TRIAL and ERROR
the un-humbled opinion of one, Poetic Justice...
The Red Carpet of Justice
Phil Spector booking photo
April 13, 2009
Six years after he shot film actress Lana Clarkson, and two years after a mistrial -- a jury officially declared Phil Spector guilty of second-degree murder. Jurors rejected deranged defense claims that the actress decided to shoot herself in the face. They determined Spector had personally used the firearm while committing the crime.
Judge Larry Paul Fidler denied Spector bail, so there was no time for singing or hopping around or posing for photos. The murderer was immediately taken out of the courtroom and into custody.
Ms. Clarkson's family issued a statement saying, "We are pleased that the jury has rejected the distortion and trashing of Lana Clarkson's life by the defense in this trial, the last trial and the past six plus years."
Lana Clarkson was 40 when she was murdered in Spector's castle on February 3, 2003. She had met him only that evening at her job as hostess of the "House of Blues" nightclub. Three hours later Lana was dead.
The killer music producer is scheduled for sentencing on May 29. He faces a punishment of 15 years to life behind bars. The "use-of-a-gun" enhancement will automatically add three to ten years to Spector's sentence. He's nearly 70-years-old.
Having toned down his act for the re-trial, Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson told reporters "Justice was unserved up until today. Today is when the Clarkson family gets their justice."
There will be no justice for Lana Clarkson.
8-Year-Old Accused of Patricide
November 8, 2008
Felicia Fonseca reporting for AP writes: The crime that unfolded Wednesday evening sent shock waves through St. Johns, a community of about 4,000 people northeast of Phoenix. It's a crime that police officers in a small eastern Arizona community can hardly fathom yet have to deal with: an 8-year-old charged in the fatal shootings of his father and another man.
"Who would think an 8-year-old kid could kill two adults?" said St. Johns Police Chief Roy Melnick.
On Friday, a judge determined there was probable cause to show that the boy fatally shot his father, Vincent Romero, 29, and Timothy Romans, 39, of San Carlos with a .22-caliber rifle. Chief Melnick said officers arrived at Romero's home within minutes of the shooting Wednesday. They found one victim just outside the front door and the other dead in an upstairs room.
Romans had been renting a room at the Romero house, prosecutors said. The two men were employees with a construction company that had a contract to do work at the Salt River Project power plant near St. Johns, which is about 170 miles northeast of Phoenix.
The boy had went to a neighbor's house and said he "believed that his father was dead," said Apache County attorney Brad Carlyon. Police said the boy initially denied involvement but later, a confession was obtained, Melnick said.
"It was such a tragedy," said the boy's defense attorney, Benjamin Brewer. "You have two people dead; you have an 8-year-old in jail. It tugs at the heart strings. It's a shocker, no doubt about it." The 8-year-old faces two counts of premeditated murder.
FBI statistics show instances of children younger than 11 committing homicides are very rare. According to recent FBI supplementary homicide reports, there were at least three such cases each year in 2003, 2004 and 2005; there were at least 15 in 2002. More recent statistics weren't available, nor were details of the cases. Earlier this year in Arizona, prosecutors in Cochise County filed first-degree murder charges against a 12-year-old boy accused of shooting his mother to death.
Ed Lanphear's House of Horrors
July 15, 2008
Edward J. Lanphear was arrested on July 8, 2008, after abducting, torturing and sexually abusing two young men. I should say allegedly abducting and abusing -- but the evidence police found is frighteningly clear. He's obviously guilty in these two cases, but the real question is: How many other victims has Ed dragged into his house of horrors but managed to get rid of?
1. Age: 46 years old (2008)
2. Residence: Saratoga, Wisconsin in Wood County
3. Held on $1 million bail
4. Facing charges of false imprisonment, kidnapping, substantial battery, first-degree sexual assault and impersonating a peace officer
Abduction and Escape
According to a court affidavit, Lanphear abducted a 23-year old man and held him captive from Saturday, July 5, 2008 until Tuesday, July 8, 2008. The young man was walking home from a fireworks show when Lanphear allegedly impersonated an officer and handcuffed him.
At one point the young man's handcuffs came loose and Lanphear knocked him unconscious. When he awoke he was chained in a basement. The victim was sexually assaulted while in Lanphear's cellar. A gun was connected to the chains he was constrained with by a string. He was warned that if he moved the gun would shoot him.
A second victim, age 21, was drinking at a Wisconsin Rapids bar between the night of Sunday, July 6, 2008, and early Monday, July 7, 2008. He passed out in his car and woke up hanging nude in the garage of Lanphear. The 21-year-old was also sexually assaulted. He managed to escape. Authorities were led to Lanphear's home at 10730 52nd St. S. in the town of Saratoga after the resident across the street reported that a naked, bleeding man had shown up on his porch. The officers then found the first victim in the basement.
The affidavit notes: "Mr. Lanphear has indicated to (investigator Mark) Neuman through the course of this investigation that he knew what he did was wrong."
A Wood County Sheriff's Department evidence report details the hundreds of items collected from Lanphear's home. Included on the list are various types of chains, locks, ropes, zip ties, and other restraining devices as well as several pill bottles, pornography, and various blankets, rugs, and clothing with stains on them. About two dozen firearms, mostly rifles and shotguns were confiscated.
Also collected from the Lanphear's house was a newspaper that covered the missing Wood County men with certain articles highlighted, and a newspaper clipping about the April 2 murder of University of Wisconsin student Brittany Zimmermann who was stabbed in her Madison apartment.
2007: A Deadly Year
On December 27, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund released a shocking report which says, "2007 has been a deadly year for law enforcement in the United States, with 186 officers killed nationwide as of December 26."
Outside of 2001, when 239 officers died (72 in the September 11 terrorist attacks) -- 2007 is the deadliest year for American law enforcement since 1989, the NLEOMF said.
So far this year, 69 officers have been shot and killed, up 33 percent from 2006. Handguns were used in the vast majority of fatal officer shootings. Six times this year, two or more officers were gunned down in the same incident, including a shooting that killed three Odessa (TX) Police officers in early September.
"In 2007, our nation's law enforcement officers were confronted with more brazen, heavily armed and cold-blooded criminals than they have faced in many years," said Craig W. Floyd, Chairman and CEO of the NLEOMF. He added, "Even in the face of incredible danger, our men and women in blue displayed remarkable bravery in working to protect the rest of us. As this tragic year comes to a close, every American owes our law enforcement officers an incredible measure of gratitude."
Another High-Profile, Hollywood Flop
Phil Spector and his wife dancing in celebration after a mistrial was declared.
September 27, 2007
Prosecutor Alan Jackson failed to prove his case against serial abuser, gun-lover and music producer, Phil Spector. A week after they announced a 7-5 split, jurors returned to court with a 10 - 2 deadlock. Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler dismissed jurors and formally declared the case a mistrial.
It's a crying shame for Lana Clarkson, her friends, family and her fans -- and tragic that the jury was never allowed to hear the tapes of Phil Spector confessing to police the night of the killing.
("The gun went off accidentally! She works at the House of Blues. It was a mistake!")
Yes, it meant Spector's self-serving statements would also come in as evidence -- but so be it. A trial is a search for the truth, not a search for a conviction -- and certainly not a game of hide-n-seek. Yet prosecutors chose to hide Spector's police interview.
Jackson could have told the jury what the judge finally told them once they'd deadlocked: the totality of the evidence leads to several theories of the death, all of which -- beyond a reasonable doubt -- are either 2nd degree Murder or Manslaughter.
But the prosecutor strangely went to trial arguing one, and only one theory of Clarkson's death.
In his thundering opening statement, Jackson promised he could prove Lana Clarkson died at Spector's hand in a point-blank shooting.
"He put a loaded pistol in her mouth and shot her to death," Jackson said, and later stated, "The evidence is going to paint a picture of a man who on February 3, 2003, put a loaded pistol in Lana Clarkson's mouth -- inside her mouth -- and shot her to death."
It wasn't Spector's bumbling, inept, revolving door defense team, but rather the proud prosecution who caused there to be a special instruction to jurors.
(Special Instruction: "It is the prosecution's contention that the act committed by the defendant that caused the death of Ms. Clarkson was to point a gun at her, which resulted in that gun entering Ms. Clarkson's mouth, while in Mr. Spector's hand.")
Whether Alan Jackson likes it now or not, that instruction was crafted on the words of Alan Jackson. The prosecutor then gambled on an "All or Nothing" charge of 2nd degree Murder with no lesser charges going to the jury. He gambled and everybody lost. Now that several jurors have made statements to the press, it's clear that the prosecution wasn't shot down by Phil Spector -- Alan Jackson committed suicide.
After four years, Lana Clarkson and her loved ones deserved some measure of quiet, sober, dignified justice. They did not get that. Angry vows from the DA's office to go after Spector again ASAP and jump immediately back into the nastiness and mud-slinging is a huge mistake. Mr. Jackson failed to convince nearly half the jury that the defendant was guilty as charged.
Prosecutors obviously need to take some time and get their act together -- because if there is a sequel to this legal horror show, Spector might just show up with a REAL defense team.
AP -- Sept 5
(In his closing argument) Jackson defined second-degree murder and implied malice for the jury repeatedly and drew a mistrial motion from the defense, which said he had given them the option of finding murder by accident. Attorney Dennis Riordan said that was an instruction for involuntary manslaughter. The motion was denied but the judge said there would be an instruction to clear up the matter.
MSNBC -- Aug 9
The defense maintains Clarkson, 40, was depressed and shot herself in the mouth. "I’m sure we can all agree this is a case about who fired the gun," defense attorney Dennis Riordan told the judge.
Deputy District Attorney Alan Jackson said he wanted to be assured that he would not be "sandbagged" by any defense attorney telling jurors in final arguments that there might be a lesser crime involved.
"I would never allow that," said Fidler. "The only verdict form they will get is second-degree murder."
MSNBC - Sept 19
. . . The judge previously ruled that the panel would decide only (2nd degree murder] and not consider lesser charges such as manslaughter. The judge, however, told the attorneys that he was reconsidering and believed he might have cause to instruct the jury to consider involuntary manslaughter.
FOX NEWS - Sept. 19
Jackson said he wasn't changing his theory, which could be applied to manslaughter as well as murder. But the judge challenged him: "If the facts are so clear, why didn't you argue them? Why didn't you ask the court to include lessers?"
Jackson said it was "our strategic position at the time."
WILMINGTON STAR -- Sept 20
Fidler told the panel that to prove Spector guilty, "the people must prove that . . . the defendant committed an act with a firearm that caused the death of Lana Clarkson . . . such as placing a gun in her mouth or forcing her to place the gun in her mouth at which time it discharged -- pointing the gun at or against her head at which time it entered her mouth and discharged -- pointing the gun at her to prevent her from leaving the house -- causing a struggle which resulted in the gun entering her mouth and discharging."
Phil Spector's Suicide
"She may have accidentally taken own life. She may have purposefully taken her own life. She may have been eating the gun with her dancing."
September 8, 2007
Defense attorneys argued that since investigators located the DNA of Lana Clarkson on Phil Spector's genitals, it proves she had "serviced" him during her visit to the castle -- and therefore Spector was finished with the aging, has-been, B-movie queen and would've wanted her to leave.
Presumably, Clarkson then suddenly went from feeling sexy to feeling suicidal. The defense contends she located one of Spector's guns in a drawer and promptly blew her own brains out.
Prosecutors strategically avoided any mention of the trace amounts of DNA -- but in evaluating the defense theory, jurors are forced to consider the scientific evidence. If it wasn't simply an accidental transfer, what does the victim's DNA on the defendant's genitals logically suggest happened?
Clarkson, who initially mistook Spector to be a woman, was clearly not attracted to him sexually when they met. Throughout the evening -- failing to find the androgynous charm other ladies had apparently seen in him -- Clarkson resisted Spector's repeated invitations to the castle, and only finally consented to visit for one drink.
(Prosecutor Alan Jackson: "Lana, don't go!")
The famous Amazon warrior did indeed go, but she was almost certainly not interested in sex that night, and probably didn't imagine "Miss Spector" was either. Whatever the case, considering the tiny amount of Clarkson's DNA on Spector's testicles, one is forced to conclude that if sexual activity occurred, it was extremely brief. The scant evidence proves that she did NOT "service" him.
After a few drinks and banter in the living room, the evidence actually shows that Spector may have forced his genitals into Clarkson's face. Possibly at that point, he pawed at her, since a small amount of his DNA was located on the victim's chest. If there WAS sex -- that was the extent of it.
Lana Clarkson was no shrinking violet. She was not a sympathetic secretary or a star-struck, Holly-wowed newbie. And far from the sad, suicidal picture the defense desperately tried to draw, it's obvious this very experienced and capable woman would've asserted herself at such a moment.
To know, know, know him is to love, love, love him . . . and based on his behavior and history, it's seems anyone would know Spector doesn't want to have sex with women -- he wants to mock them, abuse them, destroy them and maybe in so doing, destroy some part of himself. Perhaps he hates his mother, or suffered some early childhood trauma . . . It's anyboy's guess.
But for whatever reasons, Spector was typically perceived as more pathetic than pathalogical. His bizarre behavior towards women was tolerated and even forgiven by some of his known 14 victims -- none of whom ever pressed assault charges.
Well, Lana Clarkson did not know Phil Spector. She had no idea who he was.
Unlike the many other distressed damsels Spector had lured into his castle over the years, this Barbarian Queen would not have backed down. She would not have tried to wiggle or giggle her way out of a confrontation with the 5' 4" -- 135 pound drunk. If, as the defense alleges, some sort of sexual contact occurred, there's no reasonable doubt she could've and would've ended it immediately.
Clarkson would then have shouldered up her purse and headed toward the nearest exit. Since there were no signs of any real struggle in the hallway, we can assume Spector very quickly obtained his gun from the drawer. Perhaps he was hiding it beneath the (woman's) jacket he was wearing, but somehow, without warning he produced the weapon and shoved it in Clarkson's face -- likely forcing her down into a hallway chair.
Clarkson probably protested . . . one can only imagine what she said to him . . . Spector jammed the gun in her mouth and squeezed the trigger. Immediately after the shooting, Spector went outside and told his driver, "I think I killed somebody." He was puzzled about who had just died -- or if they were really dead. He shrugged when asked what had happened, perhaps because he thought he'd just killed himself.
Despite the delusional defendant's claims, Lana Clarkson would never have shot herself in the face. The aging, hopeless, Hollywood has-been Phil Spector witnessed commit suicide in his castle -- was Phil Spector.
Phil Spector Explains Everything
Nearly Half of US
Murder Victims are Black
August 10, 2007
Despite making up only 13 percent of the population, African-Americans are victims of 49 percent of the murders committed in the US.
An astounding report released in August by the Statistics Bureau of the Department of Justice reveals:
No Promises on the Timetable
Minneapolis Star-Tribune -- 8/4/07:
"We want to get this bridge rebuilt as quick as possible," Bush said during a three-hour visit to Minneapolis that included an aerial view of the wreckage from his helicopter. But, Bush added as he addressed the news media at a lock and dam next to the devastation, "I make no promises on the timetable."
August 4, 2007
Living near downtown Minneapolis, about twenty blocks from the I-35W bridge, I crossed it two or three times every day. Off of my regular path and schedule by pure coincidence, I happen to have spent much of my day in St. Paul, but I could well have been one of the unsuspecting people suddenly dumped into the Mississippi river.
I'm alive, and everyone in town I know of is still alive -- of course, the authorities are keeping a very tight reign on information concerning the number of the dead still somewhere in the water. Low estimates have 50 cars moving across the span at the time of the collapse -- which in its entirety only took 4 seconds -- and bumper to bumper traffic coming onto the bridge at 6:00 PM Wednesday August 1.
Injured people numbering less than 100 with about 10 dead -- does not square with the massive collapse of concrete and steel. We may never know how many drowned and perhaps disappeared forever.
All the network news stars came to town with their cameras and their angles. They kept asking "why" -- looking to blame somebody. Most local folks immediately understood "why" . . . faulty bridge. The main question in the Twin Cities was, "how."
How could a major structure just drop in 4 seconds? (Instant Urban Legend: "Terrorists" were at work and strategically placed small bombs throughout the bridge's structure. The charges were all timed to explode at exactly 6:00 PM.)
Whatever caused the bridge to shake, roar, and then completely crumble at 6 o'clock -- it's yet another amazing miracle that hundreds of people weren't wounded or killed. A school bus full of kids walked away from the horror with no physical injuries -- a practical impossibility.
So something truly strange did happen in Minneapolis at 6:00 PM. That's very clear from the numbers: About two-thirds of the people involved in the tragedy escaped alive and without serious injury. Very strange.
And the strangeness is still here four days after. The air is thick with it. Minneapolis has been eerily silent. Always a very humble place, the whole town is now walking on the tips of its tiptoes.
I think everybody is attempting to be quiet enough so they can tune into the vibrations of things -- navigate the safest path by sheer telepathy. (Instant Urban Legend: Twins game downtown, plus rush hour, plus roaring train below, plus one construction worker's jack-hammer -- equals just the right vibration to cause the complete collapse of a major bridge . . . like the butterfly in Bermuda that flaps its wings and causes a tornado in Oklahoma.)
The real lesson of course, besides -- that there are no promises, so hug those you love as though you'll never see them again -- is VOTE. Elections have consequences, often times, tragic ones.
Based on available public funds, a bridge with a 70% chance of failing was deemed safe for travel for at least the next ten years. And the roughly 70% of all America's roads, bridges and technical infrastructure in need of maintenance or repair, is right on par with the 70% of Americans who didn't bother to vote or who voted for tax breaks and terror.
If 9/11 was a wake-up call, the bridge collapse in Minneapolis, like the tragedy of Hurricane Katrina, is a loud, blaring, late bell.
The fact is -- we have made some very basic promises to all Americans, and these citizens deserved better.
Word has gone around town about a network reporter who, mistakenly thinking he was off camera, questioned why the network was broadcasting from Minneapolis since there were only 5 dead people. It's through the grace of GOD there weren't more innocent victims, but 5 or 500, each of these people are precious. They each deserved better -- not from politicians or engineers or road construction crews -- they deserved better from you and me.
Minnesota's republican Governor Tim Pawlenty, who vetoed a hefty
transportation measure that included a gas tax earlier this year,
has said since the bridge collapse that "all options can be on the table"
to infuse money into the transportation system.
"What changed . . . is we've had a catastrophic failure," Pawlenty said.
Milwaukee Police Officers
By CARRIE ANTLFINGER
July 26, 2007
ZOLOFT MADE ME DO IT
Chris Pittman Loses It
June 11, 2007
In a last ditch effort to avoid punishment, Christopher Pittman claimed before the South Carolina Supreme Court of Appeals that the antidepressant, Zoloft, made him shot his grandparents with a pump-action shotgun as they slept. Having unsuccessfully tried the "some Black guy did it" routine and the abuse excuse, Chris now insists drugs made him murder Joe and Joy Pittman and then set their house on fire.
The desperate contention was rejected by the appeals court along with other new excuses, including that -- three years ago, the 15-year-old was denied a speedy trial before he was sentenced to 30 years behind bars.
Reacting to the court's decision to uphold Pittman's murder conviction, defense attorney Paul Waldner told reporters, "Obviously the decision is a setback for us, but our resolve to continue to try to obtain justice for this boy who committed the only violent act of his life only days after he was given a mind-altering drug is strong."
Zoloft is the most widely prescribed antidepressant in the United States. It's also become an all-purpose Twinkie Defense that's been trotted out in several cases of teenaged family killers. Though lawyers often prescribe it, the Zoloft Excuse has never worked and never will. Tried and untrue, Pittman's failed "involuntary intoxication" appeal is just another useless attempt to avoid facing the reality of arson and double-murder.
YOU HAD EVERYTHING
April 19, 2007
The next time someone quips that "guns don't kill people, people do" -- I'm simply going to point to the 32 precious people gunned down at Virginia Tech on Monday April 16.
When a "conservative" argues that the answer to gun violence is more guns and more violence, I'm going to quote 23-year-old mass-murderer, Seung-Hui Cho: "You had a hundred billion chances and ways to have avoided today. But you decided to spill my blood. You forced me into a corner and gave me only one option. The decision was yours. Now you have blood on your hands that will never wash off."
You can use soap, you can use bleach, you can use clever phrases -- but that blood will never wash off. America has had a hundred billion chances to avoid the slaughter in Blacksburg. We passed up those chances and instead took a chance with the lives of innocent citizens -- many of whom were not yet old enough to vote.
Guns DO kill people, and unlike hammers and knives -- they can kill a lot of people very quickly.
Attempts from the so-called "Christian" right to blame video games and heavy metal music will simply be met with video images of the carnage at Blacksburg now playing 24/7 on TV, and the sad, sad music played at the memorial for dozens of dead students and teachers.
The "right to life" always touted by religious fanatics opposed to abortion doesn't fall away once a person is born and fade behind the generalized right to raise a "well-regulated militia."
Between 1992 and 2002, 234 youth between 5 and 19 years old were killed inside a school. There were 390 school-associated violent deaths during the same period. The astounding number of school shootings is shameful and can only be called an epidemic.
America's had so many chances to regulate that militia -- just in the last few years . . . Cazenovia, WI, Hillsborough, NC . . . The Amish elementary school in Nickell Mines, PA . . . Red Lake, MN . . .
And of course, the missed opportunity of Columbine. Having paused in the middle of his shooting rampage to mail off a multi-media manifesto to NBC, it was news to no one that the Virginia Tech shooter spoke of "martyrs like Eric and Dylan."
In a nation where being famous is more important than being alive, Seung-Hui Cho got the last word in our heated gun-control debate.
"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats," wrote the South Korean immigrant. "Your golden necklaces weren't enough, you snobs. Your trust funds wasn't enough. Your vodka and cognac wasn't enough. All your debaucheries weren't enough. Those weren't enough to fulfill your hedonistic needs. You had everything."
Now all we have is scores of dead people and clever catch-phrases.
Cho may have been a certified mental case who managed to "slip through the cracks" in our gun laws, but the reality is -- just about anybody who wants a gun can get one quickly, cheaply and legally. And that's truly crazy.
Mentally disturbed or just evil, Cho got one thing right: The blood will never, ever wash off.
"Cho killed his victims with two guns, one of them a Glock 9mm semi-automatic pistol, a rapid-fire weapon that is available only to police in virtually every other country, but which can legally be bought over the counter in thousands of gun-shops in America. There are estimated to be some 240m guns in America, considerably more than there are adults, and around a third of them are handguns, easy to conceal and use. Had powerful guns not been available to him, the deranged Cho would have killed fewer people, and perhaps none at all."
From "America's tragedy"
an editorial in The Economist, April 19, 2007
"Seung-Hui Cho was found 'mentally ill and in need of hospitalization' in December 2005, according to court papers. A judge ordered him into involuntary outpatient treatment, but neither the court nor community mental health officials followed up on the judge's order, and Cho didn't get the treatment."
Washington Post, May 7 2007
"Your Mercedes wasn't enough, you brats."
"Fact is, we are the largest group of ungrateful, spoiled brats the world has ever seen. No wonder the world loves the U.S. yet has a great disdain for its citizens. They see us for what we are. The most blessed people in the world who do nothing but complain about what we don't have and what we hate about the country instead of thanking the good Lord we live here."
Craig R. Smith, November, 2006
Holier-Than-Thou Hypocrites Exposed
October 1, 2006
Faith-based Republican politicians are praying for cover now that hard evidence has risen of cyber-trolling by right-wing Rep. Mark Foley. "I would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you," Foley wrote to one teenaged congressional intern in an internet message. Speaker of the House Denny Hastert and other so-called "conservative" leaders have been fully aware of Foley's follies for at least a year -- and yet they failed to expose the pious pervert.
Along with sending suggestive e-mails to teenage congressional pages, Mark Foley was using the clever America On-line screenname "Maf54" to engage the kids in chat sessions.
Maf54: I miss you lots since san diego.
teen: ya I cant wait til dc
teen: did you pick a night for dinner
Maf54: not yet but likely Friday
teen: ok ill plan for Friday then
Maf54: that will be fun
Maf54: I want to see you
teen: Like I said not til feb then we will go to dinner
Maf54: and then what happens
teen: we eat we drink who knows hang out late into the night
teen: I dunno
Maf54: dunno what
teen: hmmm I have the feeling that you are fishing here im not sure what I would be comfortable with we'll see
Maf54: did any girl give you a hand job this weekend
teen: lol no
teen: im single right now
teen: my last gf and i broke up a few weeks ago
Maf54: are you
Maf54: good so your getting horny
teen: lol… a bit
Maf54:: did you spank it this weekend yourself
teen: been too tired and too busy
Maf54: i am never to busy haha
Five years ago -- in 2002 -- Mr. Foley had this exchange with a male teenager in an America On-line chatroom:
Maf54: To be honest, I am a little to interested in you. So that's why I need to back off a little.
Teen: Ya slow things down a little im still young… like under 18. don't want to do anything illegal… im not 18.
Maf54: cool.. dont forget to measure for me.
Text of Mark Foley speech dated July 22, 2004
Mr. Speaker, today, we live in a new age and it is becoming increasingly apparent that our laws must meet the challenge of protecting our children in the face of new threats and new technology.
The Internet is a powerful tool that has brought new opportunities for education, commerce and self-empowerment to millions of Americans. However, it also provides a new medium for pedophiles to reach out to our most vulnerable citizens--America's children.
This has become a growing problem and, in 2002, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reported that online child pornography and/or sexual exploitation are the most significant cyber-crimes against children.
I commend the efforts of Court TV and its CEO Henry Schlieff, Al Roker and the production team behind AI Roker Investigates: Katie.com for bringing attention to online sexual predators. Court TV's active role in shedding light on the issue of "Internet deception'' will help protect America's children and raise much needed awareness to parents across the country.
As co-chairman of the Congressional Missing & Exploited Children's Caucus, I join you in celebrating July 28 as Internet Safety Day in the hopes of bringing stronger awareness to the deceptive crimes against children that are being perpetrated on the Internet.
While we work in Congress to give law enforcement the tools to protect our children like the highly successful national deployment of the AMBER Alert system, the most important weapon of all is showing parents how to keep a watchful eye on the activities of their children; knowing the people who come into contact with their children in their neighborhoods, schools and online; and using plain common sense.
Kenneth Lay's Retirement Plan
July 5, 2006
In between being found guilty of fraud in one of the biggest corporate scandals in US history and being sentenced to 30 years in prison, Kenneth Lay's heart attacked him.
Regardless of the many conspiracy theories about Lay's faked death that are already in the pipeline -- he's dead to us. And that's all there is to the story. The end. Really.
Late on February 7, 2006, in what CNN called "an utter and bitter defeat for Cody Posey and his attorney" jurors found the defendant Guilty on all counts. For the first time in the three week trial, the budding psychopath showed an authentic human emotion: he wept in self-pity.
Posey was found Guilty of the Second Degree murder of his stepmother, Tryone Posey; Guilty of the Manslaughter of his father, Delbert Paul Posey; and Guilty of the First Degree Murder of his stepsister, Marilea (Mary Lee) Schmid. He was also found Guilty of four counts of tampering with evidence and burying the bodies in a pile of manure.
Winning prosecutor, Sandra Grisham will speak on behalf of the People at an upcoming hearing to determine whether the triple-murderer should be sentenced as an adult or a juvenile.
Posey faces 47 long years in prison for the extreme abuse of his family. His tearful defender, Gary Mitchell, now faces the disgaceful reality that he is guilty of piling yet more and more manure on Cody Posey's dead victims.
"I was under the impression most people got the message. Apparently, the jury didn't."
-- Gary Mitchell
"We've been drug through the mud."
-- Verlin Posey, Paul Posey's brother
The Posey Code
February 5, 2006
Cody Posey's lawyer doesn't have the burden of proof -- the State of New Mexico does. True, the 14-year-old confessed to pre-meditating then murdering his father, stepmother and stepsister. But the words of a teenage sociopath are meaningless. The fact that he waived his constitutional rights, is itself evidence that Posey wasn't thinking clearly at the time.
Maybe something else happened to prompt the murders that morning but -- for whatever reasons -- the traumatized boy didn't want to say. Prosecutors well know the defendant is a liar and is certainly lying during parts of his vague and confused confession. Other than that tape, there is no evidence of murder -- only tampering with evidence after the fact.
Gary Mitchell could've left it right there. He could've said police heaped on the abuse of a 14-year-old that had already been abused in so many ways. He could've let jurors decide the merits of the State's big case against his very small client.
Instead, Mitchell chose to put the confessed killer on the stand and then prove him innocent of all charges with opinionated testimony from psychologists. The defense -- not the prosecutor -- opened the door to Cody's credibility.
Cody told jurors the abuse got so bad that he'd "more or less" lost his mind, and said, "I couldn't tell you what I was thinking." Defense psychologists agreed that Posey saw no way out and had probably just snapped.
Mitchell knew the State's experts did not share that opinion, so he can't have been surprised when Dr. Meyers testified to something the defendant never admitted on the stand:
"What Cody told me was, at the time, before the killings occurred, he considered four other alternatives to killing: Should he call C.Y.F.D.? Should he run away? Should he tell a teacher or tell his teachers? Or should he just live with it? . . . In his words he said, 'Nothing else worked, so I might as well just kill them. So I did.'"
Posey's own statement prevents the jury from nullifying and reasoning that "the system failed" and he finally snapped. Posey's own words are the "Jury Instructions."
1. When police and social workers from C.Y.F.D. directly confronted Posey about his home life, he denied any such extreme abuse was happening.
2. Posey knew how to drive a truck. After his murders he drove to the store for a can of Sprite. And yet he chose not to run away to a neighbor, a relative, or a nationally known television news reporter.
3. Posey had a near perfect school attendance record, but he never told any teachers or nurses about severe physical abuse ("two to three times a week -- sometimes two to three times a day").
4. Cody's life has been tragic and at this point, the victims are all dead. Can we just live with it?
Well, none of that seems to work, so . . .
Criminal of 2005
January 1, 2006
Bernard Ebbers shook uncontrollably as U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Jones sentenced him for his role in the massive accounting fraud at WorldCom Inc. The judge gave Ebbers 25 years in prison for committing the biggest corporate fraud in U.S. history.
Both Ebbers and Judge
Jones fully realized the former head of WorldCom Inc. would probably die
in prison. In July 2005, after handing Ebbers, 63, one of the longest prison
terms ever in a corporate corruption case Jones said, "This sentence is likely
to be a life sentence."
First, the bad news: On December 22, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund announced that 153 officers died in the line of duty in 2005.
Traffic-related accidents claimed the lives of 62 officers in 2005. Physical-related incidents, including heart attacks and heat stroke, accounted for 20 more deaths. Other deaths included two fatalities in a helicopter crash, one in a bomb-related incident, one in a stabbing, two in drownings and three in falls.
This year, 60 officers died in shootings.
But the good news is that the year's number of police fatalities, just one fewer than the 154 reported killed in 2004, marks a continued downward trend over the last 30 years. Excluding the 234 officers killed in the September 11 attacks, 160 officers have been killed each year on average over the past decade. The annual average was 220 through the 1970s.
The 153 names of this year's slain officers will be added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C. The memorial lists the names of more than 17,000 officers killed in the line of duty since 1792.
$2M Settlement Reached
for 1969 Race-Riot Killing
Lillie Belle Allen
YORK, Pa. (AP)
The children and sisters of a black woman who was killed during race
riots in this central Pennsylvania city 36 years ago will share in a $2 million
settlement, city officials announced Tuesday.
Sweet Boycott, Alabama
November 14, 2005
Alabama, which has the dubious distinction of being one of the 10 states in America with the highest poverty rate, has announced a boycott against Aruba. Governor Bob Riley has put his foot down. Alabama has decided they will no longer send large, un-chaperoned groups of rowdy teenagers to the island to drink alcohol and party on the beach.
Furthermore, Mr. Riley wants the rest of the nation to join his boycott. Instead of going to Aruba, he suggests everyone vacation in Alabama. Just think of all the historic landmarks: the Tuskegee Institute, that bus stop in Montgomery, George C. Wallace's grave, Bull Connor's house!
What happened to Nancy Lewis?
Department doesn't know, nor does the Alabama Department of Public Safety
or the Alabama Bureau of Investigation. Apparently, these government officials
simply don't care about Nancy Lewis. Except for a small photo and a blurb
about the missing woman on a website -- there is no evidence that county
or state authorities are doing a damned thing.
Just like Alabama's Natalee Holloway, Nancy disappeared seven months ago in May, 2005. She was on her way to work at the Birmingham Childrens Hospital. She never got there and she's been missing ever since.
Nancy isn't a wispy co-ed with blonde hair and blue eyes . . . which explains why FOX NEWS doesn't care . . . but she is an Alabama resident -- just like Holloway -- who went strangely missing and is likely the victim of foul play.
Alabama's Bob Riley wants to boycott the people on the island of Aruba. He wants to teach them a lesson. He wants to show the Aruban authorities that dragging your feet and failing to fully investigate crimes against an innocent citizen of Alabama will have harsh consequences.
And yet, Governor Riley hasn't done a damned thing to help find out what happened to Nancy Lewis -- not while she was partying in a foreign country -- but while she was on her way to work in Birmingham. Maybe Mr. Riley can't help Nancy Lewis because he's too busy holding press conferences and blackmailing the people of Aruba.
Our Long National Nightmare is Over
William H. Rehnquist, the cancer-ridden, octogenarian, Supreme conservative Chief Justice, died on September 3, 2005. The man who orchestrated the 2000 presidential election results to fall in George W. Bush's favor was widely known as "the Lone Ranger" due to his extreme views. He was first appointed to the Supreme Court by President Nixon.
Steadfastly pulling the court further and further to the right, Rehnquist was elevated to chief justice by President Reagan in 1986. Having warped the constitution with a single-minded focus on so-called "state's rights," the arch conservative became hell bent on clutching on to the bridle of power until the very, very, bitter end.
At long last, the Rehnquisition is over.
"The Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engage in gestures of superficial equality."
"It is truly surprising that the state must assign a greater value to a mother's decision to cut off a potential human life by abortion than to a father's decision to let it mature into a live child."
"There is simply no historical foundation for the proposition that the framers intended to build a wall of separation between church and state . . . The recent court decisions are in no way based on either the language or the intent of the framers."
"The 'wall of separation between church and state' is a metaphor based on bad history, a metaphor which has proved useless as a guide to judging. It should be frankly and explicitly abandoned."
FREE TO KILL
Child rapist, torturer and serial killer, Karla Homolka, has been released from prison after serving only 12 years for the murders of three teenage girls, including her 15-year-old sister, Tammy -- who she offered to her husband, Paul Bernardo, as a gift.
The following is an interview Homolka gave to Radio-Canada reporter Joyce Napier on July 04, 2005, the day of her release.
June 22, 2005
Imagine, if you will, that an 18-year-old woman from the island of Aruba travels to Mountain Brook, Alabama for a spring vacation. After a few days of partying there, she vanishes.
Carlos 'N Charlie's Bar in Aruba
Nervous family and friends of the missing woman show up in the small Southern town and start making demands -- questioning police officers, criticizing legal authorities, and accusing private citizens of being kidnappers and murderers.
former suspect, Antonius "Mickey" John
Imagine that the missing woman's family, unsatisfied with the way things are done in Alabama, decide to mount their own investigation. Aruban lawyers, reporters, private search parties and Dutch government officials pour into Mountain Brook.
Disappointed with the slow and confusing way the search for the missing woman is progressing, the Aruban family threatens lawsuits against the town and launches a media campaign designed to pressure local authorities.
Joran van der Sloot's lawyer, Antonio Carlo
Now, imagine how the good people of Alabama would react to the negative world-wide attention that robbed them of their lovely, quiet little community.
Aruba is a sovereign nation under the authority of the Dutch government.
The Wrong to Remain Silent
May 9, 2005
Duluth, Georgia is a town full of phonies, frauds and liars. When Jennifer Wilbanks went missing just days before her lavish wedding, her family, friends and neighbors were seen on television crying, clutching Bibles, and swearing to God that the bug-eyed bride would never have simply run off.
"We have interviewed numerous friends, family, co-workers, and people who know her," Police Major Don Woodruff told the press. "All of them report that her disappearance would be totally uncharacteristic of her behavior and for that reason, we feel that it's not just simply a matter of cold feet."
About 100 officers took part in the search and hundreds of the bride-to-be's neighbors in the Atlanta suburb had joined police, who set up a mobile command center and brought in search dogs. Authorities racked up $43,000 in overtime.
And all the while, not one God-fearing person in Duluth came forward to mention the fact that eight years ago, Wilbanks had strangely ditched another fiancé at the last moment.
After Jennifer's fraud was uncovered, her father, Harris Wilbanks, told reporters she must have some "issues" that he was unaware of. Harris Wilbanks is a liar. His daughter's "issues" included being busted three separate times for shoplifting. He can't have simply forgotten the woman had been thrown in jail in nearby Hall County. Authorities there went easy on Jennifer and spared her from a felony conviction.
Gwinnett County District Attorney Danny Porter is currently investigating Jennifer and he may not be as accommodating. DA Porter says he's received numerous complaints about Jennifer's 9-1-1 call and her false claims that a "Hispanic" man abducted and raped her.
Jennifer's born-again fiancé, John Mason, couldn't care less. In between Bible quotes, he asserts that Jennifer is actually the victim in this story and insists the 32-year-old shouldn't have to pay for her premeditated crimes.
"Her cutting her hair and getting on a bus and riding out of here ain't none of Danny Porter's business," Mason preached. "And that's not criminal as far as I'm concerned."
Mason's concern apparently
doesn't go very far.
In truth, Mason himself should be prosecuted for his lies of omission to authorities. He was certainly aware of his girlfriend's bizarre history of loony and lawless behavior.
Jennifer couldn't even be bothered to apologize for her elaborate hoax. Instead, she had her family pastor read a curt statement about forgiveness. The aptly named, Reverend Tom Smiley, stood at a bank of microphones and happily delivered these words from the instantly infamous, lying bride:
"At this time, I cannot explain fully what happened to me last week. I had a host of compelling issues which seemed out of control -- issues for which I was unable to address or confine."
How can Rev. Smiley or anyone else forgive what they don't know? What are they forgiving Jennifer for? A host of compelling issues?
". . . In my mind, it was never about the timing, however unfortunate. I was simply running from myself and from certain fears controlling my life."
Since Jennifer purchased a Greyhound bus ticket well in advance of her sudden disappearance, God knows, in this case -- timing is everything.
The smiling reverend later appeared on ABC's "Good Morning America" to say he's receiving hundreds of e-mails about Jennifer Wilbanks and that they're "99 percent positive."
I can truthfully report, the email I sent Smiley was part of the 1% that strongly objected to this nonsense.
Jennifer had her happy spokesman end the statement with: ". . . may we follow the teaching of Scripture, in being kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving, just as God in Christ forgives us. . ."
We're trying -- but the Wilbanks, the Masons, and all the other sanctimonious and silent citizens of Duluth are making it very hard.
The next time a woman is reported strangely missing, this fake incident will be brought up, and while the debate takes place -- a real victim may lose her life.
Lakewood Baptist Church
Pastor Dr. Tom Smiley
May 5, 2005
The 1st District Court of Appeal reinstated the murder conviction of Marjorie Knoller whose 100-pound-plus "Presa Canario" dogs mauled and killed neighbor, Diane Whipple, in the hallway of her San Francisco apartment building in January 2001.
Whipple sustained a total of 77 bite wounds, the most serious ones being severe bites to her neck. Some of the punctures in the 33-year-old woman's neck were so deep that they nearly severed her vertebrae.
Jurors found Marjorie Knoller's husband, Robert Noel, guilty of involuntary manslaughter, and found Knoller -- who stood by as her dogs attacked Whipple -- guilty of second-degree murder.
The killer canines were eventually linked to inmates at California's Pelican Bay State Prison who were running an illegal dog breeding ring from behind bars. Noel and Knoller served as lawyers for one of the inmates, a 38-year-old member of the Aryan Brotherhood named Paul "Cornfed" Schneider. It was revealed that the couple had formally adopted the white supremacist.
Marjorie Knoller's conviction was the first murder in a dog-mauling case in California and was believed to be only the third of its kind in recent U.S. history.
Knoller's attorney --
the snarling, crawling, crying, barking, Nedra Ruiz -- vehemently
contested the verdict.
Ruiz, (who at one time studied at the American Conservatory Theater) argued that prosecutors Jim Hammer and Kimberly Guilfoyle Newsom (now both television stars) failed to prove the malice implied in a murder charge. Ruiz maintained there was no evidence the couple trained their huge dogs to attack people and that Whipple's death was an accident.
In a surprise ruling,
San Francisco Superior Court Judge James L. Warren agreed the evidence
did not support a murder conviction, saying he did not think Knoller could
have known when she took out the dogs, "Bane" and "Hera" on the day of the
attack, that they would kill someone.
"I cannot say as a matter of law that she subjectively knew on January 26 that her conduct would cause death," the judge said. Warren vacated the jury's finding against Marjorie Knoller and reduced her conviction to manslaughter.
Sharon Smith was Diane Whipple's partner and shared the Pacific Heights apartment where Whipple was killed. Smith told reporters: "Obviously, I'm in shock. We're all in shock. Justice was done, now I feel as if it's been undone."
Based on the hideous
malevolent madness of the defendants, few disagreed
with Ms. Smith, and at long last, the injustice has been undone. On May 5,
2005, the appelate court reversed the ruling by Judge Warren. Marjorie Knoller
was freed after serving two years of a four-year sentence, but the second
degree murder count she now faces is punishable by 15 years to life in a
No matter what happens now, it cannot spare Diane Whipple from the nightmare she faced. The reversal does, however, restore some measure of public confidence in the system, and may make it a little easier for the victim's loved ones to move on with their lives.
Link to ABC coverage of the "Dog Mauling Trial"
Jennifer and Her Amazing Lies of Color
May 1, 2005
While authorities across the nation searched for Jennifer Wilbanks, family and friends of the wealthy, Georgia, bride-to-be sobbed and wailed before TV cameras. They were all certain Jennifer hadn't simply run off.
Her fiancé, John Mason, soon became a murder suspect whose name was spread all over the internet as the next Scott Peterson. John must've done something bad to Jennifer because she was so excited about getting married. Her family swore there was no way she would've voluntarily vanished. It wasn't like her. Jennifer told everybody she was very much looking forward to the wedding.
Jennifer Wilbanks is a fraud and a liar.
Wilbanks didn't want to get married -- she wanted to play games and get her 15 minutes of fame. A week prior to the wedding, she had purchased a bus ticket in a false name. Then, just before the big day, Wilbanks staged her own abduction. After pretending she was going for a jog, the 32-year-old woman cut off her hair so as not to be recognized, and skipped town.
After a week of intense media reports and news headlines -- she called 9-1-1 in Albuquerque, claiming to have been kidnapped by "Hispanic" abductors. After 4 hours of lies to police about her horrific ordeal, she admitted it was all just more lies.
This woman is no victim -- she's a victimizer. She should be charged with fraud and made to sit in a cold prison cell. The public and police are likely to be slower to act the next time a woman goes strangely missing.
Jennifer can never repay society for the damage she has done with her criminal activities. It's now clear Jennifer has a host of what her father called "issues," and that the family was well aware of them. Wilbanks, her family and her friends should be mortified and should make some attempt to right the disgraceful wrongs.
It's no small matter that the runaway racist also lied and claimed that a person of color abducted and attacked her.
Jennifer's "Hispanic" abductor comes from a long and shameful line up -- not just Susan Smith's bushy-headed attacker.
It's also people of color that supposedly killed Chris Pittman's grandparents. Shot them while they slept!
Do the words, "SMALL SACRIFICES" mean anything to anybody? Diane Downs and her kids were supposedly attacked by a bushy-headed stranger too.
Then there was Charles Stuart, the moron from Boston who killed his wife in 1989 but claimed some Black man did it.
And who could forget little Miss Sarah Johnson? The murdering "Hispanic" in her case left Sarah a poor orphan.
There was a horrible case of an Iowa State University student who told police four Black guys kidnapped her and raped her in what was a living nightmare. It was all lies.
And these recent examples are only the tip of an iceberg that goes WAY, WAY deep into America's history. These lies have resulted in lynchings. While much has changed, some things have stayed exactly the same. The scapegoating of people of color is one of them.
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