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Friday, April 30, 2004

BTK Strangler Update


Summary of information about the Wichita BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler provided in KAKE-TV report on 29-Apr-04:

• retired Police Capt Bernie Drowatzky (also seen spelled Drowatsky), former lead investigator provided case information:

• Prime area for suspects: Wichita State University (WSU) - "location where BTK copied some of his letters"

• Before the BTK strangler shot the only survivor of his attacks, BTK asked him, "Haven't I seen you at the University?" The survivor was Kevin Bright, the brother of victim Katherine Bright. Drowatzky confirmed that back then, Kevin Bright was hypnotized in a search for new clues.

• Two victims: Katherine Bright (4-April-74) and Julie Otero (15-Jan-74), both worked on the same assembly line at Coleman Company (camping gear)-police took Kevin Bright to Coleman several times to sit outside the plant in case he recognized anyone coming out (unclear what year this was done-police reportedly did not link the BTK strangler to the Bright murder until sometime after Feb 12, 1978)

• Possible clues: where Julie Otero's husband Joseph worked as an instructor at Rose Hill Airport

• Possible clues: in the poems BTK included in his letters, not in the contents of the poems, but in where the poems come from.

• Possible clues: who had a subscription to "Games" Magazine. "This guy is not dumb. Maybe he does that for a pastime, crossword puzzles, word games."

• Drowatzky's final opinion: case will ultimately be solved only through DNA testing

BTK: The Untold Clues [KAKE-TV, 30-Apr-04]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [consolidated information- Johnsville News]

Danbury Murder Mystery-Update #4

Danbury Murder Mystery

Thursday detectives from Danbury, CT and Bedford, NY returned to the crime scene where Zef Vulevic's body was found. They spent several hours during the morning searching the wooded area near Baldwin Road off Interstate 684.

Marash Gojcaj (left) and Zef Vulevic at Gusto Ristorante
Marash Gojcaj (left) and Zef Vulevic at Gusto Ristorante

Chef Zef Vulevic, aka Zef Vulaj and Joe Vuli currently reported arrest record:

• Police in Norwalk said Vulevic had been arrested on three occasions. He was wanted for failing to appear in state Superior Court in Norwalk. He missed a Feb. 18, 2004 court date for his three Norwalk arrest cases:

• 2000 arrest for second-degree breach of peace
• Feb 2001 arrest for second-degree assault
• Dec 2002 arrest for disorderly conduct.

• All three Norwalk arrests stemmed from domestic incidents in which Vulevic allegedly beat and injured his wife

• Vulevic had last been arrested and charged (third-degree assault & and breach of peace) in March 2003 for assaulting a waiter at Vuli, his revolving restaurant atop the Marriott hotel in Stamford, Conn.

• arrest in Derby for creating a public disturbance and fined-Aug. 29, 2003

• Vulevic also was wanted for failing to appear in state Superior Court in Danbury on Sept. 8, 2003 after being charged with driving with a suspended license

Police had been investigating slain restaurateur [Stamford Advocate, Apr. 30, 2004]
Police resume search of area where chef's body was found [News Times, Apr. 30, 2004]

Johnsville coverage:
Danbury Murder Mystery-update [April 29, 2004]
Was Gusto Ristorante Chef Chop Shop? [April 28, 2004]
Danbury Murder Mystery [April 27, 2004]

ID-Sniper Rifle


ID-Sniper rifle

This weapon is a hoax. It fooled a lot of people included NPR, Computerworld, and the Chinese.

The ID SNIPER rifle implants "a GPS-microchip in the body of a human being, using a high powered sniper rifle as the long distance injector. The microchip will enter the body and stay there, causing no internal damage, and only a very small amount of physical pain to the target. It will feel like a mosquito-bite lasting a fraction of a second. At the same time a digital camcorder with a zoom-lense fitted within the scope will take a high-resolution picture of the target. This picture will be stored on a memory card for later image-analysis."

Sniper rifle shoots RFID chips into people? [boingboing]
Computerworld duped by ID-Sniper rifle hoax [engadget]
Id Sniper Rifle Available for Law Enforcement [newswithviews]

Thursday, April 29, 2004

Danbury Murder Mystery-update


Murder of Zef Vulevic

• Police gag order by state prosecutor
• No one has been charged with the crime, and law enforcement officials said there were no new developments to report on Wednesday.
• Large number of media inquiries regarding case: "My phone hasn't stopped ringing," said Danbury Police Department spokesman Capt. Arthur Sullo.
• Police in Norwalk, Conn., had an arrest warrant out for Zef Vulevic-misdemeanor charge of failure to appear-Feb 18 court date
• Zef Vulaj had filed for bankruptcy five times (every year for the last four years)
• Most recent Chapter 13 case was closed in January 2004

• Vulevic and family members (ethnic Albanians) were or had been partners in several restaurants, including the following:

• Gusto Ristorante in Danbury (opened April 26, 2003)
• Fortuna Ristorante in Croton-on-Hudson, NY
• Baci Ristorante in Larchmont, NY
• a revolving restaurant, Vuli, atop the Marriott hotel in Stamford, Conn.
• two in midtown, including Fino on East 36th Street (owned with his brother Paul since 1985); and another in the Wall Street area.

• Police are focusing on events surrounding an argument that happened outside Gusto Ristorante at 11:59 p.m. on April 4. Police were called to the upscale Italian restaurant to settle a violent dispute taking place out front between Vulevic's business partner (Marash Gojcaj) and a former employee.

Inquiry in Restaurateur's Slaying Focuses on Argument [NY Times, Apr. 29, 2004]
Police gag put on chef case [News-Times, Apr. 29, 2004]
Slaying victim had run-ins with law [Journal News, Apr. 29, 2004]
Slain chef remembered for heart, skill [Journal News, Apr. 28, 2004]
Dead restaurateur had financial troubles [WTNH.com, Apr. 28, 2004]
BODY FOUND IN WESTCHESTER, Acclaimed chef meets a brutal end [NY Newsday, Apr. 28, 2004]
Investigators and Family Clash as Clues are Sought in Slaying of a Connecticut Chef [NY Times, 28-Apr]

America's Most Wanted Playing Cards

James Joseph 'Whitey' Bulger

James Joseph "Whitey" Bulger"
Charges: Murder (18 counts) Racketeering - Extortion
D.O.B.: 9/3/29
Height: 5'7"-5'9"
Weight: 150-160 lbs
Hair White/Silver
Aliases: "Whitey"; "Jimmy"; "Jimy-Boy"; "Jimmy Blue Eyes"; Thomas F. Baxter; Tom Harris; Mark Shapeton
NCIC: DO PI PM PO 18 AA PO 13 23 17
Eyes: Blue
Race: White
Sex: Male

James Bulger-Fugitive [America's Most Wanted]
The Search for "Whitey" Bulger [boston.com]

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Security Trends

Manalapan, FL has one police officer for every 30 citizens and they will back that up with a full surveillance system for every car coming or going:

MANALAPAN, Fla. – One of the nation's wealthiest towns will soon have cameras and computers running background checks on every car and driver that passes through.

Police Chief Clay Walker said cameras would take infrared photos recording a car's tag number, then software will automatically run the numbers through law enforcement databases. A 911 dispatcher is alerted if the car is stolen or is the subject of a "be on the lookout" warning.

Next to the tag number, police will have a picture of the driver, taken with another set of cameras, upgraded versions of the standard surveillance cameras already in place.

If there is a robbery, police will be able to comb records to determine who drove through town on a given afternoon or evening.
related links:
Florida town to use surveillance cameras [boston.com]
Florida town to use blanket of surveillance cameras [US Today]

World Changes

Ten Leading Economies in 2050
Country------Current GDP (US$ Trillions)

China--------------44.5
U.S.---------------35.2
India---------------27.8
Japan---------------6.7
Brazil---------------6.1
Russia--------------5.9
United Kingdom-----3.8
Germany------------3.6
France--------------3.1
Italy----------------2.1

panel discussion [milkeninstitute.org]

Water Crisis in the Developing World (2000-2015)
•3 billion people - 1/2 the world's population-will live in "water stressed" countries

• Water tables are dropping dramatically
5 feet per year in Northern China
3-10 feet per year in India

• More than 30 nations get water from outside their borders

• Overpumping groundwater will increase political tension

Larry Star Sold His Wedding Dress for $3,850.00

Larry Star needed some beer money so he posted the following listing on eBay:

Larry Star modeling wedding dress Larry Star modeling wedding dress

For Sale: One Slightly Used Size 12 Wedding Gown. Only worn twice: Once at the wedding and once for these pictures.

Make: Victoria
Style: 611
Size: 12
Divorce forces sale

I found my ex-wife's wedding dress in the attic when I moved. She took the $4000 engagement ring but left the dress. I was actually going to have a dress burning party when the divorce became final, but my sister talked me out of it. She said, "That’s such a gorgeous dress. Some lucky girl would be glad to have it. You should sell it on EBay. At least get something back for it."

So, this is what I’m doing. I’m selling it hoping to get enough money for maybe a couple of Mariners tickets and some beer. This dress cost me $1200 that my drunken sot of an ex-father-in-law swore up and down he would pay for but didn’t so I got stuck with the bill. Luckily I only got stuck with his daughter for 5 years. Thank the Lord we didn't have kids. If they would have turned out like her or her family I would have slit my wrists.

Anyway, it’s a really nice dress as you can see in the pictures. Personally, I think it looks like a $1200 shower curtain, but what do I know about this. We tried taking pictures of this lovely white garment but it didn’t look right on the hanger as you can see, so my sister says, "You need a model."

Well, quite frankly my sister isn’t exactly small, (like a size 12 is?) so she wouldn’t pose for the picture. Seeing as I have sworn off women for the time being and I ain’t friends with any, it left me holding the bag.

I took the liberty of blacking out my face - not to protect the ex-wife but to protect me from my bar buddies and co-workers finding out about it. I would never live it down. Actually I didn’t think my head would fit in the neck hole, but then I figured she got her Texas cheerleader hair through there I could get my head in it.Though, after looking at the pictures, I thought it made me look fat.

Item no.: 4146756343 [eBay]
update 3-May-04, A consequence of fame:
Fact is, wedding-dress guy's eBay pitch includes some fiction [SeattleTimes.com] (courtesy rummaging.org)

Compare & Contrast

USNews Kerry-Bush Cover Bush blowing gum

Some think the U.S. News cover is biased.

[AllthePages]

Was Gusto Ristorante Chef Chop Shop?

Chef Zef Vulevic

Restaurateur/Chef Zef Vulevic

Police yesterday removed a five-foot-high electric meat saw from Gusto Ristorante in Danbury, CT. This is the location where restaurateur/chef Zef Vulevic was last seen on April 5, 2004. Pieces of his body were found in garbage bags 25-miles away on Baldwin Road in Bedford, NY. on April 24, 2004.

The investigation is now focusing on the restaurant as the possible crime scene.

Some facts about the investigation:

• Vulevic was 6-foot-1 and 240 pounds
• He had two gun shot wounds in the back of the head
• Vuli's head, arms and legs had been severed, and his torso cut in half (7 pieces)
• Nick Vulevic (his brother) reported him missing at 11:30 p.m. on 10-Apr-04
• Vuli's wife, Valbona, filed for divorce last October
• He had two daughters, ages 13 and 8
• Vulevic filed for bankruptcy six months ago and lost his house in Norwalk, CT (on 154 West Rocks Rd) to foreclosure
• He was living with his nephew and restaurant co-owner Marash Gojcaj, age 27

• Police in Norwalk said Vulevic had been arrested on three occasions. He was wanted for failing to appear in state Superior Court in Norwalk. He missed a Feb. 18 court date for three Norwalk cases:

• 2000 arrest for second-degree breach of peace
• Feb 2001 arrest for second-degree assault
• Dec 2002 arrest for disorderly conduct.

• All three Norwalk arrests stemmed from domestic incidents in which Vulevic allegedly beat and injured his wife

• Vulevic was arrested and charged (misdemeanor assault) in March 2003 for assaulting a waiter at Vuli, his revolving restaurant atop the Marriott hotel in Stamford, Conn.

• Vulevic was arrested in Derby, CT for creating a public disturbance and was fined-Aug. 29, 2003.

• Vulevic had argued about business about 1 hour before he left Gusto (nephew and two restaurant workers involved)
• He was last seen by his nephew Gojcaj leaving Gusto around 1 a.m. on foot heading toward the East Liberty Street apartment that they shared.
• He did not drive home in the restaurant van.
• Vulevic left his cell phone at the restaurant.
• After Vulevic disappeared a piece of carpet at the upscale Italian restaurant was replaced and a piece of kitchen equipment was professionally serviced
• The restaurant had been closed last week for a scouring by environmental cleaners
• Police are closely inspecting a restaurant van (may have transported body)
• Police have searched an apartment of a Gusto employee
• Restaurant co-owner Marash Gojcaj, 27 is a "person of interest"

police gather at Bedford, NY crime scene


This case reminds us of a CSI episode. It also reminds us of the infamous murder in nearby Newtown, CT in the 1980's. An airline pilot's wife disappeared. Fragments of her bones were found in a nearby river, and her husband was accused of murdering her and then using a woodchipper to dispose of her body. Local wags said he was trying to rekindle their romance.

related links:
CHEF-CHOP SURPRISE [NY Post, Apr. 28, 2004]
Police seize meat cutter from Danbury cafe of dead restaurateur [Stamford Advocate]
Police hunt for chef's killer [The News-Times]
updated: April 30, 2004

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Danbury Murder Mystery

Danbury Murder Mystery
Somebody murdered 42-year-old restaurateur Zef Vulevic, of Danbury, CT. Vulevic was shot twice in the back of the head. His body was then chopped up and the body parts dumped across the state line in the affluent community of Bedford, NY.

Gusto Ristorante on Main Street in Danbury
Gusto Ristorante on Main Street in Danbury

Zef Vulevic - also known as Zef Vulaj and Joe Vuli - was last seen leaving his restaurant, Gusto, in Danbury, Conn. on April 5.

The Italian eatery is one of several restaurants he and his four brothers own and operate in Manhattan, Westchester and Connecticut.

The body was identified through fingerprints. His remains were discovered in a wooded area of Bedford, close to Interstate 684, on Saturday by volunteers who were cleaning the woods as part of an Earth Day activity.

related links:
Body Parts Found in Garbage Bags Identified [WABC-TV, Apr. 26, 2004]
Gusto owner put in long hours at restaurant he loved [News-Times, Apr. 27, 2004]
Body in W'Chester Woods Id'd as Chef [NY Post, Apr. 27, 2004]

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Bookmarking the BTK Strangler


The Wichita Police, Kansas State Attorney's office, or Wichita's version of Gus Grissom should consider another area in their investigation to find the Wichita BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler. Last week they were chasing down leads on the Internet. Here is a suggestion on some leads closer to home we think they should follow-up.

They should go visit their local Wichita libraries. Let's explain that suggestion. First, let's go over what we know about the B-T-K Strangler.

The Wichita Strangler is the one who choose this particular name back in the 70's when he was communicating with the newspapers and TV stations in Wichita. His first communique from the Otero letter of October 1974 said in part as follows:

OTERO CASE

"I write this letter to you for the sake of the tax payer as well as your time. Those three dude you have in custody are just talking to get publicity for the Otero murders. They know nothing at all. I did it by myself and with no ones help. There has been no talk either. Let's put this straight... ."

"I'm sorry this happen to society. They are the ones who suffer the most. It hard to control myself. You probably call me 'psychotic with sexual perversion hang-up.' When this monster enter my brain I will never know. But, it here to stay. How does one cure himself? If you ask for help, that you have killed four people they will laugh or hit the panic button and call the cops.

"I can't stop it so the monster goes on, and hurt me as well as society. Society can be thankful that there are ways for people like me to relieve myself at time by day dreams of some victims being torture and being mine. It a big compicated game my friend of the monster play putting victims number down, follow them, checking up on them waiting in the dark, waiting, waiting... the pressure is great and sometimes he run the game to his liking. Maybe you can stop him. I can't. He has aready chosen his next victim or victims. I don't who they are yet. The next day after I read the paper, I will know, but it to late. Good luck hunting.

YOURS, TRULY GULTILY.


BTK signed the letter with a distinctive mark that police will not describe. It has appeared on other notes they believe to be authentic. There was a postscript:

P.S. Since sex criminals do not change their M.O. or by nature cannot do so, I will not change mine. The code words for me will be... Bind them, toture them, kill them, B.T.K., you see he at it again. They will be on the next victim.

The above letter was found in a textbook in the Wichita Public Library and later traced to a copier at Wichita State University. The Wichita Eagle reported the copier was located in the WSU Library. Look at a map of the BTK's known killings, suspected killings, and home invasion. The Wichita Public Library is in the middle of this killing zone.

Today if you are afflicted with some strange illness what do you do? You go on the Internet and search to find out everything you can about your illness. Back in the 1970's there was no Internet only your public or school library. If you were an adolescent before the Internet where did you go to find out more about sex?

The BTK Strangler is an intelligent young man in the 1970's. Smart enough to know he's sick and perverted. Obviously he can't talk about his strange feelings and this sickness with anyone. He is not like other people. He wants to understand his illness better. He starts going to the library to find out more about "this monster (that) entered my brain."

Now let's start assuming the BTK Strangler is a smart guy who uses libraries. He feels safe in libraries. He likes sitting there in the anonymous quiet. He is researching his sickness, his so called "monster" in libraries. He wants to find out if anyone else shares this perverse monster or this illness. He wanted company as tried to sort out the demons in his head.

Success! He finds kindred spirits. He tells us who those kindred spirts are in a "well organized," two-page, single-spaced, February 10, 1978 letter, which in part says:

You don't understand these things because your not under the influence of factor x. The same thing that made Son of Sam, Jack The Ripper, Havery Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes Panty Hose Strangler of Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of The West Coast and many more infamous character kill. . . It seems senseless but we cannot help it, There is no help, no cure, except death or being caught and put away. . .

P.S. How about some name for me, its time: 7 down and many more to go. I like the following. How about you? 'THE B.T.K STRANGLER, 'WICHITA STRANGLER', 'POETIC STRANGLER', 'THE BONDAGE STRANGER' OR 'PSYCHO', 'THE WICHITA HANGMAN', THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, 'THE GAROTE PHATHOM', 'THE ASPHYXIATER'.


He says the other men with his illness or "factor x" are: Son of Sam, Jack The Ripper, Harvey Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes, Panty Hose Strangler of Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of The West Coast, and many more infamous character kill...

•The BTK Strangler has been doing some research. He appears to be well read and can now cite a list of serial killers. However, he does not use the term "serial killer." The still infamous Charles Manson is not on his list. He knows something about all of these killers in order to put them on the same list. He now wants to be considered part of this infamous group. Where and how did he do his research between October 1974 and February 1978 to come up with this list?

Focus on two of the obscure names on this list: Harvey Glatman and Dr. H.H. Holmes. Not exactly household names in the mid-1970's. In a previous post we explored the Dr. H.H. Holmes and Glatman references. We firmly believe that the Dr. H.H. Holmes reference offers a key insight.

Herman W. Mudgett aka Dr. H.H. Holmes was called "The Torture Doctor" in a book of that same name published in 1974 or 1975. The BTK was calling himself the "Bind-Torture-Kill" Strangler in October 1974. How many of the serial killers on his list were considered torturers? Torture is one facet of this killer that further distinguishes him. BTK lingered at some of his crime scenes torturing his victims. Dr. H.H. Holmes had a special house built where he tortured his victims. These two men shared a very uncommon urge.

This urge to torture is something the BTK Strangler wanted to understand more about. He wanted to get his hands on everything he could find about Dr. H.H. Holmes to understand this very particular aspect of his own personality. Where did he do that?

So what? A suggestion (assuming this was not already done in the '70's, '80's, or '90's):

The people in charge of this investigation should go to every library in the Wichita area and secure every book that was on the bookshelves before February 1978 that references Dr. H.H. Holmes. There are two books that we can identify based on Internet searches. Kansas librarians should be brought in to assist in the search for more. Here are the two:

Crimes and Punishment: A Pictorial Encyclopedia of Aberrant Behavior - Volume 5. Symphonette Press, 1974.

The Torture Doctor (1975) by David Franke

Bag and tag these books. Put them through a complete "CSI" type examination. Look for semen, fingerprints, hairs, etc. Look for any written notes, missing pages, or anything left between the pages. See if you can find out who checked these books out prior to the Dr. H.H. Holmes letter. Check to see if any of these books have been reported missing or stolen. Get a complete list of people who had library cards at the Wichita Libraries in the 1970's run this list against your database of suspects. Interview any librarians, who are still around, and were on duty during this period in the 1970's to see if any of them they can recall anyone doing research involving these books or anything related to "torture." etc...

Please tell us if you find anything useful. We're very sorry if you don't-our bad.

BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [consolidated information]

update: The book Bloodletters and Badmen, copyright 1973, by Jay Robert Nash, is another book on library shelves in the 1970's that the BTK may have been interested in.

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Naked Jay Birds now Jail Birds


Mommy, mommy what are those two naked people doing in the tree? Well little Jimmy they are pretending to be birds. A couple of nude New Yorkers took to a big tree in Central Park to make a statement. A NY Newsday bird watcher reported:

Two tree climbers whose sexual exploits attracted hundreds of viewers in Central Park were being held Friday for arraignment on criminal charges.

The two — William Rund, 32, and Christopher Montero, 17 — attracted the attention of police and parkgoers for four hours Thursday after they climbed a 55-foot Larch and put on an X-rated show. The two, wearing little if anything, were finally coaxed down by police and taken to a hospital for psychiatric evaluation.

Police charged the pair on Friday with reckless endangerment, resisting arrest, criminal mischief, public lewdness and disorderly conduct.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during an interview with John Gambling on WABC/770 AM, lambasted the spectacle but conceded that it showed that the city still has character...

The two told police they would not come down until they received an apology from the media for articles depicting transgendered people in a negative way.


The Transgendered People of America Association said they don't know Bill or Chris.

Nude tree climbers nabbed [NY Newsday]

Update:
TREE DUO PLANNED LOVERS' LEAP: TEEN [NY Post, 26-Apr-04]

Friday, April 23, 2004

BTK Manhunt: Lead generation

BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler Investigation


• The Wichita BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler's reference to "Dr. H.H. Holmes" is very intriguing. It ties into a long-time theory that the killer had a Wichita State University connection. Who else but a student, perhaps an Administration of Justice student at WSU, would be able to cite a rather obscure killer from the 1800's in their written psycho-rant.

Herman W. Mudgett - aka Dr. H.H. Holmes Herman W. Mudgett - aka Dr. H.H. Holmes Herman W. Mudgett - aka Dr. H.H. Holmes
Herman W. Mudgett - aka Dr. H.H. Holmes

Dr. H.H. Holmes is considered by many to be America's first psychopathic serial killer.

The BTK made this reference to Dr. H.H. Homes before 1980, before the Internet, and before the term serial killer was popularized. Where did he pick up that factoid? BTK had to have read a book, or magazine ("True Detective"?), or attended a lecture about Mudgett a.k.a. Dr. H.H. Holmes and Harvey Glatman.

Unfortunately, it seems after some brief testing that the new Amazon A9 search engine does not have books from before 1980 indexed. Otherwise we could pull up every book and page prior to 1980 where the names Dr. H.H. Holmes and Harvey Glatman are mentioned. Investigators could then go back to the WSU Library and other area libraries to see if they could find who checked those particular books out. They might still have some records. Don't know about dusting for fingerprints. The bottomline is that in the future using Amazon's A9 to crunch obscure references in killer communiques might offer some insights.

Here is one book about Mudgett/H.H. Holmes published before 1979:
The Torture Doctor (1975) by David Franke

More On The Wichita State University connection:

• Ezboard post from Goodsister777 on 11/5/03 12:49 pm regarding the WSU connection:

I grew up in wichita, and still live in the area. My father was a police officer with the WPD for 24 years, including the time of the BTK killings. Some of this may be confusing, as I am confused by it, and was looking up info on these killings myself when I found these posts. I was only around 6 - 7 years old when these killings started, and my father doesn't like to talk about them all that much. They interest me, as I remember the fear that gripped the city. I remember being glad that our bathroom had a window, so that I could escape too, in case he came to our house.

I think that the reason for thinking that BTK was a criminal justice student was because that the killings took place geographically close to WSU, that the language used in the BTK letters was police lingo, he wrote a poem using the format of a poem that was in a textbook from WSU, and that he left so little physical evidence. (Only 1 known fingerprint) Also, the psychological profile suggests that he would be interested in detective magazines, law enforcement, et., and try to insert himself into the case in some fashion. (My dad thinks that news reporters are good suspects as well, for this reason) Also, his killings seemed to end, as if perhaps he had graduated, and was actually from somewhere else, attending school here. That is a strong belief amoung many veteran police officers. That he moved. But where?

I don't think that any of the people that were killed were WSU students. I could be wrong. I remember that ppl were afraid to go to laundry-mats during that time. I asked my father why, and he said that several of the victims had used the same laundry-mat...

• Ezboard post from shaya41 on 11/2/03 4:58 pm regarding the WSU connection:

I grew up in Wichita and BTK was my first exposure to serial killers. I became hooked on the psychology of such monsters, but he still scares me silly!

Years later I was an Admin of Justice student at Wichita State University and all of my profs had contacts into the investigation and their own pet theories. The things they all agreed on was that the cops knew who he was but couldn't prove it, and that at some point he had been a WSU AJ student. One of my psych profs even claimed he had a friend that had done some therapy for BTK and his friend was scared to death of his patient.

• Police have said a copy of the BTK October 1974 Letter came from a copy machine at WSU. The Wichita Eagle reports the copy machine was in the WSU Library. Another report places the copier in the basement of Hubbard Hall?

• Two suspected BTK murders involved WSU students:

Nov. 12, 1974: Sherry Baker, 23, a Wichita State University student, was found stabbed to death in her apartment at 603 New York. Her hands were tied behind her back with a coiled telephone cord, and she was stabbed with a pair of scissors. There was no sign of forced entry.

June 29, 1985: Linda Shawn Casey, 31, another WSU student, was found dead on the bedroom floor of her home at 356 N. Spruce. She had been bound, beaten, sexually assaulted and stabbed repeatedly.

• The WSU connection is discussed further on an ezboard.com BTK thread - WSU Student?

DNA Dragnet vs. Individual Freedoms
Cases like the BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler stir up public opinionover the government maintaining a DNA database. KWCH-TV reported:

Wichita detectives are swabbing hundreds of people in an attempt to match DNA to the serial killer. But one Wichita man who contacted Eyewitness News wonders when his personal freedoms give way to public protection. He has refused to give police a saliva swab. He does not want to be identified because he doesn't want his name associated with being a BTK suspect. The man says he's not trying to be difficult or hinder the investigation. But he wants to make sure his personal information is protected.

Would Americans ever tolerate a British style DNA sampling campaign that eventually lead to catching the UK killer Colin Pitchfork?

• Psyche's Knot considers the BTK - Harvey Glatman Influence?
The self named, BTK Strangler wrote the following in a 1978 letter to KAKE-TV:
"You don't understand these things because your not under the influence of factor x. The same thing that made Son of Sam, Jack The Ripper, Havery Glatman, Boston Strangler, Dr. H.H. Holmes Panty Hose Strangler of Florida, Hillside Strangler, Ted of The West Coast and many more infamous character kill. . . It seems senseless but we cannot help it, There is no help, no cure, except death or being caught and put away. . ."
P.S. How about some name for me, its time: 7 down and many more to go. I like the following. How about you? 'THE B.T.K STRANGLER, 'WICHITA STRANGLER', 'POETIC STRANGLER', 'THE BONDAGE STRANGER' OR 'PSYCHO', 'THE WICHITA HANGMAN', THE WICHITA EXECUTIONER, 'THE GAROTE PHATHOM', 'THE ASPHYXIATER'.
The "Havery Glatman" referred to is actually Harvey Glatman, who killed three young women in the late 1950's. He is one of the first sexually sadistic, serial killers to be identified, even before the term "serial killer" came into use.

Psyche also looks at the BTK Strangler's use of venetian blind cord...

links:
Man on BTK suspect list refuses DNA test [KWCH 12, 6-Apr-04]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info [TJN]

Update: If this lead/clue had been followed up aggressively it would have led to Dennis Rader the convicted BTK serial killer. He graduated from Wichita State University in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in Administration of Justice.

Godsend Institute

Dr. Richard Wells Founder of Godsend Institute
Death doesn't have to be an ending. At the Godsend Institute we have the abiltiy to make a fresh start--A New Beginning!

Godsend process

Godsend Institute

The above site is a hoax [www.godsendthemovie.com]

Update 27-Apr-04: It looks like the www.godsendinstitute.org site has been taken down. Many called this hoax too cruel.
Phony site upsets many [Arizona Republic]
Hoax website not exactly a Godsend [The Sentinel]
Stop the Godsend Institute! [PetitionSpot.com]
Update 24-May-04: The Godsendinstitute.org site was back up today. The movie has done very poorly at the box office - $13.4 million in its three weeks of release. I received a very low 5% rating at RottenTomatoes.

What do police want from the 'suspicious six'?

BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler Investation
Regarding Wednesday's subpoena for records identifying six members of a BTK (bind-torture-kill) Strangler message board, the Wichita Eagle today reports:

In at least one virtual community, they became known Thursday as the "suspicious six." They apparently are regular visitors to an Internet site started by The Wichita Eagle after the BTK serial killer emerged after 25 years of silence...

"I'm sure many of us are silently speculating who the 'unlucky 6' are," wrote a poster who uses the screen name Breathtaking...

As it turned out, Breathtaking was not on the list. But RonB1 -- who is known in the real world as Ron Burdick of Cleveland -- was among the six.

"I was blown away," Burdick said Thursday. "I don't know what they could possibly want."

Burdick, who describes himself as a 41-year-old stay-at-home dad, watches three children while his wife works as a financial analyst. He said he has never been to Wichita and doesn't think he has been inside the state of Kansas.

"I drove from Phoenix, Arizona, to Rochester, New York, once," he said. "I think that's about as close as I ever got."

In a virtual community with people known as Husker1, 2real4u and Moondog -- none of whom were mentioned in the subpoena -- RonB1 has emerged as a frequent poster, and he thinks the volume of posts may have landed him on the police list. He said no one who follows the list seems to know what police are interested in.

Wichita police continued Thursday to say nothing about the status of their investigation. District Attorney Nola Foulston, meanwhile, issued a statement that criticized The Eagle for writing about the subpoena and for not mentioning in an article Thursday that the subpoena carried a request that its existence not be disclosed...


Meantime "Breathtaking" who first thought he might be one of the "suspicious six" was a little disappointed he wasn't considered suspicious enough. In part, he wrote:

As it turns out, as those of you who have read today's Eagle now know, I was not one of the six. All that worrying for nothing. And now, strangely, I'm pissed! Now I want to be one of the six! (isn't it a bit strange that the Eagle didn't print the user names that appeared on the subpoena (except Ron B, whom they interviewed), but went out of the way to mention my user name as not being one?) Oh well, it got my 'name' in the papers, huh?!

Good for the Wichita Police in at least requesting that the subpoena not be disclosed. Did the Wichita Eagle need to make the subpoena public? It's nice to have any new information on this 25-year-old cold case. But it now looks like embarrassing the Wichita Police has become standard operating procedure in Wichita. Deputy Barney Fife of the Mayberry Police Department gets more respect than the Wichita P.D. Perhaps the Wichita Chamber of Commerce wants to turn their "Gothic" city into the "Serial Killer Capital," anything to boost business.

What do police want from the 'suspicious six'? [Wichita Eagle, 23-Mar-04]
City should cash in on BTK Hunt [F5 Wichita, Apirl 8, 2004]

Updated:
profile posted by vanillaflav9 [one of the "suspicious six"?]

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Is the BTK Strangler lurking on the Internet?

BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) Strangler Investation
Is the BTK strangler a regular reader of The Johnsville News? Has he posted a link to our site on an BTK Internet message board? Have we linked to one of his posts? Since March 26th, we have written a dozen stories about the Wichita or BTK (bind, torture, & kill) Strangler and the manhunt to find this sicko. It's very possible he likes to read what others are saying about him and use that to inflate his pathetically sick ego. This was a killer who wanted press attention back in the '70's while he was piling up bodies. His written communiqués show that this killer has an appetite for media coverage.

For example, the killer sent a letter to KAKE TV, Channel 10, in Wichita on February 10, 1978. Attached to the letter was a drawing of the Nancy Fox murder scene that almost exactly matched the crime scene photos. The letter said, in part:

I find the newspaper not writing about the poem on (Shirley) Vian unamusing. A little paragraph would have enough. I know it not the news media fault. The Police Chief he keep things quiet?

How many do I have to kill, before I get my name in the paper or some national attention?


• Former FBI profiler of serial killers, Gregg McCrary, who operates a criminology consulting business in Virginia (www.criminalprofiler.com), makes these observations about the BTK Strangler:

It's as if BTK is saying: "'Look at what I've done.' He can't resist doing that." For many serial killers, communicating with and taunting the media and law enforcement and frightening the public is like "playing God. It's a heady, intoxicating experience" for them, McCrary said.

So they're not afraid to make contact with you (the media) or police -- that's all a part of the game for a guy like this. He's outwitted law enforcement and everybody else all these years.


• Given this proclivity then it is not surprising that this story broke yesterday at the Wichita Eagle:

Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum

Investigators want to know the identities of six users of The Eagle's online discussion on the serial killer...

Eagle managing editor Sherry Chisenhall said information about the six message posters would be provided to investigators. She said the terms of use of the discussion board includes a provision that says Knight Ridder Digital reserves the right to disclose any information "necessary to satisfy the law, regulation or government request."

Chisenhall said The Eagle is not publishing the six screen names because of concerns that publication could hurt the police investigation or possibly falsely identify someone as a BTK suspect.

The Eagle's BTK message board was started last month after the newspaper received a letter from the serial killer, who had earlier claimed responsibility for seven murders in Wichita in the 1970s...

Anyone with Internet access can view the discussion board at www.kansas.com, The Eagle's Web site.

In order to post messages, however, a person must first register by providing a name and an e-mail address, and by creating a user name and a password. Most of those who post do so under user names that disguise their identities.


One of the posters on the message board: "breathtaking" speculated that they might be one of the suspicious six because they have the letters B-T-K in their user name.

A direct link to the Kansas.com BTK message board is here. The other main message board that has thousands of posts, theories, stories, etc regarding the BTK strangler is here at ezboard.com.

Full disclosure: The Johnsville News has linked to "interesting" BTK posts on both message boards and anonymous posters on both boards have linked back to us.

Interestingly, one of the discussion treads on ezboard was speculation about this very issue, that is: "BTK Net Saavy?" No reports yet if ezboard was subpoenaed.

As much as we can hope this "internet strategy" works we have our doubts. The Wichita Police are grasping at straws with this and the investigation must be seriously stalled-surprise. If the BTK strangler is surfing the web we assume he's just a lurker and not a poster. He sure hasn't said anything to us.

related links:
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Consolidated BTK information]

Subpoena seeks info from BTK Net forum [Wichita Eagle, April 22, 2004, by Hurst Laviana]
Authorities seek information on 6 people using BTK message board [Wichita Eagle, April 21, 2004]
Profiler: Killer has urge to flaunt crimes [Wichita Eagle, March 25, 2004]

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Wichita, Kansas: 5 Star American Gothic Town

The more we read about the BTK Strangler and Wichita, Kansas the more gothic this city becomes. This tale from "toadie" a Wichita State University coed in the early 1980's is a good example:

I lived in Wichita for about 10 years. I attended WSU the summer of 1982 for a course in psychology. I was 22 at the time. I used to drive home either down 21st street or 13th street to the west side of town.

One day as I left class, I drove down a street between 13th and 21st. I went thru a school zone at about 35 miles an hour, and was pulled over by a cop. I stopped across from a park, and looked in my rearview mirror. The car that stopped me was dark blue in color, and the flashing lights were those similiar to an unmarked sheriff's car. The officer that got out was wearing a dark blue uniform, similiar to those that the sheriff's office wore at the time. This officer had on mirror sunglasses, and flipped out a badge and was wearing a name tag - last name started with an "S" - long like Schroeder, Shusterman, etc. Anyway, he asked for my liscense and went back to his car. I sat there for about 10 minutes, sweltering in the heat, worried that my car would overheat on me, and I would be stuck in a "bad part of town."

Finally, he came back, and started talking to me about what I had done wrong - going over the school zone speed limit ( it was the noon hour.) He spent about 10 minutes berating me for wanting to kill children with my "fast" driving, and by that point, I just wanted my ticket, or warning, and to get the heck out of there. The more he talked, the more agitated he became. Wanted to know if I had children, was I married, and I couldn't see the point of those questions, but I answered them. I started to cry, and asked him to either give me a ticket, or give me a warning, because either way, I needed to go. I had seen only one person walking on the sidewalk when he stopped me, and very few cars had driven by, and I was starting to feel scared of this officer and his agitation. He told me that I could not go. I would need to "go downtown" with him, in his car. I told him that I did not want to leave my car in such a bad area of town, but that I would follow him "downtown" if needed. He insisted that I get out of the car, and leave my car. "I will have someone pick up your car if you're that worried about it." He wanted to know what someone like me was doing in that neighborhood, and that "nice girls" don't drive down those streets on their way home.

I had made up my mind, that no matter what, I would not leave my car, and told him that. asked him to call for back up, and that another officer could "go downtown" with my car following, then I would go with him. I couldn't see his eyes behind his glasses, but felt like he was getting more hostile. He stood there, and we looked at one another. I glanced down at his waist, and for some reason looked at the stripes on his pants. I had lived in an apartment several years ago, and my neighbor was a sheriff's officer, and I used to see him come home in the morning. The stripe color did not seem exactly right.

Long story short, he ended up pulling his gun on me, and tried to open my locked car door, insisting that I come with him. I put the car into drive and drove like a maniac as fast as I could...

When I got home, I talked with my husband. No officers arrived at my house to pick me up for leaving. I ended up calling the sheriff's office later that afternoon when I was at work, to report
how that officer had treated me, and how he had pulled a gun on me. They told me that they did not have an officer by that name. I asked them about their cars, and the lights were in the wrong place for an unmarked car. They also confirmed my feelings about the stripe down the pant leg being incorrect.

I had been pulled over by a man impersonating a police officer, and who did a fine job of it - badge, name tag, gun, correct color, make and model of car, correct color of uniform except for the stripes. Later, I remembered hearing about some woman abondoning her car at a grocery store on North Broadway, and disappearing in broad daylight. I have often wished that I would have told my story to the WPD at the time, instead of just talking to the sheriff's office. The sheriff's office never did send an officer out to talk to me, and as far as I know, no report was ever taken, unless it was notes from our phone conversation....

Have You Heard About This????? [toadie-Kansas.com Msg Board]

From: BTK Strangler to Wichita Police Dept. - Thank you

Every letter the BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler has sent to the Wichita media, over the last 29 years, should include a "P.S.- Thank you" note to the Wichita Police for being so clueless and incompetent in their manhunt for the serial killer.

We now learn in a KSNW-TV report from yesterday that for eighteen years the Wichita Police Department considered Vicki Wegerle's husband, Bill, a suspect. They apparently never considered the BTK Strangler as a prime suspect in the Sept. 16, 1986 murder of Vicki Wegerle.

"He (BTK Strangler) can burn in hell," said Glenda Wegerle, sister-in-law of Vicki Wegerle found slain in 1986. "Whether he goes to jail -- I don't care, just burn in hell," Wegerle said.

Wegerly said initially police insisted her brother Bill, who was married to the victim, killed his wife. "My brother has not been vindicated, he has been a suspect for nearly eighteen years," Wegerle said.

She said until BTK sent a letter to the Wichita Eagle over three weeks ago -- police refused to believe the serial killer could have murdered her sister-in-law.

Police have no comment.


The special Wichita BTK Task Force, called the "Ghost Busters," had been active from July 1984 until late 1987. So police interest in the killer was still very much a part of the WPD consciousness in September 1986. It is hard to figure how this case slipped through the cracks.

Therefore any intelligent person has to ask how many of the other (15?) unsolved Wichita murders since 1974 that fit the BTK profile; i.e. female, over age 10, and cold cases, are in fact the work of the BTK serial killer. Wichita lawyer Bob Beattie, who is working on a book about the BTK strangler, has questions about three cases in particular.

The Wichita Police seem to be pinning all of their hopes for solving this case on DNA evidence. If the BTK Strangler is still walking the streets he obviously knows the police have his DNA and they can match him. But, that fact didn't stop him from taunting the Wichita P.D. again last month when he sent his most recent letter. He must feel he is so far off their radar screen that he could chance reinvigorating the investigation and not getting caught up in a DNA dragnet.

Therefore we can conclude that his DNA is not on file at the FBI's national DNA database or CODIS (Combined DNA Index System).

Wegerle family member speaks out on BTK [April 20, 2004, KSNW-TV]
Cold cases [Wichita Eagle]

related Johnsville News BTK coverage:
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [consolidated information]
Son of BTK? [Apr. 15, 2004]
BTK Update [Apr. 12, 2004]
Wichita BTK Serial Killer Update [Apr. 6, 2004]
Help Wanted: Need Fresh Investigative "Muscle" For BTK Case [5-Apr-04]
Serial Killer Sampling [Apr. 5, 2004]
BTK Serial Killer Manhunt Update [Apr. 2, 2004]
BTK Cold Case Investigation Continues [Mar. 31, 2004]
BTK Serial Killer Clue Update [Mar. 29, 2004]
Cold Case gets Hot: The Kansas BTK Serial Killer is Back [Mar. 26, 2004]

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

Video Blogging...not if...when?

Boston-based music-video producer Steve Garfield, 46, is no ordinary blogger. Instead of simply posting his thoughts online in a chatty weblog like millions of others around the world, he links a Canon GL2 digital video camera to his laptop and uploads short clips of protest rallies, traffic short-cuts and even news events onto his personal Internet site.

Garfield belongs to a small but growing legion of video bloggers, or vloggers, who are turning the Web into a medium in which someday anyone could conceivably mount original programming, bypassing the usual broadcast networks and cable outlets.

See Me, Blog [Time]
SteveGarfield.com

Monday, April 19, 2004

Boosting American Productivity: Idea #7

Business Card Cube
How to make business card cubes

Ned Batchelder has a "How to make business card cubes" page. Making cubes out of business cards is easy, and will impress your friends!

What you will need
Everything you need is already at hand:

Six business cards, and
About five minutes.

Ned Batchelder's Card Cubes

Fat Pants... I mean Fan Pants


A Rear View of the Cushioned "Fan Pants"
Is that a floatation device in your pants or are you just carbo loading? Here's the ideal gift for the slightly chubby, sedentary, Nascar Dad, a logo emblazoned pair of Fan Pants.

Larry D. Kuhuski has these marvels of modern engineering patented for sale, licensing, manufacturing, and/or investing. What better way to save for retirement than sock some money away into "pants designed especially for sports fans."

Fan Pants (tm)

related:
TJN: The New Electoral Sex Symbol: Nascar Dad

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Scott Peterson Murder Trial Defense Strategies

Scott Peterson
Psyche' s Knot does a nice job covering the Mark Geragos defense strategies in the Scott Peterson case:

...Geragos complained in court yesterday that the prosecution is "invading my work product." Stealing his bad screenplay ideas might be a more appropriate complaint...

Peterson Case - April 2004 case summary [Psyche's Knot]
Peterson Case - March 2004 case summary [Psyche's Knot]
Peterson Case - Feb. 2004 case summary [Psyche's Knot]

Oil Shortage Looming?

Reuters says global energy demand will rise 54 percent by 2025:

World demand for all forms of energy is expected to grow by 54 percent over the next two decades, with oil consumption alone jumping by 40 million barrels a day, the U.S. government said on Wednesday.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration's long-term forecast to the year 2025 projects the strongest growth in energy use from developing countries, especially China and India, where buoyant economies will boost demand.

Energy use in developing countries is forecast to soar by 91 percent over the next two decades, while rising 33 percent in industrialized nations.


Hubbert's Peak here we come. When will we see $7.00 per gallon gas prices?

related links:
Global energy demand to rise 54 pct by 2025-US EIA [Reuters]
Is The Oil End Game Here? [TJN, Feb. 28, 2004]
Hubbert Peak

Friday, April 16, 2004

Omarosa: Can a Pathological Liar Find Success on TV?

Omarosa

Omarosa has got to be one of the most hated people on TV. Everyone from Black ESPN Sports commentator Michael Wilbon to The Washington Post is calling her a total loser and a pathological liar. Among other things, she screwed Kwame out of winning "The Apprentice" and she's made unsubstantiated allegations against fellow contestant Ereka Vetrini.

She has certainly created a unique brand image for herself. Like all A-list celebrities she is now universally known just by her first name. Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth no longer exists, just Omarosa. We will have to leave it some shrewd marketing consultants to figure out how anyone could use that "image."

• Omarosa's mere presence can stir up controversey, as Oprah learned. The New York Post reports:

OPRAH Winfrey's fans continue to swamp the TV queen's Web site - outraged that snarky "Apprentice" castoff Omarosa shared the stage with Winfrey on last Thursday's "Oprah."

"Oprah" fans bombarded oprah.com over the weekend with more than 200 mostly scathing messages, criticizing Winfrey for allowing Omarosa the privilege of being on-stage - while her fellow "Apprentice" colleagues, Ereka and Heidi, had to sit in the audience


• As for Bill Rancic the winner of "The Apprentice," he had to decide what job to take with the Trump organization. Bill could oversee the construction of a spectacular new building, Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago, or he could manage an incredible golf course on the edge of the ocean, Trump National Golf Club - Los Angeles. Bill said both jobs were tempting, but that his heart is in Chicago, so he chose Trump International Hotel and Tower in the Windy City.

And if we know one thing it is that construction workers will respect someone who won his job on a game show.
Proposed Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago
Proposed Trump International Hotel and Tower in Chicago

Omarosa Visit Still Haunts Oprah [NY Post]
Votes Are In - Omarosa is a Bitch
Omarosa Saga Continues
Omarosa Returns

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Robot KIA in Iraq

Packbot
Infantry scout Packbot is lost in action in Iraq, the first acknowledged ground robot loss. Mark that one a success; it would have been a US soldier otherwise.

Firm cheers loss of robot in Iraq [CNN]
Packbot.com

Son of BTK?

BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Serial Killer Investigation
Did the son of the BTK, "Bind, Torture, & Kill" strangler mail the BTK letter last month to The Wichita Eagle? This theory has been making the rounds on several BTK message boards. Police apparently had enough probably cause to believe that possibility existed as they conducted a search and interrogation of Nathan Thomason. KAKE TV reports:

Could Nathan Thomason be the son of BTK? It's a theory that reportedly led Wichita police to a home on south Bleckley that Nathan shares with his mother.

Thomason says Saturday he heard a knock on the door. He recognized the man at the door, one of the lead investigators on the BTK case.

For the next seven hours, Nathan and his mom say they were questioned by police at City Hall. Meanwhile their home was searched from top to bottom. "Everything all out in the middle of the floor, they went through my closet," Thomason said.

Shirley Thomason met her husband in Texas in 1976. They moved back to Wichita later that year. They stayed in Wichita until 1993 when Nathan senior was sent to prison for sexual assault. He was released six years later, and committed suicide in 2001.

Close to the Investigation [KAKE TV]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Consolidated Information]

Air America has lost a couple of engines

Al Franken's O'Franken Factor
Air America the new liberal radio network broadcasting Al Franken's "The O'Franken Factor" has got to worry that they might "auger in" to the ground sooner rather than later. The Chicago Tribune reports:

After just two weeks of broadcasting, Air America Radio, the fledgling liberal talk-radio network featuring Al Franken and Janeane Garofalo, was pulled off the air this morning in Chicago and Los Angeles, the network's second- and third-largest markets, in a dispute over payments for airtime.

Arthur Liu, owner of Multicultural Radio Broadcasting, which owns Air America affiliates WNTD-950 AM in Chicago and KBLA-1580 AM in Los Angeles, said Air America bounced a check and owes him more than $1 million.

Liberal radio stations silenced [Chicago Tribune]

Update: Air America comes right back at Mr. Liu on their website-

"This Liu-ser was ripping off our boss Evan Cohen big time (he can’t do that, that’s our job). Evan found out about it and he stopped payment on a check to keep Liu-cifer from ripping him off even more. . . . So we got screwed, Liu’d, and tattooed. How Liu can you get? In Liu of payment. Liu’d and lascivious behavior."

" The Sludge Report" [Air America]
Air America: Wha' Happen? [wonkette.com]

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Political Spin Therapy

Feedster serves up a nice fresh helping of piping hot political spin. You just have to pick your flavor:


John F. Kerry Feedster Feed
Kerry Buzz

George W. Bush Feedster Feed
Bush Buzz

Anyone But Bush Feedster Feed
Anyone But Bush

Green Feedster Feed
Green Party

Tuesday, April 13, 2004

Following The Terrorist Money

ATM Machine Fraud
The Telegraph (UK) reports:

The Moroccan-dominated al-Qa'eda cells responsible for terrorist attacks in Spain were funded by bank robberies and sophisticated cashpoint machine fraud in France, investigators believe.

This begs the question: what percentage of international criminal proceeds, estimated at $2 trillion, are skimmed off by terrorists?

Monday, April 12, 2004

BTK Update

BTK Strangler
Every day that goes by without a break in the BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler investigation is a day the killer gets further from justice. The Wichita Police are no closer to solving this case than they were when they received the killer's March 19th letter. Any book about the BTK Strangler will have to document the numerous ways the Wichita Police bungled this case. Every time you read stories about this case you end up shaking your head in disbelief at the police failures.

For example it is surprising that the Wichita Police waited over twenty-one months until August 15, 1979 to release the killer's voice recording made on a 911 call. A recording they had since December 9, 1977. The news reports from that period said they were "enhancing" the audio quality of the recording. So we end up with almost two years of foot dragging and no real sense of urgency.

Why haven't the police released all of the transcripts of the killer's communiqués? Why are they withholding any of this information in this twilight stage of the investigation. This case was already in the dustbin of history until the killer decided to make a small encore. Releasing the Unabomber's communiqués to the public is what finally caught him after years of hiding. Someone turning in a tip on the BTK Strangler by recognizing something he wrote, or the way he turned a phrase, might be the only way he will ever be caught.

The Denver Post reports:
"A local lawyer writing a book about the killer says BTK includes an element in his communications, not known to the public, that police recognize."

The Wichita attorney, Robert Beattie, who is working on a book about BTK should furnish us with more details than the police have been willing to release.

So this past weekend Wichita officials were trying to reassure the Women's International Bowling Congress which draws more than 42,000 people to Wichita between next week and July 6 not to worry about the BTK Serial Killer. So we have the BTK Strangler who has killed women and children in Wichita and the police are saying he will not dare touch a lady bowler. Ladies, please trust us Wichita P.D. will protect you. Thank you very much Wichita PD. For their own protection the lady bowlers should pack their own heat in their bowling bags when they visit Wichita. They should not depend on the Wichita Police for anything.

• In a related development, have the Wichita P.D. missed some of BTK's murders? The Wichita Eagle on Monday, April 12, 2004 reports:

A review of unsolved murder cases mentioned in The Wichita Eagle over the past three decades turned up 15 where a female over the age of 10 was killed under circumstances similar to BTK.

They all occurred after Jan. 15, 1974, the day BTK killed four members of the Joseph Otero family in their home at 803 N. Edgemoor.

Wichita lawyer Bob Beattie, who is working on a book about the BTK strangler, said he has questions about three cases in particular:

• Nov. 12, 1974: Sherry Baker, 23, a Wichita State University student.
• June 29, 1985: Linda Shawn Casey, 31, another WSU student.
• Nov. 12, 1999: Tina Frederick, 22, was found shot to death in her apartment at 888 S. Hydraulic, a few blocks from the home of Shirley Vian, one of BTK's known victims.

related links:
Wichita killer lay low for decades [Denver Post, Mar 31, 2004]
Wichita seeks to reassure visitors worried about BTK Strangler [AP, April 10, 2004]
Cold cases [Wichita Eagle, April 12, 2004]
BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording [Latest Summary of Case Information]

Friday, April 9, 2004

Omarosa Returns

Omarosa 100% Bitch
Back on March 13th we said this about Omarosa:

"you have to fear that she becomes reality TV's "bad penny" and will make a career out of torturing us. Somewhere there is a damned producer planning just that."

Yes, they were planning to torture us. Last night she came back to torture both us and her new boss, Kwame, on NBC's "The Apprentice."

People magazine says Omarosa was let go from four jobs in two years with the Clinton administration. One official said Manigault-Stallworth was asked to leave her last job "as quickly as possible" because "she was so disruptive."

To smooth some disruptions, Manigault-Stallworth and Ereka Vetrini were reunited on "Oprah" Thursday. The women have been on the outs ever since they feuded on "The Apprentice" and Manigault-Stallworth accused Vetrini of calling her by a racial slur. Both Vetrini and series creator Mark Burnett denied that ever happened.

Vetrini told Oprah Winfrey that Manigault-Stallworth has been called "a liar" by everyone from Trump to Burnett. Manigault-Stallworth accused Vetrini of trying to ride on her coattails for publicity.

Meanwhile, being fired by Trump doesn't mean you get to go home. TV Guide reports that those yellow cabs that picked up the losers each week on "The Apprentice" took them to a nearby hotel where they had to live until the series was through filming.

A survey at TheIndyChannel.com asked the following question:
Ex-"Apprentice" contestant Omarosa Manigault-Stallworth stands by her allegations that some of her fellow show mates called her the "n-word." Do you believe her? It turns out 89% of the over 16,000 survey respondents do not believe her.

Related Links:
Donald Trump Not First To Fire Omarosa [theindychannel.com]
Votes Are In - Omarosa is a Bitch
Omarosa Saga Continues

New Al-Qaida Plot to Burn U.S. Forests

wildfire
Worldnetdaily reports: An Arabic-language jihadi website posted a message purporting to be "al-Qaida’s plan of economic attack" on the U.S. that included setting forest fires, according to the Northeast Intelligence Network.

The six-point plan appeared Saturday, April 3, 2004 and called for:

• attacks on the assets of large American companies all over the world;
• attacks on U.S. oil refineries;
• attacks on civilian airports with the goal of financially devastating U.S. airlines;
• deliberate pollution of food system;
• setting of fires in the forests – "especially those that provide the American market with the raw materials for the wood and paper and byproducts industries";
• attacks like those on the railway transportation lines in Spain;

Arson is suspected in some of the California wildfires. Meanwhile, there is evidence terrorism was behind other wildfires in Europe and Australia last summer.

Thursday, April 8, 2004

Celebrity Bloggers

Here's a short list of some "celebrities" who have blogs:

Mark Cuban
Arianna Huffington
Al Franken
Moby
Margaret Cho
Barenaked Ladies
Jamie Oliver (BBC's Naked Chef)
rupaul

Arianna Huffington just started her blog and she has a column saying why she loves blogs. Here are some sound bytes:

I’m a regular cyberslut...Bloggers are armed with a far more effective piece of access than a White House press credential: passion.....They’re the true pit bulls of reporting...All of which has made the blogosphere such a vital news source in our country.

Wednesday, April 7, 2004

Liar, Liar Website's On Fire

Al Franken's The O'Franken Factor
Al Franken's new The O'Franken Factor Radio Show (www.ofrankenfactor.com) has been on the air a week and they seem to have hit their stride today. They now also have their companion blog working to document Al's kicking over the vipers nest of conservative liars. They should call the show the Al Franken "Truth Squad" as they call out every conservative commentator as "a liar." Here's an abridged version of Al's rant on Sean Hannity's rant on John Kerry:

HANNITY’S LIES....Sean Hannity spewed a litany of lies.... lies that came ....This is a lie....Hannity’s is dishonest....This is a disgraceful lie....all these lies?....Bush is a liar....Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly and Rush Limbaugh—they’re liars too.

related links:
When did Osama bin Laden Declare War on the USA?
Recap of First The O’ Franken Factor Show

Tuesday, April 6, 2004

Wichita BTK Serial Killer Update

BTK Serial Killer

• Here is one of the better "wack job" BTK (Bind-Torture-Kill) profiles we have read. The first one we've linked to, because this one dovetailed nicely with other aspects of the case.

BTK Was a Postman [Truth Seeker]

• Robert Beattie is writing a BTK Book. His phone is very busy these days.

Life takes 'surreal' turn for BTK author [Wichita Eagle]

• "People already afraid of BTK were upset by a graphic that KAKE, Channel 10, ran with all its stories on the serial killer. "Maybe it was a little over the top," says Bryan Frye, KAKE's director of marketing. "We pulled it back a little bit." Originally, the graphic featured some threatening eyes in the background. Now there are none. There were a few other changes as well, he said, but the eyes seemed to be the key thing some viewers found disturbing. Frye says management decided, "You know what? Maybe they do have a point."
[Kansas.com]

• The Johnsville News post of April 2nd: "BTK (Bind, Torture, & Kill) Strangler Info & Voice Recording" is where we continue to post updated BTK clues, links, and info. Notice for example how may times Hydraulic St. is mentioned and who worked at the Coleman Company. What's so special about Tuesdays and Thursdays? Then remember how small the killing zone is (3.5 miles) and think of the Postman Theory.

Targeting America

Soviet Sabotage Targets and Weapons Stores in US
Targets and locations of high explosive stores identified in stolen KGB documents.
Popular Mechanics has a very interesting account of the top secret Soviet KGB plans to destroy our national infrastructure.

"KGB agents would take advantage of the thousands of miles of unguarded Canadian and Mexican borders to bury caches of high explosives throughout the United States. On Moscow's command, agents could use them to blow up ports, dams, power stations and pipelines."
...
"The KGB also had plans to put America in the dark. Operating from a safe house in Big Spring Park, near Harrisburg, the capital of Pennsylvania"
...
"The KGB records do, however, identify seven caches in this country. Three are mentioned as being buried in Southern California. Two, identified by Andrew as Aquarium 1 and Aquarium 2, are in Minnesota. Two more, Park and Kamy, are in northwestern Montana."

Based on Congressional hearings held by U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, the chairman of the House Military Research Subcommittee, it is impossible to determine how many secret caches of high explosive might remain buried around this country.

RED TERROR [Popular Mechanics]
FBI Director Admits Russians May Have Secret Weapons in US [NewsMax]

Monday, April 5, 2004

When did Osama bin Laden Declare War on the USA?

---
When did Osama bin Laden declare war on the United States?The title may seem like a simple question. But it is not. The answer you like may depend on whether you are a Clinton/Democrat or a Bush/Republican.

For example, last Wednesday (March 31st) on Al Franken's new liberal radio show, "The O'Franken Factor," Al's guest former Senator and 9-11 commission member Bob Kerrey said that Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States on February 23, 1998. It seems like he mentioned that date at least twice when he and Franken were talking about who's at fault regarding the 9-11 attacks (sorry no transcript available at this time). Senator Kerrey is citing the document entitled: "Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders" -World Islamic Front Statement dated 23-February-1998.

Since former-Senator Kerrey is on the 9-11 commission you would assume this fact is correct. The commission members presumably have access to all of the research and details about bin Laden. They could almost call this "The Osama bin Laden Commission," but that would put the focus on the criminal rather than the crime.

However, what if bin Laden had declared war on the United States before February 23rd, 1998? What if he declared war on the US in August 1996 or perhaps even earlier? How does that matter? It simply means that the Clinton Administration is on the hook longer for ignoring a national security threat. A year and a half more of not focusing on the nation's number one security threat (in hindsight).

The record shows that Osama bin Laden really declared war on the United States in 1996, not 1998.

Wikipedia reports that:

Osama bin Laden wrote what is referred to as a fatwa in August 1996, and was one of several signatories of another and shorter fatwa in February 1998. Both documents appeared initially in the Arabic-language London newspaper Al-Quds Al-Arabi. At the time, bin Laden was not a wanted man in any country except his native Saudi Arabia, and was not yet known as the leader of the international terrorist organisation al-Qaeda. Therefore these fatwas, or fatawa, received relatively little attention until after the August 1998 United States embassy bombings, for which bin Laden is indicted. The indictment mentions the first fatwa, and claims that Khalid al-Fawwaz, of bin Laden's Advice and Reformation Committee in London, participated in its communication to the press.

Bin Laden's 1996 fatwa is entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places". This document is sometimes called the Ladenese epistle, a term derived from bin Laden's surname. It is a long piece, and complains of American activities in numerous countries...
Regarding the 1996 fatwa, The Washington Post website said:
"Osama bin Laden has published two religious orders seeking to justify violence against Western interests in the Middle East. The first was a document entitled, "Ladenese Epistle: Declaration of War." Written in August 1996, it was published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper that bin Laden has often used to communicate his views. The text presented here was translated by the Committee for the Defense of Legitimate Rights, a pro-bin Laden organization, and posted on the Internet in October 1996."
The Washington Post then re-printed the entire document. So does the pbs.org website which introduces the 1996 "Declaration of War" by saying:
"The following text is a fatwa, or declaration of war, by Osama bin Laden first published in Al Quds Al Arabi, a London-based newspaper, in August, 1996. The fatwa is entitled "Declaration of War against the Americans Occupying the Land of the Two Holy Places."
Granted this August 1996 "declaration of war" is a rambling 12-page rant with scads of Islamic metaphors but it does sound like a declaration of war. The title of the document should be clear enough. Here are a few snips from the document:
"Terrorising you (USA), while you are carrying arms on our land, is a legitimate and morally demanded duty."

"An infidel, and enemy of God like you, cannot be in the same hell with his righteous executioner."

"It is a duty now on every tribe in the Arab Peninsula to fight, Jihad, in the cause of Allah and to cleanse the land from those occupiers."
Suggest that if you're interested that you read through the whole document and draw your own conclusions.

Therefore, given this 1996 fatwa declaration, is Democrat Bob Kerrey trying to revise history to make it appear that the Clinton Administration didn't have enough time to react to the threat of Osama bin Laden? Clinton was in office for 35 months after the 1998 declaration. Or did he simply misspeak and make an honest factual error? Perhaps this is just a question that can be spun several ways and that reasonable people can honestly disagree over.

Kerrey predicted on Franken's Radio Show that the commission's report would become a big political football before the election. He's right, it will, if the 9-11 commission reports that Osama bin Laden declared war on February 1998 instead of August 1996. Republicans might want to make the argument that this is not true and the commission is playing politics with "factual" history.

It might also be a tad bit ironic if Al Franken's "The O'Franken Factor" Radio Show started off on its first day with a rather large factual mistake (conservatives please don't call it a lie). Should it turn out that August 1996 is generally regarded as the date bin Laden declared war on the United States. We shall see.

update: I see "The O'Franken Factor" Radio Show blog is now up and running at www.ofrankenfactor.com maybe they'll respond to this question?

related link:
Recap of First "The O'Franken Factor" Radio Show [TJN]
Terrorism: Q&A | Osama bin Laden [Council on Foreign Relations]

2nd update:

Wikipedia: 9/11 Commission
Wikipedia: 9/11 Commission Report
GPOAccess.gov: The 9/11 Commission Report - Authorized Edition(2.3 MB PDF)

The 9/11 report cites the Februaray 1998 fatwa as the date of Bin Laden's declaration of war. Therefore it is not factually correct. Excerpt from page 47 of the 9/11 Commission Report:

THE FOUNDATION OF
THE NEW TERRORISM

2.1 A DECLARATION OF WAR

In February 1998, the 40-year-old Saudi exile Usama Bin Ladin and a fugitive Egyptian physician, Ayman al Zawahiri, arranged from their Afghan headquarters for an Arabic newspaper in London to publish what they termed a fatwa issued in the name of a “World Islamic Front.” A fatwa is normally an interpretation of Islamic law by a respected Islamic authority,but neither Bin Ladin, Zawahiri, nor the three others who signed this statement were scholars of Islamic law. Claiming that America had declared war against God and his messenger, they called for the murder of any American, anywhere on earth, as the “individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it.”

Three months later, when interviewed in Afghanistan by ABC-TV, Bin Ladin enlarged on these themes.2 He claimed it was more important for Muslims to kill Americans than to kill other infidels.“It is far better for anyone to kill a single American soldier than to squander his efforts on other activities,” he said.Asked whether he approved of terrorism and of attacks on civilians, he replied:“We believe that the worst thieves in the world today and the worst terrorists are the Americans. Nothing could stop you except perhaps retaliation in kind.We do not have to differentiate between military or civilian. As far as we are concerned, they are all targets.”
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