Sunday, March 31, 2019
Nevio Skull was a Fiuman Italian businessman and politician from Rijeka (now Croatia). From his father, Skull inherited the property of the "Foundry and factory machines of Matthew Skull", founded in Rijeka in 1878 and quickly became the largest private industry in the city before being taken over in 1935. After 1943 Skull was approached by emissaries of the Yugoslav Partisans, who attempted to convince him to support the annexation of the city of Rijeka to the Democratic Federal Yugoslavia. Skull rejected these proposals, and with the surrender of Italy in World War II, a group of citizens issued a Liburnia Memorandum in which it was recommended that an Italian confederate state be formed from the free cantons of Rijeka (Fiume), Sušak (Sussak) and Ilirska Bistrica (Bisterza), with a planned condominium with the islands of Krk (Veglia), Cres (Cherso) and Lošinj (Lussino). Death: On the night of 3–4 May 1945, following the Yugoslav occupation of Rijeka, Skull was arrested by agents of OZNA and disappeared. His body was found on the riverbed of the Rječina 25 days later with a gunshot wound to the neck.
Saturday, March 30, 2019
Thursday, March 28, 2019
The 2019 Nevada killing spree was a series of murders in which an assailant broke into three homes in western Nevada, murdered the elderly inhabitants, and made off with valuables. Reports of the crimes terrified area residents for several days until a police manhunt identified and apprehended a suspect. The sheriff's report states that the suspect confessed. Killings: A region-wide manhunt began after Connie Koontz was found dead in her Gardnerville home on January 10, 2019 Gerald and Sharon David were found dead in their home in Reno on January 16. Sophia Renken was found shot to death in her home in Gardnerville on January 13. Connie Koontz had jewelry stolen during the incident. She was 56 and left a 21-year-old daughter. She worked as a customer service representative at Walmart. Sophia Renken (74) was found dead inside her home, about one mile from Koontz's house, on January 13. She kept horses and was often seen riding about the neighborhood. 81-year-old Gerald David and 80-year-old Sharon David were found dead in their south Reno home on January 16, 2019. The Davids were active in the rodeo community, Gerald was President of the Reno Rodeo Association, and they supported breast cancer charities. The manhunt continued for nine days. Information obtained through tracking an Apple watch which had been stolen from Koontz led to a woman who had attempted to connect a digital account to the watch; her son is now under arrest and accused of committing the series of murders. She was living in Carson City with her son. That night, the Douglas County, Washoe County and Carson City sheriffs' offices and the Federal Bureau of Investigations started surveillance of the woman and her son. The following day, jewelry belonging to Koontz and a ring belonging to Jerry David were found at a Carson City pawn shop. Suspect: Authorities had the son under surveillance as they investigated the string of murder-robberies, and took him into custody as he approached a suburban gun store, fearing the he intended to purchase weapons. He was arrested in Carson City, Nevada on January 19, 2019 on suspicion of having committed the murders. The initial charges were for possession of stolen property, two counts of burglary, and obtaining money under false pretenses. The suspect, then 19 years old, is thought to have been living in Carson City for about a year. He is a citizen of El Salvador. Legal proceedings: Following the killings, suspect was detained on an immigration hold. According to immigration officials, suspect "was likely in the United States illegally and was detainable." according to a spokeswoman for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, “If he’s released from jail, law enforcement will contact us, and we will pick him up and we will start the proceedings for his deportation.” He is expected to be tried in each of the two counties where the killings took place, Washoe County District Attorney Chris Hicks and Douglas County District Attorney Mark Jackson each plan to lead the prosecution team in their respective counties. He appeared in court on January 23, 2019, where he was charged with possession of stolen property, burglary, and obtaining money under false pretenses. In February 2019, the suspect waived his right to a preliminary hearing and a judge approved his transfer to Washoe County where he is held without bail to face prosecution for four murders. Prosecution in Carson City for 26 burglary and possession charges was placed on hold. Political attention: President Donald Trump tweeted, "Four people in Nevada viciously robbed and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been in our Country." Three close family members of Sharon and Gerald David were invited to Washington, D.C. to attend the 2019 State of the Union Address.
Monday, March 25, 2019
this poor family lost another life today. the father of 1 of the sandy hook school shootings died in an apparent suicide. so sad https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/25/nyregion/sandy-hook-father.html https://www.newstimes.com/local/article/Untimely-death-reported-at-Newtown-s-Edmond-13714000.php https://fox61.com/2019/03/25/father-of-sandy-hook-victim-dies-in-apparent-suicide-at-newtown-town-hall-police/ https://www.cnn.com/2019/03/25/us/sandy-hook-victim-father-jeremy-richman-suicide/index.html https://www.foxnews.com/us/father-of-sandy-hook-school-shooting-victim-found-dead-in-apparent-suicide-police-say https://abcnews.go.com/US/dad-sandy-hook-school-shooting-victim-dies-apparent/story?id=61926331 https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sandy-hook-father-dies-apparent-suicide-jeremy-richman-newtown-connecticut-2019-03-25/ https://nypost.com/2019/03/25/father-of-sandy-hook-shooting-victim-found-dead-of-apparent-suicide/ https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/03/25/sandy-hook-victims-father-found-dead-apparently-suicide/
Sunday, March 24, 2019
Saturday, March 23, 2019
that was fun last night. I met a few new people, got fed well and played pool with a new friend. I straddled 2 wards I was able to do it while talking with a missionary who is leaving so I hugged her in place of everyone. I talked with a couple people in the kitchen with a pool stick. that was hilarious as what's she doing with a pool stick in the kitchen?
Friday, March 22, 2019
my teacher asked me if it was summer to me as I was in thin clothes. i'm like no thyroid problems. he told me about a student who would wear shorts year round and years later was asked where his shorts were. the student said he doesn't do that any more. I still wear thin things but weather appropriate clothes
Thursday, March 21, 2019
The 1972 Harlem mosque incident occurred on April 14, 1972, when a New York City Police Department (NYPD) officer was shot and fatally wounded at the Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7 in Harlem, Manhattan, New York City. The officer responded to a fake 9-1-1 call, but was shot and died from his wounds six days later. The incident sparked political and public outcry about mishandling of the incident by the NYPD and the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay. The incident: On April 14, 1972, a 10-13, or NYPD officer's call for assistance, from a man claiming to be a Detective Thomas was received by police. The call came from 102 West 116th Street, the Nation of Islam Mosque No. 7, where Malcolm X was once minister before his conversion to orthodox Islam. Officer Phillip Cardillo and his partner Vito Navarra of the 28th Precinct responded, entering the mosque. When they arrived at the mosque, they heard scuffling on the floor above. As they made their way to the staircase they were intercepted by 15 to 20 men who forced the officers to retreat down the stairs and back into the hallway. Police officers Victor Padilla and Ivan Negron, of the 25th Precinct, arrived and entered the premises. The officers were outnumbered and were then attacked. Cardillo's partner was able to escape as a steel door was closed, trapping officers Cardillo, Padilla and Negron. According to the New York Police Department, the officers were attacked by around 15 to 20 congregants, were beaten, and stripped of their guns. Padilla was then beaten and blackjacked into semi-consciousness while his partner fought off several men who were trying to grab his revolver. With his back to the door, officer Negron suddenly heard shots. Negron turned and saw a man with a gun in his hand who seemed to be getting up from the floor where officer Cardillo now lay shot. During the incident, Officer Cardillo was assaulted, stripped of his firearm and was shot at point-blank range. Negron, managing to free himself from his attackers, drew his revolver and fired three shots. It is not known if the man with the gun was hit; he escaped. Officer Rudy Andre of the 28 Pct., broke the glass on the front metal door and saw the patrolmen inside on their backs. He fired several shots through the broken glass into the hallway which scattered the men who had been assaulting the officers, thus enabling officer Negron to unbolt the double metal door. During the melee, officers Cardillo and Padilla were seriously injured. Mosque representatives maintained that the officers entered with guns drawn and interrupted prayer despite repeated requests to leave their guns outside. During the initial attempt to enter the mosque, police officers, including Cardillo's partner Officer Vito Navarra, claimed that prior to being forced out, they witnessed a man named Louis 17X Dupree standing over the dying Cardillo with a gun in hand. After reinforcements arrived, allowing police to retake the mosque, Dupree and several others were initially arrested at the scene. However, before Dupree could be taken into custody, Louis Farrakhan and Congressman Charles B. Rangel arrived at the scene, threatening a riot if Dupree was not released. The NYPD's chief of detectives, Albert Seedman, was the ranking officer at the scene. He said years afterwards that he called Chief Inspector Michael Codd from the basement and asked for two busloads of police cadets, to be armed only with nightsticks, to keep the peace outside. Codd, Seedman said, refused, hung up and would not take Seedman's subsequent calls. Soon after, more officers arrived on the scene. An angry mob began to form around the police barricade, and began pelting officers with projectiles and calling them "pigs". Several high ranking police officials ordered all officers out of the mosque and sent away all white officers. It was hours later before 300–500 people were able to peacefully exit from the mosque after negotiations. Due to the lower police force and a still angry crowd, police abandoned the scene. A promise was made by Rangel and Farrakhan, according to Seedman, that Dupree and the other suspects would turn themselves in to the 24th police precinct the following day, though none ever did. Rangel denies making such a promise. A new police policy was summarily enacted, identifying the mosque as a "sensitive location", thus preventing an investigation into the shooting for two years. Officer Cardillo died six days later at St. Luke's Hospital as a result of his wounds. Neither the Mayor of New York City or the NYPD Police Commissioner attended Police Officer Cardillo's funeral. The 'Detective Thomas' from the original false alarm 10-13 call was never identified. Many of the officers of the NYPD, including Detective Randy Jurgensen who was the Cardillo case's lead detective, believed the fake call to be either a diversion or a trap, possibly set by elements of the Black Liberation Army, which the NYPD blamed for numerous murders of police officers. Others have suggested that the fake call was a pretext call from an FBI informant, intended to spark dissent under the COINTELPRO program. According to Cardillo's family, police investigators failed to follow procedure in investigating the shooting. Due to political pressure, officers in the basement directed by Chief Seedman released a dozen suspects in the shooting without identifying them. The release of the suspects severely hampered the investigation. In a decided break with tradition, neither mayor John V. Lindsay nor the police commissioner at the time Patrick V. Murphy attended officer Cardillo's funeral. An unrepentant Farrakhan would later state that the officers "charged into our temple like criminals and were treated like criminals." Trial: Two years after the shooting, prosecutors brought charges against the mosque school's dean, Louis 17X Dupree, after an informant who witnessed the incident testified against him. Subsequent to the first trial culminating in a hung jury, Dupree was acquitted at the second, largely because ballistic evidence could not be recovered and Dupree's attorney's made the argument that either Cardillo shot himself or that he was shot by another police officer. Aftermath: According to Randy Jurgensen and Robert Cea, Dupree, who later changed his name to Khalid Ali, was arrested in North Carolina on narcotics charges. He is currently serving a fifteen-year sentence in Georgia State Penitentiary. In 2012, local police officers proposed to the Manhattan Community Board 10 that part of the street in front of the mosque be renamed after Officer Cardillo. Albert Seedman said he decided to retire that day, as he was walking back to his car and dodging bricks being thrown at him. He claimed at the time that his retirement had nothing to do with the incident. In 2012, however, a year before his death, he admitted that his disgust with Codd's refusal to provide the extra officers was his real reason, and he did not want to say so at the time because "I loved the police department so much that I couldn't drag it through the dirt by saying what those bastards did."
The Santa Rosa hitchhiker murders concern a series of at least seven unsolved homicides involving female hitchhikers that took place in Sonoma County and Santa Rosa of the North Bay area of California in 1972 and 1973. All of the victims were found nude in rural areas near steep embankments and/or in creek beds near roads. Victims- Maureen Sterling and Yvonne Weber: Maureen Louise Sterling and Yvonne Lisa Weber, both 12-year-old Herbert Slater Middle School students, disappeared around 9 pm on February 4, 1972, after visiting the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. They were last seen hitchhiking on Guerneville Road, northwest of Santa Rosa. Their bodies were found December 28, 2.2 miles north of Porter Creek Road on Franz Valley Road, down a steep embankment approximately 66 feet off the east side of the roadway. A single earring, orange beads and a 14-carat gold necklace with cross were found at the scene. The cause of death could not be determined from the skeletal remains. Kim Wendy Allen: Santa Rosa Junior College art student Kim Wendy Allen, 19, was given a ride by two men on March 4, 1972, from her job at Larkspur Natural Foods to San Rafael. They last saw her at approximately 5:20 pm hitchhiking to school near the Bell Avenue entrance to Highway 101, northbound, carrying a large wooden soy barrel with red Chinese characters on it. Her body was found the following day down an embankment in a creek bed twenty feet off Enterprise Road in Santa Rosa. The victim had been bound at the ankles and wrists, raped and slowly strangled with a cord for an estimated thirty minutes. Semen was recovered from the body and a single gold loop earring was found at the site. Markings at the top of the embankment and a possible leg impression in the loam indicated the assailant likely slipped or fell while throwing or transporting the body. The two men who gave her a ride, one of whom was given and passed a polygraph test, were ruled out as suspects. Lori Lee Kursa: Lori Lee Kursa, 13, a Lawrence Cook Middle School student, had been reported missing by her mother on November 11, 1972 after disappearing while they shopped at a U-Save and was last seen on November 20 or 21 in Santa Rosa while visiting friends, having deliberately run away. She had been known to hitchhike occasionally. Her frozen remains were located on December 14 in a ravine approximately fifty feet off Calistoga Road, northeast of Rincon Valley in Santa Rosa. The killer had thrown the body at least thirty feet over an embankment. The cause of her death was a broken neck with compression and hemorrhage of the spinal cord. The victim had not been raped and likely died one to two weeks prior to discovery. A possible witness to her abduction later came forward stating that on an evening somewhere between December 3 and 9, while on Parkhurst Drive, he saw two men push a girl fitting Kursa's description into the back of a van driven by a Caucasian man with an Afro-type hairstyle. The vehicle then sped north on Calistoga Road. Carolyn Davis: Carolyn Nadine Davis, 14 years old, ran away from her home outside Anderson in Shasta County on February 6, 1973 but disappeared July 15 after being dropped off by her grandmother at the Garberville Post Office. She was last seen hitchhiking that afternoon near the Highway 101 ramp, southbound, in Garberville. Her body was discovered on July 31 just three feet from where the remains of Sterling and Weber had been recovered seven months prior. Cause of death was strychnine poisoning 10–14 days before discovery. It could not be determined if she had been raped. Investigators postulated that her body had been thrown from the road as the hillside brush appeared undisturbed. Theresa Walsh: Theresa Diane Smith Walsh, 23, of Miranda, was last seen on December 22, 1973, at Zuma Beach in Malibu, intent on hitchhiking to Garberville and joining her family for Christmas. Her partially submerged body was found six days later by kayakers in Mark West Creek. She had been hogtied with clothesline rope, sexually assaulted, strangled and was determined to have been dead approximately one week. Due to recent heavy rains in the area, high water marks suggested the body could have drifted several miles. Unidentified remains: On July 2, 1979, skeletal remains were found in a ravine off Calistoga Road approximately one hundred yards from where the body of Lori Lee Kursa had been recovered seven years earlier. Due to the age of the remains, authorities initially believed them to be those of Jeannette Kamahele until a comparison of dental records later proved negative. The victim had been hogtied and her arm fractured around the time of her murder but there was no other evidence to establish a cause of death. It was determined that the unidentified victim was approximately 16 to 21 years old, wore contact lenses, had red or auburn or brown hair, was about 5 feet tall and at one time had broken a rib which was healed by the time of the murder. Possible victims- Jeannette Kamahele: Jeannette Kamahele, 20, a Santa Rosa Junior College student, was last seen on April 25, 1972, hitchhiking near the Cotati on-ramp of Highway 101. A friend witnessed her likely abduction and reported that she entered a faded brown Chevrolet pickup truck fitted with a homemade wooden camper and driven by a 20- to 30-year-old Caucasian male with an Afro hairstyle. Her body has never been found. Kerry Ann Graham & Francine Marie Trimble: Kerry Anne Graham, 15 and Francine Trimble, 14 of Forestville, disappeared in mid-December of 1978. Skeletal remains were found the following July in Mendocino County where they were dumped of the side of a rural highway, but they weren't identified as belonging to Kerry and Francine until 2015 thanks to DNA analysis. A high school friend said the girls were going to hitchhike to a party in Santa Rosa however had no other information and didn't know who they were meeting. FBI report on additional victims (1975): In 1975, the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued a report stating that fourteen unsolved homicides between 1972 and 1974 were committed by the same perpetrator. These consist of the six found victims (as of 1975) and the following: -Rosa Vasquez, 20, last seen May 26; her body was found on May 29, 1973. near the Arguello boulevard entrance at Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. The victim had been strangled and her body thrown seven feet off the roadway into some shrubs. Vasquez had been a keypunch operator at Letterman General Hospital on the Presidio. -Yvonne Quilantang, 15, was found strangled in a vacant Bayview district lot on June 10, 1973. She was seven months pregnant. -Angela Thomas, 16, was found July 2, 1973, smothered on the playground of Benjamin Franklin Junior High School in Daly City. She had last been seen the previous evening at the Presidio of San Francisco. A locket was recovered near the body. -Nancy Patricia Gidley, a 24-year-old radiographer last seen at a Rodeway Inn motel on July 12, 1973, was found strangled behind the George Washington High School gymnasium three days later. The victim was unclothed except for a single fish-shaped gold earring and was determined to have died within the previous 24 hours. Gidley had served four years in the Air Force and told friends and family in Mountain Home, Idaho that she intended to become a freelance writer for the San Francisco Chronicle and was going to San Francisco to be the maid of honour at the wedding of a friend from Hamilton Air Force Base, all of which proved false. -Nancy Feusi, 22, disappeared after going dancing at a club in the Sacramento area. Her remains were found on July 22, 1973, in Redding. She had been stabbed to death. In 2011, one of Feusi's five children, Angela Darlene Feusi McAnulty, was convicted of torturing, beating, and starving to death her 15-year-old daughter Jeanette Marie Maples. McAnulty became the second woman ever sentenced to die in Oregon and the first since the 1984 reinstatement of the death penalty. -Laura A. O'Dell, 21, missing since November 4, 1973, was found three days later in bushes behind the boathouse at Stow Lake in Golden Gate Park. O'Dell's hands were tied behind her back, and the cause of death appeared to be from head injuries or strangulation. Brenda Kaye Merchant, 19, was found stabbed to death at her home February 1, 1974, in Marysville. Donna M. Braun, 14, whose strangled body was found on September 29, 1974 in the Salinas River near Monterey. Suspects- The Zodiac Killer: The unapprehended Zodiac Killer is a suspect. due to similarities between an unknown symbol on his January 29, 1974 "Exorcist letter" to the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he claims 37 victims, and the Chinese characters on the missing soy barrel carried by Kim Allen, as well as stating an intention to vary his modus operandi in an earlier November 9, 1969 letter to the San Francisco Chronicle: "I shall no longer announce to anyone. when I comitt my murders, they shall look like routine robberies, killings of anger, + a few fake accidents, etc." (sic) Arthur Leigh Allen: Arthur Leigh Allen, of Vallejo, owned a mobile home at Sunset Trailer Park in Santa Rosa at the time of the murders. He had been fired from his Valley Springs Elementary School teaching position for suspected child molestation in 1968 and was a full-time student at Sonoma State College. Allen was arrested on September 27, 1974, by the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office and charged with child molestation in an unrelated case involving a young boy. He pleaded guilty on March 14, 1975, and was imprisoned at Atascadero State Hospital until late 1977. Robert Graysmith, in his book Zodiac Unmasked, claims that a Santa Rosa County sheriff revealed that chipmunk hairs were found on all of the Santa Rosa Hitchhiker victims and that Allen had been collecting and studying the same species. Allen was the main suspect in the Zodiac case from 1971 until October 2002, ten years after his death, when his DNA was compared to a partial DNA profile obtained from saliva recovered on the underside of a postage stamp and envelopes from verified Zodiac letters. Results were a conclusive non-match. Fingerprints in blood recovered from the taxicab of Zodiac murder victim Paul Stine, a writer's palm print found on the Zodiac letter of January 29, 1974, and handwriting exemplars failed to identify Allen as Zodiac. Ted Bundy: After his capture for similar crimes in Washington, Colorado, Utah and Idaho, Ted Bundy was suspected in the murders. Bundy had spent time in neighboring Marin County, but was ruled out by a Sonoma County detective in the 1970s and again in 1989. Detailed credit card records and known whereabouts of Bundy reveal he was in Washington on the dates of some of the disappearances. Fredric Manalli: Fredric Manalli, a 41-year-old Santa Rosa Junior College creative writing instructor, was suspected when, after his August 24, 1976 death in a head-on collision on Highway 12, sadomasochistic drawings he had created depicting a former student, Kim Wendy Allen, were discovered among his belongings. The Hillside Stranglers of Los Angeles: Kenneth Bianchi and Angelo Buono, Jr., the Hillside Stranglers of Los Angeles, were also considered suspects at one time. Current status: These cases represent eight of 54 total unsolved homicides between the years 1970 and 2006 within the jurisdiction of the Sonoma County Sheriff's Office. In 2011, cold storage DNA from some of the cases was submitted to Combined DNA Index System (CODIS), a national DNA database.
Wednesday, March 20, 2019
Lamduan Armitage (née Seekanya) was a formerly unidentified woman whose body was discovered in 2004 on the mountain Pen-y-ghent in Yorkshire, England, leading her to become known as the Lady of the Hills. The woman was found to have originally come from somewhere in South-East Asia but despite an international police investigation, the identity of the woman, how she arrived at the location and the cause of her death remained a mystery until 2019. The woman was identified in March 2019 through DNA testing. Discovery: On Monday 20 September 2004 at 11:30 am, a man walking in the vicinity of Pen-y-ghent alerted the police to the discovery of the body of a dead woman. The man had discovered the body in a well-trafficked location on the Pennine Way between Pen-y-ghent and Horton in Ribblesdale in a stream called Sell Gill Beck which flows into a cave called Sell Gill Hole. It was thought that the body had been in the stream for some time and that the woman could have died up to three weeks prior to the discovery. The cause of death was not initially apparent and no signs of violence were reported. Description: The woman was thought to be of South-East Asian origin, had dark, shoulder-length hair and was about 1.5 metres tall (4ft 11ins). She was believed to be aged between 25 and 35. The woman had healthy teeth which had a noticeable gap at the front. She was found wearing green jeans, a green and white striped T-shirt and was wearing a wedding ring. The ring was found to be 22 carat and to have been made in Bangkok, Thailand. The woman had pierced ears but no earrings were found. No shoes, warm outer clothing, personal bags of other effects were found at the scene of the discovery. The woman weighed 10 stone (64 kg) but appeared to have gained weight in the years prior to her death and wore a size 12 dress. Initial investigation: Immediately after the discovery, North Yorkshire Police commenced an extensive investigation. Police questioned walkers using the Pennine Way, conducted house-to-house enquires in the locality and issued letters to local holiday accommodations that appealed for witnesses in multiple languages. Police investigated every sighting in the Yorkshire Dales of women matching the description of the unidentified body dating back to 1 August 2004. A postmortem was undertaken which suggested the woman died between 31 August and 13 September but it did not provide enough information to enable investigators to establish the cause of death. The postmortem indicated that the woman had probably been pregnant at some point during her life. Detective Chief Inspector Pete Martin who was working on the investigation stated that the death was unexplained rather than suspicious. A search of missing persons databases did not produce any matches. A number of countries were identified as the potential origin of the woman. These countries included: Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. Analysis of the body indicated that the woman had been in the UK for at least two years prior to her death and that she had probably lived in Cumbria, Lancashire, or the west Yorkshire Dales. Subsequent investigations: In December 2004 the Police produced an e-fit photograph of the woman which was issued to the embassies of a number of Asian countries. At this time time it was believed that the woman could have originated from the Philippines, China or Korea. No meaningful response was received from this appeal. In February 2005 an appeal was made on the BBC programme Crimewatch. In May 2007 the inquest heard that the investigation found no evidence of trauma, assault or drowning and it recorded an open verdict. In 2011 the police announced that they were reopening the investigation of eight unsolved deaths. The 'Lady of the Hills' was one of these cases along with the Sutton Bank Body. In 2018 an appeal was made by the North Yorkshire Police. The appeal was made on Facebook in the Filipino, Thai, and English languages so that the messages could be shared internationally. On 22 January 2019, a family in Thailand came forward in the belief that they knew the identity of the victim. The woman had married a British man in 1991 and moved to north-west England in 1995. The mother of the woman identified had not heard from her daughter since 2004. Identification: On 19 March 2019 North Yorkshire Police revealed that they had identified the body, following DNA testing, as Lamduan Armitage (nee Seekanya).
Saturday, March 16, 2019
"Benjaman Kyle" was the alias chosen by an American man who has severe dissociative amnesia after he was found without clothing or identification and with injuries next to a dumpster behind a fast food restaurant in Georgia in 2004. As a result of his lack of personal memories, between 2004 and 2015, neither he nor the authorities were sure of his real identity or background, despite searches that used widespread television show-based publicity and various other methods. In late 2015, genetic detective work which had gone on for years finally led to the discovery of his real name, William Burgess Powell, although part of his missing years' history still remains untraceable. He also no longer has to rely on jobs that pay under the table and can collect public assistance with the rediscovery of his Social Security number. Incident and post-amnesia: On August 31, 2004, at 5:00 am, a Burger King employee in Richmond Hill, Georgia found Kyle unconscious, sun-burnt, and naked behind a dumpster of the restaurant. He had three depressions in his skull that appeared to have been caused by blunt force trauma and he also had red ant bites on his body. After discovering him, employees called the emergency services, and EMS took him to St. Joseph's/Candler Hospital in Savannah. He had no identity document and was recorded in hospital records as "Burger King Doe". After the incident, no criminal investigation was opened by Richmond Hill police until a friend inquired with the department in 2007. There were no reports of stolen vehicles in the area and local restaurants and hotels did not encounter any individuals matching Kyle's description. Two weeks later he was transferred to Memorial Health University Medical Center, where records state he was semiconscious. After waking up, when he was asked for his name by hospital staff, he remembered that it was Benjaman, spelled with two 'a's, but could not recall his last name. He came up with the surname "Kyle" from his police and hospital placeholder name. He had woken up with cataracts in both eyes, which were not fixed until nine months later when a charity raised enough money to pay for an operation. Upon seeing himself in the mirror for the first time, Kyle realized he was around 20 years older than he thought he was. Kyle believed he was passing through Richmond Hill, Georgia on either U.S. Route 17 or Interstate 95 in late August 2004. He may also have been on the road because of Hurricane Charley, which had hit earlier that month. After being released from the hospital, Kyle spent several years between the Grace House men's shelter and hospitals. In 2007 while at The J.C. Lewis Health Care Center he met a nurse who first inquired about his past. The nurse helped support Kyle financially while he earned about $100 a month mostly doing yard work. While driving his truck in a yard, Kyle discovered that he still remembered how to drive a car. He was diagnosed with dissociative amnesia in 2007 by Jason A. King in Atlanta. King suggested that Kyle's amnesia dates from August 31, 2004. Georgia Legal Services did not obtain medical records for Kyle because Memorial Health requested an $800 fee. A friend contacted Georgia Congressman Jack Kingston for help with the case. To help with Kyle's identification, Kingston's office sent DNA samples to the FBI's National Criminal Justice Information Services Division in West Virginia. In 2008, he was invited to appear on the Dr. Phil show. Memorial Health decided to provide select portions of Kyle's medical records free of charge to the program. In March 2011, Kyle was approached by Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts graduate student John Wikstrom. Kyle moved to Jacksonville, Florida, traveling on foot, in order to be filmed for the documentary. In 2011, with help from Florida State Representative Mike Weinstein, Kyle was able to obtain a legal, government-issued Florida Legacy ID. Kyle's story appeared in a report on News4Jax, which caught the attention of a local business owner who subsequently employed Kyle as a dishwasher and paid him out of pocket. As of January 2015 he lived in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, in a 5-by-8-foot, air-conditioned shack provided by a good Samaritan. For many years after his amnesia Kyle was homeless and had been unable to obtain employment as he was unable to remember his full Social Security number. Several online petitions were created asking lawmakers to grant Kyle a new Social Security number. In 2012, an online petition was created on the We the People petitioning system on whitehouse.gov but got only two thirds of the required signatures by its deadline on December 25 and failed. In February 2015, forensic genealogist Colleen Fitzpatrick reported that Kyle had cut off all contact with her when she reported that she was coming close to finding a DNA match. On September 16, 2015, Kyle announced that his real identity had been found, including his name and family members. Search for identity: There were a number of major efforts to identify Kyle by matching his fingerprints or DNA with that stored in various databases. These efforts included: Fingerprint comparison to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database of offenders Fingerprint comparison to databases of military personnel and government workers A Y-DNA test through the Center for Human Identification at the University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth, Texas A Y-DNA test for genetic genealogy through Family Tree DNA in Houston, Texas Searches on Y-DNA online databases such as Ybase.org, Ysearch.org, usystrdatabase.org, smgf.org, and DNAAncestry.com Searches on mtDNA online databases such as mitosearch.org, EMPOP.org, and smgf.org. Facial recognition comparison by the Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles with individuals who have obtained an Indiana driver's license since 1998. Research of the birth announcements published in Indianapolis newspapers around the time of Kyle's remembered birthdate. Postings with missing persons networksIn July 2009, a search was being made by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) for Kyle's Vietnam draft registration, based on his birthdate and his physical characteristics. When the draft lottery was first implemented on December 1, 1969, Kyle's possible birth date of August 29, 1948, would have given him a priority number of 61. Newspaper articles were published in the Boulder Daily Camera on July 5, 2009, and in the Denver Post on July 7, 2009. Based on Kyle's memories of the University of Colorado Boulder campus, it was hoped that someone would respond to the articles to identify him. As of September 2010, this had not happened. Kyle took several DNA tests that offer clues to his origins. A genetic genealogy DNA test by Family Tree DNA produced a distant match with members of the Powell DNA Study. Based on these results, in March 2010 an almost perfect DNA match was discovered in the Sorenson Molecular Genealogy Foundation database with a Davidson of Scottish ancestry, a grandson of Robert Holden Davidson (b. 1885, Logan, Utah, d. 1946, Chico, California). This Davidson's results were very different from other Davidsons who have been tested by the Davidson/Davison/Davisson Research DNA Study Project. The fact that Kyle had several weak matches to Powells, with a single strong match to a Davidson, indicates a possible non-paternity event in the male line of his family—that is, an adoption, a name change, or an illegitimacy. It was surmised that his legal name might be Davidson, but that in past generations, the family name was originally Powell. A comparison of the whereabouts of the Powell and Davidson families revealed that members of both families were living in proximity in the Pacific Northwest in the early 1900s. A geographical comparison between Kyle's Y-DNA results and the YHRD Y Users Group database showed a somewhat close match in southern Kansas and northern Oklahoma, but the U.S. coverage in this database is sparse and includes only Y-DNA haplotypes. A more comprehensive autosomal DNA test by 23andMe relating to mixed-gender family lines reveals a large number of matches with ancestry in the western Carolinas, eastern Tennessee, northern Alabama, and northern Georgia. Colleen Fitzpatrick attempted to create a family tree for Kyle, and based on DNA tests, cousins were identified from the Western Carolinas who collaborated with her to try to determine his identity. Fitzpatrick's efforts were unsuccessful. Kyle's appearance on a Reddit AMA in 2012 and again in 2013 attracted several possible leads, most of which were disproven. In one notable lead, two Redditors claimed to have seen Kyle working at a Waffle House in Kennesaw, Georgia. However, none of the users responded to personal messages when contacted, and searching through Waffle House corporate employment records finally suggested that the leads were false. Recorded memories: Kyle remembered that he was born 10 years before Michael Jackson and on the same day, giving him a possible birth date of August 29, 1948. Genetic testing suggested that he may have had the surname Powell or Davidson or have relatives with these names. Through hypnosis, he recalled a partial Social Security number 3X5-44-XXXX, consistent with numbers assigned in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, and Indiana during the 1960s. Hypnosis suggested that Kyle had two or three brothers, whose names or faces he did not remember, but otherwise he could not recall any other people from his life. Kyle had memories of Indianapolis as a child, including the Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument, the Woolworth's on the Circle, and the Indiana Theater showing movies in Cinerama. He remembered Crown Hill Cemetery, although not its name, the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and the White River when "it was mostly just a dumping ground". He also remembered grilled cheese sandwiches for a quarter and glasses of milk for a nickel at the Indiana State Fair. Based on his reactions to the mention of nuns during hypnosis, he may have been raised Catholic and may have attended Catholic schools. Searching through Indianapolis area high school yearbook records came up empty, although records from that era are often incomplete. More specific memories placed him in Indianapolis between at least 1954 and 1963. The earlier date is based on his recognition of the Fountain Square Theater, but not the Granada Theater in the Fountain Square area of town. The Granada closed in the mid-1950s. The later date is based on his recollections of a 2% retail sales tax that was enacted by the State of Indiana in 1963, and that the popular WLS Chicago radio station disc jockey Dick Biondi left the station that year over management issues. Kyle also had memories of being in the Denver Metropolitan Area. He had detailed memories of the subscription the University of Colorado Boulder's Norlin Library had to Restaurants & Institutions. He also remembered the Round the Corner Restaurant on The Hill, and the Flatirons and The Fox Theater near the Boulder campus. This placed Kyle in Colorado in the late 1970s to early 1980s. Kyle reported having memories of the controversy surrounding the construction of mass transit in Denver, at a time when the city still had no financing to proceed. Although the RTD Bus & Light Rail system in Denver went into operation in 1994, public debate over the construction of the system dates back to about 1980, consistent with the time period of the other memories that Kyle has about Denver and Boulder. More specific memories of Boulder placed Kyle there between 1976 and 1983. The earlier date was based on his memory that he arrived during the construction of the Pearl Street Mall in the downtown area, and shortly after the Big Thompson Canyon flood that occurred on July 31 – August 1, 1976. The later date was based on the year that the King Soopers grocery store chain merged with Kroger. Kyle had detailed knowledge of restaurant management and food preparation equipment, leading to the belief that he may have once worked in these industries. Kyle had nearly no memory of his life after the 1980s, including how he ended up in Georgia. One event he does remember is reading about the September 11 attacks. When asked by doctors to recall the Presidents of the United States, he was able to recall only those from the 20th century. Many of his memories he cannot describe in words and are at the tip of his tongue. Identification: On September 16, 2015, Kyle announced on his Facebook page that his identity had been established by a team of adoption search angels led by CeCe Moore. "A little over two months ago I was informed by CeCe Moore that that they had established my Identity using DNA. Many people have shared their DNA profiles so that they may be compared with mine. Through a process of elimination they determined my ancestral bloodline and who my relatives were. A DNA test taken by a close relative has confirmed that we are related," Kyle wrote. The Orlando Sentinel reported on September 22 that Kyle had received his Florida identification card with the help of IDignity, an Orlando-based organization that helps the homeless and others obtain identification documents. IDignity also assisted in establishing Kyle's identification. On November 21, 2016, Kyle's true identity was revealed to be William Burgess Powell. Media coverage: Kyle appeared on the Dr. Phil show on the December 18, 2008, episode "Who am I". Dr. Phil paid for Kyle to seek a professional hypnotist in an effort to help him recover lost memories. He has also appeared on local television networks across the country. Kyle says he has been met with skepticism about the case. In March 2011, Kyle was the subject of a student documentary from Florida State University's College of Motion Picture Arts by filmmaker John Wikstrom. The film, entitled Finding Benjaman, was in part a description about his curious circumstances, and in part an appeal to action for local media groups and politicians. The film was invited to be shown at the Tribeca Film Festival and at the American Pavilion at the Cannes Film Festival. Through the outreach involved with the film, Kent Justice of News4Jax (WJXT) ran a series on Kyle with the help of Florida Senator Mike Weinstein. Through Weinstein, and the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, Kyle was able to obtain a Legacy Identification Card to supplement the identity card he received when he was in Georgia. No new leads were developed by the story, but he was able to find work and housing through the generosity of viewers. The news of Kyle's identification received widespread coverage, including stories by the Orlando Sentinel, ABC News and New York's Daily News.
Stacey Nicole English was reported missing by her family on December 27, 2011. Her body was discovered on January 23, 2012, and the autopsy indicates the death was accidental. Disappearance: According to her family, English was last seen in her home in Atlanta, Georgia on or about Christmas Day. When her home was investigated, it was discovered that her apartment gate fob and her cell phone had been left, and the fireplace was still on. She was believed to be driving a white 2006 Volvo S60, which was later found abandoned. Police told reporters there was no indication of foul play. Investigation: Investigators cleared St. Louis event promoter Robert Kirk, from being a person of interest in the English's disappearance, on January 20, 2012. Kirk was reportedly the last person to see English. Discovery of body: Men looking for scrap metal discovered human remains underneath a fallen tree in Atlanta on January 23, 2012. Initial reports from the Chief Medical Examiner of Georgia, indicated that the remains were consistent with the age and gender of English The medical examiner's report ruled that her death was most likely cold exposure (hypothermia), complicating underlying neurological and psychiatric disorders. Her parents released a statement when her body was discovered, which stated; There is only one level of closure. There are other levels of closure that need to take place. So, we thank God for allowing us to find our daughter. There is no doubt in my mind that there had to be some type of foul play involved. The way that she was found and where she was found, and that is what we are wanting to make sure that no one gets tired at this point, its only beginning, there is a lot more work to do. — Cindy Jamieson (Mother of English), NewsOne
Sally Ann McNelly and Shane Paul Stewart were two teenagers who were murdered near Lake Nasworthy in San Angelo, Texas after spending the evening watching a fireworks display on the Fourth of July in 1988. Their murders, which remain unsolved, were attributed to rumors of a Satanic cult in which they both were involved. The case received national attention among the Satanic panic phenomenon of the 1980s, and was profiled in national media as well as on Unsolved Mysteries. Background: Sally and Shane were both teenagers from San Angelo, Texas, who began dating in 1987 while in high school. After a prolonged breakup, they reunited on the evening of July 4, 1988, and made plans to watch the annual firework show at Lake Nasworthy. During their relationship, Sally's friends had witnessed her attending parties with occult activities and where black magic was being practiced; they alleged that she and Shane had been involved with a Satanic cult. In March 1988, Sally and Shane turned a gun over to local police, claiming that they had been given it by a member of the cult and told it had been used in a murder-robbery. Police searched its serial number, and discovered it had been reported stolen. On the evening of July 4, 1988, Sally and Shane were seen alone on the shore of Lake Nasworthy before midnight by a fisherman offshore. On July 7, they both were reported as missing persons. Discovery of bodies: On November 11, 1988, Sally's remains were found off FM 584, roughly 4 miles (6.4 km) south of where they were last seen, near the Twin Buttes Reservoir's South Pool. Three days later, on November 14, Shane's remains were discovered in the vicinity. According to their autopsies, they had both died from shotgun blasts to the head. The case remains unsolved. 2017 developments: In June 2017 the Tom Green County Sheriff's Office in San Angelo pulled over a local man, John Cyrus Gilbreath, on suspicion of marijuana possession. A female passenger in his car told them Gilbreath was dealing, and on that basis they obtained a warrant to search his house. Among the items they found in the house were what they described as writings, audio tapes and "biological material" that they said may be connected to the McNelly and Stewart homicides. They announced Gilbreath is now considered a person of interest in that case.
April Marie Tinsley was a child from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted, and murdered by John D. Miller. Her case was investigated by the Fort Wayne Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was covered in the television series America's Most Wanted, Crime Watch Daily, and on Investigation Discovery. Police stated that Tinsley's murderer left threatening messages and notes in the Fort Wayne area in 1990 and 2004. In 2018, DNA evidence led to a suspect, who was arrested, and, on December 21, 2018, was sentenced to 80 years in prison on the charges of child molestation and murder. Kidnapping and murder: Tinsley was a member of the children's choir at the Faith United Methodist Church, and a first-grader attending Fairfield Elementary School. On April 1, 1988, a Good Friday, she was playing with two of her friends and they were moving between houses. Tinsley went back to get her umbrella and then disappeared around 3:00 pm. John Miller, who later pleaded guilty to murdering Tinsley, said he had premeditated kidnapping a child, but he had not seen her before abducting her. He said that he asked her to get into his car and he took her to his trailer where he sexually assaulted and killed her. At night, he took her body to a ditch. Tinsley's mother reported her daughter missing to the police when she did not arrive home for dinner that night. The initial search for Tinsley included 250 Fort Wayne police officers and 50 volunteers. A witness later reported seeing a white man in his 30s forcing a girl believed to be Tinsley into his blue pickup truck. A jogger found Tinsley's body on April 4, 1988, in a ditch just west of Spencerville, Indiana. Near the site, investigators found one of Tinsley's shoes, and a sex toy in a shopping bag. A motorist later reported seeing a blue pickup truck near this site. Tinsley's autopsy report suggested she had been sexually assaulted and then strangled to death. The report determined that she had been dead for about one or two days before she was discovered, and that she had been placed in the ditch four hours before this discovery. Two local radio stations established a reward fund on April 5, 1988. Additional funds were established for Tinsley's burial and her family. Tinsley's memorial service was held on April 8, 1988, at the Faith United Methodist Church, and she was buried in the Greenlawn Memorial Park. Investigations: The early police investigation led authorities to a 34-year-old suspect, who was charged with child molestation in a separate case, but was acquitted of those charges the next month. Ninety members of the Fort Wayne community formed the volunteer group APRIL (Associated Parents Regional Independent League, or later Abduction Prevention Reconnaissance and Information League) on April 20, 1988, to help police solve cases involving missing children. On June 24, 2005, the Tinsley family held a press conference at the Allen County Courthouse asking for leads in the case. In June 2009, Indiana authorities asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) task force Child Abduction Response Deployment (CARD) to help them solve the murder. On May 21, 1990, police found a message on a St. Joseph Township barn saying "I kill 8 year old April M Tinsley," and "did you find the other shoe haha I will kill again." The message was written with crayons which were found near the barn. Investigators initially believed it could be connected to the murder of 7-year-old Sarah Jean Bowker, whose body was found on June 14, 1990, in Fort Wayne. Local and state police formed a homicide team in April 1991 to investigate Tinsley and Bowker's cases. On August 7, 1991, the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit determined that, although Tinsley and Bowker's cases were similar, they were ultimately unrelated. During the Memorial Day weekend in 2004, four notes were found in the Fort Wayne area that are believed to have been written by Tinsley's murderer. Three of these notes were left on girls' bicycles, and another one was left in a mailbox. Three notes were placed in plastic bags, along with used condoms and Polaroid pictures of a man's lower body. One of these notes read, "Hi honey... I been watching you....I am the same person that kidnapped an rape an kill april tinsley, ... You are my next victim....if you don't report this to police an if I don't see this in the paper tomorrow or on the local news...I will blow up your house." The DNA from the condoms matched the police's DNA profile of the suspect, leading investigators to believe the incidents were connected. In April 2009, the television program America's Most Wanted ran a segment on Tinsley's case and asked for tips. The investigative series Crime Watch Daily covered the murder in an episode which aired in 2016. Tinsley's case was featured in an episode of On the Case with Paula Zahn which aired on July 15, 2018, just hours after an arrest was made in the case. On October 26, 2018, the Indiana State Police honored three Fort Wayne investigators for helping authorities identify John D. Miller as a suspect in the Tinsley case. Police profile of the suspect: Soon after the murder, police released a composite sketch of the suspect based on the account of a person who said they saw Tinsley's kidnapper. On April 26, 1988, police sent DNA samples of Tinsley and five suspects to a private lab in Germantown, Maryland for profiling, giving inconclusive results. The FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit created a profile of the suspect in 2009, describing him as a "Preferential Child Sex Offender", meaning "he has a long-term and persistent sexual desire for children." The profile described the murderer as a white male, then in his 40s through 50s, living or working in northeast Fort Wayne/Allen County with a low to medium income. In June 2015, the Virginia-based company Parabon released a "Snapshot" composite sketch of the suspect based on information from his DNA. Police released an updated version of this sketch in early May 2016. Perpetrator: In May 2018, a Fort Wayne Police Department detective sent a sample of the suspect's DNA to the forensics company Parabon Nanolabs, which used the genealogy website GEDmatch to identify the suspect's relatives. On July 2, 2018, the genealogist CeCe Moore narrowed down the list of suspects to two brothers, including 59-year-old John D. Miller of Grabill, Indiana, whose neighbors described him as secluded and often angry. The police found used condoms in Miller's trash, and collected DNA that matched the suspect's DNA. Detectives approached Miller at his house on July 15, 2018, and asked him to come to talk with them at the police office. After advising him of his rights, investigators asked him if he knew why they wanted to talk to him. According to police, he replied "April Tinsley". During an interview at the police office, he confessed to the murder, saying he abducted Tinsley, raped her, choked her to death in his trailer, sodomized her body, and dumped it. Officials charged him with murder, child molestation, and confinement, and he pleaded not guilty in a court hearing on July 19, 2018. On December 7, 2018, Miller changed his plea to guilty, saying he molested Tinsley and strangled her with his bare hands. His trial was initially scheduled for February 11, 2019, but the date was moved to December 31 and then again to December 21. He was sentenced to 80 years in prison: 50 years for murder and 30 years for child molestation. After sentencing, he was housed at the Indiana Department of Correction Reception Diagnostic Center in Plainfield. On January 16, 2019, he was moved to the New Castle Correctional Facility. Memorials: In late April 2015, construction started on a memorial garden called "April's Garden" in the Hoagland–Masterson neighborhood of Fort Wayne. April Tinsley's mother held a balloon launch at April's Garden on April 4, 2018, in remembrance of Tinsley and other child victims of violence. On July 28, 2018, a memorial walk starting at April's Garden was held in honor of April. The next day, a pink magnolia tree and a bench were installed at Fairfield Elementary School in memory of Tinsley, followed by a candlelight vigil.
Friday, March 15, 2019
Thursday, March 14, 2019
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Sunday, March 10, 2019
The murder in Coweta County was an April 1948 act of murder committed in Coweta County in the U.S. state of Georgia and involving the sheriff of Coweta County and a wealthy landowner from neighboring Meriwether County. The events were the subject of two acclaimed works, both titled Murder in Coweta County: a 1976 book by Margaret Anne Barnes and a 1983 television movie on CBS starring Johnny Cash and Andy Griffith. History: John Wallace, a wealthy landowner, had virtually unlimited power in Meriwether County, Georgia. Even the sheriff, Hardy Collier, was under his control. Wilson Turner, a sharecropper tenant, attempted to do extra bootlegging work without Wallace's permission and was fired as a result. Turner retaliated by stealing two of Wallace's cows. Turner was found and arrested in Carrollton, Georgia, by Chief of Police Threadgill but was transferred from the Carrollton Jail to the Meriwether County jail in Greenville. Turner was later released from jail, purportedly because of a lack of evidence. As he left the jail, he discovered John Wallace waiting outside with his men. Realizing that he had been set up, Turner attempted to escape in his truck, with Wallace and his group in pursuit, two men each in two cars. Turner's truck, drained of its fuel earlier, ran out of gas just past the county line at the Sunset Tourist camp in Moreland, Coweta County, Georgia. Multiple witnesses reported seeing Wallace pistol-whip Turner so hard that the gun discharged, then Turner going limp and being put in one of the cars. The group then returned to Meriwether County, where Turner's body was first hidden on Wallace's property, then burned in a pit, the ashes and bone fragments scattered in a nearby stream. Wallace forced two black field workers, Albert Brooks and Robert Lee Gates, to assist him in destroying the victim's body. Because the act of murder, as witnesses testified, took place in Coweta County, the crime was under the jurisdiction of the Coweta County sheriff, Lamar Potts. Potts and his deputies searched for days and then an informant told them of Wallace burning the body and revealed the names of Brooks and Gates. Potts persuaded the two men to take him to the burn site. There were bone fragments found that the crime lab identified as human. Brooks and Gates also took the sheriff to the well where Turner's body had originally been deposited. Ruptured brain tissue was found that was also identified as coming from a human being. Wallace's trial received wide press coverage in the rural community. It was reported that Wallace's eccentric testimony led to his conviction. After several appeals, John Wallace was executed in the electric chair in 1950. His case was unusual, because he was one of the richest men to ever be given the death penalty and his case was the first in Georgia where a white man was given the death sentence upon the testimony of two black men. Mayhayley Lancaster, a feared and respected psychic from nearby Heard County, also testified against Wallace. Book: Murder in Coweta County (original ISBN 0-88349-064-1; re-issued in 1983 and 2004) was a 1976 book by Margaret Anne Barnes, originally published by Simon & Schuster in 1977. Though the book is generally considered accurate, Barnes' website has quoted the El Paso Times as calling it "the new fictionalized style of recording historic events". No Remorse: The Rise and Fall of John Wallace (hardcover ISBN 978-1-58838-264-1), by Dot Moore, explores not only the fateful murder but also the events that brought Wallace to that point—the death of his father and his early exposure to making moonshine, among other events. Includes actual letters to and from Wallace in prison. Film: Murder in Coweta County was a 1983 television movie produced by Dick Atkins & Michael Lepiner, directed by Gary Nelson, and written by Dennis Nemec based on Barnes' book. Andy Griffith played landowner John Wallace and Johnny Cash played Sheriff Lamar Potts of Coweta County. Noted Watergate-era attorney James F. Neal played one of the lawyers during the trial.
Carol Jenkins was an African American woman murdered on September 16, 1968. Early life: Carol Jenkins was born to Elizabeth Jenkins in Franklin, Indiana in 1947. Her mother divorced her father when Carol was still an infant. Elizabeth would later marry Paul Davis, a local factory worker in nearby Rushville. Paul raised Carol as his own, while he and Elizabeth would go on to have five more children, all of whom looked up to Carol as their big sister. As a teenager, Carol wanted to move to Chicago and become a model. Yet, shortly after graduating from Rushville High School, in 1965, she got a job at the plant of the Phlico Division of the Ford Motor Company. Carol worked there until a union strike temporarily shut the plant down. Looking to supplement her income, she took a job as a door-to-door saleswoman for Collier's, selling encyclopedias. Murder: In September 1968, 20-year-old Carol—dressed in a white cotton turtleneck, a pair of olive-green wool pant, a brown jacket, and a bright yellow scarf—embarked on her first day of selling encyclopedias door-to-door. To impress her boss, she volunteered to go to Martinsville, Indiana. Martinsville was known to be a sundown town, yet Carol thought she would be safe that evening, as she would be traveling there with three co-workers—two white men and a 19-year-old black woman. While on her route, two white men in a car began following her, cat-calling at her and hurling racist slurs. She approached the home of a young white married couple, Don and Norma Neal, seeking help, asking them, "Please let me in, I've got somebody following me." The Neals called police out to their residence. The police reported that they tracked down two locals who admitted following her, but admitted to nothing else. Norma Neal walked several blocks with Carol looking for her co-workers. When they couldn't find them, Neal offered to let Carol stay at their residence, but Carol turned down the offer saying she didn't want to trouble them further. Around 8:30 P.M., Carol then walked off, heading to the predetermined rendezvous point where she was supposed to meet her co-workers to head back to Rushville. Approximately 15 to 30 minutes later, two men got out of their car and chased her down. Her arms were held back from behind by one man, while the other man stabbed her with a screwdriver in her heart. The men left her in the street where, bleeding out from the wound, she died. Carol's father insisted that, due to the racist past of Martinsville, the police bring in the FBI to help investigate, but the police refused. Davis would later say, "I felt that because she was a black girl, nobody did anything." Arrest: In June 2000, Carol's mother, Elizabeth, received an anonymous phone call from someone revealing the name of the killer. Elizabeth told Paul, who dipped into his retirement savings to hire a private investigator to look into it. After the Indiana State Police got wind of Paul's effort, they assigned two cold case investigators to look back into the murder. And, in November 2001, the investigators received an anonymous letter naming the killer—Kenneth Clay Richmond. The letter also said that Richmond's daughter, Shirley, had witnessed the murder. For more than 33 years, the murder of Jenkins remained unsolved. But on May 8, 2002, police arrested Kenneth C. Richmond in an Indianapolis nursing home. Upon his arrest, Richmond was found to be a 70-year-old career criminal with a history of bizarre behavior and affiliation with groups such as the Ku Klux Klan. At the time of the killing, Richmond lived on a nearby Hendricks County farm and was just passing through Martinsville on the night Jenkins was murdered. Richmond's estranged daughter (of 24 years), Shirley, now 41 and married with the last name McQueen, corroborated the details of Carol's murder, including the clothing that Jenkins was wearing that night, which never had been revealed to the public. So detectives believed that the information given about the murder was accurate and they had found one of the killers. The police realized that they would not have found Shirley if it had not been for the anonymous phone call and letter. Both the call, and the letter, had been provided by 46-year-old Connie McQueen, Shirley McQueen's former sister-in-law. Shirley had confided in Connie about the murder, and Connie felt compelled to do something. Shirley McQueen stated that Richmond had a "pronounced dislike for black people." Then, she confirmed that, as a 7-year-old, she watched from the back seat of a car as her father, and another man—who had been riding around drinking together—killed Carol Jenkins. McQueen stated that, when her father and the unknown assailant got back into the car, Richmond laughed and said of Jenkins, "She got what she deserved." And, as they drove away, McQueen looked back and saw Jenkins fall next to a bush. McQueen stated that, as they drove back home, Richmond gave her seven dollars—one dollar for each year of her life—to keep his daughter quiet about what she had witnessed. Aftermath: Richmond never went to trial for Jenkins' murder, nor was his accomplice ever identified. He was declared incompetent to stand trial and, two weeks later, on August 31, 2002, he died of bladder cancer. Following the murder, Don and Norma Neal received constant harassment and death threats after it was revealed they tried to help Jenkins. In 2014, the Neals proposed a monument in Martinsville in Carol's memory. However, the plans were scrapped after the county commissioner, Norman Voyles, said he "started getting flack" about it. A community park in Rushville, Indiana was rededicated in Jenkins' name on November 1, 2017 and a memory stone was placed in the garden of Martinsville's city hall on November 2, 2017.
Saturday, March 9, 2019
World Vegetarian Day is observed annually around the planet on October 1. It is a day of celebration established by the North American Vegetarian Society in 1977 and endorsed by the International Vegetarian Union in 1978, "To promote the joy, compassion and life-enhancing possibilities of vegetarianism." It brings awareness to the ethical, environmental, health, and humanitarian benefits of a vegetarian lifestyle. World Vegetarian Day initiates the month of October as Vegetarian Awareness Month, which ends with November 1, World Vegan Day, as the end of that month of celebration. Vegetarian Awareness Month has been known variously as "Reverence for Life" month, "Month of Vegetarian Food", and more. Additional days: Several additional days of vegetarian significance are included in Vegetarian Awareness Month: September 27 – "Hug a Vegan/Vegetarian Day" September 29 – World Heart Day October 1 – World Vegetarian Day October 2 – World Farm Animals Day (WFAD) or World Day for Farm(ed) Animals, birthday of Mohandas K. Gandhi October 4 – The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi October 4 – Hug a Non-Meat Eater Day October 1–7 – International Vegetarian Week (IVW) - in several nations across the planet (but especially in Europe), many public educational and celebratory events are organized to promote the vegetarian lifestyle. First full week and additional 'straggler' days (in order to include as many weekends as possible for church, mosque, and temple involvement) – World Week of Prayer for Animals and World Animal Day (always includes The Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi). This may have been initiated by the now-defunct INRA (International Network for Religion and Animals), founded in 1985 by Virginia Bouraquardez (also known as Ginnie Bee), and later led by UCC minister, Rev. Marc Wessels. October 16 – United Nations World Food Day (often a time of global reckoning with issues of human food security) – the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in 1945. November 1 – International Vegan Day, also known as World Vegan Day – a vegan holiday celebrated since 1994 on the anniversary of the creation of The Vegan Society Additional Global Vegetarian Days: March 20 – Great American Meatout – developed and sponsored every year by FARM, also known as Farm Animal Rights Movement. World Meat Free Day (June 13, 2016) is sponsored by a gathering of like-minded organisations - Eating Better Alliance, Compassion in World Farming, Friends of the Earth, and a few more - who want to spread the messaging regarding the impact meat consumption can have on sustainability and health. The last Friday of September- International 'Hug a Vegetarian' Day November 25 – International Vegetarian Day also known as SAK Meatless Day – the birthday of Sadhu T. L. Vaswani (largely celebrated in India and throughout the Asian Pacific Rim nations, but known in Western nations among many vegetarians of Indian and Southeast Asian descent). International Vegetarian Days: Meatless Monday – Every Week, go totally meatless on Monday – an international campaign that encourages people to cut out (not eat) meat on Mondays to improve their health and the health of the planet. Reducing meat consumption by 15% (the equivalent of one day a week) lessens the risk of chronic preventable illness and has a strong positive impact on the environment (strongly reduces ecological damages from the activities involved with meat production and transport or distribution). Meatless Monday offers weekly meat-free recipes, articles, tips and news. Meatless Monday is a non-profit initiative of The Monday Campaigns Inc. in association with the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. The program follows the nutrition guidelines developed by the USDA. Meatless Monday is part of the Healthy Monday initiative. Healthy Monday encourages Americans to make healthier decisions at the start of every week. Other Healthy Monday campaigns include: Do The Monday 2000, Quit and Stay Quit Monday, Move it Monday, Monday Mile and others. Graphics: Various graphic and artistic representations are used; there is no one logo to represent World Vegetarian Day. Some of the other dates within Vegetarian Awareness Month have their own logos, or a series of logo representations, if they are sponsored in part or totally by identifiable organizations. Chinese society vegetarian days: There is a common practice for some Chinese people to be vegetarian twice a lunar month. The first day and the 15th day of each lunar month. The 15th day of each lunar month is the day/night with full moon. Local vegetarian restaurants are particularly busy on those 2 days. The origin of such practice is related to religious beliefs.
World Vegan Day is an annual event celebrated by vegans around the world every 1 November. The benefits of veganism for humans, non-human animals, and the natural environment are celebrated through activities such as setting up stalls, hosting potlucks, and planting memorial trees. The event was established in 1994 by Louise Wallis, then Chair of The Vegan Society in the United Kingdom, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the founding of the organisation and the coining of the terms "vegan" and "veganism". Speaking in 2011, Louise Wallis said: "We knew the Society had been founded in November 1944 but didn’t know the exact date, so I decided to go for 1 November, partly because I liked the idea of this date coinciding with Samhain/Halloween and the Day of the Dead – traditional times for feasting and celebration, both apt and auspicious." Europe- Ireland: Dublin World Vegan Month, Ireland: Germany: World Vegan Day, Germany. Several different events in the metropolitan cities. North America: United States- Boston, Massachusetts: Annual Boston Vegetarian Food Festival (all weekend), free vegan food (many thousands of attenders), sponsored annually and currently by the Boston Vegetarian Society Oceania: Australia- Adelaide: Adelaide celebrates World Vegan Day every year on a Sunday in November. The first Vegan Festival was held on 4 November 2007. The event is possible because of many individual volunteers and members of various organizations. Kas Ward created the Vegan Festival in Adelaide and is the main event coordinator. M.A.D. FREE Weekend in Adelaide celebrates World Vegan Day in November. 13–15 November 2009. Melbourne: Since 2003 World Vegan Day has been celebrated in Melbourne on the last Sunday of October. The event was initiated by members of the vegan social group Vegans Unite and is now organized by a committee affiliated with Vegetarian Victoria. Stalls include Lentil as Anything, Invita Living Foods, Animals Australia, Aduki Independent Press, Eco-shout Melbourne, Vegan Society of Australia, ALV, the Melbourne University Food Co-op, Lush Australia and eco store Sydney:The Winery by Gazebo in Surry Hills will hold Sydney's first annual event on the first Sunday of November, being Sunday 6th in 2016. New Zealand- Invercargill: Invercargill Vegan Society in Invercargill, New Zealand has celebrated World Vegan Day since 2011. The world's southernmost vegan group, for World Vegan Day 2012 they gave away tofu to butchers, placed posters around their city, gave away vegan muffins in the city centre and held a group potluck dinner. World Vegan Day 2013 celebrations included visits to butchers' shops and vegan baking and soya milk giveaways in the city centre. Vegan activists were included on the CUE TV's news bulletin and gave a soft toy dog to an animal-skin-preserving factory. A potluck dinner was held at Invercargill public library as the sun set on World Vegan Day 2013. South America: Uruguay- Montevideo: Uruguayan Vegan and Vegetarian Union monthly meeting, end-of-October monthly meeting (18:00hrs), free vegan food, information, gathering.
National Ice Cream Month is celebrated each year in July and National Ice Cream Day is celebrated on the third Sunday in July, in the United States. The celebrations were originated by Joint resolution 298, which was sponsored by Senator Walter Dee Huddleston of Kentucky on May 17, 1984. The resolution proclaimed the month of July 1984 as "National Ice Cream Month" and July 15, 1984, as "National Ice Cream Day". It was signed into public law by President Ronald Reagan on July 9, 1984 with Presidential Proclamation 5219. Even though the resolution only mentioned a specific month and day in 1984, the celebrations have held up in the years ever since, publicized by ice cream manufacturers.
Friday, March 8, 2019
Thursday, March 7, 2019
The 1973 Hanafi Muslim massacre took place on the afternoon of January 18, 1973. Two adults and a child were shot to death. Four other children ranging in age from nine days to ten years old were drowned. Two others were severely injured. The murder took place at 7700 16th Street NW, a Washington, D.C. house purchased for a group of Hanafi Muslims to use as the "Hanafi American Mussulman's Rifle and Pistol Club". The property was purchased and donated by then Milwaukee Bucks basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. The target of the attack was Hamaas Abdul Khaalis, the son-in-law of Reginald Hawkins. Khaalis had written and sent fifty letters calling Nation of Islam leader Elijah Muhammad "guilty of 'fooling and deceiving people - robbing them of their money, and besides that dooming them to Hell.'" The letters were mailed to ministers of all fifty mosques of the Nation of Islam, a sect that Khaalis had infiltrated and once been a leader. The letters were also critical of Wallace D. Fard and urged the ministers to leave the Black Muslim faith. Background: At the time of the murders Black Muslims were known as the Nation of Islam (NOI) and then changed their name to World Community Islam in the West. Hamas Abdul Khaalis was originally a Roman Catholic and Seventh-day Adventist born in Gary, Indiana as Ernest Timothy McGhee. He converted to Sunni Islam and on the advice of his Islamic teacher, Tasibur Uddein Rahman infiltrated the Black Muslims. He changed his name to Ernest 2x McGhee and served as principal of the sect's school, and then went on to become Elijah Muhammad's national secretary at their Chicago national headquarters from 1954-1957. In an interview, Khaalis said, "Elijah once said that I was next in line to him, that it was me, not Malcolm X." Elijah Mohammad was originally born Elijah Poole. In 1957 he was demoted or lost influence in a dispute possibly after unsuccessfully trying to convince Muhammad to change the direction of the movement. He then moved to New York City where he ran the Hanafi Midh-hab center in Harlem under his Sunni Muslim name Hamaas Abdul Khaalis. In New York, he continued trying to convince members to defect from Muhammad. In 1970, Khaalis converted Kareem Abdul Jabbar, who was formerly known as Lew Alcindor. In 1971 Jabbar donated a $78,000 field stone mansion for Khaalis' headquarters in Washington, D.C. Police believe the continued efforts to convert people in New York to be a reason for the growing conflict between Sunni Muslims and Black Muslims, and may have contributed to the murders. In an interview Khaalis spoke of Malcolm X, "When Malcolm was killed I was teaching him the Sunni way," and "He used to come to my house on Long Island and we would sit in his car for hours. He would meet me after he left the temple. Never in public because he knew they were after him. He was saying the wrong things." The incident: On January 12, 1973 several Black Mafia affiliates traveled to Washington, D.C and scouted the home. Then on January 17, 1973, Ronald Harvey, John Clark, James "Bubbles" Price, John Griffin, Theodore Moody, William Christian, and Jerome Sinclair traveled in two vehicles from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C. One of the men called claiming to be interested in purchasing literature about the Hanafi and arranged to come to the residence to purchase the literature. Two of them came to purchase material. Khaalis' son, Daud, left the room to get change, and upon his return he was told, "this is a stick up." The two men then let five or six additional people into the residence. Daud was killed first. He was taken to the third floor and shot. Abdu Nur was shot in a bedroom. Bibi was forced to watch them drown two of the children in an upstairs bathtub and she was also taken to the basement where she was forced to watch them drown her nine day old granddaughter in a sink. Then Bibi was bound, gagged, and shot eight times. Amina, Khaalis' daughter, was put in a closet and shot three times. She was told, "You know your father wrote those letters, don't you? Don't you know he can't do anything like that?" Unsure if she was dead, she was shot two more times, and then the gun jammed. Amina survived the shooting. Seven Philadelphia Black Muslims were charged for the crime. Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was a pall bearer at the funeral for Khaalis' children. The trials: H. Price, 23, Jerome Sinclair, 22, also known as Jerome 5X; John W. Griffin, 28, also known as Omar Jamal; John W. Clark, 31; Thomas Moody, 20; and William Christian, 29, were indicted. They all had extensive police records and, with the exception of Christian, they all had served prison sentences at Holmesburg Prison. Of the six defendants, one was acquitted when a key witness, Price, an unindicted co-conspirator, refused to testify. Price was not happy with the lifestyle afforded as a protected witness. Price also thought that if he could get out from the witness protection program he could reintegrate with his black Muslim brothers and they would stop threatening violence against him. Then Minister Louis Farrakhan on behalf of Elijah Muhammad, aired a threat during his radio broadcast: Let this be a warning to the opponents of Muhammad.. Let this be a warning to those of you who would be used as an instrument of a wicked government against our rise. Be careful, because when the government is tired of using you, they're going to dump you back into the laps of your people. And although Elijah Muhammad is a merciful man and will say, "Come in," and forgive you, yet in the ranks of black people today there are younger men and women rising up who have no forgiveness in them for traitors and stool pigeons. And they will execute you as soon as your identity is known. Be careful because nothing shall prevent the rise of the messiah, The Nation of Islam, and the black man the world over.This broadcast led Price to refuse to testify. He was then murdered in Holmesburg prison, where he was housed with other Black Muslims. Another defendant was granted a retrial after the jury had found him guilty which ended in a mistrial because Amina Khaalis, a survivor of the massacre and the daughter of the Hanafi leader, refused to be cross-examined as she had "suffered irreparable psychological trauma" and it was thought that it was "highly probable" that she would suffer psychiatric injury if she were to testify again about the murders. One of the men indicted, Ronald Harvey, was also indicted for the Camden, New Jersey murder of Major Coxson, a flamboyant black businessman and unsuccessful candidate for mayor of Camden. Aftermath: It is believed that the slayings led to the 1977 Hanafi Siege which was to bring attention to the crime. The murder brought attention to the sparring between Sunni Muslims and Black Muslims. Sunni Muslims believe Black Muslims changed the doctrines of Islam by excluding whites and by accepting Elijah Muhammad as a messenger of Allah. Sunnis believe that Islam is color-blind and that whites can become Muslim. They also believe that the Muhammad was the last prophet of Allah.
Wednesday, March 6, 2019
The Victory Arch, officially known as the Swords of Qādisīyah، and popularly called the Hands of Victory or the Crossed Swords, are a pair[definition needed] of triumphal arches in central Baghdad, Iraq. Each arch consists of a pair of outstretched hands holding crossed swords. The two arches mark the two entrances to Grand Festivities Square and the parade ground constructed to commemorate the Iran–Iraq War, led by then Iraqi President Saddam Hussein. The arches were opened to the public on 8 August, 1989. It is one of Baghdad's visitor attractions and near to The Monument to the Unknown Soldier. Location: The two sets of arches mark the entrances to an area known as Zawra Park. In 1986 (two years before the war's end) the government of Iraq began the construction of a festival and parade ground in Zawra Park, near the extensive presidential complex in the center of Baghdad. Known as Grand Festivities Square, it comprised a large parade ground, an extensive review pavilion and a large reflecting pool. The surrounding grassy areas hosted Iraqis during military parades. Adding to the festive appeal of the grounds were three refreshments booths that sold ice cream, cold beverages, and candy. This site would become the area where three monuments would be constructed to remember Iraq's pain and suffering as a consequence of the eight-year war. The Victory Arch was the last of the three structures to be built, and it followed on from the construction of the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, and Al-Shaheed Monument (1983). The three monuments form a unit. The official name of the arches, the Swords of Qādisiyyah, is an allusion to the historical Battle of al-Qādisiyyah, when Arab armies defeated Sassanid Iran (Persia) in the 7th-century, and captured their capital, Ctesiphone where an arch marks the entrance to the ancient Imperial Palace. Zawra Park was home to the Museum of Gifts to the President and a performing arts center. The museum was located on the ground floor of the grand reviewing pavilion where Saddam was known to review the Republican Guard while firing a weapon in the air. The museum contained ordinary items donated by Iraqis during his rule. Items included cheap plastic ornaments and drawings donated by Iraqi children. History: Iraq's leading sculptor, Khaled al-Rahal, won the commission to design and execute the construction of the arches, which were based on a concept sketch made by president Saddam Hussein. The design consists of a pair of massive hands emerging from the ground, each holding a 43-metre-long sword. However, al-Rahal died in 1987, before the monument was completed, and another eminent Iraqi sculptor, Mohammed Ghani Hikmat, assumed control of the project. Both sculptors worked in close collaboration with Saddam Hussein. The monument was built as part of a broader program to beautify the city of Baghdad and to create public works that would help to instil a sense of national pride within the population. Baghdad is now dotted with monuments, including Al-Shaheed Monument and Monument to an Unknown Soldier, and many other statues, fountains and sculptures; all constructed between 1969 and 2003. The site selected for the monument was where the Muslim Arabs defeated the Persians in 636 CE and is generally seen to be the beginning of Islamic domination of the region. On the day the monument was dedicated in 1990, Saddam rode under the arches astride a white horse. It has been suggested that this was an allusion to the slain Shiite martyr Hussein, killed in Karbala in AD 680, whose death caused the rift between Shiite and Sunni Muslims. The monument, although presenting a triumphalist narrative in relation to the Iran-Iraq war, has assumed a broader symbolism and represents those Iraqis who fell in any war throughout the country's history. Description: The monument consists of a pair of outstretched arms which appear to be exploding out of the ground, each holding a sword which meet at a central point. The swords, which are made of stainless steel, are based on the weapons carried by Sa`d ibn Abi Waqqas, the Arab leader at the Battle of Qadisiya (from where the monument derives its Arabic name). A small flagpole rises from the point where the swords meet, about 130 ft above the ground. Al-Rahal used photographs and plaster casts of Saddam's forearms as a model for the design of the hands. Toward the end of the project, after Ghani had taken over, the sulptor personally took an impression of one of Saddam's thumbs, and the resulting fingerprint was added to the mold for one of the arches' thumbs. At the time, Iraq did not have a foundry sufficiently large to cast the sculpture, leading to much of it being made abroad. The arches were made by an international consortium led by the German foundry H+H Metallform. The blades of the stainless steel swords weigh 24 tons each. Cast in Iraq, they are partly composed of metal from guns and tanks of Iraqi soldiers killed in the Iran-Iraq war. The hands and arms of the monument are of bronze, cast in the United Kingdom at the Morris Singer Foundry. The arms rest on concrete plinths, the form of which make the arms appear to burst up out of the ground. Each plinth holds 2,500 helmets (a total of 5,000 helmets) which, Saddam claimed, belonged to Iranian soldiers killed during the war; they are held in nets which allow them to spill onto the ground beneath. Physical specifications: The monument has a number of elements, each made from different construction materials: The Exploding ground: Constructed of reinforced concrete, with enemy helmets scattered around Forearm and grip: Cast in bronze, each weighing 20 tons, fixed with a reinforced frame, also 20 tons Swords: The swords have a slight curve, allowing them to meet in the middle, giving the arched shape. They are cast in stainless steel and each sword weighs 24 tons. The Net: The net was cast in bronze and each contains 2,500 enemy helmets The Flag Pole: The flag and pole were made of stainless steel and rise 7 metres above the point where the arched swords meet The monument has been described as "kitch, totalitarian art." It was restored in 2011. Recent developments: The monument was not destroyed during the first Gulf War, though General Norman Schwarzkopf wanted to remove it. The arches remain standing in what is now the International Zone of Baghdad. In February 2007, it was reported that the new Iraqi government had organized the Committee for Removing Symbols of the Saddam Era and that the Arc of Triumph monument had begun to be dismantled, which drew protests from Iraqi and preservationist groups. The demolition began on Tuesday, February 20, 2007. At that time, 3-metre chunks had been cut out of the bronze monument. Numerous Iraqi bystanders and coalition troops were seen taking helmets and bits of the monument away as souvenirs. The decision to remove the monument, made by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, was challenged by U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, who blocked the demolition on February 21. The government of Iraq reversed its earlier plans to demolish the monument. In February 2011, Iraqi authorities began the restoration of the monument as a sign of reconciliation. Legacy: The Victory arch is one of Baghdad's most photographed monuments. Visitors who stand in a specific location can be photographed as if their own hands are holding the swords. The hands, which are hollow, present visitors with another photo opportunity- many troops and other coalition visitors have climbed up inside them to look out from the point at which the swords meet the hands, generally to have souvenir pictures taken. The monument also featured on the 100 dinar banknote for 1991.
The Gulliver's nightclub fire occurred on the early morning of June 30, 1974 on the border of Port Chester, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut. The fire killed 24 patrons and injured 19 patrons and 13 firemen. The fire was caused by arson in an adjacent bowling alley that had been set to cover up a minor burglary there. The venue: The restaurant was formally known as Gulliver's Restaurant Inc. and opened in 1971. It attracted crowds of young people, particularly Connecticut residents, since the drinking age at the time was lower in New York than Connecticut. The restaurant was originally the Old Post Grill, but that burned in 1962; then it was Lucy's, which had a fire in 1968. The building was owned by the Port Chester Electrical Construction Corporation. The building housing Gulliver's was on the border of Port Chester and Greenwich and so spanned the county and state line between Westchester County, New York and Fairfield County, Connecticut. Gulliver's was a restaurant and bar with its entrance on the Greenwich side. Most of Gulliver's was considered on the New York side, and had been inspected by Port Chester fire authorities two months before the fire. The other businesses in the building were considered to be in Greenwich and had not been inspected since 1964 when the last equipment was installed. On the main floor of Gulliver's was a dining room, main bar and the kitchen. Down a short but fairly narrow flight of stairs was the lower level where the lounge was. In this area was a sunken dance floor. It was in this lower level where the late night discotheque took place. On the ground floor there was also a small barber shop and a retail store for clothing. More importantly, there was a bowling alley that took up almost half the building. The fire: There were about 200 young people in the lower level lounge at the time of the fire, just before 1 a.m. The band was The Creation, and included Paul Caravello (who would later be part of Kiss under the name Eric Carr). They stopped playing the song "I Wanna Know Your Name" after a waitress told them she smelled smoke. They announced "There's a fire. Please walk out quietly." Within minutes, the sunken dance floor was enveloped in heavy smoke and the lights went out. At this point there was a panic, with patrons unable to get up the stairs to the main floor of the club and the main entrance where they had come in. 19 fire companies responded to the incident, mainly from the Port Chester and Greenwich Fire Departments, but from other Westchester and Connecticut municipalities as well. Initial attempts to enter the building were hampered by intense heat and smoke. Various reports claim it took about 90 minutes to four hours to get the fire under control. Most of the 24 victims were found at the foot of the stairs, with some others on the sunken dance floor. The investigation: The county medical examiner reported that many of the bodies were so charred that dental work was the only way of identifying the victims. Autopsies revealed that all the victims died from asphyxiation. This quashed rumors that victims had been trampled to death. Also, some electric clocks were found in the rubble stopped at 1:50 showing that power had been on during the fire and that a total blackout had not occurred. The source of the fire initially appeared to be the nursery of the bowling alley, which was located in the basement under the clothing store. The exact location of the start of the fire proved to be very important, since it determined whether New York or Connecticut authorities had responsibility for the final investigation. Peter J. Leonard of Greenwich, an unemployed laborer and high school dropout who was 22 years old, was arrested by Connecticut authorities on July 12, 1974 on charges of setting the fire. Authorities stated that he was a frequent patron of the bowling alley and had been there early in the evening and then left when the alleys closed, returning later through a roof-top skylight with the intention of burglarizing the business. On July 16, it was announced that final building surveys revealed that the part of the nursery where the fire was set as well as the skylight where Leonard entered the alleys were both in New York State. The bowling alley where the fire started had gone without government fire inspections for five years before the fire. The cause of this lapse appeared to be an agreement written in 1961 from the Connecticut State Fire Marshal to both municipalities involved that was forgotten about after the retirement of a Port Chester fire inspector in 1969. The agreement stated that Port Chester would take responsibility for inspecting the bowling alley because most of it was in New York State. Officials in Port Chester questioned the legality of the agreement after the fire, saying the parties who drew it up had no legal authority to do so. The legal process- Criminal: Once it was determined that the fire was set in New York, extradition was sought to bring the suspect from Connecticut to New York. Leonard waived extradition and was indicted by a Westchester County Grand Jury on July 30 on 28 counts, consisting of 24 murder charges (one for each victim), arson, burglary and two counts of petit larceny. The theory of the crime was that Leonard had burglarized some cigarette vending machines in the bowling alley and set the fire to cover up the burglary. Leonard pleaded guilty just before his trial was due to start on June 16, 1975. Then, on his sentencing hearing on July 16, he tried to withdraw the plea. The judge refused the request to withdraw the plea and sentenced Leonard to 15 years to life imprisonment. The judge commented that Leonard had performed "stupid actions in attempting to cover up a third-rate burglary by arson, resulting in Westchester's worst tragedy." He also said "You're certainly not an all American boy, but you're not a vicious killer either." On July 19, 1977, the guilty verdict for murder was overturned by the Appellate Court, because his confession was found to be coerced. He was then convicted by a jury on September 7, 1978 after 81⁄2 hours of deliberation on all 28 counts of the indictment. This guilty verdict was overturned on December 16, 1985 because the Appellate Division found that self-incriminating statements had been made without a lawyer present. On March 25, 1986, prosecutors allowed Leonard to plead guilty to second degree manslaughter. On April 9, 1986, he was sentenced to 15 years. Under New York law, inmates with good records were released after serving two thirds of their sentence, therefore he qualified for release soon afterwards. Civil: The first civil lawsuit began July 5, 1974 when a lawyer representing the husband of one of the victims, Jonetta Horsey, who perished in the fire, filed papers starting a $2 million suit. The filing asked that the attorney be included in the fire investigation. By July 8, 1974, nine families had retained counsel for possible lawsuits. On July 9, 1974, an attorney representing six families who lost loved ones filed a notice of claim for $12 million with the Village of Port Chester. The notice contended that Port Chester "was negligent and careless in failing to make proper and sufficient inspections" of both the restaurant and bowling alley. Even though the bowling alley was almost entirely in Connecticut, the attorney filing the papers said the fact that it adjoined the restaurant (which was mostly in New York) made it Port Chester's responsibility. On July 15, 1974, it was reported that Greenwich would be served with a notice of claim for $16 million on behalf of 8 victims of the fire. Aftermath: Due to most victims not being local, there is little commemoration of the tragedy.