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Friday, May 9, 2008

UK- Dad hanged himself day of sex case



5-8-2008 United Kingdom:

A father was found hanged in his garage on the morning he was due to face sexual assault charges.

The body of Putta Prakesh was discovered with a rope around his neck at his home in Copperfields, Caversham, on February 6 last year, an inquest heard.

The 39-year-old had left a suicide note in the house in which he wrote he had “lost everything” and of “not having the strength or willpower” to save himself.

The inquest at Reading Civic Centre on Tuesday heard how Mr Prakesh was under investigation for criminal offences, not disclosed by the coroner, and was arrested in October 29, 2006.

He denied the offences and was released on bail twice from Reading police station while the case was handed to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and paperwork was finalised.

Mr Prakesh’s wife Kavitha and his daughter had previously moved out of the family home and he had been living alone for nine months at the time of his death, the hearing was told.

The CPS told his solicitor it intended to press charges and this was confirmed to Mr Prakesh on the evening of his death.

After he failed to show up at court a police unit was despatched and officers found his body hanging from a green woven cord wrapped several times around a beam in the garage.

Mr Prakesh’s feet were off the ground and a collapsible chair and bin lay on the floor as if they had been pushed over before officers discovered the suicide note in the hallway.

A friend of the deceased, Premand Parithra from Horsham, Surrey, described Mr Prakesh as being suicidal and how he spent a lot of time reassuring him.

A post mortem examination confirmed a cause of death as hanging which caused compression on the neck and led to asphyxiation but there was nothing to suggest he had been drinking or taken an overdose.

Recording a verdict of suicide, Berkshire coroner Peter Bedford said: “It is clear to me following criminal charges, Mr Prakesh considered the night before that everything he cared about in life in his view was over.”

Thames Valley Police confirmed yesterday Mr Prakesh was being investigated for sexual assault but the CPS declined to give any further details of the exact charges. ..more.. by Paul Cassell

Thursday, May 8, 2008

IL- Ex-Con Bryan Halstead Was Arrested After Allegedly Attemptin Tryst With Teenage Girl

5-7-2008 Illinois:

CREST HILL, Ill. (Naperville Sun) ― Former Naperville resident Bryan E. Halstead was freed from prison a little more than four months ago, after serving a 21-year sentence for raping an Aurora girl in 1985 and brutalizing her family in their home.

Halstead, 44, committed suicide Wednesday morning, less than a day after being arrested for trying to arrange a sexual tryst with a Naperville girl.

Halstead reportedly hanged himself with a bedsheet while in a holding cell at Stateville Correctional Center in Crest Hill. He had been taken there for violating terms of his parole following his arrest Tuesday afternoon in Naperville.

"We are investigating an apparent suicide of Mr. Halstead from Wednesday morning at Stateville," said Derek Schnapp, a spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections. Schnapp refused to discuss how Halstead killed himself.

Halstead in 1985 lived on the 1800 block of Princeton Circle in Naperville. He moved to south suburban Chicago Heights after being paroled from prison on Dec. 27.

Naperville police arrested Halstead at 3:45 p.m. Tuesday on a felony charge of indecent solicitation of a child. He had been accused of using the Internet to try to arrange a meeting with a 16-year-old girl from Naperville.

Police Cmdr. Dave Hoffman said the investigation began May 1, after detectives were contacted by the girl's parents. One of the parents, while monitoring the teen's online activities, found evidence of a "disturbing online chat between their child and another individual that was sexual in nature," communications that had been going on "over the course of the last two weeks," Hoffman said in a written statement.

The suspect, quickly identified as Halstead, had lied to the girl, claiming to be a 16-year-old Naperville boy and asking her to send "inappropriate digital photographs" of herself to his MySpace account, Hoffman said. Detectives set up a sting operation and arrested Halstead in a parking lot on the 500 block of South Washington Street in Naperville, where he believed he would be meeting with the girl, Hoffman said.

Aurora police arrested Halstead on Aug. 26, 1985, at a house on the 2400 block of Lakeside Drive, where his estranged wife was living with her parents and two younger sisters.

Records in DuPage County Circuit Court in Wheaton indicated Halstead, then 21, armed himself with a .357 Magnum before invading the home that afternoon.

He fired a shot that missed striking his then-13-year-old sister-in-law, who was home alone at the time. He then raped the girl in her bedroom before tying her up with rope and forcing her into the basement.

Halstead then waited as his estranged wife, mother-in-law, father-in-law and another sister-in-law arrived home one by one through the afternoon, confronting and hog-tying all of them with rope.

He shot his estranged father-in-law in the left arm and left him bleeding for nearly five hours in the basement with the rest of the family. The father-in-law ultimately underwent surgery to have his arm shortened by an inch.

A prosecutor during Halstead's trial said Halstead "systematically, for eight hours, terrorized that family." One of the victims testified they "all joined hands in the basement and prayed together" after becoming convinced it was their "last day on Earth."

Halstead eventually decided to free his captives and call 911, although court records indicated he later told police the confrontation with the family and the shooting had been accidental.

Judge John J. Bowman in June 1986 sentenced Halstead to 45 years in prison after he was convicted of felony charges of home invasion, aggravated criminal sexual assault, armed violence and unlawful restraint.

Halstead served just more than 21 years of that sentence in downstate Danville before being paroled. ..News Source.. By Bill Bird / Naperville Sun

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Kolkata- Molester principal commits suicide in South Kolkata

5-6-2008 Kolkata:

Kolkata: A 63-year old principal of a primary school committed suicide in Garia in South Kolkata on Tuesday morning after he allegedly caught red-handed while molesting a seven-year old girl student by her mother.

Biswanath Das, the owner of Children's Academy School, had been running the educational center for over 20 years. Das used to live in the second floor of the double-storied building, which housed the primary school on the ground and first floors. Many local people used to send their children to the school, as it claimed to put "special emphasis" on English language.

Among many of these children attending Children's Academy was little Shipra Ghosh (name changed), a student of class 2, who went to the school to receive education, but remained at the receiving end of the principal's indecent acts.

Das had been molesting Shipra for the past few months, and also threatened to beat her up if she dared gave anyone an inkling of what was happening. A scared Shipra used to silently bear the physical and mental abuse which she was subjected to, before finally, her mother caught the principal in the act.

On Monday, when Shipra's mother went to fetch her from school, she was surprised to find that her daughter was neither in the classroom, nor with the other children. Worried, she went inside the school to look for her daughter, and was stunned to see her alone with the principal in the staff room, with the old man behaving indecently with the little girl.

On confrontation, Das said that he was affectionately caressing the child, and that her mother was reading too much into the matter. However, Shipra's mother refused to buy his explanations, and registered a molestation complaint against him in Regent Park police station in South Kolkata.

Today morning, Das went to Shipra's house, and tried to convince her parents to hush up the matter. But they refused to relent. On returning to the school, Das found a huge mob waiting for him. Fearing that he might be beaten to death by the agitated mob, Das sneaked into his house and hanged himself.

Even after his suicide, angry locals refused to let his body be taken for a post-mortem, and created a huge ruckus in the area. Police had to resort to lathicharge to disperse the mob, and finally managed to take the body four hours after Das' suicide.

Shipra's mother said, "He had been molesting my child over the past few months, but we were unaware of his deeds. I caught him red-handed yesterday, but he tried to cover up for his faults. He even tried to shut us up, but we did not give in to his pressures. Soon after he had left our place today morning, we heard that he had committed suicide."

SP (South 24 Parganas) Praveen Kumar said, "Primarily we believe that Das committed suicide to save his face. We are investigating into the matter." ..more.. by LOCAL CORRESPONDENT

Sunday, May 4, 2008

CA- Body found in Pinnacle Rock area

5-14-2005 California:

CLEARLAKE The Lake County Sheriff's Office has tentatively identified a body found in the Pinnacle Rock area of the Mendocino National Forest as that of Michael Willis, sought by Clearlake Police on a warrant for child molestation. A post-mortem examination of the body has led the sheriff's office to believe that the subject died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. The body was found 100 yards north of a rural roadway in the Pinnacle Rock area after deputies secured the area and found evidence, which along with the body, was transported to the mortuary for the post-mortem.

The deputies began investigating the scene because of a report of a suspicious vehicle by U.S. Fire Service ranger Matt Knudson. The vehicle was positively identified as belonging to Willis by the Lake County Sheriff's Department Central Dispatch. Conclusive identification that the body was Willis' could not be made because of the estimated time lapse between the death and discovery of the body on May 3. In the approximate 30 days before the body was discovered, advanced decomposition had set in and there was apparent animal activity. : by Record-Bee ..more..

TX- Tarpley death ruled as a suicide by authorities - San Antonio resident was reportedly under investigation

5-18-2005 Texas:

Tragedy befell the quiet town of Tarpley two weeks ago. On May 5, Bandera County Sheriff's Office Deputy David McGilvray responded to a 911 call from a ranch on FM 470.

There, McGilvray found Kenneth E. Hendley, 64, of San Antonio, with a reported self-inflicted shotgun wound to his head. Justice of the Precinct 4 Lynn Holt pronounced Hendley dead on the scene at 1:10 p.m., according to Chief Deputy Don Berger.

Records indicate that Hendley was discovered by his son-in-law, Daryl Gillit, who said that Hendley was distraught over personal items in San Antonio. Gillit advised officers that Hendley was under investigation by Child Protective Services for child molestation. ..more.. by Jessica Hawley - Lifestyles Editor

FL- Sex offender wanted for questioning kills self

5-27-2005 Florida:

A sex offender who had been registered to live in Yankeetown killed himself May 20 rather than face an investigation by the Levy County Sheriff's Office into a new allegation of sexual crimes made against him in April. This week Capt. Chuck Bastak, spokesman for Sheriff Johnny Smith, said LCSO got a call last Friday from Marion County authorities informing them that George W. Hummel, 61, had shot himself in his head when a deputy tried to question him at his mother's house in Summerfield.

Bastak said Hummel had been the subject of an investigation initiated April 22 based on a claim that he had fondled a young girl, and sheriff's investigators had made the decision to arrest Hummel on a charge of lewd and lascivious battery on a child under 12 years old. However, officers had not seen Hummel since he didn't show up two weeks ago for a lie detector test they had agreed upon in a prior interview, and they believed he had left his registered address without notifying the sheriff's office as required by law. : by Mike Bowdoin ..more..

UK- BRIDGE SUICIDE OF SEX CLAIMS TEACHER

6-18-2005 United Kingdom:

A SENIOR teacher flung himself to his death after a girl pupil accused him of sex offences Head of English Dr Michael Kellaway, 60, had been sent home from work less than 48 hours before his body was found. And his wife only learned he was being investigated by police and school authorities after she was told of his death. The allegations were made by a fifth-year pupil.

Dr Kellaway,who had taught at Perth Academy for 24 years, had driven his Jaguar to the entrance of the Forth Road Bridge in Fife and thrown himself to his death. [snip] Audrey, head of a private girls school, said: 'We only found out about the investigation after my husband was found on Saturday morning. 'Michael said nothing and as far as we were concerned everything was normal.

'We have since been told the inquiry had been completed and the case had been closed.' : by James Moncur ..more..

IN- Man misses court, found dead

7-7-2005 Indiana:

Brown County police officers, sent to the home of a man who missed a required court date, made a gruesome discovery last week.

The body of David Lee Allen, 39, was found by sheriff’s deputies Rick Followell and Brad Stogsdill in Mr. Allen’s Freeman Ridge Road residence last Wednesday morning, June 29.

Brown County Coroner Earl Piper said Mr. Allen died of self-inflicted lacerations, adding that he may have been dead for several days before being discovered.

According to Sheriff Robert “Buck” Stogsdill, Mr. Allen’s body was badly decomposed. He said the case is still under investigation and that officers are awaiting additional information from the coroner.

Mr. Allen was charged two years ago with child molesting, a Class A felony. He was scheduled to appear in court at 9 a.m. for a competency hearing to determine his ability to represent himself in the case. When he didn’t show up, Brown Circuit Judge Judith A. Stewart issued a warrant for his arrest.

Officers Stogsdill and Followell made their discovery at around 10:40 a.m.

Mr. Allen also failed to appear at a hearing on Monday, June 20. A warrant was not issued for him at that time because the court was concerned he did not receive proper notice. ..more.. by Rodney Margison Staff writer

ID- Father Who Molested Infant Daughter Takes Own Life

7-25-2005 Idaho:

Police say a 26-year-old Idaho father who was to be sentenced Friday for lewd conduct with his infant daughter has killed himself. Benjamin Nephi Wright had called himself a monster when he confessed to his wife that he had attempted intercourse with their 22-month-old daughter last September.

He was found shot to death in the chest Thursday at his mother's home in Athol, and police closed their investigation Monday, concluding Wright took his own life. Wright was facing punishment of up to life in prison and mandatory registration as a sex offender at Friday's scheduled sentencing hearing in First District Court. ..more.. : by KOIN TV6 Oregon

CA- Cop Facing Sex Assault Charges Commits Suicide

7-25-2005 California:

A San Francisco police inspector who was facing felony sexual assault charges in Solano County fatally shot himself in his Vacaville home last week, Vacaville police said. The Solano County Coroner's Office said Wilfredo Gonzalez Jr., 39, was found dead in his home at 9:07 p.m. June 21. The cause of death was a contact gunshot wound to the head, the coroner's office said.

Vacaville police said Gonzalez was facing sexual assault charges involving two alleged victims in 2002 and 2004. He was to have appeared in Solano County Superior Court on Thursday. Vacaville police Lt. Craig Courtemanche said another woman came forward about six weeks ago when she saw news articles about the charges against Gonzalez. Courtemanche said Gonzalez met the women on the Internet and arranged for them to come to his home. Police said Gonzalez faced seven charges regarding the alleged sexual assaults. ..more.. : by Bay City News

FL- Can suits exorcise ghost of coach?

Players are suing the estate of a soccer coach who killed himself after he was accused of sexually molesting them.

7-10-2005 Florida:

TAMPA - No one wanted to believe that about William Burton. No one wanted to think the man their kids had looked up to for years had done those things to their boys.

In life, he was a energetic businessman and an enthusiastic soccer coach. But when Burton, 61, committed suicide late last year after allegations surfaced that he had molested several boys on the Black Watch Soccer Club, death cheated the truth. In death, Burton became for some the ghost that will forever haunt their lives.

Now the families of two of Burton's alleged victims have turned to the courts for to quiet that restless spirit. Late last month, parents of two former Black Watch team members filed separate lawsuits in Hillsborough County against Burton's estate alleging that the late Gold Cup Coffee Service executive made sexual advances toward the boys and touched them inappropriately. The lawsuits also contend the soccer coach encouraged some teenage players to have sex with prostitutes during a team trip to Europe last year.

The lawsuits call for unspecified damages. But attorneys for the unnamed teens filed legal claims earlier this year in probate court seeking a total of roughly $1.25-million from Burton's estate.

J. Meredith Wester, an attorney for a 15-year-old Tampa player and his parents, said her clients were reluctant to file their June 22 lawsuit, but felt it was their only remaining avenue to justice.

"I'm convinced that there would have been charges against Bill Burton if he hadn't committed suicide," Wester said. "I think it's real unfortunate. I think there's a lot more victims out there that haven't come forward because of this situation."

Peter Catania, attorney for Richard Coleman, the father of another 15-year-old player, agreed.

"There's no criminal prosecution available,so there's no other alternative than the civil courts," Catania said.

A former Tampa resident, Coleman moved with his son to Massachusetts before filing the June 16 lawsuit, which also names the Black Watch Soccer Club as a defendant.

"He relocated with his son because he thought it would be best for his son to get a fresh start where no one was aware of the allegations," Catania said.

The lawsuits come seven months after a Gold Cup employee found Burton dead in a company minivan near his office on the morning of Dec. 17. Investigators found a gas generator and a suicide note in the vehicle. Burton's death followed a Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation into allegations that he and three other Black Watch coaches were involved in sexual misconduct.

No charges were filed and the FDLE closed the inquiry in March. But during the course of the investigation, teen after teen told FDLE agents about Burton's sexual advances.

The trouble always seemed to start when the team traveled for out-of-town tournaments. During a team trip to Dallas a boy woke in the middle of the night to find Burton rubbing his back and the soccer coach's hand sliding down his boxer shorts, according to investigative reports. Other boys reported similar encounters with Burton during a trip to Seminole County. Another boy also reported seeing Burton masturbating in a hotel bathroom during one of the trips, records show.

The allegations against Burton became more complicated after several team members reported that Burton and assistant coach Eddie Rodriguez allowed the boys to visit Amsterdam's famous red light district. One team member told investigators Burton gave another teenager 50 euros to pay a prostitute to perform oral sex on the boy.

Parents of the boys reported the allegations to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office last July. The FDLE took over the case because the alleged sexual misconduct had occurred in several different places outside the county.

The charges shocked many in the community who knew Burton as the ultra-fit coach of Jesuit High School's junior varsity soccer program and longtime youth soccer booster. Before taking over his family's beverage service business in Tampa, Burton spent 17 years working his way up to the top rungs of the Marriott Corp. The allegations were a blot on his otherwise stellar reputation.

When FDLE investigators interviewed Burton last summer, he told them he knew he was in serious trouble. He said he wanted to talk about what had happened, but he'd been advised by his attorney not to say more. His death four months later left parents of the players wondering about the man they had entrusted with their sons.

"The father's upset that his son was a victim of Burton," Catania said of his client. "I think most people would be upset if their kids were a victim of something like that."

Con Foley, the personal representative for Burton's estate, said he was aware of the lawsuits but did not want to comment until he had consulted with his attorney.

Black Watch attorney Colleen Fitzgerald declined to discuss the lawsuit pending further consultation with team leadership. But she pointed out that the allegations have been costly for all involved.

Wester says her client has suffered considerably since the allegations against Burton were made public. The teenager has trouble sleeping and has lost some of his hair, she said.

"These boys are like hand picked for this team when they're 5 and 6 years old and Burton was their coach for all that time," Wester said. "That's what makes it so traumatic for the victims because the victims have known him for so many years."

The events of the past year have also damaged relations between team members, Wester said. After her client told his parents about what happened, he had few friends left from Black Watch. He now plays soccer for a different team.

"Some of those boys blame him for what happened to Burton," Wester said. "You can tell them there's nothing you did wrong, this man was sick, but when you're 14 and 15 years old, it's hard to believe that."

Researcher Cathy Wos contributed to this report. Candace Rondeaux can be reached at 813 226-3337 or rondeaux@sptimes.com ..more.. by CANDACE RONDEAUX

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FL- Metrorail Jumper Faced Sex Assault Trial

Arrested In February 2007 For Sexual Assault On A Minor

Family Says He Remains In A Coma, Little Hope Of Recovery

4-30-2008 Florida:

MIAMI (CBS4) ― An upcoming sexual assault trial and possible deportation reportedly drove a teen to jump in front of an oncoming Metrorail in Coral Gables.

19-year old Jose Camilo Molina Rezk remains in a coma at the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His family told CBS4's news partners at the Miami Herald they've been informed there's little chance of recovery.

In February, 2007, Molina-Rezk was arrested and charged with felony sexual assault and lewd and lascivious behavior by someone over 18 on a child under 12. He spent 3 months in jail before being released on monitored house arrest to await trial.

Molina-Rezk, a Design and Architecture Senior High School graduate, had hoped to serve in the military in Colombia, then follow in his stepfather's footsteps and become an architect.

After his arrest, his family said the prospect of facing either a lengthy period of house arrest, or even prison time, followed by deportation back to Colombia caused Molina-Rezk a great deal of anxiety.

Last Thursday, his family said he dressed for school and headed off to class at Miami Dade College's Wolfson Campus as usual. He arrived at the Douglas Road station just after 7 a.m. Witnesses told police as the northbound train pulled into the station, Molina-Rezk jumped in front of it. Three cars rolled over him, pinning him beneath the tracks. Miami Dade Fire Rescue personnel were able to free him from the tracks and rushed him to the Ryder Trauma Center.

Molina-Rezk's parents said their son led a troubled life. He was sexually abused at the age of 15. He then spent years in therapy and even did a stint in Jackson Memorial Hospital's psychiatric ward at Jackson after reportedly telling a therapist that he was going to commit suicide. ..more.. by CBS4.com

AR- Registered Sex Offender Fatally Shoots Himself

6-5-2006 Arkansas:

A registered sex offender shot and killed himself at a Mountain Home pawn shop where the man used a gun that was on display at the store.

Police say 49-year-old Samuel Gray took a shotgun off a shelf at Mountain Home Pawn and Gun on Saturday morning and stepped outside with the weapon. Then he loaded the gun and shot himself.

Mountain Home Police Chief Carry Manuel says Gray brought ammunition to the store, which he used to load the gun.

Gray was before a judge in February for a failure to register as a sex offender. Officials say Gray had to be removed from the courtroom after he argued with the judge.

Gray was pronounced dead at the store. ..more.. by AP

WI- Suspect in Murder of Darlene Darling Found Dead in Wisconsin

Posted in Related Deaths
5-6-2006 Wisconsin:

On Saturday June 3, 2006 a tactical team from the FBI’s fugitive task force searched the home of 35-year-old Jeffery Todd Antone’s mother in Tomah, WI. Antone had become the prime suspect in themurder of Darlene Darling. The tactical team found Antone’s body hanging in the garage with a suicide note nearby. The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office is investigating Antone’s death.

The investigation into the murder of Darling began in the early evening of June 1, 2006 when Saint Paul Police responded to a report of a foul odor coming from a car on the 600 block of Fuller Avenue.

Officers investigated and found the body of Darling in the trunk of her vehicle. The body was badly decomposed and detectives now believe Darling was probably killed on Sunday May 28th or early on Memorial Day, May 29th. Fingerprints obtained by the Ramsey County Medical Examiner were used by the Saint Paul Police Crime Lab to positively identify the victim as 47-year-old Darlene Darling. The Ramsey County Medical Examiner has ruled the death a homicide with a preliminarily determination of strangulation as the cause of death.

Detectives interviewed Darling’s ex-boyfriend and acquaintances to establish the following series of events surrounding Darling’s murder. Darling had been sober for several years before she went back to abusing alcohol and crack cocaine early in 2006. In April, Darling broke up with her boyfriend of eight years and began seeing Antone, a non-compliant sexual offender from Wisconsin. A criminal history check showed Antone was a convicted violent sexual offender with two active felony warrants from Wisconsin. Antoine had been living in a school bus behind an auto body shop in Shakopee for the past eight months.

A witness reported seeing Darling’s body in the trunk of her car on Memorial Day.

Detectives continue to investigate the murder of Darlene Darling and the case may be submitted to the Ramsey County Attorney for a review of charges against others who aided Jeffery Antone after the fact.

In response to this tragic crime Chief John Harrington noted, “Once again we are presented with a case that demonstrates the need to use all necessary resources to monitor sexual offenders and to aggressively track down those who are not compliant.” ..more.. by Police Report

IL- Suicide victim was being investigated for sexual assault

6-9-2006 Illinois:

A Streator man found hanging from a tree in a backyard Tuesday was a registered sex offender and under investigation for two recent sexual assaults.

Jeffery Delehanty, 26, of Long Point, was found dead 8 a.m. Tuesday in a yard in the 700 block of South Otter Creek Street, victim of an apparent suicide. Earlier that day, Streator police received two separate reports of alleged sexual assault against juvenile girls, in which Delehanty was identified as the suspect, said Streator police investigator Sgt. Deon Gotch.

One of the alleged incidents happened between 1:30 and 4:30 a.m. Tuesday, involving a 15-year-old girl. The other incident allegedly happened May 28 in Livingston County and involved a 9-year-old girl.

According to Illinois State Police's sex offender information Web site, Delehanty was a registered sex offender convicted of two counts of criminal sexual assault against a victim under age 18 in La Salle County. ..more.. by CRAIG WIECZORKIEWICZ

CA- P.G. girl's stalker found dead on Asilomar Beach

6-13-2006 California:

A 44-year-old man recently released from the county jail after serving time for stalking a Pacific Grove High School student was found dead Saturday morning in the Asilomar beach track area of Pacific Grove. Pacific Grove Police said the body of Benjamin Peter Munhall, 44, of Monterey was found in the vicinity of the stalking victim's residence. Police are withholding the cause of death pending an announcement by the coroner's office, but in a statement said that no foul play is suspected at this time. Sgt. Kathy Hale, who was on the scene, said she could not comment because of the ongoing investigation.

Police said Munhall was seen Friday night at Pacific Grove High School where the stalking victim was graduating. Officers searched the area all night for Munhall after being authorized by the Monterey County Probation department to arrest him on a parole violation. Munhall was arrested on June 28, 2005, on suspicion of stalking, child annoyance and prowling. At the time The Herald reported that Munhall had met the girl at a Pacific Grove High School football game in September 2003, when she was 14. A week later he followed her home and gave her a gift. The victim reportedly told her parents about the man, but at that time police didn't know his identity.

"He was infatuated with the young lady," said Pacific Grove Police Lt. Darius Engles. In June 2005, he tried to contact the girl again, showing up at her home at various hours of the day, calling her home and leaving gifts by her car. Neighbors reported seeing his car parked in front of the girl's house. He was arrested in his car in front of the girl's home, and appeared to be living in his vehicle. Police said at the time of his arrest that not much had gone on between Munhall and the victim between September 2003 and June 2005.

Munhall pleaded guilty to a charge of stalking and was sentenced Nov. 18 to a year in jail and 5 years probation. He was required to register as a sex offender and was ordered to have no contact with the victim. He was released Feb. 21 after serving 293 days from the date of his arrest. ..more.. : by Herald Staff Report. See also: Stalker's death ruled a suicide "Benjamin Peter Munhall, 44, of Monterey, was found dead Saturday morning in the Asilomar beach tract area. He died of a cut to the throat; a double-edged razor blade was found nearby, police said."

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

WI- State’s oldest inmate, former La Crosse resident, dies

1-27-2008 Wisconsin:

MAUSTON, Wis. —Wisconsin’s oldest inmate has died at 103.

An obituary for Ellef Ellefson in Saturday’s Tribune said he died Jan. 19 in Mauston.
Ellefson, who was born and raised in Vernon County and lived in La Crosse for many years, had been a resident of the Sand Ridge Secure Treatment Center in Mauston with other men who had been designated as sexually violent under state law.

In 1990, Ellefson pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree sexual assault after being accused of molesting three boys, a 4-year-old and two 11-year-olds. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

As Ellefson completed his sentence in 2000, the state petitioned to have him committed under the state’s sexually violent persons law. A La Crosse County jury ruled against Ellefson, then 95, later that year. His repeated requests for supervised release were denied.

He had convictions from 1937, 1952, 1959, 1981 and 1984, all for having sexual contact with minors. During those years, he was a Boy Scout leader, owned a Karmelkorn store at 612 Main St. in La Crosse and was involved in youth hostels and bicycling.

A newspaper article from the 1940s then described him as the state’s largest tobacco grower. His obituary noted “he was known for the tobacco he raised.” ..more.. by Tribune staff

Monday, April 28, 2008

SC- Inmate commits suicide at Spartanburg County jail

4-27-2008 South Carolina:

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --A man at the Spartanburg County jail has committed suicide by hanging himself with a mattress cover.

Authorities say 31-year-old Gerald Keith Tessnear was found dead Saturday afternoon, a day after he was booked on a charge of first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor.

Jail Director Larry Powers says Tessnear was being kept in a cell by himself and was found when guards did a head count.

Police say Tessnear was arrested after the father of a 13-year-old boy told investigators his son told him that Tessnear fondled him two years ago.

Powers says Tessnear is the second inmate to kill himself since the county's opened its current jail in 1994. ..more.. by The State.com

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

79-year-old dead of apparent suicide

The following Riverisde County news update has been provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department:

4-22-2008 California:

On April 16, 2008, an employee of De Anza Elementary School in San Jacinto saw an elderly male standing near the school watching the children. The employee approached the male and asked what he was doing. The male responded that he was watching the children.

Suspicious of the male’s intent, the employee searched the Megan’s Law website and located the male who was listed as a sex registrant in the City of San Jacinto.

Five days later the employee reported this incident to a San Jacinto Police Officer currently assigned as a school resource officer. The officer followed up on the information and went to the male’s residence.

The City of San Jacinto contracts with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department for police services.

Once at the residence, at about 2:45 p.m., the officer knocked at the door, identified himself as a police officer and asked to speak with the male. The male refused to open the door so the officer spoke to the male through the door.

The male continuously refused to answer the door and the officer could hear him walking throughout the residence muttering expletives as if he were upset at the officer’s presence.

A short time later, the officer heard a single gunshot from inside the residence. The officer called for additional officers to assist him.

Once the other officers arrived, they entered the residence and found the male deceased inside with what appeared to be a single gunshot wound to the head.

The scene was secured and members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Central Homicide Unit were called to investigate. Central Homicide is involved when a death occurs with a police officer present.

During a search of the residence, a suicide note and a firearm were located.

The subject is a white male, 79 years old.

The investigation is ongoing. ..more.. by Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Monday, April 21, 2008

LA- Police: Suspect hangs himself

6-19-2006 Louisiana:

VILLE PLATTE — A 79-year-old man facing decades-old molestation charges after being implicated in a suicide note hanged himself in his front yard Tuesday morning, Evangeline Parish authorities said. The hanging comes a week after Charles Guillory, 1100 block of Bumpy Pass Road, Ville Platte, was indicted on three counts of molestation of a juvenile and one count of aggravated rape in connection with incidents involving three children in 1968 and 1970.

Evangeline Parish Sheriff’s Office Detective Joe Demoruelle said neighbors discovered Guillory’s body Tuesday morning. “An apparent suicide by hanging. … He tied on a tree in the front yard,” Demoruelle said. The detective said no note was found. “It’s a tragic way for this to end,” Evangeline Parish District Attorney Brent Coreil said. The sexual abuse investigation began earlier this year after a suicide note left by a man in his 40s referenced childhood molestation by Guillory.

Family members brought the note to authorities, and the other alleged victims came forward during the investigation, Coreil said. Guillory, who had no criminal record, had been free on $25,000 bond pending trial. The District Attorney’s Office was prosecuting the molestation cases under a 2005 change in state law that extended the statute of limitations on certain sex crimes against juveniles from 10 to 30 years after the victim turns 18.

Even with the extension, Coreil said, one allegation against Guillory fell outside the 30-year limit. Coreil said the time lapse might still have been an issue in the other cases, and he was researching whether the new state law could be retroactively applied to prosecute Guillory in the old cases. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in cases involving similar laws that a revised statute of limitations for sex crimes cannot be applied to cases in which the statute of limitations had already expired.

“All those questions become moot now,” he said. “I just feel sorry for the family.” Coreil said last week that he struggled with the decision to pursue the case, considering the age of the defendant and the age of the allegations. The prosecutor said he came to the conclusion that prosecuting Guillory might help other victims and that “even if he is 79, this has to be pursued.” Guillory could have faced up to 15 years in prison on each of the three molestation charges and a possible death penalty or life in prison on the aggravated rape charge ..more.. : by PATRICK COURREGES, Acadiana bureau

WV- Man killed himself before arraignment

6-29-2006 West Virginia:

The man who shot and killed himself in a downtown Charleston office building had confessed to police that he had sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl in 2005. Kenneth M. Davis II, 31, killed himself in the lobby of a legal aid services building on 922 Quarrier Street at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, less than an hour before he was to be arraigned on a 10-count indictment for sexual abuse of a minor by a guardian and third-degree sexual assault charges. According to court documents, Davis told police of several encounters with the victim from February to April 2005 at his South Charleston home and outside the girl's apartment. The victim's mother called police April 4, 2005, when she became suspicious of the relationship and Davis was arrested the following day, court records show.

Davis told detectives in a taped confession he met the girl's parents through work and had a three-year sexual relationship that ended in early 2003. Davis babysat the girl and her 8-year-old brother on several occasions and told them he knew magic, according to the victim's statements to police. Friendly hugging in February 2005 apparently later turned into kissing and fondling, Davis told police. Both Davis and the victim told South Charleston detectives they had sex on two occasions in March 2005, both of which were consensual. The victim said she had been given alcohol on many of her visits with Davis. The victim said Davis told her she was beautiful and how he wanted to make her happy. She told police that Davis wanted to marry her and though she didn't take his proposal seriously, she loved him.

On one occasion, the victim claimed he transformed himself into another person named "Jade." She told police she believed she was having sex with "Jade" who was inside Davis' body. Davis apparently wrestled with the girl and her brother and attempted to teach them self-defense techniques. He told police one occasion led them back to his bedroom. Tim Smith, Davis' public defender, told court officials of the suicide just before his 10:30 a.m. hearing in front of Kanawha County Circuit Court Judge Duke Bloom. Smith did not return phone calls to his office. Charleston police are puzzled what drove Davis to kill himself in the Quarrier Street building even after finding a suicide note near his body. South Charleston Detective P.C. Rader, who interviewed Davis during his taped confession, said he had been the victim of an armed robbery while working at a 7-Eleven convenience store in July 2004. Rader hadn't spoken with Davis since the day of his arrest in April 2005.

"He went a long way to try to put this stuff behind him," Rader said. "To me, it shows some kind of underlying issue as well." Davis and his brother , Kraig, a 22-year-old sergeant in the Marines, were each shot three times while shooting pool at a Kanawha City bar in September 1999. Kenneth Davis, then 24, survived the attack but his brother was killed instantly. Kraig Davis was a nuclear, chemical and biological weapons defense specialist in the 2nd Tank Battalion of the 2nd Marine Division, according to military officials. Virginia Huffman, who lived next to Kenneth Davis on Pennsylvania Avenue in South Charleston, said she hadn't seen him for some time. "I knew him a little," Huffman said. "He was a wonderful person. I couldn't have asked for a better neighbor than that man." ..more.. : by Michael A. Jones, Daily Mail Staff

VA- Suicide of local airman may stem from tragic discovery

6-30-2006 Virginia:

A local airman who committed suicide carried a dark secret to his death.

That Air Force sargent was also accused of knowingly exposing a teenager to H.I.V. And he ended his own life before the case could go to court. His body was found Tuesday morning at the Grandview Nature Reserve in the Fox Hill area of Hampton at the end of Beach Road.

According to court records, last year a 15-year-old boy came forward saying for months he was being paid for sex by a man named Brett who he had met over the Internet. The investigation let to Brett Byerly, who confessed to the crime, but not that he was H.I.V. positive.

In this home, police say Brett Byerly paid the 15-year-old boy $100 each time they had sex. Police say it went on from April to July of 2005, around the time he posted this message to his parents: "Get the pork chops ready, I'm coming home".

What was happening in his house was eventually reported by the teen because, according to a search warrant, the teen found out that the man was H.I.V. positive and hadn't told him. His condition was uncovered during a routine military check-up.

They are generally returned to duty unless their illness at some point interferes with their work.

Officials say he was allowed to keep working while the case proceeded against him. He was facing charges in an Air Force crume Monday. He talked to a psychoanalyst and friends, and he was not considered a threat to himself and others. But Tuesday he sent a text message to a friend from the park saying he was going to kill himself. He was found moments later shot to death.

Typical of procedure in situations like this, the charges will be dismissed since the accused is no longer living.

Air Force officials say the teen has not tested positive for H.I.V. Military members are tested regularly for the virus that cases aids. Those who test positive cannot deploy but can stay in the service until the disease develops into AIDS. ..more.. by WAVY TV 10

MI- Man accused of taping girls at art fairs kills himself

8-12-2005 Michigan:

LUNA PIER (AP) - A 49-year-old Birmingham man charged with videotaping up the skirts of girls apparently has committed suicide. Andrew Fowler was found dead this week in a motel in Monroe County. Ann Arbor and Plymouth police had charged Fowler with multiple counts of sexual misconduct. Birmingham police arrested Fowler at his home last week.

Police had seized his camera and discovered images of him following young girls and a young boy. The images up skirts appeared to be those of girls ages 10 to 12. Luna Pier police didn't say how Fowler might have taken his life. They don't suspect foul play. ..more.. : by WWMT

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

TX- Sex offender commits suicide

7-22-2006 Texas:

A Decatur man committed suicide outside his home in a residential neighborhood Monday evening.

Decatur Police Chief Rex Hoskins said the police department received a phone call from a man who told officers where to locate the body of a suicide victim at 2705 South College Street in the Brookhollow Addition in south Decatur.

Hoskins said he went to the location and found the body of Gerald Merrick, 64, partially in the roadway in front of his home. He had died from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.

A note was found in the home. Hoskins said the note referred to some "bad things" he had done.

Merrick was a registered sex offender, according to the Wise County Sheriff's Office. The aggravated sexual assault, which took place in August of 2003, involved a 4-year-old male. ..more.. by Staff

CO- Drowning called suicide

7-26-2006 Colorado:

A Longmont computer engineer accused of luring a 13-year-old girl over the Internet for sex drowned himself, authorities said Monday.

The body of Sunil Mehta, 28, was found Friday in McCall Lake, about three miles west of Longmont. His death has been ruled suicide by drowning, according to the Boulder County coroner's office.

Mehta was arrested July 7 in Westminster after allegedly arranging to meet a Jefferson County investigator who was posing as a girl online.

They met after a series of explicit Internet chat sessions over nearly a month in which the "girl" was told to "keep it our dirty lil secret."

Mehta, who was free on bail, was facing charges of Internet luring of a child, enticement of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child, all felonies.

His wife and a friend reported him missing Thursday night.

Two suicide notes were found in his home, leading authorities to the city-owned lake, where his car and another suicide note were found, said Longmont police Cmdr. Craig Earhart. ..more.. by Rocky Mountain News

KS- Fugitive kills self

7-29-2006 Kansas:
.Sheriff's deputies standing on the porch while seeking a fugitive at 16511 Metcalf Ave., Stilwell, heard a gunshot. "When officers went into the home, they found Mr. Joey Carlton Ruttman in the bathroom with a self-inflicted gunshot wound," Master Deputy Thomas Erickson said at the scene. An emergency medical helicopter landed in the back yard about 2:15 p.m. Monday. The crew flew Ruttman, 29, unconscious and suffering from a head wound, to Overland Park Regional Medical Center, where he died at 5 p.m.

"He had been basically on the run since ... May 17 when he missed a court date on these new charges," Erickson said. Ruttman, a registered sex offender, had remained free on $50,000 bond related to charges dating to 2005: two counts of indecent liberties with a child and two counts of sodomy, Erickson said. The crimes involved a 14-year-old neighbor girl. In 2003, a court convicted Ruttman on a charge of sexual exploitation of a 17-year-old girl. Actions involving the girl had been videotaped.

Ruttman's wife, Tosha Renae Ruttman, 26, pleaded guilty for her role in the 2003 sex exploitation case, then joined her husband in committing the 2005 crimes. Tosha is being held in the Johnson County Jail awaiting sentencing for her involvement in the 2005 crimes and for a parole violation related to her 2003 conviction. Some people living near the Stilwell residence - drawn from their houses by law enforcement activity - said they knew nothing about sex crimes charges against Ruttman. "You never know; it could happen anywhere," neighbor Kristi Byerley said.

Neighbor Tammy Micke said she learned about Ruttman's case days earlier while using her computer. "We looked it up on the Internet," she said. "I haven't let my kids out since then." ..more.. : by Townnews.com

TX- West Plano body identified as former soccer coach Dennis Drummond

8-4-2006 Texas:

.A body found Wednesday night in a West Plano home has been identified. The Collin County Medical Examiner’s office has determined the body to be that of Dennis Drummond, 65. County health officials say that the cause of death is a suicide by carbon monoxide poisoning.

Drummond, a former soccer coach with the Plano Youth Soccer, was recently indicted on five counts of indecency with a child. According to Officer Rick McDonald, police spokesperson, authorities were dispatched on a welfare concern in the 1500 block of Sussex Drive near Park Blvd. and Alma Drive. Upon arrival they discovered a dead body in the home. ..more.. : by Joshua C. Johnson, Staff Writer

Sex suspect killed motorist in suicide bid, court is told

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Monday, April 14, 2008

AL- Three deaths in Etowah County

Posted in Related Deaths
8-22-2006 Alabama:

Three teenagers were held hostage throughout the night after an uncle shot and killed their parents on Monday afternoon. The man killed himself when deputies responded to a 911 call about 5:30 a.m.

Officials with the Etowah County Sheriff's Department identified who shot his sister and brother-in-law as Johnny Ray Holderfield, 40, a convicted sex offender registered in Marshall County. His most recent address was on Alabama 168 between Douglas and Boaz.

Etowah County Coroner Jason Maise identified the victims as Jane C. Stokes, 45, and her husband, Brian Keith Stokes, 34, who lived at 2660 Buster Willett Road, Attalla, Maise said.

According to reports from the scene, the incident started Monday.

Holderfield shot and killed his sister, deputies said, then waited for the three children to get off the school bus. The children were suspicious and couldn't find their mother, who had been shot in a back bedroom of the mobile home. He then took the children, a 15-year-old boy, a 15-year-old girl annd and a 14-year-old girl, to a travel trailer behind the home, where he bound them with duct tape.

When Brian Keith Stokes arrived home from work about 6:30 a.m., Holderfield apparently shot and killed him.

Sometime during the night, Holderfield moved the children to an empty mobile in the yard and apparently sexually assaulted at least one of the girls.

Early Tuesday morning, the 15-year-old boy was able to break free and he sneaked out of the mobile home, saw that his parents were dead inside the family's home and he drove to his grandparents house nearby. The grandparents called 911 and went with the boy back to the home, where they encountered Holderfield outside the mobile.

They were able to escape from him as deputies arrived. Holderfield ran back inside the vacant mobile home and the deputy heard a gunshot. The girls apparently were still inside the vacant mobile home and saw Holderfield shoot himself.

The children were taken to the hospital as the investigation continues. The three were pronounced dead on the scene at 7:42 a.m. Tuesday, Maise said. The bodies have been sent to Huntsville for autopsies. ..more.. The Gadsden Times

Pedophile ring suspect commits suicide in hotel

8-17-2006 Australia:

A Sydney man who has committed suicide in Indonesia is a suspected member of a pedophile ring linked to a language school established and supervised by the Australian Government.

Don Hancock died on Tuesday in Surabaya, where he was director of studies of the Indonesia Australia Language Foundation. He was found in a hotel room with a quantity of pills. His door was locked from the inside.

Another foundation employee, Peter Smith, was arrested in Jakarta this month for allegedly molesting up to 50 boys and producing child pornography.

The affair is looming as a diplomatic embarrassment, with Australian officials attempting to distance themselves from the foundation yesterday.

The Indonesian police are widening their investigation into the alleged pedophile ring. Australian police are also understood to be examining the allegations.

The foundation board, which includes two senior Australian public servants, has demanded that the chief executive, Geoffrey Crewes, ensure more thorough background checks are made on current and prospective employees. Mr Crewes flew to Surabaya yesterday, where he refused to answer any questions from the Herald.

Investigators believe Smith was part of a pedophile ring involving several foreigners abusing young Indonesians and distributing child porn. Smith, then known as Ellis Eyre, was convicted in 1994 of molesting Aboriginal pupils at a Northern Territory school where he taught.

After his release, Eyre changed his name, was issued a new passport and moved to Indonesia. A foreign affairs spokesman said the passport was issued because police had not alerted the department to the original offence.

Some of Smith's victims said a second Australian man, "Don", had also abused them. Initially, police believed they were referring to Donald Storen, who was arrested on child molestation charges in Lombok last month.

Indonesian police now suspect that "Don" lived in Surabaya and was Hancock. Smith was an English language teacher for the foundation and had worked in Surabaya as well as Jakarta.

Sources said that Hancock, 55, from Sydney, did not die of natural causes. He was not interviewed by police before his death.

Indonesian police last night said they had received permission from Hancock's family for an autopsy to determine the cause of death. They also said they were examining Hancock's phone records for links to Smith.

The charity that took several street children to police with complaints about Smith said it was told five foreigners were part of the network.

The founder of the Jakarta Centre for Street Children, Andri Cahyadi, said a 12-year-old had told him that before that he posed for Smith he had met a man named Don, who had asked him to undress and masturbate in front of a camera.

Asked about the pedophile investigation, an Australian embassy spokesman said that "we are making inquiries and have heard of a development in Surabaya" but he would not comment further. ..more.. by

LS- Police briefs: State police investigate suicide

8-22-2006 Louisiana:

An East Texas man under investigation for sex offenses apparently committed suicide in Red River Parish early Sunday, according to a Louisiana state police report.

Robert Barnett, 49, a registered sex offender from Carthage, Texas, left a suicide note before parking his pickup on a Union Pacific crossing on a private road off state Highway 1 four miles south of Grand Bayou, troopers said. This happened about 2 a.m.

"The train crew reported that the driver stopped as if he were going to wait for them to pass and then drove into their path and stopped in front of them as the train entered the crossing," said a release from Louisiana state police Troop G.

Barnett was not restrained in his 2005 Ford Ranger pickup and died at the scene, troopers said. None of the train's crew members were physically injured.

Investigation into the incident is continuing, troopers said. ..more.. : by The Times

SC- Sex offender dies, boy injured in crash after police chase

9-6-2006 South Carolina:

CHARLESTON, S.C. | A New York man who intentionally drove a sport utility vehicle into an 18-wheeler had been convicted of one sex charge, faced six other counts and may have passed himself off as a teen to keep the friendship of a 14-year-old boy who was injured in the crash, authorities said Friday. Adam Mauro, 27, of Pelham, N.Y., died Thursday along Interstate 95 in Colleton County after leading deputies on a chase at speeds of more than 110 mph. The SUV he was driving crossed the median and hit the tractor-trailer. "We believe this was intentional," said sheriff's Deputy Ted Stanfield, who said that after a six-mile pursuit in the southbound lane, the driver signaled before crossing the median.

"During the chase, most of the median had trees," Stanfield said. "You could see the gap where the trees ended and he actually put his left turn signal on and you could see him inching toward the left." The Lexus traveled 500 yards the wrong way in a northbound lane before it smashed into the semi-truck. The driver of the rig was not injured, but the 14-year-old in the SUV was ejected. The boy, whose name was not released, was in serious condition in a local hospital Friday. The youth had been reported missing Wednesday from the home he shares with his father in Stamford, Conn. Capt. Richard Conklin of the Stamford detective bureau said authorities were investigating where Mauro met the boy and how he may have coaxed him into the car.

"It seems like he (Mauro) knew the father and the son, and we're investigating some claims he passed himself off as a 17-year-old to the father and that he had been palling around with the 14-year-old," Conklin said. South Carolina Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Paul Brouthers said the boy may have been a victim of Mauro, a former teacher's aide. Mauro was arrested in Pelham in August 2000 and charged with possession of child pornography after authorities found an explicit movie on his computer. He pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor obscenity charge and was given three years probation, authorities said. Mauro was charged in 2004 with violating an order of protection issued against him by driving past the house of an underage boy he was accused of molesting.

He was facing three counts of child endangerment and three counts of sexual abuse in two cases that were brought in Pelham and transferred to Mount Vernon, N.Y., a court official said Friday. A call to the Mauro home in Pelham was not immediately returned. The driver of the tractor-trailer, Timothy Marcam, 48, of Tony, Wis., swerved to avoid the oncoming car but the SUV plowed under the driver's side door. The 2004 Lexus was reported stolen from Mauro's father's home in Pelham, authorities said.

Stanfield said the Lexus was driving erratically and a deputy, thinking it was a drunken driver, signaled the car to stop. At first, the driver braked but then accelerated, Stanfield said. Traffic on the interstate was light, and the vehicle passed about 10 cars as it fled southbound from the deputy. Once it crossed the median, the Lexus drove south in the northbound passing lane before slamming into the semi. "It did not look like he tried to evade it at all," Stanfield said. ..more.. : by BRUCE SMITH, Associated Press

OK- Texan suspected in ex-wife's death kills self

Posted in Related Deaths
9-10-2006 Oklahoma:

CHOUTEAU, Okla. -- A Texas man being sought in the death of his former wife killed himself after a police pursuit and standoff in Mayes County, authorities said Thursday. Officers found the body of Michael Dwayne Prock, 55, in a pickup truck about 4:30 a.m. in a field south of U.S. Highway 412, about a mile west of Chouteau. Prock admitted in a cell-phone conversation with a Hunt County, Texas, investigator that he had fatally shot ex-wife Delores Prock, 55, Hunt County Sheriff Don Anderson said. Her body was found Wednesday at a residence near Greenville, which is about 30 miles northeast of Dallas.

Michael Prock has relatives in the Inola area, authorities said. "He said he was going to drive until he ran out of gas and kill himself or get some officer to kill him," Anderson said. Authorities issued a bulletin about Prock, who was spotted by a Chouteau police officer in town about 1:20 a.m., officials said. After a low-speed pursuit, Prock's truck ran over police "stop sticks" and ended up in a field. Law enforcement officers tried to talk him out of the truck but were unsuccessful.

Prock, a registered sex offender in Hunt County, was convicted in May 1993 of sexual battery of a person older than 16, records show. He was upset that Delores Prock had "found someone else," and went to her house and shot her in the back, Hunt County authorities said. The pair recently had divorced. A Pryor police tactical team removed his body from the truck about 4:30 a.m., Mayes County Sheriff's Capt. Joe Garrett said.

The Oklahoma Medical Examiner's Office ruled that Prock died of a gunshot wound to the head. ..more.. : by KRIS TV

MT- Accused cannibal Nathaniel Bar-Jonah dies in prison

4-13-2008 Montana:

DEER LODGE, Mont. - Convicted sex offender Nathaniel Bar-Jonah, who authorities accused of killing and cannibalizing a young boy in Great Falls, was found dead in his cell early Sunday at the Montana State Prison.

The former Massachusetts resident was serving a 130-year sentence for kidnapping, sexually assaulting and choking a teenage neighbor boy.

In 2000, authorities also charged Bar-Jonah with murder in the 1996 disappearance of 10-year-old Zach Ramsay. Authorities said they had evidence suggesting Bar-Jonah had butchered the boy and disposed of his body in meals served to neighbors.

They were later forced to dismiss the murder charge after Ramsay’s mother said she would testify she believed her son was still alive.

Sunday morning, shortly after shift change at 6 a.m., Bar-Jonah was found unresponsive in his cell, prison spokeswoman Linda Moodry said.

"Emergency medical response was initiated and he was transported to Powell County Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead at 7:06 a.m.," Moodry said in a written statement.

Moodry said the cause of death is unknown at this time. She added that Bar Jonah had been in poor health recently and said an autopsy will be performed by the state medical examiner to determine cause of death.

The death is under investigation by Department of Corrections investigators in cooperation with the Powell County Sheriff’s Office, Moodry said.

Bar-Jonah moved to Montana after facing legal trouble in Massachusetts.

In 1977, Bar-Jonah pleaded guilty in Worcester Superior Court to charges of kidnapping, attempted murder and impersonation of a police officer after he posed as a police officer and kidnapped two boys in Shrewsbury.

Bar-Jonah attempted to assault the boys, and when they resisted, he tried to strangle them. One of the boys escaped and found help.

After spending more than a decade in a mental hospital in Massachusetts, Bar-Jonah reached a 1991 plea agreement with Massachusetts prosecutors, and was allowed to move to Montana with his mother. ..more.. by AP

Sunday, April 13, 2008

OH- Local native kills self as law zeroes in on him

Man tied to death of Virginia woman

9-2-2006 Ohio:

A former Bowling Green man convicted in Lucas County of kidnapping and gross sexual imposition of a female retail clerk at the Southwyck Shopping Center nearly 20 years ago was found dead in Virginia this week, hours after authorities found the body of a young woman whom they suspect he abducted and killed.

Police believe the man, John Michael Snyder, 37, shot himself in the head with a 45-caliber revolver Monday in his apartment in Henrico County near Richmond.

The apparent suicide occurred just hours after news stations broadcast that authorities had found the half-naked body of a 21-year-old woman, said Sheriff James Agnew, of Goochland County, Virginia.

The woman's body was found in the county about 15 miles away from Snyder's apartment, the sheriff said.

Snyder is a native of Whitehouse.

In 1988, when he was 18 and a senior at Anthony Wayne High School, Snyder was convicted of the kidnapping and sexual assault at the shopping center after he had the woman undress and get into his car, according to court records.

At the time of his arrest, Snyder told investigators about sexual urges "that he can not control," according to police reports.

Snyder ultimately pleaded guilty to the felony charges.

Then-Lucas County Common Pleas Court Judge William J. Skow ordered him to serve five years probation, pay a $1,151 fine, and undergo psychotherapy on an outpatient basis.

He served his sentence during the late 1980s and early 1990s while living in the Bowling Green area. He married, divorced, and remarried.

About three years ago, police believe, Snyder moved to Virginia and began living in the apartment where he killed himself.

Also living in the apartment were his current wife, Keren Snyder, 32, an Israeli native, and his ex-wife, 47-year-old Denise Ervin, originally from Ohio.

Virginia authorities believe they have a videotape of Emily "Kate" Robertson getting out of her white Jeep about 9 a.m. Aug. 25 and getting into Snyder's car outside a Nordstrom department store in Goochland County.

Miss Robertson's family reported her missing later that night. She did not report to work the following day.

Last Sunday, police traced the signal from her cell phone and found the phone nestled in grass alongside a highway, Sheriff Agnew said.

On Monday, police found Miss Robertson's body in a creek, several hundred feet away, he said.

Because of the body's decomposition, a preliminary autopsy failed to determine how she died or if she was raped, Sheriff Agnew said.

Snyder was not a suspect until investigators realized that his car matched that of the vehicle on the surveillance videotape.

"We feel very confident that this is our man," Sheriff Agnew said.

Police theorize that Snyder killed himself upon hearing news reports of the body's discovery, "and we've discovered some statements that support that theory from people who knew him."

Yet many mysteries remain.

Besides confirming how Miss Robertson died, the sheriff said investigators have yet to determine how Snyder and Miss Robertson knew one another.

Both Snyder's current and former wives claim to have no knowledge of what Snyder was doing at the time Miss Robertson was abducted.

"They have stated that he would often go on long walks," Sheriff Agnew said.

"And they assumed he was on one of his walks."

The investigation is continuing.

During the incident at Southwyck in April, 1987, Snyder armed himself with a handgun and a knife. He walked into the former Canary and Elephant Shop after closing, according to court records.

He ordered the store's lone female clerk into a back storage room, where he ordered her to remove her clothes. Snyder sexually assaulted her.

He then forced her to get into his car, which he drove to a stone quarry on Gunn Road. He tried to convince the girl to have sex with him, but she refused.

He drove her back to the mall and dropped her off, court records state.

Snyder was arrested by mall security the following day when he returned to the store to see the woman.

Afterward, Snyder spent time in a hospital for mental issues, and a psychiatric evaluation described him as an intelligent yet "moderately depressed adolescent" who was very distrustful of others and borderline paranoid. Snyder was put on anti-depressants.

He enrolled at Bowling Green State University, but by 1990 had dropped out.

In 1988, he made two suicide attempts, according to court records.

In July, Snyder filed a motion in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to have his criminal record expunged.

The motion was scheduled for a hearing Sept. 12.

His effort likely would have proved fruitless because a felony kidnapping conviction is not eligible to be expunged under state law.

Sheldon Wittenberg, the attorney who handled Snyder's case in 1988, said yesterday that he was aware of the circumstances surrounding Snyder's apparent suicide, but hadn't spoken to Snyder in years.

Mr. Wittenberg defended Judge Skow's sentence from 18 years ago.

"At the time he was sentenced, it was an appropriate sentence," Mr. Wittenberg said, adding, "Hindsight is 20-20."

Judge Skow could not be reached for comment yesterday. ..more.. by JC Reindl

IA- Shooting victim was brother of well-known Sioux Cityan

10-6-2006 Iowa:

It was an older brother of a well-known East Middle School outreach worker who was shot by police officers Wednesday afternoon, and many questions surrounding his death remain unanswered.

The man, identified Thursday by Sioux City Police Chief Joe Frisbie as 30-year-old Ellis Parker, was shot several times after officers on scene said he charged at them while holding a bloody, 10-inch knife.

But Frisbie was silent on many aspects of the shooting, including which police officers were involved, because he said investigation into exactly how things happened is still under way.

"I have personally seen evidence, very definitive evidence, where Mr. Parker was advancing on the officers with a knife. That much I can say," he said. "We've talked to a lot of individuals in the trailer court and most of the information that we've received right now has been substantiating what we know."

Parker recently moved into the Regency Mobile Home Park, 4101 Gordon Drive, where the shooting took place, Frisbie said. He had lived much of his life in Des Moines, where he grew up with three younger brothers, including Tito Parker, outreach specialist at East Middle School through the Sanford Center's Gang Outreach Program. Tito Parker was selected by the Siouxland Red Cross as one of this year's Siouxland Hero Award winners.

Police and firefighters were called to Parker's mobile home, Lot 221, at 1:14 p.m. responding to a neighbor's report of flames shooting out of the residence, Frisbie said. Police officers arrived first on scene and saw a man, later identified as Parker, inside the trailer at the front window, he said. As officers attempted to come to Parker's aid, Frisbie said Parker broke through and came out the front window, brandishing the knife. Repeated commands to put down the knife were ignored, he said.

Frisbie said Parker advanced twice at officers, who fired at him both times. Frisbie would not say how many rounds were fired, but more than 10 markers were laid out Wednesday indicating shell casings or other evidence that needed to be processed. He refused to release the names of the officers involved, nor would he say how many responded to the fire call.

"We're still investigating who shot what," he said. "While we're trying to get these officers back to work, I don't want them getting hundreds of phone calls and letters."

Officers were 10 feet or less away from Parker when he was shot, Frisbie said. Emergency medical personnel who were on the scene gave him immediate medical treatment, but he was pronounced dead at the scene, he said.

Frisbie said he is still unsure where the blood on Parker's knife came from, as no person or animal was found inside the man's charred mobile home. The fire, which fire marshals have determined was intentionally set, consumed much of the home's contents. Firefighters couldn't fight the fire until they knew there was no longer a threat.

"As fast as a trailer fire moves, it's unlikely anyone else would have been responsible for it (than Parker)," Frisbie said.

The Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation was put in charge of the investigation into Parker's death because of the officers' involvement, Frisbie said. The officers involved in the shooting have been put on administrative leave, in keeping with department policy, he said.

"I have a lot of empathy for the officers and their families because nobody, nobody wants to take the life of another individual," he said. "These officers are truly victims in this situation."

Autopsy results on Parker won't be available from the Iowa State Medical Examiner's Office until at least Monday, Frisbie said.

"My understanding from the preliminary investigation and information I'm getting back from the DCI ... is that it looks like there was an appropriate use of force in this situation, but they won't make any final determination on this until later," Frisbie said. "They want to be very thorough, and you can understand why they don't want to make statements without knowing everything they could honestly know about this situation before they make that conclusion."

Toxicology results that would show whether Parker was under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of the shooting will also take some time to come back, he said.

"It would be total conjecture on our part at this point to say anything," Frisbie said.

'He was an honorable man'

When it came to the issue of Ellis Allen Parker's history, Frisbie clearly held back on his response.

"There's a lot of things I know about Ellis Parker," he said. "I don't think it would be in the best interest of the investigation at this point to talk abut historical things. We need to focus on the crime at hand right now."

However, a look into Parker's criminal record shows five serious convictions, including one for escape from custody in 2002 and one for third-degree sexual abuse in 1998. He was released from the Newton (Iowa) Correctional Facility, a medium-security facility, in July of this year after serving time on two 2005 charges of assault causing injury to a peace officer and others.

Frisbie did not say whether officers knew Parker's background when they responded to the fire call.

But Tito Parker said Thursday that his brother's history doesn't matter to him. Ellis was "an honorable man," he said, and his life will be mourned.

"Everything I did and accomplished is because of this man," Tito Parker said. "He taught me what I know and who I am. If people want to say bad things about him, then they can say them about me too, because you don't get me without him." ..more.. by Alicia Ebaugh, Journal staff writer

GA- Man charged with child molestation commits suicide

10-18-2006 Georgia:

A man whom the Sheriff’s Office charged with child molestation on Friday shot himself on Saturday, causing fatal injuries, according to an incident report.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 14, Sheriff’s deputies were called to 3172 N. Eldorendo Road and found a man identified as Donald Raymond Crane, 67, lying on a bed in a camper trailer with a gun shot wound to his head. Deputy Coroner Kenny Hollis pronounced Crane deceased a short time later.

Capt. Gale Bowyer of the Sheriff’s office said Crane had been charged with child molestation on Oct. 13 and said his death would probably close the investigation. ..more.. by The Post Searchlight

NY- New York Lawyer, Charged With Rape, Found Dead

11-3-2006 New York:

"It's bizarre, unfortunate," Steve Coleman, an Atlanta police officer, was saying about New York attorney Andrew Gardner.

Gardner, 39, was a litigation partner at Fried Frank. He had been an undergrad at Harvard and had gone to NYU for law school. He lived in Armonk with his wife and three kids. And he was found dead, a presumed suicide, on Monday.

This summer, Gardner traveled to Atlanta for a conference, authorities said. He checked into the Westin Buckhead Atlanta. On August 17, a Thursday, he went to Dantanna's, an upscale chophouse there. At the bar, according to the Atlanta police, he met a 27-year-old woman, a teacher, and several of her friends. They ate dinner and socialized at the bar for a few hours. Then he invited her back to his hotel room, to hear some music, she told police. Inside the room, she claimed, Gardner "became aggressive, took off her shirt, grabbed her by the arms preventing her from leaving, threw her on the bed and raped her," according to authorities.

After the alleged incident, the woman fled Gardner's hotel room in bare feet and raced down to the hotel lobby to report the attack, authorities say. She then went to a local hospital where a rape exam was performed. Around 4:00 a.m., Atlanta police visited Gardner's hotel room. He told police the sex was consensual. Inside the room, they found the woman's shoes, cell phone, and purse. Gardner was arrested and charged with three felony counts: rape, aggravated sodomy, and false imprisonment.

Gardner denied the allegations. He pleaded not guilty. He was released on $225,000 bail.

Back in New York last month, with criminal charges looming, Gardner attempted to commit suicide by slashing his wrists. On Monday, his body was found at Butler Sanctuary in Bedford, New York, a nature preserve known for hawk watching. There were no marks on his body, no bruises. A medical examiner is conducting an autopsy.

A spokesman for the Gardner family, Bernard Nussbaum, the attorney and former White House counsel to Bill Clinton, issued a statement to Westchester's Journal News: "Mr. Gardner did not commit the crime of rape or any other crime. He was never indicted nor, we believe, would he have ever been indicted. His death is a great tragedy to his family and friends. He was a wonderful human being. He will be missed." ..more.. by Geoffrey Gray

CA- Fremont standoff ends in suicide

11-28-2006 California:

.An all-night standoff at the home of a Fremont man accused of child molestation ended early Sunday morning when the resident shot himself to death as police stormed his house. Officers arrived at the house on the 41000 block of Apricot Lane at about 10 p.m. Saturday to arrest Kenneth Sackett, 46, for abusing and molesting a girl who is now 16 years old, police said. A SWAT team was called when Sackett, who officers thought possessed a handgun, refused to allow police inside the house.

Negotiations with Sackett lasted throughout the night, police said. About 5:30 a.m., shortly after firing tear gas into the house, officers busted through the front door. As officers entered, they heard a muffled gunshot from a back bedroom, where Sackett was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. No one else was inside the house, police said. Sackett had said he worked for the Fremont Unified School District as a construction manager, according to the owners of the house, which Sackett had rented for about two years.

Neighbors said Sackett was divorced and lived in the house with two children. Officers at the house Sunday said they didn't know when the teenager first accused Sackett of molestation, how many times she said he molested her, or where the abuse took place. Sgt. Patrick Hunt said he didn't know the circumstances that led police to end negotiations and enter the house. "Obviously the goal is to have everybody safe," he said.

"We can't control when someone decides to take his own life." Hunt added that he wasn't certain if Sackett had any previous arrests or if he had a permit for the handgun. Sackett's neighbors said he barely spoke to them, and most didn't know him by name. "He was a big dude who didn't seem amiable to conversation," said one neighbor, who refused to give his name.

During the standoff, police ordered neighbors directly across the street from Sackett's house to stay in the rear of their homes. His next-door neighbors said they were taken by police to wait inside the Chevron gas station, two blocks away at Driscoll Road and Paseo Padre Parkway. "I was there from about 1:15 to about 6:30 a.m.," said a neighbor, who also asked not to be identified. "There wasn't anyplace to sit." ..more.. : by Matthew Artz