kcmorris.jpgThe last time anyone saw 28-year-old Kelly Currin Morris was Wednesday, September 3. “A family member” gave NBC 17 in Chapel Hill, NC an interesting statement about Kelly’s disappearance. According to said “family member,” Kelly’s husband Scott said that his wife went to look for the family dog and simply never came home again. On September 3, 2008.
On September 4, 2008, there was a fire at the Morris residence on 3220 Tump Wilkins Rd. in rural Granville County, NC.
The authorities were actually alerted to the young woman’s disappearance because they’d been called to put out the fire. The search for Kelly began on the 4th.
They found her 3-year-old Honda Accord that day. It was a mile from the house. The car was locked. Kelly’s purse, cell phone, and keys were inside.
More people joined the search for the mother of two. Five days after the fire, at least 50 volunteers were wending their way through the woods near the Morris homestead. Speaking to NBC 17, one volunteer said, “Everybody is praying non-stop saying all the prayers they can say…”
The same volunteer — a long-time acquaintance of the missing woman’s — stated that leaving on a whim was just something the “family oriented” Kelly would never do.
On September 10, Granville County Sheriff David Smith made a public statement about the search. “We’ve gone back [and]double-searched [and]triple-searched,” he said. While everyone still held onto “a dim light” of hope that Kelly might be okay, Smith admitted that the idea that something bad happened to Kelly “would be in the back of your mind.”
Wanda Hollis, Kelly’s mom, eventually made her own statements to the press. And Wanda’s “gut feeling” was that her daughter was dead. According to Hollis, her daughter would have contacted her if she was still alive.
Hollis was asked about seeing her daughter’s burned home. She said, “It was hard at first, but it’s been hard to cope with things for the last year, too.”
Wanda Hollis didn’t elaborate on that statement.
Eight days after the search for Kelly began, nine days after she allegedly began her search for the missing dog, investigators announced that the fire at the Morris residence was an act of arson.
So… on September 3, a young woman supposedly goes to look for her dog. On September 4, her house burns. Her car is found a mile away, most of her necessary personal effects inside.
Her mother refers to a difficult year of coping with something, but will not go into detail. Police, when asked if husband Scott Morris is a suspect in connection with his wife’s disappearance, simply say that everyone is a suspect.
Searchers, number more than 100 by September 12, wonder why Scott Morris hasn’t been a part of the effort. One of them speaks to reporters with WTVD in Raleigh Durham and says that Scott is “probably the only one that knows anything.”
Based on statistics about these sorts of things, I’d imagine that is true. But Scott Morris hasn’t been called a suspect, or anything. So for now, we’ll just act as if he isn’t.
It is worth it to note, however, that there’s a weird pattern to the disappearances of many women. The ones who are married, sometimes in difficult marriages, often disappear while “jogging,” or doing some other kind of outdoor activity.
Laci Peterson did. She supposedly went for a walk. Her purse, keys, and cell phone were left behind.
Lori Hacking vanished while jogging. She never came home, never went to work.
Kelly Currin Morris went to find a dog. She left her keys, cell, purse behind. Never came back, never returned to work. And then her house burned. Fire deliberately set.
We can’t write the rest of Kelly’s story yet, because we don’t really know what’s happened to her. But don’t you get the feeling the script has been written, and that the next acts will be horribly predictable? I know I do. One person may think this story isn’t predictable. But just as time passed and the fire was proven to be arson, a few more days will go by and we’ll hear the police making less neutral-sounding statements. They know this script, too. They’re just building a strong-enough case to bring it to its proper denouement.
If you have any tips about this case for the True Crime Report, my e-mail address is embedded in my name on the right side of the page.
[NBC17.com, NewsObserver.com, HendersonDispatch.com, WTVD, ABC in Raleigh-Durham, NC.]

kcmorris.jpgThe last time anyone saw 28-year-old Kelly Currin Morris was Wednesday, September 3. “A family member” gave NBC 17 in Chapel Hill, NC an interesting statement about Kelly’s disappearance. According to said “family member,” Kelly’s husband Scott said that his wife went to look for the family dog and simply never came home again. On September 3, 2008.
On September 4, 2008, there was a fire at the Morris residence on 3220 Tump Wilkins Rd. in rural Granville County, NC.
The authorities were actually alerted to the young woman’s disappearance because they’d been called to put out the fire. The search for Kelly began on the 4th.
They found her 3-year-old Honda Accord that day. It was a mile from the house. The car was locked. Kelly’s purse, cell phone, and keys were inside.
More people joined the search for the mother of two. Five days after the fire, at least 50 volunteers were wending their way through the woods near the Morris homestead. Speaking to NBC 17, one volunteer said, “Everybody is praying non-stop saying all the prayers they can say…”
The same volunteer — a long-time acquaintance of the missing woman’s — stated that leaving on a whim was just something the “family oriented” Kelly would never do.
On September 10, Granville County Sheriff David Smith made a public statement about the search. “We’ve gone back [and]double-searched [and]triple-searched,” he said. While everyone still held onto “a dim light” of hope that Kelly might be okay, Smith admitted that the idea that something bad happened to Kelly “would be in the back of your mind.”
Wanda Hollis, Kelly’s mom, eventually made her own statements to the press. And Wanda’s “gut feeling” was that her daughter was dead. According to Hollis, her daughter would have contacted her if she was still alive.
Hollis was asked about seeing her daughter’s burned home. She said, “It was hard at first, but it’s been hard to cope with things for the last year, too.”
Wanda Hollis didn’t elaborate on that statement.
Eight days after the search for Kelly began, nine days after she allegedly began her search for the missing dog, investigators announced that the fire at the Morris residence was an act of arson.
So… on September 3, a young woman supposedly goes to look for her dog. On September 4, her house burns. Her car is found a mile away, most of her necessary personal effects inside.
Her mother refers to a difficult year of coping with something, but will not go into detail. Police, when asked if husband Scott Morris is a suspect in connection with his wife’s disappearance, simply say that everyone is a suspect.
Searchers, number more than 100 by September 12, wonder why Scott Morris hasn’t been a part of the effort. One of them speaks to reporters with WTVD in Raleigh Durham and says that Scott is “probably the only one that knows anything.”
Based on statistics about these sorts of things, I’d imagine that is true. But Scott Morris hasn’t been called a suspect, or anything. So for now, we’ll just act as if he isn’t.
It is worth it to note, however, that there’s a weird pattern to the disappearances of many women. The ones who are married, sometimes in difficult marriages, often disappear while “jogging,” or doing some other kind of outdoor activity.
Laci Peterson did. She supposedly went for a walk. Her purse, keys, and cell phone were left behind.
Lori Hacking vanished while jogging. She never came home, never went to work.
Kelly Currin Morris went to find a dog. She left her keys, cell, purse behind. Never came back, never returned to work. And then her house burned. Fire deliberately set.
We can’t write the rest of Kelly’s story yet, because we don’t really know what’s happened to her. But don’t you get the feeling the script has been written, and that the next acts will be horribly predictable? I know I do. One person may think this story isn’t predictable. But just as time passed and the fire was proven to be arson, a few more days will go by and we’ll hear the police making less neutral-sounding statements. They know this script, too. They’re just building a strong-enough case to bring it to its proper denouement.
If you have any tips about this case for the True Crime Report, my e-mail address is embedded in my name on the right side of the page.
[NBC17.com, NewsObserver.com, HendersonDispatch.com, WTVD, ABC in Raleigh-Durham, NC.]

sks.jpgThe Associated Press is reporting that investigators in Los Angeles are checking out at least thirty unsolved cases to see if they are linked to the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper.
Yeah, you read that right. As many as thirty dead people connected to one man, who is, as far as we know, still out there. Still trolling the streets of Los Angeles.
Cops are focusing on similarities between the cases, such as the sites where the bodies were dumped. Speaking to the AP, LAPD Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said the following: “We don’t know who he is, but his numbers are building […] Once we are done, I am quite confident this will exceed anything we have ever seen in the city.”
The LAPD, to their credit, are as serious as they get about this case, offering up a half-million dollar reward for any information leading to the capture of this prolific killer.
But I have to wonder if California Attorney General Jerry Brown is equally as interested in taking this guy off the street. To explain why I say that, I’ll just quote from the AP article, written by Thomas Watkins:

Police have a DNA sample of the killer but have been unable to find a match in any prison database. Detectives want to run the sample against wider databases to see if it is similar to any family members, but California Attorney General Jerry Brown has not yet approved this.

Why the hell not? We’re talking about a killer who really has a taste for the work. He started off slow, taking out seven women and a man between 1985 and 1987. Then, beginning in 2002, he began again, killing at least 3 more times. The most recent murder definitely linked to the Grim Sleeper occurred in January, 2007.
The Grim Sleeper is a classic prostitute killer, in many ways — he targets women who have worked the streets, sometimes torturing them before he dumps them somewhere along Western Avenue. He may think he’s somehow doing a service — that’s how many serials justify what they do to themselves, especially if they kill prostitutes. They’re not even all that aware, sometimes, that they really just like the domination and control.
Since the Grim Sleeper is anywhere between his early 40s and late 50s, he is older and capable of patience — he might be the type who thinks he can wait out the initial flurry of press about his crimes and start up again when the heat is off.
A tell-tale DNA match — even just to a relative — might short-circuit such a killer, and remove one more peril from the immensely dangerous life already being led by the prostitutes working the Grim Sleeper’s stalking grounds.
I don’t live in California, so I guess I can’t complain too much about Jerry Brown, but I can’t help but wonder what could possibly hold up a proactive measure like expanding the search for the Grim Sleeper. With a killer like this, I’d think the attitude might be “whatever works — let’s just get the maniac off the streets.”
[PE.com/AP]

sks.jpgThe Associated Press is reporting that investigators in Los Angeles are checking out at least thirty unsolved cases to see if they are linked to the serial killer known as the Grim Sleeper.
Yeah, you read that right. As many as thirty dead people connected to one man, who is, as far as we know, still out there. Still trolling the streets of Los Angeles.
Cops are focusing on similarities between the cases, such as the sites where the bodies were dumped. Speaking to the AP, LAPD Detective Dennis Kilcoyne said the following: “We don’t know who he is, but his numbers are building […] Once we are done, I am quite confident this will exceed anything we have ever seen in the city.”
The LAPD, to their credit, are as serious as they get about this case, offering up a half-million dollar reward for any information leading to the capture of this prolific killer.
But I have to wonder if California Attorney General Jerry Brown is equally as interested in taking this guy off the street. To explain why I say that, I’ll just quote from the AP article, written by Thomas Watkins:

Police have a DNA sample of the killer but have been unable to find a match in any prison database. Detectives want to run the sample against wider databases to see if it is similar to any family members, but California Attorney General Jerry Brown has not yet approved this.

Why the hell not? We’re talking about a killer who really has a taste for the work. He started off slow, taking out seven women and a man between 1985 and 1987. Then, beginning in 2002, he began again, killing at least 3 more times. The most recent murder definitely linked to the Grim Sleeper occurred in January, 2007.
The Grim Sleeper is a classic prostitute killer, in many ways — he targets women who have worked the streets, sometimes torturing them before he dumps them somewhere along Western Avenue. He may think he’s somehow doing a service — that’s how many serials justify what they do to themselves, especially if they kill prostitutes. They’re not even all that aware, sometimes, that they really just like the domination and control.
Since the Grim Sleeper is anywhere between his early 40s and late 50s, he is older and capable of patience — he might be the type who thinks he can wait out the initial flurry of press about his crimes and start up again when the heat is off.
A tell-tale DNA match — even just to a relative — might short-circuit such a killer, and remove one more peril from the immensely dangerous life already being led by the prostitutes working the Grim Sleeper’s stalking grounds.
I don’t live in California, so I guess I can’t complain too much about Jerry Brown, but I can’t help but wonder what could possibly hold up a proactive measure like expanding the search for the Grim Sleeper. With a killer like this, I’d think the attitude might be “whatever works — let’s just get the maniac off the streets.”
[PE.com/AP]


November, 2007 news story about David Ajemian, via YouTube and WCVB Television.
Wow, it’s just crazy priest Friday ’round these parts. Our newest frater rabidus is actually not so new at all — it’s former Father David Ajemian, the priest who came to infamy by stalking late-night talker Conan O’Brien.
The first tidbit about Ajemian — it looks as though he has a yen for stalking celebrities no other psycho would think to stalk. According to the Boston Globe, one Lindsay Crouse, ex-wife of playwright David Mamet, has accused Ajemian of sending her “very disturbing” letters. Ajemian allegedly sent one missive to a theater where Ms. Crouse was performing in a play, and the other letter through the mail.
Secondly, there’s this, a statement from the Archdiocese of Boston, issued on September 11:

[…] the Archdiocese of Boston was informed that Fr. David Ajemian, against the wishes of his bishop, Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley, and medical professionals, checked himself out of a medical facility located outside Massachusetts where he has been staying for the past several months. Our understanding is that he plans initially to return to Massachusetts to the care of his family.
As a priest of the Archdiocese of Boston, Fr. David Ajemian made a promise of obedience to his bishop when he was ordained in 2001. In the context of these vows and with his medical care a priority, Fr. Ajemian was instructed to remain at an out of state residential treatment facility indefinitely to receive the care he requires. By his own actions, he has violated this mandate from his bishop. Therefore, he is Absent Without Permission. He is not authorized to function as a priest.
We pray for Fr. Ajemian, for his family and for all those who are concerned about his health and well-being. We also pray for those who have been impacted by Fr. Ajemian’s actions.

So he’s got that going for him.
I did this post about Ajemian for Radar Magazine’s “Fresh Intelligence” blog back in November, 2007. I wanted to check it out again partly just to remind myself of why it may be a really bad idea for Mr. Ajemian (ain’t no Father no mo’, according to that Archdiocese announcement) to be free of daily, proactive medical supervision. The dude is just WHACKED.
He posted on several message boards as Padre009, and was, as you might imagine, something of a troll. It looks as thought NBC removed his messages some time ago, but I can quote the one I found when I wrote the piece for Radar.
Ajemian referred to O’Brien as “Corncob” in his posts and seemed to take umbrage at someone else referring to “complete lunatics” posting on the Late Night message board. He wrote, in part: “”I’m just a two-bit HACK and I don’t even know it!!! My stories and nuttiness are PATHETIC— why?? Well of course because they DON’T MEAN ANYTHING!!! Compared to THE WRITERS who are—- GOLDEN—- AND—- BEAUTIFUL—- AND—- BELOVED … Yes the WRITERS—THE WRITERS— UNDERSTAND EVERYTHING!!!!”
Oy. Here’s hoping someone figures out a way to slip some anti-psychotic medication into this guy’s communion wine.
[E! Online and the Boston Globe.]

laydenpope.jpgAccording to authorities in Illinois, Father Christopher Layden, age 33, didn’t just dispense forgiveness and hear confession — he may have been dealing coke along with the eucharist and blood of Christ.
As a result of an investigation into Layden’s time at the Newman Center at the University of Illinois, the priest has been transfigured from clerical authority into accused drug dealer and user. On Thursday this week, Father Layden pled innocent to two counts of delivery of less than 1 gram of coke within a thousand feet of a church and another count of possession with intent to deliver. According to the News-Gazette, Layden’s alleged possession and use of drugs in or around church property makes the allegations all the more serious.
Here’s what supposedly happened — an informant gave police a “detailed taped statement” regarding “a priest at the Newman Center Catholic Church” dealing coke out of offices there. The informant said the priest was Christopher Layden. The informant also told of snorting lines with Layden off the surface of a framed photo of Layden standing with a bishop.
The police informant also told of going to Chicago with the priest to buy cocaine. But the real kicker may have been those times the cops monitored the informant buying coke from Father Layden.
So the priest who claimed he would take casual walks with no less than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — during his 5 years studying in Rome was given a $50,000 bond. He met the bond and was released.
In a 2003 editorial in the Madison Catholic Herald, Fr. Layden was quoted in reference to the sexual abuse scandals that have dogged the Catholic Church in the last decade. He spoke of “asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in what we can do to assist our brother priests.” To that end, Layden helped write a novena for priests to affirm the working clergy who felt so under siege by that scandal.
Looks like he could use his own special novena, now.
[News-Gazette.com]

laydenpope.jpgAccording to authorities in Illinois, Father Christopher Layden, age 33, didn’t just dispense forgiveness and hear confession — he may have been dealing coke along with the eucharist and blood of Christ.
As a result of an investigation into Layden’s time at the Newman Center at the University of Illinois, the priest has been transfigured from clerical authority into accused drug dealer and user. On Thursday this week, Father Layden pled innocent to two counts of delivery of less than 1 gram of coke within a thousand feet of a church and another count of possession with intent to deliver. According to the News-Gazette, Layden’s alleged possession and use of drugs in or around church property makes the allegations all the more serious.
Here’s what supposedly happened — an informant gave police a “detailed taped statement” regarding “a priest at the Newman Center Catholic Church” dealing coke out of offices there. The informant said the priest was Christopher Layden. The informant also told of snorting lines with Layden off the surface of a framed photo of Layden standing with a bishop.
The police informant also told of going to Chicago with the priest to buy cocaine. But the real kicker may have been those times the cops monitored the informant buying coke from Father Layden.
So the priest who claimed he would take casual walks with no less than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger — now Pope Benedict XVI — during his 5 years studying in Rome was given a $50,000 bond. He met the bond and was released.
In a 2003 editorial in the Madison Catholic Herald, Fr. Layden was quoted in reference to the sexual abuse scandals that have dogged the Catholic Church in the last decade. He spoke of “asking the Holy Spirit to guide us in what we can do to assist our brother priests.” To that end, Layden helped write a novena for priests to affirm the working clergy who felt so under siege by that scandal.
Looks like he could use his own special novena, now.
[News-Gazette.com]

patakimorales.jpgThe ‘do-ragged wondertwins of douchebaggery there on the left are in custody tonight in Virginia. Authorities there arrested Leslie Morales, age 21, and 22-year-old Daniel Pataki earlier today.
Police in Charlotte, NC believe the pair murdered Morales’s 46-year-old mother, Alexandria Salem. Salem was found stuffed inside a bag beside a Dumpster early Tuesday.
The couples’ red Chevy Cobalt dropped the dime on them. The Virginia State PD collared the pair after spotting the car.
I wrote about these two yesterday:
Take Mama to the Dumpster: The Murder of Alexandria Salem.”
Both Morales and Daniel Pataki had personal profiles on MySpace, as did Morales’s mom, the murder victim, Alexandria Salem. The previous entry guides you through the sites and asks if there were any hints in the online communication found on those pages as to why Alexandria Salem ended up dead beside a Dumpster.
Police from North Carolina are headed to Virginia to question the pair.
[WCNC.com]


News story about the SEPTA hammer attack on DeWayne Taylor, via BlackTubeChannel on YouTube.
Just in case you woke up this morning saying, ‘damn, I’d sure like to ride the subway today, but I sure don’t want to get randomly beaten by some thickly-bearded, hammer-wielding psycho,’ I thought I’d let you know that the hammer dude has been arrested.
I know I may spoil the illusion for some when I report that the gentleman arrested for the assault on half-sleeping victim DeWayne Taylor was not a shy, retiring scholarly type but a career criminal named Thomas Scantling.
The 26-year-old Scantling has been charged with attempted murder, aggravated and simple assault and whatever else will help keep him behind bars and away from hammers.
During an interview on NBC’s Today, Philadelphia Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey said that Scantling has an extensive criminal history “including rape, robbery, assault, narcotics violations.”
Scantling may have tried to harm himself after the subway attack, which occurred last Thursday morning. His family didn’t know about the whole subway thing, so Scantling went to a mental institution. That was where the police caught up with him.
As for trying to find out why DeWayne Taylor had his morning ride to work so viciously interrupted, well, good luck with that one — apparently, the attack really was completely random.
[Philadelphia Inquirer]

rchristensen.jpgRosemary Christensen, a 43-year-old Belleair, Florida realtor, vanished on August 26, 1999. Rosemary’s husband, Robert Glenn Temple, claimed he saw Rosemary at their condo that night. For reasons that will soon be clear, only Christensen’s last meeting with a client was considered a confirmed final sighting of the woman alive.
For his part, Temple said he left the condo around 7 that night and he never went back. Temple claimed that he had no idea whether or not anyone was with Rosemary prior to her disappearance.
The following day, Robert Glenn Temple left Florida altogether. He traveled with his then 22-year-old girlfriend, Lesley Stewart, to Decatur, Illinois. Temple said he tried to call his wife, to no avail.
By August 30, Rosemary Christensen’s co-workers knew that something was wrong. They must have suspected Temple of some involvement in Rosemary’s disappearance, because the couple had a history of domestic violence. Additionally, Temple was having an affair when Rosemary vanished, and truth be told, Robert Glenn Temple was no stranger to homicide. Well, to be specific, manslaughter.
In 1974 Temple — then 24 — was living with Brenda June Cravens and 18-month-old Jason Scott Cravens in California. On June 22 that year, little Jason was discovered in the bathtub of a hotel room, dead, with cuts and bruises on his body. The FBI arrested the couple in Los Angeles on September 6, 1974. Later that year Temple pled guilty to involuntary manslaughter and Brenda Cravens copped to being an accessory.
So… police searching for Rosemary Christensen were certainly suspicious of Temple. On the morning of August 27, 1999, he and Lesley Stewart bought supplies intended for cleaning and painting. You know — the stuff you might use to conceal the scene of a crime? And then there were those missing pieces of carpet from the condo Temple shared with his wife, a household item with a bloodstain on it, and a decidedly tell-tale new coat of paint on a wall in the residence.
But the cops didn’t have a body, and Robert Temple knew better than to cooperate.
That part about not having a body has changed, now. On September 8, two days ago, the Pinellas County Sheriff reported that they’d recovered the remains of Rosemary Christensen.
Temple, already in jail in California on other charges, will now face murder charges and extradition back to Florida.
It took 9 years, but it looks as though Robert Temple’s alleged secrets finally came back haunt him.
Most of the time, bodies just don’t stay hidden the way they’re supposed to. They will out. There are others, living in Florida right now, who would do well to learn about the disappearance — the murder — of Rosemary Christensen. A lot of rain falls in Florida. The sandy earth runs, and old, cold secrets come to light. Just ask Robert Glenn Temple.
[The Charley Project: Rosemary Anne Christensen and ABCActionNews.com. See also: PCSOWeb.com.]