Web Site Hit Counter

Friday, July 31, 2009

Petition opposes parole for accomplice in Nancy Shoemaker murder case

July 31, 2009
The Wichita Eagle

Right: Court appearance for Donald Wacker, convicted in the kidnapping, rape, and slaying in 1990 of Nancy Shoemaker. Al Schaben photo.

Below: Nancy Shoemaker dated about 1990. She was nine years old.
Nineteen years ago, 9-year-old Nancy Shoemaker disappeared while walking to a south Wichita gas station to buy a 7-up for her sick brother.

Her body was found seven months later in a Sumner County hedgerow. She had been kidnapped, raped and killed.

Now friends of the Shoemakers and others who remember the case — including employees of the Phillips 66 station where Nancy headed that day — are circulating petitions in hopes of keeping one of her kidnappers in prison.

Donald Wacker, who was convicted of aiding the kidnapping and murder, will go before the Kansas Parole Board in October...

Wacker is serving a sentence of 16 years to life for helping kidnap Nancy. He testified during trial that he sat by and watched while a co-defendant, Doil Lane, raped and strangled the girl...

Wacker has gone before a parole board twice. In 2004, Joyce Wacker, Donald's mother said on his behalf, "actually, he wasn't the one who done it," Joyce Wacker said...

Nancy Shoemaker would have turned 29 this year...

Copies of the petition are at Davis-Moore auto dealerships in Wichita and at the Presto Phillips 66 station at 2356 S. Seneca. It also is available on the Parents of Murdered Children Web site, www.pomc.com. Select "petitions" in the top navigation bar.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Reward In Weleetka Killings Upped To $160,000

Taylor Paschal-Placker, Skyla Whitaker Killed On June 8, 2008

They are coming for you, Mikey. Keep watching over your shoulder...

July 30, 2009
OKEMAH, Okla. -- Two oil executives pledged to add $120,000 to an existing $40,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed two girls near Weleetka in June 2008.

At a Thursday morning news conference, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown said the $160,000 reward is good for the next 90 days. After that, the pledge would have to be renewed, a standard procedure.

Thirteen-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were gunned down June 8, 2008, along a dirt road in rural Okfuskee County, about 70 miles south of Tulsa.

No arrests have been made in the case and authorities still are searching for a motive.

Brown said leads in the case continue to come in and that the investigation is moving forward.

At the Thursday news conference, Brown said agents have been looking into crimes in other states to determine whether they have any commonality with the Weleetka killings.

Reward increased in Weleetka OK girls' slayings

July 30, 2009

OKEMAH, Okla. (AP) - State investigators plan to announce an increase in the reward offered for information in the shooting deaths of two girls near the town of Weleetka last summer.

Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman Jessica Brown says a donation from a private citizen will allow for a "sizable increase" to the current $40,000 reward.

...Thirteen-year-old Taylor Paschal-Placker and 11-year-old Skyla Whitaker were gunned down June 8, 2008, along a dirt road in rural Okfuskee County, about 70 miles south of Tulsa.

No arrests have been made in the case and authorities still are searching for a motive. Brown says leads in the case continue to come in and that the investigation is moving forward.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Robert Manwill, 8: Missing from Boise, Idaho

Search continues for missing Idaho boy
by The Associated Press
Monday July 27, 2009
National Cener for Missing & Exploited ChildrenRobert Manwill

BOISE -- An 8-year-old boy from Boise has been missing since Friday, and the FBI has joined in the search.

Boise police say Robert Manwill went missing about 9:30 p.m. Friday in southwestern Boise and that he may have been headed to a party at a friend's house when he disappeared.

About 20 FBI agents and dozens of residents joined the search over the weekend, and many more residents joined Monday.

Deputy Chief Jim Kerns said Monday investigators have fielded about 50 leads. He also says there is no reason to believe the boy is not safe.

On Sunday, Kerns pleaded with the public for help finding Robert, who is described as 4 feet, 2 inches tall, about 50 pounds, and wearing blue jeans, black shoes, and either a brown shirt with the words, "Andy don't need no Mic" or a blue shirt with a superman symbol on the front.
-- The Associated Press

Katherine Jones/Idaho Statesman--Boise Deputy Police Chief Jim Kerns speaks at a press conference Monday morning, issuing a renewed call for the public's help to find missing 8-year-old Robert Manwill, who disappeared Friday evening from an apartment complex near the intersection of Vista Boulevard and Cherry Lane in Boise.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman--Teams of volunteers join with Boise police Monday in searching for Robert Manwill, missing since Friday night in the area of South Vista in Boise..."The family has said that he likes to sneak around and crawl in little places. He's an inquisitive little kid," said police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower.

Robert lives with his father in New Plymouth, but was visiting his mother and her family Friday, police said.

Search for missing Boise boy, Robert Manwill, will continue Wednesday
Missing Boise boy's mom fractured other son's head
Search for missing boy: Over 100 registered sex offenders interviewed
Search intensifies for missing 8-year-old Boise boy
Boise police following up on leads for missing boy
Search for 8-year-old Boise boy continues Sunday with no solid leads
Boise police still searching for missing boy, age 8
Boise police continue search for missing boy with the help of rescue dogs

Initial reports indicated the boy was last seen at an apartment playground sometime between 7 and 9 p.m., but police officials could not say Tuesday whether that was accurate. The family reported the boy missing at 10:11 p.m., police said.

Robert Manwill is about 4 feet 2 inches tall, about 50 pounds, with dark brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen in a faded blue Superman T-shirt, blue jeans and tennis shoes.

On the fifth day of an exhaustive search for a missing Boise boy, court documents revealed a family tale of abuse, tragedy and more.

Robert Manwill's mother is on probation for fracturing the skull of Robert's infant half brother, a boy the state removed from her custody.

Robert's mother's boyfriend has been convicted of burglary, battery and possession of drug paraphernalia, and is banned by the courts from being alone with Robert's half sister.

Robert's father, meanwhile, has already lost a son. In 1993, his first wife stabbed their 4-year-old boy in the chest. She spent 10 years in a federal prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter.

Police have repeatedly said they have no suspect - or even evidence to believe there is one - in Robert's Friday night disappearance at the mother's Boise Bench apartment, and have no evidence of any foul play.

"We've had questions from the media ..." Boise police Deputy Chief Jim Kerns said Tuesday. "Specifics and details of this very active priority investigation cannot be released."

Here's what the court records say:
ROBERT'S MOM--Melissa Scott Jenkins pleaded guilty in March to a misdemeanor charge of injury to a child, after an October 2008 incident that left her infant son with a fractured skull.

According to court records, Jenkins "did willfully inflict" the wound "by striking the child's head on a surface, causing a fracture to the child's skull," on Oct. 19, 2008. She was sentenced to 29 days of work release, fined $75.50 and put on probation for two years.

In February, at least, the child was still in the care of the state Department of Health and Welfare, court documents said.

"We are a joined family at this time in this crisis," Burrill said. "We are acting as one, with one goal in mind. To bring Robert back."

HER BOYFRIEND--Daniel Edward Ehrlick - Jenkins' boyfriend and the father of her infant son - has served time in Idaho prisons and faced multiple charges.

An April 2008 court document outlining Jenkins' visitation rights with her 2 1/2-year-old daughter states that the girl shall never be left "alone with Danny Ehrlick." The document does not say why.

ROBERT'S DAD--Robert Manwill's father, Charles Manwill, has had custody of the boy since January 2008, according to court records.

The records show Jenkins was admitted to the hospital that month for early pregnancy complications and was unable to care for Robert, who has lived with his dad in New Plymouth ever since. Jenkins has visitation rights, and the boy was visiting her the night he disappeared.

Almost 15 years earlier, Manwill was an officer at Fort Polk Military Base in Louisiana, in his early 20s and married to a woman named Silke Fatma Manwill. In November 1993, according to federal court documents and Louisiana newspaper reports, Silke Manwill "upon sudden quarrel and in the heat of passion" stabbed their 4-year-old son, Michael, in the chest.

She served 10 years in federal prison and was released in 2002, federal documents show. Her sentence included five more years of supervised release.

UPDATE: FBI now involved in search for missing 8-year-old boy
Monday, July 27, 2009

BOISE -- We're now more than 48 hours into the search for Robert Manwill.
Police say they've received some information, but nothing that has led to Manwill.

Police asking for any information regarding boy. After two days of searching the biggest question is still out there - what happened to Robert? So far the answer from everyone is ‘we have no idea.’

"At this point, we don't know where Robert is. We're trying to determine what has happened, and we're pleading with the public for their assistance in locating Robert Manwill," said Deputy Chief Jim Kerns with the Boise Police Dept.

Robert Manwill
4' 2" tall
50 Lbs.
Last seen wearing jeans, black shoes, either a brown or blue shirt
Call 570-6457 with info

In addition to the public's help, the FBI is now involved. 20 FBI agents are in the area, and more could be on the way at a moment’s notice to help find Manwill.

"It's tough. It really is tough, this is very difficult to go through as a family," said Trish Burrill, who is Robert's aunt.

Now, searchers are looking everywhere.

"Go out, look in your sheds, your garages, hiding places, abandoned cars, any place where a young child might hide," Kerns said.

That search included draining a 12 foot deep pond in the middle of Manwill's apartment complex.
Over 100 people roamed neighborhoods looking for anything and everything that might point investigators in the right direction.

"This kid, we thought he was at the park yesterday with us, well not with us with us. Which park? Ann Morrison," said some teenage girls.

Police aren't saying whether this information put them any closer to finding Manwill.
But they do say they won't stop until he's found and neither will Manwill's family.

"I don't recall a time where I've seen this much community support in Boise come out for a search,” said Lt. Doug Shoenborn. “It's really been nice to see a lot of support from the local community.”

"I will search until I find him. No matter what. I will search until I find him. Until he comes home," Burrill said.

Family members of missing boy have criminal histories.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009

BOISE -- The search in Boise for a missing 8-year-old boy continues to expand. Robert Manwill lives with his father in New Plymouth most of the year but is spending the summer with his mother in Boise.

While we have seen Robert's mother and her boyfriend at many of the news conferences, we know very little about them. Many of the adults in Robert's life have a criminal history.

But court records obtained by NewsChannel 7 say Robert's mother, Melissa Scott Jenkins, was charged with felony injury to a child in October 2008. She later pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor. The documents say Jenkins hit her 9-month-old son's head on a surface.

Robert Manwill--The infant suffered a fractured skull that caused not only physical pain, but mental suffering as well. The mother's boyfriend, Daniel Edward Ehrlick, is the father of the infant. Ehrlick has a criminal history including burglary and has served time in prison.

According to sealed documents obtained by the Idaho Statesman, during a visitation hearing for Jenkins' two-and-a-half-year-old daughter, Jenkins stated she did not want her boyfriend, Ehrlick alone with her daugther. The reason she said that was not stated.

There is discussion and debate on whether this information is relevant since police have not charged anyone with a crime at this time. Family members have been attending daily news conferences assisting police in the search.

The starvation of the Santiago children--Dallas, Texas

Monday, July 20, 2009

A Dallas couple is accused of keeping three of their children in a Love Field area motel bathroom and starving them, police said.

Alfred Santiago, 37, is also accused of raping one of the children repeatedly, according to police documents. The mother of the children, Abneris Santiago, 30, faces a charge of injury to a child.
According to police documents, Abneris Santiago called police to the Budget Suites in the 8100 block of North Stemmons Freeway, near Mockingbird Lane, on July 2. She told officers that she wanted to be escorted while she picked up her four children, ages 11, 10, 5 and 1.

The officers found the youngest child in a crib and the three others emaciated and in a bathroom. One of the children told police that Alfred Santiago beat them and deprived them of food, the documents said.

That child also told investigators that Alfred Santiago sexually assaulted her on multiple occasions, the documents said.

The children were evaluated at Children's Medical Center Dallas, where they were found to be severely malnourished. Child Protective Services has taken the children into custody, police said.

Alfred Santiago was being held at the Dallas County Jail on sexual assault charges, and his bail was set at $125,000. Abneris Santiago was being held on the injury to a child charge. Her bail was $50,000, according to jail records.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three children found shut inside a Love Field area motel bathroom this month were so emaciated that they vomited when child protective workers first tried to feed them, authorities say.

Their ribs protruded. Their cheeks and eyes sank into dark hollows. Their lips were dry, swollen and cracked.

Authorities say the children – ages 6, 10 and 11 – were kept inside the bathroom day and night for almost a year, maybe longer.

Their mother, Abneris Santiago, told investigators that the bathroom's toilet had been broken for several months but that she would flush and clean it every morning so the children "would be in a clean place."

Court records describe in horrifying detail the physical, emotional and sexual abuse that authorities say the children's stepfather inflicted – and their mother failed to stop.

So far, Santiago, 30, faces a charge of injury to a child. Her husband, 37-year-old Alfred Santiago, faces charges of aggravated sexual assault and continuous sexual abuse. Both are being held in the Dallas County Jail.

Authorities discovered the children after their mother's brother drove from Ohio to check on the family and called Dallas police. The brother, Abner Santiago, said his sister had spoken to their mother on the phone.

"My sister told her that Alfredo was being very abusive to her, that he's been threatening her, that he's been threatening to kill the kids," the brother said.

Family members had been concerned about Abneris Santiago for several years since she met Alfred Santiago and abruptly moved from Florida, where her mother had been "basically raising the kids for her," the brother said.

Neither parent has an arrest history in Dallas County. Alfred Santiago's record in Florida includes arrests on misdemeanor battery and DWI charges.

On July 2, Abner Santiago found his sister at the barbecue restaurant where she worked. They called police to ask for an escort while they took the kids from where the family lived – a suite in the Budget Suites in the 8100 block of North Stemmons Freeway.

Inside the suite, officers found Alfred Santiago, along with a baby in a crib. The child, the Santiagos' 1-year-old daughter, appeared healthy.

Then officers found Abneris Santiago's other three children – fathered by different men – shut inside a bathroom. The children's uncle remembers watching them emerge from the suite.
"My jaw just hit the floor," Abner Santiago said. "I just broke down."

The children were taken to Children's Medical Center Dallas, where they remained for 10 days.
The 11-year-old daughter told investigators she thought they'd been shut in the bathroom since October. Authorities weren't certain whether she meant 2007 or 2008.

The only times they were allowed to leave the bathroom was when Alfred Santiago took a shower, the girl said. She said that he'd been raping her for three years and that she'd told her mother about it several times.

The children went without food for days, the girl said. They hoarded it in their clothes and in shampoo bottles, not knowing when they might get more.

The girl said she last remembered being in school several years ago, before completing the third grade.

The 10-year-old, a boy, was covered with bruises in various stages of healing. He told investigators that Alfred Santiago, before moving from Florida, was a "nice, nice, gentle man," court records say. Once the family moved to Texas, the boy told investigators, "That is when my living nightmare began."

He said Santiago began beating him and his mother, particularly when he was drinking.
The boy told investigators that Alfred Santiago accused his stepchildren of being "rapists." Santiago told their mother they had molested their youngest sister, and she believed him, the boy said. He explained that was why they were not allowed around other children, eventually not allowed outside, and finally shut inside the bathroom.

After an interview with the boy, a child protective worker asked him if he needed anything. "I'm safe, that is all I need," the boy replied, according to a CPS report.

Investigators also spoke with Abneris Santiago. The mother told them her husband began to abuse the family gradually after they moved to Texas. She said she worked six days a week, leaving the children in her husband's care, because she had to "put a roof over their head," according to a CPS report.

She told investigators she fed the children breakfast and dinner and tried to "sneak them food," the report says, but in doing so, she "risked a beating."

The mother admitted smoking marijuana daily to "cope with the situation," the report said...
"You have no idea what I've been through," she said, adding, the report says, as an afterthought, "or the children."

The report said that Abneris Santiago appeared obese but that she repeated how hungry she was and said she'd been so upset she hadn't eaten for two days.

Abneris and Alfred Santiago did not respond immediately to interview requests Monday. Abner Santiago said he met his brother-in-law only briefly. "He didn't seem like the best guy in the world," he said. "But I would have never thought that he would have been this monster."

As for his sister, he said the family supports her and sees her as a victim, but he also thinks authorities did the right thing arresting her.

"I'm sure she was being abused, but when you see the kids, something just hits you," he said. "You don't know how another human being could let kids get to that point."

All four children are in temporary foster care. Abner Santiago said his mother, who lives in Tampa, Fla., would like to gain custody.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Dallas Morning News
Dallas police say Abneris Santiago had "ample opportunity" to save her kids from the horrors of being shut inside a bathroom for months with little food.

But her court-appointed defense attorney said Tuesday that his client showed courage coming forward when she did. "It was pretty brave of her to risk the consequences and notify police to help rescue her children," attorney James Jamison said.

Santiago, 30, remained in the Dallas County Jail on $50,000 bail Tuesday. Facing a charge of injury to a child, she is accused of failing to extricate her children from abuse allegedly inflicted on them by 37-year-old Alfred Santiago.

"She has definitely made some poor choices in her male relations and male companionship," Jamison said. "This poor choice of a boyfriend was pretty much holding her hostage and the children hostage."

Child Protective Services and police records refer to Alfred Santiago as Abneris Santiago's husband and the children's stepfather, but a CPS spokeswoman said Tuesday that the couple say they are not actually married and share the same last name by coincidence.

Authorities say Alfred Santiago kept the children – ages 6, 10 and 11 – inside a bathroom day and night for almost a year at a Stemmons Corridor motel. They may have been there longer.
He is being held in jail on charges of sexual assault against one of them.

Police found the children emaciated on July 2, after Abneris Santiago's brother drove from Ohio to check on the family and called police. He accompanied his sister and police to the motel suite and knocked on the door.

His sister, the brother said, was not allowed by Alfred Santiago to have a key to the suite. Abneris Santiago told investigators he was abusive toward her, hitting her, kicking her and pulling her hair.

"Apparently he told her that if he saw the cops show up at the door, that he was going to kill the first kid before he opened up the door," said her brother, Abner Santiago. After he knocked on the door and Alfred Santiago opened it, officers took over and rescued the children, Abner Santiago said.

A doctor's report said the children were severely underweight and suffered from life-threatening malnourishment. The 11-year-old girl weighed 59 pounds; the 10-year-old boy, 58 pounds; and the 6-year-old boy, 29 pounds.

Police say Abneris Santiago knew that the children were starving and failed to do enough about it.

"Any reasonable person could see that the [children] were in immediate need of medical care," a police affidavit says. Abneris Santiago "stated that she was aware that the accomplice was not feeding the complainant and her siblings because 'they were not his responsibility.' "

"The suspect went to work daily and had ample opportunity to seek help and medical care for the [children]," the affidavit says. "The suspect failed to seek medical attention." Jamison said his client acted when she could.

"If she has to end up in jail, and the children have to be placed with relatives, she's willing to accept that just as the consequence of being able to get away from this man," he said.
When he spoke to her about a week ago, his client was thankful things didn't turn out worse, Jamison said.

"I think the best way to describe it would be she's kind of relieved that this ongoing problem and this captivity she's had with this man is over," he said.

July 24, 2009

...This whole tragic situation came to light when Abneris allegedly called her mother to complain about her boyfriend. Apparently it only took her a few years to complain. Ruth Leon, the children’s maternal grandmother stated:

“She was crying and she said `Mom, I cannot take no more of this monster. He is threatening me, and this monster is making my life miserable, making it a living hell.”

Mrs. Leon then called Abneris’s brother Abner Santiago, who along with his wife Sonia, made a 1,200 mile drive from Ohio to Texas to check on his sister. When they reached Dallas, they picked Abneris up from the restaurant that employed her. Albert and Sonia, not knowing what to expect, called for police assistance before arriving at the Budget Suites of America.

...A doctor’s report said the children were severely underweight and suffered from life-threatening malnourishment. The 11-year-old girl weighed 59 pounds; the 10-year-old boy weighed 58 pounds; and the 6-year-old boy weighed 29 pounds.

Oddly, police reports indicate that the motel room the Santiago’s stayed in was “very, very, clean”.

... Alfred Santiago has now gone on record as saying he is the victim here.

In an interview from jail, Alfred Santiago said he did nothing wrong and he considers himself the victim. He said the three children were a danger to his daughter and accused them of pouring urine on the baby.

“The one who is being disrespected right now is I, because I’m the one who’s being abused,” he told The Dallas Morning News. “What I was doing is protecting my baby daughter from her kids. What I did was I did not leave my daughter out of my sight.”

He also told the newspaper that the children were to blame for their poor health because of their refusal to eat “mountains of rice, of chicken, of pork chops, of hot dogs. They were skinny because they were not eating the food,” he said. “I’m not ashamed to say it, I was feeding them, but they were not eating their food.”...

Casey Anthony's mom deposed by prosecutors, round two, day 2

George to be questioned next.

July 29, 2009

Prosecutors questioned Casey Anthony's mother under oath today as part of the criminal case against the 23-year-old woman.
It's unclear what the attorneys quizzed Cindy Anthony about in the closed-dooring meeting at the State Attorney's Office.
Today marked the second day of questioning for Cindy Anthony. Her husband, George Anthony, is expected to follow. It's unclear if prosecutors will have time to question him today, according to their attorney, Brad Conway...

Terry Nichols sues over prison food

Right: Terry Nichols

Seems like he should have thought of that before he murdered 160 people including a dozen or so toddlers. I can't seem to scrape up any sympathy.

July 28, 2009

WICHITA, Kansas – One of the men behind the Oklahoma City bombing has filed a lawsuit, claiming prison food violates his religious beliefs.

Terry Nichols got a life sentence for his part in the 1995 federal building bombing.

The suit filed in March complains that a lack of whole grains and fresh food burdens his Christianity.

Prison officials disagree and are asking the suit be thrown out.

Nichols was a former resident of Herington.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Man freed thanks to penis lizard tattoo

July 10, 2009

UK--A man who appeared in court accused of flashing his penis at a female train guard has walked free, thanks to a tattoo on his manhood.

Hartlepool magistrates court had been told how 28-year-old Barry Kenny had drunkenly displayed his willy during a train journey from Newcastle to Hartlepool.

But the woman had not mentioned any "distinguising marks" on the penis and Barry has a two inch long lizard tattoo running along his penis.

As a result his solicitor was able to get the charges dropped, but only after Barry offered to show his willy to magistrates.

Before being reminded he was under oath Barry had wanted to claim the tattoo was seven inches long.

Father of 8-year-old rape victim hopes for custody

Father of 8-year-old rape victim hopes for custody
Ap.org vie google.com

PHOENIX — The father of an 8-year-old Liberian girl who was allegedly raped by four boys in a Phoenix apartment complex says he wants his daughter back with her family.

Child Protective Services took custody of the girl after police said her parents blamed her for the July 16 assault and didn't want her anymore.

The father, who is not being named to protect the girl's identity, denies saying that his daughter had brought shame to the family.

"That is not true," he said.

The father is meeting with child welfare officials Monday and is being accompanied by the family's pastor...

Read article here

8-year-old girl shunned by family after rape sparks outcry

July 25, 2009

PHOENIX (AP) — Lured by promises of chewing gum and raped in a shed by four boys barely older than her, an 8-year-old Liberian girl is now in foster care and living with strangers instead of the family that raised her and brought her to America...

The alleged sexual assault in Phoenix has sparked an international outcry, reaching all the way to the president of Liberia, the home country of the girl's family and the four young suspects.

"They should help that child who has been traumatized and they should make sure that they work with the U.S. law authorities to see what can be done about the other young boys who have committed this offense," Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf told CNN...

Experts who study the developing world say the parents' reaction highlights the struggles of many women around the globe.

"[Women are] always being blamed for everything," said Monica Westin, founder of World of Hope International, which promotes human rights. "It's always the girl's fault. There's no gender equality."

Westin said West African refugees often keep in touch with friends and relatives back home and try to maintain their culture. Many have grown up uneducated and find it hard to change their customs...

A 14-year-old boy was charged Wednesday as an adult with two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said. He appeared in court Thursday and was being held without bond...

The other boys — ages 9, 10, and 13 — were charged as juveniles with sexual assault. The 10- and 13-year-old boys also were charged with kidnapping, the office said Thursday.

Police say the girl's father told a police officer and a Child Protective Services worker that he doesn't want her anymore.

..."What you're seeing here is the very long legacy and reach of the violence that took over Liberia... When you're dealing with children this young, they're mimicking actions they've seen, they've heard about, they've grown up with."

President Sirleaf said she would ask Liberian Ambassador Milton Barnes to work with the family and Phoenix authorities to ensure the girl's protection.

...Ben Haines, who lives across the street from the building, said he was disturbed that the 8-year-old girl's parents supposedly blamed the assault on her.

"That just sounds so wrong. She's barely old enough to know about that," Haines said.

Read article here

Monday, July 27, 2009

Enid police taser nursing home patient


ENID, OKLAHOMA -- Police in Enid use a taser to subdue a 69-year-old nursing home patient.

Investigators say the elderly man, Lester Harris, had become disruptive over the weekend. That's when staff at Enid Senior Care called 911.

When officers arrived, Harris supposedly hit one of the officers in the stomach.

To get control of Harris, police twice used their tasers.

Harris' daughter says her dad suffered a stroke 2 weeks ago, and thinks police used excessive force.

"There's just so much that's wrong. Why taze a 70-year old man in a nursing home?" said Linda Ward.

Enid police defend their actions.

"We have to make sure the staff and officers are protected, and of course the person [we are] arresting," said Lt. Eric Holtzclaw.

Harris was arrested for assault and battery on a police officer.

He's since been released on bond and is being kept at a hospital in Enid where he's doing fine.

Read entire article here.
We need to take these tasers away from the cops. They are taser crazy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Bond set at $1 million for James W. Thomas, charged with infant son's death

The Wichita Eagle
July 25, 2009

Bond was set Friday at $1 million for a Wichita man accused in the death this week of his 4-month-old son.

James W. Thomas, 31, was charged in Sedgwick County District Court with first-degree murder in the death of Zereon L. Thomas.

Judge Warren Wilbert ordered Thomas to return to court for a preliminary hearing on Aug. 6 and told him he was to have no contact with witnesses in the case.

Wichita police said Thomas took the boy to Wesley Medical Center at 5:20 p.m. Tuesday for treatment of bruises. Police said doctors found injuries to the boy's head and torso that appeared to have occurred at different times.

The boy's mother was in jail at the time on unrelated charges.

Police said Thomas has at least four other children in other states. Although there were indications that some of those children were physically abused, police said, no charges were ever filed against Thomas...

Chicago: Human bone found on ground at 2nd cemetery spurs probe

July 26, 2009

A human bone was found on the ground at a far south suburban cemetery, but officials can't say whether the situation mirrors the alleged grave-reselling scheme at Burr Oak Cemetery.

A man delivering concrete vaults Friday morning to Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens South Cemetery near Glenwood noticed the bone and called police, Cook County sheriff's spokesman Steve Patterson said.

The Cook County medical examiner's office confirmed Saturday the bone is human, leading the sheriff to open an investigation, Patterson said.

"I don't know whether this is a sign of a greater problem or if there is a valid reason why this bone was found where it was,'' Patterson said in a statement.

Patterson could not say how long the investigation would last, but noted that the investigation at Burr Oak, in Alsip, lasted six weeks before charges were filed against four employees for allegedly digging up 200 to 300 graves and reselling the plots.

As of Saturday evening, the sheriff had not closed Mount Glenwood, he said.

Last Monday three people sued Mount Glenwood, accusing the cemetery of reselling grave sites and double-burying their relatives.

Patterson said officials were aware of the lawsuit but could not say whether there is a correlation with the discovery of the bone.

The lawsuit was filed a week after a former gravedigger at a sister property, Mount Glenwood Memory Gardens West, near Hickory Hills, said he buried bodies two and three deep for years.

read article here and additional articles from Sun-times.com.

Mt. Glenwood Memory Gardens -History and Heritage check this out! on the web as of today, June 26, 2009.

Find a grave.com

I wonder how widespread this is. What DOES a cemetery do once it has reached capacity? The older, larger cemeterys around here on the prairie still sell plots, but then we have no where near the population as the large metro's. We still live in a place with wide open space between towns and lots of room.

I know most large cemeterys are run by a board of directors, but once there are no plots to sell, where does the money come from to maintain the grave-yard? I'm not trying to defend anyone's actions but am interested in the whole management system.

Cheryl Lynn Strother: Classmates try to close murder case

35 years later, classmates search for clues to teen girl's death

Associated Press

Fort Knox, Kentucky — Classmates of a 17-year-old Radcliff girl who disappeared 35 years ago and was later found dead have banded together to search for clues in her death.

Cheryl Lynn Strother was found dead near a lake on Fort Knox a month after vanishing.

Her death remains unsolved, but a group of her classmates from North Hardin High School say they won't give up the search for answers. They met for a reunion over the winter and began talking about Strother's death.

They have been using social networking Web sites like Classmates.com to contact other former graduates in hopes of developing new leads...

The Web site has links to North Hardin Junior High School and North Hardin High School, and both have information from Strother's classmates.

Robbie Dennis said he didn't know her, but he continues to look for information about her disappearance and death.
"Closure would mean justice," Dennis said. "Thirty-five years is a long time to not have any answers. I'd truly appreciate any answers."

According to The News-Enterprise of Elizabethtown, some of Strother's classmates said Strother routinely would meet her grandfather near the school for a ride home.

On July 24, 1974, Strother wasn't there. Her body was found on Aug. 24, tied to a tree at Tobacco Leaf Lake on Fort Knox property.

Radcliff police at the time closed the missing person case and left the death investigation to federal agents, the newspaper reported. So, it looks like even though her death was horrific, they just filed the case and went on. good god.

Louisville FBI spokesman David Beyer said Strother's case is rare, with only a handful remaining unsolved after so much time has passed.

"Over the course of time, we have gotten tips and leads, but none that have helped to resolve the case," Beyer said. "Like most cases, it will remain open until solved."
Sunday, July 26, 2009
Hardin County, Kentucky
FORT KNOX – ...“One of our classmates has taken the ball and really run with this and he’s doing an excellent job getting attention for Cheryl’s case,” said Mandy Bell-Andrews, a classmate of Strother’s. “To us, (Cheryl) was sweet, kind and pretty quiet.”
...Cheryl would have graduated with the Class of ’75. While she did not join others at her graduation, her absence at school reunions since haven’t gone unnoticed. A handful of classmates are adamant about bringing new light to the case.

“I would love a reminder of Cheryl to maybe pull on some heart strings and rattle a few people’s consciences,” Bell-Andrews said. “Maybe someone will have something to tell. I want her to truly rest in peace after so many years.”

Classmates communicate regularly on www. classmates.com about the teen’s disappearance and death.

The Web site has links to North Hardin Junior High School and North Hardin High School – both of which have information from Strother’s classmates. The information contained on the Web site cannot be guaranteed as accurate as it is merely conversation between parties.

...Radcliff police recently questioned about the case said detectives there did little more than complete a missing person’s report shortly after the girl disappeared.

...With Strother’s body having been found on the military post, Radcliff police closed their missing person case, leaving the death investigation to federal agents.

From that moment on, the Army’s investigative unit, the Criminal Investigations Division, assisted agents with the Federal Bureau of Investigations in their work.

Fort Knox public relations personnel contacted recently about the case say the FBI now has the lead in the Strother case, [and typically has no comment].

One case noted by Beyer as being similar to Strother’s case was the early ’80s disappearance of Ann Gotlieb from a Louisville mall.

“Over the course of time, we have gotten tips and leads, but none that have helped to resolve the case,” Beyer said. “Like most cases, it will remain open until solved.”

Anyone with information about the case should contact the FBI at (502) 240-5944...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Anthony Court Hearing Canceled at 11th hour

July 24, 2009
The Prairie Chicken

Orlando--Brad Conway, attorney for George and Cynthia Anthony, arrived at the courthouse around 9 a.m. this morning to deliver the documents that the state attorney's office had requested from the parents of the alleged killer of Caylee Anthony.

Due to the Anthony's continued refusal to release certain evidenciary documents, Judge Stan Strickland had scheduled a 'rule to show cause' hearing because of delays.

In a statement given by Mr. Conway, "The state has requested certain documents stored in the Anthonys' computer and it's not going as quickly as the state wants. The Anthonys' computer has been down, and they have not been able to produce certain documents."

The requested documents are rumored to be all contracts and communications with privately obtained investigators and search organizations.

Kristen Diane Parker: 19 victims, 42 counts, Hepititis C infector

By Felisa Cardona
The Denver Post

In this photo released by the Denver County Sheriff's Department, Kristen Diane Parker, 26, is shown. Parker, is accused of is accused of injecting herself with painkillers meant for patients, then filling the used syringes with saline solution. (Denver County Sheriffs)
She really looks like she gives a damn, doesn't she?
A federal grand jury indicted surgical technician Kristen Diane Parker on 42 counts Thursday as prosecutors disclosed that the number of hospital patients who appear to have contracted hepatitis C from Parker has grown to 19.

"Nineteen people tested positive for hepatitis C who had surgery at Rose Medical Center, have the same genotype as Parker and did not have hepatitis C prior to surgery," said Jeffrey Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.

The grand jury indictment filed Thursday charges Parker with 21 counts each of product tampering and obtaining a controlled substance by deceit.

Earlier this month, Parker was charged with three criminal counts related to stealing fentanyl, a powerful narcotic.

4 Arizona Boys Under 14 Allegedly Lured Little Girl With Chewing Gum in Sex Assault

Right: Fourteen year old rapist, Steven Tuopeh
Off to a good start, huh? What kind of defense will his lawyer come up with?

Friday July 24, 2009

Phoenix police responding to a report of hysterical screams say they found an 8-year-old girl partially clothed in a shed and four young boys running away.

The four boys, aged 9 to 14, allegedly lured the child with chewing gum, then "brutally sexually assaulted her" for 10 to 15 minutes, said Sgt. Andy Hill.

Prosecutors filed sexual assault charges against the boys on Thursday, officials said.

See video, photos and more on this story at MyFOXPhoenix.com.

Hill called it one of the worst cases the department has investigated. The boys are accused of holding the girl down while they took turns molesting her.

Police said the girl's parents criticized her after the violence, blaming her for bringing shame on the family. wtf? All five children are refugees from the West African nation of Liberia.

The 14-year-old boy was charged Wednesday as an adult with two counts of sexual assault and kidnapping, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office said. He is being held without bond.

The other boys — ages 9, 10, and 13 — were charged as juveniles with sexual assault. The 10- and 13-year-old boys also were charged with kidnapping, the office said Thursday. The boys are being held in a juvenile corrections facility.

Authorities said the victim was in the care of Child Protective Services after her parents blamed her for the rapes and bringing shame to the family.

"The father told the case worker and an officer in her presence that he didn't want her back. He said 'Take her, I don't want her,"' Hill said.

Hill cited the family's background as the reason the family shunned the girl. In many parts of Africa, women often are blamed for being raped for "enticing" men or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Girls who are raped often are shunned by their families...

"This is a deeply disturbing case that has gripped our community," Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas said in a news release Thursday. "Our office will seek justice for the young victim in this heartrending situation.

"And what's so disturbing beyond the initial crime is the fact that a child needs to have somewhere to feel safe, and you would think that would be in a home with her own family," not in state custody, Penzone said.

read entire article here

These parents need to return to Liberia without their children. There they can be as heathen as they want. How could you treat your own little girl that way?

Read more:

4 boys accused in rape of 8-year-old girl

Police: 8-Year-Old Gang-Raped by 4 Boys
Girl's Liberian family says shebrought them shame

Thursday, July 23, 2009

State Attorney scheduled to request forcing George and Cindy Anthony back to court

Sarah Lundy and Amy L. Edwards
Sentinel Staff Writers
July 23, 2009

George and Cindy Anthony may be back in court.

The State Attorney's office is slated to ask Orange Circuit Judge Stan Strickland to force the Anthonys to produce information for the state's case against their daughter, Casey Anthony, according to spokespersons for the State Attorney's office and the court.
A hearing is set for 1:30 p.m. Friday. The Anthonys have been asked to produce information for the state but have not done so, the spokespersons said.
Brad Conway, lawyer for George and Cindy Anthony, said the couple simply hasn't been able to provide the documents in the time frame prosecutors wanted.
"The Anthonys have no problem providing the documentation the state has requested," Conway said. Conway said the Anthonys are going to give the documents to prosecutors and he does not expect there to even be a hearing on the matter tomorrow."We're in the process of turning them over," he said.
It's unclear what the documents entail. Conway, reached by phone this afternoon, wouldn't give any clues."I can't say," he said. "It's not something that I can comment on."
The State Attorney's Office also wouldn't say.
Casey Anthony is being held in the Orange County Jail under an indictment for first-degree murder in the death of daughter Caylee Marie Anthony. The state is seeking the death penalty in the case.
Casey Anthony will not attend Friday's hearing.
What are they holding out on?
Cindy has, to my knowledge, never given credit card records that would show Casey's $45K unauthorized spending spree, which George admits to on record with OCSO, and Shirley Plesea also told OCSO about in her interviews.

Baby Zereon L Thomas killed; dad arrested

Who IS this 'dad'? Why no name? A baby has been beaten to death!

The Wichita Eagle

A 4-month-old boy is the city's latest homicide victim, and Wichita police have arrested his 31-year-old father in connection with his death, authorities said Wednesday.

Zereon L. Thomas was pronounced dead shortly after his father took him to Wesley Medical Center at about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday...

Zereon's father was booked into the Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of felony murder and child abuse. Police said that the boy's mother has been in jail for about one week on charges unrelated to the baby's death.

The couple had lived together ...with the baby and their 12-year-old son, police said. That boy is now with family members.

The apartment where the family lived is part of Madison Avenue, a new development of Mennonite Housing, a nonprofit community development organization.

"We're a very family-oriented property, very family-oriented in this community," said Linda Howard, director of property management for Mennonite Housing. "And so it's very heartbreaking to hear that something like that has happened."

Landwehr said the suspect has at least four other children who live in another state. He said authorities learned that some of those children had sustained injuries while they were in his care, but the man was not charged...

read article here

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wichita father arrested in connection with baby boy's death

The Wichita Eagle

WICHITA — Wichita police have arrested a 31-year-old man in connection with the death of his 4-month-old son on Tuesday.

Zereon L. Thomas is the city's 19th homicide victim this year, and the first child victim.
His father was booked into Sedgwick County Jail on suspicion of felony murder and child abuse.
Wichita police Lt. Ken Landwehr said that the man took Zereon to the hospital at about 5:20 p.m. Zereon was pronounced dead shortly after that, police said.

Zereon had injuries to his head and torso that appeared to be "of different ages," said Wichita police Lt. Ken Landwehr.

An autopsy is scheduled for the baby.

Police said that the boy's mother has been in jail for about one week on charges unrelated to the baby's death. nice...

The couple had lived together at a home in the 1000 block of North Madison with the baby and their 12-year-old son, police said. That boy is now with family members.

read article here

Note: Father James W Thomas

Benefit planned for Caitlyn Johnson, child set on fire by low-life, monster step-father

Posted on Mon, Jul. 20, 2009
The Wichita Eagle

The Wichita Eagle

Right: Caitlyn Johnson, burn victim from an arson fire March 14, family courtesy photo

A benefit to raise money for burn victim Caitlyn Johnson will be held late this month at the Prairie Rose Chuckwagon near Benton to help with the 10-year-old girl's care and living expenses.

Caitlyn was badly burned in March in a fire that destroyed her family's home.

Chris Newberry, her stepfather, has been charged with attempted murder and five counts of arson in the March 14 fire at the mobile home in the 5400 block of South Kansas.

Prosecutors allege that Newberry sprayed Caitlyn and her bed with lighter fluid and set her on fire while she slept. Newberry and Caitlyn's mother and three younger stepsiblings escaped the fire unharmed.

Bridget Newberry was questioned by police, but officials say she is not considered a suspect in the incident. Relatives of Caitlyn say they have not seen or heard from Bridget since she was questioned by police.

J.W. Johnson, co-owner of the Prairie Rose, is helping organize the July 31, 2009 benefit.
Authorities estimate that Caitlyn suffered second- and third-degree burns over 41 percent of her body.

Her uncle, Kenny Johnson, said he doesn't understand how officials come up with those percentages, because "she's burned all over — it's pretty bad."

She is now in protective police custody, as are Chris and Bridget Newberry's four young children.
"People should understand that Caitlyn will have to endure many surgeries over the next few years," Lisa Stephenson, a family friend, said in an e-mail. "As of today, I don't know of any surgery that will give her back her beautiful face."

The benefit will feature a silent auction from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., with a live auction at 7:30 p.m. Horse-drawn wagon rides, train rides and old cowboy movies will be available until dinner is served at 6:30 p.m.

An all-you-can-eat smoked brisket dinner will be followed by the live auction and concert by the Prairie Rose Rangers.

The silent and live auction includes autographed memorabilia by sports teams and nationally known bands.

Other items being offered include Western art, horses, horse tack, hay trailer, a mobile power chair, tools, home and garden decor, a pinball machine, fine jewelry by Mike Seltzer, and gift certificates from various businesses.

Additional donations for the auctions are being accepted.

Cash donations can be made at the event or be made to the Caitlyn Benefit Fund at Meritrust Credit Union locations.

Tickets for the benefit are $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 6 to 12.

Advance reservations are required, and can be made by calling 316-778-2121.

Wisconsin Man Gets 50 Years for Kidnapping, Gay Sex Assault

Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Associated Press via

WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wisconsin — A Wisconsin paper mill worker has been sentenced to 50 years in prison for kidnapping and sexually assaulting two young men he kept chained at his home.

The judge told 47-year-old Ed Lanphear on Wednesday the sentence virtually ensures he can never commit another crime in his lifetime.

Lanphear apologized to the victims and said he never intended to kill anyone.

Lanphear abducted the men in Wisconsin Rapids in separate incidents last July. Prosecutors say Lanphear preyed on young men who had been drinking and at least once posed as a police officer.

The victims say they were handcuffed, blindfolded, taken to Lanphear's rural home and bound in chains. One escaped naked and ran to a neighbor's house where police were called.

Lanphear sentenced to 50 years
Wisconsin Rapids Tribune - Karen Madden

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Document: Casey Anthony Repaid Allegedly Stolen Money

Whoa! OK, now here we go with some news...

Did Jose Baez try to pay Bank of America for the checks Casey stole from Amy?

Anthony Is Accused Of Fraud, Homicide
July 21, 2009

ORLANDO, Fla. -- A document filed among 100 others last week indicates that Casey Anthony has paid back money she allegedly stole from a friend.
Anthony's legal team has been trying to get the check fraud case delayed in the face of her upcoming capital murder case...
Security camera images showed Anthony writing checks to buy beer, bras and other clothing before she told her family her daughter Caylee was missing. Later, detectives accused her of draining her friend Amy Huizenga's checking account to pay for the spending spree.
In a court document filed by Jose Baez last week, Bank of America acknowledged a $664 check received from Baez's office in reference to the Amy Huzeinga case. Baez denies he's the one who cut the check, but he would neither confirm nor deny that the check came from Anthony.
The bank told Baez "it is to be noted that Bank of America did not take this payment in lieu of criminal prosecution." Prosecutors want to move forward with the check fraud case while waiting for the murder trial. Baez and company have asked for a delay arguing the death penalty case is occupying all of their attention.
The state attorney's office and a Bank of America spokeswoman in Atlanta would not comment on the check payment. Huizenga's lawyer Kirk Connell could not be reached for comment.

Judge orders transcription of meeting in Casey Anthony financing case

Tuesday, 21 Jul 2009

- We may finally learn just how Casey Anthony’s attorney is getting paid.
On Tuesday Judge Strickland granted a state motion requesting that a court reporter transcribe everything that was said in a side bar conference during a hearing held back on March 25th.
On that day, Casey Anthony, her attorney Jose Baez, prosecutors and the judge headed into a side room for what's called an in camera meeting. The hearing that day was on a state motion asking them to reveal how Casey Anthony was paying for her lawyers. After the hearing the judge said everything was okay by the rules.

The state attorney's office wants this private meeting transcribed for the trial and Tuesday’s order from the judge says the court reporter must have that typed up and in to him by 5 pm Thursday.

If this comes up at trial, we could finally find out what the financial agreement is between Casey Anthony and her defense team.

Three accused of letting rats chew toes off Ohio baby

July 21, 2009
via freep.com

WAVERLY, Ohio — Three people have been accused of letting rats bite a 6-week-old girl and chew off her toes at their cluttered Ohio mobile home.

Pike County prosecutor Rob Junk says the baby’s toes on one foot were gone when sheriff’s deputies went to the home Sunday after receiving an anonymous tip.

The baby is in fair condition at a Columbus hospital.

A married couple and the 18-year-old boyfriend of the baby’s mother are charged with felony child endangering. They were in court for an initial hearing Tuesday. They’re jailed pending a plea hearing in two weeks.

The prosecutor says they all lived in the mobile home west of Piketon, a village noted for its old uranium enrichment plant.

He says the baby’s mother is a juvenile. He won’t identify her or say if she’ll be charged.

This is unbelievable. Where were these people? Why do they live with rats?

Dog drags newborn from family home in Kentucky

July 21, 2009
Associated Press Writer
via Kansas.com

LEXINGTON, Ky. - A father was frantically calling 911 to report his missing newborn when he spotted the baby, bleeding from the mouth and clutched in the jaws of a family dog who had carried him from his crib to the heavily wooded backyard.

Four-day-old Alexander James Smith was rushed to the emergency room at University of Kentucky Hospital in Lexington, where he was listed in critical condition Tuesday with two collapsed lungs, a skull fracture, broken ribs and various cuts and bruises...

Smith said he and his wife, Chrissie, had just put Alexander James (or A.J.) in his crib Monday afternoon in their Nicholasville, Ky., home. Smith said he was preparing to leave for the store to buy various baby items, including a video monitor that he now believes could have prevented the entire ordeal...

When Chrissie returned to the bedroom minutes later after going downstairs to look at the shopping list, one of the doors was ajar and both the baby and their Native American Indian dog - a breed that looks similar to a husky - were gone.

Michael Smith initially headed to the backyard, knowing that Dakota, a mixed breed with wolves in its ancestry, had a reputation for stealing household items like cups and wallets and depositing them there. He spent 10 minutes searching among the trees and bushes in the two-acre fenced yard before finding the dog and child in tall grass some 200 yards behind the house.

He grabbed his son and sprinted toward the house, handing him over to emergency workers who had just arrived.

Smith, who is the owner of a corporate security business where his wife also works, said the dog was treating the baby as a puppy and wasn't being vicious. Still, he doesn't want her back in the family home. I believe that. If she wanted to kill or eat the child, it would have been dead in 2 seconds. I think it is a tragedy that the dog will probably be killed, but I think it goes to show that babies shouldn't be alone with large dogs like this one. Too many tragedies when humans underestimate a dogs instinct, no matter how sweet their disposition.

Dakota was taken into custody by animal control, and although Smith remains hopeful a good home can be found for her, he acknowledges the animal may have to be destroyed.
A call to Jessamine County animal control was not immediately returned.

The 4-year-old dog was one of three - including one from the same litter as Dakota - that the family had owned since they were puppies. None had any history of aggression, even when playing with Smith's two other children from a previous marriage, he said.

"It wasn't a vicious dog attack," Smith said. "She had A.J. for 10 minutes on her own, and if you look at A.J.'s belly, there's about 100 little marks. All the dog had to do was one bite and A.J. wouldn't be here."

Associated Press writer Bruce Schreiner
read article here

Monday, July 20, 2009

State's attorney: Cops did not hit on Drew Peterson's fiancee

This is ridiculous...
This ho needs an attorney?
Who is paying for that?

July 17, 2009

The Los Angeles attorney representing Drew Peterson's young love shot down a claim from the accused wife-killer's lawyer that a state cop hit on her client.

"Chrissie has not had dinner with or gone to the movies with any police officer other than Drew Peterson and she has no interest in doing so," the attorney, Gloria Allred, said in a written statement. "She does not feel that she was 'hit on' by any police officer. We do not think there is a basis for filing a complaint against any police officer and we have no plans to file such a complaint."

Following a Tuesday court hearing, one of Peterson's attorneys, Joel Brodsky, announced that a state police detective asked Peterson's 24-year-old girlfriend, Christina Raines, to go out with him on a date.
So, would that be illegal? Do cops not date single women?

Brodsky failed to return calls for comment on Allred's statement...

Allred's involvement in the Peterson case is not the first time she has stepped into a high-profile murder prosecution. She represented Amber Frey, the girlfriend of convicted wife-killer Scott Peterson, and was also the attorney for the family of O.J. Simpson's slain wife, Nicole Brown Simpson. Allred is the mother of television personality Lisa Bloom.

Drew Peterson murder trial delayed

July 14, 2009
Chicago Sun-times Staff Reporter

More than 40,000 pages of investigative reports is delaying Drew Peterson's trial for the 2004 murder of third wife Kathleen Savio.

Peterson and his attorneys agreed Tuesday to postpone his scheduled Aug. 24 trial for Savio's bathtub drowning death so they have time to study thousands of pages of [evidence]...

His defense team, though, indicated they plan an aggressive defense, including launching a pre-trial legal challenge against the controversial new state "hearsay" law...

And, Peterson's attorneys also contended that an Illinois State Police investigator acted improperly by asking out Peterson's girlfriend...He's possessive even in jail. I doubt this stupid girl will spend decades waiting for him. If being creepy could get you the death penalty...

Drew Peterson Will Remain Jailed

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Stepfather accused of spraying lighter fluid on girl, setting fire

July 15, 2009
The Wichita Eagle

Mobile-home fire that burned girl not accidental

Wichita, Kansas--Chris L. Newberry appeared in court Tuesday, accused of trying to kill his 10-year-old stepdaughter by setting her on fire while she slept.

Newberry, 28, stands charged with attempted first-degree murder and five counts of aggravated arson.

The criminal complaint filed by prosecutors Tuesday said Newberry sprayed lighter fluid on 10-year-old Caitlyn Johnson and her bed, then set her on fire as she slept.

Caitlyn sustained second- and third-degree burns over 41 percent of her body — including her face — Wichita police Capt. Brent Allred said. She spent months at a burn hospital before returning home.

Wichita police arrested Newberry on Friday night, after reopening the investigation into a house fire that heavily damaged his family's mobile home in the 5400 block of South Kansas the morning of March 14.

Caitlyn was the only person injured in the fire, Wichita Fire Department Capt. Stuart Bevis said.
Bridget Newberry and three other children, ranging in age from 2 to 6, also were home that morning.

The family had apparently been asleep and fled to a neighbor's house after the fire broke out, Bevis said.

Prosecutors charged Chris Newberry with one count of aggravated arson for each person the fire put in danger.

Questions about the quality of Caitlyn's medical care prompted an investigation by the state Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services, Allred said.

Authorities removed Caitlyn from the home and placed her in protective custody in June, Allred said.

Concerns by a social worker led SRS to notify police, and follow-up interviews last week resulted in Newberry's arrest.

The four younger children still in the home, including a month-old baby, went into state custody Friday, Allred said.

Caitlyn's mother has been questioned about the fire, Allred said, but police do not consider her a suspect.

more from kansas.com:

Stepfather accused of spraying lighter fluid on girl, setting fire Wed Jul 15, 2009
Chris L. Newberry appeared in court Tuesday, accused of trying to kill his 10-year-old stepdaughter by setting her on fire while she slept. more...

Mobile-home fire that burned girl not accidental Tue Jul 14, 2009
The fire that badly burned 10-year-old Caitlyn Johnson in March is no longer considered an accident, authorities said Monday. more...

Fire that badly burned girl in March an arson, officials say Mon Jul 13, 2009
The fire that badly burned 10-year-old Caitlyn Johnson last March is no longer considered an accident, authorities said today. more...

Charla Nash Brothers: Victim Of Chimp Attack Feared Animal

Associated Press Writer
The Associated Press
June 29, 2009

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - A Connecticut woman mauled and blinded by a chimpanzee in February had feared the animal might hurt someone and described him as mean and so strong that she had to repair his cage several times, her brothers said.
Michael and Stephen Nash's comments to The Associated Press provides the first public look at Charla Nash's dealings with Travis, a 200-pound chimpanzee that went berserk when his owner asked Nash to help lure him back into his house...
Herold's attorney, Robert Golger, has said there was no way to predict Travis would attack Nash. He questioned why Nash would voluntarily go to Herold's house if she was afraid of the chimpanzee. Travis was normally in his cage when Nash visited, Stephen Nash said. "She got lulled into a false sense of security because he hadn't bothered her."
...A state biologist warned officials last October that Travis could seriously hurt someone if he felt threatened and said that officials had not determined if his enclosure was strong enough. The state Department of Environmental Protection is in charge of monitoring exotic animals in Connecticut. Nash's family has declined to say if they will file a lawsuit against the state or others.
Nash's family said she's continuing to make progress at the Cleveland Clinic... Nash remembers getting out of her car that day to help her friend lure the animal back in the house, her brothers say. She does not recall the attack, but her brother sees hints of the trauma in a recurring dream and a panic attack she had in the hospital.
"They kept dragging me in the car and wouldn't let me sleep," Nash said, according to her brother Michael. "It was a dirty car." Michael Nash said he thinks his sister's dream is her recollection of the ambulance and efforts to save her life. During the panic attack, Nash screamed for her brother. "Help me. They're hurting me. They were hurting me," she said.
Michael Nash said his sister became agitated after a hospital aide tried to help her to the bathroom. "I think grabbing just created a reaction, an instinctual fear of being attacked," he said. Nash continues to make progress, her brothers said. One day she was saying the Hail Mary."It amazes me," Michael Nash said. "Her mental abilities have really come back."
Not long ago she was in denial about what happened, insisting Travis attacked someone else. But then she acknowledged Travis hurt her, Michael Nash said."I knew it when I got out of the car something was wrong," she said, according to her brother...