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Tag: Madeleine McCann (Page 3 of 3)

Netflix Doccie on Madeleine McCann – Episode 2 Review and Timeline Analysis

Although the second episode of the series is titled “Person of Interest” [singular] it basically looks into two individuals, Robert Murat and Sergey Malinka. It’s interesting that Robert Murat was quickly regarded as a prime suspect, despite having an alibi and despite no eye-witnesses placing him at the scene. Murat was neither implicated nor associated with the two sightings known as Tannerman and Smithman, because he didn’t resemble either of these figures in body shape, hair style or facially.

Murat also has another rather obvious distinguishing feature – his glasses. Was Murat really a better suspect to seize on than the folks staying at the hotel, including the McCanns themselves?

‘My life caught up in the Madeleine McCann case’: Russian computer expert reveals the threats, ‘blackmail and bribery’ he faced after being quizzed as a witness over girl’s disappearance – Daily Mail

For some time now Malinka has been agitating about a book that is coming out. As of this writing, in March 2019, there is still no book. I was contacted at one stage to work with and ghost write for Malinka [not directly by Malinka, but by a third party]. I turned down the offer. It seems I’m not the only one.

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Sorry to disappoint, but due to the content of the second episode, I won’t be analysing episode two because I consider both “suspects” to be debunked anyway. What I think is far more interesting to address is the gloss-over of the timeline in episode one. The next blog will return to a chronological analysis of the remaining six episodes over the next six days.


The essential timeline is dealt with for [are you ready for it] less than three minutes total in the Netflix documentary, between 12:00 and 15:00. It starts with the McCanns making their way down to the Tapas bar at 20:30, and they’re the first to arrive. There’s no mention whether them being early or arriving first that particular evening was unusual compared to the preceding week. That’s an issue I deal with in detail in the DOUBT series.

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The next timecheck is at 21:00 when Matt Oldfield arrives at the restaurant, apparently volunteering the all clear that the McCann children were sleeping soundly.

Matt Oldfield was very much in the picture immediately after Madeleine’s disappearance, as can be seen in these images.

At 09:05 Gerry leaves the restaurant, presumably before eating anything [and it’s unknown whether he’d ordered anything, or what he ordered if he did] to make his first and only check on the children that night.

We see it dramatized how Gerry closes the door without closing it completely. In some descriptions, Gerry is so specific he even describes how wide the door was opened down to the last degree. This is an important precursor to the actions of the door that follow.

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The next timecheck given is 21:25. It’s made explicit that Kate INTENDED to do her check but was forestalled by [guess who?] Matt Oldfield who volunteered to take her place.

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And right here is where the timeline goes wonky. Oldfield enters the unlocked apartment the same way Gerry did, via the side patio door, and “saw light” and “heard the sound” as if of a child moving in their blankets.

Thanks to door being open enough to perceive without really seeing, Oldfield is able to do his check without really doing his check. If one of the kids was awake, Oldfield apparently heard it but didn’t look in to make sure. If he had would he have seen Madeleine?

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In my opinion Madeleine was already dead at this stage, so she wouldn’t have been in bed, but her body was likely still in the apartment. Her body was either in the cupboard of her parents’ bedroom, or behind the couch, based on cadaver alerts, or possibly laying in the flower bed below the balcony.

It’s also possible immediately after Oldfield left, Madeleine woke up, fell over the balcony railing or down the patio stairs, and died. However since it takes at least an hour for cadaver odor to form it’s more likely Madeleine died earlier in the evening [prior to the McCanns leaving for dinner] than later. Cadaver traces were so strong they were still picked up in late August, three months after the incident, and in spite of the apartment being cleaned numerous times. This strongly suggests her little body remained inert – dead – for some time before it was removed from the apartment.


The Oldfield witness testimony is wonderfully inconclusive and murky, because it doesn’t confirm anything. Maybe all the kids were there and maybe they weren’t.

At the same time, Oldfield’s entry into the narrative means the fact that neither McCanns checked on their brood is justified because a third party is given the responsibility [except that he doesn’t actually check to make sure]. Also, the leaving of a door unlocked is justified to allow access to this known third party, which also – just incidentally you understand – paves the way for the imputed abductor.

So even in a scenario where Madeleine could be proven to have died, who would be to blame? Where would it begin and where would it end? Whose testimony, assuming there was ever a trial to test this version, could be relied on one way or another?

The Netflix timeline picks up again at 22:00. Kate gets up and heads to the apartment. Once again, the door becomes the central feature of her visit. There’s something very strange about the door!

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All told, the documentary spends less than two minutes thirty seconds going through the critical timeline. There is virtually no analysis or explanation, no mention of several important witnesses within the timelines. Instead the door, “light” and sounds are emphasised supposedly confirming that everything was okay when it wasn’t.

Strangely, in another reconstruction of the door narrative, this one done inside the McCanns’ residence in Rothley, Kate seems to suggest the door was left virtually closed but  that when she approached it, it had opened “quite wide” and it then slammed shut right in front of her.

This witnessed moving of the door and inconsistency of the door conjures the door as a sort of witness to an abductor is who is not otherwise seen or heard, and who doesn’t leave any traces.

That reconstruction can be viewed at 27:58 in the clip below.

Interestingly, in her checking of the children Madeleine is missing, but no mention is made of the twins who are also in the room, or whether they are awake or asleep, or safe. And having just had one child stolen [apparently through the open window], what does Kate do – she abandons both children, runs out of the apartment and raises the alarm, thus leaving the twins vulnerable to additional abductions.

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Another easy point to miss: immediately after Madeleine disappears, an awful lot of running happens. Kate runs, then “everybody sprints back to our apartment…”

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Now let’s focus on a few observations in terms of the aspects the Netflix timeline implicitly doesn’t address:

  1. Between 20:30 and 22:00 Gerry makes a total of one visit to check on the children, and according to Gerry, verifies that at 20:30 Madeleine was alive and safe. This effectively makes this observation the last time Madeleine was seen alive by any witness, assuming the observation is true and accurate.
  2. Kate McCann also makes a total of one visit to check on the children. When she does the incident has already happened, so arguably Kate’s visit doesn’t count. One can say that technically in the space of 90 minutes, when the plan was to check on the children every 20 minutes, Gerry made the only check and only did so once. In 90 minutes at least 4 checks ought to have been possible.
  3. It’s not clarified what happened after Gerry’s check. We know he checked, but there’s not clarity on what time he was seen returning to the table. One way to establish this would be to look at what food he ordered when, whether he paid for it, and how much of the meal he actually ate that evening.
  4. In the police interviews it’s established that Gerry didn’t go straight back to the restaurant after checking on his children. Instead he is seen on the street by a witness, Jes Wilkens at 21:08 and by Jane Tanner at 21:10. What this does is it pinpoints where Gerry is, giving him an alibi there and then, while also “allowing” Gerry not to be where he’s supposed to be [eating at the restaurant].
  5. Jane Tanner also – very conveniently – sees the prime suspect carrying away a child while at the time seeing Gerry in the street [not carrying anyone, while talking to Jes].
  6. Thirty minutes pass and it’s Kate’s turn to check on the children. During this interval Gerry’s movements aren’t known precisely. During this time, at approximately 21:50, the Smithman sighting occurs about 5 minutes’ walk from apartment 5A. The man and the child spotted in the alley broadly fit both the father and Madeleine’s description, and the man is said to be walking “briskly” in the direction of the sea. In addition, the child in his arms doesn’t appear to be conscious, and is being held “awkwardly”. Even the clothing of the child seen broadly matches what Madeleine was wearing the night she went missing.
  7. Although Kate McCann is quoted in the documentary and in her book saying she ran out of the apartment and when she saw the table shouted “someone’s [singular] taken Madeleine”, others on the scene remembered it differently. One nanny described Madeleine’s mother shouting “they’ve taken her”. Another account from the Moyes couple who were staying two floors above the McCanns, quotes Kate shouting “the fucking bastards have taken her”. And wouldn’t it have made more sense to simply shout the message from the balcony, if the Tapas Bar was within earshot and visual range, as is so often emphasised?
  8. It appears that at no point did either of the McCanns contact the authorities themselves, even when a neighbor offered the use of her phone. Gerry dispatched Oldfield relatively early, at 22:10, to head to receptions and call the police.
  9. For several years the focus of the media was on the Tapas 7’s star witness account – fingering Tannerman – even though the cops had long since dismissed this theory. Meanwhile, Smithman was dismissed or disregarded by the McCanns and their private investigation into that sighting…well…was treated in a very different way to Tannerman.Fullscreen capture 20190315 123955
  10. A straightforward way to figure out who was where, when, and saw what, how and why events played out in a particular pattern, is for all the folks to return to the scene to do a recorded official reconstruction. Put the people like chess pieces on the board and move them about according to what everyone did and saw. This is precisely what the Portuguese cops asked the McCanns to do. This was their response at 4:19 in the clip below.

UPDATE: The clip above has been removed since the publication of this blog, so here’s another. This was the resconstruction response at 0:27in the clip below.

Also visit 1:46 in the clip below.

More: What happened on the day Madeleine disappeared? [Timeline] – The Guardian

“The f*****g b*****ds have taken her!” Kate McCann’s tortured screams on night Maddie went missing – The Mirror

The Prodigal Nanny Returns – Shakedown

The timeline leading up to the events of May 3rd, 2007 are explored in meticulous detail in DOUBT., available exclusively on Amazon Kindle Unlimited. 

Debunk: Why the Two Abduction Reference Cases in the Netflix Documentary Don’t Apply to Madeleine McCann

True Crime Intertexuality is a valuable tool for understanding one case through the known circumstances of another. It does require more than a little expertise in true crime to understand how a reference case matches up, and how it doesn’t. Obviously if one’s understanding of either case is flawed, biased or bogus, then the reference itself is flawed, biased or bogus.

In the misleadingly titled Netflix Documentary THE DISAPPEARANCE OF MADELEINE MCCANN  two American reference cases are cited: firstly, the disappearance of Etan Patz [in 1972, in Soho Lower Manhattan], and secondly the murder of Adam Walsh [in 1981 from a mall in Hollywood, Florida].

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The expert prognosticating on these references is the head of a large missing person’s organisation in America. An expert in missing persons may seem like an expert in true crime and criminal psychology, but alas, true crime isn’t nearly as simple or obvious as it seems.

The obvious similarities between the abduction-sex-trafficker scenario punted by the makers of the Madeleine McCann documentary vis-à-vis the two American boys [the reference cases] are in four extremely broad, basic areas:

  1. All three scenarios involve young children.
  2. All three scenarios involve young children disappearing.
  3. Two scenarios strongly suggest the children were abducted because of a sexual motive.
  4. In all three scenarios the bodies of the missing children were never found.

That’s really where the similarities or “references” end. A proper true crime analysis reveals not so much an overlap between the Patz and Walsh cases to the McCann case, but in fact why the cases are distinctively different to what happened to Madeleine.


Although no bodies were found in all three cases, in both the Patz case and the Walsh case it is generally assumed that both boys are dead, both boys were murdered and the identities of their murderers isn’t mysterious or unknown.

In the Walsh case the boy’s decapitated head was found within a few weeks, however his body has never been recovered.

It should be noted that when it comes to children abducted by sexual predators who are strangers, the children must be disposed of quickly or else the perpetrators face a real risk of alerting family members or passersby to the taboo of an adult keeping a small unrelated child in their possession and raising suspicions. The same situation doesn’t apply when the predators are family, familiar or otherwise trusted by the victims.

The destruction of their little bodies is meant to completely conceal the circumstances surrounding their final moments, and death, from the public’s view. In a scenario where the children become famous in the media, the necessity to dispose of them, and destroy their bodies completely is even more urgent. It’s vital for the predator to make sure no connection can ever be made between the eviscerated corpse and himself.

In a genuine abduction scenario, a case can clearly be made not to alert the media and to alert the authorities discreetly, in order not to provoke, alarm, aggravate or frighten the abductor into doing something rash.

The Ramsey Ransom Note alludes to this cliche, and does so because it’s so typical.

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This is why in kidnapping cases the kidnappers insist that the authorities are not contacted, and that if they are, the victim will be killed. The situation for the kidnapper becomes untenable if the victim becomes a public figure. The same applies to an abductor, except there is less incentive to return the victim [now a potential witness] to the custody of the family and/or authorities.

When I researched the JonBenet Ramsey case I was surprised at the persistence of the pedophile narrative in that case. Sure, pedophiles exist. They’re a scourge in our society. But pedophiles more often tend to lurk INSIDE families.

Where family members prey on family members this is especially true when the victim is much younger and more vulnerable. The custody and trust situation of the guardian relative to the child is what is abused, and is both a smokescreen for the crime and the cover-up [which can often go on for years, even an entire lifetime].

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When the victims are very young, as in the case of six-year-old JonBenet Ramsey, the perpetrator tends to be younger as well, often children themselves. Crime statistics confirm this. Thus the common abusers of very small children tend to be older children, not adults, and often older siblings.

JonBenet was abused, but she was a six-year-old beauty queen. Madeleine McCann was three-years-old when she “disappeared”, but there is no forensic evidence of abuse. The closest symptom to anything approximating a molesting scenario is that she had difficulty sleeping. [JonBenet Ramsey also struggled with insomnia and chronic bedwetting, according to the housekeeper Linda Hoffman-Pugh]. Well, so do many three-year-olds.

The notion that a criminal would target a three-year-old child for sexual purposes as a typical scenario is absurd in the extreme. Although – tragically – grooming of young children for sex-trafficking is not completely unheard of in our society, if the child is abducted as a toddler this means the child has to be adopted and raised [fed, housed etc.] for several years, a scenario well beyond the scope of most if not all pedophiles or traffickers.

In a high-profile scenario, the costs to prevent or avoid discovery of the groomed victim skyrockets, making the “investment” worthless.  Madeleine McCann is world famous, the most famous missing child in history by a substantial margin. So, even following the theoretical concept to its conclusion [and assuming she’s still alive], the likelihood of any transaction with such a high-profile-high-risk candidate is untenable, to put it mildly.

Back to the reference cases.

Both children in the reference cases were boys, and both were twice the age of Madeleine when they were abducted. Both boys were also cute kids, which is why they were targeted both by the men  [probably closet homosexuals] who abducted them, and by the media who covered them.Fullscreen capture 20190317 022146

Those men who abducted these boys didn’t traffic them – the abuse was very brief and intended for discreet, private consumption.

But the area I want to emphasise cuts to the specific circumstances of both theses cases that are pertinently NOT similar to those in the McCann case.

  1. Both boys were abducted opportunistically, that is to say randomly in public areas.  The children weren’t studied or stalked, they were encountered by chance. There was no premeditation of the specific victim. Although the execution may have been planned, and the crime a fantasy, the identity of the specific victim was random.  In the McCann case the apartment was supposedly targeted, that is to say, not random and not opportunistic.
  2. Patz was abducted by a store keeper with the lure of a soda, and Walsh [it was theorised] through the lure of toys and candy. Walsh was in a toy store, or the toy section of a store, when he was lured into a van. In Madeleine’s case there was no lure, and apparently she [and her siblings] slept through the abduction.
  3. Both boys were murdered shortly after their respective abductions, Patz on the very same day, and Walsh within two weeks of his abduction. Despite their ages, there was virtually no attempt to accommodate, feed or raise them. There is no reason to believe if Madeleine survived her “disappearance”, that she would have been kept alive for any extended length of time, let alone twelve years, given the ongoing risk her life presented to her supposed abductor/guardian/trafficker.
  4. It took Patz’ parents several hours to raise the alarm. Patz disappeared in the morning, and his parents only alerted the authorities in the evening. In Walsch’s case, the boy’s mother spent more than 90 minutes searching fruitlessly through and around the store. They also used public-address system. Only when these measures failed did Revé Walsch finally call the Hollywood Police [at 13:55]. In the McCann case, however, both parents knew instantly Madeleine had been taken, and were scornful of the notion that she might have wandered off, or gotten herself lost. They were also contemptuous of the “slow pace” of the Portuguese cops to arrive, when in fact the police response was normal given the situation.

    The McCanns’ absolute conviction so early in the investigation knowing exactly what happened is a lot more sinister when juxtaposed alongside the responses of parents in genuine abduction scenarios. [Incidentally, Patsy Ramsey shared the same absolute certainty during her 911 call, although the bogus Ransom Note provided some reinforcement to her certainty. JonBenet’s body meanwhile was lying in the basement of the house all along. In other words, Patsy’s “certainty” was misleading, and arguably more than that – misdirection.]


Although Patz was “missing” for decades, and declared legally dead as late as 2001, 22 years after his abduction, the mystery of what happened to him was finally solved after 33 years even in the absence of recovering his remains. In other words, even though no body was recovered, there’s no doubt that the child is deceased. As such, is the Patz case really an approximate reference case for Madeleine McCann?

In May 2012 the New York Times reported:

A New Jersey man was arrested in the killing of Etan Patz, Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly announced on Thursday, an extraordinary moment in a case that has gripped New York City’s psyche ever since the 6-year-old boy vanished in SoHo on his way to school in 1979. The man, Pedro Hernandez, told investigators that he lured Etan to the basement of a bodega where Mr. Hernandez worked at the time with the promise of a soda, Mr. Kelly said. Once Etan was inside, Mr. Hernandez choked him, stuffed his body into a bag and took the bag about a block and a half away, where he left it out in the open with trash, Mr. Kelly said.

…It is unclear whether investigators have been able to corroborate the account Mr. Hernandez has provided. Without any trace of human remains or other forensic evidence, any possible prosecution of him would face significant evidentiary hurdles.

…Mr. Hernandez, who was 18 at the time Etan vanished, worked as a stockboy in a bodega at 448 West Broadway that is now an eyeglass store, Mr. Kelly said. Etan disappeared on the first morning his parents allowed him to walk alone from the family’s home on Prince Street to a school bus stop on West Broadway.

Mr. Hernandez was working in the basement, which had a separate door to the street, Mr. Kelly said. Etan was at the bus stop when Mr. Hernandez led him away and to the basement, Mr. Kelly said…Mr. Hernandez’s name was mentioned in a 1979 detective’s report as part of the investigation into Etan’s disappearance, Mr. Kelly said. The report listed him as an employee of the bodega, but Mr. Hernandez was never questioned by investigators, Mr. Kelly said.

“I can’t tell you why, 33 years ago, he wasn’t questioned,” he said. “We know that other people in the bodega were questioned.”

A woman interviewed by The New York Times last month who ran a playgroup in SoHo at the time Etan disappeared recalled seeing mounds of garbage bags in the days after the boy vanished, which included Memorial Day weekend. “I always thought there were so many garbage bags out and why did they not search them,” said the woman, Judy Reichler, who now lives in New Paltz, N.Y. “For three days everyone piled bags on the street and then they got picked up.”

In the McCann case it appears the McCanns have not been questioned by British authorities. And when Kate McCann was questioned by the Portuguese police, she refused to answer. That’s the real mystery behind this case.

More: NOT IN THE FRAME: Maddie cops say they have ‘no reason’ to investigate Kate and Gerry McCann as they rule out four suspects – The Sun

Top British cop says Madeleine McCann’s parents are ruled out as suspects in her mysterious disappearance – The Mirror

Madeleine McCann: police target 38 potential suspects identified in review – The Guardian

British detectives open new investigation after reviewing all evidence into disappearance of three-year-old from Portugal

Redwood said none of the individuals was connected to Madeleine’s family or friends who were with her parents on holiday at the time. The Met team’s work leads them to believe Madeleine was abducted in a criminal act by a stranger.

The Mindfuckery in the Netflix Documentary on Madeleine McCann Kicks Off in the Very First Frame

When last did we see a documentary on Madeleine McCann that a) genuinely presented new, game changing evidence or b) was an authentic investigation with no “hidden” agenda? When last did we see a Madeleine McCann documentary that was unbiased, one way or the other?


Typically when the suspects in a case are “exonerated”, or cleared, or no longer part of an official investigation, any aspersions implying their guilt mean the producers can be sued for defamation. If it can’t be proven or tested in court, and if it hasn’t been, then the odds favor the accused/former suspects. And so does the money.

A documentary sympathetic to those at its center is also easier to make if those at its center are friendly in some way to the producers. Friendly meaning family, friends or witnesses participate in a particular narrative which in turn makes those in the narrative appear better than perhaps they otherwise would. A good example is Steven Avery in Making A Murderer Seasons 1 & 2. And let’s face it, sympathy tends to come before facts in True Crime Apologia.

In the opening to episode one of the documentary, an anonymous reporter refers to shutters broken virtually in the first minute…

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On May 5th 2007, just two days after the incident, the Telegraph reported:

Jon Corner, a close friend of Mrs McCann and godparent of the twins, said she telephoned him in the middle of the night distraught. He said: “She just blurted out that Madeleine had been abducted. She told me, ‘They have broken the shutter on the window and taken my little girl.’

“They had left the apartment locked while they were having their meal, but when they went back the last time they saw the damage. First they saw one of the window shutters had been forced, and then they saw the door was open and the bed was empty – and Madeleine was gone.

Ten years later that story changed.


‘MADDIE WAS NOT SNATCHED IN ROOM’  Shocking new abduction theory claims Madeleine McCann left Portuguese apartment looking for her parents before being taken – The Sun

His theory is backed up by evidence that discounts claims someone broke into apartment 5A via the ­bedroom window shutters — because they could ONLY be opened from the inside. Collins says: “I came across no clear indication that a planned abduction took place that night. Madeleine awoke and took the opportunity offered by the open patio doors to leave the apartment.”

In the initial panic…Gerry and Kate reportedly believed someone had “jemmied open” the shutters to get into her bedroom.

In fact the shutters were not damaged in any way.

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This is why it’s laughable how the Apologia dresses itself under the guise of being a genuine investigation with no bias. OBVIOUSLY it is biased, and obviously those it supports provide some form of resources, whether archival footage, or access, or reinforcement or otherwise.

The new Netflix documentary kicks off its first frame by implying that there is still a case to solve, and information out there, because Madeleine is still out there.

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Of course this is PRECISELY the same narrative the McCanns have maintained since day one. It was only three months after the incident that the cops began to consider that Madeleine was dead, and cadaver dog searches strongly confirmed these suspicions.

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The law – including British law – holds that any person who disappears with no trace for a period of seven years is to be considered deceased. So to allege that Madeleine is alive is unreasonable at best, and technically unlawful at worst.

The call by the Netflix film for “any information” on Madeleine McCann is also misleading. In 2016, nine years after her “disappearace” over 8000 “sightings” had been recorded, which suggests that the number is closer to 12 000 currently. Whether there are 20 sightings or 200 000 sightings, the result is the same. The only difference is the reality becomes more and more muddled behind a curtain of false information and fake leads. Of course if you can claim that MAYBE the missing person is still alive because you’re still investigation, and 199 999 have still to be checked, then a technical legal argument could be made – in theory – that evidence COULD exist somewhere out there proving she may be alive.

Of course the parents can claim that any lead, whether it’s a “sighting” in Antarctica or Vladivostok, that’s not followed up shows police incompetence and evidence of an “incomplete” or “unprofessional” or simply an “insincere” investigation. But the converse is that the investigation into the McCanns wasn’t unfettered or without interference. An obvious example of interference is kicking off the lead detective in the case, attacking him and undermining him in the media, suing him and silencing him. Much of this assault was directly by the McCanns.

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This should come as no surprise. Exactly the same process played out in the Ramsey case against Detective Steve Thomas.

Maddie ‘died’ in apartment, court hears – The Express

Of course the title of the 8-part documentary communicates the message even more clearly. It’s not called THE DEATH OF MADELEINE MCCAN, or even THE ABDUCTION, just the “disappearance”.

For as long as Madeleine is “disappeared” and not dead, it remains officially a missing person’s case [the most expensive wild goose chase in true crime history], rather than a murder investigation. If Madeleine is dead, and someone is responsible for her death, it must suit them just fine that a narrative is still being circulated exorting the public to “never give up hope”.

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Crime News – December 2018

December 31st, 2018

1. Bodycam video of the interior of the Conoco Gas Station at Frederick Travel Center.

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September 22nd bodycam video:

How relevant are “burner phones”to the Watts case?

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2. Missing mom moved to Colorado for love of man now accused of her murder, cousin says –

The cousin, JoDee Garretson, says Berreth met 31-year-old cattle rancher Patrick Frazee online in early 2016, and moved from Warden, Washington, a few months later to be closer to him. They were ultimately engaged and while they lived in separate homes about 15 miles apart, they shared custody of a 1-year-old daughter, Kaylee.

According to police, Berreth’s employer got a text from her phone on Nov. 25, saying she wouldn’t be at work that week. Frazee also said she texted him that day, but the contents of that text have not been released.

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3. REVEALED: The dark secrets of Khashoggi’s killing – News24

The book also says that the head of the hit squad, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, told Khashoggi when he entered the consulate that he would not be harmed if he cooperated with them.

He asked Khashoggi to send a message [from his cell phone] to his son Salah’s phone in Riyadh, informing him that he was safe in Istanbul and not to worry if he could not be contacted for a while. Khashoggi refused to do so, and in the recording, cited in the book, can be heard saying: “Will you kill me? Will you suffocate me?”

According to the book, Khashoggi maintained his composure when he realised that he would not get out of the consulate alive, after he heard Mutreb ordering five members of the hit squad to attack the writer by suffocating him with a nylon bag. The recordings indicate that Khashoggi’s last sentence was: “Do not cover my mouth. I have asthma, you will suffocate me.”

Khashoggi resisted his killers for five minutes, according to the book.

Afterwards, Khashoggi’s body was cut up by Tubaigy using a forensic saw. The book purports that the members of the hit squad, who remained present at the scene, were disturbed and nauseated by the dismemberment.

4. California’s largest utility provider could face murder charges for wildfires, AG says – CNN

December 30th, 2018


1. CrimeRocket was started on October 10th, 82 days ago, or 2 months and 20 days. Today it passed 1 million page impressions. Thank you to all justice seekers for supporting this site. See you all on the other side.

2. 2018 was the year Facebook and Twitter grew up – CNN

3. Court filing in Russian troll farm case references nude selfie – CNN

Could the manner in which he collected a nude selfie really threaten the national security of the United States,” Concord’s lawyers ask in the filing.

Concord’s filing Thursday comes amid a drawn-out fight where the Russian company seeks to access what the Justice Department says is “sensitive” evidence in the case, which could reveal national security and American investigative secrets to powerful foreigners.

Is a nude selfie “sensitive evidence”?

December 29th, 2018

1. Trial Analyst Andell Brown Discusses the Many Opportunities for Chris Watts to be Truthful

2. Day Before He Was Arrested in Case of Missing Fiancée, What Colorado Dad Told a Client – People

“He’s very conscientious about his work,” Cline tells PEOPLE of Frazee, a farrier who, at least twice a year, arrived to trim and care for the hooves of the donkeys that roam free in the historic former gold mining camp near the base of Pike’s Peak. “He had the health and the well-being of the donkeys’ interest at heart,” Cline says.

Given the circumstances — Kelsey Berreth, Frazee’s 29-year-old fiancée and mother to their 1-year-old daughter, who by then had been missing for 28 days — “I think that’s the last thing I would have been doing at that time, calling my customers and giving a new cell,” Cline says.

3. Boston Marathon bomber asks to overturn conviction, toss death sentence – The Hill

4. Oscar Pistorius: Feeding souls with Bible readings and vegetable garden – TimesLive

PICTURE: Oscar Pistorius let out for memorial of beloved grandfather – TimesLive


5. Willem Dafoe: The Art of Painting the Light – backstage

Of filming and living in France, particularly in Auvers-sur-Oise, the commune outside of Paris where van Gogh died after suffering a gunshot to the chest, Dafoe says the experience was “incredible. You’re approximating his perspective; you can see some of the landscapes from his paintings and then you can visit them so they’re alive…. You feel his spirit.”

Learning to paint, which in several scenes from the film he had to do in real time, similarly rooted Dafoe in van Gogh’s body. “It was very important to give me the physical experience to be able to relate to some of the things he was talking about. I can relate as someone who’s interested in art, some I can relate to as a human being. But once I started painting, it was more complete.”

December 28th, 2018

1.New CU Study Finds Cancer Risk Is Higher For Those Living Near Oil And Gas Wells – Longmont Observer

2. Patrick Frazee Appears In Court For Custody Hearing – CBS

Note the custody hearing was scheduled last week, so clearly the hearing itself does not play into the motive for the murder, although that doesn’t mean custody wasn’t a contentious issue.

The Berreths were forced to come face-to-face with their daughter’s fiance and accused killer Patrick Frazee, less than a week after he was charged with murder – Daily Mail

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3. Amanda Knox Suffers Horrific Christmas Death Tragedy -RadarOnline

Knox, 31, says she and new fiancé Christopher Robinson are “utterly heartbroken” over the accident.

“He was the smartest, funniest, sweetest, cuddliest, most talkative and wonderful cat. We feel so lucky to have had him our lives.”

Words and sentiments Knox failed to come close to expressing after her friend, Meredith Kercher, was murdered in her home, in the room next to hers, in Perugia, Italy.

4. Police have video of Kevin Spacey groping a busboy, complaint says – CNN

5. How Trump’s secret trip to Iraq became not-so-secret – CNN

Former Secret Service Agent Jonathan Wackrow, who has helped coordinate conflict zone trips for multiple protectees…says the spotting of Air Force One and Twitter chatter is not a security breach, but is concerning and a lesson to be learned.

“In the age of social media, this highlights a new vulnerability that the Secret Service and military have to be super mindful of in the future,” Wackrow says. “You’re charting new territory with the inclusion of social media from a threat perspective and from an awareness perspective, and future planning is going to address that.”

December 27th, 2018

1. From a happy pregnancy announcement to a shallow grave: The full timeline of the Chris Watts murder case – Business Insider Australia

June 14: Chris Watts enters coworker Nichol Kessinger’s contact information into his phone. Kessinger would later become his mistress.

The way the media has written this suggests Watts had one phone, and by entering her details into his phone in June, Kessinger became his mistress after this date. This is how myths and misconceptions are created by the MSM.

June 27: Shanann Watts takes Bella, right, and Celeste, left, to North Carolina for a five-week vacation, while her husband stays at home and works.

July 4: Kessinger told police she went to Chris Watts’ house for the first time on the Fourth of July to “set up his diet and weight loss/exercise goals.” “He invited her to his home, he cooked lunch, they ate and she left,” according to police documents.

July 7: The first phone call is logged between Chris Watts and Kessinger.

That too is a misleading misinterpretation.

July 14: Chris Watts and Kessinger go on a date to [the Shelby American Collection in Boulder]. That afternoon, Shanann Watts makes four unanswered calls to her husband.

2. JonBenet’s tricycle: Murdered six-year-old’s abandoned toy reveals new truths in famous case –

This is how the media “investigates” a 22 year old crime on its anniversary:

The child pageant queen’s cute pink tricycle, complete with streamers on the handlebars, was dumped beside the house. Soon enough, Novick had taken ownership of the dead girl’s trike, along with a packet of popcorn and an oversized candy cane which had decorated the front lawn, but became a grim symbol of the tragedy as cameras filmed every minute of the investigation from outside the Ramsey home.

Novick, previously a member of local Charles Manson-themed band Scramblehead, was no stranger to controversy. He wanted to explore the meaning behind the trike.

He took it to psychics to see whether they could read anything from it. He left it on the footpath to see how passers-by would react (many began riding it).

He realised everyone had some kind of link to JonBenet. “One woman who rode it, her dad was one of the movers,” he told “Another one told me she lived two doors down, and grew up with the media attention.

“There will always be theories. I’m as interested in how we treat it, the media.”

The above story is actually an amalgam of a story from Forbes, posted in March 2018, and another from October 2016, in other words, none of it is new.



From the archives:

Shock claim Burke Ramsey killed JonBenet – but with different weapon – NZ Herald

December 26th, 2018



2. Evidence in Case of Missing Colorado Mother Found 800 Miles Away in Idaho – Time

3. Willem Dafoe (‘At Eternity’s Gate’): ‘I worked very hard’ to get into Vincent van Gogh’s mindset [Complete Interview Transcript] –

4. Life’s one big party! Newly-engaged Amanda Knox parties with her beau and friends before the holidays as her interviews for Vice show air – Amanda Knox

December 25th, 2018

1. Holiday Season Murders: Laci Peterson, JonBenét Ramsey and Other Disturbing Crimes – People


2. Cell phone of missing Colorado mom Kelsey Berreth may have been found as court docs show her fiance Patrick Frazee plans to fight murder charge – Daily Mail

Sheila Frazee, the mother of the suspect, was briefly detained by authorities but not placed under arrest. The divorced mother-of-four, who is a registered nurse, lives with her youngest son at the ranch, which she outright owns according to public records. She also owns two additional properties in the area.

Her son meanwhile attends to the ranch and also breeds dogs.  

That same source said that Frazee’s arrest came after authorities obtained new information about Berreth that has lead them to believe she is no longer alive. Frazee was arrested after cell records and data provided new details regarding Berreth’s disappearance, according to officials.

The solicitation charge was also addressed at a news conference on Friday, with officials saying that Frazee asked someone to commit some sort of crime but refusing to elaborate beyond that at this time.  On Friday, Frazee appeared at Teller County court via video conference where the judge read him his charges – first-degree murder as well as solicitation of murder. The audience at court was unable to see the screen.

None of his relatives were present during the hearing. He will be held without bond pending his next court appearance on December 31. As for where the body may be, police told residents of Woodland Park that they should expect an increase in police activity around the area in the coming days.  Agents are also at Berreth’s home looking for evidence.  

New documents released in case against Kelsey Berreth’s fiancé – 9news

Monday’s court documents include a request from Frazee’s public defenders asking that investigators turn over emails and text messages they’ve recovered.

Woodland Park Police Chief Miles De Young said the two had exchanged custody of their 1-year-old daughter on Thanksgiving. Frazee does not have a prior criminal history in Colorado, according to CBI records. He is slated to appear in court again on Dec. 31.

De Young said it is an “absolute possibility” there could be more arrests in Berreth’s disappearance.

December 24th, 2018

1. Chris Watts: Police Scanner Audio

Christopher Watts’ two lives leading to murder – Daily Camera

2. Patrick Frazee spotted at waste management facility, police return to his property –

…eyewitnesses exclusively told KRDO they saw Frazee at a waste management facility, dropping off a load on Monday.

Employees at the company in Teller County also tell us they saw Frazee at the facility dropping off trash from a long trailer with two other men. Witnesses say Frazee remained in a white pickup truck as the two other men, who drove in two separate cars, unloaded the trailer.

The trash was later collected by police and it’s been reported a few of the items were taken away by police for further investigation. Photos capture Woodland Park police cars on the property. They were not able to give us any further information regarding the investigation or could not tell us what exactly was found.

Family: Kelsey Berreth moved to Colorado to be closer to Frazee –

No sign of law enforcement at Berreth or Frazee home one day after murder arrest –

3. Egypt Bans Teen Who Climbed and Took Photos Atop the Great Pyramid of Giza –


4. Danish photographer and model take nude photo on top of Giza pyramids


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Video link in BIO.

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December 23rd, 2018
1. Selfie of Shan’ann Watts, with her mother-in-law in the pool behind her

What do we know about CO 528-ZJV?


Why Colorado Crimes So Often Go National – Westword

Colorado is a bucolic wonderland filled with spectacular scenery and gorgeous people whose lives are like travel brochures made real.

It’s the kind of place where nothing bad should ever happen — and when it does, the impact is amplified to a shattering degree.

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2. Kelsey Berreth case: Idaho police find possible evidence linked to missing mom investigation – Denver Post


3. IDENTIFYING JAMESON: Hickory’s peculiar connection to the JonBenét Ramsey murder investigation – Hickory Record

Jameson, who is now in her 60s, described herself in her pre-cybersleuth days as a housewife who homeschooled her kid and baked bread all day. I imagine in 1997 when Jameson first heard of what happened to JonBenét, she put herself in the Ramseys’ shoes. She saw herself and her husband in John and Patsy and she saw her own child or children in JonBenét and Burke.

The article appears to indicate that Jameson has inherited detective Lou Smit’s case files.

Who is Jameson? – Reddit

ACandyRose on the History of Webbsleuths

JonBenet Ramsey and the Rise of an Internet Subculture – Westword

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December 22nd, 2018

1. For the past week or so, the mainstream media has been saturated with talk about Watts receiving love letters in jail. That’s all the media can talk about, and all that is being talked about. It’s ultra lame tabloid-style coverage of the Watts case. Here’s another:

He’s locked up for life after murdering his wife and children. So why do women send him love letters? – Washington Post

2. Murder suspect Patrick Frazee to get new attorney –

Patrick Frazee arrested for murder after Kelsey Berreth’s disappearance –


3. Gatwick drone chaos: Man and woman arrested – CNN

Gatwick drone drama shows how even unarmed UAVs can cause economic chaos and risk to life – The Conversation


December 21st, 2018

1. Chris Watts Is A ‘Narcissist’ Who ‘Thought He Could Get Away With It …– In Touch Weekly


Shan’ann Watts Slammed Chris’s ‘Evil’ Parents for Putting Girls in Danger Before Murder – CafeMom

“You should call your dad and tell him you did not appreciate your mom putting your daughter at risk today, nor do you like that she teased our girls,” Shan’ann reportedly wrote in texts to Chris. “You should also say you don’t appreciate her saying they have to learn they can’t always get what they want! They are 2 and 4!”


Infidelity…. Should you be able to sue the person who had an affair with your significant other? –

…we’ve decided as a society that certain behaviors are not OK.  As a result, we’ve decided that there are certain standards by which people are obligated to act.  We expect people to act according to “that degree of care that an ordinarily prudent person can be reasonably expected to exercise under similar circumstance.”  If someone acts “unreasonably” in those situations, then they can be sued for the harm caused to a third person as a result.  For instance:  

If you are injured by a driver who failed to exercise reasonable care when driving on the freeway, you can sue them because all drivers have a duty to act reasonably to prevent harm to other drivers. Doctors are supposed to perform their duties as any other reasonable doctor would in a similar situation, or else face liability for medical malpractice. Store owners must put up a sign when a floor is wet, because society considers that to be the reasonable way to act to prevent someone from slipping and falling.  Homeowners must warn guests in their home of any sort of danger that may be posed by an ongoing remodeling job of the kitchen.   If someone punches you, you can sue them for injuries for intentionally hurting you! …but in most states you can’t sue an affair-partner for interfering with the most important relationship of your life?

2. Missing Colorado woman likely died at home, fiance charged with murder – abc7

A mother vanished on Thanksgiving. Now her fiance is facing murder charges. – Washington Post

Missing Colorado Mom’s Fiance Charged With Her Murder – CNN

Police PLEAD with fiance of missing Colorado mom to sit down and answer their questions 23 days after she vanished – Daily Mail

Kelsey Berreth’s Fiance Is a ‘Gentle Soul’ Who Would Never Hurt Anyone, Friend Says – CNN

3. Madeleine McCann search will not stop until it ‘reaches conclusion’ – The Mirror

In the Chris Watts case, the “missing persons” were found a few days after they “disappeared”. In the Madeleine McCann case, the “missing person” search has been going on for eleven years, and this story involves another pledge to never stop searching.

£12 million has already been spent on the search for Madeleine, making it the most expensive individual missing person’s case in history.

December 20th, 2018


1. Home Where Chris Watts Slaughtered His Family On Auction Block – RadarOnline

Jailbird Chris Watts Pigging Out On Brownies, Donuts & Cookies Behind Bars – RadarOnline

Killer Chris WattsOpens a New Window. is stuffing his face with brownies, donuts and other junk foods at his Wisconsin prison — but the monster murderer has yet to make a single phone can exclusively report.

Maybe he’s trying to transform himself from Sexy Hunk to Joe Ordinary, in an effort to be overlooked by libidinous prison-mates.


According to his December 14 commissary list, the jailbird, 36, will soon trade in his buff physique for a dad-bod: He ordered a six-pack of fudge brownies, three boxes of holiday cookies, powdered donuts, and three iced buns.

He also bought deodorant, shampoo, body lotion and even pens and envelopes to mail letters out — amid reports he’s receiving a massive amount of love letters from female fans.

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He spoke about how Watts’ wife Shan’ann texted him over and over trying to save their marriage, how she bought relationship books for him, one of which was found in the trash. Instead, he shopped for jewelry and vacation spots for his new girlfriend.

Prosecutor Michael Rourke said Watts killed his family not out of rage, but in a calculated manner.

“Why did this have to happen? [Watts]’ motive was simple, your honor,” Rourke said. “He had a desire for a fresh start.”

Was the motive really that simple?


2. Former sheriff sues Netflix over ‘Making A Murderer’ –

Colborn contends the series was edited to make viewers think he and others planted evidence to frame Avery.

“His reputation and that of Manitowoc County, itself, has been severely and unjustly defamed,” Colborn’s lawyer, Michael Griesbach, said in a press release (per Variety). “He is filing this lawsuit to set the record straight and to restore his good name.”

Representatives for Netflix had no comment when reached by Fox News.

Colborn contends that the filmmakers distorted the events and left out key facts in order to make the argument that he framed Avery and Dassey for the murder.

Both Dassey and Avery remain behind bars as the debate over their guilt or innocence continues to be debated.


Steven Avery’s Attorney Calls Ex-Cop’s Lawsuit ‘Early Christmas Present’ – Rolling Stone

3. FROM THE ARCHIVES: Scott Peterson Talks About The Disappearance Of His Wife Laci – CBS Sacramento

December 19th, 2018

1. Dr. Phil reckons Chris Watts broke the bones of his daughters when he forced their bodies through the thief hatches and into the tanks. But the autopsy doesn’t show any broken bones…

2. Sixteen Years Later, Family Of Scott Peterson Claims New Evidence Proves Innocence CBS Sacramento

3. San Diego Sheriff Affirms Suicide as Cause of Rebecca Zahau’s Death – timesofsandiego

December 18th, 2018

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1. Chris Watts guilty plea was a surprise to prosecutors: ‘Out of the blue’ – CrimeOnline

A spokesperson for the Weld County District Attorney’s office said that prosecutors there were just as surprised by Chris Watts’s seemingly sudden decision to plead guilty to murdering his pregnant wife and two children as the curious public that has been gripped by the tragic family killing.

CrimeOnline contacted the Weld County District Attorney’s office for confirmation of a report related to the Watts murder case and to follow up on a fulfilled Colorado Open Records Request. Part of CrimeOnline’s original request asked for any documentation related to any recorded discussions preceding Watts’s decision to plead guilty to murdering his pregnant wife Shanann and two daughters, 4-year-old Bella and 3-year-old Celeste.

But a spokesperson for the District Attorney’s office said that Watts’ defense lawyer approached the District Attorney “out of the blue” to announce that Watts had decided to plead guilty on the condition that the death penalty be taken off the table. The spokesperson indicated that Watts’ decision was very unexpected, and said that prosecutors don’t know why Watts appeared to have a sudden change of heart.

‘The most hated woman in America’: Killer Chris Watts’ mistress ‘is in witness protection hundreds of miles from home and will be given a new name and identity’ – Daily Mail

‘I don’t even know if they were like filing for divorce. I don’t know if they were putting the house up. I don’t even know. I don’t even know anymore what is real and what is not.’

‘I can’t do this alone’: Texts show an increasingly distraught Shanann Watts worried about having a third baby as killer husband turns cold on her – CrimeOnline

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TWO FACE RAPE OF CASSANDRA, the 4th book in the ongoing series, has been published.

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2. At Eternity’s Gate: Willem Dafoe redefines, raises the bar in portraying Vincent van Gogh –

China’s art copy capital struggles to change its reputation – scmp

Vincent van Gogh’s swirling dreamscape vision of the night sky, the iconic The Starry Night is estimated to be worth more than US$100 million.

Ma Chunyan, a 32-year-old artist in Dafen, can produce in one day a 1,000 yuan (US$145) reproduction of the masterpiece from an image on her mobile phone.

Ma is one of 8,000 painters creating copies of Western art in Dafen for a market which has never returned since the global financial crisis in 2008 when foreign demand for art reproductions fell.

The declining overseas orders have spurred the local government to embark on a plan to transform Dafen into a producer of original works instead.


3. Michael Flynn sentencing postponed after judge issues blistering rebuke – CNN

December 17th, 2018

1. Wife & Child Killer Chris Watts’ Mistress Placed In Witness Protection – RadarOnline

Nichol Kessinger ‘plans to start fresh with a new name,’ a source claims.

“She has received several threats, public shaming and could be considered one of the ‘most hated women’ in America,” a source close to the investigation told Radar. “She plans to start fresh with a new name, new town and ultimately a new identity.”

Now, she is living in another state for her own safety, the source explained… 

Death penalty: How likely is it to be imposed with a new Colorado governor? – Coloradoan

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2. Russians sought to recruit ‘assets’ through social media, Senate told – CNN

December 15th, 2018


1. Chris Watts Killed His Family. Then The Love Letters Started Rolling In. – Huffington Post


Watts’ arrangements with Kodi Roberts on Friday to go to CERVI 319 first thing Monday prove the premeditation went as far back as two full days.

Fullscreen capture 20181216 192847Colorado gas prices plummet, and some local stations have it for less than $2 per gallon – Greeley Tribune

Before this week, there was no point in 2018 when average prices in Colorado were lower than they were at the same time period in 2017, 2016 or 2015. The drop was abrupt. As recently as a month ago, motorists were paying an average of $2.77 per gallon in the Centennial State.

“We had the largest week-to-week drop of any state,” AAA Colorado spokesman Skyler McKinley said. “So there is some stabilization going on.”

The reasons behind Colorado’s pricey year are complicated. Gas prices are affected by “thousands if not hundreds of thousands of micro economies,” McKinley said, especially since the state gets gas from West Coast sources, refineries in states to the north and from the Gulf Coast.

Local gas taxes aren’t to blame. As of July, Colorado applied 22 cents of taxes and fees to each gallon of gas sold in the state, the 11th lowest rate in the nation, according to the nonprofit Tax Foundation.

2. Is Scott Peterson Innocent? Part Two – Psychology Today

3. How Van Gogh’s Tumultuous Friendship with Gauguin Drove Him to Cut Off His Ear –

The intense and turbulent friendship between the Post-Impressionist masters Paul Gauguin and Vincent van Gogh lasted only 63 days and ended in one of the most bizarre acts in the history of art—van Gogh brutally slicing off his own ear.

That’s the official version of why the world’s most famous artist cut off his own ear, and almost bled to death afterwards.  I believe Gauguin – who was a keen fencer –  cut off Vincent’s ear, and Vincent took it on the chin. He had to because Gauguin was the more successful artist, and had a business arrangement with his brother Theo. And coincidentally, so did Vincent, so he couldn’t fuck that up by blaming Gauguin, so he reverted to type, he blamed himself.

So add credence to this theory, Gauguin bugged out of Arles so quickly after Vincent’s “mishap”, he left behind his fencing equipment.  He wrote to Vincent later asking him if he’d courier his swords back to him. This was Vincent’s response:

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Read the full New Yorker article about Van Gogh’s Ear, here.

My book The Murder of Vincent van Gogh rubbishes the popular mainstream contentions that 1) Vincent cut off his ear, 2) went mad and 3) committed suicide. It also provides an in-depth revisionist history of the great artist. The Murder of Vincent van Gogh describes how and why Gauguin injured Vincent [it was an attempted murder in fact], what drove him to the asylum at St Remy [it wasn’t madness, but he was a very troubled man, you would be too in a similar situation] and finally, that Vincent wasn’t shot by accident but deliberately murdered.

The identity of the murderer and the motive, as well as the location of the crime, is sketched in true crime terms for the first time ever.

December 14th, 2018

1. BREAKING: Frankie Rzucek arrested in October 2015 for assaulting a two-year-old child

2. 2 from O.J. Simpson defense team helping ex-USU linebacker charged with rapes – Deseret News

3. His worst nightmare: Trump’s life under a legal microscope – CNN

4. Woman arrested after racist tirade in NYC subway – CNN

December 13th, 2018


1. ‘That was me freaking out’: New audio of Nichol Kessinger police interview details late night of phone calls, FaceTime with Chris Watts hours after Shanann, daughters went missing [EXCLUSIVE] – CrimeOnline

New evidence released in Chris Watts case – CNN

Video shows the moment Chris Watts realized he had been caught in a lie after murdering his wife and 2 young daughters – Insider

2. Maddie McCann latest: ‘Maybe tomorrow we will find her’ Mum’s heartbreaking speech – Express

3. Trump inaugural committee under criminal investigation, source says – CNN

4. How Sandy Hook changed the response to mass shootings – CNN

December 12th, 2018

1. FBI accuse Watts’ ‘gay lover’ of lying and being a prostitute

Chris Watts’ coworker Anthony Brown talks about Nichol Kessinger’s “nice body”… [AUDIO]

Shan’ann’s brother Frankie Rzucek calls Golightly


2. Alleged Russian spy Maria Butina pleads guilty to engaging in conspiracy against US – CNN


3. Texas Hockey foul…

December 11th, 2018

1.‘I don’t know if I’m straight’: How Chris Watts invited gay escort to his home and introduced him to daughters while they were having sexual relationship – Daily Mail

In Nichol Kessinger’s first interview with police, she said she wasn’t in love with killer dad Chris Watts: ‘It’s a horrible situation’ [EXCLUSIVE] – CrimeOnline



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#ChrisWatts Notice anything strange?

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2. Rebecca Zahau Death Review Concluded, Official Cause Remains Suicide: Sheriff – NBCSanDiego

At Friday’s news conference, Gore told reporters he knows some observers are skeptical of his department’s conclusions. But he defended his homicide team, calling them “as good as any in the state or the county.”

“They’ve got 100 years of experience,” he said. “We have no reason not to follow the facts, follow the evidence, and follow the interviews where they lead us.”

Greer, the Zahau family attorney, told reporters that the sheriff’s department had barred him from the news conference. Speaking outside the department’s conference room, he claimed it is “impossible” that fair, thorough review of the evidence could again conclude that Zahau killed herself.

“That tells me there’s something corrupt in the (Sheriff’s) process,” Greer said. “I don’t know if we’ll ever know that (that corruption) is, but it’s not a logical conclusion. There’s something here that is motivating (the Sheriff’s department) to do the wrong thing.”

Before the news conference, Greer told NBC 7 that it’s possible that Sheriff Gore and other department executives were influenced by Jonah Shacknai’s wealth.

Gore responded with a measured but forceful denial. “I never took any money from Jonah Shacknai in my election or re-election campaigns. That’s just not the way we operate,” he said. “And to be quite honest, I take personal offense at that, at impugning the reputation of this department, one of the best in the country.”

3. Time magazine names Jamal Khashoggi and persecuted journalists ‘person of the year’ – Guardian


Like all human gifts, courage comes to us at varying levels and at varying moments,” Time magazine’s editor-in-chief, Edward Felsenthal, wrote in an essay about the selection.

“This year we are recognizing four journalists and one news organization who have paid a terrible price to seize the challenge of this moment…

Van-Gogh-Town jpg

December 10th, 2018

1.Why is Kessinger’s first Google Search for “Shanann Watts” becoming a Shifting Goalpost?

Harrowing photos and written report detail the painstaking process of retrieving Chris Watts’ two daughters from enormous oil drums three days after their father murdered them and dumped their bodies – Daily Mail

Chris Watts’ Mistress Tells Police of Sexual Encounter – NBCBoston

2.  ‘I can’t breathe.’ Jamal Khashoggi’s last words disclosed in transcript, source says – CNN

Despite his desperate pleas, the last discernible words the transcript records for Khashoggi are:

“I can’t breathe.”

The transcript notes more noises, and several more voices.

One of those voices is identified on the transcript by Turkish authorities as belonging to Dr. Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, the head of forensic medicine at Saudi Arabia’s Interior Ministry, the source says.

Aside from Khashoggi and Mutreb, he is the only other voice identified by name on the transcript. As the transcript continues, it is clear Khashoggi is not yet dead.

The transcript notes the noises that can be heard on the tape, almost in the manner that subtitles describe moments in movies where there is no dialogue.




Then, the transcript notes other descriptions.



Tubaiqi is noted giving some advice to other people in the room, apparently to help them deal with the appalling task.

“Put your earphones in, or listen to music like me.”

During the scene, the transcript notes at least three phone calls placed by Mutreb.

The transcript does not specify the moment Khashoggi dies.

December 9th, 2018

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‘I don’t want to have this baby’: newly released texts reveal Shanann Watts’ anxiety over growing family – kdvr

The moment Chris Watts confessed to murdering his pregnant wife: Part 2 – Yahoo

Chris Watts led double life before murdering his family, court docs show: Part 3 – Yahoo

In a shocking statement, Chris Watts describes how he killed his wife: Part 4 – Yahoo

Nichol Kessinger Private Texts with Charlotte Nelson

2. Cold cases are getting colder: Why we must have an ending to the story – Telegraph

December 8th, 2018

1. Final release of evidence in Chris Watts case still doesn’t answer ‘why’ – 9News

Investigators working on the disappearance of a pregnant Frederick woman and her two young daughters amassed a staggering amount of evidence – thousands of pages of documentshundreds of hours of video footage, dozens of recorded interviews.

All of it was used to build a sweeping case against Chris Watts, the 33-year-old man who ultimately pled guilty to killing his wife and kids in a deal brokered by his attorneys to spare him the possibility of facing the death penalty.

But even as much information as it provides, it does not answer the biggest question of all: Why did Watts decide to strangle Shanann Watts, his wife of six years, and smother the couple’s little girls, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3?

‘Bad thoughts were going through my head’: Watts neighbor’s police interview details suspicion, ‘eerie’ feeling – Greeley Tribune

When Watts family neighbor and Shanann Watts’ friend Nickole Atkinson was looking through the Watts home with Frederick police Aug. 13, she said she tried not to touch anything.

It had been hours since Atkinson had sent several unanswered texts to Shanann, since Atkinson had called Shanann’s husband, Christopher Watts, since Atkinson had gone to the doctor to beg them to tell her whether Shanann made it to her scheduled appointment.

Jesus, it’s December and they can’t even get the facts straight that Atkinson was Shan’ann’s friend not her neighbor. Clueless media!

So when she walked into the Watts home with Christopher and police at the very beginning of a missing persons-come murder case, Atkinson said she had an eerie feeling. That’s why she tried not to touch anything.

“Because at that point, bad thoughts were going through my head,” Atkinson told investigators in a newly released audio recording.

“They’re silly little things, but why would he strip the bed before he went to work if Shanann was still sleeping in the bed (as Watts told friends, family and investigators),” Atkinson said.

 Download Track

It turns out, Atkinson’s eerie feeling was correct. The family wasn’t on a play date; they had been murdered by Watts. Shanann was never around to make the kids beds Aug. 13. And the master bed? Investigators would later find a fitted sheet matching that bedding near the tank battery north of Roggen where Watts had dumped his families’ bodies.

There was more. Atkinson watched a neighbor’s camera footage from early that morning. It was 5:18 a.m., and Watts had backed his truck up into the garage and loaded something into the bed.

“That’s when my mind went bad — really bad,” Atkinson said. “What would he be loading up at 5:18 in the morning? And Shanann yells at him (when he uses the garage) because the garage wakes up the (girls) and the girls’ bedroom is right above the garage.”

In one exchange, Shanann tells her friend Watts wasn’t wearing his wedding ring, and he had changed his phone’s background photo to sand dunes. Unknown to both Shanann and Atkinson was this: Watts had spent time at the sand dunes with his mistress while Shanann was in North Carolina with the girls.

Shanann told Atkinson she would tell Watts to find a place when they got back from North Carolina, and she told him she was going to put the house on the market and takes the kids out of school to save money.

In a series of texts about a week before she would be murdered, Shanann laid out her thoughts on Watts’ posture toward the relationship.

“He’s obviously not in it. He’s not fighting. He’s not in love. He’s checked out.”


Shirtless Chris Watts seen in evidence photos taken just moments before his arrest for murdering his whole family – revealing the giant Metallica tattoo across his back- Daily Mail

Christopher Watts’ girlfriend didn’t see any “red flags” that foreshadowed the future murders – Daily Camera

2. Killer day in court: Rohde hit by triple whammy of setbacks – TimesLive

Susan Rohde’s estate pays R2.9m to defend husband who killed her – TimesLive

Susan Rohde’s estate has paid R2.9m to her husband, Jason, to fund a defence that failed when he was convicted of murdering her.

This was revealed on Wednesday by the administrator of Susan Rohde’s estate, David Anderson, who was giving evidence during Rohde’s sentencing proceedings in the High Court in Cape Town. Rohde is the estate’s beneficiary.

Anderson told Rohde’s advocate, Graham van der Spuy, that there was only R80,000 in cash still available for distribution, and that he would be unable to finalise the estate until Rohde’s criminal proceedings were concluded.

He said Susan’s mother, Diane Holmes, had offered to loan the estate R500,000 so that it could continue to fund the education and maintenance of the couple’s three daughters.

Prosecutor Louis van Niekerk handed Judge Gayaat Salie-Hlophe confirmation from Stellenbosch University that the Rohdes’ twins, Alexandra and Josie, who have just written their matric exams, had been accepted to study there in 2019.

Anderson said annual expenses for the twins and the Rohdes’ eldest daughter, Katie, were expected to amount to about R250,000 a year.

He told the court that a Liberty Life insurance policy on Susan’s life, which named Rohde as the beneficiary, was expected to pay out R2.6m. When this amount reached the estate the financial pressure it was facing would ease.

Anderson was the first prosecution witness to testify in aggravation of sentence for Rohde, who was convicted on November 8 of murdering Susan at Spier, in Stellenbosch, in July 2016.

Proceedings were delayed when power cuts hit the high court at 10am. The court sitting resumed after 12.30pm. Rohde arrived in court in handcuffs after spending the last four weeks in Pollsmoor prison.

Anderson was followed into the witness box by Dr Naeemah Abrahams of the Medical Research Council. Abrahams is a global expert on femicide, which she described as the killing of women by their intimate partners.

December 7th, 2018

1. Chris Watts Was ‘Cold as Ice’ Before Triple Murders — and What Wife’s Mom Told Her Before She Died – People

Sandra said the estrangement seemed to have been going on for a “few weeks, maybe a month.” Chris acted “just cold as ice,” she said, not replying, not responding.

“I just said, ‘Give him space,’ you know,” Sandra recalled. “But little did we know.”

In the end it wasn’t the best advice, was it?


“I’m not going to blame the kids for a disconnection or anything, but yeah, we focus on the kids like, all the time,” he told an investigator. “And like, as our relationship got longer and longer, I could feel that disconnect.”

Chris then went on to say that he and Shanann didn’t have deep conversations anymore.

Chris Watts transferred to new facility in Wisconsin –

Leading a double life: While appearing as a family man, Chris Watts wrote love letters to another woman before murdering wife, 2 daughters – ABC

2. Jason Rohde’s daughters do not want to lose their father as well, social worker tells court – News24

December 6th, 2018

1. In the video below, Shan’ann Watts’ pants are in the laundry. Watts picks them up and shows them to the K9 officer. Thank you to Sylvester for providing this link.

CNN begins using the proper spelling for Shan’ann Watts. People magazine have been using it for some time now.

How Shan’ann Watts’ Best Friend Helped Stop Chris Watts From Getting Away With Murder – CNN


Ronnie Watts Talks About Shan’ann…

2. Rohde to spend Christmas in Pollsmoor after losing fresh bail bid – News24

Rohde’s tears amid ‘vulnerable’ daughter’s testimony drama – IOL

OVERVIEW: Rohde denied bail, heads back to prison – News24

December 5th, 2018

1. “Chris Watts seemed like a genuine guy” – CNN

Chris Watts’ Mistress Nichol Kessinger 2nd interview (FULL VIDEO)

2. WATCH LIVE: Jason Rohde sentencing

3. Saudi crown prince ‘ordered, monitored’ killing of Khashoggi – CNN


December 4th, 2018

1. Chris Watts transferred from Colorado to an out of state prison, sources say – Denver Channel

Why is there so much secrecy regarding this case?

Four sources confirm to Denver7’s Jace Larson that Chris Watts was transferred from the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, where a new prison inmate goes after conviction, to an undisclosed facility out of state. The Colorado Department of Corrections inmate locator shows Watt’s location as the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, but this is no longer the case.

New Bodycam Video Released.

Police respond to First B&E Call [Daytime, August 17]

Link to Police response to Second B&E Call [Night, September 21]

Chris Watts Watching Neighbors Security Camera Footage

2. Judge grants Maricopa County Attorney’s request to seal documents on prosecutor’s conduct – AZ Central


What is the state Bar investigating?

Earlier this month, the State Bar’s probable cause committee ordered the Bar attorneys to prepare a formal complaint against Martinez. He is alleged to have given false testimony to the Bar and alleged to have revealed the identity of a juror in the second Jodi Arias murder trial, which Martinez prosecuted in 2015.

Dishonesty is a cardinal sin in the legal profession, and if an attorney or a law enforcement officer is found to be untruthful, it casts doubt on all of his or her cases. And jury identities are protected by law. The media is barred from photographing or identifying jurors without their permission.  

Martinez gained national attention and devout fandom from those trials, the first of which was live-streamed in 2013. Arias was convicted of the 2008 murder of her sometime boyfriend, Travis Alexander. But two different juries failed to reach a unanimous verdict on whether to sentence her to death.

3. Mueller may be poised to lift the lid of his investigation – CNN

America may get its most intimate look yet inside Robert Mueller’s secretive Russia investigation in the next four days, with a series of disclosures that have the potential to be greatly damaging for President Donald Trump.

Court filings focusing on Trump’s first national security adviser, Michael Flynn, on Tuesday and his ex-campaign chairman Paul Manafort on Friday could offer tantalizing new details of Mueller’s deep dive into the 2016 campaign.

If the special counsel lives up to his reputation, his filings will feature surprising revelations and rich texture to color the picture he has already painted in indictments and witness testimony of a culture of endemic dishonesty in Trump’s orbit about multiple, so far unexplainable, ties with Russians.

He may also begin to add context and answers to some of the intriguing clues he has dropped in a probe that has so far seen three people sentenced, one convicted at trial and seven guilty pleas and has charged 36 people and entities with a total of 192 criminal counts.

With each twist of the investigation, a fascinating trove is building of hints and implied connections, odd coincidences and apparent shady links between key players that is crying out for explanation.

December 3rd, 2018

1. Girlfriend of Christopher Watts talked with officers about fear of publicity, finding a job – Times-Call

How the Chris Watts Lawsuit Treats Confessed Killer Like O.J. Simpson – Westword

Frederick’s Chris Watts became infamous nationwide thanks to sweeping coverage of his arrest and subsequent conviction for killing his pregnant wife, Shanann Watts, and their two daughters, three-year-old Celeste and four-year-old Bella.

But a civil suit filed by Shanann’s parents, Sandra and Frank Rzucek, and brother, Frank Jr., on behalf of her estate seeks to ensure that his name recognition doesn’t turn into cash. The document is accessible below, and its language echoes that of a complaint that the family of another murder victim aimed at arguably the most notorious alleged American killer of the past century.

“It has a lot of similarities to the suit Ron Goldman’s family brought against O.J. Simpson,” notes Tom Grant, a partner in Greeley’s Grant & Hoffman Law Firm, which represents the Rzuceks. “That’s its intent — to make sure Chris Watts is never able to profit from his evil acts.”

I can’t imagine Watts is the type to write books, or have books written about himself. He’s not an actor or a showman to the extent OJ was and is, but that’s not to say he’s not been putting on some kind of act for God knows how long.

Chilling moment a calm and care-free Chris Watts picks up a BREAKFAST roll just after dumping his daughters’ bodies in an oil tank and burying his wife in a shallow grave – Daily Mail

Typical mainstream media. Can’t provide a location or any particularly useful data.

Watts gave mistress cards, love letters in weeks leading up to murders – Greeley Tribune

At the above link, scroll down to the extended version of Watts’ arrest video and processing into jail cell.

2. The astounding Putin-MBS high five – CNN

Reporters have been tweeting out jokes about what the two men must have saying. “You would be happy too if you just got away with murder,” wrote Aaron Blake of The Washington Post, as he offered his caption.

3. Vincent Van Gogh, young and old – Apollo Magazine


December 2nd, 2018


1. Beneath appearance of perfect family, Christopher Watts lied and cheated even as his wife attempted to save their marriage – Denver Post

As concerned messages and calls about his missing wife lit up his phone and the bodies of his daughters sank in Weld County oil tanks less than 100 feet from his truck, Christopher Watts planned his new life as a bachelor.

He called his daughters’ preschool to unenroll them. He exchanged text messages with a real estate agent about selling the family’s large Frederick home, the house that made them seem like any other suburban family. Minutes after speaking with his mother-in-law, who was wondering about Shanann Watts’ well-being, he searched online for coupons to Aspen resorts, phone records released by investigators show.

He looked up the lyrics to a Metallica song, the chorus of which includes: “Pounding out aggression/Turns into obsession/Cannot kill the battery/Cannot kill the family.”

Hours had passed without anyone hearing from Shanann.

“What the heck is going on with you guys that she would totally shut out everything?” a friend texted. “It’s not like her.”

Watts tried to allay everyone’s fears. He asked them not to call police.

In the days before he murdered his wife and 2 kids, Chris Watts was Googling the price of an Audi and ‘marrying your mistress’ – Insider

Cellphone data obtained in the investigation into Colorado murderer Chris Watts show he was looking up ways to marry his mistress and the lyrics to love songs in the days before he killed his pregnant wife and their two kids in August.

The data was included in a batch of nearly 2,000 documents obtained by the Daily Mail in a Freedom of Information Act request this week.

The cellphone data showed Watts striking up a romantic relationship with a woman he met at work, Nichol Kessinger. He entered her phone number into his phone on June 14, and they started dating while his wife, Shanann Watts, and daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, were away for most of the summer visiting family in North Carolina.

Chris Watts’ phone data showed that he had his first phone call with Kessinger on July 7, and a week later they visited a Mustang museum together. Four days later, Kessinger started sending him seminude photos of herself, according to the data obtained by the Mail.

That same day, a worried Shanann Watts sent a slew of texts to her husband saying she had realized “what’s missing in our relationship!” and accusing him of not reciprocating her feelings and effort. The following morning, Chris Watts made several Google searches between 8:41 a.m. and 12:07 p.m., including, “When to say I love you,” “When to say I love you for the first time in a new relationship,” “What do you feel when someone tells you they love you,” and, “How does it feel when someone says I love you.”

During an interview with The Denver Post earlier this month, Kessinger said that she started dating Watts at the end of June and that he told her he was in the final stages of his divorce. She said she didn’t know that he was expecting his third child with his wife.

On July 28, investigators wrote in documents that Watts and Kessinger traveled together to spend a night at the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Two days later, Watts started looking up “love letters” and lyrics to love songs.

The next day, Watts flew to North Carolina for the final week of his family’s vacation.

On August 4, while Watts was away, Kessinger spent two hours looking for wedding dresses on Google.

On August 8, a day after the family returned from North Carolina, Watts searched Google for topics related to “marrying your mistress.” Meanwhile, Shanann Watts had started confiding in her friends that her husband had become distant and they were having issues.

In the five final days of her life, Shanann Watts Googled couples counselors in her area and bought relationship self-help books online, according to the documents.

Read more: Text messages and phone records show pregnant Colorado woman murdered by her husband told friends before her death that he had ‘changed’ and didn’t want another baby

Meanwhile, on August 9, four days before he killed his wife and kids, Chris Watts looked up the price of an Audi Q7. That day, his wife left for a quick business trip to Arizona. The following day, he spent the morning arranging a babysitter to look after his girls so he could attend a Colorado Rockies game the next day. In reality, he went out on a date with Kessinger.

2. A Masterpiece Stolen From Auction House Walls – Mutual Art

December 1st, 2018

1. BREAKING: Crime Scene Footage CERVI 319 #TCRS

BREAKING: First Crime Scene Footage INSIDE #2825 Saratoga Trail [UPDATED] #TCRS

Audio, video recordings reveal first contact with Christopher Watts, investigative process – Greeley Tribune

‘Heartless Monster’ Chris Watts Googled: ‘When to Say I Love You When Starting a New Relationship’ – People

Weeks before he killed his wife and two daughters amidst an affair he was having with a co-worker, Chris Watts typed into Google, “When to say I love you for the first time in a new relationship.”

On that same day of July 25, less than three weeks before the Aug. 13 murders, Watts Googled, “What do you feel when someone tells you they love you” and “How does it feel when someone says I love you.”

During this period, Shanann desperately tried to salvage the couple’s crumbling marriage, prosecutors have said, citing pleading text messages and self-help books she got for her husband, including one he threw in the garbage.

Chris Watts: Last photos of pregnant wife and daughters before dad murdered them – The Mirror

How Chris Watts’ family’s ‘decomposing’ bodies were found revealed in harrowing new report – The Mirror

2.. Madeleine McCann’s parents fail in bid to revive Leveson inquiry – Guardian

Four individuals brought the legal challenge to this decision, with the support of the campaign group Hacked Off. The four were phone-hacking victim and former Crimewatch presenter Jacqui Hames, the Bristol schoolteacher Christopher Jefferies, who was wrongly accused of murder, and Gerry and Kate McCann – the parents of missing child Madeleine McCann.

At a hearing earlier this month, the four argued that in November 2012 the former prime minister David Cameron made a “clear and unambiguous commitment” that the second part of the inquiry would go ahead. Their lawyers said that commitment, made at a meeting with Jefferies, Mrs McCann and Hames, meant they had a “legitimate expectation” it would proceed.

But Lord Justice Davis said Cameron made “no such promise” in the meeting and that it was unacceptable that the case was based on a covert recording of the discussion, despite participants having agreed that what was said in the meeting would remain confidential.

The judge said he had a great deal of sympathy for the claimants but that sympathy could not override the law and the legal case failed “at almost every level”.


Crime News – October 2018

October 31st, 2018


1. Gun violence is the top source of stress across all generations. CNN

2. Kathleen Zellner’s biggest revelations about Steven Avery’s case post-Making a Murderer 2 – Digital Spy


October 30th, 2018


1.  The hearing about the autopsy reports for Shan’ann Watts, 34, and her two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3, will take place at 9 a.m. Dec. 21 before Weld District Court Judge Todd Taylor.Greeley Tribune


2. Boston gangster James ‘Whitey’ Bulger killed in West Virginia prison a day after transfer – CNN

Whitey Bulger Is Dead in Prison at 89; Long-Hunted Boston Mob Boss – New York Times

James (Whitey) Bulger, the South Boston mobster and F.B.I. informer who was captured after 16 years on the run and finally brought to justice in 2013 for a murderous reign of terror that inspired books, films and a saga of Irish-American brotherhood and brutality, was found beaten to death on Tuesday in a West Virginia prison. He was 89.

Two Federal Bureau of Prisons employees, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the information was not yet public, said Mr. Bulger had been beaten unrecognizable by inmates. No other details were immediately available.

Mr. Bulger, who had been serving two life sentences for 11 murders, had been transferred to the prison, the Hazelton federal penitentiary in Bruceton Mills, W.Va., on Monday.


He was found unresponsive at 8:20 Tuesday morning, according to a statement from the federal Bureau of Prisons. The bureau said that lifesaving measures had been initiated and that he was pronounced dead by the Preston County Medical Examiner. The statement did not indicate a cause of death.

Enriching the Bulger legend, his brother William became president of the Massachusetts State Senate and president of the University of Massachusetts. William Bulger always denied firsthand knowledge of his brother’s crimes and whereabouts, but said he loved him and could never give him up to the law.

3. #HannahCornelius: Accused minimising roles in crime, says State – IOL

4. Making a Murderer 3: The filmmakers share their thoughts on the next chapter – Digital Spy

Will there even be one?

October 29th, 2018

1. How similar is the Watts Family Murder to the Longo case?

  • Longo told police he strangled his fit in a fit of rage after she’d murdered two of her children
  • victims submerged in liquid
  • Longo strangled his wife and youngest daughter and drowned his two older children
  • both families had financial difficulties [Christian Longo was the spendthrift]
  • initially worked hard to provide for his family
  •  Longo appeared to be a squeaky-clean, earnest family man
  • “He seemed like a nice, normal guy. He certainly didn’t act like he’d killed anyone”
  • both families involved three-children families
  • Longo described himself as a damaged, conceited narcissist who “blamed his wife for everything”
  • living a lie/in deniallongo.christian.fbi_


It was not quite Christmas that year, 2001, when he strangled his wife, Mary Jane, and their 2-year-old daughter, Madison, then stuffed them into a suitcase and tossed it off the docks in Newport. He drowned Zachary and Sadie, dropping them off a bridge into Alsea Bay with rocks tied around their ankles.

Ten years later he’s now writing about his dead family. In a letter obtained by KATU News, Christian Longo tells a woman he says he loves, how he’s come to terms with his crimes.

He talks about the trial: “I got up on the stand and essentially blamed my wife for everything. I was still stuck in a phase where I couldn’t fathom the thought of me being capable of doing what I was convicted of.”

He writes that he eventually began “studying what a psychologist said I was and came to terms with it, almost totally agreeing that he was right … his conclusion was the narcissistic personality disorder which he called ‘compensatory’ — basically self-centeredness related to a damaged core sense of self.”

More background on Longo here.

2. Jury screening starts in trial of man accused in McStay family murder case – San Diego Tribune

Joseph McStay, 40, ran a business providing interior water fountains primarily for corporate clients, and often hired Merritt to craft custom-made fountains.

McStay, his 43-year-old wife, Summer, and their children Gianni, 4, and Joey Jr., 3, moved from San Clemente to Fallbrook in late 2009. They vanished in February 2010, leaving food on the counter and their beloved dogs unattended.

The disappearance baffled family, friends and investigators. For a while, detectives suspected that the family had taken off south of the border, and the case was handed off to the FBI. Then on Nov. 11, 2013, a dirt-bike rider came across the family’s remains in the Mojave desert.

Authorities now believe the family was beaten to death with a sledgehammer in their Fallbrook home and then dumped in shallow graves outside Victorville, about 100 miles north up Interstate 15.

Merritt has long ties to the Victor Valley area.

Five years after a long missing Fallbrook family was found dead — beaten and buried in desert graves — screening began Monday for potential jurors in a murder trial for the man accused of killing them. The first week of November marks four years since the arrest of Chase Merritt, who is accused in the 2010 beating deaths of his business associate Joseph McStay, McStay’s wife and their two sons, ages 3 and 4.

Authorities suspect the family was killed in their home in February 2010. The trial is in San Bernardino County, where the family was found buried in shallow graves off Interstate 15 in November 2013. Investigators also found a small sledgehammer in one of the graves.

Merritt was arrested almost exactly a year later. For the last four years, he has remained in jail, awaiting trial in San Bernardino Superior Court.


Further reading:

How the McStay Family Disappeared Into the Desert – but Who Killed Them?

Summer McStay may have been raped before she was killed, buried in desert, court document says

Unanswered Questions About The McStay Family Disappearance

McStay family murder: 4-year-old was struck 7 times on head

Mcstay murders

3. No forensic evidence links Hannah Cornelius murder accused to her rape – advocate

4. Casey Anthony’s Father Reacts to Her Possibly Having More Children

“Knowing now that she could potentially be a mom again, I hope she does better this time around than what she did last time,” George Anthony said during an interview with television’s “Dr. Oz” scheduled to air Thursday.

George doesn’t sound nearly as outraged as he should.

Get the TCRS take on the Casey Anthony case:

October 27th, 2018

1. 11 people killed in Pittsburgh synagogue shooting – CNN


Pittsburgh synagogue shooting suspect leaves long trail of hate-filled social media postings – CrineOnline

2. Member of gang accused of rape and murder of Hannah Cornelius, 21, has PEARLS embedded in his penis which ‘make sex attacks more painful’ – The Sun

3. The Best True Crime on Netflix Right Now – Vice

4. Barbara Tadych: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know about Brendan Dassey – Heavy

Steven Avery Administered Brain Fingerprinting Test – Heavy

It seems like a snazzy way to avoid taking a polygraph test.

October 26th, 2018

1. Cesar Sayoc: what we know about the pipe bombs suspect – The Guardian

56-years-old, white, blue collar worker [mechanic], Trump supporter, extensive criminal records including 8 arrests, from Aventura, Florida, unemployed since January. And this:

Sayoc filed for bankruptcy in 2012 in a Miami court. A note which is part of the filing said: “Debtor lives with mother, owns no furniture”.

2. Christopher Watts’ attorneys want Weld DA out of autopsy battle – Greeley Tribune

Attorneys for Frederick triple-murder suspect Christopher Watts filed a motion Friday objecting to Weld District Attorney Michael Rourke’s attempt to intervene in a civil case between the Greeley Tribune and Weld County Coroner Carl Blesch.

The Tribune, along with a coalition of print and broadcast media partners, contested Blesch’s attempt to keep sealed the autopsy reports of Shanann Watts, 34, and her two daughters, Bella, 4, and Celeste, 3….on Friday, the public defender’s office filed a motion arguing Rourke has not met a three-prong test to join the lawsuit as required by the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure.

Those rules state a party may intervene into an action as a matter of right if he “has an interest relating to the transaction that is the subject of the action, his ability to protect that interest is impaired or impeded, and his interest is not adequately represented by the parties to the action.”

Rourke Watts

Should Chris Watts face the death penalty? A look at capital punishment in Colorado

3. JonBenét Ramsey Family Attorney on Ex-Boulder DA’s Subpoena in CBS Suit – Westword

“I believe Mr. Hunter was professionally and personally outraged by tabloid accusations made against Burke in 1999 while he was the district attorney,” Wood notes in a Q&A below, “and I expect that he is equally outraged by the accusations made against this young man by CBS.”

Sorry, which young man is Lin Wood outraged about murder accusations? Is it the accusation that Burke Ramsey murdered his sister? If it’s so outrageous, say what the outrageous thing is that’s outraging you.

Westword: Why do you think Alex Hunter has been subpoenaed in relation to the lawsuit?

Lin Wood: CBS issued the subpoena, so only CBS can state why the subpoena was issued to Mr. Hunter.

Wow, he’s unwilling to venture an opinion on why CBS would subpoena Alex Hunter.

The CBS documentary concluded that Burke Ramsey killed his sister based on CBS’ representation that a full re-investigation of the evidence had been undertaken by its team of “experts.” In his libel lawsuit, Burke challenges not only the accusation, but also the legitimacy of this alleged “re-investigation.”

CBS has apparently realized that the evidence relied upon by its “experts” does not support the accusation against Burke.

Now he’s venturing an opinion on CBS’ behalf. When they they have this “change of heart”?

The recent discovery efforts aimed at Boulder officials, including Mr. Hunter, confirm that CBS is still searching for evidence to support its false and defamatory accusation against Burke. Stated differently, if CBS had enough evidence to support its accusation being broadcast to the world in its 2016 documentary, why in the world is CBS searching for more evidence in 2019?

Brilliant use of semantics. CBS is still “searching for evidence” is another way of saying CBS is trying to get hold of the evidence file. Naturally the way he frames it, it creates the impression there isn’t any evidence. That’s what the Ramsey case mostly is – impressions [mostly false, starting with the Ransom Note…]

The answer is obvious — the 2016 documentary was rank speculation unsupported by any credible evidence and CBS knows it. CBS is in search of a defense it will never find.

Maybe he’s right. Maybe he knows the file is all sewn up and the key figures lips sewn shut.

Why is it important that Alex Hunter cooperate with the subpoena?

Mr. Hunter is a third party to this litigation and has the right to question whether there is a legitimate need for his testimony and/or whether the subpoena imposes unnecessary trouble and expense.


I do not view Mr. Hunter’s motion to quash as being based solely on inconvenience to him or as an effort on his part to be uncooperative. CBS has the burden of convincing the Court that there is a legitimate need for discovery from Mr. Hunter.

4. 75-year-old Millionaire Robert Durst To Stand Trial In The Murder Of His Longtime Friend. The arraignment will be sometime in November 2018. So there’s a possibility Durst will stand trial and perhaps even serve time in jail for his crime before he dies.

Fullscreen capture 20181026 185103

5. Serial and Making a Murderer Look for Redemption in New Seasons. Only One Finds It – TIME

Season 3 of the true-crime podcast Serial doesn’t explore any brutal murders where the facts don’t add up. 

What a fantastic opening, setting up the other case where the facts don’t match up.

Both Serial and Making a Murderer faced backlash for lending a too-sympathetic ear to potential perpetrators. The two shows have since taken different paths: Making a Murderer returned to Netflix in October to follow Avery’s appeals process in new episodes, while Serial has wisely ventured into new territory.

Making A Murderer hasn’t.

The second season of Making a Murderer struggles to find the right balance. Avery’s post-conviction lawyer Kathleen Zellner combs through every potential lead — including the personal life of victim Teresa Halbach — to find other possible perpetrators. She’s doing her job. But in front of the cameras, her work can feel tasteless, even reckless.

Making a Murderer is also muddied by the media frenzy it created. The filmmakers often interrupt Avery’s appeals process to show his onetime fiancée soliciting relationship advice on Dr. Phil, or the man who prosecuted Avery promoting his book on Dateline. “It all became a part of the story,” says Moira Demos, who co-created the documentary with Laura Ricciardi. “How do headlines compare to what’s really happening on the ground?” But these side plots distract from the very real obstacles Avery faces.

The visual nature of the medium doesn’t help. Cameras tend to linger on bloodstains. Though some podcasts indulge in lengthy descriptions of corpses, the audio format feels less prurient. And podcast hosts can establish an intimacy with the listener that filmmakers cannot: they can express skepticism or empathy during interviews. Some documentarians, in their determination to remain objective, run the risk of removing themselves from the narrative to their own detriment. Making a Murderer‘s creators use a montage of newscasters debating the ethics of their show, but they stop short of responding to that criticism themselves.

If there’s one thing weird and in my opinion, deceitful, about Making A Murderer, it’s this “distance” the filmmakers keep from their subject while tacitly asking the audience to fill in the vacuum with their imaginations.

Narratives are visual, there’s audio [argued here as more effective], but there’s also the classical version – the book. As an author I’m biased, but I’d say in something as rich in detail and information as true crime, the only medium that does it justice is effective written narrative. You need a lot of time to get into the texture of true crime. A ten-part documentary series covers a fraction of a 50 000 word narrative. It may convey more in a shorter time, but a book ultimately conveys the whole story, or it should.

And if audio does the job better of awakening the imagination of the reader, good writing trumps all. J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books are proof positive that writing stokes the powers of the creative mind more than the best cinema or CGI.

I also believe the true crime writer, like someone writing about religion, has to be honest and lay his cards on the table. He has to take a position and be able to defend it, otherwise what’s he doing? So – where does he stand and why? If he’s going to deal personally with the accused or the victim, he must be prepared personalize the narrative otherwise all it amounts to is finger pointing. Knowing how and where to strike the balance between meaningful disclosure and indulgence is the secret that separates good true crime from the muddy manipulative stuff.

6. Kathleen Zellner’s Tweets Show She’s Far From Giving Up On Steven Avery – Bustle

7. Hannah Cornelius begged gang-rape killers to let her go if she said yes to sex – Metro

Hannah Cornelius

8. What investigators are looking for in nationwide hunt for would-be bomber – CNN

October 25th, 2018

1. This is why we need True Crime Rocket Science. Because the mainstream media is clueless. Of course the 15-man hit on journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated – answer the question WHY was it premeditated?

Fullscreen capture 20181025 140316

2. #HannahCornelius said it was ok to have sex with her, getaway driver tells court

Do you believe him?

‘I’m sorry for what I did,’ says Hannah accused


3. Amanda Knox to host new true crime podcast: ‘I tend not to be a fan of the genre’ – Ottawa Sun

They commit crimes [or are accused of committing them], and all they want to do once acquitted is carry on with their lives. So what do they do with their criminal-themed celebrity? Casey Anthony moved in with the private detective who was hired to investigate her and worked for him as a professional lie detector, Raffaele Sollecito became a television crime “expert” – true crime is chock-full of prime suspects who’ve made hefty pots of gold out of the cottage industries that have sprung around their crimes and criminal trials. The same thing is happening around the Steven Avery case right now.

4.  Chris Watts Case: ORDER (C-21) filed on October 22, 2018 Weld County Court Grants Motion to submit health-related information “under seal”

5. Finally, a comment posted today on reddit. Sometimes reading one true crime book leads to reading several:

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October 24th, 2018

Former Ramsey case DA cites Hawaii trip in bid to avoid defamation case subpoena – Daily Camera

Former Boulder County District Attorney Alex Hunter is fighting a subpoena in a $750 million defamation suit arising from the JonBenet Ramsey case by arguing, in part, that it is an “annoyance” that would interfere with his annual relocation to Hawaii.


So much for the vaunted ethics of a district attorney’s office that would stop at nothing in the pursuit of justice in the Ramsey case. What was that thing Hunter said on February. 13, 1997 about “the list of suspects narrows; soon there will be no one on the list but you”?

To fully appreciate the double standards and double dealing in how the district attorney favored the Ramseys way back in 2000, another Daily Camera article – Hunter answers attacks – is worth reviewing.

But back to the present the article.

Hunter’s arguments also assert that compliance with the subpoena could compromise an “open investigation and potential prosecution” of the person or persons responsible for JonBenet’s death.

Ongoing investigation?

Hunter is one of several parties targeted with subpoenas by both sides in the high stakes defamation claim made by Burke Ramsey — he was 9 [and 11 months] when 6-year-old JonBenet was killed — against the CBS Corp. and additional parties who produced the September 2016 docuseries “The Case of: JonBenet Ramsey,” which suggested Burke Ramsey was responsible for his sister’s death.

Hunter was the district attorney in office over the first four years of the beleaguered Ramsey investigation, but has been retired since 2001. Lawyers for CBS and its co-defendants are seeking a deposition and documents from Hunter as part of the discovery process underway in Burke Ramsey’s lawsuit, which was filed in December 2016 in the Circuit Court for Wayne County, Mich.

So more than a year after the lawsuit against CBS was filed, Hunter is still kicking the can that is the Ramsey case down the road.

The Boulder Police Department also is subject to a far-reaching subpoena for Ramsey case records out of the same lawsuit. That subpoena and the one served on Hunter are both subject of an ongoing battle in Boulder District Court.

In a reply to the subpoena filed there Friday, Hunter’s attorney states “Mr. Hunter is 81 years old, has been retired from the District Attorney’s Office for approximately 18 years, and he is a non-party to the underlying action.”

It also states that “Mr. Hunter normally spends November to May in Hawai’i and has plans to leave Colorado on November 5, 2018. Any deposition that does not have a strong basis upon which to take place is an undue burden to him, is oppressive, and is an absolute annoyance.”

You’d think Hunter would take some time out of his busy retirement schedule and finally deal with this case – the one he fucked up almost 20 years ago.

The filing adds that it’s “hard to imagine” CBS lawyers don’t already have every shred of information they need to defend themselves “without distressing a retired, elderly gentleman about statements that it already possesses.”

Attorney Dea Wheeler, on Hunter’s behalf, argues that CBS lawyers’ interest in Hunter centers on “two public statements” made by Hunter more than 18 years ago. One came in a news release in May 1999, while he was still in office, in which it was noted that then-Boulder Police Chief Mark Beckner had said in a press conference that police were not looking at Burke Ramsey as a suspect, and that “To this day Burke Ramsey is not a suspect.”

Interesting, Hunter doesn’t wish to defend his statements made then on Burke Ramsey. Seems pretty simple to do. There are just two statements. Just provide reasons for why you made them. So why not do it?

Secondly, Hunter signed an affidavit in October 2000, shortly before leaving office, which stated in part, “From December 26th, 1996 to the date of this affidavit, no evidence has ever been developed in the investigation to justify elevating Burke Ramsey’s status from that of witness to suspect.”

The shortly before leaving office bit is interesting, isn’t it? Hunter made a grand gesture, one of the grandest in a case with few legal milestones, just before stepping off the plate and effectively scuppering the case. If Patsy was a suspect due to fibers found on the inside of the duct tape, why wasn’t Burke – even if only in lieu of his fingerprint on the pineapple bowl and glass tea found on the kitchen counter [given JonBenet had undigested pineapple fragments in her stomach].

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Hunter’s recent filing argues that any information he might be able to offer now relating either to his 1999 statement or 2000 affidavit “is privileged and confidential because the Boulder Police Department investigation remains open.”

Really, the Ramsey investigation is still open. Who or what are they investigating now?

“…the list of suspects narrows; soon there will be no one on the list but you…”

Who is the you Hunter is referring to? Surely not Burke Ramsey?

Although a grand jury indicted both parents for child abuse resulting in death in October 1999, Hunter declined to prosecute the indictments due to his belief the evidence would not support a conviction, and every member of JonBenet’s family has always denied any involvement in the crime.

2. Saudi officials: Team planned to hold Khashoggi in Turkish safe house for up to 2 days – NBC

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3. In the Hannah Cornelius case, disturbing information emerges from the suspects about how and where the Stellenbosch student was raped and murdered. I’d always assumed the rape and murder had happened outside, in the bushes alongside a road. Now, if the accused are to be believed, it turns out she was raped in-turn inside the vehicle, and according to the suspects, was raped withing making a noise and without putting up a struggle.

She was stabbed twice in an upward motion by one of the gang members, because, as he put it, she was apparently taller than he was. The accused describes blood shooting out of her neck after stabbing her.

The trial has been postponed to Monday.

More coverage below:

Hannah Cornelius stabbed because she refused to get out of her car boot – accused (WARNING: GRAPHIC DETAILS)

October 23rd, 2018

1. Court orders police to make Adam Lanza documents public

Sandy Hook shooter’s writings and belongings must be released to public, court rules

Although the release of the documents has been ordered, there’s no clarity on when that might happen. Why does it matter?

Adam Lanza proves the extent to which a severely humiliated child/young adult would seek sadistic revenge and retribution. His violent fantasies were developed over a long period of time, in terrifying detail.

I profiled Lanza in Slaughter, researching in-depth his notes, radio interview, therapy sessions and the online artifacts that are out there. Now those writing will be released in full.

Lanza was clearly inspired by the Columbine shootings, and modeled his own deadly spree on theirs. He considered those we consider monsters and most monstrous his heroes.

According to CBS:

State police searched the Lanza home and seized guns, ammunition and his belongings, including his personal journals. 

Among the belongings were a spreadsheet ranking mass murders and a notebook titled “The Big Book of Granny.” The notebook contains a story that Lanza wrote in fifth grade about a woman who uses her “rifle cane” to kill people at a bank, hockey game and Marine boot camp. 

The book also contains several chapters with the adventures of “Dora the Beserker,” influenced by a popular children’s television show. When Granny asks Dora to assassinate a soldier, she replies: “I like hurting people … Especially children.” In the same episode, Dora sends “Swiper the Raccoon” into a day care center to distract the children, then enters and says, “Let’s hurt children.” 

The FBI files that are currently available, can be viewed at this link.

The excerpts below are from this excellent Daily Beast article.

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2. More coverage on the Khashoggi body double – he was wearing Khashoggi’s actual clothes, just not the same shoes. Khashoggi’s body remains missing three weeks after his disappearance.


3. Crime by social media? Both suspects caught on a dashcam executing two security guards in cold blood thirteen days ago have been shot dead. The footage was widely circulated on social media. Police took cellphone photos at the scene, showing the tattoos matched those on the dashcam. These too spread like wildfire on social media.

According to a police spokesman:

“When police tried to arrest the two suspects….they resisted‚ which resulted in both suspects being shot dead. There are no reports of any police officers being injured at this stage.”

Does anyone really believe the police made a real effort to arrest them so they could stand trial?

4. The state has completed its submissions in the Hannah Cornelius case. One the accused’s letters to Cornelius’ family was subsequently read into the record. It looks like the writing of a child, not a gangster/rapist/murder.

Ironically Hannah’s murderer can’t even spell her name right, scratches it it out [just as he scratches out her life], and then rewrites it, getting it wrong on his second attempt too.

In the letter he asks her parents for forgiveness, and says Hannah was like a friend to him, and he was scared of what the other accused would do to him. He doesn’t say anything about what he did to her.

5. Strictly speaking, this isn’t news. But I was contemplating last night the elements involved in JonBenet Ramsey’s murder. There were four:

a) A garrote

b) She was smashed heavily on the head with a heavy object

c) She had three sets of burn-type wounds that were thought by some – like Detective Lou Smit – to have been inflicted by a stun gun. Detective Kolar, on the other hand, thought the abrasions were caused by the sharp ends of an electric railways track.

d) She suffered some sort of sexual assault at the time.

No one has been able to put together a scenario to date that arranges all of these elements in a cogent execution.  I will be blogging in more detail about this particular aspect of the case in the near future.

4. How does history become myth? In the case of Van Gogh, an assumption – in this case Van Gogh’s mental illness – is hijacked and then adapted to suit a particular compelling narrative.

…the reason for Van Gogh being so tormented was that he was plagued by literal monsters; an extra-terrestrial element to Vincent’s gift. Could the monster not have taken his ear off or something? That would have made it more fun, right?…

In this retelling of the myth, the idea Van Gogh’s mental illness has been elevated to a given, a non-negotiable historical artifact used to illustrate other mentally titillating ideas in the fantasy-horror genre. Mental illness isn’t irrelevant when it comes to Van Gogh, but it’s hardly as foundational or fundamental as the popular mythology suggests.   After all, Van Gogh continued to write lucid letters through his single year in the asylum [handwritten too], and he painted perhaps his most seminal work during his time in the madhouse. People who are truly mad or mentally compromised cannot consistently write sensibly or paint evocatively, and Van Gogh was nothing if not consistently. In the last months of his life he was painting a picture a day, each painting – literally – a masterpiece.


October 22nd, 2018



2.  TCRS publishes its 50th post on the Chris Watts case.

3. Making A Murderer II debuted on Netflix over the weekend. The filmmakers Moira Demos and Laura Ricciardi were interviewed recently by People as part of the PR to promote their docuseries. Part of what they told People included gems like this:

“Our focus is not on people having a better understanding of this case,” she says. “Our focus is on people having a better understanding of the criminal justice system.”

Why on earth would you make not one but two series about a crime and not attempt to get a better understanding of the so-called “wrongly-accused”? I dare say the filmmakers have failed in giving people a better understanding of the criminal justice system. They can be credited for boosting interest in true crime among the general public [the majority of whom seem quite ignorant about the nuances of true crime, especially regarding Avery and Dassey].

What they have done, instead, in my opinion is they’ve given a very biased view criticizing a case where justice did actually prevail, but under the pretense of politically correct neutrality and objectivity. Ultimately the filmmakers are pushing the law to favor the defense side more. Give suspected murderers and criminals more rights and give them more benefit of the doubt.

Really? Should we?


4. Surveillance footage shows Saudi ‘body double’ in Khashoggi’s clothes after he was killed, Turkish source says – CNN

Notice the body double is wearing similar clothes, has a similar build and similar general appearance. No wonder the consulate were so brazen and adamant by insisting Khashoggi the consulate left alive. They’d intended it to look that way! It was part of the plan.

We’re often surprised by the lengths criminals go to to conceal their dirty deeds. The dirty the deed, the more devious it seems the deceit. People who aren’t criminals tend to find this treachery and trickery difficult to swallow at first. But if there’s one thing experience in true crime teaches, it’s often that the bad guy [in this case a hit squad of about 15 bad guys] is a lot worse than anyone suspected.

October 21st, 2018

1. 4 years ago today Oscar Pistorius was sentenced to just five months [effectively ten months] in jail for the murder of Reeva Steenkamp.

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October 19th, 2018

1. Thus far Chris Watts’ defense has sat back and allowed the prosecutors to do all the work, in terms of holding back the media [who have been baying of the autopsy reports]. Well, today that’s changed.

The defense has just filed a civil motion opposing the release of the autopsy reports, which can be read here.

2. Four new developments in the Khashoggi Case: Firstly, one of the 15-man hit squad apparently arrived at the consulate with a bone saw. That says something about intentions beyond a “botched interrogation” doesn’t it. Secondly, poor Khashoggi’s remains have likely been moved from the first burial spot to somewhere else. Turkish cops are not searching a nearby forest. Time to bring out the cadaver dogs.


Thirdly, a high-level intelligence official who masterminded the crime, who failed to commit “the perfect murder” will be taking the fall for the killing. But it’s not the same guy as the head of a forensic department in Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services.

According to the Guardian, the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics is this guy, Dr Salah Muhammed al-Tubaigy, who was trained in Britain.

Tubaigy studied at the University of Glasgow and he spent three months in Australia in 2015 as a visiting forensic pathologist at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine in Melbourne, its director confirmed.

He can allegedly be heard on an audio recording of Khashoggi’s death from the consulate telling others in the room that he likes to listen to music while he works to ease the pressure of the job, and encouraging others to do the same.

Fourthly, there’s this from the New York Times:

Four of the suspects Turkey has blamed for Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance belong to the security team that travels with Prince Mohammed. One of them, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed or spotted near him during recent visits to at least five cities — Paris, Madrid, Houston, Boston and the New York headquarters of the United Nations.

On Thursday, a pro-government Turkish newspaper published a leaked, time-stamped photograph of Mr. Mutreb entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just hours before Mr. Khashoggi entered. The photograph is one of the most striking pieces of evidence linking Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance to the crown prince.

Other photos published in the newspaper Sabah showed Mr. Mutreb outside the Saudi consul general’s home, leaving a Turkish hotel with a large suitcase, and leaving the country from Istanbul’s international airport — all later the same day.


Three stories worth reading on Khashoggi are from the GuardianNew York Times and BBC.

October 18th, 2018

1. Jamal Khashoggi’s Last Words – CNN

Khashoggi criticized the tightening space for free speech in the kingdom, and recounted how he was fired from a newspaper and forced off Twitter for being too critical of government policies.

According to CNN National Security Analyst Peter Bergen, MBS has moved Saudi from a consensus based absolute monarchy — where criticism was limited but not unheard of — “toward a totalitarian dictatorship in which all aspects of society are controlled by him and all forms of dissent are stifled.”

This was a topic Khashoggi had written about as well. As a member of the Saudi elite and former adviser to the royal family who was still influential inside the Kingdom, Khashoggi was becoming more and more of a rarity under MBS, and his criticisms may have stung more than those of a regular, unconnected dissident, and sparked a more extreme reaction.

In his final column for the Post, he warned that the “Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power.”

Is the same thing not happening through identity politics and populism elsewhere in the world – the USA, Britain, Russia, South Africa?

Below is an extract from his final column published in the Washington Post:

Jamal Khashoggi: What the Arab world needs most is free expression

I was recently online looking at the 2018 “Freedom in the World” report published by Freedom House and came to a grave realization. There is only one country in the Arab world that has been classified as “free.”

That nation is TunisiaJordanMorocco and Kuwait come second, with a classification of “partly free.” The rest of the countries in the Arab world are classified as “not free.”

As a result, Arabs living in these countries are either uninformed or misinformed. They are unable to adequately address, much less publicly discuss, matters that affect the region and their day-to-day lives. A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and while many do not believe it, a large majority of the population falls victim to this false narrative. Sadly, this situation is unlikely to change.

True crime also preoccupies itself with the false narrative. Very often large swaths of the population – even in an apparently free society – also falls victim to false narratives.

Especially where massive PR is the order of the day, such as the JonBenet Ramsey, Madeleine McCann, West Memphis 3, Steven Avery and the Amanda Knox cases, a large majority of the population falls victim to a false narrative.

October 17th, 2018


1. Turkish investigators search Saudi Consulate where journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished – Washington Post

Turkish officials had complained publicly in recent days that the Saudis were refusing to allow a search of the property.   An agreement allowing the inspection came after Salman called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday. Salman thanked him for welcoming the kingdom’s proposal to set up a “joint working group” to probe Khashoggi’s disappearance, a Saudi statement said.

But hours before the Turkish forensic team arrived, journalists photographed a cleaning crew entering the consulate, hauling buckets, mops and what appeared to be bottles of cleaning solution. When the Turkish investigators entered the consulate, some wearing white protective gear, they “smelled chemicals had been used,” according to two officials in contact with the investigators.  

More on this topic, and how it relates to the Watts Investigation here.


2. Photos that appear to be of Chris Watts’ Mystery Mistress were posted recently by a forum group member on the ‘Chris Watts – accused killer of Shan’Ann Watts’ Facebook page and then removed.


3. Ever wonder where the pedophile narrative comes from regarding Madeleine McCann? Gutter journalism – like this:

A PAEDOPHILE who fantasised about kidnapping Madeleine McCann has walked free after being caught with child abuse images – The Sun

Shaw was jailed in 2012 after investigators searching his laptop uncovered the largest collection of indecent images from the most extreme category ever.

The court heard he had fantasised about kidnapping toddler Madeleine McCann and downloaded thousands of horrific child sex abuse images, showing disturbing acts including between adults and children as well as bestiality and sadomasochism.

He has now moved to Southampton and was caught by officers again who discovered he downloaded an image of a teenage girl dressed in stockings and underwear before moving it to the recycle bin of his laptop.

Shaw was convicted at Southampton Crown Court after admitting one count of making an indecent photograph of a child.

Not only is Shaw completely unrelated to the McCann case, he hasn’t been convicted of an offence besides an addiction to pornography

Judge Gary Burrell QC gave Shaw a 24-month community order and ordered him to carry out 15 days of rehabilitation requirements.

What The Sun is trying to do here is link one offender with a famous high-profile crime to sell newspapers. They do it because it works, and what it does is create a false association between pedophiles and this particular case.


The large rock used to kill Hannah Cornelius. Above the numbers 1, 2 and 3 are the four murder and rape accused.

3. Hannah Cornelius killed by rock dropped on her head‚ says pathologist – TimesLive

Such a disturbing case.

At about 6:30am the next day‚ Cornelius was lying by the borehole with her face in the ground. Her heart was pumping blood through two neck wounds‚ possibly from the swift penetrating thrust of a screwdriver‚ but this was not what killed her.

According to Dr Deirdre Abrahams‚ the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy on Cornelius’s body‚ the fatal blows came when her murderers twice dropped the rock covering the borehole on the back of her head.

“The blunt force injuries to her head were very rapidly fatal‚” said Abrahams.

When Matthee and Booysen arrived at 8:20am‚ the area they had been working in the previous day was a mess. “I saw something that looked like a white bag. Then I saw it was a person‚” said Booysen. They left to find the foreman‚ who thought it was a doll lying on the ground. But they soon realised it was a young woman.

Cornelius’s jeans were pulled halfway down. There were bruises on her knees and legs‚ and bruising on her arms from the strong grip of the men who had killed her. On Sunday May 28‚ the crime scene was further explored by Ethan‚ a Labrador trained to detect bodily fluids‚ and handler Sergeant Jerome Timmy.

Timmy told the court that Ethan helped him to detect body fluids around the murder scene. They also found used condoms and condom wrappers.

Hannah Cornelius would have died quickly from heavy blows to the head, court hears – News24

‘There’s a person lying there’ – tragic discovery of Hannah Cornelius – News24


October 16th, 2018

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1. Two months to the day after Chris Watts’ arrest, and with one month and three days to go to his next court appearance on November 19, the Weld County Coroner has decided to hold onto the crucial autopsy reports. Although completed on October 1st, they’ve been contested over the past two weeks.

The prosecutor and coroner want them to remain sealed while the defense doesn’t seem to mind either way. Colorado’s press are going nuts trying to find a way to force the court to hand over the public documents.

The coroner has until October 17 to field his response in court.

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2. Missing journalist could shape Mideast for generations – CNN

Audio and video evidence show journalist Jamal Khashoggi murdered and dismembered at Saudi consulate in Istanbu.

There’s a saying in true crime when prosecutors or the public are frustrated with a corrupt or disabled justice system: even a video of the crime couldn’t secure a conviction. Sometimes – disturbingly often – there are videos. Well, thanks to Turkish bugs and cameras in the Saudi consulate, there’s one here.

The Khashoggi case has been explained away as a “botched interrogation“. It reminds, frankly, of the Amanda Knox case [in terms of the interrogation claims] and the Durst case, in terms of the allegation that he was accidentally killed [and then accidentally dismembered, and his remains accidentally concealed somewhere else!]

Amanda Knox because she turned a few head slaps into police brutality and coercion. The opposite is the case here, they’re trying to imply he died of a casual hand slap. In Robert Durst’s case we’re meant to believe an accidental death would be followed by the gruesome job of dismemberment. A jury famously fell for that con job.

Khashoggi was an important journalist in that he was critical of the Saudi regime, so critical he left the country in fear for his life [ a fear that was well-founded as it turned out] and settled in America. He’s a modern Salman Rushdie – or at least, was. There hasn’t been any official confirmation that Khashoggi is dead. He remains currently, officially, missing. But it doesn’t look good. According to the Turkish media, Khashoggi was the target of a 15-man assassination squad. Someone very powerful wanted this guy dead very badly.

The Khashoggi crime matters because of what it says about America’s narrative regarding Saudi Arabia. Since the start of 2018, Saudi Arabia has devolved into the Wild West [well, the Wild Middle East], thanks in large part to President Trump’s gracious acquiescence.

CNN provides an excellent analysis of why Khashoggi matters to the West, and just how rogue Saudi Arabia have gone of late:

The mysterious disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, raises important questions, not only about the nature of the Saudi regime, but also about the Trump administration’s uncritical embrace of its 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a close alliance that was engineered by President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who was awarded the Middle East portfolio during the presidential transition.

Two weeks after Trump’s trip to Riyadh, the Saudis led an Arab blockade of gas-rich Qatar, closing all border crossings and cutting off air and sea travel. This was a long-term goal of the Saudis who have long found their enormously wealthy, tiny neighbor to be an irritant because it hosts the TV network, Al Jazeera, which is often critical of other Arab states, and because it is sympathetic to Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood.

Trump cheered on the blockade, tweeting, “So good to see the Saudi Arabia visit with the King and 50 countries already paying off. They said they would take a hard line on funding……extremism, and all reference was pointing to Qatar. Perhaps this will be the beginning of the end to the horror of terrorism!”

This was the green light that the Saudis needed to keep up the blockade that continues to this day. In international law, a blockade is an act of war.

When Trump made his celebratory tweet about the blockade, he seemed to have no idea that Qatar housed the largest US base in the Middle East, which was also the most important base in the counter-ISIS fight, a base that is almost entirely paid for by the Qataris, according to a US diplomatic source.

Lately Trump’s been rallying to Saudi Arabia’s defense:

Trump: Saudi King denies knowledge of Khashoggi

Trump: ‘Nobody knows if it’s an official report’

ANALYSIS Trump has a huge denial double standard


3. After her child is the target of bullying at the famous and prestigious Grey College, a mother sends her son back to school with a bodyguard. The school has refused to expel the bullies, and refused to allow the pupil to attend school with a bodyguard. The injury suffered appears to be quite serious: a ruptured eardrum.

Now the mother is threatening legal action. The school seems to be quite clear – if you don’t like to be here, go to another school. Who’s right?

Mother sends bodyguard to school with her son [Right-click and hit “Translate to English]

Mother threatens lawsuit after smack at Grey

Bullied Grey College pupil sent to school with bodyguard [UPDATED]

4. Willem Dafoe – in the role of Vincent van Gogh – argues that 70 is the new 40. He makes a decent point that in Van Gogh’s era the average age of mortality was 70 years.

According to Variety a woman told Dafoe:

“The age discrepancy takes away from the idea that Van Gogh died so tragically as a young man.”

Dafoe’s response: “My point is: 37 wasn’t young in those days, particularly if you’re drinking absinthe every day.”

5.  Stellenbosch cop recounts dramatic chase that led to arrest of Hannah Cornelius murder suspect – News24

A gang of four were caught within 12 hours of committing rape, murder, robbery and abduction.

Sergeant Clifton Adams was on duty on May 27 last year when he became aware of a hijacked blue Citi Golf being pursued in the student town early that afternoon, he testified in the Western Cape High Court.

He and his partner spotted the car and gave chase, joining a convoy which had already been chasing the car as it headed toward the Devon Valley Road, eventually coming to a stop at Dwars-in-die-Weg Farm.

CCTV footage showed officers, including Adams, jumping out of their vehicles and chasing after two suspects who deserted the stolen car inside the venue and fled in different directions.

Adams estimated that the pursuit was over a distance less than a kilometre, snaking through the farm’s function venue, vineyards and towards the farmworkers’ homes. A fellow officer had shouted for the suspect to lie down, and he complied.

He pointed out Geraldo Parsons as the man he had cuffed that day before taking him to the holding cells of the Stellenbosch police station. Parsons, Vernon Witbooi, Eben van Niekerk and Nashville Julius face a string of charges including murder, aggravated robbery, kidnapping and rape.

The men allegedly accosted Cornelius and her friend Cheslin Marsh in her VW Citi Golf at the corner of Jan Celliers and Bird streets in the early hours of May 27, 2017…when her body was discovered, Cornelius had been lying on her stomach. One of her earrings was missing from her ear and a large rock was close to her remains.


The site where Hannah Cornelius was gang-raped and murdered.

Numerous condom wrappers were photographed at the scene of the rape.

He also photographed her car after it was deserted by the suspects. The photos show an Okapi knife, a screwdriver, drugs and drug paraphernalia, an empty cooldrink bottle and cigarette butts in the car.

The trial resumes on Tuesday.


October 15th, 2018

1. Willem Dafoe, 63, takes on Vincent van Gogh, 37, in drama ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ – USA Today

It seems Dafoe’s biopic on Van Gogh is the true crime equivalent of Making A Murder [I & II] on Steven Avery. Thick on sentiment, thin on facts.


…attempts to mythologize the art icon with more mysteries: Did he really cut off his own ear because of frightening hallucinations, or was it to win back an old friend, painter Paul Gauguin (Oscar Isaac)? And did he actually shoot and kill himself, or was he attacked and murdered by teenage boys while painting outdoors? 

“Eternity” makes no attempt to give answers, frustrating some critics who complained that it “offers little excitement or fresh insight” and is a “disappointingly self-indulgent exercise.”

If the above questions are worth asking about one of the world’s most beloved but misunderstood artists, aren’t they worth the effort of answering?

It also seems disingenuous to have a 63-year-old playing a 37-year-old, no matter how worn-out Van Gogh was said to have been at the end of his life.

October 14th, 2018

1.  Is Killing Vincent, self-published on September 25, 2018, a rip-off of The Murder of Vincent van Gogh published on May 3, 2018?

The cover image of Arenberg’s book also uses the same self-portrait as its main image as the one used in The Murder of Vincent van Gogh. An overview of the content also suggests Arenberg has accidentally [or purposefully] stumbled on the same premeditated motive elucidated in The Murder of Vincent van Gogh.

Did van Gogh take his own life in a fit of madness? Or did something much more sinister happen to one of the world’s greatest visionaries?

“Everyone is fascinated and intrigued by the iconic Vincent,” said Arenberg. “But when you substitute premeditated murder and an elaborate cover-up, then add to that an intriguing romantic twist that could provide a motive for his murder—you will really have everyone’s attention!” 

Killing Vincent also features interactive elements, including social media platforms as well as a website, allowing readers to interact on a dedicated forum and discuss various theories about van Gogh’s life and death. –

2. Hannah Cornelius case covered in RAPPORT by Julian Jansen

Unfortunately Jansen’s article is written in Afrikaans. However if you right-click and hit “Translate to English” you can read the article in English.

The graphic below provides useful insight into the set-up inside Cornelius’ vehicle. Apparently there were condoms in the dashboard of her car.

There are a few inaccuracies worth pointing out:

The illustration represents a right-wheel drive Citi Golf.

Also, one of the 4 accused was wearing a hoodie during the attack.  Were two of them wearing baseball caps as illustrated here? In CCTV footage none of the four appear to be wearing caps.


3. Two Security Guards Shot Point-Blank Outside Mall


The video clip below [which will likely be removed soon] provides a rare glimpse of the true horror of murder. It’s not only the terror of being killed that’s so disturbing, but the coldness and callousness of the killers.

It takes a heartless, mindless second to extinguish a person’s life permanently, forever, and the perfunctory way in which it happens here shows why true crime investigations matter. It matters to know and remember how the lives of others were lost, to preserve not just the lives and legacies of the innocent, but to put on record what really happens in real life and real death, despite the efforts of criminals to distort reality in order to save themselves.

In our efforts to understand these horrors, we show our capacity to care about others in this world, and what happens to them. And in our capacity to care for others, others will care about us. At least, that’s the hope.

4. You’d think the folks behind a true crime documentary series ten-years-in-the-making would at least have an opinion about whether or not Steven Avery is guilty. But they don’t.

“…do we have an opinion about who might have killed Teresa Halbach? Absolutely not. We have no idea.” Variety

And yet the public turns to them – the filmmakers and the documentaries – as their default setting for why they believe Steven Avery is innocent. As far as I’m concerned this isn’t only a cop-out from any authentic true crime investigation, it’s akin to cowardice. It’s pleading the the convicted murderer’s case, and then hiding behind semantics to argue that’s not what you’re doing.

October 13th, 2018

1. On this day 19 years ago, the JonBenet Ramsey grand jury is dismissed after 13 months of work with prosecutors. The official narrative at the time that jury was dismissed, was that there wasn’t enough evidence to charge anyone in the 6-year-old beauty queen’s 1996 slaying.

14 years later it turned out that the grand jury had voted to indict both parents on two separate charges each. According to the Denver Post on October 25th, 2013:

Count four of the indictment said the Ramseys [child abuse resulting in death] “did unlawfully, knowingly, recklessly and feloniously permit a child to be unreasonably placed in a situation which posed a threat of injury to the child’s life or health, which resulted in the death of JonBenét Ramsey, a child under the age of sixteen.” 

Count seven of the indictment said the Ramseys [accessory to murder] did “unlawfully, knowingly and feloniously render assistance to a person, with intent to hinder, delay and prevent the discovery, detention, apprehension, prosecution, conviction and punishment of such person for the commission of a crime, knowing the person being assisted has committed and was suspected of the crime of murder in the first degree and child abuse resulting in death.”

Neither Hunter nor John Ramsey returned calls seeking comment on Friday.

October 12th, 2018

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1. CCTV footage revealed in court shows the moment 4 men broke into Hannah Cornelius’ car and abducted her. Hours later she would be gang raped, tortured and murdered.

Although the initial incident is hidden slightly behind a white car parked in the upper right corner of the scene, what can be seen is the four suspects walking right past the CCTV camera and then circling back to Cornelius’ blue Citi Golf.

The Citi Golf can also be seen turning and parking, and the headlights turned off. The moment the car heads off, apparently mounting the curb, is also captured.

The incident occurred on May 27th at around 03:23 in the morning, clearly not the safest time to be out, especially for a young women.

2. The Making A Murderer II crew have clearly done their PR homework. Their trailer continues to make international news.

Once again this is an indictment of the Mainstream Media, who are too dumb and misinformed to know that the “news” they’re recycling is misinformed, biased and misleading.

There are rare exceptions. In 2016 the New York Times noted:

The prosecutor in the case, Ken Kratz, said viewers convinced of Mr. Avery’s innocence did not get to see important evidence that led a jury to convict him. The series “really presents misinformation,” Mr. Kratz said in an interview on Monday.

He portrayed the program as a tool of Mr. Avery’s defense and accused the filmmakers of intentionally withholding facts that would lead viewers to see his guilt. Much less than a dispassionate portrayal of the case, the film is a result of the filmmakers’ “agenda” to portray Mr. Avery as innocent and stoke public outrage, Mr. Kratz said. “That is absolutely what they wanted to happen,” he added.

He portrayed the program as a tool of Mr. Avery’s defense and accused the filmmakers of intentionally withholding facts that would lead viewers to see his guilt. Much less than a dispassionate portrayal of the case, the film is a result of the filmmakers’ “agenda” to portray Mr. Avery as innocent and stoke public outrage, Mr. Kratz said. “That is absolutely what they wanted to happen,” he added.


Making A Murderer portrays Steven Avery as a victim, an innocent victim. But is the junkyard prince really the pillar of his community that he’s portrayed to be?

Ms. Ricciardi, Ms. Demos and one of Mr. Avery’s lawyers, Dean Strang, disputed Mr. Kratz’s remarks in interviews on Monday, arguing that the documentary couldn’t have included every facet of the case. Our opinion is that we included the state’s most compelling evidence,” Ms. Ricciardi said. Mr. Strang echoed that view. “No one’s going to watch a 600-hour movie of gavel-to-gavel, unedited coverage of a trial,” he said.

No one is asking a 10 part series to include EVERY titbit of information, just the most important aspects that support the prosecution’s case, as opposed to the most important aspects supporting the defense case minus the pillars of the state’s case.

3. Weld District County Court denies DA’s request to keep Watts family autopsy reports under seal – Denver Post

October 11th, 2018

1. Is Making a Murderer’s Steven Avery innocent?BBC

The creators of the hit documentary series Making a Murderer say they believe they have “an educated opinion” on whether Steven Avery is innocent. 

Talk about hedging your answer.

I have a serious problem with narrators and storytellers profiting from bogus narratives. Unfortunately it’s in the very nature of true crime that the defense side of a narrative involves exclusive interviews and exclusive access with the criminal-as-celebrity. It’s obviously in the criminal’s interest to participate as much as possible in a narrative that’s sympathetic to his cause, and stokes the idea of the criminal as the innocent victim.

It’s in the filmmaker’s interest to subtly press as many buttons as they can to support their side of the narrative. Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos have done an incredible job at deceiving the masses first with Making A Murderer, and now with their follow-up.

Prosecutors, judges and law enforcement are generally frowned on for talking to the media in the same way, and when they do they’re accused of leaking. As such it’s easy to see how much screentime is devoted to the defense players, and defense lawyers, and how much to the prosecutor side of a case.

In the Making A Murderer series, thanks to Ricciardi and Demos’ efforts, the defense lawyers became sex symbols while the prosecutor – Ken Krantz – has lost his job and become a pariah.

This tends to skew the narrative disproportionately towards the defense propaganda, and PR can be a powerful tool to control the narrative in the court of public opinion. PR played a decisive role in getting Damien Echols off death row, and delivered Amanda Knox from her original 28 year prison sentence.

Get the true story and the real Rocket Science behind the Avery story by reading FOOL’S GOLD, THE STATE VS STEVEN AVERY.

2. The Hannah Cornelius case is a relatively low-profile true crime case that played out in Stellenbosch, South Africa in late May 2017 in the same general area as the Van Breda axe murders, the Rohde suicide/murder case and the still unsolved Inge Lotz murder case.


The circumstances of the Cornelius case are heartbreaking.

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Hannah’s life ended in the most brutal and horrific way.  The trial of her four murder and rape accused is currently underway.

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Sidenote: At one point while in Cape Town covering the axe murder trial last year, I strongly considered approaching Cornelius’ family about writing a book on this disturbing case. In March 2018, Hannah’s mother drowned in the sea off Scarborough beach. It’s uncertain whether Anna’s death was accidental or suicide. She was 56 at the time. Hannah’s father is a retired magistrate based in Simonstown.

I still feel it’s a tragedy worth paying attention to, because in this one case is the beauty and holocaust of South Africa’s human condition rolled into a single story.

3. Mark Fuhrman, Racist Ex-LA Cop From OJ Simpson Trial, Lands His Own Fox Nation Show – Daily Telegraph

“Former Los Angeles detective Mark Fuhrman reveals private thoughts and analysis on criminal cases that have defined America this past half century in ‘The Fuhrman Diaries,’” Fox said in a press statement.

OJ’s Dream Time basically won the case for him by sinking the key detective on the case, Mark Fukrman. By casting Fuhrman as a racist, the msotly black jury felt comfortable in dismissing his testimony, which was great for Simpson, who was ultimately acquitted.

Although – racism aside – Fuhrman’s a decent detective, cops, lawyers, ex-FBI agents aren’t necessarily the best storytellers, either in books or in front of the camera.

In the clip below Fuhrman makes a fantastic point comparing the Scott Peterson case with its minimal evidence, and polished defendant, to the Casey Anthony case, with its truckloads of evidence and train wreck defendant.

Jurors however are less interested in evidence than they are in stories. Which story resonates with them? Which story, given the evidence, feels right?

October 10th, 2018

1. Legal battle looms between multiple Colorado-based news organizations and Weld County Court for release of Watts family autopsy reports– Daily Camera [CHRIS WATTS/JONBENET RAMSEY]

In the early stages of a criminal investigation, before anyone is arrested or charged, the judge may seal the autopsy reports, Zansberg said. Law enforcement may be questioning suspects and want to keep certain details about the cause of death private, he said.

“But Mr. Watts was charged with these crimes. I’m not aware of any case where that concern has been recognized after charges have been filed,” he said.

I don’t believe holding back the autopsy evidence has got anything to do with preserving the prosecution’s case [or the defenses’ case]. It’s all about constraining publicity. It’s noteworthy that even defense counsel aren’t opposed in principle, to the release of the autopsy reports to the media.

Zanberg’s argument is new to Stan Garnett, the former district attorney for Boulder County. Garnett said he always felt the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act trumped CORA through the end of criminal trials.

While he could understand why the media would go after the reports, he doesn’t know how the court will review the argument, though he isn’t hopeful it will succeed.

Garnett was district attorney in Boulder, responsible for investigating [or not investigating] the JonBenet Ramsey case, as well as for releasing [or not releasing] the police file to the media. 22 years after JonBenet’s death, the police file into her case remains under lock and key, partially thanks to Garnett, and the district attorneys [Mary Lacy and Alex Hunter] that preceded him. This dogmatic lack of transparency even in high-profile cases doesn’t bode well for for the notion of a proper trial, or of justice prevailing in Colorado, does it?

When a Boulder reporter sued for the partial release of documents in October 2013, the entire Ramsey case was turned on its head. Despite statements to the contrary in the media and in books written by the suspects, it turned out the Grand Jury had decided to charge the Ramseys with child abuse and accessory charges after all. That this came to light was no thanks to Garnett.

The defense attorneys for Watts are not opposing the release of the autopsy reports, according to a motion they also filed Oct. 4. His attorneys argue that the reasons offered by the prosecution to keep the reports from the public are contradictory to its previous positions.

The defense says they have no knowledge of witnesses who the prosecution have not yet interviewed. If the court makes its ruling based on this criteria, Watts’ attorneys have asked for a hearing to determine whether this position has any merit.

The defense also says the prosecution’s position that this could affect jurors and thus Watts’ rights is incongruous with its “indignant objection to investigating prejudicial media leaks.”

While the court denied their requests, Watts’ attorneys have requested an investigation into possible media leaks from law enforcement agencies. Watts’ right to a fair proceeding has “been so substantially damaged in this case,” his attorneys say, that the “narrow issue” of releasing the autopsy reports wouldn’t salvage anything. The reports will most likely be revealed at the preliminary hearing, ahead of any jury trial, they also point out.

The prosecution has an obligation to protect the integrity and right to a fair trial, according to Garnett, and will be focused on minimizing publicity throughout the case.

2. Netflix drops Making A Murderer II trailer – and yes, it starts off with baby photos of convicted murderer Steven Avery.

3. Rumors about Ben Affleck making a movie about Scott Peterson, and starring as Laci Peterson’s murderer now appear to be unfounded.

“Ben’s career has been on a downslide for the past few years while he battled personal demons and dealt with the failure of his marriage,” a so-called source said. “He’s convinced a psychological thriller about a seemingly normal, handsome young man who slaughtered his pretty wife and unborn son is a ticket to the top.”

The insider added Affleck wanted to go to San Quentin Prison to interview and pitch his idea to Scott. Jennifer Garner’s former husband is said to be “taking full control” of this alleged movie and aimed to write, direct, produce, and star the real-life film.

But there is no truth to this story at all. The supposed insider seemed to be suspicious. Affleck’s rep even told Gossip Cop that the source’s revelations are just “made-up.”

Shauna Sexton’s boyfriend has no plan to make a movie about Scott. The publication claimed the rumor might have a connection with Affleck’s resemblance with the convicted killer. Business Times

4. Serial Killer Couple Identified in Mexico

When authorities searched their two houses, they found human remains in cement-filled buckets and wrapped in plastic bags inside a refrigerator, as well as articles of clothing apparently belonging to some of their victims.

The man told investigators that he and his wife lured their victims, many of whom were young mothers, with offers of discount clothing for their babies.

“They were single mothers and they needed someone who could help them find inexpensive baby clothes,” said Gomez. Investigators tracked down the couple by tracing cell phone calls the missing women had placed to them, he said.AFP

October 9th, 2018

1. Chris Watts Keeps Bible & Photo of Slain Family in Cell, Source Says: ‘Nothing to Do but Reflect’People 

“He doesn’t have much to do in jail,” says a source who has spoken to Chris. Chris, who occasionally speaks with guards and can talk to other prisoners, is keeping a low profile as he awaits his eventual trial. “He sleeps a lot,” the source says. “He can just sit there and look at the picture and read the Bible.”

What is going through his mind in those hours alone in his cell? Does he look at the bible and the family photo, or does he ignore them? What is echoing in that head of his, stuck day after day in the cell? What does he dream about, or are there nightmares?

The answer I think is straightforward: he’s got all day everyday to think about his defense, and fine-tune it. To play devil’s advocate, to find answers to inevitable questions, to come up with a defense case that will play well at trial. This is why, during the same period it’s useful to a true crime writer [ahem] to be thinking about the same thing, non-stop, and thus being able to second-guess the defense narrative not in a reactionary way, but from an educated, informed and intuitive perspective.

Incidentally, this is the job of the prosecutors as well, except they will have more than one case on their roster to attend to.

Also worth noting: People magazine has been the most consistent at providing ongoing coverage of the Watts case thus far. Just yesterday I posted a rhetorical question on Instagram – do tabloids hinder or help in true crime investigations?

2. Madeleine McCann ‘captive and alive’ theory picked apart by former editor9News Australia

…the recently retired editor of The Sunday Express, Martin Townsend, today described Edgar as being “wedded” to that theory since being hired by the McCanns in 2008.

Appearing on Channel Nine’s TODAY, Townsend was asked if there was any evidence which backed up Edgar’s belief. “No, none whatsoever,” he replied. “It is a theory that David Edgar, this detective, has actually expounded before. He is absolutely wedded to it,” Townsend added.

Edgar, now aged 61, worked for Kate and Gerry McCann from 2008 until 2011, which is when London’s Metropolitan Police launched Operation Grange to review and investigate Madeleine’s mysterious disappearance. Of all the British newspapers, it was The Express group, including Townsend’s The Sunday Express, which took the most aggressive stance on Madeleine’s case, and unproven theories about the possible involvement of her parents.

The McCanns also sued The Express for libel, as a result of their “aggressive” stance.

That’s Edgar on the right. His body language says it all: “Who knows?”

Additional Note: Australia’s Mark Saunokonoko [who wrote the above article] is also one of the few outspoken critics of the McCann and the investigation, but then I suppose you can be in the media safety zone Down Under [as opposed to doing that in the UK or Portugal].

As a result of Saunokonoko’s coverage, I made direct contact with him in April 2017, when I published DOUBT. Below is raw audio from one of our interviews.

3. Amanda Knox marks anniversary of prison release – Topix forum

This is no longer new news, but on the topic of Amanda Knox “celebrating” her freedom 7 years after being released from jail, it’s worth noting:

  1. When Knox was originally sentenced, she was given the harshest and longest prison term of her co-accused, yes, longer than Rudy Guede and Raffaele Sollecito respectively. She was originally sentenced to 26 years in jail for the murder of her housemate, Meredith Kercher [this sentence was also longer than that of her co-accused]. During the third trial and conviction her sentences was raised to 28 years and 6 months.
  2. Although she describes herself as innocent, and an “exoneree”, Knox spent 4 years in jail for slandering her boss [accusing him of the murder].
  3. She was also accused of slandering the police, but ultimately acquitted on that charge.nadeau-knox-court-appearance_104233_nuzsf3
  4. When Knox was “exonerated” she wasn’t able to claim compensation for unjust imprisonment because the Italian courts upheld her sentence for the slander of her boss.
  5. Both Knox’s parents were also accused of slandering the Italian police in the media.

Get the Rocket Science behind the Knox case here.

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October 8th, 2018

1. Frank Rzucek to collect Shan’ann Watts’ Estate [CHRIS WATTS]

During a Weld County Court telephone hearing, Shannan’s father requested that he be appointed as the personal representative of her estate. That means he will collect all of her assets, but it doesn’t mean he’ll automatically receive them.

“Once that estate is collected and he’s figured out whether she owed any money or needs to pay any taxes — after that, then he’ll distribute to who is entitled to receive it,” said Dan McKenzie, an attorney with McKenzie Law Firm.

“It’s typically the spouse and that’s probably where the disagreement is going to arise depending on how the criminal prosecution of Mr. Watts goes.”

We know the Watts family had plenty of debt, and also that Chris Watts didn’t object to her father being announced as executor of her estate.

2. The autopsy results in the Chris Watts case remain under seal.

The last time a Colorado judge ruled the release of autopsy reports would adversely affect the public was the Columbine High School massacre in 1999, 19 years ago.Greeley Tribune

Read the #tcrs analysis of this news items here.

October 7th, 2018

1. Amanda Knox celebrates 7 years out of prison. This is slightly overdue, as it was actually posted to her social media on October 4th.

At the same time, Knox also posted a picture of a doormat to Instagram. She received it from the Arizona Justice Project. It reads, “Come Back With a Warrant.”

NOTE: #tcrs has interrogated Knox’s innocence in Despicable.

2. Making A Murderer Season 2: What Story To Expect – Screen Rant [STEVEN AVERY]

One aspect that’s interesting is the appointment of new legal counsel for Steven Avery. The first season of Making A Murderer made virtual celebrities of the defense duo Dean Strang and Jerry Buting. Some even went to far as to call them sex symbols. Will Kathleen Zellner, well-known for her work in overturning wrongful convictions, enjoy the same notoriety?

According to Zellner, Ryan Hillegas, Halbach’s boyfriend at the time, is the real murderer.


Does Hillegas really not have an alibi?

Zellner’s accusation contends that:

Hillegas reportedly snuck into Steven Avery’s trailer on November 3rd, 2005, found Avery’s blood (that was not cleaned up after an accident), planted it on Halbach’s vehicle, then snuck out without being caught. Yet, according to Officer Leslie Lemieux of Calumet County Sheriff’s Department, Hillegas had an airtight alibi , leading up to almost the time he’s accused of sneaking into the trailer.

So for all the Making a Murderer fans, in order to believe Avery didn’t kill Halbach, some else had to break into Avery’s trailer, steal Avery’s blood [because he knew blood would be in his trailer] and plant it on Halbach’s vehicle, then sneak away without being seen.

What this conspiracy leaves out isn’t how Avery might be innocent because someone else is guilty, but how, where and when Hillegas killed Halbach if he did? Did Hillegas also rape and kill Halbach in Avery’s junk yard?

More info here and here.

Read #tcrs analysis of the Avery case here.

3. “Killer paedophile Charles O’Neill had to be moved to a new jail in 2013 after prisoners plotted to murder him over fears he snatched Madeleine McCann in Portugal in 2007.”The Sun

Leave it to the British tabloids to wring every drop out of the bogus pedophile narrative in the McCann case. The American press did the same with the JonBenet Ramsey case.

4. Does the world famous story of Vincent van Gogh qualify as true crime? It’s a popular misconception that it isn’t. His ear slicing, admission to the madhouse and suicide are all controversial. The tide is shifting significant right now on all three of these narratives.

The madhouse narrative has been studied in detail by Martin Bailey. Published today in the Daily Telegraph, there’s this:

[Bailey] found himself amazed by van Gogh’s extraordinary feat in producing almost one painting for every day of reasonable health he enjoyed during his year at the asylum.About 150 paintings from that period survive, while Bailey surmises that more than a dozen have been lost.


What is the pertinent insight to this? Van Gogh spent just one year in the asylum, admitting himself, and letting himself out when he was ready. If he painted over 150 paintings in a year, including arguably his best and most famous Starry Night, then his painting output was roughly one picture every second day. Not bad for a madman, is it?

Read #tcrs research on Vincent van Gogh here.

5. Relatively new developments in the Chris Watts case. The location of where the phone was left has been established.

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Besides this, a phone call to discuss Shan’ann’s estate took place on October 5th. Chris Watts and his two defense attorneys Kathryn Herold and John Walsh sat in on that call, along with Frank [Shan’ann’s father], Sandi [Shan’ann’s mother] and Frankie [Shan’ann’s younger brother] and presumably their lawyer. Weld County district attorney Michael Rourke unexpectedly also sat in on that conversation.

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It’s likely certain aspects of the estate are complicated, one of them being the largest and most significant asset – the Watts home. If they were married in community of property, even if Watts did kill Shan’ann, he’s unlikely to lose his stake in the home. He may however have agreed to dispose of the house, as along as the parties agree to split the principal 50/50. If so, his defense attorneys would be very interested in brokering this particular aspect, because it would allow them to get paid, as well as to hire expensive experts.


October 6th, 2018

1.A BUSKER who sparked fury after singing about Madeleine McCann being “in his freezer” today slammed “snowflakes” for being offended by his lyrics.The Sun

Proponents of the theory that Madeleine was killed as early as a week before her disappearance, believe her body was placed in freezer until it was moved elsewhere.

There’s definitely been an uptick in Madeleine McCann related coverage, no matter how asinine or irrelevant. The McCann has been a cash cow for the newspaper industry, and with a new documentary series coming, there’s more hay to be made. There’s something to be said though for how clueless the news media are, or, assuming they know the truth behind this saga, how cynically they pull the public’s strings while making a tidy profit.

2. Accused Murderer Chris Watts Could Inherit Slain Wife Shan’ann’s EstateInTouch Weekly

This means there may well be another trial running parallel to the criminal trial. Whether he does or doesn’t inherit is contingent on the outcome of the criminal trial, and so any hearing dealing with inheritance issues will likely deal with freezing assets rather than making any available. This does raise the question, how will Watts pay for his defense? Could he hold up the Watts house as collateral?

OCTOBER 5th, 2018:

1.Madeleine McCann may still be alive in Portugal, says former detective –

Dave Edgar worked on the three-year-old’s disappearance from 2008 – 2011 after being hired by her parents Kate and Gerry McCann. Mr Edgar, who stopped working on the case when the Metropolitan Police took over, is optimistic detectives could still solve the case. Edgar has previously made several claims about Madeleine’s disappearance, including suggesting she was taken by a ‘gang of paedophiles’ and the culprit was being protected.

After 12 years, with no substantial clues, he’s optimistic? Deep Into Darkness [coming soon] deals with the merits of the pedophile narrative in the McCann case.

2. Top detective reveals shock Madeleine McCann theory – New Zealand Herald

Missing Madeleine McCann is likely to be still in Portugal but unaware of who she is, says a former top detective who worked on the four-year-old’s disappearance for her family.

David Edgar believes Madeleine is still alive and well, 11 years after she disappeared from her family’s holiday villa in Portugal. “She could literally be anywhere in the world but my hunch is that she is in Portugal,” Edgar told The Sun.

Since she was 4 years old when she disappeared, the idea isn’t baloney. Taken in lieu of the evidence, including the cadaver traces, well, that’s another story. Edgar’s “expert-ise” makes him one of the critical characters that can shape public opinion, and thus control the true crime narrative. What do you think? Is he misleading the public, or informing them?

3.  Red Alert! The New Season Of ‘Making A Murderer’ Is Just Weeks Away [STEVEN AVERY]

Making A Murderer: Part 2, will premiere on Oct. 19, 2018. A brief trailer for the new season says, “once somebody’s convicted, they have to move mountains to get out of prison. When you’re fighting for your innocence, you need to prove that and it takes time.”

I consider my efforts – two books dealing with the Steven Avery case –  to be monumental failures. It’s not that the narratives lack merit, it’s just that these excellent documentaries have addled peoples minds, permanently. The same applies to the Paradise Lost apologia in the West Memphis Three case.

4. OJ Simpson living life of LUXURY in Las Vegas 23 years after SHOCK verdict

23 years ago today [well, almost, give or take a day] O.J Simpson was acquitted of double murder. His case basically launched the true crime genre as we know it today.

Just as Cosby’s heading to the slammer, OJ’s out, more or less. Funny world we live in, isn’t it?

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5. And then there’s this…


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