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Friday, March 24, 2006

Duke Lacrosse Athletes tested in gang rape inquiry

For year-long coverage of Duke/Nifong Hoax see: TJN archives or the frontpage for latest developments.

Update - April 18, 2006: Two Duke Lacrosse Players Are Arrested and Charged

Last updated to this page: April 1, 2006



Duke Lacrosse Athletes tested in gang rape inquiryThe Raleigh North Carolina newspaper, the News & Observer is reporting (3/24/06), DNA Tests Ordered for Duke Athletes:
Durham police had 46 members of the Duke University lacrosse team DNA-tested Thursday in the suspected gang-rape of a woman at an off-campus party last week.

Police think at least three of the men could be responsible for the sexual assault, beating, robbery and near-strangulation of one of two women who had an appointment to dance at the party March 13, according to a search warrant.

Such a broad DNA sampling early in an investigation is unusual, several local lawyers said.

The assault allegedly happened in a house shared by three members of the men's lacrosse team, Duke officials said.

All but one member of the team reported to the Durham police crime lab downtown at 4 p.m. Thursday to be photographed and "to provide identifying information," said John Burness, Duke University senior vice president for public affairs. The team member who did not report was not ordered to the screening, Burness said without explaining why.

"Duke University is monitoring the situation and cooperating with officials, as are the students," Burness said.
The victim, a 27-year-old black women, had worked for an escort service to help support her two children and pay for classes at N.C. Central University and the night she was attacked was the first time she had been hired to dance for a group. The victim said her three attackers were white. More details from wwaytv3.com:
A search warrant said the woman, who nearly was strangled, was hired this month to dance at a house where three members of the team lived.

Duke spokesman John Burness says team members reported to police yesterday to provide samples and be photographed. No charges had been filed by late yesterday.

According to the search warrant, two women went to the house to dance before the men became aggressive. The women started to leave but were asked to return by a suspect who apologized. When they went back inside, they were separated and the victim was forced into a bathroom and was assaulted by three men.
This is an earlier report of the crime by newsobserver.com - Assault victim says she was robbed, too:
A woman who told police she was raped by as many as three men at a house party near Duke University also said she was robbed, according to a police report.

According to the report, the victim, who told police she was raped March 13 at a party at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., was also robbed of a $300 cell phone and a large amount of cash.

It is The News & Observer's policy not to identify victims of reported sex crimes.

No suspects have been named in the case, but Sgt. Mark Gottlieb of the Durham Police Department said Tuesday that police are following several leads and that the residents of the rental house, which faces the university's East Campus, are being cooperative.

About 30 people were at the party, which started late March 13 and went into the early morning, and alcohol was involved, Gottlieb has said.
The Duke Chronical had this earlier report - "Suspects in alleged rape unidentified" from March 21st:
One week after a young woman was allegedly raped at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., the Durham Police Department is still investigating the situation, saying "the suspects have not been clearly identified."

The house, which was recently purchased by University subsidiary Durham Realty, was the site of a party that involved both Duke students and non-students, said Sgt. M.D. Gottlieb of Durham Police District 2 Investigations.

Sue Wasiolek, assistant vice president for student affairs and dean of students, said the University will not take action until the police department's investigation is finished.

"From what I understand, the situation is under investigation by the Durham Police Department, and we will await that investigation," she said...

Gottlieb said any man that attended the party March 13 would be a viable suspect but refused to go into further detail.
UPDATE, March 29th: Duke Lacrosse Team's Season Halted Over Rape Allegations

Duke lacrosse players practice Monday, March 27, 2006, on the campus in Durham, N.CCBS News:
Duke University's president has suspended the school's highly ranked lacrosse team from play until school administrators learn more about allegations that several team members raped an exotic dancer at an off-campus party.

"In this painful period of uncertainty, it is clear to me, as it was to the players, that it would be inappropriate to resume the normal schedule of play," President Richard Brodhead said Tuesday.

The Duke Lacrosse Captains issued a statement on Tuesday, Mar. 28th:
We also stated unequivocally that any allegation that a sexual assault or rape occurred is totally and transparently false.

The team has cooperated with the police in their investigation. We have provided authorities with DNA samples. The understanding is that the results of the DNA testing will be available sometime next week. The DNA results will demonstrate that these allegations are absolutely false.

Because of the intense emotions surrounding these allegations, we feel it is in the best interest of the University, the community and our families that the team should not play competitively until the DNA results verify our unequivocal denial of these allegations.
Statement from Captains of Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]

The above statement was unsigned. The Duke Lacrosse captains are:

David Evans, Senior
Dan Flannery, Senior - represented by attorney Butch Williams
Bret Thompson, Senior
Matt Zash, Senior - represented by attorney Kerry Sutton

Kerry Sutton, who is representing Matt Zash, said her client was one of the three captains who gave police a lengthy interview and written statement and offered to take a polygraph test.

Matt Zash and Daniel Flannery lived at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd with one of the other captains.

related:
Duke University Men's Lacrosse - 2005-06 Roster - [goDuke.com] The roster has 47 players listed. The one player not asked to submit a DNA sample for the investigation was the only African-American on the roster.

Note: Duke Univ. has removed the Men's Lacrosse 2005-06 Roster from their web site [goDuke.com]. Here are the players who are on the Duke Lacrosse roster:

38 Breck Archer MIDFIELDER 6-0 190 Jr.
31 Bo Carrington MIDFIELDER 6-4 220 So.
37 Casey Carroll DEFENSE 6-2 180 Jr.
29 Mike Catalino MIDFIELDER 6-0 200 Fr.
17 Tom Clute DEFENSE 6-1 190 Fr.
46 Kevin Coleman DEFENSE 6-2 185 Sr.
19 Josh Coveleski ATTACK 6-4 205 So.
22 Ned Crotty MIDFIELDER 6-1 180 Fr.
40 Matt Danowski ATTACK 6-0 190 Jr.
8 Ed Douglas MIDFIELDER 6-2 170 Sr.
15 Kyle Dowd MIDFIELDER 5-9 175 Sr.
6 David Evans DEFENSE 5-10 190 Sr.
13 Collin Finnerty ATTACK 6-3 175 So.
12 Dan Flannery ATTACK 5-11 190 Sr.
7 Gibbs Fogarty ATTACK 5-10 175 Fr.
25 Zack Greer ATTACK 6-2 185 So.
23 Erik Henkelman DEFENSE 5-10 175 Sr.
49 Jay Jennison DEFENSE 6-4 205 So.
26 Ben Koesterer MIDFIELDER 6-1 195 So.
11 Fred Krom MIDFIELDER 5-10 185 Jr.
1 Peter Lamade MIDFIELDER 5-9 180 Jr.
36 Adam Langley ATTACK 5-9 165 So.
2 Chris Loftus ATTACK 5-8 160 So.
4 Dan Loftus GOALIE 5-9 160 Jr.
34 Kevin Mayer DEFENSE 6-0 185 So.
44 Tony McDevitt DEFENSE 6-0 205 Jr.
41 Ryan McFadyen DEFENSE 6-6 225 So.
42 Glenn Nick DEFENSE 6-1 190 Sr.
77 Nick O'Hara DEFENSE 5-10 190 Jr.
28 Dan Oppedisano MIDFIELDER 5-11 195 Jr.
32 Sam Payton MIDFIELDER 5-11 185 Fr.
18 Brad Ross MIDFIELDER 6-0 190 So.
5 KJ Sauer MIDFIELDER 6-1 190 Sr.
20 Steve Schoeffel MIDFIELDER 5-8 165 Fr.
30 Rob Schroeder GOALIE 6-0 210 So.
45 Reade Seligmann MIDFIELDER 6-1 215 So.
50 Devon Sherwood* GOALIE 5-10 160 Fr.
47 Dan Theodoridis DEFENSE 6-1 205 Fr.
24 Bret Thompson MIDFIELDER 6-0 185 Sr.
3 Chris Tkac DEFENSE 6-0 185 Fr.
14 John Walsh MIDFIELDER 5-11 190 Jr.
9 Michael Ward MIDFIELDER 6-0 195 Jr.
48 Rob Wellington MIDFIELDER 6-3 200 So.
21 Matt Wilson MIDFIELDER 6-0 185 Jr.
43 William Wolcott DEFENSE 6-0 190 Sr.
27 Michael Young MIDFIELDER 6-0 180 So.
10 Matt Zash MIDFIELDER 5-11 190 Sr.

*Devon Sherwood is the only black player on the team.
Timeline of Events:

SATURDAY, MARCH 11: Duke Lacrosse Team (ranked #3) defeats Loyalo (#20), 9-7, in San Diego.
"This is a very good win for us," said Duke head coach Mike Pressler. "The weather conditions caused some poor footing tonight, but we battled through it. Now we look ahead to one of the most difficult weeks in Duke lacrosse history with North Carolina next Saturday followed by a Tuesday game with Cornell and then Georgetown the following Saturday."
Zash Guides No. 3 Duke Past No. 20 Loyola, 9-7 [laxpower.com]

MONDAY, MARCH 13: police say two dancers showed up at 610 North Buchanan Blvd. just before midnight.

TUESDAY, MARCH 14: at 12:53 a.m., police got a call from a woman who says she was passing by the house.

"Hi, I don't know if this is emergency or not necessarily, but I'm in Durham driving down near Duke's campus," the caller said.

Seconds into the call, the woman said she wasn't driving.

"It's right in front of 610 Buchanan St. and I saw them all come out like a big frat house and me and my black girlfriend were walking by and they called us n--------," the caller said.

Two minutes after the 911 call, police arrived to find an empty house.

911 Call, Timeline Raising Questions In Rape Investigation [wral.com, Mar. 31, 2006]

At 1:22 a.m. in the morning, there was another call:

"The problem is there's a lady in someone else's car and she won't get out," the caller said.

A security guard at a Kroger grocery store, on Hillsborough Road, says a woman named Kim pulled up and was worried about her friend. The guard said a woman in a car - the alleged victim - refused to exit the vehicle, which did not belong to her. The caller also said the woman seemed "intoxicated" or "drunk."

Police say the woman identified on the 911 call as Kim who drove the alleged victim to that Kroger was the second dancer at the house that night.

After the police arrived, she accused three lacrosse players, whom she identified by first names, of forcing her into a bathroom at the house and sexually assaulting her for 30 minutes. The woman said she and [Kim] had been hired to perform as exotic dancers for a party at the house.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 15: Duke begins looking into the incident less than 24 hours after it was reported, the university's president, Richard H. Brodhead, later said.

THURSDAY, MARCH 16: In an affidavit for a search warrant, Durham police investigator Benjamin W. Himan described the woman's account of rape, assault, kidnapping, robbery, strangulation and hate crimes. A magistrate approved the search warrant seeking DNA evidence, clothes, cameras, computers and other evidence in and around the house. After the search, three residents of the house, all lacrosse captains, were interviewed by the police and agreed to go to Duke University Medical Center to provide DNA samples.

In the search warrant (obtained by thesmokinggun.com) the accuser identifies her three attackers as "Adam, Bret, and Matt."

Duke Lacrosse Rape Case Search Warrent [thesmokinggun.com]

SATURDAY, MARCH 18: Duke defeated North Carolina, 11-8, at home.

TUESDAY, MARCH 21: Duke lost to third-ranked Cornell, 11-7, at home.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 22: A lawyer for some of the players canceled a planned meeting between players and investigators. The district attorney obtained a court order to compel DNA samples. The police reveal that in their search of the house, they seized four laptop computers, five cameras, a bath mat, a bath rug, five broken artificial fingernails, a bottle of K-Y jelly and cash.

THURSDAY, MARCH 23: Forty-six members of the team reported to the Durham police crime lab to provide DNA samples and be photographed. Some were also interviewed.

FRIDAY, MARCH 24: The players attended practice after a two-day break that the coach attributed to the emotional loss to Cornell. "All our focus is on trying to beat the Hoyas now," Pressler said of the Georgetown game.

SATURDAY, MARCH 25: Duke University Director of Athletics Joe Alleva announced on Saturday that the men’s lacrosse team will forfeit today’s contest against Georgetown as well as Tuesday’s scheduled game with Mount St. Mary’s.
"I am dismayed by the party on March 13 held by members of the men’s lacrosse team at an off campus residence," Alleva said. "The Durham Police’s investigation of the matter continues and we await its results.

"The players deny the criminal allegations. We understand that to date, no one has been charged with any crime. We continue to monitor the situation and will respond accordingly to further developments as the facts become known.

Alleva said the team's roster would be removed from the university Web site.

Duke Announces Forfeiture Of Men’s Lacrosse Games [Duke.edu, Mar. 25, 2006]

Duke President, Richard H. Brodhead, applauds decision by athletic director and urges cooperation with police investigation while noting need to establish facts

Statement by President Richard H. Brodhead on Duke Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 25, 2006]

Interview with accuser is published:
The accuser spoke Friday, struggling not to cry as she recounted the events of the early hours of March 14 at 610 N. Buchanan Blvd., next to Duke's East Campus...

The accuser had worked for an escort company for two months, doing one-on-one dates about three times a week.

"It wasn't the greatest job," she said, her voice trailing off. But with two children, and a full class load at N.C. Central University, it paid well and fit her schedule.
Dancer gives details of ordeal - with audio of 911 calls [NewsObserver.com, Mar. 25, 2006]

SUNDAY, MARCH 26: About 100 protesters banged pots and pans outside the house and about 60 marched to the home of the university's provost to call for more action to protect the community.

MONDAY, MARCH 27: The police searched a second home where two lacrosse players live.

TUESDAY, MARCH 28: Brodhead met with the captains of the team and he said they denied having sex with the dancer. Brodhead announced the suspension of the season until the case was resolved.

Brodhead: "It Is Not the Time to Be Playing Games" [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]
Duke Suspends Men's Lacrosse Games Pending Clearer Resolution of Legal Situation [Duke Press Release, Mar. 28, 2006]

The lacrosse captains issued a statement saying that DNA results would "demonstrate that these allegations are absolutely false."

Statement from Captains of Duke University Men’s Lacrosse Team [duke.edu, Mar. 28, 2006]

Michael B. Nifong, the Durham County district attorney, said in a television interview with Dan Abrams of MSNBC: "I am convinced that there was a rape."

Duke lacrosse team accused of gang rape [The Abrams Report, MSNBC, Mar. 28, 2006]

AP reports: 15 Duke lacrosse players had prior charges

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 29: Protesters taking part in a rally against sexual violence handed out fliers asking anyone with information about the incident to call the police. The lacrosse team resumed practice.

THURSDAY, MARCH 30:

Brodhead Letter to Undergraduate Parents [duke.edu]
Brodhead Letter to Alumni [duke.edu]

FRIDAY, MARCH 31: Knight Ridder reported-
The father of the woman who has accused members of the Duke lacrosse team of sexually assaulting her said he didn't find out that his daughter was the reported victim - and that she is an exotic dancer - until a reporter visited his house.

The retired trucker who lives in Durham said he saw his daughter the day after the reported attack, but she didn't say anything was wrong. She even left her car at the house for several days because he said she didn't want to drive it...
Father learned daughter connected to Duke case from media reports [mercurynews.com, Mar. 31, 2006]

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Littlejohn indicted in St. Guillen murder

updated: March 24, 2006

Darry Littlejohn indicted for murder of Imette Saint Guillen Finally, the news everyone has been waiting for. The Boston Herald:

NEW YORK -- Darryl Littlejohn, the Manhattan bouncer whose DNA allegedly was found on plastic straps used to bind Imette St. Guillen's wrists, was indicted today on charges of murdering the Boston native.

Littlejohn, 41, will be arrested at Riker's Island tonight where he is being held on probation violations, sources tell the Herald today.

He will then be booked and fingerprinted at the 75th Precinct in Brooklyn, not far from the deserted area where St. Guillen's body was found Feb. 25.

St. Guillen's family is en route to New York City to be present at tomorrow's arraignment of Littlejohn. New York City Police Commissioner Ray Kelly is also expected to hold a press conference tomorrow.

Littlejohn was charged with first-degree murder involving sexual abuse. The two counts of second-degree murder he was charged with would allow for a conviction if it's determined the crime was not premeditated.

Brooklyn District Attorney Charles J. Hynes announced the indictment at a news conference.

Despite all the media furor the case has ignited and the lurid headlines, defense attorney Kevin O'Donnell of Kew Gardens said he won't try to move the trial out of Brooklyn (Kings County).

Immediately after the arraignment, Saint-Guillen's sister, Alejandra, her voice trembling with emotion, read a statement as her mother, Maureen, stood beside her.

"Imette was a good person, a kind person. Her heart was full of love - a love she willingly shared with her friends and family. She had a passion for life and a thirst for seeing the world and learning new things," said Alejandra. "New York was Imette's home. She loved the city and its people, and you have honored her memory with your outpouring of love and support for her and our family."

The family also clarified that Imette's last name is correctly spelled as "Saint-Guillen."

Forensic evidence, according to NYPD, linking Darryl Littlejohn to Imette Saint-Guillen's murderer:
DNA: His blood was found on white ties used to bind Saint-Guillen. The same ties - typically used to bind electrical wiring - were recovered from Littlejohn's home in South Jamaica.

CLOTHES: Brown mink hair and blue rabbit hair from two jackets found in Littlejohn's South Jamaica home were found in Littlejohn's Ford Windstar van. The hairs were also found on the packaging tape wrapped around Saint-Guillen's head and on the floral quilted bedspread wrapped around her body.

CARPET FIBERS
: Fibers from Littlejohn's home were also found in the Windstar, on the packaging tape wrapped around Saint-Guillen's head and on the bedspread.

Finally, questions remain about the status of the rape charge and of a possible accomplice.

The Gothamist:
On a CBS interview last night Littlejohn emphasized his innocence, saying that he had escorted St. Guillen from the Falls because it was closing time. He did not say what happened after that, but said that the police had focused on him because of his past. "I'm a likely suspect because I have a criminal background and I wasn't supposed to be there working." His lawyer has said that at today's afternoon arraignment, he'll plead not-guilty.

So far the strength of the case tying Littlejohn to St. Guillen's gruesome final moments, at least as it has been revealed to the public, is sketchy. Though the press online and off, ourselves included, have been more than happy to fill in the details all that the police have actually said publicly is that Mr. LIttlejohn "is the last person known to have seen Ms. St. Guillen alive, and that his DNA matches DNA found on plastic ties used to bind her." Besides being charged with first-degree murder Littlejohn has also been charged with second-degree murder, "to allow the jury that eventually hears his case to convict him of killing the John Jay College honors student even if it finds the murder was not premeditated." He is not being charged with rape as the City's forensic evidence couldn't pin any of it to him.

Bouncer charged in student's slaying [CNN, Mar. 22, 2006]
Grand Jury Indicts Bouncer in Student's Savage Killing [NY Times, Mar. 22, 2006]
Forensics the key, DA says [Newsday, Mar. 24, 2006]

Monday, March 20, 2006

Hanging out with Darryl Littlejohn

updated: March 21, 2006

Imette St. Guillen The Falls bar Darryl Littlejohn

Chris Faherty is an Irish bartender who works at The Falls Bar. Chris was working the night that Imette St. Guillen, the 24-year old graduate student, was last seen alive at The Falls. Chris wrote a story for New York Magazine describing what it was like working with Darryl Littlejohn the ex-con bouncer and suspected murderer of Imette St. Guillen.

I met Darryl Littlejohn three months ago, when he was hired as a doorman. But I didn’t know him by that name; I knew him only as “B.” I was outside grabbing a quick smoke, sparking up some conversation with Kwan, our regular bouncer, who introduced us. I asked the obvious question: What does B stand for?

“Brother,” Kwan replied, smiling. “He’s my brother.” Kwan was six-four and built; B was five-seven but broad-shouldered, with a back that engulfed his body like a turtle’s shell. He wore clear-lensed wraparound glasses and military garb, which added to his intimidating presence. Obviously not related by blood, they claimed to be partners: federal marshals who hunted fugitives by day and moonlighted together at night. The two of them would stroll into work sporting what we all thought were their clothes from the day job: fatigues tucked into combat boots, bulletproof vests, handcuffs dangling from their belts, and U.S. marshal caps and T-shirts. They even had shiny gold badges.

When it was slow, I would hang out with Kwan and B while they checked I.D.’s. Kwan, unlike his quiet partner, had the gift of gab. He would wax poetic about their exploits. Prisoner transports were probably my favorites, but I also enjoyed the occasional house-raid story. There was a great one involving guns ablaze at a bust in the Midwest.

I was the fun Irish bartender who made them laugh with my corny jokes and wet their whistles at the end of the night with snifters of Hennessy. If anyone ever bothered me, B and Kwan were my protection. And I wasn’t the only one who bought their act. Tim, the other bouncer, hated to work with cops; and the manager, Danny Dorrian, truly believed that since B and Kwan were the law, their presence made the Falls a safer place...

I was conned, we all were, by Kwan—who never came back from his vacation—and his "brother," Darryl Littlejohn."

UPDATE:
So with this story from Chris Faherty the identities of four of the five people who were last with Imette St. Guillen at The Falls bar on Saturday, Feb. 25th are now known:
  • Darryl Littlejohn - ex-con bouncer and so-to-be indicted murder suspect

  • "Little" Danny "boy" Dorrian - co-owner & weasel-in-charge

  • Tim Catella - ex-con tough guy bouncer

  • Chris Faherty - clueless Irish bartender

  • Still Unknown - 2nd bartender

  • This is based on the most accurate and detailed account of events at The Falls bar so far, as detailed by the Boston Herald:
    Following is what witnesses told police happened to St. Guillen after closing time at The Falls, official sources tell the Herald:

    At 4:05 a.m., Falls co-owner and bar manager Dan Dorrian, two of his bartenders and two bouncers were at the bar. St. Guillen, nursing a rum and Coke, was the only customer left. Dorrian asked her to finish her drink and leave. When she lingered he tried to take the drink away. She became argumentative, and Dorrian asked bouncer Darryl Littlejohn of Queens to escort her from the premises.

    Littlejohn and the other bouncer took her outside. The two bartenders left in a cab headed uptown. The other bouncer took a cab to the Staten Island ferry. Littlejohn was still outside the bar with St. Guillen, the other bouncer said. Dorrian told police that shortly afterward, from inside the bar, he heard what he believes to have been an “argument” and perhaps a commotion between Littlejohn, 41, and St. Guillen, 24.
    So only the identity of the second bartender who left with Chris Faherty is not known. Faherty did say police interviewed him with "Tim and Andy," so perhaps one of them is the 2nd bartender.

    It will be interesting to see if the bouncer known as Kwan turns up again in this investigation. Faherty said Kwan referred to Littlejohn has his "brother." The fact Kwan did not show up back at his job at the Falls suggests he had something to hide.

    Everyone involved in this case is just waiting for the grand jury indictment to come down. Some reports were saying it would happen today (now Tuesday).

    Indictment Could Come Today For Darryl Littlejohn [NY1.com, Mar. 21, 2006]

    Some more coverage of the weaselly and politically well connected Dorrian clan courtesy The Village Voice:
    "The Dorrian family hired a career criminal for a bouncer. Why?" demanded one of the neon-green signs demonstrators waved for the cameras. Another took a shot at Michael Dorrian's younger brother, who was managing the bar the night St. Guillen was killed.

    "Daniel Dorrian, why did you lie to police? What are you hiding?" the sign demanded. According to news reports, Daniel first told police he hadn't seen St. Guillen that night, then claimed she'd left the bar alone. Police sources quoted in the press said Daniel waited nearly a week before telling detectives he'd ordered Littlejohn to escort St. Guillen out the bar's side entrance just after closing time. He reportedly heard arguing outside, then a muffled scream.

    "Anyone who would stonewall police has a lot to answer to and certainly does not deserve a liquor license," Sean Sweeney of the Soho Alliance told the news crews, before launching into a tirade about the proliferation of rowdy and irresponsible bars in his district.

    Inside the Falls, about 20 regulars and family faithful did their best to ignore the fracas, tipping back pints and watching basketball on the widescreen TV as generic '80s rock thumped from the speakers. Michael Dorrian huddled at the end of the long wooden bar with a group of male friends who were joking with him and slapping him on the back, as if keeping their chins up could dispel the ignominy of this crime and the mounting demands to shutter the bar.

    "I can't say anything about anything," Michael responded with an exasperated shrug, his face flushed, when asked about the public crucifixion of his family's bar dynasty.
    Flunking a Bar Exam [Village Voice, Mar. 21, 2006]

    Regarding Imette's Law:
    The backlash against this gruesome crime has prompted calls for an "Imette's Law" requiring bars to install video cameras, along with a City Council bill to allow cops to moonlight as bouncers again. A separate online campaign, imettelaws.com, seeks mandatory licensing and background checks for New York bouncers.

    Saturday, March 18, 2006

    St. Guillen Murder Case: 2nd Bouncer Key Witness

    updated: March 19, 2006

    Imette St. Guillen Tim Catella - 2nd bouncer at The Falls bar, key witness against Littlejohn Darryl Littlejohn

    Tim Catella is a bouncer with a checkered past. He was working with Darryl Littlejohn at The Falls bar the morning of Feb. 25th when Imette St. Guillen was escorted out of the bar by Littlejohn. CBS-TV reports that he is a key prosecution witness:

    what makes Catella crucial to the case is that he said that Littlejohn was the only person who led the victim out of the bar.

    CBS 2 Investigates confirmed that like Littlejohn, Catella was working at the Falls Bar even though he has a criminal past.

    Catella was arrested and charged in April 2001 with two counts of assault and criminal possession of a weapon.

    Sources said that Catella beat a man with a bat and a flashlight. In a plea deal, one of those charges was dropped, and he was placed on three years probation.

    By law, both Littlejohn and Catella are required to be licensed to work as bouncers, while Littlejohn never had a license, at one time Catella did, but it expired in 1997.

    The Falls bar - 218 Lafayette St., NYC

    Remember last month Darryl Littlejohn told NY Daily News reporter Veronika Belenkaya that he felt close to the people he worked with at The Falls bar. He said: "we're like a family."

    Yes, real close like a "crime family." Just like a good foot soldier Catella kept his mouth shut until it was in his own interest to talk. The Dorrian family as ring leaders. Jack Dorrian as paternal godfather.

    BostonChannel.com - Indictment May Be Near In St. Guillen Case:
    A grand jury in New York may be getting ready to hand up an indictment in the slaying of Boston native Imette St. Guillen...

    The panel of 23 men and women has been hearing evidence against Darryl Littlejohn over the past few days. If an indictment is handed up, it will not be unsealed until the district attorney returns from vacation.


    NY Daily News - Forensic whiz is on Imette case:
    Retired NYPD criminologist Nicholas Petraco, 58, has been probing hairs and fibers linked to the brutal rape and murder of Imette St. Guillen since her battered corpse was found in Brooklyn on Feb. 25.

    [Petraco] is a nationally recognized forensic expert whose work could prove integral to prosecutor Ken Taub's case against Littlejohn.

    A co-author of several books on crime scene investigations who has testified in high-profile cases, Petraco helped cops remove evidence from The Falls a few days after St. Guillen's murder...

    ‘Shut The Falls,’ protesters say after murder [Downtown Express]
    Time to shut off The Falls [The Villager]

    UPDATE:

    Michael Dorrian The New York Post reported -BRUISERS & BOOZERS AT CLAN'S WILD PUBS:

    Bouncers at Dorrian family bars have roughed up customers - with co-owner Michael Dorrian getting into the act once by breaking a patron's ribs, The Post has learned.

    In three recent lawsuits, three men and a woman say they were abused by staff at two Manhattan bars owned by the Dorrian family, which runs The Falls.




    Some more Dorrian history, from The New York Times, Nov. 25, 1987 - License Is Suspended At Dorrian's Red Hand:
    The New York State Liquor Authority voted yesterday to suspend the liquor license of an Upper East Side bar, Dorrian's Red Hand Restaurant, for 10 days and fine its owner $1,000 for serving alcohol to minors.

    The bar, at 300 East 84th Street, was the focus of wide publicity in August 1986 as the place where Jennifer Levin, a teen-ager, spent time with Robert Chambers Jr. hours before she was killed in Central Park. Mr. Chambers has been charged in the death.

    The Liquor Authority's five commissioners unanimously found that Dorrian's had served liquor to two people under 21 in November 1986, an agency spokesman, Richard Chernella, said.

    The bar's owner, Jack Dorrian, denied the charge and said he would appeal the decision to the State Supreme Court. He suggested he had been persecuted because he had used his $650,000 East Side townhouse to secure $150,000 bail for Mr. Chambers.

    Tuesday, March 14, 2006

    Darryl Littlejohn - St. Guillen Murder Case - Fallout

    updated: 4:00 p.m.

    Imette St. Guillen - Darryl LittlejohnReports are that witness testimony, evidence and DNA test results in the Imette St. Guillen murder investigation are being presented today to a grand jury in Brooklyn, New York. Prosecutors will be seeking a first-degree murder indictment against Darryl Littlejohn.

    But the aftermath of the Imette St. Guillen murder will reverberate through New York and the criminal justice system for a long time.

    Will the St. Guillen case have a lasting influence on how police conduct a murder or violent crime investigation? Prior to this case it doesn't seem like there was a hard and fast rule regarding when police investigators should label an individual a "prime" or lead suspect.

    The St. Guillen case sets the precedent that a "person of interest" does not become a suspect until they are linked to the crime by forensic or DNA evidence.

    This is a safe, conservative and straightforward rule from the view point of police and prosecutors. It's a rule that allows the police to deflect a great deal of media and public questioning regarding a high profile case or any case for that matter. When asked about "suspects" -- Police departments can now always say: "we have no formal suspects until we have a confirmed forensic (DNA) link."

    How can a reporter or concerned citizen get around this statement and get the police to formally call anyone a suspect if they don't have the DNA? Unless of course the perpetrator is caught red handed.

    Prior to Sunday's announcement by NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly that Littlejohn was linked to the St. Guillen murder by blood there was a very large body of circumstantial evidence against Littlejohn. Based on this mounting list of circumstantial evidence many mainstream media outlets like the NY Post and blogs (including this one) were calling Darryl Littlejohn the "prime suspect."

    But NYPD held fast and did not call Littlejohn a suspect. Informally, yes, New York detectives were making "off the record" comments to reporters that Littlejohn "is a suspect, our only one" or "he looks good to us," etc. But, there was no formal department statement the Littlejohn was a suspect. Perhaps the fact that Littlejohn was in lockdown for 90 days on a parole violation helped take some pressure off them. But, even if a "person of interest" is walking around police certainly can keep an eye on them.

    This simply policy would seem easy enough for all police departments to quickly adopt. Let's see what happens.

    The discussion of what qualifies an individual to be a "person of interest" will have to be researched and saved for another day.

    Three failures led to Imette St. Guillen's murder

    Imette St. Guillen was delivered into the arms of her suspected murderer, Darryl Littlejohn, because of three failures:


    • The Falls bar did not perform a mandatory background check on Darryl Littlejohn. They did not even verify his resume and his bona fides. He claimed to be a former federal marshall. New York State law requires anyone functioning a security guard (bouncer) to be registered, to take a three-day security course and be fingerprinted and checked out by the police and through FBI fingerprint records. The New York Times - Buttoned-Up Bouncers on Defensive:
      Since the mid-90's all security personnel working in the state are required to carry a state registration card demonstrating that they have completed at least 24 hours of training. This includes ethics, self-defense, crowd control and evacuation procedures, several security guards said. Licensed guards undergo a background check intended to screen out felons, and each must submit fingerprints, which the state keeps on file.

    • The New York State Parole system did not closely supervise Littlejohn and monitor his required (9 p.m.-7 a.m.) curfew. The New York Times - Bouncer Is Held on a Parole Violation:
      Mr. Littlejohn's parole officer did not know he was working at the bar and believed he was working at a mortgage lending company, according to a spokeswoman for the State Division of Parole.

    • The Federal parole system lost track of Littlejohn. The Boston Herald - Feds flubbed in tracking felon:
      Federal probation officials admitted yesterday they failed to monitor even a single day of the post-prison wanderings of a career felon suspected in a Boston woman’s sex murder and a string of sadistic rapes in New York...

      The stunning lapse in federal supervision occurred despite explicit sentencing instructions that Littlejohn was to be watched by federal officers until at least 2007.


    Weaselly Excuses

    Each one of these organizations has quickly scurried to make excuses:

    • The Falls bar is trying to spin the lapse in Littlejohn's security check by simply saying that he had nothing to do with security. He did not work security "in the bar" but was merely a "doorman" who stood at the door and checked ID cards.

      Steve Dunleavy of the New York Post talked to the chief weasel, Jack Dorrian:
      "First of all, that little girl wasn't drunk - and all that does is hurt her family.

      "Second, she wasn't thrown out of the bar. It was closing time and everyone was asked to leave.

      "Third, my son Danny was not bartending and he didn't ask anyone to escort her out.

      "Fourth, this guy Littlejohn, he was not a bouncer. He was one of two doormen working outside the bar to check ages and IDs of drinkers. Bouncers work inside a bar in case of trouble. My son Danny couldn't even see this guy Littlejohn. Danny was inside, Littlejohn was outside.

      "Fifth, Littlejohn was hired on a part-time basis. He passed himself off as a former U.S. marshal complete with his U.S. marshal's cap and identification hanging from his neck.

      "Forged? Looks like it might have been."

      Nice try you co-conspirator weasels - most concerned citizens are looking forward to your day in court. Dorrian, hopefully the family of "that little girl" takes you for every penny you're worth.

    • The New York Parole system is claiming their officers are overworked (average 100 cases) and that they were checking Littlejohn as closely as possible given their situation.

    • The Feds are claiming a clerical error another report said it was a fired file clerk, who lost paperwork. cbs4Boston.com:
      Federal probation officials in New York tell CBS4 they did not even know Darryl Littlejohn was out of prison.

      The chief probation officer tells CBS4, "We have 3,800 offenders in the federal probation system, we can't follow them all."

      The Boston Hereald:
      "This has never happened before in a case like this," said Tony Garoppolo, federal chief of probation for the Eastern District of New York. "We didn’t know we had supervison because of a (clerical) error in the system."


    More details about the case:

    CBS4Boston.com - St. Guillen Investigation Put Before Grand Jury:
    Witness testimony, evidence and DNA test results in the Imette St. Guillen murder investigation will be presented to a Grand Jury in Brooklyn, New York Tuesday. Police hope it leads to an indictment of their prime suspect Darryl Littlejohn.

    MSNBC analyst & former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt does a complete summary of the overwhelming circumstantial and DNA evidence against Littlejohn:

    "Real" CSI may have solved Imette's murder [MSNBC, Mar. 14, 2006]


    Dan DorrianThe Falls bar and Dan Dorrian played the major role in delivering Imette St. Guillen into the arms of her suspected killer. Van Zandt also zeros in on the coverup by the The Falls bar management and owners. Specifically, Dan Dorrian:
    This investigation was challenged from the start by the alleged misstatements of the manager of The Falls. This manager apparently waited five long, critical days before finally "fessing up" to the truth that he had asked Littlejohn to remove St. Guillen from the bar at closing time.

    Everyone including New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is upset with The Falls bar owners and management. The mayor said:

    "If the bar managers did something wrong, they'll be prosecuted"

    The Boston Globe - Bar still central to NYC slaying probe:

    A high-ranking police official said police are investigating The Falls as they continue to build their case against Darryl Littlejohn...

    Police have asked officials at the State Liquor Authority to temporarily suspend their investigation of The Falls until the St. Guillen case has been closed, said William Crowley, a spokesman for the authority.

    The Falls faces potential revocation of its liquor license for hiring Littlejohn, who violated his parole-imposed curfew of 9 p.m. to 7 a.m by working there as a bouncer, Crowley said.

    The NY Daily News - Going for first degree:
    Prosecutors are gearing up to seek a first-degree murder indictment against the ex-con bouncer whose DNA has been tied to the brutal rape and slaying of a graduate student, sources said yesterday.

    Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes is expected to ask a grand jury to indict Darryl Littlejohn in the murder of Imette St. Guillen, 24. Hynes has assigned his homicide bureau chief, Kenneth Taub, to the case.

    NY1.com - Grad Student Slaying Inspires New Bill:
    The bill called "Imette's Law" calls for every business with a state liquor license to install security cameras at all entrances and exits of their buildings. St. Guillen's former boyfriend, also a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice, proposed the idea to Assemblyman Felix Ortiz who sponsored the legislation.


    Prosecutors Expect Indictment Soon In Coed Murder [TV-10, Mar. 14, 2006]

    Sunday, March 12, 2006

    Darryl Littlejohn to be indicted for murder of Imette St. Guillen

    Update: March 23, 2006, Littlejohn indicted in St. Guillen murder

    Darryl Littlejohn
    Darryl Littlejohn (alias Jonathan Blaze).

    Darryl Littlejohn and sketch of rapist/kidnapper

    Good News. News services are all reporting about the NYPD 3 p.m. press conference where Commissioner Kelly said Darry Littlejohn will be indicted for the murder of Imette St. Guillen. AP reported:


    DNA evidence found on the plastic ties that were used to bind strangled student Imette St. Guillen has been matched to prime suspect Darryl Littlejohn, police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Sunday.

    The New York Police Department commissioner said authorities would be taking that match and other evidence to a grand jury to get an indictment against Littlejohn for the murder of the graduate student last month. He didn't give a date for when the grand jury would get the case.

    Littlejohn, in custody at a Rikers Island jail on a parole violation, had not been arrested in connection with St. Guillen's death as of Sunday afternoon.

    Kelly said the plastic ties were used to bind St. Guillen's hands behind her back. He wouldn't comment on how blood got onto the restraints but said, "It is a very important piece of evidence for us."

    The indictment will be sought with a Brooklyn grand jury. A Fox News analyst said don't be surprised if there are more twists and turns in this case. There is still the open issue of a possible accomplice. From Boston comes this:

    According to The Boston Globe, New York City authorities went door-to-door in the neighborhood of chief suspect -- Darryl Littlejohn -- showing residents pictures of several women and asking to interview young men.

    Officials confirmed there is evidence pointing to someone else being involved. However, they would not comment on how the women in the photos were connected.

    NYPD Searches For Possible 2nd Suspect In Murder [CBS Boston, Mar. 12, 2005]


    Links to Other Cases


    In addition, Kelly said, other evidence now links Littlejohn to past sexual assaults — rapes and attempted rapes — that help establish a pattern of sexual violence. In those cases, women were bound and washed or swabbed clean by an assailant. St. Guillen's case bears several similarities.

    ABC News has learned the evidence includes a DNA match to Littlejohn on the handcuffs used to bind a victim in an alleged attempted rape. Two victims of those assaults failed to identify Littlejohn as their assailant in police lineups held last week.
    [the victims reportedly said he was too short]

    There are ways for a short man to make himself appear taller. The Daily News:
    [people in Littlejohn's neighborhood] knew he was a self-styled police buff, dressing in fatigues or black SWAT team-type uniforms, tucking his trousers neatly into black combat boots, sometimes wearing paraphernalia that identified him as a federal agent or U.S. marshal.

    Littlejohn was probably not wearing combat boots in the two rape lineups. Combat boots can add 3 inches to a person's height and would make the 5'7" Littlejohn appear to be 5'10" and add a hat to that and he could make himself look 5'11".

    Regarding Littlejohn posing as a fugitive recovery agent and wearing a uniform the NY Post reported:
    In a new development, sources say Littlejohn worked for a bail-enforcement company in Passaic, N.J., and believe he could have gotten a bulletproof vest, badge and clothing there.



    NYPD commissioner Ray Kelly at Sunday press conference
    The NYPD must have been feeling some serious media and public pressure about their handling of this case to have the commissioner himself conduct the press conference on a Sunday afternoon.

    Is the Imette St. Guillen murder case a watershed event regarding DNA testing in criminal cases?
    Does it now mean that without the DNA link police will never call someone a prime or lead suspect in a homicide or rape investigation? Police departments across the country surely have taken note of how the NYPD handled this case. Is this the new textbook example of how to run a murder investigation? Does it mean there are now just "person's of interest" and suspects only emerge after DNA links them to the crime?

    The conflict in the ongoing rape investigations between a witness viewing a police lineup and the DNA evidence again underscores how fallible eyewitnesses are.

    The St. Guillen Standard: Imette's struggle for life will not be forgotten.

    Imette St. Guillen drew blood from her murderer. Blood that must now certainly convict Darryl Littlejohn of her murder. Will Imette St. Guillen, a criminal justice graduate student at John Jay College now have her name forever connected to a high standard of DNA proof that is required in violent criminal cases? Is the "St. Guillen Standard" of a positive DNA link to a violent crime now needed before a case is presented to a grand jury with a guarantee of an indictment being returned. Therefore the "Imette Standard" or "St. Guillen Standard" will be the bar that all future criminal investigators strive to reach. What would Imette have thought about this?

    Imette St. Guillen


    links:
    N.Y. police ID '‘prime suspect' in student death [msnbc.com, Mar. 12, 2006]
    DNA Links Littlejohn To Murder Of St. Guillen [cbs-tv, Mar. 12, 2006]

    Saturday, March 11, 2006

    Littlejohn: "Don't worry, I'll take you home"

    updated: Mar. 12, 2006, 8:30 p.m.

    click to enlarge - where the new witness, Mr. Cruz, claims to have been
    Miguel Angel Cruz - new witnessHere we go again. Every day brings a new version of what happened after 4:00 a.m. at the Falls bar in SoHo on Feb. 25th. It's not hard to imagine one more. That Saturday morning is the last time Imette St. Guillen the 24-year old graduate student was seen alive. The NY Post has found a homeless man who claims to have seen the bar's bouncer Darryl Littlejohn giving a ride to Ms. St. Guillen that morning:

    "Don't worry, I'll take you home."

    Those are the chilling words allegedly uttered by the ex-con suspect in Imette St. Guillen's murder before he loaded her into a van the morning she disappeared, according to a "very, very good" witness who has come forward to police.

    Miguel Angel Cruz - a 47-year-old homeless man who was sleeping in a park across the street from The Falls in SoHo - told police he saw suspect Darryl Littlejohn, 41, drive a blue van up to the bar, go inside and then lead the grad-school beauty out and into the vehicle.

    "He was saying, 'Don't worry, I'll take you home.' He put her in the van in the front seat and they left," Cruz said. "She left like he was giving her a ride."

    Cruz was first found by a Post reporter, who put him in contact with detectives who then interviewed him and deemed his story to be highly credible.

    The fact that Cruz told detectives about distinctive jewelry that Imette was wearing - a detail that investigators have not revealed publicly makes him credible.

    The St. Guillen murder case has become a jigsaw puzzle of clues, conflicting witness accounts, substantial circumstantial evidence, and so far, most importantly - missing DNA evidence. If this case happened ten years ago Darryl Littlejohn would probably be charged with murdering St. Guillen by now. But the "CSI effect" has created a situation where juries want the DNA evidence in order to convict someone of a violent crime like rape or murder.

    [Programs like CSI foster the] mistaken notion that criminal science is fast and infallible and always gets its man. That's affecting the way lawyers prepare their cases, as well as the expectations that police and the public place on real crime labs. Real crime-scene investigators say that because of the programs, people often have unrealistic ideas of what criminal science can deliver.

    Prosecutors also have complaints: They say the shows can make it more difficult for them to win convictions in the large majority of cases in which scientific evidence is irrelevant or absent.

    "The lesson that both sides can agree on is, what's on TV does seep into the minds of jurors," says Paul Walsh, chief prosecutor in New Bedford, Mass., and president of the National District Attorneys Association. "Jurors are going to have information, or what they think is information, in mind. That's the new state of affairs."

    Lawyers and judges say the CSI effect has become a phenomenon in courthouses across the nation:

    That's clearly what is happening in this high profile case. Savvy criminals know about DNA and criminal science. Police now suspect that some of Ms. Guillen's hair was cut off because the murderer was worried about leaving fingerprints on some packing tape. Police found alcohol swabs in Mr. Littlejohn's house. The rape cases where Littlejohn was a person of interest shared an m.o.-
    The attacker made great efforts to destroy physical evidence by taking his victims' clothes, forcing them to shower or clean up with alcohol wipes and gargle with mouthwash.

    Littlejohn was not ID'd in two separate six-person lineups for the rape cases. But the point is that criminals certainly understand the "CSI effect" regarding DNA and they have changed their criminal behavior accordingly.

    Juries want their job made easy. Serve up a defendant on a silver platter of DNA evidence and they'll convict him. But, don't bring the silver platter of DNA evidence in a high profile case and "if the DNA don't 'fit' the jury might acquit."

    Using circumstanial evidence does not necessarily mean that a case is weak! Here's the lawyer's favorite anecdote to illustrate the definition of circumstantial evidence:

    Just before going to bed on a cold winter's night, you look out of your window. You see that there is no snow on the ground outside. Upon waking up the next morning, you notice that the ground outside is covered by 4 to 6 inches of snow. You did not actually see any snow falling. However, you can reasonably infer, from what you have observed, that it did, in fact, snow while you were sleeping.

    You observed two facts: First, there was no snow on the ground outside before you fell asleep. Second, there was 4 to 6 inches of snow on the ground outside when you awoke that morning. These facts afford a basis for a reasonable inference that there was snowfall overnight while you were sleeping.

    It is not simply possible that it had snowed. It is, indeed, very probable that it had snowed, to say the least.

    Many points are proven in courts of law through such circumstantial evidence.

    Darryl Littlejohn is covered in deep pile of circumstantial snow.

    UPDATE:

    Some additional issues regarding this new witness, Mr. Curz, and the events he reported the night Darryl Littlejohn drove away from The Falls bar with Ms. St. Guillen. The NY Post story reported:

    The van then pulled out, going south on Lafayette Street and turning left onto Canal Street, he [Mr. Cruz] said.

    Layfayette is a one-way street headed south. It is four blocks down to Canal Street. It seems possible on this empty street at around 4:05 a.m. that someone watching a vehicle's tail lights could see that far. The three cross-streets before Canal are all one-way: Broome St. goes west (right), Grand St. goes east (left), and Howard St. goes west.

    Littlejohn's reported route after leaving The Falls
    Turning left onto Canal Street points Mr. Littlejohn's van directly toward the Manhattan Bridge and Brooklyn. Also, going east on Canal St. takes a vehicle through Chinatown on it's way to the Manhattan Bridge. Ms. St. Guillen's home is on Manhattan's upper West Side. There is no logical reason a driver goes down to Canal Street and turns left (east) if they're headed toward the upper West Side.

    Additionally, the Manhattan Bridge is not as direct a route to Mr. Littlejohn's house (153-26 121st Ave.) in Queens as the Williamsburg Bridge. It's 4:05 a.m. in the morning so there should be no traffic problems on any route east from The Falls to Mr. Littlejohn's house in Queens.

    If Mr. Cruz's statement is correct and Littlejohn did "turn left" on Canal Street toward the Manhattan Bridge. That would seem to open up a large new vein of security camera's that might help police. Canal Street between Layfayette and the Manhattan Bridge must have dozens of security cameras in the numerous banks, jewelry stores, and other commercial establishments along the way. Is it possible that one of them caught a picture of Mr. Littlejohn's van?

    Canal St. entrance to Manhattan Bridge
    Also there is the question about security cameras at the Manhattan Bridge itself helping the investigation. All New York City Bridges and Tunnels are reportedly monitored by close circuit TV. Do Manhattan Bridge secuity tapes of the night in question exist? Have they been examined?

    Reportedly the lower roadway level of the Manhattan Bridge is closed for major renovations until April 2008. So only the upper level has traffic.

    What makes this security camera question more difficult to answer is the week's delay by the The Falls bartender, Danny Dorrian, in coming forward. Often security tapes are only kept for a week or two and then recycled. All the evidence that might have been there might now be gone. Time is critical in any investigation.

    Finally, why didn't the NYPD locate Mr. Cruz? They are using lots of people on this case. Why does the NY Post find this key witness? Where are the cops on beat? Don't they know where homeless people are bedding down and who some of them are? How many times has the "homeless person as witness" angle been used on New York City cop TV shows? Has the "CSI Effect" blinded cops to old fashioned police work? We know the NYPD crime scene investigators are tearing the pipes out of Littlejohn's house, but what about the old fashioned canvassing for witnesses part of criminal investigations. Oh yeah and what about the bridge cams? Based on their track record so far you can't assume NYPD is covering all the bases in this case.

    2nd UPDATE: Cops find a homeless women who was in the park with Mr. Cruz who confirms his story. The New York Daily News - 2nd witness links Imette to van:

    Both Cruz and a homeless woman, Lorraine House, 50, were in a small park about 25 to 30 yards away from where St. Guillen apparently got into a van after leaving The Falls bar on Lafayette St.

    House told the Daily News on Wednesday that she saw a man who looked like Littlejohn get out of a van, walk into the pub and return with a woman fitting St. Guillen's description.

    "She was staggering a little bit and he was holding her from behind, by the elbows," House said.

    Links:
    Darryl Littlejohn to be indicted for murder of Imette St. Guillen [TJN, Mar. 12. 2006]
    Darryl Littlejohn: Murder & Now Serial Rapist Suspect [TJN, Mar. 8, 2006]
    NYPD builds case against Darryl Littlejohn for St. Guillen murder [TJN, Mar. 7, 2006]
    Ex-con bouncer, Darryl Littlejohn, prime suspect in Imette St. Guillen Murder [TJN, Mar.6, 2006]
    Imette St. Guillen - Where was she grabbed? Was it the bouncer? [TJN, Mar. 5, 2006]
    Imette St. Guillen - Brutal NYC Student Rape, Murder Mystery [TJN, Mar. 1, 2006]

    Wednesday, March 8, 2006

    Darryl Littlejohn: Murder & Now Serial Rapist Suspect

    ---
    Darryl Littlejohn: murder and now serial rapist suspectDarryl Littlejohn (alias Jonathan Blaze).

    Darryl Littlejohn - March 2006
    Another day another change in the story of what exactly happened at The Falls bar at its 4:00 a.m. closing time on Saturday, February 25, 2006. That was the last time New York City graduate student Imette St. Guillen was seen alive. Yesterday's NY Post Story - IMETTE'S LAST CALL A SCREAM, said it was Michael J. Dorrian who had ordered Mr. Littlejohn the bar's bouncer to toss Imette St. Guillen from The Falls.

    Today that story was corrected to say it was Danny Dorrian, a bartender - and not the co-owner, his brother, Michael J. Dorrian who had ordered Ms. St. Guillen tossed.

    Sources say Danny Dorrian told cops he then heard an argument and a muffled scream. Today's NY Post said this about Danny Dorrian's lying and the legal consequences:
    When questioned by The Post last week, Danny Dorrian, 33, referred to himself as a "lowly day manager" - and said he wasn't even working the morning St. Guillen disappeared.

    Under the law, a person is under no obligation to tell cops what he knows, legal experts said. However, if it can be proven that the person knowingly gave false information to police, it's possible they could face obstruction of justice charges.

    Cops are working on a theory that Littlejohn went with St. Guillen and either raped or tried to sexually assault her, then panicked and killed her when she fought back.
    How can Danny Dorrian's deception not be considered obstruction of justice? Was he withholding information in order to protect himself and his family's bar from legal action? Did he know Littlejohn was an ex-con? Were they friends? What were his motives to protect Littlejohn? Lots of unanswered questions.

    Littlejohn told reporter Veronika Belenkaya of the NY Daily News that he felt close to the people he worked with at The Falls. He said: "We're like a family."

    If the criminal courts don't take Danny boy down then the civil courts surely will. Hopefully, Danny Dorrian's legal problems have just begun. Danny Dorrian was not answering calls from reporters yesterday.

    Today's Boston Herald story - "Tracing victim’s final moments" is the most detailed account of Ms. St. Guillen's final minutes at The Falls bar so far:
    Following is what witnesses told police happened to St. Guillen after closing time at The Falls, official sources tell the Herald:

    At 4:05 a.m., Falls co-owner and bar manager Dan Dorrian, two of his bartenders and two bouncers were at the bar. St. Guillen, nursing a rum and Coke, was the only customer left. Dorrian asked her to finish her drink and leave. When she lingered he tried to take the drink away. She became argumentative, and Dorrian asked bouncer Darryl Littlejohn of Queens to escort her from the premises.

    Littlejohn and the other bouncer took her outside. The two bartenders left in a cab headed uptown. The other bouncer took a cab to the Staten Island ferry. Littlejohn was still outside the bar with St. Guillen, the other bouncer said. Dorrian told police that shortly afterward, from inside the bar, he heard what he believes to have been an “argument” and perhaps a commotion between Littlejohn, 41, and St. Guillen, 24.

    Littlejohn is now also a suspected serial rapist as well as lead murder suspect. A sketch (left) of a Queens rapist from last October 16th, 2005 compared with the face of Darryl Littlejohn.

    The NY Post:
    The ex-con bouncer who has emerged as the lead suspect in the sex-assault murder of grad student Imette St. Guillen is now being eyed in a string of rapes in Queens and Long Island, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.

    The cops' focus on Darryl Littlejohn in the brutal sex attacks surfaced after one shaken victim watched the past day's TV footage of investigators searching the bouncer's blue minivan parked in his driveway - and phoned police to tell them it appeared to be the vehicle in which she was raped, sources said.

    The woman was attacked in Queens late last year, part of an apparent pattern of at least three rapes in which the victims all gave similar descriptions of their attacker. A second rape also occurred in Queens, and the third took place in Nassau County, the sources said.
    All three women said their attacker had posed as a federal agent. The women, police said, also said their attacker had wiped them down with disinfectant swabs, presumably to remove evidence.

    The resume Littlejohn gave to his Falls employers said that he was a member of a federal fugitive recovery team. Investigators also said they found a supply of alcohol swabs while searching Littlejohn's home.

    Littlejohn and Parole Questions?

    Darryl Littlejohn
    Littlejohn is being held at Rikers Island for violating his parole. Littlejohn had a 9PM-7AM curfew when he had to be at home. Littlejohn can be held for a maximum of 90 days before a final hearing on the curfew violation.

    "We did not have knowledge of him working at the bar," said Scott Steinhardt, spokesman for the New York State Division of Parole. "Had we known that, we obviously would not have approved that. We had his approved place of employment at a mortgage lending office."

    Where was Littlejohn's parole officer during all his moonlighting as a bouncer at The Falls bar? Couldn't a few telephone calls to his home by the parole officer after 9PM to verify he was obeying curfew instructions have thwarted all of this? After all Littlejohn had a history of breaking parole.

    It turns out the New York City parole officers are pleading that they are overworked. The average parole officer has something like 100 cases to manage. They are seeking to have this reduced to 40 case per officer. Still how much effort is it to use the phone and make some calls to verify a person is where he should be. There is working smart and there is not working - apparently NYC parole officers and their system don't work after 9 PM. It's 10 o'clock to you know where your felons are? Apparently not in New York City.

    NYPD still can't shake the case of PR flu and formally call Littlejohn a prime or even a lead suspect in the St. Guillen murder. Will he be called a suspect if they get a DNA match? It looks like DNA testing is the new standard needed to confirm someone as a suspect. But having a DNA match seems like it's enough evidence to immediately charge someone and skip the suspect designation. So is naming a person a suspect in a high profile case now simply too big a PR risk unless you have the DNA match and the arrest warrant in hand? Anyway, for now Littlejohn is being called a "person of interest" in the rape cases.

    A Lady Killer...

    Veronika Belenkaya is the NY Daily News reporter who has talked to Darryl Littlejohn. She caught him lying when he first told her the Ms. St. Guillen had not talked to anyone at The Falls bar. Anyone but him that is.
    "There was nothing special about her," Littlejohn said of the beautiful graduate student. "She didn't talk to anybody. She just kept to herself."
    Ms. Belenkaya has talked about this case on the CNN Nancy Grace Show. She gives a personal account of how she was deceived by Littlejohn - His chilling words: "You seemed like a real nice lady" -
    I met Darryl Littlejohn in the doorway of The Falls bar - just as Imette St. Guillen must have done exactly a week before.

    He seemed like a nice, honest guy. He certainly had a pleasant enough demeanor.

    He wore glasses, a hat covered with a hood and a dark jacket. He was a bouncer - in good shape to be sure, but not physically imposing in the way you'd expect hired muscle to be.

    It was 4 o'clock in the morning, and we slipped easily into conversation. "Do you remember seeing that girl?" I asked the 41-year-old bouncer.

    "Yeah," he said...While shudders run through me now, I thought nothing at the time of talking to Littlejohn. He had a way of putting a person at ease.
    Littlejohn also linked to drug kingpin

    Boston Herald:
    An ex-con bouncer being questioned in the murder of Boston native Imette St. Guillen worked as an enforcer for a notorious New York City drug kingpin and was once probed by federal authorities investigating multiple gangland slayings, according to federal court records and a source...

    (Littlejohn) was yanked out of his jail cell in September 2002 to speak with federal officials probing murders allegedly committed by associates of drug lord Lorenzo "Fat Cat" Nichols..

    “The word on (Littlejohn) was that he had been invovled in committing murder-for-hires for the South Jamaica drug crews,” said the source. “We had gotten some evidence, but we couldn’t make a case on him for murder.”
    links:
    Rape and Kidnapping Cases May Offer Clues in Killing [NY Times, Mar. 9, 2006]
    Transcript of Littlejohn's May 2004 parole hearing (pdf)

    Tuesday, March 7, 2006

    NYPD builds case against Darryl Littlejohn for St. Guillen murder

    updated 11:00 p.m.

    Darryl Littlejohn mugshot (alias Jonathan Blaze)

    Darryl Littlejohn
    Mugshots of Darryl Littlejohn (alias Jonathan Blaze). Littlejohn recently served time for a 1995 bank robbery in Nassau County. He was denied parole in May 2004 but was conditionally released from the Fishkill Correctional Facility in Dutchess County in July 2004.

    "Your violent and out-of-control behavior shows you to be a menace to society," the May 2004 board found. "Your continued incarceration remains in the best interest of society." Littlejohn had seven felony convictions and a criminal record stretching back nearly 25 years.
    --------------------------------
    New details indeed - from the NY Post. This just gets worse and worse, in terms of The Falls owner, Michael J. Dorrian, and his behavior. Could he be charged with something - conspiracy, obstruction of justice, making a false statement, possibly even aiding and abetting a crime? Does participating in a cover-up like this constitute a felonious offense if your employee committed murder?

    The new details in the chilling case surfaced as sources revealed how an owner of The Falls bar, along with one of its bartenders, took nearly a week to come clean over what they saw early Feb. 25, the day St. Guillen disappeared.

    The bar owner, Michael J. Dorrian - scion of the famous New York tavern-owning family - had told investigators on numerous occasions that St. Guillen was served two drinks before she glanced at a note and walked out of the bar alone, sources said.

    But the sources said Dorrian has since admitted that at the end of that night, he had actually ordered the 5-foot-7, 200-pound Littlejohn to "Get her out of here!" because St. Guillen was so drunk.

    Dorrian told cops that Littlejohn hauled the petite, 25-year-old woman - a forensic-science student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice - out a side door of the building at 218 Lafayette St., law-enforcement sources said.

    Dorrian and the unidentified bartender said that moments later, they heard arguing in a hallway just outside a door to the bar, the sources said. They then heard a scream from the same direction...

    But an investigator said he suspects that Littlejohn, who is out on parole for armed robbery, may have viewed St. Guillen as a "wounded pigeon" as he tossed her out and forced her into a car parked nearby.

    At one point, she may have been drugged, sources said.

    Detectives believe that Littlejohn tried to force sex on her, and when she resisted, panicked and killed her, possibly inside his pad in Jamaica, Queens, sources said.

    --------------------------------
    update 2:00 p.m.

    The Falls bar

    The story on what exactly happened at the 4:00 a.m. closing of The Falls bar changes in every new story about the St. Guillen murder. Now FoxNews.com is reporting this spin on the story:
    But the bar's owner and his lawyer came forward late last week and revealed that he had ordered the bouncer, a 41-year-old parolee identified by news outlets as Darryl Littlejohn, to toss her out when she complained that she was not being allowed to finish a drink, the official said. The owner said he later overheard "some sort of arguing and a commotion" as the bouncer took the woman outside, the official said.

    Amazing. Simply amazing and criminal that the bar's owner sat on this information for as long he did. It's still unclear if this owner is a Dorrian family member or the other co-owner identified as John Kekalos. Whoever it is they better have a good lawyer.

    Witness: Slain NYC Coed Argued With Bouncer [Foxnews.com, Mar. 7, 2006]

    Back on Mar. 2nd Newsday reported this about The Falls:
    A manager at The Falls said no one recognized St. Guillen from her picture, and a co-owner, John Kekalos, said he knew little of the investigation.

    Speculation:

    You can easily see a scenario setting up where Mr. Littlejohn tells Ms. Guillen that he's sorry he has to toss her out of the bar. But, it's closing time and he's only following orders. After apologizing he offers to give her a ride home...

    - still a possibility since one witness has said after Ms. Guillen was ejected from the bar she was seen calmly talking to Mr. Littlejohn as he sat in his blue van.
    --------------------------------------

    Yesterday the NYPD finally made an unofficial semi-formal statement about Darryl Littlejohn and his status regarding the Imette St. Guillen murder investigation:

    "He is a suspect," a detective close to the case said early this morning. "He is our only suspect."

    It seems like getting someone from NYPD to formally stand-up and call someone a "prime suspect" in a high profile case like this is unlikely until the moment they make an arrest. If Littlejohn is the NYPD's only suspect doesn't that make him the "prime suspect?"

    NY Daily News - Cops raid bouncer's flat:
    Meanwhile, a source said, a witness originally told cops that St. Guillen, who had been drinking, walked out of the bar on her own at 4 a.m. on Feb. 25.

    The witness now says Littlejohn was ordered to escort the student outside as the gate was being pulled down at closing time. The two were seen talking outside the bar as Littlejohn sat in a van, sources said.

    Cell phone records showed Littlejohn was at home about 5 p.m., sources said. The records also place him at 6 p.m. within a mile of where St. Guillen's body was dumped in a deserted area off the Belt Parkway, the sources said.

    The NY Times gave this account of events at the 4 a.m Falls closing time:
    The witness described how he went over to Ms. St. Guillen and told her to finish her drink, the official said. The witness said he told Mr. Littlejohn to make sure Ms. St. Guillen left the bar, according to the official.

    The witness said he then went downstairs, and when he returned he heard a commotion in the hallway, the official said.

    An investigator said that Ms. St. Guillen was later seen talking to Mr. Littlejohn outside the bar while he sat in the driver's seat of a blue van. Detectives are seeking to search 12 vehicles owned by employees and others associated with the bar.

    If this witness is one of The Falls bar managers or owners then it sounds like they originally gave a false report, are obstructing justice, or mislead investigators. The Falls management's culpability was addressed in a Boston Herald story, Mar. 7th, - Bar owner could face legal action:
    The owner of the New York bar where Imette St. Guillen of Mission Hill was drinking before she was killed faces a possible lawsuit over whether the bar acted negligently in the hours before she was kidnapped and brutalized, legal experts and others said.

    Bar owner Jack Dorrian could face claims he failed to safeguard St. Guillen at his Soho nightspot and did not properly check the background of Darryl Littlejohn, 41, an ex-con bouncer being eyed in connection with her murder. New York police are questioning Littlejohn in the murder.

    From the NY Times:
    A co-owner of the Falls, John Kekalos, said yesterday that he had been cooperating with the police investigation and that he would continue to do so. "It is very unfortunate," he said of the murder.

    Unfortunate is right. Maybe if The Falls ownership had fully cooperated last month there would be more evidence for the police to find.

    Editorial: Why has it taken over a week to get to this point? Why? Why and how did NYPD miss noticing the 200-pound, scary-looking, heavily tatooed, ex-con, Darryl Littlejohn? The guy with a mile long rap sheet, a scratch mark on his neck, who drives a van, and who was the last person seen talking to the victim. The guy who was violating his parole by working at the bar. The guy who was hiding in plain sight when they started investigating this case last month. Why was there a serious breakdown in police procedure in checking this guy out?

    The NY Post is currently the only main stream media outlet willing to call Darryl Littlejohn the "prime suspect" - PAROLE RULES BARRED BRUISER FROM JOB:
    Darryl Littlejohn, the prime suspect in the sadistic slaying, had a 9 p.m. curfew and had no business being out of his Queens home in the early-morning hours of Feb. 25.

    In fact, his parole officer knew nothing about Littlejohn's job as a bouncer at The Falls when they met twice last month.

    "That was not approved employment," said Scott Steinhardt, a spokesman for the New York State Division of Parole. "We're looking into that."

    That violation alone could be enough to send him back to prison, Steinhardt said.

    Officials verified that Littlejohn, who was moonlighting at the bar as a bouncer, was working at an approved mortgage-lending company. Security consultants interviewed by The Post said anyone working security in an establishment has to be licensed by the state, a process that involves a 24-hour course and a fingerprint check.

    Updated Imette St. Guillen murder case map, now showing location of Littlejohn residence at 153-26 121st Ave., South Jamaica, Queens. Here at Platial.com.

    Imette St. Guillen murder case map

    Darryl Littlejohn house, South Jamaica, Queens
    Officers preparing to search Darryl Littlejohn's house on Monday, Mar 6th. They produced a search warrant indicating they were looking for about a dozen items that included blood, DNA, sand, and hair, according to Littlejohn’s aunt, Addie Harris. Littlejohn owns a Rottweiler and has a "Beware of the Dog" sign in front of his house, which is owned by Mr. Littlejohn's mother, Lucille Harris.

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