Friday, November 30, 2007

A step closer to closure

"The abuse is bad enough but to think that there's photographs of it someplace is really eerie," stated attorney Holly Abery-Wetstone.

Witness after witness testified before the the state medical board in 1993 that Dr George E Reardon had photographed them while he molested them in his office. Reardon had practiced at St Francis Hospital and Medical Center in Hartford CT for 30 years before he resigned in 1993.

The doctor touched and took pictures of the children at the hospital and away from his office when he took children on camping trips or to motels. His accusers stated that Reardon had fondled and masturbated them and then took pornographic and provocative pictures of them. He generally practiced alone so he has only a secretary in his outer office but many of his victims claimed that they had appointments with him in the evening or on weekends when even she wasn't there.

Reardon, whose area of expertise was childhood sexual developement, claimed that he was doing growth studies. Some of the children involved were his patients, others from the neighborhood and still others were patients in the hospital that he recruited for his "studies." Some of the children were as young as 8 years old and many told the same stories of touching, mainpulating and photographing.

A brother and sister filed the first two complaints against Reardon in 1987, claiming that he had abused them when they were 5 and 7. Reardon was practicing in New York in the years between 1956 and 1961 when the two stated they had been abused. The thrid complaint against him came in 1989 when a Hartford woman claimed that he had abused her 14 years earlier when she was 10. It wasn't until the fourth complaint in 1993 that either St Francis or the state took any action against Reardon.

The Connecticut Medical Examining Board suspended his license but reinstated it after he agreed to not treat anyone under 18 and always have someone present when he did. When the decision was made public then, dozens more came forward to accuse him of abuse. In 1995, although he was retired, Reardon decided to give up his medical license and all action against him was stopped.

No photographs of the kind described by his accusers were presented at the medical board hearings as well as no growth studies. Reardon claimed that there was no study ever published because someone had beaten him to it. In his 1997 deposition for the civil suits filed against him, he claimed that he had kept hundreds of pictures of children in a locked safe in his hospital office but they were never found.

Reardon died in 1998 and the question of the photos he admitted having but never were found went with him to the grave it seems. His victims had felt the pressure of not being believed either for all the following years. Reardon's estate was settled and the meager dollars split between the victims who had filed suit against him. His home valued at $140,000 at the time of his death was left to Dean Beaulieu, one of two brothers he had taken into his home as their legal guardian. Authorities had always believed that Reardon had hidden the photographs somewhere near a lake house he had owned.

This May, Kenneth Mangini, the new owner of Reardon's home at 155 Griswald Dr, West Hartford CT, uncovered the mystery of the photographs. While doing renovations to the basement, he discovered 50,000 35 mm slides and over 100 8mm video reels hidden behind panels in a basement wall. Investigators state that it appears to be that hundreds of children were abused by Reardon and they definately confirm the stories told by those who stepped forward years ago. They are working to identify not only who the victims are but to discover if any of those photographs may have been shared with others.

While it may have appeared that Reardon took his secret to the grave......... circumstance uncovered how sinister his interests actually were and I would hope, can give some sense of closure to those who may not have been fully believed when they first stepped forward.

Update: November 30

"We've been taking phone calls most of the day," stated Capt Lori Coppinger.

By late afternoon on Thursday, West Hartford Police had fielded almost 50 phone calls from people in their 30's to the 60's. All twelve detectives were pressed into service in taking their calls. All of them state that they are childhood victims of Reardon and the stories for the most part, are very consistant.

The investigators have been studying the photos for the past month and they have been working with both the Center for Missing and Exploited Children and the FBI in finding the best solution to identifying the children in the photos. Samples of both the 8mm and slides will be converted to DVD format in in hopes of finding out if Readon had shared his photos with others.

The system they have set up but are not using yet includes asking the victims for a photo of themselves at around the age they were abused and searches will be made for a match in the collection. The matches will be made only facially and if there is a match, the victim will be asked to confirm the match. The photos will not be destroyed until the investigation is complete and they are no longer needed as evidence. Right now, they are locked away seperately from the regular evidence room, all to protect the identity of what looks to be hundreds of victims.

Wait.... send them back

It seems that the DMV in New York has suddenly changed their mind when it comes to Arno Herwerth, 42. He had requested vanity plates for his car and was issued the ones he requested on November 2 2007.

Herwerth, a 21 year veteran of the NYPD had asked for the plates to keep the memory of Sept 11 and the need for bin Laden, the man accused of orchestrating it to be captured and held accountable for it. The DMV sent him the plates he requested which are "GETOSAMA." He was surprised though to receive a letter from the DMV on November 15 which returned his old generic plates and demanded he return the new ones. The DMV cited a regulation that prohibited plates that could be considered "obscene, lewd, lascivious, derogatory to a particular ethnic group or patently offensive."

"What is unique is that this message does reflect the policies of the present administration," stated Tara Keenan-Thomson.

Herwerth's attorney is seeking an injunction to prevent the New York DMV from revoking the "GETOSAMA" plates and stated that they are patriotic because they reflect the U S support in the war on terrorism. Keenan-Thomson, the executive director of the Nassau County of the New York Civil Liberties Union stated that she is aware that the DMV has denied plates because of offensive messages. She added that she is not sure why GETOSAMA has been interpreted negatively by the state officials. Keenan-Thomson stated that when the word offensive is used in describing a political view, it is encroaching on individual rights to free speech.

Ken Brown, the state DMV spokesman stated that the plates didn't meet regulation standards and that issuing them would be inappropriate. Sadly Mr Brown seems to have missed one point right off the bat......... they issued them already, so someone had already approved them in the DMV. Demanding that they now be returned because they are "offensive" when they state the same sentiment that comes from the oval office is contradictory in the very least.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Good deeds......

On October 6 2007, Amarjit Singh, 56, was preparing food at the Texas Smokehouse restaurant on Second Ave, New York City, NY when Lee Coleman, 38, entered. Coleman stole some several knives before slashing Singh and then running out into the street.

Minutes later, Singh saw Coleman confront psychologist Susan Barron, 67, who was walking her dog to church. With blood flowing down his face, Singh made a split-second decision to step up and do something. He rushed out to confront Coleman as he was stabbing Barrow in the head, body and neck with the stolen knives. An off-duty transit cop, Gregory Chin, then shot and wounded Coleman when he refused to drop the knives.

Singh stated that when he saw Barrow in the hospital, she thanked him for saving her life. He himself was in hospitalized after Coleman's slash nearly severed his ear. He added though that he is afraid to return to his apartment, hasn't worked since the day of the attack and doesn't know if he will even have his job back if the restaurant reopens. Singh suffers from flashbacks of the attack, can't walk far without being tired, has lost the hearing in his slashed ear and half his face has no feeling in it.

He has gone from a man who enjoyed working for his $700 a week and sending money home for his children to a man who feels like he is stuck inside a jail. Singh prides himself on never having to take medications before and now, he sadly states he is taking many of them. His boss of 22 years, who had always told him that Singh is like family to him has only visited him twice since the slashing. His medical bills are being paid for by the New York State Victims Board but he is now applying for unemployment compensation to help pay his living expenses.

"People always say 'hero' but what is a hero? It means nothing," stated Singh.

Tarrell Lee was directing traffic on East 60th St and York Ave, New York City NY when his life changed forever as well. Dr Mihai Merzianu, 38, was rushing to pick up research papers and in a hurry to get into the northbound FDR on September 12 2005. He tried to jump his Mazda ahead of traffic by driving into the other lane and hit and SUV which in turn, pinned Lee against a concrete barrier.

Lee underwent 10 hours of surgery, 35 days of a medically induced coma, painful rehab and learned to walk again after losing his leg in the accident. He lost his right leg from the knee down and now uses a titanium prosthesis Lee also recieved an insurance settlement, a desk job at the NYPD and what seems to be, a very new view of life.

"I logically know that I should be mad, but being mad isn't going to help anything. I'm turning negative energy into positive energy," stated Lee.

Merzianu, who faced seven years in jail for the accident and who Lee had stated he could sue for everything he was worth, was found guilty of reckless assault. It may have been Lee's statement of wanting justice and not revenge that led to Merzianu being sentenced to one day in jail, five years on probation and not losing his medical license or facing being deported.

Manhatten Supreme Court Justice Robert Stolz praised Lee for showing a remarkable degree of compassion and for Lee being able to see the trial and sentencing as being justice and not revenge. It would seem in these days of sue happy individuals, there are still some who set their lives aside and do what is best in the end, without thinking of what they will gain from it.

It's safer in the bank

If the bank employee in Clearwater SC had agreed to open an account for Alexander D Smith, 31, of Augusta GA on Monday November 26 2007, they probably would have been fired. Smith though didn't take the refusal lightly and began to curse the bank employees.

It was then that they called the police and after they arrived, Smith was charged with disorderly conduct and forgery. It seems that Smith had tried to open his account with a million dollar bill, something the federal government has never printed before for use.

A second forgery charge was added when police found that Smith had purchased fraudulently purchased several cartons of cigarettes from a nearby grocery store. At least he hadn't tried to use the fake million dollar bill there but using a stolen check wasn't exactly the best choice either.

It seems that every year brings along those few people who think no one will be the wiser to their having a million dollar bill on hand, for those quick impulse purchases.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

If found..... please return to......

"The clean-up crew thought the bags looked suspicious so they turned them over the Florida Highway Patrol," stated L E Coggins, FHP spokesman.

On Tuesday November 27 2007, the crew working on I-4 near McIntosh Rd, about 70 miles west of Orlando, came across two large plastic bags. They weren't filled with body parts or household trash but they were filled....... with about 60 pounds of marijuana. The FHP estimates the 60 pounds of recently cut plants to be worth approximately $54,000. They think that the bags either were tossed along the roadside or fell out of a passing vehicle.

In their press release, the FHP is trying to be as helpful as possible....... they have requested that anyone who may have information as to how the bags got there or anyone missing their bags of pot, please contact them at the Florida Highway Patrol 813 631 4020.

They have even posted a photo of the bags to make their identification by their owners, easier. In a case like that, maybe luggage tags attached to pot you are transporting would make it easier for everyone when they are found.

Tuesday seemed to be the busy day for pot identifications in Florida as well. Several tips led the Orlando police working with the Metro Bureau of Investigation to rental property in Orange County FL that night. In two buildings on the rental property in the 14800 block on Hidden Trail Rd, police found what they called a "grow house."

They found approximately 30 small plants in a shed there and another 15 in an abandoned house on the property. They added that they found another 100 pounds of recently harvested marijuana in the process of drying there.

While there were several people on the property at the time, only Pedro Ernesto Tomas, 37, was arrested. He was charged with growing marijuana and trafficking, both felonies. Tomas was later booked into the Orange County Jail.

One would only hope that it wasn't Tomas's pot that wandered away and was found on the roadside but it seems, either way, someone is having to declare a loss of profits.

Kick them when they're down

"A bill in the mail is not the kind of present our soldiers deserve in this season. Our veterans are not being treated with the dignity, respect and thanks that they deserve. It's just a disgrace," stated Charles Schumer D-NY.

At a news conference this past Sunday, Schumer stated that despite a report this past July that a presidential commission claimed the policy was no longer in effect, he found that it was. That policy unfairly penalized wounded veterans by requiring enlistees to fufill their entire term of service or lose a pro-rated portion of their bonus. Schumer stated that the policy was an example of military policy gone wrong. The Pentagon is still demanding that soldiers wounded in Iraq and Afganistan after receiving a $10,000 enlistment bonus repay portions of that incentive money.

Schumer cited the case of Jordan Fox, an Army sniper from Mt Lebanon PA, who was partially blinded by a roadside bomb in Iraq. The Pentagon had demanded that he repay $2,800 of his bonus but it wasn't until his case was called to attention that the Pentagon claimed it was a "clerical error" and canceled the debt. Schumer stated that Fox's case was not an isolated incident as hundreds of soldiers have received similar letters of demand. He added that when you talk to the Pentagon, you get different answers from different people.

"Asking wounded service members to repay part of their enlistment bonuses is an outrage," stated IAVA executive director Paul Rieckhoff.

Schumer called for the Department of Defense to do a thorough audit to identify those service members who have been sent letters of demand and notify them that the debt isn't due. Rieckhoff had stated that the IAVA was very willing to work with Congress to put an end to the practice of demanding repayment.

Schumer, who recently took a stand on demanding more be done to help homeless veterans, has stated that he will back legislation that has been recently proposed. That legislation is to be called the Veterans Guarenteed Bonus Act, that would require full payment of bonuses to enlistees within 30 days of discharge from the service due to combat related injuries.

With an administration that has done all that it can to increase the numbers and prolong the tours they serve overseas, it is difficult how they can treat those troops so poorly. I do feel that it is an outrage to even think of demanding part of an enlstment bonus be returned after they are injured serving our country.

For a related post, go here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Be careful where you toss that toy

In January 2007, the Army Corps of Engineers began testing a site in Florida known as the Innovation Way corridor. The state expected major developement to begin there in the coming years and it touched on a part of the old, WWII-era Pinecastle Jeep Range.

In July 2007, they released their report that there were indeed bombs, explosives, harmful chemicals and sharpnel scattered on the land near Innovation Way. Not only was it found there but it was found close to the six year-old Odyssey Middle School. In fact, two live 60 year-old test bombs were found 1,500 feet behind the school.

As the federal government is most apt to do these days, they announced that most of the munitions likely remain out in swamps and dense woods surrounding the school and no one is in immediate harm.... if they avoid the area. Officials doubt that any lie closer to the school or under it since none was found during construction.

Charles Fales, the Corps project manager stated that there is unexploded munitions and possibly more live bombs scattered on the 12,483 testing range. The federal government has promised the Corps $1 million to start cleaning up the 40 acre school site. They have also found mercury and nitroglycerin in some of the soil samples, both of which can be hazardous to humans and animals.

It was found that not only the school sat on part of the range but parts of the Vista Lakes and Tivoli Gardens communities were built on it as well. To add to that, soil from the range was used for the roads and as fill in those communities.

In October, the Corps assured the residents of Vista Lakes that their neighborhood was free of munitions. They added that their original maps of where bombs may have landed had been corrected from new information they had found from the WWII-era. The Corps stated that the area was much smaller and both communities lay outside the range.

A private munitions firm working for Lennar Homes though uncovered a 23 pound bomb in the backyard of a house under construction. The 12-by-6 inch cylinder known as an AN-M40 was covered by only two feet of dirt and was within easy reach of children. Lennar Homes will continue to have their grounds searched privately after losing faith in the reports from the Corps.

The Thanksgiving break also gave the Corps the time to continue searching for the munitions that, according to them, wouldn't be found on the school grounds. They uncovered 31 pounds of ordinance including a 100 pound test bomb, several rockets and rocket debris. one rocket and one projectile contained explosives and they were detonated.

As much as the Corp may try to downplay the amount of ordinance that lies in two neighborhoods, the fact that they keep uncovering it all too close to where children play has to make one wonder......... what the heck were they thinking when they began building on the edge of a testing range? I wonder too, how can they try to say that it is clear of ordinance when each time they search, they uncover more live bombs?

Monday, November 26, 2007

She returned the favor

"Anna woke me up. I had an awful headache. The place was filled with smoke,"stated Candace Jennings.

At about 3:30 am Thanksgiving morning, Anna repaid the debt she may have thought she owed to Jennings. The abused stray blonde heeler that Jennings had rescued from a shelter, began whining and nudging Jennings who had fallen asleep on the couch. She found her trailer engulfed in flames when she awoke.

Jenning ran outside of her Idaho City, Idaho home with Anna close behind. Once she was outside though, Jennings realized that she had left her keys in her backpack. She is a janitor in town and she had a set that held everyone's keys, so she went back inside to retrieve them. Anna followed her back inside, which then led to her second rescue of Jennings.

Candace never made it to the keys.... she was overcome by the smoke and became disorientated. Instead of crawling back outside, she turned the wrong direction and was headed into the pantry. Anna once again nudged her towards the door and escape into the 15 degree morning weather.

The roof collapsed just after they both ran from the trailer and Anna and Jennings in just her pajamas and barefeet took shelter under some nearby trees. Jenning suffered frostbite and burns to her feet but she, Anna and two other dogs of hers made it out alive. The mobile home is a total loss and it is felt that the fire may have been caused by an electrical problem.

The town that Jennings, an artist who has lived there since 1975, has spent so many years helping is stepping up and helping her in return. The owner of the Idaho City Hotel has offered her a room, people are collecting clothes for her and a special bank account has been set up for her in a local bank. It didn't surprise many that she would have risked her life to go back for the keys, though........ most people feel that she thinks of others long before she will think about doing for herself.

Fortunately for Jennings, her good works seem to have come back to her tenfold in her time of need..... beginning with the dog she opened her heart to and rescued.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Take the money and run

Donna Campbell, 47, of Miami FL, began to be a bit suspicious of her husband, Arnim Ramdass. It began with his new habits of disconnecting their phone line and keeping the television off all the time. The final clue was the postcard she found when she was going through the mail one day. That card stated simply, "Congratulations on your new house."

According to Campbell's attorney, Brian Baldwin, Ramdass had spent marital money for years on buying lottery tickets and at casinos, always losing. Campbell had decided to go online and check lottery winners because Ramdass was a habitual player. She found out then that he had been part of a winning $19 million jackpot this summer and had been hiding it from her.

Campbell and Ramdass, an American Airlines mechanic at Miami Airport had married in 2005 after dating for five years. She knew that he and his co-workers always pooled their money to purchase lottery tickets. On June 20, they collected $220 and went to a Pinecrest Kwik-Stop to buy quick-pick tickets. The group of mechanics had the winning $19 million ticket and the 17 winners opted for a lump sum payment of $10.2 million, which meant that each would receive approximately $600,000 before taxes.

It was after Campbell had found the postcard and checked online that she confronted Ramdass by asking him if there was anything he wanted to share for news with her. He said no until she asked about the lottery winning. It was at that point that Ramdass claimed that he had bought the ticket for his daughter from another marriage who lived in Orlando. Campbell wasn't buying that story she claims because he had never in all his years, ever bought that daughter a ticket that she knew of.

Ramdass has taken the money and ran it seems now. His co-workers stated that he has taken a leave of absence from work which the airline won't confirm due to employee privacy. He has not shown up at the couples Miramar, Silver Lakes home and process servers haven't been able to find him to serve him the lawsuit papers. In addition to that, attempts to reach his 24 year-old daughter in Orlando haven't been successful even though messages have been left for her on both her home phone and cell phone.

I am sure that Ramdass will show up in not too long though...... if his record of losing holds true, he should be broke fairly soon and will surface again. The $600,000 before taxes isn't a lot of money and if he really is such a habitual gambler, I am sure it will be gone very rapidly.

Wile E Coyote

The 42 year-old man in Colfax Township MI told Undersheriff Rory Heckman that he wass out to shoot coyotes near his home. Evidently, he must have begun to believe the cartoons because he did shoot something that Saturday, quite possibly a coyote in disguise.

The undersheriff doesn't quite believe though, how someone could confuse a 25 to 45 pound coyote with a 1,400 pregnant cow. That is the man's story and he is still sticking to it but even the cow's owned doubts the shooter made such a mistake.

It seems that his cow, Hannah, had wandered away from his farm and the "hunter" who was illegally aiming for a coyote in deer season, bagged her. As difficult as it is to mistake the two animals, I would think, as many others I am sure have, when you are trying to drag it back home....... he knew then it was a cow.

Hannah's owner DeAnn Mosher stated that her husband felt that the shooter needed some kind of therepy. She added that it didn't make sense to be confused so possibly he needed to be repeatedly shown pictures of cows and coyotes to learn the difference.

I remember those cartoons and heck, maybe the coyote was in disguise or it was a trojan cow loaded with coyotes?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Kinky Boy?

It seems that Boy George has managed to slip back into the headlines again. George O'Dowd, the former Culture Club frontman, appeared in a London court Thursday November 22 and has been ordered to stand trial on a charge of false imprisonment.

Boy George, 46, posted bail and fled out past awaiting reporters with no comment. His last appearance in court was in was in connection with a false report of a burglary in 2005 when police responding found cocaine in his Manhatten apartment. This latest is based on an event that happened on April 28 in his east London flat.

Norwegian Auden Karlson claims to have met the singer on the Website Gaydar and he agreed to go to George's apartment to pose for photos in exchange for $840. Karlson claims that Boy George and an unidentified man turned into sadistic creeps once he arrived there. He stated that they cuffed him and then threatened him with a box full of sex toys and whips. Karlson has denied being a male prostitute and claimed that he feared for his life.

If convicted of the charge, Boy George could face life in prison and he was oredered to return to court in February. It is obvious that it is a serious charge that he is facing but amazing to me that it had been reported as Boy George being involved in "kinky sex."

On Monday November 19 2007, Daniel French, 24, was sentenced to time served after his arrest early Sunday morning. It seems that the police had asked to leave the Leicester Square Gardens since they were locked at that hour and French wasn't ready to do so.

Prosecutor Philip Lemoine told the Westminster Magistrate that French was drunk and he had made sexual motions in front of the police then. They may have been drunken silliness but the motions he had made were in the effect of having sex with the fence railings.

French of Verity Way, Stevenage, Hertfordshire admitted to being drunk and disorderly but he denied making romantic overtures to the fence. He stated that the police had forced him onto the fence and any idea that any idea that he was trying to do anything sexual to the fence is disgusting.

Tucked at the bottom of that news report was a small paragraph stating that sex with inanimate objects isn't that unusual. Just the week before in Ayr sheriff court on the west coast of Scotland, Robert Stewart, 51, was sentenced to three years probation on a rare charge of sexual breach of peace and a seperate one of breach of peace.

Stewart will also be placed on the sex offenders list for his actions. It seems that when cleaners opened the door to his hostel room, he was naked from the waist down and simulating sex with his bicycle. The unemployed bachelor has stated that drinking was his problem and he thought he would have a little fun to surprise the cleaners. Now branded a cycle-sexualist, he has had to move three times already since news broke.

Stewart was placed under the supervision of a social worker and warned that if he re-offended, he would be sent to prison. The prosecutor in the case added that he had thought in forty years as an attorney, he had seen every perversion known to man.... this one was a new one to him.

His conviction has led others to many questions....... what exactly is sex with a bike? Was the bike in question, taken into protective custody, over the age of 16 and is he banned from bike sheds that are in his area?

All of this does lead me to wonder....... why is Boy George all over the headlines for allegedly having "kinky sex? " I know they mentioned a box with whips in it but the victim involved went there I assume for photos that did not include his wearing clothes and possibly some sex. In comparison with attempting to have sex with a fence and a bike......... is the box of whips all that kinky?

It begins at home......

Megan Meier, 13, of Dardenne Prairie MO was described as a "bubbly, goofy" girl who loved watching movies, spending time with her friends and fishing with her dad. She thought she had found a new friend in cyberspace after a boy named Josh contacted her on MySpace and began exchanging messages with her.

They talked for more than a month before he abruptly ended their friendship by telling her that he had heard she was cruel. Megan, who is said to have suffered from depression and ADD, hanged herself the next day in her bedroom on October 16 2006 and died a day later. It wasn't until over six weeks after her death that the rest of the story was revealed.

It was a local parent who broke the news to Megan's parents in a counselor's office at that time. That parent had learned about Josh from her own daughter who had access to Josh's MySpace profile. Megan's parents found out that Josh had been made up by members of a neighborhood family that included a former friend of Megan's. Josh was a hoax and a fraud.

Megan's mother, Tina, stated that she doesn't believe that those involved meant for Megan to kill herself but she wants those who created the fraudulent profile to be prosecuted. She added that they are seeking legal changes to safeguard children on the internet as well. The case of Megan's death hasn't been closed yet but the sheriff's officials have told Tina that her case doesn't fit into any law right now.

While this case is incredible sad, it also highlights something that is becoming very prevelent today. Many of the children growing up now interact mainly through electronics, whether it be by text or the internet. By not having a real person, face-to-face to interact with, many are learning to believe much of who and what they encounter anonymously as being real.

It almost sounds like the arguments used for trying to remove "violence" from children's cartoons for fear that children would try and imitate the coyote jumping off cliffs. Many of us grew up watching that programing but we were usually monitored and almost all of us knew that it wasn't real. The best defense for the many scams online begins in the home and teaching our children that you can't be sure who you are talking to unless you see them face-to-face. There is a lot to be learned by chatting with friends world-wide online but that should be tempered by the reality that the person they are talking to, may in fact be someone very different in real life.

Friday, November 23, 2007

He has what?

"I called a kitten rescue service and they told me not to expect him to survive. But I didn't see why he shouldn't be given the chance to live. Everything is possible," stated Lil'Bit's owner.

The 47 year-old woman in Arizona nearly dropped the newborn kitten she pulled from beneath her computer table seven months ago, when she saw him. His four other brothers and sisters had the normal one face apiece but Lil'Bit had a bit more. He had two ears, which is normal but he also had four eyes, two mouths and two noses. The middle two eyes are at the point of merging now and the vets now believe that he may well have two brains as well.

Instead of leaving him for death, she got a heating pad and started feeding him every 15 minutes with an eyedropper. She continued that until he was almost three months old and then switched him to normal cat food. He does have difficulty walking and that led to problems in the litterbox as well until she hit upon the aof putting him in premie baby diapers.

These days, his owner can watch one of Lil'Bit's faces sleep while the other is awake. He can sneeze out of one nose and not the other and when he purrs, she stated that it is usually in stereo. He hasn't been x-rayed or neutered for fear of what it may do to him so for now, Lil'Bit lives a life no one thought he would survive to enjoy at an undisclosed location.

As odd as he may look, he has shown that a will to live can be a powerful thing and he was fortunate to be born into a household that loves every bit of him it seems.

Not so green

Each April around Earth Day, numerous towns and cities throughtout the U S have recycling days. Most Americans who donate their old cell phones, computers and televisions probably believe that they are doing a good thing for the environment by recycling them.

Estimates by activists though state that between 50 to 80 percent of the 300,000 to 400,000 tons of electronics are shipped overseas. That wouldn't be such a problem, if those elctronics were actually being reused or recycled in a green manner. Unfortuantely though, reports state that much of it ends uip in China, Nigeria and India where workers use their bare hands, gas burners and hammers to extract the glass, metals and other recyclables. In doing so, both the workers and the environment are exposed to a mix of toxic chemicals.

Most of the sponsors of these collections go with the lowest bidder and don't ask questions as to what is done with the elctronics. All too often it seems, those "recyclers" sell off the working gear and dump the rest on exporters. Many of those exporters are also managing to skirt by import laws for the e-garbage by claiming that they are sending the scrap as working units to be used in poor countries.

One such company to have been caught doing that was Fortune Sky USA, a Cordova TN based subsidiary of a Chinese company. The customs officials in Hong Knog about two loads being imported and when the frieght was broken open, it was found to contain old televisions and monitors, not the used computers it was supposed to have. Reuse is said to be the new ticket to shipping e-garbage overseas and it may become an even larger problem as more states close their landfills to electronic garbage.

To help combat that, eight states have passed laws now that require companies to either take back their old electronics or make them more easily recylable. Companies such as Apple, HP and Dell now take back their old gear cost free with some having drop-off centers or requiring them to be mailed back.

As the amount of electronics and constant upgrades being offered flood the markets world-wide, e-garbage looks to be a large problem unless solutions are begun now to solve it.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Today is the day that families drive miles, fly, sail or walk if they have to in order to spend the day as a family and give thanks that they are given that chance one more year.

While gathered around whatever dishes, lovingly cooked ......... most give thanks for family and possible for what the holiday was intended to be. Thanks for a bountiful harvest to set upon the table.

I would like to give thanks for the freedom sought by those who founded our country.................

Our nations abundance even in times that are lean.............

The promise of future harvests, one that will only be reaped if the seeds are planted and tended with diligence...............

And remember those who came before me to guide me to a better future........

Remember all those who have touched my life, however lightly and brought me joy and those who I may not have that chance again with.

Cherish the moments this day brings, the memories it tucks into our hearts.

Dig in and pass to the left!

I wasn't that far.......

It began almost 2 and 1/2 years ago for the Bowman family in Diamond MO when they picked out an 8 week old puppy at a friend's home. He had impressed Misty Bowman because he was so friendly and not aggressive. Her husband Rob named him Happy because he always looked like he was smiling.

Happy evidently led a happy life roaming their 160 acre ranch until about seven months ago when he vanished. Misty stated that her family, including Codey, 14, and Chase, 9, rode four-wheelers around the property looking for him, put up lost dog posters and went door-to-door asking for information about him.

"Eventually we came to the assumption that he was gone, we though he got run over," stated Misty.
It seems though that Happy hadn't met with death on the road, he was taken in by a family and named Radar because of his ability to find his way around things. He showed that talent when he showed up again at the door of veterinarian Steve Walstad's Joplin MO office after running away. Radar had been boarded and neutered there when his adoptive family went out of town last month.

His new family had been considering finding Radar a new home but Steve decided to keep the dog. That was how he ended up in the newspaper and how Misty spotted their lost dog Happy. Misty marveled at how a dog who they had lost for good would end up right nearby in Joplin and in the newspaper. She called Steve and explained the situation, telling him that the children didn't know Happy was alive and he was welcome to keep him.

Walstad though felt that Happy belonged back with his family and sent him on home woth Misty Monday, November 19 2007. Misty reported that Happy knew where he was as they got close to the house and got all excited.

I bet that he did since his seven month trip took him for enough excitement to last him a long time.

Just one.........

Humpback whales are a common sight as they frequent the New England coastline even though they are an endangered species. This past weekend, witnesses reported spotting one about a quarter mile off of Weekapaug Beach in Westerly RI.

The 30 foot-long, juvenile humpback appeared to be tangled in fishing nets or rope and Cindy David of the Mystic Aquarium stated that state wildlife officials and volunteers have been trying to free it since then. Davis added that the animal appeared to be thin and have some lacerations near it's dorsal fin and most likely became entangled while it was feeding on bait fish near shore.

Monday though, despite the efforts of the rescuers, the whale freed itself. April Valliere of the Department of Environmental Management stated that the young whale became increasingly aggressive during their rescue attempts and began swimming back and forth. They watched as it made increasingly longer surges against it's bonds until it seemed to get a burst of steam and broke free.

DEM police officers followed the whale for a bit and reported that it was free from the lines although they dopn't know if any smaller lines were still wrapped around the whale and trailing. They weren't able to recover the net or lines and make a positive identification of what it had become trapped by. Fishing lines and nets are a common sight in the waters off the shoreline and are frequently lost by fishing boats when they snag along the bottom here.

The fact that the young whale still had the energy to free itself after being trapped for three days bodes well for it's continued survival.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Heros come in all sizes

At approximately 5 am Friday November 16 2007, the alarm was raised that an Oak Hill FL home was on fire. Four generations of one family managed to escape the flames but the one who raised the alarm did not.

Ethel Wood, 73 lived with her son Bobby Wood, 47, and his daughter Cassidy Wood, 20 and Cassidy's daughter, 6 month old Nevaeh Hartwhigh on Sargent Ave. Their 7 year old labrador mix dog Kesha had begun barking and jumping against the door when the fire started and Bobby's mother woke up to the noise. She stated that when she opened the door, she could see flames and then ran to warn her family.

The fire started in a back room it seems but it wasn't long before the entire house was engulfed in flames. Cassidy stated that it was just like in the movies with the door that connects the kitchen to the family room burst into flames and windows began to blow out. She grabbed her daughter and fled the home safely though.

Bobby ran back into the house in an attempt to save the family pets and found only Pooh, a 1 year old chihuahua hiding under a bed. He was unable to find Kesha who was later found dead beneath a table near the laundry room.

Investigators with the State Fire Marshall's Office collected samples to send to for analysis because they believe that is may be a case of arson. The fire looks to have begun at the side entrance of the single-story wooden home and have added that a fire just doesn't begin where this one did, all by itself. They also stated that there were no accidental causes that could have started the fire there.

As tragic as losing ones home to arson is, Bobby Woods mourns the loss of their hero dog. He stated that she had saved their lives and unfortunately, he couldn't save hers.

Snail mail..?

On Tuesday, November 13 2007, Denny Robinson, 31, was delivering mail along a postal route in Chicago's West Pullman neighborhood. Evidently, one of his customers felt that delivering mail at around 6:30 pm wasn't the best of service available.

Wanda Shipp of the U S Postal Inspector Service stated that Robinson was delivering mail after the normal 5 pm quitting time because the day before had been a holiday and the mail was heavier than normal. Authorities stated that they heard someone yelling at the carrier for delivering the mail too late and then heard a shot. They added that no one could pinpoint where the shot had come from though.

Robinson was hit in the thigh by the shot and taken to a nearby hospital for treatment of the non-life threatening injury. Police are still looking for the shooter.

I'm sure that Robinson wasn't too concerned about being delivering mail and getting overtime for it as well but I'm sure that he didn't plan on dealing with the "old west" either. His angry customer may just have felt that his dancing a bit with bullets would motivate him to move quicker.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Serve and protect who?


The police department knew what they had and they covered for him. They created a monster," stated Patricia Vargas.

Patricia Vargas was arrested along with Detective James Calderon on Friday November 16 2007 on charges that they had run a drug pipeline from Bronx NY to Virginia. The married mother of four has denied her involvement with the dope ring stating that she knew nothing about Calderon's involvement with reputed Bronx druglords Luis and Jorge Mendoza. She did state though that he was a chronic drunk who showed up for NYPD duty drunk and had been in rehab five times.

Vargas, a waitress at a Mexican restaurant in Manhatten, had met Calderon, 40, in October 2002 at a Bronx seafood place. She stated that he was drunk, complimented her body and he was cute. They started a torrid affair even though both were married at the time, sneaking off to a hotel twice a week when her husband was at work. Calderon's wife found out he was cheating on her and notified his superiors. Vargas herself broke up with him a year ago, after reporting his abuse and drinking to his superiors.

Police sources did confirm that Calderon had been transferred from the Bronx narcotics squad to the Bronx criminal courts while his alcohol abuse is investigated. They added that he had been with the force since 1994 but declined to comment on Vargas' claim that he had been sent to rehab five times and had been placed on modified duty numerous times.

The prosecutors claim that detectives first came across the drug ring when Calderon tried to get a stolen minivan that had been impounded, released to him. Police later had found a kilo of heroin stashed in the van. Vargas in the meantime, claims she didn't know a thing about the drugs but added that she had once been to dinner at the Montezuma Mexican restaurant in the Bronx when Calderon met with the Mendozas. He also had taken her on a trip to Virginia and then left her alone in the hotel room for five hours when he went to "see his ex wife" she claims.

The NYPD had better hope that her claims aren't true because if they are, not only did they have a chronic drunk working both sides of the drug war........ but a drunk out on the streets, armed and making arrests. They may well have to do a lot of explaining as to how they allowed an officer like that to stay out on the streets working instead of driving a desk indoors.

......Going to Disney World

On Tuesday, President Bush will take part in an annual event that has it's 60th edition this year. The winner of that event will be treated much the same as Disney's "What's next?" advertising campaign participants. That campaign is famous for asking a star player after each Super Bowl, "What's next? "

The winner though of the first-class ticket to Orlando on a United Airlines flight and the red-carpet entry to Disney World won't be a sports star but instead........ the officially pardoned turkey from the White House. Visitors to the Magic Kingdom will get to see the bird on Thanksgiving Day, when it will serve as the grand marshall of the holiday parade before joining their permanent live-animal collection. In years past, two other pardoned turkeys have had the trip of a lifetime to Disneyland but this is the first to fly south to Disney World.

The presidential turkey is far from any random turkey chosen at whim by the White House staff. Each year, a farm is designated as the donors of the turkey and they choose probably a dozen turkeys as the late summer approaches as hopefuls. By late August, those birds that have been chosen are being carefully fed and groomed to look and act their best in from of a national audience.

Only two birds are chosen for the actual trip to Washington DC and usually spend the night before the ceremony in a service corridor at the Hotel Washington. The turkeys are presented to the President by representitives of the National Turkey Federation and last years birds were named Flyer and Fryer through an online poll through the White House. After both birds have been pardoned from the oven for this year, they are commonly sent off to live the rest of their natural lives at an animal farm.

Both Flyer and Fryer were whisked off in 2006 to Disneyland... while this year, the yet to be met turkeys will be saying ( if they could talk)........ I'm going to Disney World!

Of note: photo of Pres Bush and Flyer, 2006

Update: November 20

This year's nationally pardoned turkeys hail from Indiana and weighed in at about 45 pounds each. Presidents since Trueman have been performing the ceremony but in recent years, the national public can take part in an online poll to vote for the names of the two birds.

On Thanksgiving Day, May and Flower will be enjoying the "easy life" in Disney World where after performing their official dutied there in the holiday parades, they will enjoy the rest of their lives in the backyard of Mickey's Country House in the park.

Runners up in the naming contest included: Wing and Prayer, Jake and Tom and Wish and Bone.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Georgia's on my mind......

"He ran away, like three weeks ago. He got out of my apartment," stated Krystyn O'Donnell.

Her orange and white short-haired cat was reported missing on October 24 2007 from O'Donnell's Sicklerville NJ apartment. Heathcliff reappeared November 9th when a resident had trapped him and brought him to a local animal shelter and he was identified by his microchip. O'Donnell, who lives next to the Atlantic City Expressway had figured her 2 year-old cat was done for after he hadn't returned in a few days.

On Friday, November 16, she was shocked to get a phone call from the Gwinnett Animal Enforcement and Wellness Center. They had found that Heathcliff had been reported missing when they checked on his microchip information. O'Donnell had adopted Heathcliff in February from a local animal shelter and the chip had been placed in him at that time. The officials though who called wanted to know if O'Donnell had recently moved to Georgia since that is where Heathcliff showed up.....more than 700 miles from his home.

Everyone involved knew that he hadn't walked there but it wasn't until a woman called in response to his story on television that the mystery of his travels was revealed. That woman had come to the same apartment complex where O'Donnell lived to clear out the belongings of a man who had passed away recently. She stated that a cat had kept jumping into the truck while she was loading things and when she got ready to hit the road, she thought it had finally gone.

Heathcliff evidently hadn't because she stated that she heard what she though was a cat's meow about six hours into the trip but still couldn't find a cat. She did find him when she arrived in Georgia and attempted to keep him but he ran away. It was after that, the couple in Lawrenceville GA trapped him and turned him in. To add to the good luck, that woman hadn't personally seen the story, it was her granddaughter in South Jersey who happened to see the part of the story that included an interview with the doctor O'Donnell works for. Her granddaughter goes to that same doctor.

As for the traveling cat with Georgia on his mind...... he will begin his trip home on Thursday with a veterinarian who is making the trip north already with some other animals. Kystyn and Heathcliff will be reunited on Friday if all goes well with the trip.

Only three minutes.......

Matilda "Tillie" Kovanich arrived at her home in Sanford FL, she began to bleed profusely from her right foot. The 83 year-old widow called 911 but was unresponsive to the operator who stayed on the line for over a minute and a half before trying to call back twice. Tillie was found dead in her home the next day after her concerned neighbors called 911 again.

It was not the fault of the 911 operator that Tillie wasn't discovered until the next day, that fault has been placed on Seminole County Deputy Michelle "Missy" Ashby, 38. She has now been found guilty of neglect and suspended for 30 days without pay for her investigation of Kovanich's home that day.

Ashby's woefully insufficient response includes waving off a back-up officer before she had even approached the home and for taking approimately three minutes there. She noticed the groceries sitting on the floor inside the side door and the car in the garage but she felt the locked front door and no response meant that things were all right.

The Volusia County Medical Examiner stated that Tillie died from a heart attack because of the blood loss she suffered and probably died within seconds of placing her call. Ashby arrived at the home within four minutes of the call to 911 and after her quick check, left. She didn't check her in-car computer for other 911 calls to Tillie's home in the past nor did she talk with any of her neighbors.

A review of Ashby's personnel file shows that she was well-liked and often praised by people she helped in the past. Some of the incidents cited involve her repeatedly checking on a 84 year-old widower in 1998 and in 2006, helping an Argintinian bicyclist who was seperated from his group by paying for his room out of her pocket. This behavior is part of the reason why she was only suspended and not fired, since it is felt that she is a good officer.

More telling though maybe, is the fact that she had been demoted from corporal in 2004 for failing to arrest and aquaintance who she knew was named in an arrest warrent and for using the departments equipment to run unathorized background checks on friends. Her failure to arrest someone she knew could be seen as just her good nature but using police equipment in that manner is a big step over the line of what is correct behavior.

Tillie's son, Joe Ruth, 59,of Wheaton IL, stated that he wasn't looking for vengence but he was a bit disappointed that it was only a 30 day suspension. I can fully agreed with him, 30 days is not long enough for her not doing the job she is paid to do. Ashby probably couldn't have saved Tillie but for her to spend almost as much time as the 911 operator did on that call and she was the patrol officer on foot......... that is woefully insufficient and does little to inspire confidence in the police department's response to an emergency.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

It's a hoot.......

"The unit itself has been disbanded permanently," stated Bill Bergin.

When Bill Bergin was sworn in Friday November 16 2007 as the Public Safety Director in Hoboken NJ, he immediately went to work. He disbanded the Hoboken NJ police SWAT team that had been generating a lot of heat it seems in the wrong way.

The center of the heat for the department is a set of racy pictures that had been taken two years ago at an Alabama Hooters restaurant when the team was on it's way home from a Hurricane Katrina relief mission. Those photos show the officers and girls posing on and in front of police vehicles outside the Hooters. They also show numerous shots of Lt Angelo Andriani posing with the girls as well as some of the girls posing with handcuffs on or holding weapons.

The SWAT team members will remain on the police force and continue to do normal police duties. Bergin though has ordered Andriani, the team's commander to return from vacation and he will be assigned to desk duties. Andriani is also being sued for discrimination by five Latino officers for discrimination and they have accused him of being a white supremacist.

Andriani has stated that he and the team were off-duty at the time the pictures were taken and that the weapons were privately owned and not bought with taxpayers money.

Those two points may be very true but the team obviously was enjoying more than the wings at Hooters while still in their uniforms and using official vehicles. It seems that the Lt will have much more time to continue enjoying the "wings" while he is sitting at his new desk now.

For a related post, go here.

For the series of published photos, go here.

Easy money

There are many ways it seems to make some "easy money" these days from having a winning lottery ticket, to having an large inheritance drop into your lap or to be a retiring CEO for a corporation you have gutted. Some people though stick to the old fashioned and creative way of aquiring it.

On Thursday, November 15 2007, Connecticut State police arrested Sholem Weisner, 26, of Brooklyn NY after they found $55,000 in his hotel room at the the Mohegan Sun Casino. Weisner had not gotten so lucky at the Texas hold em' match he had been playing there for several days. Officials state that he had been marking cards so that he could locate where they were in a hand at the table.

Weisner had already been ejected by the casino in September 2006 for allegedly cheating and he had gotten back into it by bringing along ID that belonged to a friend. He has been released on bond at this time. It would seem that he was on the road to easy money but had forgotten the casinos have numerous cameras and a large database in which they can "lucky" and spot their cheaters.

Robert Nanni, 53, a retired Port Authority police officer had found a different and creative way to get his easy money it seems. A Monmouth County NJ grand jury just indicted him though for that creativity.

Authorities there state that Nanni, who retired in 2006, would stop truckers on the Goethals Bridge and the Outerbridge Crossing and would let them go if they donated to the North Howell Stingrays. He had coached the Stingrays, a traveling baseball team for 12 year-olds. They report that he had even approached trucking companies telling them that they wouldn't receive tickets if they donated to the team.

While this may seem like a bit of a stretch for gaining donations that probably needed by the team, I think the fact that officials allege that he kept $60,000 for himself tipped the scales against his method. Nanni is charged with receiving stolen property, theft of services, theft by deception and official misconduct. He definately had found a way to line his pocket as well as the teams pockets with his method.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Now you noticed?

It seems that when the news broke that Michael Jackson had defaulted on a $23 million loan that secured his Neverland Ranch on October 26 2007, something made him realize he needed a few extra bucks in the bank. Despite what has been stated since though, that loan is still in default at last report.

Jackson reportedly has been out beating the sidewalk for new financing though. Evidently he and his lawyer, Peter Lopez have been meeting with various executives in an attempt to find a new way of restarting his career. Sources have stated that they have spoken with the ultra private and luxurious chinese eatery Mr K's on Lexington Ave NYC, NY.

At those meetings it is reported that Jackson was interested in working with Starbucks' Hear Music, mostly because no other regular record company will touch him with a ten-foot pole these days. Surprisingly during those talks, Jackson name dropped several celebrities as his "friends", many of whom would be more than surprised that he considered them that it seems. One such person named was Paul McCarthy, who publically still despises Jackson for buying out the Beatles song catalog from over 20 years ago.

The reports of his much, okay maybe anticipated, 25th anniversary "Thriller" album may change as well since reports are now circulating that Jackson is thinking of using the tracks done by other producers so far as the basis for a new album. To add to the financial mix, Prince Abdulla of Bahrain, the quaint little hide-out Jackson ran to after his US Neverland scandal, reportedly is planning to sue Jackson for $7 million for the two albums he claims he already paid Jackson for.

It has been a very long time since Jackson has put out anything musically so I find it difficult to say that his "career" is floundering. My suggestion to Michael......... stop the globe-hopping in make-up and get a real job like the rest of us. It seems to work for most when they have to pay the bills.

Not a toad prince

It's big and brown, really big. Big enough to look like it could do damage if it ran into you and it is ugly as well. They are also making life tough for those who live in South and Central Florida these days.

They came from the Amazon basin and have spread into central America and now, they have been spotted in some of the warmer southern states in the U S. In Florida, they have moved into the Keys as well as the Tampa Bay area and South Florida. The regional office of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission in Lakeland FL receives two or three calls a month about them they state.

The creatures are easily recognizable are the Bufos marinus or more commonly known as the marine toad or the giant toad. They have easily adapted to life in urban Florida and can often be seen hopping along sidewalks. They are nocternal, prefering to hide during the day under fallen trees, debris, leaves or even burrow into loose soil. They will eat most anything from plants and insects to dog and cat food. They are sensitive to the cold though, prefering to breed in the spring and early fall.

It isn't their size or ugliness though that has officials offering ways to eradicate them. The Bofus has two large skin glands that emit a toxic substance that is their defense from predators. It is also highly toxic to family pets, toxic enough to kill dogs and cats and irrate human skin and eyes.

Officials do warn though that when disposing of any suspected giant toads, that a person check to make sure that it is over 4 inches long. Not because there is a size limit on bagging them but because the smaller Bufo terrestris, an indigenous and beneficial species, looks very much like the giant toad.

Wildlife experts do suggest that anyone wishing to rid their yard of a giant toad use gloves and a plastic bag to avoid touching it. They have even suggested their choices as the best methods........ pop it in the freezer for a couple of days or just take away the chance of accidently trying to microwave it for dinner later by smacking it with a shovel. I can only imagine the mess, smacking a toad that large would leave on the sidewalk.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Beware of what....?

It began with the report of someone breaking into cars at the Miccosukee Resort and Gaming in Miami FL. Officers responded to the Reservation parking lot at 500 SW 177th Ave in Miami where one of the men was arrested quickly while the other ran. He probably should have stayed it seems.

That suspect ran past signs that warned of alligators and jumped into the retention pond behind the resort. Eyewitnesses state that they were shouting for the man to swim back to shore. It wasn't until he spotted the alligator himself that he screamed and disappeared under the water. His body was later found 50 feet down at the bottom of the pond with several bites to his head.

Two alligators that were in the pond were trapped later that day and taken to All American Gator in Pembroke Park FL. The larger 9 foot-long one, known as Poncho, is believed to be the one that killed the suspect and will have to be destroyed according to state law. He seemed to have no fear of humans which happens often when they are fed and he was known to have a nasty attitude. It wasn't reported as to what will happen to the smaller one that was also trapped.

It would seem that the warning signs were there for a reason and sadly, this suspect proved all too well why they were there and why you should always pay attention to where you are running to.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

If he really were a veteran, he'd understand

"Even one homeless veteran is one too many," stated Sen Chuck Schumer. ( D-New York )

A newly released report states that one in four homeless New Yorkers is a military veteran and that number is rising quickly. In New York City and Long Island, nearly 6,000 servicemembers are homeless according to the Veterans Day report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness as returning soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan battle sky-high housing costs and tough economic times.

The report details one of the silent but growing crisis facing vets these days. The number of homeless vets is up 70% in the New York area in the past year. There are 530 homeless vets in the Bronx, 680 in Manhatten, 970 in Queens and 880 in Brooklyn according to the report.

"You are taught survival skills ( in the military ) and you end up on the street, and it's a jungle." stated homeless vet Harold Gilchrist, 38.
Gilchrist served in the Marine Corps and fought in Operation Desert Storm. He was discharged in 1993 after being wounded by a land mine and returned to the U S without a job or a home. He recently commented while picking up lunch at the Bowery Mission, that he had put his life on the line and being homeless isn't right. Frank Howela spent a year in the service in the 70's but that didn't keep him off the streets either. He stated that it seems that once you take off the uniform, you become invisable.

Homeless advocates have long been pushing for more support for veterans so that they can avoid the downward spiral towards homelessness. The Jericho Project, a national organization that works to find permanent solutions to homelessness announced a new program in the Bronx that will house 56 formerly homeless vets.

Schumer is pushing for a four-point plan to help. He wants to dramatically expand housing voucher programs for veterans, fund transitional programs to ease them back to civilian life and provide extra mental health care for vets. He also is backing $75 million in new funding for veterans homelessness programs in a bill that President Bush has threatened to veto.

"Whatever your view is on the Iraq war, we should honor them. This is in a very real sense, a national disgrace," stated Schumer.
President Bush and Washington D C may want to push it's treatment of vets under the carpet but it is becoming very much a national disgrace........... everything that can be done, should be done for those returning from the wars they have created no matter what the cost in dollars.

Of note: photo is of Harold Gilchrist, Marine veteran.

Just being silly.....

A Union Pacific engineer spotted her at approximately 8:20 pm, Sunday November 11 2007. It appeared to him that the woman on the tracks was waving him down.

Deborah Thompson, 54, of Live Oak WI was on the train tracks that evening and while it looked like she tried to get out of the way in time, she evidently was too slow. The train clipped her on the tracks just south of Marysville and knocked her 20-30 feet off the tracks east of Garden Ave according to a Yuba Sheriff's department official.

She was concious and talking when she was found and Thonpson did admit drinking a bottle of whiskey before the accident. Officials stated that she had no real reason for trying to flag down the train as it approached and quite possibly she was just "being silly" as she claimed.

"There was no indication she was trying to kill herself. She thought she could move faster than the train," stated Sgt Phil Spadini.

Thompson suffered head injuries and a fractured femur and was taken to Sutter Roseville Medical Center where she is listed as being in critical condition. Unfortunately it seems, Thompson has once again proven that alcohol can be a painful way of being silly, especially when it involves a train.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

It takes all kinds.....

It began around 2 am January 20 2006 on North Eagleville Rd, Storrs CT when Carlee Wines was stuck by a car that then fled the scene. On January 22, Wines died at Hartford Hospital and it wasn't until 35 days later that the police made their first arrests in the case. What seems to be their last arrests came on November 12 2007 but it may have left many wondering as to why the police had taken that many months to make the arrests.

Police arrested Anthony Alvino, now 19 on Feb 15 along with his girlfriend, Michelle Hall. It was reported that Alvino, a student at St Bonaventure University was visiting Hall, a Uconn student at the time. Hall and two others were drinking and were in the car while Albino struck Wines that night. Not only did Hall reportedly yell to Alvino to keep driving but all of them stayed on the UConn campus that night. They knew in the morning that a student had been struck by a car and was in the hospital and they also knew that the police were looking for the vehicle and the driver as well.

It wasn't until after the arrest of Alvino and Hall that much of the story was reported and that seemed to shock most people more than just the fact of a drunk driver had hit a student. Alvino was arrested on numerous charges, Hall, then 18, on several and later, UConn student Kara Satalin, then 18, was charged with buying the alcohol that the two and their friends had drank.

Alvino evidently told his parents that he had read on Jan 22 that he had read that the girl that was hit had died after driving his Nissan Armada back to the campus of St Bonaventure. His parents responded by saying that they would drive up to the school to talk to him about it. I think many parents, although they would dread the consequences, would have got their son an attorney and had him turn himself in. The Alvinos evidently thought very differently that day.

Anthony C and Donna Alvino picked up their son and his two friends, Anthony Muccioli and Jordan P Donahue at their dorms and drove them to the Microtel motel near the university. Both Muccioli and Donahue were in the backseat of the Nissan when Alvino struck Wines. Anthony C Alvino reportedly stated that he loved his son and wanted to protect him and his way of doing that entailed telling his friends not to tell anyone about the accident, offering them counseling if they needed to talk about it and suggesting a friend who could fix and detail the car. They took the boys to dinner at Applebee's and checked out of the hotel the next day, driving the Nissan back to their Long Island home.

The UConn police had determined from part of the headlight housing that they were searching for either a 2004-2006 Nissan Armada SUV or a 2004-2006 Nissan Titan Truck. They had checked more than 100 Armadas in Connecticut and surrounding states when they received a call from a lawyer representing the Alvino family. The New York attorney gave them information about the damaged Nissan the Alvino family owned. Even at the point of turning over the Nissan though, the Alvinos kept quiet about their son's part in the crime.

Anthony Alvino has now pleaded no contest to charges of misconduct with a motor vehicle and evading responsibility. He is schedualed to be sentenced in Jan 23 2008, a year and a day from the death of Wines. The plea deal he was offered is a 10 year sentence, suspended after 4 years in jail and 5 years probation. The Wines family is said to have no objection to the deal but Pamela Wines, Carlee's mother had filed a civil suit against Alvino this past summer. If he had pleaded guilty, that could have been used against him in the civil suit. Hall still has charges pending against her in court for her part in the hit and run.

On Tuesday, Alvino's parents were finally arrested for their parts in this case. Anthony C, 45, and Donna, 46, are each charged with felonies of tampering withevidence and misdemeanors of hindering prosecution, tampering with witnesses and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They turned themselves in at a New York State Police sub-station in Olean NY and were brought into the courtroom at 9 am in handcuffs. They were released on their own recognizance and left the courtroom in a limousine with their attorney. They are both due to appear in Allegany Town Court on Jan 14 2008.

What I find difficult to understand is why it has taken the police almost a year to arrest the Alvinos for what has been reported to be a very active attempt to prevent their son from being arrested for the hit and run. I can understand how someone young and drunk could flee an accident scene but to have 4 individuals keep their mouths shut about it as well as parents who willingly tried to cover up the crime.... that goes beyond just wanting to "love" their son. He didn't just hit a mailbox or fence or even injure someone...... he killed another young student. He may be facing 4 years for that poor decision that evening but I do hope that his parents face jail time as well for their equally poor parenting example.

Of note: photos are of Anthony Alvino, Carlee Wines and Anthony C & Donna Alvino.

It looked easy......

It wasn't his first run-in with the law that weekend but their last call about him has now led to one of their strangest investigations. The deputies in St Johns County FL first found Charles Tucker Jr , 32, slumped at the wheel of his car on Friday November 9 2007 and he was taken to Flagler Hospital, where he was released. Saturday morning, he wasn't that lucky.

Tucker reportedly had been kicked out of his girlfriend's home and what seems to be his plan to get back into the locked home led to his death. Several hours after she had told him to leave, she called 911 to report that she had found him stuck in her cat door. When officers arrived about four minutes later, they found that he was already dead.

His friend, Will Elliot, who lives down the street from the girlfriend's house stated that he thinks Tucker was trying to reach inside to unlock the door. He described Tucker as a big man, far too big to have thought that he could have fit through the cat door. He added that he had been told that Tucker had one arm and his head through the door and was caught in it like he was trying to reach up to the lock. Elliot speculates that maybe Tucker had just passed out while he was stuck since the girlfriend would have heard him struggling otherwise.

The cause of Tucker's death has not been released yet and the door he had been stuck in has been removed. Tucker may have been better off if he could have convinced the cat to go through the door and unlock it for him it seems.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Price of progress

"We whacked the pork store," stated Manny Costeira.

Just eight months ago, Tony Soprano drove his white SUV out of the parking lot for the last time as HBO ended the final season of "The Sopranos." Last month, Satriale's ended it's final season as the fictional pork store where the TV mobsters hung out in.

The vacant building, which had a life-sized pig on the roof had been leased to HBO for the filming of the show. Most of the program was filmed on a New York sound stage but many of the scenes were shot in Kearny NJ, a working-class town about nine miles from New York City, to give it the Jersey feel.

Store owner Manny Costeira had the building demolished to make way for nine condo units he plans to build there. The project is called "The Soprano" and the condos will range in price from $325,000 to $385,000. The construction is planned to begin in the spring of 2008 and will take approximately a year to complete.

"They now sample onion rings at Holsten's, and sit in the booth that Tony sat in," stated Marc Baron.
Now that the building has been demolished, the always shuttered site has been dropped from the popular tour of "Soprano's" north New Jersey sites. While tour operator Baron stated the loss of that site is disappointing, they have kept up with changing times and have added a stop for tourists at Holsten's. That location is a real-life Bloomfield ice cream parlor where the series final scene was filmed.

As for Costeira, besides the profit he may get from the sale of the condos, he is also cashing in on the "Soprano's" fan interest before the holidays. He is selling chunks of the store's facade on the Internet for $25 and $50 each. He states that he has sold about 1,000 of the 2-inch-square and 5-inch-square chunks worldwide. The smaller ones are mounted with a plaque stating their origin and the larger ones come with a certificate.

It would seem that now is the time to grab that "chunk" of TV history for that special mob fan on your holiday gift list......... unless you are saving up to have the chance to live on the site of the former fake mob hangout.

Nice shootin'

The .45 caliber handgun discharged Tuesday October 30 2007 in a small cubicle in a Fort Worth TX insurance company. According to the Brett McGuire, the Fort Worth police chief, the unidentified man must have done something to the gun to make it fire.

Fortunately, he hadn't brought the gun to work in his jacket pocket because of a problem with his boss or co workers they believe. It is also fortunate that no one else was hit by the errant bullet, no one except the gun owner.

It's reported that he draped his coat over the back of his chair and then settled into it. At that point, it fired and the bullet passed through both of his legs, a bookcase and then lodged in the wall of a cubicle. McGuire stated that the department had no record of the man being licensed to carry a concealed weapon but that they would wait until he had recovered before investigating whether he will be charged.

It doesn't seem too difficult to me.... it's Texas, I thought everyone carries a gun there and as for shooting himself, at least he was lucky that Dick Cheney wasn't in the next cubicle to fire back at him. As for "doing something" to the gun, I thought that was called pulling the trigger.

Monday, November 12, 2007


The Bolingbrook IL police have now searched his home twice after he refused to let them search it and they have searched a nearby canal and woods. On Thursday November 8 2007, a close friend and next-door neighbor filed a police report and on Friday November 9, he went from being considered a person of interest to being a suspect.

All of this and officials still have not located Drew Peterson's 4th wife Stacy, 23, whom he originally stated he believed had run off with another man and recently told reporters that he believed she was still alive. Drew claims to have last spoken to his wife on the night of October 28 2007 and she was reported missing by her family on October 29 when she failed to arrive at a friend's home.

Drew began dating Stacy when she was 17, while he was still married to Kathleen Savio, his 3rd wife. They have been married for 4 years and have two children, ages 2 and 4 and Drew has older children from his marriage to Savio. Officials have filed a petition to exhume the body of Savio and investigate her drowning in 2004 as well.

Sue and Charlie Doman, Kathleen's sister and nephew recently spoke out on the renewed interest in her death. Sue stated that when she first got the call that her sister was dead, she thought, did he kill her? They both agree that they had never felt that her death was an accident. She was a young, vibrant woman who exercised, worked out and wasn't drunk. Sue had told the coroner's inquest in 2004 that Kathleen had told her that Drew just wanted her to go away, that she was terrified of him and about a week before she died, Kathleen had said that he always threatened her and if she were to die, he would make it look like and accident.

"There's no doubt in my mind that it wasn't an accident," stated James Glasgow, Will County State's Attorney.

What has been revealed now is that although Drew and Kathleen were divorced at the time, the financial issues hadn't been finalized yet. The Will County Coroner Patrick O'Neil has reviewed Savio's autopsy and stated that there are aspects of it that trouble him. Savio was found "drowned" in a tub with no water in it and the report also found that she had a one-inch "blunt laceration" to the left side of her scalp. Her hair was soaked with blood and she also had abrasions or bruises on seven different locations on her body.

Drew was suspended without pay on Friday, pending the outcome of an investigation of an incident several months ago. He had granted permission to an officer to chase a suspect while serving as the shift commander. That officer crashed into another vehicle after going nearly 100 mph and the department had been placed in the situation of a possible lawsuit after the apparent violation of Bolingbrook's no-chase policy.

"None of them have been very much help to him. They turn their back on him. I find that very disrespectful," stated Morphey.

On Saturday November 10, Drew's mother spoke out in his defense stating that he didn't do anything. Betty Morphey added in response to the question of Drew's refusal to let officials search the family home, would you want people going through your home. While Drew did refuse officials entry, he did however agree to give a tour of his home to Fox News' Jamie Colby.

Sharon Bychowski stated that having Drew show up on her lawn at 11pm shouting "Come here Sharon.... I want you" was what drove her to file the police report Thursday. She stated that she remembered seeing Stacy in tears at the end of her driveway a week before she disappeared. She told her next-door neighbor Sharon that Drew was all packed up and she wanted him to go. Sharon added that she saw six boxes sitting in the open garage that Stacy had said were Drew's things. Bychowski, who has babysat the two children and took them trick-or-treating this year, has been staying in a hotel under a ficticious name and is now contemplating seeking an order of protection against Drew.

Friends and family are beginning to reveal that Stacy had told them of her fears about Drew or that her relationship was abusive. Steve Cesare told CNN that he had received an e-mail from Stacy that described the marriage as abusive. Her aunt, Candace Aikin of El Monte CA, stated that Stacy had told her during her recent visit to the Peterson's , that Drew was obsessive and stalked her 24/7, even in their home. Aikin added that Stacy was very stressed and not happy in her marriage at all.

I understand that there are few, if any parents who would believe their child did something that wrong but to expect his fellow officers to stand up for him? Sadly, it doesn't look good for Stacy's family now that the police have moved to make their investigation one of a case of possible homicide but with Drew's past history, he may well have thought it could be easier to make a wife "disappear" rather than deal with her.

For other related posts, go here.

Of note:

photos are of Kathleen Savio and Drew & Stacy.

Update: November 14

Drew Peterson appeared today on NBC's Today Show to talk about his missing wife Stacy. While he did state that his attorney had advised him not to talk to the police about the matter, he seemed to speak quite freely on television and didn't balk at answering any of the questions put to him.

Drew stated that he had not harmed Stacy or that he had anything to do with her disappearance. He added that he had no plans to help in the search for her as well, stating that she had told him that she had found somebody else and he believes that she left him willingly.

"Why would I look for somebody who I don't believe is missing. She's gone. She's where she wants to be," stated Peterson.

He did describe that his relationships with both Stacy and his third wife, Kathleen had been troubled. Drew added that both women had come from troubled homes and had battled depression as well. He stated that Stacy had fallen into a deep depression after her sister died from cancer and that she would regularly ask him for a divorce, claiming it was based on her menstrual cycle.

Drew went on to state that he felt that his silence may have painted him as guilty to the media and he pleaded with his wife to return or let someone know where she is.

Drew is beginning to become more like Scott Peterson was when his wife "disappeared" and I don't think he has been all that silent. He looks to be a guilty man by the circumstances of his last two relationships. It takes either quite a set of balls or false confidence to not speak to the officers investigating him and then go on national TV to deny involvement and plead for Stacy's return.

Update: November 16

Steve Carcerano, a friend of Drew Peterson and the man who states he found Kathleen's body in her bathtub, was called to testify before a grand jury that has been convened to investigate that death. He didn't testify on Wednesday but was told to return at a later date and officials add that Drew's brother Paul has also been supoenaed to testify.

Drew, 53, has resigned from the Bolingbrook police department this week and is not a suspect yet in Savio's death but he is in Stacy's disappearance. Savio's body was exhumed this week after state's attorney James Glasgow felt that her death could be a homicide made to look like an accident.

The husband of Drew's first wife, Dave Brown has told WGN-TV on Wednesday that his wife hasn't spoken to Drew in over ten years. He stated that she didn't have any kind of problem with him and had never mentioned that he was threatening or violent with her.

Vicki Connolly, Drew's second wife has told the Chicago Tribune that Drew had become increasingly controlling, hit her and had told her that he could kill her and make it look like an accident. She added that she didn't believe that he would kill her but had told Bolingbrook police officers she considered friends of his threats so that they would know he had made them.

The family of his third wife, Kathleen, has released documents that show that Savio had once accused Drew of stealing her car while she was in church with one of the children. They also released a letter she had written to the Will County State Attorney officein Novemeber 2002, that accuses Drew of placing a knife he carried on his leg against her throat and that he had beaten her severely numerous times, enough to have her go to the emergency room.

The allegations in the letter are similar to ones she made when she filed for an order of protection from Drew in 2002 and reports from her family. Charles Pelkie, a spokesman for the state's attorney office stated that he didn't know if that letter had ever reached their office.

Fred Morelli, a former attorney of Drew's stated that he hadn't heard of the knife story before and felt it was crazy. He described Drew as a very personable and pleasent fellow. There is no word on whther Morelli will take up Drew's plea for representation that he claims he can't afford.

Many killers are described as pleasent and pesonable fellows such as Richard Crafts, Scott Peterson and Ted Bundy but they all were convicted of killing as well. As for Drew's "need" for free representation....... I am sure that he hadn't felt many of the people he has arrested over the years who couldn't even afford a $2,000 legal bill should get a break. Unfortunately, it looks as though Drew has left a trail of violent actions towards his wives and the Bolingbrook police I feel have made the right choice in naming Drew as a suspect in his fourth wife's diappearance. I am one who doesn't believe she just ran off with someone else and wouldn't contact anyone, least of all, her children.

Update: November 17

"It is my opinion to a reasonable degree of medical certainty....... that it is a homicide," stated Michael Baden, former New York City chief medical examiner.

Baden stated that there were signs of a struggle including bruises on the chest, hands and abdomen that were still fresh with purple discoloration but there were no fractures. There were no bruises on Savio's arms and he believes that she was drowned by holding her head underwater. He feels strongly that there is no evidence that it was an accident or that it was suicide.

He went on to add that her family had been suspicious of her death from the start because she was wearing jewelry and her hairstyle was not what she usually wore when bathing. They also had not heard from her for almost 36 hours before she was fouind dead. Sue Doman, Kathleens sister stated that the evidence of bruises on her hips, arms, elbows, feet and legs made her believe that her sister had put up a struggle. She also added that she felt it was beat up and placed in the bathtub as a cover-up for whoever had done it.

Steve Carcerano has described finding Kathleen's body in the small whirlpool tub. He stated that Drew was surprised and distraught when he first saw her body. He added that Drew checked her for a pulse to see if she was dead or alive and then went on asking what was he going to tell the kids. Carcerano stated that he had never seen Drew hit Savio in anger in front of him but that he had seen Savio slap his face, spit at him and chase him around with an extension cord.

The results from the official autopsy will not be available for several days. Baden had done an independent autopsy using the county morgue and had a state's attorney's investigation observing. Drew has an unlisted number and denies any involvement in both cases, believing still that his wife Stacy is alive and with another man.

Only time will tell it seems, if he will become a suspect in his third wife's death as well.

Update: November 19

Drew Peterson seems to have gotten himself a lawyer now and wisely let his attorney, Joel Brodsky do all the talking Sunday and Monday. Brodsky questions the motives and the conclusion reached by Dr Baden, in regards to Savio's death. He stated that they had known all along what Baden's feelings about her death were and his conclusion is the same as those earlier statements.

Brodsky also questioned the motives, stating that Fox news had a finacial arrangement with Baden by paying to fly him to Chicago. Baden, who has appeared as both a witness for the prosecution and defense in numerous cases stated that he had done the autopsy for the Savio's for free and that Fox had paid for his flight so that he could appear on their program.

Brodsky stated that he did not want to see Kathleen's death as a source of entertainment. Drew had earlier stated that he felt that people were unfairly singling him out to make him the center of a media "circus" surrounding his 4th wife's disappearance. He still maintains that he believes she is alive and with another man.

Drew's first wife, Carole Brown told the Chicago Tribune that while he could be very charming and supportive, he also could be very controlling. She did state that he had not been abusive to her in their 6 year marriage as his other wives have reported. She and Drew married out of high school and she found out that he was cheating on her when she was pregnant. She stated that she had felt that he had always respected her but concluded that when you cheat, you aren't respecting that person anymore.

I don't agree with Drew or his attorney, Drew has drawn the media attention to himself through his own actions. The very fact that he seems to have issues with control and his last two wives are surrounded with controversy add to what seems to be a history of cheating on his wives.

He wouldn't be the first to find murder as a solution to his marital problems or even the first to be suspected of an earlier death as well. At 2 am on November 4 1990, emergency personnel went to the apartment of the Boczkowski's Greensboro NC apartment after a 911 call. They found Tim there trying to revive his drowned estranged wife. Elaine was rushed to the hospital but was pronounced dead at 4:16 am and her death was left as undetermined.

On November 7 1994, Greensboro investigators were notified that Tim's second wife Mary Ann, had died of similar circumstances in PA. Tim was arrested in both states and charged with killing both women. His defense claimed that Elaine had drowned in her bathtub and Mary Ann had suffered a fatal heart attack in their hot tub. Tim was believed to have killed both women for their insurance money and he was convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Relatives of Stacy have spoken out as well, describing how Drew met and seduced her. He began by offering her safety and continued that while buying her more expensive gifts including a car and furnishing her apartment. Neighbors have described the last year of their marriage as rocky at best with Drew openly following his wife on her errands and even to the park with their two young boys. They all state that Stacy had wanted out of the marriage and her decision to begin nursing school was part of that plan to leave him. They added that Drew had recently purchased her a motorcycle as a gift in hopes that he could buy more time with her.

It looks more as though Drew's actions in the past and during his wife's disappearance have led to the accusations, not anyones interest in his becoming national "entertainment."

Update: November 20

"I would tell her I'm ashamed of her for putting the family through this. She knows where she is," stated Betty Morphey.

It would seem that Drew's mother, Betty believes very strongly that her son has done nothing wrong.... in any of his marriages. Morphey, 79, spoke out strongly Monday in his defense and the heartbreak that insinuations of his doing harm to anyone she feels. She added that she would swear on a Bible that he would harm no one and she feels bad that he is going through this because of Stacy. Morphey went on to blame the 30 year age difference between the two as a possible reason that the marriage hadn't work out well.

Drew and his attorney appeared on the "Today" show on Monday, while his first wife, Carol Brown appeared on "Good Morning America." Drew again stated that he believes his wife had run off with another man and pleaed for her to return. Carol though spoke about the man she had been married to when she wasn't even out of high school. She stated that he had been a good husband and attentive to their two sons. She added that when she found out about his affair, that was the beginning of the end for their marriage but she didn't believe the man she knew then was capable of murder.

Drew has stated that he found the comments that his second wife, who he had been married to for ten years, found him to be violent and threatening during their marriage. His comment was simply, that he thought they were friends.

Joel Brodsky, Drew's new attorney has shown before that he too can be a very persuasive man in his 25 years of practicing law. Brodsky, 50 had gotten in trouble for forging a dead man's signature to cash a $23,000 check and managed to convince the state board to only suspend his license for three months instead of the three years that had been proposed.

He convinced the board that by not cashing the check immediately, the $23,000 would go to the state and the client wouldn't see the money. It arose from a case that his former law partner had handled for an estate. He had split on bad terms with that partner and took it upon himself to close the account that had no activity in five years and not notify his former partner. He had told the bank officials that the owner of the account was "incapacitated."

Brodsky stated that he wished people wouldn't rush to judge Drew because of supposition that his fourth wife may have met harm. Drew's mother seems to be squarely in her son's defense as well by blaming it seems everyone else and age as the reasons haven't went well for her son. While she praised Brown's description of Drew, she blamed their you age for that marriage not working.

I'm sorry but the man has left a trail of women and children behind him in the years. He has been said to have cheated on many of them and Stacy it seems did little to chase Drew. After the reports of his getting her pregnant and giving her lavish gifts while he was still married to Savio, I think he should have been the one to be concerned about age differences......... or maybe he was? Quite possibly, he may have felt someone that young would be "easier to control."

Update: November 28

Last week, police in Bolingbrook received a report from a neighbor of the Peterson family that they had observed Drew and another man loading a large blue barrel into Drew's SUV. Police have now reported that they have found the man who assisted Drew in carrying the barrel from inside the home to the SUV.

Not so surprisingly, neighbors do report that Drew had such a barrel but that it had been in the yard. I am sure though, that Drew was only stuffing it with maybe, old sheets or or outgrown children's clothes, since he still claims that his wife ran off with another man. It doesn't surprise me that they search for Stacy now includes a search for the blue barrel.

Update: November 29

New reports are out and they state that a source has stated that Stacy told a clergyman as well as two others that Drew had bragged about killing his third wife Kathleen and made it look like an accident. It also states that Stacy had given Drew an ultimatum on Oct 28 that she wanted him out of the house by Wednesday and she was going to begin divorce proceedings as well.

That source has also offered a timeline for what occured on the day she gave Drew that ultimatum. At 5pm on Oct 28, Drew called in to take the day off. At 7pm that evening, Drew met with his stepbrother, Tom Morphey, at a local Starbucks to discuss his problems with Stacy and how to dispose of the problem.

Drew then reportedly excused himself and left Morphey with Peterson's cell phone which he told him not to answer if it rang. It did ring and Stacy showed on the caller ID and that call reportedly was placed from near the home of Scott Rossetta, possibly to focus the police on him and not Drew.

That evening Morphey was again called by Drew but this time to the Peterson house where he helped move a large blue from inside to the Peterson SUV. The next day, Stacy was reported missing and one day later, Morphey apparently attempted suicide. Drew visited him on Oct 30 while he was being treated at Edward Hospital in Naperville IL.

Peterson's attorney has stated that there was no object carried out of the house, no blue barrel and that Morphey's story makes no sense. He also described Morphey as a man with psychological issues.

FBI search specialists were in Lockport on wednesday assessing the Cal-Sag channel where they think Stacy may have been dumped in that barrel. The investigators had chosen that location because of a number of cell phone calls that had been made in that area. They are also discussing if the area should be dredged before divers enter it because of the accumulated debris that is seen on underwater photos.

Morphey, 40, had been identified on Tuesday as the man who was seen helping Drew load a barrel in his SUV. On Oct 29 at around 11:20 am, Bolingbrook police responded to an attempted suicide call and according to his girlfriend Sheryl Alcox, he hasn't returned to his home because he is in therepy. His neighbor of seven years, Dawn Fico, stated that the attempt was very out of character for him.

Morphey had accumulated a number of domestic violence arrests in the 1990's and in 1997, was arrested and convicted twice of drunken driving. An ex-girlfriend of his had sought orders of protection from him for threatening text messages in 1993 as well.

What is interesting is that Drew's attorney is very quick to dismiss the report of a barrel or that his stepbrother can be believed. It was other people in Drew's neighborhood who reported seeing the barrel both in the yard and being loaded. Morphey also had to be tracked down by the police to discover his story, he didn't step forward, out of the blue and offer it.