Browsing: Bizarre


The story that brought Joyce McKinney back to the public spotlight.
Who could forget Joyce Bernann McKinney, her cloned Booger puppies, the past allegations that she raped a hunka hunka Mormon Missionary man back in the 70s? I know I couldn’t — she’s a crime blogger’s dream subject.
Well, from my home state of Tennessee comes the latest wrinkle in the always entertaining and original saga of the former beauty queen and international fugitive — turns out Joyce’s long and winding path from her tabloid heyday in the 70s eventually led, in 2004, to Carter County, TN.
This time, McKinney was concerned about a horse she owned. Seems he had just three legs, and the thing Ms. McKinney most desired was to fit her steed with a prosthesis.
Her alleged solution? Burglary, via a 15-year-old male proxy.
Couldn’t make this shit up if I tried.
Anyway — according to reports rolling out of Tennessee and the old AP, Ms. McKinney acquired a black wig, gloves, and the aforementioned 15-year-old boy.
There was one problem — the kid was wearing a wire.
And so, our Joyce — or whatever the hell she was calling herself then — fell afoul of the Tennessee law, and in short order she was charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, and, for good measure, I guess, speeding.
Carter County authorities aren’t sure how Ms. McKinney decided on the residence in question, and in keeping with what appears to be her usual M.O., Joyce McKinney denied everything, declared herself completely innocent — this according to McKinney’s Tennessee lawyer David (don’t you dare call him Davey) Crockett.
Crockett was going to negotiate some sort of plea with the courts in this case, but McKinney missed the court date and thereby managed to add felony failure to appear to her list of alleged offenses. Crockett decided he was done with the case 2 years later.
Carter County, TN, however, is a lot like England in this respect — it seems as though folks there don’t have much interest at the moment in extraditing Ms. McKinney. Unless, that is, she shows up in North Carolina, Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, etc. Then, they might think about it.
The award for understatement in this story must go to former Carter County Sheriff investigator Laverne Julian. Regarding McKinney’s arrest in 2004, Julian said, “She was mentally not all there.” [nbc4i.com ]

pdcfloresaulis.jpgThe lovely vision you see on the right is Paula Del Carmen Flores-Aulis, age 40. She ran into some trouble at home, and that ultimately led to an even more troublesome incarceration at the Gwinnett County, GA Detention Facility.
It seems that Ms. Flores-Aulis was enjoying what the Atlanta Journal-Constitution delicately termed a “private moment” with a male companion around 7 a.m., Monday morning. That was when her husband came home.
The as-yet unnamed male visitor high-tailed it out the bedroom window. Suddenly, Paula Del Carmen Flores-Aulis was a victim of said ruffian. She said the man invaded her home and attempted to have his way with her.
Authorities were summoned and upon investigation they determined that the ‘home invader’s’ vehicle was sitting in the driveway of the residence. The hood was cool, giving the impression that it had been there a while. Lilburn police detective Kim Banks said that was “a little strange.” Strange enough to put Ms. Flores-Aulis’s story in some doubt.
Ms. Flores-Aulis’s lover sent a chum over to the house to pick up the car. That was how police got in touch with the suspect, and how he told the real story of the morning.
In short, he was scared to death mainly because the husband came home, and also because he was accused of home invasion.
Further investigation determined that Ms. Flores-Aulis and her “home invader” had even eaten breakfast together at one of the Atlanta area’s many fine Waffle House establishments earlier in the morning. Waffle House employees were glad to help firm up the accused lover’s story.
As noted by the AJC, Ms. Flores-Aulis is being held on a low bond, accused of falsely reporting a crime.
Strangely, her husband has yet to post her bail. [ajc.com]

sroderick.jpg
Some crime stories you just can’t avoid, even if you try. The saga of Shawn Roderick, age 11, is one of those stories.
Police in Orlando, FL say Shawn marched into a Walgreens at 3:30 this morning and pulled out a pair of handguns, intent on robbing the place. It looks as though Shawn actually got some money from the till, but one of the Walgreens employees called 911 and cops snagged little Shawn as he exited the store.
Turns out the guns Shawn flashed upon entering the store were actually BB pistols.
There’s no word yet as to whether Shawn Roderick will be tried as an adult, but Orlando police released his name this afternoon, anyway. The UPI reported that the child will face felony robbery charges. [WKMG Orlando, UPI]

Not that anyone really doubted this, but Bernann McKinney, of the 5 cloned Booger puppies, admitted over the weekend that she was also the infamous Joyce McKinney.
McKinney tearfully said she’d hoped that people would focus on the story of her 5 cloned puppies and not past “garbage.”
She said that she figured “people would be honest enough to see” her as someone “who was trying to do something good and not as a celebrity.”
To Joyce Bernann McKinney, the portrait of her painted by the press over 3 decades ago wasn’t real. It was a “figment of the tabloid press.”
Speaking to the AP about the charges that she raped 6’4″ Mormon missionary Kirk Anderson as he was restrained in a remote English cottage, McKinney said, “I didn’t rape no 300-pound man […] He was built like a Green Bay Packer.”
Legally, McKinney has nothing to worry about. British authorities, citing the age of the charges against her, will not seek extradition.
[International Herald Tribune/AP]

From the Boston Globe:

“I think Germany was too small for him,” Alexander Gerhartsreiter said. “He wanted to live in the big country and maybe get famous. Now that I see all this, he’s really famous.”

Enterprising American reporters have tracked down the real family of German national Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter, who may just be the man known to U.S. authorities as Clark Rockefeller. At least that’s one of the names he’s used. Several papers have also confirmed what I first reported here, two days ago — that Gerhartsreiter (Rockefeller) apparently moved to Wisconsin in 1981 and married Amy Jersild. That marriage permitted Gerhartsreiter to obtain a green card and made him a legal resident of the United States.
According to the Globe, Gerhartsreiter left his home and family in Bavaria in 1978, when he was 17. He first landed in Connecticut, where he attended one year of high school as an exchange student. Then he was off across the U.S., marrying in Wisconsin in ’81 before moving on to San Marino in the mid-80s. Gerhartsreiter adopted the Christopher Chichester pseudonym then. It was the last fake name his birth family knew about, for Gerhartsreiter stopped calling in 1985.
John and Linda Sohus vanished in February of that year, and Christopher Chichester seemed to vanish a few months later.
Though the real story of how a boy from Bavaria became a fake member of the American gentry and then a fugitive on the run with his daughter is becoming clearer with each passing day, the man who wanted to be known as a Rockefeller still isn’t talking to police from Boston or Los Angeles. He may never crack. He’s had a lot of practice keeping his secrets. [Boston.com]

My wife leaves the TV on NBC when she leaves for work. So the first face I saw on the tube when I woke up this morning was a woman in rapture over 5 cloned Boogers. She was being interviewed on the Today show. She truly looked ecstatic. The journalist asking questions looked more and more uncomfortable as the interview progressed. It looked as though the journo — Natalie Morales — could feel the craziness closing in on her.
The woman with the 5 cloned Boogers was Bernann McKinney, and Booger was, once upon a time, her pet pit bull. Booger died two years ago from cancer. Bernann McKinney missed Booger so much she got a wild hair and contacted a lab in South Korea that said it could clone dogs and other animals. Bernann spent many thousands of dollars to end up with 5 cloned puppies. Five copies of her precious Booger.
The look on Natalie Morales’s face mirrored my feelings as I watched Bernann talk about her Boogers. Bernann said, “He became my service dog […] I was in a wheelchair, and my arms were in braces for a long time — I couldn’t use my hands. He could unlock a door with his teeth, he could answer the phone, he could do the laundry. He was my hands.”
Writing that out it doesn’t look nearly as crazy as it sounded. Bernann’s hyper way of speaking over-emphasized certain points, like how her dog could do laundry. When the camera came back to Morales, she looked like she wanted to be somewhere else.
So, I turned the channel, because I could only take so much. Still, I kept wondering about the story. I had the feeling something was up with Bernann McKinney. I wasn’t sure what, though. Perhaps the cloned puppies deal was a scam, a hoax. No, I decided — too many articles were out there about the puppies; they, at least, appear to be real. So maybe it was just Bernann — after all, the woman was so obsessed with getting her doggy back that she spent a small fortune to do it. That kind of commitment is rare, and can often result in, well, commitment. To a hospital, perhaps.
I went about my day. Since my day involves sorting through the news and finding interesting stuff to cover for this blog, I eventually ran across this, in the UK’s Daily Mail: “A cloned dog, a Mormon in mink-lined handcuffs and a tantalising mystery.” From the article:

Could the new owner of the world’s first commercially cloned pups be the same woman who had gone on the run from British justice 30 years ago, having been the star of one of the most bizarre, entertaining and downright saucy court cases in living memory?

Bernann McKinney had tripped my spidey-sense for a reason.

beschorner2.jpgOne of 44-year-old Michelle Lague’s neighbors noticed that she’d not been out walking her dog. So on July 7, the neighbor called the cops. Investigators found Lague dead in her home.
Lague was slated to testify in a high-profile murder trial in San Antonio. She’d seen a vehicle speeding away from a crime scene in 2005.
Early Wednesday San Antonio police revealed that Lague’s death had no connection to her status as a witness for the prosecution. Michelle Lague died at the hands of a friend.
That friend was a former roommate, towering, heavyset Kethan Beschorner, age 29.
Beschorner claims the devil made him do it.

chichesterockefeller.JPG
Today the saga of alleged non-custodial kidnapper and mystery man Clark Rockefeller took a turn into made-for-TV land. Investigators from Los Angeles have flown to Boston to speak with Rockefeller about a 23-year-old missing persons/possible murder case in San Marino, CA.
They want to talk to Clark Rockefeller about the San Marino Bones, and ask him if he is the man who once called himself “Christopher Crowe Mount Batten Chichester.”
Chichester was the name used by a man who certainly had a lot in common with Rockefeller. In 1994 the Associated Press reported that Chichester was described by friends as “an urbane gentleman with a trace of an English accent who joined worthy causes and made friends easily.”
Chichester told different stories about who he was: a computer expert; producer, even stockbroker.
One friend said, “Chris Chichester dressed well and was articulate and knowledgeable about whatever subject he happened to be talking about at the time.” That friend described Chichester as “an interesting character.”
The same was said about Clark Rockefeller while he was on the run — he was a character, a charming eccentric. And like Rockefeller, who once helped fund the building of a new city facility in the town where he lived in New Hampshire, Chichester was said to be civic-minded. He attended the Church of Our Savior in San Gabriel, CA and met new friends there. In 1984, Chichester reportedly even volunteered to help paint San Marino High School.
Like Clark Rockefeller, Chichester used aliases: Christopher Crowe and Christian Gerhartsreiter.
The last time anyone saw Christopher Chichester was in 1989, in Greenwich, CT. Chichester attempted to sell a truck and the potential buyer grew suspicious when he discovered there was still a lien on the vehicle.The vehicle was owned by John Sohus, of San Marino, CA. Sohus and his wife Linda had been missing since February 8, 1985.
John and Linda Sohus had supposedly gone to Europe. Some people even received postcards from Paris, signed by Linda. They’d been gone for two months when Chichester, who rented a home on property owned by the couple, also disappeared.
On May 8, 1994, workers in San Marino were digging a pool on that property when they uncovered plastic-wrapped bones from a dismembered body. It was later determined that the bones were most likely the remains of John Sohus.
Unsolved Mysteries covered the Sohus disappearance, and in that production the show stated that Christian Gerhartsreiter was Chichester’s real name. Only one readily available U.S. public record be found for that name. It was for a marriage that took place in Dane County, WI in 1981 between a Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter and Amy Jersild. Gerhartsreiter was 19 at the time — he would be 46 or 47 today. [An alternate spelling of the German name is Christian Gerhart Streiter — per the Boston Herald. ~ Ed.]
California authorities have never said that Christopher Chichester/Christian Gerhartsreiter was a “suspect” in the death of John Sohus or the disappearance of Linda Sohus. But they certainly got on a plane pretty fast when a fingerprint from Clark Rockefeller linked him to Chichester, and possibly some answers to the questions about the the missing couple from San Marino.
Yet Clark Rockefeller claims he can’t remember his parents. He won’t say where he was born, or who he really is. After all, if he is convicted of the charges related to his alleged abduction of his daughter Reigh, he won’t face life in prison. Answering questions about John and Linda Sohus — if the man has the answers authorities seek — might lead to a much more long-term acquaintance with life behind prison bars.
[BostonHerald.com; AP — archived article from Long Beach Press-Telegram; InsideSocal.com/Crime Scene Blog]

Dr. Bruce Ivins, the man the FBI says created the anthrax letters that killed 5 people just after 9/11, may have been a bit of a troll on YouTube, among other sites. It appears as though he was leaving strange comments as recently as 4 weeks ago.
In an add-on to this post, I detailed some of “JimmyFlathead’s” activities on Wikipedia, and how Bruce Ivins’s screen name on Reunion.com matched him to JimmyFlathead. Ivins’s/Flathead’s Wikipedia activity dovetails with a report published today indicating Ivins’s long-term obsession with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Five months ago, a woman named Deb posted her first attempts at juggling on YouTube. She received this comment from a user with the screen name “bruceivi”: “Way to go, Deb!!!! You probably don’t remember me but I’m your sister Jen’s Godfather, Bruce. Where did you learn to do all that great stuff? Did you ever try two in each hand? Start with doing two in one hand, then do two in the other, then you can put them together, either alternating throws or throwing at the same time. I used to juggle as stress relief – it’s hard to think of other things when you’re tossing stuff in the air and trying to keep gravity from winning! – bruce”
Bruce Ivins’s juggling hobby has been noted in many reports since the LA Times revealed his status as the FBI’s number 1 suspect in the “Amerithrax” investigation.
While bruceivi’s comment to Deb was pleasant and supportive, the same screen name was attached to a series of comments left on an entirely different video just 4 weeks ago. The comments were so unpleasant that others kept ranking them down, ‘burying’ them.
The clip was from Episode 7 of Season one of the ABC reality series, The Mole. You don’t need to know much about the show to read the comments from brucivi and wince.
bruceivi posted that readers should “Put the next 3 comments from bruceivi together.”
The comments put together as suggested are scary, even for comments left on a YouTube video:

Steve had a great chance to Kill Kathryn that would go down as the primo moment in reality TV.
After the fake fainting he’d say, “Kathryn, do you know what a mole is? It’s a blind useless,animal that humans hate. And do you know what we do to moles? We kill them!”
[…]
With that he should have taken the hatchet and brought it down hard and sharply across her neck, severing her carotid artery and jugular vein. Then when she hits the ground, he completes the task on the other side of the neck, severing her trachea as well. The “Blind” mole is dead and Steve is a hero among heroes! I personally would have paid big money to have done it myself.
[…]
Maybe something really dreadful will happen to Kathryn Price. If so, she will richly deserve it! The least someone could do would be to take a sharp ballpoint pin or letter opener and put her eyes out, to complete the task of making her a true mole!

The commenter seemed to almost immediately think about what he’d written, posting, “Sorry if my comments offended people. This occurred several years ago. It was meant as a macabre twist to a pretty lame reality show […] burceivi. [sic]”
It will be interesting to find out if Kathryn Price ever received any suspicious packages in the mail. A screen capture of the comments can be seen below.
bruceivi.jpg

ivinsjuggle.jpg
UPDATE — As this post was being written, MSNBC reported that Bruce Ivins may have been obsessed with a particular sorority, and frequently posted messages about that sorority online — particularly in Wikipedia. There was even a user talk page with a screen name associated with Ivins: JimmyFlathead. That screen name could be found directly connected to Ivins at Reunion.com. Ivins — as JimmyFlathead — was apparently obsessed with the Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority and may have altered Wikipedia entries about the sorority.
Here’s what someone wrote to JimmyFlathead regarding his “obsession” with that sorority: “I stand by my comment that most of the negative content on the page is merely there because you bullied folks with threats of adding negative content and through personal emails. I don’t much care for the tone.
“Furthermore, I can’t understand the obsession. Why do you feel the need to add all this? Why Kappa? All the fraternity and sorority pages have ongoing vandalism, I just can’t understand why you are so intent to contribute vandalism and negativity to ours. Just trying to correct what I perceive to be unfair bashing for no good reason.”
MSNBC also reported that a Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter is located just a few hundred yards from the mailbox investigators think the anthrax killer used to mail his messages of doom.
See: http://jimmyflathead.blogspot.com/ — Possible blog begun by Ivins, based on screen name. One entry only. Also: JimmyFlathead’s User contributions page at Wikipedia. That screen name contributed mostly to discussions about Kappa Kappa Gamma.
******
Original Post
Anthrax researcher Dr. Bruce Edward Ivins killed himself with an overdose of Tylenol with codeine last week. Federal investigators were closing in, preparing to charge the 62-year-old microbiologist with the “Amerithrax” murders that took place just after 9/11/01.
At the time of his death, Ivins’s therapist had a restraining order against him. In the papers filed for that order, Ivins was referred to as “homicidal” and “sociopathic.”
If Bruce Ivins was a homicidal psychopath, the essence of a truly “mad scientist,” it didn’t necessarily show in the way he presented himself to the public.
Ivins and his wife were frequently mentioned in the Frederick News-Post, and beginning in the late 1980s, Ivins’s own words were often published in the form of letters to the editor. What, if anything, could Ivins’s own words reveal about his mind, about the way he viewed the world around him?
Bruce Ivins wasn’t introduced to readers of the Frederick paper as a scientist. The paper first took an interest in Bruce Ivins, the juggler.

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