Saturday, October 31, 2020
Marsha Ellen Brantley (nee Rader), born February 28, 1959, was an American woman who disappeared around May to June 2009. She is widely believed to have been murdered by her then-husband Donnie Brantley, but no direct evidence has ever been found to prove this. Multiple investigations have failed to determine a cause of disappearance. The case was featured in an April 2018 episode of the CBS documentary show 48 Hours. Background: Marsha Brantley was originally from Illinois. At the time of her disappearance she lived in Cleveland, Tennessee. She married Donnie Brantley on March 28, 2000. She was an amateur writer, and was fond of her dogs and outdoor activities. She was also a former director of housing at Lee University. Friends and family members reported that Brantley suffered from depression. Disappearance: In late 2008, friends began to suspect that Brantley's marriage was struggling despite what she had claimed. In March 2009, friends reported that Brantley said that she was "so depressed she couldn't get off the couch." In July or August 2009, one of Brantley's neighbors reported that she had not seen Brantley for a long time and apparently had not been doing her regular activities. Shortly thereafter, Brantley's hairdresser inquired to Donnie Brantley about Marsha Brantley's whereabouts and was told that she had left and that they were divorcing. Investigation: In 2009, the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation began investigating the case. Donnie Brantley later told authorities that Marsha Brantley had voluntary left them, but a search of her home determined that her car, cell phone, clothes and many of her other valuable belongings had been left behind. Investigators determined from cell phone records that Brantley most likely disappeared around June 2, 2009, possibly as late as July. In 2011, the Bradley County Sheriff's Office became involved, and in November 2012, the Brantley's home was searched again, this time with cadaver dogs. In July 2013, a grand jury indicted Donnie Brantley for the murder of his wife. In August 2013 Donnie Brantley was arrested and charged with murder. The charges were dismissed in May 2014 due to lack of evidence. In October 2016, Brantley was again arrested in Kingston, Georgia. He was charged for the murder in December 2016. The charges were dropped again in February 2018 due to lack of evidence. Aftermath: An episode of the CBS series 48 Hours documenting the case, titled "Missing Marsha", debuted on April 7, 2018. The episode cites financial incentives as a possible motive for Brantley's murder.
On May 27, 2020, after 11 a.m., a 38-year-old African-American transgender man, Tony McDade, was fatally shot in the Leon Arms apartment complex by an officer of the Tallahassee Police Department, following the fatal stabbing of Malik Jackson on nearby Saxon Street. Early reports of the incident misgendered McDade as a "woman", and on May 28, the police department described McDade as a woman who "identified as a man". McDade is a suspect in the fatal stabbing and police stated that McDade pointed a gun at police and that a bloody knife was found at the scene. Some witnesses have contradicted statements by the Police Department that McDade was armed with a gun. People involved: -Malik Jackson, a 21-year-old African-American man, who was fatally stabbed. -Tony McDade, a 38-year-old African-American transgender man. On the morning of the incidents, McDade stated on a Facebook Live video that he would get revenge on some men who had attacked him the day before. His funeral took place on June 6. -An officer of TPD, whose identity is being protected under a controversial application of Florida law, who was placed on administrative leave following the incident, which is common practice with officer involved shootings in the United States. Background: In 2020, McDade entered into a relationship with Jennifer Jackson, a neighbor of his who was the mother of Malik Jackson. According to her family members, McDade entered Jackson's home on May 25 and pistol-whipped her. On May 26, McDade returned to Jackson's home and allegedly became verbally abusive. This led to a physical altercation with Malik Jackson and other members of Jackson's family. Early on May 27, McDade went live on Facebook to recount being jumped by a group of men, which had been a one-on-one fight before an insult caused four others to join, and vowed revenge. McDade stated he had weapons and planned to fight one of the men; “It took five of you to kick and punch and have me on the ground in a fetal position. And I came out looking the same way I was before I went in that fetal position...But y'all know what, y'all aint gone look the same when them bullets touch your dome. And I'm posting this live...Warning comes before destruction. And I'm telling you five m— f— that you're going to die.” — Tony McDade, Facebook Live Video He detailed his wounds from the altercation which included a bloody elbow and two lumps on his head. He potentially alludes to an attempted suicide by cop or gun fight with the man; "Just know before I kill myself through a shootout, because that's what's going to happen, because I'm going to pull it out and you know these officers nowadays they see a gun they just going to shoot....So that's what I'm pushing for, because I don't want to be here on earth dealing with the government.” — Tony McDade, Facebook Live Video Incident: According to the Tallahassee Police Department they approached McDade on May 27, as a suspect in the fatal stabbing of Malik Jackson earlier in the day. The Department Police Chief Lawrence Revelle told reporters that; "the suspect was in possession of a handgun, and a bloody knife was found at the scene" and that McDade had pointed a gun at the responding officer. The officer reported this information over the department's radio frequency. Witnesses have disputed this, claiming that officers said "Stop moving, n--r" and then shot McDade after he stopped moving. The witnesses also claim that officers never identified themselves or told McDade initially to stop his actions. Investigations: On May 27, investigations were launched into the stabbing incident, and the officer involved in the subsequent shooting. The officer has been placed on administrative leave pending the investigation. On September 3, a Leon County grand jury found that the police use of force against McDade was justified. Shortly afterward, the City of Tallahassee released video from a police body camera showing McDade pointing a firearm at one of the police officers before being shot. Reactions: -Separate vigils took place for both victims on May 28. McDade's was organized by the Tallahassee Community Action Committee, to draw attention to the three police-related deaths (McDade, Wilbon Cleveland Woodard, and Mychael Johnson), since Lawrence Revell assumed the office of Chief of Police in December 2019. On May 27, a petition was created to publicize the case, and for McDade to be recognised as a transgender man in reports and official statements. -On May 29, Tori Cooper of the LGBTQ advocacy group Human Rights Campaign, said "LGBTQ people of color are at greater risk for violence every day in this country. This must end. Our hearts are heavy as we mourn with Tony's family and friends." Over 100 LGBTQ Organizations included McDade in a list of recent transgender killings. -A GoFundMe.com campaign raised over $190,000 for McDade's family in its first week. -Journalist Alexander Kacala expressed concern that McDade's shooting had received insufficient attention from the Black Lives Matter movement writing, "Throughout the protests, the stories, Black trans people who were victims of police violence, like Tony McDade, got lost in the larger conversation around Black Lives Matter."
John Favara (disappeared July 28, 1980, later declared dead in 1983) was the backyard neighbor of Gambino crime family crime boss John Gotti, in Howard Beach, New York who disappeared after he struck and killed Gotti's 12-year-old son, Frank Gotti, by car as he darted into the street on a motorized minibike. Death of Frank Gotti: On March 18, 1980, Gotti's middle son, 12-year-old Frank Gotti, was run over and killed on a family friend's minibike by neighbor, John Favara. Frank's death was ruled an accident, but Favara subsequently received death threats and was attacked by Gotti's wife, Victoria, with a baseball bat when he visited the Gottis to apologize. Disappearance: On July 28, 1980, he was abducted and disappeared. According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), before Favara and his family were able to move, he was shoved into a van by several men near his place of business. There were several witnesses to the abduction, and accounts ranged from him being beaten with a baseball bat, shot with a silenced .22 caliber pistol, or both. Accounts differed on what was done with Favara's body. One account said that while Favara was alive, he was dismembered with a chainsaw and stuffed into a barrel filled with concrete and dumped in the ocean or buried somewhere on the chop shop lot. After the abduction, Favara's wife and two sons moved out of Howard Beach; John was declared legally dead in 1983. In November 2004, informants led the FBI to excavate a parking lot in New York City suspected to be a mob graveyard and the site of Favara's body. While two bodies were found, Favara's was not among them. When questioned by two detectives on Favara's disappearance, John Gotti said: "I'm not sorry the guy's missing. I wouldn't be sorry if the guy turned up dead." Previously, prosecutors believed Favara's remains were stuffed in a barrel of concrete and tossed off a Sheepshead Bay pier, but Brooklyn federal court papers filed by federal prosecutors the week of January 5, 2009, contain allegations that mob hitman Charles Carneglia killed Favara and disposed of his body in acid. Richard Kuklinski alleged that he carried out dozens of murders on behalf of Gambino soldier Roy DeMeo, including being hired by Gotti to kidnap, torture and murder Favara. Mob expert Jerry Capeci dismissed Kuklinski's claims as "mostly demented ramblings". Portrayal in popular media: -Favara's murder is depicted in the 1996 HBO production Gotti. In the film, John Gotti, portrayed by Armand Assante, is shown pointedly admonishing underboss Salvatore "Sammy the Bull" Gravano, played by William Forsythe, that his son's death was an accident and to "leave it alone". Upon learning of his identity, Gravano is shown beating and shooting Favara in a pedestrian underpass, then fleeing. -The incident is also shown in the 2018 film Gotti.
The Franciscan University murders is an American criminal case involving the kidnapping of two young men from Steubenville, Ohio, and their murder in Washington County, Pennsylvania, on May 31, 1999. The perpetrators were found guilty on several counts after a 2000 trial, but their murder convictions were overturned in 2004 in an Ohio Supreme Court decision requiring the defendants to be tried once in each state for the crimes committed in each state. In response to the decision, "Brian and Aaron's Law" passed into Ohio state law in April 2005, which permits authorities to prosecute suspects in murder cases that begin in that state but have related activities in another state. Background: Aaron Land, 20, Brian Muha, age 18, and Andrew Doran were students at Franciscan University living in a street-level apartment in Steubenville, Ohio. On May 30, 1999, Muha parked his mother's Chevrolet Blazer outside their apartment. Nathan "Boo" Herring and Terrell Yarbrough, both 18, were residents of the Steubenville area. Herring later stated that he had consumed beer, cocaine, marijuana, and prescription drugs before the crimes committed on May 31, 1999. Events of May 31, 1999: During the early morning hours of May 31, 1999, Land and Doran were asleep in their bedrooms, and Muha was asleep on the living room couch. At approximately 5:00 a.m. on May 31, 1999, Yarbrough and Herring broke into the apartment and woke up Land and Muha by repeatedly hitting them with a pistol. Yarbrough and Herring then demanded the keys to the Blazer, and Muha gave them the keys. Doran was awakened by the noise of "a loud series of crashes," and crawled out a window and re-entered the house by a side door and called to Aaron and Brian. There was no response. Doran then saw a black male with a white handkerchief over his mouth and a hood pulled over his head. The man saw Doran; however he ran and managed to escape to a nearby residence and called the police. Yarbrough and Herring forced Land and Muha out of the house and into the back seat of the Blazer and drove toward Pittsburgh. In Robinson Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania, Yarbrough and Herring stopped the Blazer alongside U.S. Route 22. They forced the victims out of the car and into a forested area. Herring then separately shot both victims in the back of the head with a .44-caliber handgun, killing each of them instantly. Yarbrough and Herring then took Muha’s ATM card, some cash, walked back to the Blazer, and drove to Pittsburgh. After unsuccessfully attempting to withdraw cash using Muha's ATM card in Pittsburgh, Yarbrough and Herring went to the Squirrel Hill section of Pittsburgh to steal a second car. Barbara Vey became Yarbrough and Herring's next victim, as they attacked her in the stairwell of her apartment complex and demanded the keys to her car. Apparently Herring was going to shoot and kill Vey; however, Yarbrough intervened, sparing her life. Vey gave her keys to the men and called the police after they left. Later that afternoon, Yarbrough drove the Blazer back to Steubenville, and Herring in Vey's stolen BMW. En route, Yarbrough ran out of gas and Herring did not stop to assist him. Brian Porter, a passing motorist, stopped and gave Yarbrough a ride to a nearby gas station. After returning to Steubenville, Yarbrough met with a friend, Brandon Young, and they drove around together in the Blazer. After Young inquired where the Blazer was from Yarbrough admitted to him that he had killed Muha and Land and stolen the car. Police spotted the Blazer at around 6 o'clock that evening. Yarbrough and Young both abandoned the car, but Yarbrough was captured after a short chase. At 8 pm police recovered Vey's stolen BMW. On June 2, police apprehended Young, who had eluded capture earlier, and Yarbrough's accomplice Herring without incident. Muha and Land's bodies were found after an extensive search on June 4, 1999. Trials: Prosecutors opted to hold one trial for each defendant in Ohio rather than trials in both states, saying it would be more efficient and compassionate for the victims' families. Herring was convicted and sentenced to life in prison without parole in August 2000. Yarbrough was convicted and sentenced to death in September 2000. The Supreme Court of Ohio overturned the murder convictions in 2004, ruling the case should have been tried in Pennsylvania, where the bodies of Mr. Muha and Mr. Land were found, but sustained the convictions for the offenses that occurred in Ohio, including kidnapping and robbery. Yarbrough and Herring were subsequently extradited to Pennsylvania to be retried for the murders. The new trial began for defendant Terrell Yarbrough on October 26, 2009 in Washington County, Pennsylvania. The defendant was sentenced to life in prison as a result of the second trial. Defendant Nathan Herring plead guilty and was sentenced to life imprisonment on July 8, 2010.
Friday, October 30, 2020
Edward Pope Andrews and Stephania Rynak Andrews were a married couple who disappeared in 1970 after leaving a party in the Chicago Loop. The case was widely publicized by Chicago newspapers. Multiple police investigations failed to determine the couple's fate. Background: At the time of their disappearance, the Andrews resided in Arlington Heights. Edward Andrews was a manager and bookkeeper for a Chicago manufacturer, and Stephania was a credit investigator. Both were planning to retire within the year. Disappearance: On the evening of May 15, 1970, the Andrews attended a cocktail party at the Sheraton-Chicago hotel, located at 505 North Michigan Avenue. About 9:30 PM, the hotel’s parking garage valet and manager observed Edward Andrews "staggering" as he approached his vehicle. When exiting the garage, the Andrews' vehicle sideswiped a door at which time the valet observed Stephania Andrews seated in the front passenger seat, crying. Edward Andrews then proceeded out of the garage onto the lower deck of Michigan Avenue where he illegally drove south in the northbound lanes toward the Michigan Avenue Bridge and Wacker Drive. This was the last reported sighting of the Andrews and their vehicle, a 1969 Oldsmobile. The Andrews failed to attend a scheduled dinner party the next night and neither reported to work the following Monday. Investigation: Police theorized that the couple drowned when Andrews attempted a U-turn on the lower level of the Michigan Avenue bridge and accidentally drove into the Chicago River through an area unprotected by a guardrail. Police searched the river twice during the spring and summer of 1970 using dragging equipment, sonar, and divers, but failed to locate their vehicle. According to Edward Andrews’ coworkers, he became ill during lunch on the day he vanished and remained sick for the rest of the afternoon. Attendees at the cocktail party reported that Andrews appeared ill, but told his wife that he was hungry and wished to leave the party in order to get a meal. Police speculated that Andrews may have been intoxicated or suffering from a disorienting illness when he drove out of the hotel's garage. Police discounted robbery as a theory since the couple carried little cash or valuables at the time they vanished and their bank accounts and credit cards showed no activity in the months that followed. The Andrews left behind all of their personal belongings in their home. Friends and neighbors described the couple as conscientious and unlikely to leave town without notifying their employers and family. Later developments: In 1971, additional searches of the Chicago River and adjacent areas of Lake Michigan were carried out at which time a sonar technician stated he was “95% sure” the car was not in the area. In 1973, an Arlington Heights detective speculated that a barge might have crushed the Andrews' car into the river bottom or pushed it out into the lake. In 1974, a tip led police to carry out underwater searches in the harbor near Navy Pier but no further evidence was found. In 1975, a psychic became involved with the case and stated that the couple had been murdered on Chicago's South Side. In 1976, another psychic claimed that the Andrews were murdered and their bodies and their car were submerged in a lake. The couple was declared legally dead in 1978. In 1994, the case was revived when a tipster informed police that the couple had been murdered and then submerged with their car in a Green Oaks, Illinois pond. Police searched the pond and found no evidence of the Andrews or their car.
Lisa Michelle Stebic, née Ruttenberg is an American missing person. The mother of two went missing from her home in Plainfield, Illinois on April 30, 2007. Stebic, 38, is 5 feet 2 inches tall, 120 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. She has two visible tattoos, a small rose on her ankle and a large butterfly on her lower back. Case: Her case has received widespread news coverage. Her husband, Craig Stebic, refused to talk to the police or to help in the investigation or search. The local CBS affiliate (WBBM-TV) broadcast a video of a rival station's reporter Amy Jacobson at the Stebic home wearing a bikini. Jacobson, Craig Stebic's sister, Jill Webb, and her husband, Robert Webb, have all filed lawsuits against WBBM regarding airing of the video. Craig Stebic has never been named a suspect by police, although he has been called "a person of interest" in his wife's disappearance. In October 2007, the FBI added pictures of Lisa and information about her disappearance to its kidnapped and missing-persons website. Stebic's photo and information were shown on national television at the end of the October 11, 2007 broadcast of Without A Trace, a CBS drama about an FBI missing-persons team in New York City and detailed the next morning on The Early Show. No search efforts have continued as of June 2010. As of 2018, Stebic is still a missing person.
The Godard family disappearance (also known as the affaire Godard, or the Godard Affair), involved the disappearance of French doctor Yves Godard, his second wife and their two children in September 1999. Clues to the mystery were gradually discovered: traces of blood were found in the family home near Juvigny-sur-Seulles in Calvados, Lower Normandy. It was established that Godard and his two children departed on a sailing boat rented in Saint-Malo, Brittany, a few days before the discovery of the blood. During the course of the next few years, various objects were found on the north coast of Brittany or at sea: a lifeboat, identity papers, credit cards, the skull of one of the Godard children, and finally the bones of Godard himself. The case was closed on 14 September 2012. Timeline of events- Disappearance of the Godard family: On Monday 30 August 1999, Yves Godard, a 43-year-old doctor and acupuncturist, saw his patients for the last time at his practice in Caen, Calvados, Lower Normandy, France. The following day, Godard cancelled his consultations, put his affairs in order at his practice and took his children fishing in ponds in Planquery, sixteen kilometres (ten miles) west of Juvigny. On 1 September, he drove a Jeanneau Sun Odyssey 30 sailing boat, the Nick, from Pontoon E at the port of Saint-Malo. Godard's children were also on board: Camille (6) and Marius (4). His wife, Marie-France, was not on the boat with them. Godard told the owner of Nick that he wanted to go on a cruise as far as Perros-Guirec, returning on 5 September. He bought cleaning products and floor cloths in Saint-Malo before setting sail, and left them in his Volkswagen Camper van, which he had parked at the port. On 2 September, French customs officers inspected Nick between Cap d'Erquy and Cap Fréhel. It was a routine inspection, and the officers noticed one of the children sleeping inside the boat. Nick proceeded on its voyage without using the motor once the wind picked up. One of the customs officers was intrigued by Godard's behaviour and checked his story with the boat owner in Saint-Malo. After the inspection, Godard's boat seems to have remained for a few days near the Bay of Bréhec, between Plouha and Plouézec. Several witnesses in Bréhec saw Nick between 2 and 5 September. Among them was a waffle vendor at the small port, who formally testified that Godard and his children came to buy waffles from her on 3 September. The next day, Nick was spotted by a pair of walkers near the Pointe de Minard in Plouézec, apparently abandoned. Nick's small pneumatic dinghy was recovered by a fishing boat on 5 September, the day on which the boat was supposed to return to Saint-Malo. The dinghy appeared to have been abandoned thirty nautical miles (34.5 land miles, 55.5 kilometres) from the Île de Batz in the Finistère département. In the dinghy were a jacket and a cheque book in Godard's name. Intrigued, the Maritime Gendarmerie in Roscoff opened an investigation into the disappearance. Godard had still not returned to Saint-Malo by 7 September, where investigators found significant traces of blood and doses of morphine in his van. This discovery forced the investigation to take on more urgency. On 8 September, investigators searched the Godard family home in Juvigny, where they again found significant traces of blood in the bathroom, the living room and the parents' bedroom. On 10 September, a judicial murder investigation was opened, with Godard considered the prime suspect and being made the subject of an international arrest warrant. The investigation was led by Judge Gérard Zaug at the court of Saint-Malo. On 16 September, the blood found in the van was identified as being that of Marie-France Godard, whom no one had seen since 31 August. Items found since September 1999: On 16 September, eleven days after the dinghy was discovered, amateur sailors off the coast of the Channel Islands of Guernsey and Alderney discovered a life jacket belonging to Nick. A week later, on 23 September, the inflatable survival raft of Godard's boat was recovered half-deflated on a beach at Lyme Bay in Dorset, England, United Kingdom. Unusually, the raft's canvas canopy had been cut off and was missing. Although French investigators were leaning towards the theory that Godard had murdered his wife and then fled, these latest discoveries brought chaos into the investigation. According to experts at the French Naval Hydrographic and Oceanographic Service, it was impossible for these items to have been found at these locations as a result of ocean currents alone: they had to have been scattered deliberately. Furthermore, the dinghy's emergency inflation device had been detached. According to the manufacturer, the dinghy could only have remained inflated for 72 hours after this device was removed. On 16 January 2000, four months after the disappearance of the Godard family, a canvas bag came up in a fisherman's trawling net off the coast of the Île de Batz. It contained numerous personal effects belonging to all the members of the family: clothes, driving licences, insurance documents, cheque books, the entire contents of Marie-France Godard's handbag, binoculars and a hammer. On 6 June 2000, a sea-shell harvester's boat cast its nets along the bed of Saint-Brieuc Bay, off the coast of Erquy. In the middle of the night, the dredger brought up a fragment of a human skull, which the fisherman threw back into the water. Four hours later, another skull came up, which the fisherman kept. DNA analysis revealed that it was the skull of Camille, Godard's daughter. Scientific analysts at IFREMER concluded that the skull had been at its location since at least February 2000. This seemed to corroborate the theory that Nick somehow sank, claiming the lives of its three passengers. The area in which Camille's skull was found – which is close to where Nick was inspected by customs officers on 2 September 1999 – was scoured by a minehunter and the French Navy, but no trace of the boat was found. The investigation took on a new dimension when Godard's business card was found on Sunday 11 February 2001 by a walker on a beach on the Ébihans archipelago, off the coast of Saint-Jacut-de-la-Mer. On 22 February, a bank card bearing Godard's name was found on the same beach by a resident of Saint-Jacut. Then, on 24 May, walkers found a credit card, again on the same beach. Investigators searched the beach thoroughly and the examining magistrate ordered a minesweeper to survey the seabed around the archipelago, but again no traces of Nick were found. On 3 June, another credit card was found off the beach by a diver. These events led the investigators to believe that Godard stopped off at this beach and emptied the contents of his wallet there. Further searches were carried out at the beach, including by a tractor being used to sieve through the sand, but no more of Godard or his family's personal effects were found. However, on 31 July, a fifth credit card was found on the beach. All these cards were analysed at a forensic laboratory, whose experts determined that they had not been in the water for long before being discovered, and had therefore not been thrown into the water in September 1999. It is likely that they were discarded one by one into the water in early 2001. Investigators and the lawyer of Marie-France Godard's family believe that it was the work of an accomplice who wanted to make it look like the deaths of Yves Godard and his children were accidental. A briefcase believed to belong to Yves Godard was found on 8 August 2003 in Saint-Brieuc Bay. However, investigators have never confirmed its authenticity, and it is likely that it was a hoax. On 13 September 2006, bones – a femur and a tibia – belonging to Godard were found on the seabed of Hurd's Deep, 70 kilometres (43.5 miles) north of Roscoff. The French Navy minehunter L'Aigle ('The Eagle') was despatched to the area to try to find a trace of the sailing boat, without success. Confirmation of Godard's death brought about an end to much public interest in the case, but the mystery of the disappearance of his wife – whose body has never been found – and the deaths of Godard and Camille, as well as the very likely death of Marius, remain unsolved: it was either an accident; a murder-suicide perpetrated by Godard, or a family annihilation carried out by a third party with Godard's death made to look like suicide. Therefore, the court file was not immediately closed. On 14 December 2008, a plastic insurance card belonging to Godard was found in perfect condition on the beach at Chapelle, which caused investigators to renew their efforts in the case. In February 2018, a child's skull was found at a beach in Plérin, sparking speculation that it might belong to Marius. Investigations and witnesses: In the autumn and winter of 1999, following the discovery of significant traces of Marie-France Godard's blood at the family home in Juvigny, large-scale searches were carried out in the region to find her body. These searches were suspended without success in mid-January 2000. They were resumed on 27 January 2007, a month after Godard's death was announced. Following a tip-off in an anonymous letter, investigators searched the storeroom of a cemetery in Lingèvres, less than five kilometres (three miles) from the Godard home. There, they found bones, which the letter claimed belonged to Marie-France Godard. However, analysis revealed this was not true. A radiesthesist from Normandy claimed to be the author of the anonymous letter. On 14 October 1999, a hotel owner on the Isle of Man claimed that Godard and his children had stayed in his hotel between 7 and 14 September. This was the first of a series of witness statements placing Godard and his children at various locations all around the world. Sightings of him were also reported on the Isle of Lewis in Scotland, in South Africa, in Miami and on Crete. In early May 2000, investigations carried out in Madeira, where Godard had opened a bank account, yielded no results. There had been no movements of funds since his disappearance. In 2011, Eric Lemasson published a book, L'Assassinat du docteur Godard (The Murder of Dr Godard), which shed light on a new theory relating to there being financial reasons behind the disappearance, even including links to the Mafia. The book highlighted several murders of people affiliated to the French trade union, the Confédération de défense des commerçants et artisans (Confederation for the Defence of Salesmen and Craftspeople), in which Godard played a very active role as a member. Case closed: On 14 September 2012, the examining magistrate ordered the case to be closed. In his summation, Alexandre de Bousschère, the Saint-Malo Public Prosecutor, stated: "the only hypothesis we can exclude is that the family's disappearance was a simple sailing accident" and "even if it is the most likely line of investigation, we cannot formally confirm that Yves Godard murdered his family: the case is closed with no charges brought." TV and radio documentaries: -La mystérieuse disparition du Docteur Godard, 30 October 2005 in Secrets d'actualité on M6 (translation: 'The mysterious disappearance of Dr Godard'). -Disparition du docteur Godard : l'énigme, 11 March and 17 June 2009 in Enquêtes criminelles : le magazine des faits divers on W9 (translation: 'Disappearance of Dr Godard: The Mystery' in 'Criminal Investigations: Miscellaneous News Magazine'). -Affaire Yves Godard, 8 January 2012 in Non élucidé on France 2 (translation: 'Yves Godard Affair' in 'Unsolved'). -Mystérieuses disparitions, November 2000 in Faites entrer l'accusé, presented by Christophe Hondelatte on France 2 (translation: 'Mysterious Disappearances' in 'Will The Accused Please Stand'). -Le mystérieux docteur Godard, 22 and 28 October, 1 and 12 November 2010 in Affaires criminelles on NT1 (translation: 'The Mysterious Dr Godard' in 'Criminal Cases'). -Crimes, presented by Jean-Marc Morandini, broadcast on 17 and 24 February, 4 March, 1, 8, 16 and 28 September 2014, ... en Normandie (first report: Le mystérieux docteur Godard, on NRJ 12 (translation: 'Crimes in Normandy: The Mysterious Dr Godard'). Fiction: -Françoise Chandernagor wrote a four-episode series to appear in Le Figaro littéraire, the literary supplement of the Le Figaro newspaper. After the first episode was published in July 2000, Yves Godard's family had the series banned, referring it to a judge in Caen and arguing that it breached the respect for private life guaranteed under Article 9 of the French Civil Code.
The Macedonia Baptist Church is a centuries-old historically black church located in rural Clarendon County, South Carolina. It was destroyed by arsonists following direction from the local Ku Klux Klan chapter known as the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and was later rebuilt afterwards. Four Klansmen were convicted for the crime, and a subsequent civil suit effectively closed the Klan chapter's operation in the county. The successful civil suit was called a "wake-up call" indicating that racial violence would not be tolerated. Background: In 1994 the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (a South Carolina branch of the Ku Klux Klan) set up headquarters in a field near the church, proclaiming that black churches taught their congregations how to manipulate the welfare system and procure government subsidies. The church congregation could hear the Klan's sermons blaring from the building next door on megaphones. Arson and investigation: On June 21, 1995, Timothy Adron Welch and Gary Christopher Cox of the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan poured gasoline on the floor of the Macedonian Baptist Church and set it on fire. The church was one of several rural black churches burned by arsonists in the mid-1990s. The crimes prompted president Bill Clinton to visit South Carolina in 1996 and pledge federal help in investigating the crimes. Due to the possibility that the arson violated federal civil rights hate crime laws, the arson case was investigated by the FBI. Welch and Cox were apprehended in connection to a stabbing assault on a black man on June 16. The two were charged with assault and battery with intent to kill, first-degree arson, and second-degree burglary of the Mount Zion AME Church in Greeleyville, SC. Trials- Criminal trial: Welch, Cox, and two older accomplices, Arthur Haley and Hubert Rowell were indicted on several charges of civil rights violations involving the burning of the Macedonian Baptist Church and other racially charged crimes. Haley and Rowell were also charged with burning a Hispanic migrant camp in Manning, SC, burning a car of a black Manning resident, and illegally possessing firearms. The federal indictment said that Haley selected the Macedonian Baptist Church as the arson target and Rowell instructed Cox and Welch on how to set the fire. All four defendants pleaded guilty to the charges. They received federal prison sentences ranging from 12 to 21.5 years. James E. Johnson and Isabelle Katz Pinzler, co-chairs of the National Church Arson Task Force commended the work of officials and investigators in the case. Rene Josey, U.S. attorney for the District of South Carolina, said "Today's sentences should serve as a wake-up call to those individuals who may consider the unlawful use of force and violence to intimidate persons based on their race and religious beliefs." The sentences for Cox and Welch were reduced to 12 years in prison for testifying in the civil suit against the Klan. Civil suit: A subsequent civil case trial was held in 1998 with the charges that the Ku Klux Klan incited the crime. The case was brought to court by the Southern Poverty Law Center, represented by attorney Morris Dees. The lawyer for the Klan insisted that the criminals acted alone in burning down the church. Defense attorney Gary White painted the Klan Grand Dragon Horace King as a feeble old man merely exercising his right to free speech, saying King never authorized the arson. During the trial, the Church's lawyers showed racist Klan posters and literature and played a videotape for the jury showing King speaking at a Klan rally, saying "It's time, people, to wake up and shape up and say this is our country, white people, take it back." The Klan leaders insisted that they never encouraged anyone to break the law, but two of the sentenced arsonists testified against their case. Welch testified, "The church fire was Klan business, and we were told we would not go to jail. We were convinced we were untouchable." Both Welch and Cox said that they testified against the Klan to atone for what they'd done. The case was decided by nine black and three white jurors. On July 24, 1998, the jury deliberated for just 45 minutes before it returned a decision that the Ku Klux Klan must pay $37.8 million, $12.6 million more than even lawyers for the church requested. The verdict included $300,000 in actual damages and $37.5 million in punitive damages. King was ordered to pay $15 million, as was the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan Inc. of North Carolina. The Christian Knights' South Carolina affiliate was ordered to pay $7 million, while the four men in prison were ordered to pay $100,000 to $200,000 each. The judgement was the largest ever awarded against a hate group. The amount was later reduced to $21.5 million. King's "tiny house, a shed, a chicken coop and seven acres in rural Lexington County" were sold, and he died in the early 2000s. Aftermath: On the day the verdict was read, Welch's younger brother Richard stated that he blamed the Klan for changing his brother. He said he was happy with the verdict, and hoped that it would be enough to keep the Klan away from their town. The civil suit forced the Klan to surrender the land on which its headquarters were built. When the property was sold, the deed included a restriction that the land never be used for white supremacist activities. The SPLC credits this judgement with reducing "one of the most active Klan groups in the nation to a defunct organization." After the suit, King stated publicly that he was sorry anyone ever connected with his group was involved in the arson, he refused to admit personal guilt or apologize for inciting the crime. He claimed that he would continue to fight to proclaim his innocence. The Macedonian Baptist Church was later fully rebuilt. Forgotten Fires, a film about the fires and subsequent trials was produced by Michael Chandler & Vivian Kleiman in 1998. The church and trials were discussed in Standing on Holy Ground, a book by Sandra E. Johnson about the spate of arsons targeting black churches in rural South Carolina.
Three Louisiana black churches were set alight by a suspected arsonist between March 26 and April 4, 2019. The first fire occurred at St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre on March 26. Ten days later, two other historic black churches, Greater Union Baptist Church and Mount Pleasant Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, were also set on fire—on April 2 and April 4 respectively. The suspect used gasoline at each church, destroying them completely. This incident raised officials' concerns that the fires had been started by a racist and/or radical group or person. Police arrested the suspect, the son of a St. Landry Parish sheriff's deputy, six days after the third fire. Holden Matthews, 21 years old, was charged with the destruction of the churches. While there was some speculation at first that the arson attacks were racially motivated, it was later determined that Matthews was influenced Norwegian black metal musicians who committed similar attacks against Christian churches in the 1990s. Incident: The St. Mary Baptist Church in Port Barre, Louisiana, was the first in a series of three African-American churches, over 100 years old, that burned to the ground on March 26, 2019. On April 2, 2019, a second church, Greater Union Baptist Church in Opelousas, Louisiana, was set on fire. The third church, Mount Pleasant Baptist Church also in Opelousas, was set alight on April 4, 2019. Holden Matthews was arrested on April 10 and charged with three counts of arson. Gasoline was the primary accelerant used in each fire. The churches were empty and no injuries occurred in any of the incidents. Only one of the fires forced people to evacuate, when it spread to a neighboring home. The local fire marshal, Butch Browning, confirmed the existence of a receipt showing Matthews had bought oil rags and a gas can. These materials, along with a lighter, were found in Matthews's truck, Browning said. He also said that Matthews filmed the church fire on his cellphone. History: A report published by the National Fire Protection Association showed a declining number of fires within religious and funeral properties. Between 2007 and 2011, however, 16% of the fires at these properties were ruled intentional. John Bel Edwards, the governor of Louisiana, said that the chain of fires was "especially painful because it reminds us of a very dark past of intimidation and fear". Black churches have been the targets of racist attacks across the American South since the 1950s. During Reconstruction and the civil rights movement, black churches dealt with arson, bombings, and other forms of armed assault. A group of young adults burned three black churches in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, in 1996. Officials later labelled this incident a hate crime. In 2015, a white supremacist gunman Dylann Roof opened fire on a prayer group at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina killing nine black people. Nearly 200 years before, Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church's predecessor had been burned to the ground in 1822 by Charleston's white leaders, who feared an insurrection by the city's enslaved residents. In 2016, a man in Mississippi pleaded guilty to arson for setting fire to a black church. He had attempted to disguise the arson as a hate crime. In a coincidental church fire in Caddo Parish region, on March 31, a small fire occurred at the United Pentecostal Church. After officials investigated it they reported no evidence was found to tie it to Holden Matthews. Arrest: Holden Matthews, 21 of St. Landry Parish, the son of a sheriff's deputy, was charged with committing arson at three black churches. He was arrested two weeks after the first church was set on fire. Louisiana Fire Marshal H. "Butch" Browning said, "We are extremely, unequivocally confident that we have the person who is responsible for these tragic crimes on these three churches". Matthews had no prior hate crime charges or arrests. A court affidavit outlines the reasons the investigators turned their attention to Matthews. They found the remains of 2-gallon gas can in Matthews' vehicle, and video surveillance captured his truck moments before the Greater Union Baptist Church fire started. Also, a firefighter reported seeing a pickup that looked like Matthew's vehicle near the burning church. The affidavit said federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents discovered a gas can at Mount Pleasant Baptist Church. A local Walmart employee confirmed that two Scepter-brand gas cans, a lighter and a 10-pack of automotive cloths were sold on March 25, about three hours before the first church fire. After more investigation detectives found that the purchase was made with Holden Matthews' debit card. In addition, Matthews' vehicle was captured by Walmart store CCTV. People who were near two of the fires, and called 911 to report them, said they saw a vehicle that looked like Matthews' pickup before the fire started. James Doherty, the State District Judge, denied Matthews' bond request during the Court proceedings because of the "substantial amount of evidence" against him. Matthews had visited the sites ahead of time and used his phone to photograph and take video of the locations. Matthews wore an orange prison jumpsuit and remained silent. His parents were only allowed to watch their son via a video link. His father, Deputy Roy Matthews, was seen frequently wringing his hands and he finally left the room crying. Roy Matthews had no prior knowledge of his son's crimes according to St. Landry Parish Sheriff Bobby Guidroz. When Guidroz called him to police headquarters to tell him about the charges, he "broke down", and later helped police to arrest his son. Guidroz said, "We are all sure that Holden's father is a gentleman and good employee. He had a very terrible time after this incident." Investigators found that Matthews was a fan black metal music. Black metal is an extreme kind of heavy metal music that was popularized in Norway and linked to arsons at Christian churches in other parts of the world in the 1990s. He stated that he had a desire to promote himself as a black metal musician in the mold of Norwegian artist Varg Vikernes (best known for his musical work as the name Burzum), who committed a similar series of church burnings in 1990s Norway. Matthews frequently posted on social media about pagan beliefs or traditions, and had recently uploaded picture of a gun and a knife with the caption, "I carry this..... maybe not legally but I only truly follow the law of Odin....." (Odin is a pagan Norse god). Aftermath: The NAACP has called these fires incidents of "domestic terrorism", adding that "church burning in Southern states is a reflection of the racial reactions." Monica Harris, 57, a member of the Greater Union Baptist Church, felt sadness since the historic church burned down on April 2. She believed a part of her family history perished along with it. She was baptized and married there, and her parents were buried in the cemetery on the church's grounds. She said, "I was sad because I felt my parent lost their calm in their grave after church fire, when Matthews was arrested, I felt my parents are able to rest again." A GoFundMe page was put up by the Seventh District Baptist Association, a 149 year old non-profit religious organization. The goal was initially to raise US$600,000 but was later increased to $1.8 million, which was successfully reached within weeks. Donations were provided by journalists Megyn Kelly, Aileen Getty and Jake Tapper. Investor and philanthropist Robert F. Smith also provided a donation. According to The Daily Advertiser, the local bank IberiaBank and a car dealer donated to rebuild the churches. Reactions: This incident coincided with Notre Dame church fire in Paris. Donald Trump and Mike Pence tweeted about US support for Notre Dame church and France. Then, American Twitter users started a campaign to raise funds for the three burned black churches in Louisiana. Journalist Yashar Ali said, 'The Notre Dame will be rebuilt, but at this time, three black churches in Louisiana were destroyed by fire and need your help. It was a racist attack and the attacker has been charged with hate crimes. Please join me in donating.' Derrick Johnson, the N.A.A.C.P. president, condemned and said, "For many years, black churches have served as a symbol of hope for many of African-American people, and unfortunately these churches have been the targets of hate crimes." Congressman Clay Higgins said, "I'm suggesting that the fires were related, because the churches burned in a same method." Former State Senator Elbert Guillory said, "We always have been a good relationships in our society between black and white residents. So the main question is: where does this come from? Who's doing it and for what reason?"
Thursday, October 29, 2020
The Hausjärvi Gravel Pit Murders were a series of two or more crimes during the 1990s that were connected to gravel pits around Hausjärvi municipality in north of Helsinki urban area in Finland. According to the National Bureau of Investigation, the three different events were the doing of a one-person, who has been called the Järvenpää Serial Killer. The crimes- Abduction of Helena Meriläinen: In November 1990, 39-year-old Helena "Hellu" Meriläinen was spending her evening at Järvenpää. She left her friend at midnight and was about to travel home to Riihimäki. She walked to the train station and left waiting for the train on the pier, when she was soon followed by a dark-haired man dressed in a leather jacket. The man asked about her travel plans, and she told him that she was expecting to catch a train to Riihimäki. The man offered Meriläinen a ride home, and because she was under the influence of alcohol, she agreed. He then walked her to his car, which Meriläinen later stated in the interrogations was a light-coloured passenger car, not a station wagon, probably an elder Mazda or Datsun. At the start of the trip, the man offered alcoholic beverages and some form of medicine in the form of capsules, to which Meriläinen accepted both. The man himself took several of the capsules during the drive. During the trip, she noticed that the man seemed distressed and that he had a child seat at the back. She fell asleep, and when she woke up, Meriläinen noticed that the car was not on the road to Riihimäki, but on a remote forest path. When she asked the man about the route, he assured her that he was still on the right way. The man drove the car to a dark gravel pit and stopped the car. He tried to persuade Meriläinen to stay in the car for a night, but she refused and said that she wanted to go home. At that point, the man said that he needed to go urinate and left the car, with Meriläinen feeling the same need and also leaving the car. When Meriläinen squatted, the man quickly approached and struck her to head with the edge of a knife. Despite the injury, Meriläinen managed to flee towards the forest. She heard the man say "I did not succeed this time". When she started running, the man spoke something to himself and entered his car. After a while, Meriläinen found a road to a house and alerted them for help. An ambulance was called, and she got away with minor physical injuries. She was apparently saved by a thick woollen knit cap. Tuula Lukkarinen: In April 1991, 28-year-old Tuula Lukkarinen left Kellokoski psychiatric hospital on vacation, with the purpose of travelling to Hyrylä for a custody case for her son. She left the hospital at around 8.30 in the morning. However, she never made it to Hyrylä, and was last seen in Järvenpää at around nine o'clock am waiting on a liquor store to open. The next day, a landowner discovered her badly mutilated body in the woods near a gravel pit, the body being less than 100 metres away from the place where, a five months earlier, Meriläinen was attacked. According to police, Lukkarinen was transported to Hausjärvi between the day of disappearance and the day of discovery and the time of death had been around midnight. The body had been dragged a few dozen meters to the woods from a small road that led to the gravel pits. A blizzard had hit the area during the hours after her death and caused damage to the crime scene. According to police Lukkarinen was not raped. Maarit Haantie: 40-year-old Maarit Haantie disappeared in August 1993, and is also suspected of being the victim of a possible serial killer. Her body was searched for by the local authorities to no avail. The NBI began investigating the cases of the three women as the doing of one killer, arguing that many factors, such as the use of alcohol, the dark hair color and being in the same area contributed to the theory. According to NBI they also have information that connects the disappearance to the two earlier cases that they won't publish due to an open investigation. Disappearance: Haantie was attending a party at the restaurant Zapata in Järvenpää on August 13, 1993. She was going there with her partner and a few friends. All of them got in the restaurant except Haantie. Haantie was not let in by the doorman because of her drunkenness. She was last seen standing outside the building, and hasn't been seen since. Investigation: The disappearance of Haantie was initially filed to the Riihimäki Police, who treated the case as a normal disappearance without any indication of homicide. Soon, however, it was discovered that a bag belonging to Haantie had been found in a restaurant called Martina at the town of Hyvinkää. During interviews with the staff, it was apparent that the employees had removed a drunk person who resembled Maarit Haantie. It soon became clear that in 1991, a woman by the name of Tuula Lukkarinen had been found brutally murdered in a Hausjärvi gravel pit. Earlier, in 1990, Helena Meriläinen was attacked in the same area where Lukkarinen's body was discovered five months later. Helena had been hit with a knife, but managed to escape. The police assumed that Meriläinen had been attacked by the same man who had killed Tuula Lukkarinen. The whole chain of events mentioned above had drawn the attention of the NBI, and soon the case of Haantie was included in the investigation. A large search was carried out in the woods around the Hausjärvi municipality and especially the gravel pits area south of Hikiä village, but nothing was found. The investigation, however, has remained active to this day. In 2007, the television series "Kadonneet", "Disappeared" did an episode on Haantie's case, which attracted a lot of attention. In the section, the NBI specifically asked for a hint about a dark-haired man in Järvenpää in the early 90s who offered rides to women, as described by Helena Meriläinen. Helena Meriläinen, Tuula Lukkarinen and Maarit Haantie were combined the use of alcohol, dark hair and living environment, with the NBI believing that the same perpetrator is responsible for all three cases. The Kadonneet episode gathered about 30 new tips, which helped with the offender's profiling. According to the NBI, the hints have been very important for the investigation, and have confirmed the results of earlier profiling. Investigation is still active, and the Bureau strongly believes that there have been other murder attempts. The NBI has searched for Haantie from the forest areas in Hausjärvi as late as in 2017, claiming that they have information that connects Haantie to the area. Fourth case: In 2017 it was published in the media that there had been a possible fourth case involving the murders. In 1989 a drunken 30-year-old woman had just exited a restaurant in Järvenpää when a man offered her a ride, offering her alcohol and pills and then driving her to a forest area, the case resembling the case of Helena Meriläinen's. Although the woman did make it, the victim's mother brought it up after the woman had died of natural causes years later. Similar unsolved cases in the area: In year 1988 there were several cases of a man with a similar description and driving a white Volkswagen Passat liftback harassing women in the areas close by and even attempting to abduct a 19-year-old woman in Hämeenlinna by threatening her with a pistol while the woman was able to escape from a moving car. In December 1987 a 19-year-old woman Heidi Härö went missing in Mäntsälä after leaving a local bar and probably hitching a ride. Her decomposed body was found five months later from a forest area in Pukkila with some of her clothes missing. Offender's profile: Over the years, the perpetrator has been profiled largely based on Meriläinen's story and events, with the description as following: -At the time of the events in 1990, the man was between 30 and 40 years old, and had a dark, curly hair. -He is about 1.70 m tall. -He knows the anatomy of a human or a large animal (according to the Lukkarinen murder). -He possibly had an infant child at the time, as the car's back seat had a child restraint. -The car itself is thought to be a Sedan Mazda or Datsun. -He was familiar with the towns of Järvenpää, Hyvinkää and Riihimäki that locate along the railway and with the forest area around the Hikiä village. -It is believed that he is unable to form a normal relationship with a woman. -The man had spoken about his child and told he had a bad relationship with his wife, and is believed that he might have divorced. A lot of new tips about the killer have been provided due to the Kadonneet episode. According to some, a dark-haired man is believed to have offered rides to a few women still in the 21st century. According to the tips a man fitting to the description has last been offering a ride to a woman in year 2006. The NBI is still investigating the case, believing that the killer can be found. They have also taken into account that the killer hasn't been found yet because he might be living abroad or is dead.
Tuesday, October 27, 2020
John Q. Public (and several similar names; see the Variations section below) is a generic name in the United States, to denote a hypothetical member of society deemed a "common man." It is presumed to represent the randomly selected "man on the street." The equivalent term used in the United Kingdom is Joe Public. Variations: There are various similar terms including John Q. Citizen and John Q. Taxpayer, or Jane Q. Public, Jane Q. Citizen, and Jane Q. Taxpayer for a woman. The name John Doe is used in a similar manner. The term Tom, Dick and Harry is often used to denote multiple hypothetical persons. An equivalent term is Joe Public which is used in the United Kingdom. Roughly equivalent are the names Joe Blow, Joe Six-pack, and the nowadays rather less popular Joe Doakes and Joe Shmoe, the last of which implies a lower-class citizen (from the Yiddish schmo: simpleton, or possibly Hebrew sh'mo: (what's)-his-name). On a higher plane, the Talmudic generic place-marker name Plony (which can be translated to Mr. X. or Anonymous) is used as a reference in any case which is applicable to anyone - Sanhedrin 43a provides an example. Usage: In the United States, the term John Q. Public is used by law enforcement officers to refer to an individual with no criminal bent, as opposed to terms like perp (short for perpetrator) or skell to qualify unsavory individuals. 2008 Republican Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin infamously referred to "Joe Sixpack and Hockey moms" during a debate. Presidential candidate John McCain referenced a similar symbol, this time represented by an actual person, saying that Senator Obama's tax plan would hurt Joe the Plumber's bottom line. A fifteen-minute debate on this issue ensued, with both candidates speaking directly to "Joe". History: John, Quisquam and "The Public" first appears in the formation of the United States as a nation where English and German were being discussed as the official language of the new United States in the later 1700s. Many new Americans of Lutheran German heritage also spoke Latin and used the term "quisquam" with a gender neutral meaning of "anyone" where, in English, John was the generic male term for a person. The term John Q. Public was the name of a character created by Vaughn Shoemaker, an editorial cartoonist for the Chicago Daily News, in 1922. Jim Lange, the editorial cartoonist for The Oklahoman for 58 years, was closely identified with a version of the John Q. Public character, whom he sometimes also called "Mr. Voter". Lange's version of the character was described as "bespectacled, mustachioed, fedora-wearing". In 2006 the Oklahoma State Senate voted to make this character the "state's official editorial cartoon." Other English-speaking countries: -The equivalent in the United Kingdom is Joe (or Jane) Public, John Smith, or Fred Bloggs or Joe Bloggs. Also, the man in the street, the man on the Clapham omnibus, and the aforementioned Tom, Dick and Harry. Tommy or Tommy Atkins is used as a generic soldier's name. -In Australia and New Zealand, John (or Jane) Citizen is usually seen as a placeholder in credit card advertisements, while Joe (or Jane) Bloggs is also commonly used in speech. Joe Blow is also used, often to suggest a possibly undesirable person. For example: "You left the door open so any Joe Blow could have walked in." Also used: Fred Nurk, Joe Farnarkle. -In Ireland Joe Soap is used as a generic reference to a male. Also Seán and Síle Citizen; Irish: Seán Ó Rudaí, from rud = thing(s). -In Canada, during the 1960s, a person appeared in editorial cartoons called Uno Who, representing an average, downtrodden citizen. He was always shown wearing a bankruptcy barrel (as did Will Johnstone's earlier and similar character, "the Taxpayer", for the American New York World Telegram). Québecers also use Monsieur-Madame-Tout-le-Monde ("Mr-and-Ms-Everybody") or Monsieur Untel ("Mr-So-and-so"). Jos Bleau (Joe Blow, spelled according to the rules of French) and G. Raymond are also used in Canada (George Raymond is a real person at VISA in Montréal, where the abbreviated name appears on example cards). Occasionally, names which are invariant when translated between English and French are favoured in advertising material (such as "Nicole Martin" or "Carole Martin" on packets of retail coupons).
Kevin John Palmer was a 37-year-old British timeshare salesman who vanished without a trace in Curdridge, Hampshire on 12 March 1999. Background into disappearance: Kevin Palmer worked as a timeshare salesman in Málaga, Spain, where his wife and daughter lived with him. For reasons that were never explained, he travelled to the UK on 12 March 1999 with the intention of visiting Newcastle, but in fact went to Titchfield in Hampshire instead. He spent the evening of 12 March at the Abshot Hotel and Country Club with at least four other people, before getting a taxi to Bishop's Waltham with two men (John Howett and Juan Arribas) and a woman. An argument broke out however between Palmer and his two male companions, and the trio left the cab. Arribas and Howett returned to the cab without Palmer and drove off. Palmer was never seen again. His suitcase was never recovered, nor was the taxi driver ever identified. Developments: Howett and Arribas claimed that they fought with Palmer and left him lying on the ground of an industrial estate, still alive. In 2003, Hampshire police stated that they were treating Palmer's disappearance as suspicious. Howett was arrested and his home was searched for clues, although he was never charged due to insufficient evidence. At the time, Howett was serving a 12-year sentence for drug smuggling. Another man was interviewed in Spain. A 2009 inquest into Palmer's disappearance resulted in an open verdict, since the coroner felt there was not enough evidence of unlawful killing, although he did also accuse Howett and Arribas of not telling the truth. Witnesses told conflicting stories of what happened afterwards - either Palmer died and his corpse was buried; or alternatively he recovered, went to Newcastle and was never seen again. In 2014, police searched the garden of a pub in Fareham for evidence that Palmer was buried there, but found no clues.
Rahul Raju was a seven-year-old boy from Alappuzha in Kerala, India , who went missing on 18 May 2005, while playing with friends in his neighborhood. The local police that investigated the case could not find any evidence and the case is at present being investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation, India's premier investigating agency. Background: Rahul, the only son of Raju, was playing with his friends in the neighborhood when he took a break and went to drink water from a public tap in the corner of the playground. He was last seen by friends who witnessed a bearded middle-aged man standing near to Rahul who snatched his cricket bat and threw it to his friends. His friends collected the bat and continued playing. Later they noticed that Rahul was not playing with them. Enquiries: The local police that investigated the case questioned many people including a neighborhood middle-aged man, who admitted to killing Rahul and throwing his body into a marsh. However, the police have failed to trace the body and the investigation reached nowhere. Later the police found that the person's statements were false and fabricated. The mystery surrounding the disappearance of the boy continues as no tangible evidence was found. CBI questioned different people including his neighbors. In February 2006, the CBI decided to make a neighborhood youth undergo a narco analysis test and approached the Chief Judicial Magistrate Court for permission. The court later commented that no special permission is needed to conduct a test. Earlier the alleged person had undergone a polygraph test also, but again there was no affirmative conclusions drawn. In early 2013, the CBI filed a plea before the High Court of Kerala to allow them to close the case as the boy was untraceable. However, the boy's father filed an objection petition against the CBI plea. On 13 March 2014, the CBI filed the closure report of the case for the fourth time before the court. The CBI, in its report, stated that the boy remains untraceable despite all efforts to trace him. Current status: The Government of Kerala and the CBI each announced a reward of Rs. 50,000 for information on his whereabouts. The local police and the CBI remain clueless as despite considerable investigation they have uncovered no evidence as to the nature of Rahul's disappearance. However, it is widely believed that the boy was kidnapped, but no further information is available as to whether the child is alive or murdered.
Monday, October 26, 2020
Cherrie Ann Mahan (disappeared February 22, 1985; declared legally dead November 5, 1998) was an eight-year-old American girl who disappeared on February 22, 1985 after disembarking a school bus approximately fifty feet from the base of the driveway to her home in rural Winfield Township, Butler County, Pennsylvania. She was officially declared dead in November 1998. Her abduction is strongly believed not to have been committed by a family member. The disappearance of Cherrie Mahan is one of the most infamous unsolved missing child cases in America. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children featured Mahan as the first missing child to be depicted upon postcards distributed nationwide alongside a headline reading "Have You Seen Me?" Efforts to locate Mahan, alive or deceased, are ongoing. Background: Cherrie Ann Mahan was born in Saxonburg, Pennsylvania, on August 14, 1976. Her mother, Janice Mahan, was just 16 at the time she gave birth to her daughter, which she later confessed had been a result of her being raped at age 15. Nonetheless, Janice doted on her daughter, who grew into a friendly, talkative child, later stating: "We were always together. We grew up together. She was my life". Janice Mahan later married a Vietnam veteran named LeRoy McKinney, who willingly accepted Mahan as his stepdaughter. In late 1984, the family relocated to Cornplanter Road in Butler County. Mahan attended Winfield Elementary School, where she was regarded as a bright, popular and happy child. On Friday, February 22, 1985, the child was excited as her mother intended to take her on a play date when she returned from school. Mahan accompanied her mother to the bus stop located approximately fifty feet from the base of the uphill driveway to their home. When the school bus arrived, the two told each other they loved each other before Mahan boarded the bus. Disappearance: Mahan was last seen exiting her school bus on Cornplanter Road, Cabot, on February 22, 1985. She alighted this bus with three friends at approximately 4:10 p.m. before her friends entered a car driven by the mother of one of the girls, Debbie Burk, which had followed the school bus. Mahan was then observed to walk past a bluish-green, 1970s-era Dodge van (possibly a 1976 model) with a distinctive mural depicting a skier traversing a snowcapped mountain painted on the side which had parked close to the bus stop and turn a corner to walk the approximately 150-yard uphill driveway to her home. Burk was the last individual to see Cherrie Mahan. At the time of her disappearance, Cherrie Mahan was eight years old. She was 4 feet 2 inches (1.27 m) in height and had brown hair and hazel eyes. She was wearing a gray coat, a blue denim skirt, a white leotard, blue leg warmers, beige boots, and Cabbage Patch earmuffs. Mahan's stepfather, LeRoy McKinney, overheard the school bus slowing to a halt near his home. He later recollected he had intended to walk down the 150-yard driveway to meet his stepdaughter before his wife said: "No, it's a nice day. Let her walk." When ten minutes had elapsed and Mahan had not arrived, her mother and stepfather began to worry. A search of their driveway did not locate the child, or any of her footprints upon the snow on the ground leading to her house, although they did discover a set of tire impressions in the driveway soil approximately 50 yards from their home. Investigation: Police immediately launched an intense search to locate Mahan. The terrain around her home was extensively searched with the assistance of bloodhounds and helicopters, and investigators conducted house to house inquiries. A thorough search of Butler County was bolstered by an estimated 250 local volunteers, although these searches failed to locate the child. Her local community raised $39,000 as a reward for Mahan's safe return, with a local business also pledging an additional $10,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction of her abductor or abductors. Investigators quickly discounted any possibility Mahan had been kidnapped for a ransom; concluding the child most likely knew her abductor or abductors, although all family members were quickly eliminated as suspects. Suspect vehicle: Appeals as to sightings of the distinctive bluish-green Dodge van produced eyewitnesses who informed investigators they had seen a vehicle matching this description in New Kensington, traveling in the direction of Mount Pleasant. Other witnesses stated they had seen a blue car following this van, and that the van was repainted black one or two weeks after Mahan's disappearance. When no significant leads developed and the child had been missing for three months, a national direct mailing company printed a photograph of Mahan on postcards accompanied by the question "Have you seen me?" These cards were mailed to thousands of households across America, placed inside telephone and utility bills, alongside an artist's rendition of the distinctive van seen in the vicinity of her abduction. Ongoing investigation: In the decades since Mahan's disappearance, investigators have pursued thousands of leads pertaining to the child's whereabouts and the identity of her abductor or abductors. Most of these leads have been potential sightings of Mahan or the two vehicles observed in the vicinity of her abduction, although the child has never been found, and neither vehicle was ever located. Lacking any conclusive evidence to the contrary, investigators have not discounted the possibility Mahan may still be alive. Pennsylvania State Police continue to receive tips and updates relating to Mahan's disappearance. In 2000, a computer-generated rendition of how Mahan may have looked at age 23 was mailed to thousands of households across America. This line of inquiry failed to generate any significant leads. In January 2011, Pennsylvania police received a new tip they deemed as "potentially crucial to the investigation in the future". Although investigators declined to release specific details as to this line of inquiry beyond stating the information sourced from an individual known to the child who had provided information with the potential to lead police to "a known specific actor or actors", a spokesman stated the information received had been "more specific" than any information investigators had received in many years. This spokesman declined to further elaborate, citing the ongoing investigation. However, investigators did state this "potentially crucial" information indicates Mahan is unlikely to still be alive. A further line of inquiry investigators pursued dates from 2014, when investigators pursued a tip that Mahan was alive and living under an assumed name in Michigan. The individual named in this letter was a woman who had been adopted as a child who had been unsure of her precise origins, although DNA testing later confirmed this woman not Mahan. One of the most recent lines of inquiry investigators pursued dates from 2018, when McKinney received an anonymous handwritten letter describing in detail who had murdered her daughter, why they had done so, and where her remains are buried. The author of this letter concluded this correspondence by stating: "I pray you find some peace after you find her body." "I believe Cherrie was abducted by someone she knows very well, and I believe this person had the ability to basically lure Cherrie into their vehicle without her giving it a second thought prior to her disappearance ... I can't imagine if that was my child. I can't imagine the pain her mother must wake up with every day." -Pennsylvania State Police Officer Robert McGraw, referencing the ongoing investigation into Cherrie Mahan's disappearance. January 2011. Legal declaration: Although existing laws had determined Cherrie Mahan could have been declared legally dead seven years after her disappearance, Mahan's mother only petitioned to have her daughter legally declared deceased in 1998. A Butler County judge approved a petition from Janice McKinney to do so in November that year. Three months earlier, she had donated the $50,000 reward sum for information leading to the safe return of her daughter to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Cherrie Mahan's trust fund was given to her younger brother, Robert, who was born four years after Mahan's disappearance. Addressing the media following the conclusion of these legal proceedings, Janice McKinney stated: "When people die, you have a body. You kiss them upon the face, you put them in the ground, and you say goodbye ... that's something I never had. This is not over. We'll always look for Cherrie. If nothing else, she'll always be alive in our hearts." Mother's theory: Mahan's mother, Janice McKinney, has stated her conviction her daughter's disappearance can still be solved. In 2020, McKinney revealed her conviction that although she does not believe Cherrie's biological father was involved in her abduction, she believes individuals known to him were. Mahan's mother has stated that prior to her daughter's disappearance, nobody had believed her claims that her daughter had been conceived though her being raped, adding that on "any other day", she would have been standing at the bottom of her driveway to meet her daughter when the school bus arrived, and that February 22, 1985, was the first day she had not done so. Aftermath: In 2019, Mahan's mother discussed her ongoing turmoil as to the lack of knowledge of her daughter's fate. Emphasizing her belief that an anonymous tip from the public could finally give herself and her family the closure they crave, McKinney stated to the media: "I just wish someone would come forth and tell me what happened. That's all I pray for, all the time, is just to know." Cherrie Mahan's family and friends hold an annual remembrance dinner at a restaurant in East Butler on a date close to each anniversary of her disappearance. At this event, stories and memories of Cherrie are shared. Four of the attendees of this annual dinner are close friends of Mahan, who have each publicly stated the disappearance of their friend has had a profound impact on their lives, and that becoming mothers themselves has increased their empathy for Janice McKinney's sense of loss.
Madeleine McCann is a British child who went missing on the evening of Thursday, 3 May 2007, shortly before her fourth birthday, from an apartment in Praia da Luz, Portugal, while on holiday with her family in Portugal. The Portuguese police investigation into her disappearance closed in July 2008. Scotland Yard began a review of the investigation, known as Operation Grange, in May 2011, and announced in April 2012 that they believed Madeleine might still be alive. Since the disappearance, there have been many reported sightings of Madeleine in Portugal and elsewhere. Portugal- 3 May 2007- Tanner, 21:15: -The first possible sighting was around 21:15 on 3 May, 45 minutes before Madeleine's mother raised the alarm. Jane Tanner, who was travelling with the McCanns, noticed a man walking along the road on which the McCanns' holiday apartment was situated. She said he was carrying a barefoot child who was wearing light-coloured pink pyjamas with a floral pattern. Scotland Yard has since ruled this out, saying in October 2013 that a British holidaymaker who was carrying his child home at that time had been identified, was believed to be the man seen by Tanner, and was not involved in the abduction. Smith, 22:00: -A second sighting is being taken seriously by Scotland Yard. At around 22:00, an Irish family saw a man carrying a young girl on Rua da Escola Primária. They described her as four years old, wearing light-coloured pyjamas, with blonde hair and pale skin. They said the man was in his mid-30s, 1.75–1.80 m in height, with a slim-to-normal build, short brown hair, wearing cream or beige trousers with a black leather jacket. Scotland Yard issued an efit of the man on 13 October 2013. 4–17 May: -On the evening of 4 May, Antonio Castela, a taxi driver, took three men, a woman, and a girl resembling Madeleine from Monte Gordo to the Hotel Apolo in Vila Real de Santo António, where they drove away in a blue Jeep. He said that he had recorded the sighting with the PJ but that they had not contacted him again. -A Portuguese trucker telephoned the Método 3 helpline in November reporting that he had seen a blonde woman pass a child wrapped in a blanket to a man, who then 'bundled' her into a car. He said this took place two days after the disappearance, in the Algarve town of Silves. -Police in the mountainous town of Nelas, northern central Portugal, received information of a girl matching Madeleine's description who was seen with a man in a supermarket on 8 May. The man, a Belgian citizen, stopped at the supermarket with his daughter and left the place in a car before police were contacted, but police later confirmed that the sighting had been a false alarm. -People in the resort came forward to report unusual incidents including a woman who noticed a man trying to take away a pram and a man who caught a stranger taking photographs of young blonde girls on a beach. Portuguese police also investigated a report by holidaymaker Andre van Wyk. Van Wyk claimed that, shortly after the disappearance, he had seen a girl resembling Madeleine being taken in a cart to a gypsy camp near Portimão, about ten miles (16 km) from where Madeleine disappeared. -On 9 May, the 24 Horas newspaper reported that police had found a vehicle near Praia da Luz that may have been used by the kidnapper. Further, CCTV video from a petrol station near Lagos showed a child matching Madeleine's description with a woman and two men. The child was having an altercation with the woman. The following day it was reported that the car from the petrol station had British number plates and it was claimed that the person caught taking photographs was one of the men on the CCTV footage. -An anonymous witness contacted police claiming to have spotted a Fiat Marea with a forged license plate in Pinhal Novo, Palmela, Setúbal, on May 17, which allegedly transported the missing child. Spain Two women reported seeing a child who looked like Madeleine with a man at a petrol station near Cartagena, Spain, on 21 August 2007. This was discounted after a thorough investigation by the Spanish National Police and Civil Guard. -There was a further reported sighting, in early April 2012, on the Costa del Sol. Morocco: -Marie Olli, a Norwegian woman living in the Spanish town of Fuengirola, contacted the police on 10 May 2007, claiming she had seen a girl matching Madeleine's description in a petrol station in Marrakech, Morocco. The girl, who was said to have appeared sad, was allegedly accompanied by a man in his late 30s. At about the same time, a British tourist reported seeing Madeleine near the Marrakech Ibis hotel. Although Interpol subsequently discounted these sightings, officers from Leicestershire police remained in Morocco for some days afterwards. A Spanish tourist saw a girl resembling Madeleine as she drove through the town of Zaio in northern Morocco at the end of May. Attention switched back to Morocco on 4 June, after GCHQ in Cheltenham picked up phone intercept messages in Arabic referring to "the little blonde girl", a German man, and a ferry from Tarifa in Spain. -Another Spanish tourist, Isabel Gonzalez, has said that she saw a girl fitting Madeleine's description being dragged across a street, also in Zaio, by a North African woman on 15 June. Naoual Malhi, a Spanish woman of Moroccan origin, claimed to have spotted the girl with a woman in the village of Fnideq, on 21 August, but private investigators were unable to substantiate the lead. A photograph of a blonde girl being carried on the back of a North African woman was taken on 31 August by Clara Torres, another Spanish tourist, in Zinat in northern Morocco, but it turned out to be a Moroccan girl. A school inspector claimed to have seen the child in Karia Ba Mohamed around the start of October, but after enquiries, the local police were adamant that she was not there. Additionally, the Moroccan Interior Minister Chakib Benmoussa said on 4 November that there was no evidence to suggest that Madeleine was in Morocco. Elsewhere: -There were two reported sightings in Belgium. The first was during May 2007 in Liège and the second occurred on 28 July on a café terrace in Tongeren. In the latter case, children's therapist Katleen Sampermans said that Madeleine was in the company of a Dutch man and an English woman. However, the girl turned out to be the 4-year-old daughter of a Belgian man. -Security was tightened in Valletta, Malta, on 21 June 2007 following five reported sightings on the island. The total sightings had risen to 29 by 27 June. -In New Zealand, CCTV video from a department store in southern Dunedin showed a girl who looked like Madeleine being led into the store by a man at around 9:00 pm on 5 December 2007, seven months after her disappearance. -Dutch student Melissa Fiering claimed that she saw Madeleine with a 'tall, swarthy man', at the L'Arche motorway service station restaurant in the south of France, on 15 February 2008. However, the French police, after examining CCTV evidence, determined that the sighting was not of the missing child. -The first reported sighting in Britain occurred in Dorset in February 2008. Retired civil servant Alan Cameron said that she was with a Portuguese couple who came to the door. -A sighting of Madeline McCann was reported in the Sydney central business district on 17 March 2008. The reported sighting, of a middle-aged man carrying a blonde girl, turned out to be a false alarm. -There have been six reported sightings in Brazil. A witness reported seeing Madeleine on a plane flying to São Paulo, in late March 2008. Five earlier reports had been investigated and discounted. -The release of the Portuguese police case files in August 2008 revealed a possible sighting in Amsterdam, Netherlands, in early May 2007. Anna Stam reported to Dutch police that a girl of three or four years of age, who resembled Madeleine, had come into her shop and had told her that the adult she was with was "a stranger" who "took me from my mummy" while she was on holiday. She added that her name was "Maddy". The McCanns' spokesman Clarence Mitchell said that it was a "disgrace" that they had not been told by police about the reported sighting at the time. The files included a 14-volume annexe of reported sightings, of Madeleine, across the world. -The Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet published, in October 2009, a photograph of a girl, seen in Sweden, who bore a great similarity to Madeleine. The photographer claimed that the girl only spoke English, and was accompanied by a man who spoke Swedish. -A sighting in Leh, India, was reported on 28 July 2011. British and American tourists reportedly saw a young girl with a French/Belgian couple, who claimed that the child was theirs. The chief of police in Leh, Vivek Gupta, denied the reports and stated that no DNA test had been undertaken by the police. -New Zealand police were informed of a possible sighting in Queenstown, on 31 December 2012. The informant said that the girl she had seen had the same coloboma of the iris as Madeleine. After investigation, police identified the girl and stated that they were "absolutely satisfied" that the girl was not Madeleine. Disclosure of official information: -Leicestershire Police agreed, in the High Court on 7 July 2008, to disclose the content of files related to sightings and tip-offs. They handed over 81 pieces of information to Madeleine's parents.
Honour killings in Pakistan are known locally as karo-kari (Urdu: کاروکاری). Pakistan has the highest number of documented and estimated honour killings per capita of any country in the world; about one-fifth of the world's honour killings are performed in Pakistan (1000 out of the 5000 per year total). An honour killing is the homicide of a member of a family or social group by other members, due to the belief the victim has brought dishonour upon the family or community. The death of the victim is viewed as a way to restore the reputation and honour of the family. It is likely that honour killing has been a practice in Pakistan for thousands of years, and, despite recent legal reforms, it remains a common practice in Pakistan today. Both international and Pakistani activists and activist groups are pushing for an end to the practice, although some say that change will not truly happen unless the general public chooses to condemn the practice. Background: Honour killing is an act of murder, in which a person is killed for his or her actual or perceived immoral behavior. Such "immoral behavior" may take the form of alleged marital infidelity, refusal to submit to an arranged marriage, demanding a divorce, perceived flirtatious behaviour and being raped. Suspicion and accusations alone are many times enough to defile a family's honour and therefore enough to warrant the killing of the woman. In patriarchal cultures, women's lives are structured through a strict maintenance of an honour code. In order to preserve woman's chastity, women must abide by socially restrictive cultural practices pertaining to women's status and family izzat, or honour, such as the practice of purdah, the segregation of sexes. Honour killings are frequently more complex than the stated excuses of the perpetrators. More often than not, the murder relates to inheritance problems, feud-settling, or to get rid of the wife, for instance in order to remarry. Human rights agencies in Pakistan have repeatedly emphasized that victims were often women wanting to marry of their own will. In such cases, the victims held properties that the male members of their families did not wish to lose if the woman chose to marry outside the family. A 1999 Amnesty International report drew specific attention to "the failure of the authorities to prevent these killings by investigating and punishing the perpetrators." According to women's rights advocates, the concepts of women as property and honour are so deeply entrenched in the social, political and economic fabric of Pakistan that the government, for the most part, ignores the daily occurrences of women being killed and maimed by their families. The fact that much of Pakistan's Tribal Areas are semi-autonomous and governed by often fundamentalist leaders makes federal enforcement difficult when attempted. Terminology related to honour killing: Both Appiah and Jafri explain the historical significance of karo-kari (Urdu: کاروکاری) within Pakistan. Karo can be directly translated as "black or 'blackened' man" and kari as "black or 'blackened woman" and refers to sexual intercourse outside the bonds of marriage. The term karo-kari is commonly used as a synonym to honour killing, especially in the Sindh region of Pakistan. Originally, karo and kari were metaphoric terms for adulterer and adulteress, but it has come to be used with regards to multiple forms of perceived immoral behavior. Once a woman is labeled as a kari, family members consider themselves to be authorized to kill her and the co-accused karo in order to restore family honour. In the majority of cases, the victim of the attacks is female with her attackers being male members of her family or community. Cultural pressures for honour killing in Pakistan: Pakistan is a collective, patriarchal society, and therefore social boundaries and community regard are based on honour; in this situation, honour is based on the behaviour of kin or members of a certain group. A Pakistani folk saying describes well the cultural importance of honour: "'Daulat khonay pur kuch naheen khota, sihat khonay pur kuch kho jaata hai, ghairat khonay pur sub kuch kho jaata hai' (When wealth is lost nothing is lost; when health is lost something is lost; when honour is lost everything is lost)." In Pakistan, honour is focused more on the perception of the community versus actual evidence. Honour is important for both women and men to uphold; women protect honour by modesty and men by masculinity. The cultural perspective behind honour is that if a woman does something that the community perceives as immodest then the men in her family must uphold their masculinity and regain the family honour by killing the woman. If this action isn't completed the shame and dishonour can extend beyond the immediate family to the entire lineage, or even to the entire community. There are multiple other cultural characteristics that contribute to honour including a strong disdain for death. Due to this, the perpetrator of an honour killing is highly regarded in the community because of their courage and because what they had to endure through with killing another was worse than death itself. Prevalence: As in other countries, the exact number of honour killings is not known. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan lists 460 cases of reported honour killings in 2017, with 194 males and 376 females as victims. Of these killings, 253 were sparked by disapproval of illicit relations and 73 by disapproval of marriage choice. Additionally, out of the known suspect relationship with victims, over 93% were family relationships. Although these are most likely only a sample of the actual honour killings that were completed during 2017, it still gives a glimpse into characteristics of honour killings in Pakistan. Sources disagree as to the exact number by year, but according to Human Rights Watch, NGOs/INGOs in the area estimate that around 1000 honour killings are carried out each year in Pakistan. In 2015 nearly 1,100 women were murdered in honour killings. In 2011, human rights groups reported 720 honour killings in Pakistan (605 women and 115 men), while Pakistan's Human Rights Commission reported that in 2010 there were 791 honour killings in the country, and Amnesty International cited 960 incidents of women who were slain in honour killings that year. Over 4,000 honour killing cases were reported in Pakistan between 1998 and 2004. Of the victims, around 2,700 were women vs about 1,300 men; 3,451 cases came before the courts. During this time, the highest rates were in Punjab, followed by the Sindh province. A significant number of cases have also been reported in North-West Frontier Province (NWFP) and in Balochistan. Nilofar Bakhtiar, advisor to Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz, stated that in 2003, as many as 1,261 women were murdered in honour killings. Complications in data: Data and its absence are difficult to interpret. One reason is the reluctance to report honour killings to official bodies. Another reason is that honour killings are occurring in cultural and social contexts which do not recognize the criminality of honour killings. The very nature of honour killings reflects deeply entrenched notions of "honour" and "morality", in which the perpetrator is upholding justice and order when the victim commits deplorable social acts. The perpetrator becomes the champion of justice while the victim becomes the perpetrator and is accused of the criminal act. Human rights advocates are in wide agreement that the reported cases do not reflect the full extent of the issue, as honour killings have a high level of support in Pakistan's rural society, and thus often go unreported. Frequently, women & men killed in honour killings are recorded as having committed suicide or died in accidents. Specific occurrences: In one of the most publicized honour killing cases committed in Pakistan, Samia Sarwar was murdered by her family in the Lahore office of well-known human rights activists Asma Jahangir and Hina Jilani in April 1999. As Sarwar sought assistance for a divorce from her first cousin, her family arranged her murder after the shame felt in her attempt to marry a man of her choice. The police did not make any arrests or pursue prosecution as Sarwar's family is highly well known in elite, political circles. The 2000 award-winning BBC documentary, "License to Kill," covers Samia's killing in Pakistan. Amnesty International reported that on 27 April 2009, Ayman Udas, a Pashtun singer from the Peshawar area, was shot to death apparently by her two brothers who "viewed her divorce, remarriage and artistic career as damaging to family honour." No one was prosecuted. A widely reported case was that of Tasleem Khatoon Solangi, 17, of Hajna Shah village in Khairpur district, which was widely reported after her father, 57-year-old Gul Sher Solangi, publicized the case. He alleged his eight months' pregnant daughter was tortured and killed on March 7, 2008, by members of her village claiming that she had brought dishonour to the tribe. Solangi's father claimed that it was orchestrated by her father-in-law, who accused her of carrying a child conceived out of wedlock, potentially with the added motive of trying to take over the family farm. The 14 July 2008 honour killings in Baba Kot fr occurred in Balochistan. Five women were killed by tribesmen of the Umrani Tribe of Balochistan. The five victims – three teens, and two middle-aged women – were kidnapped, beaten, shot, and then buried alive because they refused the tribal leader's marriage arrangements and wanted to marry men of their own choosing. Local politicians may have been involved in the murders. Syed Iqbal Haider commented that the Pakistani government had been very slow to react. Senator Israr Ullah Zehri defending the killings, stating, "these are centuries-old traditions and I will continue to defend them.' On 27 May 2014 a pregnant woman named Farzana Iqbal (née Parveen) was stoned to death by her family in front of a Pakistani High Court for eloping and marrying the man she loved, Muhammad Iqbal. Police investigator Mujahid quoted the father as saying: "I killed my daughter as she had insulted all of our family by marrying a man without our consent, and I have no regret over it." Muhammad Iqbal stated that it had been a prolonged engagement, and Farzana's father had become enraged only after Iqbal refused a demand for more money than the originally agreed amount of the bride price. Muhammad Iqbal strangled his first wife so that he would be free to marry Farzana, and police said he had been released after that murder when a "compromise" was reached with his first wife's family. In 2015, a documentary was released about Saba Qaiser, a woman from Punjab, Pakistan, who married a man against her family's wishes because his family was of "lowly status." In response to her elopement, her father and uncle beat her, shot her in the head, put her body in a sack, and threw the sack into a river. Amazingly, Saba survived the violent attack, escaped the sack, swam to shore, and was able to get help at a local gas station. While still in recovery, Saba was pressured by community leaders to forgive her father and uncle. During that time, the "forgiveness law" was still in place, allowing murderers of victims to be released if the family chose to forgive them. With the help of a pro bono human rights lawyer, Saba fought the case in court, but finally chose to exclaim forgiveness in court due to the pressure she was receiving. Due to her forgiveness in court, Saba's attackers were released from jail. Both her uncle and father were later imprisoned again in April 2016, and were set to be released March 2017, leaving Saba worrying for her life. In July 2016, popular Pakistani social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch was strangled by her brother in an act of honour killing in Multan in the province of Punjab. She had reportedly raised controversy by posting controversial pictures of herself on social media, including one alongside a Muslim cleric, and her brothers had asked her to stop. The state was named as complainant in Qandeel's murder case, making it impossible for her family to pardon her killers. Qandeel's brother Waseem was arrested on the charges of murder. He confessed to murdering his sister, saying "she Qandeel Baloch was bringing disrepute to our family's honour and I could not tolerate it any further. I killed her around 11:30 p.m. on Friday night when everyone else had gone to bed." In July 2016, a British woman, Samia Shahid, flew to visit her family in Pakistan under false pretenses; she was told she needed to come immediately because her father was dying. On July 20, 2016 (only six days after arriving in Pakistan), she was found dead - raped and strangled - in Punjab, Pakistan, at the home of Mohammed Shakeel, her former husband. Years earlier, Samia had been forced to marry her cousin, Mohammed Shakeel, in an arranged marriage. In 2014, Samia married Syed Mukhtar Kazam and started a new life with him in Dubai. Before flying to Pakistan in 2016, Samia expressed she was worried about the nature of the visit, about seeing her former husband, and about whether or not she would come home alive. In a BBC documentary about her death, Murdered for Love? Samia Shahid, BBC shares that Shakeel killed Samia after she refused to remarry him. Police reports say that Shakeel raped and killed Samia after she refused to reveal the location of her passport. Additionally, the BBC documentary reports that Samia was able to briefly escape the attack by Shakeel and run into his hallway but then she was then confronted by her father who nodded his approval to Shakeel before Shakeel strangled Samia. Samia's family claimed she died by heart attack but the autopsy reports showed that she was raped and strangled. Her father was released from police custody due to lack of evidence and later passed away without being charged. Her cousin and former husband, Shakeel, is still in police custody. In January 2017 a Pakistani mother was sentenced to death for killing her daughter by burning her alive, for ‘bringing shame to the family’ by marrying against her family's wishes. In February 2018, a man and five accomplices opened fire on a couple in Karachi, Pakistan, killing the husband, Rozi Khan, and injuring the wife, Zainab. Zainab put up a fight and was further attacked with sticks and a knife, but still survived. The couple had entered into a marriage that most of their family was opposed to but that Zainab's mother and brother gave permission for. The main assailant in the honour killing and attempted honour killing is Zainab's nephew. The nephew was apprehended at a private hospital following the attack where he claimed his injuries from fighting Zainab were instead from being robbed. The nephew's friend is also a suspect in the case. Also, in February 2018, a 19-year-old woman was murdered in Karachi, Pakistan, by her brother for having an affair with one of her relatives. Her father and two landlords have also been arrested in addition to her brother, and all have confessed their involvement. Prior to her killing, a local jirga declared she was a "sinful woman." 2020 June a woman was allegedly stoned to death in Jamshoro district of Sindh province allegedly in tradition of Karo-Kari. Other similar six instances were reported beginning of 2020 July from Sukkur, Jacobabad, Naushahro Feroze and Dad Leghari regions of Sindh. From 2019 January to June official figure of Karo-Kari murders was at 78 cases. Pakistani law: An Amnesty International report noted "the failure of the authorities to prevent these killings by investigating and punishing the perpetrators." Honour killings are supposed to be prosecuted as ordinary murder, but in practice, police and prosecutors often ignore it. The Pakistani government's failure to take effective measures to end the practice of honour killings is indicative of a weakening of political institutions, corruption, and economic decline. In the wake of civil crisis, people turn to other alternative models, such as traditional tribal customs. In 2016, Pakistan repealed the loophole which allowed the perpetrators of honour killings to avoid punishment by seeking forgiveness for the crime from another family member, and thus be legally pardoned. In some rural parts of Pakistan, the male-dominated jirga, or tribal council, decides affairs and its executive decisions take primacy over state legislation. A jirga arbitrates based on tribal consensus and tribal values among clients. Tribal notions of justice often include violence on client's behalf. For example, in December 2017, a local jirga in Karachi, Pakistan, condemned Ghani Reham and Bakhtaja to death by electrocution. The teenage couple, 18-years-old and 15-years-old, had eloped. The killing was sanctioned by the jirga and then carried out by the couple's fathers and uncles. Roots in British Colonial Law: Leniency against honor killings traces it roots in Pakistani penal code to the British Colonial law. Pakistan's legal code is based on the 1860 code imported by Britain, which granted a lenient sentence to a man who murdered his wife for “grave and sudden provocation." Pakistan's Federal Shariat Court reformed this law in 1990 to bring it closer to the Shari'a, declaring that “according to the teachings of Islam, provocation, no matter how grave and sudden it is, does not lessen the intensity of crime of murder.” Lenient sentences, however, are still handed down by certain judges, who continue to justify it by citing the British law's “grave and sudden provocation." Legal reforms: The law on honor killings has been reformed several times throughout the years. Notable legislation reforms to protect women in Pakistan from violence include The Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Act of 2011, The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act of 2016, and The Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or pretext of Honour) Act of 2016. On December 8, 2004, under international and domestic pressure, Pakistan enacted a law that made honour killings punishable by a prison term of seven years, or by the death penalty in the most extreme cases. Women and human rights organizations were, however, skeptical of the law's impact, as it stopped short of outlawing the practice of allowing killers to buy their freedom by paying compensation to the victim's relatives, which was problematic because most honour killings are committed by close relatives. In March 2005, the Pakistani parliament rejected a bill which sought to strengthen the law against the practice of honour killing declaring it to be un-Islamic. The bill was eventually passed in 2006 as the Protection of Women (Criminal Laws Amendment) Act of 2006, also known as The Women's Protection Bill. However, doubts of its effectiveness remained. The bill created a punishment of imprisonment for life and a fine if a woman is abducted or induced to marry a person without her personal consent and will. The bill also expanded the definition of rape to include sexual intercourse without a woman's consent, against her will, a punishment for the false accusation of fornication, and expanding zina to be prosecutable if accused by four male eye-witnesses. Even with these added protections against crimes that commonly lead to honour killing, honour killing itself was not addressed in this bill. Doubts of the effectiveness of this bill have remained. The Criminal Law (Third Amendment) Act of 2011 created a punishment for giving or compelling a woman to marry for any reason including the purpose of preventing criminal liability (for example, in the case of rape) or settling a civil dispute. The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence Act of 2016 was passed to amend Pakistani law to further protect women. The goal of this act is "to establish an effective system of protection, relief and rehabilitation of women against violence." Through this act, the Provincial Assembly of Punjab commits to allow a person to receive protection if in danger or treated unfairly, create a safe-house and rescue and recovery system, protect individuals through protection orders, order property and monetary recompense to the victim, and established the power to enter homes to respond to a potential threat and safely remove the victim to a safe location, if requested by the victim. In addition, this act requires that a District Women Protection Committee be created to advocate for victims and ensure these laws are being followed. Although The Punjab Protection of Women against Violence act in 2016 is a step forward in providing services and protection for women, Siddiqi believes that even further action needs to be taken to protect women. According to Siddiqi, even though this act closes some of the legal loopholes surrounding honour killing and domestic violence, this act will not work unless the public is committed to condemning and ending the violence. The Criminal Law (Amendment) (Offences in the name or pretext of Honour) Act of 2016 repealed the loophole which allowed the perpetrators of honour killings to avoid punishment by seeking forgiveness for the crime from another family member, and thus be legally pardoned. This bill focuses primarily on honour killing and its legal punishment. In addition to closing the loophole mentioned above, the act established a punishment of 14 years imprisonment to life in prison for crimes committed "on the pretext of honour." Even with the major improvements by this act, honour killing has continued in Pakistan. International activism: Human rights are natural rights, fundamentally ensured to every human, regardless of nationality, race, gender, or ethnic group. Through the ongoing work of the United Nations, the universality of human rights has been clearly established and recognized in international law. In March 1996, Pakistan ratified the CEDAW, or the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. By ratifying CEDAW, Pakistan promises to abolish discriminatory laws and establish tribunals and public institutions to effectively protect women. CEDAW, as a human rights treaty, notably targets culture and tradition as contributing factors to gender-based discrimination. In 1993, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, entreating states not to invoke custom, tradition, or religious consideration to avoid their obligation to eliminate violence against women. According to Amnesty International, if a government is negligent in prosecuting perpetrators, it is liable and complicit in those abuses. The role of the modern nation-state is to ensure full protection of universal human rights. The prevalence of honour killings in Pakistan underscores the Pakistani government's systematic failure in ensuring fundamental human rights to women. However, international organizations and feminists globally have been criticized for upholding a Western-centric agenda when engaging in honour-killing activism. Long-standing discourses on the universality of human rights versus cultural relativism indicate tensions in international activism for women's rights. But cultural relativism can be partially resolved when local activists make clear that cultural customs are harmful to women and in violation of international human rights standard. Cultural and religious customs are constantly evolving and it is necessary to partner with regional activists in Pakistan to be at the forefront for demanding change. International activist groups: IKWRO helps provide local resources for women and girls who are fleeing from dangerous situations, including honour killing. The group provides advocacy, training, and counseling to these women and girls and strives to work with the police and others to improve their safety. Women Living Under Muslim Laws serves as a public source for information by helping provide public appeals and statements on human rights issues towards women, including honour killing. The organization acknowledges that Islam is not practiced the same everywhere, and that many times politics and cultures use religion as an excuse to abuse women. Humanity Healing International and Hope Development Organization are working together to create a trained network of Pakistani women to advocate against honour killing. The groups have a plan to train 500 women in 10 different targeted areas on how to become advocates, including holding press conferences and public rallies. The goal is to specifically target policy makers and members of the Pakistan National Assembly Standing Committee in order to effectuate change. Recent international documentaries have also helped raise international awareness about honour killing in Pakistan. For example, BBC's Murdered for Love? Samia Shahid tells the story of Samia Shahid, a British woman who was lured back to Pakistan and then raped and murdered by her former husband and her father. Proposed international activism: Collective shaming, also known as international shaming and state shaming, is a strategy used by international entities (such as INGOs or other countries) to pressure governments to act in a certain way. Collective shaming has been a tool used by the international community to facilitate change, including legal change, in Pakistan in regard to honour killing in the past. Appiah uses the example of Safia Bibi to show the effective collective shaming can have. Safia Bibi was a blind maid who, at the age of thirteen, was raped by her employer's son. The rape was brought to public attention when she became pregnant. The law at the time said that she needed to visually identify the perpetrator in order to convict him. Safia was unable to do this because of her blindness and therefore was punished for sexual misconduct and subject to 30 lashes (a relatively lenient punishment). The case attracted international attention and collective international shaming. Due to the pressure from the international community, the court decision was reversed. Appiah suggests that the practice of collective shaming be more strongly applied to change not only laws, but also to change the local cultural perspective of honour killing. Honour is obviously a major characteristic of Pakistani culture, and Appiah suggests that outsiders and insiders work together to make the community feel as if honour killing is bringing shame upon them and is therefore dishonourable (removes their honour). If enough people outside and inside the country view honour killing as dishonourable, then the cultural practice will change, and families will need to stop performing honour killings to remain honourable. Changing perspectives will take time, but will eradicate the practice almost permanently. Pakistani activism: Human rights activists in Pakistan have been on the forefront of change and reform to end the practice of honour killings. Emphasizing universal human rights, democracy, and global feminism, Pakistani activists seek legal reform to criminalise the practice and protect victims from abuse. Asma Jehangir, chairperson of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, and Hina Jilani are Pakistani lawyers reinvigorating civil society to become critical of the Pakistani state's failure to ensure fair rights and benefits to its female citizenry. Jehangir and Jilani founded Pakistan's first legal aid center in 1986 and a women's shelter called Dastak in 1991 for women fleeing from violence. Other notable Pakistani activists working on reporting and deterring honour killings include Aitzaz Ahsan, Anis Amir Ali, Ayaz Latif Palijo, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Shahnaz Bukhari. In June 2016, the Council of Islamic Ideology, a body of Muslim clerics which advises the government on compliance of laws with the Shariah, has "decreed that honour killings are un-Islamic". The Pakistani Women's Human Rights Organization, a local NGO, helps provide a voice for victims by sharing their stories, working with international human rights organizations to fight international human rights violations, and changing laws to improve the situation for women with Pakistan. In 2006, the National Police Bureau established the Gender Crime Cell in order to gather data about crimes committed against women in Pakistan, an area that was previously missing significant portions of data. The goal was to use this data to make more appropriate policy decisions to protect women and punish offenders. One part of this solution included the Gender Responsive Policing Project, which began in 2009. This project focused on improving police procedures in response to gender-based crimes, as well as to create more opportunities for women within the police department. Another one of the Gender Crime Cell's projects has been the Women Police Network (WPN), with the goal of connecting police organizations across the country in order to improve fact and practice sharing with the goal of improving women's situations. Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a Pakistani journalist, created the documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, as her way to inform the world about honour killings in Pakistan and to motivate people to join the fight against the practice. Her documentary won an Academy Award in 2016 for Best Documentary Short Subject. As of April 2018, this documentary has had over 384K views on YouTube and is bringing the issue of honour killing to an international audience.