Thursday, November 25, 2021
Amy Marie Yeary was an American woman whose body was discovered on November 23, 2008, near Campbellsport, Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin. Her body remained unidentified for 13 years before investigators announced her identification via forensic genealogy and dental records on November 23, 2021. Her face was reconstructed digitally by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in 2009 and again in 2018 to approximate her appearance, as decomposition ruled out visual identification. After the revised rendering was released, her remains were exhumed for additional forensic information. Isotope testing indicated she originated from New Mexico or Arizona and had lived in the Midwestern United States for about a year or less before her death. Genetic genealogy research was also utilized as a way to locate potential relatives. Before her identification in 2021 Yeary was known as "Fond du Lac County Jane Doe". She is believed to have been a victim of human trafficking. Discovery: The remains of a young woman were found frozen in a creek by hunters on November 23, 2008, in Fond du Lac County, Wisconsin, near an abandoned farm. To extract the body, investigators were forced to chisel away the ice, and scuba divers searched the bottom for evidence. Some articles of clothing were found, including a strapless Zoey Beth brand black-and-pink top with a pink bow, determined to have come from Family Dollar, where it had been available in the spring of 2008. The underclothing that she wore, also from Family Dollar, was shipped only between July 1 and July 15, 2008. The legs of her Angels brand jeans had been rolled up for several turns, and an elastic ponytail holder was found on her wrist. No socks or shoes were found at the scene. Initially, no jewelry was found, until a penny-sized St. Benedict medal was found by divers. The medal may not have belonged to her, as examiners could not be certain how long it had been in the water. However, some reports state that a bracelet with several pendants on it was also found on the girl's remains. Her hair was a shoulder-length light brown of differing shades, possibly due to having been highlighted. Because items of her clothing were in various sizes, ascertaining her build was problematic; however, it has been determined that she most likely weighed around 120 pounds. Examination: Her cause of death was inconclusive, as severe decomposition of the body had removed all signs of possible violence from the remains. However, the manner of death is believed to be homicide, as suicide was eliminated as a possibility. The location where the remains were found had also raised suspicion among authorities. Toxicology tests were conducted to see if any drugs or alcohol had been in her system, but the results were never released. Although the body was found in autumn, she had died in the summer, two to four months previously. This was established by examining traces from insects that were found on the remains. She had an overbite, and some fillings and dental sealants were found on the upper molars with no current cavities. The overbite was not described as extreme, but may have been noticeable, which could be a reliable feature depicted in her facial reconstruction. The estimated height was between 4'10" and 5'4", the victim being between fifteen and twenty-one years old and weighing between 110 to 135 pounds, at an "average frame". Examiners believe she was either white or Hispanic, although the possibility that she was Native American or Asian cannot be ruled out. She also may have been biracial. Other physical characteristics included a healed rib fracture and being pigeon toed or knock-kneed, which may have been noticeable when she walked, as her feet were slanted inward. She also suffered from spina bifida occulta, but may have been unaware of the condition. To obtain DNA information, her femur was transported to the University of Texas. Her DNA was entered into the National DNA database and dental records were created that can be compared to those of reported missing persons. Investigation: At least 200 leads have been explored in the effort to identify the victim. A computer-generated reconstruction was created from the skull by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children from mortuary photographs and a CT scan of the skull that were submitted to the center. The reconstruction of the victim generated over two hundred tips that did not produce solid leads, as the composite apparently resembled a large number of missing people. Former missing person Amanda Berry, one of several possible identities of the Jane Doe, was ruled out by DNA analysis. She was recovered alive in 2013. Besides Amanda Berry, two other individuals who were eventually located were also ruled out of the case: Connie McCallister and Brittany Peart. McCallister, native to Wisconsin, was abducted at age 16 and taken to Mexico. She was eventually recovered alive after meeting a "church missionary" who reported the information to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Brittany Peart disappeared in July 2008 from Elkton, Maryland. Peart's remains were located and identified in December 2011. Her cause of death remains unreleased. The Jane Doe's body was buried in 2011 after the investigation turned cold. Television shows such as America's Most Wanted broadcast the case to possibly reveal new clues. A Facebook page was also created to generate leads for the case. On April 23, 2018, a revised reconstruction was released and authorities announced that the victim would be exhumed for isotope testing and DNA phenotyping to determine geographical locations where she may have lived and to develop a clearer estimation of her ethnicity and physical characteristics. Genetic genealogy, credited with identifying a suspect in the Golden State Killer case, would also be used to locate individuals biologically related to the victim. In August 2018, the results of an isotopic analysis performed by Utah’s IsoForensics laboratory were released. They indicated that the Jane Doe had likely spent most of her life in the Southwestern United States, possibly in Arizona or New Mexico. She had lived in the Midwest—perhaps in southwestern Wisconsin, northern Iowa, or southern Minnesota—for less than a year preceding her death. Investigators speculated that her case was related to the so-called West Mesa murders, but this was later ruled out. Identification: Thirteen years to the date of the discovery of her remains, it was announced that Yeary was positively identified via leads produced by forensic genetic genealogy conducted by Barbara Rae-Venter. The identification was confirmed with comparison of DNA from her mother, sister, and dental x-rays. Officials say Yeary would have been 18 years old when she died in 2008. They also learned she spent time in Milwaukee, Chicago, and Beloit in the weeks preceding her death. While speaking with Yeary's mother, detectives learned that Yeary made a phone call to her mother from Beloit in 2008 saying she wanted a ride home. The mother was unable to accommodate that request at the time. Yeary was never heard from by her family again.
Tuesday, November 23, 2021
The Hello Kitty murder was a 1999 case in which a nightclub hostess was abducted and tortured in an apartment in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, after stealing a wallet. On 17 March, Fan Man-yee (樊敏儀) was kidnapped and tortured by three men before dying a month later. She was then decapitated and her skull was placed inside of a Hello Kitty doll. Murder: A 23-year-old night club hostess by the name of Fan Man-yee (樊敏儀) was kidnapped by three men and one girl: 34-year-old Chan Man-lok (陳文樂), 27-year-old Leung Shing-cho (梁勝祖), 21-year-old Leung Wai-lun (梁偉倫), and Chan Man-lok's 13-year-old girlfriend after stealing a wallet from one of them. They took her to an apartment at No. 31 Granville Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, where they imprisoned her. They beat her, burned her, raped her, forced her to consume feces and urine, and forced her to say she enjoyed the beatings and if she didn't they would hurt her even more. All over a debt dispute of HK$20,000 (US$2,560). After a month of imprisonment and torture, Fan was killed (or died as a result of injuries) and dismembered. Her captors placed her skull inside of a Hello Kitty mermaid doll and discarded the rest of her remains. Only her skull, one tooth, and some internal organs were recovered. Fan's remains were found only after Chan's girlfriend led police to the scene. Trial: After a six-week and four days trial, the three men were convicted of manslaughter, as the jury ruled the remains were not sufficient to show whether Fan was murdered or died in another way, such as a drug overdose. The jury could not rule that the men intended to kill 23-year-old Fan Man-yee, which would have meant a mandatory life sentence, but it was determined she died as a result of their abuse. The underage girlfriend of one of the men testified at the trial in exchange for immunity. Justice Peter Nguyen, who sentenced the trio to life in prison, stated, "Never in Hong Kong in recent years has a court heard of such cruelty, depravity, callousness, brutality, violence, and viciousness." Psychiatric reports described the three, members of a secret triad society, as "remorseless". There would be no review for parole for 20 years, i.e. until 2020. Aftermath: -The apartment building, in which the crime took place, was demolished in September 2012 and has been rebuilt as a hotel in 2016. -The publicity around the case resulted in the production and release of films that told the story. Both Human Pork Chop (烹屍之喪盡天良) and There is a Secret in my Soup were released in 2001. -Bones's season four episode titled "The Girl in the Mask" is based on this case.
Monday, November 22, 2021
The unidentified body on Christmas Island was a sailor in the Royal Australian Navy (RAN) found on a life raft in the Indian Ocean, off Christmas Island, in 1942. He was widely believed to originate from the RAN cruiser HMAS Sydney, which sank off Western Australia in November 1941 after a battle with the German auxiliary cruiser Kormoran. While 318 of 399 Kormoran personnel survived, the 645 crew of Sydney was lost with all hands. On 19 November 2021, the body was identified as that of Able Seaman Thomas Welsby Clark. Background: The body was found on 6 February 1942. It is reported that an inquest was held on Christmas Island, soon afterwards. His remains were buried with military honours, in an unmarked grave, in the Old European Cemetery on the island. At the Battle of Christmas Island, Japanese forces captured the island on 31 March 1942 and it remained in their hands until 1945. Records, including any relating to the inquest, appear to have been lost or destroyed during the occupation. Witnesses on Christmas Island believed that the float and sailor had come from Sydney. A post-war investigation by the RAN, including attempts to reconstruct the lost records by those who wrote them, determined that the body could possibly be a member of the service. Christmas Island's assistant harbour master at the time, Captain E. Craig, stated that "the Carley float was typical of those in service with the RN and RAN". A government inquiry concluded "on the balance of probability, that the body and the carley float ... were most likely from HMAS Sydney." An archaeological team commissioned by the RAN recovered the body in 2006. A DNA profile and other data about the individual's background were recovered, before from the remains were reburied, at Geraldton, in the Australian war cemetery closest to the wreck of Sydney. Due to items found with the body, including clothing, it was considered most likely that he had been an engineering officer or NCO. By 2014, a process of elimination had established that no more than 50 members of the crew could have been the man on the Carley float. In 2019, it was reported – but not confirmed officially – by news media that Norman Douglas Foster was the Sydney crew member most likely to have been buried on Christmas Island. Foster, who was 28 years old at the time of his ship's last action, was an Engine Room Artificer, 4th Class (a rank equivalent to Petty Officer). Discovery of the body: During the late afternoon of 6 February 1942, lookouts on Christmas Island spotted an object out at sea. Initially thought to be a Japanese submarine, closer inspection from a pilot boat found it was a Carley float with a dead person inside and the float was towed ashore. With the island at risk of invasion, the deceased was quickly examined by the harbour master, the medical officer and the man in charge of the radio station, then the body was buried in an unmarked grave near Flying Fish Cove. The examiners wrote reports but these were destroyed when Japanese forces occupied Christmas Island and later recreated from memory. An inquest was not convened until mid-February and had not concluded when evacuation began on 17 February, Japanese forces occupying the island on 23 March. It is unknown if the doctor on Christmas Island had performed an autopsy; if so it was never found. Initial investigations and research: A preliminary examination in 1942 by the island's medical officer, Dr J. Scott Clark, found that the deceased was reported to have been a young adult male caucasoid who was tall by the standards of his time. The remains were partly decomposed, the eyes, nose and all of the flesh from the right arm were missing and believed to have been consumed by fish or birds. According to the Harbour Master, Captain J. R. Smith, the body was clothed in a blue boilersuit which had been bleached white by exposure, with four plain press studs from neck to waist. However, J. C. Baker, who was in charge of the radio station at Christmas Island, stated that the boilersuit was white. The body was not carrying dog tags or personal effects.A shoe was found beside the body, which Clark did not believe belonged to the dead man. Later recollections of the shoe varied, Clark stated that it was "probably branded "CROWN BRAND PTY 4", although he had some doubts about "CROWN" and "4". Captain Smith, recalled a canvas shoe of a brand named "McCOWAN PTY" or "McEWAN PTY", which carried symbols representing a crown and/or a broad arrow. A sergeant with the party who recovered the raft later contradicted the finding of a shoe stating that a 'pair of boots' were found on the raft. In Smith's opinion, the life raft was a naval Carley float, which had come from Sydney. The wooden decking was ma nufactured and branded with the word "PATENT" while the metal framework was branded "LYSAGHT DUA-ANNEAL ZINC. MADE IN AUSTRALIA" inside. The float had been damaged by gun or shellfire, with shrapnel embedded in the outer covering, and the underside was covered with barnacles and other marine growth, indicating that it had been at sea for some time. On 23 April 1949, the Director of Naval Intelligence wrote to the Director of Victualling (DNV) with regard to whether the uniform worn by the dead man and the Carley float were consistent with the crew and equipment of Sydney. With regard to the uniform, the DNV stated, in a hand-written note that, while boilersuits with press studs had not been issued by the RAN at the time, officers could purchase their own boilersuits, usually white or brown, with press studs. (Navy issue boilersuits worn by ratings were blue, but did not have press studs.) The shoes could "definitely" have been of RAN issue, especially if they were leather (not canvas). There is no record of a reply regarding the Carley float. Controversy regarding raft: The RAN claimed that the covering of the carley float did not match those used by Australian warships and thus could not have come from Sydney. The historian Tom Frame was also sceptical about the raft and that its connections to the Sydney were circumstantial. For many years, other authors, like the historian Barbara Winter (1984) and independent researcher Wes Olson (2000) disputed the official view put forward by the RAN. According to Olson, it was unclear how the RAN decided that the float cover was anomalous, as contemporary accounts of the float were often vague and/or contradictory. Olson said that the only detail of the covering in witness descriptions appeared to be that it was grey. Winter suggested that the currents of the Indian Ocean would have propelled a carley float, launched at the location and time of the battle, to the vicinity of Christmas Island, at around the time of its discovery. According to Olson, the rope used on the float and markings on the float were of naval origin and the descriptions of marine growth on the float matched the period that a float from Sydney would have been in the water. In 2000, Olson claimed that evidence presented at the 1998 inquiry had changed Frame's mind. Investigations since 1998- Recovery of the body: The 1998 Joint Standing Committee for Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade inquiry into the loss of Sydney recommended that attempts be made to find the grave, to exhume the body and acquire DNA for comparison with the next of kin of the crew of Sydney, to determine if the unknown sailor was from the cruiser. The RAN searched the graveyard during August and September 2001 to no avail but a second search in October 2006 found the body. When it was found, the body was in an unusually-shaped coffin, which appeared to have been constructed around it as the body was buried "with legs doubled under at the knee" the same position it had been in when found on the raft, possibly due to mummification. Press studs and small fragments of clothing were found in the coffin. Following an autopsy and the taking of samples from the body for identification, the remains of the unknown sailor were reburied in the Commonwealth War Graves section in the Geraldton Cemetery in Western Australia with full military honours on 19 November 2008. Autopsy and subsequent research: Brain trauma caused by a shell fragment of German origin has been identified as the cause of death. Bruce Billson (the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence) reported that a piece of shrapnel struck the front of the skull and lodged in the left forehead. On first examination, it was thought that the fragment might have been a bullet, although this hypothesis was later rejected. In addition to this injury, the pathologist identified a second major skull injury, with bone loss on the left side, above and behind the left earhole, which is also believed to have occurred around the time of death. The analysis also identified multiple rib fractures, but it is unknown whether these occurred around the time of death or long after death with the settling of the grave. No other shrapnel or projectiles have been found elsewhere in the remains. The fragment was found embedded in the man's skull during an autopsy in 2006. Anatomical analysis indicated that the unknown sailor was aged between 22 and 31 when he died, was right-handed, had size 11 feet and was tall for his generation, between 168.2 and 187.8 centimetres (5 ft 6.2 in and 6 ft 1.9 in). Bone isotope analysis showed that he had lived in eastern Australia, probably New South Wales or Queensland, before enlistment and may have grown up on the coast. The unknown sailor had acquired an unusual feature in both ankle joints, known as squatting facets; these indicated that he was more used to squatting than sitting on chairs. As squatting was unusual at the time in urban, western communities, it was speculated that the man had spent significant time -in a rural area of Australia; -amongst members of an ethnic group in which squatting was more common than sitting (such as people from Asia or Eastern Europe) and/or -involved in a sporting or similar activity that required the ankles to be flexed towards the back of the thighs for prolonged periods. Attempts to extract a DNA profile from the remains began around 2009, although the results were not published before the Cole Inquiry. Analysis of the partial genetic profile recovered has since suggested that the man had red hair, blue eyes and pale skin, and was likely of Irish or Scottish descent. He belonged to a mitochondrial haplogroup (i.e. an ancient matrilineal line of descent) known as haplogroup J1c12. This relatively rare haplogroup has most often been found in people with matrilineal ancestors from various parts of Europe, the Caucasus or Middle East. The boilersuit and shoe found with the body were, according to evidence provided by the Australian War Memorial, available to ship's officers, commissioned warrant officers and warrant officers senior enough to have a watch keeping certificate. Tests on the remains of the boilersuit showed that the fabric had never been dyed, was probably white and the press studs were of a type manufactured by Carr Australia Pty Ltd in the 1930s and 1940s. RAN Dress Regulations published in the Navy List of December 1940 do not mention white boilersuits. There is evidence that during the period, boilersuits were a popular working dress among RAN personnel. Many RAN engineer officers wore white boilersuits most of the time and other officers, commissioned warrant officers and warrant officers also wore them. Two former RAN officers recalled being issued with a white boilersuit twice a year, that these were fastened with four or five press studs and that some had press studs at the wrist, while others did not. Dress regulations for December 1940 state that RAN personnel on "foreign" (tropical) stations were issued with a pair of white canvas shoes to be worn only on those stations. While veterans did not recall being issued with them or seeing them worn, photographs of RAN personnel from the period show some of them wearing white canvas shoes. By 2014, the identity of the unknown sailor had been narrowed, to 50 members of the crew of Sydney. It had previous been reported (2007) that the unknown sailor was most likely one of three engineering officers. Erroneous identification: In August 2019, it was reported – but not confirmed officially – by media outlets including Channel 7 News and The West Australian, that the Sydney crew member most likely to have been buried on Christmas Island was Norman Douglas Foster. Foster (service no. F2147), was an Engine Room Artificer (4th Class) – a rank equivalent to Petty Officer; he was born in Perth on 15 April 1913, making him 28 years old at the time of the action in which Sydney was lost. Foster's service record describes him as 5 ft 83⁄4 in. (174 cm) tall, with auburn hair, blue eyes and a fair complexion. He had joined the RAN on 2 September 1939 (the day before the war began); following training at HMAS Cerberus, Foster had joined the crew of Sydney on 20 February 1941. Formal identification: In 2021, DNA testing identified the remains as those of Able Seaman Thomas Welsby Clark. The identity was revealed at the Australian War Memorial on 19 November 2021, the 80th anniversary of the battle. Clark was born on 28 January 1920 and raised in the state of Queensland. He enlisted in the Royal Australian Navy on 23 August 1940 and was trained as a submarine detector in Sydney. Clark joined Sydney's crew on 19 August 1941 and was promoted to Able Seaman several days later. After the announcement of the unidentified body's identity, the Minister for Veterans' Affairs Andrew Gee noted that it is believed that Clark was the only member of Sydney's crew who had been able to reach a life raft after the cruiser sank. He died at sea.
Saturday, November 20, 2021
On August 25, 2020, during the unrest in Kenosha, Wisconsin, after the police shooting of Jacob Blake, Kyle Rittenhouse, a 17-year-old from Antioch, Illinois, fatally shot two men and wounded another during three confrontations. Rittenhouse had armed himself with a semi-automatic AR-15 style rifle and said he was in Kenosha to protect a car dealership from being vandalized and to provide medical aid. Rittenhouse had been pursued by a group that included Kenosha resident Joseph Rosenbaum, who was unarmed. After Racine resident Joshua Ziminski allegedly fired a shot into the air, Rittenhouse turned towards Rosenbaum, who according to a witness lunged at him and tried to take his rifle. Rittenhouse fired four times at Rosenbaum, killing him. Rittenhouse then ran down the street while being followed by a crowd of around a dozen people. He tripped and fell to the ground after being hit in the head, then fired twice at a 39-year-old man who jump kicked him, his shots missing both times. While Rittenhouse was still on the ground, Silver Lake resident Anthony Huber struck him in the shoulder with a skateboard and attempted to take his rifle. Rittenhouse fired at Huber once, fatally striking him in the chest. When West Allis resident Gaige Grosskreutz approached Rittenhouse while carrying a handgun which, in court, he admitted having pointed at Rittenhouse. Rittenhouse shot him once in the right arm. Public sentiment of the shootings was polarized and media coverage both polarized and politicised. Rittenhouse was charged with two counts of homicide, one count of attempted homicide, two counts of reckless endangerment, one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, and one count of curfew violation. Rittenhouse's trial took place in November 2021. Judge Bruce Schroeder dismissed the unlawful possession charge and the curfew violation charge during the trial. The jury acquitted Rittenhouse, unanimously, of the remaining charges. Background: On August 23, 2020, Jacob Blake, an African-American man, was shot seven times from behind by a Kenosha police officer after being tasered. Blake was shot after he opened the door to an SUV and was leaning into the vehicle. As a result of the shooting, he became paralyzed from the waist down. The police shooting was followed by protests as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, which saw a resurgence in the wake of several other high-profile killings by police officers in 2020. The Kenosha protests included rallies, marches, property damage, arson, and clashes with police. The formation of the Kenosha Guard militia group was announced by former Kenosha alderman Kevin Mathewson in response to the George Floyd protests, which preceded the Kenosha protests. On August 25, Mathewson put out a call on the Kenosha Guard Facebook page for "patriots willing to take up arms and defend" Kenosha, which was picked up and redistributed by the InfoWars conspiracy site run by Alex Jones. The post received a national and international online response. Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian and County Sheriff David Beth expressed their disapproval of armed civilians patrolling the streets, while some Wisconsin police officers were seen in a video giving them water and heard saying, "We appreciate you guys, we really do." Kyle Rittenhouse: Prior to the Kenosha unrest, Rittenhouse had participated in local police cadet programs and expressed support on social media for the Blue Lives Matter movement and law enforcement. He was a resident of Antioch, Illinois, about 20 miles from Kenosha by road. Sequence of events- Before the shooting: During the day of August 25, peaceful protests in Kenosha were followed by chaos where demonstrators, armed civilians and others faced off against one another and the police at night. After the city suffered building and vehicle damage the preceding day, social media had drawn locals and outsiders, left-wing activists and right-wing militia into the city streets despite an evening curfew imposed on citizens. Some 250 National Guard members were deployed to the city. Militia that included Boogaloo boys and a biker crew carrying "hatchets, ball bats, and ﬁrearms" accumulated near two gas stations south of Car Source, an automotive business with three properties (a dealership, a used car lot, and another car lot to the South), which had been badly damaged during the first two nights of unrest. Car Source had suffered $1.5 million in arson damage the previous night. The shootings took place shortly before midnight along Sheridan Road in Kenosha after protesters were moved out of Civic Center Park following clashes with law enforcement. Police in armored vehicles drove protesters south away from the courthouse and Civic Center Park. According to Rittenhouse, he drove to Kenosha on August 24, 2020, to stay with his friend Dominick Black, who kept a rifle he purchased for Rittenhouse in April 2020 at his Kenosha home. Rittenhouse and Black arrived at Car Source on August 25, 2020. Accounts differ as to whether Rittenhouse and Black's help was requested by Car Source. The dealership owner's sons denied that gunmen had been asked to defend the business, but several witnesses testified that armed individuals had been directly sought out by the business to protect their property. In the hours leading up to the shooting, Rittenhouse appeared in multiple videos taken by protesters and bystanders and was interviewed twice: first by a livestreamer at the car dealership where he and a number of other armed men had stationed themselves, second by Richie McGinniss, a reporter for The Daily Caller. Rittenhouse was seen talking with police officers, and offering medical aid to those who were injured. When McGinniss asked Rittenhouse why he was at the car dealership, he responded: "So, people are getting injured, and our job is to protect this business. Part of my job is also to help people. If there is somebody hurt, I'm running into harm's way. That's why I have my rifle, because I have to protect myself, obviously. I also have my med kit." At some point, Rittenhouse left the dealership, was prevented by police from returning, and then headed to the Car Source lot farthest to the South. First confrontation: At 11:48 pm, Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum. Part of the first confrontation between Rittenhouse and Rosenbaum was witnessed by McGinniss to whom it seemed that Rosenbaum and other protesters were moving toward Rittenhouse, who was trying to evade them; Rosenbaum tried to engage Rittenhouse who avoided this by sidestepping and running away. Rittenhouse testified at trial that Rosenbaum had threatened to kill him. FBI infrared footage taken from an overhead airplane captured the shooting of Rosenbaum and the events immediately preceding it. The remainder of Rosenbaum's confrontation, and the following incidents with Huber and Grosskreutz, were recorded in cellphone footage from multiple angles, including the moments of the shooting. Video footage showed Rittenhouse being pursued across a parking lot by Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum threw a plastic bag containing socks, underwear, and deodorant at Rittenhouse. A bystander named Joshua Ziminski fired a shot into the air, and then Rittenhouse stopped running and turned towards the sound of the shot. Rittenhouse testified at trial that prior to being chased by Rosenbaum, he heard another man tell Rosenbaum to "get him and kill him," but also knew that Rosenbaum was unarmed. Rittenhouse testified that he aimed his gun at Rosenbaum to deter him from pursuing him further. Witnesses for the prosecution testified at trial that Rosenbaum engaged Rittenhouse and tried to take his rifle from him. Rittenhouse then fired four rounds at Rosenbaum, hitting his groin, back and left hand. The bullets perforated Rosenbaum's heart, aorta, pulmonary artery and right lung, fractured his pelvis, and caused minor wounds to his left thigh and forehead. McGinniss began administering first aid to Rosenbaum. Rittenhouse stood over McGinniss for half of a minute before fleeing, and was heard saying "I just killed somebody" on his cell phone to his friend Dominick Black as he sprinted out of the parking lot where he had shot Rosenbaum. Rosenbaum died shortly afterwards. Second confrontation: Rittenhouse then ran down the street towards police vehicles. After hearing gunshots about a block away, a video journalist from The Washington Post observed Rittenhouse run past with his rifle followed by a few protesters in pursuit. According to the criminal complaint, at that point, protesters were heard on two different videos yelling "Beat him up!," "Hey he shot him!," and "Get him! Get that dude!". One individual struck Rittenhouse from behind, knocking off his cap, shortly after which Rittenhouse tripped and fell to the ground. Others shouted "What'd he do?," "Just shot someone!," and "Get his ass!". One of the men in pursuit jump kicked Rittenhouse while he was still on the ground. Rittenhouse fired twice but missed the man. Next, according to court records and video footage, another protester, Anthony Huber, made contact with Rittenhouse's left shoulder with a skateboard as the pair struggled for control of the gun. As Huber was pulling on the rifle, Rittenhouse fired once, hitting Huber in the chest, perforating his heart and right lung, causing his rapid death. Third confrontation: Gaige Grosskreutz testified that shortly before midnight he had heard gunshots to the south and observed Rittenhouse running in his direction on Sheridan Road. While filming the protest as a legal observer for the American Civil Liberties Union on a Facebook livestream, Grosskreutz said he ran alongside Rittenhouse and asked "Hey, what are you doing?" and "You shoot somebody?" Grosskreutz testified he believed Rittenhouse was an active shooter. Grosskreutz had an expired concealed carry permit for a handgun and was carrying a Glock pistol. He approached Rittenhouse, who was on the ground, but stopped and put his hands up after Huber was shot. Grosskreutz then pointed his handgun and advanced on Rittenhouse, who shot Grosskreutz in the arm, severing most of his right biceps muscle. At least 16 gunshots from other sources were heard on video during the time that Rittenhouse was on the ground. After the shooting: Rittenhouse got back to his feet and walked towards police with his hands up and the rifle strapped across his chest. Several police officers testified during the trial that they were responding to an active shooter incident and did not recognize that Rittenhouse was the shooter. He was repeatedly told to get out of the road, and when he continued to advance, one officer attempted to pepper-spray him. Several witnesses and protesters had shouted for him to be arrested. When asked at a press conference why Rittenhouse was not stopped, Kenosha Sheriff David Beth said, "In situations that are high-stress, you have such incredible tunnel vision" and implied officers may not have realized he had been involved in the shooting. Likewise, Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis said that "there was nothing to suggest this individual was involved in any criminal behavior" due to the fact that someone walking towards the police with their hands up was "no longer abnormal" in the wake of the protests. Video clips from Kenosha immediately went viral after the shooting. Facebook, criticized for allowing militia groups to post solicitations for armed attendees and for failing to respond to several hundred complaints, removed the Kenosha Guard's post on August 26, 2020, and classified the event as a mass shooting. Legal proceedings- Charges: On the early morning of August 26, 2020, about an hour after the shooting, Rittenhouse turned himself in on charges of first-degree intentional homicide in his home town of Antioch, Illinois. Under Wisconsin state law, he was charged as an adult. The complaint listed six charges: -first-degree reckless homicide against Joseph Rosenbaum, punishable by imprisonment of up to 65 years -first-degree recklessly endangering safety against Richard McGinnis (a reporter who interviewed Rittenhouse before the shooting), punishable by imprisonment for up to 17 years -first-degree intentional homicide against Anthony Huber, punishable by a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole -attempted first-degree intentional homicide against Gaige Grosskreutz, punishable by imprisonment of up to 65 years -first-degree recklessly endangering safety against an unknown male, punishable by imprisonment of up to 17 years possession of a dangerous weapon by a person under 18 Each felony charge had a "use of a dangerous weapon" modifier, which invokes a Wisconsin law that prescribes an addition of no more than five years of imprisonment for each modified charge. In a jailhouse interview with The Washington Post, Rittenhouse said he purchased the AR-15 rifle, which was identified as a Smith & Wesson M&P15 chambered in .223. On August 29, 2020, the legal team for Rittenhouse released a statement asserting that Rittenhouse acted in self-defense and was wrongly arrested. On September 22, Rittenhouse's defense team released an 11-minute narrated video of the night, consisting of quick cuts between various angles. The video contends that several shots were fired before and after the shooting of Rosenbaum, and that Rosenbaum may have started chasing Rittenhouse because he mistook him for a man with whom he had a dispute earlier. Rittenhouse was held in a juvenile facility in Illinois until he was extradited to Wisconsin on October 30. Bail: On November 20, 2020, Rittenhouse was released from detention, posting $2 million bail. His release came over the objections of family members and lawyers for the three men he shot, who had asked for higher bail and expressed concerns that Rittenhouse may flee, which his lawyers assured would not occur. Rittenhouse pleaded not guilty to all charges on January 5, 2021. On January 22, 2021, the conditions of Rittenhouse's release were changed so that he could not consume alcohol, have access to firearms, or associate with persons or groups known to be a threat to others based on race or religion. These changes were made after Rittenhouse was seen at a bar in Mt. Pleasant, Wisconsin drinking beers and posing for pictures alongside five men who sang "Proud of Your Boy", a song used by members of the Proud Boys far-right political organization. In one photo with two of them, Rittenhouse flashed an "OK" sign, a hand gesture frequently used by white supremacists. On February 11, 2021, Judge Schroeder denied a request by prosecutors for a $200,000 increase in Rittenhouse's bond, after Rittenhouse failed to file an address change within 48 hours of moving, stating that people out on bail often fail to update their address. Rittenhouse's attorney said that Rittenhouse had been staying at an undisclosed address out of concern for his safety. Pretrial rulings: Rittenhouse's trial began on November 1, 2021, in Kenosha, and was presided over by judge Bruce Schroeder. At a hearing on September 17, Schroeder denied prosecutors' requests to admit as evidence Rittenhouse's outing with Proud Boys members and a previous fight he was involved in, finding that the incidents were too dissimilar to be used as evidence of Rittenhouse's mindset during the shootings. On October 25, 2021, Schroeder defined what testimony would or would not be admissible by both the defense and the prosecution. Schroeder ordered that the men shot by Rittenhouse cannot be referred to as victims but can be described as arsonists or looters if the defense is able to establish evidence they were engaged in those activities that night. Legal experts weighed in on the decision saying that the term "victim" can appear prejudicial in a court of law, heavily influencing a jury by presupposing which people have been wronged. Trial: Jurors heard opening arguments of the Rittenhouse trial on November 2, and multiple video recordings of the events were shown to them the next day. Two witnesses testified on November 4 that Rosenbaum was behaving violently and yelled before he approached Rittenhouse and went for his rifle. A former marine testified on November 5 that Rosenbaum had taunted him and other armed men before the shootings; he also said that he did not consider Rosenbaum a threat. Rosenbaum was seen on video shortly before the shooting confronting the armed men, after one of them pointed a gun at him, and shouting "Shoot me, nigger!", before several protesters rushed to calm him down. Grosskreutz testified on November 8 that when he approached Rittenhouse and put his hands in the air, he believed he saw Rittenhouse re-rack his rifle, which to Grosskreutz "meant that Rittenhouse pulled the trigger while Grosskreutz' hands were in the air, but the gun didn't fire", and that Rittenhouse "wasn't accepting Grosskreutz' surrender"; he then decided to "close the distance" to Rittenhouse, to employ "non-lethal" methods of either "wrestling the guns or "detaining" Rittenhouse. He further testified that he was "trying to preserve his own life" but "was never trying to kill" Rittenhouse, and that he moved closer to Rittenhouse, unintentionally pointing his handgun at Rittenhouse, after-which Rittenhouse shot him. A witness who said he had spoken with Rittenhouse after the shootings testified on November 9 that Rittenhouse was nervous, pale, and sweating, repeatedly saying "I just shot someone." After the prosecution rested its case, trial judge Schroeder on November 9 dismissed a charge of curfew violation against Rittenhouse, citing a lack of evidence offered by the prosecution. Rittenhouse testified on November 10, saying that Rosenbaum had twice threatened to kill him, and had ambushed him before the fatal shooting. Prosecution witness Ryan Balch, a military veteran who also carried an AR-style rifle that night, recalled Rosenbaum shouting “If I catch any of you guys alone tonight I’m going to fucking kill you!”. Rittenhouse broke down on recounting those events, and the judge ordered a recess. Afterward, Rittenhouse said that Rosenbaum charged at him, putting his hand on Rittenhouse's gun barrel. In cross-examination, Rittenhouse acknowledged using deadly force to stop the attack on him, while also saying that killing was not his intent. On November 10, prosecutor Thomas Binger alleged that Rittenhouse had not commented on the case until the trial, so that he could fit his testimony to others' accounts. The judge admonished Binger for this suggestion, calling it a "grave constitutional violation" of the right to silence guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment. Before the defense rested on November 11, three more witnesses, including a Kenosha police officer, testified regarding the claim that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense. The prosecution questioned that Rittenhouse would feel threatened while holding a rifle, and described him as an armed threat. Closing arguments were made on November 15, with each side given two and a half hours, including rebuttals. On November 15, the charge of unlawful possession of a firearm was dismissed by Schroeder based on the defense argument that the Wisconsin law was ambiguous and could be interpreted to only restrict minors from carrying rifles if they are short-barreled. Rittenhouse's rifle was longer than 16 inches, the minimum barrel length allowed under state law. On November 16, the defense made a motion for a mistrial with prejudice, arguing that there was "prosecutorial overreaching" and that the state acted "in bad faith." On November 17, the defense requested a mistrial without prejudice due to a dispute over drone video used in the trial. The defense attorneys stated that the version provided to them by the prosecution was in a lower resolution and different aspect ratio than the version presented by the state, in violation of rules of evidence and the right of defendants to confront their accuser. On November 18, Schroeder banned MSNBC and anybody affiliated with the cable network from the courthouse for the duration of the trial. The judge explained that on the previous night, Kenosha police noticed a car following the jury bus, and stopped it when it ran a red light. Schroeder identified the driver as "James J. Morrison, who claimed he was a producer with NBC News, employed by MSNBC" and that Morrison said his boss, Irene Byon, told him to follow the jury. Police took Morrison into custody on suspicion of photographing jurors, but after they found no pictures of jurors, he was "issued traffic related citations" and released. In a statement, NBC News referred to the vehicle driver as a "freelancer" and denied that he intended to photograph jurors or contact them during deliberations. On November 19, the jury reached a unanimous verdict after 26 hours of deliberations spanning four days. Rittenhouse was found not guilty on all counts, causing public outrage. Other litigation: In November 2020, 19-year-old Dominick Black was charged with two felony counts of intentionally selling a rifle to Rittenhouse, then a minor. Bond was set at $2,500. For firing a shot in the air just before Rittenhouse shot Rosenbaum, Joshua Ziminski was charged with disorderly conduct using a dangerous weapon and arson. A lawsuit was filed in September by plaintiffs including Hannah Gittings, the girlfriend of Anthony Huber, seeking damages from Rittenhouse, Facebook, the far-right group Boogaloo Bois, and the Kenosha Guard militia and its "commander". The suit alleged negligence on the part of Facebook in allowing the Kenosha Guard to call for militia members on its platform, and alleged that the defendants had participated in a conspiracy to violate their civil rights. The suit was withdrawn by the plaintiffs without comment and dismissed with prejudice in the last week of January 2021. Gaige Grosskreutz, who was wounded, and the parents of Anthony Huber, who was killed by Rittenhouse, each filed $10 million claim notices on January 4, 2021, with both the city and county, alleging negligence due to inaction in protecting their rights. On August 17, 2021, Huber's parents filed a lawsuit against the Kenosha Police Department and Kenosha County Sheriff's Department, claiming that law enforcement allowed Rittenhouse to harm people peacefully protesting against the police shooting of Jacob Blake. Responses:Public sentiment regarding the shootings was polarized. Coverage was both critical and supportive of Rittenhouse's actions, and used terms such as "vigilante" and "terrorist", but also "volunteer" and "maintaining peace" to describe him. Writing for the American Bar Association Journal, Matt Reynolds observed that the "scenes in Wisconsin illustrated a tension between the Second Amendment right to bear arms and the First Amendment right to peacefully protest." Support for Rittenhouse: Several commentators defended his actions. Fox News host Tucker Carlson blamed authorities for failing to stop looting and arson, and added, "How shocked are we that 17-year-olds with rifles decided they had to maintain order when no one else would?" His comments were met with backlash on social media. Conservative pundit Ann Coulter and retired baseball player Aubrey Huff also praised Rittenhouse. Donald Trump liked a tweet that included "Kyle Rittenhouse is a good example of why I decided to vote for Trump." In public comments, Trump showed some support for the idea that Rittenhouse was acting in self-defense. In November 2020, shortly after Rittenhouse was released on bail, Florida state representative Anthony Sabatini tweeted "KYLE RITTENHOUSE FOR CONGRESS". Sabatini was widely criticized by political opponents for the tweet with some urging him to resign. The Christian crowdfunding website GiveSendGo raised over half a million dollars to help pay Rittenhouse's legal fees. Criticism of the police: Many commentators were critical of the fact that Rittenhouse was not immediately arrested despite witnesses shouting that he was the shooter. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) called for the resignations of Kenosha Police Chief Daniel Miskinis and of Kenosha Sheriff David Beth. The ACLU statement argued that Beth's deputies fraternized with "white supremacist counter-protesters" during the day of the shooting and did not arrest the shooter. The statement attacked Miskinis for blaming those shot in the course of the shooting when he said that the violence was the result of the "persons" involved violating curfew. The Kenosha mayor stated that he would not ask the sheriff or police chief to resign. Responses by authorities: NBC News obtained a Department of Homeland Security internal document and reported that it directed federal law enforcement officials to make specific statements regarding Rittenhouse, such as noting that he "took his rifle to the scene of the rioting to help defend small business owners" and that "Rittenhouse is innocent until proven guilty and deserves a fair trial based on all the facts, not just the ones that support a certain narrative." Responses by Internet companies: In August 2020, Facebook, Twitter and GoFundMe removed content supporting Rittenhouse, citing rules banning praise or support of mass shooters or glorification of violence. Facebook further disabled searches for "Kyle Rittenhouse" on its website, with a spokesperson saying "We’ve designated this shooting as a mass murder and have removed the shooter’s accounts from Facebook and Instagram". On November 19, 2021, GoFundMe tweeted out a response to their ban of the Rittenhouse defense fund stating "GoFundMe's Terms of Service prohibit raising money for the legal defense of an alleged violent crime. In light of the Kyle Rittenhouse trial, we want to clarify when and why we have removed certain fundraisers in the past:". Responses by politicians: In August 2020, immediately after the shooting, then-President Donald Trump said, "He was trying to get away from them, I guess, it looks like," noting the incident was under investigation. "I guess he was in very big trouble. He probably would have been killed." Politifact at the time rated Trump's statement as false. Trump later went on to retweet a statement by Tim Pool describing how the case of Rittenhouse had convinced Pool to vote for Trump. Prior to the 2020 presidential election, then-presidential candidate Joe Biden used video of Rittenhouse in a campaign ad referring to him as a white supremacist. This led Rittenhouse's mother to say that "Biden 'defamed' her son by suggesting he's a white supremacist". After the trial, Senator Tom Cotton demanded on Twitter that President Biden "publicly apologize" to Rittenhouse. On November 19, 2021, when Biden was asked about the verdict, he stated "I stand by what the jury has concluded. The jury system works and we have to abide by it." Later that day, the White House issued a written statement from Biden saying "While the verdict in Kenosha will leave many Americans feeling angry and concerned, myself included, we must acknowledge that the jury has spoken... I know that we're not going to heal our country's wounds overnight, but I remain steadfast in my commitment to do everything in my power to ensure that every American is treated equally, with fairness and dignity, under the law." Governor of Wisconsin Tony Evers said in a statement that "No verdict will be able to bring back the lives of Anthony Huber and Joseph Rosenbaum, or heal Gaige Grosskreutz's injuries, just as no verdict can heal the wounds or trauma experienced by Jacob Blake and his family. No ruling today changes our reality in Wisconsin that we have work to do toward equity, accountability, and justice that communities across our state are demanding and deserve."
Sunday, November 14, 2021
herri Ann Jarvis was an American murder victim from Stillwater, Minnesota, whose body was discovered in Huntsville, Texas on November 1, 1980. Her body was discovered within hours of her sexual assault and murder, and remained unidentified for 41 years before investigators announced her identification via forensic genealogy in November 2021. Despite initial efforts to discover both her identity and that of her murderer(s), the investigation into Jarvis's murder gradually became a cold case. Numerous efforts were made to determine her identity, including several forensic facial reconstructions of how she may have appeared in life. The investigation into her murder is ongoing. Prior to her identification, Jarvis was known as "Walker County Jane Doe" in reference to the county in which her body was discovered and where she was later buried in a donated casket. Discovery: On November 1, 1980, the nude body of a girl estimated to be between the ages of 14 and 18 was discovered by a truck driver who had been driving past the Sam Houston National Forest. She was lying face-down in an area of grass approximately 20 feet (6.1 m) from the shoulder of Interstate Highway 45, and just two miles north of Huntsville. This motorist called police at 9:20 a.m. to report his discovery. The decedent had been deceased for approximately six hours, thus placing her time of death around 3:20 a.m. A rectangular brown pendant containing a smoky blue or brown glass colored stone on a thin gold chain necklace was found around her neck. Her ears were pierced, although no earrings were found in her ears nor at the crime scene. High-heeled red leather sandals with light brown straps, which investigators would subsequently discover the girl had been seen carrying while alive, were also recovered from the scene, although the remainder of her clothing was missing. Autopsy: The decedent was approximately five feet six inches in height, weighed between 105 and 120 pounds, and was described by the Harris County Medical Examiner as being a "well-nourished" individual. Her eyes were hazel, and her hair was approximately 10 inches in length and light brown in color, with what has been described as a possible reddish tint, although her hair bore no evidence of having received color treatment. The decedent's fingernails were bare, and her toenails had been painted pink. Distinctive features upon her body were a vertical scar measuring one and a half inches at the edge of her right eyebrow and the fact that her right nipple was inverted. Due to the general condition of the decedent's body, including her overall health, nutrition and the excellent dental care she had received in life, she was believed to have hailed from a middle-class household. The cause of death was certified by the coroner to be asphyxia due to ligature strangulation, possibly inflicted via a pantyhose, fragments of which—along with the decedent's underwear—were found inside the victim's vaginal cavity. The pantyhose and underwear had likely been placed inside the girl's vaginal cavity in an attempt to prevent her body from bleeding as she was transported to the site of her discovery as the girl had been sexually assaulted with a large blunt instrument both vaginally and anally, and these acts had occurred prior to her death. It is unknown if the girl had actually been conventionally raped, as no biological evidence attesting to this form of assault was discovered either at the crime scene or in the subsequent coroner's examination of her body. Furthermore, the girl had also been the recipient of a severe beating which had been inflicted prior to her death as many bruises were evident across her body, with her lips and right eyelid in particular being extensively swollen. In addition, the right shoulder of the decedent's body bore a deep and visible bite mark. Investigation- Sightings: Following exhaustive witness appeals and extensive media accounts regarding this murder, numerous individuals (all of whom are now deceased) informed investigators they had seen a teenage girl matching the decedent's description within the 24 hours prior to her murder. These individuals include the manager of a South End Gulf station and two employees at the Hitch 'n' Post truck stop, all of whom described this girl as wearing blue jeans, a dirty yellow pullover, and a white knit sweater with noticeably large pockets which extended past her waist. This girl had been carrying red leather-strapped high heel sandals. According to the first witness, the girl—appearing somewhat disheveled—had arrived at the South End Gulf station at approximately 6:30 p.m. on October 31. At this location, she had exited a blue 1973 or 1974 model Chevrolet Caprice with a light-colored top, which had been driven by a white male. This witness stated the girl had asked for directions to the Texas Department of Corrections Ellis Prison Farm. After receiving directions, the girl had left the Gulf station on foot, and was later seen walking north on Sam Houston Avenue. This same girl was later seen at the Hitch 'n' Post truck stop alongside Interstate 45, where she again requested directions to the Texas Department of Corrections Ellis Prison Farm, claiming "a friend" was waiting for her at this location. In response, a waitress drew a map providing directions to the prison farm which she then handed to the girl. This waitress informed investigators that she had suspected the girl was a runaway and that in their brief conversation, the girl had informed her she was from either Rockport or Aransas Pass, Texas. The girl had also claimed to this waitress that she was 19 years old; when the waitress had expressed doubts as to her claimed age and further asked if her parents knew her whereabouts, this girl had reportedly replied, "Who cares?" Ellis Prison Farm: Both inmates and employees of the Ellis Prison Farm were canvassed and shown mortuary photographs of the victim, although none were able to identify her. Investigators also traveled to both the Rockport and Aransas Pass districts to converse with law enforcement personnel regarding any missing females whose physical description matched that of the decedent. Staff at schools in both districts were also contacted by investigators for the same purpose, and numerous Texas high school books were searched for any female known to be missing whose physical features matched her description. All these lines of inquiry failed to bear fruit, and no missing person reports relating to young Caucasian females were ever matched to the decedent at the time. Despite the fact police and media appeals in the towns of Rockport or Aransas Pass to discover the identity of the decedent failed to produce any fruitful leads as to her identity, it was thought that she may have indeed hailed from the general region she had stated to the waitress at the Hitch 'n' Post truck stop the evening prior to her murder. Funeral: On January 16, 1981, the unidentified girl was buried in the Adickes Addition at Oakwood Cemetery. Her burial followed an open-casket funeral, and the cemetery in which she was interred is located within the town where her body was found. She is buried beneath a tombstone donated by Morris Memorials; the inscription upon her tombstone reads, "Unknown white female. Died Nov. 1, 1980." Ongoing investigation- Further forensic analysis: The remains of Walker County Jane Doe were exhumed in 1999 in order to conduct a further forensic examination of her remains, including the obtaining of a DNA sample from her body. This second forensic examination of her body revised the likely age of Walker County Jane Doe to be between 14 and 18 years old, with investigators stating they believed the most likely age of Walker County Jane Doe to be between 14-and-a-half and 16-and-a-half years old. In November 2015, the case was officially reopened by the Walker County Sheriff's Office. DNA testing was also conducted upon the high-heeled red leather sandals found at the crime scene; the results of this testing remain undisclosed. Local police departments also actively monitored other missing person reports for any potential matches to the decedent. Investigators have also reached out to the public via various online websites, news media and television networks in hopes of generating further leads of inquiry—all of which, to date, have been unsuccessful in identifying her murderer(s). Facial reconstructions: Several forensic facial reconstructions have been created to illustrate estimations of how Walker County Jane Doe may have looked in life. In 1990, forensic and portrait artist Karen T. Taylor created a postmortem drawing of Walker County Jane Doe in which she incorporated an estimation as to the appearance of the necklace she had been wearing. An investigator at the Walker County Sheriff's office has also created a facial rendering of the decedent. Taylor has included this case in her book Forensic Art and Illustration, in which she confessed to having experienced difficulties in creating her sketch of the decedent as the only frontal photograph made available to her at the time was of one taken after the victim had received extensive reconstructive cosmetic treatment at the Huntsville Funeral Home in order for her facial features to be sufficient to be viewed in an open-casket funeral. Taylor further explained that a scaled photograph of the girl's necklace was not made available to her, and she was forced to guess at the size of this item of jewelry for the facial reconstruction she produced. Within the decade prior to Walker County Jane Doe's identification, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children constructed and released two facial reconstructions of how the decedent may have appeared in life. The first facial reconstruction was released in 2012 and the second shortly after the 35th anniversary of her murder. All facial reconstructions were created with the aid of studying mortuary photographs taken of the decedent. "That person made a statement when they did that. Honestly, no one should ever be treated like that ... If we could positively identify the victim there is a very good chance we could identify the suspect. At this point, I'm willing to look anywhere. If there is a missing person from New York that looks like her, I'm willing to look at it." -Walker County Sheriff's Office Detective Thomas Bean referring to the murder of Walker County Jane Doe and the mindset of her murderer. March 4, 2018. Identification: In 2020, the Walker County Sheriff's Office partnered with Othram Incorporated to attempt to identify Walker County Jane Doe via genetic genealogy. Initial attempts to extract usable genetic materials from her remains were unsuccessful, but testing on her preserved tissue samples yielded usable DNA, which was used to generate a genetic profile of the decedent and construct a family tree. Through this family tree, living relatives of the decedent were identified and located. DNA swabs from these individuals were used to confirm the identity of Walker County Jane Doe in 2021. On November 9, 2021, the Walker County Sheriff's Office publicly announced the identity of Walker County Jane Doe as 14-year old Sherri Ann Jarvis, who had run away from Stillwater, Minnesota in 1980. Her identification had previously been announced in late September 2021 by forensic artist Carl Koppelman, who had produced several forensic reconstructions of the victim, and who announced that her identity was temporarily being withheld to give her family sufficient time to grieve privately. Jarvis had been removed from her home and placed under the state's custody at age 13 due to her habitual truancy; she had run away shortly after her 14th birthday. Her final contact with her family had been a letter penned to her mother from Denver in which Jarvis indicated her intentions to eventually return home. At this formal announcement, a statement from her family was read, thanking "the dedication" of all who had worked to identify Jarvis and to "provide the long-awaited, albeit painful answers" to their questions as to her whereabouts, adding that they take comfort from the fact she has been identified. This statement also thanked those who had visited her grave while she had remained unidentified and emphasized the family's wish for her murderer(s) to be brought to justice. The investigation into Jarvis's murder is ongoing, and investigators have stated discovering Jarvis's identity has given them "some positive leads" of inquiry they are actively pursuing. Other hypotheses- "Cathleen": In December 2015, a photograph surfaced of a white female, aged approximately 14 years old and 5 feet 4 inches in height and whose other physical characteristics also closely matched those of Walker County Jane Doe. The girl depicted in the image is a possible runaway named "Cathleen" or "Kathleen" who may have hailed from Corpus Christi. This photograph emerged after a brother and sister reviewed a private collection of images taken of themselves—then aged 12 and 10—at a motel in Beeville, Texas in the summer of 1980. These siblings had encountered this girl at the motel in question and recall both that she may have lived with a couple at the time the image was taken, and that she had expressed her wishes to meet a friend from the Texas state prison in Sugar Land. Both of these siblings sincerely believed that Cathleen (or Kathleen) may have been Walker County Jane Doe. A photograph of this girl, plus additional details of her physical characteristics and the circumstances surrounding the caption of this image, exist upon the Facebook page "Who Was Walker County Jane Doe? Sherri Ann Jarvis" This image and details pertaining to its caption are accompanied by appeals to the public to help provide the girl's full name and origins—all of which can be anonymously submitted to law enforcement should the sender wish to do so. Primarily, appeals were made to any individual who attended any elementary or middle school within Corpus Christi in the 1960s and/or 1970s who may recognize the girl in this photograph. Cathleen (or Kathleen) was most likely born in 1966, although her precise year of birth is unknown. Gender of perpetrator: Some individuals have speculated Sherri Jarvis may have actually been assaulted and murdered by a female assailant as opposed to a male. This hypothesis was initially suggested by a journalist named Michael Hargraves, who based this assumption upon the fact that no semen was found upon or within Jarvis's body, or at the actual crime scene, and that the only sexual assaults conclusively proven to have been committed upon the girl were performed by aggressively forcing an object or objects into her bodily orifices. Hargraves elaborated his hypothesis by stating that men who commit crimes of a sexual nature are typically known to bite their victims upon sensitive areas of the body as opposed to the shoulder, as had occurred in this case. The act of male perpetrators of murders committed with a sexual motivation occasionally collecting souvenirs from their victims was also noted to be inconsistent with this case, as the necklace Jarvis had worn was still present upon her body. However, the fact that it is unknown if Jarvis had worn other items of jewelry at the time of her murder, and that her ears were pierced yet her earlobes held no earrings may negate this portion of Hargraves' hypothesis. Furthermore, most of the girl's clothing was missing from the crime scene. Links to other murders: A possibility exists that Jarvis may have been murdered by the same perpetrator as another formerly unidentified murder victim, known as "Orange Socks", who was murdered almost exactly a year before Jarvis and whose body was found in Georgetown, Texas. Serial killer Henry Lee Lucas has also been named as a possible suspect in this case, although the bite mark found upon Jarvis's shoulder was inconsistent with Lucas's dentistry. No prime suspects have been named in this murder, although police have considered the possibility that the victim was murdered by a serial killer. In 2017, a theory arose that Jarvis may have been killed by the same perpetrator known to have murdered three other females in 1980 whose bodies were also discarded alongside Interstate 45. Only two of these four victims have been identified, and all had been strangled. All four decedents have been described by investigators as being "high risk" victims. One of these females, aged between 20 and 30, was located on October 15, 1980 in Houston. She was a black female with possible Asian heritage, and had died months prior to the discovery of her body. A second female was also black; her body was discovered beneath a bridge in Houston in December 1980. She was aged between 16 and 26 years old at the time of her murder. Exclusions: The information compiled by the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System states the following individuals were each positively excluded as being Walker County Jane Doe prior to her 2021 identification. Joyce Brewer Mary Trlica Maria Anjiras Cindy King Tina Kemp Kimberly Rae Doss Marcia Estelle Remick Deborah McCall Marie Blee Kristy Lynn Booth Laureen Rahn Roxane Easland Carla Corley
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
The Hamburg rubble murderer is the name of an unidentified German serial killer, supposedly responsible for a series of murders in Hamburg during early 1947. Murders- In total, four victims were found: January 20, 1947: in a deserted factory lot on the Baustraße (today the Hinrichsenstraße), the body of a young woman (about 18 to 20 years old) was found by playing children. A millimeter-wide trace of drying on the neck of the deceased indicated that she had been strangled with a string. January 25, 1947: at the Lappenbergsallee in Eimsbüttel, at the top of House No. 2, the body of an unclothed man aged between 65 and 70 was found by scrap collectors. Forensic scientists suspected that the time of death was between January 23 and 25. February 1, 1947: in the elevator shaft of a bombed-out house of a former mattress factory on Billstrasse, near Billekanal, the strangled body of a 6-year-old naked girl was found. February 12, 1947: in Anckelmannstrasse, Hammerbrook, the final victim's body was located; a woman, about 30 to 35 years old, naked and also strangled. The identities of the victims were never discovered. All victims were robbed, unclothed and strangled. Another commonality was that the murdered were in generally well-kept condition. Some circumstances indicated that greed could have been the motive. Despite the bodies being found at intervals of about seven days, the locality was never the same, and there were no signs of a fight present. The investigators did, however, detect grinding marks on some pointed rubble stones. The perpetrator has never been captured. Investigations: The police investigation was led by Chief Commissioner Ingwersen. The Hamburg Police warned the population to be wary of strangers approaching them in homeless shelters and waiting rooms, and that driving with a personal driver was dangerous. None of the victims were reported missing, including that of the little girl. It was assumed that the murdered persons were transients who had stopped over in Hamburg. For clues that could lead to the capture of the offender, a reward of 5,000 Reichsmark and 1,000 cigarettes was offered. After some time, the reward was raised to 10,000 Reichsmark. The police advised the public "to go on the road center and not in the Underground". Around 50,000 posters of the offender were plastered in all four occupation territories. Even after a request to the professional associations of dentists for one of the victims' dentures, no clues were discovered. Registry offices were requested to issue death certificates. One theory sought that the perpetrator's motive of being a hereditary stalker who had murdered a complete family to gain possession of the heritage. A total of 1,000 people were interviewed, according to police reports. At dispensaries, ration stamps were used by people who had not picked up their card lately. The searches took place in station waiting rooms, restaurants and bunkers, which served as an asylum for bombed people. Inspector Hans Lühr, head of the "Killing Offenses Inspectorate" and one of the most renowned experts in this field, assumed that the perpetrator was a single individual. He also believed that the victims were four family members and that the culprit was the "fifth link in the chain". A landlady testified that the male victim could have been her tenant, but this lead was disproven when the missing man later contacted her. The case of the Hamburg rubble murderer had certain parallels to the serial killer Rudolf Pleil, who killed out of greed and sexual motives at least 10 women. Pleil was brought to the scene near the Berliner Tor, however, his alibi was credible enough to understand that this case was not connected to him. Even a connection to a series of murders of taxi drivers, which occurred at the same time in Hamburg, could not be established. In the statistics from 1946 to 1964, 268 out of a total 320 murder cases were investigated by the Hamburg Police, but the case of Rubble Murderer was not among them. The investigation files are still available in the Hamburg State Archives. Literatury processing: The material of the unresolved criminal case was processed by Cay Rademacher in his novel The Rubble Murderer. Rademacher describes the investigation work of Inspector General Frank Stave, who was entrusted with the case. In 2016, the novel Trümmerkind by Mechthild Borrmann was published, which ties in with the rubble murders and contains a fictitious story of the victims as a family.