Saturday, April 30, 2016

Disappeared for nearly a month

Last summer i went on vacation and dissapeared for nearly a month. How did no one notice?

Friday, April 29, 2016

Rock or skateboarding

I wonder what will be more awesome at church


Starbucks Corporation is an American coffee company and coffeehouse chain. Starbucks was founded in Seattle, Washington in 1971. Today it operates 23,768 locations worldwide, including 13,107 (+170) in the United States, 2,204 (+86) in China, 1,418 (-12) in Canada, 1,160 (+2) in Japan and 872 in South Korea (bumping United Kingdom from 5th place) (Differences reflect growth since Jan 8, 2016). Starbucks is considered the main representative of "second wave coffee", initially distinguishing itself from other coffee-serving venues in the US by taste, quality, and customer experience, while popularizing darkly roasted coffee. Since the 2000s, third wave coffee makers have targeted quality-minded coffee drinkers with hand-made coffee based on lighter roasts, while Starbucks nowadays used automated espresso machines for efficiency and safety reasons. Starbucks locations serve hot and cold drinks, whole-bean coffee, microground instant coffee known as VIA, espresso, caffe latte, full- and loose-leaf teas including Teavana tea products, Evolution Fresh juices, Frappuccino beverages, pastries, and snacks; some offerings (including their Pumpkin Spice Latte) are seasonal or specific to the locality of the store. Many stores sell pre-packaged food items, hot and cold sandwiches, and drinkware including mugs and tumblers; select "Starbucks Evenings" locations offer beer, wine, and appetizers. Starbucks-brand coffee, ice cream and bottled cold coffee drinks are also sold at grocery stores. Starbucks first became profitable in Seattle in the early 1980s, and despite an initial economic downturn with its expansion into the Midwest and British Columbia in the late 1980s, the company experienced revitalized prosperity with its entry into California in the early 1990s. The first Starbucks location outside North America opened in Tokyo in 1996; overseas properties now constitute almost one third of its stores. The company had opened an average of two new locations daily between 1987 and 2007.


Frappuccino is a trademark for a line of frozen coffee beverages sold by Starbucks. It consists of coffee or other base ingredient (e.g., strawberries and cream), blended with ice and other various ingredients, usually topped with whipped cream. Frappuccinos are also sold as bottled coffee beverages in stores and from vending machines. History: Frappuccino is a portmanteau of frappé and cappuccino, an espresso coffee with frothed milk. The word was coined and trademarked in Boston, Massachusetts. In the Boston area, a "frappe" (pronounced "frap" and spelled without the accent) is a term for a thick milkshake with ice cream, derived from the French word frappé. The original Frappuccino beverage was developed, named, trademarked and sold by George Howell's Eastern Massachusetts coffee shop chain, The Coffee Connection. When Starbucks purchased The Coffee Connection in 1994, they also gained the rights to use, make, market, and sell the Frappuccino beverage. The beverage was introduced under the Starbucks name in 1995 and as of 2012, Starbucks had annual Frappuccinos sales of over $2 billion. In response to the success of Frappuccinos, several of Starbucks' competitors have developed similar drinks with similar sounding names: Cinnabon's Mochalatta and Caramelatta (1998);Coffee Break; Gloria Jean's Chillers. Available versions: The following is a list of the typical versions available of each type of Frappuccino. Decaffeinated: Many Starbucks all over the world serve decaffeinated Frappuchinos. Crème: A coffee-free "cream" base was created to make a beverage called a Frappuccino Blended Crème. Examples include the Green Tea Frappuccino, Vanilla Bean Frappuccino, and Strawberries and Cream Frappuccino. Vegan: Frappuccinos made with soy milk became available in stores in the United States and Canada in 2010. In January 2011 Starbucks introduced this option to Australian stores, and the option has since been made available in other countries. Juice blends: In the summer of 2006, Starbucks introduced the Frappuccino Juice Blend, which is described as being "real fruit juices combined with Tazo Tea, blended with ice". This version seems to be different from the Tazoberry "blended tea" versions of several years ago, since it uses more "real juice" and "freshly brewed" ice teas to the drink instead of a bottled, premixed concentrate. Juice Blends were discontinued in 2007–2008, with the Pomegranate the first to go. The Tangerine Juice Blend was discontinued shortly thereafter. The drinks in this category included: -Pomegranate (raspberry and blackcurrant in UK & Ireland): Pomegranate, peach and "other fruit juices" combined with 'Zen' Iced Tea. Pomegranate Frappuccino Juice Blend has been discontinued in the U.S. -Tangerine (mango passionfruit in UK, Ireland, Japan and Spain): Tangerine and "other fruit juices". combined with Passion Iced Tea. Tangerine Frappuccino Juice Blend has been discontinued in the U.S. -Blended Strawberry Lemonade: A combination of strawberry puree and lemonade. -Lemonade Blended Beverage: Fresh lemonade flavor with real lemon zest, blended with ice. Introduced in the U.S. in the Summer of 2008. A "Lemon" version of the chilled beverage was introduced to UK stores in June 2010, following a minor menu change and price increases across the majority of the ranges sold. The Lemonade Blended Beverage was made with a proprietary Blended Lemonade base that consisted of real lemon zest and was thicker than the lemonade that is currently used for Iced Tea Lemonades. This Blended Lemonade Base was discontinued in the fall of 2008. A Blended Lemonade can still be bought at Starbucks, however it will be made with the "old" lemonade, and thus be a different taste and consistency. Modifications: Many drinks include additional ingredients, which can include espresso shots, flavored syrups, chocolate chips, and flavored powders. Frappuccinos can also be double blended, or made with more or less ice. Mocha drizzle is added to the Java Chip and Double Chocolaty Chip by standard, and caramel drizzle is added to the Caramel. Any drink can have an additional syrup/espresso or many other flavorings added at request for an additional charge. One less popular modification is to order the Frappuccino affogato style (an Italian word literally meaning "drowned"). An affogato Frappuccino has a shot of espresso on top rather than blended into the rest of the drink. The most common versions of this variation are known as "caramel affogato" and "mocha affogato" style, in which the espresso shot is poured on top of a crosshatch pattern of either caramel or mocha sauce in place of whipped cream. International varieties: There are also different versions available only in certain countries, such as Banana Java Chip and Mango, Azuki in the Philippines and azuki (red bean) in Japan. Banana Java Chip is also available in Switzerland. Blackberry Green Tea Frappuccino is currently available in the Philippines and Australia. Another variation found in Japan is the Sakura (cherry blossom) Frappuccino. The Coffee Jelly Frappuccino was formerly a seasonal offering in the Philippines but later is now part of the standard menu. Coconut Mocha Frappuccino is available in the U.S. Argentina offers a Dulce de Leche Frappuccino. In Peru, as of 2011, there is the Algarrobina Frappuccino, made with Algarrobina, a syrup derived from the Black carob tree. Bottled version: A bottled Frappuccino is sold in retail stores and vending machines. The U.S. 9.5-oz. bottled version is manufactured by PepsiCo. In Europe this product is made by Arla Foods in Denmark. This product uses a different recipe from that of the blended drink of the same name. The following flavors are available: -Caramel: made with a hint of caramel flavoring -Mocha: the most popular flavor, made with chocolate -Mocha Lite: made with chocolate and special creme to make it less fattening -Vanilla: a hint of vanilla flavoring -Coffee: similar to iced coffee -Strawberries & Crème: crème based and coffee-free -Mint Mocha (Limited Edition): Since its addition in July 2005, it has appeared during the holiday seasons. -Dark Chocolate Peppermint Mocha (Limited Edition)" Just like mint mocha but with extra chocolate and mint flavor. New for the 2007 holiday season and re-released for the 2008 holiday season. -Dark Chocolate Mocha: Just like Mocha but with extra chocolate. Released February 2008. -Dark Mocha Raspberry (Limited Edition): Dark chocolate with a hint of raspberry. Released August 2008. -Mocha Cookie Crumble: Chocolate with cookies on top. -Gingerbread (Limited Edition): Gingerbread flavor, it appears during the holiday seasons. -S'mores: made with chocolate, light cinnamon, and marshmallow flavoring.


Mormons are a religious and cultural group related to Mormonism, the principal branch of the Latter Day Saint movement of Restorationist Christianity, which began with Joseph Smith in upstate New York during the 1820s. After Smith's death in 1844, the Mormons followed Brigham Young to what would become the Utah Territory. Today, most Mormons are understood to be members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). Some Mormons are also either independent or non-practicing. The center of Mormon cultural influence is in Utah, and North America has more Mormons than any other continent, though the majority of Mormons live outside the United States. Mormons have developed a strong sense of communality that stems from their doctrine and history. During the 19th century, Mormon converts tended to gather to a central geographic location, and between 1852 and 1890 a minority of Mormons openly practiced plural marriage, a form of religious polygamy. Mormons dedicate large amounts of time and resources to serving in their church, and many young Mormons choose to serve a full-time proselytizing mission. Mormons have a health code which eschews alcoholic beverages, tobacco, coffee, tea, and other addictive substances. They tend to be very family-oriented, and have strong connections across generations and with extended family, reflective of their belief that families can be sealed together beyond death. Mormons also have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside of opposite-sex marriage and strict fidelity within marriage. Mormons self-identify as Christian, although some non-Mormons dispute this and some of their beliefs differ from mainstream Christianity. Mormons believe in the Bible, as well as other books of scripture, such as the Book of Mormon. They have a unique view of cosmology, and believe that all people are spirit-children of God. Mormons believe that returning to God requires following the example of Jesus Christ, and accepting his atonement through ordinances such as baptism. They believe that Christ's church was restored through Joseph Smith and is guided by living prophets and apostles. Central to Mormon faith is the belief that God speaks to his children and answers their prayers. Due to their high birth and conversion rates, the Mormon population has grown significantly in recent decades rising from around three million in 1970 to over 15 million in 2015. Terminology: The word "Mormons" most often refers to members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) because of their belief in the Book of Mormon, though members often refer to themselves as Latter-day Saints or sometimes just Saints. The term "Mormons" has been embraced by most adherents of Mormonism, most notably Mormon fundamentalists, while other Latter Day Saint denominations, such as the Community of Christ, have rejected it. Both LDS Church members (or "Latter-day Saints") and members of fundamentalist groups commonly use the word "Mormon" in reference to themselves. The LDS Church, however, disagrees with this self-characterization, and encourages the use of the word "Mormon" only in reference to LDS Church members. Church leaders also encourage members to use the church's full name to emphasize its focus on Jesus Christ. The word "Mormon" is often associated with polygamy (or plural marriage), which was a distinguishing practice of many early Mormons; however it was renounced by the LDS Church in 1890 and discontinued over the next 15 years. Today, polygamy is practiced within Mormonism only by people that have broken with the LDS Church. History: The history of the Mormons has shaped them into a people with a strong sense of unity and communality. From the start, Mormons have tried to establish what they call "Zion", a utopian society of the righteous. Mormon history can be divided into three broad time periods: (1) the early history during the lifetime of Joseph Smith, (2) a "pioneer era" under the leadership of Brigham Young and his successors, and (3) a modern era beginning around the turn of the 20th century. In the first period, Smith had tried literally to build a city called Zion, in which converts could gather. During the pioneer era, Zion became a "landscape of villages" in Utah. In modern times, Zion is still an ideal, though Mormons gather together in their individual congregations rather than a central geographic location. Beginnings: Mormons trace their origins to the visions that Joseph Smith reported having in the early 1820s while living in upstate New York. In 1823, Smith said an angel directed him to a buried book written on golden plates containing the religious history of an ancient people. Smith published what he said was a translation of these plates in March 1830 as the Book of Mormon, named after Mormon, the ancient prophet–historian who compiled the book. On April 6, 1830, Smith founded the Church of Christ. The early church grew westward as Smith sent missionaries to preach the restored gospel. In 1831, the church moved to Kirtland, Ohio where missionaries had made a large number of converts and Smith began establishing an outpost in Jackson County, Missouri, where he planned to eventually build the city of Zion (or the New Jerusalem). In 1833, Missouri settlers, alarmed by the rapid influx of Mormons, expelled them from Jackson County into the nearby Clay County, where local residents took them in. After Smith led a mission, known as Zion's Camp, to recover the land, he began building Kirtland Temple in Lake County, Ohio, where the church flourished. When the Missouri Mormons were later asked to leave Clay County in 1836, they secured land in what would become Caldwell County. The Kirtland era ended in 1838, after the failure of a church-sponsored bank caused widespread defections, and Smith regrouped with the remaining church in Far West, Missouri. During the fall of 1838, tensions escalated into the Mormon War with the old Missouri settlers. On October 27, the governor of Missouri ordered that the Mormons "must be treated as enemies" and be exterminated or driven from the state. Between November and April, some eight thousand displaced Mormons migrated east into Illinois. n 1839, the Mormons converted a swampland on the banks of the Mississippi River into Nauvoo, Illinois and began construction of the Nauvoo Temple. The city became the church's new headquarters and gathering place, and it grew rapidly, fueled in part by converts immigrating from Europe. Meanwhile, Smith introduced temple ceremonies meant to seal families together for eternity, as well as the doctrines of eternal progression or exaltation, and plural marriage. Smith created a service organization for women called the Relief Society, as well as an organization called the Council of Fifty, representing a future theodemocratic "Kingdom of God" on the earth. Smith also published the story of his First Vision, in which the Father and the Son appeared to him while he was about 14 years old. This vision would come to be regarded by some Mormons as the most important event in human history after the birth, ministry, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. In 1844, local prejudices and political tensions, fueled by Mormon peculiarity and internal dissent, escalated into conflicts between Mormons and "anti-Mormons". On June 27, 1844, Smith and his brother Hyrum were killed by a mob in Carthage, Illinois. Because Hyrum was Smith's logical successor, their deaths caused a succession crisis, and Brigham Young assumed leadership over the majority of Latter Day Saints. Young had been a close associate of Smith's and was senior apostle of the Quorum of the Twelve. Smaller groups of Latter Day Saints followed other leaders to form other denominations of the Latter Day Saint movement. Pioneer era: For two years after Smith's death, conflicts escalated between Mormons and other Illinois residents. To prevent war, Brigham Young led the Mormon pioneers (constituting most of the Latter Day Saints) to a temporary winter quarters in Nebraska and then, eventually (beginning in 1847), to what became the Utah Territory. Having failed to build Zion within the confines of American society, the Mormons began to construct a society in isolation, based on their beliefs and values. The cooperative ethic that Mormons had developed over the last decade and a half became important as settlers branched out and colonized a large desert region now known as the Mormon Corridor. Colonizing efforts were seen as religious duties, and the new villages were governed by the Mormon bishops (local lay religious leaders). The Mormons viewed land as commonwealth, devising and maintaining a co-operative system of irrigation that allowed them to build a farming community in the desert. From 1849–52, the Mormons greatly expanded their missionary efforts, establishing several missions in Europe, Latin America, and the South Pacific. Converts were expected to "gather" to Zion, and during Young's presidency (1847–77) over seventy thousand Mormon converts immigrated to America. Many of the converts came from England and Scandinavia, and were quickly assimilated into the Mormon community. Many of these immigrants crossed the Great Plains in wagons drawn by oxen, while some later groups pulled their possessions in small handcarts. During the 1860s, newcomers began using the new railroad that was under construction. In 1852, church leaders publicized the previously secret practice of plural marriage, a form of polygamy. Over the next 50 years, many Mormons (between 20 and 30 percent of Mormon families) entered into plural marriages as a religious duty, with the number of plural marriages reaching a peak around 1860, and then declining through the rest of the century. Besides the doctrinal reasons for plural marriage, the practice made some economic sense, as many of the plural wives were single women who arrived in Utah without brothers or fathers to offer them societal support. By 1857, tensions had again escalated between Mormons and other Americans, largely as a result of accusations involving polygamy and the theocratic rule of the Utah Territory by Brigham Young. In 1857, U.S. President James Buchanan sent an army to Utah, which Mormons interpreted as open aggression against them. Fearing a repeat of Missouri and Illinois, the Mormons prepared to defend themselves, determined to torch their own homes in the case that they were invaded. The relatively peaceful Utah War ensued from 1857 to 1858, in which the most notable instance of violence was the Mountain Meadows massacre, when leaders of a local Mormon militia ordered the killing of a civilian emigrant party that was traveling through Utah during the escalating tensions. In 1858, Young agreed to step down from his position as governor and was replaced by a non-Mormon, Alfred Cumming. Nevertheless, the LDS Church still wielded significant political power in the Utah Territory. At Young's death in 1877, he was followed by other LDS Church presidents, who resisted efforts by the United States Congress to outlaw Mormon polygamous marriages. In 1878, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Reynolds v. United States that religious duty was not a suitable defense for practicing polygamy, and many Mormon polygamists went into hiding; later, Congress began seizing church assets. In September 1890, church president Wilford Woodruff issued a Manifesto that officially suspended the practice of polygamy. Although this Manifesto did not dissolve existing plural marriages, relations with the United States markedly improved after 1890, such that Utah was admitted as a U.S. state in 1896. After the Manifesto, some Mormons continued to enter into polygamous marriages, but these eventually stopped in 1904 when church president Joseph F. Smith disavowed polygamy before Congress and issued a "Second Manifesto" calling for all plural marriages in the church to cease. Eventually, the church adopted a policy of excommunicating members found practicing polygamy, and today seeks actively to distance itself from "fundamentalist" groups that continue the practice. Modern times: During the early 20th century, Mormons began to reintegrate into the American mainstream. In 1929, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began broadcasting a weekly performance on national radio, becoming an asset for public relations. Mormons emphasized patriotism and industry, rising in socioeconomic status from the bottom among American religious denominations to middle-class. In the 1920s and 1930s, Mormons began migrating out of Utah, a trend hurried by the Great Depression, as Mormons looked for work wherever they could find it. As Mormons spread out, church leaders created programs that would help preserve the tight-knit community feel of Mormon culture. In addition to weekly worship services, Mormons began participating in numerous programs such as Boy Scouting, a Young Women organization, church-sponsored dances, ward basketball, camping trips, plays, and religious education programs for youth and college students. During the Great Depression, the church started a welfare program to meet the needs of poor members, which has since grown to include a humanitarian branch that provides relief to disaster victims. During the later half of the 20th century, there was a retrenchment movement in Mormonism in which Mormons became more conservative, attempting to regain their status as a "peculiar people". Though the 1960s and 1970s brought changes such as Women's Liberation and the Civil Rights Movement, Mormon leaders were alarmed by the erosion of traditional values, the sexual revolution, the widespread use of recreational drugs, moral relativism, and other forces they saw as damaging to the family. Partly to counter this, Mormons put an even greater emphasis on family life, religious education, and missionary work, becoming more conservative in the process. As a result, Mormons today are probably less integrated with mainstream society than they were in the early 1960s. Although black people have been members of Mormon congregations since Joseph Smith's time, before 1978, black membership was small. From 1852 to 1978, the LDS Church enforced a policy that restricted men of black African descent from being ordained to the church's lay priesthood. The church was sharply criticized for its policy during the civil rights movement, but the policy remained in force until a 1978 reversal that was prompted in part by questions about mixed-race converts in Brazil. In general, Mormons greeted the change with joy and relief. Since 1978, black membership has grown, and in 1997 there were approximately 500,000 black members of the church (about 5 percent of the total membership), mostly in Africa, Brazil and the Caribbean. Black membership has continued to grow substantially, especially in West Africa, where two temples have been built. Many black Mormons are members of the Genesis Group, an organization of black members that predates the priesthood ban, and is endorsed by the church. The LDS Church grew rapidly after World War II and became a world-wide organization as missionaries were sent across the globe. The church doubled in size every 15 to 20 years, and by 1996, there were more Mormons outside the United States than inside. In 2012, there were an estimated 14.8 million Mormons, with roughly 57 percent living outside the United States. It is estimated that approximately 4.5 million Mormons - roughly 30% of the total membership - regularly attend services. A majority of U.S. Mormons are white and non-Hispanic (84 percent). Most Mormons are distributed in North and South America, the South Pacific, and Western Europe. The global distribution of Mormons resembles a contact diffusion model, radiating out from the organization's headquarters in Utah. The church enforces general doctrinal uniformity, and congregations on all continents teach the same doctrines, and international Mormons tend to absorb a good deal of Mormon culture, possibly because of the church's top-down hierarchy and a missionary presence. However, international Mormons often bring pieces of their own heritage into the church, adapting church practices to local cultures. Chile, Uruguay, and several areas in the South Pacific have a higher percentage of Mormons than the United States (which is at about 2 percent). South Pacific countries and dependencies that are more than 10 percent Mormon include American Samoa, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, Niue, Samoa, and Tonga. Culture and practices: Isolation in Utah had allowed Mormons to create a culture of their own. As the faith spread around the world, many of its more distinctive practices followed. Mormon converts are urged to undergo lifestyle changes, repent of sins, and adopt sometimes foreign standards of conduct. Practices common to Mormons include studying scriptures, praying daily, fasting regularly, attending Sunday worship services, participating in church programs and activities on weekdays, and refraining from work on Sundays when possible. The most important part of the church services is considered to be the Lord's Supper (commonly called sacrament), in which church members renew covenants made at baptism. Mormons also emphasize standards they believe were taught by Jesus Christ, including personal honesty, integrity, obedience to law, chastity outside of marriage and fidelity within marriage. In 2010, around 13–14 percent of Mormons lived in Utah, the center of cultural influence for Mormonism. Utah Mormons (as well as Mormons living in the Intermountain West) are on average more culturally and/or politically conservative than those living in some cosmopolitan centers elsewhere in the U.S. Utahns self-identifying as Mormon also attend church somewhat more on average than Mormons living in other states. (Nonetheless, whether they live in Utah or elsewhere in the U.S., Mormons tend to be more culturally and/or politically conservative than members of other U.S. religious groups.) Utah Mormons often place a greater emphasis on pioneer heritage than international Mormons who generally are not descendants of the Mormon pioneers. Mormons have a strong sense of communality that stems from their doctrine and history. LDS Church members have a responsibility to dedicate their time and talents to helping the poor and building the church. The church is divided by locality into congregations called "wards", with several wards making up a "stake". The vast majority of church leadership positions are lay positions, and church leaders may work 10 to 15 hours a week in unpaid church service. Observant Mormons also contribute 10 percent of their income to the church as tithing, and are often involved in humanitarian efforts. Many LDS young men, women and elderly couples choose to serve a proselytizing mission, during which they dedicate all of their time to the church, without pay. Mormons adhere to the Word of Wisdom, a health law or code that is interpreted as prohibiting the consumption of tobacco, alcohol, coffee and tea, while encouraging the use of wholesome herbs, grains, fruits, and a moderate consumption of meat. The Word of Wisdom is also understood to forbid other harmful and addictive substances and practices, such as the use of illegal drugs and abuse of prescription drugs. Mormons also oppose behaviors such as viewing pornography and gambling. The concept of a united family that lives and progresses forever is at the core of Latter-day Saint doctrine, and Mormons place a high importance on family life. Many Mormons hold weekly family home evenings, in which an evening is set aside for family bonding, study, prayer and other wholesome activities. Latter-day Saint fathers who hold the priesthood typically name and bless their children shortly after birth to formally give the child a name. Mormon parents hope and pray that their children will gain testimonies of the "gospel" so they can grow up and marry in temples. Mormons have a strict law of chastity, requiring abstention from sexual relations outside of opposite-sex marriage and strict fidelity within marriage. All sexual activity (heterosexual and homosexual) outside of marriage is considered a serious sin, with marriage recognized as only between a man and a woman. Same-sex marriages are not performed or supported by the LDS Church. Church members are encouraged to marry and have children, and Latter-day Saint families tend to be larger than average. Mormons are opposed to abortion, except in some exceptional circumstances, such as when pregnancy is the result of incest or rape, or when the life or health of the mother is in serious jeopardy. Many practicing adult Mormons wear religious undergarments that remind them of covenants and encourage them to dress modestly. Latter-day Saints are counseled not to partake of any form of media that is obscene or pornographic in any way, including media that depicts graphic representations of sex or violence. Tattoos and body piercings are also discouraged, with the exception of a single pair of earrings for LDS women. LGBT Mormons, or Mormons who self-identify as gay, lesbian, or bisexual, remain in good standing in the church if they abstain from homosexual relations and obey the law of chastity. While there are no official numbers, LDS Family Services estimates that there are on average four or five members per LDS ward who experience same-sex attraction. Gary Watts, former president of Family Fellowship, estimates that only 10 percent of homosexuals stay in the church. Many of these individuals have come forward through different support groups or websites discussing their homosexual attractions and concurrent church membership. Groups within Mormonism- Latter-day Saints: Members of the LDS Church, also known as Latter-day Saints, constitute over 99 percent of Mormons. The beliefs and practices of LDS Mormons are generally guided by the teachings of LDS Church leaders. There are, however, several smaller groups that differ from "mainstream" Mormonism in various ways. LDS Church members who do not actively participate in worship services or church callings are often called "less-active" (akin to the qualifying expressions non-observant or non-practicing used in relation to members of other religious groups). The LDS Church does not release statistics on church activity, but it is likely that about 40 percent of Mormons in the United States and 30 percent worldwide regularly attend worship services. Reasons for inactivity can include lifestyle issues and problems with social integration. Activity rates tend to vary with age, and disengagement occurs most frequently between age 16 and 25. A majority of less active members return to church activity later in life. Former Latter-day Saints who seek to disassociate themselves from the religion are often referred to as ex-Mormons. Fundamentalist Mormons: Members of sects that broke with the LDS Church over the issue of polygamy have become known as fundamentalist Mormons; these groups differ from mainstream Mormonism primarily in their belief in and practice of plural marriage. There are thought to be between 20,000 and 60,000 members of fundamentalist sects, (0.1–0.4 percent of Mormons), with roughly half of them practicing polygamy. There are a number of fundamentalist sects, the largest two being the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS Church) and the Apostolic United Brethren (AUB). In addition to plural marriage, some of these groups also practice a form of Christian communalism known as the law of consecration or the United Order. The LDS Church seeks to distance itself from all such polygamous groups, excommunicating their members if discovered practicing or teaching it, and today a majority of Mormon fundamentalists have never been members of the LDS Church. Liberal Mormons: Liberal Mormons, also known as Progressive Mormons, take an interpretive approach to LDS teachings and scripture. They look to the scriptures for spiritual guidance, but do not necessarily believe the teachings to be literally or uniquely true. For liberal Mormons, revelation is a process through which God gradually brings fallible human beings to greater understanding. Liberal Mormons place doing good and loving fellow human beings above the importance of believing correctly. In a separate context, members of small progressive breakaway groups have also adopted the label. Cultural Mormons: Cultural Mormons are individuals who do not believe some (or many) of the doctrines of LDS Church, but who self-identify as Mormon. Usually this is a result of having been raised in the LDS faith, or as having converted and spent a large portion of one's life as an active member of the LDS Church. Cultural Mormons may or may not be actively involved with the church, and in some cases may not even be officially members of the church. Beliefs: Mormons have a scriptural canon consisting of the Bible (both Old and New Testaments), the Book of Mormon, and a collection of revelations and writings by Joseph Smith known as the Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price. Mormons however have a relatively open definition of scripture. As a general rule, anything spoken or written by a prophet, while under inspiration, is considered to be the word of God. Thus, the Bible, written by prophets and apostles, is the word of God, so far as it is translated correctly. The Book of Mormon is also believed to have been written by ancient prophets, and is viewed as a companion to the Bible. By this definition, the teachings of Smith's successors are also accepted as scripture, though they are always measured against, and draw heavily from the scriptural canon. Mormons believe in "a friendly universe", governed by a God whose aim it is to bring his children to immortality and eternal life. Mormons have a unique perspective on the nature of God, the origin of man, and the purpose of life. For instance, Mormons believe in a pre-mortal existence where people were literal spirit children of God, and that God presented a plan of salvation that would allow his children to progress and become more like him. The plan involved the spirits receiving bodies on earth and going through trials in order to learn, progress, and receive a "fulness of joy". The most important part of the plan involved Jesus, the eldest of God's children, coming to earth as the literal Son of God, to conquer sin and death so that God's other children could return. According to Mormons, every person who lives on earth will be resurrected, and nearly all of them will be received into various kingdoms of glory. To be accepted into the highest kingdom, a person must fully accept Christ through faith, repentance, and through ordinances such as baptism and the laying on of hands. According to Mormons, a deviation from the original principles of Christianity, known as the Great Apostasy, began not long after the ascension of Jesus Christ. It was marked with the corruption of Christian doctrine by Greek and other philosophies, with followers dividing into different ideological groups. Mormons claim the martyrdom of the Apostles led to a loss of Priesthood authority to administer the church and its ordinances. Mormons believe that God restored the early Christian church through Joseph Smith. In particular, Mormons believe that angels such as Peter, James, John, John the Baptist, Moses, and Elijah appeared to Smith and others and bestowed various priesthood authorities on them. Mormons believe that their church is the "only true and living church" because of the divine authority restored through Smith. Mormons self-identify as being Christian, while many Christians, particularly evangelical Protestants, disagree with this view. Mormons view other religions as having portions of the truth, doing good works, and having genuine value. Though the LDS Church has a top-down hierarchical structure with a president–prophet dictating revelations for the whole church, there is a bottom-up aspect as well. Ordinary Mormons have access to the same inspiration that is thought to guide their prophets, and are encouraged to seek their own personal revelations. Mormons see Joseph Smith's first vision as proof that the heavens are open, and that God answers prayers. They place considerable emphasis on "asking God" to find out if something is true. Most Mormons do not claim to have had heavenly visions like Smith's in response to prayers, but feel that God talks to them in their hearts and minds through the Holy Ghost. Though Mormons have some beliefs that are considered strange in a modernized world, they continue to hold onto their beliefs because they feel God has spoken to them.

Murder of Kristine Fitzhugh

Kristine Fitzhugh was a music teacher in Palo Alto, California. She was murdered in her home on May 5, 2000. On October 11, 2001, her husband, Kenneth Carroll Fitzhugh Jr., was convicted of her second degree murder and sentenced to 15 years to life. The murder attracted strong local attention. Murder: On May 5, 2000, Kristine was murdered at her home at 1545 Escobita Avenue in Palo Alto. Her husband created an alibi by running an errand with two family friends. He made an excuse to stop by the house after getting a call on his mobile phone from Palo Alto Unified School District that Kristine had not come in to teach. He went inside and supposedly "discovered" that his wife was dead. Kristine's body was at the bottom of the stairs to the basement. Kenneth claimed she had tripped on a pair of shoes on her way down to the basement, and suffered a deadly fall. The paramedics, however, were suspicious of the circumstances. A forensic investigation determined that Kristine had been killed in the kitchen after being hit on the head seven times and strangled and then repositioned by her husband at the bottom of the stairs in a staged accident. Investigators used luminol to discover water-diluted blood on the floor in the kitchen, as if Kenneth had cleaned the blood off the floor. During the time of the murder, Kenneth claimed he was in San Mateo, California, far from his house, looking at real estate. However, Craig Frost from Verizon Wireless examined the firm's cellular telephone records and determined that a Fitzhugh telephone call that happened just a few minutes before the murder did not use a cellular tower antenna in San Mateo but rather a Palo Alto antenna that served Fitzhugh's own neighborhood. Motive: The motive for the murder is not known; it was speculated that Kristine was about to reveal to her eldest son that he had been fathered by another man. Kristine had a six-year affair with Robert Brown early in her marriage to Fitzhugh and long suspected that Brown was her son's biological father. Kristine informed both Fitzhugh and Brown that she was going to tell the son of her suspicions upon his graduation from college. According to police and prosecutors, this infuriated Ken and led him to murder Kristine. A DNA blood test conducted by police after the murder confirmed Brown as the biological father. Another possible motive was money. Kenneth C. Fitzhugh Jr was convicted of his wife's murder, so he did not receive the $96,000 from her life insurance policy. With his conviction, her $900,000 estate passed to her sons Justin Kenneth and John Patrick. Conviction and sentence: Kenneth Fitzhugh was convicted of second-degree murder and, in 2001, was sentenced to 15 years to life in prison. An appeal of Fitzhugh's conviction and sentence was rejected in 2006 by the California Supreme Court. Fitzhugh was paroled on compassionate grounds in February 2012 due to Parkinson's Disease. He died in Palo Alto on October 27, 2012, at the age of 69. Cultural references: -List of City Confidential episodes, (season 10), episode 115, "Flesh and Blood" -Forensic Files (season 14), episode 3, "Hell's Kitchen" -Suburban Secrets (season 2), episode 13, "Kristine Fitzhugh Case" -Cold Blood (season 4), episode 20 - "The Truth Hurts"

Disappearance of Beverly Potts

Beverly Rose Potts was an American girl from Cleveland, Ohio who in 1951 became the subject of a famous missing persons case when she disappeared only a few blocks from her home, after attending a show in a nearby park. She has never been found and her disappearance remains unsolved. Disappearance: Blonde, blue-eyed Potts was described as a shy, quiet and responsible child, fascinated by the performing arts, who was due to enter the fifth grade in fall 1951. At the time she was living on Linnet Avenue with her parents Robert and Elizabeth Potts and her 22-year-old sister Anita. On August 24, she and her friend and neighbor Patsy Swing were given permission to see the Showagon, an annual summer children's performance event being held that evening in Halloran Park, less than a quarter of a mile from the girls' homes. This was a special treat, as the park was generally considered unsafe after dark, when large trees dimmed the surrounding streetlights. It was also frequented by the local vagrant population. The two girls initially went to the park on their bicycles around 7 pm. At 8 pm, deciding it would be easier to maneuver on foot through the large crowds in attendance, they returned home to drop off their bikes, arriving back at the show sometime before 8:30 pm. At about 8:45 pm, Swing, who had promised to be home before dark, suggested they leave for home. Potts said that she had been given permission to stay for the entire show, which was not due to end until after 9 pm, so Swing went back to her own house alone. Swing last saw Potts in the crowd. still watching the performances onstage. At about 9:30 pm, when the show had ended and the park was emptying, a 13-year-old boy who knew Potts saw her heading diagonally across the park in a northeasterly direction, about 150 yards from the corner of Linnet Avenue and West 117th Street. This would have been the quickest route to Potts' home, which would then only be a few minutes' walk away. The boy recognized Potts by her distinctive "duck-like" gait, walking with toes pointed outward. Several other witnesses said they had seen a girl resembling Potts near a battered black 1937 Dodge coupe idling on West 117th Street, apparently speaking to two young men inside. The various witnesses placed this encounter anywhere between 8:30 and 9:30 pm, but none of them had seen the girl entering the car. When Potts did not return home by 10 pm, her family began searching the area. About an hour later, having found no sign of her, they called the police. Investigation: The police immediately began a large-scale search of their own but were unable to find any trace of Potts, even after several days' investigation including door-to-door canvassing of nearby neighborhoods, tracing suspicious cars, searching nearby vacant lots, and using a plane to survey open railway cars. Police received and investigated thousands of telephone tips, which had been spurred by the extensive press coverage of the disappearance, but none provided any solid leads. Potts' family members were quickly cleared; investigators determined that her home life had been stable and by all accounts happy, and there appeared to be no reason for her to have run away. Potts was known to be unusually shy, especially around males, and particularly cautious of strangers. Investigators theorized that she had most likely been enticed into a nearby house or car on her way home by someone she knew, perhaps with the promise of a babysitting job (despite her youth, Potts was regularly hired as a sitter for neighborhood children) or a request to run an errand. It was thought that Potts might have been killed by a neighbor and buried in or around one of the nearby houses on Linnet Avenue, and at least one search to that effect was carried out in 1973, in the basement of what by then was an auto body shop. However, no signs of Potts were found there or elsewhere, and no plausible local suspect has ever been uncovered. Suspects: Several suspects emerged over the years, but none can be definitively linked to the case. In 1955 Harvey Lee Rush, a drifter and Cleveland native, told police in California that he had killed Potts after luring her to a nearby bridge with candy; however he placed the murder in 1952, a year after Potts' actual disappearance. Rush recanted his entire story shortly after being extradited to Cleveland, saying that he had confessed merely as a way to get back to his hometown. In 1980, two retired Cleveland police detectives, James Fuerst and Robert Shankland, revealed that in 1974 they had received a tip from a local attorney with a client whose brother had supposedly confessed to abducting Potts. The detectives subsequently found and questioned the brother, who, they said, had readily admitted to having lived near Halloran Park in 1951 and making a habit of picking up and molesting young girls there. The man did not remember abducting Potts in particular, but said he had "flashes" of memory involving a girl named Beverly. Fuerst and Shankland were convinced the man was guilty, but the county prosecutors' office refused to pursue the case, citing a lack of evidence. William Henry Redmond, an Ohio native and former carnival worker, was indicted in 1988 for the 1951 Pennsylvania murder of eight-year-old Jane Marie Althoff. While in prison, Redmond reportedly told a cellmate that he had killed three other young girls. When questioned about the Potts case in particular, Redmond refused to make a statement one way or the other. He was in the general area at the time of Potts' disappearance and had a record of child molestation convictions dating back to 1935; however Potts would have been considerably older than his previous victims. In 1994, a letter was discovered under a carpet in a Cleveland house, written by a woman who claimed to have caught her husband disposing of Potts' body in their furnace. Upon being traced and questioned by police, the woman said that the allegation was false; she had written the letter solely as a revenge fantasy against her abusive husband. More letters were sent to reporter Brent Larkin of the Cleveland Plain Dealer beginning in 2000, purporting to be from an elderly and infirm man who claimed that he wanted to confess to molesting and murdering Potts before his imminent death. The anonymous author pledged to turn himself in on August 24, 2001, the fiftieth anniversary of Potts' disappearance, but shortly beforehand wrote again to say he had had to enter a nursing home and would be unable to honor his promise or otherwise reveal himself. An extensive investigation failed to turn up any clues to the author's identity; Larkin now believes the letters to have been a hoax. Aftermath: The enduring mystery of Potts' apparently random disappearance and the extensive investigation quickly captured the imagination of the press and by extension the entire city, becoming notorious especially among parents fearful for their own children's safety. It has since become one of Cleveland's most well-known missing-persons cases. Thea Gallo Becker, author of Legendary Locals of Cleveland, says that it "remains one of the most haunting and heartbreaking mysteries in Cleveland history.". Potts' mother died in 1956—reportedly hastened by "heartbreak" over her daughter's disappearance—and her father in 1970. Beverly's only sibling, Anita, continued to search for her until her own death in 2006. There is a memorial marker to Beverly situated next to the graves of her parents.

Murder of Amy Mihaljevic

Amy Renee Mihaljevic was a ten-year-old American elementary school student who was kidnapped and murdered in the U.S. state of Ohio in 1989. Her murder case raised national attention. The story of her unsolved kidnapping and murder was one of the first cases presented by John Walsh on the television show, America's Most Wanted during its first year. To date, her killer has not been found, yet the case remains active; new information in 2007 and 2013 has increased hopes of resolving the case. Disappearance and murder: On October 27, 1989, Amy Mihaljevic was kidnapped from the Bay Square Shopping Center in Bay Village, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland. The abductor had contacted Mihaljevic by telephone and arranged to meet her on the pretext of buying a gift for her mother because she had recently been promoted, as he told her. On February 8, 1990, the girl's body was found in a field, close to the road, off County Road 1181, Ruggles Township in rural Ashland County, Ohio. Evidence found at the scene of the crime suggests that Mihaljevic's body was probably dumped there shortly after her abduction. Based on findings by the Cuyahoga County coroner, Mihaljevic's last meal was some sort of soy substance, possibly an artificial chicken product or Chinese food. Other evidence includes the presence of yellow/gold colored fibers on her body. It appears her killer also took several souvenirs including the girl's horse-riding boots, her denim backpack, a binder with "Buick, Best in Class" written on the front clasp, and turquoise earrings in the shape of horse heads. Blood believed to be that of Mihaljevic was found in her underwear, indicating she may have been raped or sexually abused. Mitochondrial DNA from the crime scene was sampled, which may be used in the future to compare to suspects. Investigation: The Bay Village Police and the FBI conducted an extensive investigation into her disappearance and murder. The case generated thousands of leads. Dozens of suspects were asked to take lie-detector tests, but no one has ever been charged with the crime. Law enforcement continues to pursue leads and monitor suspects to the present day. 20,000 interviews have taken place during the investigation. This was described to be the biggest search in Ohio since the disappearance of Beverly Potts. In 2005, Cleveland journalist James Renner re-examined this cold case with a series of articles in the weekly newspaper Cleveland Scene. Renner's 2005 series provided new research that he had independently undertaken, as well as openly soliciting the public for new information and clues. In October 2006, publisher Gray & Co. released a book about Renner's investigation into the murder called Amy: My Search for Her Killer. The book provided information previously unreleased by the police and FBI. In 2007, Renner donated his files, consisting of the largest private collection of material on the Mihaljevic case, to the Department of Special Collections and Archives at Kent State University, Ohio. In November 2006, it was revealed that several other young girls had received phone calls similar to that to which Mihaljevic responded, during the weeks prior to her abduction in 1989. These comprised requests from an unknown man, claiming to work with their mother, asking the girl to help him shop for a present to celebrate her mother's job promotion. The girls who received these calls lived in North Olmsted, a suburb near Bay Village; some had unlisted phone numbers. This new information was considered significant by new movement on the case. Mihaljevic and the others who received such calls had all visited the local Lake Erie Nature and Science Center, which had a visitors' logbook by the front door that the girls may hav signed, possibly adding other personal information such as addresses. Bay Village police collected DNA samples from several potential suspects in the case in December 2006. As of early 2007, it was reported that a longtime suspect in the case had retained legal counsel. The FBI announced in March 2014 that a $25,000 reward is available to anyone who can provide information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the killer of Mihaljevic. In late 2013, investigator Phil Torsney returned from retirement to work on the case, which he had originally been assigned to after she was murdered. Torsney is well known for aiding in the capture of Whitey Bulger, who was a long-time member of the FBI Top Ten Most Wanted. Torsney stated that he believes that Mihaljevic was transported out of Bay Village after she was kidnapped, as the town is "too dense, too close-knit, to be a likely place to commit murder." However, he stated that the murder likely took place in Ashland County, which the murderer was probably familiar with. Dean Runkle: According to reporter James Renner, Dean Runkle is a possible prime suspect in the FBI investigation. Multiple witnesses say that he matches the man they saw with Mihaljevic on the day she vanished. Runkle also may have volunteered at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center in Bay Village at the time of the murder. All four girls who received suspicious phone calls (with Mihaljevic being the last one) had visited it in the weeks before the abduction, and may have written their names and other personal information in the Center's visitor logbook. Runkle denied remembering this to police, but at least eight former students and teacher's aides reported that Runkle had spoke of being present at the center. Although Renner describes Runkle as an eccentric teacher, no hard evidence supports this view. Runkle himself denies any involvement in the murder of Mihaljevic and the FBI has never officially declared him a suspect. Since Runkle is exceptionally well liked as a teacher by many former students, Renner became the subject of strong criticism, unlike anything he had faced from naming previous suspects, when he named Runkle. Aftermath: In response to her daughter's death, Mihaljevic's mother, Margaret McNulty, co-founded a foundation to protect children from such situations that happened to Amy. However, McNulty had suffered from lupus after the death of Amy, resulting in her death at age 54 in 2001. Mihaljevic's case was also discussed on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Murder of Maria Ridulph

Maria Elizabeth Ridulph was an American girl who disappeared on December 3, 1957 from a street corner in her neighborhood in Sycamore, Illinois when she was seven years old. She was last seen by one of her childhood friends in the company of an unknown man who appeared to be in his early twenties and called himself "Johnny". Nearly five months later, her remains were found in a wooded area near Woodbine, Illinois, approximately 100 miles from her home. The case was widely reported as the oldest cold case murder in the United States to be solved when Jack McCullough, who under his former name John Tessier had been a neighbor of the Ridulph family, was convicted for her murder in September 2012. However, in March 2016, the DeKalb County State's Attorney announced that a post-conviction review of all available evidence showed that McCullough could not have been present at the place and time of Maria Ridulph's likely abduction. McCullough was released from prison on April 15, 2016 and the charges against him were dismissed on April 22, 2016. Background: Maria Ridulph was born on March 12, 1950, to Michael and Frances Ivy Ridulph in Sycamore, Illinois. She was the youngest of four children, and had two sisters and a brother. Although many residents lived or worked on farms in the area, her father Michael worked at one of the few factories in Sycamore; her mother Frances was a homemaker. At the time she was abducted, Maria was 7 years old, 44 inches tall, and weighed 53 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She was an honor student, then in second grade. She also received awards for perfect Sunday school attendance at Evangelical Lutheran Church of St. John. According to her mother, Maria was high-strung. "My daughter was a nervous girl and if she got in any trouble would become hysterical," Frances said in a 1957 interview shortly after Maria disappeared. "Someone would probably have to kill her to keep her quiet. I am the only one who could calm her down." Maria was also described as a "screamer" and afraid of the dark. Her best friend was 8-year-old Kathy Sigman, who lived nearby on the same street as the Ridulphs. Crime: On the evening of December 3, 1957, Maria begged to be allowed to go outside as it had started to snow. After finishing dinner, Maria and Kathy Sigman went outside in the dark (as the sun had set) near Maria's house and played a game they called "duck the cars", running back and forth trying to avoid the headlights of oncoming cars in the street. According to Kathy, they were approached by a man, whom Kathy later described to police as in his early 20s and tall with a slender chin, light hair, a gap in his teeth, and wearing a colorful sweater. The man, who said his name was "Johnny", told the girls that he was 24 and not married. He asked if they liked dolls and if they liked piggyback rides. He gave Maria a piggyback ride, after which she went back to her house and got a doll to show him. After Maria returned, Kathy ran back to her house to get her mittens, leaving Maria alone with the man. When Kathy returned, Maria and the man were gone. Kathy went to the Ridulph house to tell them she couldn't find Maria. The family initially thought that Maria was hiding, and sent Maria's 11-year-old brother to look for her. After he was unable to find her, the Ridulphs called the police, and within an hour, police and armed civilians began a search of the town, but failed to locate either Maria or "Johnny", the man with whom she was last seen. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), presuming that Maria might have been abducted across state lines (a federal crime), arrived in Sycamore within two days to assist the local and state police in the search. The FBI and police interviewed numerous witnesses who had seen the two girls playing together without any other person present between 6 pm and 6:30 pm, and also spoke to family members who had seen or spoken with Maria and Kathy in the course of Maria getting her doll, Kathy getting her mittens, and Kathy reporting Maria's disappearance to the Ridulphs. Based on these interviews, "Johnny" was thought to have approached the girls after 6:30 pm, and the FBI concluded that Maria was abducted between 6:45 and 7 pm. Kathy Sigman was the only witness who had seen "Johnny" and was placed in protective custody, as the police and FBI feared that the kidnapper would come back and harm her. The authorities had her look at photos of convicted felons or suspects who bore a resemblance to "Johnny". John Tessier, who was convicted of the crime over 50 years later, lived in the girls' neighborhood and was on the original list of suspects based on a tip, but the police failed to have Kathy identify him after he provided an alibi for the night of the crime (see Suspect). On December 22, 1957, Kathy drove with her father and the FBI to the Dane County Sheriff's Office in Madison, Wisconsin, to see a lineup of possible suspects. She positively identified Thomas Joseph Rivard, described in FBI documents as a 35-year-old man approximately 5 foot 4 inches tall and 156 lbs., with dark blond wavy (bushy) hair. However, Rivard had an alibi, as he was in jail at the time of the kidnapping; police suspected someone else in the lineup as the real culprit and Rivard was merely used to fill out the lineup. Rivard also did not physically resemble Tessier, who was six inches taller and 17 years younger than Rivard. When asked years later about the 1957 lineup, Kathy said she did not remember picking Rivard out of the lineup. Maria's disappearance received national news coverage, and both President Dwight D. Eisenhower and FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover took an interest in the case. Law enforcement continued to investigate various suspects in the area, including transients, known sex offenders, and a local man who had given children piggyback rides, but developed no solid leads. Maria's parents appeared on television and in other media pleading for their daughter's safe return and the public's help in finding her. On April 26, 1958, near Woodbine, Illinois (23 miles east of Galena and approximately 100 miles from Sycamore), two tourists searching for mushrooms in a wooded area along US Route 20 discovered the skeletal remains of a small child, wearing only a shirt, undershirt, and socks, under a partially fallen tree. The decomposed condition of the body indicated that it had been there for several months. The body was identified as Maria Ridulph based on dental records, a lock of hair, and the shirts and socks she had been wearing when she disappeared. The rest of Maria's clothing, including her coat, slacks, shoes and an undergarment, was not found. No photographs were taken of the crime scene (although photos were taken of the general location without showing the body) because the coroner, James Furlong, did not want photos of the dead child's body leaked to newspapers. Because the crime had occurred within the state of Illinois rather than crossing state lines, the FBI withdrew from the case, leaving it to be handled by state and local police. The initial autopsy did not determine a cause of death due to the state of decomposition. During a subsequent autopsy done 50 years later, a forensic anthropologist determined that Maria had been stabbed to death, pointing out nicks made by a sharp blade in Maria's sternum and neck vertebrae, consistent with "at least three" slashes to Maria's throat. Suspects- John Tessier (Jack McCullough): John Tessier was born John Cherry on November 27, 1939 in Belfast, Northern Ireland, to British sergeant Samuel Cherry and his wife Eileen McCullough Cherry. Samuel Cherry was killed early in World War II. During the war, Eileen Cherry served as one of the first female airplane spotters with the UK’s Royal Air Force and met Ralph Tessier, who was serving with the United States 8th Army-Air Force at RAF Bovingdon, England. She married Ralph Tessier in November 1944, and after the war, she and her son John, then aged 7, followed Ralph to Sycamore, Illinois, where Ralph and Eileen had six more children together over the years. After his mother's marriage, John used the last name Tessier, although he was still sometimes called John Cherry. The Tessier family home in Sycamore was located around the corner from the Ridulph home, less than two blocks away. Ralph Tessier, a sign painter, painted insignia on the doors of Sycamore police cars and was friendly with the police chief. John Tessier was expelled from school in the tenth grade for pushing a teacher and calling her a name. At the time of Maria Ridulph's disappearance, he was 18 years old and living at home with his parents and siblings while making plans to join the U.S. Air Force. On December 4, investigators visited the Tessier home as part of their neighborhood search for Maria. According to Tessier's half-sisters Katherine Tessier (Caulfield) and Jeanne Tessier, their mother told the investigators that John Tessier had been home on the night of December 3, something that they later testified was not true. Shortly thereafter, before Maria's body was found, the FBI investigated Tessier as a possible suspect. Sources differ on whether the investigation was triggered by a tip from a local resident or by John Tessier's own parents seeking to clear their son, whom they realized had the same name and general description as "Johnny". Tessier and his parents told FBI investigators that on December 3, 1957, Tessier was in Rockford, Illinois, approximately 40 miles northwest of Sycamore, to enlist in the Air Force. (This story differed from his mother's previous statement, as reported by her daughters, that Tessier had been home all night.) He said he had been in Chicago on December 2 and December 3 undergoing physical examinations required for his enlistment. On the morning of December 3 he had visited the Chicago recruiting station (which was corroborated by records) and then spent the day sightseeing in Chicago before returning to Rockford by train that evening, arriving there at 6:45 pm. Upon his arrival in Rockford, he had called his parents to ask for a ride home to Sycamore, since he had taken the train to and from Chicago and left his own car at home. Telephone records were later found showing that a collect call was placed from the Rockford post office to the Tessier home at 6:57 pm that evening by someone who gave his name as "John Tassier" as written down by the operator. After making the call, Tessier then met with officers from the Rockford recruiting station to drop off paperwork relating to his enlistment. The officers confirmed that they spoke with Tessier around 7:15 pm that evening, although one officer also expressed some concerns about Tessier's credibility and conduct. Tessier was brought to the police station to take a lie detector test, which he passed. In view of his alibi and the lie detector test result, Tessier was taken off the suspect list, and the FBI closed out his report on December 10, 1957, noting: "No further investigation is being conducted regarding the above suspect." Kathy Sigman was never shown a photograph of him or asked to identify him. Tessier left Sycamore the next day to report for basic training at Lackland Air Force Base. Tessier served in the U.S. military for thirteen years and rose to the rank of captain. After leaving the service, he moved to Seattle, Washington, where he subsequently graduated from the King County Law Enforcement Academy in June 1974 and became a police officer in the small town of Lacey near Olympia. He later joined the police department in Milton, Washington where he clashed with the chief of police, who attempted to fire him and documented a long list of complaints about his work and conduct. In 1982, in Tacoma, Washington, Tessier took in a 15-year-old runaway, Michelle Weinman, and her friend, who knew Tessier as a Milton police officer. Weinman later testified that shortly after she began living with Tessier, he fondled her and then performed oral sex on her. Tessier was charged with statutory rape, a felony. After plea negotiations, he eventually pleaded guilty to communication with a minor for immoral purposes, a misdemeanor. He was sentenced to one year of formal probation and was terminated from the Milton Police Department on March 10, 1982. On April 27, 1994, John Tessier legally changed his name to Jack Daniel McCullough, saying that he wanted to honor his late mother. By 2011, McCullough, now in his early 70s, was living at a retirement community in northwest Seattle where he worked as a security guard. William Henry Redmond: In 1997, Sycamore Police Lieutenant Patrick Solar closed the then-40-year-old Ridulph case, naming William Henry Redmond, a former truck driver and carnival worker from Nebraska who had died in 1992, as the man who had likely abducted and killed Maria Ridulph. Redmond had been charged in 1988 with the 1951 murder of an 8-year-old Pennsylvania girl, although that case was dismissed when a police officer refused to reveal the name of a confidential informant. Redmond was also a suspect in the 1951 disappearance of 10-year-old Beverly Potts in Ohio. According to Solar, Redmond told a fellow inmate that he committed a crime similar to the Ridulph abduction and murder. Solar also believed that Redmond's appearance and behavior matched that of "Johnny". Solar's report was criticized due to lack of supporting evidence and alleged political motivations. Solar himself acknowledged that the evidence against Redmond was circumstantial and that if Redmond had lived, it would have been difficult to convict him in the Ridulph case unless he confessed. For that reason, Solar called the Ridulph case "closed, but not solved", leaving open the possibility that a better suspect might later be found. When Jack McCullough was later tried in the Ridulph case, the trial judge ruled out any testimony about Redmond on the grounds that he was not a credible suspect. Reopening of case: The case was reopened in 2008 based on new information from McCullough's half-sister Janet Tessier. According to Janet, their mother Eileen Tessier on her deathbed in January 1994 had said, "Those two little girls, and the one that disappeared, John did it. John did it, and you have to tell someone." Janet took the statement as meaning that her half-brother, John Tessier (soon to rename himself Jack McCullough) had kidnapped and murdered Maria Ridulph; she had also heard from her older sisters (Katherine Tessier (Caulfield) and Jeanne Tessier) that Eileen had lied to investigators that he was home on the night of the crime. Another of McCullough's half-sisters, Mary Pat Tessier (Hunt), was also present when Eileen spoke to Janet, but later testified that she had only heard her mother say, "He did it." Nevertheless, Mary Pat testified that she had the same understanding as Janet and that her older sisters had suspected John Tessier of the murder for years. At the time, Eileen, a cancer patient, was on morphine and according to her doctor was "disoriented". McCullough, who allegedly had once threatened to kill Janet with a gun and sexually molested his half-sister Jeanne when she was a minor, was estranged from the Tessier family by the time of Eileen's death. He was told not to attend her funeral. Janet Tessier said that she made several fruitless attempts over the next fourteen years to get law enforcement, including the Sycamore police and the FBI (who referred her back to the Sycamore police), to look into her mother's statement. Patrick Solar, who during part of this time was a lieutenant with the Sycamore police and had identified William Henry Redmond as the most likely suspect in the Ridulph murder, told CNN that Janet had never spoken to him, but that he would not have suspected John Tessier (Jack McCullough) because he knew the Tessier family, Ralph Tessier had painted the Sycamore police cars, and John Tessier had been cleared by the FBI in 1957. In 2008, Janet e-mailed an Illinois State Police tip line, resulting in the state police cold case unit undertaking a lengthy investigation into McCullough's background and alibi. Janet's sisters Katherine and Jeanne told investigators of their suspicions, and Jeanne said that John had molested her as a child and other young girls. Another woman alleged that John Tessier had given her a piggyback ride as a child and refused to put her down until her father intervened. State police investigators reviewed evidence and developed a new timeline under which Tessier could have kidnapped Maria and driven to Rockford in time to make a telephone call at 6:57 pm and meet with recruiting officers at 7:15 pm. Under this new timeline, they determined that Maria would have been kidnapped no later than 6:20 pm. The police search for Maria was underway by 7 pm according to Katherine, who said she had returned home from a party at 7 pm to find the search in progress. Hoping to have Kathy Chapman (née Sigman) review a photographic lineup, police took five pictures from the 1957 Sycamore High School yearbook, but John Tessier's picture was not in the yearbook as he had been expelled. Police obtained a contemporary photo of him from his former girlfriend, which differed from the yearbook photos in that Tessier was wearing an open collar rather than a suit and the background was dark rather than light. Chapman identified the picture of Tessier. Along with the picture, Tessier's former girlfriend provided an unused, military-issued train ticket from Rockford to Chicago dated December 1957. The investigators took this to suggest that contrary to Tessier's alibi, Tessier had not taken the train on his trip to Chicago and had instead driven his car there, meaning that he could have driven back to Sycamore after noon on December 3, kidnapped Maria, and driven to Rockford. The police located a high school friend of Tessier's who recalled seeing Tessier's distinctively painted car in Sycamore that afternoon, and said that Tessier did not let anyone else drive his car. In July 2011 the Seattle Police Department, which had joined with the Illinois State Police in the investigation, brought McCullough in for questioning (using a professional interrogator due to McCullough's law enforcement experience). At first, McCullough spoke calmly and cooperated, but when faced with questions about the murder of Maria Ridulph and his whereabouts on the night of the crime, he became evasive and aggressive. After McCullough refused to answer any more questions, he was arrested for the kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph and extradited to Illinois. Maria's body was exhumed that same month to check for DNA evidence, but none could be found. However, a forensic anthropologist was able to determine for the first time a probable cause of death, finding that Maria had been stabbed in the throat at least three times by a long, sharp blade. News of the arrest in a 54-year-old murder case drew national attention. The lead prosecutor, DeKalb County State's Attorney Clay Campbell, was reluctant to take the case due to its age and the lack of any physical evidence connecting McCullough to the crime. But, after being persuaded by the Ridulph and Tessier families, who all believed that McCullough was guilty, he formally charged McCullough with the kidnapping and murder of Maria. Court proceedings: McCullough was first tried in DeKalb County, Illinois for the 1962 rape of his half-sister Jeanne Tessier, but was acquitted. He was subsequently tried and convicted in 2012 of the kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph, and sentenced to life imprisonment. On appeal, the court vacated his convictions on the lesser kidnapping charges, but upheld his murder conviction. McCullough then petitioned for post-conviction relief, asking that his murder conviction be set aside. After DeKalb County's top prosecutor reviewed the evidence and determined that McCullough could not have committed the crime based on the evidence, his murder conviction was overturned and he was released from prison in April 2016. McCullough's trial for rape of Jeanne Tessier: The prosecution, wary of the circumstantial evidence in the murder case, decided to charge McCullough with the gang rape of his half-sister, Jeanne Tessier, in 1962. It was alleged that Jeanne, then aged 14, had asked McCullough, then in his early 20s, to give her a ride in his borrowed convertible, after which McCullough had driven her to a location somewhere in Sycamore, raped her, and then offered her to three other young men, two of whom sexually assaulted her. The plan was to try McCullough for the rape case first, and for murder at a later date. In the spring of 2012, the rape trial began with Clay Campbell leading the prosecution. The prosecution presented the police reports from early in the investigation of McCullough's interest in young girls of about seven years old (Maria's age). Jeanne Tessier, now aged 64, was the main witness for the prosecution. Tessier's siblings and Michelle Weinman (the victim in the 1982 statutory rape case) also testified for the prosecution. The defense argued that no one could corroborate Jeanne's story and there was no physical evidence to even suggest that any rape took place. The defense lawyers pointed out that Jeanne had not told anyone about being raped until McCullough was arrested for Maria's murder. McCullough did not testify, and after one day of deliberations, the judge acquitted him of the rape and related charges, citing that the prosecution failed to prove that a rape had occurred and the victim waited too long to report what had happened. McCullough's trial for kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph: In September 2012, McCullough was tried for the murder of Maria Ridulph. The prosecution contended that McCullough was attracted to Maria and decided to kidnap her, but instead ended up killing her, presenting the new autopsy reports suggesting Maria was stabbed to death. Although the prosecutors suspected McCullough of molesting Maria, they were unable to prove it and never brought it up in court. Numerous witnesses testified for the prosecution, including Maria's family members, neighbors, law enforcement personnel and Kathy Sigman Chapman, who was the star witness and identified McCullough as "Johnny", the man who had walked up to her and Maria 50 years earlier. Another childhood friend of Maria's testified that she had also been offered a piggyback ride from "Johnny" and identified him as McCullough. Three inmates who were jailed with McCullough testified that he talked about killing Maria. However, their stories were both inconsistent and failed to match the evidence indicating Maria had been stabbed. One inmate said McCullough spoke of strangling Maria with a wire, and another said McCullough accidentally smothered her to stop her from screaming. The defense argued that the prosecutors and police were pressured by the Ridulph and Tessier families to solve the case and implicate McCullough, although there was no physical evidence, motive, or indication that McCullough was in the area when Maria was kidnapped. McCullough did not take the stand in his own defense on the advice of his attorneys. On September 14, 2012, McCullough was convicted of the kidnapping and murder of Maria Ridulph and received a life sentence with the possibility of parole after 20 years. He was 73 years old at the time of sentencing. Appeal: McCullough appealed his convictions. On February 13, 2015, the Illinois Appellate Court (Second District) upheld his murder conviction, but vacated his convictions for kidnapping and abduction of an infant as being outside the three-year statute of limitations in effect for those crimes in 1957. The decision had no effect on McCullough's life sentence, as the sentencing court had provided that the sentences for kidnapping and abduction would "merge" into McCullough's life sentence for murder. Post-conviction proceedings overturning original murder conviction: In 2015, McCullough, acting pro se, filed a petition for post-conviction relief asking that his murder conviction be set aside. After McCullough's petition was initially dismissed by the court as "frivolous and without merit", the public defender who had originally represented McCullough at trial — and who had continued to investigate the case while staying in touch with McCullough, despite the fact that he was no longer appointed to defend McCullough — asked the court to reconsider the dismissal. McCullough filed a successive motion that could not be denied without a hearing from the State Attorney's Office. In response to the motions, DeKalb County State's Attorney Richard Schmack, who had replaced Clay Campbell in that position, conducted an extensive review of the evidence, which led Schmack to conclude that McCullough could not have committed the crime and was actually innocent. According to Schmack, evidence was kept out of the trial that clearly established McCullough's whereabouts on the evening of Maria Ridulph's abduction and supported his alibi. In particular, phone records from Illinois Bell showed that McCullough made a collect call to his mother that evening from a pay phone in downtown Rockford rather than from Sycamore as alleged at his trial. Given the timing of the telephone call, the approximately 40-mile distance between Sycamore and Rockford, and icy road conditions, Schmack concluded that McCullough could not possibly have been in Sycamore at the time of Maria Ridulph's disappearance. Following a March 2016 court hearing, on April 15, 2016 Judge William P. Brady of the Illinois Circuit Court vacated McCullough's original conviction and sentence and ordered a new trial. McCullough, who remained charged with the crime, was released on bond that day pending the new trial. A week later, Judge Brady dismissed the charges against McCullough; however, the dismissal of the murder charge was without prejudice, meaning that McCullough could be tried again for the murder of Maria Ridulph should a prosecutor wish to do so. Brady postponed ruling on a request by Maria's brother Charles Ridulph, backed by the signatures of hundreds of Sycamore citizens including the city's mayor, that a special prosecutor be appointed to replace Schmack on McCullough's case. Memorials: The "Maria Ridulph Memorial Map", an eight-foot-square map of Sycamore constructed of steel and porcelain, was mounted on the front exterior of the Sycamore Municipal Building in 1958, in commemoration of Maria Ridulph. The map was removed in 2002 and replaced with a bronze memorial plaque that was installed on a pedestal outside the Municipal Building. The Ridulph family also established a "Maria Ridulph Memorial Fund" that was originally used to pay for the memorial map and was later used as a scholarship, compassion and summer camp fund for local children in need. A portion of the proceeds from Charles Lachman's 2014 book about the case, Footsteps in the Snow, were donated to the fund. In popular culture: At the time of McCullough's 2012 trial and conviction, the case was the subject of several news documentaries, including an episode of 48 Hours and a CNN Interactive web feature entitled Taken: The Coldest Case Ever Solved. A true crime book by Charles Lachman, Footsteps in the Snow (2014), also became the basis for a Lifetime Movie Network documentary of the same name. These works, which were published before McCullough's conviction was overturned, presumed that the case had been successfully solved. In contrast, Northern Illinois author Jeffrey Dean Doty self-published a non-fiction book, Piggyback (2014), in which he reviewed evidence and court filings in the case and examined whether McCullough had been wrongfully convicted. As part of his review of McCullough's case, State's Attorney Richard Schmack read both Footsteps in the Snow and Piggyback, and cited to portions of Footsteps and Taken in his 2016 court filing supporting McCullough's innocence.

Salem witch trials

The Salem witch trials were a series of hearings and prosecutions of people accused of witchcraft in colonial Massachusetts between February 1692 and May 1693. The trials resulted in the executions of twenty people, fourteen of them women, and all but one by hanging. Twelve other women had previously been executed in Massachusetts and Connecticut during the 17th century. Despite being generally known as the Salem Witch Trials, the preliminary hearings in 1692 were conducted in several towns: Salem Village (now Danvers), Salem Town, Ipswich, and Andover. The most infamous trials were conducted by the Court of Oyer and Terminer in 1692 in Salem Town. The episode is one of the Colonial America's most notorious cases of mass hysteria. It has been used in political rhetoric and popular literature as a vivid cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism, religious extremism, false accusations, and lapses in due process. It was not unique, but a Colonial American example of the much broader phenomenon of witch trials in the early modern period, which took place also in England and France. Many historians consider the lasting effects of the trials to have been highly influential in subsequent United States history. According to historian George Lincoln Burr, "the Salem witchcraft was the rock on which the theocracy shattered." At the 300th anniversary events in 1992 to commemorate the victims of the trials, a park was dedicated in Salem and a memorial in Danvers. In November 2001, the Massachusetts legislature passed an act exonerating all of those convicted and listing them by name, including some persons left out of earlier actions. In January 2016, the University of Virginia announced its Gallows Hill Project team had determined the execution site in Salem, where the nineteen "witches" had been hanged. The city owns the site and is planning a memorial to the victims. Background: In 17th-century Colonial America, the supernatural was considered part of everyday life; many people believed that Satan was present and active on Earth. This concept emerged in Europe during the fifteenth century and spread with the later colonization of North America colonies. Peasants used a kind of witchcraft to invoke particular charms for farming and agriculture. Over time, the idea of white magic transformed into dark magic and became associated with demons and evil spirits. From 1560 to 1670, witchcraft persecutions became common as superstitions became associated with the devil. In Against Modern Sadducism (1668), Joseph Glanvill claimed that he could prove the existence of witches and ghosts of the supernatural realm. Glanvill wrote about the "denial of the bodily resurrection, and the supernatural spirits." In his treatise, Glanvill claimed that ingenious men should believe in witches and apparitions; if they doubted the reality of spirits, they not only denied demons, but also the almighty God. Glanvill wanted to prove that the supernatural could not be denied; those who did deny apparitions were considered heretics for it also disproved their beliefs in angels. Works by men such as Glanvill and Cotton Mather tried to prove that "demons were alive." Claims of witchcraft in New England: The executions at Salem were not the first of their kind in the American colonies, nor in New England. Historian Clarence F. Jewett included a list of other people executed in New England in The Memorial History of Boston: Including Suffolk County, Massachusetts 1630–1880 (Ticknor and Company, 1881) Political context: New England had been settled by religious refugees seeking to build a pure, Bible-based society. They lived closely with the sense of the supernatural. The original 1629 Royal Charter of the Massachusetts Bay Colony was vacated in 1684, after which King James II installed Sir Edmund Andros as the Governor of the Dominion of New England. Andros was ousted in 1689 after the "Glorious Revolution" in England replaced the Catholic James II with the Protestant co-rulers William and Mary. Simon Bradstreet and Thomas Danforth, the colony's last leaders under the old charter, resumed their posts as governor and deputy governor, but lacked constitutional authority to rule, because the old charter had been vacated. At the same time tensions erupted between English colonists settling in "the Eastward" (the present-day coast of Maine) and French-supported Wabanaki Indians of that territory in what came to be known as King William's War. This was thirteen years after the devastating King Philip's War with the Wampanoag and other indigenous tribes in southern and western New England. In October 1690, Sir William Phips led an unsuccessful attack on French-held Quebec. Between 1689 and 1692, Native Americans continued to attack many English settlements along the Maine coast, leading to the abandonment of some of the settlements, and resulting in a flood of refugees into areas like Essex County. A new charter for the enlarged Province of Massachusetts Bay was given final approval in England on October 16, 1691. News of the appointment of Phips as the new governor reached Boston in late January, and a copy of the new charter reached Boston on February 8, 1692. Phips arrived in Boston on May 14 and was sworn in as governor two days later, along with Lieutenant Governor William Stoughton. One of the first orders of business for the new governor and council on May 27, 1692, was the formal nomination of county justices of the peace, sheriffs, and the commission of a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer to handle the large numbers of people who were "thronging" the jails. Paul Boyer and Stephen Nissenbaum have postulated that without a valid charter, the colony had no legitimate form of government to try capital cases until Phips arrived with the new charter. This has been disputed by David Konig. He points out that between charters, according to the Records of the Court of Assistants, the colony tried and condemned a group of fourteen pirates on January 27, 1690, for acts of piracy and murder committed in August and October 1689. Local context: Salem Village (present-day Danvers, Massachusetts) was known for its fractious population, who had many internal disputes, and for disputes between the village and Salem Town (present-day Salem). Arguments about property lines, grazing rights, and church privileges were rife, and neighbors considered the population as "quarrelsome". In 1672, the villagers had voted to hire a minister of their own, apart from Salem Town. The first two ministers, James Bayley (1673–79) and George Burroughs (1680–83), stayed only a few years each, departing after the congregation failed to pay their full rate. (Burroughs would subsequently be arrested at the height of the witchcraft hysteria, and was hanged as a witch in August 1692.) Despite the ministers' rights being upheld by the General Court and the parish being admonished, each of the two ministers still chose to leave. The third minister, Deodat Lawson (1684–88), stayed for a short time, leaving after the church in Salem refused to ordain him—and therefore not over issues with the congregation. The parish disagreed about Salem Village's choice of Samuel Parris as its first ordained minister. On June 18, 1689, the villagers agreed to hire Parris for £66 annually, "one third part in money and the other two third parts in provisions," and use of the parsonage. On October 10, 1689, however, they raised his benefits, voting to grant him the deed to the parsonage and two acres (0.8 hectares) of land. This conflicted with a 1681 Village resolution which stated that "it shall not be lawful for the inhabitants of this village to convey the houses or lands or any other concerns belonging to the Ministry to any particular persons or person: not for any cause by vote or other ways". Though the prior ministers' fates and the level of contention in Salem Village were valid reasons for caution in accepting the position, Rev Parris increased the village's divisions by delaying his acceptance. He did not seem able to settle his new parishioners' disputes: by deliberately seeking out "iniquitous behavior" in his congregation and making church members in good standing suffer public penance for small infractions, he contributed significantly to the tension within the village. Its bickering increased, unabated. Historian Marion Starkey suggests that, in this atmosphere, serious conflict may have been inevitable. Religious context: Prior to the constitutional turmoil of the 1680s, Massachusetts government had been dominated by conservative Puritan secular leaders. Influenced by Calvinism, Puritans had opposed many of the traditions of the Church of England, including use of the Book of Common Prayer, the use of priestly vestments (cap and gown) during services, the use of the Holy Cross during baptism, and kneeling during the sacrament, all of which they believed constituted popery. King Charles I was hostile to this viewpoint, and Anglican church officials tried to repress these dissenting views during the 1620s and 1630s. Some Puritans and other religious minorities had sought refuge in the Netherlands, but ultimately many made a major migration to colonial North America to establish their own society. These immigrants, who were mostly constituted of families, established several of the earliest colonies in New England, of which the Massachusetts Bay Colony was the largest and most economically important. They intended to build a society based on their religious beliefs. Colonial leaders were elected by the freemen of the colony, those individuals who had had their religious experiences formally examined and had been admitted to one of the colony's Puritan congregations. The colonial leadership were prominent members of their congregations, and regularly consulted with the local ministers on issues facing the colony. In the early 1640s, England erupted in civil war. The Puritan-dominated Parliamentarians emerged victorious, and the Crown was supplanted by the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell in 1653. Its failure led to restoration of the old order under Charles II. Emigration to New England slowed significantly in these years. In Massachusetts, a successful merchant class began to develop that was less religiously motivated than the colony's early settlers. Local rumors of witchcraft: Prior to 1692, there had been rumors of witchcraft in villages neighboring Salem Village and other towns. Cotton Mather, a minister of Boston's North Church (not to be confused with the later Anglican North Church associated with Paul Revere), was a prolific publisher of pamphlets, includign some that expressed his belief in witchcraft. In his book Memorable Providences Relating to Witchcrafts and Possessions (1689), Mather describes his "oracular observations" and how "stupendous witchcraft" had affected the children of Boston mason John Goodwin. Mather illustrates how the Goodwins' eldest child had been tempted by the devil and stolen linen from the washerwoman Goody Glover. Glover was characterized as a disagreeable old woman and described by her husband as a witch; this may have been why she was accused of casting spells on the Goodwin children. After the event, four out of six Goodwin children began to have strange fits, or what some people referred to as "the disease of astonishment." The manifestations attributed to the disease quickly became associated with witchcraft. Symptoms included neck and back pains, tongues being drawn from their throats, and loud random outcries; other symptoms included having no control over their bodies such as becoming limber, flapping their arms like birds, or trying to harm others as well as themselves. These symptoms would fuel the craze of 1692. Timeline: Most accounts begin with the afflictions of the girls in the Parris household in January/February 1692 and end with the last trials in May 1693. Some historians begin with earlier events to place the trials in the wider context of other witch-hunts, and some end later, to include information about restitution to victims and their families. Initial events: In Salem Village, in February 1692, Betty Parris, age 9, and her cousin Abigail Williams, age 11, the daughter and niece, respectively, of Reverend Samuel Parris, began to have fits described as "beyond the power of Epileptic Fits or natural disease to effect" by John Hale, the minister of the nearby town of Beverly. The girls screamed, threw things about the room, uttered strange sounds, crawled under furniture, and contorted themselves into peculiar positions, according to the eyewitness account of Rev. Deodat Lawson, a former minister in Salem Village. The girls complained of being pinched and pricked with pins. A doctor, historically assumed to be William Griggs, could find no physical evidence of any ailment. Other young women in the village began to exhibit similar behaviors. When Lawson preached as a guest in the Salem Village meetinghouse, he was interrupted several times by outbursts of the afflicted. The first three people accused and arrested for allegedly afflicting Betty Parris, Abigail Williams, 12-year-old Ann Putnam, Jr., and Elizabeth Hubbard, were Sarah Good, Sarah Osborne, and Tituba. Some historians believe that the accusation by Ann Putnam Jr. suggests that a family feud may have been a major cause of the witch trials. At the time, a vicious rivalry was underway between the Putnam and Porter families, one which deeply polarized the people of Salem. Citizens would often have heated debates, which escalated into full-fledged fighting, based solely on their opinion of the feud. Good was a homeless beggar, known to seek food and shelter from neighbors. She was accused of witchcraft because of her appalling reputation. At her trial, she was accused of rejecting Puritan ideals of self-control and discipline when she chose to torment and "scorn children instead of leading them towards the path of salvation". Sarah Osborne rarely attended church meetings. She was accused of witchcraft because the Puritans believed that Osborne had her own self-interests in mind following her remarriage to an indentured servant. The citizens of the town disapproved of her trying to control her son's inheritance from her previous marriage. Tituba, a black or Indian slave, likely became a target because of her ethnic differences from most of the other villagers. She was accused of attracting girls like Abigail Williams and Betty Parris with stories of enchantment from Malleus Maleficarum. These tales about sexual encounters with demons, swaying the minds of men, and fortune-telling were said to stimulate the imaginations of girls and made Tituba an obvious target of accusations. Each of these women was a kind of outcast, and exhibited many of the character traits typical of the "usual suspects" for witchcraft accusations; they were left to defend themselves. Brought before the local magistrates on the complaint of witchcraft, they were interrogated for several days, starting on March 1, 1692, then sent to jail. In March, others were accused of witchcraft: Martha Corey, child Dorothy Good, and Rebecca Nurse in Salem Village, and Rachel Clinton in nearby Ipswich. Martha Corey had expressed skepticism about the credibility of the girls' accusations, and thus drawn attention. The charges against her and Rebecca Nurse deeply troubled the community because Martha Corey was a full covenanted member of the Church in Salem Village, as was Rebecca Nurse in the Church in Salem Town. If such upstanding people could be witches, the townspeople thought, then anybody could be a witch, and church membership was no protection from accusation. Dorothy Good, the daughter of Sarah Good, was only 4 years old, but not exempted from questioning by the magistrates; her answers were construed as a confession that implicated her mother. In Ipswich, Rachel Clinton was arrested for witchcraft at the end of March on independent charges unrelated to the afflictions of the girls in Salem Village. Accusations and examinations before local magistrates: When Sarah Cloyce (Nurse's sister) and Elizabeth (Bassett) Proctor were arrested in April, they were brought before John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin at a meeting in Salem Town. The men were not only local magistrates, butmembers of the Governor's Council. Present for the examination were Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth, and Assistants Samuel Sewall, Samuel Appleton, James Russell and Isaac Addington. Objections by Elizabeth's husband, John Proctor, during the proceedings resulted in his arrest that day. Within a week, Giles Corey (Martha's husband, and a covenanted church member in Salem Town), Abigail Hobbs, Bridget Bishop, Mary Warren (a servant in the Proctor household and sometime accuser), and Deliverance Hobbs (stepmother of Abigail Hobbs) were arrested and examined. Abigail Hobbs, Mary Warren and Deliverance Hobbs all confessed and began naming additional people as accomplices. More arrests followed: Sarah Wildes, William Hobbs (husband of Deliverance and father of Abigail), Nehemiah Abbott Jr., Mary Eastey (sister of Cloyce and Nurse), Edward Bishop, Jr. and his wife Sarah Bishop, and Mary English. On April 30, the Rev. George Burroughs, Lydia Dustin, Susannah Martin, Dorcas Hoar, Sarah Morey and Philip English (Mary's husband) were arrested. Nehemiah Abbott Jr. was released because the accusers agreed he was not the person whose specter had afflicted them. Mary Eastey was released for a few days after her initial arrest because the accusers failed to confirm that it was she who had afflicted them; she was arrested again when the accusers reconsidered. In May, accusations continued to pour in, but some of those suspects began to evade apprehension. Multiple warrants were issued before John Willard and Elizabeth Colson were apprehended; George Jacobs Jr. and Daniel Andrews were not caught. Until this point, all the proceedings were investigative, but on May 27, 1692, William Phips ordered the establishment of a Special Court of Oyer and Terminer for Suffolk, Essex and Middlesex counties to prosecute the cases of those in jail. Warrants were issued for more people. Sarah Osborne, one of the first three persons accused, died in jail on May 10, 1692. Warrants were issued for 36 more people, with examinations continuing to take place in Salem Village: Sarah Dustin (daughter of Lydia Dustin), Ann Sears, Bethiah Carter Sr. and her daughter Bethiah Carter Jr., George Jacobs, Sr. and his granddaughter Margaret Jacobs, John Willard, Alice Parker, Ann Pudeator, Abigail Soames, George Jacobs, Jr. (son of George Jacobs, Sr. and father of Margaret Jacobs), Daniel Andrew, Rebecca Jacobs (wife of George Jacobs, Jr. and sister of Daniel Andrew), Sarah Buckley and her daughter Mary Witheridge. Also included were Elizabeth Colson, Elizabeth Hart, Thomas Farrar, Sr., Roger Toothaker, Sarah Proctor (daughter of John and Elizabeth Proctor), Sarah Bassett (sister-in-law of Elizabeth Proctor), Susannah Roots, Mary DeRich (another sister-in-law of Elizabeth Proctor), Sarah Pease, Elizabeth Cary, Martha Carrier, Elizabeth Fosdick, Wilmot Redd, Sarah Rice, Elizabeth Howe, Capt. John Alden (son of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins), William Proctor (son of John and Elizabeth Proctor), John Flood, Mary Toothaker (wife of Roger Toothaker and sister of Martha Carrier) and her daughter Margaret Toothaker, and Arthur Abbott. When the Court of Oyer and Terminer convened at the end of May, the total number of people in custody was 62. Cotton Mather wrote to one of the judges, John Richards, a member of his congregation, on May 31, 1692, expressing his support of the prosecutions, but cautioning him, "do not lay more stress on pure spectral evidence than it will bear... It is very certain that the Devils have sometimes represented the Shapes of persons not only innocent, but also very virtuous. Though I believe that the just God then ordinarily provides a way for the speedy vindication of the persons thus abused."