Tag Archives: murder

Nancy Kerrigan’s Life Touched By Tragedy Once Again

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Posted by: Bluedog89

American ice skating legend Nancy Kerrigan’s father has been murdered by her own brother, according to cnn.com. Nancy’s brother Mark, 45, was arrested Sunday and is accused of assault and battery against their father, 70-year old Daniel Kerrigan, according to Massachusetts authorities.

American ice skating icon Nancy Kerrigan

Apparently there was a violent argument and struggle between the father and son, resulting in the elder Kerrigan falling or collapsing on the kitchen floor. Nancy’s mother Brenda then called 911 to assist her husband.

Authorities are still investigating the the circumstances of the incident along with the cause and manner of death. The county medical examiner is expected to release a report within a manner of weeks.

When police arrived on the scene, they found Mark Kerrigan in the basement of the house, “clearly intoxicated” and “extremely combative.” He refused to comply with police officers, had to be subdued with pepper spray before forcibly removing him from the home.

Mark Kerrigan pleaded not guilty during his arraignment. According to court documents, he was unemployed, was recently released from a correctional facility, and was living at home with his parents. He is taking medications and seeking psychological help for post-traumatic stress, apparently from a stint in the Army.

Nancy Kerrigan first gained prominence by winning a bronze medal at the 1992 Winter Olympics in Albertville, France. In 1994 she earned an Olympic silver medal in Lillehammer, Norway.

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2 in one week: DNA testing clears wrongly convicted

Donald Eugene Gates

WASHINGTON (AP) — A man who spent 28 years behind bars for a rape and murder he said he didn’t commit walked out of a federal prison in Arizona on Tuesday with $75 and a bus ticket to Ohio after DNA testing showed he was innocent.

The conviction of Donald Eugene Gates, 58, was based largely on the testimony of an FBI forensic analyst whose work later came under fire and a hair analysis technique that has been discredited.

“I feel beautiful,” Gates told The Associated Press by telephone after leaving the U.S. penitentiary in Tucson, Ariz.

Just hours before, the same judge who had presided over Gates’ trial years ago in D.C. Superior Court ordered his release.

Prosecutors had agreed Gates should be released. However, at their request, Senior Judge Fred B. Ugast delayed Gates’ formal exoneration until next week to give the government a chance to conduct one more round of DNA testing.

Ben Friedman, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Washington, said Gates would be the first D.C. defendant who spent significant time in prison to be exonerated based on DNA evidence.

Gates was convicted of the 1981 rape and murder of Catherine Schilling, a 21-year-old Georgetown University student, in Washington’s Rock Creek Park. He was sentenced to 20 years to life in prison.

But the conviction was based largely on the testimony of FBI hair analyst Michael P. Malone whose work came under fire in 1997. At that time, the FBI’s inspector general found that Malone gave false testimony in proceedings that led to the impeachment and ouster of U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings in 1989.

Ugast was incredulous that prosecutors had failed to inform him after Malone’s work was called into question. He ordered the U.S. attorney’s office to review all its cases in which Malone testified – something he said should have been done earlier.

Sandra K. Levick, one of Gates’ attorneys from the D.C. Public Defender Service, said she came across the inspector general’s report while doing her own research for the case. She then obtained more information through a Freedom of Information Act request that showed the FBI had issued warnings about the work of Malone and 12 other analysts who were criticized by the inspector general. As part of a review requested by the FBI, prosecutors confirmed they had relied on Malone’s work to obtain Gates’ conviction.

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Fla. man exonerated by DNA after 35 years in jail

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A Florida man who spent 35 years in prison has been freed after DNA evidence exonerated him. James Bain was sentenced to life in prison in 1974 for kidnapping and raping a 9-year-old boy. He’s been pushing for DNA testing and he finally got it after the Innocence Project of Florida got involved in his case.

Tests released last week showed he could not have committed the crime. A judge ordered him freed on Thursday and he walked out of a courthouse a free man.

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***Breaking–Kentucky Census Worker Bill Sparkman Killed Himself, Police Say

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In this undated 2008 photo, Bill Sparkman speaks to a 7th grade class during a lesson about sound waves.

AP—A Kentucky census worker found naked, bound with duct tape and hanging from a tree with “fed” scrawled on his chest killed himself but staged his death to make it look like a homicide, authorities said Tuesday.

Bill Sparkman, 51, was found Sept. 12 with a rope around his neck near a cemetery in a heavily wooded area of the Daniel Boone National Forest in southeastern Kentucky. Authorities said his wrists were loosely bound, his glasses were taped to his head and he was gagged.

Kentucky State Police Capt. Lisa Rudzinski said an analysis found that “fed” was written “from the bottom up.” He was touching the ground, and to survive “all Mr. Sparkman had to do at any time was stand up,” she said.

Our investigation, based on evidence and witness testimony, has concluded that Mr. Sparkman died during an intentional, self-inflicted act that was staged to appear as a homicide,” Rudzinski said.

Authorities said Sparkman alone manipulated the suicide scene. Rudzinski said he “told a credible witness that he planned to commit suicide and provided details on how and when.”

Authorities wouldn’t say who Sparkman told of his plan, but said Sparkman talked about it a week before his suicide and the person did not take him seriously.

Friends and co-workers have said that even while undergoing chemotherapy for cancer, Sparkman would show up for work smiling with a toboggan cap to cover his balding head. They said he was punctual and dependable.

$600,000 in life insurance
Sparkman had recently taken out two accidental life insurance policies totaling $600,000 that would not pay out for suicide, authorities said. If Sparkman had been killed on the job, his family also would have been be eligible for up to $10,000 in death gratuity payments from the government.

Sparkman’s son, Josh, previously told The Associated Press that his father had named him as his life insurance beneficiary. Josh Sparkman said earlier this month he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father’s personal files but wasn’t sure of the amount.

The Census Bureau suspended door-to-door interviews in the rural area after Sparkman’s body was found, but a spokesman said normal operations would resume in Clay County next month.

Anti-government sentiment was initially one possibility in the death. Authorities said Sparkman had discussed perceived negative views of the federal government in the county.

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Documentary: The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder – (Trailer)

Posted by Audiegrl

Former prosecutor and NYT best-selling author Vincent Bugliosi

Former prosecutor and NYT best-selling author Vincent Bugliosi

Famed Charles Manson prosecutor and three time #1 New York Times bestselling author Vincent Bugliosi stars in this most powerful, explosive, and thought-provoking documentary.

In The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder, Bugliosi presents a tight, meticulously researched legal case that puts George W. Bush on trial in an American courtroom for the murder of nearly 4,000 American soldiers fighting the war in Iraq. Bugliosi sets forth the legal architecture and incontrovertible evidence that President Bush took this nation to war in Iraq under false pretenses—a war that has not only caused the deaths of American soldiers but also over 100,000 innocent Iraqi men, women, and children; cost the United States over one trillion dollars thus far with no end in sight; and alienated many American allies in the Western world.

As a prosecutor who is dedicated to seeking justice, Bugliosi, in his inimitable style, delivers a non-partisan argument, free from party lines and instead based upon hard facts and pure objectivity.

prosecution-bush-murder-thumbA searing indictment of the President and his administration, The Prosecution of George W. Bush for Murder also outlines a legally credible pathway to holding our highest government officials accountable for their actions, thereby creating a framework for future occupants of the oval office.

Vincent Bugliosi calls for the United States of America to return to the great nation it once was and can be again. He believes the first step to achieving this goal is to bring those responsible for the war in Iraq to justice.

**Scheduled for release in February, 2010

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Insurance Probed in Census Taker Bill Sparkman’s Death

Posted by Audiegrl

MANCHESTER-KY-largeAP/Jeffrey McMurray & Devlin Barrett— A census taker found hanging from a tree had named his son as his life insurance beneficiary, and investigators are looking into whether the father manipulated the death scene to make a claim possible, law enforcement officials told The Associated Press Thursday.

In an interview with AP, Josh Sparkman said he found paperwork for the private life insurance policy among his father’s personal files but wasn’t sure of the amount or when it was taken out. He said authorities have told him nothing about the case or produced a death certificate, which is usually needed to make an insurance claim.

Two law enforcement sources, who spoke to AP on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to discuss the case, said investigators are trying to determine if Bill Sparkman committed suicide but altered the scene to make it look like a homicide, allowing his son to collect. Life insurance policies typically do not cover suicides within a certain period of time after the policy starts.

Josh Sparkman said he is convinced his father was slain, in part because there were several items missing and apparently stolen from his car.

If it’s deemed suicide, there’s no point in even looking at insurance,” Josh Sparkman said. “There’s no such thing as suicide insurance. The money is not the concern. I just want to know what happened to my dad.

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Rachel Maddow Asks: Is Hasan A Terrorist ?

Posted by Audiegrl

rachelmaddowAccused Fort Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hasan was formally charged today with 13 counts of murder but not terrorism. Rachel Maddow is joined by George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley to explain why.

So this is the master plan. If the right-wing pundits can label this mass-murderer as a terrorist, then they can say that Obama did not keep us safe, and that this is the first terrorist attack on American soil since 9/11.

I get it. I expect such schemes from the right, but this afternoon MSNBC’s Ed Shultz jumped on the terrorist bandwagon, and no matter what David Korn said, he would not budge. I know that Rachel could probably not use footage of her fellow MSNBC hosts, but I hope that Ed got the message anyway.

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D.C. area relives terror: “Beltway Sniper” execution set for 9pm EST- tonight

posted by GeoT
John Allen Muhammad the “Beltway Sniper” pronounced dead from lethal injection @ 9:11pm ESTfull story here:

most recent photo of John Allen Muhammad

UPDATE: John Allen Muhammad, D.C. sniper, loses last minute Supreme Court appeal
The Supreme Court today refused to block John Allen Muhammad’s execution, scheduled for Tuesday in a Virginia prison.
More here: The Christian Science Monitor

UPDATE: Barring an unexpected intervention by Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, Beltway sniper mastermind John Allen Muhammad will be executed this evening at 9 p.m. ET for the attacks that terrorized the nation’s capital region for three weeks in 2002 and left 10 people dead. Source: USA Today

Virginia governor won’t block execution of Beltway sniper

Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine has cleared the way for the execution tonight of John Allen Muhammad, mastermind of a three-week shooting spree in 2002 that left 10 people dead and paralyzed the nation’s capital.
Source: USA Today

As Virginia prepares to execute John Muhammad on Tuesday for murdering Dean Harold Meyers at a gas station in Manassas, echoes of those three weeks on edge are reverberating throughout the region

AP–WHEATON, Md. – When James D. Martin was shot dead seven years ago in the parking lot of a grocery store in suburban Washington, it got little attention on the nightly news.

Early the next morning, a landscaper was fatally shot in nearby Rockville, also by a .223-caliber bullet. Then a cabbie, at a gas station not far away. There was another shooting a half-hour later just up the road — a woman slain as she sat reading on a sidewalk bench. Within 90 minutes, another woman was gunned down while vacuuming her van at a service station.

By 10 a.m., it was clear that something sinister was happening. Something awful.

Then it spread.

A sniper killing that night in Washington moved the killings south. The next day, a woman was wounded in a craft store parking lot in Fredericksburg, Va., 50 miles from D.C.

Fear reigned. People stayed indoors, afraid to go shopping or pump gas. Authorities on television recommended ways to avoid becoming targets. Schoolchildren were kept inside at recess and drilled on duck-and-cover techniques.

Then came a lull — three days without a shooting. But on Oct. 7, 13-year-old Iran Brown was shot in the chest as he was dropped off at school in Bowie, Md., just east of Washington.

Chief Moose

“Shooting a kid — it’s getting to be really, really personal now,” a tearful Montgomery County Police Chief Charles Moose told a news conference as the nation’s collective concerns settled on its capital.

There were three more fatal sniper shootings in Virginia the next week, followed by another break — three days. Four. Five. Just long enough for people to relax, at least a little.

“We were thinking everything was going to be OK,” said retired school teacher Bernice Easter, of Wheaton.

It wasn’t. On Oct. 19, a man was shot outside a steakhouse in Ashland, Va., about 80 miles south of Washington. Three more days passed quietly. Then bus driver Conrad Johnson was killed in Aspen Hill, Md., not far from where the shootings began.

John Muhammad and Lee Malvo

On Oct. 24, police captured John Allen Muhammad and teenage accomplice Lee Boyd Malvo at a rest stop 50 miles northwest of D.C. The nerve-tingling terror that had gripped the region’s 5.4 million people and captivated the nation was over.

As Virginia prepares to execute Muhammad on Tuesday for murdering Dean Harold Meyers at a gas station in Manassas, echoes of those three weeks on edge are reverberating throughout the region.

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