Filed under: general news

True Crime Headlines, 4/08/08

Possible gunman on campus of Alfred University

From the University’s website:

Police are on campus, investigating a report of a Caucasian male, possibly carrying a gun. He is described as wearing a green hoodie sweatshirt and carrying a back pack. More information will follow. 3:33 pm, Tuesday, April 8.

Update: 4:04 p.m — Police are continuing a thorough search of campus buildings. Students, faculty and students are being advised to remain inside where they are, not to go outside until further notice.

No further info is available at this point.

An update was added to the emergency notice above at 5:09 p.m. Evening classes at the University have been canceled and the libraries closed, “at police request.”

UPDATE — IT WAS A FAKE-OUT: Again, straight from the University’s website: “Police and AU campus security have confirmed that the report of a student carrying a gun on campus was false. The student who was reported to have been carrying a gun was found to have a toy gun used in a game of tag that involves students shooting each other with plastic balls. Campus is secure and safe, and faculty, staff and students may resume business as usual. Classes are proceeding as scheduled this evening.”

8 teen girls arrested over taped beating

The lede and change:

(April 8) – Eight teenagers have been arrested after filming the beating of another teen and threatening to post the video on the Internet, sheriff’s officials said.

Victoria Lindsay was attacked on March 30 by six teenage girls when she arrived at a friend’s home, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office said…

Lindsay supposedly dissed some or all of the girls on her MySpace. In the end, I have a feeling it was more about getting a record of the attack online. And the attackers being a bunch of borderline psychos who will probably get slaps on the wrist and one day, sadly, breed.

More girls vs. girls, this time in CT

The lede:

SOUTHINGTON – — A 14-year-old girl was beaten up in front of a crowd of other students at Southington High School on Monday by two female students who mistakenly believed she had reported an underage drinking party that led to their arrests last week…

“Mistakenly?” Doesn’t that imply the beating would have been justified if the 14-year-old actually made the phone call? Anyway.

Girls have always committed acts of violence. But the statistics are still against males. In a 24/7 news cycle, it’s just inevitable that we’re going to start hearing a lot more about the females. One of the attackers in this instance was 18, so she was identified publicly as Brittany Nazario. The arrest that prompted the beat-down was apparently from a party Nazario gave that got out of hand.

Cop in Forest Park, GA accused of rape

The lede:

A Forest Park police officer has been fired after being charged with rape, sodomy and sexual assault while forcing himself on a woman in his patrol car, authorities said…

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI) says 38-year-old Kenneth Schmidt stopped a woman early Sunday morning and after writing up several tickets, had the woman’s car towed. Schmidt allegedly offered the woman a ride home and then sexually assaulted her. The officer has been fired from his job and he is in the Clayton County Jail.

There’s a Showtime series in this story somewhere

Missed this when it unfolded at the end of March.

The Bad Girls Crime Blog posted an interesting tale of deception and fraud on April 1st. Quote:

Businesswoman, loving mom, and attractive homemaker, Erica Daniels conscientiously made time to serve as Vice President on the board of Mulberry Dixie Youth Baseball and Softball program.

But according to the Florida Department of Financial Fraud Division, the youth league baseball mother and former Lakeland real estate title agent wasn’t who she seemed. She has been accused of stealing more than $660,000 in client escrow funds to live a life of luxury…

Additonal link: “Woman is charged in theft and fraud case.”

This is a post in progress. Keep refreshing to see new additions.

True Crime Headlines, 4/04/08

This won’t be the only kind of entry in this blog from now on, but I liked the one I posted yesterday, so expect “True Crime Headlines” on a regular basis. I haven’t arranged the headlines in any particular order. I may also add to the entry throughout the day.

Please clearly reference the story you’re discussing if you post a comment below.

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Marine missing; authorities investigate her husband

The lede: “A Long Island woman who left New York to become a Marine has gone missing in California, and military authorities are investigating her disappearance as a possible kidnapping by her newlywed husband, a fellow Marine…” [NewsDay.com]

The last time anyone saw Margaret “Maggie” McMahon, she was on her way to do some paperwork to legally change her last name. She and fellow Marine Pfc George “Kevyn” Reid were married in January of this year. Reid is also missing. There’s been no activity on Maggie McMahon’s MySpace page, but her husband or someone with access to his profile logged in as recently as yesterday. NCIS and civil authorities are investigating.

Maggie McMahon’s profile: http://www.myspace.com/paymyway
Kevyn Reid’s profile: http://www.myspace.com/kevyn015

Part of Kevyn Reid’s “About me”: “[…] I like to think of myslef (sic) as a fun, outgoing, charming, smart, talkitive (sic), friendly person. Though many tell me I am different. They say I come off cocky and arrogent (sic).If you really know me then you know I am 99% joking and 1% serious most of the time. Not to say I am childish because I am not. I am going to Iraq this summer. I hope this will help me get a better job. Needless to say Im (sic) not happy because where I work now is fine. I am always a happy person, I never seem to find myself upset or depressed. I *always* wear a smile!”

Woman Set Ablaze At Mobile Home Park

The lede: “ORLANDO, Fla. — Deputies in Orange County are looking for clues after, they said, a woman was set on fire Friday morning…” [WESH.com]

Steve’s rewrite of the lede: Deputies in Orange County said they were looking for clues after a woman was set on fire Friday morning… Come on, people. Basic writing ability matters.

Only the basic details of this gruesome story are available at the moment. A number of men dragged a woman into the woods near a mobile home park and set her on fire. She has 3rd degree burns over most of her body and is — obviously — in critical condition. Police are on the scene with choppers and K9 units.

If King Had Lived, What Now?

The lede: “The preacher in him would have continued speaking out against injustice, war and maybe even pop culture. He would likely not have run for president. He probably would have endured more harassment from J. Edgar Hoover…” [ABCNews.go.com]

Call it what you want — assassination, homicide, whatever — 40 years ago today, in Memphis, Tennessee, a great man was murdered by a small man with a gun. Perhaps because I’m 40 now, I was struck for the first time by the fact that the great man, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., was only 39. In the article linked above, AP writer Allen G. Breed wonders what could have been.

Police: Texas teen tried to flush newborn

The lede: “BAYTOWN, Texas – Authorities in Texas said a baby born to a 14-year-old girl in a school bathroom was alive before she tried to flush it down the toilet, killing him…” [MSNBC.com]

There are no words. Seriously. Nauseating comes to mind, but that’s about it.

Web missive leads to big gun seizure

The lede: “Calin Chi Wong’s biggest mistake wasn’t owning rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition, or even telling Homestead police about it…” [MiamiHerald.com]

Apparently, Calin Chi Wong wanted to be the next Seung-Hui Cho. Writing on a message board as “thehumanabc,” Wong referenced the Virginia Tech massacre from April, 2007, saying he had “no choice” but to do “what Cho did.”

Even though he allegedly made such a dramatic threat, Wong’s bond was only $7500, and he’s a free man at the moment.

Extras:

Police raid Texas FLDS compound

The lede: “EL DORADO, Texas (ABC 4 News) – Police and state officials have been involved in a raid or a siege at the FLDS Church compound near El Dorado, Texas where polygamous followers of Warren Jeffs live…” [ABC4.com]

Warren Jeffs according to Wikipedia: “Jeffs gained international notoriety in May 2006 when he was placed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution on Utah state charges related to his alleged arrangement of extralegal ‘marriages’ between his adult male followers and underage girls…”

The El Dorado Success is also covering this developing story.

True Crime Headlines, 4/03/08

The following are links to some crime stories currently in the news. Feel free to discuss any of them in the comments on this entry. Please be clear as to the story you’re talking about when you do. I may add to this entry throughout the day today.

(If this looks a little Fark-like, well — that is one of my favorite websites. Heck, I even have a TotalFark subscription…)

Death of UW-Madison student from Marshfield likely homicide

The lede: “Police are investigating the death of a 21-year-old Marshfield woman as a homicide…”

The victim was 21-year-old Brittany Sue Zimmermann, who was majoring in medical microbiology and immunology. According to police, Zimmermann’s murder may have been “a random act.” I’ll be watching this story with an eye to writing a longer post if enough information becomes available. Watch for growing coverage of the murder in the national media if there isn’t a quick resolution to the case.

Extra: Brittany Zimmermann’s MySpace page:

http://www.myspace.com/zimmerbritt

Quote from Brittany’s page: “My interests include my boyfriend, my cats, hanging out with friends, reading books and articles about infectious diseases, cooking, and running the UW-Madison branch of Global Wardrobe.”

Zimmermann had one friend on her MySpace profile aside from the ubiquitous “Tom.” That friend’s own page is private, but her headline reads, “I love you Brittany. We will be together again, RIP.”

Related story: “Unsolved deaths rattle Wisconsin college.”

Burned body looks like homicide

The lede: “A man’s badly burned body was found behind a house near the Florida Mall on Wednesday and was likely a homicide victim, Orange County investigators said…”

Don’t “burned bodies” absent a source of burning like a house fire usually look like homicides? Not necessarily, I guess. I had an acquaintance who committed suicide by setting himself on fire in 1988, so I’ll cut that headline writer some slack.

Linehan sentenced to 99 years

The lede: “Just before a judge sentenced her to 99 years in prison, former stripper Mechele Linehan fought back tears and spoke for the first time in court…”

The story of the exotic dancer who became a presentable soccer mom before a murder plot from her stripper days came back to haunt her sounds like good fiction, but this deadly tale was true. If there isn’t a book or documentary out about this case in the next year or so, I’ll be amazed. At the very least, it has “Lifetime Movie of the Week” written all over it. Check out the Wikipedia stub article on Linehan for a brief overview of the case.

Experts Doubt 3rd-Graders Would Have Carried Out Waycross Attack

The lede: “Criminal and child psychiatry experts say it’s doubtful third-graders in south Georgia accused of plotting to attack their teacher would have executed their plans…”

When stories like this hit the news I feel like I want to remind anyone who knows that I live in Georgia that I was actually born and raised in Tennessee. That said, the now-infamous 3rd-grade death plot happened in Waycross, and I do live just north of Atlanta, a long ways away. Yeah. That makes me feel better.

Former Thai refugee held in girl’s death

The lede: “A former Thailand refugee was held Thursday as the killer of a 7-year-old girl found slain only a few feet from her South Salt Lake, Utah, home…”

Hser Nay Moo, the 7-year-old daughter of immigrants from Myanmar, disappeared last Monday. She was found Tuesday inside a residence not far from her family’s apartment. There isn’t much else to say. As is always the case when a child is murdered, the story is too sad for words.

Man Accused of Cover-Up in Ricin Probe

The lede: “The cousin of a man who may have been sickened by the deadly toxin ricin has been accused of failing to report that the substance was being illegally produced…”

I wrote about the very strange case of graphic artist Roger Bergendorff and his unfortunate experience with toxic ricin here. I’m still amazed at how people wanted to spin this odd story into some sort of politically-charged tale about a potential terrorist attack. With the arrest of Bergendorff’s cousin Thomas Tholen (detailed in the article linked above), it seems more obvious than ever that this was a weird but completely domestic story.