Saturday, March 17, 2018
The body of a white girl aged 2 to 3 years was discovered inside a suitcase that had been thrown into Lake Alton in West Alton, Missouri, in St. Charles County on February 1, 1968. The child's remains were recovered by a fisherman who had hooked his line on the suitcase, which had been wrapped in clothesline and weighted with barbells. The girl had long, blond hair; her eye color could not be determined. She was about 2 feet 8 inches tall and weighed between 35 and 40 pounds. Distinctive features noted on the remains were an abnormally large tooth and a scar near one of the eyes. Her body had decomposed somewhat and had been in the water for an estimated "few weeks" after her death. After an image of the child was constructed by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in September 2015, the body was exhumed on September 24, 2015, from an unmarked grave to obtain DNA information. It was later announced that the DNA testing was unsuccessful. She was identified then as a homicide victim, but authorities declined to explain what method was used to kill her. Exhumation would yield a more accurate estimation of the girl's age at the time of her death. If her skull were still in reasonable condition, it could be studied to create a more accurate image.
Wednesday, March 14, 2018
Tuesday, March 13, 2018
Monday, March 12, 2018
Charity Aiyedogbon is a Nigerian businesswoman who vanished without a trace on 10 May 2016 in Abuja. Her whereabouts remain unknown. Background of the case: Charity was a businesswoman who owned a joint venture called Chavid Limited (a combination of her name "Charity" and her husband's name "David"), which consisted of a fashion-design business and a restaurant, also located in Abuja. She was a mother of four children, estranged from her husband of 15 years, David Aiyedogbon, and was living in a rented apartment. Besides her business activities, Charity was also active on Facebook prior to her disappearance, where she was popularly known by the name "Deepdeal Chacha De Hammer" and was a member of a Facebook group "FEMALE IN NIGERIA" (FIN). According to information from her Facebook friends, her last known update on social media was made on 11 May 2016 in the form of a photograph of herself sitting in a vehicle with the words "going on a road trip" at about 9:11 AM. Investigations into her disappearance: It became apparent that Charity had previously received threats to her safety from some undisclosed individuals in the days before her disappearance. Her friends revealed that the threats prompted her to contract a technician to install CCTV cameras in her apartment. After her disappearance, all attempts to contact her though her mobile phone were unsuccessful. Charity's case was reported to the Gwarimpa Police Division in Abuja. Investigators gained access into her Abuja apartment with the help of her landlady and some security personnel. Further investigations revealed that there was no indication that she had planned to go on any trip, as she had no bag packed and every item in her apartment was in order. A pot of stew was still on the cooker. Investigative efforts to retrieve her call logs revealed that the last call from her phone was made on 9 May, to a number registered to an individual named Rabi Mohammed. The last received call from another number showed the same date. The Federal Capital Territory Police Command arrested some suspects in connection with her disappearance (who were later released), while her vehicle and two mobile phones were recovered. Aftermath of her disappearance: A Nigerian lawyer, Emeka Ugwonye, accused Charity's estranged husband David of being involved in her disappearance. However, no concrete evidence could be found to implicate him. David later sued the lawyer for defamation. Some have gone on further to question the professionalism and claims of the lawyer. Charity's eldest daughter, Juliet, received backlash on social media for planning to proceed with her wedding while her mother was recently declared missing. However, the wedding was postponed indefinitely as a result of further controversy following Ugwuonye's claims about her missing mother. Various support groups have emerged to bring justice for Charity The dismembered corpse of an unidentified woman discovered in Abuja was rumoured to belong to Charity. However, no DNA test has been conducted by the police to confirm her identity. To date, no conclusion has been drawn regarding the dismembered body. Charity is still declared missing.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Saturday, March 10, 2018
Cassie René Bernall was a student killed in the Columbine High School massacre at age 17. It was initially reported that Bernall had been asked whether or not she believed in God before being shot during the massacre, though further examinations of witness testimony revealed that Bernall was not asked anything before she was shot. In September 2000, Bernall's mother, Misty, released the book She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall. In it, Misty describes her daughter's turbulent teenage life, spiritual conversion and Christian faith. Biography: Cassie was born to Misty and Brad Bernall on November 6, 1981. Along with her brother Chris, she was brought up in a Christian home. According to her parents, Cassie rebelled as a young teenager and began using drugs and alcohol. Her parents state that at one point Cassie became suicidal. Her mother found letters in Cassie's bedroom discussing her thoughts of killing her parents, and they decided to send her to a new school, Columbine High School, for a new start. A year and a half before her death, Cassie decided to go on a weekend church retreat and restored her faith. Cassie's father Brad said "When she came back from that retreat, she was an entirely different person. We had gotten our daughter back." Death: Cassie was killed by Eric Harris during the Columbine massacre on April 20, 1999. According to witness Emily Wyant, who was hiding under the same table as Bernall, Harris slammed his hand down on the table above them and said "peek-a-boo" before fatally shooting Bernall. Cassie's family wasn't informed of her death until two days after the massacre. Controversy surrounding martrydom claims: Craig Scott, a student who was also in the library during the massacre, told investigators that he had heard one of the shooters ask a victim whether or not they believed in God during the shooting, and the victim answer "Yes." Scott said that he recognized the voice as Cassie's, however he did not see the exchange happen as he was hiding under the table at the time. Investigators later took Scott back into the library and asked him to point to where he had heard the exchange come from. He did not point to where Cassie had been in the library, but rather pointed to where Valeen Schnurr, another student that had been shot in the massacre, had been hiding. Valeen Schnurr had been shot and was on the floor of the library when one of the shooters, Dylan Klebold approached her. She said, "Oh, my God, oh, my God, don't let me die." Klebold asked her if she believed in God. She said yes, and he asked why. She responded "Because I believe and my parents brought me up that way." Klebold reloaded but did not shoot her again, and Schnurr ultimately survived the massacre. Some media publicized the story of Cassie being asked about her belief in God before her death. The story persisted even decades later. In 2015, Rick Santorum brought up the myth during a Republican presidential debate, saying "16 years ago this country was tremendously inspired by a young woman who faced a gunman in Columbine and was challenged about her faith, and refused to deny God." She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall: In October 1999, Cassie's mother Misty Bernall authored a book She Said Yes: The Unlikely Martyrdom of Cassie Bernall. The book reached No. 8 on The New York Times best-sellers list. In the book, Misty Bernall reaffirmed the story that her daughter was asked if she believed in God before she died, despite being told by investigators that the question had not been asked. Cassie's friend Emily Wyant, who was next to Cassie in the library when she was shot, also told the family that the question had not been asked. Among doubt, the Bernalls issued a statement standing behind the accuracy of their book, saying they had spoken to 4 witnesses who had told them that Cassie had defended her faith before being killed. However, the book ultimately leaves it up to the audience to make up their own mind about what happened. Legacy: Bernall’s presentation as a Christian martyr has led to her serving as the inspiration for several songs, including Flyleaf's "Cassie" and Michael W. Smith's "This Is Your Time". The video for "This Is Your Time" includes a short clip at its beginning of Bernall talking about her beliefs.
Friday, March 9, 2018
this is 1 i've never heard of. The Brabant killers (also the Nijvel Gang (Dutch: De Bende van Nijvel, French: Les Tueurs fous du Brabant Wallon) are believed responsible for a series of violent attacks that mainly occurred in the Belgian province of Brabant between 1982 and 1985. Twenty-eight people died and 40 were injured. The actions of the gang, believed to consist of several people who assisted a core of three men, made it Belgium's most notorious crime spree. The active participants were known as: The Giant (a tall man who may have been the leader); the Killer (the main shooter) and the Old Man (a middle aged man who drove). The identities and whereabouts of the "Brabant killers" are unknown although one may have been killed after the last known robbery. Failure to catch the gang was a major impetus behind the reform of the Belgian police. There have been many theories of ulterior motives behind the crimes. Method of operation: Some evidence police found indicated the gang were professional criminals involved in drugs and burglaries. On the other hand, odd elements were also evident: -Robbery proceeds were modest relative to the extreme risks; -The killings escalated dramatically in 1985. Bystanders were shot dead in the parking lot before the gang entered the supermarkets; other victims, including children, were shot from as close as a foot away while cowering on floors; -Firearms were a particular interest; the 12-gauge pump shotguns used were loaded with a rare, heavy buckshot; -Cars used, often Volkswagens, were stripped of distinctive trim; vehicle modifications indicated a mechanic's expertise; -The getaway driver was highly skilled; escape routes were fast and non-obvious, often to forested areas where the cars were burned. -The gang is believed to have had at least one outside helper on its last raid. The weapons the gang used were found in 1987 in a channel about 30 km outside Brussels. Ulterior motives- Official complicity: The last gang robbery (despite patrols checking the supermarket every twenty minutes) led to rumors of them having some kind of inside knowledge and possibly complicity by individual gendarmes in the attacks. Nearby Gendarmerie vehicles (which had an Uzi in a compartment) did not engage or pursue the gang. The Belgian "stay-behind" network SDRA8 (Gladio) — operating as a secret branch of the Belgian military service — was suggested by some to have links to the gang. Some units of the stay-behind network were made up of members of the Belgian Gendarmerie. One theory was that the communist threat in Western Europe was taken as justifying Operation Gladio being activated. However, the Belgian parliamentary inquiry into Gladio found no substantive evidence that Gladio was involved in any terrorist acts or that criminal groups had infiltrated the stay-behind network. The Belgian Gendarmerie were abolished in reforms that came as a result of a perceived lack of satisfactory performance in the Brabant killers case, and that of Marc Dutroux. Westland New Post: The NATO 'Stay Behind' explanation for the Brabant incidents was explored in a 1992 BBC Timewatch series named 'Operation Gladio', directed by Allan Francovich. The program centered on a by-then defunct private Belgian far right anti-communist organization named Westland New Post. The leader, Paul Latinus, said he was working with government agencies along the same lines as Gladio. Many people believe Latinus fabricated contacts with secret government agencies to boost his prestige among WNP followers. The main WNP connection to the Brabant killers was that members — including some Gendarmerie — recalled being ordered in the early eighties to covertly surveil and compile a report on security arrangements at various Belgian supermarkets. Some of the markets were in a large chain that was the main target of the later killings. WNP had a genuine intelligence operative advising on covert techniques; NATO behind-the-lines units are known to have used the planning of robberies as a training exercise. Michel Libert, the former second-in-command of Westland New Post, has never denied passing on the covert-supermarket-surveillance orders. He has denied having anything more to do with the matter. He said he was not told by Latinus what the purpose was behind the assignments. In 1983 Libert had been staying with Marcel Barbier, a WNP member, when the latter was arrested for using a weapon in a street fight and became a suspect in a double murder at a synagogue a year earlier. When police then began investigating WNP, Latinus told them that Barbier and another WNP member were behind the synagogue murders, and that Latinus had helped Barbier get rid of the murder weapon as well as other pieces of evidence. Barbier was the only person convicted for these murders; his co-accused, who was acquitted, but later convicted, of a similar double murder of diamond merchants, appeared in a Belgian TV program in 2014, where he alleged WNP was behind the Brabant killings. This claim was based on WNP apparently having compiled information on the premises raided. Libert was arrested as a suspect soon after the program was broadcast, but released without charge after 48 hours. Other speculation: Various conspiracy theories link the killings to political scandals, suggesting they were done to disguise a targeted assassination. In one version, connecting the killings to illegal gun-running mafias and legitimate businesses, a banker by the name of Léon Finné, who was shot by the gang in Overijse, was supposedly targeted deliberately. Possible suspects: Notorious professional criminals, including Patrick Haemers and Madani Bouhouche (both deceased) have been indicated as likely suspects. Haemers's height made him an apparent fit for the Brabant gang's 'Giant'. On the other hand, his known crimes lacked the gratuitous violence and small-time takings that were the Brabant killers' hallmark. Bouhouche was an ex-policeman convicted of two murders and linked to several notorious crimes of the era. Investigation: In 1983, on the basis of a forensic examination of a weapon, authorities charged the gun owner (a former municipal policeman) and several other men with the Brabant killings. Police said they obtained statements from the men under interrogation. However, the Brabant killers' Orhain raid (Oct. 2nd, 1983) occurred while the accused were in detention. It later came out that a German laboratory had concluded that the examined weapon (a pistol) had not been used in the robberies. Charges against the "Borains," as the men were known, were eventually dropped. The law enforcement agencies hunting the killers made many mistakes during the early years of the investigation. Among them were the mishandling of fingerprints believed to have belonged to one of the killers. These fingerprints were either destroyed or simply lost. The investigating magistrate was criticized for lack of professionalism in handling evidence and not considering alternatives to his theories about the case. He was later replaced. Current lines of inquiry: One suspect was C.B., nicknamed "The Giant". He was a police officer and member of the elite group Diane during and after the crimes. He passed away on May 14, 2015, before which he allegedly confessed to having committed the crimes to his brother. His brother only revealed the confession two years after the death, in October 2017. There were also a riot gun, other gun, bullets in a basket labelled "Gendarmerie-Politie", indicating it used to belong to the police, found in a canal, probably linked to the Brabant killers. Barring an extension to the statute of limitations, the gang members would no longer be punished for the crimes. The limit was due to run out November 10, 2015. The period was extended with 10 years in October 2015.