AP video: Casey Anthony allegedly wanted to give her child up for adoption when she became pregnant with Caylee in 2005.
WESH TV in Orlando has published a report indicating that there was a good reason the car driven by Casey Anthony smelled like a dead body — tests of air samples from the trunk of the Pontiac Sunfire found abandoned after Caylee’s disappearance have revealed evidence of human decomposition.
The tests were conducted by the University of Tennessee Body Farm, located in Knoxville. The Body Farm is essentially an open-air lab where the decay of human remains is studied in a wide variety of outdoor settings.
WESH reports that while the odor results may be admissible in court — should Casey Anthony be prosecuted for murder — they aren’t as compelling as DNA evidence.
DNA tests are being conducted on hair samples and a stain found in Casey’s car, but those have not been completed. [WESH Orlando]
MyFoxOrlando.com: Documents from Casey Anthony case
Click on the link above to go to the index page for MyFoxOrlando.com’s scans of the documents recently released in relation to the investigation into the disappearance of Orlando-area toddler Caylee Marie Anthony, age 2.
Following the link will lead you to affidavits, transcripts of 911 calls and interviews and various reports from detectives involved in the investigation. One thing becomes clear very early on — no matter their public pose since this case became high-profile, Casey Anthony’s family — specifically her mother Cindy, Caylee’s grandmother — has her number. At one point Cindy allegedly referred to her daughter as a “sociopath.”
Most fascinating for me were the transcripts of detectives’ interviews with Casey Anthony on July 16 — after she’d clearly lied to them, led them along the primrose path, so to speak, she still seemed blithely unaware of how she came across to the veteran cops, and determined to hang on to her baseline lie — that some mythical nanny named Zenaida had absconded with her child.
If Casey is indeed a sociopath, as her own mother supposedly said, the interviews with her give a textbook portrait of the mind of of a lying, antisocial personality in action.
Together with recent revelations that Casey wanted to give Caylee up when she became pregnant in 2005, it really makes you wonder if the little girl ever truly had a chance. [See also: Fox News — article about an Orlando Sheriff’s Deputy who was fired after he lied about having some sort of relationship with Casey Anthony.]
A clip from MyCase.com, a half-hour special produced by Optomen Television and aired on TruTV (then Court TV) in November 2007. It was about ‘cyber-sleuthing’ and the murder of Taylor Behl. And yeah, it featured yours truly. (My name is on the right, if you’ve never been to this site before.)
This comes from the ‘Aw, Geez, not this shit again’ department…
Richmond, VA attorney Hayden Fisher has filed a petition to throw out the murder conviction of Ben Fawley. Fawley was convicted of killing Taylor Behl, a freshman who vanished from the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond in September, 2005.
In August, 2006, Fawley entered an Alford plea in connection with the 17-year-old’s death. In doing that, Fawley basically stated that he wasn’t culpable for Behl’s murder, but he couldn’t really fight the evidence against him.
Hayden Fisher’s petition states that one of Fawley’s two attorneys in the first trial, William Johnson, was responsible for a “miscarriage of justice.” Johnson’s failure, according to Fisher, was his dismissal of findings by a shrink who met with Fawley prior to the Alford plea. Psychiatrist Merritt W. Foster Jr. felt that Ben Fawley wasn’t guilty of murder. Foster also found that Fawley suffered from a melange of mental illnesses and that these made him “unfit for trial.”
Fisher’s papers also stated that Taylor Behl’s “tragic, accidental death” was the result of “Behl’s and Fawley’s amateur attempt at a high-risk sexual practice (erotic asphyxiation) that resulted in the tragic loss of life by one party.”
Yeah, sure. That was it.
Prosecutors who commented on the request for a new trial said that Dr. Foster’s findings about Fawley’s mental health would not have changed the case against him.
If Fawley does manage to go to court again, you’ll read about it here. Meanwhile, check out TruTV’s Crime Library story of the case, co-written by me and Marilyn Bardsley: “Taylor Behl.” [InRich.com]
A video Joseph Edward Duncan made sometime between 2000 and 2005 about his favorite song, John Lennon’s “Imagine.”
I think I hesitated to post anything about this because I’ve known about it for so long. Anyway, it should come, once again, as little surprise to anyone who has followed the Duncan case since his arrest 3 years ago that he admitted to 3 murders committed prior to the massacre of the Groene family in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho in May, 2005.
The AP reported today on FBI Agent Mike Sotka’s testimony Monday during Duncan’s federal sentencing trial. After Duncan was arrested on July 2, 2005 in a Coeur d’Alene Denny’s, he admitted to three other murders: the 1996 double murder of Sammiejo White and Carmen Cubias, half-sisters who vanished while walking near an area where Duncan lived at the time, in Bothell, WA; and the kidnapping and murder of Riverside, CA 10-year-old Anthony Martinez in April, 1997.
Today both sides rested their cases. Steve Groene, father of Dylan and Shasta, was among the last to testify. From KXLY.com:
Dylans’ father Steve Groene was the last to take the stand Tuesday, describing the day Dylan was born, saying he came out with a smirk on his face. He added that Dylan was his sister Shasta’s guardian angel and ended his testimony by saying he will never get to see either of his sons Slade or Dylan get married or attend their first day of high school.
Steve told the jury that they should “cherish every moment” with their children, “because you can wake up the next day, they won’t be there.”
The jury will begin deliberations tomorrow. [Associated Press and KXLY.com.]
He is baby-faced and 5’9″. News articles say he’s just 18, but in photos he looks even younger. According to reports from the Palm Beach County Sheriff, he is one deeply sick puppy.
His name is Justin Lloyd Sharp. He was arrested Monday and charged with possessing child pornography. He was also charged with sexually assaulting a dog.
Police took computers from Sharp’s possession back in April. On those computers, they say they found videos of preschool aged girls involved in sexual contact with adults. Police also say they found a video of Sharp raping a male German Shepherd.
The Palm Beach Post reports that Sharp admitted to what he did with the dog. During a civil case filed by Palm Beach County Animal Care and Control, Sharp’s own mother admitted that her son said he’d raped the dog at least 4 times.
Palm Beach County won the case and seized two dogs and two cats from the Sharp residence.
Justin Sharp called himself Anubis410 on MySpace. According to Encyclopedia Mythica, Anubis was the “mysterious canid funerary deity of ancient Egypt.” Anubis possessed a human body and the head of either “a jackal or a wild dog.”
Sharp’s profile has been edited to conceal who owns it, but in mid-July of this year it was still clearly run by Justin Sharp, an 18-year-old living in Palm Beach Gardens, FL with an interest in canines and video games. He had a latin headline. It read, “Lupus, perficio proeliator, gnaritas quod citatus, suum decor habui haud fines finium.” Loose translation: “Wolf, the accomplished warrior, smart and fast, its beauty has no boundaries.” Sharp apparently came up with that line, too, for he tagged it with his name. All the images associated with the profile now and before it was edited depicted wolves.
Back on MySpace, under his profile’s “About me” section Sharp wrote the following, “My name is Justin and I have been accepted into Champlain College with their graduating class of 2012. I will be majoring in Videogame Programming. I have a Xbox 360 and I play games a lot online; my Xbox Live gamertag is Anubis410. Feel free to add me if you like. I am always willing to meet new friends! ;)”
Internet searches using “Anubis410” and information about Sharp led to this eBay user profile.
On eBay, Anubis410 said his interests included gaming online, wolves. He wrote that he had been born in Mississippi then lived in “Georgia for 9 years and I just moved to Palm Beach Florida.” Anubis410 gave an address in Palm Beach Gardens, and a Gmail address that began with this screen name: “Anubis35142.”
If Justin Sharp was Anubis35142, then further searching on the Web may have revealed a confession as to what he’d done with a dog made more than a year ago.
A sexual attraction to animals is referred to as zoophilia. Searching for “Anubis35142” gave results for a message board devoted to giving users “Free Zoophilia and Animal Sex Information,” and a post made by Anubis35142 on May 10, 2007. The title of the message thread was “Your First Time,” and the meaning was obvious — people were supposed to post about their first sexual experience with an animal. Anubis35142’s post was succinct — and nauseating: “Mine was with a Male German Shepherd! I Anally penetrated him.” Anubis35142 tagged the statement with a pink, smiling emoticon surrounded by a cloud of hearts.
According to the article in the Palm Beach paper, Justin Sharp was being held on a measly $9000 bond.
This, for a young man who has allegedly confessed to molesting one of his own dogs, and whom police say also had child porn.
Seems to me that bond amount is missing a zero or two. [PalmBeachPost.com. Additonal link — Anubis410’s YouTube profile.]
Barack Obama answering questions at a town hall meeting in Davenport, IA.
CBS 4 in Denver is now reporting that “at least four people are under arrest in connection with a possible plot to kill Barack Obama at his Thursday night acceptance speech in Denver.”
Some of the equipment confiscated during the investigation into this alleged plot so far: two high-powered, scoped rifles; camouflage clothing; walkie-talkies; a bulletproof vest; something called a spotting scope and fake i.d.’s.
The second man arrested (see below) may have ties to some kind of white supremacy group.
All those arrested are now being held on a variety of charges.
Authorities in Denver believe they may have uncovered a plot to harm Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama.
Very early on Sunday morning, cops in the Denver suburb of Aurora stopped Tharin Gartrell, age 28. In his rental pickup they found two rifles — one said to be a “sniper rifle” — and methamphetamine.
Gartrell’s arrest led police to a room on the 6th floor of the Cherry Creek Hotel. The cops knocked on the door, and the guy inside, 33-year-old Shawn Adolf from Greeley, CO, jumped out the window. It must have been like something out of a movie, because Adolf landed on an awning, bounced to the street below and took off running.
He didn’t get far. Cops found him a short time later with a broken ankle and put him under arrest. After all, he had 7 outstanding warrants.
Also arrested during this investigation was Nathan Johnson, age 32.
CBS 4 in Denver reported that one of the men under arrest made statements while in custody that led them to believe there might be some sort of plot to hurt the Democratic nominee. The case is currently being investigated by the Secret Service, ATF and the FBI.
Below you’ll find a MySpace profile for Tharin Gartrell or his Denver-dwelling dead-ringer with the same first name:
He marketed himself in the Denver area as a DJ under the name Tharin Roberts or Tharin Robert (images on his profile say both). You can see him in action here. [CBS4Denver.com and 9NEWS.com — the latter confirmed that Gartrell was a DJ.]
NBC’s Natalie Morales interviews Christian Gerhartsreiter, aka Clark Rockefeller.
You’d think the most interesting development in the endlessly fascinating saga of Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter (first known to the American public as Clark Rockefeller) would be Gerhartsreiter’s interview with NBC news. A portion of the interview was broadcast on the Today Show this morning. It revealed very little about the case and a lot about Gerhartsreiter. In person he is effete and evasive. He plays with language like a lawyer, disputing fine shades of meaning in words — the practiced sidestep of someone who is a confident and facile prevaricator.
To anyone with language training, brief glimpses of Gerhartsreiter’s German roots can be heard as he speaks. There is a certain crispness in the way he pronounces some words that is decidedly German in nature, oddly meshed with an obviously adopted upper-crust New Englander’s drawl.
Yet he is clear-eyed and his gaze is direct as he speaks with his interviewer. He controls his body language well. He seems, if anything, unusually calm.
Fascinating, yes. But the most interesting development in the case today has been reported by the Los Angeles Times:
Investigators are planning to use ground-penetrating radar in coming days to search for human remains and other evidence at a San Marino home that is at the center of a bizarre international mystery…
John [some reports refer to him as Jonathan]and Linda Sohus disappeared in February, 1985 from their home in San Marino, CA. At the time they rented a residence on their property to Christopher Chichester — an alias used by Christian Gerhartsreiter.
The bones of a man were found buried in the rear of the Sohus’s former home in 1994. No DNA tests were performed, but they were believed to be the remains of John Sohus. Linda Sohus is still among the missing.
Police in Los Angeles refer to Gerhartsreiter/Clark Rockefeller as a “person of interest” in the case.
According to the LAT, a geophysicist is coming in to study the property where the Sohuses and Gerhartsreiter lived in ’85. The ground penetrating radar will be used to avoid disturbing the ground around the home. If any tell-tale results are found via the radar, authorities will know where to focus their efforts if they decide to dig for more evidence.
For his part, Gerhartsreiter/Rockefeller decided to avoid discussing the Sohuses with the media. A Boston paper reported that he “fell silent and smiled tightly” when asked about the missing couple and his attorney requested the interviewer change subjects. [Los Angeles Times and MSNBC.]
Joseph Duncan made this senseless, weird video sometime between 2000 and 2005 and posted it online. If nothing else, it gives you a sense of just how incredibly creepy a presence he probably was even when no one knew he was really a sexually sadistic, psychopathic serial killer.
It took the jury 2 hours to find Joseph Edward Duncan III eligible for the death penalty.
Duncan knew it was coming. He may be one of the more monstrously cruel killers you’ll ever read about, but few have accused him of being stupid. Before the jury retired to deliberate, Duncan spoke to them, making as forthright a statement as he’s probably ever made about what he is: “You people really don’t have any clue yet of the true heinousness of what I’ve done.” He continued, outlining what he wanted to do back in 2005, “I was not searching for a child, but rather I was on a rampage.”
If you’re that minority of readers who have followed any of my blogs since the Duncan case hit the news, you know I pegged that from the beginning. When Duncan went to ground in April, 2005, he was doing what a profiler once called (in reference to Ted Bundy’s final spree in the Chi Omega sorority house in Florida) “decompensating.” Decompensation is what happens when a homicidal psychopath who has constructed a feasible mask of sanity finally loses the ability to continue the charade. The truth, the nature of the animal is then revealed.
Duncan told the jury that he “rape and kill until I was killed, preferring death over capture.” To that end he’d marked several spots in the GPS tracker of the vehicle he used during his travels in the Spring of ’05.
Duncan’s words to the jury made little sense, perhaps because he was speaking off the cuff. He said he “knew the best way to hurt” society was to take “an eye for an eye.”
“[But] the system didn’t take my eye,” Duncan said, “it took my heart and my innocence, and I wanted to do the same to it.”
He was likely referring to his 2 decades of incarceration for rape and assault, beginning in 1980.
In the end, the jury came back with a finding that declared Duncan eligible for the death penalty. They also agreed to all the aggravating factors listed by the State during the argument for putting Duncan down.
The second phase of deliberations in the sentencing of Joseph Edward Duncan begins Monday.
And the man who told his young victims to call him Jet won’t be done, once the jury goes home from that Coeur d’Alene courtroom. He still has to answer for the 1997 abduction and murder of Anthony Martinez in Riverside, California. [KXLY.com — possibly some of the best coverage of the case available online.]
Top 10 quotes from Shaq, via YouTube.
Having a stalker is scary enough. If you think you are being stalked by someone who is 7’1″, 300+ lbs. and very, very wealthy, it’s probably worse.
Rapper Alexis Miller, a.k.a. “MaryJane,” claims that NBA star Shaquille O’Neal began stalking her last July.
Miller, who lives in the Atlanta area, filed a petition this week for a temporary protective order against the basketball star. Through noted Atlanta defense attorney L. David Wolfe, Miller requested that Shaq “stop harassing and intimidating” her. Miller also wants her towering ex to have no further “direct or indirect contact” with her or her family and stay at least 300 yards from her and her residence.
Alexis Miller claims that Shaq sent her an e-mail on or about July 17 in which he said he might get Miller blackballed from the recording industry. Miller alleges that Shaq said he’d pay artists she’d worked with in the past up to $50,000 if they never recorded or performed with her again. In the papers she filed with the court Miller also quoted an e-mail she allegedly received from Shaq: “I dnt no who the fuk u think u dealin wit u will neva be heard from one phone call is all I gotta make now try me. Sho me.”
After Miller’s attorney made Shaq (or his lawyers) aware of the situation, she allegedly received some spooky phone calls. Quoting from the court documents: “[Alexis Miller] began receiving late night harassing phone calls from a private unlisted telephone number.” Miller says some calls were wordless, just heavy breathing, but in another call, someone with a low voice called her a “bitch” and a “ho.”
One of Miller’s creepier claims is that she observed a man in an unfamiliar black sedan park across the street from her house late one night and perform “what appeared to be surveillance of her personal residence.”
The rap artist says she’s suffering from “anxiety and acute stress” as a result of the alleged harassment, and she fears staying alone in her home at night.
The next court date in this case is September 4.
I’m pretty skeptical about this story. I don’t follow basketball — I’m more of a football or baseball kind of guy — so I’m not a fan of any one NBA player. But I know Shaq’s rep, and it’s pretty squeaky clean. He also has a long-term and serious interest in law enforcement — he’s even joined some law enforcement agencies on drug raids in the past. I have to wonder how much of a publicity stunt this could be on the part of a lesser-known performer like “MaryJane.”
But you know — stranger things have happened. [Courthouse News Service and WSB TV]
(Disclosure: I’ve been a member of the Websleuths.com true crime forum since late 2004. I just wanted to make that clear and also thank my fellow forum members who spoke with me for this post.)
To Maricopa County Medical Examiner death investigator Suzi Dodt, she was 99-305. To many in the Phoenix area, and more folks studying crime via the Web, the young woman was Maricopa Jane Doe.
Writing for the Phoenix New Times in late July this year, Paul Rubin described what happened to Maricopa Jane:
[She] died on January 27, 1999, the day after she jumped, fell, or was pushed out of the Cadillac in which she was riding on Interstate 10 with a man and another woman.
It happened during the afternoon hours at milepost 173, heading east from Phoenix on a desolate, straight stretch of road near Casa Grande.
The couple in the car said they didn’t know the girl’s name. The driver was Alonzo Fernandez, from Phoenix, and Fernandez claimed he’d only just met the girl who would become 99-305 outside a convenience store.
Ultimately, Fernandez pled guilty to leaving the scene of an accident. He made a statement about the death of Maricopa Jane: “all three of us were on the freeway smoking marijuana. She started freaking, saying her boyfriend would get mad if she left, and she jumped out of the car. I saw her in the rear-view mirror, and people were stopping to help her. I was scared and kept going. I never knew her name. I’m still haunted by this ’til this day.”
Fernandez skipped out on probation in 1999. He was in the wind for 8 years. Fernandez was finally arrested on a bench warrant a week ago.
Fernandez’s talk of being haunted by the nameless girl could have been glib, something said to his probation officer in an effort to appear repentant. But there’s no doubt that the real identity of Maricopa Jane Doe was a mystery that plagued many other people. Some of them lived a long way from Phoenix and mile marker 173.
But beginning in 2006, a number of Websleuths started putting their heads together with a single, selfless goal in mind — give Maricopa Jane Doe a name.
It was crowdsourcing the solution to a mystery. Amateur sleuthing. Cyber-sleuthing. It was the kind of pursuit that might cause significant others to shake their heads as they spied on loved ones hunched over a computer keyboard late in the night, parsing all the small details known about a young woman who died in 1999. Journalists might roll their eyes at soccer moms and stay-at-home parents chatting on a message board, ‘investigating’ (quotes intended) such a seemingly intractable mystery. If the cops or the death investigator couldn’t give Maricopa Jane a name, why would these strangers from everywhere and nowhere think they could help? Who did they think they were?
Collectively, they were Websleuths. And they helped give Maricopa Jane Doe a name.
Maricopa Jane Doe was Tawni Lee Mazzone, from Massachusetts. She was 17 when she died.
Websleuthers kept the story of Maricopa Jane Doe alive, and helped to link her to the missing teen.