Sunday, July 01, 2007

31 Indictments in Cold Cases - Chief says "Wow!"

I'd say the "wow" is an understatement. This week the Aurora, Illinois police, the FBI and the Kane County state's attorney office and sheriff announced 31 indictments for "cold cases" - they have arrested 19, have 10 in custody, and two are still at large. Many are gang-related cases.

“This is the result of a lot of hard work — hundreds and thousands of hours of
work,” said Aurora Police Chief Bill Powell. “The impact I think this is going
to have is, ‘Wow.’ ... The results are astounding, as you can see.”


Wednesday, June 20, 2007

It Must Have Been Hot, They Were Tired and Thirsty...Hey, Let's Kill Someone!

This sounds like something that would happen in a third-world country where there is no court system (so they take care of things themselves).

Texas crowd kills passenger in vehicle that struck child

A crowd attacked and killed a passenger in a vehicle that had struck and injured a
child, police said Wednesday.

Associated Press
June 20, 2007 – 11:03 AM
AUSTIN, Texas - A crowd attacked and killed a passenger in a vehicle that had struck and injured a child, police said Wednesday. Police believe 2,000 to 3,000 people were in the area for a Juneteenth celebration when the attack occurred Tuesday night. The man who was killed had been trying to stop the group from attacking the vehicle's driver when the crowd turned on him, authorities said.
The Austin Police Department identified the victim as David Rivas Morales, 40.

The child was taken to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Murder Map of Los Angeles

A reader of the Los Angeles Times Homicide blog used Map Builder to show on a map murders in Los Angeles. Makes me glad I live in the zone without any markings!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Henry Lee - Forensic Science Celebrity Now Defending Himself

Anyone who follows homicide investigations or watches murder trials surely knows the famous (or infamous to some) Henry C. Lee. As soon as a celebrity is accused of murder, both defense and prosecutors hope to nab him first for their side. O.J. Simpson murder trial - William Kennedy Smith rape trial, Kobe Bryant case and other high-profile cases have depended on the expertise of Lee.

Now he is involved in the Phil Spector trial. This is murder case against him in the death of Lana Clarkson, a 40-year-old actress, who was found shot to death Feb. 3, 2003, in the music producer's home. Attorney Robert Shapiro hired Lee immediately so he could begin the scientific hunt for evidence to prove Spector innocent - or at least produce doubt of his guilt in jurors' minds.

Now Lee's career is in jeopardy. Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Larry Paul Fidler has questioned Lee's credibility. There have always been ethical questions around hiring specialists - some believe that many might focus on anything that supports their side rather than being truly neutral and "scientific" about the evidence. So "reasonable doubt" about a specialist's "truth" is nothing new.

This is something new, however. Fidler ruled last month that prosecutors could present testimony that Lee took evidence from the crime scene and kept it from prosecutors. It remains to be seen if this can be "proven" - but the light it casts on Lee could cloud how many view his testimony in the future.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Gives New Meaning to Question, "Have you been smoking crack?"

Washington "incident" - speaks for itself. Sheesh.

"The woman charged with plowing her car through a crowded street festival last weekend while apparently high on cocaine was denied bond Monday. Tonya N. Bell, 30, is charged with aggravated assault, but prosecutors are considering additional charges against her.

Bell is accused of driving through a police barricade into the crowd Saturday evening and striking at least three dozen people with her station wagon. Police said at least 40 people were injured. At least one person was knocked onto the hood and wndshield of the car.

According to charging documents, Bell told police she had been "smoking crack
all day" before driving into the crowd, sending people and strollers flying.
Witnesses said they were disturbed by her reaction as she ran into people. They
said she was laughing."

Australian Investigators Re-open 100 Murder and Missing Person Cases

MORE than 100 unsolved murders will be re-opened in New South Wales, Australia, oaccording to a unsolved homicide review team that was established in 2004. Investigators believe new technology, particularly DNA testing, will give them a good chance of solving some of these cases.

Investigators will review unsolved murders and a number of missing persons cases between 1970 and 2001.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Suspect Arrested for 1983 Murder - Another Cold Case Success

Jose "Joe" Reyes was arrested and charged with capital murder for the murder of Esther Gervara Broberg. In 1983, Broberg's body was found near Givens Park in East Austin. She had been stabbed multiple times.

Detectives believe other people also played a part in the murder. They're asking anyone with information to call the APD homicide tip line at (512) 477-3588 or Crimestoppers at (512) 472-8477.