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True Crime Update 2/28/06

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Sensational and heinous crimes across the nation, notable for the type of crime, the celebrity of the criminal, or both.


Trouble in Paradise?

Goodness knows I’ll not be affected whether Vili Fualaau and Mary Kay Letourneau manage to make their strange marriage work or not. Thus I’m inclined to wish them well for they’ve certainly suffered a lot for their “love.”

If my words seem skeptical then so am I.

Mary Kay was Vili’s 6th grade teacher so she fell in love with him when he was around 14 or so. She went to jail for 7 1/2 years and managed to get pregnant while in jail. Letourneau is now 44 years old and Vili is around 22.

The age difference might not be such a problem but the need for Fualaau to sow his wild oats, as it were, could be. A mature woman needs a mature man. As it is, Mary Kay better get set for about ten years of wildness from her new husband.

Beginning with Vili’s drinking problem.

From the Seattle Times:

Fualaau arrested on suspicion of DUI
Seattle Times

Image hosted by Photobucket.comVili Fualaau, who in May married his former sixth-grade teacher, Mary Kay Letourneau, was arrested in SeaTac on suspicion of driving under the influence, according to the King County Sheriff’s Office.

On Dec. 22, a SeaTac police officer pulled over a 1999 Cadillac DeVille going 55 mph in a 35 mph zone on Des Moines Memorial Drive South near South 190th Street, said sheriff’s spokesman Sgt. John Urquhart. He said Fualaau was arrested on suspicion of DUI after blowing a 0.136, well over the legal limit of 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content for driving. The Cadillac that Fualaau was driving is registered to Letourneau, Urquhart said. His court date is pending.

Such Job Dedication!

There is just nothing right about detectives receiving sexual favors and then arresting those delivering the same.

I really don’t care how they defend the practice and there have been plenty of defenses of late.

For it seems the prostitutes don’t quite speak the language, either at all or so heavily-accented that the normal routine of eliciting sex for money then stopping when money changes hands does not work.

So Spotsylvania detectives go a little further than many deem sensible. Indeed the Washington Post article details another such sexual operation that was tried in Maryland (Spotsylvania is in Virginia) and prosecutors refused to try the cases.

Spotsylvania authorities report that only unmarried investigators are assigned to the detail but hey, these fellows don’t have girlfriends or such?

It also smacks of discrimination in that this tactic is only done with foreign prostitutes.

Never mind the dedication of the Spotsylvania County’s undercover detectives, for them to engage in a sexual act is bad form and really tacky.

Hey, prostitution is in many ways a victimless crime, or so the Libertarians would argue. Not that I condone it or ever want it made legal in my neck of the woods. But if detectives have to have sex with the perps to make their case, the whole thing isn’t worth it. No matter how much the detectives enjoy their work.

Re-assign those guys to the Internet child predator detail and go after some sleazy criminals that really need to be locked away.

Spotsylvania County’s practice of allowing detectives to receive sexual services in prostitution cases has exploded across the nation, fueled by snickering bloggers and talk radio shows, and the county’s top official has asked the sheriff to stop using the investigative technique.”

“Smith, an elected official, did not return several calls yesterday. In a joint news release Monday, the day the practice was reported in The Washington Post, Smith and the county’s chief prosecutor, Commonwealth’s Attorney William F. Neely, defended the tactic. They said detectives needed to go beyond striking verbal deals of sex for money because the “masseuses,” whom they called “illegal aliens,” spoke little English and Virginia’s prostitution laws require more than “mere touching” to make a case. Neely also did not return calls yesterday.”

We Can’t Put People to Death Because It Might “Hurt”?

It would appear that the state of California has given up on the execution of Michael Morales, a fine fellow who stabbed, beat and repeatedly raped 17-year-old Terri Winchell.

Some judges, un-elected, decided that the death needle might hurt.

What followed was a round of confusion. The state was required, by un-elected judicial edict, that an anesthesiologist should first administer a knock out drug and be on hand in case the drug does not work.

Frankly I’m confused about the sequence of events. Two anesthesiologists were recruited to do the deed then quit for ethical reasons. This is an action that surprises me because right up the road in Oregon they have a burgeoning industry for physicians willing to kill people.

No wait, it’s only ethical when the people are already dying, I suppose.

Somewhere along the line the state of California threw in the towel.

Americans don’t espouse any death penalty actions that cause unnecessary pain. That’s not the purpose. But a needle?

I must conclude the un-elected judges don’t want the death penalty carried through as the citizens dictated because a needle is about as benign as it comes. There is simply nothing less painful.

Tookie Williams’ tried to live using children’s books as a prop. He should have claimed his fear of needles.

From CNN.com:

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSAN FRANCISCO, California (CNN) — Outrage and frustration reached from the governor’s mansion to the living rooms of the victim’s family and friends after the execution of convicted murderer and rapist Michael Morales was postponed again.

While lawyers, doctors and a federal judge have focused on whether the state’s lethal injection policy might cause a condemned killer pain, those who remember 17-year-old Terri Winchell said they are thinking about the pain she must have felt — and the anguish they still feel.

“We just want to get this out of our heads and out of our lives,” Winchell’s mother told The Associated Press. “The whole justice system, it’s ridiculous,” Barbara Christian added.

Another Twist on the Morales Case

Seems an investigator for the Habeas Corpus Resource Center fabricated some statements allegedly made by the jurors in the Morales’ case. Said statements supposedly contain regrets by the jurors who found Morales guilty and sentenced him to death.

Only the juror statements turned out to be fake.

I’ve always been suspicious of these organizations formed by charitable legal types, or in this case, the Habeas Corpus Resource Center as created by the state of California. Their mission is to go back and research convictions, review the physical evidence, and if possible, get a potentially innocent criminal released.

I don’t know anyone who thinks that innocent people should remain in jail for crimes they did not commit. But these organizations concern me. They tend to be populated by zealots with a preconceived mission to effect.

Something else I learned in my research was that these organizations are not staffed exclusively by volunteers. In fact, most of the members of these sorts of organizations are paid. This California Habeas Corpus Resource Center is an actual arm of California’s judicial system. Ahah, a government agency. Bureaucrats, attorney bureaucrats at that, yeah, that’s the ticket.

I’ve heard stories of criminals across the land released by such organizations, charitable or government sanctioned, when evidence was found to be faulty. Of course this is a good thing. But in keeping with the Reagan mantra to “trust but verify,” I’d review every piece of evidence these places claim to be faulty by an independent lab or investigator.

In the case of Morales, somebody or another became so impassioned by their job that they came up with some fake juror statements.

From Bakersfield.com:

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – The investigator accused of fabricating juror statements in a bid to win clemency for a man condemned to die Tuesday is under investigation for previous cases she worked on for a state agency that defends death row inmates.

Investigator Kathleen Culhane, whose worked is being questioned in the case of Michael Morales, was employed by the Habeas Corpus Resource Center between 2001 and 2005, the agency said Thursday.

Culhane generated what prosecutors believe were bogus juror declarations from six jurors saying Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger should spare Morales, who raped and murdered a 17-year-old Lodi girl in 1981.

Boyfriend Bites Off Woman’s Nose

They couldn’t get the nose because the fellow swallowed it. The guy did have blood all over himself even though he denied biting off his girlfriend’s nose.

What on earth would possess someone to do such a thing?

From Newsok.com:

Boyfriend accused of biting off nose of California woman during visit

By Jay Marks and Chad Previch

The Oklahoman

TULSA — A woman told police her boyfriend bit off her nose at a family dinner, an officer said Friday. Jody Bennett, 37, of California told officers she and her boyfriend were visiting family members Thursday in Tulsa. They were in a back room when the man bit off her nose, police said.

Bennett came from the room with a bloody napkin over her face, police said.

Officers were unable to find the nose. They believe the man swallowed it, police Sgt. Kim Presley said. A doctor told officers that pumping the man’s stomach would not help because his stomach acid would have dissolved the nose’s cartilage.

“They couldn’t find it,” Presley said. “That’s probably the most disgusting thing I have ever heard of before.”

Police arrested Greg Harrison Hill, 45, about 7:35 p.m. Thursday on complaints of resisting arrest, maiming and domestic abuse and violence, Tulsa County jail records show.

Hill told police he did not bite his girlfriend.

Presley said officers cleaned blood from Hill before booking him. He was in jail Friday in lieu of $40,500 bail.

Presley did not know where the woman was Friday.

Car Accident Turns to Intrigue

This accident caused quite the pileup and for a while was one of the ten thousand “Fox Alerts” the day it happened.

The following day the accident turned into something more because one of the victims of the accident was carrying a check for two million dollars and “other financial instruments.” The FBI terrorism force was called in.

The latest news is that there are no ties to terrorism for this “physician from Puerto Rico.”

Okay. The FBI says what it says. It could be just me but check out this fellow’s name. Does that sound like a Puerto Rican name?

From Chicago Tribune:

FBI: No terrorism tie in Stevenson crash

By David Heinzmann and Lolly Bowean
Tribune staff reporters
Published February 23, 2006, 7:21 PM CST

Image hosted by Photobucket.com The victim of a fatal Stevenson Expressway traffic accident who immediately attracted the attention of FBI terrorism investigators was a physician from Puerto Rico who had real estate and business investments in the Chicago area but no known ties to terrorism, his attorney and authorities said Thursday.

Lafi Hussein Nofal, 45, died Wednesday in a chain-reaction wreck on the southbound Stevenson near the Harlem Avenue exit. Authorities said they found a check for $2 million and “other financial instruments” in the car, drawing the attention of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force.

However, the FBI released a statement early Thursday saying there was no known terrorism link, and referred further questions to the Illinois State Police.

Leaving With a Smile

Now here’s a job attorneys should get a handle on.

It’s a spoof but the firm of Warwick-Seltz is a law firm whose time has come.

Look at the following “Pizza Bill of Rights” and tell me we don’t need somebody protecting our right to a fine pizza.

You have the right to edge-to-edge toppings.

. Toppings shall be fresh and never canned.

. Toppings will be found on top of the cheese, for perfect cooking.

. Cheese shall be aged provolone, and shall never be spelled “cheez.”

. You are entitled to 100 pieces of pepperoni on every large pepperoni pizza.

. You have the right to expect consistently great taste with every pie.


Pat Fish is a published author and her books have drawn attention from her fellow reviewers on Blogcritics. Reviews of Memoirs of Josephine Fish and Mystery and Mirth have been conveniently provided for your reading pleasure.

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  • http://www.clatch.blogspot.com A.L. Harper

    “Such Job Dedication!”

    Hold on now! You mean if I got a job there I could get unsuspecting attractive men to offer me money for sex then I get to have sex with them and arrest them if they aren’t good?!

    Sign me up!