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Quick NY Update

Laptop of pimp Akeem Cruz targeted in probe of slain bodies dumped on Long Island beach

BY John Marzulli and Alison Gendar
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Saturday, March 5th 2011, 4:00 AM

Akeem Cruz was the pimp of 22-year-old Megan Waterman, and also one of the last people to see her alive. Feds are searching his laptop for information.

A pimp of one of the slain craigslist hookers dumped on an isolated Long Island beach is in the feds’ cross hairs.

FBI agents sought a search warrant this week to troll through the laptop of Akeem Cruz, a Brooklyn pimp and cocaine dealer, according to records filed in  Brooklyn Federal Court.

Cruz, also known as “Vybe” and “Mello,” was one of the last people known to have seen 22-year-old  Megan Waterman alive when he pimped her out at a  
Holiday Inn Express
in Hauppauge, L.I., around  Memorial Day, according to her family and court records.

Waterman’s remains, along with those of three other missing prostitutes, were found on Gilgo Beach in December. Suffolk cops have said they believe the slayings were the work of a serial killer.

The court records don’t mention Waterman’s murder, but do say Cruz posted numerous craigslist ads selling the Maine woman’s sexual services.
Megan Waterman’s remains were found on Gilgo Beach in December.

Alcala indicted in 2 more murders

A grand jury in Manhattan has indicted Alcala on charges of killing Ellen Jane Hover and Cornelia Michel Crilley, the New York Times reported Wednesday, citing law enforcement officials familiar with the case. The Manhattan District Attorney’s Office declined to comment on the indictment.

After Decades, Charges in 2 Manhattan Murders

By MOSI SECRET
Published: January 26, 2011

One victim, Cornelia Michel Crilley, was a Trans World Airlines flight attendant who was raped and strangled in her Upper East Side apartment in 1971; the other, Ellen Jane Hover, an aspiring orchestra conductor who disappeared one summer day in 1977 — and whose remains were found nearly a year later on the Rockefeller estate in Westchester County.

The two women, both 23 at the time of their deaths, most likely did not know each other. But according to law enforcement officials, they had at least one connection: both were killed by Rodney Alcala, a photographer and one-time contestant on “The Dating Game” who is on death row in California for killing a 12-year-old girl and four women in the late 1970s. He has been in prison there since 1980.

A grand jury in Manhattan has indicted Mr. Alcala, 67, on charges that he murdered Ms. Crilley and Ms. Hover, according to a law enforcement official familiar with the case. The Manhattan district attorney’s office would not comment on the indictment. Mr. Alcala may also have been involved in other killings, officials say.

One of Ms. Hover’s relatives said she was gratified at the expected indictment.

“For the longest time, it was a foregone conclusion that he would never be charged for her murder,” said Sheila Weller, a cousin of Ms. Hover. “This is a terrific surprise.”

But Leon Borstein, who was Ms. Crilley’s boyfriend and said he was with the police when they discovered her body in her apartment, said he did not see the point of prosecuting a serial killer already on death row.

“All it does is entertain him, and it doesn’t do anything for us,” Mr. Borstein said. “He gets to fly out to New York, meet with his lawyers, sit in a courtroom for days on end. It certainly alleviates the boredom of sitting in a jail cell.”

For more than three decades, the killings of Ms. Crilley and Ms. Hover remained unsolved. It is unclear when detectives in New York became interested in Mr. Alcala — who lived in New York in the early 1970s, attended New York University under an alias and worked as a photographer — as a possible suspect. Law enforcement officials would not say. But a former boyfriend of Ms. Hover’s said in an interview that the police told him two weeks after her 1977 disappearance that a man with California connections might be involved.

In 2003, New York police detectives investigating the Crilley murder went to California with a warrant to interview Mr. Alcala and get a dental impression from him, said Paul J. Browne, the department’s chief spokesman. Mr. Alcala, who was in prison for the murders in California, initially denied that he had ever visited New York. But after the police presented him with the warrant, he responded, “What took you so long?” Mr. Browne said.

A forensic dentist later issued an opinion that a bite mark on Ms. Crilley’s body was consistent with Mr. Alcala’s impression, a law enforcement official said.

While investigating Ms. Crilley’s murder, detectives with the Police Department’s Cold Case Squad learned that Mr. Alcala had used an alias, John Berger, when he was living in New York, Mr. Browne said. They later found that name in the file folder for Ms. Hover’s case, he said.

Ms. Weller said her cousin had an appointment with the man to take pictures before she disappeared.

Last year, the Manhattan district attorney, Cyrus R. Vance Jr., opened a cold case unit to review thousands of unsolved murders, and the cases of Ms. Crilley and Ms. Hover were among those the office reviewed. The district attorney’s office would not discuss its role in the investigation, but, speaking generally, Mr. Vance said in a statement, “Cold cases are not forgotten cases.”

Later in 2010, after the police released dozens of photographs of young women that were found in a storage locker that Mr. Alcala kept in Seattle in 1979 to see if there were other victims, several women came forward claiming that a photographer named John Berger had taken their picture in New York in the 1970s.

The trove also included items from the victims in the California cases, who were killed from 1977 to 1979. They were all sexually assaulted and strangled or beaten to death. Their cases were solved largely with DNA evidence, and, after a lengthy legal process in which murder convictions against Mr. Alcala were overturned twice, he was convicted there on a retrial in February 2010. Prosecutors presented evidence that Mr. Alcala would approach young women and ask to take their picture as a way to lure them.

Mr. Alcala’s violent offenses date back more than four decades, the authorities said. In 1968, he kidnapped, beat and molested an 8-year-old girl in Los Angeles County, and was on the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s most-wanted list, the authorities said. He became a camp counselor in New Hampshire but was arrested after someone noticed his picture on a flier at the post office. He was turned over to the police in Los Angeles, and was convicted in 1972. He was paroled after 34 months.

When not incarcerated, Mr. Alcala, whom the authorities have described as highly intelligent, assumed the life of a freewheeling bachelor. In 1978, he was “Bachelor No. 1” on an episode of “The Dating Game,” and the host described him as “a successful photographer who got his start when his father found him in the darkroom at the age of 13, fully developed,” according to a YouTube video of the show. “Between takes, you might find him sky-diving or motorcycling.”

Wearing a brown bell-bottom suit and a shirt with a butterfly collar, the long-haired Mr. Alcala won the contest, charming the bachelorette with sexual innuendo. The woman later decided not to go on the date with him because she found him disturbing, according to several news reports.

Complete N.Y. Times article

Orange County Register Article

70% of victims women; sexual component often seen

According to recently released FBI data, women accounted for 70 percent of the 1,398 known victims of serial killers since 1985. By comparison, women represented only 22 percent of total homicide victims.

The FBI’s Violent Criminal Apprehension Program (ViCAP), based in Quantico, Va., released the data at the request of Scripps Howard News Service. SHNS is conducting an investigation into the nation’s more than 185,000 unsolved homicides committed since 1980.

According to the FBI’s Supplementary Homicide Report, local police reported that about 33,000 homicides of women remain unsolved.

FBI agent Mark Hilts, head of the bureau’s Behavioral Analysis Unit No. 2 that profiles serial killers, said “a large number” of serial killers act with a sexual motive.

“Sex can be a motivation, but it’s a motivation in conjunction with something else – with anger, with power, with control,” Hilts said. “Most serial killers do derive satisfaction from the act of killing, and that’s what differentiates them” from those who kill to help commit or conceal another crime.

Crime experts for decades have tried to define serial murder and to determine its causes and motivations. The Justice Department defines a serial killer simply as someone who kills two or more people in separate incidents, a definition that ignores the issue of motive.

The Justice Department for years has estimated that less than 1 percent of all homicides are committed by serial killers, but that assumption has come under question recently.

Retired FBI agent Mark Safarik, a veteran serial killer hunter, discounts the official definition of serial murder.

“Serial murder is more related to motive. We use a definition of two or more, but that’s really just for research purposes,” said Safarik, now of Forensic Behavioral Services International, a legal consultant firm based in Fredericksburg, Va. “For us, there is almost always some sort of sexual component to the homicide.”

The FBI has been compiling victim data for 25 years. They also released information showing that nearly half of the victims of known serial homicides were in their 20s and 30s, although people of every age and from every region of the country have been victims.

“We look at homicides and attempted homicides. We look at sexual assaults. We look at unidentified human remains cases where homicide is suspected,” said Special Agent Michael Harrigan, who headed ViCAP from 2007 to 2010 and agreed to release the data.

“We catalog this in a database … to try to identify serial killers or serial offenders that transcend jurisdictional boundaries.”

Among states, New York leads in a grim statistic: It has had 137 victims of serial murder since 1985. California has had 128 and Florida 112.

When shown the FBI data, criminologists and veteran homicide investigators asked why New York leads the nation. Does it lead because it has more serial killings or because it does a better job in detecting such killings?

“That surprises me. I thought the numbers would always be higher in California and some of the Southern states,” said retired veteran New York City homicide detective Augustine “Gus” Papay.

California, with its immense population, ought to lead in every major crime statistic, Papay said. And he felt Southern states would be overrepresented because of recently documented highway serial killings by Southern truckers.

Papay was a key participant in the successful hunt for Alejandro “Alex” Henriquez, convicted in 1992 of murdering a woman and two girls, including 10-year-old Jessica Guzman.

Papay said serial killers may be drawn to a major metropolitan area like New York City.

“They think it’s easier to get lost in the big city. And think of all the victims! There are all sorts of different people here they could target,” Papay said. “And maybe they think it will be harder to get caught here.”

Calculated by population, the state of Washington leads the nation with 1.6 serial homicides per 100,000 people. But that is almost entirely due to Gary Leon Ridgway, Seattle’s “Green River Killer.” He was convicted in 2003 of strangling 48 women and teenage girls, often prostitutes or hitchhikers he picked up. Washington showed 95 serial killings overall.

Source

Just Wondering

People’s thoughts on serial killers and the death penalty.

Happy Halloween

I hope that everyone had a great time.

Lisa

Kind of a test post.

I am trying to see what I can and can not do here.
Testing

Hello world!

Just Starting and trying to figure out what I am doing.

 

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