Monday, December 30, 2019
"Epstein didn't kill himself" is an Internet meme about the death of Jeffrey Epstein. Epstein was a controversial figure with connections to several prominent figures, and his reported suicide generated numerous conspiracy theories about the nature and cause of his death. Gaining traction on social media, the meme speculating that the American financier and convicted sex offender was murdered soon gained widespread prominence. Overview: The central idea behind the meme is to include the phrase "Epstein didn't kill himself" in unexpected contexts like a photo caption of painter Bob Ross or at the end of post as a non sequitur. The meme has appeared at multiple televised sports games in the form of signs and painted bodies. Several people have also randomly interjected the phrase at the end of interviews. It is used by individuals on all sides of the political spectrum without agreement on the specific details of Epstein's death. Background: On August 10, 2019, American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. According to the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons official statement, "He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff." The New York City medical examiner ruled Epstein's death a suicide. Epstein's lawyers challenged that conclusion and opened their own investigation. Epstein's brother Mark hired Michael Baden to oversee the autopsy. In late October, Baden announced that autopsy evidence was more indicative of homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging. Both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general are conducting investigations into the circumstances of his death. The guards on duty were later charged with conspiracy and record falsification. Due to violations of normal jail procedures on the night of his death, and Epstein's claimed knowledge of compromising information about influential people, his death generated doubt about his apparent suicide and speculation that he was murdered. Mainstreaming: At the end of an interview with Jesse Watters on Fox News, former Navy SEAL and founder of the Warrior Dog Foundation Mike Ritland asked if he could give a "PSA". After being told that he could, he stated, "If you see the coverage about combat dogs and you decide I want one of these dogs, either buy a fully trained and finished dog from a professional or just don't get one at all. That, and Epstein didn't kill himself." Ritland later stated his purpose for suddenly mentioning the phrase was to keep the Jeffrey Epstein story alive. According to The Washington Post, the meme gained a large amount of attention in the immediate aftermath of this interview. Arizona Republican Congressman Paul Gosar shared the meme in a series of 23 tweets where the first letter of each tweet spelled out the phrase. Australian rapper Matthew Lambert of Hilltop Hoods, after winning the 2019 ARIA Music Award for Best Australian Live Act, included the phrase in his acceptance speech. Platforms: The meme has been shared by individuals on a number of platforms including Facebook and Twitter. Podcast host Joe Rogan and internet personality Tank Sinatra used Instagram to spread the meme to their followers, which in Rogan's case had included Mike Ritland. The "Epstein didn't kill himself" meme also has appeared in TikTok videos, which notably is frequented by a younger user base. Several users on dating apps, such as Tinder and Hinge, have written in their profiles that whether or not a someone accepts the premise of the meme is a relationship deal breaker. Products: Two beer companies, the Michigan-based Rusted Spoke Brewing Co. and the Californian Tactical OPS Brewing, advertised specialty-branded beers in connection to the meme. Rusted Spoke's operations manager told the Detroit Free Press that people just thought the meme was funny. In Switzerland, the Zürich-based company Kaex printed the meme on promotional material for an anti-hangover product. Computer programmer, businessman, and Presidential candidate John McAfee announced the release of an Ethereum-based token named after the meme. He had previously expressed doubts about Epstein's death. Also known as WHACKD, 700 million tokens of the cryptocurrency were released to 8,000 users following its airdrop. Holiday-theme merchandise, such as Christmas jumpers, which prominently feature the phrase also became available for sale through several online retailers. In an interview with Slate, independent merchandisers indicated that the Christmas/Epstein product lines were selling comparatively well and cited the mashup's dark humor for its internet popularity. According to Variety, the Christmas-themed paraphernalia was reportedly outselling Game of Thrones merchandise. Vandalism: The phrase has been the connected to several incidents of vandalism including its appearance "on road signs and overpasses around the country." One specific incident saw the meme painted on 7-foot-high boulder and visible to travellers on Washington State Route 9 in Snohomish, causing a bit of controversy in the local community. A popular art piece at the Art Basel in Miami, "Comedian", was prominently vandalized when Roderick Webber of Massachusetts wrote "Epstien didn't kill himself" in red lipstick. Webber was arrested for criminal mischief, and he reportedly spent a night in jail. "Epstein didn't kill himself": Seemingly overnight, those last four words, or something close to them, were everywhere: Belted out in videos posted by teenagers to TikTok, the social media platform beloved by Generation Z. Hacked into a roadside traffic sign in Modesto, Calif. Uttered by a University of Alabama student during a live report on MSNBC, hours before the president was set to appear at the school's football game.-Teo Armus, The Washington Post Reactions: NPR's Scott Simon compared the bait-and-switch aspect of the meme to Rickrolling. He also worried that doing a news story about the meme could spread misinformation. Federal prosecutors have tried to discourage the spread of the conspiracy theory, but the Associated Press reported, "the phrase 'Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself' has taken on a life of its own—sometimes more as a pop culture catchphrase than an actual belief." Writer James Poulos cited the advancement of social media and growing populist sentiments for the meme. Commentators have also suggested that growing distrust of government and the elite played a large factor in its popularity as well. Jeet Heer with The Nation has expressed his worries that this could lead to the meme becoming a useful tool for recruitment for the far-right; but Adam Bulger, in a featured article for BTRtoday, dismissed Heer's concerns and encouraged the Democratic Party to embrace the meme. In an article for Mel Magazine published shortly before the Fox News interview, Miles Klee wrote that there were numerous factors for the meme's rise online; among these included a "simmering resentment" and a lack of justice for Epstein's victims. He further explained that a large attraction of sharing the "Epstein didn't kill himself" meme was it served as a method to keep the Epstein story within the news cycle. Author Anna Merlan has instead argued that the meme over time tends to trivialize the concerns of Epstein's victims. However, she mentioned that Jane Doe 15, who on November 19, 2019 publicly alleged that Jeffrey Epstein had raped her, wore a bracelet featuring the phrase "Epstein didn't kill himself" at a public press conference to possibly indicate her belief in the conspiracy theory. According to Vice News, it is not clear why Jane Doe 15 chose to wear the bracelet.
Sunday, December 29, 2019
The Doodler, also known as the Black Doodler, is an unidentified serial killer believed responsible for up to 16 murders and three assaults of men in the LGBT community of San Francisco, California, between January 1974 and September 1975. The nickname was given due to the perpetrator's habit of sketching his victims prior to their sexual encounters and slayings by stabbing. The perpetrator met his victims at gay nightclubs, bars and restaurants. Murders: It is believed that the Doodler killed between five and sixteen people. A consistent method used in several of the killings was stabbing the victims in the front and back of their bodies in similar locations. All of the victims were white males. Police theorized that the victims had all died after meeting with the suspect near the locations where their bodies were recovered. The suspect was described as a man between 19 and 25 of African descent. He was about six feet tall, with a slender build. Police initially believed there could have been as many as three different perpetrators during early stages of the investigation. Gerald Cavanaugh: Gerald Earl Cavanaugh, a Canadian-American immigrant, is believed to be the Doodler's first victim. He was 49 at the time of his slaying, which had occurred by stabbing. Cavanaugh's fully clothed body was located on January 27, 1974, lying face-up on Ocean Beach in San Francisco, California, in the early hours of the morning. He had died hours before. He was determined to have been conscious at the time he was killed and had attempted to resist his killer because he had self-defense wounds. He initially remained unidentified, being temporarily known as "John Doe #7" by the medical examiner. He was a single man and few details are available about his personal life. Joseph "Jae" Stevens: Joseph Stevens, best known by the nickname "Jae," was discovered on June 25, 1974, by a woman walking along Spreckels Lake in San Francisco. Stevens was 27 and had died shortly before his body was found; he had been witnessed at a club the previous day. He was employed as a "female impersonator" and comedian. Officers suspected that Stevens was alive at the time he had been at Spreckels Lake, possibly transporting himself to the area with his killer. Klaus Christmann: Klaus Christmann, a German-American immigrant, was discovered by a woman walking her dog on July 7, 1974. His death had been somewhat more violent than the previous murders because he had considerably more stab wounds than Stevens and had been slashed in the throat several times. The body was fully clothed. Christmann, unlike the previous victims, was married and had children. The fact that he had a "make-up tube" on his person when he died suggested to police he may have been a closeted gay man. He remained unidentified briefly while police were investigating the cases, which they had believed were related after the third murder. He was buried in his native country. Frederick Capin: Frederick Elmer Capin, aged 32, was discovered on May 12, 1975, in San Francisco. He had been stabbed like the other victims, dying from strikes to his aorta. It is believed his body had been moved approximately 20 feet as disturbances in the nearby sand indicated. Capin was identified through fingerprints when these were matched to those taken "by the state" due to his occupation as a nurse. He also had served in the United States Navy, earning medals while serving in the Vietnam War. Harald Gullberg: Harald Gullberg, aged 66, was a Swedish-American immigrant who was discovered on June 4, 1975 in a decomposed state about two weeks after his death in Lincoln Park. He remains slightly inconsistent with the other homicides because he was far older than the others, his underwear had been taken by his killer and his pants were unzipped. Gullberg is believed to be the final victim of the Doodler. While he remained unidentified, he was known as "John Doe #81." Investigation: Police questioned a young man as a murder suspect in the case but could not proceed with criminal charges because the three surviving victims did not want to "out" themselves by testifying against him in court. Among the stabbing survivors were a "well-known entertainer" and a diplomat. The suspect cooperated with police during his interview but he never admitted guilt for the murders and attacks. Officers stated that they strongly believed that the man in question was responsible for the crimes, but he was never tried or convicted because of the survivors' refusals to appear in court. To date, the suspect never has been named publicly or apprehended; very little information is available about the crimes. Two other potential suspects arose in 1977 after a pair of men from Redondo Beach were arrested in Riverside County, California, and questioned on suspicion of approximately 28 murders that, like the San Francisco killings, occurred after "homosexual encounters." Status: As of May 2018, the case is open and ongoing in the San Francisco Police Department. Recent successes using DNA technology developed in the decades since the crimes have led police to re-examine evidence in the case. In February 2019, police offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer and released a revised sketch showing what he could look like four decades later. They later announced they would consider forensic genetic genealogy, which identified a suspect in the Golden State Killer murders. Aftermath: At the time, activist Harvey Milk publicly expressed empathy for the victims who refused to speak with police, stating "I understand their position. I respect the pressure society has put on them." Milk elaborated that the three men likely feared damaging relationships with family and in the workforce, citing that he believed "20% to 25%" of the 85,000 gay men in San Francisco were closeted about their sexualities. Media: On February 19, 2019, it was announced on Deadline Hollywood that the San Francisco ‘Doodler’ killer would be the subject of a TV drama series written by Ryan J. Brown and produced by UK film company Ugly Duckling Films.
The "Trinity murders" (so named for the high school attended by the victims) occurred in Louisville, Kentucky on September 29, 1984, when Victor Dewayne Taylor and George Ellis Wade kidnapped and murdered two 17-year-old Trinity High School students, Scott Christopher Nelson and Richard David Stephenson. Taylor was sentenced to death and Wade was sentenced to life imprisonment. Murders: On September 29, 1984, Scott Nelson and Richard Stephenson were headed to a Trinity High School football game at duPont Manual High School in the Old Louisville neighborhood of Louisville, Kentucky when they became lost. The pair stopped at a Moby Dick restaurant to get directions, where Victor Taylor and his cousin George Wade said they would lead them to the stadium in exchange for a ride. Nelson and Stephenson were instead taken to a vacant lot in the 300 block of Ardella Ct. near the football stadium of Louisville Male High School where they were forced to take off their clothes, hand over their personal property, and were bound and gagged. After Victor Taylor sexually assaulted one of them, Nelson and Stephenson were shot in the back of the head to avoid the identification of Taylor and Wade. The widely publicized murders led to the suspects when a relative who had been given a Trinity High school jacket reported George Wade to the police. Wade implicated Victor Taylor in the crime and the personal belongings of the two murdered students were found in the home of Taylor's mother. Trial: After a change of venue motion due to publicity, the trials of Taylor and Wade were moved to Lexington, Kentucky where Taylor was convicted in 1986 of kidnapping, robbery, sodomy, and murder. Wade had previously testified against Taylor but recanted his testimony, which led to Taylor unsuccessfully appealing his conviction. George Wade was convicted of kidnapping, robbery, and murder. Taylor is on death row at the Kentucky State Penitentiary in Eddyville, Kentucky and George Wade is serving a life sentence at the Kentucky State Reformatory in LaGrange Kentucky. Wade recanted his statement to the police that Taylor was with him when he kidnapped, sodomized and killed the boys. Wade made this statement more than eleven years after Taylor's conviction. In popular culture: In 2000, the clothier Benetton ran a controversial advertising campaign titled "We, On Death Row" which featured Victor Taylor and 24 other death row inmates from around the United States.
On August 10, 2019, American financier and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his Metropolitan Correctional Center jail cell, where he was awaiting trial on new sex trafficking charges. According to the Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Prisons official statement, "He was transported to a local hospital for treatment of life-threatening injuries and subsequently pronounced dead by hospital staff." The New York City medical examiner ruled Epstein's death a suicide. Epstein's lawyers challenged that conclusion and opened their own investigation. Epstein's brother Mark hired Michael Baden to oversee the autopsy. In late October, Baden announced that autopsy evidence was more indicative of homicidal strangulation than suicidal hanging. Attorney General William Barr has described Epstein's death as "a perfect storm of screw-ups." Both the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice's inspector general are conducting investigations into the circumstances of his death. The guards on duty were later charged with conspiracy and record falsification. Due to violations of normal jail procedures on the night of his death and Epstein's claimed knowledge of compromising information about famous people, his death generated doubt about his apparent suicide and speculation that he was murdered. Arrest and imprisonment: On July 6, 2019, Jeffrey Epstein was arrested in New York on multiple charges including sex trafficking and placed at the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan. He pleaded not guilty. He had earlier faced similar charges in Florida in 2008, but escaped federal charges in a plea deal. Under the plea deal he pled guilty to two state felony charges, paid restitution to three dozen victims identified by the FBI, and registered as a sex offender in both the states of Florida and New York. On July 18, 2019, Epstein was denied bail after offering US$600,000 to be able to wear an ankle tracker at his New York City townhouse. He was viewed as a potential flight risk due to his 20 international flights in the prior 18 months. Epstein appealed the bail denial decision to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. At the time of his death, this case was still pending. On July 23, Epstein was found semiconscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. He told his lawyers that he had been assaulted by his cellmate. His cellmate, multiple murder and drug conspiracy suspect Nicholas Tartaglione, was questioned by prison officials but denied harming Epstein. Tartaglione claimed that he had actually saved Epstein. An internal prison investigation reportedly cleared Tartaglione in connection with the event. After Epstein's death, Tartaglione was reportedly threatened by jail guards and told to "stop talking" after describing Epstein's death and conditions in the jail to the media. As a result of the incident, Epstein was placed on suicide watch. He was placed in an observation cell, surrounded by windows, where lights were left on and any devices that could be used by the prisoner to take his own life were not permitted to be retained. Epstein was removed from suicide watch after six days following a psychiatric examination. Some sources have reported that Epstein was removed from suicide watch after claiming that it was Tartaglione who "roughed him up." Epstein was then moved to a special housing unit, where he was supposed to have a cellmate and be checked up on every 30 minutes. On December 18, 2019, in a case against Tartaglione, federal prosecutors admitted that the surveillance footage outside Epstein's cell during the incident had disappeared. Tartaglione's defense had sought to use the footage to demonstrate his character while he reportedly saved Epstein. Tartaglione's lawyer had requested that the footage be retained on July 25, two days after the incident. Judge Kenneth Karas requested that the government determine what had happened to the footage. Several days later, federal prosecutors claimed that they had found the missing footage. Epstein was reportedly depositing funds into other prisoners' accounts to gain their favor or buy protection. On August 8, Jeffrey Epstein signed his last will and testament. The signing of the will was witnessed by two attorneys who knew him. The will named two longtime employees as executors, and immediately gifted all of his assets, and any assets remaining in his estate, to a trust. Death: The jail informed the Justice Department, when Epstein was placed in the special housing unit (SHU), that he would have a cellmate and that a guard would look into the cell every 30 minutes. These procedures were not followed on the night he died. On August 9, Epstein's cellmate was transferred out, and no new replacement cellmate was brought in. The evening of his death, Epstein visited with his lawyer before returning to the SHU at 7:49 PM. Video evidence shows that the two guards failed to perform the required institutional count at 10 PM. Internal evidence shows guard Tova Noel briefly walking by Epstein's cell at 10:30 PM, the last time the guards entered the tier his cell was located on. Throughout the night, in violation of the jail's normal procedure, Epstein was not checked every 30 minutes. The two guards who were assigned to check his cell overnight, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, fell asleep at their desk for about three hours and later falsified related records. Two cameras in front of Epstein's cell also malfunctioned that night. Another camera had footage which was "unusable." As the guards were distributing breakfast in the morning around 6:30 AM, Epstein was found unresponsive in cardiac arrest in his cell, in what was initially reported as an apparent suicide. He was found in a kneeling position with a bedsheet wrapped around his neck. The sheet was tied to the top of his bunk. At 6:33 AM, the alarm was pulled and a supervisor arrived, to whom Noel said, "Epstein hung himself." He was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on August 10, 2019. His body was transported to the medical examiner's office soon after. The news of the death was posted on 4chan about 38 minutes before ABC News broke the news. If it was posted by a first responder, as it has been speculated, it would likely be a violation of privacy law. As of August 2019, the poster is still unidentified, and the review is ongoing. Following an autopsy, Epstein's body was claimed by an "unidentified associate," later revealed to be his brother, Mark. On September 5, Epstein's body was buried in an unmarked grave next to those of his parents at the IJ Morris Star of David cemetery in Palm Beach, Florida. The names of his parents were also removed from their tombstone in order to prevent vandalism. Autopsy: An autopsy on Epstein's body was conducted on August 11 by New York City's Chief Medical Examiner Barbara Sampson. Epstein's lawyers sent pathologist Michael Baden to personally observe the city's autopsy. Following the autopsy, the medical examiner's office reported that Epstein had hanged himself with a sheet from his bed. On August 14, unofficial sources reported that broken bones were found in Epstein's neck, although this can occur in the suicide of the elderly. They are said to be "more common in victims of homicide by strangulation", though multiple studies have found different percentages for both manners of death. Epstein's lawyers released a joint statement following the report of the medical examiner, expressing that they are not satisfied, challenging the conclusions and saying that a more complete response was forthcoming. They also indicated that the defense team fully intends to continue its own independent and complete investigation into the circumstances and cause of their client's death, including taking legal action, if necessary, to view the pivotal camera footage near his cell during the night of his death. They later said that the evidence concerning Epstein's death was "far more consistent" with murder than suicide. On August 16, 2019, Sampson announced that Epstein's death had been ruled a suicide by hanging. Later conflicting reports stated that the injuries Epstein sustained were as consistent, if not more so, with strangulation or homicide as with suicide. However, Sampson's report found that there was no foul play in Epstein's death. Three of Epstein's lawyers expressed their dissatisfaction with Sampson's conclusion of suicide, having hired renowned forensic pathologist Dr. Michael Baden to observe the autopsy; they said they would be initiating their own investigation and will be providing a more detailed statement in the future. Baden observed Sampson's autopsy when it was conducted; after the autopsy he indicated that he was unable to comment due to gag orders filed by Sampson's office and Epstein's estate. On October 30, 2019, Baden issued a report stating that Epstein's neck injuries were much more consistent with "homicidal strangulation" than suicide. He stated that Epstein "had two fractures on the left and right sides of his larynx, specifically the thyroid cartilage or Adam's apple, as well as one fracture on the left hyoid bone above the Adam's apple". In particular, his hyoid bone, which is rarely broken in suicidal hangings, was broken in a way indicative of strangulation from behind. According to the autopsy files, Epstein also had contusions on both of his wrists, an abrasion on his left forearm, and deep muscle hemorrhaging of his left deltoid or shoulder. His brother, Mark, later suggested that he was "handcuffed and struggled." Epstein also had hemorrhages in his eyes, which although not unheard of in hangings, are more common in strangulations. Baden also suggested that if there was a murderer, their DNA would be found on the ligature and urged that these results "be reported quickly to give an idea and lessen the speculation." Reaction: U.S. President Donald Trump responded to Epstein's death by retweeting a conspiracy theory linking Epstein's death to former president Bill Clinton and former secretary of state Hillary Clinton. Angel Ureña, a spokesperson for the Clintons, tweeted: "Ridiculous, and of course not true—and Donald Trump knows it." White House counselor Kellyanne Conway defended Trump's retweet, saying on Fox News Sunday that he "wants everything to be investigated". CNN host Jake Tapper later criticized Trump for the retweet, saying "the state of our union is appalled" that Trump had used his "massive Twitter platform to spread a deranged conspiracy theory." Attorney General William Barr said he was "appalled" by Epstein's death while in federal custody and that it "raises serious questions that must be answered." He ordered an investigation by the Justice Department's Inspector General in addition to the FBI investigation. Senator Ben Sasse, chairman of the United States Senate Judiciary oversight subcommittee, later wrote a letter to Barr saying "The Department of Justice failed." He added "Given Epstein's previous attempted suicide, he should have been locked in a padded room under unbroken, 24/7, constant surveillance. Obviously, heads must roll." Rep. Matt Gaetz, who sits on the United States House Judiciary Committee, called on chairman Rep. Jerry Nadler to prioritize investigating the circumstances around Epstein's death over other probes being carried out by the committee. Rep. Lois Frankel called for a congressional investigation into the 2008 plea deal for Epstein. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand called for a "full investigation" into Epstein's death, saying on CBS News' Face the Nation, "These survivors deserved justice, they deserved a day in court, they deserved to speak out against this perpetrator, and it is a shame. I do think there needs to be a full investigation about why he was taken off the suicide watch list; I think it's a strange decision, given that he attempted suicide once already." Sen. Rick Scott said Epstein's death had robbed his victims of an "opportunity for justice. The Federal Bureau of Prisons must provide answers on what systemic failures of the MCC Manhattan or criminal acts allowed this coward to deny justice to his victims." Attorney Lisa Bloom wrote: "On behalf of the victims I represent, we would have preferred he lived to face justice. Our civil cases can still proceed against his estate. Victims deserve to be made whole for the lifelong damage he caused. We're just getting started." On August 12, 2019, the leaders of the House Judiciary Committee, Chairman Nadler and ranking member Doug Collins, sent 23 questions to the Federal Bureau of Prisons about Epstein's death. "The apparent suicide of this high-profile and—if allegations are proven to be accurate—particularly reprehensible individual while in the federal government's custody demonstrates severe miscarriages of or deficiencies in inmate protocol and has allowed the deceased to ultimately evade facing justice," they wrote. "Any victims of Mr. Epstein's actions will forever be denied proper recourse and the scintilla of recompense our justice system can provide in the face of such alleged atrocities; the competency and rigor of our criminal justice system has been marred by this apparent oversight." Later on August 13, Nebraska senator Ben Sasse, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote a letter to Attorney General Barr urging him to "rip up" the 2008 non-prosecution deal for Epstein and his co-conspirators. Sasse argued that the Justice Department must bring Epstein's co-conspirators to justice despite his death, and added, "This crooked deal cannot stand." "For them to pull him off suicide watch is shocking," Cameron Lindsay, a former warden with experience working at three federal facilities, told NBC News. "For someone this high-profile, with these allegations and this many victims, who has had a suicide attempt in the last few weeks, you can take absolutely no chances. You leave him on suicide watch until he's out of there." Federal prosecutors in the case called Epstein's death "disturbing" and emphasized that they would continue to seek justice for his accusers even after the financier's death. Geoffrey Berman, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, said in a statement, "To those brave young women who have already come forward and to the many others who have yet to do so, let me reiterate that we remain committed to standing for you, and our investigation of the conduct charged in the indictment—which included a conspiracy count—remains ongoing." Investigations: The Federal Bureau of Investigation subsequently launched an investigation of the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death, with Attorney General Barr saying that Justice Department officials will thoroughly investigate "serious irregularities" at the Metropolitan Correctional Center (MCC) where Epstein was found dead. Barr also warned that any of Epstein's alleged co-conspirators "should not rest easy," noting that federal prosecutors will continue to aggressively pursue the case to ensure anyone who worked alongside Epstein will be held accountable. "We are now learning of serious irregularities at this facility that are deeply concerning and demand a thorough investigation," Barr said during remarks at a law enforcement conference in New Orleans. "The FBI and the Office of Inspector General are doing just that." Barr said he was "appalled" and "angry" over the developments; he insisted that the Justice Department would "get to the bottom" of what happened and promised accountability. "Let me assure you this case will continue on against anyone who was complicit with Epstein," Barr said. "Any co-conspirators should not rest easy. The victims deserve justice and they will get it." On August 12, 2019, federal agents searched Epstein's home on his private island, Little Saint James. In November 2019 Kathleen Hawk Sawyer, the director of the Bureau of Prisons, told the Senate Judiciary Committee that the FBI is investigating whether a "criminal enterprise" was involved in Epstein's death. She added that there is "no indication, from anything I know" that his death "was anything other than a suicide." A spokesperson later explained that she had used the phrase "criminal enterprise" because that was what Senator Lindsey Graham has asked her about, and that "she was referring to looking into possible criminal conduct by staff." As Barr received more information surrounding Epstein's death, he came to believe that it was only "a perfect storm of screw-ups." On August 13, Attorney General Barr ordered the Bureau of Prisons to temporarily reassign the warden of the MCC, Lamine N'Diaye, while the FBI and Justice Department inspector general investigate the circumstances surrounding Epstein's death. James Petrucci was named acting warden. Two staff members assigned to Epstein's unit have also been placed on administrative leave and James Petrucci, the warden of FCI Otisville, was named acting warden. On August 14, Manhattan federal court judge Richard Berman, who was overseeing Epstein's criminal case, wrote to the Metropolitan Correctional Centre warden Lamine N'Diaye inquiring as to whether an investigation into the millionaire's apparent suicide would include a probe into his prior (July 23) injuries. Judge Berman wrote that to his knowledge it has never been definitely explained what they concluded about the incident. Two French Cabinet officials Marlène Schiappa and Adrien Taquet subsequently called for an investigation into the "many unanswered questions" about Epstein's ties to France, calling for the French government to launch its own probe. "The US investigation has highlighted links with France," Schiappa and Taquet said in the statement, according to ABC. "It thus seems to us fundamental for the victims that an investigation be opened in France so that all is brought to light." "The elements received at the Paris prosecutor's office are being analyzed and cross-referenced," a spokesperson for the office told ABC News. "The first audits are currently underway to determine whether an investigation should be opened in France." On November 19, 2019, federal prosecutors in New York indicted Metropolitan Correctional Center guards Michael Thomas and Tova Noel, charged with creating false records and conspiracy. The charges were based on video footage obtained by prosecutors, indicating that Epstein was not observed by them for eight hours, while the two guards made personal searches on their computers and slept. According to Geoffrey Berman, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, during that time they repeatedly signed records affirming that they had performed the required checks. Their bail was set at $100,000. They claimed that they were "scapegoats" for larger issues within the federal prison system. Homicide suspicions and speculation: Due to violations of standard prison procedures, and Epstein's knowledge of compromising information about famous individuals, his death by "apparent suicide" spawned skepticism, as well as multiple conspiracy theories. A Rasmussen poll conducted in August 2019 found that only 29% of U.S. adults believe Epstein actually committed suicide, while 42% think he was murdered to prevent him from testifying against powerful people with whom he associated, and 29% of people were undecided. By November 2019, a Business Insider poll found that those who believed Epstein was murdered outnumbered suicide proponents three to one. University of Chicago professor Eric Oliver, an expert in conspiracy theories, has labeled populist sentiment and a mistrust of the political system as major contributors to the widespread rejection of the official narrative. Before Epstein's death, several people publicly predicted an untimely death for Epstein in prison. In a July 27 interview, Bob Fitrakis—a longtime investigator into Epstein—stated that he thought it was "likely" that Epstein would be "killed in prison". Spencer Kuvin, a lawyer who represented three alleged victims of Epstein, stated in a July 2019 interview following Epstein's first apparent suicide attempt, that he believed it was an attack on his life, and stated there was a high probability that he would be murdered in prison. Because of his connections to many wealthy and powerful people, there was speculation that some co-conspirator or participant in his sex crimes might have arranged for him to be silenced. In the hours after the death, the hashtags #ClintonBodyCount and #TrumpBodyCount were trending on Twitter as users accused Bill and Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump of being involved in Epstein's death. Several hours after Epstein was found dead, Trump retweeted a conspiracy theory by Terrence K. Williams, a comedian and conservative commentator, suggesting that there was a connection between the Clintons and Epstein's death—furthering a perennial conspiracy theory dating to the early 1990s that the Clintons have had numerous people killed to silence them. The retweet was immediately showcased worldwide. At an August 27 hearing, Epstein defense attorney Reid Weingarten expressed "significant doubts" that death was due to suicide. According to Weingarten, when attorneys met with their client shortly before his death, "we did not see a despairing, despondent, suicidal person". Epstein's brother, Mark, has rejected the possibility of Jeffrey's suicide, claiming, “I could see if he got a life sentence, I could then see him taking himself out, but he had a bail hearing coming up." New York City mayor Bill de Blasio and podcast host Joe Rogan expressed doubts that Epstein's death was due to suicide. Former US Attorney and Senate Judiciary Committee counsel Brett Tolman said that his death was "more than coincidental" considering his "many connections to powerful people". Syrian president Bashar al-Assad has asserted that "American billionaire Jeffrey Epstein was killed several weeks ago - they said he had committed suicide in jail. However, he was killed because he knew a lot of vital secrets connected with very important people in the British and American regimes, and possibly in other countries as well." The father of Virginia Roberts Giuffre, one of Epstein's most vocal alleged victims, stated that "It had to be somebody from above that came and got Epstein and took him out." In popular culture: As more information surrounding Epstein's death became public in November 2019, his death and the possibility of murder became a popular internet meme, particularly in the form of the phrase "Epstein didn't kill himself". The meme gained prominence as it was interjected at the end of live interviews, such as by a Navy SEAL on FOX News, or later a University of Alabama student on MSNBC. The meme also appeared at multiple televised sports games in the form of signs and painted bodies. Arizona Representative Paul Gosar tweeted the phrase in an acrostic form over multiple tweets about the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump. NPR's Scott Simon compared the bait-and-switch aspect of the meme to Rickrolling. HBO is creating a limited series on Epstein's life and death. SonyTV and Lifetime also have similar works in progress.
The murder of Angela Samota occurred on October 13, 1984, when she was attacked while in her apartment, raped, and killed. The case remained unsolved until DNA evidence surfaced in the 2000s and charges were brought against a convicted rapist, who was subsequently tried and received the death penalty. Background: Angela "Angie" Marie Samota was born on 19 September 1964, in Alameda, California (California Birth Index, 1905-1995). She enrolled at the Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas to study computer science and electrical engineering. Assault: On the night of 12 October 1984, Samota and two friends, one male and one female, went on the town to the State Fair of Texas. Samota's boyfriend did not join them, because, according to the police report, he was working in construction and had to get up early the next morning. Participating in the night's festivities were also fans of the University of Texas football team that was to face the University of Oklahoma for the annual Red River Showdown. The three friends went to the Rio Room dance club and stayed there until about 1 am. She drove her friends to their homes, went by her boyfriend's apartment to say goodnight, and then went to her place. Not long after she got home, her boyfriend called the police to report he had received a phone call from Samota that was disconnected. The apartment manager let in the police and they discovered the woman's dead and naked body on the bed. The autopsy showed that the victim had been raped and then repeatedly stabbed, dying from wounds to her heart. Investigation and arrest: For a long period of time, the police reportedly suspected an architect who was 23 years old at the time and living in a Lower Greenville apartment. He was the man who had gone out with Samota and another girl the night of the murder. The victim’s boyfriend was also reportedly a suspect. The case remained unsolved until 2008. In 2006, then-Dallas police detective Linda Crum, tasked with the case, used the DNA evidence from blood, semen, and fingernail samples to try and find a match among persons with a criminal record. In 2008, the results pointed to Donald Bess who, at the time of Samota's murder, was on parole while serving a 25-year sentence. Facts by friend: Sheila Wysocki, who went to SMU and was a roommate of Samota, subsequently claimed that the case was re-opened because she kept "badgering" the police until "they were so sick and tired of" her that they assigned detective Crum to re-examine it. Wysocki credits the fact that she became a licensed private investigator to her desire to assist in solving Samota's murder. The police initially had stated the rape kit collected at the crime scene had been lost "in the Dallas floods." Legal process: The defendant in the 2010 trial for the sexual assault and murder of Angela Samota was already in prison, serving a life sentence. Donald Andrew Bess Jr., born in 1948 in Arkansas, had been previously convicted in 1978 for aggravated sexual assault and aggravated kidnapping. He had been sentenced to 25 years in prison, and was out on parole by 1984, when he raped and murdered Samota. In 1985, in a case unrelated to Samota's murder, Bess was sentenced in Harris County, Texas to life imprisonment for one count of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated kidnapping and one count of sexual assault. During the 2010 trial's punishment phase, other women testified that they had also been raped by Bess. The defendant's ex-wife testified that he abused her and their child during their marriage. They had wed in 1969 and divorced three years later. On the basis of the DNA match, Bess was found guilty by the jury and, on 8 June 2010, received the death sentence. On 6 March 2013, the appeal filed by Bess was rejected and the judgement of the trial court was affirmed. On 13 August 2013, a certiorari petition was filed to the U.S. Supreme Court, and denied on 13 January 2014. Aftermath: Samota's body is buried in the Llano Cemetery, Amarillo, Texas. Donald Bess remains on death row in Polunsky prison with no execution date set. Wysocki lives in Tennessee and is still a practicing private investigator.
Sandeela Kanwal was murdered by her father, an act of filicide, in an honor killing in Clayton County, Georgia, in the Atlanta metropolitan area, on July 6, 2008. Background: Kanwal worked at a Wal-Mart, while her father, Chaudry Rashid, born in Pakistan, and holding United States permanent residency, owned a restaurant in East Point, Georgia that served pizza. At the time Rashid was married to a woman who was not Kanwal's mother. Rashid's main languages were Punjabi and Urdu. Kanwal and her father lived in a house in Clayton County, near Jonesboro, with their respective spouses and family members. Kanwal wed her husband in Gujrat, Punjab, Pakistan on March 14, 2002. In November 2005, Kanwal and her brother purchased the Clayton County house. Circa April 2008 Kanwal and her husband held a marriage ceremony in Pakistan, but the two moved to different cities in the U.S. after her wedding, with the husband moving to Chicago. She resided with her father and did not see her husband after arriving in the U.S. On April 15, they separated, and she filed for divorce on July 1. In addition to the divorce, she sought to have a new romantic relationship, something her father disliked. A police report stated that from circa May until Kanwal's death, the father and daughter did not communicate with one another. The day of her death, while the father was driving his daughter back to the house from the Wal-Mart, the two had an argument. Crime and punishment: On Sunday July 6, 2008, Kanwal's father strangled her with a bungee cord. Her body was left in a bedroom in the house's second floor. Rashid burned the murder weapon and flushed the ashes down the toilet, so authorities never found the murder weapon. She was 25 and he was 54. The killer's wife called police after leaving the house, because she heard screaming in a language incomprehensible to her. Rashid experienced a seizure upon his arrest and was jailed after being hospitalized briefly. The arrest warrant stated that the father said that the divorce caused the family to lose honor. Due to Rashid's lack of English fluency, he had a court-appointed translator. He expressed a desire to follow Islamic dietary laws while in the county jail. In the trial Rashid's legal team admitted that he committed homicide, but stated that he had no plans to do so and was only spurred by momentary anger. Rashid's lawyers argued that it was not an honor killing. Rashid was convicted of felony and malice murder and aggravated assault in May 2011, a decision that took jurors four hours. He got a life imprisonment sentence with parole eligibility. Rashid appealed his conviction on the basis that it was wrong for jurors to review footage of his interviews held at a police station. In 2013 the Georgia Supreme Court upheld Rashid's conviction.
Saturday, December 28, 2019
The so-called Hamburg rubble murderer is the name of an unidentified German serial killer, supposedly responsible for a series of murders in Hamburg during early 1947. Murders- In total, four victims were found: -January 20, 1947: in a deserted factory lot on the Baustraße (today the Hinrichsenstraße), the body of a young woman (about 18 to 20 years old) was found by playing children. A millimeter-wide trace of drying on the neck of the deceased indicated that she had been strangled with a string. -January 25, 1947: at the Lappenbergsallee in Eimsbüttel, at the top of House No. 2, the body of an unclothed man aged between 65 and 70 was found by scrap collectors. Forensic scientists suspected that the time of death was between January 23 and 25. -February 1, 1947: in the elevator shaft of a bombed-out house of a former mattress factory on Billstrasse, near Billekanal, the strangled body of a 6-year-old naked girl was found. -February 12, 1947: in Anckelmannstrasse, Hammerbrook, the final victim's body was located; a woman, about 30 to 35 years old, naked and also strangled. The identities of the victims were never discovered. All victims were robbed, unclothed and strangled. Another commonality was that the murdered were in generally well-kept condition. Some circumstances indicated that greed could have been the motive. Despite the bodies being found at intervals of about seven days, the locality was never the same, and there were no signs of a fight present. The investigators did, however, detect grinding marks on some pointed rubble stones. The perpetrator has never been captured. Investigations: The police investigation was led by Chief Commissioner Ingwersen. The Hamburg Police warned the population to be wary of strangers approaching them in homeless shelters and waiting rooms, and that driving with a personal driver was dangerous. None of the victims were reported missing, including that of the little girl. It was assumed that the murdered persons were transients who had stopped over in Hamburg. For clues that could lead to the capture of the offender, a reward of 5,000 Reichsmark and 1,000 cigarettes was offered. After some time, the reward was raised to 10,000 Reichsmark. The police advised the public, "to go on the road center and not in the Underground". Around 50,000 posters of the offender were plastered in all four occupation territories. Even after a request to the professional associations of dentists for one of the victims' dentures, no clues were discovered. Registry offices were requested to issue death certificates. One theory sought that the perpetrator's motive of being a hereditary stalker who had murdered a complete family to gain possession of the heritage. A total of 1,000 people were interviewed, according to police reports. At dispensaries, ration stamps were used (by people or displaced persons) who have not picked up their card lately. The searches took place in station waiting rooms, restaurants and bunkers, which served as an asylum for bombed people. Inspector Hans Lühr, head of the "Killing Offenses Inspectorate" and one of the most renowned experts in this field, assumed that the perpetrator was a single individual. He also believed that the victims were four family members and that the culprit was the "fifth link in the chain". A landlady testified that the male victim could have been her tenant, but this lead was disproven when the missing man later contacted her. The case of the Hamburg rubble murderer had certain parallels to the serial killer Rudolf Pleil, who killed out of greed and sexual motives at least 10 women. Pleil was brought to the scene near the Berliner Tor, however, his alibi was credible enough to understand that this case was not connected to him. Even a connection to a series of murders of taxi drivers, which occurred at the same time in Hamburg, could not be established. In the statistics from 1946 to 1964, 268 out of a total 320 murder cases were investigated by the Hamburg Police, but the case of Rubble Murderer was not among them. The investigation files are still available in the Hamburg State Archives. Press releases: In St. Georg, the naked corpse of a young girl was found on Monday afternoon in the rubble of an industrial site on the site road. According to the homicide division, the woman must have been strangled by the night of Monday and thrown into the rubble. It is a slender, middle-blond, well-groomed woman with half-length hair, blue eyes and full teeth, who has undergone an appendectomy. The Hamburg police asks to immediately inform the next department, if somewhere a young girl of the type described is missing. Police Hamburg, Hamburg, January 21, 1947, Murder of girls in St. George, who knows the dead? — It happened in the winter of 1947, memories of the Hamburg rubble murderer? TIME Online from May 28, 1965 High Commissioner Ingwersen commented on the state of the investigation as follows: Everywhere, detective detectives search for "black marketeers", search barter shops, buy and sell shops, and shadow travelers at train stations. Every offer of linen, dresses, fur coats and shoes is carefully checked by our people; however, we do not even know exactly what the victims were wearing. Was the little girl perhaps the daughter of one of the two murdered women and the old man was her grandfather or the father of the two women or one of them ...? — It happened in the winter of 1947, memories of the Hamburg rubble murderer? TIME Online from May 28, 1965 Literatury processing: The material of the unresolved criminal case was processed by Cay Rademacher in his novel The Rubble Murderer. Rademacher describes the investigation work of Inspector General Frank Stave, who was entrusted with the case. In 2016, the novel Trümmerkind by Mechthild Borrmann was published, which ties in with the rubble murders and contains a fictitious story of the victims as a family.
The Barnaul Maniac is the name of an unidentified Russian serial killer who committed the murders of 7 girls from 1997 to 2000 in the city of Barnaul. The motives of the perpetrator remain unknown, with the main suspect in the murders having committed suicide a long time ago. Crimes: In 1998 and 1999, two abiturs to the ASTU disappeared and were subsequently found murdered in the Kalmansky District. The corpse of the first was found in a tributary of the Ob River, and the second in the forest belt. During the combing of the forest belt in the district, a skeleton was discovered. Moreover, as established by experts, it belonged to a girl, and her murder had been committed in 1997. According to the investigators, the killer was a man aged between 40 and 45, of medium build, 175-189 cm tall, had short dark brown hair, a hedgehog type haircut and correct pleasant features of the face. A facial composite was compiled from this information. In the summer of 2000, five students of the ASTU disappeared in Barnaul, with their remains being found soon after in the forest belt in the Kalmansky District. In September, market trader Alexander Anisimov was arrested on suspicion of committing the murders, confessing to everything. He was positively identified by witnesses to the crime. During the investigative experiments, he committed suicide by jumping out of a window. The case remains unsolved, however the murder of girls in Barnaul halted after his death. In 2001, a murderer named Alexander Pavlenko was tested for involvement in the murders of female students. In the media: Documentary film "Beauties and Monsters (first part)" from the series "Criminal Russia"
The case of the missing children of Pirmasens refers to the disappearances of three German children in 1960, 1964, and 1967 in Pirmasens, and were suspected to have been murdered by a serial killer. Events: In the years 1960, 1964, and 1967, two boys and a girl, aged between 8 and 10, disappeared. They were last seen near the area of Messeplatz in Pirmasens, Germany and all three abductions took place on a Friday. The children were never found, and the investigation went cold due to a lack of leads. 1973 investigations: In 1973, a re-examination of the facts, in conjunction with offender profiling, brought new insights into the case. Following a checkout procedure, thousands of men in Pirmasens and the surrounding area were screened on the basis of suspicion. A then 42-year-old casual worker, who had known the boys well, became a preliminary suspect. He was often near the places where they later disappeared and led a "restless life." A son of a jeweler, he had been studying philosophy and psychology for a while, and in 1954 he began treatment for schizophrenia. He then lived in the wilderness in the forests around Pirmasens. During the 6-hour interrogations, he began to contradict himself, so his guilt was considered by investigators to be secured. Instead of an arrest warrant, the district court of Zweibrücken ordered that he be admitted to a hospital in October 1974. The man consistently denied involvement and was released following a trial in March 1976 at the district court of Zweibrücken. The admission to the asylum was also ruled to be against the presumption of innocence and unconstitutional since there was no evidence against the man. Paperback entry for criminologists: Ernst Fischer, The Police Chief of Pirmasens who led the investigations which started in 1973, described the cases in his book The Pocket Book for Criminalists (1978). The check-out process involved searching public records with personal information, and was a precursor to dragnet search.
On August 12, 1939, the City of San Francisco train derailed outside of Harney, Nevada, killing 24 and injuring 121 passengers and crew. The derailment was caused by sabotage of the tracks. Despite a manhunt, reward offers, and years of investigation by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP), the case remains unsolved. Background: The City of San Francisco was a cross country passenger train, running from Oakland to Chicago. The train was jointly operated by three railroad companies, and the Nevada portion was operated by the Southern Pacific Railroad (SP). The incident happened approximately 1.5 miles (2.4 km) east of Harney, Nevada, a rail siding along the SP main as it follows the Humboldt River through Palisade Canyon, between the towns of Beowawe and Palisade. Incident: The City of San Francisco was bound for Oakland, California, but was running behind schedule by around half an hour. After leaving Carlin, Nevada, engineer Ed Hecox had increased the speed to 90 miles per hour (140 km/h) to make up time. At 9:33 p.m., Hecox and his train hit a patch of rail that had been deliberately moved out of alignment and camouflaged with brown paint and a tumbleweed, derailing the westbound City of San Francisco while it crossed the #4 bridge in the Humboldt River Gorge in northern Nevada. Hecox survived and ran to the closest town, Harney, to contact emergency services. Volunteers from the nearby towns of Beowawe and Carlin rushed to the scene with medical supplies, but survivors would not be taken to the hospital until a rescue train was assembled and took them to Elko the next morning. The SP tracks were out of service for several months, but the nearby tracks of the competing Western Pacific Railroad were intact and used for both the rescue trains and regular service until the SP tracks were repaired. A total of 24 people died and 121 were injured. Five cars were destroyed and written off: SF 601 Presidio (32-seat coffee shop–kitchen car), SF-602 Mission Dolores (72-seat diner), SF-701 Embarcadero (dormitory-buffet-lounge car), and two sleepers, Twin Peaks and Chinatown. Investigation: In the following days, divers discovered tools in the Humboldt River, exposing the disaster as an act of sabotage. Investigators estimated it would take a strong person about an hour to move the tracks, and noted the previous train passed through the area four hours prior; Southern Pacific's lead investigator, Dan O’Connell, estimated several hours, and a reenactment for the San Francisco Chronicle the year of the derailment required four heavy tools. Southern Pacific put out a $5,000 bounty for the saboteurs (eventually raised to $10,000), and numerous lone hobos were arrested although some investigators argued the sabotage was likely carried out by two or more people with knowledge of railroad operations, but the arrests and interrogations led nowhere. The media coverage during the investigation proved hostile to the railroad. One of the first newspaper reporters on the scene was a photographer for the Elko Daily Free Press, who took pictures of the railroad cars dangling over the side of the bridge, in the river and tipped over. The Southern Pacific accused the paper of publishing pictures taken at angles that made the damage appear worse than it was, to which the photographer responded, "God knows, it would have been impossible to make it look worse than it was". The railroad was criticized for the amounts paid in compensation. In one case where a passenger originally bought a ticket on a coach fare train, but before boarding upgraded to the City of San Francisco, a premium fare train, the railroad only refunded the difference between the two tickets. Other papers promoted a theory that the sabotage story was a coverup to hide the railroad's negligence in allowing the engineer to operate the train at such high speed. These papers interviewed and noted that some passengers were uncomfortable with the speed of the train several minutes before it derailed; as the train rounded corners passengers had difficulty standing and some beer bottles were shaken off of tables. Despite these details, the official position of both the Southern Pacific and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) remains unchanged that the train was sabotaged, noting the evidence the rails were moved and the track circuits were bypassed. The case received new attention after the 1995 Palo Verde, Arizona derailment. While investigating that incident Southern Pacific investigators noted the similarity of the two events, namely tracks moved on a bridge with a high embankment and bypassed track circuits so the signaling systems would not warn of a track break. To this day, the wreck of the City of San Francisco remains unsolved, and remains the deadliest rail disaster in Nevada.
even though I'm not wearing a nametag i still am involved in missionary work for my church. i passed on my brothers name to people who were trying to fellowship him, got asked to help with that and bore my testimony a couple times outside of church. i also am the 1 who has to explain everything as we're too busy to have the missionaries over. i hated being used by the elders as I'm like i'm not sure how to help you and don't think i can help
Suzanne A. "Suzie" Bombardier was kidnapped, raped, and stabbed to death on June 22, 1980. On June 27, her body was found by a fisherman, floating in the San Joaquin River east of Antioch, California near its bridge, 60 miles east of San Francisco. On December 11, 2017, after extensive DNA analysis, 63-year-old Mitchell Lynn Bacom, a convicted sex offender, was arrested as the prime suspect. He has been charged with kidnapping, rape, oral copulation, murder, and murder with use of a deadly weapon. This was Antioch's oldest cold case murder. At the time of Bombardier's homicide, Bacom was known to her family. Bombardier was raped, stabbed in the chest, and her heart was punctured. She was kidnapped from her sister's townhome in Antioch while she was babysitting her nieces. Her sister, Stephanie Mullen, arrived home at 4:00 a.m. to find Bombardier missing. Bombardier's father, Ted, said that she knew her killer, as there was no forced entry. Background: Fourteen-year-old Bombardier was an honor roll student at Antioch Junior High at the time of her homicide. She also belonged to the California Junior Scholastic Federation. She was buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Lafayette. Jennifer Kathleen Gibbons came across her grave in 2014 and started blogging about the unsolved case. This kept it top of mind for the public and later for investigators. In 2015, DNA samples from Bombardier's case were sent to the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office Forensic Laboratory for them to create a DNA profile. In early 2017, after advancements in DNA analysis technology, Antioch police were notified that a CODIS hit was made that tentatively identified Bacom as the perpetrator. After additional testing, when the samples were conclusively linked to Bacom through a federal DNA database, he was taken into custody without incident at his home. In 1973 Bacom was tried for several crimes, convicted, and sentenced to five years to life imprisonment. In 1981 he was convicted for several more crimes and sentenced to 24 years in prison. In 2002 he failed to register as a sex offender and was sentenced to four years in prison. Suspect: Mitchell Lynn Bacom is a native of Knightsen, California. He has brown eyes, and brown hair. He is 5'7", and weighs 185 pounds. He was a suspect in the case for a long time. Authorities will attempt to match Bacom's DNA to other cold cases.
The Nia Glassie abuse case was a high-profile criminal investigation and subsequent murder trial concerning the abuse and death of a 3-year-old girl in Rotorua, New Zealand. Nia Marie Glassie was a 3-year-old girl abused and eventually killed by her mother's boyfriend and his brothers. Her death caused major outrage in New Zealand, resulting in numerous media reports and causing the Prime Minister, Helen Clark, to speak out about the case. Abuse: Nia was subject to extensive physical abuse for weeks, possibly even months, before being admitted to hospital and dying of brain injuries on 3 August 2007. The court concluded that in addition to having had chunks of wood dropped on her and wrestling moves copied from a computer game practised on her, she had been kicked, beaten, slapped, jumped on, held over a burning fire, spit on, placed into a clothes dryer spinning at top heat for up to 30 minutes, folded into a sofa and sat on, shoved into piles of rubbish, dragged through a sandpit half-naked, flung against a wall, dropped from a height onto the floor, and whirled rapidly on an outdoor rotary clothes line until thrown off. At the time her mother, 34-year-old Lisa Michelle Kuka, told the hospital her injuries were the result of her falling off her partner's (then 17-year-old Wiremu Te Aroha Te Whanau Curtis) shoulders. It later emerged that her central North Island family, which was celebrating a 21st birthday, waited 36 hours after the toddler lapsed into a coma on the floor before taking her to the hospital. Even then Lisa continued to go out clubbing while her daughter lay dying in the hospital. During the trial, a doctor told the court that if the little girl had been taken to hospital as soon as she was unconscious, she would have likely survived. Trial: After a four-week-long trial ending in November 2008 Nia's mother, Lisa Michelle Kuka, 35, was found guilty of two counts of manslaughter: one for failing to obtain medical treatment for the toddler before her death in August last year, and one for failing to protect her. Lisa's partner Wiremu Curtis, 19, and his brother Michael, 22, were found guilty of murder and face sentences of life in prison. Nia's cousin Michael Pearson, 20, and Michael Curtis's partner Oriwa Kemp, 18, were found not guilty on manslaughter charges but were convicted of child cruelty. Presiding Judge Judith Potter openly wept as she delivered the sentences and after thanking equally affected shaken jurors for coping with the case went so far as to offer them counselling. William Curtis, the father of the Curtis brothers, and the first cousin of Hollywood actor Cliff Curtis, also faces charges for the alleged abuse of Nia concerning an earlier alleged incident but as of November 2008 no trial date has been set for him. Aftermath: -Nia's abuse became the subject of various campaigns against violence and cruelty to children in New Zealand. Prime Minister Helen Clark said she could not believe that a child could suffer like that without anybody knowing about it and encouraged New Zealanders to report child abuse. In fact many in the community blame the culture of "not wanting to nark" or inform the police of domestic violence matters as one of the prime contributors to Nia's death. For example, one of the prosecution witnesses Rawhiti Simiona, a neighbour to the house where Nia suffered, told New Zealand television he regretted not calling the police when he saw the toddler being swung on the clothes line. -A distinctive picture of Nia wearing white and yellow in a blue Disney themed car seat has been used to identify child-abuse related stories in the New Zealand media, with Nia literally becoming a poster-child. -In late 2011 Nia's father's sister Matakapua Glassie was shot and seriously wounded outside Tokoroa police station by her ex partner, who was later found dead. In 2012 Michael Pearson was sentenced to 2 months jail for a number of charges, including breaching bail. In 2014, Nia's mother Lisa was paroled, but recalled on 22 August 2016. She is expected to be re-paroled in 2017. Oriwa Kemp went on to have multiple children taken into care. -In 2009, the song Nia was released by New Zealand singer-songwriter, Maisey Rika from her album Tohu.
Adolph Coors III was the grandson of Adolph Coors and heir to the Coors Brewing Company empire. Life and career: Coors was born on January 12, 1915, the son of Alice May and Adolph Coors Jr. He attended Phillips Exeter Academy in New Hampshire. Like his father and his youngest brother Joseph Coors, Adolph graduated from Cornell University, where he was president of the Quill and Dagger society and a member of The Kappa Alpha Society. Coors was also a semi-professional baseball player. At the time of his death, he was CEO and Chairman of the Board of the Coors Brewing Company in Golden, Colorado. Coors married Mary Urquhart Grant in November 1940. The couple had four children together. Kidnapping: On February 9, 1960, while on his way to work, Coors was murdered in a foiled kidnapping attempt by escaped murderer Joseph Corbett Jr. on Turkey Creek Bridge near Morrison, Colorado. On the morning of February 9, a milkman discovered Coors' International Travelall on the bridge, empty of occupants and with the radio on. Police identified the vehicle as belonging to Coors and began a search of the area that turned up Coors' hat, glasses, and a blood stain. The following day, his wife Mary received a ransom note in the mail requesting $500,000 for his safe release. The hunt for Coors and his assailant was the largest FBI effort since the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. On September 11, 1960, a hiker stumbled upon a pair discarded trousers in the Rocky Mountains, and found in the pocket a penknife bearing the initials 'ACIII'. Then on September 15, 1960, a shirt belonging to Coors, and his skull, were found in a remote area near Pikes Peak. A witness turned up that revealed he had seen a yellow 1951 Mercury with the letters "AT" and numerals "62" somewhere in the license plate combination on the bridge around the time of Coors' disappearance. A car matching the description was found torched in a dump in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Investigators traced the car back to a Colorado resident named Walter Osborne, who suspiciously moved out of his Denver apartment the day after the kidnapping. The name "Walter Osborne" was revealed to be an alias for Corbett. Due to international obsession with the case, including a picture of Corbett in an issue of Reader's Digest, Corbett was recognized by two neighbors in Vancouver, BC and was arrested. As there were no witnesses, prosecutors built their case against Corbett through circumstantial and forensic evidence. Corbett's coworkers overheard him talking about a plan that would earn him over a million dollars and the ransom note typeface was traced back to Corbett's typewriter. The biggest piece of evidence, however, was the dirt found in the undercarriage of the yellow Mercury. Investigators were able to trace the car's path by noting the rare pink feldspar and granite minerals found in the area Coors' body was discovered. Corbett was convicted of first degree murder on March 29, 1961, and sentenced to life in state prison. He was released on parole in 1980 for good behavior and drove a truck for The Salvation Army until he retired. He died by suicide at the age of 80 in August 2009. He lived and died just 10 miles from where he killed Coors and always maintained his innocence. The kidnapping was featured in the Forensic Files episode "Bitter Brew." The 2017 true crime book "The Death of an Heir: Adolph Coors III and the Murder That Rocked an American Brewing Dynasty" by Phillip Jett details the kidnapping. Legacy: An avid skier, Coors was inducted into the Colorado Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame in 1998.
Friday, December 27, 2019
The murder of Tessa Majors occurred near Morningside Park in Morningside Heights, Manhattan, New York, on December 11, 2019. Majors, an eighteen-year-old female student at Barnard College, was reportedly attacked by three youths who intended to rob her. She was then stabbed multiple times, resulting in her death. One of the suspects, a thirteen-year-old, has been arrested and charged with felony murder. Two fourteen-year-olds were also apprehended and released into the custody of their attorneys without being charged. The investigation remains ongoing. Attack: On December 11, 2019, Majors was walking in Morningside Park, several blocks from Barnard College where she was a student. Shortly before 5:30 p.m., she was attacked by "between one to three people" on a staircase near 116th Street and Morningside Drive. Police speculated that the attack was a "robbery gone wrong". One suspect told police that his two accomplices grabbed Majors, put her in a choke-hold, and stole from her pockets. The suspect also told police that one of the robbers stabbed Majors with a knife. Police believe that Majors bit the finger of one of the attackers to defend herself. Authorities theorized that the primary suspect began stabbing Majors after she bit his finger. After the altercation, Majors' attackers fled and Majors, who was bleeding, staggered up the stairs. A security guard then found her at the top of the staircase. Police responded to the attack after a 911 call, finding Majors with multiple stab wounds. She was pronounced dead at Mount Sinai Hospital. According to the city's medical examiner, Majors died due to stab wounds to her torso. Investigation and suspects: Police arrested a thirteen-year-old male and charged him with felony murder and felony robbery. The suspect, who was later identified as Zyairr Davis, was arrested after being caught trespassing while wearing clothes that matched the description given of the suspects. He confessed to police about his involvement, telling them that he picked up the knife that would later be used to kill Majors after his partner dropped it. He also told police that he watched as the other two robbers grabbed Majors and put her in a choke-hold. According to the suspect, one of the robbers slashed her several times as she yelled for help. Judge Carol Goldstein set Davis’s trial date for March 16. She also has denied requests by Davis's lawyers for him to be released into his aunt and uncle’s custody due to the seriousness of the charges against him. Police called in a prosecutor on the night of the attack, which was called "unusual". Additionally, all questioning of the thirteen-year-old was video recorded. A second suspect, who is fourteen, was arrested and released on December 12. Police were unable to locate a third suspect, a fourteen-year-old male, for two weeks, but apprehended him on December 26 after publicly releasing his photograph. According to The New York Times, detectives believe that some members of the fourteen-year-old’s family were hiding him until the bite mark on his hand had time to heal. The boy was released into the custody of his attorneys. The New York Times has reported that investigators are trying to link the suspects to the killing through DNA, and that they have tested Majors' mouth and clothing, and the clothing gathered from the suspects. In January 2020, it was announced that the case against the two fourteen-year-old suspects would go before a grand Jury. Victim: Tessa Rane Majors was from Charlottesville, Virginia. She graduated from St. Anne's-Belfield School in May 2019. Majors was completing her first semester as a freshman at Barnard College, a private all-women's school in Manhattan. Majors sang and played bass in a band, Patient 0, which had recently released an album. Her band had played its first gig in New York City that fall and was scheduled to play two more shows in Charlottesville during winter break. Majors also led the creative writing club in high school, ran cross-country, and volunteered on political campaigns. Majors had an interest in journalism, interning at the Augusta Free Press during the spring of 2019, and she planned to study journalism in college. Her father, Inman Majors, is an English professor at James Madison University. Aftermath: The attack prompted new security measures at Morningside Park, including 24-hour guard booths outside the park. The operation hours of the evening safety shuttle bus have also been extended. Media coverage: The New York Times has compared the case to the 1989 Central Park jogger case, which occurred nearby in the North Woods of Central Park; both cases involved "a young white woman attacked in a park and even younger teenage suspects". Gale Brewer, the borough president of Manhattan, urged detectives to proceed with caution to avoid an outcome similar to the jogger case.
Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt and Myoung Hwa Cho were two formerly unidentified murder victims who were killed in 1998. They remained unidentified until they were both identified using GEDmatch in early 2019. While unidentified, Whitt was nicknamed Mebane Child and the Boy Under the Billboard respectively. Discovery of the bodies: On May 13, 1998, the nude body of an Asian female was found on the side of a road parallel to Interstate 85 in Spartanburg, South Carolina. The victim had been bound at the wrists, with ligature marks present upon her discovery. An autopsy determined her cause of death as suffocation. On September 25, 1998, a landscaping crew cutting grass under a billboard along Industrial Drive along Interstate 85 and Interstate 40 in Mebane, North Carolina discovered the skeletal remains of a young boy. There was no sign of trauma at the scene and was likely that the child was killed elsewhere. The child was wearing khaki shorts, white socks and matching underwear, and black and white shoes that appeared to have been purchased recently. $50 was found in the pocket. The child had straight, dark brown hair about 3 to 4 inches in length, likely had a light brown to fair complexion, and likely had brown eyes. The boy was initially thought to have been Hispanic and possibly a migrant worker. The boy had no fillings, but preventative dental sealing in multiple teeth, as well as a slight overbite with erupting upper canines, which may have been noticeable when he smiled or spoke. The boy likely died during the spring or summer of 1998. Investigation of the 2: Sketches of the decedents were created in attempts to identify them, but to no avail. The boy's case received wider attention. Through the use of forensic palynology and isotope analysis, it was determined that the boy was originally from the southeastern United States, particularly Alabama and Georgia. Forensic artist Frank Bender created a clay reconstruction in 2010. It would be Bender's last case he worked on before dying of cancer in 2011. The boy's case was also given to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, where they created multiple reconstructions using CG technology. 20 years after the boy's discovery in October 2018, more details about the boy's case were released. The cause of death was determined to be strangulation, and through further genetic testing determined that the boy was not of Hispanic descent, but was biracial; being of European and East Asian descent. The details also narrowed the time of death to be around June or July 1998. Additional photographs of the crime scene were also released to the public. Identification of the bodies: In December 2018, Dr. Barbara Rae-Venter, who is known for her work in identifying the Golden State Killer, reviewed the boy's latest DNA tests, and matched his DNA to the DNA of a relative who submitted the information into the GEDmatch database. After contacting the relative, a first cousin from Hawaii, the relative confirmed the identity of the boy as Robert "Bobby" Adam Whitt. Whitt's family, who lived in Ohio, didn't report Whitt missing because they were under the assumption that he was sent to live with his mother in her native South Korea. Based on this information, investigators suspected that Whitt's mother was also killed. Shortly thereafter, NCMEC helped investigators find a case of an unidentified woman found in Spartanburg County matching the description of Whitt's mother. After a DNA comparison, the unidentified woman was identified as Myoung Hwa Cho. Shortly after Whitt and Cho's identifications, Whitt's father, John Russell Whitt, who was serving a prison sentence for armed robbery in FCI Ashland and is not scheduled for release until 2037, confessed to the murders of Whitt and Cho. It is believed that Whitt killed Cho in Concord on May 12, 1998 and dumped her body in Spartanburg. According to Whitt's indictment, it alleges that Bobby was killed on July 29, 1998 in Concord and was dumped Mebane. Police are determining whether the jurisdiction lies in North Carolina or South Carolina. In May 2019, a grand jury in Orange County indicted Whitt on first-degree murder charges in Bobby's murder as well as charges for the concealment of his murder. Charges for Cho's murder are still being determined. Both Whitt and Cho's remains were cremated and sent to living relatives in Ohio. A formal funeral was held by family for mother and son on May 18, 2019. The two were laid to rest together in Mt Orab, Ohio. Legal Proceedings in the cases: John Russell Whitt is being charged with first-degree murder of his wife and concealment of death stemming from his son’s killing. Including a second-degree murder charge mulled upon Russell by the prosecutors.
Friday, December 20, 2019
Arianna Fitts and her mother Nicole Fitts were reported missing on April 5, 2016, in San Francisco, California. However, Nicole Fitts was last seen on April 1, 2016 and Arianna had not been seen since mid-February 2016. Arianna Fitts is still missing, while her mother's body was discovered buried in McLaren Park on April 8. The Fitts: Both mother and daughter have ties to San Mateo, Oakland, Fresno, Santa Cruz and Silcon Valley and regularly visited Southern California. Background: Family members of the Fitts alerted San Francisco Police on April 5, 2016 that Nicole and Arianna Fitts were missing and Nicole Fitts was last seen on April 1. She was believed to have traveled from her job at a Best Buy store on Harrison Street via a Municipal Railway Vehicle on the Third Street Corridor around 9:45 pm, wearing a blue Best Buy shirt. Her daughter Arianna, was last seen in late February in Oakland, California. On April 8, a gardener in the John McLaren Park discovered a large piece of wood resting behind a clump of ivy covered bushes with an odd silver character painted on it. Underneath the wood, the body of Nicole Fitts was discovered in a fetal position, in an uncovered, but previously covered by the wood, shallow grave. After her body was discovered, police focused their attention on the individuals who watched Arianna while her mother commuted 2 hours to go to work. Search for missing child: Efforts are ongoing to locate the missing toddler. The police investigated homes in Emeryville, Oakland, and Daly City, California and cited that those who had last seen Fitts were uncooperative with the initial interview process. Police identified three people of interest at a press conference, who were named as Helena and Devin Martin and Siolo Hearne. The sisters of Nicole Fitts told media outlets that they still believe that Arianna is alive, and one told reporters that she believed; "Someone wanted Arianna as their own." The family created a website to highlight the search, and offered a $10,000 USD reward to anyone with information that may help them locate Arianna. Best Buy also offered a $10,000 USD reward for direct information regarding Arianna.
The Lewis Clark Valley murders refer to a cluster of unsolved murders and disappearances that occurred in the Lewiston-Clarkston metropolitan area of northern Idaho between 1979 and 1982. Law enforcement investigators have identified four victims and possibly a fifth that are connected to a single, unnamed suspect. Christina White: Christina Lee White, 12, disappeared April 28, 1979 from Asotin, Washington after attending a parade with a friend. She had returned to the friend's house and telephoned her mother stating that she felt ill. Her mother advised her to return home but White never appeared and has not been seen since. Kristin David: University of Idaho student Kristin Noel David, 22, disappeared June 26, 1981 while biking from Moscow, Idaho to Lewiston. Her dismembered remains were recovered July 4 that same year from the Snake River near Clarkston, Washington. Lewiston Civic Theater incident: Kristina Diane Nelson, 21, and her stepsister Jacqueline Ann “Brandy” Miller, 18, disappeared while walking from Nelson's apartment to a grocery store in downtown Lewiston, Idaho on September 12, 1982. On the same night, Steven R. Pearsall, 35, an employee of the Lewiston Civic Theater, went missing after going to the theater, located at 8th Street and 6th Avenue, to use its laundry facilities. Pearsall and Nelson had worked together at the theater and both attended Lewis-Clark State College and were also neighbors. The remains of Nelson and Miller were found March 19, 1984 in a rural area 35 miles from Lewiston near Kendrick, Idaho. Investigators were unable to determine a cause of death for Nelson, but determined that Miller had been murdered. Pearsall was never located. Investigators initially suspected Pearsall may have been involved in the Nelson-Miller abduction and murders, but later stated that all three had probably been in or near the theater at the time they vanished and were likely victims of the same killer. Suspects: In 1984, Idaho State Police stated that serial killer Ottis Toole had "implicated himself" in the murder of David and was their "strongest suspect", but added that two other men had also confessed to the same crime. In 2009, a retired Lewiston police detective who had also interviewed Toole stated that he had ruled him out as a suspect. In 1995, Lewiston police announced that Nelson, Miller, and Pearsall may have been murdered together inside the Lewiston Civic Theater by another theater employee. The unnamed suspect, who was present at the theater the night of the trio's disappearance, had also lived in the home from which Christina White disappeared in 1979. In 1998, authorities from Spokane, Washington who were investigating the killings that would later be attributed to Robert Lee Yates interviewed this same suspect. In 1998, Lewiston police stated their belief that Kristin David's murder was linked with the other Lewiston-area murders and disappearances. A 2009 news report stated that David had worked for a time at the Lewiston Civic Theater and may have known the same theater employee suspected in the Nelson-Miller-Pearsall case. In 2018, a two-part television documentary series examining the case, Cold Valley, aired on the Investigation Discovery network. An Asotin County police detective who appeared on the program reaffirmed the links police had made earlier between the White and Pearsall disappearances and murders of Nelson and Miller, stating they were likely the work of the same killer. The program also linked the unnamed suspect with three other deaths in and outside the region, including an unsolved Chicago murder from 1963.
Jared Michael Negrete is a missing person who was last seen on July 19, 1991. Disappearance: Negrete had gone with his fellow Boy Scouts on a camping trip, which was the first trip that he would spend overnight. He somehow got separated from his group, likely after falling behind and then going off on the wrong trail. Negrete was last seen wearing green Boy Scout pants, with a tan-colored T-shirt (possibly a Boy Scout-style T-shirt), and with black high-top tennis shoes Investigation and aftermath: When a search was conducted to find Negrete, twelve snapshots were developed from a camera that was discovered that may have belonged to him. The 19-day search combed the area of the 11,500-foot Mt. San Gorgonio. Shoe prints were found at about 10,000 feet matching those of Negrete. Also found was his backpack, as well as some beef jerky and candy wrappers, but Negrete himself could not be located. In 2001 Jared's father Felipe Negrete became involved with a case of another hiker who got lost in the same area, a 16-year-old boy named William Parven.
Wednesday, December 18, 2019
Noor Faleh Almaleki was an Iraqi American who died in an honor killing in Peoria, Arizona (Phoenix metropolitan area) perpetrated by her father. Amnesty International USA stated that the murder was in headlines across the United States "because it happened in Arizona" instead of a faraway foreign country. Background: Her father, Faleh Hassan Almaleki, originated from Basra, Iraq. The family, which left Iraq when Noor was four, moved to the Phoenix area in the mid-1990s. Almaleki and her family lived in Glendale, Arizona and later in the Paradise Views subdivision of Phoenix. She attended Dysart High School in El Mirage. Before the crime occurred, Faleh received his U.S. citizenship and Noor had graduated from high school. Before her death she attended Glendale Community College. She began having conflicts with her parents over her lifestyle and dress. Her father had her go to Iraq to marry an older cousin in Iraq, but she flew back to Arizona in 2008 and began dating someone of her own choosing. Abigail Pesta, the editor-at-large of Marie Claire, wrote "It's unclear whether a wedding actually took place." In the spring of 2009 she moved into her own apartment but lost income when her family members turned up at her places of employment, and she went back to her family's house. In June 2009 she moved into the household of other Iraqi Americans, former friends of the family. She developed a romance with the son of the family, making her own family upset. Pesta stated that "Noor filed for a restraining order, but seems never to have finalized the paperwork." Crime and arrest: On October 20, 2009 she was assisting her boyfriend's mother with translation matters at a welfare office in Peoria. Outside of the office, Faleh struck the two with his vehicle. As a result her brain bled and was injured, even though the skull never fractured, and portions of her body were paralyzed. The collision also injured the other woman, to the point where her pelvis was fractured. Faleh did not stop and render aid, nor did he call for emergency help. At the hospital doctors performed surgery on Noor's spine, and police officers were assigned to guard her. The authorities did not reveal to her family where she was. Noor was put in a coma. Pesta wrote "police records indicate that her family tried to help her father flee abroad." Faleh drove to Mexico, left his car in the city of Nogales, and then boarded an airline flight to London from Mexico City. The UK Border Agency did not allow Faleh to enter the UK, and he was arrested after arriving in the United States, where British authorities sent him to. A urinary tract infection spread to her heart. Maricopa County medical examiner Dr. Kevin Horn stated that it was the infection, and not the direct injuries from the collision, which caused Almaleki's death. On November 2, she experienced brain death and life support, as per the family's request, was disconnected. Criminal penalty and aftermath: Faleh's lawyers stated in his trial that while he indeed hit the two women with his car, he did not intend to kill them, and therefore was guilty of second degree murder. Prosecutors attempted to get a first degree murder conviction, but did not seek capital punishment against Faleh. Faleh was convicted of second degree murder on February 22, 2011. The jury did not find that the act was premeditated. In April 2011, Faleh was sentenced, at age 50, on multiple counts: for murdering his daughter he was sentenced to 16 years, for injuring her boyfriend's mnother he received 15 years, and for leaving the scene of a crime without permission he received three and one half years. Because they are to be served consecutively, Faleh received a total of 34 and one half years in prison as his penalty. A friend established a Facebook group in her honor; by 2010 its membership was about 4,000. 48 Hours had an episode about this crime.
Tuesday, December 17, 2019
Many Black Dahlia suspects, or persons of interest, have been proposed as the unidentified killer of Elizabeth Short, nicknamed the "Black Dahlia", who was murdered in 1947. Many theories have been advanced, but none have been found to be completely persuasive by experts, and some are not taken seriously at all. The murder investigation by the Los Angeles Police Department was the largest since the murder of Marion Parker in 1927, and involved hundreds of officers borrowed from other law enforcement agencies. Sensational and sometimes inaccurate press coverage, as well as the nature of the crime, focused intense public attention on the case. As the case continues to command public attention, many more people have been proposed as Short's killer, much like London's Jack the Ripper murders. Original suspects: Because of the complexity of the case, the original investigators treated every person who knew Elizabeth Short as a suspect who had to be eliminated. Hundreds of people were considered suspects and thousands were interviewed by police. About 60 people confessed to the murder, mostly men but including a few women. However, 25 people were considered to be viable suspects by the Los Angeles County District Attorney: -Carl Balsiger -C. Welsh -Sergeant "Chuck" (name unknown) -John D. Wade -Joe Scalis -James Nimmo -Maurice Clement -A Chicago police officer -Salvador Torres Vera -Dr. George Hodel -Marvin Margolis -Glenn Wolf -Michael Anthony Otero -George Bacos -Francis Campbell -"Queer Woman Surgeon" -Dr. Adam Fairall -Dr. Paul DeGaston -Dr. A. E. Brix -Dr. M. M. Schwartz -Dr. Arthur McGinnis Faught -Dr. Patrick S. O'Reilly -Mark Hansen -Jacob Edward Fisk -Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel (Unlikely but was still considered) -People dismissed as suspects early in the investigation include Daniel S. Voorhees. Recent suspects: While some of the original 25 suspects were discounted, new ones have arisen. At present the following suspects are discussed by various authors and experts: Walter Bayley: Bayley was a Los Angeles surgeon who lived one block south of the vacant lot in which Short's body was found, until he left his wife in October 1946. His daughter was a friend of Short's sister Virginia, and had been the matron of honor at her wedding. When Bayley died in January 1948, his autopsy showed that he was suffering from a degenerative brain disease. After his death, his widow alleged that his mistress knew a "terrible secret" about Bayley and was made the main beneficiary upon his death as a result. Bayley was never a suspect in the case, but many medical doctors and others with medical training were. In secret testimony, Detective Harry Hansen, one of the original investigators, told the 1949 Los Angeles County grand jury that in his opinion the killer was a "top medical man" and "a fine surgeon." Bayley was 67 years old at the time of the murder, had no known history of violence or criminal activity of any kind, and is not known to have met Short, even though his daughter was a friend of Short's oldest sister. When Larry Harnisch, a Los Angeles Times copy editor and writer, began studying the case in 1996, he eventually concluded that Bayley could be Short's killer. Although critics of Harnisch's theory question whether Bayley's mental and physical condition at the time of the murder would have been consistent with the commission of this type of crime, the original investigators' theory that the body was cut in half because the killer wasn't strong enough to move it intact partially answers this objection. Harnisch theorizes that Bayley's neurological deterioration contributed to his alleged violence against Short. Some have suggested that the secret Bayley's mistress was blackmailing him with that he had performed abortions, then a crime. However, there is no evidence that either Bayley or his associates performed abortions. Author James Ellroy endorsed Harnisch's theory in the 2001 film James Ellroy's Feast of Death. Among Harnisch's behavioral/psychological evidence: Bayley's neurodegenerative condition was known to produce violent behavior in otherwise passive individuals; his surgical specializations included mastectomies, hysterectomies, and the surgical removal of fat; in conversation with Bayley's former receptionist, Harnisch discovered that he and his mistress would, at dinnertime, watch movies of surgeries and autopsies. In devising his theory, Harnisch consulted retired FBI profiler John E. Douglas, who advised that the very public location of the dump site was significant, since the killer had the ability to transport the body to a more remote site, where it may not have been discovered; the site was one block away from property owned by Bayley's estranged wife Ruth. Douglas also advised that the facial lacerations indicated personal anger towards the victim: Short would often falsely tell men that she had a son who had died tragically; Bayley did, in fact, have a son who was struck by a car and killed at age 11. The deceased child's birthday was January 13; Short's body was discovered on January 15. Norman Chandler: Donald Wolfe's 2005 book The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles names Norman Chandler, publisher of the Los Angeles Times from 1945-1960, as a suspect in the murder. In a complicated scenario involving multiple perpetrators, Wolfe claims that Chandler impregnated Short while she was working as a call girl for the notorious Hollywood "madam" Brenda Allen, which led to her murder at the hands of gangster Bugsy Siegel. Wolfe's claim that Short was a prostitute is at odds with the Los Angeles County district attorney's files, which plainly state that she was not, as Wolfe asserts, pregnant. Leslie Dillon: Dillon was a 27-year-old bellhop, aspiring writer, and former mortician's assistant who became a suspect when he began writing to Los Angeles Police Department psychiatrist Dr. J. Paul De River in October 1948. Dillon was living in Florida at the time of his correspondence with De River, but had formerly lived in Los Angeles. He read a story about the case in a True Detective-style magazine in which De River was quoted, and wrote to De River regarding his theories on the case. In his correspondence, he mentioned an intense interest in sadism and sexual violence in hopes of authoring a book on the subject. Dillon offered up one of his friends, Jeff Connors, as a likely suspect. Over the course of their correspondence, De River began to believe that Connors did not exist and that Dillon had committed the murder himself. In December 1948, Dillon agreed to meet with De River and was given the choice of one of three cities: Los Angeles; Phoenix, Arizona; or Las Vegas, Nevada. Dillon expressed reservations about Los Angeles, and chose Las Vegas instead. De River and undercover LAPD officers met Dillon in Las Vegas for a couple of days and then proceeded to drive back to California. Once there, Dillon and De River traveled to San Francisco to unsuccessfully look for Connors. When Dillon offered up intimate details about the crime, he was taken into custody by the undercover officers and transported to Los Angeles. After this happened, Dillon sailed a postcard out a hotel window with a plea for help on it; it was discovered by a passerby and turned in to local authorities. Police soon discovered that Connors did indeed exist; his real name was Artie Lane. Lane had lived in Los Angeles at the time of the murder and was employed by Columbia Studios, a favorite hangout of Short's, as a maintenance man. However, contrary to popular belief, Dillon could not be conclusively placed in San Francisco at the time of the murder. In fact, police never could account for Dillon's whereabouts between January 9 and January 15, 1947. Dillon later filed a $100,000 claim against the City of Los Angeles, but dropped the lawsuit after it emerged he was wanted by Santa Monica police for robbery. Los Angeles Times reporter Larry Harnisch disputes this and says that Dillon did in fact receive a financial settlement from the City of Los Angeles. The incident led to a 1949 grand jury investigation of police handling of the Black Dahlia case and some other unsolved murders. The publication of the Long Beach Police The Rap Sheet said that a former member of LA's Gangster Squad investigating the case believed that Leslie Dillon was the killer and when Dillon returned to his home state of Oklahoma was able to avoid extradition to California because Dillon's relative was the governor of Oklahoma. Some speculated that Dillon's ex-wife Georgie Stevenson was related to former Illinois governor Adlai Stevenson, who contacted the Oklahoma governor on Dillon's behalf, although none of these relations have been verified. In 2004, De River's daughter, Jacque Daniel, published a book called The Curse of the Black Dahlia, in which she expressed her belief that her father had been unfairly maligned for the Dillon affair. Joseph A. Dumais: Dumais, a 29-year-old soldier stationed at Fort Dix, New Jersey, confessed to Short's murder a few weeks after it occurred. Although this "breakthrough" was quickly dismissed by the original investigators, the Los Angeles press covered it enthusiastically until it was revealed that Dumais had been at Fort Dix at the time of the murder. Dumais was cleared of any involvement in the crime, although he continued to claim he killed Short each time he was arrested for various offenses, well into the 1950s. Mark Hansen: Hansen was a Hollywood nightclub owner at whose home Short lived, either as a paying boarder or as a guest, on several occasions between May 1946 and October 1946. Hansen's girlfriend Ann Toth shared a room with Short in this house, which was near Hansen's nightclub. Short called Hansen from San Diego on January 8, making him one of the last people known to have spoken to her. The Los Angeles County District Attorney's files indicate that Hansen made contradictory statements to authorities about the nature of this conversation. An address book embossed with Hansen's name was among Short's belongings mailed to the Los Angeles Examiner after her murder by someone claiming to be the killer. The address book belonged to Hansen, but he had never used it; Short had been using it as her own. The D.A.'s files also indicate that Hansen had tried to seduce Short but was rebuffed. He was one of the first serious suspects in the case and he was still a prime suspect as late as 1951. Hansen was also linked to three other suspects, each of whom was a medical doctor: Dr. Patrick S. O'Reilly, Dr. M. M. Schwartz, and Dr. Arthur McGinnis Faught. Buz Williams, a retired detective with the Long Beach Police Department, wrote an article for the LBPD newsletter The Rap Sheet in 2000 on Elizabeth Short's murder. Williams' father Richard F. Williams and his friend Con Keller were both members of LA's Gangster Squad investigating the case. Keller believed Mark Hansen was the killer and said Hansen was Swedish and had spent some time at Sweden's Medical Surgical School (Hansen was actually born in Denmark) which would explain the precise dissection of Short's body. Keller also said that Hansen held elaborate parties at his Hollywood boarding house and members of the Los Angeles Police Department along with the Chief of Detectives Thad Brown and his brother Finis Brown attended and later aided Hansen in a cover up. Williams mentioned that Hansen owned a Ford Lincoln-Mercury car lot on Hollywood Boulevard and his LAPD friends were later coincidentally driving around town in brand new Lincoln cars. Hansen died of natural causes in 1964. No charges were ever brought against him. He had no criminal record and no known history of violence. LAPD Police Chief William Worton told the Los Angeles Examiner that there was absolutely no case against Hansen. Hansen's great granddaughter Helen Alexis Yonov was interviewed for Piu Eatwell's upcoming documentary on the Black Dahlia for NBC Peacock Productions. Popular accounts of the Black Dahlia case often portray Hansen as having connections to organized crime, but there is no evidence of this. George Hodel: Dr. George Hill Hodel, Jr. came under police scrutiny in October 1949, when his 14-year-old daughter, Tamar, accused him of molesting her. Despite three witnesses testifying that they had seen Hodel having sex with Tamar, he was acquitted in December 1949. The trial led the LAPD to include Hodel, a physician specializing in sexually transmitted diseases, among its many suspects in the Dahlia case. Police put Hodel under surveillance from February 18 to March 27, 1950, to ascertain whether he could be implicated in the murder. In the surviving transcripts of microphone recordings, Hodel was heard making highly incriminating statements. Supposin' I did kill the Black Dahlia. They couldn't prove it now. They can't talk to my secretary anymore because she's dead.... They thought there was something fishy. Anyway, now they may have figured it out. Killed her. Maybe I did kill my secretary....— George Hodel. February 18, 1950 The secretary referred to was Ruth Spaulding, who police had previously suspected of being murdered by Hodel in 1945. He was present when Spaulding overdosed and had burnt some of her papers before police were called. The case was dropped owing to lack of evidence, but documents were later found that indicated Spaulding was about to publicly accuse Hodel of intentionally misdiagnosing patients and billing them for laboratory tests, medical treatment, and prescriptions not needed. Hodel's son, former LAPD homicide detective Steve Hodel, believes Short may have been one of his father's patients. In the final report to the grand jury, dated February 20, 1951, Lt. Frank Jemison of the Los Angeles County D.A.'s office wrote: Doctor George Hodel, M.D. 5121 Fountain Franklin Avenue, at the time of this murder had a clinic at East First Street near Alameda. Lillian DeNorak Lenorak who lived with this doctor said he spent some time around the Biltmore Hotel and identified the photo of victim Short as a photo of one of the doctor's girl friends. Tamar Hodel, fifteen-year-old daughter, stated that her mother, Dorothy Hodel, has told her that her father had been out all night on a party the night of the murder and said, "They'll never be able to prove I did that murder." Two microphones were placed in this suspect's home (see the log and recordings made over approximately three weeks time which tend to prove his innocence. See statement of Dorothy Hodel, former wife). Informant Lillian DeNorak Lenorak has been committed to the State Mental Institution at Camarillo. Joe Barrett, a roomer at the Hodel residence cooperated as an informant. A photograph of the suspect in the nude with a nude identified colored model was secured from his personal effects. Undersigned identified this model as Mattie Comfort, 3423½ South Arlington, Republic 4953. She said that she was with Doctor Hodel sometime prior to the murder and that she knew nothing about his being associated with the victim. Rudolph Walthers, known to have been acquainted with victim and also with suspect Hodel, claimed he had not seen victim in the presence of Hodel and did not believe that the doctor had ever met the victim. The following acquaintances of Hodel were questioned and none were able to connect the suspect with murder: Fred Sexton, 1020 White Knoll Drive; Nita Moladero, 1617½ North Normandy (Normandie); Ellen Taylor 5121 Fountain Avenue; Finlay Thomas, 616½ South Normandy [Normandie]; Mildred B. Colby, 4029 Vista Del Monte Street, Sherman Oaks, this witness was a girlfriend of Charles Smith, abortionist friend of Hodel, Turin Gilkey, 1025 North Wilcox; Irene Summerset, 1236¼ North Edgemont; Norman Beckett, 1025 North Wilcox; Ethel Kane, 1033 North Wilcox; Annette Chase, 1039 North Wilcox; Dorothy Royer, 1636 North Beverly Glenn. See supplemental reports, long sheets and hear recordings, all of which tend to eliminate this suspect. The report, from which the above excerpt was taken, was submitted at the completion of the D.A.'s investigation of Hodel and at least 21 other suspects. In 2003, Steve Hodel published a book, Black Dahlia Avenger; A Genius for Murder, in which he claimed his father, who died in 1999, had murdered Short and was responsible for other unsolved killings over two decades. Steve had seen two pictures in his father's photo album that he claims resemble Short, although her family insists they are not of her and many other observers have failed to see the resemblance. Since beginning his investigation, Steve located and identified one of the photographic subjects as a former friend of George Hodel. The other photograph remains unidentified. Steve claims he was unaware at the time that his father had been a suspect, although his sister Tamar was friends with Janice Knowlton, author of her own book, Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer, and case documents make it clear that Steve's parents and many of their associates knew George Hodel was a suspect. After reviewing the information presented in Steve's book, Head Deputy D.A. Stephen Kay proclaimed the case solved, but others have noted that he had formed this conclusion by treating Steve's many disputed assertions as established fact. Detective Brian Carr, the LAPD officer in charge of the Black Dahlia case at the time of Steve's briefing, said in a televised interview that he was baffled by Kay's response. In a September 2006 television interview, Carr added, "I don't have the time to either prove or disprove Hodel's investigation. I am too busy working on active cases." In 2009, Hodel published Most Evil: Avenger, Zodiac, and the Further Serial Murders of Dr. George Hill Hodel, in which he claimed that his father was also the Zodiac Killer. Author James Ellroy endorsed Steve Hodel's theory in 2004, but has since refused to discuss the case publicly. Steve Hodel maintains a website wherein he continues to update the case with additional discovered information. George Knowlton: Little reliable information is available on George Knowlton, except that he lived in the Los Angeles area at the time of the Black Dahlia murder and died in an automobile accident in 1962. In the early 1990s, George Knowlton's daughter Janice began claiming that she had witnessed her father murdering Elizabeth Short, a claim she based largely on "recovered memories" that surfaced during therapy for depression after a hysterectomy. Based on these recovered memories, Knowlton published Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer with veteran crime writer Michael Newton in 1995. In the book, Knowlton, a former professional singer and owner of a public relations company, alleged that her father had been having an affair with Elizabeth Short and that Short was staying in a makeshift bedroom in their garage, where she suffered a miscarriage. George Knowlton allegedly murdered Short in the garage and bisected her in the sink, then forced his then ten-year-old daughter Janice to accompany him when he disposed of the body. According to Knowlton, Short was a sex worker and a procurer of children for a child trafficking ring. Knowlton claimed that a former member of the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department told her that her father was considered a suspect in the case by that agency, but this claim is unsupported by the public documents that have been released in the case. She claimed the same source told her that future LAPD chief and California politician Ed Davis and Los Angeles County District Attorney Buron Fitts were suspects in the murder as well. The Los Angeles Times wrote in 1991: Los Angeles Police Detective John P. St. John, one of the investigators who had been assigned to the case, said he has talked to Knowlton and does not believe there is a connection between the Black Dahlia murder and her father. "We have a lot of people offering up their fathers and various relatives as the Black Dahlia killer," said St. John, better known as Jigsaw John. "The things that she is saying are not consistent with the facts of the case. Nevertheless, Westminster, California police took her claims seriously enough to dig up the grounds around her childhood home there, looking for evidence. They found nothing to tie George Knowlton to any crime. In a side note to her accusations against her father, Janice Knowlton, who was a frequent contributor as "jgk61". to various online forums wherein the Black Dahlia case was discussed, posted an article to a Usenet group in August 1998 in which she names Dr. George Hodel as a suspect in the case. Knowlton's sister has since stated on Amazon.com's listing for Daddy Was The Black Dahlia Killer that after the publication of Knowlton's book, Tamar Hodel, daughter of George Hodel and sister of Steve Hodel, contacted Knowlton and the two women remained "email pals for several years." Knowlton also made claims prefiguring those of Black Dahlia Files author Donald Wolfe. In 1999, she claimed in various public forums that Norman Chandler participated in a coverup of the murder. Knowlton claimed that on Halloween 1946, she was sold at the age of nine as a child prostitute to a Pasadena satanic sex cult. She frequently alleged that she was sexually abused by a long list of dead movie stars and other notables, including Norman Chandler, Gene Autry (whose name she continually misspelled as Autrey), Arthur Freed, and Walt Disney. Knowlton became somewhat infamous within online Black Dahlia discussion communities for her insistence that the LAPD was engaged in a conspiracy to discredit her story in order to conceal their knowledge of George Knowlton's involvement. She was so abusive in her Usenet posts that Pacific Bell canceled her account in 1999. On March 5, 2004, Janice Knowlton died of an overdose of prescription drugs in what was deemed a suicide by the Orange County, California, coroner's office. In 2009, Newton wrote that Janice Knowlton's relatives confirmed her father George was capable of violent abuse and further reported of his "boasts of having committed unprosecuted homicides". However, Newton also admitted that Janice's allegations against her father were entirely circumstantial and lacked substantial corroboration. Robert M. "Red" Manley: The last person seen with Elizabeth Short before her disappearance, Manley was the LAPD's top suspect in the first few days after the killing. After two polygraph tests and a sworn alibi, Manley was set free. He also identified Short's handbag purse and one of her shoes after they were discovered in a trashcan on January 25, 1947, several miles from the murder scene. Manley, who had been discharged from the army for mental disability, subsequently suffered a series of nervous breakdowns and claimed to be hearing voices. As a result, he was committed to Patton State Hospital by his wife in 1954. He died on January 16, 1986. The coroner attributed his death to an accidental fall. Patrick S. O'Reilly: According to Los Angeles district attorney files, Dr. Patrick O'Reilly was a medical doctor who knew Short through nightclub owner Mark Hansen. According to the files, at the time of the murder O'Reilly was a good friend of Hansen and frequented Hansen's nightclub. Files also state that O'Reilly "attended sex parties at Malibu" with Hansen. O'Reilly had a history of sexually motivated violent crime. He had been convicted of assault with a deadly weapon for "taking his secretary to a motel and sadistically beating her almost to death apparently for no other reason than to satisfy his sexual desires without intercourse," the files state. Further, the files indicate that O'Reilly's right pectoral had been surgically removed, which investigators found similar to the mutilation of Short's body. The files indicate that O'Reilly had once been married to the daughter of an LAPD captain. Jack Anderson Wilson (a.k.a. Arnold Smith): Wilson was a lifelong petty criminal and alcoholic who was interviewed by author John Gilmore while Gilmore was researching his book Severed. After Wilson's death, Gilmore named Wilson as a suspect owing to his alleged acquaintance with Short. Prior to Wilson's death, however, Gilmore made an entirely different claim to the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner in a story appearing January 17, 1982. While Severed says that homicide Detective John St. John was about to "close in" on Wilson based on the material Gilmore provided, St. John told the Herald-Examiner in the same article that he was busy with other killings and would review Gilmore's claims when he got time. As reliable sources of information about the case, such as the FBI files and portions of the Los Angeles district attorney files, have become publicly available, statements about Short and the murder attributed to Wilson in Severed and supposedly tying him to the crime have not been borne out as accurate. Severed also claims Wilson was involved in the murder of Georgette Bauerdorf. Severed and many other sources based on Severed erroneously claim that Short and Bauerdorf knew each other in Los Angeles, supposedly because they were both hostesses at the same nightclub. In reality, by the time Short arrived in Los Angeles in 1946, Bauerdorf had been dead for two years and the nightclub had been closed for a year. Wilson was never a suspect until Gilmore brought him to the attention of authorities. Wilson figures in Donald Wolfe's book The Mob, The Mogul, And The Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles. Wolfe hypothesizes that Wilson was present at Short's murder and claims a connection between Wilson and gangster Bugsy Siegel through some small-time gangsters Wilson supposedly associated with. He was also a member of the military. Female suspects- Although the vast majority of suspects in the case were male, authorities did not rule out the possibility of a female killer. One theory held that, because Short had checked her baggage, including her clothing and cosmetics, a week before she died, she must have been staying with another woman (who presumably would have lent Short the essentials) during the intervening time. Another theory was that the assailant bisected Short's body because he or she was not strong enough to move it in one piece. One of the first people to confess to the murder was a WAC sergeant stationed in San Diego. Authorities took the confession seriously enough to investigate and found it groundless. Another suspect is referred to simply as "Queer Woman Surgeon" in the Los Angeles district attorney's files on the case. Newspaper stories at the time implied that Short was a lesbian or bisexual, but the district attorney files state bluntly that Short "had no use for queers." Celebrity suspects- Woody Guthrie: Folk singer Woody Guthrie was one of the many suspects in the murder, according to the Los Angeles County district attorney's files and Ramblin' Man: The Life and Times of Woody Guthrie written by Ed Cray and published in 2004 by W.W. Norton. According to Cray, Guthrie drew police attention because of some sexually explicit letters and tabloid clippings he sent to a Northern California woman who he was allegedly stalking. The mailings disturbed the recipient so much that she showed them to her sister in Los Angeles, who contacted the police. Guthrie was quickly cleared of involvement in the murder, but various authorities attempted to prosecute him, with minor success, on charges related to sending prohibited materials through the mail. Orson Welles: In her 2000 book, Mary popaloto, a former neighbor of the Short family in Medford, Massachusetts, suggested filmmaker Orson Welles as a suspect. Pacios bases this theory on such factors as Welles's volatile temperament and his creation of mannequins three months before Short's death that supposedly featured lacerations virtually identical to those inflicted on Short. The mannequins were used in the "house of mirrors" set for The Lady from Shanghai, a film Welles was making with his ex-wife Rita Hayworth around the time of the murder. The scenes containing the set were deleted from the film by Harry Cohn. In one of Short's last letters home, her older sister Virginia claimed she had written that a movie director was going to give her a screen test. Pacios also cites Welles' familiarity with the site where the body was found and the magic act he performed to entertain soldiers during World War II. She believes that the bisection of the body was part of the killer's signature and an acting out of the perpetrator's obsession. Welles applied for his passport on January 24, 1947, the same day the killer mailed a packet to Los Angeles newspapers. Welles left the country for an extended stay in Europe 10 months after the murder without completing the editing of Macbeth, the film he was both directing and starring in. Despite persistent attempts by Republic Pictures to get him to return to complete the film, he refused. According to Pacios, witnesses she had interviewed state that Welles and the victim both frequented Brittingham's restaurant in Los Angeles during the same time period and waitresses believed Short was going out with someone at Columbia Pictures. Welles was never a suspect in the investigation. Bugsy Siegel: Los Angeles Jewish mobster Benjamin "Bugsy" Siegel was allegedly a suspect in the murder investigation of Short. The reason why he was a suspect is unclear, especially since Siegel was more concerned with the Flamingo Hotel and Casino at the time and he was known to be a "lady's man" not a "lady's killer." Also, Siegel was involved with Chicago Outfit starlet, and his on-off girlfriend Virginia Hill. Still, according to Don Wolfe's book The Black Dahlia Files: The Mob, the Mogul, and the Murder That Transfixed Los Angeles, Siegel was the actual murderer. It has also been surmised that if Siegel had any involvement with the Dahlia murder, he would have sent Mickey Cohen or one of his other henchmen. Yet another theory was that Siegel may have been attempted to be framed by Jack Dragna who wanted revenge for Siegel's attacks on Dragna's business interests since his arrival in the 1930s.