Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY is currently under lockdown. There have been reports of a gunman on campus. One portion of the campus has been evacuated by local police and the Kentucky State Police. The shots were reportedly fired on the main campus at WKU at Pearce Ford Tower. More details as they are available.
From the WKU website: “The South Campus building on Nashville Road was evacuated earlier following reports that one or more persons were observed in the building with weapons. WKU Police, Bowling Green Police and State Police have conducted an extensive search of the building and the premises. At this time, the police have been unable to find any witnesses or evidence to support earlier reports that weapons were present.
“Following this, WKU PD received an unconfirmed report of shots fired in the vicinity of Pearce Ford Tower on the WKU main campus.
“Police have confirmed that there was a physical altercation not involving weapons between individuals that occurred in or near PFT, but the police are interviewing witnesses on the scene to determine if weapons were or are present, or if shots were fired.
“At this time, the campus emergency warning system has been activated. Students and employees have been advised to remain indoors, in secure areas, until an “all clear” is issued.”
A Twitter user with the screen name “RoyaltyGT” says he’s on the campus and he tweeted the following: “Several suspects in custody, still not sure exactly what happened. Official wku statement should be appearing on www.wku.edu soon.” In a later tweet, RoyaltyGT said he’d not heard of any injuries.
Greg, who goes by “RoyaltyGT” on Twitter, tweets that WKU’s head of Media Relations Bob Skipper says, “No one has been shot or arrested at this time.”
WKU’s school paper, the Herald, reports that a man was injured on campus after the reports of shots being fired. The student publication also states that WKU’s main campus is not on lockdown, but classes have been cancelled for the day.
Then there’s this guy’s Twitter: BrianSexton. Check out a tweet he posted 2 hours ago: “Now there’s a riot in front of my dorm!”
It’s hard to tell with college students. I wouldn’t put it past a few of them to just mess with people.
Follow tweets on the subject here: Twitter — WKU.
Western Kentucky University is all clear. The lockdown is over. There will be a press conference at 5 p.m. ET (4 CT).
In other words, nothing to see here. Move along. [WBKO.com, WKU.edu. Additional linkage: WKUHerald.com.]
YouTube vid of a radio interview with “TrainReq,” aka Josh Holly(?), the guy who allegedly hacked Miley Cyrus’s e-mail.
As a son of Nashville, born and raised, I have to ask: why the hell are so many hackers getting busted in the great state of Tennessee, of late?
Okay, I admit — two alleged hackers do not a trend make. And maybe I just notice because I’m from Tennessee. Still…
First there was David Kernell, son of a Democratic Tennessee state lawmaker. The 20-year-old student at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville (one of my alma maters) was, per the Dept. of Justice, arrested “for intentionally accessing without authorization the e-mail account of Alaska governor Sarah Palin…” The DOJ alleges that Kernell “obtained unauthorized access to Gov. Palin’s personal e-mail account by allegedly resetting the account password.”
You can see some of the fruits of that alleged labor here, at Wikileaks.org.
Now Wired tells us about 19-year-old Josh Holly of Murfreesboro, TN, a city about 30-40 miles due south of Nashville. Joshie just had a little visit from The Man, aka the FBI. The Feds think Holly is the dude who, using nicks like “TrainReq,” “Rockz” and “h4x,” posted photos of teen pop star Miley Cyrus (damn, another Tennessee connection) online. Come on, you know about those pics — they garnered major attention from really reputable websites like TMZ.com. And by “reputable” I mean “execrable,” but I digress.
The feds have reason to believe Holly hacked Miley’s e-mail and spread her PG-13 photos all over creation — according to Wired, Holly “repeatedly bragged online about breaking into the Disney star’s e-mail account and stealing her photos.”
Holly told Wired that he “got access to Cyrus’s Gmail account after obtaining unauthorized access to a MySpace administrative panel where he found passwords for MySpace accounts stored in cleartext. He found the password Cyrus used for her MySpace account — Loco92 — and tried it on a Gmail account Cyrus was known to use. The password worked on that account as well, but only for a couple of weeks before it was changed.”
Holly’s own hubris might have been his undoing. Kim Zetter’s post in Wired’s “Threat Level” blog (linked at the foot of this entry) states that “[hours]before the FBI arrived at his doorstep, Holly posted a message online bragging that even though he was a known hacker, federal agents would never find him.”
After the agents left his apartment, Holly told “Threat Level” he was “just kind of shaking.”
Holly’s still a free man and he may stay that way. Miley Cyrus is damned famous, and she’s still underaged (don’t know why that seems relevant here, but it does), but she’s not Sarah Palin, with her Secret Service protection and all.
If both David Kernell and Josh Holly do end up doing time, they shouldn’t worry too hard about life afterwards — just read up a little on Kevin Poulsen, a senior editor at Wired and one of the bloggers on “Threat Level.” Hacking may be serious business to Johnny Law, but in the end, after a gifted or showy hacker has paid his dues, he can make a good living doing big business. Hacking’s weird that way.
I’m starting to think my home state is weirder than I already knew. I don’t know if it’s the Royal Crown Cola, the Jack Daniels, all that trailer-brewed crank, or what.
Cyber-security experts: hit up the computer engineering programs at MTSU and UT for new recruits now, before those kids end up in federal prison! [Threat Level from Wired.com. Additional, pointless link: Josh Holly’s MySpace. Says he’s 17, and gives his “TrainReq” nick on the page. See also: Digg this story.]
Little Rock, AR — The New York Post reports this morning that police in Little Rock are investigating whether or not the assault on KATV reporter and anchor Anne Pressly was “motivated by Pressly’s portrayal of a right-wing pundit in the new Oliver Stone biopic about President Bush.”
I imagine they are — they have to, if concrete leads are few. And according to the Arkansas Times’ “Arkansas Blog,” that’s exactly the problem at the moment. Police still don’t have much to go on.
To me, that in and of itself may be reason to wonder if this was more than a robbery gone wrong. A burglar/robber who perhaps wasn’t experienced with violence would have left some evidence behind.
Anne Pressly remains hospitalized in critical but stable condition. [New York Post]
Broward County, Florida — If there’s one dude in the news cycle today who doesn’t necessarily have a little Captain in him, it has be a 23-year-old fan of low-cost smell-good named David Mlynick. Here’s how Dave’s adventure in a Publix Grocery Store with his buddy Dennis got him in hot water with the po-po.
It was half-past noon on Monday when Publix store manager Vincent Harris and his assistant manager Michael Farrell say they spotted two young punks up to no good in the men’s toiletries. The punks in question were David Mlynick and Dennis Reindel.
Harris corraled Reindel as he exited the store, but he was clean. He’d put whatever the managers thought he lifted back on the shelf. So Vincent Harris headed to the nearby Dollar Store, where he found David Mlynick, who — for all we know — was scouting out his next big caper.
That’s when Harris confronted young Mlynick and told him to give it up. Harris wanted David Mlynick to give up the Tag Body Spray!
But you know, you don’t get in the face of a Tag Body Spray gangsta. Mlynick, according to the police report, became “belligerent.” Witnesses say he whipped out his gat, apparently ready to pop a cap in some polyester-bound Publix store manager ass. Soon Mlynick was done with those fools and (probably) pimp-rolling away through the parking lot.
Well, the 5-0 was roused and they came to the scene, where the store managers were still feeling menaced and Dennis Reindel was ready to help. According to the police report (linked at the bottom of this post), Reindel gave police Mlynick’s name and attested to seeing the handgun. He also said he thought it was real.
Thinking they had a seriously armed fan of Tag Body Spray to contend with, the cops closed off the last place anyone had seen David Mlynick, the Sheridan Lakes Club Apartments, near the Publix. K9s came in. Choppers hovered over. This was serious business. When it comes to Tag Body Spray and gunplay, neither Publix nor the police will play.
A little after 2 that afternoon, Mlynick was spotted and taken into custody. The police report says everyone fingered him as the pistol packing body spray lover in question.
David Mlynick was arrested. Cops rifled his water bladder pack and backpack and turned up the badass’s big, black handgun. The police report indicates that it resembled a .380 handgun.
In keeping with the nature of the entire story, however, it turned out that David Mlynick was actually packing a BB gun all along. Police also found a can of body spray.
If you want to see the kind of MySpace a hardcore dude like David Mlynick might make, look no further than this here link. There you’ll find that in addition to his charming taste in eau de toilette, David Mlynick is “a 23Y/O skateboarder, surfer type,” who likes “to go to [the]beach, movies.” He’s apparently a big fan of Ultimate Fighter Chuck Liddell. His favorite book is the Bible, natch, and his sole hero? It’s God, bitch. (I added the “bitch” part. Seems to fit.)
Mlynick’s headline is “HITONE.” I’m still trying to figure out what that means — “HI TONE” or “HIT ONE.” And if it’s the latter, hit what? The aisle where they keep the body spray? Hit a fool who prefers Axe?
David Mlynick’s bad self is holed up in jail now on a $50,000 bond. It’d probably be more, but the laws governing general stupidity and douchiness are rather vague. Even in Florida. [TSG]
The District Attorney in Norfolk, MA is awaiting the autopsy report on 17-year-old Taylor Meyer, who vanished over the weekend, only to be found dead in a swampy area surrounding an abandoned Norfolk airfield. Taylor was last seen after attending a drinking party. The results of the autopsy on Taylor could be released sometime today. [The Sun Chronicle Online]
CBS News segment about the attack on Anne Pressly.
From the Arkansas Democrat Gazette, September 28, 2008, an article about upcoming movies by Karen and Philip Martin:
“W. Oliver Stone’s take on the life of George W. Bush. With Josh Brolin, Elizabeth Banks, Thandie Newton, Scott Glenn and KATV, Channel 7, reporter Anne Pressly (as Anne [sic]Coulter ).”
Anne Pressly’s Performer Profile on IMDB.com simply says she played a “Female Commentator.” The profile also gives the attractive journalist’s particulars: 5’10”, 120, hair blond, eyes green. At the top of the profile is Pressly’s phone number and GMail address.
Things were going very well for Anne Pressly. There was the brief role in W. Her status as an anchor at KATV was “up and coming.” She was popular with the community. And other ambitions may have been hinted at in her IMDB profile — in small bold letters at the top of the page are the words, “SAG Eligible,” meaning that Pressly is eligible for membership in the Screen Actors Guild.
Anne Pressly was found near death early Monday morning. Her mother had come to her home, concerned after some of her usual wake-up calls to her daughter went unanswered. She found the reporter in bed, bleeding from severe wounds to her head and upper body.
Early reports on Pressly’s condition said she’d been stabbed. Those reports are now in doubt. Police do believe she was badly beaten. Her condition has been described as “critical but stable.”
The reaction to the crime in Little Rock has been pure shock. As far as anyone knew, Anne Pressly had no enemies. She had an active Facebook page with many friends. She lived in a safe neighborhood. Her Sunday night prior to a bloody Monday morning was innocent enough. She had dinner with KARK-TV reporter Mallory Hardin and was home by 9:30 or so. According to a report published online by the staff of the Today Show, Pressly even exchanged “cheery” text messages with Hardin after she made it home.
Police suspect Pressly was robbed. They say her purse and other personal items are missing. Police say the attacker didn’t force entry into Pressly’s home. They don’t know the motive for the nearly-fatal beating, though. That’s not typical burglar behavior.
Mallory Hardin told Matt Lauer on Today that she didn’t know about her friend having “any type of stalker.” Hardin indicated that Pressly had never mentioned any weirdness from fans at all, but Little Rock police are still trying to find out if Pressly did, in fact, have a stalker.
The answer to what happened to Anne Pressly may be simple. A burglar was afraid he’d be caught and decided to eliminate a witness. But it may be more complex. It only makes sense to examine the possibility that the reporter was stalked in some manner. No one has mentioned the possibility of an angry ex-boyfriend, either.
One weird aspect of this story has been the fact that even if Pressly wasn’t stalked before, she is being stalked now, in a way. Publications in London have picked up on the story of “The glamourous American TV anchorwoman discovered brutally beaten in her own home.” Gossip blogs are following the story. This tall, beautiful journalist’s star has risen worldwide overnight for the worst imaginable reason.
The attention has led to some odd theorizing, as well. This Daily Kos diarist, pointing out Pressly’s movie role with the title of their post, alludes to what I’m talking about: “It would be inappropriate to connect conspiratorial dots but then again there’s something that seems strange about this.” A commenter on that Kos post expanded on the idea: “She wasn’t just a ‘bit part in a random movie.’ She played Ann Coulter (and not flatteringly) in the movie ‘W.’, a movie which is highly offensive to the extreme right wing […] It’s just a big DUH that it might be a hate crime. It’s also a big DUH that it might be a random robbery.”
There is certainly something strange at the heart of this story. Anne Pressly is an improbable victim — she lived in a safe area, she was a well-known face about town. Could it be that the attack on her somehow relates back to that September 28 notice in the Arkansas paper naming the character she so briefly played in W? I personally find it difficult to believe such a thing. I’m too skeptical after covering crime for a few years — the motives of those who try to murder another person are usually a little more straightforward than that. They’re trying to eliminate a witness. They’re angry, jealous, even suicidal but not afraid to get some homicide in before they’re done. But even a site as popular and well-known as Gawker.com isn’t afraid to wonder about such a thing, referring to Pressly’s role in the Stone film in a post titled “Ann Coulter Doppelganger Mysteriously Attacked.” (Thanks to Gawker blogger Hamilton Nolan for linking TCR’s first post about this crime.)
Speculation on who might have wanted to kill Anne Pressly — and why — is all well and good, but at the moment, it’s still fruitless. The sad thing is that if the attack remains unsolved, the speculation will continue, and in other parts of the blogosphere, the Pressly-Coulter connection will be magnified beyond reason — if that hasn’t already happened.
Anne Pressly’s family issued a statement today. It’s worth ending with some portions of that statement:
“We are appreciative of the outpouring of love we’ve received – obviously out of your love for Anne. We are overwhelmed by your affection; the care Anne’s physicians and nurses have given her, the diligence of the Little Rock Police Department in this investigation and local and national reporters who have respected our privacy. […] Now our family needs private time. Please respect our wishes and give us time to heal as a family – privately – without visitors. We will issue statements as Anne’s condition improves…”
[Today Show, MSNBC.com]
AP report about the bus driver who found Cole Puffinburger on a Las Vegas street.
Six-year-old Cole Puffinburger, the Las Vegas boy allegedly abducted by a Mexican drug cartel, has been found alive and well. That doesn’t mean the investigation is over, though. It looks as though it’s just beginning.
A 42-year-old woman named Terri Leavy was arrested today in Fontana, California. Fox 5 Vegas reports that the feds picked Leavy up on a “federal material witness warrant.”
Leavy is allegedly a “companion” to Cole’s grandfather, Clemens (some reports spell it Clemons) Fred Tinnemeyer. The 51-year-old Tinnemeyer — first publicly named in connection with this case by the True Crime Report — is also in custody in California awaiting extradition while police search for yet another person of interest in this case, Jesus Gastelum. Gastelum is a Mexican national. He may be the link between the drug cartel and Clem Tinnemeyer.
Police won’t talk about any possible charges against Cole’s mom, Julie Puffinburger (Tinnemeyer), but she is being investigated as well.
Call Las Vegas Crime Stoppers if you think you have information relevant to this case: (702) 385-5555. [KVVU Las Vegas]
A news segment about the attack on Anne Pressly.
A television anchor lays in a Little Rock-area hospital this evening, victim of a nearly fatal attack that occurred some time last night or early this morning.
Anne Pressly, age 26, was found in her own bed by her mom early Monday morning. Pressly’s mother typically gives her a wake-up call and she became concerned when her daughter didn’t answer. The Little Rock police say the anchor woman was bleeding from “severe wounds.” The LRPD believes Pressly was beaten and stabbed.
The attack occurred between 10:30 on Sunday night and 4:30 a.m. the following morning. The Little Rock police say Pressly’s purse was missing, and believe robbery may have been the motive for the attack. They are questioning Pressly’s friends and colleagues to determine if the journalist might have been threatened recently.
According to her bio on KATV’s website, Anne Pressly originally came from Greenville, South Carolina. She moved to Little Rock with her family when she was a teen. She started working for the television station while she was in college. Pressly worked her way through several jobs before landing her current position as a reporter.
She was no slouch intellectually, based on her resume. Pressly received her Bachelor’s in Political Science from Rhodes College in Memphis.
One of Anne Pressly’s most interesting, recent endeavors was a small role in W, Oliver Stone’s controversial dramedy about the Bush Administration. The role came about after Pressly met a casting director while visiting Shreveport, LA, where the film was made. According to entertainment columnist Nikki Finke (who runs Deadline Hollywood Daily, one of the True Crime Report’s “sister blogs”), Pressly’s moment on screen was a “blink-and-you-missed-it” turn as arch conservative talking head Ann Coulter*.
A Facebook page titled “Prayer for Anne Pressly” was created after the news about the attack was made public. The description of the group reads, “Please invite everyone on your lists to pray fervently for Anne Pressly. Prayer is one of the most powerful forms of healing there is. Pray for her physical healing now…we will need to keep her in our prayers for the days and months to come as she works through the emotional healing. God Bless You, Anne….you are loved.”
For some reason, this terrible story makes me think of the disappearance of Jodi Huisentruitt. Huisentruitt was a news anchor for an early morning broadcast in Mason City, IA when she vanished in 1995. Huisentruitt was apparently abducted in the early morning hours as she was heading out to work. Both she and Pressly were blond, popular, in the same age range, and of course, working identical jobs. Physically, however, they didn’t resemble much — Huisentruitt was 5’3″, Pressly is 5’10”. There are plenty of other differences, so this probably really isn’t a valid comparison, but I figured I’d throw it out there.
Police in Little Rock say Pressly’s neighborhood is not “known for any violent crime.” Investigators currently have no suspects. [KATV.com. An additional link: Pressly’s resume on IMDB.com. *Pressly’s IMDB resume just says female commentator, but Nikki Finke is the queen of Hollywood columnists, so I’m going with her interpretation — that, and Pressly’s general resemblance to the tall, blond pundit. Added later: Press release from KATV, Anne Pressly’s employer.]
Searchers in Norfolk, MA have found the body of Taylor Meyer, age 17, missing since Friday. The senior at King Philip Regional High School was found around 10:45 this morning, not far from the Miller Street Bridge. Police do not yet know the cause of death.
I’m starting to wonder if this will be considered a death by misadventure, when all is said and done. From the Boston Herald: “The body of Taylor Meyer was found today in a swampy, muddy area at the defunct Norfolk airport, Norfolk District Attorney William Keating told reporters during a lunch-hour press conference.” There were no signs of trauma. An autopsy will determine the cause of death. [TheBostonChannel.com]
A rather strange video from something called TheSingingNewsNetwrk. Discussion of Mark Jacoby and registration flipping begins about 1 minute in.
I try to keep crime-blogging and politics separate, but I suppose I’ll be accused of waxing political no matter how I frame this story. So be it. It’s a political season to end all seasons, so a story like this ending up in a crime blog was inevitable.
Mark Jacoby, the head of Young Political Majors (YPM) was arrested this weekend in Ontario, California. According to FoxNews.com’s “Elections” site, Jacoby was charged with a felony for “allegedly lying about his address in the state in order to vote illegally.”
California authorities believe Jacoby registered to vote in Los Angeles with the address of the home in which he grew up. He apparently hasn’t lived there for quite some time. If you give false info on your voter registration card in Cali (and probably most places, I haven’t checked the federal laws) it is considered perjury. Mark Jacoby could face 3 years in prison.
Freelance journalist and blogger Lindsay Beyerstein explains a bit more about why Jacoby’s arrest is significant:
“Mark Jacoby, the president of a GOP signature-gathering firm accused of tricking California voters into registering as Republicans under the guise of signing a petition to keep pedophiles in jail, has been arrested in Ontario, CA on suspicion of voter fraud.
“Jacoby’s paid signature-gatherers are accused of actively deceiving Californians while YPM was under contract to the Republican Party.
“An astonishing eighty percent of a random sample of voters registered by YPM in California told the LA Times that they had been tricked into registering as Republicans. YPM has registered 70,000 voters as Republicans in California in this election cycle alone. ”
The California Republican Party says that Jacoby’s arrest is “politically motivated.” Fox News quoted a statement from the CRP that read in part, “The fact that these charges are being leveled against an individual operating in a highly-contested area of California, and the significant gap between recent allegations and the charges we’ve seen today suggests that this is politically motivated.”
The CRP also directed fire towards California’s Secretary of State Debra Bowen. The CRP stated that Bowen “is using her office to play politics with the public’s perception of political parties. This is inappropriate at least, and an abuse of her office and a willing suspension of her duties at worst.”
Jacoby has been accused of sketchiness before. In Fooled Again: How the Right Stole the 2004 Election & why They’ll Steal the Next One Too (unless We Stop Them), published in 2007, author Mark Crispin Miller wrote about “Young Political Majors LLC, a wee firm owned and managed by Mark Jacoby (who, one summer’s day, turned up at the Board of Elections office in Gainesville [FL] with 1,200 voter registration cards, of which 510 were from Floridians who had switched to the GOP).” YPM, wrote Miller, “turned out be be employed by something called JSM Inc., which was in turn employed by Arno Political Associates, a rightist propaganda powerhouse whose clients have included Reagan/Bush, Bush/Quayle, Phillip Morris, R. J. Reynolds, Occidental Petroleum […] and Wal-Mart.”
Jacoby’s problems may be metastasizing. YPM LLC was recently mentioned in a post on RipOffReport.com. While the “report” in question was signed off by a basically anonymous “joe” (that screen name is popular with anonymous types), and should be viewed with some skepticism, it may also be the tip of the iceberg for Jacoby’s Titanic. A portion of the Ripoff Report:
“my self and many others are victims of this mans games. he will hire you with the impression he is a professional in his field of petitioning. big promises of money are rebutled with ‘validity’ you only get paid 50 to 70 percent even if you do everything you are told. he keeps the extra money and you do get paid well but he gets paid very well. forget the last check. he will get you to work extra hard telling you there is a pay increase per signature collected for his petitions, he will leave town to go work some other town or state and not pay you. he is very good at this , even if you wanted to take him to court you cant becuase he has not real business address , no home or vehicle, he lives out of hotels and rental cars. if your work for this man.”
Not long now till election day. It’s getting intense, no matter which side you’re on.
No arraignment date has been set for Mark Jacoby. A judge set his bail at $50,000.