Thursday, February 26, 2009

Tim Masters Serves As An Example Of Why A Presumption of Innocence Is So Important

One reader emailed and asked "Why do you always say suspects are innocent until proven guilty?

The best way to answer this readers question is to look at what can happen with potentially false accusations. Tim Masters was falsely charged with murder. Now that he has apparently been exonerated, he blames Fort Collins, Colorado, police and prosecutors for his less then happy life.
Tim Masters actually went to prison before he was exonerated. Now, a year later, he struggles to find good employment. He appears greatful to Richard and Selma Eikelenboom, the Dutch forensic scientists who discovered the DNA evidence that exonerated him. Nevertheless, he remains bitter over his imprisonment.

So how did he initially end up in prison? In 1987, a maimed body of Peggy Hettrick, was found near Tim Master's home. At the time, Masters was only 15. Nevertheless, he became the focus for suspician. But it was not until 1999 that Masters was convicted and sentenced to life in prison. In the fall of 2007, Masters' attorneys accused the police and prosecutor of misconduct in the investigation and trial. In January 2008, a judge overturned the conviction because DNA evidence pointed to a killer other than Masters.

Currently Masters has a civil lawsuit against some of the police officers and former prosecutors. The main allegation is "malicious prosecution." Masters is represented by attorney Maria Liu.

Given what has happened to Masters, it does not hurt to remind readers of the presumption of innocence. Allegations are just that. They are not facts until they are proven. It is better that 100 guilty men be turned free then to have one man wrongfully convicted.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Contrasting The Disappearance of Tiffany Sessions and Lisa Lavoie

There is a difference between running off and going for a run and never coming back. No clearer is that contrast then when one compares Lisa Lavoie to Tiffany Sessions. Lets start with the latter. Twenty years ago, 20-year-old Tiffany Sessions was a junior studying economics at the University of Florida in Gainesville. Tiffany went for a run and she never came back. That was February 9, 1089. Tiffany's disappearance has remained a mystery.

College student Tiffany Sessions has been presumed to be abducted and murdered. Unfortunately, tracking Tiffany's steps back in 1989 was almost impossible. There were no GPS enhanced cell phones. There were no Amber Alerts and missing person web sites were still for the most part a figment of Al Gore's imagination.

Contrast that with the disappearance of Lisa Lavoie. Recently, Lisa Lavoie a 22 year old teacher disappeared. Unfortunately so did a 15 year old boy. Through modern technology, Lavoie was quickly located in West Virginia. Lavoie shortly thereafter surrendered to police. The 15 year old teen was safely recovered from a hotel. The eighth-grader will be interviewed and debriefed by child welfare officials. He will then be reunited with his family. It should be clear that the teen showed "no outward signs of physical abuse" and the strong suspicion was that he left with the 8th grade teacher of his own free will. Police suspect that 24 year old Lisa Lavoie and the teen are romantically involved. Troopers catch LaVoie and the boy at Super 8 Motel at Glenmark Center? Apparently, electronic credit card transactions and cell phone pings allowed for a relatively quick location of Lavoie. Had such electronic conveniences been readily available in 1989, perhaps Tiffany Sessions would have been located too. This is not to suggest that Tiffany's disappearance was anything other than an abduction. The point is to demonstrate the advances in locating individuals today in the modern era.

Lavoie taught in Holyoke for five months. There is only nine years difference in the age of the teacher and the teen. (Seven years as first reported.) With student and teacher so close in age, is possible attraction between them not to be assumed and guarded against by school administrators? Clearly, the school board thinks it is not natural. But as these cases become more and more common, it becomes clear that the potential for such attraction has become a reality. To deny the existence of the possibility of such attraction is to delay solving the problem. One teacher commented off the record that female teacher and male student attraction has always existed but until recently it has only been a concern when the relationship involves a male teacher.
Better training and screening of teachers is a step in the right direction. Like most of the alleged male victims, there is unlikely to be a lot of sympathy for his experience. Like some of the alleged victims, he may chose to pursue a relationship with the teacher when he is legally able to do so. But until he is of age, the laws of the state don't allow him or his teacher to make such choices. In the meantime, Lisa Lavoie has been placed on paid administrative leave. She is represented by David Hoose, a Massachusetts attorney. Lisa is to be considered innocent of all allegations unless otherwise proven in a court of law.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

New Delhi Mom Sells Her Infant Baby For $130.00? Doesn't That Sound Cheap?

Financial hardships have not just hit the U.S.A. The problem is world wide! For example, in New Delhi, India, a 20-year-old woman was arrested for selling her newborn baby boy. If that is not shocking enough, the sticker shock will give you a myocardial infarction, 6,500 rupees which is about 130 bucks!

Who is so poor that they will sell a kid for less then $150.00? In this ladies defense, the father of the baby had abandoned them and she wanted to marry someone else. One can only speculate that getting rid of the kid would maximize her chance to move on up the social hierarchy by "marrying up."

According to CNN, Prakash Jadhav a police officer in Andhra Pradesh state, confirmed that both the mother who sold the child and the buyer who purchased the child have been criminally charged. If convicted, the sentence would be up to 10 years in prison. But of course, all suspects, including those who sell and buy infants, are to be presumed innocent!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Kenzie Marie Houk Shot To Death By Her Boyfriend's 11 Year Old Son?

Children grow up way too fast. Especially too fast when their mug shot hits the press. For example, an 11-year-old boy (Jordan Brown) is is being charged as an adult in the murder of his father's pregnant girlfriend. Worse then that, Kenzie Marie Houk was shot to death in her own bed with the child's shotgun. Houk, 26 years old, was was eight months pregnant. This Western Pennsylvania family will never be the same.

Lawrence County District Attorney John Bongivengo will be pursing the 11 year old juvenile as an adult. (Any one over the age of 10 accused of murder or homicide is charged as an adult in Pennsylvania.) Houk's 4-year-old daughter apparently found her mom shot to death in her bed and informed workers near the home. Watch Community Reaction.

If convicted, Jordan Brown of Wampum, faces possibly life in prison. For more information about this 20 gauge shotgun slaying, see: WTAE: Boy Kills Dad's Pregnant Girlfriend.
The 11 year old is represented by Dennis Elisco, a public defender.

In the mean time, Lawrence County Warden Charles Adamo has told the press that his 300-inmate jail cannot take care of Jordan Brown. I suppose his parents can't either...

Friday, February 20, 2009

Robert Allen Stanford May Have Discovered That There Is No Way to Hide From the SEC

Even if your rich, you can run but you will be found. I always had the impression that Robert Allen Stanford was a decent guy. Perhaps he still is, but lately, I have had my doubts. Federal agents found financier Robert Allen Stanford and served him with papers accusing him and three of his companies of investment fraud. Keep in mind, that Stanford, who was located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, has not been charged with any crime. He was not taken into custody. But the Securities and Exchange Commission believes Stanford was behind "a fraud of shocking magnitude." But to date, the FBI has only served him a copy of an SEC complaint.

Nevertheless, with the present administration in power, one may anticipate that a criminal investigation of some sort will in fact take place. Targets rarely escape scrutiny. And ever since Forbes magazine ranked him No. 205 in its "400 Richest Americans" article, a big bullseye has been on Stanford's chest.

Stanford will have to address the SEC's accusation that he used a network of financial advisers to sell about $8 billion of "certificates of deposit" to investors. Allegations against Stanford and his companies has caused mass withdrawals of funds in Stanford banks in Antigua and in Venezuela. In Venezuela the government apparently took over the local subsidiary after it recorded "extraordinary" withdrawals.

The SEC complaint also named James Davis, SIB's chief financial officer; Laura Pendergest-Holt, chief investment officer of Stanford Financial Group; and investment adviser Stanford Capital Management.

Keep in mind, they all may be completely innocent. In fact, Stanford and Davis and the others deserve the benefit of the doubt. But in times of rocky financial markets, one suspects that this administration will be quick to pull the trigger on any questionable practices.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Dustin Dibble Proves NYC Transit Needs To Watch Out For Drunks On The Tracks!

A defense lawyer may have thought that Dustin Dibble did not have a leg to stand on in his lawsuit against the NYC Transit. Nevertheless, a Manhattan jury determined otherwise when they awarded $2.33 million to a drunk man who lost his leg after stumbling onto the path of a subway train.

Dustin Dibble, 25, had his leg severed in the April 23, 2006 accident. Dustin fell onto the subway tracks after a late night at a bar watching a hockey game. A train proceeded to run over his right leg. According to Dibble's lawyer, Andrew Smiley, NYC Transit was liable because the subway driver failed to stop the train despite having time to do so.

Dibble's blood-alcohol was .18, according to his lawyer. While this was more than twice the legal limit, that did not excuse the train driver from keeping a proper look out and stopping the train. Using comparative fault, the jury accessed Dibble with 35 percent fault and thus reduced the verdict by 35 percent -- from $3,594,943 to $2,336,713.

The MTA may attempt to appeal the decision, but at least for now, one might expect that the jury's decision has put a little bit of bounce back into Dustin Dibble's step.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Travis Brutal Attack of Charla Nash Demonstrates That Having Chimps As Pets Is Nothing To Monkey Around About Update 5-27-10

A while back, Legal Pub published an article concerning the revenge of animals. Now, with the latest chimp attack, one must consider whether animals are becoming more vicious in their attacks. In Connecticut, a woman was severely injured by a pet chimpanzee. Travis, the chimp was like a child to his owner, Sandra Herold.

Sandra Herold, 70, called 911 as the chimp attacked her friend, Charla Nash, age 55. Is Travis just another temperamental television star? After all, he has appeared in television commercials for Coca-Cola and Old Navy. Nash has injuries to her face, neck and hands. The attack was unprovoked and "brutal."Watch owner call to police »

Nash was at the house to help get Travis back in his home. Travis had escaped by using a key. Travis was shot and killed by police. He weighed around 200 pounds and was 14 years old.
Chimps may not be the best pets. Jeff Corwin on the dangers of chimps

Travis was not dumb. He reportedly walked around town, sometimes without a leash. He was able to surf the Internet and was able to change the TV channel with a remote. He also watered plants, was able to feed hay to horses. He ate at a table with the rest of the family and sometimes even drank wine from a glass. Nash is still hospitalized with severe injuries. The remains of Travis are now being studied in a handful of labs to determine what caused his behavior.
Update 3-18-09: The family of Charla Nash has filed a lawsuit seeking $50 million in damages from the owner of the primate in Stamford Superior Court in Connecticut. The plaintiffs allege that Sandra Herold, the owner, was negligent and reckless in her ownership of a wild animal. Attorneys allege that Sandra possessed the chimpanzee without taking adequate precautions to ensure the safety of others, and that she knew the chimp had a history of violent and erratic behavior.
Update 5-27-10: Facing a wrongful death lawsuit and life without Travis, Sandra Herold left this world. She died of aneurysm in Connecticut this week. May she rest in peace.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

3 Year Old Dominick Arceneaux Missing From Front Yard. Update 2-18-09

What is happening to our most precious resource, our nation's children? While the search for five year old Haleigh Cumming continues in Florida LINK, the FBI has requested the help of the public in finding a missing three year old boy, Dominick Arceneaux. Dominick was last seen by an aunt Tuesday in Chidester, Arkansas. The FBI unsuccessfully searched nearby White Oak Lake. Authorities have interviewed sex offenders in area. They have also spoken with the boy's father. No one at this point has been ruled out as a possible suspect.

Dominick Wesley Arceneaux was last seen Tuesday afternoon in the front yard of a mobile home in Chidester, in south-central Arkansas. Dominick is 3 feet tall, weighs 38 pounds and has brown hair and eyes. National Guardsmen have done a grid search covering a one-mile radius around the home and are currently expanding it to a two-mile radius. The investigation includes talking to patrons of a bar next to the mobile home where Dominick lived with his mother.
Anyone with any information, please call the FBI hot line, 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324).
In another child snatching, the perpetrator has been caught. A crocodile was identified snatching and eating Jeremy Doble, a five-year-old boy in Australia. Jeremy Doble's remains were discovered in the stomach of a four-meter long crocodile. Jeremy vanished while walking with his seven-year-old brother on February 8. Jeremy disappeared into a swamp behind his home. His brother, Ryan, watched the ordeal in horror. Lets hope for a better fate for Haleigh and Dominick.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Can You Hear Me Now About Parking Problems In Milwaukie, Oregon? Perhaps Not Since A Piece Of Your Ear Is Missing!

Seinfeld had shows demonstrating the competitiveness of parking. But in Milwaukie, Oregon, two roommates took the problem to a new level. Thursday night, there were two roommates, Roger Shaw and Andrew Taylor, but only one parking spot. P is apparently limited to the drive and the street. The result: One man bit off the other's earlobe. Officer Kevin Krebs told the press that the victim came home and parked in a spot preferred by his roommate. This quickly escalated into a fight in which one man bit off the other's ear lobe. Andrew Taylor, the 25-year-old victim of the bite was treated for the ear injury but reattachment of the bitten off piece was not possible.

Twenty seven year old Roger Shaw has been charged with assault. He is being arraigned in Clackamas County Court on a second degree assault charge, a Measure 11 offense. Bail was set at $250,000.

About parking, can you hear me now? No, of course not, a piece of your ear is missing.

Keep in mind all suspects are innocent until proven guilty!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Wanted Perpetrator of Conficker or Downadup Virus! Microsoft Will Pay Cyber Detectives $250,000 For Information! Update 2-16-09

The economy is bad. A plane has crashed today. The stock market has been in crash mode for months and people need some good news. Well, how about a way to make $250,000 courtesy of Microsoft? No, this is not a scam. Just follow the most recent wanted ads. Wanted Dead OR Alive! Well, not really but there is a $250,000 reward being offered by Microsoft. Microsoft is offering a $250,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of hackers behind a powerful computer virus. The Conficker or Downadup virus may not be fatal, but it spreads the most serious computer infections ever seen. It infects mostly corporate networks and then provides a link back to its point of origin. This allows the virus an entry point to cause additional damage even after the initial infection.

Microsoft has created a patch to fix the bug. Nevertheless, the patch will not correct a network where the virus has already spread. "As part of Microsoft's ongoing security efforts, we constantly look for ways to use a diverse set of tools and develop methodologies to protect our customers," explained George Stathakopoulos, of Microsoft's Trustworthy Computing Group.

Microsoft has previously rewarded informants who identified the creator of Sasser, a 2004 virus. The alleged creator was tracked to Germany, where he was later convicted.

So now is the time to play cyber detective and earn a few dollars...
Update 2-16-09: Legal Pub seldom singles out posts. But Eddie Phillips post on this subject is a must read. In fact, I am also providing a link to his web site as well. PHILLIPS LINK.
Update 4-9-09: Conficker worm is updating via peer-to-peer between infected computers and dropping a mystery payload on infected computers according to , Trend Micro. For many the worm activated on April 1, 2009. It is suspected that this is a keystroke logger or some other program designed to steal sensitive data off a computer. The heavily encrypted software appears as a .sys component hiding behind a rootkit. A rootkit is software designed to hide the fact that a computer has been compromised. , according to Trend Micro. The worm tries to connect to,,, and to test a computer's Internet connectivity. The software allegedly is designed to shut down on May 3. For questions, consult TrendLabs Malware Blog.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

5 Year Old Haleigh Cummings Reported Missing From Her Florida Home Update 4-20-10

What is going on in Florida? This time it is not Caylee Anthony (LINK), it is Haleigh Cummings. The five year old Satsuma, Florida girl disappeared from her home in rural Florida on Tuesday morning in the early hours. At 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, Misty Croslin, Haleigh's father's 17 year old girlfriend, called 911 to say the child had vanished from her home. " 911 call » Putnam County Sheriff's Office Maj. Gary Bowling believes an abduction has taken place and everyone is being treated as a suspect.

A nationwide Amber Alert describes the year old girl as wearing a pink shirt and underwear. On the night the child disappeared, Misty Croslin, was watching Haleigh and her four hear old brother. Ronald Cummings is Haleigh's father. Ronale Cummings description of events.
Haleigh went to bed at 8 p.m. Croslin went to bed at 10 p.m. According to Croslin, she woke up at 3 a.m. and discovered Haleigh missing. Croslin then called 911.

A CNN Transcript of the 911 call includes the following:

Dispatch: OK. All right, you said your back door was wide open?
Caller: Yes, with a brick. Like, there was a brick on the floor. Like, when I went to sleep the door was not like that.
Crystal Sheffield (Haleigh's Mother) and Cummings allegedly have a "rocky relationship." They apparently alternate spending weekends with their daughter.
Any information can be reported to the Putnam County Sheriff's Office at 386-329-0800 or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement's Missing Endangered Persons Information Clearinghouse at 888-FL-MISSING.
3-16-09 Update: The Baker County Sheriff's Office arrested 23 year old Jeremy Leonard for allegedly stealing hundreds of dollars in reward money earmarked for the search for Haleigh Cummings. Baker County bus garage co-employees of Haleigh's maternal grandmother have been collecting reward money. Apparently last Tuesday night, $670 in cash disappeared from where it had been locked up.
Leonard apparently had access to the cash and thus is the chief suspect. Leonard is to be considered innocent of grand theft unless otherwise proven in court.
Update 9-23-09: Misty Cummings, the stepmother of missing Haleigh Cummings, 6, has allegedly left town after a fight with husband Ronald Cummings, according to Art Harris on Nancy Grace’s show. But, that does not mean Misty did anything wrong. However, it appears that Misty's brother has told police that Misty was not home when he knocked on the door the night of Haleigh's disappearance.
Update 4-20-10: Police continue to search the water for Haleigh's remains. In the mean time, however, police have told Ronald Cummings that they have good reason to believe that Haleigh is dead.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Mayor Gary Becker of Racine Wisconsin Is Entitled To A Presumption of Innocence Until Otherwise Proven

There are probably only a few things worse in life then accusations of child molestation or child pornography. Such allegations should never be thrown around lightly. Gary Becker, former mayor of Racine Wisconsin is charged with soliciting someone he believed to be a minor girl. Becker has plead not guilty. He was arraigned on Tuesday and if convicted, could face up to 164 years in prison. District Attorney Michael Nieskes indicates that the state is actively pursuing the case.

Becker was still mayor at the time of his arrest last month. According to allegations, Becker was allegedly meeting a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl. The two had chatted on line. However, the alleged "14 year old girl" was actually an officer posing as a teen according to Bill Kosh, a spokesman for the Wisconsin attorney general's office.The investigation begin after Becker brought his personal computer into the mayor's office for repair. A computer technician allegedly discovered six pornographic images of girls possibly under age according to the criminal complaint. The technician discussed the photos with local law enforcement officers, and they turned the case over to the state's child Internet crimes task force.

Further investigation apparently uncovered other pornographic images of girls believed to be underage. At some point during an Internet chat with the officer posing as a 14 year old girl, Becker allegedly agreed to meet the girl at a shopping mall. Becker resigned from office after his arrest. He faces the following charges: child enticement, possession of child pornography, exposing a child to harmful materials, attempted second-degree sexual assault of a child, use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and misconduct in public office.

Gary Becker is presumed innocent until otherwise proven by a court of law. These are serious charges and there may be defenses such as chain of custody, others having access to his computer and even entrapment. If guilty, he should be punished. But given the stigma and penalty for such crimes, the presumption of innocence should not be abandoned.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

No RVs For The Homeless Because There Is No Financing And Very Little Production In Elkhart

It has taken a little time to digest what President Obama said to Hoosiers yesterday in Elkhart, Indiana. My first impression was that the President spoke in eloquent prose and looked great saying the words. Unfortunately, as the image of the well spoken President faded, we were left with words which bear little hope for a quick economic recovery.

President Obama visited Elkhart and witnessed that unemployment in the area has soared to 15.3 percent in January. The Elkhart-Goshen area has the fourth highest unemployment rate of any of the U.S. Metropolitan area according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Elkhart's unemployment rate has has increased by more then 10 percentage points over the past 13 months.

Folks after looking around, things are bad. See WSBT-TV: Laid-off workers turn out to hear Obama. Despite Obama's plan to bail out the mismanaged banks, no plan is in effect to bail out small business. In briefly surveying small business owners, the overwhelming response is that the lack of credit is crippling the little man. Elkhart is known for manufacturing RVs. But few people can afford to buy an RV without credit. What with all of the people losing their homes to foreclosure, one would suspect the RV business would increase as their becomes a demand for alternative mobile housing. (No kidding here, folks.) But RVs are not selling because no one can get financing. As a result, the RV manufacturers have to shut down production lines and lay off workers.

Folks in Indiana, a state which voted Democratic for the first time in a long time, simply lack confidence in the government's ability to resolve the crisis. While tax relief may help, unless it includes the upper middle class and middle class, it simply won't be enough. Now is not the time to encourage those with money to be stingy. If you want stimulation of the economy, then encourage everyone to spend. If some one does not have a job, then that person can not make their house payment. Income is necessary for people to increase spending. Create jobs with the incentives. Provide cheap credit to consumers and to small business. To ignore the recipe to rump starts the cycle is to ignore history.

Elkhart Mayor Dick Moore briefly summed up the situation. People need jobs so they have money to spend and support industries such as RVs. Watch Elkhart's mayor. According to Moore, the stimulus package may finance 16 shovel-ready projects that should create jobs.
Will it work? By itself, probably not. If there is a comprehensive plan which incorporates tax cuts and incentives to buy for all, then perhaps. Now is not the time for a band aide solution, President Obama.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sonia Mejia and Damiana Castillo Both Victims Of February 9th Serial Killer?

Officers are on alert in Utah. This is the anniversary of the slayings of two women -- Sonia Mejia in 2006 and Damiana Castillo in 2008. Mejia, 29, and Castillo, 57, are believed to have been killed by the same killer on the same date two years apart. Forensic evidence is believed to link the killings. Both women were Hispanic. Both were found murdered in their apartments. Mejia was six months' pregnant at the time of her death. Police believe forensic evidence links the slayings. The killer is believe to be a Hispanic male in his late teens or early 20s. He is described as 5'3"to 5'5" and weighing between 135 and 150 pounds. He apparently has short black hair. If you have any information, please call the FBI or Crime Stoppers.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Eliezer Marquez Abducts And Kills Sara Kuszak While She Jogged in Puerto Rico

San Juan Puerto Rico seems like a beautiful place for a honeymoon. Sara Kuszk was a tourist jogging in the beautiful island when she was abducted and killed. Her fiance was a yacht-captain. Together, they were no strangers to the island or to the sea. Sara Kuszak was five months pregnant at the time of her death. She loved travel and spent weeks at a time at sea with her fiance, Cheshire McIntosh. The couple's plan to have a March wedding is forever destroyed. American Slain on Vacation

The beautiful Sara Kuszak was only 35 years old. She was apparently abducted in the eastern coastal town of Fajardo. She was forced into the trunk of a car. Fortunately, she was able to use her cell to call authorities. Unfortunately, when she was found, she was dead from a slashed throat. For more details see: Coverage from KGO-TV

Eliezer Marquez has been charged with kidnapping, rape and first-degree murder. He has allegedly confessed to killing Kuszak. He had bloodstains on his shirt and pants at the time of his arrest. Marquez's mother, Ines Navedo, was convicted of slitting the throats of two young siblings aged 2 and 3 back in 1992.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Timothy Cole Becomes A Poster Example Of Why DNA Evidence Is Important

So what is the big deal with DNA testing? Why should this type of evidence be so important? Well, the short answer is that it may save an innocent man from being convicted. Take the case of Timothy Cole. Cole was a Texas man who died in prison nearly 10 years ago serving a sentence for a rape he apparently did not commit. His family is asking the Texas court to exhume his body for DNA testing that may exonerate the deceased. Apparently the DNA tests that have been performed indicate Timothy Cole went to prison for a rape he did not commit.

Cole was convicted and sentenced to 25 years in prison for the 1985 rape of 20-year-old Michele Mallin. He died in 1999. Ironically, after his death, another inmate confessed to the rape.
See more details on the hearing to exonerate the body here: court hearing. It is expected that
Mallin will testify in favor of the motion to clear Cole's name. The exoneration of Cole is being done with the help of The Innocence Project of Texas, a nonprofit organization. Jerry Wayne Johnson, who has confessed to the rape, is also expected to testify.

Cole was accused of being the Texas "Tech rapist" who attacked four women besides Mallin in Lubbock. While Malin identified Cole in a lineup prior to the original trial, something never added up. Malin testified that her rapist was a smoker and Cole never smoked. Cole was convicted of Mallin's rape after declining a plea bargain offer that would have put him on probation in return for admitting his guilt.

Cole died on December 2, 1999 as a result of heart complications due to his asthmatic condition. He was only 39 and one suspects that he actually died as a result of a broken heart caused by the failure of his country's legal system to exonerate him.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chen Jin Is Not A Selfish Self-centered Teen!

Not all teenagers are selfish self-centered individuals. For example, in Beijing, a 13-year-old Chinese girl tried to commit suicide in order to donate her liver to her cancer-stricken father. Chen Jin swallowed more than 200 sleeping pills after she discovered a medical note in her mother's purse that said her father was dying of liver cancer. Jin's mother climbed in through a back window and found two empty bottles of sleeping pills. The teens note read: "Mom, I'm sorry I couldn't stay with you any longer. Please give my liver to dad and save him after my death."

The teen was taken to the hospital where she remains in intensive care, drifting in and out of consciousness. Even if she survives, she will need surgery for burns she suffered from an electric blanket on her bed. Jin's mother is trying to keep her daughter's desperate act of love secret from her dieing husband.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Michael Phelps Lack of Judgment Will Cost Millions

Should Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps who was photographed smoking marijuana on the University of South Carolina campus be arrested? Whoopi Goldberg says no. But the rest of us may think his incredible lack of good judgment alone warrants arrest. Phelps is facing a criminal investigation as we speak. Charges could be filed. "If someone breaks the law in Richland County, we have an obligation as law enforcement to investigate and to bring charges," Sheriff Leon Lott said in a statement.

Phelps admitted "regrettable behavior" after a British newspaper published a photograph of him smoking through a bong. Phelps, who won a record eight gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. Should his behavior been in a statement Sunday. See the photo. Losing money through lost endorsements may be punishment enough. Endorsements If everyone on the campus who was caught smoking is punished, then so should be Phelps. So, just what other people are being considered under investigation? In the mean times, Phelps should go back to basics... starting with a wading pool.
Update 2-6-09: Phelps has been suspended from competition for three months. He has also lost is Kellogg's sponsorship.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Back On The Cold Trail of JonBenet Ramsey's Killer

Same old story? Cold case with new technology? The investigation of JonBenet Ramsey's murder has been resumed by the Boulder police. In theory, they would like to apply new technology to a 12-year-old case. For those of you who need a refresher: Death of JonBenet Ramsey

Boulder, Colorodo Police Chief, Mark Beckner, is optimistic that the killer can be found. But what are the odds that the murder of the 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant winner will be found after all this time. The killer is someone who had the mentality to bludgeon and strangle the six year old girl in the basement of her Boulder home. While clues were left behind in December of 1996 murder, after all these years the trail is cold.

Patsy Ramsey, JonBenet's mother and John Ramsey's wife, died in 2006. Prior to her death, she was apparently unjustly targeted as a suspect. Perhaps a more objective look at the evidence can place the authorities back on the trail of the real killer.
Update 11-9-10: Crime scene photos can be viewed at: LINK.

Monday, February 2, 2009

All Charges Dropped Against George Obama

There must be some benefit to being a half brother of the President of the United States. Looking at George Obama, one is inclined to think not much has changed since the Kennedy days in the White House. The President and his family are very popular and at least at the present, his family can do no wrong. All charges stemming from a drug raid involving George Obama, half-brother to U.S. President Barack Obama, have been dropped according to police in Kenya.

The actual charges against George Obama were suspicion of possessing marijuana. Apparently George Obama was arrested in a Nairobi slum. While George had no marijuana on his person, other people picked up with George did have it in their possession according to Kenya police spokesman Eric Kiraithe. The charge involving possessing cannabis and resisting arrest can result in up to a year in jail. "Police in Kenya do not look at criminals in light of associations with relatives," Kiraithe said to CNN. Half brother George Obama
did not attend the inauguration in Washington. In the President's memoir, "Dreams from My Father," Barack Obama describes meeting George as a "painful affair." In the memoir, President Obama struggles to reconcile with his father after he left his mother when he was a child. Barack Obama Sr. died in a car accident when George was 6 months old.