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Posts Tagged ‘crime’

       Minnesota has had a couple of miserable examples of appropriate teenaged behaviors.  First, there is the case of Nicole Beecroft who was 17 years old in April 2007 when she gave birth to a live baby girl, on the floor of the laundry room, in the home that she shared with her parents.  They did not know that she was pregnant.  Not only did she hide her pregnancy; but, prosecutors alleged that she planned the death of her baby before it was born.  She stabbed her newborn daughter 135 times in the abdomen, chest and neck.  The baby bled to death; and that is when, Nicole Beecroft disposed of her child in the garbage can outside of her home. 

       A judge ruled on December 1, 2008 that Nicole Beecroft was guilty of 1st degree murder and will spend the rest of her life in prison without the possibility of parole.  What would possess a woman to not only kill her child but to do so in such an extremely violent way?  Why not give the child up for adoption?  Why not let the father raise the child?  Why not reach out to a parent, a teacher, clergy, counselor, neighbor or a friend? What was the reason behind stabbing an innocent, straight out of the womb infant? 

        Then today, there are reports that 8 Minnesota teenagers are facing charges of terrorizing and abusing nursing home patients.  The nursing home patients suffer from dementia and alzheimers disease.  The accused are minors, except for two young women, they all worked as part time aides at the nursing home.  They are accused of crimes such as spitting on the patients, physical assault, poking at them, and sexual contact with vulnerable adults.  These are serious charges and yet, they may only face 1 year in prison, and or, a fine of up to $300,000 if they are actually convicted.  I am sure that those who had alleged sexual contact will also have to register as sexual offenders for the rest of their lives.  Do you think those punishments are appropriate; if indeed, they are convicted of the crimes?  Are the punishments severe enough for the alleged behaviors?

         Where is the respect for children or for our elderly citizens?  Where is the respect for life?  In general, society has allowed our nation’s children to do what they want, with very little consequences.  When things go awry; many people find others to blame…there is very little accountability for those who go the wrong way. 

        Minnesota does not have a monopoly on violent or abusive teens; every state has such horror stories; that doesn’t make it ok.  Who is going to be the next vulnerable person?  What kind of depraved behavior is going to surface next?   We are raising a whole generation of human beings who have individuals who are either are unwilling, or incapable, of caring about other people in any normal kind of compassionate way! 

        The question is…what are we as a society going to do about it?  We had better figure out a way to understand these type of situations and change the course of these behaviors…otherwise, those most vulnerable, the elderly and the children, will be at substantial risk.  Those people at risk could be your loved ones; or possibly, even yourself! 

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       Today news reports say that scientific data collected from the suspect in the murder of Arkansas anchorwoman Anne Pressly confirms the investigator’s belief that the suspect, Curtis Lavell Vance, is guilty of assaulting her and murdering her.  The DNA that they collected from Mr. Vance is also linked to another woman’s rape in April.  Investigators allegedly are 110% convinced that they have the right person in custody!  You have to be pretty sure of someone’s guilt to make that kind of statement.  The authorities must have plenty of evidence to make such a claim…the rest of us will have to wait for that information to be released during a trial of the suspect to have complete understanding.

         Anne’s parents have been speaking out during the six weeks since her murder.  Today, they said that there is evidence that she was also sexually assaulted.  They may want to be careful about what information that they put out for public consumption; they don’t want to give ammunition to the defense of the person who is finally brought to justice for the murder of their daughter.  

       After all, if they get a conviction they will not want it to be overturned on a technicality…they will want that person to pay for murdering their daughter.  Still, in all honesty, it must be extremely difficult to keep quiet when every fiber of their being is probably are calling out for the whole story to be heard and to get justice.  Their emotions as Anne’s parents must be terribly powerful; I know it must take tremendous courage to look upon his face and not want to get revenge.  I know they are Christians…however, their human emotions are subject to extreme ups and downs just like anyone else.   Peace to those who knew her and loved her; and, to the woman who was assaulted in April. 

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       I remember back when i was in high school, back in the 80’s, we had a class on social issues.  In that class we discussed high profile situations in our society; which underscored how desensitized our society was becoming to people in pain and misery.

       There was a case of a woman who was stabbed over and over again in New York.  She was screaming and people heard it and yet they did nothing.  Later, when the police were investigating…people stated that they heard it; but, they did not want to “get involved”. 

         I remember thinking, during that discussion, that that was crazy; an isolated incident.  Not so, as i have grown up and matured, I find that people really are becoming desensitized to other people’s pain and misery.  It is crazy but think about it…how many movies have put murder and torture out there for entertainment value…such as those horror flicks or slasher movies?  It is not only sad…but, it is immoral.   Those things desensitize our fellow human beings to the value of life.

         How many television shows continue to shoot, rape, rob, torture and victimize others and draw in millions of viewers each and every day?  How do we expect people to have compassion towards one another?  We need to reconnect to those around us; this is something that affects us all.  Children are growing up today who have great difficulty seeing past their own wants and needs.  Adults who are willing to commit violence to get what they want…no matter who they hurt or kill.  Parents who kill children, children who kill parents, siblings, neighbors or friends.  It is as if they do not know how to “feel” appropriately towards anyone outside of themselves.

        Today, i am brought to a deeper sadness than I have felt in a long time regarding our nation and the lack of compassion that our citizens show towards one another. 

         A young man in Florida committed suicide online while others watched and egged him on.  He posted a suicide note…he live-streamed his suicide online; while people WATCHED and did nothing to HELP him.  Not only that, they allegedly ridiculed him and said things like…that isn’t enough medication to kill you!  What amazes me, is that this went on for hours and hours before someone had the good sense to contact the authorities to try to get help for him.   It was too late; he was already dead!

         There are reports that this person may have attempted to kill himself in the past.  So what; so what if it was a false alarm…who and what does it hurt to contact the authorities and have it checked out?  If that person was faking it…he would have been sent somewhere for a psychological exam to find out why he would do such a thing.  Maybe, just maybe he would still be alive today if someone had made an attempt to help him; when he FIRST stated his intention to kill himself.   

         Unfortunately, the young man was not faking the suicide attempt…he was actually crying out for help.  There were many people who had an opportunity to get involved, save a life, make a difference…and yet…they did not.  How can a human being watch another person suffer in front of their very eyes and pile more emotional damage upon that person?  Even if they thought it was a prank, even if they thought the person was not serious, even if they thought it was a waste of time…they failed to react with compassion.  How much more of an effort would it have taken to pick up the phone…or contact the online service that provided the streaming video and asked for someone to follow up on the person’s well-being?  Someone finally did contact help…but…it was much too late for saving his life; but, at least they made an attempt.

           I sure would not want my mind filled with the image of that young man lying on his bed with his back to the camera; filled with despair and depression…curled up in defeat…knowing that he died as I watched and took no action to save his life.  Every life has value and should be preserved.  My heart aches for him, for his family and for his friends…and yes, even for those who watched him die.  They will have to live with the knowledge of what they saw, what they said and did; and, did not do to help a fellow human being in distress.

           Many people in our society are affected by mental illness, or by depression.  It is not a crime…however, it is a crime to fail to get someone help when they need it.  I don’t know if any of those who participated in this suicide by watching it will be held legally responsible or not…but, I do think that they had a moral obligation to get involved in a way that would have attempted to provide some emergency help for this individual.  Depression is a serious matter and so is a suicide attempt.   Please help to educate others on suicide prevention!  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/08/23/suicide-prevention/ or on what happens to a suicide victim’s loved ones after the suicide:  http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory?id=6311509

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        How many of you have ever had knowledge of an emergency situation where someone is bleeding profusely?  Emergency training teaches to apply pressure; or, to use a tourniquiet to temporarily stop the blood loss.  It is no different with our financial crisis; yet, apparently in a move that goes against common sense…we are bleeding green…sending more and more money to problematic areas that are already bleeding out.

           What we need is a check and balance here…someone to triage…find out who we can afford to let go on to their great reward.  We can’t save everyone here financially speaking.  So, if we are going to attempt to try to turn the tide with this financial mess…we need to find the most effective way to pump money back into the economy in a way that is going to repair the situation.  Not prolong the agony.  Those companies that would abuse the help provided them should be held accountable.  The governmental leaders who are in charge should be held accountable if they fail to serve honorably; by not keeping track of the ebb and flow of the bailout plan.  It should be considered a crime to fail at accounting for each and every dime of the bailout money that does not produce a positive outcome on the economy.  It would challenge those who benefit from the rescue plan to strictly monitor the use of such money entrusted to them!

         Americans are angry about this whole situation.  They are struggling and there is no safety net waiting for them when they fail financially…so, their expectations of our leaders who are guiding the ship in regards to the bailout, are high.  Those expectations are not currently being met…and Americans have had their fill of leaders and organizations who abuse their power and influence over our society.  The impact of such irresponsible behavior is what has brought us to this place and time in history; it is unacceptable.

         Allegedly, reports have surfaced, twice now, on AIG as having pricey get-to-gethers since they have come knocking on the government’s door begging for bailouts to keep them from filing for a $150 billion dollar bankruptcy.  This is seen by many as an excessive fly- in- your- face disregard for the sacrifices that tax payers are taking on, by dolling out the $40 billion dollars that the treasury has set aside to help put AIG back in black.

          What is madness is that this kind of behavior seems to go without consequences except to the country as a whole.  We are drowning in poor choices, in excesses that failing business expect others to dig them out of.  If a small business owner took on that kind of attitude…there would be nothing but financial ruin in their future…not a reward of an all expense paid trip to a spa on the taxpayers!

           The average American is drowning as well.  There are no individual life rings being tossed to the middle class taxpayer.  We are being hit from all sides by the economy, taxation, educational funding, rising cost of living bills, home heating costs, gasoline, medical costs; and still, more and more people are loosing their jobs or their investments.  Home foreclosure is at an all time high.

           How in the world are taxpayers going to pay more to bailout anyone when they are barely keeping afloat themselves with the drain on their incomes?  If people don’t have jobs, they can’t pay taxes.  Common sense dictates that we examine closely where all of this bailout money is coming from; and, limit those who are benefitting from the rescue money. If some business or organization is not being fiscally responsible they should not then be given a blank check to continue the party.  

        This is not a free for all…We need someone in a position to regulate the flow of green; apply some pressure.  We are living in an unprecedented time of national debt…it just makes sense to be watching our bottom line.  There is nothing wrong with taking a little time to evaluate the situation and make an informed decision about the best way to tackle this mess.   Remember Russia and the collapse of their union?  Are we looking to make history as the next nation to collapse from the inside out?

          

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       The authorities have now confirmed that the young child found in the white SUV this morning on the west side of Chicago did in fact contain the body of Jennifer Hudson’s sister Julia’s child, Julian King.  It is terrible that someone not only took the life of Julia and Jennifer’s mother and brother; but now, the life of Julia’s son. There is a person in custody who is a person of interest…but law enforcement is still trying to investigate this horrible tragedy for a motive.

        Hopefully, whoever is responsible for this horror will be found and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  Deepest sympathies to both Julia and Jennifer for the loss of each of their family members.  It seems unbearable to have to endure such loss and to have to do it in the eye of the public…they are just a hurting, grieving family who needs lots of support at this time.

See related post:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/10/27/vehicle-related-to-jennifer-hudson-tragedy-found/ and https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/when-your-safe-place-has-been-invaded/

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        Breaking news…it appears that the ATF has arrested two “skin heads” for a plan to assassinate Presidential candidate Barack Obama.  There is no further information released at this time.  I will update as the information becomes available.

Update on this post:  The alleged plotters, Daniel Cowart and Paul Schlesselman planned to kill 88 people by shooting them and then, they planned to decapitate 14 African-Americans.  It is sickening to think that people actually would kill someone based only on the color of their skin.  This plan allegedly was going to be accomplished after they robbed a gun shop, to arm themselves for the attacks…then, their plan was to assassinate Barack Obama.  A plan that is illegal and immoral.

Race really seems like just an excuse to justify this “attempted” violence.  Thank God that this plan was discovered…violence doesn’t solve anything.  This election should be decided strickly by votes.  Attacks such as this is usually motivated by some disturbed or misguided person or organization to gain attention or fame by creating a “historical moment”. 

Whether a person is for Barack Obama for president or not…he is a real person; a man with a family who does not deserve to be targeted in such a way.

 If these two individuals are part of a neo-nazi (skin head) movement or organization they have only succeeded in guaranteeing themselves some prison time; if they are in fact, convicted of attempted murder.  Hate crimes should never be tolerated or allowed to be swept under the carpet.  No one group of people is better than another…people are individuals and should be evaluated as such…there is no justification for directing violence towards any group of people or individuals based solely on the color of their skin or which country that they come from. 

 It just doesn’t make sense to be consumed with anger and hatred…but, there is always a sliver of people in any society, that lives in that zone.  Both those for Barack Obama’s Presidency and those against it need to stand up and say that this behavior is wrong; and, that there should be major long term consequences for such actions.

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       Slavery exists even today; i know that that sounds like an inflammatory statement but it is true.  It is just not talked about in any kind of real, life changing way.  I read a book recently which opens up a whole new way of looking at the world.  It is rather frightening.  Slavery exists today in what is called, modern day slavery….human trafficking.  People are bought and sold all over the world…but, it is not a subject that has been addressed in the fullness that it needs to be; to face it and, attempt to overcome it.

        The book is called, A Crime So Monstrous; it was written by author Benjamin Skinner; published in 2008.  He has traveled to places around the globe to educate and inform the world of the human injustice that is perpetrated against those who are vulnerable, and can not fight back without help.  It is a moral call to action.  Once your eyes have been opened up to the extent of the evil that is human trafficking…you will never look at the world in the same way.  Children, women, men, young and old…it doesn’t matter…crimes against humanity should never be tolerated.

        So what is modern slavery-human trafficking?  It is the forced sale of human beings to be used and abused.  There are many forms of it…from sexual slavery, prostitution, forced labor, to forced child marriages and the list goes on.  There are very real networks that cross continents buying and selling humans against their will; it impacts well over 800,000 individuals a year.   Sometimes repeatedly; without concern for the well-being of those who are being transferred like a piece of property.  It is illegal, it is immoral and it doesn’t stop there…sometimes, in many cases it is multi-generational.  In those cases, debt forces multiple generations to work to pay off debts…doing hard labor, with little or no pay.  In conditions not suitable for proper human living conditions.  Often, violence is used to coerce people to do things against their will.  They do not get proper food, shelter, health care or healthy human interaction.  It is not right.  Many of the victims are the most vulnerable in society…the weak, the poor, the disabled, the homeless, and those who are without protectors.

        Do you think it doesn’t affect you?   What if it was happening in your town?  What if it was in your neighborhood?   What if one of your loved ones came up missing?   Missing family member…what if they have become one of the invisible slaves bought and sold for someone else’s gain and pleasure?  People who patronize the prostitutes on any street, in any country, around the world did you ever wonder if …are they doing it because they want to?  Or, are they being forced to perform as a prostitute because they are in fact, someone’s slave?  If you purchase their services…you could be part of the problem. How about people who purchase the servant to cook, or clean in their business or home, especially those  individuals not legally present in that country; are they working for them willingly, or have they been bought and paid for?  

         Our country, the United States of America, is involved in war.  Our military men and women have seen things in other countries that would shock you.  In some of those countries, when war breaks out…rape is used as a tool to destroy cultures and to break down the resistance of the opposing fighters.   Our military men and women have seen what happens to the women in those countries that have been warring with one another when they have gone in to establish some kind of peace-keeping.  Women and children, as well as men, are raped and used horribly.  Some of them never recover, physically or emotionally.   This is unacceptable behavior…no matter what country it takes place in.  These are issues to think about.  No-one is guaranteed safety from these predators.  http://www.humantrafficking.org/updates  This is a global issue.  It affects us all.  If you met one of these individuals in person… how you could be unaffected?  Yet most of us live our lives unaware of their plight.  Their stories of abuse would horrify you. 

         Many of the hotbeds in the modern day slavery networks, are on the news everyday…either they are points of travel destinations, or glamour spots that the rich and famous travel to and from…others are known for their sexual tourism…PLEASE STOP FEEDING THE MONEY MACHINE.   Someone’s “tourism” is someone else’s nightmare!!!   Do some research…don’t travel or support countries that are known for trading the services of human beings, illegally, for money.  Governmental leaders must take a stand and enforce those who would disregard the value of human lives by their inaction.  We must expect legal consequences and demand it from the authorities who can make a difference.

         Ben Skinner’s book, A Crime So Monstrous, touches on some of those people and their situations.  It breaks your heart.  And yet, you know that it is just a way of outlinning the scope of the problem.  You can find out more about the book here:  www.simonsays.com  It is also available as an e-book.  Take the time to educate yourself…read it; and, understand how this affects us all.  We need to stand up and demand that our leaders help to wage a war against those who would commit crimes against humanity in such a vile, and dehumanizing way.  Thank you to those who fight the fight against such inhumanity in our world.  

See possibly related story:  http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/WireStory?id=6081857&page=1 or http://abcnews.go.com/TheLaw/story?id=6121646

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      Ok, we all know that illegal drugs are bad for you…understanding that, starts in elementary school when children become educated about such risky behavior.  However, world cultures send mixed messaged to young children through the behavior of the adults that they interact with in their lives; and, through exposure on television and in various forms of media.  Television often glamourizes the lifestyle of the drug trade.  It shows all that it has to offer with money, celebrities, music, expensive house & cars & jewelry and loads of boyfriends/girlfriends…what it doesn’t always address is the danger, the moral/spiritual decay, suicide, murder, prostitution, the dehumanizing treatment of families, and the lack of control of how far they end up sliding into despair.

       So, not only do we understand the damage that can come from the abuse of drugs…such as death, brain damage, broken relationships, jail/prison, rotted teeth, damaged health, addiction, prostitution, theft, and many other physical ailments…but we begin to see a moral decay as well.  People appear to have very little value to the drug addicts; and or, the people who supply them with the drugs.

      This week a very disturbing story made the news about a young boy, from Las Vegas-Nevada, who was forcibly taken from his home by people posing as police officers.  They  tied up the young boy’s mother and her boyfriend, ransacked the home, and took the six year old boy named, Cole Puffinburger.  The reports are that the boy was kidnapped out of some kind of retailiation; allegedly involving, (unknown to us), relatives of the boy and a drug deal.   Parents lose custody of their children everyday because of their relationships with drugs or alcohol.  But in this case, the people removing young Cole were NOT protective services…it is probably, people involved in the drug trade.  No one appears to know whether Cole is safe or not at this time.  If you have any information please call the Las Vegas Metro Police at:  702-828-5678Update:  Cole’s grandfather has been arrested on Friday night by U.S. Marshalls.  It is believed that he has been laundering money for Mexican Nationals involved in the drug trade.  The Grandfather has been hiding out.  It is being alledged that he owes the Mexican drug cartel, between 8-20 million dollars.  Pray for Cole’s safe return…hopefully, the grandfather will have information that will lead to finding Cole (alive and well).  Abductions are taking place more often near the Mexican boarder.  This is a national problem that we need to address…pray for the DEA who try to fight the good fight…pray that those who are tempted to go to the other side, stay strong!

       It is frightening and sad how little value is placed on human life anymore.  This poor young boy was put in harms way because of drugs; and or the buying/selling drug lifestyle.  Is this little boy going to be alright?  His playmate chums in the neighborhood and in school are worried about him…they are frightened.  Whether it was the relatives that Cole lived with or others that were involved in his life…this child has been placed in danger due to the direct actions of people who he trusted; if the news reports we are hearing are true.

        Children all around the world are impacted by the choices their caregivers make.  Those caregivers (parents) who use illegal drugs or alcohol aren’t making rational decisions, oftentimes, because their thought processes are impared by the drugs/alcohol. 

        Please say a prayer for Cole, his friends and family (i am sure there are other family members who weren’t involved in the drug deal who care for Cole); as well as all children who’s lives have been impacted by the destruction that comes from the relationship of drugs/alcohol in their environment.  Have you or someone that you cared deeply about been affected by destruction associated with this kind of lifestyle?

        You’ve heard the saying that people who abuse drugs or alcohol say to back off…because it is their life; the thing is…that drug abuse affects us all.  It starts with each individual choice to use or not to use.  They often think that they are in control of the drugs or alcohol…but, it doesn’t take long for that to shift…and the drugs or alcohol are controlling them…and affecting everyone around them.  It is a big business with high stakes…people get involved in things that they can not control.  www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/drugs/  

Update on Saturday October 18th, 2008…it appears that the authorities have suddenly pulled the amber alert that was put out for young Cole.  There has been no further information.  There is supposed to be a news conference this afternoon.  As soon as there is updated information released…i will add it to this page. 

New update:  Cole has been found walking alone on the streets while detectives were handing out flyers about him.  Thank you God…thank you to the volunteers…and thank you to those who prayed for his safe return.  There were no further details given.

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        There is now a federal investigation into who allegedly stole personal, private pictures of Jamie Lynn Spears as she is breast feeding her young daughter.  A  man is suspected of stealing Jamie’s personal photos and trying to sell them.  A celebrity has a right to expect a certain level of privacy that every other person is afforded.  Photos such as these should never be purchased for publication, or for viewing by anyone outside of the bounds of a close personal relationship with the subject of the photo. 

         Even though the pictures are not pornographic…if they do indeed,show her breast as she feeds her infant…Jamie is not yet 18; so anyone who attempts to purchase, sell, or distribute those pictures is probably going to be prosecuted for selling or being in possession of pornographic materials involving a minor; when they are caught.

          Maybe the tide is turning in the world of buying and selling celebrity photos.  People are entitled to some kind of a personal life.  A young mother who is breastfeeding her infant should not have to worry that her photos are going to be sold to the highest bidder $$$ and published for the world to see.  This is a personal, private moment that should be respected.  What do you think celebrities should do to protect themselves from this kind of invasion of privacy?

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       What if you were convicted of a crime and you knew you were innocent; but, no one else knew or cared once you were convicted?  Worse yet, what if you were wasting away in prison for a crime you didn’t commit; while the real criminal was free to continue doing what you were accused of doing?  Wouldn’t you want someone to dig until they found proof of your innocence?

       Many people think that is the job of the defense attorneys of the accused; but that is unrealistic.  Oh, they do their job in court to protect your rights, best way that they can…but, for the most part…once you are convicted…you are there until your time is served. They have so many people to represent…unless your case sticks in their craw and they believe in you; and, they have powerful, political connections to movers and shakers…you will sit in prison until your time is up!

        What if someone dared to believe in your innocence and was willing to investigate until irrefutible proof was found that proved your innocence?  That would be a gift…a miracle.    That type of commitment costs money and lots of time.  Most people don’t have an unending supply of wealth.  By the time they have gone through the court system and paid to defend themselves…they have nothing left.  Often, even family and friends have moved on with their lives…not ALWAYS…but, by the time that the person has sat in prison a few years…family and friends have been forced to go back to work, finish growing up, getting married, having children, going off to college; you get the idea…life keeps moving on.  (more…)

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