Archive for July, 2011

Serial Killer’s Family Tries to Make Sure He Stays locked Up

FRANKSTON serial killer Paul Denyer’s estranged brother and sister-in-law plan to return to Australia and have vowed to fight to ensure one of the state’s most despised criminals is never released from prison.

For almost 20 years the couple and their family have lived in hiding in Britain overshadowed by Paul Denyer’s evil acts.

They fled their Mt Eliza home in 1992 just a year before Denyer embarked on a random killing spree murdering three women – student Elizabeth Stevens, 18, young mum Debra Fream, 22, and schoolgirl Natalie Jayne Russell, 17, – in what a shocked state came to know as the Frankston murders.

The Denyers moved to the other side of the world after Paul Denyer threatened to kill Ms Denyer and her children.

“It’s almost as if our life was moving along so well … and then suddenly it stopped,” Mr Denyer said from Britain yesterday.

“We want to come back and pick our life up from where it was so many years ago. It’s where we always wanted to be.

“We’re determined not to let this ruin our lives anymore.”

Mr Denyer said he planned to confront his brother in prison for the first time in 18 years to ask what triggered the vile crimes. A previous attempt to meet the murderer was blocked after Paul Denyer refused his brother’s request to see him. Mr Denyer said he was concerned his brother, sentenced to life in jail with a minimum of 30 years, would be eligible for parole in just 12 years.

“I’ve never tried to justify his actions. He deserves everything he gets. He should stay in prison and he should never be allowed to re-enter society ever,” an emotional Mr Denyer said.

“I’m a firm believer that you pay for the things that you’ve done. He’s taken away three lives of three young women and he’s taken part of the lives away from all their relatives.

“For that he should have his life, his freedom, taken away. His freedom to be part of society should be taken away because he’s taken it away from somebody else.”

He would campaign “without question” to make sure his brother stayed behind bars. Wife Julie, originally from England, said she missed her home here.

“I am 50 this year, and wish to retire in Australia, the place I miss with all my heart … what Paul did was life-changing for me, and to this day effects my life in so many ways,” she said.

“This started in my 20s, when I was full of hope to live my dream in Australia. I would like the chance to relive that dream taken from me by a monster.”

Ms Denyer said the family’s plans had been stalled. They were denied a victim payout for counselling because of a bureaucratic bungle.

Vital police and court documents were lost which stopped a claim for fair compensation from the Victims of Crime Assistance program. The documents have never been recovered.

“The only way I will have a chance is to physically come out there myself and look for the paperwork myself,” Ms Denyer said.“If he is eligible for parole he’ll be 54 when he’s released. And that’s why, I’m determined not to let that happen.”

Full Story

Another story showing how wide spread the damage done by a serial killer is.

I hope this family can go home and live happily.

I hope that Paul Denyer never gets released. Even his own flesh and blood knows what a threat he is and wants him to remain in prison.

Why we defend the indefensible

By Sue Carlton, Times columnist
In Print: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

How do you defend the indefensible?

This week, a lawyer in Norway named Geir Lippestad answered questions from the press about his new client, accused in a case so terrible it’s still hard to grasp.

Asked if Anders Behring Breivik showed any empathy for the young victims in the mass shooting last week, the lawyer answered: “No.”

Another reporter asked if he had hesitated to take this case.

Yes, at first, he said. But he decided, “If I said no to this job, I said no to democracy.”

Which seems like a pretty good answer.

How do you defend the indefensible? Criminal defense lawyers on the worst cases, the accused child killers, serial rapists or mass murderers, must hear that question in their sleep: How do you do what you do? How do you represent the best interests of someone like Julie Schenecker, the Tampa woman accused of shooting her own teenage son and daughter dead in their home in the suburbs?

I called Byron Hileman, who has handled many murder cases in his 35 years at it, more than 20 involving the death penalty and some “pretty bad folks.” He represents Dontae Morris, charged in the murders of Tampa police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab, as well as three other Tampa men. Yes, Hileman is familiar with the question.

Years back, he told a mentor he was tired of the system. “I’m sick of all the nastiness and so forth, the games that are played, the problems the system has,” Hileman remembers saying. “I don’t know if I want to do this kind of work.”

His mentor told him: “If you’re going to be a member of the church, you have to believe in God.” It took a minute to get it.

“You can’t have a commitment you turn on and off,” he says now.

He calls the system imperfect and also the best that exists, the cases “terribly sad.” No one wins. But without the structure of our system, “we’d have the law of the jungle, or lynch mob justice.”

Longtime defense lawyer Robert Fraser, defending Julie Schenecker, says the question speaks to how little we’re taught in American civics about how the criminal court system is supposed to work.

Lawyers new to the Pinellas-Pasco Public Defender’s Office are given an analogy about a different profession: “Trauma surgeons are highly trained and have a specific skill,” says Public Defender Bob Dillinger. “When someone is wheeled in on a gurney, no one says, ‘This is a good person — work hard’ or ‘This is a bad person — don’t do so much.’ ”

“We’re defending the Constitution,” Dillinger says. “They don’t let you pick and choose what part of the Constitution you want to defend.”

Dillinger was once on the defense team for Oba Chandler, convicted of killing an Ohio mother and her two daughters and dumping their bodies in Tampa Bay. But the heaviest disapproval Dillinger remembers was when he represented a man charged with the triple murder of a grandmother, mother and an 11-year-old.

When people ask how he sleeps at night, representing guilty people, he always tells them it’s the innocent ones that keep you up.

Which seems like a pretty good answer, too. Why defend the indefensible? Because for you or me to be innocent until proven guilty, somebody has to.


Keith Bennett’s Mother Pleads for his Body

For more than 40 years, the Moors murders have lain dormant at the back of the British psyche. They could never be completely forgotten — the five killings were too gruesome for that — but they were put out of mind.

This week, as the mother of one of the victims made a heartbreaking appeal to her son’s killer, they came back in all their gory detail.

The Moors murders — so called because the bodies were buried on Saddleworth Moor in the south Pennines — were carried out between July 1963 and October 1965.

Five children — Pauline Reade (16), John Kilbride (12), Keith Bennett (12), Lesley Ann Downey (10) and Edward Evans (17) — were abducted and killed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. At least four were sexually assaulted before death.

It is difficult to comprehend just how big a story the murders were at the time. The Madeleine McCann abduction is the only recent crime that comes close in terms of penetration into the public consciousness.

“It was along the lines of the Ripper,” says John Corcoran, a counsellor who was a teenager in Yorkshire at the time of the murders. “It was that big.

“It was 1966, remember, and we only had BBC and ITV. The print media led the chase on this story, and we had never seen anything like it before, not in movies, or on TV. Serial killers were unknown, really,” he adds.

Brady and Hindley became icons of evil — indeed Hindley was dubbed “the most wicked woman in Britain” by the press — and the murders themselves, and the trial in April 1966, seemed to herald the end of a more innocent, trusting era in British history.

Initially, police believed there were only three victims — Evans, Downey and Kilbride. In 1985, after nearly 20 years in prison, Brady confessed to the murders of Pauline Reade and Keith Bennett.

The investigation was immediately reopened, and Hindley and Brady were brought separately to Saddleworth Moor to direct police to the bodies. Only that of Reade was found.

Keith Bennett was a 12-year-old schoolboy in 1964. On June 16, he was on his way to his grandmother’s house in Longsight when Hindley lured him into her van by asking him to help her load up some boxes. She would give him a lift home after, she said.

Instead she drove to the Moor and Brady, who had been hiding in the back of the van, took him out on to the Moor, ostensibly to help look for a lost glove. According to Hindley, when she asked Brady what he had done with the boy, Brady replied that he had sexually assaulted him, strangled him with a piece of string and then buried him.

In the almost half a century since Keith Bennett was killed, his mother, Winnie Johnson, has written to Brady many times asking for his help in recovering her son’s body.

She has renewed her plea this week because she has been diagnosed with inoperable cervical cancer. Now aged 77, she wants to bury her son before she succumbs to the disease.

She has filmed a short DVD in which she reveals to Brady that she has cancer and appeals directly to him to help her find her son’s remains.

“I’m doing it in the hope he will respond,” Mrs Johnson said. “The most important thing is to find Keith before the cancer beats me.

“He knows where Keith is but I think he enjoys having that last bit of power — and if I find Keith he’ll have nothing left.”

Mrs Johnson has sent hundreds of letters to Brady over the years, and doesn’t hold out much hope that he will respond this time.

In 2006, Brady wrote back, saying he had “clarity” over where Keith was buried, and several meetings with a solicitor for Mrs Johnson ensued, but came to nothing.

In his letter, Brady, who is serving a whole-life sentence at Ashworth high security psychiatric hospital in Sefton, Merseyside, claimed he was being kept alive “for political purposes.”

Myra Hindley died in prison in 2002, aged 60.

John Corcoran remembers reading the ‘Yorkshire Evening Post’ for developments in the investigation. Later, in his work as a counsellor, he helped relatives of the North’s “disappeared” deal with their bereavement.

“The Keith Bennett case is exactly the same thing as the ‘disappeared’ in the Troubles,” he said. “It’s about closure.

“That’s why we have burials in the first place. It’s not about hygiene or public health; it’s about having a body to bury, to see it, to look at it and to say goodbye.

“Not having a body goes against all that. There is something inherently inhuman about not seeing the body and not saying goodbye.”

“It is particularly difficult to work through the grieving process when the body of the deceased has never been found,” agrees Dr Joanne Cooper, a Dublin-based psychologist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist.

“Many families of missing persons live in hope indefinitely that their loved one may one day return, so the process of grieving never fully gets underway.

“Closure can only be achieved when the tasks of mourning are finally accomplished, but bereavement through homicide brings so many obstacles to the grieving process that families describe it as ‘a life sentence’ for them as well.” she adds.

Winnie Johnson has tried very hard to find closure. Last year, she held a memorial service for Keith in Manchester Cathedral. “I hope he’s found before I go,” she said at the ceremony. “All I want out of life is to find him and to bury him. I just wish he’s found before I’m dead.”

The 300-strong congregation heard the Keith was “a happy-go-lucky boy with a cheeky grin.” He loved football, kept a scrapbook of leaves and collected coins. ‘Till There Was You’ by The Beatles was played as the service began; Keith had begun to follow the band before his death.

“A lot of people get stuck in the denial stage of grief,” says John Corcoran. “If you’ve had a body and buried it, then you can’t be in denial. At one level, Winnie Johnson does know that her little boy is dead, but he [Brady] has given her an excuse to deny that.

“Every time there’s a development in the case, she thinks ‘Maybe it’s not my little boy after all.’ Until she has a body, she can’t even admit to herself that, ‘yes, it was my son that he killed and buried somewhere’.”

Professor John Hunt, an archaeologist who specialises in finding the graves of missing people, spoke at Keith’s memorial service last year.

“I have no idea how many weeks I have spent out on those Moors in the last two decades, trying out methods, trying out ideas,” he said.

“I have learnt many things looking for the missing. Above all I have learnt the importance of closure in returning the lost ones, the importance of returning husbands to their wives and sons to their mothers.”

However, all the words, pleas and appeals are likely to have little influence on Brady, who has never expressed the slightest remorse for his crimes. In his ‘Gates of Janus,’ his controversial book on serial killers, Brady wrote: “You contain me till death in a concrete box that measures eight by ten and expect public confessions of remorse as well?”

Meanwhile, from her home in Longsight — the same place from which Keith was snatched 47 years ago — Winnie Johnson sums up her plight.

“I am Keith’s mother,” she told reporters. “I have lived through this life knowing he is on those Moors. I just want him back.”



I hope that that scum Brady tells her where the body is but I sadly have a feeling he won’t.

Her pain will feed his ego.

Serial Killer Robin Stanislaw Ligus

The family of  Trevor Bradley from Ludlow branded his killer “sadistic” after a jury found he was responsible for the antique dealer’s death 17 years ago.

Robin Stanislaw Ligus, 59, was found to be responsible for the death Mr Bradley, whose body was found in a burnt-out car near Oswestry, in April 1994 by jurors at Birmingham Crown Court.

They also found that Ligus had killed 57-year-old Brian Coles from Whitchurch, in October, 1994.

Ligus is currently serving a life sentence for the murder of a pensioner, Robert Young, also in 1994.

In a statement issued after the verdict, Mr Bradley’s family branded Ligus a “sadistic human being.”

The jury heard Ligus lured Mr Bradley to remote farmland in Melverley, near Oswestry, and then hit him over the head with an iron bar before putting his body into a car and setting it alight.

In confessions made to police in 2000, Ligus said he took £2,000 from Mr Bradley’s pocket after hitting him over the head. He said he went to Liver pool afterwards and used the cash to fund his heroin and cocaine addiction.

The unanimous verdict came after 14 hours of deliberation by the jury who had to determine that Ligus was responsible for the acts that led to Mr Bradley’s death.

But Ligus was cleared of involvement in the death of a third man, Bernard Czyzewska, whose body was found in the River Severn in Shrewsbury in November that year.

Prior to the month long trial Mr Justice Colman Treacy ruled that because of his mental state Ligus, a father-of-three from Shrewsbury, was unfit to plead to the charges.

Ligus, heavily bearded and tattooed, listened to the jury’s verdicts via video link from Woodhill Prison, in Buckinghamshire. He will be sentenced on July 29.

Mr Bradley’s body was discovered in April, 1994, lying behind the front seats of his Vauxhall Nova car, but his remains were so badly damaged he had to be identified through X-ray.

The well-known antiques dealer from Ludlow, was last seen in Leominster after he had visited the town’s bingo hall.

Mr Bradley’s body was exhumed in 2009 as part of a cold case review by West Mercia police and pathologists said he was likely to have suffered a broken collar bone and fractured skull before the fire.

In a statement Mr Bradley’s family thanked police for the investigation and it was very hard at the beginning to learn they had lost a brother in such a cruel way.

“We now know this was by a sadistic human being. We are glad that it has now finally come to an end.”

Detective Inspector Andy Parsons, who led the inquiry, refer red to the “wholesale confessions”

made by Ligus to cellmates, police and a psychologist.

“The result has proved that Robin Ligus was in fact a serial killer and not a serial confessor.

“His victims were vulnerable and were brutally killed in horrific circumstances”.

During the trial, the jury heard a psychologist who had interviewed Ligus in 2000 was so concerned by his responses she warned the authorities.

Dr Caroline Logan interviewed the serial killer as part of a confidential project but felt Ligus was such an “imminent”

danger to those around him that something should be done.

Dr Logan told the jury Robin Ligus had an anti-social personality disorder with narcissistic and sadistic tendencies.

Ligus had told her he wanted to become Britain worst prison killer.


Robin Ligus

Note from me: He’s a purty one isn’t he?

Zodiac Killer: Massachusetts Man Says He’s Cracked the Cipher


A Massachusetts man says he’s cracked the Zodiac killer’s cipher that has befuddled law enforcement agencies for the last 40 years since the enigmatic serial killer went on his Bay Area killing spree. The amateur sleuth says the 340-character code sent to the San Francisco Chronicle declares at the end “My name is Leigh Allen,” one of the principal suspects in the case who died in 1992.

Corey Starliper of Tewksbury, Massachusetts, became obsessed with the Zodiac case and decided he could break the code, according to news reports.

“It was just instinct,” he told the Burlingame Patch. “I have a gut feeling that it could be cracked.”

Not to say it wasn’t a complex process. Starliper did it in two sessions — one that was six hours long and another where he spent three hours on it.

According to the Patch:

According to Robert Graysmith, in “Zodiac” tips received by police after Darlene Ferrin’s murder indicated that the killing was connected to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Starliper believed that the “340” of the 340 cipher was significant, and had some tie-in with the U.S. Virgin Islands. It was then that he found out that 340 is the area code for a portion of the U.S. Virgin Islands — not an insignificant connection.

“So that’s what I started with,” said Starliper. “I thought, there’s no way … that Zodiac is going to be prosaic enough not to mention the U.S. Virgin Islands in this code. This is where it gets even creepier. 3+4+0=7. Right. So you get 7+0=7. 707… 707 are the area codes for Vallejo, Napa, and Solano. So I figured, why not start this with Caesar code using 3,4.”

We’re no cipher experts, but it Starliper’s result is at least highly readable:


















Starliper told the Patch that he’d contacted various Bay Area law enforcement agencies, but has only gotten a tepid response. SFPD Homicide Inspector Kevin Jones told SF Weekly he never heard from Starliper, but would send the code onto the FBI, which has the experts to check Starliper’s method.

“There’s people who over the years think they’ve come with answers to the cipher but the FBI hasn’t been able to validate it,” Jones says. Could this be the one?

I do not think that Arthur Leigh Allen is the Zodiac. I guess that means that I doubt this guy actually cracked the code.

Arthur Leigh Allen

Here is info on why I do not think Allen was the Zodiac:

The police sketch of the Zodiac Killer.

UPDATE: In October 2002, Allen’s DNA was compared to DNA obtained from a confirmed Zodiac letter. There was no match. In 2003, due to Allen’s alleged habit of having others lick his stamps and envelopes (he claimed the taste of glue made him sick), SFPD obtained a voluntary DNA sample from Don Cheney. The results were negative.
From Wikipedia:
Arthur Leigh Allen was the only suspect in the Zodiac murders to be served search warrants by police. He was never charged with any Zodiac-related crime and his fingerprints did not match those left by the killer of taxi cab driver Paul Stine. In 1991, 22 years after the shootings, survivor Michael Mageau identified Allen as the man who shot him, from a photo lineup of 1968 driver’s licenses. Mageau stated he had never been shown a photo line up prior to that appointment in 1991. Allen, who suffered from diabetes, died on August 26, 1992 from kidney failure.
In 2002, SFPD developed a partial DNA profile from the saliva on stamps and envelopes of Zodiac’s letters. SFPD compared this partial DNA to the DNA of Vallejo Police Department’s lead suspect, Arthur Leigh Allen. A DNA comparison was also made with Don Cheney’s DNA, who was Allen’s former close friend and the first person to suggest Allen may be the Zodiac Killer. Since neither test result indicated a match, Allen and Cheney were excluded as the contributors of the DNA, though it cannot be stated definitively that it is DNA from the Zodiac on the envelopes.Additionally in 2002, a partial palm print (called “Writer’s Palm”) was lifted from “The Exorcist” letter and then compared to a palm print of Allen’s. Again, test results showed the palm prints did not match. Even though DNA samples taken from the letters sent by the Zodiac ruled out Allen as the person who handled them, neither the Vallejo nor the San Francisco Police Departments have ruled out Allen as a suspect.
I kind of hope that I am wrong and that the cipher has been solved, meaning the killer is exposed. I just really doubt it.
I think that Mr. Starliper started out with Allen as a suspect and with that in mind (and believing the Hollywood hype) he fit his solution around that.
The Zodiac Killer was boastful. He enjoyed killing, tormenting , threatening the general public and he liked playing mind games, especially with the police.
This ‘solved’ cipher does not sound at all like the first. It sounds more like a Son of Sam letter.

Saline Serial Killer

Rebecca Leighton is being questioned by murder detectives over the Angel of Death killings.

Leighton, 26, was arrested yesterday in a dawn raid at her flat which is a mile from the hospital where three patients have died in suspicious circumstances.

The nurse is being quizzed by police investigating the contamination of saline solution at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport, Greater Manchester, where she works and was recently demoted.

Friends call her Becki and say she is “lovely and bubbly”.

The deaths of Tracey Arden, 44, George Keep, 84, and Arnold Lancaster, 71, are being linked to the saline “sabotage”. And a man in his 40s was last night still critically ill at the hospital.

Update: Police today confirmed two more deaths at the hospital

They are among 14 patients whose treatment since July is being probed.

Forensic experts were last night searching Leighton’s flat in Stockport.

She is believed to have worked on the two wards – A1 and A3 – at the centre of the investigation.

A police spokesman said yesterday: “This morning a 26-year-old woman was arrested on suspicion of murder. She remains in police custody for questioning and inquiries are continuing.”

A source at Stepping Hill said: “The whole hospital is shocked.

“Becki had been demoted from charge nurse to a nurse in the past few weeks.

“I don’t think it was a disciplinary issue. It was because the charge nurse position was a permanent one.

“Becki had been working on ward A3 and was moved to the position of nurse on ward A1. She has been at the hospital for at least a year. She has dark red hair and is quite normal.”

On her Facebook page, Leighton says she is engaged and adds: “I’m a happy go lucky kinda gal, loves the wkend (if im not workin) and having a laugh with the people that i call friends for a reason x”

A recent post on her page said: “What an exciting life I lead!”. She also wrote: “F*** it, life is too short”.

And in February she said: “I may be bad but im perfectly gud at it”.

Leighton, who was arrested by about 10 officers at 6am, lives with boyfriend Tim Papworth, 28, above his darts shop.

He plays at the nearby Star and Garter pub where he sponsors a weekly darts contest which Leighton helps to organise.

Landlady Beryl Cosgrove said: “Becki is a lovely person. Everyone around here in the darts world knows her and we are all completely shocked that she has been arrested over this.

“She is a pretty young girl who is very sociable but never talks about her job.

“On nights out she only drinks lager or cider – and never too much.

“She is always well dressed and appeared to be a hard-working girl who was bubbly and friendly.”

Becki, who is 5ft 6ins, was often seen by neighbours in her blue uniform.

Convenience store owner Hamit Bayatpoor said she was a regular visitor.

He added: “She has large eyes and is a biggish girl but very nice.

“I saw her only yesterday with her boyfriend. She used to come in to buy cigarettes – always 20 or 40 Mayfair – and a bottle of Echo Falls rose wine.” The nurse’s parents, Lynda and David, were not at their home in Denton, Greater Manchester, last night.

It is thought that Lynda also works at Stepping Hill where she trains nurses.

The couple’s next-door neighbour, Frank Eaton, 83, said yesterday: “I only know Becki to say hello to – but she’s a lovely girl.”

Mr Leighton is understood to be a coach driver who has driven the Manchester City football team.

At least 60 detectives are involved in the hospital investigation and have questioned more than 50 staff.

Police were alerted after a nurse reported an unusually high number of patients on her ward with unexplained low blood sugar levels.

Officers found insulin had contaminated a batch of 36 saline ampoules in a storeroom close to ward A1.

Detectives believe the hormone was deliberately injected into saline containers used in at least two wards but add that the deaths remain unexplained while they await the results of further pathology tests.

A coroner has opened and adjourned the inquests.

Chris Burke, the chief executive of Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, said that security had been stepped up and added: “Our staff are shocked, horrified and angry about what
has happened.

“They are alarmed that a place which should be for care has become a crime scene.”

James Catania, medical director at Stepping Hill, said insulin was always kept in a fridge in a locked treatment room. Saline solutions are now also being locked away.

Gran Tracey Arden, who battled multiple sclerosis for 12 years and lived near Becki Leighton in Stockport, died at Stepping Hill on July 7.

Retired businessman Mr Keep, of Cheadle, near Stockport, was admitted to the hospital with a fractured hip after falling on June 27.

He seemed to be recovering but suddenly deteriorated. Doctors fought to keep him alive for six days, giving him blood and putting him on a saline drip to hydrate him. He died last Thursday.

Retired newspaper photographer Mr Lancaster, of Romiley in Stockport, died at Stepping Hill on July 11.

Videos and photos here.

The Update:

Police are investigating the deaths of two more patients at the hospital linked to allegations of sabotage.

The patients were an 83-year-old man and an 84-year-old woman, Greater Manchester Assistant Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said.

Detectives are continuing to question a nurse arrested on suspicion of the murder of three other patients at Stepping Hill Hospital in Stockport.

Rebecca Leighton, 27, was arrested yesterday at her home a mile from the hospital where she worked.

Tracey Arden, 44, George Keep, 84, and Arnold Lancaster, 71, are thought to have died following the deliberate contamination of saline solution with insulin.

The 84-year-old patient died on July 14 but her case was referred to detectives yesterday.

The 83-year-old man died today after he suffered a hypoglycaemic episode on July 11.

Mr Hopkins said: “As with the deaths of George Keep, Arnold Lancaster and Tracey Arden, the cause of this man and woman’s deaths is not known and it is important we do not lose sight of this fact.

“In relation to the death of the woman, this was referred to us by the coroner and after a review of the circumstances surrounding this death – notably the low blood sugar level – we have decided to investigate further.

“In relation to the man’s death, due to the fact he suffered a hypoglycaemic episode during a timeframe we are looking at it is only right we conduct further inquiries.

“We have family liaison officers with both families and my thoughts are with them as they are with the relatives of all affected by this incident.

“I want to make it abundantly clear that we are working closely with the coroner and, as is to be expected, it is likely we will be asked to investigate further deaths.

“In the main these are likely to be deaths of people who are elderly and/or ill, and we fully support the coroner’s ‘belt and braces’ approach to ensuring future deaths that require further investigation are appropriately investigated and scrutinised.

“I cannot emphasis enough how complex an investigation this is, requiring detailed forensic and medical analysis, and want to take the opportunity to thank the hospital and staff for their on-going help and support.

“Our inquiry has gathered apace and while we have made an arrest any suggestion that this investigation is close to being complete is misleading.

“All I can say in relation to the arrest is that we have a 27-year-old woman in police custody who has been arrested on suspicion of murder and I am not prepared to say anything else that could potentially prejudice a future trial.

“We are fully committed to finding out exactly what has happened and officers continue to work around the clock in order to provide answers to the families of those who have lost their lives.

“We are determined to identify and bring to justice the person responsible and we are continuing to appeal to anyone who might have information relevant to this investigation to get in touch.”

The officer clarified earlier reports suggesting a man in his 40s had died. The officer said he was in fact still very poorly.

He added: “I would very much like to reassure people that both of the deaths that are now forming part of this investigation occurred prior to the police being called.

“Since the police have been investigating, and the measures have been stepped up in terms of security at the hospital, we have had no further incidents of deliberate damage or contamination of products within Stepping Hill Hospital.”

The two pensioners had been patients on the wards in question, A1 and A3.

The inquiry centres on patients’ treatment since July 7.

Mr Hopkins said detectives’ focus was still on preventing further harm and once that was done they would look at cases before July 7.

“Our focus remains on the here and now,” he added.
Read more:

Hunting Serial Killers

Hunting Serial Killers.

Very interesting post.

19-year-old Serial Killer in Training?

According to Pierce County Prosecutors, 19-year-old Matthew Garrett Williams is a textbook example of a budding serial killer.

The Lakewood teen was arrested on July 8 when police found him passed out in his car, an air rifle in his lap and a ski mask on his face. Earlier in the day someone had called police stating that someone matching Williams’ descriptions had fired an air rifle at a man waiting at a bus stop.

When police pulled Williams from his car, they say they found .22 caliber rifle ammunition and a large machete inside, along with a bag of “marihuana.”

Upon questioning, Williams allegedly told officers that he’d bought the rifle thinking it was deadly and that he wanted to kill many people. He supposedly told them that he has great respect for Ted Bundy, and that “he enjoyed the ‘God-like’ feeling he got when he tortured and killed an animal.”

During the interview WILLIAMS stated that he was preparing to murder people. He stated that he had been increasingly strong desires to murder people and that he had been taking steps to prepare himself to carry out the murders, including steps to “desensitize” himself to murder. These steps included:He had identified a particular victim type, to wit: homeless people and/or “average” white men with no family connections.

He had killed 5-7 birds and squirrels, mutilating their bodies.

He had gone online and watched videos of people being tortured and killed.


Furthermore, Williams apparently told police about how he’d previously killed his father’s cat while he was gone over the Fourth of July. Court documents say Williams said he’d tried to strangle the cat, but it was taking too long, so he bludgeoned it to death with a flashlight.

Later he kept the corpse in his car for several days before finally driving it to a remote cul-de-sac and setting it on fire.

Williams drew a map for officers to find the cat’s corpse, and they supposedly found a burnt mark on the road and a singed cat collar.

Williams also apparently told officers that he didn’t think he could contain the urge to kill people much longer, and he agreed to be voluntarily committed to Western State Hospital.

He now stands charged with felony harassment, animal cruelty, two weapons charges, DUI, and possession of marijuana.

He was arraigned today.

More here.

Update on Anthony Sowell Trial

The state of Ohio rested its case against accused serial killer Anthony Sowell on Monday following 12 hours of interrogation video.

Cleveland police Det. Lem Griffin was the last prosecution witness to take the stand and answered questions about the time he spent with 51-year-old Sowell in the interrogation room. During the video, Griffin and his partner, Det. Melvin Smith, become frustrated with Sowell, who had been given his Miranda Rights several times and still agreed to speak with police.

Without the jury present, the defense asked for the charges to be dropped under rule 29, saying the state has not met the burden of proof. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Dick Ambrose dropped one of the kidnapping charges, along with an aggravated murder specification.

Sowell faces 85 charges, including aggravated murder, kidnapping and abuse of a corpse, in the deaths of 11 women whose bodies were found in October 2009.

The defense will begins its case Tuesday morning.


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Some inmates may have early parole

A new bill signed into law could mean that senior citizens fitting a certain criteria could be eligible to appear before the parole board and possibly released from prison.

House Bill 138, signed into law by Gov. Bobby Jindal, allows for certain inmates who are at least 60 years old and who have served at least 10 years of their prison term to apply for consideration from the board.

Angela Whitaker, spokeswoman and confidential assistant to state Department of Public Safety and Corrections Secretary James Leblanc, said the bill will affect eight men and one woman.

“It is an eligibility bill so they can go before the parole board,” Whitaker said. “We have looked at the state facilities, and we don’t think it will have a huge impact.”

Of the nine, only one is housed at a prison (Wade Correctional in Homer) in northern Louisiana. However, the Department of Corrections currently houses more than 1,200 inmates who are older than 60. The DOC estimates it costs $20,000 per year to house a prisoner, and that figure could go up to $80,000 to house a sick or ailing inmate.

The new bill has strict stipulations. Criteria include that the offender has not been convicted of a violent crime or a sex offense, the offender has not had any disciplinary offenses in the 12 months prior to the parole eligibility date, the offender has completed mandatory minimum of 100 hours of pre-release programming and completed a substance abuse program if applicable.

Other criteria include that the offender has obtained a GED unless the offender has previously obtained a high school diploma or is deemed by a certified educator as being incapable of obtaining a GED. In this case, the offender must complete a literacy program, an adult basic education program, or a job-skills training program.

The offender also must have a low-risk level designation approved by LeBlanc.

Fourth Judicial District Attorney Jerry Jones said he has some reservations about the bill and doesn’t want to see habitual offenders fall through the cracks and be released into society.

He said a prime example would be the case of Anthony Glen Wilson of Monroe.Wilson was convicted in July 2007 of simple burglary that netted him a bottle of cologne and 58 cents. Based on the habitual offender law, Wilson was later handed a life sentence for the burglary.

But, Ouachita Parish sheriff’s deputies linked Wilson’s DNA to the 1981 murder of Kathy Whorton of Bastrop, and authorities believe he may have committed two other murders around that time. Although authorities matched his DNA to the crime scene, he was never tried for the murder because the autopsy report and other evidence were lost over the years.

“We convicted a person believed to be a serial killer for stealing a bottle of cologne,” Jones said. “I don’t care if he is 100 years old, he should not be eligible for parole. Certain criminals should not be eligible.”

Officials said Wilson, who is 52 years old and housed at Louisiana State Penitentiary, is a sex offender and will not be eligible. But, other habitual offenders might be.

Local defense attorney Charles Kincade said the law could save the DOC money.

“I think it is a great thing,” Kincade said. “It is compassionate and humane. It makes common sense from a financial standpoint. It is going to cease spending scarce public money on housing and essentially release harmless people.”


On paper this sounds great, I just worry that it is going to be done by procedure without thought and actual investigation.

Also, even with a GED and job training most of these older prisoners are going to have a hard time finding a job just due tojob availability (especially now) and the health concerns will make employment after incarceration even harder.  So then it will be out of prison, on to the streets and onto welfare.

It might relieve the prison finace numbers but I do not think it is actually going to help the state much overall.

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