Weird news 8/21/16
Weird news of the week.
These are the crime stories making headlines today, August 19, 2016 …
- A 23-year-old New York man is facing second-degree murder charges after he confessed to drowning his mother in a swimming pool. Suffolk County police say that Denis Cullen, Jr., put his mother, Elizabeth Cullen, into a chokehold at her home in Cold Springs Harbor on Long Island before dragging her into the deep end and holding her underwater. Prosecutors say that Denis told investigators that the dispute with his mother began after she scolded him for not taking his medication. He allegedly tried to hide the body, then fled the scene with his mother’s wallet and car. [CBS 2]
- Medical examiners have revealed that the 17-year-old girl who was found shot dead behind a Publix grocery store in Atlanta earlier this month was posed in a sexually provocative position. Natalie Henderson’s body was discovered on August 1, where she had been placed next to fellow victim Carter Davis, also 17. Authorities also said that Henderson was found nude with a feather placed in her hair, and also had a burn mark on her big toe. Davis was found only wearing shorts. Accused killer Jeffrey Hazelwood, 20, has been charged with two counts of murder, as well as aggravated assault, theft, and financial transaction card fraud due to the fact that he also stole his victims’ credit cards. [Daily Mail Online]
- Police have charged the ex-boyfriend of Miprecious Hoskins, whose body was found in a trash bin in Wilmington, Delaware, with her murder. According to police, 20-year-old Idrees Merritt is being held without bail and is charged with first-degree murder and weapons offenses after allegedly shooting Miprecious Hoskins, 21, multiple times. Police found her body on Wednesday, and arrested Merritt after they saw him pulling items out of a trash can at his home. Hoskins’s friends and family say they are “devastated” by her death. [ABC 6]
Two men suspected of carjacking their victim with his own gun on Bourbon Street have been arrested in New Orleans.According to police, the 23-year-old victim was standing next to his car at around 11:15 Thursday night and began chatting to Brian Coleman, 22, and Devante Coleman, 20. One of the men allegedly slipped into the driver’s seat and spotted a gun in the door before ordering the victim to get out of the car and driving off. Both men were arrested Friday morning and charged with carjacking. Devante was also charged with illegally carrying a weapon, court records show, while Brian Coleman faces an additional charge of marijuana possession. [Times-Picayune]
- A Kentucky man has been charged with murdering and dismembering his girlfriend. West Plains police say that they believe Walter Stewart, 63, killed his girlfriend, Terri Jean Wright, earlier this summer. Her father reported the 35-year-old victim missing on August 9, and said that the last time he spoke to her was July 20. When detectives questioned Stewart at the home the couple shared, he first claimed that his girlfriend left him after an argument. But after noticing a bad smell and a blood stain on the carpet in the home, the detectives brought Stewart in for questioning. He later confessed to killing his girlfriend by slitting her throat with a paring knife on July 24 after an argument. He then detailed how he dismembered her body in the bathtub, and left the pieces in different locations in a trailer park. [KY3]
- A woman who decapitated her pet snakes in a drunken rage and swallowed their heads has avoided jail. Jennifer Lampe, 28, of Shropshire, England, was discovered by police with the headless snakes still writhing around her and their heads in her pocket. She told animal-control officers that she “vomited up” the heads after swallowing them and had “wanted to keep them.” On Thursday, she received a four-month jail term, which will be suspended for two years. She was also banned from keeping animals for five years. [Daily Mail Online]
- U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers have arrested a woman who allegedly tried to smuggle meth across the border by taping huge bundles to her legs. Authorities claim that the 26-year-old Nogales resident had packages of meth taped to her shins on Tuesday. Officers seized the drugs and referred her to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations. [ABC 15]
- An Omaha dad has experienced the mother of all bad trips after mistakenly eating his kids’s pot brownies. The trouble started after Michael Gollehon, 53, ate four of the chocolate treats, which he found on the backseat of a car that his children had borrowed earlier that day. Later that evening, he was watching TV with his wife, Julie, when he began to get anxious, according to Omaha police. As the situation deteriorated, she dialed 911 and EMTs arrived to find him crawling on the floor, “tripping,” and “calling the family cat a bitch” according to an incident report. [The Smoking Gun]
For what would have been his fiftieth birthday, on August 20, we take a look back at the life — and shocking death — of “Dimebag” Darrell Abbott, the legendary Texan guitarist and songwriter who founded Pantera and Damageplan with his brother, drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott.
Abbott, 38, was playing with Damageplan at the Alrosa Villa nightclub in Columbus, Ohio, on December 8, 2004, when a crazed fan walked onstage with a 9mm Beretta semiautomatic handgun and shot him point-blank in the head.
The shooter, 25-year-old Nathan Gale, was a six-foot-five, 268-pound former Marine who blended seamlessly into the crowd. “He was just a crazy fan trying to talk to members of the band,” club manager Rick Cautela told Rolling Stone. “One of my guys who helps to set up the bands eventually told him to leave.”
At first, many concertgoers believed that the shots were part of the act and continued to dance. But footage obtained by 10TV shows that once Gale began firing into the crowd of around 250 people, the scene quickly descended into chaos. Some fled; others were wounded and huddled blood-soaked in a bathroom, and a few people tried to administer first aid.
Before being shot and killed by a Columbus police officer, Gale murdered three more people. The victims, who are pictured in these 10TV crime-scene photos, were 23-year-old fan Nathan Bray; Damageplan crew member Jeff “Mayhem” Thompson, 40; and club employee Erin A. Halk, 29.
Several theories were suggested as to possible motive. Some outlets reported that Gale blamed Abbott for Pantera’s acrimonious breakup the year before; others said that he believed the band owed him royalties.
Friends and family who were interviewed after the tragedy painted a picture of a mentally ill man whose mask of sanity had been slipping. His mother Mary Clark told The Columbus Dispatch that her son was obsessed with the Grammy-nominated band and believed that they were stealing songs from him. He also reportedly told a friend a similar story, and added that he planned to sue the band.Clark also revealed that Gale, who worked construction, landscaping, and at oil-change shop Minut Lube following his stint in the Marines, was released from the military in 2003 due to his paranoid schizophrenia. Since then, several friends had noticed his behavior — including talking and laughing to himself — becoming increasingly more bizarre.
Pantera dominated the heavy metal scene during the nineties and sold more than 7 million records, according to Rolling Stone.
Veteran music manager Peter Katsis from Deckstar Management tells Crimefeed.com that once bands have reached rock-god status, having to deal with deranged fans is sadly not uncommon.
“Unfortunately, writing an iconic song that speaks to millions of people can have a dark side, and several of my artists have had to deal with obsessive fans. They try to make contact for all kinds of reasons, some more serious than others. Some may just want to impress a date or a business contact.
“Others are truly delusional and, for whatever reason, ask for royalties or credit because they need to believe that they are part of creating something bigger or more important. They believe that the lyrics in the music are messages just for them.”
It has been 12 years since his passing, but Abbott’s legend lives on: Fans continue to post memories on the Dimebag Darrell Facebook page and websiteDimebagDarrell.com, and post clips from the first ever visual history of the band that will be released in September. Pantera’s The Great Southern Trendkill: 20th Anniversary Edition album is due to drop in October.
“Dimebag Darrell always treated his fans well because, ultimately, he was a fan himself and he never forgot how it felt to be one,” his friend Nick Bowcott told Revolver magazine in 2014 on the tenth anniversary of his passing. “As his brother Vinnie put it, ‘Dime had a heart as big as Texas.’”
Conditions at Brock’s Home Town Funeral Home in Panama City, Florida, were said to be appalling. There was a thick stench of death as soon as the door was opened, according to the Washington Post. The smell was coming from the six cadavers that were just sitting out in the open, as opposed to being refrigerated. There were 10 bodies that were stored in the cooler, at least, although the temperature in there was allegedly 62 degrees. There were flies everywhere.
Two people have been arrested: Felicia Boesch, the daughter of the owner of the funeral home; and Gregory Dunphy, a funeral director.
Dunphy claims that he didn’t notice anything amiss when he first started at Brock’s, but when unrefrigerated remains began piling up, he said to Boesch, “My God, Felicia. it’s hell down here. We’ve got to do something.”
The blame game is a little complicated, as one of the people charged, Gregory Dunphy, is not technically an employee of Brock’s Home Town Funeral Home, and has only been helping out and “babysitting” while Boesch dealt with a family emergency. Dunphy had only been filling in at Brock’s for the past three weeks.
Dunphy doesn’t believe that he should face the same charges as Boesch, as he claims it was him who reported the illegal conditions when he couldn’t stand the situation anymore. The authorities say that it was actually a third-party who made the report, but that it may have been done on Dunphy’s behalf. Dunphy explained that while he is a licensed funeral director and embalmer, he is not a licensed crematory operator and was not given access to the refrigerated (or, not) storage area. None of the bodies in question were awaiting embalming; they were all destined for the crematory, so embalming had not been ordered.
His reasoning for not reporting the conditions sooner than he did was that he wanted to give Boesch the opportunity to rectify them first and not cause any unnecessary distress to the families of the deceased.
When Dunphy asked Boesch to do something about the bodies that were waiting to be cremated, he claims that “she said she would try to go to Alabama where her dad has cemeteries and try to get body bags or supplies and would be getting gas so the cremations could be performed. And those remains where she had had somebody placed in the chapel would be going into the refrigerated area as the cremations took place,” according to theWashington Post. Dunphy reported that she did not, in fact, get the gas needed to run the crematory retorts, so the situation was not addressed, and the corpses remained unrefrigerated.
The dead bodies were piling up in the hallway and were decomposing further, even starting to bloat.
Despite the fact that Boesch had allegedly forbidden Dunphy from speaking to any rival funeral homes, after a few days of these conditions, he couldn’t take it anymore and asked a competing funeral home owner for advice. That person told Dunphy that he should report the conditions Boesch was making him work in, and that’s when either Dunphy or a third party called the Sheriff.
While Dunphy is standing by his story and persists in saying that he did the right thing and shouldn’t be charged, the Washington Post has collected several complaints and Facebook posts from families whose loved ones have been decomposing at Brock’s, and they are angry and are holding him accountable as well as Boesch.
Over the years there had been various previous complaints and citations against Brock’s.
Boesch has been charged with 10 counts of unlawful preservation and storage of human remains, while Dunphy faces six counts of the same charge. As the investigation continues, it’s possible they may also be charged with theft and fraud.
The remains are currently being stored at the medical examiner’s office while they make arrangements with the families of the deceased and other funeral homes for proper cremation.
Here are the crime stories making headlines today, August 18, 2016 …
- A Russian serial killer nicknamed the “Granny Ripper” crushed 50 sleeping pills into one of her victim’s meals before cutting her head off, prosecutors say. Tamara Samsonova, the 68-year-old who was nicknamed the “Granny Ripper” by the Russian press after she was caught by CCTV cameras trashing the boiled remains of the victim she dismembered with a handsaw, is finally getting her day in court. Prosecutors allege that Valentina Ulanova, 79, died from a drug overdose last July, and that Samsnoova, who was her caretaker, used plastic bags to get rid of her remains. Samsonova (seen below in a video taken last year) is also suspected of killing up to 11 other people including lodgers, her husband, and her mother-in-law – and possibly eating them as well. [Metro]
- Three people have been indicted for human trafficking in a case involving more than 40 victims. Authorities said that Rashid Marwan Mosby, 42, Terra Marie Perry, 35, and Joshua Isaiah Jones, 26, recruited the women to work at their company “Pink Pleasure Entertainment” between 2013 and 2015. The victims, many of whom were underage, arrived in Maryland only to be “threatened, beaten, and forced to live under the suspects’s control,” authorities said at a press conference on Tuesday. Jones and Perry are in police custody, but Mosby remains at large. Mosby and Perry were each charged with one count of conspiracy human trafficking, three counts of human trafficking of a minor, seven counts of human trafficking, and three counts of receiving earnings of a prostitute. Jones was charged with one count of conspiracy human trafficking, three counts of human trafficking of a minor, and one count of receiving earnings of a prostitute. [WBLA TV]
Dayton, Ohio, man arrested after allegedly attempting to have sex with a van. A witness called 911 after she spotted Michael Hensen at around 8 P.M. Tuesday evening pulling down his pants and hanging from a stop sign before allegedly attempting intercourse with the parked vehicle. When he passed out in a nearby yard, she called police. When cops arrived on the scene, Hensen – not surprisingly –appeared to be intoxicated. Police say he has been charged with public indecency. [Fox 8 News]
- NYC mugger stole $200 – and victim’s toupee. Mohammad Munir, 45, had just parked his cab on 133rd Street near Jamaica Avenue when a man hopped out of a white minivan and asked for directions, before grabbing cash out of his hand and the hair off his head. The motive for snatching Munir’s hairpiece is a mystery: The cabbie told the New York Post that he’s convinced that the mugger is tied to a larger group of credit card scammers — but police have called the robbery “weird.“ [New York Post]
- As the parole date for a Michigan serial killer approaches, the family of one of his victims is fighting to keep him behind bars. In the late 1970s, Don Miller victimized five women, killing four of them. Ken Guske, whose oldest daughter Kristine Guske Stuart (“Kris“), 30, was killed by Miller, is one of many family members circulating a petition in order to stop the Michigan Department of Corrections from releasing Miller. Kris, the eldest of seven children, moved to the Lansing area after marrying her high school sweetheart in 1970. “I think the citizens of Port Huron along with the people of Lansing and any other place should be concerned this guy could get out and could certainly do it again,” Patrick Congley, a high school friend of Kris, told the Port Huron Times Herald. Miller is eligible for parole due to a plea deal he struck in 1979. [WXYZ]
A father was shot dead in front of his family in a “case of mistaken identity because he looked like an Irish gangster.” Irish man Trevor O’Neill, 33, was walking with his wife and three children on a busy street in Mallorca, Spain, when a stranger approached and shot him up to four times in the back. Police are hunting the gunman and two suspected accomplices; initial reports mentioned the possibility that O’Neill could be the latest victim of a bloody gangland feud between the Kinahan and Hutch families which has led to a spate of murders on the Costa del Sol and Ireland in recent years. But another Palma-based paper reported today that he may have been mistaken for a Dublin criminal due to their similar appearance. [Daily Mail Online]
- Video of a woman screaming at a masturbator on the New York City subway has gone viral. When she was confronted by a man masturbating on the train, Deana Carter decided to fight back – and caught the whole thing on her camera phone.“What are you doing? You’re over here rubbing your d**k?” asks the outraged straphanger, before going on to warn him that she’s “a crazy bitch” and he should “get the f**k off of the train.” Sure enough, the perv quickly exits at the next stop. Carter posted the video on Facebook and wrote: “TELL ME WHY THIS DUDE WAS RUBBING HIS PENIS SITTING ACROSS FROM ME. I WENT OFF! I’M SO MAD RIGHT NOW. GOT HIS FACE ON VIDEO THO. HE BETTER HOPE I NEVER SEE HIS NASTY A** AGAIN!” Her video has been viewed more than 2.8 million times so far. [New York Post]
Main photo: Daily Mail screenshot
Kasey Warren turned herself in to police earlier this week on charges she had sex with two 16-year-old male students. Warren, 27, was a substitute teacher for the Carlisle County School System in Kentucky during the second half of the 2015 – 2016 school year. According to police, Warren met the two boys toward the end of that school year in Carlisle County, though the alleged sexual encounters took place in McCracken County on or around June 3 and June 14, after the school year had ended. Warren was not employed by Carlisle County at the time.
Upon her arrest, Warren was charged with one count of third-degree sodomy for the June 3 encounter, and two counts of third-degree rape and two counts of sodomy for the June 14 encounter. The grand jury indictment was on three counts of third-degree rape and three counts of third-degree sodomy. It’s not clear why the charges changed.
The age of consent in Kentucky is actually 16, however, because Warren was someone in a position of authority over the two students, the students cannot legally consent on the sexual activities. For those wondering how she could have been in a position of authority when she was no longer employed by the school system at the time of the encounters, well, it’s complicated. Under Kentucky law, if the accused is in any position of authority or has established some kind of special trust with a victim under 18 years of age, third-degree sodomy charges apply.
Warren remains in custody at the McCracken County Jail. She is currently scheduled to be arraigned on September 15.
Two suspects have been arrested after their attempt to rob a group of Pokémon Go players in Las Vegas turned into a gun battle.
Six friends were playing Pokémon Go at Gary Reese Freedom Park on July 25 at around 4 A.M. when Elvis Campos (above), 18, and an unnamed juvenile pulled up in an SUV and demanded property and money, according to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police. But the assailants got a shock when one of the Pokémon players – who has a concealed weapons permit – drew his own gun and the two sides exchanged fire, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
Campos was shot during the incident, and later booked into Clark County Detention Center on counts of robbery with a deadly weapon, battery with a deadly weapon, conspiracy to commit robbery, and assault with a deadly weapon.
His accomplice was also arrested, but has not been identified because he is a juvenile. The armed Pokémon Go player was also shot in the stomach and taken to a nearby hospital, Fox 5 Las Vegas reports.
Facebook users in the group Pokémon Go Las Vegas have suggested that Gary Reese Freedom Park is a good place to catch the pocket monster Magikarp, a fishlike creature that flaps on its side.
The Magikarp is often mocked in Pokémon Go forums because it presents unique challenges to players attempting to catch every creature in the Pokedex, due to the fact that the creature requires 400 “candies” – which are awarded to players when you catch, transfer, or hatch a creature – of a particular type, in order to evolve to its final form.
The massively popular augmented reality game has been blamed for contributing to crimes around the nation as players wander unfamiliar areas, sometimes at all hours of the night, in a quest to catch Pokémon.