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Monday, January 12, 2015

1984 murder suspect's widow files claim

12-18-2014 California:

Complaint contends police wrongly accused SDPD criminalist in Torrey Pines Beach slaying

SAN DIEGO — The widow of a retired San Diego police criminalist suspected in the 1984 mutilation murder of a teenager has filed a claim against the city, accusing detectives of investigative misconduct that she says eventually pushed her husband to suicide.

Kevin Brown, a 20-year veteran of the crime lab, became a suspect in the cold-case slaying of 14-year-old Claire Hough late last year, after a retesting of evidence in the case detected a small amount of his semen on a vaginal swab, police said. Investigators spent months trying to build their case against Brown, including searching his home, questioning him and administering a lie-detector test. Police said they were close to arresting him when he hanged himself from a tree in October.

At a news conference Thursday, Rebecca Brown said the police investigation wrongly focused on her husband and completely disregarded the logical explanation of cross-contamination as a reason why his DNA was found on the evidence.

“He was not a rapist and a killer. He was a quiet, good man who devoted his life to … helping people out by putting away bad guys doing his job,” Brown said. “… My husband didn’t do these things.”

Ex-Winnetka teacher accused of sex crimes dies

1-10-2015 Michigan:

A former North Shore teacher and Boy Scout leader who was accused at age 94 of decades-old child sex crimes has died, ending the prospect that he will stand trial and leaving questions that now will likely remain unanswered.

Bill Bricker, who had been on home confinement in Michigan while fighting extradition to Wyoming, where he was charged with molesting three children at a summer camp, died at about 10 p.m. Friday, his attorney Michael Lewis said.

A Michigan funeral home director said Bricker will be cremated with no services or obituary — a quiet ending for a former Winnetka “man of the year” who mentored countless children for decades.

“The passing of any person is not cause for celebration,” said one man who earlier told the Tribune that Bricker abused him in the 1950s during several scout trips. “However ... I am very pleased that he didn’t leave with the world continuing to adore him.”

Born in 1920, William Hartwell Bricker taught physical education at Hubbard Woods School from 1949 to 1985 and was a Boy Scout leader for even longer, interacting with generations of local children, many of whom also attended the Wyoming camp where he worked every summer. A longtime Winnetka resident who himself attended Hubbard Woods as a boy, Bricker was lauded as a hero upon his return from service in World War II and years later was named Winnetka’s “Man of the Year.” If he had died even a few months earlier, his public legacy might look very different.

Wichita man convicted of rapes dies in Kansas prison

1-9-2015 Kansas:

WICHITA, Kan. — A Wichita man convicted in multiple rape cases has died in a Kansas prison.

Wesley Watson, 59, died on January 6 at the El Dorado Correctional Facility.

Watson was first convicted of attempted rape in 1977. He was later convicted of raping a 14-year-old Wichita girl in 1980. He was denied parole seven times before it was granted by a board in 2009.

After the ruling, Watson was the subject of a sexually violent predator civil commitment proceeding in Sedgwick County. The state wanted to have Watson committed as a sexually violent predator, but the jury deadlocked on the matter and he was released in January 2010 under supervision that required he wear a GPS tracking device.

He moved to Wyandotte County, and was wearing that monitor in December 2010 when he impersonated a police officer and kidnapped a Kansas City, Kansas woman from a Walmart parking lot after accusing her of shoplifting. He took her to a nearby parking lot, sexually assaulted her and released her.

The GPS unit allowed officers to track him down and take him back into custody.

The cause of Watson's death is currently unknown. ..Source..

Sex offender dies in jail

12-14-2014 California:

A man being held in the Sacramento County Main Jail for failing to register as a sex offender has died.

According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, a 54-year-old man died just after 3:30 a.m. Sunday morning while inside his cell at the Main Jail.

The man had been in custody at the facility since November 20 on a sexual offender registration violation charge. Jail staff discovered the unresponsive man in his cell during a standard count and cell check. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Authorities do not believe the death was suspicious in nature, but will conduct a thorough inmate-death investigation in accordance with the department procedures and state laws.

The Sacramento County Coroner’s Office will determine the official cause of death and forward its findings as prescribed by law.

The inmates name will be released once next of kin has been notified. ..Source.. by Randy Miramontez

Convicted rapist dies in prison

12-10-2014 Delaware:

A convicted rapist died Wednesday in the prison infirmary of Vaughn Correctional Center near Smyrna, state correction officials said.

Richard H. Lum Jr., 53, died Wednesday morning of natural causes after a long illness, Department of Correction spokesman Jason P. Miller said. Foul play is not suspected, he said.

Lum, formerly of Lewes, was sentenced in 1988 to life in prison after being convicted of first-degree unlawful sexual intercourse. He also was sentenced to five additional years for a burglary charge. Details of the crimes were not immediately available Wednesday night.

Lum unsuccessfully appealed his sentence through the Delaware State Supreme Court, which affirmed his life imprisonment.

Following standard policy, his body was turned over to the State Division of Forensic Science for autopsy. ..Source.. by Robin Brown