Browsing: Homicide

apressly.jpgAnne Pressly, the Little Rock, AR journalist who was savagely attacked in her home last week, has passed away. She was 26 years old. Pressly died as a result of her injuries. According to numerous press reports, the journalist was badly bludgeoned about the head and upper body.
A statement on the website of Anne’s employer, KATV, says, “Channel 7 cannot express our grief at the loss of Anne, our dear friend and co-worker.”
Reports published earlier on Saturday seemed to indicate that Pressly’s condition might be improving.
Pressly’s attacker beat the 5’10” news anchor with a blunt object. According to her father, there was evidence that Pressly fought for her life.
The attacker focused on her head, breaking nearly every bone in her face. Because of this, the crime sounds like it could have been personal — at least it sounds that way to me. The police seem to be working a theory of a robbery gone terribly wrong, but there has been speculation in the political blogosphere that the attack was somehow related to Pressly’s brief role in Oliver Stone’s W as an Ann Coulter-like pundit. Anything is possible, but I find that idea ridiculous, at the moment.
Currently, there is a 5-figure reward for information leading to the arrest of Pressly’s killer. [KATV.com]

From the Amber Alert for Julian King, age 7 (linked below):
jking.jpgMissing From: Chicago, IL
Missing Date: 10/24/2008 12:00 AM
Issued for: Illinois: Statewide
Contact: If you have information, please contact Chicago Police Department, 911
Circumstances: The Chicago Police Department have a confirmed child abduction that occurred at 7019 S Yale, Chicago, IL. Julian King is a male black, 7 years old, 4 feet 11 inches, 130 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes, wearing a brown polo shirt with stripes and khaki pants. Suspect vehicle is a white 1994 Chevrolet Suburban, Illinois registration, X584859. Anyone with information should call 9-1-1 and advise they have an Amber Alert report. This concludes this Amber Alert issued by the Illinois State Police.

Julian is the nephew of Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson. Hudson’s mother, Darnell Donerson, and older brother Jason Hudson were found murdered in their South Side Chicago home yesterday.
The suspected killer in this case, 27-year-old William Balfour, is in police custody. Police believe Balfour abducted King, his stepson, but the little boy wasn’t with the suspect when Balfour was arrested. Balfour has been somewhat cooperative with the police, but King’s whereabouts are still unknown.
The True Crime Report was the first publication to reveal William Balfour’s “Flexamillion_1” MySpace yesterday. Balfour’s page showed his last login was in June of this year, and it said, “FLEX in jail.” No surprise there, since Balfour, according to numerous Chicago-area reports, has an extensive criminal history.
On his page, Balfour bragged about his famous connection: “I might as well let you all know that Jennifer Hudson is my wife’s sister[,] I’m proud of her and wish her nothing but the best in what she do[,] but don’t hit me up asking about her…”
Reports aired on MSNBC this morning indicated that Jennifer Hudson is very close to her nephew — he’s practically a surrogate son. If you think you think you have any information regarding Julian King’s location, do as the Amber Alert says and call 911 or the Illinois State Police. [Amber Alert Case]


Jennifer Hudson performing “And I am Telling You” at a Grammy Party.
UPDATE
According to the Chicago Tribune, suspect William Balfour (aka “Flex” — see below) is in custody. Balfour is being questioned. There is no word on the whereabouts of 7-year-old Julian King, who was abducted from the Darnell Hudson Donerson’s home on Friday morning.
Original Post
Academy Award winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother have been found murdered in their South Side Chicago residence.
Hudson’s mother Darnell Donerson, age 57, and Hudson’s brother Jason Hudson were found just before 3 p.m. CT today.
An Amber Alert has been issued for Hudson’s nephew, Julian King, age 7. The boy may have been taken from the home by someone driving a 1994 white Chevy Suburban, Illinois plate #X58 4859. Chicago ABC affiliate WLS reports that King “has been missing since Friday morning.” King may have been kidnapped by William Balfour, who is also a suspect in the murders of Donerson and Jason Hudson.
This is Balfour’s MySpace:
http://www.myspace.com/flexamillion_1.
balfourflex.jpgBalfour called himself “Flex” and wrote the following in his “About me”: “I AM A 26 YEAR OLD, I RESIDE ON THE SOUTH SIDE OF CHICAGO, I HAVE A WIFE HER NAME IS JULIA, AND I ALSO HAVE A 6 YR OLD STEPSON, I DON’T TOLERATE BULLSHIT, SO DON’T COME TO ME WITH IT, I LIKE TO LIVE LIFE AND EXPERIENCE EVERYTHING THATS WHY I’M HERE SEEING WHAT IT’S ABOUT, I MIGHT AS WELL LET YOU ALL KNOW THAT JENNIFER HUDSON IS MY WIFE’S SISTER I’M PROUD OF HER AND WISH HER NOTHING BUT THE BEST IN WHAT SHE DO BUT DON’T HIT ME UP ASKING BOUT HER, OTHER THAN THAT IT’S ON!”
Police told WLS that neighbors reported hearing gunfire sometime between 8 and 9 this morning.
TMZ has tracked down some key details in this story — apparently Jennifer Hudson’s cousin found the bodies and alerted authorities. Also, they found that William Balfour is on parole after serving time in jail for attempted murder. (Note on his MySpace, it says, “FLEX in jail.”)
Jennifer Hudson was reportedly in Tampa when she got the terrible news. She is en route to Chicago.
WJBC has the Amber Alert for Julian King. From the Alert: “Police believed seven-year-old Julian King was abducted from the home of Hudson’s mother by 27-year-old William Balfour, who they say may be armed and dangerous. Police say Balfour could be in one of two vehicles. They say he could be driving a 1994 white Chevrolet Suburban SUV with license plate X584859. He also may be driving a teal green 1994 Chrysler Concorde with temporary license plate 332K823…”
[NBCChicago.com and WLS. See also: WBBM 780.]
Below: A pdf-like copy of William Balfour’s MySpace page.

caseymanthony.JPGProsecutors in Orange County, FL have made public the results of forensic tests performed in the investigation into the disappearance of Orlando-area toddler Caylee Anthony. The tests were performed by the FBI and the National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, TN.
Items from the Pontiac Casey Anthony abandoned after her daughter’s disappearance were tested. They included hair and a trunk liner. Some of this has already been made public, but here ya go:
— It was apparent from the root of the hair found in the Pontiac’s trunk that the owner of that hair was in a state of decomposition when the hair was shed. Which is a long way of saying the hair came from a corpse. DNA from both Casey and Caylee didn’t exclude either one as the source of the DNA. Casey’s alive and in jail, charged with first-degree murder, so…
— There was chloroform residue found in the trunk. Chloroform, which can put you into a deep sleep, or kill you, depending on the amount used. The tests indicated that there was “an unusually large concentration” of the substance in the trunk.
— Air from the trunk of the Pontiac was tested at Oak Ridge. From the Orlando Sentinel: “A portion of the total odor signature from the trunk ‘is consistent with a decompositional event that could be a human origin.'”
Casey and her family still insist little Caylee was taken by a babysitter named Zenaida Gonzalez. Casey’s family still appear regularly on national TV to vocally defend her. Most folks familiar with the story still don’t buy it all. [OrlandoSentinel.com. And while you’re at it, check out my friend Willoughby Mariano’s “Orlando Homicide Report.“]

In April this year, at The True Crime Weblog, I wrote “All-American Girl: The Murder of Meghan Landowski.” Landowski, a 16-year-old sophomore at Woodrow Wilson High in Portsmouth, VA, was found stabbed to death in her home last April. There’s finally been an arrest in the case. Portsmouth police have taken a 17-year-old into custody. He’s been charged with first-degree murder. The teen’s name hasn’t been revealed due to his age, but the D.A. prosecuting the case, Earle Mobley, says he will seek to charge the teen as an adult. [DailyPress.com]


A brief video from the Kentucky New Era about new developments in the case.
The Kentucky State Police have made an arrest in connection with the brutal murders of Kayla Williams, Kortney Frensley, little Ethan Frensley and the attack on the childrens’ mother, Kristy Frensley.
A SWAT team assisted in the arrest at a residence at 2503 Cox Mill Road in Hopkinsville, KY around 8:30 a.m this morning, Central TIme. The suspect may have been an installer for Direct TV. Neighbors said that at least two men lived at the residence and that they hadn’t been there for more than a month or two.
Kristy Frensley (the New Era consistently spells her first name Kristi) continues to recover at the Jennie Stuart Medical Center in Hopkinsville.
[Kentucky New Era]

kristyfrensley.jpgThe deaths of Kayla Williams and Kortney and Ethan Frensley have been ruled homicides. A spokesman for the Kentucky State Police said that autopsies on two of the three children made it clear they’d been murdered. The childrens’ mother, Kristy Frensley, continues to recover from her injuries. There was some suspicion towards Frensley’s ex at first, Jeffery H. Frensley (statistics often point towards an estranged spouse in cases like this), but discussions at Websleuths.com, a popular true crime message board, have begun to steer away from Frensley and towards the possibility of the attack on the family being a random, sexually-motivated crime. Even if you don’t want to register for an account and post on the board, you may want to at least follow the thread I began about this case on October 16. [WZTV]

kfrensley.jpgThe one-story home at 169 Military Road was on fire. Locals knew that Kristy (or Kristi, according to one source) Frensley lived there with her children: Kayla Williams, her 17-year-old daughter, born prior to Kristi’s marriage to Jeffery Hugh Frensley; Kortney Frensley, Jeff and Kristi’s daughter, an 9th-grader; and little Ethan Frensley, age 4. Kayla and Kortney went to Trigg County High.
The Roaring Springs, KY Volunteer Fire Dept. responded to the fire when it was reported around 5 p.m. CT on Wednesday. They found much more than the everyday tragedy of a house fire. They found 3 dead bodies. Kristy Frensley was the only living person on the scene. She was gravely injured.
Police believe the three bodies found at the scene — most likely Kayla, Kortney, and Ethan — were murdered.
Whatever happened at 169 Military Road may have happened between 4 and 5 p.m. Neighbors told local media that their kids got off the bus with the Frensley kids. By the time law enforcement began processing the scene, it was clear to witnesses that something dramatic had happened. One witness even told the Kentucky New Era of seeing a body in the rear of the burning home. The witness, a Fort Campbell soldier named Jason White, said, “I’ve seen enough caskets… and then to come home and see this…”
Another neighbor told of the intensity of the flames at the Frensley home. Richard Coleman described seeing thick black clouds of smoke and said that by the time he and his wife arrived, “the house was fully engulfed.” Coleman continued, “There was nothing they could have done at the time to save the structure.”
kristyfrensley.jpgColeman also heard a woman — possibly Kristy Frensley — calling for help.
Kristy Frensley’s middle child, Kortney, had a MySpace at one point: Kortney_Frensley. It was precisely what you might expect from a middle-schooler in tiny Roaring Springs, KY. From Kortney’s “About me”:

God always comes first for me!!!Hey my name is Kortney if you don’t know me!! I’m in the 8th grade WHOOT WHOOT!!! I love to make people laugh!!! I’m a little crazy once you get to know me!!! I love to be different cause who wants to be like everybody else, it kinda gets boring after awhile!! I like to yell random things && I’m very loud!! But I’m not annoying lol!! WE IN THE BED LIKE EWW EWW EWW(inside joke)lol Liz!! NO BUTTON WHOOOT WHOOT I love you KIERSTYN!!I like to yell old songs so everybody will look at me && give me wierd faces lol!! I have msn so add me!! [email protected]!! I currently am single and pretty much hating it so any of you boys that think you can handle me can give me a call!

kaylaethan.jpgKortney told a bit more about herself in her MySpace “General” interests, writing, “I like to just be myself and I like to go muddin &;&; I like to ride dirtbikes &;&; skateboard which I really can’t do but I’m into learning new things!!!&;&; basically do what ever any other teenager would do!!”
Kortney also wrote that her hero was “My sister Kayla!!! She is the best sister a girl can ever have!! I miss && love you soooo much!!”
The photos in Kortney’s MySpace album were testament to how important her family was to her. Knowing how the siblings may have died, seeing Kortney’s pictures of her brother, sister, and mother was arresting. Inevitably, the questions came, all of them summed up simply with the biggest question asked by anyone when crimes like this hit the news — why?
Autopsies on the children as well an examination by forensic anthropologist Emily Craig may bring some answers, soon. Kristy Frensley, who is in serious condition at a medical facility in Cadiz, may be able to answer some questions as well. She was “recently divorced” from Jeffery Frensley, according to one report, and comments on the Kentucky New Era article already point towards some local suspicion towards him. And it’s hard to avoid the fact most of the time, cases like this are domestic in nature.
Police have made no reference to a person of interest in this case, and the investigation is ongoing.
An additional link: Kortney Frensley’s profile on Bebo.com.
[Sources: Kentucky New Era and WSMV.com.]

caseymanthony.JPGIt’s a given that we shouldn’t expect neutral reporting from anyone associated with the Nancy Grace show where Casey Anthony is concerned, but I’d imagine that show is also pretty tied in to good sources working the case. That’s why the CNN.com article written by Grace producer Natisha Lance (linked at the end of this post) is so interesting. Particularly this passage, describing today’s arrest of the alleged killer mom:

Anthony was arrested during a traffic stop after the indictment and taken to jail, an Orange County Sheriff’s Department spokesman said.
Undercover officers followed Anthony as she traveled in her mother’s SUV. The officers saw the SUV stop under a highway overpass, at which point Anthony got into another vehicle and drove off. Officers made the traffic stop after she entered the second vehicle, the spokesman said.

Emphasis was added.
Reading that I couldn’t help but think of Scott Peterson’s arrest in La Jolla, CA in April, 2003. Peterson said he was meeting some people at the Torrey Pines golf course, but police felt pretty sure Peterson was making a run for the border. The large amount of cash he had at the time together with multiple credit cards and camping equipment didn’t make Peterson all that believable, either (the countdown to the inevitable Peterson troll who posts defenses of Scott on ALL blog entries even halfway referencing the case has just begun).
The passage quoted above was buried in the middle of the story, but it stood out in neon, to me. I’ll be very interested to learn what reasons Casey might have had for making that odd stop and vehicle switch. I’m sure her mother, Cindy Anthony, will have some sort utterly implausible explanation ready for the news cameras very soon.
UPDATE
A friend e-mailed shortly after this post was up to tell me that Casey’s vehicle switch was to the bail bondsman’s gray SUV. My friend wrote that “There was communication between Cindy and [bail bondsman]Mike MacDonald about Myfox orlando ‘chasing’ or following them from Jose [Baez’s] office.” My tipster added, “Mr. MacDonald also may have been concerned about her whereabouts at that point as well.”
[CNN.com]

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