandi) was established and a Cold Case Task Force was unofficially formed.

The suspect in these cases was found to enter residences through unlocked windows or sliding glass doors during the night, and awaken the victims.

He would then bind them, blindfold them, and sexually assault them for between 15 minutes and two hours, often while other family members were present in the residence and sometimes even in the room.

The suspect would then leave, often leaving little evidence other than biological evidence in the form of semen or saliva.

Between 2007 and 2012, several more cases were entered into CODIS by other agencies and the following related cases were identified.

As a result of those additional DNA hits, a Cold Case Task Force was organized and began follow-up on previously unknown information.

In 2015, the case was featured on the television program Cold Justice-Sex Crimes when investigators spent two weeks going through available leads.

A press conference was held that time that led to over 200 new leads being developed that were followed up on.

Many people believed the suspect to be their neighbor, brother, uncle, father, or friend.

None of those leads led to identification of the suspect. 

During that two-week investigative session, a ninth case out of Riverdale, UT was found via VICAP, and a rushed DNA exam determined the suspect to be the same DNA contributor as the others.

This would be identified as the youngest victim to date. 

A witness in that case observed a man leaving the apartment complex the girl lived in, in what he thought was a Pontiac Firebird.

As a result of the multiple DNA hits, that DNA Profile was provided to a Genealogy examiner who was able to determine a family line, and ultimately a male DNA profile of a man who lived in the Clearfield, UT area.

A sample of that man’s DNA was obtained surreptitiously and processed.

The man’s DNA was not that of the suspect, but was close enough that the suspect family member could be tentatively identified by name, as Mark Douglas Burns.

A sample of Mark Burns’ DNA was obtained, also surreptitiously and rushed to the Wyoming State Crime Lab where they were able to process, and positively match that DNA sample to the previously unknown suspect within hours.

Investigators, now knowing the identity of the suspect then began follow up information including tracking locations of where Burns had been over the past 28 years, his criminal history, and work history.

After the preliminary information was complied, those investigators gathered in Clearfield, Utah to surveil, and make contact with Burns at his residence on September 25.

Burns was arrested without incident.

This investigation is ongoing.

Based on timelines and other information yet to be released, investigators believe Burns to have other victims.

(Multiple cases in the state of Utah have been reported with similar MO’s, however DNA was not available for testing in those cases).

Police urge, if you know the suspect or have any other information pertaining to Burns, please contact Sgt. Tim Robinson or the Detective Division at the Rock Springs Police Department.

If you live in another jurisdiction, please contact your local authorities.

More information will be available as this case proceeds through the legal system, and all suspects are considered innocent, until proven guilty in a court of law.

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Post by: Battle on October 23, 2019, 09:28:16 am
Wednesday, 23rd October 2019
A 1980 murder in an Idaho mining town shuttered its only school. Now the suspect has been found on a Texas ranch.
by Meagan Flynn


There were two bars in Clayton, Idaho, a tiny mining town tucked into a bend in the Salmon River, and on the night of Sept. 22, 1980, Walter James Mason would go to them both.

The central Idaho town at the foot of a mountain was home to 43 people, and that night, plenty of them were parked at the Sports Club bar when Mason walked inside.

He was 47 then.

A burly retired bareback rider who toured the pro rodeo in the ’60s before settling down in Clayton.

Mason had worked in the area for years as a rancher and hunting guide, but nobody really knew him, as locals would recall to the Post Register.

That was about to change.

Mason stormed inside the first bar around 10 p.m. that September night to accuse his wife of cheating on him with another man at the bar named Daniel Mason Woolley, witnesses told the Post Register at the time.

The bartender threatened to throw Mason out “if he couldn’t clean up his mouth” ― and before long, three men dragged him outside.

A brawl erupted.

Woolley, a 52-year-old father of three, went outside to break it up, the Post Register reported.


But at that point, Mason had crossed the street to grab two pistols from his truck, witnesses said.

He allegedly returned to fatally shoot Woolley in the head.

He went back inside the Sports Club bar to fire multiple shots in a fit of rage, striking the jukebox, the pool table and a man in the shoulder, the Post Register reported.

Then, escaping the grasp of the bar patrons who disarmed him, he fled for the Silver Bar at the Clayton Hotel across the highway.

He sat down and ordered one last drink, and then he allegedly said, to no one in particular,

“I have just killed a man.”

By the time Custer County deputies arrived, he was gone.

He left his pickup truck parked at Sports Club, and disappeared into the Idaho backcountry never to be seen or heard from again — that is, until this month.

On Monday, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office revealed that after nearly 40 years, Mason was discovered living under the alias Walter James Allison on a Central Texas ranch nearly 1,500 miles away, located on the outskirts of the sleepy rural town of Rising Star, Tex., population 835.

Now 86 years old, Mason was arrested by Texas authorities and extradited back to Idaho this month to face murder charges in Woolley’s death, said Custer County Sheriff Stu Lumpkin.

His identity was confirmed through fingerprinting, the sheriff said, and he has since pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Mason’s court-appointed attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Back in the 1980s, as Mason vanished from Clayton and authorities launched a fruitless search, the town spent years recovering from the damage of the frightening rampage.

“It was a shock, I’ll tell you,” Dan Strand, a nearby resident who knew both Mason and Woolley, told the Post Register in 1986, when the paper ran a postmortem on the stagnant investigation.

“Nobody could believe it.”
The fatal shooting affected nearly the entire community in more ways than one.

Mason’s wife was the town’s only teacher in its two-room schoolhouse, the Post Register reported at the time.

The Idaho State Journal also reported that a woman believed to be Mason’s wife was battered on the face on the night of the man’s alleged rampage.

Shaken up by what happened, and the lingering publicity, his wife reportedly left town for Challis, Idaho.

With no schoolteacher left in Clayton, all the children had to be bused to Challis to attend school more than two dozen miles northeast of the town — a treacherous journey in icy conditions along a two-lane highway, the Post Register reported.

The school apparently reopened in later years when a new teacher arrived.

But the challenges for the small town kept snowballing.

An earthquake in 1983 would leave the school unstable, causing it to close again, and causing the community to fear for the end of Clayton itself.

“In Clayton,” the school’s superintendent told the Associated Press in 1984,

“there’s little left of the community without the school.”

By the time the Post Register published its reflection on the Mason case just a few short years later, Clayton was “no longer the boomtown of the early ’80s.”

The Silver Bar and Clayton Hotel were closed.

The Clayton Silver Mine closed after a half-century.

And most of the witnesses and even original investigators had left town.

By 1990, the population of Clayton had been sliced in half, and today it is home to just seven people.

The FBI attempted to assist the Custer County Sheriff’s Office in the case until 1985, when it apparently gave up.

“All logical investigation had been considered,” Kent Madsen, FBI special agent, told the Post Register in 1986.

“There were no other leads to pursue.”

Authorities stressed that Mason had defining characteristics that would make him hard to miss.

In a wanted poster for Mason, the sheriff’s office noted that his arms, back and chest were covered in scars.

He had also lost control of the muscles on the entire left side of his face, paralyzed by a kick from a horse during his rodeo days.

But Mason still managed to live quietly and unnoticed in a farmhouse in Eastland County, Tex., police now say.

It’s unclear how he was discovered there.

Eastland County Today reported that the sheriff’s office received a tip that a man by the name of Walter James Mason was living on a farm on a county road just north of town ― and was wanted for murder in Idaho.

Eastland County Chief Deputy Don Braly confirmed with Custer County that it was true, and then made the short drive to his home.

When he arrived, the newspaper reported, Braly asked the elderly suspect if his name was really Mason, rather than Allison, to which the man allegedly replied,

“If you did not know the answer to the question, you would not even be here.”

Mason denied shooting Woolley in cold blood, Eastland County Today reported, but claimed it was in self-defense.

He said he had been to both bars in Clayton that night in September 1980.

He left the first after finding his “live-in” drinking with Woolley, the newspaper reported, only to leave the second to find Woolley outside.

He allegedly claimed that he feared Woolley would beat him to death, and so he pulled out his pistol and shot him.

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Post by: Battle on November 12, 2019, 06:18:04 pm
Tuesday, 12th November 2019
Nurse took in disabled teen, then tortured and killed her in 1999
by Minyvonne Burke


A mentally disabled Illinois woman who was found dead along a Wisconsin road 20 years ago had been living with an Illinois nurse, who subjected her to years of "horrific" abuse and killed her, authorities say.

The nurse, Linda LaRoche, was arrested on November 5th in Cape Coral, Florida, where she was living, on charges of first-degree intentional homicide and hiding a corpse in connection to the 1999 death of 23-year-old Peggy Lynn Johnson.

Johnson's body was found on July 21, 1999, in a cornfield in Racine County, Wisconsin.

According to a criminal complaint by the Racine County sheriff's office, she had burns covering 25 percent of her body, possibly from a chemical, broken ribs, bruising on her face and upper torso, and a "noticeably deformed" ear that had been cut.

She also had a broken nose, a discolored cheek and her lower lip was "slit open on both ends," the document states.

An autopsy revealed that she was "slightly malnourished" and had an untreated infection that left her knees and feet swollen.

The complaint states that there was a bruise on Johnson's head from a blow that "did fully penetrate the scalp, but not the skull."

It was determined that the cause of death was homicide by sepsis pneumonia as a result of infection from injuries sustained from abuse. No drugs were found in Johnson's system.

For two decades, Johnson was referred to as "Jane Doe" as investigators worked to identify her.

Then in September authorities received information that helped them uncover her identity.

According to the criminal complaint, a concerned citizen in Florida told police that LaRoche was telling people that she had killed a woman when she lived in Illinois.

It was later determined that Johnson lived with LaRoche, her then-husband and three of her children from 1994 to 1999 before the young woman vanished.

Racine County Sheriff Christopher Schmaling said at a news conference Friday that the case's finally coming to close has brought mixed emotions.

"We are angered by the senseless and brutal murder of this young woman, and we want justice served," he said.

"Yet we're also very proud today by the fact that we can finally offer some closure and some peace."

Johnson, who was raised in Illinois, was 18 when she became homeless after her mother died.

The teen's father and brother were already dead, and she had never met her sister.

Schmaling told reporters that the teenager, who was "cognitively impaired," went to a medical clinic for help which is where she met LaRoche, a registered nurse.

LaRoche "recognized Peggy's disability" and offered to take her in and let the teen live with her and her family, Schmaling said.

According to the criminal complaint, Johnson was allowed to stay with LaRoche's family if "she acted as a nanny and housekeeper."

LaRoche's children, who are now adults, told investigators that their mother was "very abusive" toward Johnson and forced her to sleep in a crawl space underneath the home.

"LaRoche was verbally and emotionally cruel to Peggy, at times screaming at her like an animal," the complaint states.

One of her children recalled a time when LaRoche allegedly stabbed at Johnson's head with a pitchfork.

They all said Johnson had visible injuries.

LaRoche's now ex-husband told investigators that one night he came home from work and found Johnson "lying on the ground lifeless," the complaint states.

He said LaRoche told him that Johnson had overdosed and she was going to get rid of the body "so they would not be involved."

According to the criminal complaint, he said LaRoche was gone for more than two hours and returned home without the girl.

Schmaling told reporters at the news conference that the abuse Johnson endured during the last five years of her life "is something that none of us will ever forget."

LaRoche, 64, will be extradited from Florida to Wisconsin.

Online court records do not list an attorney for her.

LaRoche told detectives that on the day Johnson went missing, she had fainted after she was caught with pills, the criminal complaint states.

LaRoche alleges that she put Johnson in her car, drove to Wisconsin and let her out of the car.

According to the complaint, LaRoche claims that Johnson "was not injured at all when she dropped her off and that something must have happened to her after she dropped her off."

Schmaling said Johnson's remains are buried under the name "Jane Doe" and in the coming weeks she will be laid to rest next to her mother's grave.

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Post by: Battle on November 17, 2019, 10:36:19 am
Sunday, 17th November 2019
Arizona white man is arrested in the 1979 murder of a woman in Nevada
by Theresa Waldrop


A suspect has been arrested in the murder of a woman four decades after the body of the 21-year-old was found in Nevada, officials said.

Charles Gary Sullivan was extradited Friday to Nevada from Arizona, where he was arrested and charged in the 1979 murder of Julia Woodward, the Washoe County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

It's one of the latest arrests made possible by advances in DNA technology decades after crimes were committed.

In this case, a detective in the sheriff's office's new cold case unit asked for evidence from the scene to be tested.

Woodward's body was found on March 25, 1979, in Hungry Valley, about 15 miles north of Reno, according to the sheriff's office.

The cause of death was blunt force trauma.

Her parents told investigators at the time she'd lived with them in San Rafael, California, before leaving to look for a job in the Lake Tahoe/Reno area, authorities said.

She was last seen alive in California on February 1st, 1979.

Biological evidence identified Sullivan as a possible suspect in the case.

In August, the Nevada attorney general got an indictment against him.

Technological advances are leading to more and more cold case arrests.

The most famous is probably the arrest in the Golden State Killer case in April 2018, where investigators used DNA and a free genealogy database to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, 72, for allegedly killing 12 people and raping more than 50 women in the 1970s and 1980s.

In Philadelphia, investigators used photo-enhancing technology to link an old sock to the then-boyfriend of a woman murdered in 1991.

The 52-year-old man was arrested in September.

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Post by: Battle on December 21, 2019, 03:42:04 am
Saturday, 21st December 2019
DNA leads to arrest of former football coach in 1981 case
by CNN


Police in Florida arrested Joseph Mills after nearly four decades of investigating the 1981 murder of 31-year-old mother Linda Slaten.

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Post by: Battle on February 13, 2020, 07:14:26 am
Thursday, 13th February 2o2o
Genealogy leads police to real killer of woman in 1985
by CBS News


A California man who was convicted of a murder nearly 15 years ago is expected to be exonerated Thursday.

Genealogy may have led police to the real killer of a 54-year-old newspaper columnist in 1985, a law enforcement source familiar with the case told CBS News.

Ricky Davis was sentenced to 16 years to life for second degree murder in the fatal stabbing of Jane Hylton, who he lived with in El Dorado Hills, outside of Sacramento.

Davis' then-girlfriend Connie Dahl and Hylton's 13-year-old daughter also lived in the home.
At the time, they said they found Hylton dead and called 911.

A lack of evidence turned the case cold and the identity of the killer went unsolved for 14 years until November 1999, when investigators charged Davis with murder.

He was convicted in 2005.

Investigators said DNA evidence at the time connected Davis to the murder, along with a confession from Dahl.

The day after the murder, Dahl gave a newspaper reporter a tour of the crime scene.

"She showed me a bloody hand print on the wall and then she showed me where she believes the body must have been laid as if asleep is the way she describe it," the reporter said.

But in April of last year, with the help of the Northern California Innocence Project, newly tested evidence revealed an unknown male DNA profile on Hylton's nightgown and under her fingernails.

A judge reversed Davis' murder conviction and he remained in custody awaiting a retrial.

Now, genealogical testing may have identified the real killer, exonerating Davis, the law enforcement source said.

Similar testing using public genealogical websites has been used to solve the most notorious murderers in California including catching the Golden State killer, Joseph James Deangelo, who was accused of at least 50 rapes and 12 murders in the state between the 1970s and 80s.

It is also being used to hunt the infamous Zodiac Killer who boasted about killing as many as 37 people and taunted police by sending them cryptic letters 50 years ago in Northern California.

"Anytime we can't identify the criminal, if we could identify some of the criminal's relatives that might give us a very good leg up on solving some of these crimes," DNA expert Monte Miller said.

Davis is due in court Thursday morning, and his jail record on the county website now lists him as awaiting a removal order.

His lawyer said they are hoping his release is imminent.

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Post by: Battle on March 17, 2020, 07:34:24 pm
Tuesday, 17th March 2o2o
Judge says DNA evidence from trash pull can be used in 40 yr old murder trial

by Danielle Ferguson


DNA evidence found on a trash pull at the home of a Sioux Falls woman charged with murder in a nearly 40-year-old case can be used in her jury trial, a judge ruled.

DNA that linked Theresa Rose Bentaas to that of a baby found in a ditch in 1981 can be used in her trial, scheduled for April, Second Circuit Court Judge Susan Sabers said in a brief filed in court Monday.

Sabers denied Bentaas' attorney's request to suppress DNA evidence obtained from a trash pull last year, but acknowledged that privacy concerns existed.

Bentaas voluntarily discarded the items tested in her trash, Sabers wrote, and knows that she had no reasonable expectation of privacy in those items.

"Because defendant had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the items searched, the Fourth Amendment does not apply to the DNA testing performed on those items," Sabers wrote.

"Once law enforcement lawfully possessed those items, it was not an unreasonable search under the Fourth Amendment to test those items for identification purposes."

Bentaas, 58, was charged in March 2019 with first- and second-degree murder and first-degree manslaughter in connection to the 1981 death of Baby "Andrew" John Doe, an hours-old newborn found at the corner of what is now 33rd Street and Sycamore Avenue in Sioux Falls.

In February, Bentaas' attorneys filed a motion to suppress the DNA evidence that was tested from a February 2019 trash pull, saying testing the evidence without her knowledge or consent was a violation of her Fourth Amendment right to reasonable search and seizure.

Prosecutors say police did their due diligence, and said use of DNA was similar to a fingerprint or mugshot.

Deputy Minnehaha County State's Attorney Randy Sample at a motions hearing last week said Bentaas' case was similar to a drug case, in that police had information that the family might be linked to the case, so they did a trash pull, tested in the items and then, based on the results, requested a search warrant for buccal swabs of Bentaas and her husband.

Sabers acknowledged the defense's concerns about privacy, however, saying she would be "remiss" if she didn't share same concerns.

"Nearly twenty years ago, Justices Sabers and Meierhenry cautioned:

‘When police do “garbage pulls,” they are not merely poking through ho-ho wrappers and soda cans. They are delving into the intimate details of a person’s life,’" Sabers wrote.

"In 1984, those words were embedded in a dissent of two justices of the South Dakota Supreme Court," she continued.

"In 2020, those cases fall on deaf ears as the overwhelming majority of cases uphold the use of discarded DNA for identification purposes, as occurred here.”

Bentaas' potentially three-week trial is scheduled to start April 20th 2o2o.

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Post by: Battle on March 19, 2020, 02:50:54 pm
Thursday, 19th March 2o2o
Pensacola police make arrest in 35-year-old cold case murder using familial DNA
by Tony Adame


(PENSACOLA, Florida) - Tonya Ethridge McKinley was 23 years old and had an 18-month-old son waiting for her at home when she was killed in the early-morning hours of January 1st, 1985, in Pensacola.
She was last seen alive around 1:30 a.m. at Darryl’s Bar & Grille in Pensacola, and in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Day her body was found in an empty lot at the corner of Peacock Drive and Creighton Road, just one block off Scenic Highway.

She had been sexually assaulted and murdered.

On Wednesday, 35 years later, Pensacola police made an arrest in the case: Daniel Leonard Wells, 57, is facing charges of first-degree murder and first-degree sexual battery.   

Wells was identified after Parabon NanoLabs, a Virginia-based company working with the Pensacola Police Department and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, ran a DNA sample obtained from the scene of the crime through an open-source genealogy database and identified several different people believed to be distant cousins of the suspect.   

From there, Pensacola police, FDLE and Parabon constructed a family tree, starting with the distant relatives, that eventually led them to identify Wells as a suspect.

Police surveillance teams then surreptitiously obtained his DNA from a discarded cigarette, which was tested and matched DNA found at the crime scene.

"This was a case that spanned three generations of detectives," said PPD Captain Chuck Mallett, who led the investigation.

"I know it took a long time, but it was one of those cases we never gave up on."
According to the arrest report, there is a greater than 1 in 700 billion chance that the DNA from the crime scene is a match to anyone other than Wells.

It is the oldest cold-case arrest in Pensacola history and the first time the familial DNA method has been used to solve a case in Northwest Florida.

Detectives in California used the same method to identify and arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, a suspect in the Golden State Killer cases, in April 2018.

Orlando police used the method in November 2018 to identify a suspect in the 2001 murder of Christine Franke and arrested Benjamin Holmes for first-degree murder.

Wells is being held without bond at Escambia County Jail and will make his first court appearance Thursday morning.   

According to court records, Wells was arrested in Pensacola in 1987 for battery and witness tampering, but the witness tampering charge was dropped after he pled no contest to the battery charge.

In 1988, he was arrested for solicitation of prostitution in Pensacola.

Court records did not indicate the outcome of that case.

Tonya's body was found shortly before 5 a.m. on New Year's Day by a family living on Peacock Drive who were taking their sick dog to an all-night veterinarian clinic.

Investigators collected semen, head hair and pubic from Tonya's body and the crime scene.

Years later, thanks to advances in DNA testing, all of the evidence was identified as being from the same person, but no matches were ever found in the national DNA database.

Tonya's older sister, Renee Ethridge, has run the "Tonya Ethridge McKinley Memorial" page on Facebook since 2012 in hopes of keeping her sister's case in the public eye.

"(Tonya) would fight hard for me ... she would fight for me and I've gotta fight for her," Renee told WKRG in a 2008 interview.

"There are people out there who know (what happened). I'm positive of that."

Tonya and Renee's father, Joe, died in April 2000. Their mother, Laverne, lives in Jay with Renee.

"(Tonya) can rest now," Renee said after being told of Wells' arrest.

"She can finally rest."

Renee said Tonya loved Rod Stewart and KISS and was trying to make a better life for herself when she was killed.

More than anything, Renee said, Tonya loved her then-18-month-old son, Timothy Davidson Jr., who family members affectionately referred to as “Timbo” when he was a child.

"My mom, she never got to raise me, never got to be a part of my life," Davidson said after the arrest.
"(Wells) got to live his life the last 35 years. He got to have a family. He got to be around his children ... and all those years he was out there, knowing what he did. He was carrying it around with him and he was never going to tell anyone what he did. He wasn't going to ever just say what he did on his own."
"Nothing could ever make up for losing my mom, but at least now we know what happened to her."

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Post by: Battle on May 28, 2020, 04:10:01 pm
Thursday, 28th May 2o2o
1970 rape and murder solved after body exhumed from Fort Logan National Cemetery
by Janet Oravetz


A man who likely picked up 23-year-old Betty Lee Jones following an argument with her husband in 1970 would be charged with her rape and murder if he were alive today, according to a release from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office.

Paul Martin died last June, but his body was exhumed to obtain a DNA sample, which investigators said was a match to DNA found on Jones' body.

Jones, a mother of two, was last seen on March 9, 1970 around 3:30 p.m. at her home in Denver near East 12th Avenue and York Street.

She shared that home with her husband of just nine days.

On that day, she and her husband Robert Jones were arguing and it culminated with him leaving the home in his car and Betty Jones flagging down cars in the street, according to BCSO.

She got into a blue sedan that had stopped and was last seen in that car going southbound on York Street, according to the sheriff's office.

Martin's brother told investigators he drove a blue mid-to-late 1960s Plymouth Fury sedan.

Two workers from the Colorado Department of Transporation (CDOT) found the body of Betty Jones the next morning down the side of an embankment on Highway 128, near the Boulder County/Jefferson County line.

She had been bound, sexually assaulted, strangled and shot, according to the sheriff's office.

Her killing remained unsolved and in 2006 it was reopened and evidence recovered from Jones’ body was submitted to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).

A male DNA profile was developed, but the suspect’s profile was not in the national Combined DNA Index System database.

Six potential suspects, which included her husband, Robert Ray Jones, were developed.

DNA was obtained from each person through personal items or direct swabbing, according to BCSO.

Robert Jones died in 2000 so DNA was obtained from his parents.

None of the potential suspects were a match to the suspect’s DNA.

In 2019, the suspect DNA was submitted to a private lab, Bode Technologies, where a profile was developed and they worked with other agencies to use forensic genealogy to develop a family tree.

They identified a woman seen in a 1957 Denver directory as a potential relative of the suspect, but no other identifying information was found.

CBI eventually successfully identified the woman, her husband, and her two sons, who would have been in their twenties at the time of the murder, according to BCSO.

They also lived in Denver at the time.

One son was still living, but the other died in 1977.

The living son was interviewed, and DNA swabs were obtained.

He told authorities about an estranged third brother, whose name was Paul, but said he did not know where he was or even if he was dead or alive.

The living brother’s DNA profile was compared to the suspect DNA and came back as “closely related” to the suspect.

The missing brother, identified as Paul Leroy Martin, died in June 2019 with no identified next of kin, except the living brother.

He was buried in Fort Logan National Cemetery.

The court authorized an exhumation, and on April 8th, 2020 Martin's body was exhumed and biological material was collected.

The next day the sample was sent to the CBI Lab, where a profile was developed.

The profile from Martin was compared to the suspect's DNA.

On April 24th, BCSO was notified that the sample collected from Betty Jones’ body matched the sample from Martin.

Martin has no known link to Betty Jones, and a close family member said the Martin name was not familiar to her and she did not recall Betty dating anyone by that name.

A Probable Cause Statement was submitted to the Boulder County District Attorney and was approved on May 26th.

Based on the evidence and DNA analysis produced through this investigation, if he were alive today, Paul Martin would be charged and prosecuted by the District Attorney’s Office for the murder of Betty Jones, the sheriff's office said.

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