MSNBC is reporting on-air that Orange County (FL) crime scene investigators entered the home this morning of missing child Caylee Anthony’s grandparents, Cindy and George Anthony. While the CSIs weren’t there all that long, they exited the residence with numerous brown paper bags.
MSNBC correspondent Ron Mott reported that a police helicopter hovered over the Anthony residence for some time yesterday afternoon. Orange County authorities said the chopper was helping to search for a missing Alzheimer’s patient, but reporters still wondered if there might be some correlation between the overflight yesterday and the new search of the Anthony home this morning.
Authorities may soon make public DNA results from tests on items found in the trunk of a vehicle driven by Caylee Anthony’s mother, 22-year-old Casey Marie Anthony. Casey remains in jail on a half-million dollar bond.
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On Tuesday, July 29, 2008, a well-respected scientist named Bruce Ivins died in Maryland, an apparent suicide. Doctors say Ivins may have ingested an overdose of Tylenol mixed with codeine. If the Federal Bureau of Investigation is right about Bruce E. Ivins, he may have had good reason to go.
In June, 2008, the United States Government paid a scientist named Steven Hatfill nearly six million dollars. For 6 years or so Hatfill had been the FBI’s main suspect in the 2001 anthrax attacks.
The attacks started shortly after September 11, 2001. Letters containing a finely milled, powder form of the toxin were mailed to NBC, the New York Post, and the National Enquirer. When all was said and done, five people were dead and the public was terrified. The anthrax scare served to ratchet up the national level of paranoia over terrorism to a true fever pitch. It briefly crippled even the venerable U.S. Postal Service.
Steven Hatfill’s payday came about because by 2006 the FBI had begun to move away from him as a suspect in the case. They simply couldn’t connect the man to the weaponized anthrax. Nothing would stick.
By the time Hatfill received his money and an exoneration on June 27, 2008, the feds had another suspect in the crosshairs. The Los Angeles Times reported early Friday that soon after it was clear that Steven Hatfill was safe to take his money and sink back into blissful anonymity, 62-year-old U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) scientist Bruce Ivins began to sweat.

A judge in Boise, ID will permit convicted serial killer Joseph Edward Duncan III to act as his own attorney during Duncan’s sentencing hearing. Duncan could be sent to death row when all is said and done.
Legally, the judge had to allow it — psychological evaluations of the killer found him competent to act in his own defense. The judge questioned Duncan about the decision, but the prisoner wouldn’t budge.
Duncan sought to dismiss his current representation and act on his own behalf in May. His explanation for doing so? His attorneys could not “ethically represent” his “ideologies.”

Casey Marie Anthony, age 22, says she dropped her 2-year-old daughter Caylee off with a mysterious babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez on June 9. Casey then lost track of the child. Both Caylee and “Zenaida” vanished, without a trace.
On June 20, John Azzilano was taking photos at Fusion, an Orlando nightclub. Caylee Anthony had been missing for 11 days at that point, but her mother was captured by Azzilano’s lens that night. She could be seen smiling with friends and acquaintances, some of them throwing fake gang signs. She looked like any other pretty twenty-something out on the town, without a care in the world.
Two weeks later, a MySpace friend of Casey’s left this comment on Casey’s “kayseeomaree” profile. Casey’s friend Yelena seemed to be responding to a suggestion from Casey. She wrote, yeah we should def get together!!! Lets go to the beach this sunday??!!!” The following day, a young guy named Frank left a comment, and he also appeared to be responding to some communication from Casey, “that sounds like it could be fun :)” [TCR]
About a week after Frank told Casey that whatever she’d suggested “could be fun,” Casey’s mother, Cindy Anthony, called 911. Casey Anthony’s party was over.

Crimes as savage and public as the murder that took place on a Greyhound bus traveling the Trans-Canada Highway from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba on Wednesday night (already mentioned here) are truly rare. Hearing the details of the bus murder also bring home how surreal the attack must have seemed to those who witnessed the event.
Garnet Caton was a passenger on that bus, and he has been extensively quoted in the press. No wonder. The tale he tells of the attack on the as-yet unnamed young, male passenger by a knife-wielding maniac is the stuff of nightmares.

* Canadian Bus Headhunter — (Manitoba, Canada) It was around 10 p.m., and most folks riding the Greyhound from Edmonton to Winnipeg were asleep. The man sitting beside a sleeping, headphone-wearing 18-year-old male passenger was wide awake. He had a shaven head and in spite of the time of day, he was wearing sunglasses. The sleeping man had been riding since Edmonton, the shaven-headed man since Manitoba. They didn’t know each other.
So no one knows why the man with the shaven head started stabbing his sleeping seatmate in the throat with a large hunting knife. At the moment, no one knows why the man continued stabbing even as another passenger raised the alarm, the bus slowed to a stop, and everyone exited. No one can explain why the killer sawed the young man’s head completely off, and then carried it to the front of the bus, where he dropped it.
The attacker — described by witnesses as behaving with unnatural calm throughout the assault — was eventually arrested after a standoff with the RCMP. [Globe and Mail]
* Amber Alert Over: 4 Children from Lynn MA Found Safe — (Lynn, MA) Rodlyn Petitbois, the 25-year-old mentioned in an Amber Alert issued yesterday for his children, was arrested yesterday in Brooklyn, NY. His four children and their mother, Louna Eveillard, were found safe and unharmed in a park in the Crown Heights neighborhood in Brooklyn. Petitbois now faces a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the stabbing of Greenland Etienne, age 33. [Boston Globe]
* Rockefeller May Have Planned Kidnapping — (New York, NY) “I may have to kidnap her.” — Clark Rockefeller reportedly said those very words to a friend over the Christmas holidays last year. His divorce was final and his wife had moved to the United Kingdom. Rockefeller, who uses several aliases, and 7-year-old daughter Reigh were last seen around 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Grand Central Station in New York. Rockefeller paid an acquaintance to drive him and his daughter to NYC from Boston, where he’d allegedly snatched the child from under the nose of a social worker during supervised visitation. [NYDN]
* 7-year-old Charged With Arson — (Hendersonville, TN) A 7-year-old Hendersonville boy tells police that he used a lighter to start a fire in his familys’ garage. After the fire was set, the boy said he returned to playing a video game. The blaze did at least $60,000 in damage. The boy’s excuse? He was angry with his parents and angry about something connected to church. [WSMV]
* Arrest in Zapata Murder — (Greeley, CO) Allen Ray Andrade, 31, allegedly beat his sex partner to death with a fire extinguisher. Police think Zapata did this after he discovered that his friend Angie Zapata was really a transgendered Justin Zapata, age 20. Zapata’s sister discovered her battered body on July 17. Andrade currently faces a charge of 2nd degree murder, but prosecutors may upgrade the charges to first degree and add in a hate crime charge as well. [AP]

rodlynpetitbois.jpgThe Massachusetts State Police have put out an Amber Alert for these 4 children: 1-year-old Lauren Petitbois; Lyndsey Petitbois age 2; 11-month-old Roddick Petitbois; and Ryan Petitbois age 3.
Also missing is Louna Eveillard, age 26. Eveillard is black, has short hair and a slim build. She is from Haiti and speaks “broken” English with an accent. One of Eveillard’s hands may be newly-injured. She may be wearing a bandage on the hand and be in need of medical attention. State Police spokesman David Procopio told the Boston Herald that authorities do not think Eveillard was “a willing participant in this.”
The Petitbois children and their mom were taken around 1 a.m. Wednesday from what the MSP says was the scene of a murder at 99 High Rock Rd. in Lynn, MA. Police say the murder victim was a 32-year-old woman, and she was stabbed in the face.
Police believe the children and their mother were abducted by Rodlyn Petitbois, age 25. Petitbois is a black male and may be wearing either cornrows or dreadlocks. He may also have a beard. Rodlyn Petitbois should be considered armed and dangerous.
Anyone who sees Rodlyn Petitbois or Louna Eveillard is urged to call 911.
[Amber Alert; Boston Herald]

* Casey Anthony, at the Bottom and Digging — (Orlando, FL) Casey Marie Anthony‘s story is that her little girl Caylee vanished on June 9, after Casey left her with a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez. Casey then tried to find her daughter, even going to clubs she thought Zenaida might frequent. I guess that’s how Casey ended up in a series of good-time party-girl photos made on June 20, smiling as if she didn’t have a care in the world. Wonder what her mom Cindy (who has been great with coming up with excuses for Casey since prompting her daughter’s arrest) will say to explain those? And did Casey Anthony break into a shed in her parents’ yard to steal gas cans some time early in July? Her parents reported a burglary around that time. Whatever happened, it looks like no one should expect the truth from Casey any time soon. [Fox News]
* Illinois Gothic: Mother Allegedly Kills Newborn, Burns Home (Champaign, IL) Illinois authorities say Cayla Wheeler, age 23, gave birth to a baby on July 2. They believe she drowned the child and hid the remains in a hole in the woods near her home. Wheeler wasn’t done with mayhem, though. One week later Wheeler allegedly burned her and her husband’s home to the ground. Wheeler’s recent pregnancy came to light during the investigation into the house fire. Cayla Wheeler has been charged with arson, concealing a homicide, and murder in the first degree. [AP/MSNBC]
* Former NBA Ref Sentenced to 15 Months — (Brooklyn, NY) NBA referee Tim Donaghy took part in a betting scandal that sent shockwaves through the NBA. On Tuesday Donaghy learned his fate: 15 months in a federal pen. Donaghy gave a brief statement in federal court. He said, in part, “I brought shame upon myself, my family and the profession.” Donaghy could have been sentenced to nearly 3 years in prison, but he earned the less lengthy term by cooperating with authorities during the investigation. [NYDN]
* Blue-Clad Men Rob Armored Truck in West Palm — (West Palm Beach, FL) A robber shot a Loomis armored truck guard outside a Wachovia Bank branch about 10 a.m. this morning in suburban West Palm. It sounded like a pretty organized robbery. A group of robbers with handguns and an assault rifle arrived as the Loomis guard was re-stocking an ATM. Shots were exchanged and the guard was hit in the leg. He was in good enough shape to take himself to the hospital. Police say they have one suspect in custody, but they’re looking for at least four others. Witnesses report that the robbers all wore blue and they left in a blue van. [WPTV]
* Boyfriend of Woman Stuck to Toilet Gets Probation — (Wichita, KS) It was one of the weirder stories in recent memory: a woman discovered on the toilet in her boyfriend’s bathroom, where she’d been stuck on the john for a month. Her muscles had atrophied and her skin basically glued to the seat. Her boyfriend, Kory McFarren, was arrested and charged with mistreating a dependent adult. McFarren was sentenced yesterday to one year of probation and a mental evaluation for his part in the whole thing. [KAKE]
* THIS DAY IN TRUE CRIME HISTORY: Jimmy Hoffa — (Oakland County, MI) On July 30, 1975, labor leader (and pardoned ex-con) Jimmy Hoffa vanished from the parking lot of the Machus Fox Restaurant in Bloomfield Twp, MI. Hoffa’s disappearance and presumed murder — still unsolved, to this day — soon became part of American pop culture. Jimmy Hoffa has been joked about during late night talk show monologues, been the central figure in pop songs and the subject of numerous books and movies. [TruTV]

Someone, possibly the killer of 23-year-old Army Spc Megan Touma, sent a letter to a Fayetteville, NC paper. In it, he tried to imply that he was the second coming of a legendary, still unknown killer. All the letter-writer had to do to make his message clear was sign the letter with a circle quartered by crosshairs. That symbol could only bring to mind the Zodiac Killer.
Authorities have arrested someone in connection with Touma’s June, 2008 murder, and the truth may be this: there never was a new serial killer. There was only a young man who didn’t want to be a father. Only a soldier named Edgar Patino Lopez, who happened to be studying psyops at Fort Bragg when Touma was murdered.

The motion Casey Marie Anthony’s attorney filed Monday to keep the Orange County Jail from releasing audio and video recordings of Anthony’s jailhouse activities to the press has been denied.
Anthony’s attorney, Jose Baez, insisted that tapes of Anthony’s phone conversations could “impeded the investigation.”
The response from Judge Stan Strickland? “If your motion is granted, then the public’s only source of information will be from you [Baez] and the defendant’s family.”
As previous posts in this blog may show, Baez and the Anthony family are not proving to be the most reliable sources of information in this case.