Monday, September 28, 2020

Gertrude Tompkins Silver

Gertrude "Tommy" Tompkins Silver (disappeared October 26, 1944) was the only Women Airforce Service Pilots member to go missing during World War II. Early life: Gertrude Vreeland Tompkins was born October 16, 1911, in Jersey City, New Jersey, the daughter of Vreeland Tompkins, founder of Smooth-On, Inc., and Laura Tompkins (née Towar). Disappearance and search: She departed from Mines Field (Los Angeles International Airport) for Palm Springs, on October 26, 1944, flying a North American P-51D Mustang destined for New Jersey. She never arrived at Palm Springs and due to reporting errors a search wasn't started until three days later. Despite an extensive ground and water search no trace of Gertrude or the aircraft were found. Follow up and aftermath: In January 2010 search efforts to locate the possible crash site in Santa Monica Bay were unsuccessful.

Restriction fragment length polymorphism

In molecular biology, restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) is a technique that exploits variations in homologous DNA sequences, known as polymorphisms, in order to distinguish individuals, populations, or species or to pinpoint the locations of genes within a sequence.The term may refer to a polymorphism itself, as detected through the differing locations of restriction enzyme sites, or to a related laboratory technique by which such differences can be illustrated. In RFLP analysis, a DNA sample is digested into fragments by one or more restriction enzymes, and the resulting restriction fragments are then separated by gel electrophoresis according to their size. Although now largely obsolete due to the emergence of inexpensive DNA sequencing technologies, RFLP analysis was the first DNA profiling technique inexpensive enough to see widespread application. RFLP analysis was an important early tool in genome mapping, localization of genes for genetic disorders, determination of risk for disease, and paternity testing. RFLP analysis: The basic technique for the detection of RFLPs involves fragmenting a sample of DNA with the application of a restriction enzyme, which can selectively cleave a DNA molecule wherever a short, specific sequence is recognized in a process known as a restriction digest. The DNA fragments produced by the digest are then separated by length through a process known as agarose gel electrophoresis and transferred to a membrane via the Southern blot procedure. Hybridization of the membrane to a labeled DNA probe then determines the length of the fragments which are complementary to the probe. A restriction fragment length polymorphism is said to occur when the length of a detected fragment varies between individuals, indicating non-identical sequence homologies. Each fragment length is considered an allele, whether it actually contains a coding region or not, and can be used in subsequent genetic analysis. Examples: There are two common mechanisms by which the size of a particular restriction fragment can vary. In the first schematic, a small segment of the genome is being detected by a DNA probe (thicker line). In allele A, the genome is cleaved by a restriction enzyme at three nearby sites (triangles), but only the rightmost fragment will be detected by the probe. In allele a, restriction site 2 has been lost by a mutation, so the probe now detects the larger fused fragment running from sites 1 to 3. The second diagram shows how this fragment size variation would look on a Southern blot, and how each allele (two per individual) might be inherited in members of a family. In the third schematic, the probe and restriction enzyme are chosen to detect a region of the genome that includes a variable number tandem repeat (VNTR) segment (boxes in schematic diagram). In allele c, there are five repeats in the VNTR, and the probe detects a longer fragment between the two restriction sites. In allele d, there are only two repeats in the VNTR, so the probe detects a shorter fragment between the same two restriction sites. Other genetic processes, such as insertions, deletions, translocations, and inversions, can also lead to polymorphisms. RFLP tests require much larger samples of DNA than do short tandem repeat (STR) tests. Applications: Analysis of RFLP variation in genomes was formerly a vital tool in genome mapping and genetic disease analysis. If researchers were trying to initially determine the chromosomal location of a particular disease gene, they would analyze the DNA of members of a family afflicted by the disease, and look for RFLP alleles that show a similar pattern of inheritance as that of the disease (see genetic linkage). Once a disease gene was localized, RFLP analysis of other families could reveal who was at risk for the disease, or who was likely to be a carrier of the mutant genes. RFLP test is used in identification and differentiation of organisms by analyzing unique patterns in genome. It is also used in identification of recombination rate in the loci between restriction sites. RFLP analysis was also the basis for early methods of genetic fingerprinting, useful in the identification of samples retrieved from crime scenes, in the determination of paternity, and in the characterization of genetic diversity or breeding patterns in animal populations. Alternatives: The technique for RFLP analysis is, however, slow and cumbersome. It requires a large amount of sample DNA, and the combined process of probe labeling, DNA fragmentation, electrophoresis, blotting, hybridization, washing, and autoradiography can take up to a month to complete. A limited version of the RFLP method that used oligonucleotide probes was reported in 1985.[1] The results of the Human Genome Project have largely replaced the need for RFLP mapping, and the identification of many single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in that project (as well as the direct identification of many disease genes and mutations) has replaced the need for RFLP disease linkage analysis (see SNP genotyping). The analysis of VNTR alleles continues, but is now usually performed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) methods. For example, the standard protocols for DNA fingerprinting involve PCR analysis of panels of more than a dozen VNTRs. RFLP is still used in marker-assisted selection. Terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP or sometimes T-RFLP) is a technique initially developed for characterizing bacterial communities in mixed-species samples. The technique has also been applied to other groups including soil fungi. TRFLP works by PCR amplification of DNA using primer pairs that have been labeled with fluorescent tags. The PCR products are then digested using RFLP enzymes and the resulting patterns visualized using a DNA sequencer. The results are analyzed either by simply counting and comparing bands or peaks in the TRFLP profile, or by matching bands from one or more TRFLP runs to a database of known species. The technique is similar in some aspects to temperature gradient or denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (TGGE and DGGE). The sequence changes directly involved with an RFLP can also be analyzed more quickly by PCR. Amplification can be directed across the altered restriction site, and the products digested with the restriction enzyme. This method has been called Cleaved Amplified Polymorphic Sequence (CAPS). Alternatively, the amplified segment can be analyzed by allele-specific oligonucleotide (ASO) probes, a process that can often be done by a simple dot blot.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

2020 boogaloo killings

In late May and early June 2020, two ambush-style attacks occurred against security personnel and law enforcement officers in California. The attacks left two dead and injured three others. The attacks began on May 29, when a drive-by shooting occurred in front of a federal courthouse in Oakland, resulting in the death of a security officer contracted with the Federal Protective Service. Over a week later on June 6, Santa Cruz County sheriff's deputies were shot at and also attacked with improvised explosive devices; one of them died as a result. U.S. Air Force sergeant Steven Carrillo was arrested soon after the second attack. A second suspect, Robert Justus, surrendered to authorities five days later. The FBI indicated that Carrillo was associated with the boogaloo movement, a loosely organized American far-right extremist movement whose participants say they are preparing for a second civil war. Carrillo used the George Floyd protests as a cover to attack police officers, according to the FBI. A white van owned by Carrillo contained a ballistic vest with a patch bearing boogaloo symbolism. Carrillo is alleged to have written "boog" and the phrase "I became unreasonable" (a popular meme among boogaloo groups) in his own blood on the hood of a vehicle he hijacked. According to federal authorities, the suspects were motivated by the boogaloo movement's ideology, and allegedly intended to spread its extremist views and start a race war. Attacks- Oakland, California shooting: At around 9:44 pm on May 29, 2020, an initially unknown assailant (later identified as Carrillo) fired a rifle out of the sliding door of a white van, striking security personnel stationed outside the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland, California. Two Triple Canopy security officers contracted with the Federal Protective Service were shot, resulting in the death of David Patrick Underwood and the serious injury of the other. The attack occurred during the George Floyd protests in California. Video surveillance later revealed that the van did not have license plates and had been in the area for at least half an hour. A man was seen exiting the driver's seat and walking around for 10 minutes before the attack. Santa Cruz County, California attack: On June 6, 2020, Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Department deputies arrived at Carrillo's residence in Ben Lomond, California. In response, Carrillo allegedly fired at the deputies with an AR-15 style rifle, seriously injuring one deputy and killing Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller. Two nearby California Highway Patrol officers responded to the scene, and were met with gunfire, wounding one officer. Deputies and officers were also attacked with improvised explosive devices. During the shootout, Carrillo was hit and fled on foot to a nearby highway where he hijacked a car. He abandoned the car minutes later. According to the criminal complaint against him, Carrillo scrawled messages in his own blood on the hijacked car that said "I became unreasonable", "stop the duopoly", and "Boog". Carrillo tried to take another car from where it was parked at a home, but was restrained by the homeowner and another civilian. Carrillo was arrested in connection with the attack. Suspects: Steven Carrillo is a 32-year-old Air Force sergeant from Ben Lomond, California. He was on active duty at the Travis Air Force Base where he led the Phoenix Ravens, an elite unit tasked with guarding American military personnel at unsecure foreign airfields. He had worked at the base since 2018, though he had served in Kuwait for four months in 2019. A former friend of Carrillo's told ABC News that Carrillo identified as a libertarian. Robert A. Justus Jr. is a 30-year-old man from Millbrae, California. Investigation: The FBI investigation of the Oakland shooting did not initially reveal a motive or a suspect. By June 2, investigators believed the attackers were targeting uniformed officers. An abandoned white van that held firearms, ammunition, and bomb-making equipment contained evidence that led to Carrillo's home in Ben Lomond. A ballistic vest found in the white van bore a patch with the boogaloo symbols of Hawaiian-style print and igloos. At his home he opened fire on officers, was shot in the process, fled on foot, and hijacked a nearby car. He was later found and arrested, bleeding from his hip. According to an official from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), a homemade machine gun with a silencer was used in the shootings. The weapon was a "ghost gun" and did not have a serial number. Acting Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Ken Cuccinelli described the Oakland shooting as an "act of domestic terrorism". The FBI announced on June 16 that Steven Carrillo was associated with the boogaloo movement and that he and Justus had deliberately chosen the night of protests in Oakland for cover for the May 29 attack. The FBI agent-in-charge of the investigation stated, "There is no evidence that these men had any intention to join the demonstration in Oakland. They came to Oakland to kill cops." Beforehand, Carrillo posted on Facebook, "Go to the riots and support our own cause. Show them the real targets" and "Use their anger to fuel our fire. Think outside the box. We have mobs of angry people to use to our advantage." The attack took place several blocks from a protest at Oakland City Hall. A former friend of Carrillo's told interviewers, "Excessive use of force on unarmed civilians — that was a huge thing for him... It was a mental tipping point for him." The hijacked car had "boog", "I became unreasonable", and "stop the duopoly" written in Carrillo's blood on the vehicle's hood. "I became unreasonable" is a popular phrase in boogaloo memes, and is a quote from Marvin Heemeyer, the perpetrator of the 2004 "Killdozer" rampage in which he demolished several buildings over a zoning dispute. "Stop the duopoly" is also a popular fixation among boogaloo adherents, referring to the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties in American politics. Authorities linked the crimes to the boogaloo movement and said the men used recent demonstrations against racial injustice as a cover to attack law enforcement. The FBI agent in charge of the investigation said in a news conference that the suspects did not appear to intend to join the protests, saying, "They came to Oakland to kill cops." Using a search warrant, the FBI investigated posts from Carrillo's Facebook account posted between May 28 and 29. One message read, "It's on our coast now, this needs to be nationwide. It's a great opportunity to target the specialty soup bois." (According to the FBI, "soup bois" may refer to federal law enforcement agents.) Another read, "Its kicking off now and if its not kicking off in your hood then start it. Show them the targets." Justus was declared a suspect in the Oakland shooting and placed under FBI surveillance. He turned himself in at the federal building in San Francisco five days after Carrillo's arrest. Legal proceedings: Carrillo was charged with 19 felonies, including murder and attempted murder. The charges carry lying in wait enhancements, making him eligible for the death penalty, though officials have not decided whether they will seek the death penalty in this case. Carrillo's lawyer has rebutted statements about Carrillo by law enforcement, and stated that Carrillo was "left deeply shaken" by the suicide of his wife in 2018. He also told the Santa Cruz Sentinel that Carrillo had experienced a traumatic brain injury in 2009. On August 27, 2020, Carrillo pled not guilty to the murder charge for the sergeant killed in Santa Cruz. Justus is facing charges of aiding and abetting murder and aiding abetting attempted murder. He has pled not guilty to the charges. Reaction: Several conservative commentators inaccurately linked the Oakland shooting to the George Floyd protests that were occurring at the time. Media Matters for America, a left-wing organization that monitors right-wing media, characterized right-wing coverage of Underwood's death as an attempt to "discredit the wider Black Lives Matter protests". Fox News anchor Eric Shawn spoke of the George Floyd protests, saying "we have been under attack from domestic terrorists," then reported Underwood's killing. Sean Hannity asserted Underwood was "murdered by rioters."[34] On June 1, President Donald Trump repeated the claim in a speech about the protests, saying, "A federal officer in California, an African American enforcement hero, was shot and killed. These are not acts of peaceful protest. These are acts of domestic terror."

2018 Hawaii false missile alert

On the morning of Saturday, January 13, 2018, a ballistic missile alert was accidentally issued via the Emergency Alert System and Commercial Mobile Alert System over television, radio, and cellphones in the state of Hawaii. The alert stated that there was an incoming ballistic missile threat to Hawaii, advised residents to seek shelter, and concluded: "This is not a drill". The message was sent at 8:07 a.m. local time. Civil defense outdoor warning sirens were authorized and sounded by the state. Thirty-eight minutes later, State officials blamed a miscommunication during a drill at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency for the first message. Governor David Ige publicly apologized for the erroneous alert. The Federal Communications Commission and the Hawaii House of Representatives launched investigations into the incident, leading to the resignation of the state's emergency management administrator. Background: Escalating tensions between North Korea and the United States, including threats by both countries that they could use nuclear weapons against one another, prompted a heightened state of readiness in Hawaii. North Korea had conducted several intercontinental ballistic missile tests over the past year, most recently in November 2017, enhancing its strike capabilities. It is possible that North Korea may have the capability to deliver nuclear missiles to Hawaii. Hawaii is located roughly 4,600 miles (7,400 km) from North Korea, and a missile launched from North Korea would leave perhaps 12 to 15 minutes of warning time. Hawaii officials had been working for some time to refresh the state's emergency plans in case of a nuclear attack from North Korea. An October 2017 email from the University of Hawaii to students with the subject line "In the event of a nuclear attack", containing instructions from the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency on how to react in case of a nuclear attack, caused controversy; a university spokesman ultimately apologized for "any needless concern it may have caused". Testing of the civil defense warning sirens and attack drills were also conducted in the state on the first business day of the month beginning in December 2017. On December 1, 2017, a nuclear threat siren was tested in Hawaii for the first time in more than 30 years, the first of what state officials said would be monthly drills. At 11:45 a.m. on January 2, 2018, the state conducted its monthly test of the civil defense outdoor warning siren system including the sounding of a one-minute Attention Alert Signal (Steady Tone) followed by a one-minute Attack Warning Signal (Wailing Tone). There was no exercise or drill accompanying the test. Prior to January 13, 2018, 26 drills had been conducted. Vern Miyagi, the administrator of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, explained that state leaders "couldn't ignore these constant threats and missile tests from North Korea" and felt the need to prepare residents for the possibility of an attack. Officials also outlined what would happen if an emergency alert were sent: a push alert to smartphones and a message interrupting television and radio broadcasts. Earlier in January 2018, U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai said the commission planned to vote to overhaul the wireless emergency alert system. The proposed reforms include providing more detailed information in alerts and confining emergency notifications to a more specific geographic area. Pai said he hoped the reforms, which would take effect in late 2019 if approved by the FCC, would lead to greater use of the alert system in local emergency situations and prompt people to take alerts they receive more seriously. Incident- The alert: The alert was sent at 8:07 a.m. Hawaii–Aleutian Standard Time. People in Hawaii reported seeing the alert on their smartphones. Many screenshots of the push alert were shared on social media platforms, such as Twitter. The alert read, in all capital letters: BALLISTIC MISSILE THREAT INBOUND TO HAWAII. SEEK IMMEDIATE SHELTER. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Local television broadcasts, including a college basketball game between Florida and Ole Miss being shown on CBS affiliate KGMB and a Premier League match between Tottenham Hotspur and Everton on NBC affiliate KHNL were also interrupted by a similar alert message, broadcast as a Civil Danger Warning. The alert message on television broadcasts took the form of both an audio message and a scrolling banner. It stated in part: The U.S. Pacific Command has detected a missile threat to Hawaii. A missile may impact on land or sea within minutes. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. If you are indoors, stay indoors. If you are outdoors, seek immediate shelter in a building. Remain indoors well away from windows. If you are driving, pull safely to the side of the road and seek shelter in a building or lay on the floor. We will announce when the threat has ended. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. Take immediate action measures. An alert message also interrupted radio broadcasts in the state. In Lihue, a resident reported hearing a message on the radio advising of "an incoming missile warning for the islands of Kauai and Hawaii". Culpability for the false alert was attributed to an employee at the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency, who officials said was a 10-year agency veteran who had previously exhibited behavior that had troubled coworkers, according to The Washington Post. Vern Miyagi, then-administrator of HI-EMA, said the alert had been inadvertently triggered by the employee as he was working at the Diamond Head Crater headquarters during a shift change. During the shift change, a supervisor ran an unscheduled drill in which he contacted emergency management workers in the guise of an officer from U.S. Pacific Command, according to state officials. The supervisor deviated from the script, officials said, erroneously stating at one point, "This is not a drill," although he reportedly did state before and after the message, "Exercise, exercise, exercise," agency code to indicate a test rather than an actual emergency. Officials said that upon hearing the supervisor's statement, the employee, who had "confused real life events and drills" at least twice before believed there was an actual emergency, and he later attested to this in a written statement. In an interview with NBC News, the employee shared that he was, "100 percent sure that it was the right decision and that it was real." The man went on to state that he is not to blame for the incident, that overall it was a system failure, and that he did exactly what he was trained to do. He clicked the button to send out an actual notification on Hawaii's emergency alert interface during what was intended to be a test of the state's ballistic missile preparations computer program and then clicked through a second screen, which had been intended as a safeguard, to confirm. An agency spokesman told The Washington Post that the employee was prompted to choose between the options "test missile alert" and "missile alert", had selected the latter, initiating the alert sent out across the state. The employee later claimed to the Associated Press that he had not heard the "exercise" part of the phone call because a co-worker had placed it on speakerphone partway into the message, and as a result, he had been "100 percent sure" the attack was real. State officials said five other workers were present at the agency at the time and all of them recognized the phone call as an impromptu drill. Since this incident, the employee responsible has received numerous death threats and has expressed on multiple occasions his apologies. State response: By 8:10 a.m. HST, three minutes after the first alert, Hawaii National Guard Adjutant General Arthur "Joe" Logan had contacted U.S. Pacific Command and confirmed there had been no missile launch. At that time, the Honolulu Police Department was notified that the alert had been a false alarm. Officials used the State Warning Point system at 8:13 a.m. to cancel the alert, preventing it from being sent out to any phones that had not already received it, such as those that were switched off or did not have reception. The employee who originally sent out the erroneous notification did not respond when directed to cancel the alert, according to state officials. He later said he felt like he had been dealt a "body blow" upon realizing the supposed attack had been a drill, the Associated Press reported. Another unidentified worker grabbed the employee's computer mouse and canceled the alert when the first employee failed to respond. Official messages refuting the emergency alert were not sent out until 8:20 a.m., according to the timeline released by officials after the incident. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency accounts on Facebook and Twitter posted messages at that time urging people to disregard the erroneous alert. Minutes later, Governor David Ige retweeted the HI-EMA message on Twitter and posted a similar message on Facebook to notify followers that the alert had been canceled. Ige later said the delay was caused in part by the fact he did not know his Twitter login information. An email from the state was also sent at about 8:25 a.m. advising that the initial alert was not correct, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. Electronic highway signs were also used to spread the word that the alert had been issued "in error" and that there was no threat to Hawaii. Second alert: At 8:45 a.m. HST, 38 minutes after the initial alert was sent to smartphones in Hawaii, a second emergency alert was sent, which stated: There is no missile threat or danger to the State of Hawaii. Repeat. False Alarm. The second alert was sent "well after everyone from Hawaii's congressional delegation to the U.S. Pacific Command had assured the world on Twitter that it was a false alarm", Pacific Business News remarked. Governor David Ige explained at a news conference that afternoon that officials "had to initiate a manual process" and obtain authorization from the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to send the second alert because there was no automated way to countermand the first alert. Those procedures accounted for the delay more than 30 minutes after officials had confirmed internally that the alert was inaccurate, according to officials. Effects: During the 38 minutes between the first and second alerts, Hawaii's siren warning system—which had been tested as part of a missile preparedness exercise the previous month for the first time since the Cold War—was not formally activated. Had a missile truly been launched, the Hawaii push alert should have been followed up with another set of alarms with sirens, which did not happen, as observed by some residents. Nevertheless, officials stated that some sirens did appear to go off in some communities, with some residents reporting sirens activated on Oahu a few minutes after the push notification. Little to no activity was reported at military bases in the state. Some commercial flights were reportedly delayed for a short time, although the Hawaii Department of Transportation said there were no widespread impacts at the state's airports and harbors. Disruptions were reported across the state. Honolulu Civil Beat reported that motorists parked inside the Interstate H-3 tunnel on the island of Oahu for shelter. Hawaii News Now reported that alarms sounded at Aloha Gymfest, an international gymnastics meet in Kailua, sending hundreds of people running for cover. Students at the University of Hawaii at Manoa reportedly headed for marked fallout shelters on campus but, finding them locked, ended up taking shelter in nearby classrooms instead. Officials at the Sony Open PGA Tour golf tournament on Oahu ordered an evacuation of the media center, while staff members sought cover in the kitchen and players' locker room. Tourists at Kualoa Ranch in Kaneohe were reportedly taken up to a concrete bunker in the mountains by staff and told to shelter in place there. Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa later said her husband had been driving on a Honolulu-area freeway and saw cars speeding at up to 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) after the alert was sent out. Many Hawaii residents and visitors sought shelter or rushed through emergency preparations where they were. Some discounted the alarm when they realized that they heard no sirens, and that they personally saw no immediate coverage on television or local radio. Others were in areas where sirens did go off; in addition, some television stations did broadcast the alert. The incident also created a strain on Hawaii's telephone system. Civil Defense offices in Hawaii were inundated with calls from frightened residents asking for advice or more information, the New Zealand Herald reported. Many calls to 911 would not go through. Many wireless data services were likewise initially jammed, leaving many unable to access the Internet to confirm whether the alarm was real. Some residents called friends or family members to say goodbye. U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis reported that the false alert did not appear to have prompted any sort of reaction from the North Korean government. One man suffered a heart attack minutes after saying what he thought were his last goodbyes to his children following the initial alert. Responses: Fear and panic quickly spread through the residents of Hawaii. Many Twitter posts and screenshots of text messages shared on social media in the immediate wake of the first alert conveyed confusion, alarm, and fear among those who received the warning. With very little warning and instructions, many people were unsure of what to do. This later became a major criticism of the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency and is a key issue they are working on to improve, which will ensure that people can receive more accurate information in the case of a real emergency. Federal officials: Members of Hawaii's congressional delegation also took to Twitter to dispel the false alarm. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard tweeted at 8:19 a.m. HST, about 12 minutes after the initial alert was sent, stating in all capitals that the message was a "false alarm" and that she had confirmed with officials that there was no incoming ballistic missile toward Hawaii. The next day, she told CNN that the incident highlighted the need for President Donald Trump to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to resolve nuclear tensions between the United States and North Korea, and she called for those responsible for the erroneous alert in Hawaii "to be held accountable". Congresswoman Colleen Hanabusa, a 2018 candidate for governor, tweeted that the "panic and fear created by this false alarm was very dangerous". In further comments, Hanabusa panned the delay between the two emergency alerts, suggesting it should not have taken 38 minutes for the second message to be sent. Senator Mazie Hirono tweeted that officials "need to get to the bottom of what happened and make sure it never happens again". In his own tweets immediately after the incident, Senator Brian Schatz repeated that the first alert had been a false alarm. He described the erroneous alert message as "totally inexcusable", adding: "The whole state was terrified. There needs to be tough and quick accountability and a fixed process." Commander David Benham, a spokesman for U.S. Pacific Command, confirmed to media that there was no imminent missile threat to Hawaii. A spokesman for North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) stated that "NORAD did not see anything that indicated any sort of threat to Hawaii" and said NORAD and U.S. Northern Command were still verifying what had happened. President Trump had also been under fire by critics for his "lack of response" some said. A White House official said the alert had been part of "a state exercise" and President Trump was briefed on the situation. Trump ordered National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster to take charge of the administration's response to the incident. About the incident, Trump said, "They made a mistake." U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said the incident was "unfortunate" and officials were working to prevent a similar false alert from being issued in the future. Speaking on Fox News the next day, she said people "can trust government systems" and should pay attention to any alerts they receive from authorities in the future, in spite of the January 13 incident in Hawaii. Ajit Pai, chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, announced the commission would launch a full investigation into the false alert. He blamed Hawaii's government for not having "reasonable safeguards or process controls in place to prevent the transmission of a false alert", later stating that other agencies should "learn from these mistakes". Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard stated in an interview after the second emergency alert was sent that the incident was "a taste of the stark reality of what we face here of a potential nuclear strike on Hawaii", referring to the possibility of a North Korean attack. She and former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry both said the false alert highlighted the possibility of an "accidental nuclear war", in which a technical or human error leads to the use of nuclear weapons due to a misunderstanding or misinterpretation. State officials: Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell also tweeted that the message had been a false alarm, saying the message had been sent in error before the second alert was sent out by the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency. HI-EMA administrator Vern Miyagi took responsibility for the incident, ultimately resigning over it. Miyagi described the initial warning as a "mistake", saying it "should have been caught" before the alert was sent out. HI-EMA officials, including Miyagi, said there was no evidence that the agency's systems had been hacked to send the false emergency message. Miyagi apologized for the false alert, as did Governor David Ige, who called the incident "unfortunate and regrettable". They said officials would review the state's procedures to prevent it from happening again. Ige said: I know first-hand how today's false alarm affected all of us here in Hawaii, and I am sorry for the pain and confusion it caused. I, too, am extremely upset about this and am doing everything I can do to immediately improve our emergency management systems, procedures and staffing. Hawaii Senate Majority Leader J. Kalani English said he was "outraged" by the error, which caused unnecessary "panic and pandemonium" throughout the state. Hawaii House of Representatives Speaker Scott K. Saiki announced the House would investigate the incident: This system we have been told to rely upon failed and failed miserably today. I am deeply troubled by this misstep that could have had dire consequences. Measures must be taken to avoid further incidents that caused wholesale alarm and chaos today. Clearly, government agencies are not prepared and lack the capacity to deal with emergency situations. Apparently, the wrong button was pushed and it took over 30 minutes for a correction to be announced. Parents and children panicked during those 30 minutes. The Hawaii House of Representatives will immediately investigate what happened and there be consequences. This cannot happen again. The deputy adjutant of the Hawaii National Guard said that notwithstanding the erroneous alert, people should continue to follow instructions and take shelter if another alert is sent in the future. Aftermath- Investigations: State officials held a news conference in the afternoon of January 13 to address the incident. State officials placed former Hawaii Army National Guard commander Bruce E. Oliveira in charge of internally investigating the events that resulted in the false alert being sent out. In his report, published January 30, Oliveira faulted "insufficient management controls, poor computer software design, and human factors" for the incident. Officials did not name the employee responsible for the error. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency head Vern Miyagi initially declined to say whether the employee, who he said felt "terrible" about the false alert, would face discipline. An agency spokesman said January 14 the employee had been "temporarily reassigned" to a position that did not allow him access to the emergency warning system, pending the result of the internal investigation. The employee was ultimately fired on January 26, following findings in Oliveira's investigation regarding his work history and failure to follow directions. A second employee, who was also not identified and whose role in the incident was not disclosed, was suspended without pay. Toby Clairmont, HI-EMA's executive officer, announced January 20 he planned to retire by the end of the year. The Federal Communications Commission also announced that it would conduct a full investigation into the incident. On January 25, an FCC official announced that the former employee responsible for sending the false report was refusing to cooperate with the FCC probe of the incident. The FCC report, released January 30, faulted the state for failing to quickly notify the public and not having safeguards in place sufficient to prevent the error. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai stated: Every state and local government that originates alerts needs to learn from these mistakes. Each should make sure they have adequate safeguards in place. … The public needs to be able to trust that when the government issues an alert it is indeed a credible alert. Miyagi resigned as HI-EMA administrator the same day the state and federal reports were released. Clairmont announced his resignation a day later. Other official actions: Then-administrator Vern Miyagi said the Hawaii Emergency Management Agency suspended tests while assessing what had happened following the incident. He also announced the agency immediately changed its procedures to require two people, instead of just one, to send out both test alerts and actual alerts. HI-EMA employees will be "counseled and drilled so this never happens again", Miyagi said January 14. Governor David Ige announced January 15 that he was appointing Brigadier General Kenneth Hara, Hawaii's deputy adjutant general, to oversee a review of the state's emergency management systems and procedures and implement reforms. The agency also moved quickly to implement a cancellation command that officials said can be triggered within seconds of an erroneous alert being sent out, which it reportedly lacked before the January 13 incident. The Hawaii emergency alert interface screen was updated with a BMD False Alarm selection the same day, addressing a system deficiency that made it difficult for the state to countermand an alert sent in error. HI-EMA reported that some of its employees received death threats after the false alert incident. In a rare public address, Ige called the threats "completely unacceptable" and said he was "ultimately responsible" for the error. Although Governor Ige's office issued on February 27, 2018, a Siren and Emergency Alert System Test for March 1, 2018, the state of Hawaii did not test the nuclear warning siren in March and dropped its monthly test of the nuclear warning siren beginning on March 1, 2018. In July 2018, the FCC issued a report and order which makes changes to EAS regulations to "improve the integrity, efficacy, and reliability" of the system and "minimize the potential for false alerts." The changes require EAS participants to configure their hardware to "reject Common Alerting Protocol-based alerts that contain an invalid digital signature and legacy (over-the-air)-based alerts whose expiration time falls outside of specific time limits", and report any false alarms to the FCC. The commission also implemented procedures for authorizing voluntarily participation in "live code" tests—public exercises that simulate an actual emergency in order to "promote greater proficiency" in the system by EAS operators and participants. These changes were the result of recommendations from the FCC's report on the Hawaii incident. Outside Hawaii: North Korea's Rodong Sinmun, the Workers' Party of Korea newspaper, described the false alarm as a "tragicomedy." An official with the Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Management in the U.S. state of Alaska, also believed to be within the theoretical range of North Korean nuclear missiles, said his department encourages Alaskans to shelter in place rather than trying to get elsewhere if there is an attack, as many people in Hawaii did after the false alert was issued. U.S. Senator Brian Schatz, one of Hawaii's two members of the United States Senate, introduced federal legislation that would prohibit state and local agencies from notifying the public of a missile launch, placing the responsibility on federal authorities to make that determination. In July 2018, Schatz also introduced the Reliable Emergency Alert Distribution Improvement (READI) Act, which proposed that a reporting system be established for false alarms, that FEMA establish best practices on use of emergency alerts and preventing dissemination of false alarms, and that State Emergency Communications Committees (SECCs) be required to update their procedures on a periodic basis. The act also proposed user-visible changes to EAS behavior, including requiring that users be prevented from opting out of wireless alerts originating from FEMA, mandating repetition of EAS broadcasts for active FEMA or presidential alerts, and compelling the FCC to investigate the feasibility of delivering emergency alerts via over-the-top streaming media services. The bill passed in the Senate but failed in the House of Representatives. Similar incidents: -On January 16, only a few days after Hawaii's false alarm, Japan had a similar alarm sent out. An NHK news staffer sent an erroneous alert about a North Korean missile fired at Japan to 300,000 followers of its "NHK News and Disaster Prevention" service. Previously, NHK and other Japanese media sent alerts for each North Korean missile test, but this alert stating, “It appears that North Korea has launched a missile". Overall, the public reaction was not as extreme as what was witnessed in Hawaii as the NHK within 5 minutes of the alert posted on their website stating that it was a false alarm. -On September 18, 2019, emergency sirens were accidentally set off on the island of Oahu during a police training, causing confusion and fear among residents. Again, HI-EMA was required to issue a retraction on Twitter. -On January 12, 2020, nearly two years to the date of the Hawaii false alarm, the emergency operations center for the Canadian province of Ontario mistakenly issued an emergency alert on its Alert Ready system for all television stations and television providers, radio stations, and wireless networks in the province, containing an advisory relating to an alleged incident being addressed at the Pickering Nuclear Generating Station. The alert was confirmed to be a false alarm. In a nearly-identical manner to the Hawaii incident, the false alarm was the result of an operator error by a provincial emergency operations officer during a routine internal test at the beginning of a shift; the officer accidentally forgot to log out of the live Alert Ready system (done to check if the system is operational) before running the test (meant to be sent on a second, internal system), while there was also a breakdown in communications with supervisors over the issuance of a second alert to retract it.

Larry Murphy (criminal)

Larry Murphy is an Irishman who, in January 2001, was convicted of kidnapping, repeatedly raping, and attempting to murder a young Carlow woman on 11 February 2000, in the Wicklow Mountains. During the ordeal, Murphy kidnapped the woman and locked her in the boot of his Toyota Corolla car. He then drove to Kilkea in County Kildare, where he repeatedly raped and beat her. She was then locked in the boot again while he drove to Spinans Cross in the Wicklow Mountains where he again raped her several times vaginally, anally and orally. The woman began to fight back and Murphy produced a plastic bag, which he placed over her head in an attempt to suffocate her. He stopped his assault when two people came across the scene and recognised Murphy. Murphy fled the area and returned to his home. The hunters then escorted the terrified woman to the police station in Baltinglass, where they identified Murphy as her attacker. Murphy was arrested the next morning when members of the Garda Síochána (the Irish police force) came to his home. He knew why they were there and admitted what he had done the previous day. Murphy was later tried and convicted of rape and attempted murder. He was released on 12 August 2010 after serving only ten years. His release caused a public outcry, particularly as he had refused treatment while in prison and never demonstrated any remorse. Murphy's suspected involvement in some of Ireland's most famous missing persons cases also contributed to the controversy. During questioning about the woman's injuries, it was reported that Murphy commented: "Well, she's alive isn't she?" and: "She was lucky", and showed no sign of remorse or guilt. Even though a life sentence was available to the court and would mean Murphy could be held in custody indefinitely, Judge Carney sentenced Murphy to only fifteen years (taking into account Murphy's guilty plea which spared his victim having to testify in court and highlighting the fact that sentences by him had been overturned by the Criminal Court of Appeal) and he served just ten. Murphy was sentenced before the Sex Offenders Act was introduced in 2001 so he is not subject to a post-release supervision order. Suspect: Although only convicted of this crime, Murphy is regarded as being the prime suspect in the disappearance of a number of young women in the mid to late 1990s in the Leinster area, when he was known to be living in the region. These women have become known in popular parlance having disappeared within "Ireland's Vanishing Triangle". The list of vanished women include: -Annie McCarrick, 26 (1993) -Eva Brennan, 39 (1993) -Imelda Keenan, 22 (1994) -Jo-Jo Dollard, 21 (1995) -Fiona Pender, 25 (1996) -Ciara Breen, 17 (1997) -Fiona Sinnott, 19 (1998) -Deirdre Jacob, 18 (1998) No other such disappearances occurred while Murphy was in prison. In particular Murphy has been suspected of being responsible for the disappearances of Annie McCarrick, Jo-Jo Dollard and Deirdre Jacob, all of whom vanished close to the area where Murphy lived at the time. The bodies of these individuals have never been found despite massive searches and investigations for over 10 years. Despite intensive questioning by Gardaí (Irish police), Murphy denies any knowledge or involvement in the disappearance of these women. Murphy has been ruled out of as a suspect in the Dollard investigation. Release from prison: There was widespread opposition upon Murphy's early release, and the residents of his home town, Baltinglass, announced that he would not be welcome in the village. After he was released he was considered a high risk offender and was visited by a member of the Gardaí every month. It was known that Murphy had fled the country and taken up residence in the south of Spain, where he was under surveillance by police. Shortly afterwards he moved to Amsterdam. During his time there witnesses, hitherto unaware of his past, reported that he frequented several bars but was quiet and kept to himself. He drank and smoked cannabis regularly and at times approached and attempted to strike up conversation with young women. In time the media became aware of his location and under increased scrutiny from Dutch police, Murphy fled to Spain through France. Living in the south of Spain, in late May 2011, Murphy's wallet and passport were allegedly stolen while engaging the services of a prostitute. This led him to consult the Spanish authorities in a bid to travel back to Ireland to obtain a new passport. As a result of his background becoming known, there was much dissention among the local population regarding his presence there. Two weeks later, after his new documents were in order, he returned to southern Spain. In November 2012 he was photographed by journalists in Amsterdam, where he was found living with a friend, a convicted double rapist. This was aired on a 60-minute exclusive episode of TV3's prime-time Midweek TV program. In January 2013, there were some local rumours (quickly spread on social media) that he had been seen in Saggart, Co. Dublin, but this was quickly denied by crime journalist Paul Williams, who stated that he was then living in Amsterdam. In June 2014, it was reported that he was living in South London under an alias, working as a carpenter. Alleged "sightings" and hysteria: In the period after Murphy's release, there developed what sometimes approached mass hysteria surrounding the whereabouts of Murphy. This was usually, in part, driven by rumours initiated via social networking sites that Larry Murphy was living in or visiting a particular town or locality. There exist a number of dedicated social networking web pages that regularly post information on alleged "sightings". Such sites have come under criticism as many of the claims therein are frequently of an inflammatory and alarmist nature, posted specifically to create and fuel mass hysteria and fear among the communities where Murphy has been alleged to reside. The "sightings" alleged often occur in rural villages and towns and have sometimes resulted in mild panic, in one case resulting in an arson attack on the premises where Murphy was alleged to have been staying. In other cases, the alleged sightings have been a result of individuals who bear a resemblance to Larry Murphy being mistakenly identified as him. Such an incident happened where he was alleged to have been resident at a popular country lodge hotel in the Glen of Aherlow, Co. South Tipperary. Such alleged "sightings" frequently appear in the media and when they do so appear, the Gardaí often release statements to the contrary and reassure the public that the authorities are fully aware of the man's true whereabouts. Despite such efforts to allay fears, such allegations continue to regularly appear. Media interviews: While Murphy was said by his brother Thomas to be a quiet individual who felt uneasy about being in the limelight, Murphy has been the subject of a number of interviews from the media. TV3 Midweek: On 28 November 2012, a 60-minute exclusive episode of TV3's prime-time Midweek program focusing on Larry Murphy aired. The show featured a rare interview in which Murphy was questioned by reporter Paul Williams regarding his conviction, his time in prison and his alleged links to the other cases of missing women. Murphy again denied any suggestion of his involvement and said that if the Gardaí had any evidence yet to connect him with the cases, he would already have been charged.

Ireland's Vanishing Triangle

Ireland's "Vanishing Triangle" is a term commonly used in the Irish media when referring to a number of high-profile disappearances of Irish women in the mid to late 1990s. Background: The "Vanishing Triangle" disappearances cases all appeared to share some common characteristics. For example: the women were all young (ranging from their late teens to forty years of age), they disappeared inexplicably and suddenly, and no substantial clues or evidence of their fate has ever been found despite large scale searches and campaigns by the Irish police force (or Gardaí) to find them. Another important characteristic is that all disappearances occurred in an area which became known in the media as "The Vanishing Triangle". The triangle is in the eastern part of the island, roughly the boundaries of Leinster. To date the unofficial list of Ireland's missing women numbers six. Due to similarities in the cases, a popular hypothesis is that they may be the result of a serial killer or killers being active in the area during this period. The cases of these missing women feature in the Irish media periodically and the disappearances have been the subject in a number of unsolved crime documentaries, the TV-3 (Irl) production "Disappeared in the Mountains" being one example. Irish police set up Operation Trace to focus on unsolved disappearance but to date this has failed to turn up any substantial clues as to the fate of the women despite a €10,000 reward offered for information resulting in the recovery of a body. The missing women- The following women are usually included in the unofficial listing: -Annie McCarrick, 26, of Long Island, New York, went missing on March 26, 1993. She was living in Sandymount, Co. Dublin. The last confirmed sighting of her was at a post office in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow. However, there was an unconfirmed sighting of her outside Johnnie Fox's Pub in Glencullen, County Dublin. This sighting was by a doorman of the pub who said she was with an unknown man. They left the lounge of Johnny Fox's Pub and entered the cabaret room where the unknown man paid for both of them to enter. McCarrick had invited her friend, Hilary Brady and his girlfriend, Rita Fortune to dinner at her apartment the next day. When McCarrick was not there, they contacted her parents in New York and she was reported missing. McCarrick's parents, John and Nancy McCarrick arrived in Ireland shortly after their daughter was reported missing but left after a six-month long unsuccessful search for McCarrick. -Eva Brennan, 39, of Rathgar, Co. Dublin, went missing on July 25, 1993. She was depressed prior to her disappearance. She disappeared after leaving a family lunch at her parents’ house in Rathgar. Brennan's father went to her apartment because she had not come to the family home for two days. He rang the door bell. He then went over to the Horse and Hound Pub which the Brennan family owned and asked a barman to come over and they broke a window to get in. The jacket she had worn on the day she was last seen was there, so Brennan must have gone back to her apartment that day. There was no initial Garda investigation known to the family for around three months. The Brennan family have criticised the Gardai on how they dealt with Brennan's disappearance. A rumour that circulated and was repeated by some Gardai suggested that Eva may have known double-killer Michael Bambrick, who was convicted of killing and burying Patricia McGauley and Mary Cummins in Clondalkin, Dublin. Brennan's sister, Colette McCann said it was extremely unlikely she would have known Bambrick and had not, to anyone's knowledge, been to Clondalkin or the south inner city where Bambrick originally came from. She said her sister visited her parents’ home everyday, had lunch there and returned to her apartment and rarely went out. The experience of the Brennan family is not dissimilar to that of the family of Marilyn Rynn, who disappeared shortly before Christmas in 1995 and was later revealed to have been murdered between December 22, 1995 and January 7, 1996 by David Lawler. -Imelda Keenan, 22, of Mountmellick, Co. Laois, went missing on January 3, 1994. She was living in Waterford City, Co. Waterford. She had initially gone to stay with one of her brothers in Cobh, Co Cork, but left it after a short while when she went to stay with two other brothers in Waterford City. She was living with her boyfriend Mark Wall. They both lived in an apartment in the town on William Street. Keenan attended the Central Technical Institute in Waterford where she undertook a computer course for a short period. Keenan told Wall that she was going to the post office. Keenan left the apartment at 1:30 pm and walked down William Street onto Lombard Street. The last confirmed sighting of Keenan is at this time when she was seen crossing the road by a local doctor's secretary who knew her well. The secretary and a friend observed Keenan crossing the road at the corner of the Tower Hotel and Lombard Street. She was never seen again. -Josephine "JoJo" Dollard, 21, of Callan, Co. Kilkenny, went missing on November 9, 1995. She was living in Harold's Cross, Co. Dublin. She had recently dropped out of a beauty therapy course after finding it very difficult to juggle work and college. On the day she disappeared, she was planning on moving home to Callan. She had missed her bus home to Callan and had to take a bus to Naas, Co. Kildare instead. She disappeared in the Moone area of Kildare. She was hitchhiking home from Dublin to Kilkenny. She had been driven from the Dublin area to Kilcullen, Co. Kildare and then from Kilcullen to Moone. She was last seen using a payphone and through telephone records, police found out the call was made at 11:37 pm to Dollard's friend, Mary Cullinan. She ended the call as she was about to enter another car. There was also an unconfirmed sighting of her walking along the road in Castledermot, Co. Kildare. The driver of the car has never been identified. -Ciara Breen, 17, of Dundalk, Co. Louth, went missing on February 13, 1997. She was last seen by her mother Bernadette, who said at the time they had both gone to bed just after midnight. After 2 am, Bernadette got up to go to the toilet and discovered she was missing. She had left a window on the latch and it is believed she did so, so that she could climb back in. In 2014, two credible witnesses came forward with sightings of Ciara from the night she disappeared and in 2015, a man in his 50s was arrested but released without charge. -Fiona Pender, 25, of Tullamore, Co. Offaly, went missing on August 23, 1996. She was last seen leaving her apartment by her boyfriend, John Thompson. Pender was seven months pregnant at the time of her disappearance. In 2008, a small wooden cross bearing the name "Fiona Pender" was found on The Slieve Bloom Way at the border between Laois and Offaly, which led to the belief that Fiona was buried in the Slieve Bloom Mountains. -Fiona Sinnott, 19, of Rosslare, Co. Wexford, went missing on February 8, 1998. She was living in Broadway, Co. Wexford. Fiona was last seen leaving Butler's Pub in Broadway. She left the pub with her ex-boyfriend and father to her 11-month-old daughter, Sean Carroll. During his conversation with investigators, Carroll told them that he had walked Sinnott back to her house in Ballyhitt, Wexford and that he had spent the night sleeping on her couch. Sinnott, who had been complaining of pains in her arm and upper body, had gone straight to bed and that the next morning, on Monday, February 9, Carroll said that he walked into Sinnott's bedroom and saw that she was awake. According to Carroll, Sinnott had told him that she was still in pain and that she had intended on hitching a lift to her physician later that day. Because Sinnott said that she had no money, Carroll told Gardai that he had given her £3. He then left the house and took a lift from his mother, who was waiting in a car outside. Carroll and his mother then drove back to their family home, which was where Sinnott and Carroll's daughter Emma had been staying at the time. Sinnott was never seen again. During the investigation into Sinnott's disappearance, it was discovered that she did not see a doctor that day (there were no records of her having visited any of the surgeries in the vicinity). The investigation also failed to find any evidence that she had been thumbing for a lift. During a technical examination of Sinnott's house, Gardai noticed that it had been stripped bare of a number of her personal belongings. According to retired detective sergeant Alan Bailey, there was a "complete absence of clothing and other personal items indicating that a teenage girl and her eleven-month-old daughter were actually living there." Later, locals would report that they had seen a number of black refuse bags outside of the property. As news of Sinnott's disappearance continued to spread, a local farmer approached Gardai with news that he had discovered a number of black bags in the corner of one of his fields. Inside, he had found a number of items and documents that had Sinnott's name written on them. Unfortunately, the farmer had set fire to these bags as he initially thought that it was just another case of illegal dumping. It wasn't until news of Sinnott's disappearance reached him that he realised how significant they were. It was at this point that investigators began to suspect that somebody was trying to mislead them into thinking that Sinnott had run away. On September 12, 2008, a memorial plaque for Sinnott was stolen from a cemetery in Our Lady's Island in Wexford. The marble plaque, which had been cemented into the wall, was removed the night before it was due to be unveiled. -Deirdre Jacob, 18, of Newbridge, Co. Kildare, went missing on July 28, 1998. She was living in Twickenham, London and studying at St Mary's University but was home for the summer. She disappeared just yards from her parents home as she walked home. This particular case is often said to be the most puzzling as Jacob was almost home. Passing motorists witnessed Jacob approaching within yards of her parents driveway as well as numerous other sightings, but she never made it to her house. No trace has ever been found and she was never seen again. -The last disappearance to be included on the list was Sinnott in 1998. Since then, no case of disappearances has been of a nature so unexplained and random as to be added to this list. A convicted rapist, Larry Murphy has been suspected of being responsible for the disappearances of Annie McCarrick, JoJo Dollard, and Deirdre Jacob, all of whom vanished close to the area where Murphy lived at the time. Eva Brennan and Fiona Pender have also been linked to the murders of Antoinette Smith and Patricia Doherty. Smith, a 27-year-old separated mother of two, went missing in July 1987. Her body was discovered the following June in a shallow grave at Kilakee, in the foothills of the Dublin mountains. Doherty, age 34, disappeared while shopping on December 23, 1991. In June 1992, her remains were found by men digging turf in the same area of the Dublin mountains. Although it is possible that a serial killer may have been involved in some of the disappearances, the suspect in Fiona Sinnott's case is a man who was well known to her. Renewed interest in 2012: The disappearances came to an end by 2000 but in late–October 2012, there was renewed interest in the unofficial list of missing women when news broke of a 30-year-old pregnant Laois woman named Aoife Phelan who inexplicably disappeared as she walked home from a house of a friend. Her remains were later found and a 24-year-old man who was known to her has been charged with her murder. He is too young to have been connected with the other cases, which occurred when he would have been aged five to ten. Possible explanations and suspects: It is widely suspected that at least some if not all of the disappearances were due to a possible serial killer, acting either alone or with an accomplice, in the Leinster area in the 1990s. Irish police have often claimed that Larry Murphy (a native of Baltinglass, a village well within the triangle) is the main suspect in at least some of the cases. Mr. Murphy was convicted and imprisoned in 2001 for the rape and attempted murder of a Carlow business woman in 2000. He was attempting to strangle her in a wooded area of the Wicklow Mountains at night when he was surprised by two hunters who happened upon the scene and intervened, saving the woman. Larry Murphy has maintained that he is unconnected with the disappearances and has been questioned on the cases on numerous occasions by the police. To date there is no solid evidence connecting Mr Murphy with the disappearances. It is widely known, though, that Mr Murphy, a carpenter, had completed some work in a shop owned by Ms Jacob's grandmother.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Soham murders

The Soham Murders are the murders of two 10-year-old girls which occurred in Soham, Cambridgeshire, England on 4 August 2002. The victims, Holly Marie Wells and Jessica Aimee Chapman, were lured into the home of a local resident, Ian Kevin Huntley, who subsequently murdered the children—likely via asphyxiation—before disposing of their bodies in an irrigation ditch close to RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk. The girls' bodies were discovered on 17 August 2002. Huntley was convicted of the murder of both girls on 17 December 2003 and sentenced to two terms of life imprisonment, with the High Court later imposing a minimum term of 40 years. His girlfriend, Maxine Ann Carr—the girls' teaching assistant—had knowingly provided Huntley with a false alibi. She received a three-and-a-half year prison sentence for conspiring with Huntley to pervert the course of justice. The efforts made to locate Wells and Chapman in the thirteen days of their disappearance have been described as one of the most intense and extensive in British criminal history. Disappearance: At 11:45 a.m. on Sunday, 4 August 2002, Jessica Chapman left her home in Brook Street, Soham, to attend a barbecue at the home of her best friend, Holly Wells, in nearby Redhouse Gardens.[6] Prior to leaving her home, Chapman informed her parents of her intention to also give her friend a necklace engraved with the letter H she had purchased for her on a recent family holiday to Menorca. The two girls and a friend named Natalie Parr played computer games and listened to music for approximately half an hour before Parr returned home. By 3:15 p.m., both girls had changed into distinctive replica Manchester United football shirts; one of which belonged to Wells and the other to her older brother, Oliver. At 5:04 p.m., a photograph of the two friends was taken by Wells' mother before the children ate dinner with the other house guests. They then returned to playing in Wells' bedroom at approximately 6:10 p.m. At approximately 6:15 p.m., the two girls left the Wells residence without informing any of the house guests to purchase sweets from a vending machine at the local sports centre. While returning to 4 Redhouse Gardens, Wells and Chapman walked past the College Close home of Ian Huntley, the senior caretaker at the local secondary school. Huntley evidently lured the girls into his house, stating that his girlfriend, Maxine Carr—the girls' teaching assistant at St Andrew's Primary School—was also present in the house. (Carr was actually visiting her mother in Grimsby, Lincolnshire on this date.) The precise chain of events to occur after the girls entered 5 College Close is unknown, although investigators believe sections of Huntley's later claims in initial interviews granted to the media prior to his arrest and his later trial testimony—such as that he had been cleaning his dog at the time the girls passed by his house at approximately 6:30 p.m. and that one girl had been suffering from a mild nosebleed—may have actually been true. In any event, the cause of death of both girls was later ruled to be asphyxiation. Chapman's Nokia mobile phone was switched off at 6:46 p.m. At 8:00 p.m., Nicola Wells entered her daughter's bedroom to invite the girls to say goodbye to her house guests, only to discover both children were missing from their home. Alarmed, she and her husband, Kevin, searched their house and nearby streets. Minutes after their daughter's 8:30 p.m. curfew had expired, Nicola Wells phoned the Chapman residence to determine if the girls were at this location, only to learn Leslie and Sharon Chapman were becoming concerned why their youngest daughter had not returned home. Following subsequent frantic efforts by the families of both girls to locate their daughters, Wells and Chapman were reported missing by their parents at 9.55 p.m. Investigation: Police immediately launched an intensive manhunt to locate the missing children. Over 400 officers were assigned full-time to search for the girls. These officers conducted extensive house-to-house enquiries across Soham; their efforts to search local terrain were bolstered by the assistance of hundreds of local volunteers and, later, United States Air Force personnel stationed at nearby airbases. To assist in their public appeals for information, Cambridgeshire Police released the photograph Nicola Wells had taken of the children less than two hours before their disappearance depicting both girls wearing distinctive Manchester United replica football shirts. A physical description of each girl was also released to the media, describing both girls as being white, approximately 4 ft 6 in tall, and slim. Chapman was described as being tanned, with shoulder-length, brown hair; Wells was described as being fair, with blonde hair. The parents of both girls were adamant their daughters had been wary of talking with strangers, having warned them not to trust individuals they did not know from early childhood. This insistence was supported by the headteacher of St Andrew's Primary School, who informed reporters: "The possible danger from strangers is something we have impressed upon the children from an early age." Suspecting the children had been kidnapped, investigators questioned every registered sex offender in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire. Over 260 registered sex offenders across the UK—including fifteen high-risk paedophiles—were also questioned, although all were eliminated from the enquiry. Police also investigated the possibility that the girls had arranged to meet with an individual either or both had contacted via an internet chat room, although this possibility was soon discounted. On 8 August, CCTV footage of the girls, recorded minutes before their disappearance, was released to the public. This footage depicted the children arriving at the local sports centre at 6:28 p.m. A televised reconstruction of the children's last known movements was also broadcast nationally on 10 August, and both sets of parents granted an interview with presenter Colin Baker on ITV's current affairs programme Tonight, which was broadcast on 12 August. Other family members and friends of both girls also appealed via the media for the safe return of the children. These appeals for information regarding the whereabouts of Wells and Chapman would see more than 2,000 phone calls and tips received from the public, with all information obtained entered into the investigation's HOLMES 2 database. A candlelight vigil was held by the community on 7 August. Shortly after the children's disappearance, Staffordshire Police contacted their counterparts to report their suspicions the girls' likely abduction may be linked to an abduction which had occurred in their jurisdiction the previous year, in which a six-year-old girl had survived an indecent assault by an abductor who was still at large and whose green Ford Mondeo was identified as having number-plates which had earlier been stolen in Peterborough. The individual responsible for this abduction and assault was also believed to have followed a 12-year-old girl in the same area, although in this instance, his car had been fitted with number-plates which had been stolen in Nottinghamshire. The same vehicle had recently been sighted in Glatton, Cambridgeshire. This information was later included in a televised appeal pertaining to the children's disappearance on the BBC's Crimewatch, although this potential lead ultimately failed to bear fruition or relevance. Sightings: Several members of the public reported having seen the children in the early days of the investigation. One individual, Mark Tuck, informed investigators that as he had driven past the girls upon Sand Street in Soham town centre at approximately 6:30 p.m. on 4 August, his attention had been drawn toward their Manchester United replica shirts, causing him to remark to his wife, Lucy: "Look! There's two little Beckhams over there." A young woman named Karen Greenwood also reported seeing the girls walking "arm in arm" along College Road approximately two minutes later. Another woman living in the nearby village of Little Thetford claimed to have seen two girls whose appearance and clothing matched those of Wells and Chapman walking past her home the morning after the children had been reported missing. Police also received statements regarding a white van that had been seen in Soham on the evening of the children's disappearance. Investigators located and seized this vehicle from a caravan park in Wentworth on 7 August, although this lead ultimately proved fruitless. On 12 August, police launched a media appeal to trace the driver of a four-door, dark green saloon car seen struggling with two young girls by a taxi driver who stated he had observed this individual "thrashing his arms" as he struggled to either placate or contain two female children inside his vehicle as he had driven upon the A142 south of Soham towards Newmarket on the early evening of 12 August. The following evening, a jogger alerted police to two mounds of recently disturbed earth he had encountered at Warren Hill, just outside Newmarket. The initial speculation by this individual had been that these mounds of earth may be the impromptu burial locations of the two missing girls. However, an overnight examination of this location revealed the two mounds of earth to simply be badger setts. One individual who claimed to have spoken with the girls immediately before their disappearance was 28-year-old Huntley, who informed investigators on 5 August he had engaged in a brief conversation with both girls on his doorstep the previous afternoon. According to Huntley, Wells and Chapman had briefly enquired as to whether his partner, Carr, had been successful in a recent application for a full-time teaching assistant position at their school.[48] When he had replied Carr had been unsuccessful, one of the girls had said, "Tell her we're sorry" before both children had walked along College Street in the direction of a bridge leading towards Clay Street. Police were suspicious of Huntley's account of the children's disappearance. His house was searched by a single police officer on 5 August. Although no incriminating evidence was discovered on this date, this officer noticed numerous items of clothing upon the washing line despite the fact it had been raining. In reference to the evident extensive cleaning of the house's interior, Huntley stated: "Excuse the dining room. We had a flood." This officer was unconvinced by Huntley's claims and suspicious of his agitated demeanour, and he remained a strong suspect. One day later, on 6 August, Huntley drove from Soham to Grimsby to pick up Carr. Shortly before the two returned to College Close, a neighbour of Carr's mother named Marion Clift observed the couple standing at the rear of the vehicle, with the boot open. According to Clift, a "pale, shaking" Huntley had simply gazed into the boot for several moments, while Carr stood alongside him, her head bowed, weeping. When Huntley became aware of Clift's presence, he had abruptly closed the boot. Media interviews: In the weeks following the disappearances, Huntley reluctantly granted several television interviews to media outlets such as Sky News and the regional BBC News programme, BBC Look East, speaking of the general shock in the local community and his apparent dismay at being the last individual to see the children alive. In one interview granted to Sky News correspondent Jeremy Thompson during the second week of the search, he claimed to be holding on to a "glimmer of hope" the children would be found safe and well, claiming that he had last seen the girls walking in the direction of a local library. Having actively participated in the search for the children, Huntley also made efforts to ingratiate police officers; regularly asking questions as to how their investigation was progressing and just how long DNA evidence could survive before deteriorating. One of these officers observed three vertical scratches upon Huntley's left jaw, each measuring approximately three centimetres, which he claimed had been recently inflicted by his dog. Carr was also interviewed by the press during the second week of the search for the children. In this live interview, Carr corroborated Huntley's claims to have conversed with the children on their doorstep as she had been bathing before both girls had walked away from their doorstep, adding: "I only wish we had asked them where they were going ... if only we knew then what we know now. Then we could have stopped them, or done something about it." Discussing the individual personalities of each girl, Carr described Wells as being the "more feminine" of the two, adding that Chapman was "more of a tomboy" and that on one occasion, she had jokingly remarked to Chapman how, unlike many of her friends, she seldom wore a skirt. To this question, Carr stated the child had expressed her desire to be a bridesmaid at her own future wedding, adding how Chapman had said she would willingly wear a dress for such an occasion. Carr also displayed a thank-you card to this reporter which had recently been given to her by Wells on the last day of the school year. Referring to Wells in the past tense, Carr stated, "She was just lovely, really lovely", before making a direct appeal to the children: "Just get on the phone and just come home. Or if somebody's got them, just let them go." By the second week of the children's disappearance, Huntley had begun to lose weight and vividly displayed symptoms of insomnia. To one officer, he begged the question: "You think I've done it? I was the last person to see them!" before beginning to weep. His erratic and distressful behaviour led to his being prescribed anti-depressants on 13 August. I don't know the girls. I was stood on the front doorstep grooming my dog down. She'd run away and come back a bit of a mess ... they just came across and asked how Maxine was ... I just said she weren't very good as she hadn't got the job and they just says please tell her that we're very sorry and off they walked; in the direction of the library over there. - Ian Huntley, interviewed by Sky News correspondent Jeremy Thompson. 15 August 2002 Police suspicions: On 16 August, twelve days after the children's disappearance, Huntley and Carr were first questioned by police. Both were questioned for approximately seven hours. Each provided formal witness statements to investigators before being placed in a safe house in the village of Histon. By this date, police had received information from several Grimsby residents who had recognised Huntley in the television interviews he had granted to the media; these individuals recalled that he had been accused of rape several years earlier. Other individuals recalled that, contrary to her own televised claims, Carr had in fact been socialising in Grimsby town centre on the night that the girls had disappeared, and not at home in Soham as she had indicated in the interview she had granted to the media. The same evening, police conducted a thorough search of both 5 College Close and the grounds of Soham Village College where Huntley worked as a senior caretaker as the couple remained under police watch at separate locations outside Soham. Although each room of Huntley's home had evidently been recently and meticulously cleaned with what was later described as being a "lemony" cleaning fluid, these searches located numerous items declared as being of "major importance" to the ongoing investigation. Although the evidence and artifacts were not made public at the time, the items recovered from the school grounds included items of clothing the girls had been wearing when last seen, including their charred and cut Manchester United shirts, which were recovered from a bin within a hangar at Huntley's place of work. Fibres recovered upon these items of clothing proved to be a precise match to samples retrieved from both Huntley's body, his clothing and from 5 College Close. Furthermore, his fingerprints were recovered from the bin. Huntley's car was also subjected to a detailed forensic examination on 16 August. The forensic examination of this vehicle revealed the car had also been recently, extensively cleaned, although traces of a distinctive mixture of brick dust, chalk and concrete of precisely the same type used to pave the road leading to where the girls' bodies would be discovered were found around the wheel arches and upon and around the pedals. Furthermore, a cover from the rear seat was missing, and the lining of the boot had been recently removed and replaced with an ill-fitting section of household carpet. Arrest: Having discovered the children's clothes at Soham Village College, police decided to arrest Huntley and Carr. Both were arrested on suspicion of abduction and murder at 4:30 a.m. on 17 August. Although investigators had previously (on 7 August) publicly stated they strongly believed the children had been abducted, they publicly announced their strong suspicions both girls had been murdered. During initial questioning, Huntley refused to answer questions and appeared evasive, confused, and emotionally detached; occasionally drooling throughout police attempts to question him in an effort to feign symptoms of mental illness. This tactic left police with no option but to initially refer Huntley to a mental hospital to undergo an extensive psychological evaluation. By contrast, Carr quickly confessed to detectives she had lied about her whereabouts and her partner's actions on 4 August as, shortly before she had returned to Soham from Grimsby three days later, Huntley had claimed to her in a phone call to have seen the two girls shortly before their disappearance, admitting: "The thing is, Maxine, they came in our house!" According to Carr, Huntley then informed her the children had entered their home in order that Wells could stanch her nosebleed. He then claimed to her Chapman had sat upon their bed as he had helped Wells control the bleeding from her nose before both girls had left their home. Referencing one of the 1998 rapes he had committed but had earlier claimed to her to have been falsely accused of in this phone call, Huntley then began voicing concerns as to again being falsely accused of involvement on this occasion, also claiming his previous arrest had caused him to suffer a nervous breakdown. She had therefore later agreed to concoct a false story with her partner to support his version of events. After being informed of the discovery of the children's bodies and the ample evidence attesting to Huntley's guilt, including his fingerprints being recovered from the bin in which the children's clothes had been found, Carr burst into tears, shouting: "No! He can't have been! It can't have been! He hasn't done it!" Despite these revelations, Carr initially remained emotionally attached to Huntley and professed her belief in his innocence to both the police and her family. Discoveries: At approximately 12:30 p.m. on 17 August, a 48-year-old gamekeeper named Keith Pryer discovered the bodies of both girls lying side by side in a five feet deep irrigation ditch close to a pheasant pen near the perimeter fence of RAF Lakenheath in Suffolk; a location more than 10 miles east of Soham. Pryer had noticed what he later described as an "unusual and unpleasant smell" in the vicinity several days earlier; when returning to the area with two friends on 17 August, he had decided to investigate the cause of this odour. Walking through an overgrown verge approximately 600 yards from a partially tarmacked road, Pryer and one of his companions, Adrian Lawrence, discovered the children's bodies. Immediately upon viewing the corpses, Lawrence turned in the direction of his girlfriend, Helen Sawyer, and shouted: "Don't come any closer, Helen! Get back in the van!" Lawrence immediately reported the discoveries to police. Both girls had been missing for thirteen days when their bodies were found, and both corpses were in an advanced state of decomposition. In an apparent effort to destroy forensic evidence, the murderer or murderers had attempted to burn both bodies. In addition, no clear footprints were discovered at the crime scene. Despite the perpetrator(s) efforts to destroy evidence and hinder identification, investigators rapidly deduced who the two victims most likely were, and that both had not died at the location of their discovery. Numerous hairs later determined to belong to Chapman were also discovered on a tree branch close to the location of the girls' bodies. The following day, a Cambridgeshire Deputy Chief Constable named Keith Hodder released a press statement to the media confirming the discovery of the children's bodies, adding that both families had been informed of the developments and that although positive formal identification would take several days, investigators were as "certain as they possibly could be" the bodies were those of Wells and Chapman. Identification: On 21 August, the bodies of both girls were conclusively identified via DNA testing. Nine days later, a public memorial service was held at Ely Cathedral to remember and celebrate the lives of both girls. This service was attended by approximately 2,000 people, including the girls' classmates, teachers and the six family liaison officers who had provided 24-hour service for both families. The Reverend Tim Alban Jones officiated at this service, informing all present: "Would not the best and most lasting memorial to these two lovely young girls be a change for the better in how we behave towards each other? Today's service is a small milestone in our shared journey of grief and sorrow ... it is our hope that we may perhaps draw a line under one phase of our grieving and begin to look forward." An online book of condolence attracted more than 31,000 messages of grief and sympathy and on 24 August, football clubs across Britain held a minute's silence prior to commencing scheduled football matches. Inquest: The formal inquest into the children's deaths was held at Shire Hall, Cambridge, on 23 August 2002. At this hearing, coroner David Morris testified the bodies of both girls were partially skeletonized, and that no precise cause of death could be determined for either decedent, although Morris stated that the most likely cause of death of both girls had been asphyxiation. Furthermore, Morris stated the girls had almost certainly not died at the location where their bodies had been discovered, and that both bodies had been placed at this location within 24 hours of their deaths. These conclusions were physically supported by an analysis of the shoots of nettles located at the crime scene which enabled forensic ecologist and palynologist Patricia Wiltshire to approximate that the actual time the bodies had been placed at this location had been almost two weeks prior. Formal charges: By 20 August, investigators had established sufficient physical evidence from Huntley's home, vehicle and Soham Village College to formally charge him with two counts of murder. He was formally charged with these offences while detained for observation at Rampton Secure Hospital, and all preliminary hearings against him were postponed until the conclusions of his mental health assessment. Carr was also charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice on this date. She was further charged with two counts of assisting an offender on 17 January 2003. While held on remand at Holloway Prison, Carr regularly enquired as to Huntley's welfare, and is known to have penned several letters in which she professed her continued love for him. Carr would only sever all contact with Huntley in December 2002. Mental health assessment: To determine Huntley's state of mental health, he was detained under Section 48 of the Mental Health Act for almost two months at Rampton Secure Hospital. Here, his mental state was extensively assessed by Dr Christopher Clark, a consultant forensic psychiatrist, to determine whether he suffered from any form of mental illness and whether he was mentally competent to stand trial. Clark concluded in October that, although psychopathic, Huntley did not suffer from any major mental or psychotic illness. Resultingly, on 8 October, Huntley was deemed mentally competent to stand trial. Having been declared mentally fit to stand trial, Huntley was faced with a sentence of life imprisonment if a jury could be convinced of his guilt. He was subsequently transferred to a segregation unit at Woodhill prison in Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire. On 9 June 2003, he attempted suicide by consuming 29 antidepressants which he had accumulated in his cell. Although staff initially feared Huntley might die as a result of this overdose, he was returned to his prison cell within 48 hours. Huntley was later transferred to London's Belmarsh prison. Although Mr Huntley made clear attempts to appear insane, I have no doubt that the man currently, and at the time of the murders, was both physically and mentally sound and therefore, if he is found guilty, carried out the murders totally aware of his actions. Dr. Christopher Clark. Consultant forensic psychiatrist reciting the conclusions of his assessment of Ian Huntley's mental state (2002) Funerals: The funeral services for Wells and Chapman were conducted on consecutive days in September 2002. Services for both children were held at St Andrew's parish church and both were officiated by the Reverend Tim Alban Jones. Both girls were laid to rest in private ceremonies attended by only family and close friends. At the request of both families that their privacy be respected, the media refrained from reporting upon either service. Pretrial hearing: At a preliminary hearing held at the Old Bailey on 16 June 2003, Huntley pleaded not guilty to the formal charges of murdering Wells and Chapman, although he chose to plead guilty to the charge both stood accused of: conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. Carr pleaded not guilty to the charges of attempting to pervert the course of justice and assisting an offender. Trial: The trial of Huntley for the murders of Wells and Chapman opened at the Old Bailey on 5 November 2003 before Justice Alan Moses; Huntley was charged with two counts of murder, to which he entered a formal plea of not guilty. Carr was charged with two counts of assisting an offender and one count of perverting the course of justice. In his opening statement on behalf of the Crown, prosecutor Richard Latham QC described the last day of the friends' lives and how, by "pure chance", they had happened to pass by Huntley's home at a time when Carr was not present. Latham contended Huntley had deliberately lured the girls into his home at approximately 6:37 p.m. and that both girls had been murdered shortly thereafter, with cell site analysis proving Huntley had switched off Chapman's mobile phone either outside his home or within the grounds of Soham Village College after both girls had been murdered. Latham further emphasised that mobile phone records and eyewitness accounts proved Carr had been in Grimsby on the evening in question, thus proving the statements she had given to police and press alike had been false. Latham then outlined the details of how Keith Pryer and his two friends had discovered the children's bodies on 17 August at a location Huntley had known to be restricted via his plane spotting hobby and thus where they were unlikely to be discovered. Referencing the likely motive for the girls' murder and the actual cause of death of each decedent, Latham stated that due to the extensive state of decomposition of the bodies, the coroner had been unable to determine the precise cause of death of either child, or whether the girls had been sexually assaulted before or after death. However, Latham stated neither body showed signs of compressive neck injuries, knife wounds, drugging or poisoning, and that both girls had most likely died of asphyxiation. In a direct reference to Huntley's claims both girls' deaths had been accidental, Latham stated that "only one person knows what happened" after the friends entered his home. However, he further stressed the cause of death was undoubtedly murder, adding: "Ten-year-old girls don't just drop dead." In reference to Carr's attempts to pervert the course of justice, Latham stated that "as surely as night follows day" the two had conspired to concoct a false alibi to divert suspicion from Huntley, although he warned the jury Carr could only be convicted of assisting an offender if they believed she had known Huntley had murdered the girls, adding her actual motive for providing lies to police with reference to the charge of perverting the course of justice was irrelevant. Over the course of three days, Latham outlined the efforts of both defendants to divert suspicion away from Huntley, and Huntley's own efforts to destroy all physical and circumstantial evidence linking him to the crime, although despite these efforts, investigators had retrieved enough evidence to prove the children had been murdered within his home and—within approximately twelve hours of their deaths—transported in his vehicle to the location where their bodies would be discovered on 17 August. This had included ample fibre evidence retrieved from Huntley's vehicle, clothes and carpets which had been a "precise match" to the Manchester United shirts the girls had been wearing at the time of their disappearance. Latham then closed his opening statement by again bringing the jury's attention to Huntley's claim both deaths had been accidental, remarking, "We pose this question: Two of them?" He then speculated Huntley's defence counsel may try and argue that he had been confused, commenting: "In that case, they would have to consider Huntley's behaviour over the fortnight between the girls' disappearance and their bodies being found." Testimony pertaining to the forensic evidence linking Huntley was heard on 24 November. On this date, a forensic scientist named Helen Davey testified as to the biological evidence recovered from the girls' clothing, footwear and a dishcloth discovered within the hangar at Soham Village College on 16 August. Davey testified she had found minute traces of blood and saliva upon these garments, although she had found no positive traces of semen upon the clothing. She further explained the reason for the lack of any definitive traces of semen being discovered could have been a result of the charred and melted condition of the articles she had inspected. A scenes of crime officer also testified on this date that, despite Huntley's exhaustive efforts to remove any physical evidence of his crime from his home, a forensic examination had revealed several traces of blood spattering about the hallway and main entrance to the master bedroom. Defendants' testimony: On 1 December, Huntley testified before the court in his own defence. Responding to questioning by his own defence counsel, Stephen Coward QC, Huntley admitted both girls had died in his house but denied that either death had been intentional. According to Huntley, he, Wells and Chapman had entered his bathroom to stem a mild nosebleed Wells had been suffering when the girls had walked by his home. The bath was already filled with water as he had been cleaning his dog that afternoon. In the bathroom, he had slipped and accidentally knocked Wells into his bath while helping her stanch her nosebleed, and this unintentional act had caused her to drown as he himself had simply "panicked and froze".[ He further claimed Chapman had witnessed this accident and began repeatedly screaming, "You pushed her!" and that he had then accidentally suffocated her while attempting to stifle her screaming, which had preoccupied his attention as opposed to ensuring Wells did not drown. By the time his state of panic had waned, it had been too late to save the lives of either of the children and that his first coherent memory had been of himself sitting on his vomit-stained landing close to Chapman's body. When questioned as to his failure to call emergency services and subsequent, extensive efforts to both destroy evidence and divert suspicion from himself, Huntley insisted he had first become preoccupied with whether the police and public alike would believe the girls' deaths had actually been accidental, and he had therefore decided to conceal all evidence of the deaths as opposed to either notifying police or paramedics. Weeping, Huntley admitted responsibility for both deaths, but repeated his insistence both deaths had been accidental. He further tearfully claimed he had not attempted to feign insanity upon his arrest; insisting the trauma of the children's deaths had temporarily erased his memory and his being in the presence of police had caused his mind to temporarily seize. On 3 December, Carr took the stand to testify in her own defence. Responding to questioning from her own defence counsel, Michael Hubbard QC, Carr briefly discussed her initial acquaintance with Huntley, their subsequent relationship and plans to start a family once they both obtained financial stability before Hubbard directed his questioning toward her return to Soham on 6 August and her discovering Huntley had recently washed their bedding and had evidently cleaned sections of the house. To these questions, Carr explained that her first impression had been that Huntley had "had a woman in the house", adding their bedding had been washed shortly before 4 August. Carr further testified to having noted a crack in the enamel of the bathtub which had not been there when she had travelled to Grimsby four days previously. When questioned as to why she had then assisted Huntley in extensively cleaning their home in the days following the children's murder, Carr claimed she had done so as she had always been "obsessive about tidiness." Questioned as to the efforts she had subsequently made to mislead both police and the media to divert suspicion from her partner, Carr emphasised she had only lied to police, the media and "anyone who asks" to protect Huntley, who had repeatedly assured her of his innocence of any wrongdoing and his fear or being "fitted up" by police for the girls' disappearance should they discover the 1998 rape allegation made against him. She further claimed to have referred to Wells and Chapman using past tense merely because she had worked with the children in the past. Carr further claimed she had initially attempted to persuade Huntley to contact police and "be open" as to his claims to have invited the children into his home in order that Wells could stanch her nosebleed, but that he had refused to do so, as inviting children into their home had been a violation of the rules imposed by St Andrew's Primary School. She further explained her focus had therefore been to protect Huntley's job and reputation, adding that had she known of Huntley's actual guilt, she would never have attempted to provide him with a false alibi, stating to her counsel: "If, for a minute, I had known or believed he'd murdered either of those girls I would have been horrified." Concluding his questioning, Hubbard cautioned the jury not to succumb to the temptation of judging Carr's morality, but to consider her state of mind prior to her arrest when considering whether the lies she had told warranted any criminal liability, stating she had "done no wrong" on the date of the children's murder, and had not returned to Soham until 6 August. Closing arguments: On 10 December, counsels for both prosecution and defence delivered their closing arguments to the jury. Latham delivered his closing argument on behalf of the prosecution by describing both Huntley and Carr as "accomplished liars" before outlining the prosecution's case both children had to die to satisfy Huntley's "selfish self-interest" before Huntley—with Carr's support—had embarked on twelve days of "cynical deception", with Carr only revealing the truth about her lies to police after being informed of the discovery of the children's bodies. Referencing Huntley's likely motive for the murders and his claims at trial that both deaths had been accidental, Latham stated: "We invite you to reject the accounts of both deaths being accidental as desperate lies; the only way out for him. We suggest that this whole business in the house was motivated by something sexual. But, whatever he initiated, plainly went wrong. Therefore, in this ruthless man's mind, both girls had to die in his own selfish self-interest." Referencing Carr's conscious efforts to deceive the police and media alike, Latham simply stated: "She had the prospect of marriage, a baby, a nice home and a new start. She preferred to do what she could to make the best of the position she was in. That involved at all costs protecting Ian Huntley." Following the conclusion of the prosecution's closing argument, Coward delivered his argument on behalf of the defence. He conceded his client was indeed guilty of physical responsibility for the girls' actual deaths—as Huntley had admitted—and therefore deserved punishment, although he argued the prosecution had failed to provide definitive proof Huntley had actually intended to actually murder the children or cause them actual bodily harm. Furthermore, Coward contended the prosecution had failed to provide conclusive evidence to support their claim that Huntley's actual motive for the murders had been sexual. Coward concluded his closing argument by requesting the jury deliver a verdict of manslaughter in relation to both deaths. Following the conclusion of both counsels' closing argument, Judge Moses announced the jury would begin their deliberations on 12 December. Your tears have never been for them; only for yourself. In your attempts to escape responsibility, in your lies and manipulation ... you have increased the suffering of two families. There is no greater task for the criminal justice system than to protect the vulnerable. There are few worse crimes than your murder of these two young girls. -Section of Judge Alan Moses's, formal sentencing of Ian Huntley. 17 December 2003 Convictions: The jury deliberated for four days before reaching their verdicts against both defendants. On 17 December 2003, they returned a majority verdict of guilty on two counts of murder against Huntley. He was subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment, with a minimum term of imprisonment to be imposed by the Lord Chief Justice at a later date. Huntley's face displayed no emotion as the verdict was announced, although the mothers of both Wells and Chapman burst into tears. Although Carr willingly pleaded guilty to the charge of perverting the course of justice, she pleaded not guilty to the charge of assisting an offender. The jury accepted Carr's insistence that she had only lied to the police and media in order to protect Huntley because, prior to their arrest, she had actually believed his claims of innocence. As such, she was found not guilty of assisting an offender. Carr was sentenced to serve three-and-a-half years in prison for perverting the course of justice. Minutes after the convictions, the parents of both girls granted an interview to the media. Discussing Huntley's mindset, Leslie Chapman opined: "I think he was a time bomb waiting to go off and both our girls were in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope the next time I see him, it will be like we saw our daughters—and it will be in a coffin." Motive: Huntley's actual motive for killing the children is unknown, although minutes prior to encountering Wells and Chapman, he is known to have engaged in a heated argument with Carr, culminating in his slamming the telephone down. Huntley had allegedly suspected Carr of conducting affairs throughout their relationship, leading both his mother and some police officers to suspect Huntley had killed the two girls in a fit of jealous rage. However, prior to his trial, a criminal profile had resulted in his being ruled by an eminent criminal psychologist as a "latent, predatory paedophile" who had chosen to lure Wells and Chapman into his home upon a moment of opportunism. The prosecution had contended at Huntley's trial a likely sexual motive existed for the murders. Testimony from Carr had indicated her suspicions sexual activity had occurred in their home in her absence as, although Huntley had insisted throughout the entirety of their relationship that Carr perform all domestic chores, she had observed that he had washed the quilts, pillow cases and sheets of their bed in her absence. However, pathological evidence retrieved from the bodies indicating at least one of the girls had been subjected to a sexual assault either before or after her murder was not disclosed to the jury at Huntley's trial. The reason for this decision had been that both bodies were too extensively decomposed and damaged by fire to enable a conclusive determination of either the actual cause of death or if either girl had been subjected to a sexual assault. Although prosecutors at Huntley's trial contended he had intentionally lured the children into his house with a likely sexual motivation, investigators found no evidence of premeditation in relation to the murders.[146] However, at the September 2005 hearing in which the minimum term Huntley should serve before any form of parole eligibility was decided, Justice Alan Moses stated: "There is a likelihood of a sexual motivation, but there was no evidence of sexual activity, and it remains no more than a likelihood." Psychology: Prior to murdering Wells and Chapman, Huntley had established an extensive record of consensual and unconsensual sexual activity with females—many of whom had been beneath the legal age of consent. He would typically use guile and/or force to achieve his desires. Between 1992 and 2002, he had committed numerous acts of physical and sexual violence against women and children for which he had been legally unpunished. The youngest girl Huntley is known to have raped had been 12 years old, with another girl he had attempted to rape being 11 years old. Following his arrest, several former girlfriends and sexual partners stated that, although Huntley presented himself as a charming and considerate individual in the early stages of a relationship, he would become domineering and violent upon having established a sense of control.[150] Having established control over his partner, Huntley severely restricted and supervised any contact she held with her family or social acquaintances. He would also emotionally blackmail his partner if he detected any signs of her developing resistance to his control or indicating a desire to leave him. According to one columnist, the fact that Huntley had remained unpunished for these often blatant and continuous acts had embellished Huntley's confidence and reinforced his domineering, misogynistic mindset in addition to fuelling his recidivism. Psychologists have also determined Huntley has mentally blocked any attempts to accept either the reality or enormity of his actions pertaining to his repeated violence against females in order that he may cope with the consequences of his actions. Sentencing: The minimum term of imprisonment Huntley should serve before being considered eligible for parole was decided on 29 September 2005. On this date, High Court judge Mr Justice Moses announced that Huntley must remain in prison until he had served a minimum of 40 years' imprisonment; a term which would not allow parole eligibility until 2042, by which time Huntley would be 68 years old. In setting this minimum term of imprisonment, Mr Justice Moses stated: "The order I make offers little or no hope of the defendant's eventual release." Huntley avoided eligibility for a mandatory sentence of life imprisonment, as the passing of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 had been just one day after his conviction; thus taking effect on 18 December 2003 and applying solely to murders committed on or after this date. Ian Huntley: Ian Kevin Huntley was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on 31 January 1974, the first of two sons born to Kevin Huntley and his wife, Lynda (née Nixon). The Huntley family were working class and at the time of the birth of their first child, lodged with Lynda's parents in Grimsby. Following the birth of their second child, Wayne, in August 1975, the family moved into a rented property in Immingham, where Huntley attended school. Huntley was a timid child, and something of a mother's boy. In his early years, he frequently threw tantrums in order to obtain his mother's attention, although childhood friends would later remark how markedly afraid he was of his stern father. At both primary and secondary school, Huntley was an average scholar. He was regarded as a loner, an oddball and an attention seeker by his peers, and became a frequent target for bullies. The bullying Huntley endured escalated when he entered Healing Comprehensive School at age 11, resulting in his academic performance waning. As a result, Huntley's parents enroled their son in Immingham Comprehensive at age 13. He was again the target of physical and verbal bullying at this school, although he did form a few friendships via a shared interest in computer games. Huntley also enjoyed football, and was an avid supporter of Manchester United. At the urging of his father, Huntley joined the Air Training Corps at age 13. His activities with this youth organisation fuelled an interest Huntley had held since childhood for aeroplanes, and he seriously considered a future career with the Royal Air Force. Huntley also developed a hobby of plane spotting. Via this hobby, he became familiar with the environs of RAF Lakenheath. Despite having few friends, Huntley did form several relationships with girls while attending Immingham Comprehensive. Each of these girls was at least one year younger than himself, although none of these relationships lasted longer than a few weeks. In 1990, Huntley finished his schooling, obtaining five GCSE passes. He chose not to enrol in college or university and instead committed himself to finding employment. Between 1990 and 1996, Huntley worked in a succession of menial jobs, although he seldom held any job for an extensive period of time. He also viewed himself as something of a ladies' man, and was scrupulous with regards to his personal appearance and personal hygiene. Marriage: In June 1994, Huntley began dating 18-year-old Claire Evans, with whom he first became acquainted through his employment at a local Heinz factory. After approximately two months of courtship,[160] Huntley proposed to Evans. The couple married at Grimsby Registry Office on 28 January 1995,[165] although the marriage lasted scarcely one week due to Huntley's volatile temper. On one occasion, he is known to have beaten his wife so extensively she suffered a miscarriage. Shortly after their separation, Huntley's wife formed a relationship with and later married Huntley's younger brother, Wayne. Previous criminal offences: In March 1996, Huntley was charged with burglary. In this offence, he and an accomplice allegedly broke into the house of a neighbour in Grimsby and stole numerous electrical goods, jewellery and cash. Although this case reached court, the prosecution offered no evidence, resulting in a judge ordering the offence to lie on file. Between August 1995 and May 1996, Huntley established numerous sexual relationships with teenage girls, all of whom were under the legal age of consent. Three of these girls were aged 15, and one 13. One of these girls would become pregnant, and gave birth to a baby girl in 1998. Although reported to police on three occasions, Huntley was not charged for any of these offences as each of the girls denied having engaged in sex with Huntley. Each refused to file criminal complaints and/or rebuffed offers of help from social services. Despite not being charged with any of these offences, rumours of Huntley's sexual interest in underage girls soon became community gossip, and he was regularly insulted by neighbours and work colleagues. As a result, Huntley began rebuffing any offers to socialise with work colleagues for fear of being attacked while alone in their company. In April 1998, Huntley was arrested on suspicion of raping an 18-year-old woman. He admitted engaging in sex with the claimant, but claimed the act had been consensual. He was not formally charged with this offence. Just one month later, Huntley was charged and remanded in custody at HM Prison Wolds for one week after another 18-year-old Grimsby woman claimed to have also been beaten and raped by Huntley while walking home from a local nightclub. This complainant further stated Huntley had threatened to kill her before assaulting her. Huntley admitted engaging in sex with this woman, although he insisted the act had been consensual. The criminal charge was dropped a week later after the Crown Prosecution Service, having examined CCTV footage from the nightclub and environs and finding evidence of the two socialising within the nightclub, determined insufficient evidence existed to secure a conviction for this offence. As a result of this criminal complaint, further rumours regarding Huntley's sexual violence also became community gossip, resulting in Huntley being fired from his job and forcing him to move into his mother's home. Furthermore, he was forbidden from initiating contact with his baby daughter or her mother. In July 1998, police were notified Huntley had also sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl in September 1997; having also threatened to kill the child if she informed her mother. He was never charged with this offence, although he subsequently confessed to this attack in April 2007. The final criminal allegation against Huntley prior to his committing the Soham murders dates from July 1999. In this instance, a woman was raped and Huntley–by this stage suspected by police as being a serial sex offender–was interviewed. Huntley supplied a DNA sample to assist in their enquiries, with Carr also providing an alibi to support his claims of innocence. The victim of this assault subsequently stated her belief that Huntley had not been the perpetrator of her assault. (This would prove to be the sole instance in which a suspected or proven victim of Huntley had not identified or named him as being her assailant.) By 2001, Huntley's proven and alleged criminal activities had been reported to Humberside Police on ten separate occasions and to the social services on five occasions. Acquaintance with Maxine Carr: In February 1999, Huntley became acquainted with 22-year-old Maxine Carr, whom he first encountered in a Grimsby nightclub. On this occasion, Carr had been drinking with a former boyfriend named Paul Selby when Huntley—a casual acquaintance of Selby—approached the two and immediately initiated a conversation. According to Carr, she was "instantly attracted" to Huntley's self-certain and pleasant persona, and agreed to begin dating him that same evening.[166] Within four weeks of their acquaintance, she had moved into Huntley's Barton-upon-Humber flat, and the couple informed relatives of their eagerness to start a family. Shortly thereafter, the couple moved to a ground-floor flat in Scunthorpe, where Huntley formally proposed to Carr in June 1999. Although publicly a besotted couple, Huntley was notably possessive of Carr, and is known to have both emotionally abused and/or physically assaulted her on numerous occasions, often culminating in Carr returning to live with her mother before Huntley persuaded her to return to live with him. Furthermore, both Huntley and Carr are known to have conducted affairs throughout the course of their relationship. Noting how Carr often became flirtatious whenever she had consumed alcohol, Huntley actively sought to minimise any opportunity for her to drink or otherwise socialise outside his presence for fear of her cheating on him with other males. At the time of their acquaintance, Huntley temporarily worked for an insurance company in Market Rasen. He soon found alternate employment at a finance company in Binbrook while Carr maintained her employment packing fish at a local fish processing factory. The couple would relocate to East Anglia in early 2001. Shortly thereafter, Huntley secured employment as a bartender. By 2001, Huntley had re-established contact with his father, who worked as a school caretaker in the village of Littleport, near Ely. He would regularly travel to Cambridgeshire from East Anglia on his days free from work to help his father, and soon developed aspirations to become a school caretaker himself. Via his father, Huntley learned of a school caretaker vacancy in nearby Soham Village College in the summer of 2001. He applied for and secured employment as a senior caretaker at this secondary school in September 2001, supervising the work of four other employees. Maxine Carr: Maxine Carr was born Maxine Ann Capp. She was born in Grimsby, Lincolnshire, on 16 February 1977, the second of two daughters born to Alfred Capp and his wife, Shirley (née Suddaby). The marriage between Capp's parents was marred by frequent arguments. Following a heated argument in the summer of 1979, Shirley ordered her husband to leave the household. Shortly thereafter, she and her daughters relocated to the village of Keelby. Alfred seldom maintained contact with his wife and children, and refused to provide any financial support for his daughters. Capp and her older sister, Hayley, were largely raised by their mother and grandparents. The family regularly experienced severe financial difficulties, although Shirley would later state she "spoiled" her daughters to the best of her financial ability. As a child and adolescent, Capp was viewed by her peers as something of a timid outcast, with few friends. She performed poorly academically, although she always held aspirations to become a teacher. By the time Capp entered adolescence, she was slightly overweight, leading her to become insecure about her physical appearance. Although she had shunned the company of boys as a child, as a teenager, she craved—but seldom received—the attention of boys her age, occasionally leading to bouts of binge eating[185] in addition to her developing the habit of self-harming. By age 15, Capp weighed more than 10 stones, resulting in her becoming the recipient of bullying by her classmates. In an effort to lose weight, she developed a habit of forcing herself to vomit after eating. This habit led to Capp developing anorexia by the age of 16, with her weight at one stage plummeting to just six stones, and her mother forcing her to eat in order for her to regain weight. In 1993, Capp finished her schooling, having obtained no qualifications. She briefly worked alongside her mother in a fish processing plant as she considered which career path she should choose before enrolling at the Grimsby Institute of Further & Higher Education, having chosen to study general care. Capp obtained her diploma in 1996. The same year, she and her mother moved from Keelby back to Grimsby. Shortly thereafter, she briefly obtained employment as a junior care assistant at a care home for the elderly in Grimsby before opting to return to work alongside her mother as a labourer at Bluecrest fish processing plant. Several of Capp's colleagues would later remark how they found her to be a distant and immature figure with few friends and few hobbies. To one colleague, Capp would talk incessantly about her dreams of leaving this employment and embarking on a teaching career. By the time Capp had obtained employment at Bluecrest, she had garnered sufficient courage to begin dating men, although none of these relationships lasted more than a few months. Notably shy and reserved and prone to wear clothing which concealed her figure when sober, Capp became markedly flirtatious when having consumed alcohol, and is known to have occasionally engaged in exhibitionism in addition to frequently engaging in one-night stands with individuals she encountered in pubs and clubs. While Capp resided with her mother in Grimsby, she unofficially adopted the surname Benson. She later legally changed her surname to Carr in an apparent effort to distance herself from her father. Soham employment: In September 2001, Huntley responded to a job advertisement relating to a vacant position of senior caretaker at Soham Village College. He applied for this position using the alias Ian Nixon. No form of background check was conducted before or after this job interview, and although Huntley lacked extensive experience in this form of employment, his application for this position was successful. His employers assisted in his securing the tenancy of 5 College Close, and he and Carr relocated to Soham in late September. Huntley began his employment at Soham Village College on 26 November. He worked as a senior caretaker at these premises until the date of his arrest. In February 2002, Huntley secured part-time employment for Carr at St Andrew's Primary School, although Carr did lie as to her academic qualifications when applying for this position. Although this employment was initially voluntary work, Carr later became a teaching assistant in the school's Year 5 class. Wells and Chapman became two of the pupils she taught, and both girls were notably fond of her. In July 2002, Carr applied for a vacant full-time teaching assistant position at St Andrew's Primary School. She received notification on 23 July that her application was unsuccessful. One of the children to express dismay at this decision was Wells who, having broken down in tears upon learning Carr's application for the teaching position had been unsuccessful, had presented her with a hand-drawn card, depicting a smiling face, in which she stated: "I'll miss you a lot. Thank you! C ya! Miss ya! Luv Holly." Summer 2002: By the summer of 2002, the physical relationship between Huntley and Carr had begun to deteriorate. By Huntley's own later admission, he had become sexually frustrated, and he had unsuccessfully attempted to persuade a married colleague to date him on the weekend Carr visited her mother in Grimsby. At 9:53 a.m. on 4 August, Huntley attempted to phone Carr, although she did not answer her mobile phone. Carr only replied to his missed call at 6:23 p.m. This four-minute phone call escalated into a heated argument, culminating in Huntley angrily terminating the phone call after she informed him of her intentions to again socialise in Grimsby that evening. Four minutes later, Carr sent Huntley a text message which read: "Don't make me feel bad because I'm with my family." Huntley did not reply to this message. Bichard enquiry: Immediately following Huntley's conviction, his previous criminal history was disclosed to the public. These disclosures revealed that, despite his extensive record of sexual offences against underage girls and young women and evident criminal recidivism, not only had police failed to pursue these previous criminal complaints and allegations, but Huntley had secured a position of employment facilitating his access to children. Upon learning of these public disclosures, Home Secretary David Blunkett announced a public enquiry into the intelligence-based record keeping and vetting system which had allowed Huntley to obtain employment as a school caretaker despite these previous criminal complaints, which had been reported to both police and social services. Chaired by Sir Michael Bichard, the Bichard enquiry opened on 13 January 2004. The results of this enquiry were published in June that year. The stated purpose of the Bichard enquiry was: Urgently to enquire into child protection procedures in Humberside Police and Cambridgeshire Constabulary in the light of the recent trial and conviction of Ian Huntley for the murder of Jessica Chapman and Holly Wells. In particular to assess the effectiveness of the relevant intelligence-based record keeping, the vetting practices in those forces since 1995 and information sharing with other agencies, and to report to the Home Secretary on matters of local and national relevance and make recommendations as appropriate. One of the pertinent issues of concern to be scrutinised by the Bichard report surfaced almost immediately when Humberside Police stated their belief in it being unlawful under the Data Protection Act to hold data regarding criminal allegations which had not lead to a conviction; this claim was criticised by other police forces who thought this too strict an interpretation of the Act. The enquiry severely scrutinised the actual investigation by Cambridgeshire Police into the children's disappearance and murder, as almost two weeks had elapsed following the disappearance of Wells and Chapman before Cambridgeshire Police became aware of Huntley's previous criminal background, despite his claims to be the last individual to see the children alive. Further criticism was directed at the force for their initial failure to scrutinise Carr's claims to have been in Soham on the date of the children's disappearance. The enquiry also severely criticised Humberside Police for deleting information relating to the previous criminal allegations against Huntley and also criticised Cambridgeshire Police for not following standard vetting guidelines. Both the Humberside and Cambridgeshire Police were heavily criticised for their failings in maintaining criminal intelligence records on Huntley. Bichard later ordered the suspension of the Chief of Humberside Police, David Westwood, for ordering the destruction of criminal records pertaining to alleged child molesters which had not resulted in a conviction. (This suspension was later overturned.) Westwood retired from the position of Chief of Humberside Police in March 2005. The Chief Constable of Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Tom Lloyd, was also subjected to severe criticism as his force had failed to contact Humberside Police during the investigation into Huntley's criminal background prior to his securing employment at Soham Village College. An added complication in these criminal vetting procedures was the fact that Huntley had applied for the caretaker's job under the name of Ian Nixon, although he did divulge upon the application form for this position that he was previously known as Ian Huntley. It is believed that Cambridgeshire Police failed to perform a background check under the name Huntley. Had they actually done so, they would have discovered an outstanding burglary charge on file relating to his November 1995 arrest for this crime. Recommendations: The Bichard enquiry recommended the implementation of a mandatory registration scheme for people working with children and vulnerable adults such as the elderly and mentally handicapped.[205] This recommendation later led to the foundation of the Independent Safeguarding Authority. The findings also suggested a national system should be implemented for police forces to share intelligence information, and that all police forces should follow a clear code of practice on record-keeping. These findings ultimately led to the tightening of various procedures within the Criminal Records Bureau system, including compulsory checks into potential criminal backgrounds of people who apply to work with children. Aftermath: An orange-petalled rose, dedicated to the memory of Wells and Chapman, was unveiled by representatives of Soham Town Council at the 2003 Chelsea Flower Show. The inspiration for dedicating a flower to the children's memory sourced from a poem read aloud at the memorial service at Ely Cathedral on 30 August 2002 by the father of Wells, titled Soham's Rose. On 3 April 2004, the three-bedroomed house in College Close in which the murders occurred was demolished and the site levelled, with all rubble from the property being destroyed and later discarded in various, undisclosed locations. The site where 5 College Close once stood is now a vacant patch of grass. Within days of Huntley's formal sentencing, he reflected to the media on the prospect of his spending the remainder of his life behind bars and of his fears for his security, exclaiming: "I'm going to rot inside this place. I'll rot in here, I know it. I'll spend the rest of my life in here ... I'm going to be inside forever, and it'll be torture." In the years since his incarceration, Huntley has been repeatedly attacked by other inmates. On 14 September 2005, he was scalded with boiling water while incarcerated at HM Prison Wakefield by a fellow inmate named Mark Hobson. The injuries Huntley received in this attack resulted in him being unable to attend the hearing at which his minimum term of imprisonment was decided. Following this attack, Huntley alleged that prison authorities had failed in their duty of care towards him, and launched a claim for £15,000 in compensation. He was reportedly awarded £2,500 in legal aid to pursue this claim. Huntley was transferred from Wakefield prison to Frankland prison on 23 January 2008. Three years later, on 21 March 2010, he received non life-threatening injuries to his neck after his throat was slashed by a convicted armed robber named Damien Fowkes. The injuries Huntley received in this attack required hospital treatment. Huntley again applied for compensation for the injuries he received in this attack, seeking £20,000 in damages. On 5 September 2006, Huntley attempted to commit suicide by taking an overdose of antidepressants he had accumulated in his prison cell. This suicide attempt resulted in his hospitalisation and a thorough search of his cell, in which a cassette tape was recovered. This cassette tape contains a markedly different account of the murders of Wells and Chapman than that Huntley had testified to at his trial. In what Huntley had believed would be his posthumous confession, he claims to have confessed to having murdered both girls to Carr prior to their arrest and his plans to confess to authorities, to which, Huntley alleged, Carr had slapped his face and informed him to "pull himself together" as she did not wish to lose the teaching position she had yearned for all her life. Huntley further alleges Carr had encouraged him to burn both bodies in an attempt to destroy all forensic evidence linking him to the crime. It is believed Huntley had agreed to make this recording for a fellow prisoner (who had hoped to later sell the confession to the media after his release), in return for his being provided with the antidepressants he had used to attempt suicide. In April 2007, Huntley confessed to having sexually assaulted an 11-year-old girl whom he had dragged into an orchard in 1997. This admission—in which Huntley also confessed to having a sexual interest in children while insisting the murders of Wells and Chapman had not been sexually motivated—was welcomed by the victim of this sexual assault. Following Huntley's admission of guilt, this victim issued a press statement in which she confessed to feeling "a massive sense of relief", although she concluded this statement with the sentence: "Yet, I still feel upset that Huntley was left at large, resulting in the deaths of two innocent children." Carr was released on probation from HM Prison Foston Hall on 14 May 2004 after serving a total of 21 months' imprisonment (including the 16 months she had been detained while on remand). She was given a secret identity to protect her from threats of attack from vengeful members of the public in addition to being provided with a new home in an undisclosed location. Carr is one of four former prisoners in the United Kingdom to be given an entirely new identity upon release. Carr won an injunction on 24 February 2005, granting her lifelong anonymity on the grounds that her life would otherwise be in danger. The costs of imposing this order have been reported by differing tabloid newspapers as being between £1 million and £50 million. At least a dozen women have been falsely identified as being Carr and either persecuted or physically attacked due to false stories speculating as to her whereabouts and new identity which have been printed in tabloid publications. Shortly after her release from prison, Carr and her family contacted a Tyneside-based publishing company with view to publishing her autobiography. Although Mirage Publishing initially agreed to publish Carr's autobiography, the company soon withdrew their offer after a feature on BBC Radio Newcastle prompted scores of complaints from the public. Media- Literature: -Gerrard, Nicci (2004). Soham: A Story of Our Times. Short Books. ISBN 978-1-904-09592-7. -Yates, Nathan (2005). Beyond Evil: Inside the Twisted Mind of Ian Huntley. John Blake Publishing. ISBN 1844541428. Television: -The Channel 4 documentary Being Maxine Carr focuses on the lasting public outrage at Carr's efforts to pervert the course of justice following the Soham murders, and how numerous women across the UK have been falsely accused of being Carr. This documentary was first broadcast on 14 December 2007. -The 90-minute documentary Soham Revisited: 15 Years On was first broadcast on 25 April 2017. Narrated by Alison Steadman, this documentary features interviews with previous lovers of Huntley. -The Investigation Discovery channel has broadcast a 60-minute documentary focusing upon the Soham murders as part of their Faking It: Tears of a Crime true crime documentary series. This documentary primarily focuses upon the efforts made by Huntley and Carr to deceive police and public alike, and was first broadcast on 18 August 2017. -Channel 5 have also commissioned a documentary focusing upon the Soham murders. This documentary, titled 5 Mistakes That Caught a Killer, was first broadcast on 23 May 2019.