I hurt my back playing hockey Friday, so I've been convalescing. I sort of have to do a lot of spine re-adjustments depending if I'm sitting, standing or lying down. Pushing a shopping cart seems to help, so I've made several runs to the grocery store.
I see Jim Nesbitt has his piece in this morning's N&O (Jim was the guy at the rink on friday). I wish he didn't call us "rink rats", it implies a sort of "junkie" status, ours was always more of a religious devotion to hockey - how about, the disciples of defense, the lords of left wing...
kings of the crease?
Anyway, this article certainly shows a lot more than I ever knew about Jim:
Few details about family emerge
Neighbors, friends remember slain couple.
By JIM NESBITT AND ANNE BLYTHE,
HILLSBOROUGH -- For four years, John Allore and Jim Sapikowski mixed it up on the hard ice of the Triangle Sportsplex, banging around the net of a hockey goal in a friendly Friday afternoon pickup game.
During any of these four-on-four runs the ice hockey equivalent of a half-court hoops game you might see a municipal finance officer like Allore on a team with "the baker from Costco and the mailman," as he put it.
Allore knew Sapikowski, a 6-foot 6-inch defenseman, as head coach of the UNC-Chapel Hill club team and as a Carolina Hurricanes season ticket holder. He also knew Sapikowski had a daughter interested in acting, which played to Allore's role as managing director of the Deep Dish Theater Co. in Chapel Hill.
"We talked about hockey; we talked about theater," said Allore, 41. "We all knew each other intimately, but we didn't know each other's lives."
The two rink rats shared a passion for playing hockey a strong but narrow connection of athletics and locker room conversations.
As investigators probe the April 29 shotgun slayings of Sapikowski, 52, and his wife Alison, 49, at their Whitley Drive home in Chapel Hill, Allore's limited recollections are typical of the fragmented image of the family emerging from public records, friends and neighbors and business associates.
Their youngest son, Adam, 17, a junior at Durham Academy, is being held without bail in the Orange County jail on first-degree murder charges.
Chapel Hill police say he confessed to killing his parents with a .410-gauge Harrington & Richardson shotgun. Officers found the bodies in a first-floor master bedroom and bathroom shortly after daybreak May 14.
Police found Adam Sapikowski at the Courtyard by Marriott hotel in Durham just before dawn that same day. They say the track and cross country athlete went to his April 30 prom and may have hosted a small party afterward at his home with his parents' bodies wrapped in bloody blankets behind a barricaded bedroom door.
Investigators are trying to establish a motive for the killings and determine Adam Sap-ikowski's activities in the two weeks between the double murder and his arrest. They say he acted alone.
Jennifer Lonnman, the Durham teenager who led police to the Marriott, did not know about the slayings, said Barry Winston, her Chapel Hill lawyer.
Winston would not say what reasons Adam Sapikowski gave Lonnman for staying in the hotel.
"All of that is part of the investigation, and I cannot comment on that," Winston said.
The Marriott's general manager has said Sapikowski checked in and out of the hotel, which is about five miles from the private school, starting May 1.
Durham Academy officials and the Sapikowski family have remained tight-lipped. The family has asked to be left alone and school officials have asked students and parents not to talk about the case publicly.
But even some family members want answers.
Debra Ann Byars, Jim Sapikowski's first wife and mother of his two older sons, didn't want to talk about her family. Still, she has the same questions about why the shootings took place and why it took so long for the bodies to be discovered.
"Everybody's puzzled," she said. "My kids would like the answers too."
Sapikowski had two children with his second wife, Alison, whom neighbors described as an artistic brunette with a Martha Stewart streak who loved to play tennis.
Adam's sister, Lauren, a dean's list student at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va., has returned to the small, private liberal arts campus.
The weekend following the discovery of her parents' bodies, the college freshman was on stage in "The Tamer Tamed," playwright John Fletcher's witty sequel to Shakespeare's "The Taming of the Shrew."
Students and professors were asked to give Lauren space. An e-mail from the dean of students went out to a campus list-serv May 17.
"Lauren will be returning to campus this week to finish the term and has expressed that she wants to be in a place she considers home right now where the recent events are not the center of attention," Dawn Watkins, dean of students, said in the note.
As Geraldo Rivera, Nancy Grace and other national TV personalities broadcast what few details they had about the case, Washington and Lee's student newspaper, the Ring-tum Phi, killed a story.
"We didn't print anything because Lauren's wishes were that the campus know as little as possible," said Erin Julius, editor-in-chief. "Through a friend, she let it be known that she wanted it to be kept as quiet as possible, that she didn't want that stigma on campus."
On May 16, family members filled a whole row in the Hillsborough courtroom for Adam Sapikowski's first appearance.
On May 21, his 17th birthday, four people, including Lonnman, visited him at the Orange County Jail. Not one was a family member.
Jim Sapikowski was born in Detroit and graduated in 1974 from Central Michigan University with a bachelor's degree in math. Before starting an independent oil and gas exploration company, J5 Inc., in 1989, he worked for several larger oil and gas companies, including Champion Petroleum and ANR Production Co.
Sapikowski married his first wife, Debra Ann, in August 1974 in Hartford, Mich. They moved to Colorado in 1980 and separated in December 1981.
In July 1982, they filed for divorce, five months after the birth of their second son, Brandon. Their oldest son, Christopher, was born in March 1978. A judge in Denver granted a divorce in July 1984. Two years later, the couple agreed that Christopher would live with his father and Brandon with his mother.
His second wife was born in Boston and raised in California. After graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in art history, she received a master's in business administration in 1979 from the University of Southern California, school records show.
She worked for Conoco, an oil company, and the Michigan-Wisconsin Pipeline Co., a natural gas transmission outfit, according to the J5 Web site. Later renamed ANR Pipeline Co., it was a subsidiary of American Natural Resources Co., the parent company of ANR Production Co., Jim Sapikowski's employer.
The J5 Inc. Web site lists company offices in Cincinnati, Detroit and El Paso, Texas. The company first acquired properties for exploration in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi in 1989 and lists discoveries in Montmorency County, Michigan, on the state's Upper Peninsula; and, Caddo and DeSoto parishes near Shreveport, La.
In Louisiana, where J5 Inc. made discoveries in 1994, the Sapikowskis invested in JM Exploration, a small oil and gas exploration outfit that focused on the Gulf coast of Louisiana, eastern Texas and Mississippi, said Al Jones, one of the company's two partners.
Andrea Sullivan, a senior geologist with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, worked closely with Sapikowski and his son Chris for more than a decade on natural gas leases in Montmorency and Otsego counties.
"He always went above and beyond what he needed to do," she said. "It was 'How can I fix it?' if something went wrong and 'How can I make it better?' A real forward-thinking person."
Move to Chapel Hill
It is unclear why the Sapikowskis moved to Chapel Hill. The couple had a Mount Bolus Road address in June 1992, public records indicate, and bought a home on Wellington Drive in April 1993. They bought the Whitley Drive home in the The Oaks neighborhood in May 1998.
The Sapikowskis played tennis at the Chapel Hill Tennis Club and later the Chapel Hill Country Club. They played bridge with other couples and she played Bunco, a dice game.
In a town known for its liberal politics, the Sapikowskis contributed $4,781 to national and state Republican candidates and organizations during the 2004 election cycle, according to campaign finance records.
Neighbors have been searching for details that might have foreshadowed the grisly killings.
The rink rats at the SportsPlex also have questions.
The day after the bodies were found, Allore posted a note on his Web blog about making the next Friday game in memory of his slain hockey buddy.
In response, Lauren Sapikowski posted a May 18 note: "I would give anything to see you all play. Unfortunately, I am trying to move on with life and so went back to college to finish the play, which opens the 20th. My dad loved seeing my plays so I think it is important I am here. ... I know that somewhere dad is smiling that you are all playing in his name."
Although the rink rats knew Sapikowski as an aggressive player, Allore said he saw a gentler giant at the Friday runs.
Sapikowski was quick to praise a great pass or a scoring slap shot, particularly from a teen player. He was also quick to cool down players who wanted to change the runs into a hitting game.
"He was a leader," he said. "I never saw the competitiveness. When he came out on Fridays, he just wanted to have a good time."
Who Killed Theresa?
Ce blogue est une investigation de le meurtre de ma soeur, Theresa Allore. Il y a 30 ans Theresa est mort aux secteurs de Compton, Sherbrooke et Lennoxville, Québec.
Life isn't fair, Justice is blind... and dysfunctional, and some cops aren't smart and dedicated like on tv.
Si vous avez information contact Sue Sutherland: CP 45 Succursale Lennoxville, Sherbrooke J1M 1Z3,Canada:email@example.com Tel: 514-264-7830
Sunday, May 29, 2005
I hurt my back playing hockey Friday, so I've been convalescing. I sort of have to do a lot of spine re-adjustments depending if I'm sitting, standing or lying down. Pushing a shopping cart seems to help, so I've made several runs to the grocery store.
Saturday, May 28, 2005
Corrine Punky Gustavson
Two things struck me about the Corrine Gustavson trial:
1. When the six-year-old's body was found face down in a mud puddle she was fully clothed.
2. A medical examiner testified that Corrine had indeed been sexually assault, and had severe genital wounds.
Now... go back to 1978 and the case of Manon Dube...
Ten-year-old Manon Dube was found fully clothed, faced down in a stream. Police have always claimed Dube was NOT the victim of sexual assault (or murdered), and their proof is the clothing:
"In the case of the young Manon Dube, she was a 10-year-old girl. She was all dressed up when we found her. It's not the same case."
This according to Surete du Quebec agent, Chantel Mackels. ("the same case" refers to Theresa's death and the murder of Louise Camirand). In fact, the Surete was so confident that a sex crime hadn't been committed that they never bothered to check for signs of a sexual assault. To this day, Quebec police are sticking to their story that Manon was a victim of a hit-and-run.
I just wonder if police will ever lose their stubborn arrogance and admit that - at least in some cases - they don't have all the answers, and other people - in some cases civilians, not law enforcement - might have thought things through with greater clarity and greater attention to probability.
Friday, May 27, 2005
Durham Herald Sun
It appears Beth Velliquette has taken over this story for the Herald Sun, after a brief vacation. I know Beth, and trust she will do the family justice in coverage.
No others expected to be held in deaths
By BETH VELLIQUETTE : The Herald-Sun
May 26, 2005 : 7:15 pm ET
CHAPEL HILL -- Police don't expect to charge anyone as an accessory to the murder of James and Alison Sapikowski, Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall says.
"I've not heard of anybody else being a suspect in any other way, so I don't expect there to be any other charges," Woodall said this week.
Police charged the couple's son, Adam Sapikowski, on May 14 with two counts of first-degree murder. He is being held without bond in the Orange County Jail.
His girlfriend has retained Chapel Hill attorney Barry Winston. But she is at not at risk of being charged in connection with the murder, Winston said.
"I think there is not the slightest risk in the world," he said.
James and Alison Sapikowski were found shot to death May 14 in their home on Whitley Drive near the Chapel Hill Country Club. James Sapikowski, 52, was shot three times in the head. His 49-year-old wife was shot once in the shoulder and once in the head.
Adam Sapikowski, who has just turned 17, has confessed to killing them, Chapel Hill police said.
The girlfriend did not know Sapikowski's parents were dead until after police discovered the bodies, Winston said.
"Absolutely not," he said.
Police believe Sapikowski killed his parents on the weekend beginning Friday, April 29. But the bodies, which were wrapped in blankets inside their home, weren't discovered for two weeks.
A search warrant said a family member, unable to contact Adam Sapikowski or his parents, alerted police.
After officers went to the home and got no answer, they found a phone number for Adam's girlfriend. The officers called her and asked if she knew where he was. She told them he had been staying at a hotel in Durham for about a week.
When officers learned that Sapikowski was then only 16, they called his older brother in Durham, who accompanied police to the hotel to pick up Adam.
The officers, Adam and his brother then drove to the house on Whitley Road, where they discovered the decomposing bodies of the parents.
After police discovered the bodies, Sapikowski confessed to killing them, police said.
On Saturday, May 21, the first day Sapikowski could have visitors since he was arrested, his girlfriend and three other friends had a brief visit with him at the jail, according to jail records. It was Sapikowski's 17th birthday.
Orange County Sheriff Lindy Pendergrass, who runs the jail, said the teen is being held in a cell by himself because of his age. He can talk to but not see other inmates, who are housed in cells on each side of him, Pendergrass said.
"We've had no problems with Adam Sapikowski, no problems whatsoever," Pendergrass said. "He does just like everybody does. He sits in his cell and watches TV."
A probable cause hearing is scheduled for June 6. Sapikowski's attorney is Orange-Chatham Public Defender James Williams.
During a probable cause hearing, the state lays out some of its evidence to show a District Court judge there is enough evidence to hold a defendant for trial in Superior Court. A defendant can waive the hearing. That is likely in the Sapikowski case, because he has confessed.
Police have declined to discuss exactly what they think happened inside the house. But use of a single-shot, .410 gauge shotgun could be an important element in proving first-degree murder.
The fact that Sapikowski had to reload the shotgun four times after the initial shot could be enough to convince a jury that he acted with a specific intent to kill.
A person's state of mind while committing a homicide often is the key element for defense attorneys.
If the attorney can show the defendant didn't have the intent to kill and did not premeditate the killing, a jury could find the person guilty of a lesser charge such as second-degree murder or manslaughter.
James and Alison Sapikowski owned or previously owned several businesses that involved gas and oil exploration and extraction and real estate. In addition to their Chapel Hill properties, they owned a home on a golf course in Scottsdale, Ariz., and homes in Michigan.
This Ain't The NHL
Yes we played hockey this afternoon. Yes there was a reporter sniffin' around the rink for more news on Jim S (you could tell he was a reporter because he looked like a scout, but there sure-as-shit wouldn't be any scouts checkin' out us old farts).
I stuck to my story: Jim played hockey, Jim was a great guy (fellas', I'm not hiding anything, that's really all I know!).
A fun, fast game. A lot of young players were out who really kept us working. I got winded and had to take some air on the bench (for a moment I could feel Jim there, sitting beside me... but when I looked to my left he had gone).
Lately, when I lose people, there's this real feeling that they've just gone to the other side. It's like seeing tracers of them. You don't see them, but you know they're still there. And your glad they're around to guide you.
Darn, I don't get to be chief of police
no.. I will not be at that present election for Shebrooke mayor but the next one.
For my chief of police squad... I prefer you as me special consellor on criminal affairs.. :-)
Père de Julie assassinée en 2002
PrésidentAssociation des Familles de Personnes Assassinées ou Disparues
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Blogs I read daily:
Is that Legal? (because Eric always has something interesting to say)
Holly's Fight for Justice (SHE'S NOT SCREAMING, SHE JUST CAN'T SEE TOO WELL!)
Orange County Politics (I wish Durham had a blog like this)
Sally Greene (When you think you've thought it though, Sally gives you another perspective)
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Pierre... Si vous etes la Mairie de Sherbrooke, es ce que je peux devenir votre chef de police?
Mise à jour: 23/05/2005 10h57
Le père de Julie Boisvenu maire de Sherbrooke?
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, le père de Julie Boisvenu, assassinée en 2002, songe à se lancer dans la course à la mairie de Sherbrooke. Il serait alors opposé au maire Jean Perrault.
M. Boisvenu milite en faveur de l'installation de caméras de surveillance au centre-ville dès l'été prochain.
Lundi dernier, le conseil municipal a refusé que cette procédure soit en vigueur immédiatement.
S'il n'est pas candidat à la mairie, Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu briguera un poste de conseiller. Il se donne jusqu'à la mi-juin pour prendre une décision sur son avenir.
No surprises here, only profound sadness:
Robert Pickton faces 12 new charges
Last updated May 25 2005 12:43 PM MDT
NEW WESTMINSTER, B.C. – Accused serial killer Robert William Pickton faces 12 new first-degree murder charges, Crown prosecutors in British Columbia announced Wednesday.
The new charges include the death of Cindy Feliks, a woman whose stepmother lives in Calgary.
Feliks, was 43 when she disappeared in the fall of 1997. Four years after her disappearance, and after pressure from her family, police added her name to the list of woman missing from downtown Vancouver.
Pickton, a former Port Coquitlam pig farmer, had already been charged with first-degree murder in the cases of 15 women who had gone missing from Vancouver's Downtown Eastside during the 1980s and '90s.
The 55-year-old Pickton, who appeared in a New Westminster courtroom via videolink to hear the new charges, now faces a total of 27 first-degree murder charges.
The names of the victims in the latest indictment include:
Sarah de Vries
Jane Doe (remains of woman found on farm but not identified)
Pickton was arrested in February 2002 after a police raid on his property and has been in custody since.
Investigators wrapped up a huge excavation of the property in November 2003.
Vancouver police continue to investigate the disappearances of more than 60 women from the city's Downtown Eastside.
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
With a Whimper...
Listen... you can hear the paper being flushed down the toilet...
No, not the Qur'an, I'm talking about $104 million that the FBI spent on a Virtual Case File system that will never be used.
Yes, it's official. According to yesterday's Government Computer News, Agency director Robert Mueller quietly pulled the plug on VCF stating, "I am tremendously disappointed that we did not come through on Virtual Case File."
Disappointed? Disappointed is how I feel when I don't get my Christmas bonus; tossing $104 million down the shitter? That's a Ginormous Cluster-Fuck.
"I only need this much more money."
What's worse, no one seems to care. The only one reporting this story is Government Computer News (circulation: me).
(For more info, see my post on VCS back on March 19)
So what will replace VCF? The FBI doesn't know. But they do have a nifty name: Sentinel.
That's right, There's no specs, the project hasn't been put out for bid, there isn't even a project manager... but there's a name...
Sentinel: It's either a government records management tool, or a bad seventies horror movie starring Burgess Meredith.
Not even the FBI knows for sure.
Monday, May 23, 2005
I found something to knock me out of all this doom-and-gloom...
Fundamentals of Economics
I can't believe I'm going to subject myself to eight-hours of this stuff a week for the next ten weeks.
Wait, it gets better, here's the course description:
Fundamental ideas in economics: scarcity, substitution, opportunity cost, marginal analysis, gross domestic product, real and nominal magnitudes. Supply and demand analysis. Microeconomic analysis of pricing in competitive and noncompetitive markets. Macroeconomic analysis of production, employment, the price level, and inflation. Monetary and fiscal policy and the stabilization of the economy. Comparative advantage and international trade.
Now what's really, really sad is I went to the first class tonight and I actually liked it. I think I've definitely achieved middle-age if I can say that I'd rather be going to a class in economics then, say...
listening to these guys.
Or are the two one and the same thing?
Rattled Baby, Over You...
I've been shaken up for about 24-hours by this picture:
This is a picture of Brianna Maitland's car - how it was found, backed into an old abandoned house in Vermont back in March, 2004. Brianna hasn't been seen since.
Here is a picture of Brianna:
What got me thinking of Brianna is I got an email from a relative of Maura Murray. Maura's been missing from New Hampshire since February 2004. Every few months, me and this relative write to help each other, keep each other updated with how things are going.
Here is a picture of Maura:
Now here is a listing of all the people who have gone missing from Vermont and New Hampshire over the past 25 years:
1. Rachel Garden, missing from Newton NH, southeast of Manchester, March 22, 1980.
2. Russell Bovit, missing from Last Resort Farm in Walden VT , May 11, 1986
3. Sonja Moore, missing from Stark Pond area of Dunbarton NH, November 2, 1989
4. Cheree Hawkens, last seen at Burlington Airport, Burlington VT, January 18, 1990
5. Heidi Dawn Wilbur, last seen at a convenience store in Middletown Springs VT, February 9, 1991
6. Audrey Groat, last seen at the Park and Ride in Northfield VT, August 21, 1993
7. Bethany and Tina Sinclair, missing from West Chesterfield NH, February 4, 2001
8. Hang Thi Phuong Nguyen, missing from Manchester NH, March 16, 2001
9. Lorne Richard Boulet Jr., last seen on Perry Brook Road in Chichester NH, July 29, 2001
10. Karen Shirley Dube, missing from Ware NH, Sept.1, 2001
11. Courtney King, missing from Pelham NH, January 9, 2004
12. Timothy James Young, last seen on Daniels Pond Road in West Glover VT, January 20, 2004
13. Maura Murray, last seen on Rt 112 in Haverhill NH, February 9, 2004
14. Brianna Maitland, last seen at Black Lantern Inn, Montgomery VT, March 19, 2004
15. Dominika Smolinski, missing from Westford VT, August 27, 2004
16. Jessica Ann Capille, missing from Bethlehem NH, December 8, 2004
And here is a map with indexes of where they disappeared from:
And this is a list of all the unsolved murders in Vermont and New Hampshire in the last 35 years:
1. Joanne Dunham, Charlestown NH, October 1968
2. Jane Doe, Bedford NH, October 6, 1971
3. Daniel O'Connell, Loudon NH, October 30, 1971
4. Kathy Gloddy, Franklin NH, November 22, 1971
5. Paul Olsen, Madison NH, March 24, 1973
6. James Teta, Rindge NH, August 25, 1973
7. Anne Psardelis/Diane Compagna, Raymond NH, September 29, 1973
8. Domingo Valdes, Pelham NH, June 14, 1974
9. Maurice and Ellen Wilkinson, Center Ossipee, August, 16, 1974
10. David Longfellow, Manchester NH, November 24, 1974
11. James O'Brien, New Boston NH, April 12, 1975
12. Judy Lord, Concord NH, May 20, 1975
13. Madlyn Crouse, Nashua NH, February 27, 1976
14. James Sullivan, Gilmanton NH, February 21, 1977
15. Casmiro Jablonski, Newmarket NH, July 6, 1977
16. Joan Gray Rogers, Hardwick VT, July 15, 1977
17. Shari Lynn Roth, Livermore NH, August 21, 1977
18. Jaclynne Snyder, Lee NH, September 4, 1977
19. Pauline Miller/ Ray Blanchette, Manchester NH, October 24, 1978
20. Cathy Millican, New London NH, October 24, 1978
21. Kenneth Jache, Weare NH, October 14, 1979
22. Mary Elizabeth Critchley, Unity NH, August 9, 1981
23. Yvonne Fine, Concord NH, September 7, 1981
24. Laura Kempton, Portsmouth NH, September 28, 1981
25. Mary Harrison, Winchester NH, October 30, 1981
26. Sylvia Gray, Plainfield NH, May 28, 1982
27. Pamela Brown, Barre VT, July 17, 1982
28. Tammy Little, Portsmouth NH, October 16, 1982
29. Bearnice Courtemanche, Kellyville NH, May 30, 1984
30. Ellen Fried, Kellyville NH, July 20, 1984
31. Eva Morse, Unity NH, July 10, 1985
32. Lynda Moore, Saxtons River VT, April 15, 1986
33. Sarah Hunter, Pawlet VT, July 1986
34. Heidi Martin, Hartland VT, May 1, 1984
35. Steven Hill, Hartland VT/Plainfield NH, (In CT River)July 1986
36. Barbara Agnew, Hartland VT, January 10, 1987
37. Lynn Snyder, Rollinsford NH, April 18, 1987
38. Judith Whitney, Winchester NH, November 8, 1987
39. Patricia Scoville, Stowe VT, 1988 (An arrest was made)
40. Sharon Johnson, Bedford NH, July 28, 1988
41. Pamela Webb, Franconia NH, July 18, 1989
42. Craig Lane, Peterborough NH, January 8, 1989
43. Carrie Moss, New Boston NH, April 24, 1991
44. Stella Bolton, Portsmouth NH, February 16, 1991
45. Rita Roy, Manchester NH, May 20, 1991
46. Theresa Reed, Plymouth NH, September 6, 1991
47. Lisa Begin Wright, Laconia NH, December 18, 1991
48. Cheryl Peters, Morrisville VT, August 9, 1993
49. Angela Ann Blouin, Derby VT, May 30, 1993
50. Mindy West, Manchester NH, October 4, 1998
51. Mary Morales, Vernon VT, March 3, 1999
52. Louise Chaput, Pinkham Notch NH, November 15, 2001
53. Amie Lynn Riley, Manchester NH, August 15, 2003
54. Christina Lunceford, Nashua NH, August 1, 2004
And here is a map where they were found:
Now what if some of these missing persons and unsolved murders were related to unsolved cases in Quebec?
Sunday, May 22, 2005
To friends, colleagues and relatives of the Sapikowski family who have sent me emails: Thank you for sharing with me your kind thoughts, love, support and humanity for James, Alison, Lauren and Adam.
Some words of reassurance:
Though I am quite comfortable publicly sharing intimate matters about my life, I would not dare publish any details of your personal correspondences to me.
Saturday, May 21, 2005
I do have a life outside all this crap you know...
A little late but...
Me and Helen Hagan in Eugene O'Neill's A Moon for the Misbegotten.
Deep Dish Theater, February 2005
Thank you, Hollywood for wasting two-hours of my life
No, I'm not talking about Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith.
I'm speaking of that other cultural icon from the seventies: Jim Henson's Muppets.
Let me lay this plain: Kermit died. Attempting to resurrect the frog is like Bugs Bunny without Mel Blanc.
Last night I had to sit through two-hours of mind-numbing fakery called The Muppets Wizard of Oz. Reports of Jim Henson's death are greatly accurate. I would have preferred root canal next to this non-stop migraine (thank god we own MGM's Wizard on DVD: As soon as the sun rose we hit "play" to wash the bad taste out of our mouths.
Whores of (Hollywood) Babylon
Now my wife tells me "Cookie" will no longer be a monster enamored by sweets...
Ugggghhh! I want to crawl in a hole and die.
The Jim Sapikowski Stick and Puck Challenge
What it wasn't
A media circus (thank god). Though a reporter from the Associated Press and a crew from ABC Eyewittness News did show up. The woman from the Associated Press was nice and respectful, but we marveled at the audacity of the producer from Eyewittness News who strutted into the dressing room like he owned the place (we just ignored him).
Fear and Loathing...
The AP woman commented that this whole thing was only going to get worse. They will be covering this case for years. She herself had been specifically assigned to the Triangle for the next three months to cover things.
What it was
Business as usual. A regular stick and puck game. The end of a long week, and the chance to blow off some steam. No one was heavy or depressed. The whole thing was light and buoyant. Yes, we talked about Jim, but in the privacy of the bench, or center ice - where there was no fear that our words would be twisted. It was all fun. Everyone was laughing and having a good time. That's how Jim played, so I guess that's how we wanted to play one for him.
At eleven o'clock I was channel surfing and I caught a glimpse of Jim's face, followed by Adam in in an orange jump suit, followed by Nancy Grace making - what I can only identify as - an obscene gesture, as if to cock a shotgun. (why is it that Nancy Grace always has that look on her face like she's perpetually sniffing shit? Maybe it's the life she leads).
Anyway, a little later I caught Jeremy speaking on the 11 o'clock local news, calling Jim a mentor, saying how much Jim had taught him about the game.
In the coming months, let's keep in mind the words of Bill Moyers (via Sally Greene, via Ed Cone) and pray that the media refrain from publicity:
". . . news is what people want to keep hidden; everything else is publicity."
Friday, May 20, 2005
It's friday, in about three hours I'll go play hockey. I will offer some thoughts I've been kicking around in my head...
I've been thinking about different guys styles of play:
I like the way TJ receives a pass.
I appreciate how Roger can stick-handle.
Chip and Sidney, NS can skate rings around us.
With Big Jim, it was always his physical game.
For some reason, Jim and I always played pick-up hockey on opposing sides. I always liked positioning myself in front of the net against Jim. I'm no shrimp (6'2"), but Jim was BIG (6'6"?). There's a thing about aggression and being physical on the ice. We don't allow hitting in stick-and-puck, but if you know I guy, a certain amount of physical interplay is tolerated, even encouraged. Jim and I knew each other well enough that we would permit jabs, cross-checks, jockeying-for-position in front of the net. Apart from Big-Rich, Jim was the only guy with whom I had that kind of interplay.
Hockey-talk. That's how I knew Jim...
And that's really all I know.
Invitation to a Hockey Game - Update
Folks from the Associated Press, Eyewitness News, etc... who've been calling me:
The title, "Jim Sapikowski Stick and Puck Challenge" was really meant kinda' tongue-in-cheek. It's a joke that Jim would have appreciated. This will be an informal affair. You can attend, but what you're going to see is a bunch of middle-aged men skating around in a half-assed fashion on a Friday afternoon.
In respect of the family's wishes, we will not be talking to the media.
(except in extended hockey metaphors)
Invitation to a Hockey Game
I went to see my grief councilor this afternoon about Jim (strangely, The bereavement centre where I go for counciling is across the street from where Jim played hockey).
I won't share everything with you, but here are two take-aways:
- Life is fragile - whether it's a car accident, drug overdose, or some natural disaster, it could come at any moment... Cherish the moments.
- Jim's daughter told me he loved hockey; he would hate for his friends to give it up because of this tragedy.
To all of you who loved Jim Sapikowski, who wish the best for his family.... I invite you to join me on Friday, May 20th at the Sportsplex arena in Hillsborough for the 1st Jim Sapikowski Stick-and-Puck Challenge. Game-on at 3:45 pm. Those who don't play, come cheer for Jim.
No wry comments here...
I have nothing to add, these speak for themselves:
As we approach May 21st, it is depressing that three years have past and there is still no new information on the Raleigh murder of Stephanie Bennett. WRAL seems to be the only news agency that has not forgotten.
On Wednesday, an Alamance County court convicted 29-year-old Jerry Lynn Stuart for the first-degree murder of 20-year-old April Greer. Stuart became incensed when he learned that April was having an affair. Stuart slashed April's throat, cut off her legs, and stuffed her in a trash can.
Stuart now faces the death penalty.
At the time of her murder, April Greer was eight months pregnant.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Word from Canada is that bill C-13 - requiring mandatory DNA sampling for violent offenders - is now law. Congrats to all who wrote lobbying letters.
"Let me know if there's anything I can do."
Dr. Linda Jordan who works at Duke Community Bereavement Services has written a nice piece entitled, Ten Most Careless Statements Made to Grieving People.
[Law Enforcement and the Media: you need to read this.]
Having been on the receiving end of some of these well intentioned faux-pas, I can tell you that her advice is invaluable.
Also, in dealing with people faced with trauma, I have made many of these mistakes myself, so anyone can screw-up.
Linda also outlines some things that are helpful to grieving people.
It's good stuff.
If reports in this morning's newspapers are to be believed, Durham Academy is now lawyered-up behind Lewis Cheek, and will not release attendance records for Adam Sapikowski to Chapel Hill police without a court order directing them to do so.
Such action may be within Durham Academy's legal rights, but I question their motives...
Isn't it in everyone's best interest to ascertain what happened in the two weeks between the deaths of the Sapikowski parents and the time that their body's were discovered?
Wednesday, May 18, 2005
A Spider Web: The Beauty of Struggle is a lovely essay by 17-year-old Chapel Hill High senior, William Guzzardi. William lost his best friend and classmate, Alicia Land when she was killed last year in a car accident.
I wish I had been this wise and insightful when I was seventeen.
Can someone explain to me how this statement from Chapel Hill Police Chief Gregg Jarvies,
"We're still trying to establish a timeline as to when the shootings may have occurred... We're relatively certain, based on all the evidence we've gathered and the statements from the medical examiner, that the shootings occurred sometime on the weekend of [April] 29th."
Turned into this headline in the Washington Post?:
Murder Suspect Attended Prom After Crime
A thoughtful editorial in this morning's Chapel Hill News, contrasted with a careless offering by Barry Saunders in yesterday's News and Observer...
Sunday, May 15, 2005
Chapel Hill teen charged in deaths of parents
My first instinct when I read this headline was, "Wow, that must have been a disturbed family to have something that bad happen." I wondered what the parents had done to drive Adam Sapikowski to do such a thing. Then the name seemed familiar. I couldn't remember where I'd seen it before. Then I saw it. Sapikowski was from the back of a hockey jersey.
I knew Jim Sapikowski. I played hockey with him on Fridays at the Sportsplex Arena. It's uncommon for me to remember someone's last name in this context. I've been playing every Friday with guys for over five years: I know their first names, but we all have the same last name: John Hockey, Richard Hockey, TJ Hockey, etc...
But you didn't forget a name like Sapikowski. Plus, Jim had it written in big letters across his broad shoulders.
If Jim's home was troubled, I never would have guessed it. Jim was a lovely, friendly guy. With most guys, I don't know much about their lives beyond hockey, but Jim was different. First, we had some things in common. He had a daughter who he adored who was involved in acting, so we used to talk a lot about theater. Also, for a time he was considering sending his daughter to McGill university in Montreal, so we talked a lot about Canada and Quebec.
I was also envious of Jim. He had one of these hockey packages where he'd receive every single NHL game on television. He knew I liked the Montreal Canadiens, and every Friday he'd come in and give me a play-by-play update of how the Habs had faired that week. He liked making people happy; he was that kind of guy. I remember on the ice, he would always compliment me on a good play:
"that was a great goal", he'd say, or, "Wow, you really played some good "D" on me on that play."
Jim traveled a lot. He was always off to Colorado, or somewhere else out west. He had season tickets for the Hurricanes (nice seats) - if he was on the road, Jim was generous to offer them to me.
For the past four months I hadn't been playing hockey much (I lost a bit of interest with the strike). But on Friday (Friday the 13th, when I was feeling down about my sister) I decided to go back.
It was great to be back. I missed all the guys. I felt really comfortable on the ice. But Jim wasn't there. I didn't think much about it - he was often not there, busy with his company. I never would have dreamed he was dead.
Goodbye, Big Man... We will miss you.
Saturday, May 14, 2005
200 Protesters force town of Sherbrooke to reverse decision on surveillance cameras
Well done, Pierre...
200 manifestants réunis...sous l'oeil des caméras
Plus de 200 personnes ont tourné le dos à l'hôtel de ville, vendredi midi, pour protester contre l'abandon du projet d'enregistrement des images filmées par les caméras de surveillance au centre-ville. Ironiquement, l'une de ces caméras pointait directement sur ces manifestants pacifiques issus de toutes les couches de la société.
Sur le coup de midi trente, les participants ont formé comme prévu un énorme "bouquet de fleurs" vivant dans le carré Strathcona, en face de l'hôtel de ville. Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu remettra la photo de ce bouquet au maire Jean Perrault lundi soir lors de la séance du conseil municipal. Le père de Julie Boisvenu, cette jeune femme enlevée, séquestrée puis assassinée en juin 2002 à la suite d'une soirée au centre-ville, a invité tous les manifestants à l'accompagner pour l'occasion.
"Quand on prend une décision si importante sur la sécurité, on ne la prend pas derrière des portes closes; on la prend avec les citoyens", a-t-il dénoncé alors qu'il s'adressait à la foule. Selon lui, l'abandon du projet-pilote d'enregistrement continu des caméras de surveillance - une décision prise par le comité de sécurité publique sans consultation auprès de la population - est "inadmissible"."C'est comme si Julie, notre fille, n'avait jamais été assassinée", a-t-il ajouté, quelques secondes avant la prise de la photo en souvenir de Julie et de toutes les personnes victimes d'agressions.
L'organisateur du rassemblement, Daniel Coulombe, était visiblement fier de son coup. "L'objectif, a-t-il indiqué, c'était d'être représentatif de toutes les couches de la société et c'est ce qu'on a réussi. Plus d'une vingtaine d'organisations sont représentées, dont plusieurs qui défendent les femmes victimes de violence."
Texte complet dans La Tribune de samedi.
Friday, May 13, 2005
Surveillance camera debate heats up in Sherbrooke
Caméras de surveillance à Sherbrooke :
Jean Perrault rencontrera Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu
Mise à jour le vendredi 13 mai 2005, 12 h 43
Le maire de Sherbrooke, Jean Perrault, rencontrera Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, président de l'Association des familles de personnes assassinées et disparues, pour discuter du dossier des caméras de surveillance au centre-ville de Sherbrooke. De Hull, où il était de passage vendredi matin, M. Perrault a appelé le père de Julie Boisvenu, assassinée en juin 2002 après avoir été enlevée au centre-ville de Sherbrooke, pour le convier à une rencontre, lundi matin.
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu dénonce vivement la décision de la Ville de ne pas reconduire le projet pilote d'enregistrement des images captées par ses 17 caméras de surveillance du centre-ville. Cette décision a été prise le 2 mai dernier par les conseillers municipaux, à la suggestion du comité de sécurité publique.
M. Boisvenu pourrait profiter de l'occasion pour demander la destitution du président de ce comité, le conseiller municipal Robert Pouliot. Selon lui, M. Pouliot n'est plus l'homme de la situation dans ce dossier.L'appel de M. Perrault est survenu quelques heures avant qu'une manifestation organisée pour dénoncer la décision de la Ville dans ce dossier n'ait lieu devant l'hôtel de ville. À midi, plus de 200 personnes avaient répondu à l'invitation lancée par le collectif MARTEAU.
Un dossier qui fait jaserLa semaine dernière, M. Pouliot a justifié la décision de la Ville dans ce dossier en invoquant les orientations générales récemment exprimées par la Commission d'accès à l'information (CAI) dans un autre dossier concernant la Ville de Montréal.« On n'a pas manqué de courage politique. Il y a présentement des normes, et on respecte ces normes-là », a-t-il indiqué Pouliot, tout en reconnaissant que la Ville n'a jamais présenté de demande formelle à la CAI pour enregistrer les images de ses caméras.
L'an dernier, un employé avait surveillé en continu les images transmises par les caméras de la Ville, en semaine, tant en soirée que pour une partie de la nuit du mardi au samedi. Sans ce projet pilote, qui devait originalement être mené en 2004 et 2005, les images sont surveillées par les préposés du service 9-1-1.
Le projet-pilote devait initialement permettre à la Ville de convaincre la CAI de la nécessité d'enregistrer les images transmises par ces caméras, ne serait-ce que pour une durée limitée.
Glad but Sad
Pierre Boisvenu inspired to apply to graduate school when he announced to me last winter that he would be getting his Masters in Victimology next year in Lyon.
I figured with my degree in Justice and his in Victimology, we would be a potent one-two punch.
Sadly, Pierre has informed me that - for personal reasons - he will not be able to attend university in France next year.
So I will go it alone and wait for him.
AFPAD now has 150 members, 40 of them are English-speaking; this is an phenomenal achievement in less than 6 months of operation.
Tomorrow, they plan a big march in downtown Sherbrooke to protest the police's abandoning the use of video camera in the urban core.
Thursday, May 12, 2005
More on the decision to abandon video surviellence in downtown Sherbrooke.
You know, I would be a lot more willing to go along with new police chief, Gaétan Labbé assurance that "a greater police presence" is the solution to downtown crime if it were not for the fact that...
Sherbrooke cops who let convicted murderer, Hugo Bernier go TWICE in one night in downtown Sherbrooke were the reason Julie Boisvenu died in the first place!!!!!...
Caméras de surveillance : des conseillères mettent en doute la décision de la Ville
Mise à jour le lundi 9 mai 2005, 18 h 12 .
Le dossier des caméras du centre-ville de Sherbrooke continue de susciter des réactions. Deux conseillères municipales estiment qu'il faut revoir la décision d'annuler le projet pilote qui consistait à enregistrer les images captées par les caméras. Bien qu'elles aient toutes deux entériné la recommandation soumise en ce sens par le comité de sécurité publique, la semaine
dernière, les conseillères Mariette Fugère et Diane Delisle disent maintenant que de nouvelles informations les forcent à s'interroger à nouveau.
Ce revirement de situation survient après que les deux conseillères eurent discuté avec
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, qui a vilipendé la Ville la semaine dernière pour avoir abandonné le projet. Sans ce projet pilote, qui devait originalement être mené en 2004 et 2005, les images captées par les 17 caméras de la Ville sont surveillées par les préposés du service 9-1-1. Leur tâche première les empêche toutefois de les surveiller de façon continue.Le projet-pilote devait initialement permettre à la Ville de convaincre la CAI de la nécessité d'enregistrer les images transmises par ces caméras, ne serait-ce que pour une durée limitée.
Le nouveau chef de police de Sherbrooke, Gaétan Labbé, n'est pour sa part pas convaincu que ce projet peut réduire la criminalité à lui seul. Il soutient que la surveillance vidéo doit être appuyée par une présence policière plus importante dans les quartiers ciblés.
Boisvenu calls for the creation of a Quebec "cold case" squad.
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu demande la création d'une escouade des crimes non résoluslundi le 09 mai 2005 - 17 h 05
L'Association des familles des personnes assassinées ou disparues réclame la création d'une escouade provinciale des crimes non résolus. Ce regroupement de policiers pourrait permettre d'accélérer les recherches visant à retrouver des victimes ou des meurtriers toujours en fuite. La famille de Manon Dubé voit cette initiative d'un bon oeil. L'assassin de cette fillette de Sherbrooke n'a jamais été arrêté.
Manon Dubé a été enlevée devant une école de Sherbrooke le 30 janvier 1978, elle n’avait que 10 ans. Son corps a été retrouvé dans les eaux glacées du ruisseau du chemin Brook à Ayers Cliff deux mois plus tard. Les policiers n’ont jamais mis la main sur le meurtrier. Chantal Dubé, qui accompagnait sa sœur le soir de sa disparition, vit toujours dans l’angoisse.
Plus de 200 familles au Québec attendent toujours de retrouver le corps d’un proche ou un assassin qui a brisé leur vie. L’Association des familles des personnes assassinées ou disparues demande au gouvernement de créer une escouade des crimes non résolus.
Cette escouade qui existe déjà en France et aux Etats-Unis serait formée de policiers de la Sûreté du Québec et de corps municipaux. Selon Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, cette réorganisation engendrerait de faibles coûts. La priorité serait d’accélérer les recherches grâce à de nouvelles méthodes d’enquêtes.
Chantal Dubé est convaincue que cette escouade pourrait mettre fin aux questionnements qui la hante. Retrouver le meurtrier de sa sœur lui permettrait du même coup de retrouver une paix intérieure.
Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu transmettra sa demande au ministre de la Justice en juin. Il souhaite que l’escouade voit le jour au printemps 2006.
My response to Andrew Dalzell's mother:
I believe I have been more than impartial regarding your son, Andrew Dalzell. I've received several correspondences documenting far worse behavior from Andrew, but in the interest of keeping things objective, I have been careful never to publish them (would you like me to broadcast emails from 14 year old girls who were preyed on by Andrew?)
Regarding Chief Hutchison and Detective Lau.... I've hardly painted them as heroes, if anything they come off as what they are; dedicated - not obsessed - but with faults (just like humanity).
Ms. Mullen, you were not there when I watched a cadaver dog light on a spot in the crawl space under your former house... We all knew what that meant - not just the SBI agent who stood there, jaw agape.
I certainly understand, as a parent, your need to defend your son. But I don't think you know Andrew as well as you pretend to say you do.
John A 05.12.05 - 10:27 am #
The mother of Andrew Dalzell, accused of murdering Deborah Key posts some strong words to my comment that I lived in a house with a dead body in it:
No, you didn't. Not even the police are saying that. Apparently, you'd rather believe the obsession of one police officer than realize that there are no solid facts to back up what he says. He has lied on more than one occasion, it's clear that he feels that being honest lies only on one side of the police-criminal paradigm. I'm not just talking about how he handled Andrew's arrest, but many of the things that you have broadcast that are blatently twisted to conform with his theories.
I was living in that house and trust me no one was killed there; as you pointed out Andrew is not that neat; and incapable of cleaning up well enough to remove all physical evidence, especially his car. Just for the record, when did early fifties translate to elderly widow? I would wish that you used the same high standards you display in grad school and other venues to get your facts straight before you publish items as fact that are actually hearsay.
Juanita Mullen 05.12.05 - 8:43 am #
Apart from the reply I posted in the comments section, I just have this to add...
Nothing - not one little thing - did I embellish when I wrote the post, Bad Dream House.
Wednesday, May 11, 2005|
Alberta Criminal Justice Association
Roland LaHaye, President
#401, 10010 - 105th Street
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 1C4
May 11, 2005
Dear Mr. LaHaye:
I would like to offer my services to participate as a resource person at your 2005 Canadian Congress on Criminal Justice.
I have participated in several Canadian conferences in the last year having to do with justice and victimology. In the fall of 2004 I was invited by Arlene Gauldreault (who is presenting at your congress) of Quebec’s Plaidoyer Victimes to participate in a roundtable for their 4th annual conference. In the summer of 2004 I was invited to speak at Police Victim Services of BC’s annual conference. Currently, I am a candidate to present at the National Organization for Victim Assistance (NOVA) annual conference in Atlanta this summer. As well, I serve on the board of the Canadian Association for Victim Assistance (CAVA), and I am a member of Quebec’s Association des Familles de Personnes Assassinées ou Disparues (AFPAD)
I have read your syllabus and feel I would have a lot to contribute to many of these sessions as I have just been accepted as a graduate student at North Carolina State University to study justice administration. My area of study is comparative analysis of the criminal justice systems in the United States and Canada.
I have studied community surveillance through video monitoring and am certainly aware the issues concerning privacy. As well, I am involved in areas of youth justice and maintain close contact with colleagues at the North Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice and the North Carolina Child Advocacy Institute. I have studied New York City’s COMSTAT model and am familiar with the new model of law enforcement involving trend analysis, and the inherent problems of this system. Finally, given my personal experience investigating the murder of my sister, Theresa, I am acutely aware of issues of victimization and feel I have something to contribute to the topic if police misconduct. (You can find further information on this through a story W-Five did in March on my sister’s death).
I hope you will consider me as a participant this fall. I look forward to hearing from you,
Tuesday, May 10, 2005
An internet poll asks, Would you buy a house in which someone had been murdered?
Wait a minute... I bought a house in which someone was murdered.
This from Justice Canada...
Costs of Crime in Canada
Crime in Canada cost an estimated $70 billion in 2003, a majority of which, $47 billion or 67%, was borne by the victims. Victim costs include the value of property stolen and/or damaged, pain and suffering, their lost output, and health services. The costs of crime remaining were loosely divided between Criminal Justice System (CJS) expenditures, at $13 billion or 19% of the total, and $10 billion (14%) on defensive measures such as security devices and protective services. CJS costs include costs of police, courts, prosecutions and corrections. When examined by type of crime category, property crimes cost Canadians the most, at $40 billion, while violent crimes cost $18 billion and other crimes $12 billion. While it is rather straightforward to calculate the justice system expenditures and some direct costs such as the value of goods stolen, it is impossible to put an accurate price on the loss of social cohesion in a high-crime community, or the impact on the life of family members of homicide victims, or the suffering of children who grow up with their parents incarcerated. Admittedly, no study has ever been able to fully account for the cost of crime. Nonetheless, it is important to attempt to recognize the magnitude of the cost of crime. The cost of crime highlights the impact of crime on the society and the potential gains from crime prevention and reduction strategies. It is also essential for evidence-based criminal justice policy developments as it provides the needed context to make effective cost-benefit analysis possible. Despite good efforts, it is impossible to include all cost estimates as many are unknown or simply too difficult to attach a dollar figure to them. For that reason, the information provided here is solely for some sense of scope. While the true total cost of crime in Canada may be incalculable, we do know that this updated estimate is a conservative one, as the list of variables included are incomplete.
Contact: Dr. Kuan Li, Research Analyst
Monday, May 09, 2005
I'm just a pin cushion...You Be The Judge...
Minister of Public Safety, Anne McLellan's response to my request regarding Evidence Retention and the creation of a National DNA Data Bank ...
It only took 10 months:
May 3, 2005
Dear Mr. Allore:
Thank you for your correspondence of December 15, 2004, concerning the creation of a national DNA Missing Persons Index (MPI). My collegue the Honorable Irwin Cotler, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, has also forwarded to me your correspondence of July 1, 2004, concerning the retention of physical evidence in criminal cases. I apologizefor the delay in responding.
As Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, I am responsible for the DNA Indentification Act that authorizes the establishment of a National DNA Data Bank and sets out its structure and purpose, which is to help law enforcement agencies identify persons alleged to have committed "designed" serious and violent offences.
I sympothize greatly with the friends and family of missing persons. I am very interested in the idea of an MPI to help bring certaintly and relief for them.
At their October 1, 2003 meeting, Federal/Provincial/Territorial (FPT) Ministers responsible for Justice discussed the possibility of developing an effective national MPI, and supported my predecessor's proposal that the issue should be examined. Officials from my department, together with the Department of Justice Canada and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), and the FPT officials, have undertaken work on the complex legal, privacy, and operational issues raised by the prospect of an MPI. A public consultation of Canadians will be conducted in the near term, and recommendations drawn from this exercise will be considered by ministers.
While we already have many tools in place to assist the police in missing persons cases, DNA technology could be an important part of the law enforcement's efforts in this area. If we can use the technology we already have to help in these cases, we should do so. But we must be sure that an MPI would work effectively, and am pursuing this with my provencial and territorial colleagues.
With respect to the retention of physical evidence in criminal cases, I have provided a copy of your correspondence to the RCMP and am advised that it has procedures in place regarding the disposal of siezed articles. Indeed, I understand that it has always been their preactice to retain all pertinent exhibits involving unsolved homicide investigations. Presently, RCMP policy instructs its members to retain indefinitely all biological exhibits from current and concluded homicide investigations which would have normally been disposed of through the court system.
As I am certain you can appreciate, given that law enforcement and the administration of justice are responsibilities that fall under the purview of provincial attorney general, it would be inapproporiate for me to comment on procedures of other police services in Canada.
I appreciate having had your concerns on these important issues brought to my attention.
A. Anne McLellan
Saturday, May 07, 2005
An interesting article in today's New York Times about botched DNA testing at Virginia's nationally recognized central crime laboratory...
It makes you wonder how widespread the problem is.
I know North Carolina's state lab has been backed-up for years. And recently, the Feds in Canada announced the closing of Edmonton, Alberta's DNA lab. Though Minister of Public Security, Anne McLellan suggested this had more to do with consolidation in the wake of the new legislation promoting a national crime DNA bank.
Headline I hoped I'd never live to read:
"Deniro joins Kermit for Muppet Premiere"
Call it what you like... a sign of the apocalypse, the mighty have fallen... uhhgg...
This one goes down with "Puppet Show... and Spinal Tap"
Marty, can ya bail out the palooka?
- Goodfellas II?
- Raging Bull - Still Ragin'?
- Taxi Driver - Mission: Staten Island?
Contender, my ass...
Friday, May 06, 2005
Man, that Precious Doe case in Kansas City is grusome. I'm sure glad stuff like that doesn't happen in Canada...
"But children should not be thrown away as trash. That was something we thought all along - that this city should never forget about this. What sort of community can we have if people could let this happen and then just forget?"
Alonzo Washington, Kansas City
Uhhh... Eastern Townships?... I hope you're listening...
Kansas City Solves a Mystery, With Relief and Chills
By MONICA DAVEY
New York Times
Published: May 6, 2005
For four years, people in Kansas City, Mo., would not let go of the mystery of the small girl whose naked body was found in some brush in a city neighborhood and whose head was found, a few days later, dumped in a black trash bag.
The death was grisly enough. But the thought that no one even knew her name - that no family was missing her or searching for her or mourning her - sent the local community into a frenzy of prayer vigils, newspaper advertising and memorial building that went on for years.
Then, finally, thanks to someone who read yet another of those ads last week, Kansas City learned yesterday that the girl it had come to call "Precious Doe" had a real name.
She was Erica Michelle Marie Green. She was 3. She had full cheeks, neatly kept hair and had come to Kansas City with her family from Oklahoma.
"Today is the day we have closure for the Kansas City community," James Corwin, the police chief, said on Thursday. Officials, including Mayor Kay Barnes, described the development as bittersweet: sweet for the city's refusal to leave Precious Doe's mystery unanswered, bitter for what the authorities said they had learned about Erica's short life and gruesome death.
Mike Sanders, the prosecutor for Jackson County, announced second-degree murder and child endangerment charges against Erica's mother, Michelle M. Johnson, 30, and her stepfather, Harrell Johnson, 25.
Earlier this week, Ms. Johnson, who lives in Muskogee, Okla., admitted to the police that her daughter, Erica, was indeed Precious Doe, the girl whose body was found decapitated in Kansas City on April 28, 2001, according to court documents filed by the prosecutor's office.
Before Easter of 2001, the Johnsons were visiting friends in Kansas City and searching for work when, at one point, Mr. Johnson kicked Erica in the head, Ms. Johnson told the police, according to the documents.
Mr. Johnson told police he had been drinking and using PCP before becoming angry at Erica because she refused to go to bed, according to the court documents. He said he grabbed the girl, and threw her to the ground while kicking her. About 10 hours later, he said, she died.
After Erica fell unconscious, the pair did not seek medical help. They were afraid, Ms. Johnson said, because they both had criminal warrants out against them at the time.
Two days later, Ms. Johnson told the police, the pair carried the girl's body from the house where they had been staying to a church parking lot near a wooded area, according to the court documents. Mr. Johnson, she said, used hedge clippers to cut Erica's head off, before disposing of both parts of her body.
Since their search began in 2001, the authorities followed thousands of leads, compared the fingerprints of children known to be missing, and released artists' visions of what Precious Doe might have looked like.
Meanwhile, members of the community pledged not to forget. They built a memorial - two simple cement benches - for Precious Doe in Hibbs Park, not far from where her body was found. They held rallies and vigils and raised reward money and appeared on national television shows seeking help.
Still, by this year, some people seemed to have lost hope that the girl would ever be identified. "No one thought it would be," said Donna Stewart, the publisher of The Kansas City Call, a weekly newspaper aimed at the local black community.
But some elected officials and activists, like Alonzo Washington, who led community pressure to keep the investigation alive, said they felt compelled to press on.
"Some people were saying I was obsessed, that this was a waste of time, that I was just seeking publicity," Mr. Washington said Thursday.
"But children should not be thrown away as trash. That was something we thought all along - that this city should never forget about this. What sort of community can we have if people could let this happen and then just forget?"
In late April, an advertisement ran in The Call, in which Mr. Washington reminded readers of Precious Doe and asked that another prayer vigil be held on April 28, the fourth anniversary of her body being found.
With that, the authorities said, a man from Muskogee - who happened to subscribe to The Call - telephoned the police late last week and named the Johnsons.
The man, whom the authorities declined to identify but who Mr. Washington said was an older relative of Erica, collected hair from Ms. Johnson and an old photograph of Erica and her family and sent it along to Kansas City, Mr. Washington said. The hair was used, he said, to make a DNA match with Precious Doe.
Mr. Washington said the caller tried to contact the police in Kansas City a year ago, but that his tip had been dismissed. Mr. Sanders, the prosecutor, said the earlier tip had apparently lacked detail.
"The death of this little girl has touched our community in a way that I think is absolutely unprecedented," Mr. Sanders said. "We hope that by having her name that this can finally begin to bring some closure and some healing to the community."
In Hibbs Park, near the memorial, people came and went on Thursday, some carrying balloons and teddy bears. Someone had added a sign bearing Erica's real name. They said they felt relief, but also new pain.
Ron Hunt, another local activist who had worked hard on the case, said the city had learned a crucial lesson. "We've got to be a family," he said. "That's very important - family and watching after our children. I thank God for grandparents."
Kevin Shell, a father of three, wept as he spoke of the girl he used to call Precious Doe. "They say it's hard to love someone you don't know but I do," he said, clutching one of his children. "I feel like she's my daughter."
Erica Green would have been 8 in a few weeks.
I'm not sure I'm entirely with Pierre Boisvenu on this one. It remains to be seen if 24-hour surveillance is an answer to crime - and then there's the creepy implications of a police-state.
In the UK there are over 4,000,000 surveillance cameras to keep a safe watch over Britons, but no proof that this has led to any substantial reduction in crime.
Now UK cameras are getting an upgrade where they will be equipped with "smart" software to help "predict" crime trends...
Shades of Minority Report anyone? (where's my sick-stick)
La Ville de Sherbrooke a décidé de ne pas reconduire son projet pilote d'enregistrement continu de ses caméras de surveillance au centre-ville.
Cette décision déplaît vivement à Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, le père de Julie, enlevée puis séquestrée au centre-ville en juin 2002, qui considère que la Ville s'est servie du décès de sa fille pour mener un projet qu'elle n'avait pas l'intention de poursuivre.
"Ce statu quo confirme que la Ville va maintenir une situation à risque au centre-ville", estime Pierre-Hugues Boisvenu, qui souhaite que ce débat fasse l'objet d'un enjeu lors de la prochaine campagne électorale municipale.
"Nous avons déposé un mémoire à la Commission d'accès à l'information et appuyé celui de la Ville de Sherbrooke. Ils avaient affirmé que le meurtre de Julie aurait pu être évité si les caméras de surveillance avaient enregistré", rappelle M. Boisvenu, déplorant que les autorités municipales aient mobilisé des intervenants autour d'un projet qu'elle laisse tomber.
"L'administration municipale n'a fait aucune demande pour l'enregistrement en continue entre munuit et 4 h à la Commission d'accès à l'information. La décision de ne pas reconduire les patrouilles d'été au centre-ville est un autre affront. La décision du comité de sécurité publique doit être révisée", dit-il.
Texte complet dans La Tribune de vendredi.
THIS FROM OUR FRIENDS FROM THE CANADIAN RESOURCE CENTRE FOR VICTIMS OF CRIME:
Common, it'll take you 5 minutes to draft a letter to Cotler...
URGENT: ACTION NEEDED NOW
Yesterday, the Commons Justice Committee voted to amend Bill C-13 to expand the retroactivity provisions of the DNA Databank to include those serving sentences for one murder and one sexual offence and one manslaughter conviction. At the meeting, Conservative Justice Critic Vic Toews suggested the retroactivity provisions be separated from Bill C-13 so it can be passed quickly. Mr. Toews’ suggestion had the support of the NDP and the Bloc.
It is very important that the retroactive provisions of the bill are passed before an election because there are several offenders who will be released in the near future or who are eligible to seek released. Karla Homolka is probably the most urgent example, but there are others.
Ralph Power is currently eligible for day parole. In 1981, he beat Sheryl Gardner to death with a hammer in Toronto. He was arrested after a failed attack on a second victim and he had a list of 15 women he was intending to sexually assault. David Dobson is also eligible for day parole. In 1982, Dobson murdered 15-year-old Darlene Prioriello. He sexually assaulted her, tortured her and murdered her by dropping a cinder block on her head. Greg Bromby is eligible for full parole this month. In 1994, Bromby murdered 15-year-old Tara Manning. He is currently serving a life sentence for second-degree murder. It was a result of Mike Manning’s efforts that the House of Commons passed the DNA search warrant law in one day.
Please email the Minister of Justice at Cotler.I@parl.gc.ca to communicate your support for fast-tracking the retroactivity provisions of Bill C-13.
Executive Director - Directrice exécutive
Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime - Centre canadien de ressources pour les victimes de crimes
100 - 141 rue Catherine Street
Ottawa, ON K2P 1C3
Toll free/Sans frais: 1.877.232.2610
Ok, down to business...
I've been instructed to take courses in Statistics and Microeconomics. It's not as nauseating as it sounds. Stats kind of fascinates me (I asked my supervisor if I could jump right into Probability Theory, but she nixed that) - Kim Rossmo recommended I venture along the path of Stats.
Anyway... There are these two summer courses... Principles of Microeconomics and Fundamentals of Economics (they sound like a joyride, don't they?)... but which to take? And their descriptions sound suspiciously similar... what the heck is the difference between a principle and a fundamental anyway?
And who should I take the course from?
Should I take it from this guy? He looks friendly, and the University of Chicago sounds good...
How 'bout this guy? He went to MIT? That could be a challenge?
Man... this guy looks like a grouch...
Hey! This guy's from Quebec and attended Universite de Montreal!
So many choices...
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
10 reasons why I love The EELS:
1. Novocaine for the Soul is one-hell of a debut.
2. Along side George Harrison's All Things Must Pass, Electro Shock Blues is one of the finest records about letting-go.
3. Cancer for the Cure scares the shit out of me.
4. It's a MotherFucker offended George Bush.
5. The song Daisies of the Galaxy is heart-stopping-beautiful.
6. Teenage Witch... that scares me too. (why does E look like The Unabomber on the cover of Souljacker?)
7. World of Shit... E actually references The Beatles, Baby you're a Rich Man.
8. What Is This Note... Butch actually does the Bonham shuffle!
9. The Object is funky, funky funky...
10. Ugly Love sounds like Waren Zevon, Randy Newman, and bitter Costello all rolled into one happy ball of fun.
I wrote the final exam last night in my Public Information Technology class, and my essay was about public access vs public security (E-FOIA, The Patriot Act, all that jazz...).
So it's interesting to wake up this morning and find that an Italian blogger was able to release classified department of defence docs. related to the shooting death of Nicola Calipari.
Government Computer News has the full story.
No word yet on the identity of the Italian blogger. Police released this composite:
Tuesday, May 03, 2005
NC State University
John J Allore
108 Cobblestone Drive
Chapel Hill, North Carolina
Dear Mr. Allore,
I am pleased to notify you of your admission to the Graduate School. We look forward to having you join us and trust that you will find your experience here a rewarding one. Our records on your admission carry the following information:
Admission status: Full Admission
Major Degree: Public Administration - MR
Intended Term of enrollment: Fall 2005
Assistantship: Only Admission Requested
Tuition Classification: Resident
Registration: Your admission is for registration in a specific semester or summer term. If you wish to request a deferral of your admission, you must notify the graduate program to which you applied. Your program must then send a written request to the Graduate School asking that your admission date be changed. If this request is approved, you will receive an updated admission letter. Please note that admission may be deferred no more than one year beyond the original entry semester/year noted above. You have up to one year from original application submission date to request a deferral. Important information regarding registration is available at the following website: http://www.ncsu.edu/reg_records/gradhandout.pdf.
Immunization Record and Report of Medical History: Please complete the Report of Medical History and Immunizations form located at http://www.ncsu.edu/student_health/immunizations/Immunization Documentation Form.pdf as soon as possible and return them, along with the required supporting documents, to the NC State Student Health Services. (If you were enrolled in another degree program at NC State within the last year, you may simply update your existing “Immunization Record” and “Report of Medical History,” on file with the Student Health Services, during the first semester of your new graduate program.)
Transcripts: Please make sure that you have sent the Graduate School official transcripts of all coursework taken and all degrees awarded at any institution of higher learning that you have attended. If you are currently enrolled at such an institution, upon completion of your program there, you should ask the registrar to send the Graduate School an updated official transcript covering all work completed and a statement of any degree awarded, including the date awarded. All transcripts should be submitted prior to your enrollment at NC State. If they are not on file with the Graduate School by the end of your first semester here, you will not be permitted to register for your second semester.
Questions: If you have any questions about curriculum or financial awards (including assistantships), please contact the graduate program to which you applied. If you need housing information, please contact the University Housing Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we can assist you with any other matters, please contact the Graduate School at email@example.com phone 919.515.7954 or fax 919.515.2873. I look forward to your joining the graduate community here at NC State. An official original of this letter will be mailed to the address noted in the heading.
Very truly yours,
Robert S. Sowell, Dean
Privacy vs. Safety
The release of photos related to the child pornography case first broken by the Toronto Sex Crimes Unit has sparked controversy in Canada. Some worry that the unusual procedure could be stepping over a threshold of protecting the privacy of minors.
Where do you weigh in on the debate?
Does the safety and security of the public trump an individuals rights to privacy, or is privacy a sacred trust that should not be given up at any cost?
Monday, May 02, 2005
Call in the Profilers!
Oh my god... it's a copycat finger finder!
Wilmington Man Finds Finger In His Frozen Custard
POSTED: 5:43 pm EDT May 2, 2005
WILMINGTON, N.C. -- A Wilmington man found what appears to be the tip of a human finger in a container of frozen custard.
Clarence Stowers said he made the discovery Sunday night while eating the chocolate-flavored custard he bought from Kohl's Frozen Custard. He said he originally thought it was candy or some treat that he said is occasionally found in the custard.
"And I said, God, this ain't no nut!" Stowers said. "So I came into the kitchen and rinsed it off with water and realized it was a human finger and just started screaming!"
Craig Thomas, the storeowner, did confirm an employee severed his finger on one of the machines at the store earlier Sunday evening.
"We are still trying to ascertain what exactly happened," Thomas said. "But in the seconds that it took for the accident to happen, and for (the employee) to tell the manager that it happened, a pint was being scooped out."
The New Hanover County Health Department has since then inspected the equipment, oversaw its sterilization, and allowed the store to re-open.
Sunday's report comes on the heels of a believed hoax involving a woman who said she found a human fingertip in her bowl of Wendy's chili in March. Police said she made up the story.
One for the Stupid Crime Files
Next time ya might want to back that pick-up through the window of Tiffany's?
Durham Store Robbed After Suspects Drive Through Front Doors
UPDATED: 6:42 am EDT May 2, 2005
DURHAM, N.C. -- The Durham Police Department is investigating a robbery that occurred Sunday morning at Costco Wholesale department store.
At about 10 a.m. Sunday, police said, a man backed a stolen pickup truck through the front doors of the business and stopped the truck next to the jewelry counter.
A passenger jumped out of the truck, smashed a jewelry case with a hammer and a grabbed an undisclosed amount of jewelry, police said. No injuries were reported.
The passenger then hopped back into the truck, and the driver sped away from the store, which is located at 1510 North Pointe Drive, police said.
The men abandoned the Toyota pickup truck a few blocks away, near the 2400 block of Broad Street.
The passenger who smashed the jewelry case has been described as a male who is 5-foot-7. He was wearing a gray sweat jacket, dark pants and a black ski mask.
The robbery in Durham is the third time in about a week that a store selling jewelry in the Triangle area has been robbed.
On Friday afternoon, robbers cleaned out Ora Designer Fine Jewelers, located on Falls of Neuse Road in north Raleigh.
A week earlier, robbers hit a jewelry store on New Bern Avenue, also in Raleigh.
Both robberies happened in broad daylight, and employees at both stores were restrained with novelty handcuffs during the robberies. Raleigh police believe the same thieves pulled off the robberies in Raleigh.
Investigators do not know if the robbery in Durham on Sunday is connected to these heists.
If you have any information about the Durham robbery, please call Investigator J.P.Carnevale at 560-4582, ext. 222 or CrimeStoppers at 683-1200.