Friday, April 30, 2021
Simon Parkes was a British leading seaman in the Royal Navy who went missing in Gibraltar in 1986. Parkes was serving aboard HMS Illustrious when he disappeared whilst on shore leave in the dependency. In 2001, Parkes' disappearance gained renewed interest when it was noted that convicted murderer Allan Grimson also worked on Illustrious at the same time. Disappearance: Parkes was a seaman radio operator in the Royal Navy and was serving aboard HMS Illustrious. In December 1986, Illustrious berthed in Gibraltar allowing the crew to get some shore leave in. This was the last leg of the ship's world tour, Global 86, before she sailed for her home port of Portsmouth. Parkes had gone ashore with his shipmates on the 12 December and was last seen at the Horseshoe Bar after telling friends that he was going to get something to eat. Someone fitting his description was seen at the Hole in the Wall pub, part of the Fleet Pavilion (which was hosting a Naval function). The witnesses also state that the person appeared to be drunk. Parkes' disappearance prompted a search of the areas he was last known to be in. This amounted to a 250-man physical search of the area. Theories: Deliberate disappearance or AWOL (absent without leave) were originally suspected, with authorities pressing their emphasis on looking for a person, not a body. Parkes had left his passport, all his possessions and Christmas presents behind on the ship with his family later saying that he had written a letter telling them that he would be home for Christmas. Shipmates later confirmed that Parkes was looking forward to going home for Christmas and that he had also arranged for special dockside passes so that his family could greet him when the ship arrived back in the UK. Subsequent events: In 2001, Petty Officer Allan Grimson was convicted of killing two young men. Both had been in the Royal Navy and been killed on the 12 December of each year (1997 and 1998). As Parkes had disappeared on the 12 December 1986, and Grimson was serving aboard Illustrious at that time, parallels were drawn between Parkes' disappearance and the murders. In 2003, Hampshire Police flew out to Gibraltar and arranged for new searches to take place which involved cadaver dogs and digging in three areas; around the South Barracks, around Rosia Lane (where the Naval function was held in 1986) and Trafalgar Cemetery. The searches were unsuccessful. In July 2005, the BBC broadcast a programme called Body Hunt; the Search for Simon Parkes. This prompted someone to call in and give certain details which the police described as "vital information". In October of the same year, Parkes' disappearance was given a slot on Crimewatch. Through his solicitor, Grimson appealed to Ofcom about both programmes citing a number of complaints such as not being given enough time to respond to issues in the programme, the lack of other suspects and the fact that he had denied any connection to Parkes' disappearance. In December 2019, Hampshire Police stated that they had received information that Parkes' body could be buried in Trafalgar Cemetery in Gibraltar. A new search will be conducted, even after unsuccessful attempts to find his body after a search in 2003.
Thursday, April 29, 2021
The Ohio State University abuse scandal centered on allegations of sexual abuse that occurred between 1978 and 1998, while Richard Strauss was employed as a physician by the Ohio State University (OSU) in the Athletics Department and in the Student Health Center. An independent investigation into the allegations was announced in April 2018 and conducted by the law firm Perkins Coie. In July 2018, several former wrestlers accused former head coach Russ Hellickson and Ohio representative Jim Jordan, who was an assistant coach at OSU between 1987 and 1994, of knowing about Strauss' alleged abuse but failing to take action to stop it. Jordan has denied that he had any student-athlete report sexual abuse to him. The report, released in May 2019, concluded that Strauss abused at least 177 male student-patients and that OSU was aware of the abuse as early as 1979, but the abuse was not widely known outside of Athletics or Student Health until 1996, when he was suspended from his duties. Strauss continued to abuse OSU students at an off-campus clinic until his retirement from the university in 1998. OSU was faulted in the report for failing to report Strauss's conduct to law enforcement. In May 2020, the university entered into a settlement and agreed to pay $40.9 million to the sexual abuse survivors. Background: Richard Strauss (1938–2005) received his medical degree from the University of Chicago in 1964 and interned at the associated hospital system until June 1965. Afterward, he served as a lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the United States Navy from 1966 through 1968 and received an honorable discharge. He then took a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the School of Medicine at the University of Washington until 1970, then worked as an assistant professor of physiology at both the University of Pennsylvania (1970–1972) and the University of Hawaii (1972–74). After Hawaii, Strauss worked as a medical resident at Rutgers University (1974–1975) and as a research fellow at Harvard Medical School (1975–1978). Hawaii found no records of any complaints filed against Strauss during his time there. Strauss was hired as an assistant professor in the OSU College of Medicine in September 1978; shortly afterward, he began volunteering as a team physician at Larkins Hall, OSU's physical education building. He was appointed to a position in the Athletics Department in 1981, and to Student Health in 1994. In Athletics, Strauss served as a team physician for multiple teams, including men's wrestling, gymnastics, fencing, lacrosse, and swimming and diving; he additionally treated students on the hockey, cheerleading, volleyball, soccer, track, golf, baseball, tennis, water polo, and football teams. Strauss was not formally appointed to a position at Student Health until 1994, but was known to have started performing treatments there as early as 1978. By 1979, Athletics Department officials knew that Strauss conducted unusually prolonged genital examinations on male athletes, and that athletics staff were not permitted to be present during these examinations. In addition, Strauss was known to shower alongside male students at Larkins Hall, a behavior which was unique to Strauss among team physicians. Between 1979 and 1996, multiple students complained about Strauss's excessive and unnecessary genital examinations, but no action was taken by OSU until January 1996, when he was placed on administrative leave in response to patient complaints. Larkins Hall, which served OSU as its physical education facility and natatorium, was perceived as a sexualized environment, and multiple witnesses reported that voyeurism and public sex acts occurred there from the early 1980s to the late 1990s. Thirty wrestlers and gymnasts reported voyeurs were routinely present at Larkins Hall in the locker room, shower, and sauna areas, ranging from college age to approximately 60 years old; the "leering" voyeurs would ogle student-athletes that were using the facilities and some would masturbate. Sources familiar with then-head coach Russ Hellickson's actions at the time said that the situation was so egregious that Hellickson would occasionally have to physically drag the voyeurs out of the building, and that he also pleaded with the university to move their athletes to a private facility. Strauss was counted among the voyeurs; former OSU students stated that Strauss would shower among athletes multiple times per day or stare into the shower while seated on a stool. In addition, peepholes were found in bathroom stalls and shower walls. The building was completed in 1932, named for retired OSU Athletic Director Dick Larkins in 1976, expanded in 1977, and demolished in 2005. After a closed-door hearing on June 5, 1996, Strauss was terminated from his position with the Athletics Department at the end of July 1996, and terminated from Student Health on August 5, 1996. However, Strauss opened a private off-campus clinic and continued to abuse male patients there. Former employees of the off-campus Men's Clinics of America recalled Strauss placing advertisements in the student newspaper promising student discounts and prompt treatment of genital issues. He also continued as a tenured faculty member in the School of Public Health until his voluntary retirement on March 1, 1998, upon which he gained emeritus status. Strauss died by suicide in August 2005. According to his suicide note, he had been suffering from "significant escalating medical and pain problems since January 2002". In 2019, OSU published its annual campus safety report, which reflected that Strauss committed 1,430 instances of fondling and 47 rapes during his tenure. Is this injury bad enough that I'm going to get molested for it? — Nick Nutter, former OSU wrestler, quoted in AP News article, July 6, 2018 Investigation: Mike DiSabato was one of the first to report that Strauss had groped him during medical exams. He first requested information about Strauss in January 2018 via a letter to the university; after failing to get a timely response, he approached The Columbus Dispatch with the allegations of abuse in April. DiSabato, who wrestled at Ohio State from 1987 to 1991, added that his first examination with Strauss occurred at the age of 14, when Strauss was conducting research on the body fat of high school wrestlers; the body fat testing included an unnecessary genital exam. At the time, DiSabato did not recognize Strauss's behavior as sexual abuse and that it was considered an "open secret" amongst the wrestling team. In response, the Ohio State University announced that an investigation had been launched into the long-term sexual abuse in April 2018, asking former students and coaches to come forward with any information that might help the investigation. At the time, the independent investigation was being led by Bricker & Eckler. After the Ohio Attorney General's office appointed Porter Wright Morris & Arthur as the university's legal counsel, Porter Wright commissioned Perkins Coie to lead the independent investigation. OSU President Michael Drake sent an email in May 2018 to more than 100,000 alumni asking them to contact Perkins Coie with any allegations of abuse. Based on the evidence uncovered, Perkins Coie expanded the scope of the investigation to include Strauss's examinations of high school students in June 2018. The investigation was estimated to have cost $6.2 million by the time the report was released in May 2019. Strauss's son, Scott Strauss, released a statement in July 2018 expressing that the Strauss family was "shocked and saddened" by the allegations against Richard Strauss. The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) of the United States Department of Education announced it had opened a separate investigation into the university's response in August 2018. Several advocacy groups had sent a letter to OCR earlier in August, alleging that OSU's actions violated Title IX regulations. The Ohio State Medical Board confirmed that it had received complaints about Strauss and had turned over confidential records to OSU lawyers in December 2018. However, because the records were confidential, the investigators were not allowed to access them. The board had investigated Strauss in 1996 but never disciplined him. Details of the investigation were made public in the report by Perkins Coie; specific identifying details were redacted. In May 2019, after the redacted report was released, the State Medical Board voted to release the records of its 1996 investigation if the alleged victims agreed to waive their confidentiality. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine created a review group via executive order in May 2019. The group's charter was to review the actions that were taken by the State Medical Board in response to the complaints about Strauss. The investigators conducted interviews with 177 students who provided evidence that Strauss had committed sexual abuse; although not all of the students felt his behavior was abusive, consultation with independent medical doctors confirmed they were not appropriate patient–doctor interactions. The majority of abuse (143 victims) was categorized as genital fondling associated with medically unnecessary genital or rectal examinations. Of the 177, 153 were student-athletes, of which a plurality (48) were members of the men's wrestling team. Civil lawsuits and subsequent developments: Several civil lawsuits have been filed against the Ohio State University in conjunction with the abuse committed by Strauss. Three federal lawsuits had been filed by July 2018; the third lawsuit named several OSU administrators including ex-Athletic Director Andy Geiger as having knowledge of Strauss's abuse. By September 2018, the university had filed motions to dismiss the first three lawsuits based on associated statutes of limitations. Two of the suits were merged in October 2018. In total, more than 20 school officials and staff were named as knowing of complaints about Strauss's abuse but failing to stop him. In July 2018, former members of the OSU men's wrestling team reported that then-coaches Russ Hellickson (head coach, 1986–2006) and Jim Jordan (assistant coach, 1987–1995) were aware of the abuse by Strauss but failed to put a stop to it. Jordan denied that any student-athlete had reported any abuse to him. Jordan said the timing of the allegations that he knew of the abuse were "interesting ... in light of things that are going on in Washington", referring to Jordan's role as a founder of the Freedom Caucus and his potential candidacy for Speaker of the House. Speaker Paul Ryan defended Jordan as "a man of honesty, a man of integrity" and discouraged an investigation by the House Ethics Committee, as the abuse had occurred before Jordan's election to the House of Representatives. Other ex-wrestlers defended Jordan, who was interviewed by Perkins Coie later in July. In May 2019, DiSabato filed a Title IX lawsuit against OSU. In one count of the court papers, DiSabato claimed that a second cousin of Jordan's attempted to "intimidate and retaliate" against DiSabato. In 2019, DiSabato shared text messages with NBC News that were corroborated by another former wrestler indicating that Jim Jordan, Russ Hellickson, and high school wrestling coach Jeff Jordan (Jim Jordan's younger brother) conspired to engage in witness tampering and intimidation when they called former OSU wrestler Mark Coleman and his parents to pressure him to recant his earlier accusation that Jordan was aware of the abuse. Coleman had shared a room with Jordan while traveling to several wrestling meets. In November 2019, a retired wrestling referee filed a lawsuit alleging that he had warned Jordan and Hellickson about Strauss's misconduct but they had dismissed his warning. Jordan dismissed the referee as "another person making a false statement". In February 2020, Adam DiSabato – the brother of Mike DiSabato – testified under oath that Jordan called him "crying, groveling...begging me to go against my brother.... That's the kind of cover-up that's going on there", described Jordan as a "coward" and accused Hellickson of "abandoning" the wrestlers who came forward with allegations about Strauss. 2020 settlement: Following an independent 2019 investigation which found that Richard Strauss had sexually abused at least 177 students from 1979 to 1997, Ohio State University agreed to pay $40.9 million to settle the lawsuits of 162 men who alleged sexual abuse during the former university team doctor's tenure. Other lawsuits remain outstanding.
The USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal relates to the sexual abuse of female athletes—primarily minors at the time of the abuse—over two decades in the United States, starting in the late 1990s. More than 368 people alleged that they were sexually assaulted "by gym owners, coaches, and staff working for gymnastics programs across the country". Particularly, longtime USA Gymnastics (USAG) national team doctor Larry Nassar has been named in hundreds of lawsuits filed by athletes who said that Nassar engaged in sexual abuse for at least 14 years under the pretense of providing medical treatment. Since the scandal was first reported by The Indianapolis Star in September 2016, more than 265 women, including former USAG national team members Jessica Howard, Jamie Dantzscher, Morgan White, Jeanette Antolin, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, Maggie Nichols, Gabby Douglas, Simone Biles, Jordyn Wieber, Sabrina Vega, Ashton Locklear, Kyla Ross, Madison Kocian, Amanda Jetter, Tasha Schwikert, Mattie Larson, Bailie Key, Kennedy Baker, Alyssa Baumann, and Terin Humphrey have accused Nassar of sexually assaulting them. It is one of the largest sexual abuse scandals in sports history. On July 11, 2017, Nassar pleaded guilty to federal child pornography charges, and was sentenced to 60 years in prison on December 7, 2017. On November 22, 2017, he pleaded guilty in state court to seven charges of first-degree sexual assault and entered another guilty plea a week later to three additional charges of sexual assault. On January 24, 2018, Nassar was sentenced to an additional 40 to 175 years in prison, set to run after Nassar serves the 60-year federal prison sentence for child pornography. On February 5, 2018, Nassar received another 40 to 125 years. As of 2019, he is incarcerated at United States Penitentiary, Coleman. An investigation by The Indianapolis Star over a period of nine months found that the abuses were widespread because "predatory coaches were allowed to move from gym to gym, undetected by a lax system of oversight, or dangerously passed on by USA Gymnastics-certified gyms". USAG and Michigan State University—where Nassar worked as its osteopathic physician—have been accused of enabling Nassar's abuse and are named as defendants in civil lawsuits that former gymnasts have filed against Nassar. Besides Nassar, other coaches were involved in the scandal in Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, Rhode Island, Indiana and elsewhere. On May 16, 2018, it was announced that the victims would be awarded the Arthur Ashe Courage Award. On December 13 that year, the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) awarded Nichols, the first person to have reported Nassar (though not the first to go public with her report), the Inspiration Award for 2019. Background: In 1990, USAG compiled a list of permanently banned coaches, including coaches banned for sexual abuse. In 1992, Robert Dean Head, a USAG coach in Kentucky, pled guilty to raping a 12-year-old. In 2007, USAG made background checks mandatory for all coaches. Don Peters, the national coach for the 1984 Olympic team, was banned from USAG in 2011, after two former gymnasts accused him of sexual abuse. In 2016, Olympic team doctor Larry Nassar was arrested on charges of sex abuse and possession of child pornography. Multiple victims of sexual abuse have filed lawsuits against USAG and other parties. In several incidents, USAG dismissed warnings about coaches. In a 2013 lawsuit, USAG officials admitted under oath that allegations of sexual abuse were routinely dismissed as hearsay unless they came directly from a victim or victim's parent. USAG waited for four years before reporting Marvin Sharp to the police. Sharp was named USAG Coach in 2010. In 2015, he was charged with three counts of child molestation and four counts of sexual misconduct with a minor. He was charged and committed suicide in prison. Gymnastic coach Mark Schiefelbein was charged in 2002 for molesting a 10-year-old girl. After prosecutors subpoenaed records, they learned that USAG had received prior complaints against Schiefelbein, who was convicted and is serving a 36-year sentence. A complaint had been filed about James Bell at least five years before he was arrested in 2003 for molesting three young gymnasts. Bell pleaded guilty and is serving eight years in prison. At least four complaints were made against Georgia coach William McCabe, but USAG did not report the allegations to the police. One gym owner had warned that McCabe "should be locked in a cage before someone is raped." McCabe continued coaching for seven years until one gymnast's mother went to the FBI with emails that he sent to her 11-year-old daughter. McCabe was charged with molesting gymnasts, secretly videotaping girls changing clothes, and posting their nude images on the Internet. He pleaded guilty and is serving a 30-year sentence. A judge released over 5,600 pages of court records in the McCabe case after Marisa Kwiatkowski from the Indianapolis Star requested the documents. These documents show how USAG has responded to various sexual misconduct allegations that were made against coaches over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006. The released documents included a letter which says a USAG regional chairman spoke to the organization's president in support of allowing a convicted sex offender to keep his membership. Other documents include sexual abuse complaints that were filed against 54 coaches. The documents revealed that some of these coaches were not banned from the sport even after being convicted of the crimes. USAG has since said that it has banned 37 of the 54 coaches. In a deposition, USAG President Steve Penny said: "To the best of my knowledge, there's no duty to report if you are – if you are a third-party to some allegation ... You know, that lies with the person who has first-hand knowledge." Penny resigned in March 2017. Nassar was a licensed osteopathic physician and the national team sports-medicine doctor for USAG. He ran a clinic and gymnastics club at Michigan State University, where he was a faculty member. USAG fired Nassar in 2015 "after learning of athlete concerns". Sexual abuse allegations: In September 2016, The Indianapolis Star reported that Rachael Denhollander was one of two former gymnasts who had made accusations of sexual abuse against Nassar. Following those criminal complaints, Michigan State University reassigned Nassar from his clinical and teaching duties and fired him later that month. Since then, over 250 women and girls have accused Nassar of sexually abusing them; many of them were minors at the time of the crimes. According to those reports, Nassar committed sexual assaults during medical examinations and purported treatments. The molestations ranged from his inserting a finger into the gymnasts' vaginas and anuses to fondling their breasts and genitalia. These were criminal acts regardless of consent since the victims were minors. Nassar initially denied the charges, claiming that he was performing legitimate medical procedures. In February 2017, three former gymnasts: Jeanette Antolin, Jessica Howard and Jamie Dantzscher, gave an interview with 60 Minutes in which they accused Nassar of sexually abusing them. The gymnasts also alleged that the "emotionally abusive environment" at the national team training camps run by Béla and Márta Károlyi at the Karolyi Ranch near Huntsville, Texas, gave Nassar an opportunity to take advantage of the gymnasts and made them afraid to speak up about the abuse. Rachael Denhollander, one of the first women to publicly accuse Nassar, said in court in May 2017 that Nassar sexually abused her on five doctor's visits in 2000 when she was 15 years old. Olympic gold medalist McKayla Maroney, using the #MeToo hashtag on Twitter, stated that Nassar repeatedly molested her, starting in 2008 when she was 13 years old and continuing until she retired from the sport in 2016. Maroney filed a lawsuit against Nassar, Michigan State University, the United States Olympic Committee and USAG. The lawsuit accused USAG of covering up the sexual abuse by paying Maroney $1.25 million settlement that required her to sign a non-disclosure agreement. During a 60 Minutes interview, Olympic gold medalist Aly Raisman also accused Nassar of sexually abusing her. Raisman stated that Nassar molested her when she was 15 years of age. Gabby Douglas drew criticism from fellow Olympic teammate Simone Biles and others for sending a tweet that they interpreted as criticizing Raisman and of "victim-shaming", stating that "dressing in a provocative/sexual way incites the wrong crowd". Douglas later apologized for the tweet, and said she was also a victim of Nassar's abuse. Former national team member Maggie Nichols accused Nassar of abusing her, and documented the ways he "groomed" her by connecting with her on Facebook and complimenting her appearance on numerous occasions. It was also reported that it was Nichols' coach, Sarah Jantzi, who first reported Nassar to USAG on June 17, 2015, after overhearing Nichols talk to other gymnasts, later revealed to be Raisman and Alyssa Baumann, about Nassar's behavior. Simone Biles came forward shortly after with firsthand accounts of how she too had been sexually abused by Nassar. Jordyn Wieber made a statement at Nassar's court sentencing in which she also accused Nassar of sexually abusing her during her time at USAG. On May 1, 2018, former national team member Sabrina Vega also accused Nassar of sexual abuse, claiming she was abused hundreds of times, beginning when she was 12. In August 2018, UCLA gymnasts and 2012 and 2016 Olympians Kyla Ross and Madison Kocian came forward as victims of Nassar. The following month, Alabama Crimson Tide gymnasts Bailie Key and Amanda Jetter also came forward with accusations against Nassar. In October, Tasha Schwikert, a member of the 2000 US Olympics team, came forward as a victim and claimed that Steve Penny pressed her to publicly support USA Gymnastics at the height of the Nassar scandal. In November, Florida Gators gymnasts Kennedy Baker and Baumann made public allegations against Nassar; Baker said she was abused during the 2012 Olympic Trials. Criminal proceedings- Larry Nassar: In November 2016, Nassar was initially charged with sexual assault of a child. Michigan attorney general Bill Schuette stated that the assaults began when the victim was 6 years old in 1998 and lasted until 2005. He pleaded not guilty to three charges of first-degree criminal sexual conduct against a minor during his first court appearance. The following month, Nassar was indicted on federal child pornography charges. According to the FBI, over 37,000 images and videos of child pornography were seized from Nassar's home, including a GoPro video of Nassar molesting girls in a swimming pool. Some of the material was found on a hard drive and disks that Nassar discarded in his trash bin outside his home. Nassar pleaded guilty to three federal child pornography charges on July 11, 2017, and was given three consecutive 20-year prison sentences by U.S. District Judge Janet T. Neff on December 7, 2017. On November 15, 2017, it was reported that Nassar pleaded guilty to counts of sexual assault in Ingham County (which contains most of East Lansing, the home city for Michigan State) and Eaton County in Michigan. At the time, he faced a total of 22 charges, 15 in Ingham and 7 in Eaton. Among the allegations was that under the guise of providing legitimate treatment, he molested 7 girls at his home and at a clinic on the MSU campus. It also stated that Nassar would enter a guilty plea in Ingham County on November 22 and would then plead guilty in Eaton County on November 29 and would serve at least 25 years in prison for these crimes. Others who reported assaults by Nassar to the police were permitted to make victim impact statements during his sentencing hearing. During his appearance before Judge Rosemarie Aquilina in Ingham County Circuit Court, and under the terms of his plea agreement, Nassar pleaded guilty to seven counts of criminal sexual conduct charges with a minimum sentence of 25 to 40 years in prison. Three of the victims were under the age of 13 and three ranged in age from 13 to 15. Nassar issued a short statement in which he apologized and said that he was hopeful the community could move forward: "For all those involved, I'm so horribly sorry that this was like a match that turned into a forest fire out of control. I have no animosity toward anyone. I just want healing. ... We need to move forward in a sense of growth and healing and I pray (for) that". More than 150 women made impact statements during Nassar's week-long sentencing hearing before the former doctor was sentenced on January 24, 2018 to state prison for 40 to 175 years. During his federal sentencing, Judge Neff had previously ordered that any state prison term run consecutive with Nassar's federal sentence. Judge Aquilina quoted a letter that Nassar had sent her prior to sentencing, in which he blamed his accusers. She described him as a dangerous individual who showed little remorse and said that she "signed his death warrant". During his Eaton County Circuit Court appearance, Nassar pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual misconduct with three children under the age of 16. On February 5, 2018, Judge Janet Cunningham sentenced Nassar to an additional 40 to 125 years in state prison. This sentence will run consecutive to Nassar's federal sentence but concurrent to his previous state sentence from Ingham County. Steve Penny: On October 17, 2018, former USAG CEO Steve Penny was arrested on charge of evidence tampering in the Larry Nassar case. He was accused of removing documents linked to the Nassar sexual abuse case from the Karolyi Ranch gymnastics training facility in Texas. On October 29, 2018, Penny entered a plea of not guilty. Lou Anna Simon: On November 20, 2018, former Michigan State University president Lou Anna Simon was charged with two felonies and two misdemeanor counts for lying to the police. She is accused of falsely telling investigators she did not know the nature of a Title IX complaint against Nassar in 2014. She could face up to four years in prison on each felony charge. On October 29, 2019, Eaton County District Court Judge Julie Reincke ruled there was sufficient evidence to bind Simon over for trial in Eaton County circuit court. On May 13, 2020, Eaton County Judge John Maurer dismissed the charges against Simon. The Michigan Attorney General's Office said it planned to appeal. Kathie Klages: In August 2018, Kathie Klages, a former Michigan State University gymnastics coach, was charged with one felony count and one misdemeanor count of lying to the police about her early knowledge of sexual abuse allegations against Nassar. Her trial began in February 2020. She was found guilty on two counts of lying to the police and faces up to four years in prison. Her sentencing was set for April 18, 2020, but was rescheduled to July 15 of that year; however, the sentencing was once again delayed due to a water main break near the courthouse. On August 4, Klages was sentenced to 90 days in jail and 18 months of probation. John Geddert: On February 25, 2021, John Geddert, the head coach of the 2012 USA Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team, was charged with multiple felonies including 20 counts of human trafficking and forced labor, one count of first-degree sexual assault, one count of second-degree sexual assault, racketeering and lying to a police officer. Geddert committed suicide shortly after his charges were announced to the public. Response and impact- USA Gymnastics: With regard to the USA Gymnastics sex abuse scandal, in 2016 USAG stated that "Nothing is more important to USA Gymnastics, the Board of Directors and CEO Steve Penny than protecting athletes, which requires sustained vigilance by everyone—coaches, athletes, parents, administrators and officials. We are saddened when any athlete has been harmed in the course of his or her gymnastics career”. The USAG also said that it required criminal background checks for all of its coaches. An independent investigation by The Indianapolis Star, however, found that "some coaches are fired at gym after gym without being tracked or flagged by USA Gymnastics, or losing their membership with the organization". Specifically with regard to Nassar, USA Gymnastics (USAG) said that its executives first learned of an athlete's concern regarding him in June 2015. Following an internal investigation, Nassar was fired and reported to the FBI the next month. In March 2017, USAG president Steve Penny resigned amid accusations of negligence and calls for his dismissal. In response to the scandal, USAG adopted reforms based on a June 2017 report by an investigator hired to review the organization's policies and practices. One of the changes is a requirement that all USAG members report any suspected sexual misconduct to appropriate authorities and the US Center for SafeSport. USAG has been criticized for its handling of the sexual abuse allegations against Nassar. According to a 2016 investigation reported by The Indianapolis Star, top executives at USAG routinely dismissed sexual abuse allegations against coaches and failed to alert authorities. United States Senators criticized the organization's leadership for waiting five weeks before reporting Nassar to law enforcement, after hearing allegations involving him in 2015. Juliet Macur of The New York Times was critical of USAG for not attending the 2017 congressional hearing on protecting young athletes from sexual abuse, and noted that the organization had not apologized for its role in the scandal. The two time Olympian Aly Raisman criticized USAG's response to the scandal, noting that the reported $1 million severance package given to former president Penny could have been used to create a program to help the affected athletes. Amid the sex abuse scandal, USAG lost several major corporate sponsors, including Procter & Gamble, Kellogg's, Under Armour, The Hershey Company and AT&T. Procter & Gamble was the name sponsor of the National Championships for five seasons, AT&T sponsored the American Cup since 2011, and Kellogg's sponsored a series of nationwide tours. Marketing revenues account for approximately 35% of USAG annual revenues, or about $9.4 million. Kellogg's and Procter & Gamble were two of the largest sponsors associated with the organization. These actions, however, impacted and damaged the athletes (who lost necessary funding) to a larger extent compared to the organization. In January 2018, USAG officially cut ties with Karolyi Ranch, the former national training center for the national team and a site where Nassar sexually assaulted many gymnasts. Later that month the Karolyi Ranch announced on its website that the facility had permanently closed. On January 22, 2018, three members of the USAG Board of Directors resigned. Following Nassar's sentencing on January 24, 2018, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) published an open letter calling for the resignations of the remaining USAG Board of Directors, saying that failure to comply with the request would result in the USOC taking steps to decertify the governing body. The USOC also announced that it was launching a third-party investigation into the scandal. On January 31, USAG received resignations from every member of its board of directors, complying with USOC's demands. On February 1, it was reported that the USOC had been informed of abuse claims in 2015, prior to when they claimed they first heard it in 2016. Reports surfaced that USAG President Steve Penny had called USOC Chief Executive Scott Blackmun in July 2015 to inform him that an investigation uncovered possible criminal behavior by Nassar against Olympic athletes. Additionally in September 2015, Penny emailed USOC Security Chief detailing the allegations against Nassar. John Geddert, team coach of the 2012 London Olympic team and personal coach of Jordyn Wieber, retired following an announcement by USAG that he had been suspended as a result of his connection to Nassar. Geddert operated two gyms that employed Nassar, including Twistars. Ownership of Twistars has been transferred to Geddert's wife Katherine. Gymnasts have reported being abused by Nassar at Twistars. Gymnasts have also accused Geddert of being abusive and dismissive of their injuries. One gymnast said Geddert had thrown her onto the low bar hard enough to tear the muscles in her stomach and end her career. They have said that Geddert's abuse left them vulnerable to Nassar's manipulation. On February 2, Valeri Liukin resigned as national team coordinator. Later that month, the USOC CEO Scott Blackmun also resigned. On February 28, Raisman filed a lawsuit against USA Gymnastics and the USOC, claiming both organizations "knew or should have known" about the ongoing abuse. On May 1, former national team member Sabrina Vega sued USAG, the USOC, and Béla and Márta Károlyi, claiming they ignored signs about Nassar's behavior or should have known he posed a risk to the gymnasts he treated. On September 4, USA Gymnastics CEO and President, Kerry Perry, resigned. This came after USOC CEO Sarah Hirshland called for a change in USAG leadership and the United States Elite Coaches Association called for a vote of no confidence in Perry. On October 12, Mary Bono was appointed interim president and chief executive officer of USA Gymnastics. She resigned four days later after many people, including Raisman and Biles, expressed criticism over choosing Bono as interim president due to her ties with her former law firm, Faegre Baker Daniels, the same firm that helped cover up Nassar's crimes. On November 5, 2018, the USOC announced that it was starting the process to decertify USAG as the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. One month later, USAG filed for bankruptcy. On February 29, 2020, gymnasts Simone Biles and Aly Raisman expressed anger over a proposed settlement by the United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee in the sexual abuse scandal. The proposed $215 million settlement (half of what MSU paid) will stop all lawsuits and prevent further investigation into the cover-up. Michigan State University: Michigan State University said that it first received a complaint against Nassar in 2014. A Title IX investigation into the complaint found no violation of policy and Nassar was allowed to continue treating patients under certain agreed upon restrictions, as stipulated by MSU College of Osteopathic Medicine Dean William Strampel. However, no monitoring was instituted. After allegations against Nassar were reported by The Indianapolis Star in September 2016, Nassar was fired by Michigan State for violating the 2014 agreement. The university faces lawsuits from 144 local and MSU athletes who say they were sexually assaulted by Larry Nassar. Michigan State University gymnastics coach Kathie Klages was suspended on February 13, 2017, and retired the next day, amidst the sexual abuse investigation of Nassar. Klages has been accused of dismissing sexual abuse complaints by former gymnasts against Nassar and pressuring them to stay silent According to court documents, Klages was reportedly aware of sexual abuse allegations against Nassar as early as 1997. On December 12, 2017, Strampel resigned as dean and went on medical leave as faculty. After mediation ended in the civil lawsuits, the MSU Board of Trustees voted to establish a $10 million fund to reimburse Nassar's victims for counseling services. MSU President Lou Anna Simon also apologized to the Nassar victims and donated her just-approved raise to the Roy J. and Lou Anna K. Simon Scholarship fund. During Nassar's sentencing in January 2018, eight former MSU athletes, including those from the gymnastics, softball, volleyball, rowing, and track and field programs, gave victim impact statements accusing MSU staff of dismissing their sexual abuse complaints against Nassar. On January 23, 2018, the National Collegiate Athletic Association formally opened an investigation into the university's handling of sexual abuse allegations against Nassar. On January 24, 2018, amid backlash over the university's role in the scandal, the Michigan House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly for a non-binding resolution sponsored by Rep. Adam Zemke, that called for the university's Board of Trustees to fire President Lou Anna Simon if she did not resign. Simon resigned later that same day. Two days later, MSU athletic director Mark Hollis retired. Several other investigations by state and federal agencies into Michigan State's involvement are ongoing, including by the Michigan Attorney General's office and the United States Education Department. As a result of the Michigan Attorney General's investigation, in March 2018, William Strampel, who oversaw Nassar's clinic while dean of the College of Osteopathic Medicine, was arrested and charged with felony misconduct in office and criminal sexual conduct for allegedly groping a student and storing nude photos on his computer. Strampel also possessed a video of the pelvic floor manipulation procedure that Larry Nassar had created as a training video. The video may constitute evidence of an assault, and the investigation is continuing. On June 9, 2018, six current or former Michigan State employees linked to Nassar became the subjects of an investigation by Michigan's Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. On May 16, 2018, it was reported that the Michigan State University and Nassar's victims reached a $500 million settlement. United States Congress: The United States Congress responded to the sexual abuse claims made against Nassar and also to claims made against personnel who were involved with USA Swimming and USA Taekwondo. United States Senator Dianne Feinstein introduced a bill to require national governing body members overseeing Olympic sports to immediately report sexual assault allegations to law enforcement or designated child-welfare agencies. Former gymnasts Dominique Moceanu, Jamie Dantzscher and Jessica Howard testified at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on March 28, 2017, concerning the bill. Rick Adams, chief of Paralympic sports for the United States Olympic Committee and head of organizational development for the NGBs, stated at the hearing: "We do take responsibility, and we apologize to any young athlete who has ever faced abuse." USAG was asked to testify at the hearing, but declined. The Protecting Young Victims from Sexual Abuse and Safe Sport Authorization Act of 2017, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-C.A.) and John Thune (R-S.D.) and others, was agreed to in the House of Representatives on January 29, 2018. The bill was agreed to in the Senate on January 30, 2018, and became law on February 14, 2018, when it was signed by President Donald J. Trump. Among other things, the law requires Olympic governing bodies and amateur sports organizations to report sex-abuse allegations immediately to local or federal law enforcement, or a child-welfare agency designated by the United States Department of Justice. It further authorizes the United States Center for Safe Sport to ensure that aspiring U.S. Olympic athletes can report allegations of abuse to an independent and non-conflicted entity for investigation and resolution, and to make sure that all national governing bodies follow the strictest standards for child abuse prevention and detection. The bill amends the Ted Stevens Olympic and Amateur Sports Act, under the Commerce Committee's jurisdiction, to expand the purposes of USOC to promote a safe environment in sports that is free from abuse.
The Bisbee massacre (a.k.a. the Bisbee murders or Bisbee raid) occurred in Bisbee, Arizona, on December 8, 1883, when six outlaws who were part of the Cochise County Cowboys robbed a general store. Believing the general store's safe contained a mining payroll of $7,000, they timed the robbery incorrectly and were only able to steal between $800 to $3,000, along with a gold watch and jewelry. During the robbery, members of the gang killed four people, including a lawman and a pregnant woman. Six men were convicted of the robbery and murders. John Heath, who was accused of organizing the robbery, was tried separately and sentenced to life in prison. The other five men were convicted of murder and sentenced to hang. Unsatisfied with Heath's sentence, a lynch mob forcibly removed Heath from jail and hanged him from a telegraph pole on February 22, 1884. The other five men were executed on March 28, 1884. They were the first criminals to be legally hanged in Tombstone. The graves of the five murderers is part of the popular Boothill Graveyard tourist attraction in Tombstone. Background: John T. Heath was born in Texas in 1855 to John and Sarah Heath. His family moved to Louisiana while he was young. The family eventually returned to Texas and in 1875 Heath married Virginia Tennessee “Jennie” Ferrell. In 1882, Heath left Texas, settling first in Clifton, Arizona, where he opened a saloon. In November 1883, Heath moved to Bisbee with James "Tex" Howard. Along the way, Heath and Howard met friends of Howard: Dan "Big Dan" Dowd, Omer W. "Red" Sample, and Daniel "York" Kelly. As an adult, Heath was indicted for cattle rustling, robbery, burglary, and running a house of prostitution. Bisbee didn't have a bank, and it was common knowledge that the $7,000 cash payroll (or about $192,000 today) for the Copper Queen Mine was delivered to the Goldwater & Castaneda Mercantile store one or two days in advance of the company's payday on the 10th of each month. Heath was later convicted of arranging for Cowboys Daniel W. "Big Dan" Dowd, Omer W. "Red" Sample, Daniel "York" Kelly, William E. "Billy" Delaney, and James "Tex" Howard to rob the store and payroll. Before the robbery, Heath allegedly accompanied Howard and the three other men to Buckles' ranch, about 10 miles (16 km) outside Bisbee, although no witnesses were later found to corroborate Heath's role. Heath and Howard continued on to Bisbee on November 20, 1883. Heath immediately partnered with a local man named Nathan Waite and prepared to open a new dance hall. Howard returned to the Buckles' ranch and waited with his confederates. Heath and Waite opened their dance hall behind the Goldwater & Castaneda Mercantile general store on December 8, 1883, the day the Copper Queen Mine payroll usually arrived. Robbery and murders: On the evening of December 8, 1883, the five outlaws rode into Bisbee. They tied their horses near the Copper Queen Mine smelter at the end of Main Street and walked to the Goldwater and Castaneda store. At the store, three of the men, including "Tex" Howard, who wasn't wearing a mask, entered the store while the other two remained outside. They leveled pistols at the store owner and persuaded him to open the safe, only to find that the payroll had not yet arrived. The robbers took some cash and a gold watch in the safe and robbed all of the employees and customers in the store. Accounts differ as to how much money they stole, but it was reported they took between $800 and $3,000 in cash along with the gold watch and jewelry. While three Cowboys were inside looting the safe and robbing the customers, two Cowboys outside were confronted by citizens who recognized that a robbery was in progress. When assayer J. C. Tappenier exited the Bon Ton Saloon next door, they ordered him to go back in. He refused and the robbers, armed with Winchester repeating rifles, killed him with a shot to the head. Cochise County Deputy Sheriff D. Tom Smith was having dinner with his wife across the street at the Bisbee House. He ran onto the street and the robbers ordered him to go back inside. Smith refused, and told them he was an officer of the law. One of the bandits reportedly said, "Then you are the one we want!" and killed him. He fell beneath a freight wagon. Annie Roberts, who was pregnant, came to the door of the Bisbee House restaurant, which she and her husband owned. The Cowboys shot her and the bullet shattered her spine, mortally wounding her. John A. Nolly, a local freighter, was standing near his wagon when he was shot in the chest. A local man, known only as "Indian Joe," was wounded in the leg as he was trying to escape the shooting. Roberts and Nolly died later that evening. The robbers exited the store and ran for their horses, firing at anyone they saw. Deputy Sheriff William "Billy" Daniels, who had come from his saloon when he heard the shooting commence, emptied his revolver at the fleeing outlaws, but missed. The bandits mounted their horses and rode back up Main Street, over Mule Pass, and out of town. At Soldier's Hole, a site east of Bisbee, they divided the money and went their separate ways. Posse captures suspects: The Copper Queen Mine offered a reward of $2,000 for the arrest and conviction of the Cowboys. Since four of the robbers wore masks, it was at first difficult to trace them. Riders from Bisbee immediately left for the county seat in Tombstone to notify Cochise County Sheriff Jerome L. Ward. Deputy Daniels immediately formed two posses. The first posse immediately left in pursuit of the murderers. It included John Heath who was later convicted of planning the robbery. He rode with Nathan Waite and Henry Frost (a local gambler and acquaintance of John Heath). Waite and Heath were deputized by Daniels. The second posse rode out after daybreak on December 9. Daniels' posse soon caught up with Heath's posse. During the manhunt, Heath noticed that the outlaws' tracks separated with three horsemen going east and the two others going south. Heath brought this to Daniel's attention, but Daniels didn't believe Heath. Heath, Waite, and Frost followed the southbound tracks and finally lost the trail of their quarry outside Tombstone. Daniels doggedly followed the other tracks and eventually lost that trail. He returned to Bisbee empty-handed. Exhausted, the three men spent the night in Tombstone. Since Sheriff Ward was absent, they met with Under-Sheriff Wallace, and then returned to Bisbee. Heath and Waite were arrested the following day. Waite was released, but Heath was held in jail as a suspected accomplice. When Heath was tried for his role in the robbery, Daniels testified that Heath was trying to mislead the posse when he pointed out that the trail had split. Because he had neglected to wear a mask, "Tex" Howard was quickly identified as one of the robbers. After further investigation, Deputy Daniels was able to determine the names of the other four men suspected of being involved. Suspicion fell upon Heath as he was acquainted with Howard and had been seen in the company of the other four men at Buckles' ranch. The first of the outlaws to be apprehended was Daniel "York" Kelly. Kelly was caught near Deming, New Mexico. "Tex" Howard and "Red" Sample made the mistake of returning to their old haunts in Clifton, Arizona. While there, the outlaws visited with bartender Walter Bush. After the two men left town, Bush notified authorities. A posse was assembled and within a matter of days, Howard and Sample were captured and placed in jail. Daniel W. Dowd and William E. Delaney had, as Heath had seen by their horse tracks, left the others outside Bisbee and traveled to Sonora, Mexico. Dan Dowd was captured by Deputy Daniels across the Mexican border in Los Corralitos, Sonora. William Delaney was apprehended by Deputy Daniels with the aid of Deputy Sheriff Robert Hatch in the town of Minas Prietas, Sonora where he had been detained after getting in a brawl with a local mine foreman. Given the reward, Mexican authorities were glad to release him to the Americans. Five Cowboys convicted: On February 6, the grand jury "found indictments against Dowd, Kelly, Sample, Howard and Delaney". The men appointed as their legal counsel included James B. Southard, Col. Stanford, Thomas J. Drum, F. V. Price, and Col. William Herring (father of Sarah Herring Sorin, one of Arizona's first female attorneys). The trial of the five suspected killers began in Tombstone on February 17, 1884. The evidence against the men was fairly conclusive. Four of the five of them had been recognized either during the robbery or as they ran from the mercantile. Additionally, there was a chain of physical and circumstantial evidence linking the men to the crime. The trial lasted only three days. After an hour's deliberation the jury brought back a verdict of guilty of first-degree murder. On hearing the verdict, Daniel Kelly was reported to have remarked, "Well boys, hemp seems to be trumps". On February 18, after their motions for a new trial were quashed by Judge Daniel Pinney, the five outlaws were sentenced to be hanged by the neck until they were dead. John Heath convicted: William Herring. The prosecutors could not produce a witness who could tie Heath to the robbery. Certainly he had known the outlaws previously, but proving he had conspired with them was problematic. Unable to produce a witness, County Attorney Marcus Aurelius Smith found a prisoner to testify against Heath. Sergeant L. D. Lawrence, of the 3rd Cavalry, had been indicted for killing two men during a saloon brawl in Willcox, Arizona, and had been incarcerated with Heath and the others since their arrest. Sgt. Lawrence swore he had heard Heath and the outlaws discuss the robbery and how and why their plan had failed. Heath's attorney questioned Lawrence as to whether he had made a deal with County Attorney Smith to testify against Heath in exchange for a lighter sentence in his own case. Lawrence swore he had not but three months later, in May 1884, he was represented in his murder trial before Judge Pinney by Smith's private law firm. He was found guilty of the lesser crime of manslaughter and sentenced to only two years in the Yuma Territorial Prison. The jury, which split several times over the verdict, with some calling for conviction and some calling for acquittal, finally chose a "compromise verdict" and convicted Heath of second-degree murder. Judge Pinney sentenced him to life at the Yuma Territorial Prison. Heath lynched: Some men of Cochise County were not satisfied. On February 22, a large lynch mob, reported as 50 to 150 men, mostly miners, armed themselves. They appointed a committee of seven men to enter the county jail in the Tombstone Courthouse and get Heath out. The jailer thought their knock was the Chinese cook bringing breakfast, and the seven men forced the sheriff and guards at the point of their guns to release Heath to them. The mob took Heath from the jail, leaving his five convicted associates who were scheduled to be executed in March. As the mob exited the courthouse with the prisoner, Sheriff Ward attempted to intervene. The mob pushed him aside. The mob took Heath down Toughnut Street and lynched him from a telegraph pole at the corner of First and Toughnut Streets. Heath's last words were: Boys, you are hanging an innocent man, and you will find it out before those other men are hung. I have one favor to ask, that you will not mutilate my body by shooting into it after I am hung. His executioners agreed. Heath was then blindfolded and the noose was placed around his neck. Members of the mob then pulled the rope until Heath was suspended beneath the pole, where he slowly strangled to death. When the body finally came to rest, someone placed a placard on the telegraph pole bearing the inscription: JOHN HEITH Was hanged to this pole by the CITIZENS OF COCHISE COUNTY for participating in the Bisbee massacre as a proved accessory AT 8:00 A.M., FEBRUARY 22, 1884(Washington’s Birthday) ADVANCE ARIZONA! Newspaper accounts" The lynching at Tombstone was covered nationally, reported by The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune as well as by western newspapers. The February 24, 1884 issue of the Times reported:... At 9 o'clock on Thursday morning Judge Pinney sentenced John to confinement in Yuma Penitentiary for life for complicity in the Bisbee murders. Twenty-four hours later the dead body of Heath dangled from the cross bar of a telegraph pole near the foot of Toughnut Street, where it was suspended by a rope... The seven men approached the door leading to the corridor of the jail and... Jailer Ward opened the door unsuspiciously, and was immediately covered by weapons and told to give up the keys of the jail. Seeing any attempt at resistance would be useless he did as requested, and in a few minutes the deputation was in the presence of the sought-for man... Arriving at the place selected for the hanging one of the party climbed a telegraph pole and passed the rope over the cross-bar. Heath pulled a handkerchief from his pocket and, placing it on his knee, coolly and deliberately folded it, and, placing it over his eyes, asked someone in the crowd to tie it. Heath restated his innocence before the crowd put the rope around his neck and hoisted him off his feet. The mob left Heath "hanging for half an hour, when he was cut down". After his death, Heath was described as "a notorious gambler, burglar, horse and cattle thief" on February 28, 1884, by The Kaufman Sun in his home town of Terrell, Texas. Coroner's verdict: Dr. George E. Goodfellow, who had witnessed Heath's hanging, was County Coroner and responsible for determining the cause of death. His conclusion reflected the popular sentiment of the town. He ruled that Heath died from "...emphysema of the lungs which might have been, and probably was, caused by strangulation, self-inflicted or otherwise, as in accordance with the medical evidence." While a grave marker for John Heath is currently located in the Tombstone Boothill Graveyard, his body was returned to his family in Terrell, Texas, where he was buried at the Oakland Cemetery in an unmarked grave. Remaining five executed: After the trial and conviction of the five bandits, residents celebrated the day of their execution in March 1884. Sheriff Ward sent out invitations to a select number of people to view the hanging, In addition, a local businessman erected a grandstand of his own outside the jailyard and began selling tickets at $1.50 per seat. Nellie Cashman, a local philanthropist, was disgusted when she learned of these plans. She protested to Sheriff Ward, but he would not act. On the day before the executions, she and others she recruited chopped up the grandstand. During this row, seven people were injured, one breaking a leg and another an arm. According to the Tombstone Epitaph, about 1,000 persons witnessed the hangings. A special gallows was built that could accommodate all five of the outlaws. On the morning of their execution, they were shaved and dressed in matching black suits. Sheriff Ward allowed them to walk unfettered to the gibbet and to wear their hats. Once on the platform, the men were bound again. Each of the bandits protested his innocence and that of Heath, who had been lynched a month earlier. Having converted to Catholicism during their tenure in the county jail, the outlaws asked for their bodies to be delivered to the local Roman Catholic priest, Father Gallagher. Their hats were then taken from them and black hoods pulled down over their heads. The nooses were subsequently adjusted around their necks. It was then that Daniel "York" Kelly, his voice muffled by the hood which covered his features, said, "Let her go!" On March 28, 1884, at 1:18 p.m. James "Tex" Howard, Dan "Big Dan" Dowd, William Delaney (or DeLaney), Omer W. "Red" Sample, and Kelly were executed. They were dropped together and, except for Dowd, died quickly. Dowd's body was seen to twitch and jerk for several minutes as he strangled to death. The bodies of the Bisbee bandits were allowed to hang there in the early spring air for a full half-hour before they were officially pronounced dead. Then, at 1:45 p.m. the corpses were cut down and “placed in neat but plain coffins” and conveyed to the city morgue, where they were each identified in turn by Gallagher. Learning that a medical school intended to exhume the bandits' corpses for research, Cashman intervened, hiring two miners to guard the graves of the bandits for ten days. A joint gravestone marks the graves of the five executed bandits, which can still be seen in Tombstone. Current graves: The following are the images, as of 2017, of the individual graves of Dan Dowd, William E. Delaney, Daniel Kelley, James Howard and Omer W. Sample in Boot Hill Graveyard in Tombstone.
Anthony Balaam, known as The Trenton Strangler, is an American serial killer who raped and murdered four prostitutes between 1994 and 1996 in Trenton, New Jersey, luring them with sex-for-drugs encounters. Balaam was captured after his would-be fifth victim escaped, and he was later given a life sentence for his crimes. Early life: Much of Balaam's early life is enigmatic. He's a native of Trenton, living at 421 Stuyvesant Avenue with a roommate at the time of the killings. Although a crack user, he had a ten year relationship with a woman who bore him two children, and was described as an unassuming, polite and soft-spoken young man. He didn't interact much with his neighbors, and from July 1995 to January 1996, he moved temporarily to Detroit, before returning to Trenton. Before his capture, he was arrested on several occasions for drug offences and burglary. Murders: Balaam's modus operandi was to cruise around the streets, within two miles of his home, looking for potential victims. He selected drug-addicted sex workers, as they were abundant in the area. He would approach them in the early hours of the day, offering them crack in exchange for sex, and when they moved to an isolated location, he pulled out a knife and threatened them. Balaam would then rape, and subsequently strangle them. Three of the bodies were disposed of in vacant lots, while the last one was left in a rundown hotel. In addition, authorities asserted that his would-be fifth victim had managed to escape after being raped on February 16, and that at least one other woman had managed to flee unharmed. The victim were as follows: -Karen Denise Patterson (41) - October 24, 1994 -Valentina Cuyler (29) - March 19, 1995 -Connie Hayward (27) - April 10, 1995 -Debora Ann Walker (37) - July 29, 1996 Arrest, trial and sentence: On the morning of July 29, 1996, Catherine Emerson, a neighbor of Balaam's, was contacted and informed to go look outside by another neighbor. Upon doing so, she found the body of a small-framed woman, lying on the grass at a nearby lot. The police were informed, quickly determining that the body belonged to Walker. Soon after, another body was found in the vicinity. Both of the women had been raped before death, and DNA testing on the semen pointed to Balaam. He was swiftly arrested, but remained calm and collected, speaking to the detectives in a polite manner. Balaam admitted responsibility for the stranglings, describing about the rage and power he felt while slowly strangling the women. His guilt was reinforced by a description of the woman who had evaded him. Before bringing him to court, investigators contacted with their colleagues in Detroit, in order to determine whether Balaam might've committed murders there. A homicide investigator from the city denied that Balaam was a suspect in any unsolved cases in or around the area. With this cleared up, the trial began, charging him with the murders, in addition to robbery and possession of illegal weapons. After a five-year-long trial, Anthony Balaam was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment.
Henry Louis Wallace, also known as "The Taco Bell Strangler", is an American serial killer who killed ten women in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is awaiting execution at Central Prison in Raleigh. Early life: Henry Louis Wallace was born in Barnwell, South Carolina, son of Lottie Mae Wallace. Wallace grew up with his mother working long hours as a textile worker. She was a harsh disciplinarian, constantly criticizing her son for even the smallest mistakes. He attended Barnwell High School, where he was elected to student council and was a cheerleader. After he graduated in 1983, Wallace became a disc jockey for a Barnwell radio station. Wallace went to several colleges before joining the U.S. Navy in 1985. He married his high school sweetheart, the former Maretta Brabham, that same year. In 1992, Wallace was honorably discharged from the Navy. Early criminal career: During his time in the Navy, he began using several drugs, including crack cocaine. In Washington, he was served warrants for several burglaries in and around the Seattle metro area. In January 1988, Wallace was arrested for breaking into a hardware store. That June, he pled guilty to second-degree burglary. A judge sentenced him to two years of supervised probation. According to Probation Officer Patrick Seaburg, Wallace did not show up for most mandatory meetings. Murder Victims: On March 8, 1990, he murdered Tashanda Bethea, a Barnwell High School student. He then dumped her body in a lake in his hometown. It was not until several weeks later that her body was discovered. He was questioned by the police regarding her disappearance and death, but was never formally charged in her murder. He was also questioned in connection with the attempted rape of a 16-year-old Barnwell girl, but was never charged for that either. By that time, his marriage had fallen apart, and he was fired from his job as Chemical Operator for Sandoz Chemical Co. In February 1991, he broke into his old high school and the radio station where he once worked. He stole video and recording equipment and was caught trying to pawn them. In November 1991, he relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. He found jobs at several fast-food restaurants in East Charlotte. In May 1992, he picked up Sharon Nance, a convicted drug dealer and prostitute. When she demanded payment for her services, Wallace beat her to death, then dropped her body by the railroad tracks. She was found a few days later. In June 1992, he raped and strangled Caroline Love at her apartment, then dumped her body in a wooded area. Love was a friend of Wallace's girlfriend. She worked at Bojangles at the time of the disappearance. After he killed her, he and her sister filed a missing person's report at the police station. It would be almost two years (March 1994) before her body was discovered in a wooded area in Charlotte. On February 19, 1993, Wallace strangled Shawna Hawk at her home after first raping her, and later went to her funeral. Hawk worked at Taco Bell where Wallace was her supervisor. She was also a college student studying to become a paralegal. In March 1993, Hawk's mother, Dee Sumpter, and her godmother Judy Williams founded Mothers of Murdered Offspring, a Charlotte-based support group for parents of murdered children. On June 22, he raped and strangled his Taco Bell co-worker and manager Audrey Spain. Her body was found two days later. On August 10, 1993, Wallace raped and strangled Valencia M. Jumper, 21 year old college student from Columbia, S.C. -- a friend of his sister -- then set her on fire to cover up his crime. A few days after her murder, he and his sister went to Valencia's funeral, even sending her family condolences. She was studying political science at Johnson C.Smith University in Charlotte at the time of her death. A month later, on the night of September 14, 1993, he went to the apartment of Michelle Stinson, a struggling college student and single mother of two young sons, aged one and three years old. Stinson was a friend of his from Taco Bell. He raped her and then some time later strangled and stabbed her in front of her oldest son. That October, his only child was born. On February 4, 1994 Wallace was arrested for shoplifting, but police had not made a connection between him and the murders. On February 20, 1994, Wallace raped and strangled Vanessa Little Mack in her apartment. He knew her through her sister, who was a co-worker of Henry at Taco Bell. She worked as a medical escort at a local hospital. Mack had two daughters, aged seven and four months, at the time of her death. On March 8, 1994, Wallace robbed, raped, and strangled Betty Jean Baucom. Baucom and Wallace's girlfriend were co-workers. She was living in Charlotte for at least six months with her three-year-old daughter. She was originally from Laurel Hill, North Carolina. After he murdered her, he took valuables from the house, then left the apartment with her car. He pawned everything except the car, which he left at a local shopping center across the street from the Lake Apartments. Wallace went back to the same apartment complex on the night of March 8, 1994, knowing that Berness Woods would be at work so he could murder his girlfriend, Brandi June Henderson. Ms. Henderson was a student and a homemaker taking care of her infant son. They lived at The Lake Apartments for one month after moving there in February 1994. Wallace raped Henderson while she held her baby, and then strangled her. He also strangled her son, but he survived. Afterwards, he took some valuables from the apartment and left. The police increased their patrols in East Charlotte after two bodies of young black women were found at The Lake apartment complex. Even so, Wallace sneaked through to rob and strangle Debra Ann Slaughter, who had been a co-worker of his girlfriend, and stabbed her some 38 times in the stomach and chest. Her body was found on March 12, 1994. Wallace was arrested on March 13, 1994. For 12 hours, he confessed to the murders of 10 women in Charlotte. He then confessed to an 11th murder he committed before moving to Charlotte. He described in detail, the women's appearances, how he raped, robbed and killed the women, and his crack habit. Aftermath and criticism: Charlotte's police chief congratulated Wallace's arrest, reassuring the community that the women of East Charlotte were safe. However, many in the area's black community criticized the police's conduct during the investigation, accusing them of neglecting the murders of black women One woman stated that the police did not care because they viewed the young female murder victims as "fast girls who hang out a lot". As Shawna Denise Hawk's mother, Dee Sumpter, said: "The victims weren't prominent people with social-economic status. They weren't special. And they were black." Charlotte's police chief, Dennis Nowicki, had said he was not aware of a killer until early March 1994, when three young black women were murdered within four days of each other. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department apologized to its residents for not spotting a link among the murders sooner. However, they said the murder cases varied enough to throw them off Wallace's trail. Until Wallace's murder pace picked up in the early weeks of March 1994, the deaths were sporadic and not entirely similar. It was only in the week of March 9, 1994 that Charlotte Police warned the people in East Charlotte that there was a serial killer on the loose. Trial: Over the next two years, Wallace's trial was delayed over choice of venue, DNA evidence from murdered victims, and jury selection. His trial began in September 1996. In the opening arguments, prosecutor Marsha Goodnow argued for the death penalty, while defense attorney Isabel Day asked for a life sentence, arguing that Wallace suffered from mental illness, and that the killings were not first-degree murder because they did not result from "premeditation and deliberation". According to FBI serial murder expert Robert Ressler: "If he elected to become a serial killer, he was going about it in the wrong way... Mr. Wallace always seemed to take one step forward and two steps back. He would take items and put them in the stove to destroy them by burning them and then forget to turn the stove on." In 1994 police had asked the FBI for assistance, but the FBI said that the murders were not the work of a serial killer. Psychologist Faye Sultan testified during the trial that Wallace was a constant victim of physical and mental abuse from his mother since birth and that he suffered from mental illness at the time of the killings. Sultan argued for a life sentence without parole instead of the death penalty. On January 7, 1997, Wallace was found guilty of nine murders. On January 29, he was sentenced to nine death sentences. Following his sentencing, Wallace made a statement to his victims' families. "None of these women, none of your daughters, mothers, sisters or family members in any way deserved what they got. They did nothing to me that warranted their death." On death row: On June 5, 1998, Wallace married a former prison nurse, Rebecca Torrijas, in a ceremony next to the execution chamber where he has been sentenced to die. Mecklenburg County public defender Isabel Day served as an official witness and photographer. Also attending was the manager of the Death Row unit at the prison. Since being sentenced to death in 1997, Wallace has been appealing to the courts to overturn the death sentences, stating that his confessions were coerced and his constitutional rights were violated in the process. The North Carolina Supreme Court upheld the death sentences in 2000. The U.S. Supreme Court in 2001 denied his appeal. In 2005, Superior Court Judge Charles Lamm rejected Wallace's latest appeal to overturn his convictions and nine death sentences.
Lester Warfel Brockelhurst, Jr., known as The Crime Tourist, was an American serial killer who, together with his girlfriend Bernice Felton, killed at least three men in holdups during a six-week crime spree across multiple states in 1937. Found guilty of the final murder, Brockelhurst was executed at the Tucker Unit the following year. Early life: Lester Jr. was born in Galesburg, Illinois, the first son of Mormon couple Lester Warfel Brockelhurst, Sr. and his wife Edyth (née DuPree). Another son, Karl, was born in 1930. Little is known about Lester's upbringing and early life, but after graduating from school, he took on a job as a teacher at a Sunday school in Galesburg. In 1935, he was arrested and convicted for armed robbery in Chicago, for which he served a two-year prison term at the Joliet Penitentiary. Brockelhurst was paroled in 1937 and went to Rockford, where he met 18-year-old Bernice Felton, who was also from Galesburg. The two quickly befriended and fell in love with each other, and on March 31 of that year, the couple embarked on a 18-state wide crime spree. Murders and capture: On the same day as their sudden disappearance from the city, a 47-year-old local tailor named John Albin Theander disappeared along with his car. Some time later, his body was found on the outskirts of Rockford, with a single bullet hole in his head. After killing him, Brockelhurst and Felton travelled to Salt Lake City and then onto Dallas, before winding up in Fort Worth on April 28th. There, they held up a tavern owned by a man named Jack Griffith, who attempted to defend his property from the two criminals. In response, Lester shot and killed him on the spot, and the couple fled the state. Their next destination was Little Rock, Arkansas, and on May 6th, they ditched Theander's car and travelled to Memphis, Tennessee on foot. There, they were picked up by Victor A. Gates, a wealthy landowner who resided in Little Rock, who drove them there. When they reached Arkansas, Brockelhurst shot Gates in the head, robbed him of his money and valuables and then threw the body into a ditch. From this point onward, the couple wandered around the country, committing about 40 robberies and hold-ups, but no other known murders were recorded. After robbing a bakery in Philadelphia, Brockelhurst and Felton arrived in Dutchess County, New York. On May 13th, a state trooper named Joseph Hunt noted that their car was missing a license plate and stopped them. When he noticed that there was a loaded revolver in the car, he took the couple to Fishkill for further interrogation. Not long after his arrest, Brockelhurst admitted to being the outlaw who had been robbing various establishments in the past weeks, and additionally confessed to the three murders. The contemporary press likened the arrest to that of bank robber Merle Vandenbush, who had been arrested at nearby Katonah for a minor traffic violation. Two days after his capture, a nervous Brockelhurst was detained in Poughkeepsie as officials from Illinois, Texas, Arkansas, New York and the Federal government were discussing on which jurisdiction would house and subsequently charge the accused with murder. Due to his frequent faintings, he had to be sedated by jail physician George E. Lane, who told the press that his behavior was caused by "overexcitement". While incarcerated at his jail cell, Sheriff Paul Johnson of the Rockford Police Department travelled to Poughkeepsie so he could interview Lester about his possible involvement in the murder of gas station operator Herman Luhrsen on February 12th, in the small town of Rockton, which was located not far from Rockford. According to Johnson, Lurhsen had been murdered with the same type of gun used by Brockelhurst. In the end, a decision by New York's then-governor, Herbert H. Lehman, concluded that Brockelhurst should be extradited to Arkansas and handed over to prosecutor George Hartje, reasoning that they had the strongest case against the killer. Brockelhurst had no objections over this, as he "wanted to get it over with" and was assured that in any case he would end up in the electric chair. Prosecutor Hartje publicly stated that he would demand the death penalty for both Brockelhurst and Felton, which prompted Abraham Felton, Bernice's father, to tell the press that his daughter had allegedly been told a sob story from Lester about how his parole officers were "hounding him" until he got married, and so, to get rid of them, he took her so they could get married. Trial, sentence and execution: The pair's trial was scheduled for June 14th, and was to take place in Lonoke, Arkansas. During this time, both Lester and Bernice were kept under suicide watch, as both had declared that if one of them took their life, the other would do the same. They were kept in separate cells, but were still allowed to share meals together under the prison guard's supervision. Twenty days before the trial was due to start, Brockelhurst's attorneys notified the Circuit Judge W. J. Waggoner that they would petition the Supreme Court to stop the trial, after their previous request for a 30-day continuance had been denied. On the eve of the trial, Lester and Bernice had a quarrel, and as a result, she was allowed to be present as a state witness against her former partner. Brockelhurst's attorneys' defense was based around the claim that their client was insane, but the prosecution countered their claims with an affidavit from the State Hospital for Nervous Diseases, which, upon examination, determined that the defendant was completely sane. At the end of the trial, Lester Brockelhurst was found guilty of killing Victor Gates and sentenced to die in the electric chair. Upon hearing the verdict, he fainted and had to be carried to his cell while unconscious. His father, who was also present, also collapsed. The following day, Bernice Felton was also put on trial for the murder of Gates. Much to the public's dismay, after deliberating for only 80 minutes, Felton was acquitted of the murder charge and set free. She and her father were transported to stay the night at a tourist camp, as the locals were likely to attack them if they were seen on the streets. Over the following months, an appeal was lodged to the Supreme Court for the commutation of Brockelhurst's sentence, but on November 30th, it was promptly shot down. Upon hearing of the decision, Lester received the news calmly, saying that nothing he could say would help him. While awaiting his execution at the Tucker Unit, Brockelhurst was interviewed about yet another murder, that of an unidentified man found dead in Poughkeepsie around the time that the pair were seen in the area. On March 2, 1938, Brockelhurst's attorneys presented a petition, signed by two Little Rock doctors and more than 50 Galesburg residents, which claimed that Lester was mentally ill, and thus, illegible for execution. Despite their last-ditch attempt, the Jefferson Circuit Court threw out the petition, thus confirming the death verdict for the final time. On March 18th, Lester Brockelhurst was electrocuted at the Tucker Unit. Before being strapped to the chair, he gave a 12-minute statement, ending it with a rant about his affair with Bernice. His last words were reportedly the following: The only thing that brought me down to this was a slight love affair with a girl. I don't want her to get the chair, but she is just as guilty as I.
The International Vegetarian Week (IVW) consists of 7 days, October 1 to 7, where many events promoting the vegetarian lifestyle take place in several nations of the world. This annual week begins with World Vegetarian Day (October 1), which has been endorsed since 1977 by the International Vegetarian Union (IVU), which is headquartered in the U.K. Many countries and organisations have been proposing Vegetarian Weeks for several years, from Australia to the United Kingdom. For many years, those Vegetarian Weeks have been mostly the effort of national organisations. The dates were different from country to country, and there was little or no international coordination or help. In 2008, a team of activists from different countries, before and around the 38th IVU World Vegetarian Congress, decided to coordinate activities cross-nationally to promote an annual International Vegetarian Week from October 1 to 7. This working team set up a specific website, which serves both as a means of informing about the IVW and as a tool to share ideas, resources, and promotional materials (available on the internet and in print). Vegetarian organisations and activists worldwide contribute materials and resources to the IVW, then the website serves as a central point to share the resources and ideas. In 2008, the first IVW was promoted in about 13 countries worldwide. This number has steadily increased in following years. The project has received the public support of famous vegetarians, including John Robbins, Rajendra Pachauri, Jean Ziegler, and Elroy Finn. Historical notes: The period called International Vegetarian Week has for a long time been used as World Week of Prayer for Animals by religiously ethical vegetarians. Curiously, it covered the following three dates: -first full week of October -October 1–7, plus -two full weekends, usually on either end (before or after) October 4, the Feast Day of St. Francis -However, though World Week of Prayer for Animals has overlapped and has been coterminous with the International Vegetarian Week, cultural, ideological, and political reasons often prevent its being noted in some (but not all) International Vegetarian Week announcements.
Wednesday, April 28, 2021
The Newhall incident, also called the Newhall massacre, was a shootout on April 5–6, 1970, in Valencia, Santa Clarita, California, between two heavily armed criminals and four officers of the California Highway Patrol (CHP). In less than five minutes, the four CHP officers were killed in the deadliest day in California law enforcement history. At about 11:55 p.m. on April 5, CHP officers Walt Frago and Roger Gore conducted a traffic stop of Bobby Davis and Jack Twinning in conjunction with an incident reported to the CHP minutes earlier. Twinning and Davis initially cooperated with the officers but then opened fire, killing both of them. Moments later, officers George Alleyn and James Pence arrived on the scene and engaged Twinning and Davis in a shoot out. A bystander tried to help by firing an officer's weapon, but the three were out-gunned. Both Alleyn and Pence suffered fatal injuries, while the witness ran out of ammunition and took cover in a ditch. A third CHP patrol car arrived on scene, and the lone officer briefly exchanged gunfire with the perpetrators, who then fled. Davis stole a car and attempted to flee the area, but he was spotted by police and arrested. Meanwhile, Twinning broke into a house, taking an occupant hostage. It was surrounded by deputies of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, and Twinning released the hostage. He committed suicide around 9 a.m. as the deputies entered the house. Davis was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders. His sentence was commuted to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole in 1972; he killed himself at Kern Valley State Prison in 2009. The Newhall incident resulted in a number of changes at the CHP, including procedural changes for arresting high-risk suspects, standardization of firearms, and firearms training used throughout the department. Victims: Officer George Michael Alleyn, 24 Officer Walter Carroll Frago, 23 Officer Roger Davis Gore, 23 Officer James E. Pence Jr., 24 All four officers had less than two years with the CHP. All were married and had a combined total of seven children. Perpetrators: Jack Wright Twinning, age 34, and Bobby Augusta Davis, age 27, were both career criminals with long histories of violent felonies. Twinning had been in and out of eight different federal prisons since age 16, including a five-year stint at Alcatraz, during which he killed another prisoner in self-defense. He had been released from a federal prison in Tallahassee, Florida, 11 months prior to the shootings. Davis had been released from prison eight months prior to the shootings and was on parole in Houston, Texas. Twinning and Davis met and became friends in prison. After failing to land jobs following their release from prison, Twinning and Davis met again in Houston, and drove to Sacramento, California, where they failed in their attempt to rob banks. They then drove to Los Angeles in a 1964 Pontiac Grand Prix. En route to Los Angeles, they noticed construction along the highway near Gorman, and believed they could steal explosives there to commit a robbery. Twinning and Davis rented an apartment in Long Beach. Soon after, they began observing an armored car delivering cash to Santa Anita Park. They devised a scheme to use explosives to rob the delivery car on a freeway offramp. They returned to the construction site to procure the explosives. Inside their vehicle, they had amassed numerous weapons, including a Smith and Wesson Model 39 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a six-inch Colt Python .357 Magnum revolver, two snub-nosed Colt Detective Special .38-caliber revolvers, an M1903 Springfield .30-06 bolt-action military rifle, a Remington Model 572 .22-caliber pump action rifle, and a .44 Magnum Ruger Model 44 semi-automatic carbine. Details- Prior to the shootout: On the evening of April 5, Davis dropped Twinning off in the mountains to steal the explosives. At approximately 11:20 p.m. (UTC-8), Davis was driving northbound on Interstate 5 south of Gorman when he made an illegal U-turn across the highway median, nearly colliding with a southbound vehicle driven by Ivory Jack Tidwell (1925-2016), a serviceman en route to Port Hueneme with his wife, Viola Bernice White (1936-2019), as passenger. Tidwell had an argument with Davis and both stopped their vehicles, whereupon Davis brandished a firearm. Tidwell persuaded Davis that the CHP was in the area, and Davis drove away. The couple immediately drove to a public telephone and reported the incident, including a description of Davis's vehicle, to the CHP. Officers in the area were informed the vehicle was wanted in connection with a misdemeanor. The area was sparsely populated; hunting and shooting were allowed. Shootout begins: Several minutes later, CHP officers Walt Frago and Roger Gore, partners in the same 1969 Dodge Polara patrol car, spotted the red Pontiac near Castaic and began following the vehicle. The driver was accompanied by a male passenger. Officers James Pence and George Alleyn, partners in a second 1969 Polara patrol car, waited in nearby Valencia ready to back up Frago and Gore. The suspect's vehicle exited the freeway at Henry Mayo Drive, near the present-day site of Six Flags Magic Mountain, and pulled into the parking lot of J's Coffee Shop, adjacent to a Standard gas station. Frago and Gore ordered the two occupants to exit their vehicle. Obeying the officer's orders, Davis exited the driver's seat and walked to the front of the vehicle, where Gore proceeded to search him. Meanwhile, Frago approached the other side of the car carrying a shotgun at "port arms" with the stock against his hip and the barrel pointed in the air. As Frago walked to the Pontiac, Twinning exited the passenger seat and opened fire with a Smith & Wesson Model 28 revolver. Before Frago could aim or fire his shotgun at Twinning, he was struck by two .357 Magnum rounds and killed. Gore immediately drew his service pistol and returned fire at Twinning, but in doing so lost track of Davis, who was right next to him. While Twinning and Gore exchanged gunfire, Davis pulled a .38 Special caliber Smith & Wesson Model 49 revolver out of his waistband and killed Gore with two shots at point blank range. Shortly after Gore was killed, Alleyn and Pence arrived on the scene. Davis and Twinning immediately opened fire on them with their pistols, expending all their remaining rounds, and dove back into their own car for new weapons. In total, they had twice as many weapons as the four CHP officers they would eventually face had in their two patrol cars. Davis pulled out a sawed-off 12-gauge Western Field (re-branded Mossberg produced for the Montgomery Ward chain) pump-action shotgun, while Twinning grabbed a semi-automatic Colt M1911 .45 ACP caliber pistol. Twinning's pistol jammed after one shot, but he grabbed another one from the car and exited the driver's side. Meanwhile, Alleyn emptied his Remington Model 870 shotgun at the Pontiac, firing the gun so fast he accidentally ejected a live round in the process. A single pellet from the shotgun struck Twinning in the forehead, but it caused only a minor superficial wound. After expending all his shotgun rounds, Alleyn opened fire on Davis with his Smith & Wesson Model 19 .357 Magnum revolver, but did not make any hits. Davis returned fire with his sawed-off shotgun, striking Alleyn with several rounds of 00 buckshot and inflicting fatal injuries. Gary Kness: Gary Dean Kness, 31, a former U.S. Marine and computer operator, was en route to work when he came upon the shootout. Kness got out of his vehicle and ran over to the fallen officer Alleyn. He tried to drag Alleyn to safety, but was unable to move him. He looked up and saw Davis discard his now-empty sawed-off shotgun and grab the Remington shotgun that had been dropped by Frago. Without realizing Frago had never fired the gun, Davis tried to cycle the action of the shotgun, but since it had not been fired, it was locked on a live round. Eventually, he accidentally fired the gun into the air. Startled, he dropped the weapon and grabbed the service pistol from Frago's holster. Meanwhile, on the other side of the cruiser, Pence fired all six rounds from his .357 Magnum revolver at Twinning but missed. Twinning returned fire with his Colt 1911, hitting Pence in the chest and in both legs. Pence fell to the ground, trying to reload. At the time, the CHP did not issue speedloaders to their officers; Pence had to reload one round at a time. On the other side of the cruiser, Kness picked up Alleyn's discarded shotgun and tried to fire at Davis, but the gun was empty. As Davis opened fire on him with Frago's pistol, Kness dropped the shotgun and returned fire with Alleyn's service revolver. His shots hit the Pontiac, and a fragment from one of the bullets lodged into Davis's chest but the shot did not incapacitate him. Kness was soon out of ammunition. Pence was still trying to reload his revolver and failed to see Twinning's approach. As Pence inserted the sixth cartridge and started to close the cylinder of his weapon, Twinning shot and killed him from behind, with two shots to the head at point blank range. Kness took cover in a nearby ditch. As he did, a third CHP cruiser, carrying Sergeant Harry Ingold and his partners, Officers Roger Palmer, Ed Holmes, and Richard Robinson, arrived at the scene. After a brief exchange of gunfire, Twinning and Davis fled the scene through the darkness in separate directions. Davis took Frago's revolver with him, while Twinning ran off with Pence's revolver and Frago's shotgun. Davis is arrested: At 3:25 a.m., Davis stumbled onto a camper parked near a dirt road. After exchanging gunfire with the owner, 40-year-old Daniel James Schwartz, armed with a World War II surplus Enfield revolver, Davis pistol-whipped Schwartz with his empty revolver and stole the camper. Schwartz called the police and reported the theft. Within hours the camper was spotted and pulled over by deputies from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. Without any more loaded guns at his disposal, Davis surrendered. Suicide of Twinning: Three miles away from the shootout scene, Twinning broke into the house of Glenn S. Hoag, and took him hostage. Hoag's wife, Betty, and their 17-year-old son, Jeff, escaped and called police, and soon the house was surrounded by officers from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department. For the next several hours, negotiators talked on the phone with Twinning, who bragged about how he had taken advantage of Frago's mistake in carrying his gun at port. "He got careless, so I wasted him." By roughly 9 am, Twinning released his hostage from the house. After issuing a surrender ultimatum, police pumped tear gas into the house and stormed in. As police, led by Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sergeant Robert Lindblom, entered the residence, Twinning killed himself with Frago's shotgun. Aftermath: Davis was convicted and sentenced to death for the murders of the four CHP officers. In 1972, Davis's sentence was commuted to life in prison without parole, due to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Furman v. Georgia that found state death penalty laws were unconstitutional, and effectively invalidated all death sentences in the U.S. under existing state laws. Davis was found dead, aged 66, in his maximum-security single cell at Kern Valley State Prison, an apparent suicide, on August 16, 2009. Police studies and changes: After the shootout, the circumstances of the event were scrutinized. The CHP and other police departments re-examined their methods of training and tactics. None of the four CHP officers killed had more than two years of experience on the job. Gore and Frago were both 23 years old, while Pence and Alleyn were both 24. None were wearing a bulletproof vest, which were not widely issued to police officers at the time. Three of the patrolmen were found to have died from wounds that a standard ballistic vest might have prevented. A key mistake made by Gore and Frago, thought to be related to their inexperience, was proceeding to approach and search the suspects immediately after pulling them over. Had they waited for Pence and Alleyn to arrive within a minute or so, it is possible Twinning and Davis would have surrendered or been overwhelmed by superior firepower when faced with 4-on-2 odds. The three officers who fired their handguns were using .357 Magnum rounds, although they had trained and been certified only with .38 Special ammunition, which has less recoil. Soon after the shootout, the CHP standardized their ammunition on the .38-caliber round, ensuring all officers trained with the same ammunition they would use on duty. Lack of familiarity with their service shotguns was also cited as a problem during the shootout. Frago had mistakenly approached the vehicle with his shotgun held diagonally in front of his body and Alleyn had ejected a live round. The Newhall incident showed the difficulty in reloading revolvers under fire without a speedloader. Shortly afterward, the CHP became the first major state police (or similar) department to approve and issue speedloaders. Pence might also have benefited from a backup gun when his primary revolver ran dry. In the aftermath of the Newhall shooting, although this was not based on the actions of any officer involved in the incident, the CHP modified their training to eliminate the practice of "pocketing brass" on the range (the act of picking up spent cartridge cases before reloading with fresh rounds). Several witnesses, including officers who responded to aid the four officers, said no brass casings were found in Officer Pence's clothing. One of the first responders, CHP Sergeant Harry Ingold, said he found six brass cases on the ground next to the driver's door of Pence's and Alleyn's cruiser indicating that prior to being killed, Pence had dumped his spent brass casings on the ground before reloading his revolver. This was confirmed by CHP Chief John Anderson in his book The Newhall Incident: America's Worst Cop Massacre. Legacy and honors: California Senate Concurrent Resolution 93, introduced by Sen. George Runner, designated Interstate 5 between the Rye Canyon Road overpass and Magic Mountain Parkway in Santa Clarita as the "California Highway Patrol Officers James E. Pence, Jr., Roger D. Gore, Walter C. Frago, and George M. Alleyn Memorial Highway" and was passed on August 11, 2006. A dedication ceremony was held on the 38th anniversary of the incident, in 2008 and attended by Kness, then aged 69, who was praised as a hero. Representation in other media: -The Newhall Incident: A Law Enforcement Tragedy (2010) was a documentary produced by SCVTV.
Clarence Arnold Elkins Sr. is an American man who was convicted wrongfully of the 1998 rape and murder of his mother-in-law, Judith Johnson, and the rape and assault of his wife's niece, Brooke. He was convicted solely on the basis of the testimony of his wife's six-year-old niece who testified that Elkins was the perpetrator. Brooke later voiced doubts about her identification, claiming that in her initial statement when she said "He looked like uncle Clarence", she simply meant that he reminded her of Elkins as opposed to being a positive identification and that she only identified him in her testimony at the urging of Summit County Prosecutor Maureen O'Connor (now Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court) and the main courtroom prosecutor, Michael Carroll. Brooke recanted her statement and Elkins appealed on that basis, but his appeal was denied. The family finally gathered funding to test DNA found at the scene and he was excluded. Once again, his appeal was denied. The judge ruled that because the jury convicted Elkins without the DNA results, it was likely that he would have been convicted even if the DNA did not match. Elkins' wife, Melinda, conducted her own investigation. She eventually identified Johnson's next door neighbor, Earl Mann, a convicted sex offender, as a likely suspect. Elkins collected a cigarette butt from Mann, who was serving time at the same prison, and provided it to his defense attorney for testing. Mann's DNA from the cigarette butt was found to be a match to the DNA found at the crime scene. Elkins was finally exonerated after serving 6.5 years in prison. Elkins now works as an advocate to halt wrongful convictions and was instrumental in getting Ohio to pass Senate Bill 77, also known as Ohio's Innocence Protection Act. This bill contains provisions requiring the police to follow best practices for eyewitness identifications, provides incentives for the videotaping of interrogations, and requires that DNA be preserved in homicide and sexual assault cases. A 2009 documentary was made about the case titled Conviction: The True Story of Clarence Elkins. He was also featured on Crime Watch Daily with Chris Hansen in 2017. Also in 2017, Fox 8 Cleveland covered Elkins' trip to Chicago, where a procedure called "Stellate ganglion block" was performed on both him and his wife Molly, by Dr. Eugene Lipov. This procedure was done in order to reduce symptoms of PTSD. The attack: In the early morning hours of June 7, 1998, Clarence Elkins' mother-in-law, 58-year-old Judy Johnson, and his wife's six-year-old niece, Brooke, were brutally attacked by an intruder in Johnson's home in Barberton, Ohio. Johnson had been asleep on her living room couch when she was attacked. She was raped, stabbed, and beaten so severely that her nose, jaw, collarbone and skull were all fractured in the assault. Her cause of death was determined to be strangulation. Brooke, who was sleeping in her grandmother's bed, was awakened by the noise. She recalls: "I got out of bed and I went to the kitchen and I looked and I seen that there was a guy in the kitchen, but it scared me, so I ran back to the bedroom." She hid under the covers pretending to be asleep. The intruder entered the bedroom and struck Brooke in the face, knocking her unconscious. She was also beaten, raped, strangled, and suffered a small cut to her throat, but survived without any memory of the attack. She regained consciousness several hours later around 7 am and telephoned a neighbor, leaving a message on their answering machine: I'm sorry to tell you this, but my grandma died and I need somebody to get my mom for me. I'm all alone. Somebody killed my grandma. Now please, would you get ahold of me as soon as you can. Bye. Brooke then walked to a neighbor's house, the home of Earl Mann's common-law-wife Tonia Brasiel, and knocked on the door. Brasiel came to the door, told the nightgown-clad, bruised and bloody child she was cooking breakfast for her children and told her to wait on the porch until she could drive her home, which she did approximately 45 minutes later. Investigation: When the police questioned Brooke, she said that the killer "looked like Uncle Clarence" – Mrs. Johnson's 35-year-old son-in-law, Clarence Elkins. The police interpreted this to mean Elkins himself was the attacker. Brasiel also reported to Brooke's mother that Brooke had identified Elkins as the attacker. Years later, Brooke said she had grave doubts about the identification at the time but went along with it. "I just wasn't sure it was Uncle Clarence or not," Brooke said. "But I was too afraid to say anything". Elkins was arrested on the basis of this identification. She later described the situation on Larry King: "I woke up and I found my grandma dead, I went to a next door neighbor's house and I told her that it looked like my uncle Clarence and it sounded like him. So, she took me home and she told my mom that -- what I told her and then everyone just started freaking out. And then my mom and dad called the police and my mom and dad told the police that it was my uncle Clarence who did it." When asked how the identification could go so wrong, she replied, "Well, I told people that it looked like him and they just went like it was him. They didn't even listen to what I was saying." Trial: At trial, the prosecution theorized that Elkins killed his mother-in-law due to frustration because she was meddling in his then-contentious marriage to her daughter, Melinda. The case against Elkins was largely based on the testimony of the 6-year-old eyewitness; however, investigators did not find signs of forced entry, or fingerprints or DNA linking Elkins to the scene. Hairs recovered from Johnson's body were excluded as having come from either Elkins or Johnson. He insisted he was drinking with friends until about 2:40 a.m. Sunday morning, a timeline that Melinda corroborated. She testified that she saw Clarence return home, and knew he remained there, as she was awake most of the night caring for a sick child. The attack occurred sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m.; Johnson's residence is more than an hour away by car. Elkins's alibi was also corroborated by his neighbors and friends. Based on the testimony of Brooke identifying him as her attacker, he was convicted on June 10, 1999 of murder, attempted aggravated murder, two counts of rape by force or threat of force, and felonious assault, and sentenced to two terms of life-imprisonment. Elkins' case was first overseen by Judge Beth Whitmore, then tried under Judge John Adams in Akron, Ohio. It was the first murder trial over which Judge Adams had presided. Further investigation: After the conviction, Elkins and his wife Melinda began their own investigation and hired a private investigator, Martin Yant, who had previously assisted with the exonerations of numerous wrongfully convicted defendants. Reconciliation: Since the night of the crime, Judy's family had been divided due to the case, with some members certain of his guilt and others of his innocence. Brooke had not seen Melinda or her children since the trial. Three years after the trial, the family reconciled. Brooke confessed her uncertainty, stating, "It couldn't have been Clarence. The person that hurt me and me-maw had brown eyes. And Clarence has blue eyes." Clarence's attorney interviewed Brooke on camera where she recanted her earlier implication of Elkins. Clarence appealed his conviction with this new evidence. The judge believed the child had been coached by relatives after the reconciliation; the appeal was denied. DNA: After the failed appeal, they decided to retest the evidence for DNA. The court ruled that Melinda could have access to DNA recovered from the scene, but she would have to pay the costs of DNA testing. Melinda raised almost $40,000 on her own before asking the Ohio Innocence Project for assistance. They convinced a laboratory in Texas to test two samples for $25,000, half their normal price. The results excluded Clarence Elkins. Clarence appealed the conviction again on the basis of the new DNA evidence. The court ruled that because a jury convicted him without DNA evidence, they would have convicted him even if it didn't match. Summit County Common Court Judge Judy Hunter denied Elkins' motion in July 2005. After the second failed appeal, the family's further research gained information regarding the next door neighbor, Tonia Brasiel, who had driven Brooke home the morning after the attack. It was discovered that Brasiel's common law husband, Earl Mann, was a convicted sex offender who had been released from prison just two days before the murder, on June 5, 1998. It had been overlooked that Mann's wife Tonia left Brooke, a severely beaten and bloody 6-year-old in immediate need of medical care, on the porch for more than 30 minutes instead of telephoning 911 immediately. Melinda determined to sample Mann's DNA, but he was in prison by that time. Coincidentally, Mann was serving his time at Mansfield Correctional facility, the same facility where Clarence was serving his sentence. Clarence Elkins collected a cigarette butt discarded by Mann. He sent the cigarette to his attorney who sent it to a laboratory for testing. It was a match. Earl Mann: Earl G. Mann was born in Melbourne, Florida, before relocating to Ohio. He had an extensive criminal record for crimes ranging from a racially motivated assault on another man to robberies. During 2002, Mann was convicted of raping three girls, his daughters, all under the age of 10. He had three children with Tonia Brasiel, who lived next door to Judith Johnson. Brooke frequently played with their daughters. In 2005, after Mann was identified as a suspect, Barberton police officer Gerard Antenucci brought to the attention of the prosecution the existence of a memorandum from 1999, four months before Elkins' trial. Antenucci arrested Mann for an unrelated robbery. During the process of his arrest, a drunk and belligerent Mann asked why he hadn't been arrested for the murder of Judy Johnson. Per policy, the arresting officer sent a memo to the detectives working the Johnson murder. This statement was never disclosed to the defense. After Mann was identified, Brasiel admitted during questioning that Mann returned home the early morning hours after the murder with deep scratches on his back. When she questioned him, he claimed he'd been with a "wild woman". According to Brasiel, when Brooke knocked on the door following the attack, he became angry and insisted that Brasiel not let her in nor call police. Melinda Elkins has stated that she suspects Brasiel may have influenced Brooke's identification of Clarence. Brasiel was the first person to hear the six-year-old's alleged identification of Elkins. Despite Mann's suspicious behavior that morning, Brasiel reported to Brooke's mother, after driving Brooke home, that the child had named Clarence as the attacker. Furthermore, Brasiel testified at Elkins's trial that the child had told her that Clarence was the perpetrator. Release: Despite the DNA evidence connecting Mann to the murder, the district attorney refused to release Elkins. Elkins's attorney contacted Ohio State Attorney General Jim Petro. Petro personally contacted prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh, on several occasions, regarding the case. He similarly discovered that she was not interested in reviewing the case. Petro then took the unorthodox action of having a press conference, in order to publicly pressure the prosecutor to dismiss the charges. The prosecutors performed more DNA testing of hairs found at the scene, and again, Mann was identified. On December 15, 2005, the charges against Elkins were dismissed, and he was released from prison. He filed for divorce in September 2006, which was finalized in 2007. In 2008, ten years after the crimes were committed, in a plea agreement to avoid the death penalty, Mann pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated rape and aggravated murder for the death of Johnson, as well as aggravated rape of Brooke. He was sentenced to 55 years to life in prison, and will not be eligible for parole until age 92. Lawsuits: Clarence Elkins settled with the state of Ohio for US$1.075 million. He later filed a civil suit against the Barberton police for failing to disclose the incriminating statement by Earl Mann during his 1999 arrest. Barberton police sought to have the case dismissed, but failed. The judge ruled that had Mann's statement to Officer Gerard Antenucci been disclosed to the defense, they most likely would have noticed the proximity of Mann, a convicted felon, to the Johnson residence, as well as the behavior of Tonia Brasiel on the morning after the murder. Mann's DNA would almost certainly have been tested, and Elkins would almost certainly not have been convicted. Elkins later settled with the Barberton police for $5.25 million. Reform efforts: Melinda Elkins Dawson was instrumental in getting Ohio to pass Senate Bill 262, also known as Post Conviction DNA Law. This bill contains provisions for DNA testing post-conviction, using outcome determinitive guidelines. Melinda also serves as Chair of the Board of Directors for "Ohioans to stop executions". As a public speaker and victim advocate, she continues to fight for justice and to increase awareness of wrongful convictions. Clarence Elkins was instrumental in getting Ohio to pass Senate Bill 77, also known as Ohio's Innocence Protection Act. This bill includes provisions requiring the police to follow best practices for eyewitness identifications, provides incentives for the videotaping of interrogations, and requires that DNA be preserved in homicide and sexual assault cases. Elkins spent much time advocating for what has been termed the "national model" of innocence reform bills, and the "most important piece of criminal justice legislation in Ohio in a century". Clarence also engages in public speaking about his case and wrongful convictions in general at universities and other locations across the United States. Philanthropy: During 2011, Clarence and his new wife, Molly, established the Clarence Elkins Scholarship at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. This scholarship provides $5,000 annually to the Ohio Innocence Project housed at UC Law School, and includes a scholarship to two students in the Ohio Innocence Project each year. In popular culture: -In 2009, a television documentary about the Elkins case was released, named "Conviction: The True Story of Clarence Elkins". -Melinda's story of her efforts was later optioned by movie producer/screenwriter David Massar, who said a script is in development. -Clarence Elkins case was covered in the "All Butt Certain" episode of Forensic Files. It was also covered in an episode of I Solved a Murder.