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Friday, October 31, 2008

Jose Baez Repeatedly Told To Stop Touching Casey During Jail Visits

Friday, October 31, 2008
ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- In the past two weeks Casey Anthony's attorney Jose Baez has visited her at the jail, seven out of 14 days.

Eyewitness News has discovered that on at least two occasions jail staff had to step in and Baez was warned repeatedly about hugging Casey during their visits.

A jail report states: "The inmate's attorney was observed hugging inmate and was advised that physical contact was prohibited."

A week later, another report stated: "Baez again observed hugging his client."

The room Baez and Anthony meet in is very small and typically there is a desk and two chairs.
Sources told Eyewitness News that on one occasion, Anthony was sitting and Baez was very close to her face. A corrections officer had to go into the room to separate them.

"Orange County jail policy forbids any kind of touching between visitors and inmates. Mr. Baez was cooperative and agreed not to repeat the behavior. Mr. Baez has always been professional and cooperative in his interactions with the Orange County Corrections Department," jail spokesman Alan Moore said in a statement.

Eyewitness News confronted Jose Baez about the situation. "I have no comment," he said.

Eyewitness news' legal analyst Bill Schaeffer said it's unusual that an attorney would ever touch a client. "The more experience you are in handling these type of clients or situation, the less likely you are to place yourself in a situation that could be regarded as a compromising situation," said Schaeffer.

When Casey was out on bond, there were several times that she would spend six hours a day at Baez's office including Saturdays. There's nothing criminal about having a relationship with a client, but Schaeffer said there are ethical issues.

"The appellate court could find that relationship overstepped the bounds of attorney client relationship and affected that performance and order a new trial," he said.

There was no evidence that Baez and Casey were actually having a relationship. The reason touching isn't allowed at the jail is because contraband items could be passed. Baez told jail officials that he didn't know the rules, and wouldn't do it again.


June 16 is the date Caylee Anthony likely died. Eyewitness News retraced Casey Anthony's steps on that fateful day and talked to the man who saw Casey just hours after Caylee's death.
"No emotion, no tears and no regrets," is how Casey was described on that day of death, when she rented a movie about a kidnapper and killer just hours after, detectives believe, she murdered her daughter.

Never before seen surveillance photos show accused killer Casey Anthony and her boyfriend walking into an east Orange County Blockbuster just before 8:00pm on Monday June 16, just hours after her daughter Caylee was last seen alive by Casey's father at home.

The new photos show Casey without Caylee, arm in arm with her boyfriend, after they chose two movies to rent. One rented was "Untraceable," about a kidnapper and killer. The other was "Jumper," about a mother who abandons her 5-year-old child, who then can teleport himself.
"They came in, went out," Johnny French told Eyewitness News. "Brought the movies back on time just like everybody else."

French rented the movies to Casey and her boyfriend that night. He said there was nothing about the couple that stood out as unusual.

"They seemed normal and she seemed fine. If there was something wrong it would have stood out. I just don't remember them doing anything unusual," French said.

Casey's phone records show she made seven phone calls in the three and half hours between 2:45pm and 6:15pm that afternoon, the time during which investigators think Caylee may have died. Two were made to Arden Villas Apartments off University and Alafaya, apparently to friends. Casey's ex-best friend, Amy Huizenga, told investigators Casey called her that day and said she needed to find a place to live.

Caylee's grandfather told investigators the last time he saw Caylee was at 12:50pm on June 16. He remembered her sunglasses and her ponytail as she left with Casey, who claimed they were spending that night at the nanny's.

"That's the last time I saw my granddaughter," George Anthony told investigators.

Investigators say Casey stayed on the east side of town, as usual, during the six hours or so between when Caylee was last seen alive and she showed up her with her boyfriend, but her exact whereabouts are unclear.


Eyewitness News has learned a strange new twist being reported in the Casey Anthony case doesn't appear to be true. The Orlando Sentinel reported an exclusive story Wednesday that convicted murderer Scott Peterson has been sending Casey letters from his cell at the San Quentin State Prison in California.

When Eyewitness News started asking questions, the prison spokesman at San Quentin looked into it and said, based on information developed at the prison, there is no truth to that story. The prison spokesman said he was never contacted about the story before it ran in the Sentinel.


A third complete stranger has donated cash to Casey Anthony's jail account. A woman from California sent Casey $75.

Eyewitness News was unable to contact Michelle St. Clair of Spring Valley. She's the second Californian to send Casey money. Another woman, in Oxnard, California, told Eyewitness News last week she felt sorry for Casey.

A third stranger, from Apopka, also sent money last week. The donations bring Casey's jail account to $326.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Florida Deputies Inadvertently Taser Undercover Agent

Thursday, October 30, 2008 – updated: 8:36 am EDT October 30, 2008
PENSACOLA, Fla. -- Authorities say deputies responding to a call about a Pensacola liquor store robbery inadvertently Tasered an undercover state agent.
Florida Division of Alcoholic Beverages and Tobacco worker Ira McQueen was trying to see if the clerk would sell alcohol to a minor.

The mixup on Tuesday started when a customer saw the clerk's arms raised and saw McQueen with a gun, and thought the store was being robbed. When Escambia County Sheriff's deputies arrived at the scene, McQueen didn't comply with demands and yelling between both sides ensued. Deputies Tasered him and released a sheriff's dog. McQueen was briefly hospitalized for injuries.

Sheriff's spokesman Glenn Austin says it appears McQueen was trying to tell deputies he was a state agent. The state agency is reviewing what happened.

Nov. 8 Search Planned For Caylee Anthony, Jennifer Kesse

Left: Jennifer Kesse; right: Caylee Anthony

WINTER PARK, Fla. -- The latest search effort planned for Caylee Anthony is generating a lot of interest.

An Orlando private investigator who has volunteered to head up the effort to recruit team leaders said he has received over 400 calls since just 5 p.m. Wednesday.

"We're looking for someone with law enforcement background, fire service background, department of corrections -- public service background essentially," said James Copenhaver, private investigator. "Those folks have had some training in the past that they can bring to the table to help us."

The search is being headed up by Equusearch, the same group based in Texas that searched for Caylee in September. The group's leader, Tim Miller, plans to return to Orlando on Nov. 7 to train team leaders. On Nov. 8, the group hopes to send as many as 3,000 or 4,000 volunteer searchers out to look for both Caylee Anthony and Jennifer Kesse -- a Central Florida woman who has been missing since January 2006.

Equusearch is still looking for a search headquarters and determining the exact areas that will be searched. Both the sherriff's office and the FBI are on board with their efforts.

People who are interested in volunteering with Equusearch in the upcoming search for Caylee Anthony and Jennifer Kesse on Nov. 8 call Equusearch at 877-270-9500 or go to their website at www.texasequusearch.org. If you are retired law enforcement, military personnel, or have a background in fire or rescue and would like to serve as a team leader, please contact James Copenhaver at 407-897-1184.

Vietnam suspends plan to ban small-chested drivers

HANOI, Vietnam - Faced with mounting public criticism, Vietnam's Health Ministry suspended a widely ridiculed plan to ban short, thin and small-chested drivers.

The ministry had recommended that people whose chests measure less than 28 inches be prohibited from driving motorbikes - as well as those who are too short (less than 4 -foot-8) or too thin (less than 88 pounds).

When the media revealed the plan this week, it prompted disbelief and scorn among members of the public, who envisioned the police pulling over female drivers to measure their breasts.

Thursday's state-run Tuoi Tre newspaper quoted ministry official Nguyen Huy Quang as saying the proposal would be suspended.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Anne Pressly, TV Anchor's Credit Card Used at Gas Station After Attack

The credit card of a television anchor woman left in critical condition after a brutal beating in her home was used in the minutes following the attack.

Anne Pressly's credit card was used at a Shell gas station near her Little Rock, Ark., home between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. on Monday morning, an attendant told America's Most Wanted.

Shell station clerk Shiva Reddy told FOX16.com that police did visit the station at Interstate 30 and 9th Street on Tuesday to request surveillance video from early Monday morning, in the hours around the time Pressly was brutally beaten.

"They just got the video," Reddy told FOX16.com.
Police returned on Wednesday afternoon to take photos and collect evidence, the station said. FOX16.com decided to wait 24 hours before reporting the new information to assist police with their case, the station said.

Another Shell employee told FOX16.com that the security cameras "are everywhere" at the station.
Meanwhile, Sgt. Cassandra Davis said Pressly's medical condition still stops investigators from asking who attacked her and what happened at her home.

Davis said investigators have "no idea when we'll be able to talk to her."

Pressly's mother found the anchor with Little Rock ABC affiliate KATV battered and bleeding early Monday morning in bed at her home.

Her family issued a statement Thursday saying that the 26-year-old was still in critical condition but was listed as stable.

"The swelling in her brain is beginning to subside," the statement said. "Doctors are encouraged by her progress at this point."

Detectives continue to search for the blunt object used to beat Pressly around her head and upper body. The sergeant declined to discuss what evidence officers recovered from Pressly's home or in searches of her neighborhood near the Little Rock Country Club.

TV Anchor Attacked at Her Home Dies From Injuries

Little Rock, Arkansas
Anne Pressly

An Arkansas television anchorwoman died Saturday, several days after being found beaten in her home when she didn't answer her wake-up call, hospital officials said.

Anne Pressly, 26, died at St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Margaret Preston said.
In a statement released by the hospital, Pressly's parents Guy and Patti Cannady asked for privacy as they grieved their daughter's death.

"It was our hope, as was yours, that Anne would overcome the injuries inflicted upon her in the brutal attack at her home," the statement read. "We were with her in her last moments, and although our hearts are broken, we are at the same time comforted by our faith knowing that Anne is now with our heavenly father."

Pressly was beaten around the head, face and neck. She had been unable to communicate with her family or police while being kept sedated in the intensive care unit.
She was discovered Monday morning a half-hour before she was to appear on ABC affiliate KATV's "Daybreak" program. Her mother went to her home after she didn't answer her regular wake-up call.

Little Rock police have yet to identify a suspect.

Pressly was a native of Greenville, S.C., and moved with her family to Little Rock while she was in high school. She is a graduate of Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

Pressly had a small role in the new Oliver Stone movie "W.," which was filmed in Shreveport, La. She appears briefly as a conservative commentator who speaks favorably of President Bush's "Mission Accomplished" event on an aircraft carrier shortly after the start of the Iraq war.

Friday, October 24, 2008

US drops Guantanamo charges

The US military has refused to release five Guantanamo Bay detainees - despite confirming it is to drop war crimes charges against them.

No reason was given for the decision on Tuesday.

The military said in a statement it retained the right to file new charges against the five men at a later time.

The announcement came a month after lieutenant colonel Darrel Vandeveld, the former prosecutor for the five suspects, resigned after criticising his own office for withholding evidence helpful to the defence of another detainee.
Six military prosecutors have quit the Guantanamo court in the last four years. Some have said that the US government sought to use evidence obtained through torture while one alleged the trials were tainted by political interference.

Anthony Romero, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said: "The implosion of these five prosecutions painfully underscores how the Bush administration's torture and detention policies have failed to render justice in any sense of the word."

Noor Uthman Muhammed, Binyam Mohamed, Sufyiam Barhoumi, Ghassan Abdullah al Sharbi, and Jabran Said Bin al Qahtani had been charged with conspiracy and "providing material support for terrorism".

Binyam Mohamed, an Ethiopian-born British resident, had been accused of training and plotting "dirty bomb" attacks on targets in the US with Jose Padilla, a Chicago gang member once also accused of plotting a radioactive bomb attack.

Mohamed has said repeatedly that he is innocent and gave false confessions while being tortured in a Moroccan prison. He had been transferred there extrajudicially after being captured in Pakistan and held for 18 months before being sent to Guantanamo.

Mohamed said he told interrogators what he believed they wanted to hear after he had been beaten, strung up by his arms and cut on his penis and chest with scalpels.

Susan Crawford, appointed by the Pentagon to oversee the tribunals, upheld charges on Tuesday against Mohammed Hashim, an Afghan detainee, of supporting terrorism and spying on US troops in Afghanistan.

Robert Gates, the US defence secretary later said the detention facility will not close before the Bush administration leaves office in January.

"This is an issue that'll have to be addressed early on by a new administration," he said.
The Pentagon also announced that it will allow victims of alleged terrorist attacks and their relatives to attend trials at Guantanamo.

Scientists: Air Samples From Casey Anthony's Car Show Decomposition

October 24, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Scientists said air samples from the car trunk of Casey Anthony, who is accused of killing her 3-year-old daughter Caylee, contain evidence of body decomposition.

Authorities on Friday released a report from a Tennessee lab that found five compounds consistent with body decomposition.

Tests found evidence of decomposition on a hair strand found in the trunk, described as "microscopically similar" to one found on Caylee's hair brush.

DNA Results Released, Caylee Anthony case

10:45 a.m. Friday, Oct. 24:

DNA results were released this morning in the Casey Anthony case. It is the latest release of evidence in the case. The information includes several FBI reports as well as a report from the Body Farm at the University of Tennessee as well as other forensic evidence found in Casey’s car trunk and home.

Among the findings:

/ A hair found on the left side of Casey’s trunk liner “exhibits characteristics of apparent decomposition” and “is microscopically similar” to a hairbrush belonging to Caylee. DNA tests, however, could not say whether the hair came from Casey Anthony or Caylee Anthony.

/ Parts of Casey’s trunk liner and spare tire cover shows “residues of chloroform.”

/ Other hair found in the trunk did not exhibit decomposition.

/ No hair showing apparent decomposition was found on pants and skirts. Although it appears this part of the report refers to Casey’s clothes, it does not specifically say.

DNA Results Expected In Casey Anthony Case

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Eyewitness News has learned that DNA results in the case against Casey could be released as early as Friday.

Meanwhile, Casey Anthony's defense team is looking for ways to eliminate the strongest evidence against her in the murder of her daughter Caylee. That includes evidence of Caylee's body and chloroform found in Casey's car trunk.

The defense may try to prove that so many people had access to the car during the time it was parked at the Amscot on SR-50 and Goldenrod Road that it's impossible to say, beyond a reasonable doubt, that Caylee is dead and Casey is responsible.


The volunteer group that searched for Caylee is looking to recruit new members. EquuSearch wants current or former members of the military, law enforcement officers or firefighters to serve as team leaders for the next search, scheduled for November 8.
The search is expected to attract several thousand volunteers, including 500 bounty hunters and bail agents.


Did Casey Anthony kill her own daughter with chloroform? Eyewitness News has learned someone was looking up the recipe to cook up the chemical on Casey's home computer around the same time Caylee disappeared.

There was evidence of high levels of chloroform in the trunk of Casey's car and sheriff's investigators found that someone on Casey Anthony's computer was researching not where to buy chloroform, but how to make it yourself, which can be done easily.

Eyewitness News legal analyst Bill Sheaffer says, if you were up to no good, there would be an advantage to making it as opposed to buying it.

When you Google "how do you make chloroform," more than a million websites are listed with instructions. On the first one, page one had an explicit warning about chloroform's dangers, calling the chemical extremely dangerous and unpredictable and warning never to allow children to come near chloroform.

FBI lab tests show high levels of chloroform in the trunk of Casey's car, where investigators say Caylee's body had been. And there was a mysterious stain in the trunk along with Caylee's hairs and dirt.

"Another piece of evidence in the circumstantial chain," Sheaffer said.

Sheaffer said it's significant because, if Casey made the chloroform as opposed to buying it, she could have been trying to cover her tracks. Buying it would have generated some sort of record.
"This way certainly, she could argue, 'Alright, I was interested in looking into how to make chloroform, but I never did.' Or, 'That's why you smelled chloroform in the trunk area, because I was experimenting in making it,'" Sheaffer said.

Record or not, the jury would be faced with a compromising question for Casey. "Why would you need to make chloroform. For what purpose?" Sheaffer questioned.

Last week, the Orange County grand jury heard from the FBI and one of the sheriff's computer investigators and that information is going to be released to the public very soon.


Casey Anthony's defense attorney is going to start questioning his first prosecution witnesses in the case next Thursday. Among those being questioned is an employee at the Amscot on Goldenrod and Highway 50 where Casey abandoned her car in late June, employees from Johnson's Wrecker Service, the company that towed the car from the Amscot, and Casey's ex-boyfriend Tony Lazzaro.

What do they all have in common? They all had access to Casey's car.


Complete strangers who feel sorry for Casey Anthony are depositing money into her jail account. On Monday, Eyewitness News reported how Casey was lonely in jail with no visitors except her attorney and no money to spend.

Just two days later, she has more than $250. Fifty dollars came from Nola Copeland of California. She's been following Casey's story nationally and, on the phone, she told Eyewitness News she's a good Christian who knows what jail is like and she wanted to make sure Casey could buy the basics like deodorant.

A second woman from Apopka sent Casey $100, but she didn't return calls. Casey's father and her bail bondsman deposited just over $100 over the last few days. The jail says inmate accounts cannot hold more than $500. If Casey's account goes above that, the money will be returned to the donor.


In spite of the evidence proving otherwise, the Anthony family insists missing toddler Caylee is still alive. A new tip line was up and running Wednesday morning. Eyewitness News first reported the family's plans to start the new tip line last week, hours after the spokesperson for Casey's attorney admitted on national television that he believes Caylee is dead.

The tip line number is: 1-888-231–5618.

Anne Pressly Family Statement: 10/23/08

Little Rock - Anne's family released an update on her condition Thursday afternoon:

"Anne had a good night, she’s still in critical condition but signs are stable. The swelling in her brain is beginning to subside. Doctors are encouraged by her progress at this point. It is still too early too determine the full extent of her injuries. The family continues to seek your prayers and appreciates your continued consideration of the request for privacy."

--The Family of Anne Pressly

Anne Pressly Bio

Anne Pressly has had more job titles than she can count at KATV, but the one she loves most is Reporter. In her years at Channel Seven, Anne has covered everything from former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee’s run for the White House to Toad Suck Daze in Conway. She has traveled to farthest corners of the Natural State, and has interviewed such notables as Bill Clinton, Maya Angelou, and Alberto Gonzalez.

One of her most memorable interviews happened by chance. On the return trip from a news story in Humphrey, Arkansas, the highway was blocked in front of waterfowl outfitter Mack’s Prairie Wings in Stuttgart. Turns out, Vice President Dick Cheney was inside shopping. He allowed Anne to interview him while he was on the ammo aisle. Cheney told Channel Seven he loves Arkansas. Not as much as Anne does.
A native of Greenville, South Carolina, Anne moved to Little Rock with her family while in high school. It was during college that she first worked at Channel Seven. After being passed over by KATV for a Production Assistant job in favor of someone with actual television experience, Channel Seven hired Anne as a temporary News Secretary and Archivist the summer after her Sophomore year. (Anne secretly believes the station must have been pretty desperate to fill this position. At the time, her primary selling point was that she could start immediately.) The following winter break, the station needed a Production Assistant, so Anne filled-in. (She had some experience under her belt by now!) Anne was also able to earn some college credit hours by field producing for the station during her Junior and Senior years.
After earning her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis, Anne was hired as a full-time producer and part-time reporter at Channel Seven in May 2004, producing “Good Morning Arkansas” and reporting for “MidDay Arkansas” and “Saturday Daybreak.” Anne was promoted to full-time General Assignment Reporter in November 2004.
When she’s not working, you can find Anne trying out new restaurants all over the state, attempting gardening, and walking her Cocker Spaniels, Clementine and Daisy. Soon, you’ll be able to catch her on the Silver Screen. Another chance encounter while on a story--this one, with a casting director--helped Anne land a small role in Oliver Stone’s film “W.”

Jilted woman kills man's virtual avatar in Japan--goes to jail...

At right: avatar example only. Not connected to case.
October 24, 2008

TOKYO — A 43-year-old player in a virtual game world became so angry about her sudden divorce from her online husband that she logged on with his password and killed his digital persona, police said Thursday.

The woman, who has been jailed on suspicion of illegally accessing a computer and manipulating electronic data, used his ID and password to log onto the popular interactive game ‘‘Maple Story’’ to carry out the virtual murder in May, a police official in the northern city of Sapporo said. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of department policy.

‘‘I was suddenly divorced, without a word of warning. That made me so angry,’’ the official quoted her as telling investigators and admitting the allegations.

The woman, a piano teacher, had not plotted any revenge in the real world, the official said.
She has not yet been formally charged. If convicted, she could face up to five years in prison or a fine up to $5,000.

Players in ‘‘Maple Story’’ create and manipulate digital images called ‘‘avatars’’ that represent themselves, while engaging in relationships, social activities and fighting monsters and other obstacles.

In virtual worlds, players often abandon their inhibitions, engaging in activity online that they would never do in the real world. For instance, sex with strangers is a common activity.

The woman used login information she got from the 33-year-old office worker when their characters were happily married to kill the character. The man complained to police when he discovered that his online avatar was dead.

The woman was arrested Wednesday and taken 620 miles from her home in southern Miyazaki to be detained in Sapporo, where the man lives, the official said.

The police official said he did not know if she was married in the real world.

Bad online behavior is usually handled within the rules set up by online worlds, which can ban miscreants or take away their virtual possessions.

In recent years, virtual lives have had consequences in the real world.

When bad deeds lead to criminal charges, prosecutors have found a real-world activity to cite — as in this case, in which the woman was charged with inappropriate computer access.

In August, a woman was charged in Delaware with plotting the real-life abduction of a boyfriend she met through the virtual reality Web site ‘‘Second Life.’’

In Tokyo, a 16-year-old boy was charged with stealing the ID and password from a fellow player of an online game in order to swindle virtual currency worth $360,000.

Virtual games are popular in Japan, and ‘‘Second Life’’ has drawn a fair number of Japanese participants. They rank third by nationality among users, after Americans and Brazilians.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Unidentified Flying Object that buzzed O'Hare airport in 2006

Originally published in the Chicago Tribune on January 1, 2007
It sounds like a tired joke--but a group of airline employees insist they are in earnest, and they are upset that neither their bosses nor the government will take them seriously.
A flying saucerlike object hovered low over O'Hare International Airport for several minutes before bolting through thick clouds with such intense energy that it left an eerie hole in overcast skies, said some United Airlines employees who observed the phenomenon.
Was it an alien spaceship? A weather balloon lost in the airspace over the world's second-busiest airport? A top-secret military craft? Or simply a reflection from lights that played a trick on the eyes?
Officials at United professed no knowledge of the Nov. 7 event--which was reported to the airline by as many as a dozen of its own workers--when the Tribune started asking questions recently. But the Federal Aviation Administration said its air traffic control tower at O'Hare did receive a call from a United supervisor asking if controllers had spotted a mysterious elliptical-shaped craft sitting motionless over Concourse C of the United terminal.

No controllers saw the object, and a preliminary check of radar found nothing out of the ordinary, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said. The FAA is not conducting a further investigation, Cory said.
The theory is the sighting was caused by a "weather phenomenon," she said. The UFO report has sparked some chuckles among controllers in O'Hare tower."To fly 7 million light years to O'Hare and then have to turn around and go home because your gate was occupied is simply unacceptable," said O'Hare controller and union official Craig Burzych.
Some of the witnesses, interviewed by the Tribune, said they are upset that neither the government nor the airline is probing the incident.Whatever the object was, it could have interfered with O'Hare's radar and other equipment, and even created a collision risk, they said.
The Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (the term that extraterrestrial-watchers nowadays prefer over Unidentified Flying Object) was first seen by a United ramp worker who was directing back a United plane at Gate C17, according to an account the worker provided to the National UFO Reporting Center.The sighting occurred during daylight, about 4:30 p.m., just before sunset.All the witnesses said the object was dark gray and well defined in the overcast skies.

They said the craft, estimated by different accounts to be 6 feet to 24 feet in diameter, did not display any lights. Some said it looked like a rotating Frisbee, while others said it did not appear to be spinning. All agreed the object made no noise and it was at a fixed position in the sky, just below the 1,900-foot cloud deck, until shooting off into the clouds.
Witnesses shaken by sighting"I tend to be scientific by nature, and I don't understand why aliens would hover over a busy airport," said a United mechanic who was in the cockpit of a Boeing 777 that he was taxiing to a maintenance hangar when he observed the metallic-looking object above Gate C17. "But I know that what I saw and what a lot of other people saw stood out very clearly, and it definitely was not an [Earth] aircraft," the mechanic said.
One United employee appeared emotionally shaken by the sighting and "experienced some religious issues" over it, one co-worker said. A United manager said he ran outside his office in Concourse B after hearing the report about the sighting on an internal airline radio frequency."I stood outside in the gate area not knowing what to think, just trying to figure out what it was," he said. "I knew no one would make a false call like that. But if somebody was bouncing a weather balloon or something else over O'Hare, we had to stop it because it was in very close proximity to our flight operations."

The databases of various UFO-watching groups are full of accounts filed by pilots about sightings of unknown aircraft and anomalies that affected navigational equipment onboard planes.
Whether any of the UFO incidents are real or merely the result of individual perceptions, some experts say the events pose a potential safety risk to pilots and their passengers."There have been documented cases where safety appears to have been implicated, and more and more we are coming to the point of view that we are dealing with an intelligent phenomenon," said Richard Haines, science director at the National Aviation Reporting Center on Anomalous Phenomena, a private agency.

"We must be proactive before an aircraft goes down," said Haines, a former chief of the Space Human Factors Office at NASA's Ames Research Center. Haines is investigating the O'Hare incident. He said he has determined that no weather balloons were launched in the vicinity of O'Hare on Nov. 7. "It's absurd that the military would be conducting aerial test flights" near the airport, Haines said.
All the witnesses to the O'Hare event, who included at least several pilots, said they are certain based on the disc's appearance and flight characteristics that it was not an airplane, helicopter, weather balloon or any other craft known to man.
United denies UFO report
They're not sure what was hanging out for several minutes in the restricted airspace, but they are upset that no one in power has taken the matter seriously.
A United spokeswoman said there is no record of the UFO report. She said United officials do not recall discussion of any such incident."There's nothing in the duty manager log, which is used to report unusual incidents," said United spokeswoman Megan McCarthy. "I checked around. There's no record of anything."
The pilots of the United plane being directed back from Gate C17 also were notified by United personnel of the sighting, and one of the pilots reportedly opened a windscreen in the cockpit to get a better view of the object estimated to be hovering 1,500 feet above the ground.The object was seen to suddenly accelerate straight up through the solid overcast skies, which the FAA reported had 1,900-foot cloud ceilings at the time."It was like somebody punched a hole in the sky," said one United employee.Witnesses said they had a hard time visually tracking the object as it streaked through the dense clouds. It left behind an open hole of clear air in the cloud layer, the witnesses said, adding that the hole disappeared within a few minutes.
The United employees interviewed by the Tribune spoke on condition of anonymity. Some said they were interviewed by United officials and instructed to write reports and draw pictures of what they observed, and that they were advised by United officials to refrain from speaking about what they saw.
Federal agency backtracks
Like United, the FAA originally told the Tribune that it had no information on the alleged UFO sighting. But the federal agency quickly reversed its position after the newspaper filed a Freedom of Information Act request.
An internal FAA review of air-traffic communications tapes, a step toward complying with the Tribune request, turned up the call by the United supervisor to an FAA manager in the airport tower, Cory said.
Cory said the weather might have factored into what the witnesses thought they saw." Our theory on this is that it was a weather phenomenon," she said. "That night was a perfect atmospheric condition in terms of low [cloud] ceiling and a lot of airport lights. When the lights shine up into the clouds, sometimes you can see funny things. That's our take on it.
Just thought it was interesting.

US TV anchorwoman Anne Pressly found badly beaten at home

October 21, 2008
timesonline Chris Ayres,
Little Rock Arkansas

A blonde television news anchor who had a cameo role in Oliver Stone’s new George Bush biopic W. has been found beaten almost to death in her Arkansas home — only hours after going to the cinema to see the film for the first time. Detectives say that they are baffled by the motive for the attack.

Anne Pressly, 26, a popular face to viewers of KATV in Bill Clinton’s home state, was last night described as being in a critical but stable condition, although her prospects for a full recovery remain unclear.

Detectives are trying to establish if Ms Pressly was the target of a random home invasion robbery — a source of much dread to many Americans after a few recent high-profile cases — or a specific attack by either a stalker, a fellow filmgoer, or someone who knows her.

In W. — a highly satirical take on George Bush’s life and presidency by one of America’s most liberal film-makers — Ms Pressly plays a conservative TV commentator who praises the US leader’s infamously premature “Mission Accomplished” speech, delivered on an aircraft carrier after the invasion of Iraq.

“[It] is possible that it is something other than robbery,” said Cassandra Davis, a police spokeswoman.

Ms Pressly’s bloodied and unconscious body was found by her mother at 4.30am on Monday, 30 minutes before she was due on the set of Daybreak, a morning TV show on the ABC network’s affiliate station in Little Rock.

The news anchor, who had failed to respond to one of her mother’s routine wake-up calls, was still bleeding badly from her head. Her handbag was missing. The police initially said that Ms Pressly had been stabbed and had suffered “severe wounds”. It was later established that the 26-year-old’s injuries were inflicted by a blunt object to the head and upper body.

The night before the attack, Ms Pressly had dined at a restaurant with a friend, Mallory Hardin, before going to see W. with other friends. Later she exchanged text messages with Ms Hardin, saying that she was delighted with her brief performance. “If there’s one person that doesn’t have an enemy, it is Anne Pressly,” Ms Hardin told NBC’s Today show.

Ms Pressly won her role W. after travelling to Shreveport, Louisiana — where much of the film was being shot — to work on a story about the region’s thriving film industry. Stone’s casting director noticed her, and offered her a walk-on part.

According to KATV, Ms Pressly’s most notable journalistic achievement was an interview with Vice President Dick Cheney — also satirised by Stone’s W. The interview also happened by chance.

Lawyer With Death Penalty Experience Joins Casey Anthony Team

October 21, 2008

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Casey Anthony's rookie lawyer is getting some help. Jose Baez doesn't have the credentials to try a death penalty case, so he's enlisted the help of a Miami lawyer who's defended some brutal murderers.

Miami criminal defense attorney Terence Lenamon has joined the Casey Anthony defense team. Two of the three high-profile murderers Eyewitness News knows he's defended are on death row. The other is serving five consecutive life sentences.

Terence Lenamon would not talk to Eyewitness News on Tuesday. He's now part of accused killer Casey Anthony's defense team. She could face the death penalty for the murder of her daughter Caylee. Her attorney, Jose Baez, is not qualified to handle death penalty cases, but Lenamon is.

Lenamon is a highly-rated defense attorney. Still, two of three high-profile murderers he's defended in recent years are on Florida's death row.

One of them is known as "The Miami Stranger." Harrel Franklin Braddy, 59, was sent to death row last year for literally feeding little Quatisha Maycock to the alligators in the Everglades after strangling her mother and leaving her for dead. The jury voted 11-1 for death. Braddy had already been convicted of choking a corrections officer. Lenamon had tried to convince the jury the little girl's murder was not intentional, but "a horrible mistake".

Two months ago, a jury voted 8-4 to send another of Lenamon's clients to death row, 31-year-old Wadada Delhall, for murdering a key witness who testified against his brother in a murder case.

One of his high-profile Miami murder clients did escape the death penalty. Cesar Mena, 29, a member of the so-called "Orlando Boys," who raped and killed Ana Maria Angel and stabbed her high school sweetheart, is serving five consecutive life sentences.

Casey's defense attorney keeps insisting Caylee is still alive, even though a grand jury indicted her for premeditated murder after hearing the evidence the FBI and Orange County sheriff's investigators have against her.

If Caylee's body is not found before trial, it's unlikely Baez will need help from a death penalty-qualified attorney, because without a body there probably would be no push for the death penalty.


Now Casey Anthony has a little money to play with in jail. Her bail bondsman deposited $51.26 into her jail account Tuesday. That's more than the $50 her father gave her.

So what could Casey buy with her $100-plus from the jail commissary? She could get a moon pie for 60 cents, a bra for $5.99, about the same price she paid at Target, or she could buy herself a sympathy card for $2.
Maybe she needs some chapstick...and shampoo. haha. What a funny name, shampoo. I wonder what the origin of that was.

Hospital Bills Woman Who Didn't See Doctor

I've decided to start covering emergency room news items because they are getting worse and worse, with long waits now the norm and staff that is indifferent to people. Not too long ago there were two items in the news, one a woman who lay dead on the floor for hours and a video of the waiting room clearly shows when she died and fell out of the chair. Another was a man who waited over 24 hours, then was left dead in a wheelchair for hours after he died.

Whether we are led in the future by a republican or democrat administration, health care must be fixed. My stance is that we all are covered by the same level and at the same cost as the members of the House of Representatives and Senate.

Woman Says She Waited In ER 19 Hours
October 21, 2008

DALLAS -- A woman says she waited 19 hours at Parkland Memorial Hospital's emergency department for treatment of a broken leg and never did get to see a doctor -- but still got a bill for $162.

Amber Joy Milbrodt, who said she broke a bone in her leg while playing volleyball, received the bill two weeks after her Sept. 24 visit.

Parkland officials say the bill was appropriate because a nurse spent time checking her vital signs to assess her level of need.

But that's not how Milbrodt sees it. "It should have been more like them paying me for having to sit in the emergency room for 19 hours," she told The Dallas Morning News.

The assessment by the nurse, which lasted a few minutes, established her place in line that night. By that time, Milbrodt said, she had already been waiting about 3½ hours.

She still had not been called more than 15 hours later, so she gave up and went home. She an X-ray taken at a chiropractic school where she is a student had already confirmed that she had a fracture.

"She's not paying for waiting," says Rick Rhine, the hospital's vice president in charge of billing. "She's paying for the assessment she received."

Milbrodt, 29, who has no insurance, said she does not plan to pay. After leaving the ER, she rested at home for a few days and then put her leg in a brace, which she still wears. It seems to be healing, she said.

A few days before Milbrodt's visit, a 58-year-old man who went to the ER with stomach pains also waited 19 hours -- and then suffered cardiac arrest and died.

Hospital officials say they need more beds to handle the excessive number of patients who need care. A bond measure on the Nov. 4 ballot would provide funds for a new, larger hospital.

Fort Worth's large public hospital, John Peter Smith, shares Parkland's policy of charging for a triage assessment. But other hospitals in Dallas, such as Baylor University Medical Center, don't charge if the person never sees a doctor.

State Drops Child Neglect Charge Against Casey Anthony

Prosecutors: Charge Was Premised On Theory Caylee Was Alive

October 21, 2008

The state has dropped its original child neglect charge against Casey Anthony, prosecutors announced Tuesday.

The neglect charge “was premised on the theory that her child, Caylee Marie, was still alive. As the investigation progressed and it became clear that the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges,” the Orange-Osceola State Attorney’s Office said in an e-mail.

Anthony was indicted last week on new charges, including first-degree murder. Earlier this year, Anthony was charged with child neglect when she reported her daughter, Caylee, missing.

But now that prosecutors say their investigation shows Caylee is dead, the original child neglect charge has been dropped. Anthony still faces check fraud charges.

Caylee has not been seen since June. Anthony is scheduled to be arraigned on the new charges on Oct. 28. She is being held on no bond.
On a side note, one of the talking heads said last night that George put $50 in her jail account for commissary items. My heart really does go out to him.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

First of Canada's 5 mystery feet identified; footless body reported

Jul 19, 2008
Associated Press Writer

VANCOUVER, British Columbia (AP) - One of the five feet that have mysteriously washed up on the shores of British Columbia over the past year has been linked to a depressed man who went missing a year ago, police said Saturday.

Police sergeant Pierre Lemaitre said DNA testing helped to identify the man. The man's name is not being made public at the family's request, said Lemaitre."We're being very sensitive to the family's demands," he said, adding more information will be released on Monday. "They wanted the time to reach out to their immediate family and share the news among themselves."

A team of investigators has been working on the bizarre case since the first foot washed up last August on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia.

Since last year, detached feet began appearing, floating within a few miles of each other along island shorelines in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver. The bizarre findings baffled Canadian officials.

So far, investigators have concluded that two of the five feet belonged to one man and that one foot was from a woman.

Lemaitre did not comment on reports that a U.S. coroner in Washington State's San Juan Islands had found a footless body just five months before the first foot washed ashore in British Columbia, except to say that Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators are looking into the reports.

San Juan Islands coroner Randy Gaylord said he was never contacted by Canadian authorities about a possible connection. Police said they are reviewing almost 300 missing persons files and haven't yet been able to match any other DNA from the feet to any missing people.

British Columbia coroner Jeff Dolan has said there was no evidence the feet were severed. Curtis Ebbesmeyer, an oceanographer based in Seattle, said when a human body is submerged in the ocean, main parts like arms, legs, hands, feet and the head are usually what come off the body. Ebbesmeyer said the feet could have been severed or detached from their bodies on their own. Dr. John Butt, a forensic pathologist based in Vancouver, B.C., speculates the reason the feet were discovered because they were tightly laced in buoyant running shoes, which floated to the surface.

Washington state link to Canada's mystery feet?

Authorities in Canada and Washington state are trying to determine whether a footless body that washed up in the San Juan Islands last year is connected to any of the mystery feet that have been washing ashore in British Columbia in recent months. Gosh, do ya' think?
San Juan County Coroner Randy Gaylord said the footless body was found on an Orcas Island beach by a hiker in March 2007 - about five months before the first detached foot appeared in Canada.
"Well, we didn't know what to think at the time," Gaylord says. "There was nothing to believe it was foul play.
"The body was listed as a cold case until Gaylord got a call a few days from Canadian officials who wanted to know if the body might be connected to one or more of the five mystery feet that have washed ashore since August 2007.
He said the body was badly decomposed, but he could tell it was a man, about 5-feet-10-inches tall with gold teeth. But the strangest thing of all was that the body had no feet.
The spot where the body was found is only about 30 miles from where the nearest foot washed ashore on Valdes Island in B.C. And it's within the geographic area that Canadian officials now say they are investigating for clues to the origin of the feet, which have been floating ashore inside sneakers.
Gaylord says Canadian authorities have never contacted him until now. And he admits he never bothered to tell them he had a footless body - until now.
In fact, the Sheriff's Office report on the body makes no mention of the missing feet. Now that investigators in Canada are aware of the footless body, they have asked for a DNA sample from it. And with DNA samples of the B.C. feet already complete, it shouldn't take long to tell if there's a match.
If so, it would be a major break in the case that has baffled officials for months now.
So far, officials have matched one of the five feet to a known missing person. They have also determined that two of the feet are from the same man, and that one of the feet is from a woman.
A team of investigators has been working on the bizarre case since the first foot washed up last August on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia.Since last year, detached feet began appearing, floating within a few miles of each other along island shorelines in the Strait of Georgia near Vancouver.
The bizarre findings baffled Canadian officials.
The first foot was found nearly a year ago on Jedidiah Island in the Strait of Georgia.
Within days, another right foot was found inside a man's Reebok sneaker on nearby Gabriola Island.
The third foot was found in the same area, on the east side of Valdez Island in February.
The fourth foot was found in May on Kirkland Island in the Fraser River.
The fifth foot was found later on Kirland Island in the Fraser River, less than a mile from the site where the fourth foot was found.
A sixth discovery last month turned out to be a hoax, with an animal paw stuffed inside a shoe.

Drew Petersons cop son Stephen suspended

October 18, 2008

Oak Brook police officer Steve Peterson, son of former Bolingbrook officer Drew Peterson, has been suspended for improperly using police data, officials said Friday.

He was suspended for 25 days without pay for use of police databases for personal reasons, Assistant Village Manager Blaine Wing said.

Drew Peterson drew national attention when his wife Stacy disappeared. He has denied any wrongdoing and has not been charged.

Eustis Florida Officer Fired After Tasering Teen At Party

October 18, 2008

Boy, 15, Tasered On Camera As Entertainment

EUSTIS, Fla. -- A Eustis police officer was fired on Friday after using a Taser on a 15-year-old at a party.

Eustis police said Officer Dan NeSmith was caught on tape using the Taser on a willing victim for entertainment at the party.

The police department got wind of the incident and ran diagnostics on the department's Tasers.
The department found out that NeSmith's Taser had been used that night.

He admitted to using it and was terminated from the department.

Casey Anthony Enters 'Not Guilty' Plea

October 17, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Casey Anthony, mother of missing 3-year-old Caylee Anthony, entered a "not guilty" plea on Friday.

The mother said she's not guilty of first-degree murder, among other charges she faces in the disappearance of her daughter.

She's in jail without bond.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Defense Team Member Slips-Up On National TV, Admits Caylee Is Dead

October 16, 2008

ORANGE COUNTY, Fla. -- Eyewitness News was the only local news team to catch a major slip-up by Casey Anthony's defense team on national television.

The spokesperson for Casey's attorney admitted that Caylee Anthony is dead. Casey's family has insisted that Caylee is simply missing and that she had nothing to do with her disappearance.

However, Todd Black, the spokesperson for Casey's attorney Jose Baez, made an appearance on CNN Wednesday night and was grilled about the case. When he was asked why Casey was captured in several pictures partying while her daughter was missing, he slipped up.

Todd Black paused for a second and became flustered after he said, "This is a serious case involving not just the loss of the life of a little girl, but the loss of whatever is going to happen to Casey Anthony."

In late August, Eyewitness News was the first station to uncover new DNA evidence that showed the toddler was no longer alive. Her mother, Casey Anthony, is now charged with her murder and she's sitting in jail with no bond.


Casey Anthony had a look of dread on her face in court Wednesday and she knows she could face the death penalty. Casey is living in her tiny jail cell where she'll stay until her trial. She appeared before a judge Wednesday morning, facing first-degree murder charges for the death of her daughter Caylee. The judge told her she would not be allowed to bond out of jail.

Casey Anthony appeared tense as the judge told her she won't get bond. She was all tears Tuesday just before she was indicted for first-degree murder. Hours later, after her latest arrest, she created the bespectacled look of a law student, wearing slacks, a button-up shirt and eyeglasses, not at all like her image before anyone knew her daughter Caylee was missing.

Eyewitness News has learned the party girl in her could have contributed to Caylee's death in a big way. In March, friends told investigators, Casey was disappointed that she couldn't join friends for an island party vacation in July, because she couldn't find a babysitter for Caylee.

Starting in March, Casey's computer shows that someone researched the stories of missing children on several websites. Now prosecutors could pressure Casey with the death penalty to open up about where Caylee is. "No body, no death penalty," Orlando defense attorney William Sheaffer told Eyewitness News.

Sheaffer, a former prosecutor, believes prosecutors will back off the death penalty to ease the pressure that could discourage jurors from convicting Casey of first-degree murder without Caylee's body in evidence, but says the defense team's insistence that Caylee is alive has blown their chance to negotiate Casey out of a possible life sentence.

"The defense has missed the boat on bargaining with the state other than taking the death penalty off the table," Sheaffer said. Sheaffer told Eyewitness News an experienced defense attorney would have argued it was accidental and negotiated a lesser charge.

With more and more evidence against her in her daughter's murder coming out, Sheaffer told Eyewitness News he believes this is one of Orlando's highest profile cases ever and would not expect the trial to be held in Central Florida or in any of the large television news markets in Florida where Caylee's disappearance has captured people's emotions almost constantly for the last three months. "I believe it'll be a rural community, not Orlando or Jacksonville or Miami, probably somewhere more toward the panhandle," he said.

Cutting-edge forensic evidence and results from air tests taken from the stain in Casey's trunk are expected to be presented at trial. State attorney Lawson Lamar's team was the first to win a murder conviction with DNA evidence decades ago.

Sheaffer said it won't be daunting for Orlando prosecutors and believes it won't be difficult to prove even to today's rural jurors who've come to expect scientific evidence before they'll convict. "I believe that those individuals would be prepared to receive it and weigh it," he said.
As soon as the defense asks to see the evidence in the case, prosecutors have 15 days to give him what they know at that point that they will use at trial, but evidence keeps coming in from law enforcement in the ongoing investigation and they don't have all of it yet.


Life behind bars is nothing short of miserable for Casey Anthony. Her 8-foot by 10-foot jail cell has concrete walls on three sides and a Plexiglas wall on one. That means there is no privacy; everything she does is on display. Eyewitness News was told she spends most of her day reading books and she doesn't have any money in her account to buy anything from the jail commissary. Casey was being served smoked sausage for dinner Wednesday night.


A judge ruled Wednesday on some of the motions filed on Casey Anthony's behalf. Two of the motions have been tossed due to her new arrest on murder charges. Casey had asked the judge to seal her weekly schedule and to travel to locations of interest in the case. The judge said those points are moot now. There was still no ruling, though, on the appeal by defense lawyer Jose Baez to do his own testing on the evidence in the case.


Casey's now charged with first-degree murder in the death of her daughter Caylee, as well as aggravated child abuse, manslaughter and charges for lying to investigators. Her first-appearance in court on the new charges lasted only 40 seconds Wednesday.

"Yes," was the only thing Casey Anthony said during the appearance, acknowledging to the judge who she is. Casey Anthony was all business in court. She seemed somewhat tense as the judge told her she's on no bond because of the indictment against her for first-degree murder and aggravated child abuse.

Casey looked up at her attorney, Jose Baez, afterward, smiled tensely and then walked out of court. It was a stark contrast to Tuesday afternoon, from the tears that were flowing outside her lawyer's office before the grand jury indicted her and even to the new look she sported after her arrest, the party girl trying to look more like a law student with slacks and a button-up shirt.
Baez would not answer questions after Casey's first appearance.

Even though Casey is now facing new and much more serious charges, her trial is still scheduled at this point for November 17. No one has asked for any delay for any reason at this point.

Casey Anthony's family will be allowed to visit her in jail. She'll be limited to three video visitations every week. She can't request a visit, a member of her family would have to request it and then Casey would get the option to accept or turn them away. So far, no one has asked to visit her.


George Anthony told Eyewitness News that Casey she would not represent herself. Her current attorney, Jose Baez, walked into court Wednesday along side another attorney. The two stood beside Casey when she made her first appearance. The judge asked Baez if he will file a Notice of Appearance, in other words, if he would represent Casey, and he said he would. Casey's father George also spoke to Eyewitness News about his daughter's plans for representation in court. "No, she's gonna assist her attorney and or attorneys, or people that are there to help her in any way she can and she's done that," he said.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Murder Charges don't persuade Casey Anthony to talk.

Young Mother Offered No Information To Investigators After 4th Arrest
October 15, 2008

ORLANDO, Fla. -- After Casey Anthony’s arrest Tuesday, some investigators were optimistic the gravity of the charge might compel her to tell them some new information.
Investigators hoped a murder charge might get Anthony to crack, but Wednesday investigators said Anthony seemed to take it all in stride.

Within moments of Casey Anthony being arrested and brought to sheriff's headquarters, investigators told WESH 2 she requested to have her lawyer present.

According to a source who spoke with her, Anthony did not offer any new information on her daughter Caylee's whereabouts. Anthony had requested court approval to travel to places of interest in private with her attorney to prepare her case, but on Wednesday, those motions were ruled moot since she was charged with first-degree murder. (The judge has not ruled on another motion to preserve DNA evidence.)

From the sheriff's standpoint, Tuesday did not help them achieve their prime goal.
"I want to remind everyone that we have not achieved our prime objective. We have not recovered little Caylee Anthony," Sheriff Kevin Beary said.

One investigator who saw Casey in a hallway described her as cool as a cucumber.
Even making eye contact and showing a hint of a smile. Soon after, her attorney Jose Baez arrived and politely told investigators his client did not wish to speak with them, WESH 2 reporter Bob Kealing said.

After the grand jury's indictment was handed up, an investigator said they were waiting for Judge Perry to issue an arrest order, which he did. That meant intercepting Anthony after she'd gotten out of her mother's car on state Road 417 and gotten in with her bail bondsman. He intended to take her back to jail.

Bottom line, that investigator said, they wanted to send a message about who was driving the investigation. The notion of Anthony being allowed to turn herself in on premeditated murder charge was not an acceptable option.

In a fax, a spokesman for Baez called Anthony’s rearrest show-boating and a sham.
What's next for Anthony could last several weeks. Both sides are now gearing up for a trial. The state has 175 days to put Anthony on trial for murder.

If Caylee's body is never recovered, long-time Orlando defense attorney and prosecutor William Shaeffer said it will be harder to convict or get a death sentence. "You're going to have a hard time convincing citizens she should give up her life even if they do believe she committed some level of homicide," he said.

The state accuses Anthony of failing to provide adequate care for Caylee leading to her death, but the indictment does not give a specific theory of how the child died.

But obviously, one investigator said, evidence of chloroform in the car and Anthony's suspected computer searches on the solvent will be key in prosecutor's argument that this was premeditated murder.

Currently, Anthony is at the Orange County Jail in protective custody -- meaning she can see other inmates but can't talk to them. She spends the better part of 23 hours of the day in her cell with no access to television.

She can request the use of a radio and it's up to the staff if they want to let her use one.
Anthony has one hour a day to shower, make monitored outgoing phone calls, and spend time outside in the recreation yard depending on weather and jail staff.

Americans are too afraid to visit bloody Juarez

Wednesday, October 15, 2008
EL PASO, Texas(AP)

Mexican officials are trying to persuade Americans to visit Ciudad Juarez, touting the city in a new billboard campaign as a "land of encounters."
But on this side of the border, that sounds like a cruel joke.

More than 1,100 people have been killed this year in Juarez, population 1.5 million, in a drug-related bloodbath so staggering that the city has been declared off-limits to U.S. soldiers looking to go bar-hopping; El Paso's public hospital is seeing a spillover of the wounded; and residents on the American side are afraid to cross over to visit family, shop or conduct business.

"We all like to make money, but the money I was making isn't worth it," said Fernando Apodaca, who spent at least one day a week for the past 18 years working in Juarez as an auto industry consultant. After his Cadillac Escalade SUV was seized in a carjacking last month, Apodaca vowed he wouldn't go over the border again.

"I had a gun to my face. There's no law over there," he said.

Juarez, situated just across the Rio Grande from El Paso, has had more murders this year than New York and Chicago together had in all of 2007 _ and those two cities have seven times the population of Juarez. Last weekend alone, Juarez had 37 killings.

Juarez has always been a rough town, but one where many Americans felt safe enough to play, shop and work. Violence began to mount early this year after Mexico's president launched a national offensive against drug lords.

Initially, the bloodshed involved drug cartels fighting each other. Then, military troops, law enforcement officers and government officials became major targets.

Assassinations have become more brazen and more and more innocents have been killed. Masked gunmen stormed a drug rehab center in August and killed eight people. Six men were gunned down last weekend at a family party. A 12-year-old girl was shot and killed in June while riding with two men targeted by hitmen. The second-in-command of the Juarez police department was killed in a hail of more than 50 bullets near his home in May.

Armed robberies, carjackings and kidnappings for ransom are also rampant.

"The government isn't in control, and that makes for a very dangerous situation," Tony Payan, an expert on border crime at the University of Texas-El Paso. "Anyone at any time can commit a crime and anyone at any time can become a victim."

While the bloodshed hasn't yet spilled over to the American side, the violence is costing El Paso, a city of about 600,000 where only 17 homicides were reported in 2007.

Dozens of shooting victims, several of them U.S. citizens or legal residents, have been treated at Thomason General Hospital _ the only facility for 250 miles that is equipped to handle such patients _ at a cost to local taxpayers of more than $1 million.

The hospital has had several lockdowns because of fears that hit men would realize a victim was still alive and cross the border to finish the job _ something that has happened in hospitals on the Mexican side.

Soldiers at the Army's Fort Bliss are no longer allowed to travel to Juarez, whose nightclubs were once a popular place to party.

Mexican Consul General Roberto Rodriguez Hernandez said the number of visitors crossing into Juarez from El Paso this year is down about 20 percent. "Business has been off because we lost the students on weekends, and the soldiers," Rodriguez said.

Businesses in Juarez are shutting down or cutting hours because of both the violence and the drop in visitors.

The U.S. State Department issued a travel advisory on Tuesday, warning Americans of daylight shootings at shopping centers in Juarez and suggesting applicants for U.S. visas at the consulate in Juarez not pay in cash to avoid getting mugged while in line.

Rosa Flores, 30, has lived on both sides of the border and used to travel to Juarez twice a month to visit family with her 9-year-old son and 11-year-old daughter. With killings on the rise this summer, she insisted the children not play video games or listen to music in the car so they could be alert for gunfire.

Flores said her aunts gave her practical advice: If she hears shooting or sees gunmen, she should put her car in park, duck and wait for the gunfire to stop.

"You don't know when they are going to just stop and shoot," Flores said. "You just don't know."
She has not been back with her children since two deadly shootings took place within 10 blocks of a relative's house while the family was visiting. "It's sad that I can't take my kids to see where I grew up," Flores said.

Americans Being Kidnapped, Held and killed in Mexico

Born in Tenn. 23 year old American from El Paso Kyle Mostello Belanger- believed missing in Juarez Mexico. Close friends and relatives believe he was a soldier for the El Paso Barrio Azteca gang. The real question here, was Kyle kidnapped taken to Juarez and murdered as some believe?

Dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped, held hostage and killed by their captors in Mexico and many cases remain unsolved. Moreover, new cases of disappearances and kidnap-for-ransom continue to be reported.

From Brownsville Texas to San Diego California and as far north as Dallas Texas Americans are being kidnapped and killed. All of this is escalating narcotics-related violence across northern Mexico; the State Department has alerted Americans of the dangers of crossing the border.
But there are no alerts of Americans being kidnapped right here on U.S. soil and being held as hostages or for ransom and being killed.

A popular internet publication recently told about kidnapping of American citizens along the border by Mexican gangs. The citizens are held in holding areas and it's carried out in a 4 prong manner, locator's, abductors, transporters, and holders. It's very hard to kill a 4 headed snake. The number of kidnappings has risen each year for the last 3 years.

Mexican cartels through there enforcers of Mexican and American gangs order smaller American gangs to kidnap and in some cases murder Americans.

"U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk posed by the deteriorating security situation, along the border" said a statement issued in Mexico City and Washington. "Violent criminal activity, including murder and kidnapping, in Mexico's northern border region has increased."

New cases of disappearances and kidnap-for-ransom continue to be reported. No one can be considered immune from kidnapping on the basis of occupation, nationality, or other factors. Criminals have been known to follow and harass U.S. citizens traveling in their vehicles, particularly in border areas including Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa, Juarez, Mexicali, Tijuana and most all border towns.

The Mexican government has described the violence as revenge for President Felipe Calderón's year-old crackdown on organized crime that sent thousands of soldiers and federal police into violence-plagued Mexican cities bordering the United States.

The Mexican President Calderon, as while as other officials have pledged to break the country's powerful drug cartels, which earn billions of dollars a year by supplying U.S. users.
The State Department said police forces in Mexican border communities "suffer from lack of funds and training, and the judicial system is weak, overworked and inefficient."

"I worry that the inability of local law enforcement to come to grips with rising drug warfare, kidnappings and random street violence will have a chilling effect on the cross-border exchange, tourism and commerce so vital to the region's prosperity," Traffickers are armed with AK-47 assault rifles, grenade launchers and bazookas. They're carrying other weapons, wearing vests and using police jargon. Within a minute or two, someone is shoving a hood over the victim's head and dragging him into a vehicle. His car is left on the side of the road – often outgunning and intimidating border police, sheriff depts., and Mexican security forces.

An alarming number of Americans are vanishing in Mexico where there has been a dramatic increase in the numbers of U.S. citizens who have recently been reported missing or kidnapped along the border with Mexico, reports the Washington Post. Many who have vanished from U.S. cities are still missing and it is feared they will turn up in the mass graves that have been discovered lately in Mexico.

Of the few that the FBI reported as known kidnappings there were 27 U.S. citizens that have been kidnapped or disappeared, nine were later released, two found dead and 10 still missing. ” said FBI agent Alex Horan, who directs the FBI's violent-crime squad. These reports are out dated and officials believe the real numbers are much greater. All 27 were Americans from the San Diego area. "The U.S. government would like to think that drug violence is just a problem south of the Rio Grande. It isn't," said Raymundo Ramos, a human rights advocate in Nuevo Laredo.

It’s believed now that there are many more Americans missing many others from Nuevo Laredo, Matamoros, Reynosa, Juarez, Mexicali, Tijuana and other border cities. When asked, the FBI said they have no other numbers other then those 27 reported. However my source says El Paso FBI agent Josie Figaro was notified.

Law enforcement officials said some of the vanishings may be owing to a war among Mexican drug cartels vying for control of the smuggling routes and ports of entry which are the gateway for millions of dollars' worth of illicit drugs that are smuggled north by truck, car, boats and trains and mixed in with cargoes of legitimate goods.

U.S. officials say, "We're seeing outright lawlessness along the U.S. Mexican border. Things are just getting out of hand."

An FBI official said that another cause is the apparent burgeoning of a cottage industry of kidnapping for ransom - some of those returned alive had been held captive for days or even months, after their abductors demanded payments as high as $100,000.

Historically, drug-related violence was generally confined to the Mexican side of the border, news reports disclosed. However that pattern is changing, advised officials.

In spite of the dangers Mexico continues to attract U.S. citizens who want to visit relatives or buy cheaper medicines, have cut rate dental work done or prescription eyewear or just be a tourist. It is also a draw for young people, who migrate there on weekends to party late and enjoy the lower drinking age of 18.

Mexico has sent federal police officers and Mexican army personal to patrol the streets of most of their cities bordering the U.S. The officers were dispatched at the request of local authorities who said crime had spun out of control.

Interior Secretary Santiago Creel said that Mexico "is determined to wage a head-on battle" against drug traffickers and organized crime in the country.

"U.S. citizens should be aware of the risk posed by the deteriorating security situation," the State Department advisory has said, though it stopped short of urging Americans to avoid Mexico. Downtown El Paso businessman Jamie Rodriguez said “if the same circumstance that now exist in Mexico existed in any other country the U.S. State Dept would advise Americans to not even go there.”

The close relationship between the two governments and indeed both presidents may contribute to that lenience shown Mexico by the U.S. Government.

The U.S. consul to Reynosa, on the Mexican border across from McAllen, Texas, issued an alert for U.S. travelers planning to visit that city. The advisory came after officials received reports that Mexican police allegedly were forcing U.S. drivers to remote places or to automated cash machines, where they were told to hand over money or face jail time.

In Mexico another dangerous crime against tourist is you can be kidnapped in what is more like a shakedown or robbery than a classic ransom situation. American tourists have reported to the Mexican police that while driving along main and rural roads at dusk or after dark. Road blocks are set up. This can be as sophisticated as a movable plank with spikes or as low-tech as glass or sharp rocks. When their motor home or car is disabled, a group of armed banditos approached them with guns drawn. Often, a truck or van parked on the side of the road starts up and slowly approaches the scene. The men often dressed as Mexican police begin to take their possessions and rummage through their belongings. Then in many cases it is reported they take all the victims cash. Victims report hoods are placed over their heads they are loaded into trucks or SUV’s and driven to another location. You might be asked again for more money. In more cases then not Mexican police report the woman are raped and the victim tourists are abandoned far from their vehicle.

There have been reported some high-profile cases where the victims, including two American college women, who were slain after they were robbed.

The U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE on October 24, 2007, issued this Travel Alert for U.S. citizens on security situations in Mexico that may affect their activities while in that country. This supersedes the previous Travel Alert for Mexico dated April 19, 2007. This Travel Alert expires on April 15, 2008.

Narcotics-Related Violence — “U.S. citizens residing and traveling in Mexico should exercise caution when in unfamiliar areas and be aware of their surroundings at all times. Violence by criminal elements affects many parts of the country, urban and rural, including border areas. In the last twelve months there have been execution-style murders of Mexican officials in Tamaulipas, Michoacan, Baja California, Guerrero (particularly Acapulco), Nuevo Leon (especially in and around Monterrey), Cd. Jaurez and other states.
Though there is no evidence that U.S. citizens are specifically targeted, Mexican and foreign bystanders have been injured or killed in some violent attacks demonstrating the heightened risk in public places. In its effort to combat violence, the Government of Mexico has deployed military troops in various parts of the country. U.S. citizens are advised to co-operate with official checkpoints when traveling on Mexican highways. Critic’s claim this is not enough, stronger cautions should be a part of the U.S alerts.

In recent years, dozens of U.S. citizens have been kidnapped in Mexico and many cases remain unresolved. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling alone as a means to better ensure their safety. Refrain from displaying expensive-looking jewelry, large amounts of money, or other valuable items”.

Sophisticated Mexican groups plot abductions Organized, well-financed and violent Mexican kidnapping cells are targeting a growing number of U.S. citizens visiting Mexico.
But authorities said anyone planning to visit Mexico should be cautious.

“I would certainly be concerned,” Horan said. “It's not a pleasant experience. Victims have reported beatings, torture and there have been rapes. . . . Handcuffs and hoods over the head are common,” he said.

Gunfights and other violence linked to drug cartels have increased along the U.S. Mexican border and more Mexican citizens have been kidnapped lately.

While some of the groups suspected of kidnapping Americans are connected to drug trafficking, most aren't, Horan said.

He described the kidnapping groups as sophisticated operations similar to terrorist cells, each with a boss and clear divisions of labor. Usually, one group is involved in scouting, another carries out the kidnapping, a third holds the victim and a fourth handles the ransom.

“They know who they're going after. I think they have a list,” Horan said. “These are kidnapping cells. . . . That's what they do. They do kidnappings all year long.”

While the FBI wouldn't say what the ransom demands are, or how often they're paid, agents said money is driving the increase.

“This is not about terrorizing people or retaliating. This is about making money, and obviously this is good business for them,” Horan said.

“We've had victims held for days to months,” Horan said.

Not every victim is Hispanic, but there have been “very few cases where a tourist is targeted at random,” said Eric Drickersen, who supervises the FBI's border liaison office.

Some of the kidnappings go unreported because people fear retribution, Drickersen said.
Ransom demands are almost always made over the phone. The cross-border communication gives the FBI its jurisdiction. But the agents need authorization from Mexican authorities before they can carry out an operation across the border. So many Americans are lift at the mercy of the Mexican government. Seldom are the criminals caught.

Mexican authorities have been helpful, their U.S. counterparts said.
“They're cooperating, but we would like them to do even more,” Drickersen said.
Recently, Mexican authorities rescued two female real estate agents who were being held in a Tijuana neighborhood. The women were kidnapped Jan. 19 by three men after showing a property in southern Tijuana, the Baja California Attorney General's Office said in a statement.
The men called in a ransom demand of $350,000, the statement said. Family members negotiated a payment of $27,000 and dropped off the cash, but the women weren't released.
Baja California state agents tracked down the vehicle used to pick up the cash. The driver led authorities to the women, and three men were arrested.

The Disappearing Women of Juarez

Revolutionary Worker #1166

September 15, 2002

It is called the Labyrinth of Silence, this piece of brittle desert. Here, their screams scrape against the crisp air, then shatter into a thousand shards of silence. Their cries are captured by dust devils that dance across the desert floor, then are plucked in mid-step by thorny scrub bushes and ripped to shreds. They wail in pain and terror, but no one hears them. These are the voices without echoes, voices of women of Juarez-- over 450, murdered in the last 10 years.

Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, stares across the Rio Grande at El Paso, Texas, only 200 yards away. It has been said that Juarez is a laboratory of modernization and globalization, a "City of the Future." Whose future?

This is the backdrop for the horror that is happening to the women of Juarez.

More than 400 maquiladoras stab the border here like a barbed wire fence. These are foreign-owned assembly factories--mainly U.S. corporations like Ford, Alcoa, RCA, General Motors, General Electric, DuPont, 3M, Amway--lured by the promise of no taxes or tariffs, no environmental or safety laws, and a seemingly endless supply of cheap labor. In this City of the Future, these models of globalization generate revenues of $16 billion per year--in the year 2000, they paid only $1.5 million in taxes.

Every day, buses filled with migrants arrive in Juarez from all over Mexico. The city's population has grown to over two million, making it Mexico's fourth-largest city. U.S. domination of the country's economy, heightened since NAFTA (the North American Free Trade Agreement) was implemented in 1994, has brought deepening misery to the people here. Literally millions of impoverished indigenas and campesinos have been forced from lands and villages where their families have lived for generations. Tens of thousands have been beckoned by the grim promise of $3- to $4-a-day jobs in the maquiladoras in this City of the Future.

Young women from rural villages, most between the ages of 16 and 24 and some as young as 11, make up 70% of the maquiladora work force. In the time it takes to ride a bus from the countryside to the city, these women are wrenched across hundreds of years of history. They leave behind a world of feudal forms of patriarchy where fathers, brothers and husbands are lords and masters, where women live in forced docility and obedience to men--and they are thrown into the world of modern capitalism where sexual harassment and spousal rape are legally ignored and socially sanctioned, where employers interrogate them about their sexual practices, require them to show bloody tampons for three consecutive months to prove they're not pregnant, allow only five minutes for bathroom breaks, ten minutes for breakfast, and a half- hour for lunch.

In this so-called City of the Future, where threads of the social fabric are being forcibly unraveled, thousands of women have tumbled out of oppressive feudal social relations into the oppressive social relations of imperialism.

The new immigrants coming into Juarez fall into communities that seem to spring overnight from the scraps of the assembly industry. Across the river in El Paso, neat bungalows nestle on tidy streets, and electric lights make windows glow like bright eyes in the night. But in the City of the Future, houses are constructed from wooden pallets and cardboard boxes discarded by the maquiladoras. Roofs are covered in tarpaper or scraps of tin and held down by rocks, bricks and old tires. There is no plumbing, and human waste runs untreated in the Rio Grande. Chemical dumping from factories poisons the water, and birth defects exceed national averages. Streets are dusty paths that die in the desert. Across the river in El Paso, there is enough water to quench the thirst of countless manicured lawns. But in the shantytowns on this side of the river, there is no clean water to drink, and children die of dysentery.
No one can say for sure when the murders began, but more than 450 women are missing.
Over the past decade, more than 350 women's bodies have been found in or near Ciudad Juarez. Many of the victims have been girls and young women, from 10 to 22 years old, who worked in the maquiladoras. Almost all were slender, had dark skin, and long dark hair. All of them were poor.

The brutality of the murders is stunning. The women have been raped, slashed, strangled, crushed, maimed, dismembered and mutilated. Often, a breast has been severed, or the nipple bitten off. Sometimes the bodies have been covered with bite marks. Sometimes the skull and face have been destroyed. Some women have been stabbed 23, 24 times. Some of the bodies have been burned. Some show evidence of ritual sacrifice. Some women's hair has been cut off. These crimes are more murderous than murder, if such a thing is possible--they are crimes of such intense hatred that they seek to destroy the personhood of the women, negating their humanity and erasing their existence.

The authorities have shown little concern for the female victims, and little effort has been made to identify or even find the bodies. Officials have downplayed the crimes, often slandering the dead women as prostitutes. The governor of the state of Chihuahua blamed the victims for their own deaths, saying the women "dressed provocatively" or "were out on the streets at night alone." The state attorney general said that if the women had stayed at home with their families, they wouldn't be murdered.

As more and more women disappeared in broad daylight and nothing was done to track down their killers, outrage and protest grew from the victims' families, a growing women's movement, community organizations, and international human rights groups. Under intense pressure, authorities looked for a scapegoat to take the blame.

In October 1995, police arrested a wealthy Egyptian who worked as a chemist in one of the maquiladoras. He had lived in the United States for 20 years and had a history of sexual assaults on women. Police said they could tie him to at least four of the slayings, and that he was possibly responsible for all of them. Within weeks of his arrest and while he was still in jail, the body of a 15-year-old girl turned up in the desert. Then another, and another.

In April 1996, police proclaimed another breakthrough in the case. Eleven alleged members of a gang called Los Rebeldes (the Rebels) were jailed and charged with the deaths of seven women. But still the killings did not stop.

In March of 1999, a prosecutor assigned to the murders announced that five bus drivers had confessed to participating in the deaths of 12 women and girls. Most likely, the prosecutor said, they were responsible for many more. Shortly after their arrest, four of the drivers held a press conference from behind bars. Some of the men were crying and some had bruises on their faces. They said they had been tortured and coerced into signing false confessions. A local newspaper printed photographs of wounds and burn marks on their legs and stomachs.

In February 2002, state police shot to death an attorney representing one of the bus drivers. Police said they mistook the lawyer for a wanted fugitive. But the victim's father said his son had been receiving telephone calls threatening to kill him unless he quit the case. After this assassination, the attorney who represents another accused driver said that he too has received telephone death threats.

Dozens of men have been arrested over the years in connection with the murders, but the killings have continued. Who is murdering the women of Juarez?
Are the police somehow involved in these murders? Many of the victims' families think so.
And more than a few investigators, even the U.S. State Department in its most recent human rights report on Mexico, conclude that the killings could not have gone on for so long without the connivance and perhaps the complicity of the police.

One mother described her daughter's body after it was found in February 2001: "Her nose was broken. Her eyes were purple...she was completely marked." The police never investigated the case. In her own investigation, the mother discovered that her daughter's wrists were bruised in a way that showed she had been handcuffed.

Police told another mother that they were closing her daughter's case because they had no leads. The mother asked to see the case file. When they gave it to her, all the statements from all the people the police had interviewed had been removed. So the mother began her own investigation. When she tried to interview people who'd known her daughter, they told her they were afraid to talk to her. One woman told her she'd been threatened. Undaunted, the mother persevered. At one point, she discovered a woman who befriended young women and invited them to go dancing. When the young women met her, she'd take them to a rendezvous where the judicial [state] police would be waiting, and she'd hand the young women over to them. Some of these women are now among the missing and dead.

One victim, leaving a maquiladora, "disappeared" in the middle of the morning right across the street from the police station.

Could the drug lords be involved in these murders? Juarez is a major transit point for illegal narcotics. Mexico's most powerful drug cartels use it as a beachhead for their crack and cocaine pipelines into America, the world's largest consumer of illegal drugs. Drug trafficking is a lucrative and brutal enterprise here, generating $1 billion in profits per year. Bribery and corruption of officials, politicians and law enforcement is one of its well-known cottage industries, and the murder of rival entrepreneurs--and innocent bystanders who get caught in the crossfire--is just part of the price of doing business. Among the captains of this industry are wealthy and powerful forces on both sides of the border. It is not hard to imagine people like these dealing in the traffic and murder of women for pleasure.

Or are the murderers connected in some way to the maquiladora industry? Many coincidences seem to point in that direction. Most obviously there is the fact that many of the missing and murdered women were maquiladora workers, snatched on their way to or from work. Many of these women disappeared the very next day after they were hired. One woman worked in the same factory with her sister and father. One day, for no given reason, someone at the maquiladora changed her schedule so that she had to leave work without the protection of her family. She disappeared that same afternoon, her body was discovered 24 days later. Another woman showed up four minutes late to work. The doors to the maquiladora were locked and the manager wouldn't let her in. She never made it home.

In Senorita Extraviada, a recent documentary about the Juarez murders, filmmaker Lourdes Portillo interviews Maria Talamantes, whose story points the finger at the police.
After an altercation with some neighbors, Maria and her husband called the cops. When they went to the police station to lodge a complaint, the police arrested the couple and kept them in jail for 24 hours. During their detention, the police raped Maria. They took her to a cell that was littered with pile upon pile of women's clothing. When Maria asked what all these clothes were doing there, the police told her, "They belong to the women we've taken." With a shiver, Maria remembered that many of the murdered women's bodies had been found wearing the clothes of other disappeared women. (Later, some time after Maria's ordeal, when it was announced that the government was assigning a Special Prosecutor to investigate the Juarez murders, the police inexplicably burned one thousand pounds of evidence-- women's clothes.) Then they took Maria's picture, telling her, "If you report us, we will find you...and kill you and your family."
Maria says the police showed her a photo album, filled with pictures of girls with long hair. Pictures of these girls being dragged by their hair through the bushes. And more. According to Maria, the photos showed each girl laying in the middle of a circle of men who raped her, one by one. Then they beat her. Then they turned her over and raped her anally. The photos showed the men laughing. There are photos of the women's faces. Maria said, "They had expressions of pain and suffering. You could see them cry and scream. Her face--it showed the pain she was feeling. They looked very sad." There are photos of the men pouring gasoline on the women before they set them on fire.

After her release, Maria filed a report and identified the police who were involved in her rape. They were all arrested, but none of them were ever punished. Some time later, Maria got a job in one of the maquiladoras. On her first day at work, she sensed that someone was looking at her. She turned to see the factory security guard staring right at her. It was one of the men who'd shown her the photo album in jail.
Who is killing the women of Juarez? The killer has not yet been found. But it is not a mystery how the forces of imperialist exploitation and oppression have created the conditions in which these murders are taking place. Juarez is indeed a city of one possible future, and a mirror that reflects what is today an intolerable reality for millions of people around the world. It is one of many places on our planet right now where the consequences of free market modernization and imperialist globalization have hit the masses with crushing force, including with the reinforcement of centuries-old traditions while developing new and painful twists in the oppression of women--in places like Afghanistan, where most women not wearing the body-covering burkha still cannot walk the streets without fear of being beaten, harassed, and persecuted; like parts of the Middle East and Africa, where little girls are sexually maimed by genital mutilation; like China, where tens of thousands of women are being kidnapped and sold into slavery; like the Philippines, where city-size encampments of child-prostitutes spread like a rash outside U.S. military installations; like the U.S., where one in every three women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime.

In their deaths, as in their lives, the women of Juarez are just another commodity to be exploited, part of the global trade in women that urgently poses the question, "Is this the world we want to live in?" This demands an answer.
Guillermina Gonzales is painting the lampposts of Juarez bright pink and marking them with a black cross. "My [sister] was one of the victims of Juarez. When it is said the women killed are prostitutes or from other places, we are here to show this is not true. The victims cannot tell you their lives or how they died, but I can tell you that this is totally unjust. They have a history. They have family.... I believe that a grave danger for women exists in each point in the city. I believe that the simple fact of being a woman here is a grave danger."

The families continue to fight for justice. They build shrines to their loved ones in police stations as reminders of the missing. They say justice is deaf to their plea, but they will not be silent. To be silent is to acquiesce, and the desert, they say, must no longer be allowed to swallow the dead.