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Posts Tagged ‘murder’

       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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         For many reasons, all of the details about Anne Pressly’s murder case have not been released.  One thing to think about is when, and if, prosecutors actually get a suspect into court to begin proving their case.  What if that suspect cannot get an impartial trial because of all of the information out there that can influence a jury?  So, the authorities have held back much of the information relating to Anne’s murder.  I think that is only right.  It would be a double tragedy to have found the actual person responsible for her murder only to have a guilty plea overturned due to a technicality such as not being able to find an impartial jury!

        On the other hand, there is a suspect in custody now.  His name is Curtis Lavell Vance.  He has given a DNA sample that has allegedly been linked to a woman’s rape in April.  That DNA that he has given, also is allegedly linked to Anne’s death scene.  There really has to be a strong link for the authorities to take it to trial.  I don’t know what evidence the police have been able to obtain…and, neither does most of the people in the media who are commenting on it.

         As hard as it is…we have to wait for things to go to trial; if indeed this evidence is strong enough to take to a courtroom and get a conviction.  All we can do is hope and pray that if Mr. Vance is indeed responsible for either the April rape; or, for Anne’s murder, that he is held legally responsible and is removed permanently from the citizen population. 

          In any case, we can all pray for the woman who was raped in April; as well as those who have been affected by the murder of Anne Pressly.  When it is possible to remove offenders from the opportunity who commit violence upon another person; then, we must do everything in our power to make sure that those charges stick!  But remember, innocent until PROVEN guilty.  We all want to see the person who did these horrible things to these women pay the price; but, that doesn’t mean proven guilty in the public opinion…but, in a court of law.  We all deserve that and; Anne, and the woman who was raped, deserve to have a positive identification of the person who subjected them to such horror & violence!

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        Finally, there is a person who has been named as a suspect in the murder of television news anchorwoman Anne Pressly.  On Wednesday evening, Little Rock, Arkansas police have named Curtis Lavell Vance of Marianna, Arkansas as the suspect.

         Not much was announced about him except that he is thought to be armed and is possibly driving a 1998 Oldsmobile Aurora.  Curtis may also be traveling with a woman and three little children.  There was no announcement about where they may be traveling.

        There has been much speculation since Anne was murdered…some say it was a random act of violence; but many believe otherwise.  There was so much violence in the attack from news reports that i have ran across.  Anyone who expends that much anger/violence in such a crime is generally not a random attacker…it is usually someone who feels they know the victim or does indeed know them and holds a grudge.

          From all accounts since her passing; Anne was a beautiful woman both on the outside and inside…she was a loving, caring person who treated others with respect and concern.  It is such a tragedy to have such a person taken from all those who loved her. 

         If Curtis Vance did indeed murder Anne Pressly…he will likely be a danger to all he encounters.  Regardless, it is good to finally hear that some headway has been made in the investigation of this well loved anchorwoman, Anne Pressly.   No one deserves to die in the manner in which she did. 

         Whoever brutalized Anne deserves to be caught, prosecuted; and, put away for life so that they can never harm another citizen.  Anne was loved by her family, friends, co-workers and her community; they are all grieving their loss.   Let’s hope and pray that Curtis Lavell Vance is apprehended soon without further harm to another person so that the investigation can continue.  Rest in peace Anne.

Breaking news:  Curtis Lavell Vance has allegedly been captured.  No further details at this time.

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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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      There is a terrible abuse of power, allegedly, in the investigation of a double murder case in Arizona.  A young 8 year old child was being interviewed by the police in the murder case of his father and a houseguest/friend of the father who were shot and killed. The interview was recorded; thank God, because it shows the leading questions being asked by the officers; as well as the answers given by the child.

      This is outrageous; children are very easily led by those in authority.  This child was a potential witness and was being interviewed as such.  The officers allegedly said to the child, what if we had someone who ‘saw’ something?  Then, when a series of questions was put to the child and he was led to say that he ‘might’ have shot the gun that day, then he might have shot his father, then he might have shot the friend…before long he was shooting the gun that day and he didn’t know…if maybe he shot his father.  You see what i am saying…this line of questioning was done without an adult advocate for the child being present.

       There was no attorney in the room who represented the child…there was no parent present (father was killed…but the child had a mother who lived out of state) there was no friend or clergy present…no teacher…no person who could stop the interview when it allegedly (and in my opinion was) turned into coersion to get the child to confess to murder.  This is an 8 year old child.  Clearly, he was anxious, fearful and wanting to give them answers…he was wanting to be pleasing to the authority figures in the room so that the questions would stop.  Whether he is guilty of murder or not…this is not how questioning should have been conducted.

        Even if it is true that this child committed murder (it would indeed be a terrible thing)…the case will probably be thrown out because the ‘evidence on tape’ was done without the child being read his rights/and in lieu of not being able to comprehend his miranda rights (or to have anyone unbiased explain it to him)…there was no adult advocate present to prevent him from implicating himself in the taped ‘confession’.  What if this child confessed to a crime that he did not commit?

        This is a huge problem in our court system.  People who conduct police interviews with children, or with people who are disabled/special needs….should be required to have special training.  It is very easy to lead a person to ‘confess’ to a crime when they are being questioned by a person who is viewed as an authority figure when they are at a disadvantage intellectually (disabled) or if they are not of an age of understanding…a young minor child.

          This case will have long term repercussions in the legal system; as it should.  It was an outrageous abuse of power and the impact on police procedures should be addressed.  What do you think of this situation?  You can watch part of this interview on cnn.  http://www.cnn.com/2008/CRIME/11/19/boy.confession.tactics/index.html#cnnSTCVideo

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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…a vehicle possibly related to the tragedy of the murder of Jennifer Hudson’s mother and brother…as well as, the kidnapping of Jennifer’s sister Julia’s son, Julian has been found.  There is a body of a young black child inside.  Police were looking for Julian since friday; when he disappeared after the murder of his uncle and grandmother.  Jennifer had offered a $100,000 dollar reward for the safe return of her nephew Julian.  This is heartbreaking all the way around.  Will update when the information is available.   See related post:  https://writeasrain.wordpress.com/2008/10/26/when-your-safe-place-has-been-invaded/

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       For those of you who have been following the tragedy of the murders in Jennifer Hudson’s family and the kidnapping of her young, seven year old nephew; think about this, what happens when your safe place, your place of foundation has been invaded or attacked?  This family is going through a nightmare of epic proportions and because of fame, they are having to do it publically.

       Jennifer and her sister Julia have lost their mother, Darnell Donerson and their brother, Jason Hudson; and, Julia’s son Julian is missing.  This home that the murders took place in was Jennifer’s refuge from the crush of the world that she stepped into as a celebrity when her star began to rise from her singing and her acting over the last several years.

       The Hudson family was and is a family of faith.  Jennifer has said that she grew up in that home, that neighborhood and her home church.  It is an integral part of her support system.   It is part of who she is.  Her mother did not want to move when her daughter became famous…they didn’t want that celebrity to change who they were as a family.  Their home was the center of their family.  It was where all things sprouted for them.  Where they came to; to be together.  It was a safe place.  A place of nurturing.

        What happens now; other than trying desperately to get answers to where Julian is….and what happened to their mother and their brother?  Julia and Jennifer are on automatic pilot i am sure at the moment.  Trying to make sense of things…hoping and praying for the safe return of Julian.  But, their safe place has been invaded.

        How will they ever be able to look at that home and feel what they once felt.  Will it ever feel like home again?  Or will they always feel loss and hurt when they look upon the face of the place that has so many memories for their family.  What about Julian when he comes home…did that poor baby witness the murder of his beloved grandmother and uncle?  Will he ever feel safe there again?  Will he ever feel “at home” somewhere else?  What does this kind of trauma do to a human mind and soul? 

         Many people experience such traumas in their lives…it is something that can be overcome…but, it does shake the foundation of a person/family to rebuild that sense of trust and safety.  Please pray for the Hudson family…as well as, anyone else who has had to go through something so violent and traumatic.  Their faith in God will help them through this time.  However, they are human…and will go through much before they are able to recover and overcome.  Have you ever gone through a trauma that has made your safe place feel violated or unsafe to you?  How did you handle it?

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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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       On Friday, O.J. Simpson was declared guilty in a court room in Las Vegas, Nevada, of all 12 counts that he was charged with that were associated with armed robbery.  This morning, O.J. is sharing breakfast with other inhabitants of the local jail.  This case had centered on an armed robbery of sports memorabilia related to O.J. Simpson’s career in football.  The case made headlines around the world because of the cast of characters involved in the robbery.  During the trial it was a he said/he said situation.  Some of those involved on both sides of the accusations have had their credibility questioned due to previous run-ins with the law.  There were recordings that appeared to shed light on the actual drama behind the scenes.  Of course, this case could have long lasting implications…O.J. and C.J. Stewart, his co-defendent were both found guilty and could spend the remainder of their lives in jail.  They will be formally sentenced in December for their involvement in this case.

      Of course, we all know of the infamous case against O.J. Simpson back in 1994 when he was accused of murdering his wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman, her friend and a waiter, from a local restaurant she had visited earlier in the evening.  O.J. was declared not guilty of those murders in the criminal sense…but, many people never believed in his innocence.  He was found to be liable for their deaths in a civil suit. 

        O.J. has made headlines in the news since he began his football career at USC in the 60’s.  He has had a varied career since he retired from football.  He was an actor, a football commentator, a business owner and an author.  He wrote a very controversial book called If , I did it.  This was supposedly a book of fiction surrounding the murders; and, how he would have murdered them, if he did it.  There was a very intense public outcry towards the publisher of the book and the television network that were going to give it attention on their media network.  In a series of events, the publisher lost out big time.  Then Ron Goldman’s family sued the publisher for the rights to help satisfy O.J’s debt in the civil suit that was brought against him for being liable for the deaths of Ron and Nicole.  They were able to win the rights to the book and retitle it, If, I Did It: Confessions of the Killer; and add commentary to the book. 

        In a life of such highs and lows…this latest development could appear to be the final chapter; however, when a person who is used to such intense attention and focus, it begins to feed a core need in that person.  Even if O.J. is sentenced to life behind bars…this will not be the last you hear from him.  I am sure that there will be interviews, blogs, and possibly more books all expressing his views and need to be heard and seen.  Still, you can’t help but feel for those most closely aligned with Mr. Simpson…his children, his siblings and anyone who has been most closely and directly involved in his life.  This is another painful chapter for them to endure. 

           Those who thought, that when O.J. was incarcerated, that it would bring them some closure will probably be disallusioned.  He has had many issues with the law.  There have been domestic police calls(regarding spouses, girlfriends & children), murder trials, fender benders and robbery.  Each of those situations have had people impacted by O.J.’s choices and actions.  I am sure in this situation, there will be a period of satisfaction for some, that they will feel vindicated that he is getting his due.  But, i have to wonder if that part of them that feels he has “gotten away with so much”, will eventually feel empty when their opponent is no longer free to do battle with them anymore.  After all, he isn’t being punnished for the issues that they feel he should have been punnished for. 

           Just because he is being put away in jail/prison…doesn’t mean that he is going to go away.  He is a big personality.  He will find a way to still get the attention that he feels bound to command.  There will be interviewers who will feel duty bound to get the interview and record it for posterity.  He will be incarcerated and be getting 3 meals a day, housing and medical care, all at the tax payer’s expense.  Yes, he will have lost his freedom, but, he will still not give them what they want and need, total satisfaction that he is getting everything that he deserves.

Update:  On Friday, October 19, 2008 The lawyers for O.J. Simpson filed a motion for a new trial because they believe that they did not get a fair trial.  It was an all white jury except for one hispanic juror; that, plus two African-Americans were dismissed from the possible pool of jurors.  We will see where this goes.  I know that O.J.’s co-defendent wanted to have a seperate trial from O.J. because he felt that he would be lumped together with the prosecution of O.J. and that he would suffer the consequences of people who wanted to pay him back for the idea of  “getting away with murder” years before.

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