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Archive for June 23rd, 2011

A New Project

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Need or want advice on a subject? Want someone to research information to help answer a question you might have? Then this is the place for you.

 

You can email me at advicefromjewels@gmail.com with any question and I will try to post here a response that will help you with your question. Depending on the volume of email, it may take me more than a few days to respond.

 

Please be patient, some questions may take more time to give an appropriate answer. I will post them in small groups so that they are easy to read.

 

I look forward to helping you 🙂

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The Times & Democrat – A vulnerable voice is heard

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

By STEVE and COKIE ROBERTS | Posted: Thursday, June 2, 2011 8:00 am

They listened to the woman. That is the most remarkable part of the sordid sex scandal ensnaring Dominique Strauss-Kahn, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund, who stands accused of attacking a maid in a New York hotel room.

Powerful men have always manhandled vulnerable woman and gotten away with it. Victims often chose silence over justice because they feared that the criminal system would reject their accusations or, worse yet, blame them for the assault.

The “blame the victim” syndrome is so pervasive that even an honorable institution like the Peace Corps fell into that pattern. A former volunteer, Karestan Koenen, recently told a congressional hearing that after she was raped in the African country of Niger, the official investigating the case told her, “I am so sick of you girls going out with men, drinking and dancing, and then when something happens, you call it rape.”

“The treatment by the Peace Corps was worse than the rape,” said Koenen. If you replace “Peace Corps” with “military” or “university” or “police” or almost any other institution in our society, Koenen’s statement would apply to countless women who have been victimized twice: by a man who felt free to assault them and a system that felt free to ignore them.

So the events in New York represent real change. The alleged victim had the courage to speak out. Her bosses took her seriously. The cops pulled Strauss-Kahn off a plane 10 minutes before it left for Paris. The district attorney charged him with attempted rape. The judge denied him bail.

Lawyers for Strauss-Kahn, a major figure in French politics known as DSK, claim he’s innocent. But an assistant DA gave the court a graphic account: “The defendant restrained a hotel employee inside of the room. He sexually assaulted her and attempted to forcibly rape her.” For emphasis, he added: “The victim provided very powerful details consistent with violent sexual assault committed by the defendant.” Forensic evidence supported her “version of events.”

Strauss-Kahn has gotten away with abusive behavior for years, protected by a French code that tolerates — and even admires — potent politicians. He clearly follows the ancient tradition of “droit de seigneur” (yes, ironically, a French phrase) that literally means “the right of the lord.” In medieval times, a nobleman could claim the virtue of his vassals’ daughters. In the modern version, a hotel maid will do if no virgins or vassals are handy.

After years of coverups, the stories are now spilling out. Actress Danielle Evenou said on French radio, “Who hasn’t been cornered by Dominique Strauss-Kahn?” Writer Tristane Banon claims he came after her “like a chimpanzee in heat” during a 2002 interview. As she told French TV, “I kicked him several times, he unbuttoned my bra … and tried to unzip my jeans.”

On the advice of her own mother, an official in DSK’s Socialist party, Banon never filed a complaint. “I didn’t wish to be the girl who had a problem with a politician for the rest of my life,” she explained. But her lawyer says she is now likely to bring charges because “she knows she’ll be heard and she knows she’ll be taken seriously.” That’s progress.

Piroska Nagy, a Hungarian economist at the IMF, consented to a brief affair with Strauss-Kahn but felt she had no choice, given his stature and influence over her career. In a letter to the fund’s board, she echoed the lament of many women faced with a predatory boss: “I was damned if I did and damned if I didn’t.”

Any American who wants to feel superior to the French should stifle the impulse. As that congressional hearing revealed, the Peace Corps has a poor record in dealing with sexual abuse. According to an ABC investigation, more than a thousand volunteers reported attacks between 2000 and 2009, but many others stayed silent because the Corps’ response to their complaints was often “callous, dismissive or woefully insufficient,” according to Koenen, the former volunteer.

The army, if anything, is even more protective of predators. A recent lawsuit filed by 17 female soldiers against Defense Secretary Robert Gates, and his predecessor, Donald Rumsfeld, alleges that they “ran institutions in which perpetrators were promoted … in which plaintiffs and other victims were openly subjected to retaliation … and ordered to keep quiet.”

We don’t expect the world to change because one brave woman refused to keep quiet, and one powerful man found himself in a Manhattan courtroom, facing the consequences of his actions. But it’s a start.

Steve and Cokie’s new book, “Our Haggadah” (HarperCollins), was published this spring. Steve and Cokie Roberts can be contacted by email at stevecokie@gmail.com.

 

© 2011 The Times And Democrat

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WGBH – June 14, 2011: Rape and the Peace Corps

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

They endured rape, sexual assault and even murder while serving overseas. Now, a group of Peace Corps volunteers are speaking out about their horrific ordeals and how the agency tried to keep the incidents quiet. Former Peace Corps volunteer Karestan Koenan and Boston Area Rape Crisis Center Director Gina Scaramella join Emily.

http://wwf.wgbh.org/media/player.swf

© 2010 WGBH

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Israel Vision TV – Peace Corps Cover Up~Rape & Murder

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

On 17 January 2011 we posted about the rape and abuse of women volunteers for the Peace Corps. ABC was investigating and revealed that over one thousand Peace Corps volunteers had been raped in the countries they served in. When some of the victims finally spoke out, ABC  aired their stories, including the investigation of the recent murder of Kate Puzey.
The family of 24-year old Peace Corps volunteer from Atlanta (Kate Puzey) says agency personnel set her up to be murdered by revealing her role in the dismissal of an employee  that she accused of sexually abusing children at a school in the African country of Benin. The young woman was found at her cabin with her throat slit.
There is so much more. Please go to the ABC site, watch the videos and read the stories. If you are American, please don’t send your daughters to the Peace Corps! Places like Africa, Bangladesh, Haiti and the Middle-East are a clear danger for females. Even women  who came to protest with the “Palestinians” became victims but when they tried to speak out, just like the Peace Corps, they were told to keep quiet or it would hurt the cause. Any country that is predominantly Muslim is a terrible risk for ALL Women–No Matter Who They Support!
Any organization that silences the victims and covers for these barbaric behaviours, encourages more of the same. Isn’t is time that the people of the free world stops pouring money into countries where those who come to help them are raped, abused and murdered?
Why Would Anyone Kill Kate?~Part 1
Why Would Anyone Kill Kate?~Part 2
The cover up of rapes has been going on for years. In this report some of the women were brave enough to speak up.
Peace Corps Volunteers Tell Their Story of Rape
Listen to the stories, they tell of cover-up and a concentrated effort to put the blame on the girls.Why would anyone tell a girl who had been raped to make a list of what she had done wrong? This next clip is the story of a woman, now a Harvard Professor who was raped  over twenty years ago and “blamed” by the Peace Corps. No sympathy–no help.

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Atlanta Journal – Johnny Isakson: Give whistleblower status to Peace Corps volunteers

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

5:08 pm June 23, 2011, by jgalloway

U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson and three colleagues this afternoon introduced a bill that would give protected whistleblower status to volunteers of the U.S. Peace Corps.

The legislation is named after Kate Puzey, a 24-year-old Peace Corps volunteer from Cumming, Ga., who in 2009 was murdered in the west African village of Badjoude, Benin, shortly after she had reported a colleague for allegedly molesting some of the young girls they helped teach.

Here’s the video from today’s press conference:

As the video will attest, Isakson has taken an unusually personal interest in the legislation. A few paragraphs from the McClatchey Newspapers piece on the bill this week:

Puzey’s murder, which is under investigation, is one of a series of violent attacks on hundreds of female Peace Corps workers in recent years that have rocked the government-run volunteer organization, which for 50 years was an embodiment of President John F. Kennedy’s dream of talented young men and women sowing the seeds of progress and peace in developing countries.

Intensified scrutiny from the media and Congress has led the Peace Corps to change its practices in dealing with volunteers’ complaints of rape and physical assaults.

Isakson has doggedly pursued whistle-blower protection legislation for Peace Corps workers, named for Puzey. But Isakson, who shuns the spotlight, won’t even allow himself to visit her grave site until the legislation passes and her killer is brought to justice.

– By Jim Galloway, Political Insider

© 2011 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Ms. Magazine – The FBI’s Definition of Rape: Older Than a Lot of Things

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

April 25, 2011 by Annie Shields · 1 Comment

 

The FBI has been using this definition of rape for its Uniform Crime Report since 1929:

The carnal knowledge of a female, forcibly and against her will.

That definition excludes victims of forced anal or oral sex, rape with an object, statutory rape and male rape. And that definition hasn’t been changed in 82 years.

Let’s put this in perspective. The last time that federal law enforcement addressed the way we define and track rapes:

What’s more, the definition of rape that the FBI still uses today is older than:

Just imagine how much has changed about Warren Buffet since he was an infant. Now just think how little has changed about the way our federal government defines rape.

The pictures above shows what the world looked like back when the FBI started using the “forcible” rape definition. It’s high time for a change. Tell FBI Director Robert Mueller that rape is rape.

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Digitimes – PC industry should be re-evaluated, says Wistron chairman

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Yen-Shyang Hwang and Aaron Lee, Taipei; Joseph Tsai, DIGITIMES [Thursday 23 June 2011]

Wistron chairman Simon Lin, on June 22, commenting on the impact of tablet PCs, described Apple’s launch of iPad as a never-seen move, and it will take some time to figure out how to counter the move. He also believes that Apple has subverted the PC industry’s habits of depending heavily on Wintel, and 2011 is year for re-evaluation for the PC industry. Players with technologies will eventually find a way to counter and resume their performance in 2012.

Lin pointed out that although tablet PCs have impacted sales of traditional PCs, they have also created a brand new market segment that every player has a chance to join. Although tablet PCs may bite into the entry-level notebook market, they will not replace notebooks.

Lin noted that PC players are all studying iPad and when a strong competitor joins the market, the players can use the chance to re-evaluate themselves and change their heavy dependency of Wintel, while understand that copying Apple will not succeed, but only cause price competition.

Integration between hardware and software will become a necessary trend in the future, and brand vendors or ODMs with strong technological bases will have the most chance of finding the correct strategy to profit, especially players with plans for cloud computing.

In the past few years, Wistron has been aggressively hiring software talent, and along with its subsidiary Wistron Information Technology & Services (Wistron ITS), the company has over 3,000 software staff within the group. In addition to hardware manufacturing, the company will also need to focus on R&D of software, chassis, components and human behavior.

© DIGITIMES Inc.

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Latvians Arrested in Scareware Scam

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

June 23, 2011, 4:35 PM

By VERNE G. KOPYTOFF

5:20 p.m. | Updated Adding that an F.B.I. raid earlier this week was related to this investigation.

Federal authorities have broken up two Latvian crime rings that they say placed malware in online ads that would infect victims’ computers with messages to buy fake antivirus software.

One group sold $72 million of the phony software over three years, the Justice Department said Wednesday. The other caused at least $2 million in damages. Its victims included The Minneapolis Star Tribune, which sold online ad space to the group.

The suspects distributed what is known as “scareware,” malicious software that victims sometimes unwittingly download through online ads. The victims’ computer screens are taken over by ominous messages saying that their equipment is infected with a variety of viruses and that they need to buy the security software, which is in fact fraudulent.

Many people fell for the ruse by giving their credit card information to buy software for up to $129.

An F.B.I. raid earlier this week on a data center in Reston, Va., was related to the scareware investigation, said a person familiar with the matter who insisted on anonymity. The F.B.I. confiscated some servers that were unrelated to the investigation, interfering with Web sites and services including Instapaper, whose founder blogged about the situation on Thursday.

The first Latvian criminal group, which used Web pages showing phony virus scans, among other scams, infected hundreds of thousands of computers, according to federal officials.

The second group bought online ads on The Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Web site to distribute their malware. To help make their scheme appear legitimate to the newspaper, they created a false advertising agency that claimed to represent the Best Western motel chain.

Initially, the accused sent ads that worked normally. After getting clearance from the newspaper staff to run the ads, the accused adjusted the computer code in the ads so that they would infect the computers of the newspaper’s visitors, the Justice Department said.

The defendants, Peteris Sahurovs, and Marina Maslobojeva, were arrested on Tuesday in Latvia on the charges filed in United States District Court in Minneapolis.

“Today’s operation targets cybercrime rings that stole millions of dollars from unsuspecting computer users,” said the assistant attorney general, Lanny A. Breuer, of the Justice Department’s criminal division. “These criminal enterprises infected the computers of innocent victims with malicious scareware, and then duped them into purchasing fake anti-virus software.”

He continued: “Cybercrime is profitable, and can prey upon American consumers and companies from nearly any corner of the globe. We will continue to be aggressive and innovative in our approach to combating this international threat. At the same time, computer users must be vigilant in educating themselves about cybersecurity and taking the appropriate steps to prevent dangerous and costly intrusions.”

The F.B.I. and the Justice Department worked with law enforcement in a number of countries on the investigation including Latvia, France and United Kingdom. In all, they confiscated 47 computers. During the investigation, Latvian authorities searched at least five bank accounts that were apparently used by the scam artists.

The New York Times fell victim to a similar scareware scam in 2009. Eileen Murphy, a Times spokeswoman, said the scams identified on Wednesday appeared to be similar, but that they were so common that it was difficult to know if there was a link.
© 2011 The New York Times

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NY Times – Recluse Left Bulk of Wealth for Art Charity and to Her Nurse

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

By 
Published: June 22, 2011

For the past several decades, Huguette Clark, a wealthy copper heiress, had largely been a mystery to the public. She cloistered herself in hospitals in New York, and saw only a small number of visitors. She had no children and no close relatives.

Associated Press

Huguette Clark in 1930. Though healthy until near her death last month, she lived for decades in a hospital, even while healthy.

Her fortune was clearly huge — including a 42-room apartment on Fifth Avenue; an oceanfront estate in Santa Barbara, Calif.; and a country manor in New Canaan, Conn. — but her net worth was not clear.

So when Mrs. Clark died last month at age 104, it naturally raised questions: How much was there to be inherited, and who would get it?

Some clarity was provided on Wednesday when a lawyer filed a will in Surrogate’s Court in Manhattan that Mrs. Clark had executed in 2005.

Mrs. Clark’s estate is worth about $400 million, and is made up of an art collection with works by Monet, Renoir, John Singer Sargent and William Merritt Chase; her real estate and financial investments; and a vast doll collection, from porcelains to Barbies, said John D. Dadakis, a lawyer at the firm Holland & Knight, who filed the will.

Mrs. Clark’s nurse and close friend, Hadassah Peri, is the individual who will benefit most. She will get Mrs. Clark’s hundreds of dolls, potentially worth millions of dollars. Ms. Peri will also receive 60 percent of the various assets, worth about $40 million, including investments and much of her real estate holdings, not specifically bequeathed in the will. Mrs. Clark’s goddaughter, Wanda Styka, will get 25 percent.

Most of Mrs. Clark’s assets will go into a foundation that will be established to promote the arts. It will be directed in part by the man who drafted the will, her New York lawyer, and her accountant, both of whom Manhattan prosecutors are investigating for how they handled Mrs. Clark’s money. The foundation, according to the will, will receive her Santa Barbara estate, most of her art collection, all of her musical instruments and her rare book collection.

The will, dated April 19, 2005, leaves $1 million to Beth Israel Medical Center, where she lived in her final years, even while in good health, and where she died; $500,000 to her assistant; and $100,000 to a physician. A 1907 original from Claude Monet’s Water Lilies series — kept from public view for more than eight decades — is given to the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington.

Perhaps the most notable provisions in the will are those that will leave $500,000 each to Mrs. Clark’s New York lawyer, Wallace Bock, and to her accountant, Irving H. Kamsler, and the section that states explicitly that no family members were beneficiaries because of her minimal contact with them.

The Manhattan district attorney’s office is investigating how Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler have handled Mrs. Clark’s money, according to a person briefed on the case who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Mr. Bock drafted the will that was filed on Wednesday, even though professional rules generally prohibit lawyers from drafting wills in which they are beneficiaries. Exceptions can be granted, however, if the lawyer provides the surrogate’s court with facts showing that the person legitimately wanted to give him the gift, said Ira Bloom, a trusts and estates professor at Albany Law School.

Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler also stand to gain significant commissions because the will names them the executors of Mrs. Clark’s estate and it names them to the board of the new foundation.

Mr. Dadakis, who is representing Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler in the surrogate’s court proceeding, said that both men had done what Mrs. Clark had asked of them, and that she left them money because they were close to her.

“When you understand who Mrs. Clark was,” Mr. Dadakis said, “I think you clearly see that this is a lady that was very strong willed. This will speaks for that being strong willed, the way she was.”

Robert J. Anello, who represents Mr. Bock in the criminal investigation, said the will was evidence that his client had acted “consistent with her wishes and he’s done that remarkably well.”

While it is too early to tell whether anyone will object to the will, some of Mrs. Clark’s distant relatives have in the past questioned whether Mr. Bock and Mr. Kamsler acted in her best interest and said they blocked visits from the relatives.

© 2011 The New York Time

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New York Times – Why So Many Serial Killers on Long Island?

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Spencer Platt/Getty Images

SEARCH Police officers on Long Island canvass a beach where remains were recently found.

By MANNY FERNANDEZ
Published: April 9, 2011

Some towns and counties have cancer clusters. Others have high rates of traffic fatalities or foreclosures. In New York, Long Island has been grappling with its own disturbing demographic: Three serial killers who targeted the same type of victims have operated in the same tidy suburbs in the span of 22 years.

Since 1989, when the first victim was killed, the three have been active in Long Island’s two counties — Suffolk and Nassau — in apparently unrelated cases. Joel Rifkin, a 34-year-old unemployed landscaper from East Meadow, confessed to killing 17 women he said were prostitutes following his arrest in 1993. Robert Shulman, a 42-year-old postal worker from Hicksville, was convicted of killing five prostitutes after he was arrested in 1996. The third killer has yet to be apprehended, but the police know that he or she exists: the bodies of eight people — at least four of them female prostitutes — have been found in the thick brush near a Suffolk County beach since December.

It is a phenomenon that, though rare, has occurred elsewhere. Beginning in the early 1980s, at least five serial killers terrorized the South Los Angeles area, including Lonnie Franklin Jr., whom the police accused of being the so-called Grim Sleeper (he took a hiatus from 1988 to 2002).

Serial-killer experts and others offered a host of theories for the cluster phenomenon. Several said it was a fluke of geography. Still others said it was, in a sense, an illusion: Other cities and regions could have just as many or even more serial killers in their midst, but their patterns have not yet been detected by the police.

Scott Bonn, a serial-killer researcher and assistant professor of sociology at Drew University in New Jersey, said the explanation was simple. Because serial killers often prefer to live in densely populated areas — for easy access to potential victims — it is not a surprise that three of them who specialized in sex workers had turned up over two decades in a place with a population of 2.8 million. “The odds that you would have these three guys in rural Mississippi in that time period are far less likely than in a densely populated area like Long Island,” he said.

Fred Klein, the former Nassau County assistant district attorney who prosecuted Mr. Rifkin, said the frequency of Long Island’s serial killers was “just an anomaly.” The Rifkin and Shulman cases, it turns out, shared strange coincidences: Mr. Rifkin and Mr. Shulman lived a few miles from one another, and they committed some of their murders at the same time, though they did not appear to know one another.

Vernon J. Geberth, an author and former New York Police Department homicide commander who has analyzed more than 300 serial killings in the United States, said popular culture, not the locale, was to blame.

“I don’t think it’s strange at all,” Mr. Geberth said. “I think that people fail to realize that we have more serial murders today than ever before. We’ve taken the most reprehensible members of society and given them star status. We’ve raised a generation of psychopaths. As a result, we have an increase in serial murder.”

Long Island’s latest serial killer could have been not the third but the fourth in recent years, if the definition of “serial killer” was looser. In 1990, Allen Gormely, 37, a carpenter, confessed to killing prostitutes. Several experts define the serial killer as someone who kills three or more people on different occasions. Mr. Gormely was convicted of killing only two.

© 2011 The New York Times

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New York Times – Serial Killer in L.I. Case Is Seen as Versed in Police Techniques

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Uli Seit for The New York Times

Police searchers concentrated this week on an area of Long Island where four sets of unidentified remains were recently found.

By WILLIAM K. RASHBAUM and JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
Published: April 8, 2011
Whoever killed four prostitutes, and possibly four other people, and then dumped their bodies in heavy underbrush along a beachfront causeway on Long Island appears to have a sophisticated understanding of police investigative techniques, according to people briefed on the case.

A series of taunting phone calls made to the teenage sister of one of the victims — calls that the police suspect came from the killer — were made from in or around some of the most crowded locations in New York City, including Madison Square Garden and Times Square, according to the people briefed on the case and to the mother of Melissa Barthelemy, that victim.

The locations, detectives say, were probably chosen because they allowed the caller to blend into crowds, so that if investigators pinpointed his location from the cellphone’s signal, they would be unable to pick him out of the crowd using any nearby surveillance cameras, one of the people said.

This fact, as well as the killer’s use of disposable cellphones to contact the four victims who have been identified — women in their 20s who advertised their services on Craigslist — suggested to some investigators that the killer was well versed in criminal investigative techniques, gleaned either through personal experience or in some other way, and could even be in law enforcement himself.

“He is a guy who is aware of how we utilize technology,” one investigator said. “Frankly, people are thinking maybe he could be a cop” — either one still in law enforcement or one who has moved on.

“Without question, this guy is smart, this guy is not a dope,” the investigator continued. “It’s a guy who thinks about things.”

Also, the caller kept each of his vulgar, mocking and insulting calls to less than three minutes, according to the dead woman’s mother, Lynn Barthelemy. The caller made about a half-dozen calls over roughly five weeks to the victim’s sister.

One investigator said the brief duration of the calls thwarted efforts by the New York Police Department to use the signal to pinpoint the caller’s location and find him, something Lynn Barthelemy said they told her they tried to do four times.

New York investigators began those efforts about a week after Melissa Barthelemy, a 24-year-old who lived in the Bronx, disappeared around July 10, 2009.

The investigator, and several others, emphasized that the idea that the killer could be an active or former law enforcement officer was just one theory being examined by homicide investigators in Suffolk County, where the bodies were found.

The Suffolk Police Department’s chief of detectives, Dominick Varrone, would say only, “Our investigative team is considering many theories and all possibilities.”

The police commissioner, Richard Dormer, said in a statement late Friday that “no suspect has been identified in the Gilgo Beach homicides.”

Ms. Barthelemy’s body was one of four uncovered over the course of three days in December in the thick undergrowth along Ocean Parkway, near Gilgo Beach, in the town of Babylon. All were dumped in burlap sacks.

It is unclear whether the county medical examiner’s office, working with its counterpart in New York City, has determined the causes of death in the four cases.

The discovery marked the third time in two decades that a serial killer of prostitutes had stalked Long Island.

After the snow melted, the Suffolk police intensified their search in the area. On March 29, a Marine Unit officer discovered a fifth set of remains, and two days later, three more sets of remains were found, more than a mile east of where the first bodies were found clustered.

Two officials briefed on the case said it appeared that those additional sets of remains had been dumped many years prior to those found in December, and there were no burlap sacks.

They said there were other differences that set them apart from the four bodies that have been identified, but they would not describe them.

Both of the officials suggested that the differences raised the possibility that remains found in the past two weeks — the police have yet to identify them or even say whether they have determined the gender of the dead — were unrelated to the four Craigslist women.

But they also said the differences could be ascribed to the development of the killer’s technique over time.

On July 10 nearly two years ago, Ms. Barthelemy saw a client and then deposited $900 into her bank account, her mother said. That night she called an old boyfriend, but he did not pick up. Then she disappeared.

Melissa Barthelemy’s teenage sister, Amanda, was preparing to fly to New York from Buffalo and visit with her sister, but the trip was called off because the family could not reach Melissa. Concerned, the Barthelemys pleaded with the New York police to help find her.

Then Amanda began to receive calls, about one each week, from her missing sister’s cellphone. The voice on the other end was calm and bland, and never yelled or laughed, her mother said.

Lynn Barthelemy would not say what was said in those calls. She said the authorities told her not to disclose details so that they could use that information, which they believe only the killer would know, to weed out false confessions.

The family’s lawyer, Steven M. Cohen of Buffalo, said the caller had made remarks that were “disparaging of the sister, because of her lifestyle.”

“We can’t for certain make the leap that the person who called the sister was the killer, although I believe that to be the case,” Mr. Cohen said. “If you accept it was the killer calling, he certainly had feelings of anger towards prostitutes.”

Lynn Barthelemy said detectives had told her they rushed to several locations during the calls, which never lasted more than three minutes, but were unable to identify a suspect.

In one instance, the police learned that Melissa Barthelemy’s phone had been turned on near Massapequa, on Long Island, and that someone had gained access to her voice mail, the victim’s mother said, but that happened only once.

The caller did not ever say that Ms. Barthelemy was dead or suggest that she was alive, Lynn Barthelemy said.

“He kept us hopeful,” she said.

She still wonders what prompted the calls. It was as if he was “trying to finalize things,” she said.

Al Baker contributed reporting.

 

 

 

© 2011 The New York Times

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Huffington Post – Long Island Serial Killer Search Expands In New York After Eighth Body Found

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

 

Oak Beach

FRANK ELTMAN   04/ 5/11 09:09 PM ET   AP

OAK BEACH, N.Y. — Detectives searching for a missing New Jersey prostitute have uncovered the remains of eight possible victims of a serial killer along a remote New York beach highway, but said Tuesday that none is the woman they have been looking for.

“I’m just shocked,” Sherre Gilbert said in a brief telephone interview after learning from Suffolk County detectives that her sister, Shannan Gilbert, was not among the eight bodies found along Ocean Parkway on Long Island in recent months. “I am still hoping for the best outcome.”

Shannan Gilbert, 24, who worked as an escort, was last seen last spring in Oak Beach, near where the latest remains were discovered, after apparently meeting a client she had booked through Craigslist. The bodies of four other prostitutes, all of whom advertised their services on Craigslist and were in their 20s, were found along the same highway by police searching for Gilbert in December.

A fifth body was located last week about a mile from where the first four were found and police on Monday said they uncovered the remains of three more people. Police have not identified any of the most recent victims and have not definitively linked them to the remains found in December.

Detectives suspect a serial killer but so far have no suspects.

The four dead prostitutes were found amid a 4-foot-tall tangle of sea grass punctuated by scrubby pine trees. Authorities have identified them as Amber Lynn Costello, 27, originally of Wilmington, N.C.; Megan Waterman, 22, of Scarborough, Maine; Maureen Brainard-Barnes, 28, of Norwich, Conn.; and Melissa Barthelemy, 24, of Buffalo, N.Y.

Although officers have searched the area several times since December, they intensified a search of the 7.5-mile area on Monday. After searching almost exclusively on the north side of Ocean Parkway, which leads to the popular Jones Beach, police academy cadets, K-9 units and other investigators moved to the south side of the roadway on Tuesday, searching a wide swath of sandy beach down to the ocean.

The north side of the highway has proved a challenging search for investigators, who have had to contend with a thicket of underbrush and evergreens, peppered with a variety of trash, from helium balloons to car tires to beer cans and bottles.

Although police were able to quickly rule out Gilbert as a victim because of forensic evidence they had on file in her case, identifying the four recently found bodies could take weeks or longer, officials have said. The New York City medical examiner’s office is assisting Suffolk County officials with their investigation.

 

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Huffington Post Commentary – Cindy Anthony’s Heartbreak: Recognizing Your Adult Child’s Weakness

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

Author, ‘Regret Free Parenting: Raise Good Kids and Know You’re Doing It Right’

 

Casey Anthony represents the epitome of heartbreak that parenting adult children can bring. It is a season of life when you have no control, power, or authority. It can also be a nightmare when grandchildren are involved. Just ask Cindy Anthony.

For over three years, we have been inundated with a dysfunctional family who, at their very core, had a little one who held them together. Caylee, the child who was missing for 31 days before her mother reported it, has become the poster child for a family gone broke. It would be a better legacy if she became a symbol for a call to action for families everywhere.

I appreciate hope and I am a major proponent of it. It is a necessary ingredient in most of life’s difficult situations. I am also a believer in seeing things for what they are versus what we want them to be. Herein lies one of the biggest problems I see for parents of adult children: They refuse to see the truth about their children.

Being honest about an adult child’s weaknesses does not mean parents have the license to be critical or that one is giving up on them. It simply allows parents to see them truthfully so that expectations can be adjusted and relationship issues can be handled with greater awareness. By being a student of one’s adult child, one will need to remove the weight of guilt and responsibility felt, even though the adult child may have picked up some of their bad habits from their parents.

Clarity about an adult child’s dysfunction, personality disorders, addictions, and other various shortcomings will make parenting them more effective. Parents need to seek out professional assistance if their adult child is making irresponsible choices. It is important to refrain from criticism, judgment, name calling, and character assassination when dealing with adult children. Their children can walk away from them at any point in time, never to be heard from again, if they fail to be respectful. Speaking with honor to someone does not mean you agree with them or support their choices; it is simply saying they will be treated with human dignity. This says volumes about the integrity of the parents, which when all is said and done, is all you have control over anyway.

Cindy Anthony has not only lost a granddaughter, but she has lost a daughter as well. Regardless of how the trial turns out, her family will never be the same. Let us allow her pain to be a reminder to all of us that family relationships cannot be taken for granted and we must work on them our entire lives. May we see what really is, be the best of who we are as often as possible, and learn from others who walk before us.

Follow Catherine Hickem, L.C.S.W on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CatherineHickem

 

 

© 2011 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

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Huffington Post – Casey Anthony Defense: No Dirt, No Drugs, No Murder

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

David Lohrdavidlohr@davidlohr.net

First Posted: 06/22/11 06:41 PM ET Updated: 06/23/11 02:28 PM ET

Despite only having a shortened day of testimony to work with, Casey Anthony’s defense team managed to call half a dozen forensic experts to the witness stand today. The expert testimony is part of the defense team’s ongoing attempt to dispute forensic evidence admitted by the prosecution — evidence they claim proves Anthony murdered her two-year-old daughter, Caylee.

Maureen Bottrell was the first person the defense called to testify during day 25 of the trial. Anthony is accused of multiple charges, including capital murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child and misleading law enforcement for the death of her daughter.

The prosecution is seeking the death penalty.

Bottrell, a forensic examiner and geologist from the FBI, testified that she analyzed nearly two dozen pairs of shoes taken from the Anthony home in 2009. Of them, three pairs were found to contain enough soil deposits for comparison to soil samples that were taken from the crime scene on Suburban Drive in Orlando where Caylee’s skeletal remains were found.

According to Bottrell, the soil on the shoes did not match the soil samples from the crime scene.

However, during cross-examination, the expert acknowledged that while the soils did not match, she could not rule out the possibility that the shoes had been at the crime scene and then contaminated with soil from other locations.

FBI forensic toxicologist Madeline Montgomery was the second witness to take the stand today. Montgomery testified that she had examined a hair found with Caylee’s remains using a liquid chromatograph mass spectrometer and did not find any trace of drugs — including those containing sedatives or a knock-out effect.

Montgomery’s testimony was only a brief win for the defense. On cross-examination, she acknowledged she could not test for chloroform — a chemical substance that prosecutors allege their experts found traces of in Anthony’s Pontiac Sunfire.

Montgomery also conceded that hair is not the best source for showing drug exposure.

“Even if it had been positive, I wouldn’t have been able to say when or how often the person was exposed,” she said.

From soil and hair, testimony shifted to forensic chemistry when Dr. Michael Sigman, a professor at the University of Central Florida, was called to the stand.

Sigman said he conducted testing on samples of air from the trunk of Casey’s Sunfire, which he found to contain the presence of gasoline, something one would expect to find in a trunk. Sigman said subsequent testing resulted in the discovery of traces of chloroform and other chemicals, which he said are not necessarily connected to human decomposition and are also found in onions, cabbages and Clorox.

“We simply know they’re there. We don’t know the source,” he testified.

Because the amounts were so low, Sigman said he “could not conclusively determine … that there had been human remains in the trunk of the car.”

The defense briefly called Susan Mears, a crime scene investigator with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, to the stand. Mears was asked to identify two items — a plastic shopping bag and a Gatorade bottle — that were found at the crime scene.

After Mears stepped down, Michael Rickenbach, a FBI forensic chemist examiner, was called to the stand for a second time.

Rickenbach testified that he was asked to test the Gatorade bottle, a car seat and steering wheel cover from Anthony’s Sunfire, and one of Caylee’s dolls for the presence of chloroform. He said each of the tests were negative. In regard to the Gatorade bottle, which was discovered with a syringe inside it, he said both items contained testosterone compounds.

The last witness called was Karen Lowe, an FBI forensic expert who specializes in microscopic hair examinations. Lowe previously testified for the prosecution that a hair found in Anthony’s car showed signs of decomposition.

On the stand today, Lowe testified that only one hair, of the hundreds she had examined from the vehicle, showed signs of decomposition.

The forensic expert also testified that duct tape fabric found at the crime scene was the same brand as duct tape taken from the Anthony family home, but said testing on the two indicates they were probably not from the same roll.

Lowe”s brief testimony wrapped up the half day, with Judge Belvin Perry dismissing the jurors. He said he had to attend a previously scheduled budget meeting. Testimony in the case is set to resume tomorrow at 9 a.m.

© 2011 TheHuffingtonPost.com, Inc.

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ABC News – Casey Anthony’s Defense Mirrors Story of Jailhouse Neighbor

Posted by 4love2love on June 23, 2011

 By JESSICA HOPPER

June 21, 2011

 

A Florida woman has come forward to say that she was a jailhouse neighbor of Casey Anthony at a time when the women talked about how her child drowned in the family pool and that the child’s grandfather called 911 to report the death.

The woman’s story is similar to the surprise defense offered by Casey Anthony’s lawyers on the first day of her murder trial.

Prosecutor Linda Drane Burdick told the trial judge today that the woman’s story came to their attention last Thursday or Friday and her claim is being investigated. She identified the woman as April Whalen.

Whalen’s father, the man who reported his grandson’s death in 2007, told ABCNews.com that detectives came by his house last week to ask about his daughter. He said that his daughter told him that she once slept next to Anthony’s cell in 2009.

“I think she did talk to her [Casey Anthony],” Lynn Whalen said.

It’s unclear if April Whalen told Anthony about her child’s death. April Whalen’s 15-month-old son, Isaiah, accidentally drowned in the family’s pool during a Christmas celebration in 2007.

Lynn Whalen did not know whether his daughter was the one who called the Orange County Sheriff’s office, launching the investigation. April Whalen, 30, has been booked into the Orange County jail at least 10 times on charges including petit theft, driving with a suspended license and drug possession.

Anthony, 25, is accused of murdering 2-year-old daughter Caylee and could face the death penalty if convicted.

Anthony and her defense team claimed in their opening statement that Caylee accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008, 31 days before she was reported missing. They also contend that George Anthony, Casey Anthony’s father, helped dispose of the child’s body.

Lynn Whalen wouldn’t comment on how he felt about the possibility that Casey Anthony was using his family’s tragedy as a defense in her trial.

“I think that whole situation is a sad situation,” he said.

Prosecutors said that for now they do not plan to call April Whalen as a witness, but that may change as the investigation continues.

Casey Anthony evidence photos

Earlier today, a defense witness in the Casey Anthony trialclaimed that Caylee’s skeletal remains could have been in a wooded area for as little as two weeks.

Anthony looked away as pictures of her 2-year-old Caylee’s skull were shown among leaves and twigs where they were discovered off of Suburban Drive in December 2008.

Botanist Jane Bock told jurors that her study of what she calls leaf litter at the site where Caylee’s skull was found indicated that the skeletal remains could have been there for a minimum of two weeks when they were discovered on Dec. 11, 2008.

Bock’s assessment that the remains could have been in the wooded area for just a few weeks gives a boost to the defense. Anthony was in jail in the weeks leading up to the discovery of Caylee’s remains.

Bock also testified that the leaves found in Casey Anthony’s car do not match the leaves found with Caylee’s remains.

Upon cross examination, Bock acknowledged that the remains could have been there as little as two weeks or much longer. Caylee’s skull was found with leaves up to the jawline.

Anthony’s Pontiac Sunfire tested positive for human decomposition and high levels of chloroform. The prosecution contends that Caylee died from chloroform and duct tape placed over her nose and mouth.

While the prosecution contends the body was lying in the woods for months, Casey Anthony’s defense lawyers have stated that the man who eventually found the body, Roy Kronk, moved the body and essentially tampered with the evidence.

Experts have said that if the body was moved from the crime scene, any evidence associated with it — like the duct tape — could be brought into question.

The defense claims that the toddler accidentally drowned in the family pool on June 16, 2008. Caylee was not reported missing until July 15, 2008.

The defense resumed calling witnesses today after an abrupt end to Monday’s hearing. Judge Belvin Perry reprimanded both defense attorney Jose Baez and prosecutor Jeff Ashton on Monday and recessed the court before any witnesses could be called.

Judge Again Gets Angry With Casey Anthony’s Lawyer

The scolding continued today with Judge Belvin Perry saying that defense attorney Jose Baez had committed a “willful” discovery violation by not making sure forensic expert Richard Eikelenboom had completed a report required by the court. Each expert witness is required to file a report stating the opinions that he or she will testify to so that both the prosecution and defense can properly prepare their cases. Perry stopped short of excluding Eikelenboom. Instead, he is forbidding him from testifying on the DNA testing of decompositional fluid in Casey Anthony’s car trunk until the court holds an extended hearing on the manner in the coming weeks.

Eikelenboom testified that one would expect to find DNA on the sticky side of duct tape placed over someone’s mouth. Caylee Anthony’s remains were found with three pieces of duct tape.

Upon cross examination, Eikelenboom conceded that it would be difficult to find DNA on tape that had been exposed to the same conditions as Caylee’s remains.

Orange County Detective Yuri Melich also testified again. This time he discussed the search for chloroform at the Anthony family home. Police didn’t search for chloroform until December of 2008, months after an initial report from forensic experts showed Casey Anthony’s car tested positive for chloroform.

Marcus Wise, an analytic chemist, seemed to frustrate defense attorney Jose Baez. Wise was meant to refute evidence that showed high levels of chloroform found in Casey Anthony’s car. Wise testified that peaks of chloroform were found in carpet samples from Casey Anthony’s Pontiac Sunfire. He also said that an air sample from the car didn’t show a strong presence of chloroform but that was to be expected since chloroform is a volatile gas that evaporates quickly.

Baez tried repeatedly to get Wise to negate Arpad Vass’s qualifications. Vass is the scientist who took air samples from the car. Both are colleagues at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Wise called Vass “talented.”

Vasco Thompson, the convicted kidnapper and surprise witness added to the defense’s roster of witnesses, will be deposed Wednesday in the law offices of Cheney Mason, the Orlando Sentinel reported.

The defense claims that Thompson and George Anthony, Casey Anthony’s father, exchanged phone conversations the day before Caylee was reported missing. Both George Anthony and Vasco Thompson have denied knowing one another. Thompson’s attorney filed a motion to quash the subpoena.

“I have no idea who George Anthony is,” Thompson said. “The phone number they got, I didn’t have that number until February of 2009. I don’t know why they dragged me into all this mess.”

Baez never said what Thompson’s connection to the case may have been, but he has accused George Anthony of helping to dispose of Caylee’s body after she accidentally drowned in the family pool.

© 2011 ABC News

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