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.
Taylor Meyer’s body was found about 90 minutes ago. Few details are available at this time.
On Friday, October 17, Plainville teen Taylor Meyer went to a house party in Norfolk, Massachusetts. By 4:30 the following Saturday her mother knew something must be wrong. Seventeen-year-old Taylor still hadn’t returned home. Taylor’s mom reported her 5’8″, blond, blue-eyed daughter missing to the Norfolk police.
By Sunday a full-blown search involving police, fire and rescue services was underway in Norfolk. Teams of searchers picked through the area surrounding the Norfolk Airport, looking for some sign of the high school senior.
Taylor was last seen at the airport. She allegedly attended an underaged drinking party. Somehow her friends lost track of her. The last time anyone has reported seeing her was around 10 p.m. Friday.
But someone said they received a call from Taylor that night. Taylor’s friend said that Taylor kept repeating the word “plane.”
Early reports in missing persons cases are always erroneous to some degree, and always confusing. Everything about this one could change by tomorrow morning. A discussion of this disappearance is taking place at Websleuths.com. I’ve included some info in a post there that was removed from this entry because it may ultimately be irrelevant.
Taylor Meyer is 5’8″, weighs 150. According to MissingKids.com, she was last seen wearing “jeans, a gray hooded sweatshirt with A and F on the front and brown shoes.”
A.M. UPDATE, 10/20/08
A dive team from the Quincy (MA) police department has come in to assist in the search for Taylor Meyer.
I called the Norfolk police this morning — they indicated the dive team was likely assisting because the search area is “marshy.” I was told that there are a “lot of wet spots out there.”
The Norfolk PD also confirmed the report that a friend of Taylor’s said the missing teen called someone the night she vanished, repeating the word “plane” over and over.
An article used as a reference for this post described the airport close to the area from which Taylor vanished as “disused.” The Norfolk PD indicated that the airport in question has “been closed down for probably 10 years or so.”
Some discussion of the search for Taylor Meyer may be found on this page:
Google Map of the area.
[MissingKids.com, TheSunChronicle.com, TheBostonChannel.com, WBZTV.com]
An AP video about the case, made prior to Cole being found alive around 10:30 PT Saturday night.
Around 11:00 p.m. PT (2:00 a.m. ET), readers began leaving comments on previous posts about the Puffinburger abduction indicating that little Cole had been found alive and relatively okay at a bus stop in Las Vegas. KLAS-TV in Vegas then reported on its website that “officials are reporting that six-year-old Cole Puffinburger has been found alive and is safe in policy custody.” The Las Vegas Review-Journal indicated that Cole appeared to be in good shape, but police took him to a local medical facility to have him checked out anyway. Police are still seeking Mexican national Jesus Gastelum as a person-of-interest in this case. More details as they become available. [LasVegasNow.com and the LV Review-Journal.]
Las Vegas Police say they’ve issued a number of warrants for people they’re seeking in connection with the kidnapping of Cole Puffinburger. Two people are said to be in custody. Vegas authorities are seeking a person of interest named Jesus Gasteleon. Gasteleon is a thirty-something Mexican national. Cole Puffinburger’s mother, Julie A. Puffinburger, is, according to Fox5Vegas.com, “now also being investigated in connection with her involvement in the cartel.” [Fox5Vegas.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]
Nevada authorities have called off the Amber Alert for missing Las Vegas boy Cole Puffinburger without explanation. ABC News reports that the Las Vegas Police will give a news conference at 5 p.m. ET. At this point, almost nothing will surprise me as far as events in this case are concerned. Click this link to read all this blog’s previous posts — and the comments — about the Puffinburger abduction. [ABC News]
Clemens F. Tinnemeyer, grandfather of missing Nevada boy Cole Puffinburger, has been arrested in the city of Riverside, California. Tinnemeyer was first named in connection with this case here at the True Crime Report early on Friday.
Tinnemeyer, allegedly a drug runner, may have taken anywhere between 8 and 20 million dollars from a latin American drug cartel. The abduction of 6-year-old Cole, a blond, blue-eyed little boy who wears silver-rimmed glasses, could have been payback for Tinnemeyer’s alleged theft.
The following quote from CBS News is unsurprising, but still troubling:
“In Mexico the violent drug cartels are blamed for an epidemic of kidnappings – up to 500 a month, more than 3,700 murders so far this year, reports CBS News correspondent Bill Whitaker. Now their violence is hitting home in dramatic fashion.”
There are other persons of interest in this investigation, but no arrests so far outside of Clem Tinnemeyer. According to CBS, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Customs Enforcement and the DEA are all taking part in the investigation into Cole’s abduction.
At the very least, perhaps his grandfather can provide some leads as to who might — specifically — have taken the boy.
The 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]