Tuesday, July 29, 2014

He is back at it.........

"I will always be the parent of a murdered child.  I will always be that angry, driven guy," stated John Walsh.

John Walsh's new show, The Hunt on CNN, caught it's first fugitive at approximately 1 pm on July 28 2014 in New York City.  Charles Mozdir was featured on the July 20th episode of the program and that show produced a tip that he had been working at a restaurant in the city.  That tip did not pan out but after the program was rebroadcast on July 27th, a tip came in naming the Smoking Culture shop on W Fourth St as a possible location for Mozdir.

Mozdir was working as a salesman in the shop when NYPD Det Mario Muniz entered the store to try and spot him.  He left and immediately returned with US Marshals to apprehend him.  Mozdir opened fire on them with a 32 caliber handgun and was mortally wounded when the officers returned fire.  Muniz,  a 20 year veteran of the force, was hit twice in the stomach and is expected to live.  The two US Marshals, Ryan Westfield and Pat Lin were also wounded but they are also expected to live.  Mozdir was transported to the hospital where he later died.

Mozdir had been on the run since June 15 2012, when he failed to show up for his arraignment on child molestation charges in San Diego CA.  He was accused of molesting the 7 year old son of friends after their son reported what Mozdir had done to him one evening.  Mozdir was a long time friend of the couple and had even been the photographer at their wedding.

The boy's mother called Mozdir one evening to help watch her son because he was running a high fever and she was exhausted from trying to care for him and their newborn child.  They were all in the same bed that evening and Mozdir stayed the night to watch the boy's fever.  The next morning after he had left, the boy reported what Mozdir had done to him during the night and the parents immediately contacted the police.  Mozdir was arrested four days later after police found child pornography and pictures of bestiality on his cellphone and home computer.  He bonded out the next day and never showed up in court for his arraignment.  His roommate told police that he had two guns and police searched for him in California, the Mexican state of Baja Californis and Georgia, after his car was found abandoned near Darien GA.

John Walsh was born in 1945 in Auburn NY and eventually settled in Hollywood FL to work as a hotel marketing executive and raise a family.  On July 27 1981, Reve Walsh left their 6 year old son Adam playing in the toy section of the Sears store in the Hollywood Mall while she went shopping.  She could locate him when she returned and after two hours of searching, the police were called.  Adam's severed head was found two weeks later in a canal near Vero Beach, about 120 miles away.

 His body was never recovered.  The prime suspect in his murder, Ottis Toole was never charged with the murder, even though he had confessed to it in 1983 while in prison for two unrelated murders.  The police had lost his impounded car and machete but on Dec 15 2008, police announced that they believed he was Adam's killer.  Toole had died in prison on Sept 15 1996 of cirrhosis before he could be charged with Adam's murder.

John and his wife Reve found positive outlets for their grief by helping to Missing Childrens Act of 1982 and the Missing Children's Assistance of 1984 which created the the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  In 1983, their story was made into the NBC television movie "Adam" and in 1986, the sequel "Adam, his song continues" was made.  Both programs featured pictures of missing children following the movie and they led to the return of 61 children.

In 1988, Walsh agreed to do "America's Most Wanted", a program that would feature fugitives in hopes of that leading to their capture.  The program was not seen as being able to do much by critics and started off slowly.  The program had initially turned down doing a segment on John List who had killed his mother, his wife, two sons and his daughter in their home at 431 Hillside Ave in Westfield NJ.

 He had killed them in November of 1971 but their bodies were not discovered until December.  The newest photos of List were from 1971 but when the segment aired about him on May 21 1989, they had an artists rendering of what he may look like then.  One of the over 300 tips that came in after the broadcast named Robert P Clark who was now living in Virginia.  List was arrested, found guilty in 1990 and was sentenced to five consecutive life sentences.  After that program, the show took off and during it's 25 years on TV, helped to apprehend 1,231 fugitives.  It was so successful that at times, fugitives just turned themselves into the police after a segment featuring them aired.  Some stated that they knew that they would be caught after it aired.

America's Most Wanted was cancelled by Fox in 2011 and it was revived on Lifetime but canceled after a year.  Walsh is now back with a new show "The Hunt." which airs on CNN.  Instead of the numerous fugitives that had been profiled in one show, the new show will only profile one to two fugitives per episode.  They expect the program to also be tied into Twitter and Facebook to keep up with the changes media has gone through.  The program itself is a more sophisticated and restrained version of his last show and so far, iy has begun to show results.

On July 26 2014, the program aired an episode featuring William Bradford Bishop.  On March 8 1976, police entered the Bishop home at 8103 Lilly
Stone Dr Bethesda MD and found it drenched in blood.  They believe that he bludgeoned his mother, wife and three boys to death on March 1st and then loaded their bodies into his station wagon.  He took along the family Golden Retriever, Leo, who was the only survivor that day.

He drove almost six hours south to Columbia NC and dumped the bodies on a remote logging road.  He then set them on fire and fled west.  His car was found in the Great Smokey Mountains Park near Gatlinburg TN about three weeks later.  He had been seen with the dog Leo during that time as well as a woman who was traveling with him.  After that, he seems to have vanished.

There were plenty of reasons to cause stress in the Bishop household but no one has ever said they know why Bishop would have done what he did.  It may be that Walsh can again work his magic with another bust of a fugitive who has been on the run for decades.  If anything........ maybe his capture will bring closure to so many who have spent years looking for the answers in his murders.

For information about fugitives profiled on "The Hunt":


Update July 29 2014:

The police received two good tips on the location of Mozdir after two airings of the show that highlighted him.  The first stated that they had known him but that he had left the area about 19 months before.  The tip stood out because it mentioned that he had a dog.  Mozdir was last seen by his sister and he had his black Labrador "Lucky" with him.  Mozdir evidently had been living in Florida at some time but their second tip stated that he was now living in NYC and working in a smoke shop.  The caller claimed to know him personally and police were able to obtain his cellphone number.  They pinged the cellphone to determine if he really was in NYC and the tip was confirmed.

Mozdir had changed his appearance some from his last sightings.  He had grown his hair longer as well as growing a beard.  He opened fire on the officers at close range after they entered the shop, using a 5 shot revolver.  Muniz was hit three times, twice in the bulletproof vest and once beneath it.  Mozdir had ten bullet wounds..... six in the abdomen, two to the chest and two in the left arm.  Police later found another 20 rounds of ammunition on him but he never had the chance to reload.  He later died at Bellevue Hospital.

The police went to his apartment on Monday night with a search warrant and seized Gateway computer, an Acer laptop, prescription pills and a West Virginia drivers license.  Mozdir seemed to be viewed as an oddball who lived two separate lives.  Many who knew him stated that he was well liked, fostered dogs and was a generally likable guy.  Most of them had no idea that the former wedding photographer did more than exaggerate the descriptions of his overseas travels.

Unfortunately, three officers were injured while trying to arrest Mozdir.  Many are glad that they were not severely injured but few are sad that Mozdir chose to go the way he did.  It can be viewed as a blessing to the family and victim......... they will not have to suffer through a trial and all the pain that could cause.

Update: August 8 2014

John Walsh has scored another case closed with the discovery of the body of Shane Miller on Aug 3rd.  Miller, his truck and the family dog had gone missing right after his wife and two young daughters were killed and he became their main suspect.  He was later spotted in Petrolia CA by an ex girlfriend and the manhunt centered in that area.  He dumped his truck and fled on foot and authorities believed that he was hiding out in the mountains.  His remains were found on the bank of the Mattole, about 1,500 from where his truck had been found the year before.  The police also recovered a handgun and loaded magazines that were near the body.

Police in Tampa FL are still looking for Christopher Ponce, 23, who is wanted on the charges of DUI manslaughter, vehicular manslaughter, DUI with serious bodily injury and reckless driving.  At 2:49 am on July 19 2012, he crashed his 2012 Ford Fusion into the 2000 Mustang that William Angel was driving.  William was killed instantly and his two friends, Jay Davis and Robert Newberry were seriously injured.  Ponce was also injured and was arrested after being released from the hospital.  He was released on a $50,000 bond and had to wear an electronic monitor but the judge had informed him that if his blood alcohol was proved by testing to above the limit, he would end up in jail.

Ponce cut his monitor off and jumped bond before he could be put in jail.  He had amassed quite a driving history since he had gotten his license at 16 years old.  He had already received 5 speeding tickets, a DUI in 2010, a suspended license and  a careless driving charge.  It is believed that he has had help in escaping and may still be receiving help from friends to stay free and he may be still in Florida or has escaped to any Spanish speaking country since he is fluent in Spanish.













Update Oct 9 2014:

The FBI had received a tip after the broadcast of the story of Brad Bishop and they felt that it was solid enough to exhume a body for proof.  The body is of a John Doe in Alabama who looks like Bishop.  The coroner received the body of a man who was hit by a car on Oct 18 1981 while walking along Highway 72 in Scottsboro AL.

The man had no identification on him and was dressed in multiple layers of clothing and the coroner chose to photograph the John Doe before his body was buried.  The photo shows a man who has a striking resemblance to Bishop, with a cleft chin, thin lips and sideburns.  Bishop had killed his family in 1976 and then drove to NC where his car was found abandoned after he had the bodies of his family.  The area where his station wagon was discovered is about 207 miles from Scottsboro AL and it is possible that Bishop could have stayed in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park area without being detected.

The FBI is hoping to match samples of Bishop's DNA to that of the John Doe and if that happens, they will be able to close the book on Bishop and his horrible crime.



Update March 1 2015:

Victor Barnard was quietly arrested in a condo in Pipa Beach Brazil on Feb 27 2015 after disappearing from Raymond Washington in 2014.  He had been charged with 59 counts of sexual assault in Minnesota in connection with abusing two young girls in his church.  A 33 year old Brazilian woman who had previously lived in the US was arrested with him as well.  The police seized religious papers, diaries, computers, flash drives and cell phones from the condo as well.

The prosecutors in Pine County Minnesota issued the warrants for Barnard in April 2014 after investigating the claims of two young women, one 12 and the other 13 years old.  They stated that they had been selected by Barnard to be part of his group of "maidens" and lived cloistered with him and separated from their parents at the River Road Fellowship near Finlayson MN.  Both stated that they had been raped by Barnard for years.

Barnard moved his group of followers to Washington after he admitted having affairs with married women and the church split.  The local law enforcement started to look more closely at Barnard and he was also facing bankruptcy when he finally moved his family and remaining followers to Washington around 2010 or 2011.

It has been reported that they Brazilian Government has already signed the extradition papers for Barnard but he will not be returning to the US until he goes through the legal steps in Brazil.  The split in his church has left many very happy that he has been arrested and others who still believe in him ready to defend him once he returns to face the charges.  There may well be more charges for him to face if more young women step forward to tell their stories or the allegations that he hid other molesters in his flock can be proved.  Either way, it has been proven that what John Walsh states may well be very true........ you can run but you can't hide.




Update March 1 2015:

Brazilian police had worked for five months to track down Barnard who they say had entered the country illegally in 2012.  The condo where he was finally arrested in was located in a gated community and they report that he had been living there for about six months.  Barnard has been transported to a federal jail in Lagoa Nova, Natal and is awaiting extradition there.




HC said...

Ponce finally arrested!!! He was picked up at a bus stop in Spain. Just thought I'd post a quick follow up.

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