Archive for murder

GOP Maine Representative Hits New Low In Suggesting It's Okay To Rape Women



If you can't beat abortion legislation, rape the women. That's a loose translation of the inflammatory remarks made by Maine state Rep. Lawrence Lockman (R-Amherst). Via Raw Story:

If a woman has (the right to an abortion), why shouldn’t a man be free to use his superior strength to force himself on a woman?” Lockman said. “At least the rapist’s pursuit of sexual freedom doesn’t (in most cases) result in anyone’s death.”

"Rape doesn't (in most cases) result in anyone's death?" Whoa there, Mr. Representative. Are you kidding? Some things like psychological scarring and permanent physical damage result that can be far worse than death. And suicides by rape victims are statistically significant according to

-Rape has long-term emotional consequences that can lead to suicide.
-It is quite common for rape victims to suffer from depression.
-And untreated depression is the number one cause for suicide.
-About 33% of rape victims have suicidal thoughts.
-About 13% of rape victims will attempt suicide.
-Suicide attempts may occur years after the rape.

Reality calling Rep. Lockman. Please come in. It's as if this Neanderthal is saying, if I can't stop you from getting an abortion, then you can't stop me from raping you. If you get pregnant, you have the legal way to get rid of the fetus. So tough noogies.

Rep. Lockman should be under a psychologist's care. He's not safe out on the streets and certainly not safe sitting in the state capital as a voting member of the Maine legislature. He's not just a one issue nutjob, anti-abortion. Here's a bit more about him:

In one of the quotes posted on the blog, Lockman falsely suggested HIV and AIDS could be spread by bed sheets and mosquitos, and he also said the progressive movement helped spread the virus by claiming “the practice of sodomy is a legitimate alternative lifestyle, rather than a perverted and depraved crime against humanity.”

“[Lockman is a] disturbed individual who holds some of the most abhorrent beliefs ever heard from a public official in Maine,” said Ben Grant, the state’s Democratic Party chairman in a statement Tuesday.

More and more these wackadoos are coming to light. And they aren't all made of the same whole cloth. But they seem to all have on thing in common -- they're Republicans. As we saw in Arizona with their recent smokescreen anti-gay law (vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer), the right wing, evangelical fraction is still out there, and still active.

Their old ideas just won't die. Perhaps like the old soldiers of Gen. MacArthur's day, over time they will just fade away.


George Zimmerman: "I certainly was a victim," Obama administration's "scapegoat"


george zimmerman trayvon misunderstanding smaller

Via TPM, video of CNN's Chris Cuomo interviewing Trayvon Martin's killer, George Zimmerman:

Cuomo: If you could go back and do it again, you had said you would have stayed home that night.

Zimmerman: I would stay home.

Cuomo: So that both of you would still be alive today.

Zimmerman: That’s a presumption I can’t make, I don’t know what would have happened. I could have gotten in a car accident when I left, you know?

Cuomo: But you wouldn't have wound up killing Trayvon Martin if you had your way?

Zimmerman: He probably wouldn’t have ended up attacking me either if I would have stayed home.

In other words, had he stayed home-- or even stayed in his car-- Martin wouldn't have had to defend himself against a stalker carrying a loaded gun.

George Zimmerman also seemed to have trouble articulating exactly what he might say to Trayvon Martin's family, given the opportunity. When  asked, he was literally tongue-tied.

He did say this, however:

"No, I certainly was a victim when I was having my head bashed into the concrete and my nose broken and beaten, I wouldn’t say I was not a victim."

Zimmerman went on to talk about "the miscarriage of justice that happened to me." Yes, him, because, you see, Georgie's the real victim here. Not the unarmed teenager who was gunned down, nor the dead teen's grieving family. You, you, you, it's all about you:

it's not all about youCuomo: What was the miscarriage of justice?

Zimmerman: The fact that two law enforcement entities stated that I had acted within the laws of our nation, in self defense.

Cuomo: You don't think it was about the law?

Zimmerman: I know it wasn’t, yes.

Cuomo: And what does that make you?

Zimmerman: Like a scapegoat.

Cuomo: A scapegoat for?

Zimmerman: The government, the President, the attorney general.

Cuomo: They would be scapegoating you, why? Just to show that they're taking a position on something that matters to a lot of people?

Zimmerman: I don’t know what they’re thinking or why they’re thinking it, all I know is that is that they’re doing it. I don’t know what agenda they have.

They're after me because, Benghazi!!!!!

Here's one comment I noticed under the TPM post:

7 Minutes Ago:




FBI Admits Complicity In Record Levels Of Criminal Activity



This sounds like a startling statistic to me. According to HUFFPO:

In a Jan. 14, 2013, letter to Justice Department officials, obtained by The Huffington Post through a Freedom of Information Act request, FBI officials disclosed that its 56 field offices authorized informants to break the law at least 5,939 times during the 2012 calendar year. USA Today reported earlier this year that the bureau allowed its informants to break the law 5,658 times in 2011.

Think about it.  Nearly 6,000 crimes. That's a lot of criminal activity for the FBI to turn it's back on. And keep in mind, that's the number of crimes the bureau is admitting to. How many more were there they complicit in that somehow didn't get reported?

What's also a bit startling is that the number of "ordained" or "forgiven" infractions of the law increased 5% from the year before. Did this substantial bump result in greater safety for us? The FBI doesn't seem to keep stats on that -- we really don't know what the ratio of crimes allowed to major busts is statistically -- if it can even be quantified.

But if I'm a victim of one of these FBI approved crimes, I'd sure hate to think the G-men were covering it up. Or worse, condoning that crime ahead of time, knowing I or someone else would be a victim.

To get a glimpse of the oversight to these crimes the FBI allows, the following might be an eye-opener:

The breakdown of how many crimes were authorized by each individual FBI field office were redacted from the 2012 report, which is known as the Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. The FBI's fellow federal law enforcement agencies -- the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives -- do not track how often their sources commit crimes.

There must be a set of guidelines on this Otherwise Illegal Activity Report. And I'm sure there are some sacrifices that we, the public are called upon to make (even involuntarily) for the public good, but it sure would be nice to know where the line is drawn and what kind of oversight is mandated. Is it just non-violent crimes? Is it physical assaults?

Actually, it goes much farther than small infractions. It even includes murder.

Whitey Bulger

...the Boston field office allowed mob boss James "Whitey" Bulger to continue to operate his crime ring because he was providing information to the bureau.

Whitey Bulger, just in case you missed it, was indicted and found guilty this year on 19 murder charges. Nineteen. And many of them were committed during his time as an informant. How far should we allow this program to go unbridled? Where do we draw the line? After someone commits one ordained murder? Three? Nineteen?

"It sounds like a lot, but you have to keep it in context," former top FBI official Shawn Henry told the newspaper. "This is not done in a vacuum. It's not done randomly. It's not taken lightly."

So the FBI says this is not taken lightly? Bulger committed at least 19 murders? I beg to differ with FBI Official Henry. They absolutely did take it lightly. So lightly they didn't care at all. I guess he was just a bad guy killing other bad guys -- and women. And he didn't just kill them, he had them tortured, then dismembered and tossed away like garbage.

To top all of that off, Whitey, for all the FBI's oversight, slipped away and disappeared for 16 years. So much for things not being done in a vacuum. Maybe it they really had been, he wouldn't have been given so much rope to hang so many other people.

Just like with the NSA spying, it would be better to set the rules BEFORE innocent people become the victims, not afterward.


Identifying Rapist Lands Victim In Jail


Norma Esparza

Sometimes justice gets it right. Other times they get it all wrong. Here's an mind-boggling example of the latter. Now there may be some sticky stuff to this story, but the devil is in the details.

Some 18 years ago, a woman named Norma Esparza, now 39, was a victim of rape. She confessed this to her then boyfriend Gianni Van, though she was afraid to go to the police to make a report for fear she'd be made the victim, as so many women/men before her. Esparza was forced by her boyfriend to identify her accused attacker. They went to a bar where this attack has taken place and she pointed out Gonzalo Ramirez to Van. From there he took justice into his own hands.


Van went on to get revenge for the sexual assault by kidnapping Mr Ramirez and stabbing him to death.

Ms Esparza, from California now living in France, today proclaimed her innocence before she was taken into custody in Orange County.

This story isn't quite that simple, though. Esparza didn't learn until recently that Ramirez had been killed. What she did know was this:

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed

She claims to have been taken by Van to see a bloodied, but alive, Ramirez after which she was threatened with a gun to make her promise to stay silent.

Van told her they had released Ramirez but Esparza learned when she was interviewed by police weeks later that he had been killed, Mr Mancillas (Esparza's current husband) said.

After this she was pressured to marry Van so she could not be bound to testify against him.

She fled to Europe where her education continued until she got her doctorate and became a professor. She stayed in Europe to teach, got divorced from Mr.Van and since married. She's now the mother of a four year old daughter.

Things seemed to be fine until she returned to the US for a visit recently. Upon entering, she was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

Esparz and daughter

The mother-of-one has now been jailed after rejecting a manslaughter plea deal offered by prosecutors who allege she encouraged the murder of Ramirez by pointing him out to Van at a Santa Ana bar 18 years ago.

This just seems to be the story of an innocent victim who's life has gone from bad to very bad to even worse. But is this her fault or the fault of the system that makes reporting a crime such a horrific ordeal?

Ms. Esparza should have taken the risks and probable humiliation that millions are made to endure and reported this degrading crimes. But she didn't. She merely pointed him out to her boyfriend and believed he and some friends had beaten him for his crime and he was let go. She didn't give her boyfriend an order, a gun or knife and dispatch him to the ultimate revenge. This wasn't an episode of Dexter.

Murder is wrong. Period. But arresting the victim for identifying the alleged rapist, then accusing her of complicity in his murder is not the way to improve the already sagging confidence any victim of any crime has in police and their procedures. The accused rapist deserved his opportunity to defend himself in court -- not to be a murder victim based on deranged vigilantes. But if we want this kind of thing to stop, maybe it's time to look at why women, and to be fair, men, are reluctant to report such heinous crimes.


Sherlock Holmes Latest - The Dead Naked Spy In A Bag


old Scotland Yard

Oh, those wacky London Bobbies. Those police sleuths that gave birth to Scotland Yard, always considered a crack group of law investigators. Now I think they may just plain have cracked up.

Reading the story that follows, you'll see why. HuffPo:

LONDON (AP) — A spy whose naked, decomposing body was found inside a padlocked gym bag at his apartment likely died in an accident with no one else involved, British police said Wednesday — a tentative conclusion that is unlikely to calm conspiracy theories around the bizarre case.

Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Martin Hewitt said the death of Gareth Williams, whose remains were found inside a bag in his bathtub in August 2010, was "most probably" an accident.

Okay, let's consider the facts of this accident for a moment. I'm no Sherlock Holmes so some "obvious" details might escape me. But others don't.

Start with the victim-- a spy.

Williams, a cyberwarfare expert, worked for Britain's GCHQ eavesdropping service and was attached to the overseas espionage agency MI6 when he died.

He's naked inside a padlocked gym bag? How'd he lock it on the outside while he was inside? And this gym bag was found in the bathtub. Did he hop himself home from the gym and try to shower without taking the locked bag off?

Is this starting to sound a bit bizarre to you?

Maybe in the spy world you have to learn all kinds of skills, but I doubt hiding out naked inside a gym bag and contorting yourself enough to lock it from the outside is on that syllabus. So based on what does Hewitt declare this incident is probably an accident? What was he doing in the gym bag, then, practicing some long lost Houdini escape illusion?

Sherlock Holmes

When does common sense take over an investigation like this? To borrow from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle through his Holmes character, The Sign of the Four, ch. 6 (1890) (Doubleday p. 111)

 "when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains,however improbable, must be the truth? "

I think Metropolitan Police Deputy Assistant Commissioner Hewitt better revisit this crime. He seems to be focusing on the impossible, rather than the improbable and he's missing the truth. I'm not alone in this thinking. A number of experts don't agree with his finding either.

The police verdict also disagrees with a coroner's inquest, which concluded last year that Williams had probably been killed by another person in a "criminally meditated act."

Hewitt defends his findings, saying there was no evidence that the apartment had been cleaned to remove forensic traces and nothing to suggest a struggle or a break-in. Yet at the same time, the police say that the lock on the gym bag had no prints or DNA that matched the deceased spy. So what did Williams, the spy, do? Did he wipe down his own prints from the lock, remove all the DNA and then make the cleaning rag disappear?

Maybe the part that the Deputy Assistant Commissioner doesn't understand is that if the late Mr. Williams was done in by another spy, perhaps the assailant knew not to leave any evidence behind or leave the place looking suspicious. Maybe he even wiped down the lock this dead man supposedly secured from the inside.

You gotta hand it to the Brits-- they sure know how to make an interesting mystery story a page-turner. If there ever was a case that called for the fictional Holmes sleuthing, this would definitely qualify. I think Commissioner Hewitt might be like Inspector Lestrade, in a bit over his head.

"Pip pip, ol' boy. Stiff upper lip, Lad. We'll eventually get to the tea twigs at the bottom of the kettle."

Oh, and don't forget to follow me on Twitter: @Linzack.


CBS Reporting Gets This One Right -- Frees Innocent Man From 10 Years In Jail


Erin Moriarty

In the wake of all the heat CBS news is taking for it's blunder on 60 Minutes over a piece on Benghazi, it's nice to see a good story about good news reporting coming from a formerly reliable news source.


One man could be walking free very soon after an appeals court overturned his murder conviction on Tuesday, and his freedom may have journalism to thank.

For nearly ten years, CBS correspondent Erin Moriarty has been following the case of Ryan Ferguson, the Missouri man charged for the murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt in 2001. Moriarty and her "48 Hours" team covered the case and sat through Ferguson's trial -- they were the first national media outlet to cover the case at that time.

Kudos to Moriarty who did some real journalistic investigations, picked away at the loose threads and because of this, an innocent man who's been incarcerated for ten years, will be going back into the real world. She didn't stop with just one investigative piece. She hammered away and now look at the results. Maybe 60 Minutes might take a page from her journalistic integrity handbook.


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