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 ]

jcupp.jpgJoel Matthew Cupp thought he was talking with 3 teen girls. Underage teen girls. The Trinity Oaks Elementary School teacher from New Port Richey, FL allegedly became so hot for his cyber-Lolitas that he exposed himself to his online friends.
As fate would have it, Mr. Cupp’s alleged junk-flashing was actually done over the Web for the disgust (and perhaps cynical amusement) of investigators from the Citrus County (FL) Sheriff’s Office.
Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum announced the arrest of Joel Matthew Cupp on Thursday. Cupp has been charged with four third-degree felonies: three hits for soliciting someone he thought was a juvenile over the Web and a fourth count of lewd and lascivious exhibition.
Cupp could face 2 decades behind bars if he’s convicted.
Joel Cupp’s story so far would be disturbing enough as it is, but it looks as though the good Mr. Cupp kept a blog. Normally that might not be so significant, but if Cupp is found guilty as charged, his blog might be viewed as a truly ripe example of creepy hypocrisy.
In his blogger profile, the owner of JoelMCupp.blogspot.com said he was 29, and a teacher in New Port Richey, FL. Joel M. Cupp posted a photo as well, showing a man whose appearance matches the photos published online by Tampa Bay media. If that wasn’t enough proof that it was the same man’s blog, he had this link on the side of the page: “Trinity Oaks Elementary School- The school I work at!

caseymanthony.JPGThough early reports about the disappearance of 2-year-old Caylee Anthony gave the date of the Orlando toddler’s vanishing as June 9, authorities have determined that Caylee actually disappeared on or about June 16, 2008.
Caylee’s mother Casey made an unusual number of phone calls on June 16 and June 18. According to Fox News, Casey Anthony made close to a dozen calls in just over 4 hours on June 16. That’s the day police think something happened to Caylee, though they aren’t sure exactly what that something might be.

rkwidmer.jpgEverything was going well for Ryan K. Widmer, age 27. He was newly married, and he had received a promotion. Previously the sports marketing manager for the Warren County, OH Convention & Visitors Bureau, Widmer was bumped up to sales manager in January, 2008.
It all fell apart on Monday, Aug. 11. That was when Widmer called 911 in Lebanon, OH to report that he’d found his 24-year-old wife, Sarah Widmer, dead in the tub.
During his call to emergency services, Ryan Widmer said that his wife “fell asleep in the bathtub,” and that he thought she was dead. “I was downstairs,” said Widmer, “and I just came up here and she was laying face-down in the bathtub.”
An autopsy by the Warren County Coroner revealed that Sarah drowned. Apparently, authorities immediately suspected the drowning was anything but an accident. There was additional trauma to Sarah Widmer’s body and according to county prosecutors, signs of “violent force.”
The Associated Press reports that Widmer is being held in the Warren County jail.
[msnbc.com/AP and the Dayton Daily News.]

jetd.jpgThe first day of the sentencing trial for convicted serial child killer Joseph Edward Duncan III ended with only a handful of words from the killer himself. Duncan, who was found competent to represent himself during the trial, simply said he would not contest the government’s view of his crimes. Duncan said, in part, “I debated whether or not to do an opening statement, simply because I didn’t want to get in an argument with the government about what happened.”
While both sides had an hour and a half to speak to the jury, only United States Attorney Tom Moss used the allotted time.
In the process he detailed some of Duncan’s most vile actions, including the videotaped torture of Dylan Groene. Moss said that Dylan’s “last days on this Earth were filled with experiences no child should ever experience.”
Moss also detailed the cold calculations behind Duncan’s spree, which resulted in the violent deaths of Brenda, Slade, and Dylan Groene as well as Mark McKenzie. Duncan, said Moss, used a spreadsheet to plot the pros and cons of what Duncan once called in a blog post his “Bohemian Underground.”
Still to come: the jury will likely be subjected to the evidence of Duncan’s vicious crimes, including the tapes Duncan made of his acts; they may also hear the testimony of surviving victim Shasta Groene. [KXLY.com and The Seattle Times. On the Web: Duncan’s blog, Blogging the Fifth Nail.]


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Google Street View of the Ark. Dem. Party HQ in Little Rock.
UPDATE
According to CNN, Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney died this afternoon in a Little Rock hospital. Quote:

The chairman of the Arkansas Democratic Party died Wednesday, hours after a shooting at the party’s headquarters, according to a statement from former President Clinton and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton […] the statement gave his name as Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney.

Original post
Arkansas law enforcement officials have named Tim Johnson, age 50, as the shooter in the attack on Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney.
Johnson entered the office at about 10 til noon today and asked to see Chairman Gwatney. Though the secretary on duty refused, Johnson entered Gwatney’s office and fired 3 times before fleeing the scene.
Johnson, a resident of Searcy, AR, may have then made his way to the nearby Arkansas Baptist Convention building. There were local reports of a white male in a t-shirt who pointed a gun at staffers there before leaving the building.
Police caught up with the suspect and a chase ensued, ending around 2:30 p.m. CT in Grant County, AR. Johnson was ultimately shot and killed during a confrontation with police.
Recent reports indicate that Bill Gwatney, a 48-year-old former Arkansas State legislator and friend to Bill and Hillary Clinton, is in critical condition at a Little Rock hospital. [MSNBC/AP and ArkansasOnline.com.]

bgwatney.jpgUPDATE
The AP is reporting that the shooter died after his confrontation with Arkansas authorities.
Original post
The Associated Press reports that Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman Bill Gwatney is in critical condition after a shooting at the state party headquarters in Little Rock, AR.
The alleged shooter entered the party headquarters in downtown Little Rock around noon today and asked to speak with Gwatney. After Gwatney’s secretary refused to allow the man to see the chairman, he charged into Gwatney’s office. At least 3 shots were fired.
The suspect, a white man in his 40s, fled the scene in a blue pickup. Police gave chase. They ran the man to ground in Grant County, AR, where he was shot. Police say they don’t know the motive behind the attack. [CNN and the AP. Also on the Web: ArkDems.org.]

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]

pdmurphy.jpgIf police in North Port Florida are correct about 27-year-old Patrick Dewayne Murphy, he took part in an act that was truly the stuff of parental nightmares.
Murphy has been arrested in connection with the rape and murder of Coralrose Fullwood, age 6. Coralrose vanished from her bedroom on the night of September 16/17, 2006. She was found several hours later at a nearby construction site.
Murphy has been charged with kidnapping, sexual battery on a child, and 1st-degree murder. Investigators have told Florida media that their work isn’t done. During a news conference held Tuesday, North Port Chief of Police Terry Lewis said that they believe “other people are involved.” He meant that others either assisted in the abduction, rape and murder of the little girl, or they knew about it and did nothing to assist the investigation.
There were many layers to the story of Coralrose. Her father Dale was arrested during the investigation and charged with possessing child pornography. Dale Fullwood eventually pled no contest to the charges. He’s still serving time.
Coralrose’s many siblings were removed from their parents’ care for a time, due to the extremely unsanitary conditions found in the home when police began investigating the little girl’s disappearance. Her mother, Ellen-Beth, even seemed to be subject to some suspicion, if only from true crime devotees discussing the crime on various message boards.
Murphy was linked to the crime by DNA. After he was jailed in January for burglary, his DNA was entered in Florida’s DNA database. That generated a match to the Fullwood murder.
Of the charges against Patrick Murphy, Ellen-Beth Fullwood said, “I’m grateful that we’ve gotten to this point, finally.”
[HeraldTribune.com]


Clips from Shelley Malil’s work in TV and movies.
Forty-three-year-old Indian-born actor Shelley Malil isn’t a household name, but you’ve probably seen his face. IMDB.com shows a resume stretching back to 1994. Malil has appeared on TV shows like Seinfeld and NYPD Blue and movies such as Collateral Damage and more recently, The 40 Year Old Virgin.
Now Malil is making a move from near-fame to real infamy. Shelley Malil was arrested early Monday in Oceanside, CA.
According to the San Diego County Sheriff’s Dept., Malil went to his ex-girlfriend’s house Sunday night around 9 p.m. He found his ex in the back yard with a male companion. That was when Malil allegedly went berserk. He picked up a knife and stabbed the woman several times. She fled, and Malil gave chase, allegedly injuring the woman’s male friend when he tried to help.
A neighbor heard screaming and saw Malil and Malil’s ex near the front door of the victim’s residence. Malil left and the neighbor tried to help, putting pressure on the stab wounds. The neighbor said the woman’s “chin was almost entirely cut off” and there were “a lot of gashes on her back as well.”
The stabbing victim was taken to Palomar Hospital. She was in critical condition, but investigators tell San Diego-area media that she will live. Malil is in the San Diego County Detention Center, being held on $2 million bail for suspicion of attempted murder, mayhem and burglary.
Shelley Malil’s web page at Malil.com is offline now (go figure), but it can still be accessed via the links below:
* Homepage, Malil.com
* Resume
* Bio
[KNBC | Los Angeles via E! Online]