BTK Strangler claims first victims - 1974
Sat, 01/19/2013 - 10:36, - 0 Comments

BTK Strangler

Dennis Rader aka The BTK Strangler

by Michael Thomas Barry

On January 15, 1974, the BTK Strangler struck for the first time, when he murdered four members of the Otero family. Six more victims, all female, followed, the last one in 1991. Throughout the 1970s, the BTK killer, or BTK strangler, as he was also known, sent letters to the media in which he claimed knowledge of the crimes.

Supporters rally, petition for San Jose man charged with murder in vigilante shooting
Fri, 01/18/2013 - 16:57, - 0 Comments

Jan. 18, 2013 Mercury News

SAN JOSE -- Supporters rallied Friday to urge prosecutors to drop a murder charge against a San Jose man who shot and killed an alleged burglar in a vigilante act that made him a folk hero to residents frustrated with a shrinking police response to lower-level crimes.

A petition was launched by family and friends of Luis Ricardo Hernandez, 26, who is being held in Santa Clara County Jail on $1 million bail in the death of 36-year-old Christopher Soriano of San Jose.

Hernandez was a maintenance worker at the Summer Breeze apartments when on Dec. 31 he and a supervisor reportedly tried to perform a citizen's arrest on Soriano, who they suspected of burglarizing cars

at the complex. In an ensuing physical confrontation, police said, Hernandez shot Soriano, who later died.

The online petition garnered more than 500 signatures as of Friday. Family spokesman Gina Gates said the defendant, who on Friday postponed a plea entry, was trying to thwart a series of crimes given short shrift by a budget-starved police force. He is due back in court Feb. 15.

"Ricardo is not the pebble in the pond. He's part of the wave it caused," Gates said.

Authorities see things much differently, with police admonishing vigilantism even in lean staffing times and prosecutors filing a murder charge.

"We acknowledge that it may take us a while to get to a property crime like an auto burglary depending on what else is going on in the city," said outgoing police Chief Chris Moore in a recent interview. "I'm somewhat disappointed that people are treating this person as a folk hero. In my opinion, he's not. I understand the frustration. But that doesn't give someone the right to take a gun out and take the law into their own hands."

Marion Barry is arrested on drug charges - 1990
Fri, 01/18/2013 - 09:12, - 0 Comments


Marion Barry

by Michael Thomas Barry

On January 18, 1990, Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry is arrested and charged with drug possession and the use of crack cocaine. Barry was caught at the Vista International Hotel in downtown Washington smoking the substance on camera with Rahsheeda Moore, a woman who had agreed to set up Barry in exchange for a reduced sentence in an earlier drug conviction.

Philadelphia Subway Attack: Man Allegedly Throws Woman On Tracks (VIDEO)
Fri, 01/18/2013 - 08:40, - 0 Comments

Jan. 18, 2013 Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA — A man has been arrested on charges he grabbed a woman by the feet and threw her onto the tracks at a Philadelphia subway station, police said. The woman got off the tracks on her own and suffered only minor injuries.

Police announced the arrest Thursday, more than two days after the woman was assaulted around 3:30 p.m. Tuesday at a subway station in the city's Chinatown neighborhood. The victim had been sitting on a bench when the man asked her what time the train was coming and requested a light for his cigarette, according to investigators. After she obliged and put the lighter back in her coat pocket, police said, the man grabbed her by the neck and began punching her.

In the assault, which was caught on surveillance video, the man can be seen grabbing the victim by her feet, dragging her along the platform and then throwing her on the tracks as she screamed. The suspect walked away with her cellphone, police said, but the woman was able to get back up onto the platform with only bruises and cuts.

Robert Wagner not interviewed in new Natalie Wood investigation
Fri, 01/18/2013 - 08:20, - 0 Comments

Jan. 18, 2013 Associated Press

LOS ANGELES -- Wagner was interviewed by authorities soon after Wood's drowning in 1981, but the actor is the only person who was on the yacht the night Wood died who has not spoken to detectives as part of the latest inquiry, despite repeated requests and attempts, sheriff's Lt. John Corina said.

Blair Berk, an attorney for Wagner and his family, said the actor had cooperated with authorities since his wife died.

Detectives began re-investigating the case in November 2011. Since then investigators have interviewed more than 100 people, but Wagner has refused and Corina said the actor's representatives have not given any reason for his silence.

The detective's remarks provided new insight into the case that has remained one of Hollywood's enduring mysteries. Earlier this week, coroner's officials released an updated autopsy report that had been under a security hold. It detailed why Wood's death had been reclassified from an accidental drowning to a drowning caused by "undetermined factors."

Does top mobster's murder signal a return to Russian mob wars?
Thu, 01/17/2013 - 13:31, - 0 Comments

Jan. 17, 2013 Christian Science Monitor

Moscow -- One of Russia's top organized crime bosses was gunned down in a classic contract hit on a Moscow street Wednesday, raising fears that Russia's notorious mafia gangs – which seemed to fade from view during the Vladimir Putin era – may be about to erupt onto the streets again.

Aslan Usoyan, whose nickname was "Grandpa (Dyed) Khasan," was shot in broad daylight as he exited his favorite downtown Moscow restaurant. He was killed by a chillingly professional assassin who had rented an apartment across the street months earlier, left behind an untraceable military-style sniper rifle and six spent cartridges, and who managed to dodge multiple security cameras when he made his escape.

Mr. Usoyan had been one of the last of the fabled Soviet-era underworld breed known as vori v zakone, or "thieves-in-law," whose gangs virtually ruled Russia's fledgling banking and business communities during the wild 1990s, and whose bloody turf wars spread mayhem around Russia and, to some extent, throughout the world.

Russia's hardened crime reporters and other experts were hardly shocked by the killing, which was the third attempt on Usoyan's life. But as they mulled over the event Thursday they appeared to disagree over what it means and what might come next.