The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil,
but because of those who look on and do nothing.

~~~ Albert Einstein



Monday, December 29, 2008

""I may not be God, But I tell you what, I'm the closest damn thing to it." ----Ellie Nesler

It used to be that sexual abuse of children was a topic that was taboo. If you were unlucky enough to have someone in your family that was a child molester- you were also unlucky enough to understand that it wasn't ever going to be a topic that you could openly talk about. There was a shame that pass unduly passed to victims of sexual abuse that meant that even while people were insisting it wasn't your fault, you just weren't suppose to mention it outside the small confines of a tight circle of people who had to know.

In the late eighties, and early nineties, thing began to quickly change. Sexual abuse became a day time talk show subject- with even Oprah spilling her sole to millions of people via the cable box. After decades of victims being shamed into silence by the unspoken rule that talking of such things was just improper- survivors starting finding their voices, and encouraging others to stand up and speak along with them.

However, despite society's willingness to play a role in this new era of strength of victims, it wasn't fully prepared for Ellie Nesler, or the way she would break through the last remaining strings that attempted to keep the effects of molestation out of prime time news. No one was really ready for her sudden action that would thrust the long last effects that sexual abuse has into a completely new light. And no one was ready for the debate that her actions would cause. It could be said that it all started when Ellie Nesler sat in a court room with the name, Daniel Driver, who had admittedly molested her son, along with three other young boys while working at a Christian camp. But, really the story could have started long before that, it could have began during the four years that Ellie waited to see justice brought to the man who had abused her son. Or even back in 1883 when Driver was convicted for molestation of another child, but was only sentenced to probation by the residing judge. For Ellie, it could have started long before Driver abused his fist victim- details would come into play later on regarding whether Ellie had also been molested herself as a child. But, whatever the case- whatever started this story- it would never match the chapter of Ellie's life that contained what happened that day, in the court room during recess prior to court convening.

SOURCE, which provides a detailed outline of the entire story On the day of the preliminary hearing, he vomited when he woke up and again in the street when he met the accused molester outside the courtroom. "The man looked at him, and he smirked," said Ardala Inks, who is Nesler's cousin and accompanied her to court. "He thought it was a big joke" (Frank 1993a:1). The feeling among the parents of Driver's alleged victims was that the hearing had not gone well up to the noon break. A child can be a notoriously unreliable witness, especially when confronted by the person who victimized him, then threatened to kill him if he told anyone. One of the mothers, who later got a "Support Ellie Nesler" tattoo on her ankle, told Ellie at the break, "He's gonna walk." Nesler's son was supposed to testiffy against Driver after the recess. His mother saw to it that he would not have to. With court still in recess, Nesler strode back into the courtoom and shot Dan Driver five times in the head and neck with a semiautomatic pistol.
At that moment, not only did Driver's life end, but Ellie's life as she once knew it ended also. She'd be seen by many as a hero, by others as a cold murderer. Reporters from around the world would want to write about her story- a movie on her plight was even produced. But outside of the effects of the shooting on her own life- would be the ripple effect that it would have for other parents, other molestation victims... If the court fails you, and the chance to have justice seems to be slipping away- can one really take the law into their own hands and act as judge, jury and executioner? Ellie's own jury would later decide no, and sentence her to 10 years in prison. A judge would later toss that conviction, Ellie would take a plea deal and serve 3 years while fighting breast cancer. And now, years later- after serving time for murder, battling cancer and drug addiction- Ellie is once again in the news, reminding us again about the controversy that she caused that one day in a California court room.
Nesler died at UC Davis Medical Center of complications from cancer -two days too soon to meet her grandson, born to her daughter, Becky, on Sunday afternoon, said family friend Diane Morrow. SOURCE
With all her faults, the single mother who lived a troubled life did what few would dare- she was the ultimate momma bear, defending her child regardless of costs.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

This week on America's Most Wanted

The following America's Most Wanted cases will air this Saturday at 9pm on your local Fox station:

Muammer Aldailam: In a moment of passion, cops say Muammer "Mike" Aldailam shot and killed his girlfriend after she tried to break off their relationship. Authorities believe Aldailam may be desperate to get back to his native country of Yemen, but they need your help in finding him before he gets that far.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=51985

Jeffrey Marshall: When the short courtship of Elizabeth "Lynne" Waterson and Jeffrey Marshall ended, the ambitious, beautiful Lynne continued to deflect Marshall's unwanted advances. For months, cops say an obsessed Marshall stalked his former girlfriend and refused to take no for an answer until one day in April 2007, when he took his twisted infatuation to a deadly breaking point.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=51389

Cinthya Rodriguez: Cops in California say that Cinthya Rodriguez masterminded a kidnapping and ransom plot that ended in the brutal murder of her 45-year-old boyfriend, Orlando Duarte. Police tell AMW that Orlando's slaying was a family affair, because she's on the run with her accomplice and brother-in-law, Arturo De Oca.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=55071

Carlos Thompson: New York cops say Carlos Thompson handed a .38-caliber revolver to a 13-year-old boy and ordered him to murder another teen. Police say they need your help to get him off the street before anyone else gets hurt.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=55482

Timoteo Rios: When 39-year-old Tina Davila went to a Cricket store in Houston, Texas to pay her cell phone bill, she never imagined such a routine errand would have a tragic ending. Police in Texas are now looking for Timoteo Rios, the man they say stole a young mother's life.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=56339

Sarah Pender: Since her expertly-executed prison escape on August 4, 2008, officials have been hot on the trail of Sarah Pender. Now they say she has changed her appearance. Ex offenders who have seen Pender say she has shoulder length amber hair with red stripes. She also has piercings above her right eye and lower lip. U.S. Marshals Service officials have turned up the heat on Pender and made her the only woman on the notorious 15 Most Wanted Fugitives List.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=58000

Unknown Tinley Park Killer: Almost a year has passed since the silence of a cold winter morning was shattered by gun shots in Tinley Park, Illinois. As the investigation continues, Illinois State Police are digging deeper into the lives of the six victims trying to determine what could have caused a man to shoot six women, killing five of them.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=52877

Edward Salas: On Aug. 23, 2008, eight men escaped from a New Mexico on Aug. 23, 2008. Since then, police have arrested all of the escapees except the most dangerous of them all -- Edward Salas. Before escaping, Salas was set to do life behind bars for the murder of a 10-year-old boy.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=58504

Darryl Crenshaw: Rev. William Baskerville tells AMW that he has found the strength to forgive the man accused of killing his stepdaughter, Ashley Peoples, before going on the run. Just days after her murder, William says he received a phone call from Darryl Crenshaw, where he apologized for beating and strangling Ashley. William accepted the apology, because as he told his church, "the God Almighty says that vengeance is mine."
http://www.amw.com/Fugitives/brief.cfm?id=58213

Yaser Said: On January 1, 2008, someone brutally murdered teenage sisters Sarah and Amina Said, shooting the girls to death in the back of a taxi cab. When police revealed the identity of the suspected killer, it shocked the nation.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=51983

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Kenneth John Freeman

Kenneth John Freeman, a former fugitive whose case aired on America's Most Wanted, has plead guilty to "production of child pornography and interstate transportation of a minor for the purpose of unlawful sexual activity". Freeman had been wanted on charges that he sexually abused his daughter, video taping the abuse and then distributing it online. After being charged he fled to Hong Kong in early 2006 before moving on to China where he was eventually arrested as he re-entered Hong Kong, and extradited to the United States.

The abuse occurred in 2000, when the girl was 10. His daughter, now 19, first told her mother about the abuse in November 2005. In federal court Wednesday, Freeman pleaded guilty to producing child pornography in Washington, and to producing child pornography and having unlawful sexual activity with a minor in Oregon. The Oregon charges stem from incidents where Freeman took his daughter to the Portland area. Several other charges were dropped.
While in custody, rather than showing any signs of humanity- he wrote a four page autobiography in which he confessed to many of his crimes. Full story. AMW page.

Little Hilter wants his cake...

Although a much kinder gift might be parents with brains.

The father of 3-year-old Adolf Hitler Campbell, denied a birthday cake with the child's full name on it by one New Jersey supermarket, is asking for a little tolerance.
Thankfully, we learn that the family isn't just another bunch of racists, as they taken to proving this by naming their two month old daughter :JoyceLynn Aryan Nation Campbell. The idiot father of the boy claims that he " named his son after Adolf Hitler because he liked the name and because "no one else in the world would have that name." If only being a dumbass was a crime... source

Baldwin Middle School PTA needs a new fundraiser...

Especially since the last person in charge of fundraising decided to raise a little fun with a minor in a parking lot near the elementray school after a PTA meeting.

A New York PTA official and a 13-year-old boy were allegedly caught in the back seat of an SUV behind an elementary school, police said. Joan Tuckruskye, 44, and the boy were reportedly discovered partially unclothed in the parking lot outside Meadow Elementary School Friday night, according to Nassau County police. She allegedly told officers they were kissing. Tuckruskye, a vice president with the Parent Teacher Association, was charged with endangering the welfare of a child. She was released without bail.
The mother of three reportedly has never been in trouble with the law before, and claims to be " well-respected and very active in her community"- personally I'm not sure about the well-respected part, but I will concede that she certainly seemed 'very active'. Full story

48 House Mystery: Kathy Augustine

Location: Nevada, USA

NEW DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE SUSPICIOUS DEATH OF AN AMBITIOUS POLITICIAN

CBS NEWS “48 HOURS MYSTERY”– SATURDAY, DECEMBER 20, 2008
Kathy Augustine was an ambitious and sometimes controversial politician who worked her way up the rankings of Nevada’s government. And with a reputation of being ruthless, she developed a lot of enemies along the way. But were these enemies deadly?
In 2004, Augustine became the first state official in Nevada's history to be impeached, when she was found guilty of violating state ethics laws during her 2002 re-election campaign. In 2006, unable to seek a third term as state controller, she ran for state treasurer. But on July 8 Augustine was found unconscious in her home. She died four days later.
While a preliminary autopsy found no evidence of a heart attack or other obvious cause of death, the medical examiner did find a suspicious puncture mark. Subsequent toxicology reports confirmed the presence of a powerful drug that paralyzes the body’s organs and muscles while leaving the mind conscious. Proof, detectives say, that Augustine had been murdered.
Despite many political enemies, Augustine’s family was convinced her fourth husband, Chaz Higgs, was responsible. Claiming that the couple’s marriage was rocky, they assert that Higgs, eight years her junior, was cheating on his wife. And as a critical care nurse Higgs had the knowledge and access to the same drug found in Augustine’s system. Authorities charged him with first degree murder.
Is Chaz Higgs capable of murder? Or, was Kathy Augustine the victim of her corrupt political opponents?
Correspondent Troy Roberts reports dramatic new developments in 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "Power, Passion and Poison," Saturday, Dec. 20 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Lisa Freed and Linda Martin. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.
Editors' Note: Click here to watch a preview of the broadcast. CBS News 48 HOURS MYSTERY broadcasts are now available on iTunes.   

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Parents prove need for "mandatory sterilization' theory.

Graydon and Robyn Drown had nine children, which might lead some to mistakenly believe that the Drowns liked children. But, a closer look pretty much proves that it was more than likely the making of the children that these too degenerates were interested in.

Marion County prosecutor Sarah Morris told jurors that the children of Graydon and Robyn Drown were beaten with 2-by-4 boards, metal and plastic pipes, spoons and whips. The children, who range in age from infant to 16, hadn't seen dentists or doctors and didn't go to school, Morris said. The children were taken by state welfare authorities after the Drowns were arrested June 19 at their rural home. Each parent faces a 25-count indictment of assault and criminal-mistreatment charges.
One of the two children testifying against their 'parents' presented testimony which would seem to support the idea that the father played a leading role in the abuse- but lets face it- no mother would allow her children to be treated this badly for so long without expecting to take some blame for the abuse.
The 13-year-old boy said he and his siblings received beatings that would leave bruises or marks, and his happiest time with his family was when his father left to go to California for a week. The boy said his mother was punished as well, forced at times to stand with her nose against the wall or slapped or hit. When asked by Morris if he loved his parents, the boy replied: "I love my mother."
Mean as some believe it is, I have to say once again that some people should be prevented from ever bringing children into this world. SOURCE

Worst father in law EVER...

I thought I had heard all the 'ex in law' horror stories out there, but I have to admit- soliciting some idiot to assault your ex son in law almost takes the cake. The only thing that could make it worse, is if you'd made the same offer Wilbur Eichman did:  Assault him, shoot him and while you're at it- please remove his penis for extra money.

And you thought your inlaws were bad...

America's Most Wanted... Breaking News

Adam Walsh Murder Case Officially Closed
Florida law enforcement officials said Tuesday that the investigation into the 1981 murder of Adam Walsh – AMW Host John Walsh’s 6-year-old son – has been officially closed, and that they believe convicted serial killer Ottis Toole to be responsible for the abduction and killing.
“We can now move forward knowing positively who killed our beautiful little boy,†John and Revé Walsh said in a statement. “We, along with our children, Meghan, Callahan and Hayden, pray for the thousands of parents of murdered and still-missing children. We continue to fight for their safety, and to make sure that no child -- especially Adam -- died in vain.â€
Stay with AMW.com for the latest.

Dear Santa

With just ten days till Christmas, one holiday tradition is getting a bit more attention than normal...

Every year, tons of letters are written to a jolly old man who is believed to break into homes on Christmas Eve and leave an assortment of toys under a lit tree, before stopping just long enough to steal cookies and milk and heading off to the next home.

The letters, which in years past have included sweetly innocent requests like "Dear Santa, I'll be good next year if you bring me a Wii this year" and "Santa, none of that stuff was my fault, please bring me Air Hogs, Games, a computer, a cell phone and seriously- no cloths", are now reportedly asking for more simple things- the homes children's parents lost to foreclosure, a new job for dad, money for groceries... and now Santa is reportedly being asked to stop the sexual abuse of children.

A 55-year-old Pharr resident was arrested after a young relative wrote a letter to Santa Claus wishing that the man would stop molesting her. The 9-year-old girl wrote the letter and turned it in at Cesar Chavez Elementary School. A counselor at the school "reported that the student had turned in a wish list to Santa wishing for her (relative) to stop touching her and her sister," according to a probable cause complaint.
Despite having grown up without the benefit of celebrating Christmas, I've been lucky enough to have three kids to teach me the value of Santa, and the innocent beauty that lies in the belief that something magical happens when a child makes a special request to him. To imagine a little child neglecting their desires for toys, because they have a problem so big they imagine Santa is the only one that can assist them is heart breaking. A child turning to an imaginary character rather than an adult they know in real life is saddening. And to know that their request was one so serious is mind blowing.
Investigators believe Andres Enrique Cantu had molested the girl throughout a four-year period, according to the complaint. Cantu's relationship to the victim is not being disclosed to protect her identity. The years of sexual abuse allegedly occurred in the girl's bedroom while family members slept. Cantu was arrested Friday and charged with continuous sexual abuse of a young child. His bond was set at $100,000. If convicted, Cantu could face 25 to 99 years in prison.
We can only hope that in the spirit of the season, the judge sits in his black robe, and on behalf of the man in the red robe, gives the max sentence in this case. Source

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Serial Killer's Apprentice

Investigative journalist James  Renner (Amy: My Search for Her Killer: Secrets & Suspects in the Unsolved Murder of Amy Mihaljevic, My Search for Amy Mihaljevic's Killer ) has once again put pen to paper to bring cold cases to the lime light.

Renner's newest book, The Serial Killer's Apprentice: And 12 Other True Stories of Cleveland's Most Intriguing Unsolved Crimes covers 13 cases from Northern Ohio, all of which will leave you pondering 'who did it?' and tempted to do a little investigative work yourself. Renner does an excellent job of bring new life to cases many seemed to have given up on, and his clear passion for solving the Amy Mihaljevic murder case seems equally met with his passion for the 12 newly highlighted cases.

Picking just one of the 13 (in all) cases  Renner investigated to highlight is difficult, as he's managed to personalize the victims in each case to the reader. But if I have to pick one, I'd be tempted to say the most compelling case -to me- was that of the cold blooded murder of 16 year old Lisa Pruett from Shaker Heights. The 16 year old had had plans to see her boyfriend late in the evening one September day in 1990. She'd had an appointment to get her drivers license, and after a day filled with much excitement, was looking forward to seeing then 16 year old Dan Dreifort.

Dreifort , a seemingly troubled young man then who fancies himself something of a rock star now, would play an odd part in the discovery of Lisa's body- ... but despite lingering questions about his actions that night- he wouldn't be picked as the main suspect in the case. The disturbing letters he'd written to Lisa, his time in a mental ward, even the fact that after finding the body of his dead girlfriend- he'd taken off to go to bed while police continued to search the area. None of this would carry enough weight to get detectives in the case away from pointing a finger at another troubled young man- Kevin Young, who'd once had a crush on Lisa. The case against him, has admittedly always lacked a smoking gun, but it didn't stop charges for Lisa's murder to be brought against Young- although it did prevent prosecutors from convincing the jury that he was indeed guilty enough to grant a conviction in the case. Renner follows the case- guiding readers from the beginning of Lisa's day through the events that lead to the horrible discovery of Lisa's body, and the aftermath that lead to the case remaining unsolved.

Nineteen years later, Lisa's Pruett's unsolved murder still haunts those that knew her, and has left lingering thoughts on whether the main suspect, while no angel, was the personal responsible or not. It's really a case that if you haven't heard about- you're sure to be intrigued by once you read it. The other cases highlighted, including Amy's, are equally as intriguing, and Renner does a great job of bringing their stories out from the cold case files and into the here in now.

Renner's website, www.jamesrenner.wordpress.com has information on some of the other must read cases included in the book- but I'd have to say that you truely have to get the book to appreciated his style of writing, and to get the real sense of his passion to bring closure to these cases.

(Sidenote to readers: Although Renner has guest blogged here previously, it was by a sheer fluke that I was invited to review his latest book- the offer didn't come from him. And, while I'm a fan of his writing, I must say I would have liked the book just as much,  had I not known who wrote it.)  

Ricky Allen Robbins

Ricky Allen Robbins broke into a woman's home in 1983 and raped her. The woman was able to escape, and grab a gun and shot Robbins who was later arrested. After serving time for the assault, Robbins was released in 2007 on parole.

After his release in 2007, Robbins fled supervision while on parole and traveled to the East Coast. Police in New York investigated two instances where a suspect broke into a home and rubbed the legs of women while they slept. DNA evidence found on a hat near the scene of one of the crimes matched Robbins. Robbins was later arrested in New Orleans for viewing child pornography in a university library. Authorities extradited Robbins back to Oregon and revoked his parole. He had been in prison until last Wednesday.
On Friday, Robbins decided to ditch his court ordered supervision, and now is wanted by police. SOURCE

Thursday, December 11, 2008

One for the history books...

Location: Cincinnati, OH, USA

I've heard all sorts of explainations about how people are tricked by stupid cons. But this one, well I'm left unsure what is worse- that this man concieved this plan or that parents evidently actually fell for it.

A suburban Cincinnati man has pleaded guilty to molesting children after telling their parents that he was an underwear market researcher. Ben Hawkins pleaded guilty Wednesday to nine charges of importuning and three counts of gross sexual imposition. Prosecutors in Hamilton County say Hawkins looked for boys and girls between the ages of 9 and 16. They say he arranged to meet parents and children at schools, hospitals or at their homes and told parents he needed to measure their children's underwear for research.
Sentencing could amount to up to 44 years in prison- giving a sicking theory that more than one child was actually victimized by both his perversions, and their parents complete stupidity.

Source

Mark Hulett

Location: Vermont, USA

Three short years ago, I mentioned a Vermont case in which a one time family friend has sexually abused a young girl for a number of years. The judge in the case, Edward Cashman had informed the court months prior to sentencing that he was considering a shame of a sentence, to which the family of the victim objected without any effect.

The media months later stumbled across the sentence Cashman handed out and paraded a diluge of angery talking heads in front of the judge until he caved under pressure from state leaders and a change in how sexual offenders were handled in prison was made, and reconsidered his sentence. In the end, Hulett will still have served less time in prison than he did sexually abusing the child. And, his sudden freedom from prison seems to be right in front of us.

Judge Edward Cashman came under fire from lawmakers, Gov. Jim Douglas and a Fox News commentator in January of 2006 when he sentenced Mark Hulett, then 34, of Williston, to 60 days for sexually assaulting the daughter of a family friend numerous times during a 4-year period beginning when she was 6. [...] Hulett is due for release Jan. 2, but will remain under the Corrections Department's supervision for life and could return to prison if he commits another offense or violates conditions of his release. His release also depends on finding suitable housing. SOURCE
Previous Coverage

48 Hours Mystery

CBS NEWS “48 HOURS MYSTERY” PRESENTS NEW DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS IN THE CASE OF A CHILLING DOUBLE HOMICIDE IN
“INVITATION TO A MURDER,” NOW ALSO AVAILABLE AS A BOOK BY PRODUCER GAIL ABBOTT ZIMMERMAN
SATURDAY, DEC. 13 ON THE CBS TELEVISION NETWORK

When Mark Winger fatally shot an intruder he was hailed as a hero. The nuclear engineer says he was in the basement of his picturesque Springfield, Ill. home when he heard a thump. Racing upstairs, Winger grabbed his gun and was faced with his worst nightmare when he discovered a man beating his wife Donnah with a hammer in a horrific scene that ultimately ended in the death of both his wife and her killer.

It seemed like an open and shut case of self defense and Winger was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing. But one rookie investigator believed that there was more to the story. Unable to let go of this hunch, he relentlessly tried to get the case reopened, but to no avail, until four years later, when a new witness helped put the pieces together and expose a shocking truth: Mark Winger was the mastermind behind a complicated plot to murder his own wife.

As new dramatic developments have emerged 48 HOURS MYSTERY has gone beyond the broadcast to document the case in more detail in the book Invitation to a Murder by producer Gail Abbott Zimmerman. Available in bookstores now, Invitation to a Murder is the fourth release in the 48 HOURS MYSTERY series published by Pocket Books, a division of Simon and Schuster.

            Richard Schlesinger also reports on these new developments as part of a special presentation of 48 HOURS MYSTERY: “Invitation to a Murder,” Saturday, Dec. 13 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT). This broadcast is produced by Gail Abbott Zimmerman and Douglas Longhini. Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.

Editors' Note:  This is a 48 HOURS MYSTERY doubleheader beginning at 9 PM (ET/PT) with Harold Dow’s report on two remarkable and haunting cases of murder that could be connected in 48 HOURS MYSTERY: “Deadline For Justice.”

Click here to watch a preview of “Invitation to a Murder”. Click here for Richard Schlesinger’s notebook. CBS News 48 HOURS MYSTERY broadcasts are now available on iTunes. An excerpt from the book is also available online.

America's Most Wanted This Week

This Saturday America's Most Wanted: America Fights back will be airing the following case at 9pm on your local Fox Station:

Joey Offutt: When Pennsylvania State Police arrived at the scene of a house fire in Sykesville in the early morning hours of July 12, 2007, they weren't prepared for everything they were about to find. Once the fire was extinguished, some shocking details were revealed, and authorities are still struggling to answer all the questions left over from that day.
http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/brief.cfm?id=48408

Liza Gonzales: Liza Monica Gonzales, also known as Liza Campos, is wanted for drug trafficking, as well as murder. She may be in Oklahoma or California, and police consider her extremely dangerous. Call 1-800-Crime-TV if you have seen her.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=60389

Joseph Allen Garcia: Joseph Allen Garcia, a man wanted on charges of murder, manslaughter, aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon and failure to appear has been named to the U.S. Marshals' 15 Most Wanted list.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=52331

Tempe Bank Robbers: For two nights in October 2007, two Arizona families fell prey to a trio of bank-robbing bandits. Both times, the suspects had one thing on their minds: using the victims to gain entry to the banks in which they worked. In the Tempe incident, the plan paid off, and the cash-rich culprits got away with nearly $400,000 -- the biggest robbery payday in Arizona history.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=51837

Ahmet Gashi: Kemal Kolenovic was a New York welterweight champion who took one hit from which he'd never recover on New Year's Eve 2006. Cops say a vicious foe, Ahmet Gashi, came at Kemal with some heavy armor, and he's been on the run ever since.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=45323

Yasmin Acree: Yasmin Acree is described as a fun-loving and well-adjusted young girl whose disappearance has stumped police in Chicago. She was last seen in her home, headed to her bedroom after finishing a load of laundry. Cops now say she's disappeared without a trace.
http://www.amw.com/missing_children/brief.cfm?id=61762

Jean Seraphin: Police say the search for accused killer Jean Seraphin has brought in tips from Miami and Jacksonville, Fla. Now, police want to turn up the heat on Seraphin for what he is accused of doing to two brothers back in April 2002. In fact, detectives want people in New York and Florida to be on high alert for this fugitive.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=30460

Unknown Jose Gurley Killer: 17-year-old Jose Gurley was a high school superstar in West Bridgewater, Mass., but when he returned home to Brockton, he was just another kid on the street, fighting for his life. At a party late last month, he lost that battle to a group of gang members shooting blindly into the night. Police locked up a man they say drove the getaway car, but even with almost 75 eyewitnesses to the crime, cops are still searching for the gunman. http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=46966

Frank Brown: College freshmen are always making new friends, but when a student at Georgia State University started hanging out with fellow freshman Frank Brown, cops say it nearly cost him his life.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=61630

Sherry Halligan: In late January 2003, Sherry Halligan allegedly murdered her former boyfriend. After driving around in her car all night, cops say she drove straight to the police station, where they say she confessed all the details of her crime. Unfortunately, after being let out on bail, Halligan apparently changed her mind about coming clean.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=36019

David Mancha: David Simon Mancha is wanted for two counts of Aggravated Sexual Assault; police believe he is still in Texas.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=60213

Tina Loesch: After years on the run, the saga of Tina Loesch and her lover, Sky Hanson, ended hours after AMW aired their story on Nov. 15, 2008. While the couple took their own lives in what cops are calling a suicide pact, the investigation is far from over as authorities in three states search for Kristopher Loesch.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=59857

Skye Hanson: After years of running from the law, the murder saga of Tina Loesch and her lover, Skye Hanson, came a close hours after AMW aired their story. On Nov. 15, 2008, the pair were found dead in an SUV outside Tucson, Ariz. and cops are calling the deaths a suicide pact.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=59861

This Week in the AMW Safety Center:
For more than twenty years, it's been AMW Host John Walsh's mission to take down the creeps that prey on our children. So when he received a question at the AMW Safety Center from a viewer in Arizona about how to find the man who was harming a child in a video, he knew exactly where to send her. This week's Ask John Walsh video will show you the important steps to take and how to connect to the Cyber tip line to report the lowlifes that harm our kids.
http://safety.amw.com/internet/john-walsh-by-reporting-child-abuse/

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Diane Downs denied parole

Diane Downs sat in front of a parole board, pleading her case and hoping that despite her refusal to accept the guilty verdict that sent her to prison nearly 25 years ago, they would grant her request for parole. For around two hours Downs told her story, describing her 7 year old daughter as lovable, and reaffirming her claims of innocence. And telling another version of the night that ended in the death of one of her children, and injuries to the other two.

Downs reiterated a story about having a boyfriend who claimed to be in the FBI and said she was on her way to meet someone who had photographs for him. She said she is not sure if the man who attacked her family was the man she was supposed to meet or a stranger who flagged her down.
While Downs has always claimed the tragic night occurred at the hands of someone else, her two surviving children and investigators have maintained a much different story:
Her 7-year-old daughter, Cheryl Lynn, was killed and her two other children were seriously wounded in a shooting on a rural road in 1983. [...] The prosecution alleged Downs shot her children because she believed they were in the way of her relationship with a married man. At the time, Downs was a divorced, 27-year-old postal worker. After shooting the children, Downs shot herself in the arm before driving to a hospital, where medical staff noted her calm demeanor, prosecutors said. Later, as a video documented, she giggled at times as she re-enacted the attack for police.
Full story..

Thursday, December 04, 2008

America's Most Wanted this weekend

Noe Torres: On the night of Sept. 15, 2005, 10-year-old Carlos Perez went to bed knowing that he had a big day ahead of him: it was to be his 11th birthday. That night, in his sleep, Carlos was killed in a hail of gunfire in his bed. The accused shooter, Noe Torres, is still at large, and an accomplice who has already been convicted of the crime -- Edward Salas -- has escaped from a New Mexico jail.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=56475

Chicago Jane Doe: When AMW first told the story of "Chicago Jane Doe" we knew nothing about her. She was a victim without a name but police in the Windy City were determined as ever to solve her case. With the help of a local dentist, Chicago Police identified Jane Doe as teenager Marlaina Reed. You might remember that Jane Doe had distinctive braces on her teeth and it looked like she had tried to pull them off herself. A Chicago dentist and his receptionist saw sketches in a local professional journal and recognized the young girl and the dental work. They contacted police and a positive identification was made. Windy City detectives are now one step closer to solving Marlaina's case, but they still need your help to find her killer.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=49245

George Perez: Cops in Baltimore, Md. say a bookkeeper there was not only cooking his employer's books, he was placing bets with his employer's money. Police say 32-year-old George Michael Perez embezzled more than $1 million from the company he worked for in order to fund his luxury lifestyle, but when his plan to beat the charges went up in smoke, he hit the road.
http://www.amw.com/Fugitives/brief.cfm?id=58154

Curi Tapia-Martinez: A few short years ago, authorities in North Dakota and Minnesota thought they'd all but solved their methamphetamine crisis, shutting down most of the region's clandestine labs. What no one realized was that Mexican drug cartels were prepared to bring their laboratory-grade product to the market.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=55195

Courtenay Savage: On nights when the moon was full, a Florida family was awakened by the sound of gunshots blasting their home and their cars, the shooter sometimes firing into bedrooms where children were sleeping. Now, police say an AMW tipster helped take the woman responsible down.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=58827

Ask John Walsh Feature: The AMW Safety Center gets flooded with questions from viewers like you. This week AMW viewer Jennifer Harris from Richmond, VA asks AMW Host John Walsh about how to stay protected at home without overreacting.
http://safety.amw.com/?cat=26
Adam Klutz: Deputy Klutz is survived by his parents. Deputy Adam Klutz was shot to death when he responded to a 9-1-1 hang-up call. The suspect, an ex-cop and Iraq War veteran, fled, launching a statewide manhunt, but later killed himself. http://www.amw.com/line-of-duty/?id=405
Nadia Kersh: Nadia Kersh was last seen leaving her job at the Tria Market in Homeland, Ala. for lunch. Family and friends became alarmed when she didn't return to work, and she failed to pick up her young son from daycare.
http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/brief.cfm?id=61681

Omar Nunes: Police say that when accused father-and-son drug dealing team Calvin and Omar Nunes went to buy crack from their supplier, things didn't go as smoothly as planned. Cops tell us the trio began arguing over money, and all three pulled guns -- but only two of them left the room alive.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=59855

Tobechi Onwuhara: The FBI says Nigerian Tobechi Enyinna Onwuhara worked to defraud banks and individuals, including Sen. Strom Thurmond's former chief of staff, and the consummate con man with a seemingly-bottomless bag of tricks managed to steal tens of millions. Now, the feds need your help to catch him.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=59947

Michael Wilson: Police in South Carolina are looking for a sex offender who they say is likely to strike again. He's been convicted of sexually assaulting one woman, and cops now want him for the rape of a 15-year-old girl.
http://www.amw.com/fugitives/brief.cfm?id=54434

Manhunters

I'm excited to share with you that A&E will be airing a new show- Manhunters: Fugitive Task Force.  
You can see more video's on the shows YouTube channel, available here.

The following press release has been issued on the show:
Welcome to the jungle.
A&E NETWORK PREMIERES NEW ORIGINAL REAL-LIFE SERIES MANHUNTERS : FUGITIVE TASK FORCE THROUGH UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS, A&E TAKES VIEWERS ON THE HUNT WITH THE ELITE AGENTS OF THE U.S. MARSHALS FUGITIVE TASK FORCE AS THEY TRACK THE NATION’S MOST DANGEROUS FELONS TWENTY-ONE EPISODE HALF-HOUR SERIES DEBUTS TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9 AT 10PM ET/PT

NEW YORK, NY OCTOBER 29, 2008 -- They are the best-of-the-best, hunting down the worstof- the-worst . . . everyone from the DC Snipers and triple-homicide felons to major international fugitives. They are the U.S. Marshals Fugitive Task Force, and they are the ultimate "manhunters." Mandated by Congress after 9/11, the Task Force is made up of multiple federal, state and local agencies, and has the unique ability to transcend jurisdictions in order to work together, unfettered by local boundaries, towards the common goal of catching the most violent criminals on the run.


MANHUNTERS: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE, premiering Tuesday, December 9 at 10:00pm ET/PT on A&E, follows the elite agents of the NY/NJ Division in the heart of New York City, the most active unit in the country, as they track down a different dangerous felon in each episode. The Task Force includes Commander Lenny DePaul. Lenny joined the U.S. Marshals Service in 1989 and has been in the fugitive program since 1991. A former member of the Navy’s elite amphibious assault group, he also spent five years with the Secret Service serving in the Reagan White House. Deputized U.S. Marshal Tommy Kilbride, a 17-year veteran of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, and a supervisor with their Detention and Removal Operations (DRO) unit). Deputy U.S. Marshal Michelle ‘Michy’ Mendez. Michy was recruited by the U.S. Marshals Service while an undergraduate, studying criminal justice. Deputized U.S. Marshal Roxanne Lopez. Roxanne, a detective with the Spring Valley, NY Police Department’s Special Investigations Unit, joined the Task Force in 2003. Detective and deputized U.S. Marshal Rasheen ‘Pep’ Peppers. Born and raised in Newark, NJ Rasheen has been with the Newark Police Department for 12 1/2 years. Deputized U.S. Marshal Federico Merced. For the past 15 years Federico has been an investigator with the NY State Inspector General’s Escape and Abscond Unit. He joined the Task Force three months ago and is the newest member of the team. Vinny Senzamici, a deputized U.S. Marshal, and senior parole officer with the NY State Division of Parole. Vinny, who is known for his “hard nose” investigative style, joined the Task Force in 2002. And Deputy U.S. Marshal Mike Romani. A 15 year veteran of law enforcement, Mike has been with the Marshals service since 1998.

Stories in season one of the high-stakes, heart-pounding real-life series include: the Marshals on the hunt for an alleged former member of the “Jamaican Shower Posse,” a Brooklyn gang renowned for showering their enemies with bullets; a female bank robber who made her hit on Valentine’s Day; and an alleged elite member of the infamous Columbian drug cartel; one of the largest and most notorious drug organizations in the world. Robert Sharenow and Laura Fleury are executive producers for A&E. MANHUNTERS:: FUGITIVE TASK FORCE is produced for A&E Network by Stars & Stripes Media, Inc. Executive producers are Gary Tarpinian, Stuart Goodman and Vincent Scarza. Supervising producer is Paninee Theeranuntawat. Series producer is Sonia Slutsky and senior producer is Siobhan Walshe.

A&E is “Real Life. Drama.” Now reaching more than 97 million homes, A&E is television that you can’t turn away from; where real life shows are dramatic and scripted dramas are authentic. A&E offers a diverse mix of high quality entertainment; ranging from the network’s original scripted series including “The Cleaner” starring Benjamin Bratt and “The Beast” starring Patrick Swayze, to signature Real-Life franchises, including the Emmy-nominated “Intervention,” “Dog The Bounty Hunter,” “Paranormal State” and “Criss Angel Mindfreak,” and the most successful justice shows on cable, including “The First 48” and “Crime 360.” The A&E website is located at www.aetv.com.
Episode One, airing Tuesday is highlighted below:
Episode 1: MANHUNTERS : FUGITIVE TASK FORCE – ‘Third Time’s the Charm’ (# 1) Fugitive Task Force member and ICE /DRO Supervisor Tommy Kilbride has been in law enforcement for 20 years. But for Tommy the cat-and-mouse game never gets tired, the faces just get familiar. One of those familiar faces has been deported from the U.S. twice after serving time in prison for drug trafficking and firearms possession. Tommy, who made both deportation arrests, has just learned that this repeat offender has returned to the U.S. Fugitive Task Force members start looking in Brooklyn but, Tommy interrupts their surveillance with a phone call. Their suspect is not in NYC he’s in Los Angeles. With time ticking away, and information that he might be leaving LA soon, the hunt is on.

David Temple 48 Hours Mystery

Location: Katy, TX, USA

A FOOTBALL HERO IS USED TO GETTING EVERYTHING HE WANTS, BUT DID HE WANT THE MURDER OF HIS PREGNANT WIFE?
TWO LEGAL TITANS BATTLE IT OUT TO FIND THE TRUTH

48 HOURS MYSTERY ON SATURDAY, DEC. 6

            In Texas football is an institution where a gifted athlete is a star. In the town of Katy, David Temple was just that. The celebrated defensive linebacker at his high school, Temple went on to attend college on a football scholarship, where he became known as “The Temple of Doom.” As an athlete Temple got everything he desired and his success on the field was mirrored by his success off the field, when he became a football coach with a beautiful wife Belinda an adorable son and a new baby on the way. But when his pregnant wife was murdered in their home, Temple’s picture perfect life began to unravel. This hometown hero seemed to indeed get what he wanted, including a blond bombshell with whom he was having an affair.

            With a lack of physical evidence linking Temple to the crime, years passed with no new developments, until 2004 when Scott Peterson was convicted of killing his pregnant wife in a trial that captured the nation’s attention. The similarities in both murders gave authorities a renewed confidence in their circumstantial case and David Temple was now facing the fight of his life.

With tough-as-nails prosecutor Kelly Siegler determined to see justice and Houston’s top defense attorney, Dick DeGuerin representing Temple, the passion on each side was palpable.  And as the high-powered lawyers clashed The State vs. David Temple was shaping up as a personal battle between these legal titans to find the truth.
Did this small-town football hero murder his beloved pregnant wife?

Richard Schlesinger reports on 48 HOURS MYSTERY: "The Guessing Game," Saturday, Dec. 6 (10:00-11:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. This broadcast is produced by Gail Zimmerman and Jenna Jackson. Judy Tygard is the senior producer and Al Briganti is the executive editor. Susan Zirinsky is the executive producer.
Editors' Note: Click here to watch a preview of the broadcast. Click here for Richard Schlesinger’s notebook. CBS News 48 HOURS MYSTERY broadcasts are now available on iTunes.