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Archive of some fucked relationships in the news

These items have been culled from 'Anna's News Clippings'. Clippings archives are at this URL. The most recent are at the bottom.

8 February 2004
New Jersey's Donna Keaveney and husband Kenneth cared for her elderly father, Nicola Lombardi, who lived with them. They gave one of their foster daughters some of this responsibility. The 13-year-old girl was in charge of feeding the 82-year-old, who suffered from Alzheimer's disease. Donna and Kenneth didn't tell anyone when Lombardi died. Donna says the girl didn't mention that he had died. She continued to bring plates of food to him daily. Sometimes she brought the food back downstairs, and at other times it had been moved about on the plate and brought back, according to Clark County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow. Two to four weeks after Lombardi died, Kenneth checked on him and found that he had started to mummify. The smell staggered the officers he called to the scene. The couple were charged with child cruelty and elder neglect.

It's enough to warm the cockles of your heart. Dallas James King, an inmate at Ohio's Belmont Correctional Institution, apparently sought a marriage licence and married the mother of his child, Tefawn Myers. When Myers sent King a marriage certificate, King contacted Probate Judge Thomas A. Swift and said "I don't want to be married to this woman". Swift voided the union since someone else had assumed King's identity for marriage purposes.

Carroll and Alice Ferdinandsen were married last May. She is 30, and he is 53, but what is perhaps more noteworthy is that the Mobile, Alabama, couple are father and daughter. Their marriage was not illegal. It was incest that landed them in jail for six months. Ordered to dissolve the marriage and live apart during their three years of probation, they said they would comply. Shortly after their release, their pickup was seen at a motel. There were silk long-stemmed red roses on the dashboard and a large Bible on the front seat. The couple were caught in a room together and arrested.
In his defence, Carroll explains that he broke up with Alice's mother when the girl was four months old and "that's just a blood test, not in feelings. I am crazy in love with her." The relationship started when Alice was 13. It landed Carroll in jail then too.
Carroll's lawyer, Claude Patton, said that "They need to leave that poor old man alone. He needs mental health treatment. He cannot read. He cannot write. He cannot drive."

As he is 15, he cannot be identified. His crime, however, is a matter of public record. The teenager has been charged with raping his 36-year-old mother when he visited her in Swansea for the weekend. Prosecutor James Jenkins said the woman "is not interested in punishment. She is most anxious her son receives the best possible assistance." Judge Jonathan Durham Hall told the jury that the mother "no doubt finds this as stressful and bizarre as anyone else". The teen is due to be sentenced in about a month's time.

In a story from Japan, Hiromi Mikado, 36, arranged a blind date with part-time worker Yoshinori Sato, 36, via a telephone dating service. They checked in at a hotel in Omiya, where Mikado allegedly offered to give Sato a shoulder massage. Mikado sat astride Sato on the bed, then choked him with a plastic rope. When she called the police to report the murder, she explained "I wanted to kill a man", later adding "I don't know why he died".

19 February 2004

A four- and five-year old girl were raped by two men, aged 61 and 29, in Galveston, Texas. Assistant District Attorney Bill Reed said the pair's abuse of the girls occurred over an extended period of time. The men's names have not been released, owing to their relationship to the victims - one is their father, and the other is their grandfather.

Connecticut's Edward Valentin told reporters that military authorities contacted him to report that his wife had died in an explosion in Iraq. He made up the story. A reporter discovered this after sending an email to Mr. Valentin's wife. She replied a few hours later. According to Waterbury Police Chief Neil O'Leary, "He claimed he did it because he has been struggling with three children and if everyone felt sorry for him, including the military, they'd send Betsy home". However, some doubt was cast on this: at about the time Edward reported the nonexistent telephone call, he also called a woman who had earlier refused to date him because he was married, to tell her that his wife was now dead.

Snohomish County, Washington, sheriff's deputies saw a new widescreen television, home entertainment centre, and computers when they went to Robert Eugene Doel's home to serve a warrant on him. The officers then heard cries for help and found Doel and Raemie Lee Higlen-Doel's three children, ages 6, 4, and 2. They were in a filthy, faeces-covered bedroom with the door tied shut with ropes and bungee cords. When officers pointed out the lack of food in the apartment, Higlen-Doel explained there wasn't enough money. The children reported that Higlen-Doel had told them not to tell anyone that they were routinely locked in the room.
This isn't the first time Child Protective Services encountered the family. For instance, workers visiting the home in 1999 asked if there was any food for the child. Prosecutor Lisa Paul said Higlen-Doel "pointed to a pile of food on the floor. Among cigarette butts and rotting food, police saw a pile of french fries.".

The CBC reports that a 17-year-old was browsing the Internet at a California school when he found his picture on a site devoted to missing children. The boy had apparently been abducted 14 years ago from his home in Red Deer, Alberta, where he was living with his father, who had been awarded full custody. His 45-year-old mother was "distraught - she was upset and crying.... She was concerned for her kid" when she was arrested, according to Jimell Griffin, a deputy U.S. Marshal in Los Angeles. The boy too was "awfully emotional", Griffin said.

25 February 2004

The San Francisco Chronicle reports on the first custody dispute where two women could both legally claim to be the children's biological mother. One of the women supplied eggs, which her infertile partner carried until giving birth to twins girls. The two women split up about six years after the girls were born, leaving a state appellate court to decide the matter. The decision might seem cut and dried because the egg donor signed a written waiver of maternal rights prior to the birth, but the three-judge panel still must weigh that waiver against the girls' affection for both women, the egg donor's claims that she did not knowingly relinquish those rights, and arguments that some parental rights and obligations cannot be relinquished.

An auxiliary police constable in Kampar, Malaysia, pleaded guilty to three incestuous attacks on two of his nine children - daughters aged 12 and 21 following the death of their mother. Other incidents of incest were inadmissible in court because the victim didn't remember the exact dates. Another of the man's daughters, age 15, was an incest victim too, at the hands of her paternal uncle, who works as a security guard. The girls' father asked for a lenient sentence, explaining that he has young children to raise. While he is too old, at 53, for a caning, Judge Rasidah Chik gave him the maximum alternative sentence, 60 years in jail. His brother, will receive a six-stroke caning and 16 years in jail.

A 36-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, man didn't have sex with his children, but he's still in trouble. Judge Danny Rodgers placed a $5 million bond on the man, who is accused of sexual assault of his children over a nine-year period - and of forcing them to have sex with each other. The affidavit from questioning of the children states that their crying made the defendant laugh. The 10-year-old girl said her father repeatedly touched her inappropriately and forced her brother to get atop her while she lay on the floor with clothes on. The boy, 12, said his father fondled him several times. Both he and his 14-year-old sister emphasised that they had been physically forced to have sex with each other.
The man's fiancee's mother said the allegations were the handiwork of the children's mother and that "this man would never hurt a flea or fly - sexually or any way".

3 March 2004
In a heartwarming story taking place in Arbroath, Scotland, Peter Knight, 28, sent his fiancee an SMS to tell her that he had decided not to marry her after all. The ceremony, scheduled for four days later, went ahead anyway. She married ex-boyfriend Daniel Innes, 18. Alison Innes, eight months pregnant at the time, said she doesn't know whether her child's father is Innes, his brother John, or Knight, but, she says, she did discover that she loved Innes.
Innes has appeared before in the Clippings - in September when, less than two weeks after her first marriage, she discovered her husband in bed with her 44-year-old mother. After obtaining a divorce, she served as the pair's bridesmaid.

The San Francisco Chronicle describes the death of Ania Walters. Her mother's 17-year-old boyfriend initially said the girl fainted for an unknown reason in his Oakland apartment, but he later admitted that he had hit her on the head until she lost consciousness. Her mother, 19-year-old Allana Booze, 19, found her and took her to hospital. The boyfriend then admitted that he had beaten Walters because she started playing with his PlayStation 2 game. The 22-month-old girl died the next day.

Not everyone has bad credit before reaching age five. Elizabeth O'Leary of Hamilton, Ohio, has been given five years of probation as punishment for stealing her daughter's identity. The 26-year-old O'Leary used the girl's social security number to get a fake driver's licence, which she used to open a bank account, against which she wrote $2,500 worth of bad cheques. She must repay this amount. Meanwhile, her husband, Brian, has been convicted of using their son's information similarly, and he is serving time for identity theft and possession of child pornography. Aiding the pair in their crimes was the fact that they had named their children Elizabeth and Brian.

Philadelphia's Robert I. Morris was arrested after his three-month old child, Jhayden, was found dead in his bed. In 1995, Morris's first two children - Shainara and Lashai Payne - were found dead in bed. A medical examiner ruled that they had been suffocated, but no-one was charged in connection with this. In 2002, 24-day-old Robert Morris died in bed, and the death was attributed to sudden infant death syndrome. In light of the fourth child's death, that of Robert was reclassified as asphyxia. A murder charge is expected.

14 March 2004

Brenda L. Kennedy bound her eight-year-old son with duct tape in the morning, releasing his ankles and wrists when she returned from her part-time job at the end of the day. On the third day of this, apparently, the boy called the police. In court, the defence argued that the boy had tied himself up because he wanted to frame his mother, with whom he didn't want to live anymore. The 34-year-old Kennedy, whose criminal record includes eight theft-related felony convictions, works for Alabama's child welfare agency. She could spend 15 years to life in prison on account of the duct tape incident.

A woman rang a Pennsylvania newspaper to report that Stuart Ackerman, subject of a recent front-page story on Internet-based sexual abuse, had molested her 11-year-old daughter. The woman said she met Ackerman online then, seeing him in person for the first time, was forced to watch as he made her daughter strip and perform sex acts on him while he lay naked on a motel bed. Amity police report that the woman has changed her story. She now says she had her daughter undress and made her get on the bed and watch as she cavorted with Ackerman. After that, it was the mother's turn to watch. She faces a range of charges.

At a children's birthday party in Baltimore, Maryland, a 12-year-old boy was challenged to kiss a girl, also 12, as part of a game of 'Truth or Dare'. The boy's 14-year-old girlfriend complained to her mother, who was hosting the party. Told to "handle your business", the girl did so. She and as many as eight other people beat the 12-year-old kissee, leaving her unconscious and with brain damage. The police were told that the girl fell down the stairs but later received an anonymous tip describing the attack. The youngest of the girl's attackers was seven years old and the oldest 26.

25 March 2004
Most readers of the Clippings are probably familiar with the sheer variety of excuses parents provide for losing track of their children or killing them. So it might not seem strange that Judith Saint Hillaire of Brooklyn, New York, claimed that a voodoo curse laid on her by a neighbour prevented her from seeking medical help for her three-year-old son, who suffered a temperature of over 40 degrees and an infection. What is noteworthy is that a jury found the excuse sufficient. The 31-year-old woman was found innocent of criminally negligent homicide, but she was ordered to attend a parenting class.

Twin brothers had an argument on a flight from New York to Florida. Their argument over use of an armrest escalated into a fistfight. Witnesses say an air stewardess offered to assign at least one of the men different seats but was ignored. The pilot of JetBlue Flight 385 made an emergency landing at North Carolina's Wilmington International Airport, where the brothers were taken into custody. JetBlue spokesman Garth Edmondson-Jones said the two men were questioned by FBI agents and then released. They completed their trip in a rental car.

Police in Indianapolis report that a four-year-old boy produced about 370 rocks of crack cocaine from his backpack and showed them to other students in his preschool class. He said the drugs, worth as much as $10,000, were flour. Teachers knew differently and confiscated the bag of white clumps. Authorities searched the boy's home but didn't find his parents or 11-month-old sibling. Sgt. Roger Tuchek said "Obviously, these parents aren't going to get any Parent of the Year awards". The child and a sister are now in protective custody.
Meanwhile, in Miami-Dade, Florida, a school monitor saw a five-year-old boy sprinkle what he said was oregano on a friend's lasagna. The monitor noticed that the boy had dropped a small bag, which he was trying to hide with his feet. Speaking for the school authority, Mayco Villafana said "The focus is on the child's environment and what issues could have led to a child having a bag of marijuana in school". The Miami Herald reports that the lasagne was confiscated before the student could eat it.

9 April 2004

California's Michael Todd Howard set up a rendezvous with a woman he met in a rape fantasy chat room. What court documents indicate is that Howard broke into a 25-year-old woman's home and struggled with her. When the woman attacked Howard's testicles, he asked her to tell him her chat room handle. She replied that she'd never been in a chat room and didn't even have a computer.
In a plea bargain agreement, the 35-year-old Howard pleaded guilty to residential burglary, for which a sentence of a year in jail is expected. He will not be charged with attempted rape or possession of illegal drugs.

22 April 2004
A Fort Myers, Florida, teenager offered a man $2,000 to kill his mother. Carlos Marcelo Chereza, 17, provided a key to the apartment, a photo of mother Dreama, and a drawing of the apartment. He suggested a staged burglary but stressed 'When you kill my mom, please make sure nothing happens to the TV set'. The intended killer balked, so the teenager asked him to at least help procure a gun. The man instead introduced the youth to someone he said could get the job done. The younger Cereza discussed the plan with this second man, who did get the job done - turning the teenager in to his fellow police officers. After her son's arrest, Dreama described him as a good man who was upset by a lot of trauma, including a recent fire.

4 May 2004
William Joseph Wolfe of Henderson, Texas, prepared a romantic bubble bath for his wife. Wolfe, a 34-year-old emergency room nurse, lit candles to provide the right mood. Teresa Wolfe said her husband also placed a radio on a bench by the bathtub to provide music - and to electrocute her. When he pushed the radio off the bench by the bathtub, Teresa caught it before it hit the water. She threw it aside. William, who bought a life insurance policy for his wife five months ago, had apparently used the home computer to visit Web sites dealing with bathtub electrocution.

21 May 2004
Pittsburgh's Donald Preik confessed to more than 50 sexual assaults, which he performed after drugging his girlfriend, her mother, and four other female members of her family. Preik's defence attorney, John Doherty, maintains that 'this is totally out of character for him to be accused of anything like this'. He says that the prosecution are 'resting their whole case on my client's confession and the pictures'. In total, Preik took over 100 photos of the women in sexual positions.

An Australian father of four and former professional photographer was jailed for seven years following the discovery of his 100,000-image child pornography collection. When a family member was linked to a stolen car, the 55-year-old man grew worried that police might discover the box of photos, so he gave them to a neighbour to dispose of. The neighbour alerted the police.
The NSW District Court in Wollongong was told that the images included pictures of the man sexually assaulting his daughter while she slept during visitation periods. He also pleaded guilty to having sexual intercourse with her.

In a plea-bargain agreement, Oscar Pilamunga, a 25-year-old chef from Queens, New York, pleaded guilty to strangling his wife, then sawing off her head and abandoning her body on a Harlem street. He explained that he returned home one day to find his 22-year-old wife of nine years, Beatrice Yually, packing her bags to leave him. In a rage, he killed her and packed her body into a suitcase, which a passer-by later found on the street. Pilamunga was linked to the crime when police found the couple's telephone number inside the suitcase.

A 64-year-old Japanese man in Matsudo, Chiba Prefecture, Japan, discovered that his 43-year-old wife had been having an affair. Hiroshi Obashi demanded that his wife's 39-year-old lover come to his home to confront him concerning the affair. When the lover arrived, there was some discussion. Then the pensioner used a chain leash on him, bound him, and placed him in a wooden box. He then joined the lover in the 'box bed', about a cubic metre in size, which he nailed shut from the inside. Armed with an iron bar, a fruit knife, and documents concerning his arson conviction, he spent the next 13 hours in the box with the younger man. He was arrested.

Chinese housewife Xiao Fang was afraid her husband's wolfhound would ruin the couple's recently furnished apartment. After she repeatedly tried and failed to send the dog away, the Nanjing woman's solution was to hire a group of hitmen to kill the animal, according to the Xinhua news agency. When her husband returned, he decided that divorce was the best course of action.

In Eugene, Oregon, Angela S. Morris, 19, and her 31-year-old boyfriend were reading the Bible together when they got into an argument about a Bible verse. Morris went into the kitchen to prepare French fries, but the argument continued. Her boyfriend, whose name has not been released, grabbed her from behind and then went to his bedroom to lie down. The police said Morris then threw the boiling oil from the kitchen on him. He was admitted to hospital with severe burns to the face, neck, and chest.

When Metropolitan Transportation Authority Sgt. Nzingha Kellman was on her way to work via the Long Island Rail Road, she spotted a man with a nine-year-old girl on his lap and realised that the man was forcing the girl to have sex with him. About 30 other passengers, including the girl's younger brother, were riding in the same carriage. Kellman handcuffed the man, identified as 19-year-old David Reese, a blood relative of the victim. The girl was treated at a local hospital, then returned to her mother's care. Reese will face charges of rape and sodomy.

31 May 2004
A 33-year-old New York woman has been charged with selling her 15-year-old daughter to another family from Albania. The girl said 'I do not know too many people from my country, so I was excited' to visit the family, not knowing what was in store. In a statement to Police Investigator Ron Reinstein, she explained that during the visit, 21-year-old Bekim Lapjani raped her. She said that when she was still bleeding, her mother burst into the room, demanded to know what happened, and took her home and beat her 'like it was my fault'. For nearly a year, the girl spent weekends at the family's home under threat of severe beatings. She was forced to perform household chores and have sex with Lapjani. 'I asked him why he was making me have sex with him and he told me he had to pay my mom $3,000 for me to be his bride', the girl wrote. Her 12-year-old sister wrote that later 'My mother told her that was where she belonged and that [Lapjani] was her husband forever and if she left him she would die'.
The situation came to light when the younger girl was beaten with a studded belt after a classmate rang to get help with his homework. The 15-year-old told a school nurse of the beating. Both girls were then removed from the home.

Officers in East Boston went to Jims Beneche's house to ask him some questions about the murder of Kayla Ravenell, his two-year-old son's mother. This might not have been the best time to throw a suspicious rubbish bag from a second-storey window. An officer stationed outside the house noticed the bag, which contained the body of Beneche's son. Beneche and girlfriend Jessica Deane, both 20, have been charged in connection with the first murder. The alleged motive for Ravenell's murder involves child support payments. The dead woman's mother said of Beneche and Deane, 'I just hope they stay in jail. She only got two lousy checks from him.'

The /Washington Post/ reports that a seven-year-old girl at a Prince George's County elementary school left the playground during recess to use the loo. She was followed by two male classmates, who allegedly held her on the ground and penetrated her. The family's attorney, William Kohler, said one of the boys was back at school less than a week after the incident and that both were heard bragging about the attack. Kohler said the family were reluctant to come forward but 'they did so because they haven't heard anything from the school'. County attorney Glenn F. Ivey said the authorities want to gather evidence before taking any action, especially since state laws define a seven-year-old as too young to be held responsible for his or her actions.

11 June 2004

Sara Svensson, a 27-year-old nanny in Uppsala, Sweden, received several SMS messages from God in which she was urged to commit murder. The messages were traced to Pentecostal pastor Helge Fossmo, who employed Svensson and was having an affair with her at the time. Fossmo later claimed the messages were meant just to provide religious guidance. The nanny confessed to following the messages' instructions and killing the pastor's wife as well as trying to murder the man who lived next door to him. Prosecutors claim that Fossmo, 32, wanted to marry the neighbour's wife.
The body of Fossmo's first wife, who supposedly hit her head on the tap after falling over in the bath, is being exhumed.

The Boston Herald reports that a mildly retarded 13-year-old was apparently prostituted by another eighth-grade girl. Supposedly the developmentally disabled girl's best friend, her pimp charged as little as $5 for the sexual encounters and kept all of the money. As many as 20 boys participated in sex acts with the girl, who was told by the young madam that this was the only way to get boyfriends. The situation was revealed when two other eighth-grade girls reported to school officials that the young pimp was trying to recruit them as prostitutes.

A former judge in British Columbia is in trouble. David Ramsay frequently sat in judgement over under-age aboriginal prostitutes but used their services when he was not on the bench. Over a nine-year period, Ramsay, who is married, used his office to intimidate the girls and keep his actions from scrutiny, according to Justice Patrick Dohm, who handed down a seven-year jail sentence for Ramsay's 'utterly reprehensible' conduct. In one case, Ramsay paid a 12-year-old to simulate rough sex. When this went too far for her comfort, she ran from his car. He chased her down and warned her that no-one would believe her if she reported him. Also, he abandoned a naked teenager he had beaten, leaving her on a darkened highway.
Mary Clifford, a health worker at the Native Friendship Centre, said she filed a complaint with the RCMP six years ago when she saw Ramsay in a car with a young prostitute. Nothing came of the complaint.
Dohm said Ramsay treated the girls like discarded shoes. Ramsay's lawyer, Leo Doust, countered that his 'Jekyll-and-Hyde' client cannot be 'singled out as the only one who took advantage of these individuals'.

In Auburndale, Florida, 20-year-old Richard Melius racked up over a dozen harassing 'phone calls to his ex-girlfriend, who is pregnant with his child. It isn't clear what he wanted to achieve by this, but he apparently thought he'd have a better chance to get it if he were to talk to her in person. To this end, he stole the keys to his father's police cruiser late at night. When he saw the woman, Tabitha McKenzie, on the road, he turned on the car's flashing lights and pulled her over. She rang her family for help. When her step-father arrived, the younger Melius drove home, according to a sheriff's report. The charges against him include driving with a suspended licence and violation of probation, as well as stalking, grand theft auto, and impersonating a police officer.

29 June 2004
Edward Marriot told a jury at Derby Crown Court that girlfriend Elaine Martinez has 'the nicest personality you can get' when she's in a good mood. But he also said she went 'too far' after she accused him of injecting her with an unknown substance and seeing another woman. She whipped the 48-year-old former bricklayer with a belt, told him to drop his trousers, then poured paint stripper on his genitalia. After that, she allegedly accused him of bugging her mobile 'phone, then threw more paint stripper at him. Later, she rang emergency services to report that she had been injected with something. When Marriot was with her in hospital, he noticed that his genitals were bleeding, and a nurse urged him to speak to the police. He spent a week in hospital.
Marriot told the court that he didn't fight back because Martinez is larger than he is and 'you can't hit a woman'. He said he hadn't reported earlier assaults because he didn't want Martinez to get in trouble.

This goes in the 'ineffectual ways of catching the girl you fancy' category:
Over a one-month period, Shigefumi Murai, a 49-year-old teacher at Japan's Yongo Municipal Elementary School, wrote graffiti near a female student's home and in other prominent locations where she would see them. Police linked Murai to the graffiti when they saw him wandering around near his school with a black marker identical to the one used to write the messages, including 'I'm going to rape you' and 'we had sex that was paid for'. Murai, a 27-year veteran of the teaching profession, explained to the police that the girl 'wouldn't pay any attention to me' and that she didn't participate in the out-of-school trips he organised for students.

Warwickshire's Katrina Grant, 36, was stabbed by her fiance for being nervous about her upcoming wedding. She received 12 stitches and was treated for a collapsed lung. A month after the attack, she went through with the wedding. She said people 'don't understand how I could marry Luke after what he did, but no one knows him like I do'.

Finally, Martin Williams, 60, had an armed gang steal cocaine worth an estimated 4.5 million pounds from his drug dealer son, Shane. The father told three underworld figures the location of his son's Sanderstead home and that 76 kilos of cocaine were waiting there. Martin, Shane, Shane's friend, and the three armed robbers were all arrested by police officers, who were already watching the house. Shane and Smith were jailed for 20 years for conspiracy to supply cocaine, and Martin too was jailed for 20 years.

11 July 2004

Pingue and Otilia Ayala of Philadelphia are accused of approaching people on a beach and asking if they would like to buy the four-month-old baby the couple were carrying around in a black doctor's bag. Four people on the beach refused, and at least one contacted the authorities. While the pair have been charged with child endangerment, police spokesman Lt. David Mayer said the offer must not have been authentic since the Ayalas apparently didn't specify a dollar amount when approaching the beachgoers.

Three home-care nurses in Trenton, Tennessee, reported that Thomas and Debra Schmitz abused the 18 children in their care, who ranged in age from 13 months to 17 years. One said 'children were forced to dig their own graves' in the back yard. The couple told the children that they could be killed and buried there without anyone caring. An investigation revealed that the 18 children in the Schmitzes' care, many of whom were disabled, were punished by having their leg braces or crutches taken away. Beatings were commonplace, and at least two children were made to sleep curled up in a cage without a mattress or blankets. Sheriff Joe Shepard said one nurse left after two nights at the home, in part because 'one girl had to sit on the floor with her nose up against the wall [...] from the time she got home from school until past 10:30 at night'.
It isn't clear who has custody of some of the children, as the Schmitzes were in some cases providing 'respite care' arranged online. The couple had adopted at least nine of the children and were in the process of adopting another.
Debra, 44, and Thomas, 45, were investigated four years ago on account of similar accusations in Wisconsin.

21 July 2004
In 1998, a three-year-old in New York was looking after her newborn sister when step-father Howard Harris returned home with three friends. The 52-year-old Harris encouraged the three men to take turns raping her, saying 'Come on, come on, she won't die'. Several weeks later, both girls were removed from the home by child protection authorities and the girl was found to have severe gonorrhea. In 2003, investigators asked the girl whether a sibling had been abused, and she told her story. Harris has now been sent to prison for 37 1/2 to 75 years. The girl had intended to watch his sentencing but quietly left the courtroom when Harris insisted that he was innocent.

David Havenner and girlfriend Nancy Monico had an argument in their Port Orange, Florida, trailer. Monico, 39, said the 41-year-old Havenner punched her a few times and then grabbed his metre-long alligator from the bathtub and swung it at her, hitting her at least once as she tried to leave. He is also accused of throwing empty beer bottles at her. Havenner, who is charged with misdemeanour possession of an alligator and with battery, said Monico started the altercation. He told investigators she bit his hand because she was upset that there was no more alcohol in the mobile home.

29 July 2004
Two Toronto lesbians had been together for about 10 years when they married in June of last year under Ontario's newly passed same-sex-marriage scheme. Five days later, they decided to separate. Last month, one of the women filed for divorce on grounds of a year's separation. Lawyer Julie Hannaford said the other woman, her client, agreed to the divorce. However, the federal Divorce Act has no provisions concerning same-sex couples. A review of the relevant laws is expected.

9 August 2004

Most of you may recall the story of Swedish pastor Helge Fossmo from June's Clippings (see http://theanna.org/clip/june2004.html#SMS). He has now been sentenced to life in prison for inciting his children's nanny, who was his mistress, to kill his second wife and his next-door neighbour. The nanny is to be sent to a psychiatric institution. The court cleared Fossmo of responsibility in connection with the death of his first wife, who Fossmo said had hit her head on the tap and drowned in the bath.

Wayne Gethers, a 38-year-old man from Roxbury, Massachusetts, told the police that he had been 'enjoying the company of an unidentified female' in the back seat of his limousine when another limo approached. His wife was driving, and his four children, two of them hers, were the passengers. Yvesnane Gethers, 27, slammed her car into his several times. After he drove off, she continued to slam into him, in a chase that reached 40-50 mph.
Wayne explained that he and Yvesnane had been trying to mend their relationship. He had sought out the other woman's companionship after getting into an argument with Yvesnane about the way she was dressed.

8 September 2004

In a Jane Doe case in Virginia, a woman is suing her ex-Virginia-Beach lover for knowingly and intentionally giving her genital herpes. She is seeking $5 million in compensatory damages and $350,000 in punitive damages, arguing that the man persuaded her many times to have unprotected sex and 'intentionally withheld the fact that he was infected'. The lawsuit also claims that the man claimed to have been tested for sexually transmitted diseases and found to be clean.
The man's attorney, Brian Kantor, claims that his client cannot be sued, because the infection took place while the woman was engaging in a criminal act under Virginia law, sexual intercourse outside marriage.

22 September 2004

In an update on an earlier story, David Havenner, who hit his girlfriend with his fists and then with an alligator to back up a point during an argument (see the story at http://theanna.org/clip/july2004.html#gator), has been sentenced to six months in jail. The Port Orange, Florida, man pleaded no contest to charges of battery and possession of an alligator. He had earlier claimed he wasn't guilty.

Authorities say this next story began when Wisconsin's Dana Bettin argued with his girlfriend. He drove off with their eight-month-old daughter. The police were summoned to retrieve the girl, and a car chase ensued. Bettin, 23, rammed one of the police cars. Later, he braked suddenly and opened the door. He then threw the child and her car seat onto the road and again took off. Officers quickly retrieved the girl. Bettin eventually ran into a stationary, empty police car and was pinned underneath his own vehicle. He died in hospital three days later.

George Long, father of Sherry Kelley of Mat-Su, Alaska, said his daughter was arguing with her 15-year-old girl over whether the teenager could take a part-time job or not when the teenager mentioned the abuse she'd suffered at the hands of her parents. Long contacted the authorities. When troopers neared Sherry and her husband Patrick's trailer home, Kelley hit her 10-year-old son with a steel pipe to get him to enter her van. It later emerged that she hadn't wanted the authorities to see his untreated burns or his frostbitten finger, which her daughters had scrubbed to the bone to remove the maggots and dead flesh. The blow from the pipe broke his arm.
Troopers came back the next day with an order for Kelley to receive psychiatric evaluation. The boy, found hiding outside, had to have part of the finger amputated and remained in hospital for weeks.
Kelley and Patrick had adopted their five children through the state and received $3,400 a month to look after them. This care included making sure the three girls and two boys didn't attend school, had junk vans to sleep in at night, and were disciplined. When their 13-year-old boy stole food from his grandparents' house, she threw him into the family's pond. He tried to run away so was chained to a tree and later had a brick tied around his leg. An aunt said her son had seen the coffinlike box that the boy had been sealed inside while naked.
The children have been placed in the care of a relative.

Cynthia Williams, 45, of Orlando, Florida, was beaten by her boyfriend and had her face fractured in several places while she screamed for help. An officer arrived and cuffed the man, Peter Lamb Reddy. Williams then slapped Reddy in the face. She said the officer told her 'You shouldn't have done that in front of me'. She was hospitalised for three days. When she was charged with misdemeanor battery, she tried to strike a deal with prosecutors. She refused a plea offer involving a year of probation and battery counselling, saying that she didn't want a criminal conviction on her record. In the end, she refused to testify against Reddy because, although 'he tried to kill me', she didn't want to incriminate herself regarding the slap. Prosecutors dropped the charges against Reddy, explaining that they didn't have much of a case left since Williams wouldn't testify.

A Ridgefield, Washington, man said it was reading the Bible that gave him the idea of circumcising his son. According to Sgt. Tony Barnes of the county sheriff's office, the man took the boy into the bathroom and used a hunting knife to perform the operation. 'When he couldn't stop the bleeding, he called 911', said Barnes. The man was taken into custody, and the eight-year-old boy was taken to Southwest Washington Medical Center, where he received several stitches. The case will be referred to Child Protective Services, who have visited the nine children in the home before.

Raphael and Alexandria Spindell's 14-month-old child, Andre, became very sick two months ago and was diagnosed with anaemia. The child's strict vegan diet might have contributed to this. The couple stayed with Andre at the hospital for several days but removed him from the facility because, they said, conditions were unsanitary. The hospital rang the police, who took the Spindells into custody for interfering with the toddler's treatment. The boy's maternal grandmother, Zoya Watterson, was awarded temporary custody the same day.
The next day, the 34-year-old Raphael came to Watterson's apartment and, when she answered the door, shouted 'You don't feed my baby right!'. He grabbed the child. He later rang Watterson and dictated a note in which she is to promise to adhere to his dietary demands if she wants to see the boy again. Watterson said she is worried about the skinny and small Andre, as he 'eats every 15 minutes but he only eats fruit juice, seeds, and breast milk - it's not enough calories'. She said Alexandria, 21, has been brainwashed by Raphael, who is also known as the radical environmentalist Archangel. From a wealthy California family, he is working to establish a 'tribal eco-village' in Belize.

On a plot near Groblershoop, South Africa, a six-month old girl drowned in a bucket of home-brewed beer that was next to the bed where she had been sleeping. Tony Modise, an inspector with the Northern Cape police, said 'Police could not interrogate both parents as they were under the influence of alcohol'.

28 September 2004

The Mardomsalari newspaper reports that an Iranian woman, identified simply as Maryam J., took her husband to court, where she complained that she was beaten nearly every night by her husband. Since having a child hadn't made things better, she sought a judicial order concerning domestic abuse. She told the court 'I don't want a divorce or compensation. My husband is violent. It is in his nature. I just want him to promise to beat me only once a week.' The judge and audience reportedly began laughing. After the husband admitted to beating his wife 'every evening', the judge demanded written assurance from him that the beatings will stop altogether.

A woman in Kyoto, Japan, stabbed her husband, 63-year-old Toshiaki Ueda. She then told a neighbour what she had done, and the man was rushed to hospital, where he died. The woman told investigators that she did it for her husband's own good. Said the woman, who has an illness that requires regular visits to hospital, 'I caused my husband a lot of trouble. I killed him so as not to give any more trouble.'

California's San Bernardino County Sun said Mark Edward Thomas, 23, insists that he didn't kill his 18-year-old girlfriend, Briele Johnson. He did, however, admit to packing her body into a suitcase at the motel where the two were staying, and to then hitching a ride to another motel. He explained that he wanted to care for the body, which showed signs of strangulation. Thomas's backpack contained photos suggesting that he might have severely choked Johnson on previous occasions.
Thomas says he never harmed her. As to how she died, he said she was prostituting herself to other men and that he returned to the room to find her naked and unresponsive on the bed. There will therefore be DNA tests.
Thomas was arrested at the second motel after a woman reported that he had stabbed her and stolen her handbag.

Mother of seven Sylvia Payne of Maryport, West Cumbria, was comforting her son after he suffered a panic attack, and one thing led to another. This is what a court recently heard in explanation for how Payne ended up having sex with her 18-year-old son, Mark Wall, after watching a Disney film with him. The couple were discovered by a young family member. Payne, 45, was given a three-year rehabilitation order aimed at turning around a life her solicitor described as a 'graphic and horrific tale' involving two abusive relationships.

Responding to a call about an alleged child-abuse case, police found a 15-year-old boy chained to a bed railing in Lebanon, Tennessee. The boy's father, James Osborne III, told the police that he had noticed that the boy was chained up when Osborne went to work in the morning and when he returned home at night. The explanation offered by the boy's step-mother was that the teenager, who weighed 49 pounds when found, was a troublemaker. Both adults were jailed. The teen, who had been fed only soup and water, is in hospital.

8 September 2004

In his trailer home in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, Leroy Brown accused his wife of having an extramarital affair. He held up the trousers that he claimed she had worn during the affair, then set them alight. The police report that Brown dropped the trousers when he burned his fingers. The mobile home was engulfed in flames. Brown was being held on arson charges while prosecutors reviewed the case.

A 27-year-old Edmond, Oklahoma, man wanted to impress his wife. Police spokeswoman Glynda Chu said the man asked a juvenile and an 18-year-old to pose as burglars and tie up his wife while he was out of the house. He told the pair this was part of a practical joke, and they went through with it. When the man returned home, he chased away the two males in ski masks, hitting one of them with a two-by-four. One of the 'bad guys' told his parents what happened, and they in turn contacted the police. The homeowner explained to police that he wanted his 31-year-old wife to consider him a hero. No arrests were made.

Sgt. A.D. Beasley said things got out of hand in an argument between Jackie Lee Shrader, 49, and son Harley Lee Shrader, 24, of Bluewell, West Virginia. They were arguing over how to cook chicken. Detective Sgt. A.D. Beasley said 'It started out as a physical confrontation, but it escalated until both of them were shooting at each other'. A bullet went through the top of the younger man's right ear and into the back of his head. He was treated and released from the hospital. His father was unharmed.

Gloria Ent of York, Pennsylvania, was rolling along a sidewalk in her wheelchair when a man in a passing vehicle grabbed her handbag. She told the police that her bag had contained $2,500 for a new bedroom suite for her son. Three days later, she was asked to come to the station, as police had caught one of the men involved in the crime. When she and her husband, Clarence, arrived, he was taken in for questioning. He told police he had asked a friend to steal her handbag because he didn't want her to find out that he had already stolen some of the money in it, to support his return to the crack cocaine habit he had abandoned 14 years earlier. Following his arrest, she said 'He can rot in jail until the day he dies as far as I'm concerned'.

17 October 2004
The New York Daily News reports that 15-year-old Aaron Clark was upset at his mother, Gail, because she scolded him after his 19-year-old girlfriend, mother of two Sinia James, stayed in the family home overnight. His solution was to stab his mother to death with a kitchen knife. After he bought latex gloves, bags, mops, and bleach to aid in disposal of the body, James rang the police. Aaron was caught after he drove to an area park in his mother's car and dug a grave there. After his arrest, Aaron said 'Yeah, I'm sorry'.
Friends and neighbours described Gail as a hard-working corrections officer who brought her son $300 worth of gifts almost daily. Police said Aaron, who has a drug problem and has been expelled from school, was violent to his mother on many prior occasions and that she had decided not to report them. After he'd tried to sell his mother's service revolver, she kept it in a locked safe. While she lay dying, he forced her to reveal the lock's combination.

A 13-year-old Belmont, New Hampshire, boy rang the police to report that his mother was stabbing his 10-year-old brother in the arm with a kitchen knife. The boys' mother, Jacqueline Weiner, was drunk and upset that the two boys had destroyed her favourite cuddly toy. The boys' stepfather, Steven, allegedly held the child down during the stabbing.
When the police arrived, Steven was backing out of the driveway in a pickup truck, in which the 10-year-old boy was the passenger. In addition to the knife wounds, officers found welts on the boy's right temple and human bites all over his body. The boy initially told officers that he had fallen off his bike. Jacqueline, 36, told the police that the blood on her shirt, jeans, and hand was from a nosebleed. Police Corporal William Wright said she then changed her story and explained that she paints for a living and that the red substance was paint. Both children are reportedly in state custody.

Milwaukee police spokesman Sgt. Ken Henning said that a 32-year-old woman came to her neighbour's door, asking her if she wanted to buy some property for $10. The neighbour asked for more details, and the visitor replied that the property was her baby. The heavily intoxicated mother left but returned a few minutes later with her six-day-old baby. The neighbour slammed the door, then rang the police, Henning said.
Officers said they found the woman's apartment littered with spoiled food. There was no refrigerator or stove. The baby and another child, a one-year-old girl, were placed in foster homes. Denise Revels Robinson, director of the Bureau of Milwaukee Child Welfare, said she understands that the woman has three other children, who are living outside Wisconsin with relatives.

2 November 2004

Karen Stolzmann, a 44-year-old woman from Portage, Wisconsin, was arrested for being a grave robber. The grave was that of her boyfriend, Michael Hendrickson, who killed himself in 1992. His family recently discovered that his cremated remains had been stolen, along with the beer and cigarettes that had been buried with him. When sheriff's deputies searched Stolzmann's home, they found her hiding in the shower, and the urn was in her garage. It is believed that she drank the beer, possibly out of spite for not having been invited to Hendrickson's funeral. His family had not approved of his adulterous relationship with the married Stolzmann, nor of the substance abuse and domestic violence that characterised it.
Columbia County Detective Wayne Smith called the case 'twisted and bizarre'.

Steven Scott Soper, an 18-year-old Florida Marine recruit, was unhappy that his girlfriend was considering voting for John Kerry in the upcoming US Presidential election. He allegedly told Stacey Silheira 'You'll never live to see the election'. Sheriff's deputies who were summoned to the house found Soper threatening to stab Silheira in the neck with a screwdriver. A Taser was applied to him, and Soper was taken to jail, where he was awaiting psychiatric evaluation.

Wisconsin's William Dahlby claims that he threw a live electrical wire into his wife's bath simply to scare her. He said that he had hoped a near-death experience could save their marriage. He said the wire was hooked to a ground fault interrupter designed to cut the electricity when the cord hit water. His wife, who was unhurt in the incident, testified that she jumped out of the water when the wire joined her in the tub but that her husband had tried to push her back in. Prosecutors said he wanted to kill her so he could be with his mistress. A jury found him guilty of attempted first-degree intentional homicide.

9 November 2004

Four years ago, Canada's Susan MacIntosh moved in with Ray Lindley, now her common-law husband. The couple had a child and seemed happy. In January of last year, Lindley told MacIntosh he had cancer and needed to go to Montreal for treatment. He didn't have cancer but was indeed going to the hospital, for a sex-change operation. When he returned to Vancouver some months later, MacIntosh couldn't help but discover that Ray was in the process of becoming Cara-Anne. She decided to sever the relationship. An unhappy Lindley decided a few months ago to repay her by visiting her home and beating her 20 times with a tyre iron. She required major reconstructive surgery. Lindley has now been sentenced to five years in prison. Reports did not specify whether (s)he is to do time at a females' prison rather than a men's one.

A 29-year-old man in Gold Bar, Washington, proposed to his girlfriend at her 62-year-old ex-boyfriend's house, while he was looking on. According to Jan Jorgensen, speaking for the county sheriff's office, the woman accepted the proposal and the ex-boyfriend became upset, striking the woman while all three were yelling at each other. At this point, the younger man fetched a metal baseball bat from his pickup truck and hit the jealous 62-year-old on the head and in the ribs. He was taken to hospital with a severe head injury. His assailant, the unnamed Romeo, was jailed pending further investigation.

16 November 2004
A substitute for a relationship...
William Warren Mucklow, 38, of Charleston, West Virginia, ran 'wanted' ads asking for home health care workers to care for a man with the mind of a two- or three-year-old. Three nurses hired to care for the man reported to the authorities that he grabbed their breasts while they were changing his nappies. They explained also that the man 'slipped up' after several hours of care and began behaving as a 40-year-old man would. Mucklow was arrested on Tuesday for posing as a mentally retarded person. A civil lawsuit is pending.

Theresa M. Wilson of Curtis, Washington, discovered her ex-boyfriend with another woman. Some time later, she decided to vent her anger at him by forcing his car off the road and ramming it three times. After this display of aggression, as officers arrived on the scene, the driver emerged from the damaged 1987 Chevrolet Sprint and Wilson said 'Oh my God, oh my God, that's not my boyfriend'. It wasn't his car, a 1988 Chevrolet Spectrum, either. The driver, who had been on his way to work, said of the incident 'Things like that just don't happen around here'. The 43-year-old Wilson was arrested pending an investigation for second-degree assault.

A 53-year-old Australian man has been sentenced to a 10-year jail term for sexually abusing his eldest daughter, now 18, since she was seven years old. He forced her to have an abortion when she became pregnant with his child at the age of 13. The court, in Brisbane, heard that the man beat and mentally abused the girl and her four siblings, all of whom were born to his de facto wife, who was also his step-daughter. Justice Martin Moynihan heard how the five children were taken away from the man in 2000 after the oldest girl's friend revealed that he had shown her pornography. It then emerged that the father had tried to hang his eldest daughter from a clothes hoist using a rope, saying 'die, bitch' and then leaving her there. She managed to swing herself round until she could reach a crate with her feet.
The man pleaded guilty to the two charges brought against him: maintaining a sexual relationship with a child and torture.

Keith Knuckles of Louisville, Kentucky, worked as a school-bus monitor for three- and four-year-old children at public schools. A few months ago, he confessed to being a child molester. The police say they didn't arrest him, as that was part of a deal they made to get more information from him. Also, he was allowed to continue in his job until a little over a month ago. More recently, officers went to his home to serve him with warrants charging him with rape and sodomy. In the home they found his five-year-old daughter, Keishell, dead of an overdose of sleeping pills. He was apprehended in Ohio and has been charged with murder.

1 December 2004

New York's Craig Musso and Linda Lou White met in a Christian chat room and arranged to meet in person in Tennessee after an eight-month online romance. After a couple days, they were married. When White died a month later, doctors initially assumed it was because of issues associated with her 160-kilo weight. On being informed of her death, White's mother immediately asked 'Did he kill her?', prompting the ordering of an autopsy. It revealed that the 43-year-old White had been strangled. Musso, 44, was implicated and has been charged with second-degree murder.

Sarah Powell, 27, and her 30-year-old boyfriend Jake Faria were unable to find someone to look after Powell's seven-year-old son while they celebrated her birthday in a San Diego bar. Their solution was to place the boy in the boot of her car 'for safekeeping'. They supplied him with a pillow and sleeping bag. Powell was arrested during the party, and Faria a few days later. As part of a plea bargain, the couple pleaded guilty to child abuse and false imprisonment. They are expected to be sentenced to probation. The boy is living with a foster family, and Powell hopes to regain custody of him after attending parenting classes.

Two years ago, Jean-Claude Godrie of Douai, France, decided to kill himself due to mounting debts. He used a hunting rifle to shoot his wife, Chantal, in the head first but was prevented from taking his own life by their son. Chantal survived but lost her eyesight. Afterward, Jean-Claude explained that he had wanted to prevent his wife from having to bear the financial burden alone, saying he wanted to end an unbearable situation rather than kill her. Chantal begged the court to forgive her husband of 37 years. The jury convicted him of attempted murder but waived the sentence.

Kevin Winston, a 46-year-old father from Newark, New Jersey, wanted to teach his 16-year-old daughter a lesson when she came home drunk and unruly late at night. He rang the police, ratting on her. When the cops arrived, the girl said she feared for her safety because her father kept drugs and weapons in the home. She showed them a crawlspace above the ceiling where four guns and 600 vials of cocaine were stashed. Winston's five daughters were placed in the custody of a relative, and he has been charged with a range of offences.

9 December 2004

In a story of romance and forgiveness, Carrie Lynn Wheeler of Portland, Oregon, admitted to mixing rat poison into her husband's tacos and putting ground-up prescription pills in a drink she served him. Her husband, 57-year-old Steve, told Judge Jean Kerr Maurer that 'I think this is overdone', explaining: 'knowing Carrie, my wife, this doesn't quite fit; I feel the sentence is too heavy.' Partially in consideration of his statement that he still loved his wife and wished for leniency to be shown to her, the case was settled with a plea bargain in which Carrie admitted to attempted assault rather than attempted murder. She must receive domestic violence counselling, and the judge said she must not be in contact with her husband without written approval from her probation officer.

Things can be fun long after the divorce...
Viola Trevino of Albuquerque, New Mexico, was ordered to appear in court with her five-year-old daughter. The child didn't exist, so as the deadline drew near, Trevino tried to borrow distant relative Rachel Luna's five-year-old daughter, inventing a story about needing to collect a $20,000 beauty contest prize. After this attempt failed, Trevino saw a two-year-old girl and her grandmother, Georgia Chavez, fetching the mail, so she offered to take them to see Santa Claus and receive free candy. Chavez said she agreed and got into Trevino's car, which drove to the courthouse. Chavez said she couldn't keep up when Trevino walked off with the girl. Trevino showed up with the girl several hours after the court deadline. Her insistence that the child was hers was met with scepticism.
Trevino's ex-husband, who has paid $20,000 in child support for the nonexistent child, plans to sue her and others. Also, she might face criminal charges, including perjury and fraud. Officials say kidnapping charges are not applicable in this case.

Georgia's Holly Harvey allegedly enlisted the help of her 16-year-old lesbian lover, Sally Ketchum, in the murder of her custodial grandparents. The plot was hatched after Harvey's grandparents ordered her to stop taking drugs and forbade her seeing Ketchum. Police describe Harvey as persuading Ketchum to hide under a bed in the elderly couple's home until they were lured into the bedroom. Both Carl and Sarah Collier were stabbed over 15 times. The girls then drove off in the couple's truck.
When the girls were arrested, they laughed at the more than 25 officers present. Lt. Col. Bruce Jordan said of the 'heartless' Harvey: 'it almost made her giddy to know we had brought that many people to arrest her.' By contrast, the 16-year-old Ketchum 'was in it for the love'.
The evidence against the girls includes three bloody knives, the truck, and the testimony of friends from whom the girls allegedly tried to obtain guns. Also, on Harvey's arm was written a 'to do' list: 'kill, keys, money, jewelry'. In court, Harvey's lawyer described her as 'acting like a scared 15-year-old'.

15 December 2004

In Green Forest, Arkansas, a 13-year-old boy allegedly threatened to cut off his mother's head with a butcher knife because he 'had just discovered that she had not purchased him the [Christmas] present he had requested', according to police officer Tommy Hayden. The mother tried to disarm her son, at which point he kicked and punched her. After being read his rights, the juvenile admitted to threatening his mother and 'said that all would have been well if she had just bought him the correct present', Hayden said. The teenager was taken to the Carroll County Jail.

Sheriff Ken Roland of Miami County, Indiana, said a masked man pointed a gun at an automotive repair shop clerk 'and told her he would kill her; then he pulled the trigger, but nothing was in it'. Over $200 was taken. The 16-year-old clerk thought she recognised the man's voice. While she was giving a statement to the police, her 18-year-old brother rang the shop to speak with her. The voice was the same. She kept him on the line, and the police arrested him and two friends at a public telephone. The brother, Bryce A. Swihart, was charged with armed robbery.

29 December 2004
Antonio Hernandez, 29, thought his wife was having an affair. The Lexington, Nebraska, man reacted by hijacking a Greyhound bus in Utah, holding a knife to the driver's throat. He planned to run over his wife's trailer home in Lexington, Nebraska. However, the bus hadn't made it far into Colorado before Hernandez, who had apparently been drinking tequila, went to the loo in the back of the bus. The driver slowed the vehicle and jumped out, and the Utah Highway Patrol took Hernandez into custody shortly thereafter. He pleaded guilty to hijacking the bus and could be sentenced to up to 15 years in prison.

A San Jose, Illinois, woman pleaded guilty to murdering her 11-month-old son. Robin Graham, 19, told the police she killed the boy because she was 'upset with him for messing his pants'. She said she hadn't intended for him to burn to death but had expected him to kick his way out of the baby seat and drown in the bathtub. After the child's eyes glazed over, Graham left the room. A while later, she sent her two-year-old son in to check on his younger brother because she didn't want to see what she had done to him. State's Attorney Tim Huyett said that Graham's mother-in-law indicated that Graham had told her just after the boy was removed from the bathtub: 'I finally did it. I killed him.' Huyett dropped two other first-degree murder charges against Graham as part of a plea agreement.

According to UPI reports, Tammie Josette Peter, a 31-year-old woman from Monroe, Louisiana, came home to find her 15-year-old brother cooking two pork chops for only himself. Deputies say she became enraged and, in the ensuing argument, threw one of the pork chops at her brother. She picked up a knife but was soon disarmed by her boyfriend and 12-year-old son. However, a few minutes later, she returned to the kitchen and fetched another knife, with which she stabbed her son in the shoulder and her brother in the chest. Both were hospitalised. Peter has been arrested and charged with various types of battery.

19 January 2005
Jasmine Archie, a 12-year-old Birmingham, Alabama, girl, told mother Tunisia that she was no longer a virgin. As punishment, the slender Tunisia sat on 110-kilo Jasmine after making her drink bleach. Then she waited for the girl to die. Jasmine's nine-year-old brother, Jacorey, was forced to stand in the corner and watch the proceedings. His mother apparently told him that she would kill him as well if he shed a tear. Tunisia, 31, has been charged with capital murder.

30 January 2005

Amanda Monti, a 24-year-old woman from Birkenhead, Merseyside, had apparently remained on good terms with Geoffrey Jones, 37, after he broke off their relationship. Liverpool crown court heard recently that after Monti drove Jones home from a party, she offered him sex and said she wished to discuss the relationship. He refused and, in the struggle that followed, threw her out of the house. After she smashed a window, there was another fight, in which Monti ripped off one of her ex-boyfriend's testicles. She initially tried to hide it in her mouth, but it was recovered. However, it could not be reattached.

Social workers were sent to Michelle R. Shelton's apartment in Kansas City, Missouri, where they took hair samples from her and her four-year-old son to test for drugs. The tests came back positive. Court records quote Shelton as telling detectives that she had found drug paraphernalia all over her home after parties her son attended and that it's possible that the boy found some crack that way. Some residents at Shelton's apartment complex told investigators that the mother gave her son crack cocaine to calm him down.

How not to try starting a relationship...
Police in New Castle, Delaware, report that after two men robbed an 18-year-old pizza delivery woman, one of them decided to apologise. In what police spokesman Cpl. Trinidad Navarro said would be a good story for a television programme on dumb criminals, Brent Brown, 25, rang his victim, said he was sorry about the robbery, and asked her out on a date. Brown, who was arrested after officers searching a residence found the pizza boxes and receipt associated with the crime, was identified by the victim from a line-up. He said in his defence: 'I work every day. I have no reason to rob the pizza lady.'

In Japan, a woman in her 30s used her ex-boyfriend's username and password to delete his data from the online role-playing game Lineage. Police quoted her as saying that she deleted his weapons and clothes 'as revenge for breaking up with me'. The pair apparently had met through the game.

6 February 2005

A couple of lovely families...
In 1998, Utah's Misty Star Sorensen woke from a drug-induced stupor to find that her two-month-old infant, Kalee Ann Jones, lay dead beneath her. A small methamphetamine bag was stuck to the baby's cheek. Police officer Eric Jensen wrote after Sorensen's arrest that Sorensen and her boyfriend were 'uncooperative with officers and acted unemotional to the baby's death'. Sorensen was sentenced to probation, and her two other children were removed from her custody because she decided not to submit to random drug tests. As she explained later, 'people would come by to say how sorry they were she had died, and then they'd get me high'. In 2004, after the end of her probation, Sorensen gave birth to another child, Alexandria Maricale Sorensen. When Alexandria died in similar circumstances to Kalee after being in a twin bed with her mother and her mother's boyfriend, it was decided not to press charges. Sorensen said: 'I can't believe this happened again.'

Marisa Nicole Sivesind's landlord and a neighbour in Bakersfield, California, reported her to the police for putting a picture of a naked woman on her two-year-old son and one-year-old daughter's bedroom wall. She claimed that her son had asked her to buy a copy of Hustler a week earlier when she and the boy were in a liquor store, and that she obeyed his request for her to put the centre-fold image on the wall because she didn't want him to call her vulgar names. Sivesind has been charged with providing harmful matter to a minor, as well as with the misdemeanour of threatening to kill her neighbour.

15 February 2005

A good relationship starts with shared interests...
Police in Santa Clara County, California, say that registered sex offender Glen Westberg used the online database of registered sex offenders as a dating service. The 35-year-old Westberg sent explicit letters to female offenders who appeared to share his interest in child molestation. County prosecutor Steve Fein said he never would have thought the database would be put to such a use. Westberg faces up to six months in jail and a $1000 fine if found guilty of illegally accessing the database as a registered sex offender, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

An 11-year-old boy in Houston, Texas, woke up to his mother's screams. The boy in turn woke his 16-year-old brother, who went into his parents' bedroom and told his father, 43-year-old Jacob Hughes, to leave his mother alone. The teenager apparently told police that he then shot his father in the arm to defend his mother while Hughes argued with her.
Sheriff's Sgt. Mike Smith said he initially believed the children's account but now has a new take on events: 'During the course of love making, the wife was evidently being somewhat loud - loud enough to where it woke the children up'. He said the boys simply interpreted consensual sex as 'their mother being in danger', possibly because of Hughes's convictions for domestic abuse. Officials said it isn't clear whose story is the correct one. Regardless, the teenager is being charged with aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, a felony.

1 March 2005

California's Sacramento Bee reports that intern teacher Margaret De Barraicua has been arrested for the statutory rape of one of her 16-year-old students. She is accused of having sex with the teenaged boy in her car while parked at another school. Police responding to reports of a suspicious vehicle found the windows steamed up. When the car door opened, police saw the pair and the teacher's two-year-old son, who had been safely strapped into a car seat in the back seat of the car during the encounter. De Barraicua, who is married, has been placed on paid administrative leave while an investigation into the sexual relationship continues.

Australia's Savonne Scrubby hoped that her husband's two-year obsession with having sex with a 13-year-old girl would be cured if he actually did so. A Darwin court heard that one day, her husband kept asking her to persuade the girl to have sex with him. Threatening both with a fishing spear, the 32-year-old Aboriginal woman forced them to have sex. After they did so, she took the crying girl's clothes, hid them, and disappeared. She then walked 22 kilometres to an outstation, arriving early the next morning with the spear and a knife in hand. She admitted what she had done. Claiming that she was the primary offender, she pleaded guilty to a charge of the rape of the girl, with whom she remains on good terms. Her husband is not being charged.

Illinois physician Richard Phillips won the right to sue ex-girlfriend Sharon Irons, also a doctor, for using his sperm to impregnate herself without his permission. During the couple's brief relationship, which ended when Phillips realised that Irons had lied in saying that she was divorced, the two never had sexual intercourse but did have oral sex three times. Irons sued Phillips for child support two years later. He now pays her $800 per month.
While Phillips has been allowed to sue Irons on grounds of emotional distress, the appeals court rejected his claims of fraud and theft since 'when plaintiff "delivered" his sperm, it was a gift'.

And some happy families...
A 42-year-old computer expert from Vlaardingen in The Netherlands killed his 76-year-old mother. Then, late at night, he began wandering the streets while wearing what some believed was a fancy-dress costume draped over his shoulders. He was arrested after 90 minutes, for directing traffic in a confused state of mind. When the man, named as Ronald Z., was taken to the police station, officers realised he was wearing the bloody skin of his mother, complete with fatty tissue. He later confessed to the killing, and the public prosecutor has reported that the woman's severely mutilated body had been found. The suspect's attorney said in an interview that his client said that 'he has literally been ordered by God to do this. However strange this may be, it shows how important his mother was to him. He really did make a sacrifice.'

Detectives in Pittsburgh claim they have cracked a 15-year-old case of a house fire. New evidence and new interviews of about 20 witnesses have led to this explanation: One of Tequilla Newsome's two toddlers was allergic to the family dog. The child's grandmother refused to get rid of the animal, so Newsome abandoned it in downtown Pittsburgh. It returned home. Then, Newsome and her friend, then-15-year-old Lachan Russell, decided to douse the animal in kerosene and set it alight. The dog, in turn, set the house on fire. Newsome's two toddlers died in the late-night blaze.

11 March 2005
Pennsylvania's Caren McDonald is serving a three-year prison sentence for shooting husband William in the head, beating him with a baseball bat, and leaving him for dead. The 42-year-old William has now issued a statement - he still has difficulty speaking - in which he asked for the 'immediate release of my loving wife that is being held falsely'. To this end, he has filed a federal lawsuit claiming that Caren was coerced into approaching prosecutors to report that she had beaten him after an argument. He claims he had awakened with a start, pulling sheets against the trigger of the gun in the bed he shared with Caren. He says he then grabbed the baseball bat to check for intruders, spreading blood throughout the house. He had initially claimed that two intruders attacked him and that a physical struggle ensued, shortly before saying he couldn't remember what had happened.

28 March 2005
Krissie Glover came to Brian Carter's door seeking help after her car became stranded in southern Orange County, Florida. After walking two kilometres, Carter came upon the 21-year-old woman's daughter, age 3, face down on the golf course and groaning. Her body temperature had dropped below the level the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider severe hypothermia. When investigators asked Glover why the girl had been left in the woods, she 'stated that she wanted to teach her child how to survive on her own, to make her more independent', said Orange County Sheriff's Sgt. Rich Mankewich.

21 April 2005

Apparently, a 12-year-old boy approached an 11-year-old girl in a park and befriended her. Later, the boy introduced the girl's 13-year-old friend to his twin brother. Both pairs began to date. After the 13-year-old girl's brother saw her hugging what appeared to be an older boy, the police became involved. It turned out the twins were the same person, 18-year-old Lakesia Michelle Mason. Mason is currently undergoing psychiatric evaluation to determine her competency to stand trial in California's San Mateo County Superior Court.

Nashville, Tennessee, police spokesman Don Aaron said that 'from time to time, you come across a case with very unique - even bizarre - circumstances'. Martha Freeman allowed lover Rafael DeJesus Rocha-Perez, 35, to live in a closet of the family home without her husband Jeffrey, 44, finding out. This carried on for about a month. Finally, Jeffrey heard snoring emanating from the closet and told Martha to kick the source of the snoring out of the house. Martha said her husband went for a walk and returned to the wrath of Rocha-Perez, who forced Jeffrey into a bathroom and bludgeoned him to death.

The People's Daily reports that She Xianglin, 39, of Shayang County in China's Hubei province, was implicated when his wife disappeared in 1994 after voicing suspicions that he was having an affair. When police found a badly decomposed female corpse in the couple's town, part-time police patrol officer She was arrested. He said: 'At first, I insisted I was not the murderer. But later I could not bear the endless interrogation and I said I did it.' He was sentenced to death, but this was later changed to 15 years' imprisonment. After he had served 11 years of the sentence, his wife Zhang reappeared, with a new husband and a son. She said she was in the area to finally see her family again, adding that 'I really didn't know what had happened to She, and I thought he would live a better life after I left'. After his release, She said he plans to seek compensation from the government for the emotional trauma he has undergone.

1 June 2005
A Massachusetts appeals court has ruled that a woman isn't liable for injuries her boyfriend suffered while having sex with her in 1994. A three-judge panel said the woman was not, in fact, negligent in landing awkwardly on the man and fracturing his penis as a result. In the decision on the John Doe case, which was first filed in 1997, Justice Joseph Trainor wrote: 'In the absence of a consensus of community values or customs defining normal consensual conduct, a jury or judge cannot be expected to resolve a claim that certain consensual sexual conduct is undertaken without reasonable care'. The man's attorney, John Greenwood, argued that the fact 'some behavior was agreed to by the parties doesn't mean all behavior was agreed to by the parties'.
The ruling specifically does not apply to cases of knowingly infecting someone with a sexually transmitted disease.

A 28-year-old mother in San Antonio, Texas, said she sent nude photos of her 13-year-old daughter to Pasadena's Erik Hull, 35, so he could sell them. Hull was visiting the family on Saturday when the girl called to her grandmother for help, saying he had raped her. The girl's mother rang the police and held Hull at knifepoint until officers arrived. Hull told the police that he woke up with the girl on top of him and couldn't remember what had happened. He was arrested anyway. The mother was arrested as well, for promotion of child pornography. Child Protective Services spokeswoman Mary Walker said the girl is in the care of relatives.

21 June 2005

Jeff Skuza of the Fargo, North Dakota, police department reports that DeAnn Miller-Boschert, 45, wanted her husband to stop snoring so she poured water on him. When that didn't wake him up, she stabbed him in the arm twice with a pen. Skuza said that 'after he went back to sleep after the pen thing, she woke him up again with a workout weight' to the head. The man, who was not seriously injured by the dumbbell, rang the police from a convenience store and then returned home. 'I assume he went back to sleep', said Skuza. DeAnn was charged with simple battery.

7 July 2005
Japan's Mainichi Shimbun reports that Takeshi Fukuhara, 29, went to Ageo Police Station on Wednesday and admitted to strangling his wife with pyjama trousers a few days earlier. He explained: 'I couldn't tolerate seeing my wife suffering from depression' and told the police that he dismembered her body with a saw and paper cutter because it had begun to decompose. The body has been recovered from Fukuhara's closet, and an autopsy is to be conducted.

Shyam Behari of India's Uttar Pradesh state has been accused of attacking 23-year-old wife Kunti with a butcher's knife and chopping off her nose in rage upon hearing that she had given birth to a second daughter rather than a boy. Kunti told reporters 'my in-laws tried to rescue me, but he did not let them do anything' and that she was given medical assistance when her father came to the home two days later. Police officer Suleman Khan said that Behari has been arrested. He maintains his innocence, saying: 'There was no altercation - I don't have a problem with a daughter; I am completely fine with it'.

Washington state's Spokesman Review reports that Rachel Dunham, 25, obtained a restraining order against 49-year-old boyfriend Rodney Tomsha after twice reporting him for domestic violence. He was arrested a short while later in connection with further abuse of Dunham. A little over a week later, police received a tip that Tomsha had disobeyed the order and was within two blocks of Dunham - at the reception for his marriage to her. Tomsha is now in the Spokane County Jail rather than with Dunham for a Mexican honeymoon. The police waited until the reception was over before arresting him.

16 July 2005
LarHonda McMillan, 23, of Nashville, Tennessee, didn't strap her toddler into a car seat and failed to notice the child tumble out of the car through an open door as she rounded a curve. Passersby rescued the child from the street and tried to get McMillan's attention by honking their horns and yelling. They failed, and the child was not identified until other members of the family saw a news report on the topic. McMillan was booked on charges of child neglect, driving under the influence of an intoxicating substance, and reckless endangerment. Explaining herself, she told a judge when her bail was set that she has been under a lot of stress, works third shift, is a single parent, and is working to overcome an addiction to cocaine.

29 July 2005
These folks are going to have problems...
Douglas Kelly told the Louisiana police that he had been robbed of $500 when he went to a local convenience store to buy dog food at about 1am. He described being forced into the boot of his car and escaping with the aid of the emergency release lever. The police questioned him about such things as his account of being hit in the back of the head while facing his attacker head-on and why he still had $400 in his wallet after the robbery. They also noted that Kelly's car boot has no emergency release lever and that the Exxon station doesn't sell dog food. Detective Reggie Relf said that Kelly then explained that he had hoped 'to insulate himself from the wrath of his pregnant girlfriend finding out he had been at Scuttlebutt's', a strip club. He was released from custody after paying a $500 fine for filing a false police report. Capt. Rob Callahan said that 'the wrath is still going to be there now'.

And these folks already do
Following attempts to have children and mend their relationship, Deon Francois and wife Chaamel parted ways about two and a half years ago. He says he assumed that once he stopped paying for his sperm to be frozen at a New York facility, it would be thrown away. However, Chaamel began paying the bill, and kept trying to get pregnant. She underwent successful in vitro fertilisation and is now seeking child support payments from Deon. Deon is suing NYU, which he says didn't obtain consent from him for the sperm's use, as well as Chaamel and a notary public he claims was involved in faking a signed release form. Chaamel is pregnant again, thanks to more of the frozen sperm.

17 August 2005

The 51st way...
Teddy Claire Akin, 28, of Ocala, Florida, wanted his wife to leave him. To this end, authorities said, he concocted a story about killing a hitch-hiker and leaving the body in the woods. Wife Felicia then rang the Marion County Sheriff's Office to report the crime, and her husband repeated the story to investigators, adding a few details. He produced a Utah man's wallet as proof. After the police failed to find a corpse with dogs and an air unit, Teddy explained that he'd hoped the story would help in getting a divorce and that he had found the wallet on top of a newspaper stand, said Sue Livoti for the sheriff's office. The authorities were successful in contacting the wallet's owner. Captain Thomas Bibb said Teddy is probably going to be billed for the cost of the seven-hour search.

Germany's Sabine Hilschenz, 39, is charged with killing nine of her children and burying the newborns in her garden at her former residence in Brieskow-Finkenheerd, Brandenburg. After someone clearing a garage discovered a skeleton in a fish tank, an investigation revealed tiny human skeletons in flower pots and buckets as well. Hilschenz admitted to giving birth to the babies but claims she does not remember killing them - she said she had drunk heavily before each birth, to cope with labour pains 'alone and without any help', according to state prosecutor Annette Bargenda. Hilschenz has four living children, ages 20, 19, 18, and 18 months. Police did not confirm reports that she is now pregnant again.
Hilschenz is thought to have moved house several times, taking most of the bodies with her. Bargenda said that in at least seven of the cases Hilschenz 'knows she put a covering over each child; she said she woke or sobered up only after the children were already buried'.

According to Florida's St. Petersburg Times, a judge has sentenced 38-year-old Christopher Offord of Panama City, Florida, to death for killing his wife with about 70 blows from a claw hammer 'after spending a happy interlude with her'. Offord had apparently responded as he did because he didn't want to stop watching sport on television and return to bed with her. Judge Dedee Costello explained that 'her desire to cuddle after sex does not justify the extremely violent, brutal response of the defendant'.

After company director Melvyn Reed underwent a triple bypass heart operation in central England, he tried to stagger his visitors' visits, but that didn't stop his three wives showing up at the same time to visit him in hospital. The 59-year-old Reed's wives realised that something wasn't quite right, and they had an impromptu meeting in the car park. Reed turned himself in on May 12 and has now been handed a four-month suspended sentence for bigamy by the Wimbledon Magistrates' Court.

31 August 2005
Christopher Sheridan Hoar, a 56-year-old Florida man, was jailed in October on charges of pointing a gun at his wife and threatening to kill her. In December, he tried to get a hit man to kill her in exchange for $10,000 and a vehicle. The hit man was in reality an undercover detective, and Hoar was charged with solicitation to commit murder. Last month, Hoar again approached an undercover detective for purposes of wife-killing. This time, before arresting him, detectives showed Hoar a photograph of his wife lying in a pool of fake blood.

A father in Canton, Ohio, told investigators that his wife and her 17-year-old adopted son had been living at a Super 8 motel for about a week and having sex. He turned over email and other information indicating that the relationship had been going on for several weeks. The mother and son also allegedly drank alcohol and cut themselves together at the motel. When questioned, the mother admitted to having sex with her son once during an alcoholic blackout, according to the complaint, telling investigators that 'it's the weirdest thing; we're just two needy people - when he turns 18, he wants to marry me'.
The woman and her husband have temporarily closed the Fun on the Farm day-care centre they run in their home. Five of the couple's other children have been removed from the home. The father retains custody and may visit them. An adult daughter said she was physically, emotionally, and sexually abused in the home, according to the complaint.

22 September 2005

Tokyo's Eriko Kawaguchi complained to the police because the hit man she had hired to murder her lover's wife didn't complete the assignment. The 32-year-old Kawaguchi paid Takaharu Tabe about 15 million yen to remove the other woman, because of feeling betrayed by her lover when the man's wife gave birth. Tabe allegedly had told Kawaguchi that he would take the woman on a motorbike into a tunnel and then pour poisonous bacteria over her, and Kawaguchi said he later showed produced some white powder and reported that he'd killed his target. Kawaguchi went to the cops when she found out that this was a lie.

Justin W. Fraase, 26, of Fargo, North Dakota, wanted to get a protection order lifted by proving to the police that the woman he was supposed to stay away from actually wanted to see him. His proof came in the form of a covertly created videotape of him having sex with her. Lt. Tod Dahle said Fraase 'obviously didn't watch it before he gave it to us'. Apparently, Fraase summoned the woman to his home ostensibly to discuss child custody arrangements. When she arrived, he cornered her. Dahle said the video includes audio of the woman's struggle and makes it clear that the sex was undesired.

And a few happy families this time...
Glenn Connolly, 35, of Youngstown, Ohio, rang the Pennsylvania state police to ask them to let his sister, Victoria Christie, know that Christie and Connolly's mother had died. Troopers obliged. They later found out that the woman was still alive. Connolly faces a $300 fine and 90 days in jail if convicted on charges of harassment.

Malawi's Mary Mwagomba, 25, has been arrested on suspicion of using an axe to kill and dismember her nine-month-old son and then trying to kill herself. Police spokesperson Enock Livason said both the woman and her son had tested positive for HIV at a government hospital.
They do things slightly differently in India. In Goripudi, Andhra Pradesh, Chintaluri Kumari is accused of killing her adopted son because she feared he was infected with HIV. She told the police that the 10-month-old boy had been suffering from a fever, cough, and weight loss, and that neighbours suggested he might have been infected with the AIDS virus. She tied a stone to the baby and threw him into a well. The infant's body has been recovered, and murder charges have been registered against Kumari.

A 42-year-old woman in Chiba prefecture, Japan, attacked her four-year-old daughter, who was reluctant to leave home to begin her school career. The woman then rang the police to turn herself in and get aid for her bleeding daughter. She is quoted as telling investigators: 'I got angry because she refused to go to kindergarten, and stabbed her'. She has been arrested for attempted murder, police said.

3 December 2005
While preparing a meal for her boyfriend, son, and daughter, Pennsylvania's Victoria Lynn O'Donnell went upstairs. She said that when she came back downstairs, she could smell bleach in the macaroni and cheese. She confronted her mother, 56-year-old Nancy, the home's fifth resident. According to court records, Nancy said she wanted to poison her daughter because 'you don't deserve those children'. Nancy, who denied pouring bleach into the food, is being held in jail, and a judge has ordered that she receive mental health tests.

13 December 2005
Here's a heartwarming father/son relationship for you.
Mainichi Shimbun reports that police in Chiba received a call from Hirokazu Tahiro, 39, who said his 67-year-old father wasn't moving. Officers arriving at the home where the two lived alone found the older man collapsed with a necktie securely fastened around his neck in an unconventional arrangement. He died in hospital shortly thereafter. Police said Hirokazu admitted to strangling his father with the necktie and quoted him as saying: 'I did it because when I was going out I said: "I'm 100 yen short for the bus fare; give it to me!" but he refused, and I just lost it'. He had reportedly been drinking at the time.

12 January 2006

A few happy families this time...
The BBC reports that the Old Bailey has heard that a 14-year-old boy started his family's south London home on fire in April 2004 in order to kill his parents. His parents fled, but his younger sister died of smoke inhalation. Allegedly found under the boy's bed was a list entitled 'Operation New Life', which mentioned: 'Kill family. Lose memory. Get adopted by a rich couple. It all starts.'

According to police, 40-year-old Elizabeth White of Salina, Kansas, was invited to spend Christmas at the Wichita home where her father and mother were raising her children. While there, White threatened to kill her father and, when he fell, came toward him with a pair of scissors. Police said White's 14-year-old son fired the pellet gun he had received as a Christmas gift, hitting her in the heart. The police reported that she threw the scissors at the teen and fled the home in a car, which she crashed as she succumbed to the injury. Capt. Randy Landen of the Wichita Police Department said the death was ruled a justifiable homicide.

The Utah Court of Appeals upheld a judge's refusal to dismiss sexual abuse charges against a 13-year-old girl who became pregnant by her boyfriend, age 12. In the court's decision, Judge Gregory Orme explained that the legislature 'may more vigorously protect those of more tender years', including against each other. The rules are slightly different and more flexible for older minors who have a small age difference.
As a result of the decision, made 'with some reluctance', the girl and boy are deemed both victim and criminal in the same offence, sexual abuse of a child. One of the girl's attorneys, Randall Richards, asked: 'How can they be old enough to commit an offense if they're not old enough to consent to it?'

Glen Thomas Betterley of Port Orange, Florida, woke up on to notice blood on his head. He asked his 65-year-old partner, Emma Lorene Larsen, whether she'd struck him. After she replied that she didn't know, he cleaned his head and took a nap. When the bleeding didn't stop, the 53-year-old Betterley drove to work, left a note for his boss, and then went to Hallifax Medical Center's emergency room. Staff there told him he'd been shot in the forehead and had a bullet in his brain.
When police rang Larsen to obtain more information, they heard a gunshot, then silence. Larsen's death has been deemed a probable suicide.

Virginia's Kenneth Creamer is accused of fatally shooting 44-year-old wife Anna in the back with an arrow from a crossbow while she was running on a home treadmill. Virginia Beach police say they came to the same home in November to investigate an accident involving a crossbow, in which Anna Creamer was grazed by an arrow. Her husband has been charged with murder.

21 January 2006
Gareth Whyte of New Rochelle, New York, has been found guilty of biting off part of his girlfriend's face, biting through nerves, fat, and muscle to expose a large hole below her eye. The 27-year-old Whyte, who spat the flesh out on the pavement, was found guilty of assault alone, after his lawyer argued that prosecutors couldn't prove Dorothy Pritchett was seriously injured or disfigured, as plastic surgery fixed things up.
Pritchett testified that Whyte had bitten her on a prior occasion, after complaining that her clothes were too sexy.

13 February 2006

Beth Ortiz, 35, of Nashua, New Hampshire, wanted husband Valente to give her some money. He declined to do so, and she left the flat in a huff. He left the door unlocked for her before going to bed fully dressed. He awoke to find two men going through his trouser pockets. Raymond Alleyne, 22, and Anthony Perkins, 20, made off with over $2,500 in cash. When officers found Beth, 35, with Perkins and another man, she initially denied her involvement but later admitted that she had suggested the burglary.

California's Modesto Bee reports that 45-year-old Kelli Pratt wanted husband Arthur, 65, to have sex with her on 7 October. The feeble Arthur didn't feel up to it, so, according to police, she held him down and bit him repeatedly. Detective Sgt. Al Carter said: 'He was able to dial 911 [...]. We have a tape recording of him screaming while she was biting him.' When officers arrived, she tried to bite them as well, Carter said. Arthur died in hospital six days later, and Stanislaus County forensic pathologist Dr. Jennifer Rulon said the bites are the likely cause of death.

25 February 2006
California's Orange County Weekly reports that Tamara Anne Moonier wentto a police station in Fullerton to report being abducted from a parking lot by a group of men and then raped on videotape at an unknown residence for over an hour at gunpoint. A manhunt commenced, and the 28-year-old Moonier eventually identified all six of the 20-year-old men who'd had sex with her. They voluntarily turned over the videotape. After watching it, police detectives did not file charges.
The tape showed no force. It did feature Moonier complaining about the lighting, cheering on some of the men, and chastising others for losing their erections. Moonier said on tape: 'This better not fucking end up on the Internet unless you're gonna give me some of the money!' and 'I just like sex. I can't help it.' When police told Moonier, now Kerr, that they had seen the tape, she did not recant. She has been indicted for filing false police reports, lying under oath, and stealing funds from a taxpayer-funded victim support programme in moving house after the 'gangbang'. She faces a maximum of 44 months in jail.

In a rather urine-soaked story of what one guy thinks of as a relationship, Ohio's 54-year-old Alan Patton was arrested while leaving a cinema last week, after a man told an employee that Patton was staring at his son in the gents' toilets. Patton explained to the police in Gahanna that he waits for a boy to arrive in the loo, then shuts off the water to the child-level urinal, places a cup in the bottom, retrieves the cup after the boy leaves, and drinks the contents. He said he has been drinking adolescent boys' urine since he was seven. Patton allegedly said the act makes him sick but is almost spiritual to him and 'makes me closer to them - like I'm drinking their youth'. Detective Ron Fithen said: 'Listening to him describe it, it's like listening to a crack or cocaine addict. He's addicted to children's urine.'

10 March 2006
California's William Peter New, 58, told police that he bought headache medicine for his wife, Phyllis, and returned to find her dead in her bed and the front door open. She died of a single gunshot wound to the head. That was in late 2004, at about the same time as William was pawning some of Phyllis's jewellery and re-establishing a relationship with an old flame.
Back in 1973, his first wife, Somsri, died of a single gunshot wound to the head while asleep. William explained that the rifle he had been cleaning misfired after he dropped and tried to catch it. That case has been reopened, and William has two wives' deaths to account for in court.

The Sudan Tribune quotes a Mr. Alifi at Hai Malakal in southern Sudan as saying he was in bed at around midnight when he heard one of his goats make a loud noise so 'rushed outside to find Mr. Tombe was naked and engaged in a relation with my goat'. Alifi tied up Tombe and asked area elders to decide Tombe's fate, the paper said. According to Alifi, 'they said I should not take him to the police but rather let him pay a dowry for my goat because he used it as his wife'. Tombe agreed immediately, paying half of the 150,000-dinar dowry (about 550 euros) up front. Alifi said: 'We have given him the goat, and as far as we know, they are still together.'

23 April 2006
Walter S. Fordyce, 58, told the police in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, that he began arguing with partner Mary McCann, 58, when she refused to heat up sandwiches for him. He threw her to the floor and threw a microwave oven onto her chest. After then banging her head on the floor until she passed out, he said, he went to a neighbour's home to ring emergency services. Returning home to find that McCann no longer had a pulse, he drank a beer, then visited another neighbour's home to have the 911 call made. Fordyce later said of McCann's fatal injuries: 'It was an accident. I didn't do it on purpose', according to a police report.

A longstanding legal dispute in China's Chongqing City has now been settled by the courts. The China Daily reports that a 76-year-old man who wanted a divorce on account of his sexless marriage has had his request denied. The court argued that the man must have a strong and stable, albeit platonic, relationship of love with his wife since they have been married for 50 years now. The septugenarian had hoped to be given leave to live with his girlfriend, in her 40s, who he feels can offer him a more fulfilling relationship.

2 May 2006
A happy family... A 15-year-old girl contacted the Green Bay, Wisconsin, police to report that her mother had left her chained to a bed for 17 hours without food or water. Brown County Circuit Court Judge Kendall Kelley said that 36-year-old Kelly Johnston's punishment of her daughter - for stealing her marijuana stash - was worse than the treatment most people give a disobedient dog. Johnston was sentenced to 13 months in jail.

1 June 2006
Bobby Irvin of Peoria, Illinois, was unhappy to find his wife sprinkling a powder from a small plastic bag onto his sandwich. When she refused to say what the powder was, he grabbed the bag and rang his parents to request advice. They told the 41-year-old Irvin to call the police, so he did. Rose Irvin, 46, said she was trying to deal with a rough spot in her marriage by following the advice of a psychic doctor, who sent the powder to her by post for use on the couple's food. Police are testing the powder.

14 August 2006
Several months after ending a month-long relationship with a man she met at a party, a 24-year-old Japanese office worker received e-mail from him. The 42-year-old Takuya Muramoto asked her to visit him. She agreed, then vanished, in early February. A week later, her family reported her missing, telling detectives that they didn't trust the Ibariki man and that the day after she met him she text messaged a friend to say she wasn't allowed to go to work. The detectives concluded that she was with a boyfriend and that no crime was involved.
Five months later, a beaten and malnourished woman asked Muramoto to let her visit a hospital. He accompanied her, saying of her iron burns and scars: 'I met her on the street about a week ago .... Her injuries were caused by someone hitting her before she moved in.' He took her back to his home after the hospital visit.
Later in the month, a connection was drawn to a 2004 incident in which he sought help with the illness of an emaciated woman at his home (at death a few days later, she showed signs of serious internal bleeding). The Ibariki condo was raided. The office worker was found wearing only disposable diapers and sporting a hole in a lung. When rescued, she was able to tell officers little more than: 'My master hurt me.'
Muramoto has been arrested, and several other women have come forward to report their experiences as his captive.

According to police in Muskegon Heights, Michigan, an area mother was afraid to lose her boyfriend while she recovered from 'tummy tuck' surgery, so she persuaded her 14-year-old daughter to sign a contract to have sex with the 37-year-old man, Michael J. Fitzgibbon, in exchange for clothing and body piercings. All three signed the contract, which was subsequently fulfilled. Detective Calvin Mahan said that authorities later discovered that the man had given his 12-year-old daughter packs of cigarettes in exchange for sexual services. The woman's children have been removed from her home while the case is investigated further.

2 September 2006
The Los Angeles Times reports that 42-year-old Victoria Villicano drove her 15- and 19-year-old boys, and three of their friends, around Silver Lake and Echo Park, California. Police estimate that she made at least 100 stops, so that the five youths could spray graffiti on nearby surfaces, possibly to help them out against a rival 'tagging team'. 'This had to be a first,' said one of the detective.
Ray Bermudez, Villicano's stepfather, said he doesn't believe that she is guilty. He stressed: 'She's a good mom. She's old enough to know better.' Her police record includes possession or purchase of a cocaine base for sale and weapons charges.

23 October 2006

Ronald A. Dotson was arrested for breaking into a cleaning-supply business and stealing a mannequin dressed in a French maid's uniform. The mannequinnapping took place less than three weeks after the Michigan man's release from prison for the same crime. In the last 13 years, this is at least his sixth theft of a female shop dummy. Detective Brendan Moore said: 'He told his parole officer he was going to buy a mannequin so he didn't have to do these break-ins anymore. Apparently, that didn't work out.'

When emergency-room nurse Susan Kuhnhausen returned from work, a stranger came at her with a claw hammer and hit her in the head. Kuhnhausen, 51, responded by strangling the suspected burglar, Edward Dalton Haffey, to death. Strangely, there were no signs of a forced entry, and only Kuhnhausen and her estranged husband knew the codes to disarm the home's security system. Later, materials found on Haffey revealed that he was apparently hired by said husband as a contract killer. According to Kuhnhausen, her husband was 'wanting to reconcile' but she was not. The incident did not aid his cause.

Lawrence Roach of Seminole, Florida, has requested that the court dissolve his obligation to pay $1,200 a month in alimony to his ex-wife, because she is now a man. He said: 'This isn't right. It's humiliating to me and degrading. You know, I'm a man, and I don't want to have to be paying alimony to a man. If you can't be married to a man legally, how can you legally pay alimony to a man?' The couple were divorced 18 months ago after a 17-year marriage.

Twyana Davis of Columbus, Ohio, told in a book how she left her newborn baby in a rubbish bin after date rape left her with an unwanted pregnancy when she was a student at Ohio Dominican College in 1995. The girl survived. Davis, now 30, recently admitted that her story was not wholly accurate: the father of the baby was her 12-year-old cousin. She has now been sentenced to 10 to 25 years in prison for statutory rape. She said that her actions were caused by her poor upbringing and by abuse as a child.

8 December 2006

Police in Fulton County, Georgia, say that Bobby Thompson went to bed after an argument with girlfriend Cynthia Covington on Saturday morning. Covington, still upset, allegedly poured petrol between Thompson's legs and set his crotch on fire. She caught fire herself. Both were taken to hospital, where Thompson was listed as being in stable condition and Covington in critical condition.

Derrick Hardy, 21, told a court in Canada's Prince Edward Island province that he didn't know what to do when his girlfriend's 10-month-old daughter had a fever. Putting a cool cloth on her face had no apparent effect, and neither did taking her out into the night air. He worried that she might drown if given a cool bath. When the girlfriend returned home to find the girl providing company for the ice cubes and frozen mince in the kitchen freezer, Hardy explained his idea for bringing her body temperature down. Hardy, who is charged with criminal negligence and assault, said that the girl hadn't been in the freezer for long and that he left the freezer door open but it must have swung closed before his girlfriend returned home. The girl suffered first- and second-degree freezer burns.

A mother in Rock Hill, South Carolina, reported her 12-year-old son to the police for disobeying his 63-year-old great-grandmother's instructions not to open a present that was lying under the Christmas tree. The two women said that when they asked him about the empty Game Boy Advance box, he said he had no idea where the game system was. With the threat of police involvement, he surrendered the system. Officers arrested the boy anyway, and he is being charged with petty larceny. His mother said she didn't know what else to do since she couldn't keep the boy from shoplifting, stealing money from her, and punching a police officer.

30 January 2007
In New York, Chana and Simon Taub, both 57, entered contentious divorce proceedings, pointing surveillance cameras and lawyers at each other. Simon said that, after forcing him from one of the pair's homes, Chana wants everything that remains in the wake of his bankruptcy and second heart attack. She argues that she wants only alimony, child support, and a fair share of property, and among her grievances are that he treated her like a slave for 20 years, making her help him dress, and that he even accused her of having too many pairs of shoes. Amid the bickering, Simon proposed a solution, which an appeals court now has upheld.
A drywall partition now runs through the middle of the house where both wish to live. Chana has the bedrooms and kitchen, Simon has moved back in and gets the dining room and lounge, and a shared door is barricaded on both sides.

8 February 2007
Lisa Marie Nowak was a married mother of three and a NASA astronaut, but she wanted something more: to cement her relationship with fellow astronaut Bill Oefelein. To this end, she drove from Texas to Florida - wearing nappies on the journey in order to save some time - to meet romantic rival Colleen Shipman in the Orlando airport car park.
According to a police report, Shipman noticed a woman following her at the airport, so she locked herself in her car. When Nowak failed to gain access to the car, she began to cry and said she couldn't hear Shipman. Shipman then rolled down her car window 'about two inches', and Nowak sprayed her with pepper spray. After Shipman drove off and reported the incident, an officer saw Nowak place some items in a rubbish bin, among them a wig and BB pistol. Also, she was carrying a steel mallet, folding knife, rubber tubing, and large plastic bags.
Nowak, 43, explained to the police that she had planned to abduct Shipman in order to have a conversation with her about Oefelein.

18 February 2007
Rebecca Arnold of Woonsocket, Rhode Island, and boyfriend David Prata decided to have sexual intercourse in front of Arnold's nine-year-old daughter to teach her about sex. After the girl mentioned this to a teacher, their decision was not met with enthusiasm from officials. Facing charges of child neglect, the 33-year-old Prata said that he and Arnold, who 'don't believe in hiding anything', had sex 'all the time' in front of the girl 'so she would know how'. He stressed that the couple did not force her to remain on the bed.

10 March 2007

Katie Martindale and James Olwine were wedded in Las Vegas on 4 March and were still on their honeymoon, in Utah, when the police received a call indicating that Olwine had run over Martindale. Lt. Paul Jaroscak, a spokesman for the Salt Lake County sheriff's office, reported that the couple apparently were arguing in their car. The 29-year-old Martindale alighted from the vehicle and was walking away when Olwine hit her with the car and pushed her into a snow bank. She may have a broken leg. Olwine was booked into the county jail. Both bride and groom apparently have served time before.

Last fall, Mario Sims, accused of first-degree sexual assault of a child and of child enticement, cut off his electronic monitoring bracelet and skipped town, missing a court date. The getaway vehicle was a limousine supplied by The Jerry Springer Show. Sims was not about to miss his appointment to appear on the programme, which was given this billing: 'Returning guest Mario is a proud father and is ready to marry his baby's mother -- who's also his half-sister.'
On Friday, Judge Emily Mueller set bail for the 21-year-old Sims at $50,000, explaining: 'A significant bond is legally necessary given the fact he absconded, admittedly for one of the more unique reasons I've heard in my time on the bench.'

3 April 2007

After 10 days of awaiting a court appearance at the Hamilton County, Tennessee, jail for the statutory rape of a 15-year-old girl, David Cross was asked to take a shower. It quickly became apparent to other prisoners, his accuser, and jailers that Cross is a woman. Also known as Elaine Ann Cross, the 42-year-old woman has pleaded guilty to aggravated statutory rape as part of a plea deal that keeps her out of jail. District Attorney Boyd Patterson said that the 15-year-old girl, who had some sort of sexual relationship with Cross, was 'enamored' with her and had planned to marry her.

In January (see above), I reported on Chana and Simon Taub, who put up a wall in one of their homes as part of their divorce proceedings. On Wednesday, jurors rejected Chana's grounds for divorce, 'cruel and inhumane treatment'. Simon Taub's lawyer said that the case has been an extraordinary waste of resources and called for New York to allow no-fault divorce.

23 April 2007
An officer checking out a vehicle at a petrol station discovered that its owner was wanted on a traffic-related warrant under the name Mark Villanueva. The officer recognised Villanueva from a previous arrest as 30-year-old Lorelei Corpuz. When the officer asked the 14-year-old passenger in the vehicle how she knew the driver, the girl said it was her boyfriend.
Corpuz had met the girl at a shopping mall in September 2005 and posed as a 17-year-old boy whose mother had died of cancer and whose father had killed himself. The girl's family soon let Corpuz move in. While the two had had sexual contact, the police said, Corpuz never let the girl see her 'private parts'. Police allege that Corpuz has beaten and molested the girl, as well as biting her on the back, in her year living with the family.

18 June 2007
Joshua Kistler, 31, chatted online with several girls aged 12 to 14, telling them that he was a teenager with leukaemia. Gaining the girls' sympathy, he convinced them to sen d sexually explicit still and moving images of themselves. He passed off pictures of his 15 -year-old stepson as depicting himself and in one case posed as his online persona's stepfa ther, when one of the girls and her mother visited during a family trip.
One girl attempted suicide after her mother tried to stop the relationship with Kistler; the girl later wrote: 'He taught me stuff a 12-year old should not know. My love of my life turned out to be a 30-year-old pedophile.' In court, Kistler said: 'I'm sorry for the harm I caused. I wasn't aware I was causing any harm'. Earlier, he had told agents tha t he knew his actions were wrong and that he'd always 'been a collector'.

8 July 2007
Illinois's Arthur Friedman sued his wife's lover, German Blinov, under an 'alienation of affection' law. The wife, Natalie, explained in court that the problem is not that she was having sex with Blinov - after all, her husband had asked her to have sex with other men and women as a way of livening up the relationship - but that she started to have feelings for him. Arthur said: 'This guy ruined my life - he back-stabbed me.' A jury, which reportedly referred to the case as 'stupid' and the law as 'ridiculous', ordered Blinov to pay $4,802.

6 August 2007
Japan's Mainichi Shimbun reports that Mika Shindo, 32, and her partner were enjoying a passionate interlude in their car when Shindo's four-year-old son awoke and started to scream and cry. Shindo slapped the child, and her partner, 44-year-old Hiroshi Hatakeyama, hit him in the head with an aluminium bottle and choked him. The child blacked out, and the couple left him in a ditch to die, according to a court ruling that sees Shindo sentenced to 14 years in prison for murder. Hatakeyama faces similar charges.

18 September 2007
A 22-year-old Cambodian man was disappointed that a local woman had rejected his advances, so he came up with a compromise: when the 21-year-old student was walking home, he attacked her with a syringe. Tan Sophal, a police officer in Cambodia's Battambang province, explained: 'He thought that if he could not marry her, at least his blood can stay inside her body. That's why he injected her with his blood.' She was taken to a hospital for examination, and the man remains in police custody.

30 September 2007
Alejandro Valencio decided to visit former girlfriend Connie Deweese after she'd told him to stay away from her Evansville, Indiana, house. He became stuck in her chimney at 3:30am. When firefighters arrived in response to her house guests' calls, Deweese, who had blocked the fireplace, asked them to 'leave him in the chimney and let him die' so that the home wouldn't be damaged. The police were called in, rescuers tore out a wall to release the drunken Valencio, and Deweese was cited for disorderly conduct and interfering with firefighters. Valencio was not charged.
Valencio's version of the story was 'I live here; she's my girlfriend' and that he had been trying to surprise her like Santa Claus. Later in the night, Deweese woke up to find that Valencio had returned. She kicked him out, throwing beer bottles at him.

28 October 2007

A 39-year-old Naples, Florida, woman is on trial for what she did to 'protect' her 13-year-old daughter. The girl told jurors that her mother first had tattoo artist friend Tammy Meredith shave her head to make her less attractive to men, then held her down while Meredith performed a genital piercing. Prosecutor Steve Maresca explained that the piercing, intended to make sexual intercourse painful for the girl, came in response to the mother's discovery that the girl was sexually active.
The case came to light when the girl developed an infection as a result of the piercing. The mother faces up to 30 years in prison, and Meredith, 43, has been sentenced to a year in jail. An arrest warrant has been issued for the mother's boyfriend, one of the people with whom the girl had had sex.

The Canadian Press reports that Carol Lynn Siemens met a woman at a jumble sale who needed someone to care for her 21-year-old mentally disabled daughter. Siemens offered to do the job, for which she received government compensation. It was not long before Siemens, 53, visited an ex-lover and took her charge along to clean his home. Nine months later, the disabled girl's mother found herself caring for another mentally handicapped child. The baby's father, 70-year-old Kenneth Allan, explained that he'd found the two women naked in his bed and that Siemens invited him to join them. Siemens claimed that the three merely shared a bed during a sleepover and that she had no idea anything untoward occurred.
Allan was given house arrest for sexual assault in exchange for testifying against Siemens. Prosecutors later discovered that he had 88 prior convictions, going back more than 50 years, which had been hidden because he had received an official pardon. The pardon has since been revoked.

And for the 'essential parenting skills' award I nominate...M/em>
Ohio's Geraldine Johnson, 37, said she awoke to the sound of a crying baby. She found the child in the dirt in a nearby field. After the boy was taken into custody, police officers found the child's father combing the field for his son. The man, whose name was not released, explained that he had been pushing his son's pram home in the dark, after drinking since early afternoon, and hit a bump in the field. It was only upon returning home that he noticed that there was no longer a child in the pram. The infant is staying with his maternal grandmother for the time being.

Sean Allen Jennings of Spokane, Washington, invited his wife to the garage to see the haunted house he had constructed for their children and then directed her to climb a ladder while wearing a blindfold. He handcuffed her and put a rope around her neck, then pushed her from the ladder. While she balanced on a toe and begged to be released, the 38-year-old Jennings explained that hanging her was a better solution than the couple's ongoing divorce proceedings. When she finally slipped and began hanging from the rope, Jennings pulled her up. He told her to put aloe vera on the rope burns and use a neck brace to hide the marks. Two days later, she rang the police from an area Wal-Mart, and Jennings was arrested.

Arizona. According to police reports, 46-year-old Robert McDaniel agreed to let Tiffany Sutton tie him up during sex. When Sutton, 24, produced a knife and said that she likes to drink blood, he asked to be untied. Sutton responded by applying the knife to his leg, arm, shoulder, back, neck, and stomach. He escaped, and she followed with a pickaxe. She later pleaded guilty to aggravated assault and been sentenced to 10 years in prison. It emerged that alcohol and drugs were involved in the incident.

20 November 2007
Happy family...
A police officer noticed a truck stuck in the mud at a park in Clio, Michigan. Investigating, the officer found a 13-year-old boy behind the wheel. The boy's 41-year-old father, in the passenger seat, explained that he'd had too much to drink so had let his son drive. Police chief James McLellan said that the boy had been drinking as well and 'even said he didn't want to drive because he was too drunk'. The father faces various charges, and the boy will face a juvenile court.

5 January 2008

Misty Johnson, 34, wanted her husband of three months, Shawn Fay Johnson, to wait until Christmas to open her gift to him. The two began to argue about it, which escalated into Misty accusing Shawn of having an extramarital affair. She ended up stabbing him in the chest with a kitchen knife. He rang emergency services for care, and she was arrested and treated for a cut to her leg.

According to a Bremerton, Washington, police report, a 26-year-old man wanted his dog to join him and his 25-year-old girlfriend in the bathroom while the couple took a shower together. The girlfriend indicated that she didn't want to be his girlfriend in that case, to which he replied that a new girlfriend might appreciate the dog more. Words soon gave way to fists, as the naked couple grappled. The woman was arrested after she threw a picture frame at her boyfriend, who ended up cut by its broken glass.

5 February 2008

A woman in Washington, Pennsylvania, was upset when her 10-year-old grandson admitted to adding lamp oil and household cleaner to the family's drinks. Therefore, the woman, 51-year-old Rhonda Lehman, locked her charge in a faeces-filled dog crate and rang the county mental health office to say that she'd bury the boy alive in her back yard if someone didn't collect him. The boy later explained that he'd been altering the drinks because 'he was angry because he didn't get to go on a trip' last year, according to police officer James Markley.
Lehman was charged with child endangerment and terroristic threats. The boy's 24-year-old brother was charged with assault and harassment for punching him. Markley said that, when asked why he would punch a 10-year-old boy in the eye, the brother said: 'It's better than what I wanted to do to him.'

Stafford Crown Court found 28-year-old Kate Knight guilty of attempted murder. This had something to do with the antifreeze in the wedding anniversary curry and red wine she'd fed husband Lee, and her telling, for example, neighbour Sarah Johnson of her plans. Johnson said: 'She had done it the previous night [as well] and he had complained about the tinny taste in his mouth.' The goal was to collect insurance money to pay off debts she had amassed without Lee's knowledge.
Of Lee Knight's medical problems - he is deaf and blind and has irreversible kidney damage - Kate said they are the result of his drinking at least four litres of super-strength lager daily.

24 February 2008
A woman in Germany who auctioned off her sexual favours six times online has been granted the right to know who the winners were. A court spokesman in Stuttgart explained that the woman had become pregnant and knew the men only by their Internet monikers. The operator of the site hosting the auctions, Doomsoft.de, had refused to divulge this information, but the court decided that privacy considerations were outweighed by the child's right to know the identity of its father. Now the woman simply has to get the men to donate more genetic material for paternity tests.

20 March 2008
Ever since their honeymoon in February, Wang and wife Luo from Hubei province had done little but fight, according to China's Xinhua news agency. On the night of 4 March, 'in frustration they together drank a bottle of liquor to ease their anger', the report said. After Luo watched her husband get into bed without cleaning or washing his feet, she angrily and drunkenly set fire to his sheets. He awoke, the pair fought once more, and Wang passed out in inebriation. When the fire grew too hot for Luo, she exited the room and left Wang to burn to death. She confessed after her arrest.

7 April 2008
According to Reuters, Serbian farmer Branko Zivkov agreed to give his now former wife half of everything earned in the course of his 45-year marriage to her but was less keen on giving her half of his agricultural equipment. The 76-year-old Zivkov therefore bought a grinding machine to cut his tools and machinery in half. After splitting, among other things, a harrow and a sowing machine, he told Belgrade newspaper Kurir: 'I still haven't decided how to split the cow. She should just say what she wants - the part with the horns or the part with the tail.'

30 April 2008
Minoru Wakao, a trucker from Kani, Japan, stopped and offered to help when a 19-year-old woman's car broke down. After repairing the car, he told her that she had to pay for the help, via sexual favours. When the woman rang a friend for help, Wakao fled the scene. He has been arrested anyway and has admitted to using this approach with 14 or 15 women: sabotaging each woman's car by, for example, destroying the brakes and ensuring that a wheel would fall off. He would then tail her until the car broke down and he could offer his help. He reportedly told the police: 'I wanted to go out with the women. I wanted to be a hero.'

12 August 2008
David Spicer called the Colorado Springs police to report that he had attended military training and thus had had to leave his eight-month-old son with a child-minder for 16 days. The child-minder was holding the boy for ransom, he reported. After the exchange took place and Spicer was reunited with his son, authorities began a hunt for the child-minder, wanted for child ransom and possibly abuse, as the boy was found to be severely malnourished and had various injuries.
In the end, officers and medical investigators concluded that Spicer made up the whole story and abused his son himself while his wife was deployed. There was no baby-sitter and no ransom.

7 October 2008
A 24-year-old woman in Fort Myers, Florida, says that she wanted to go to sleep while boyfriend Jonathon Guabello preferred to have sex. Under the influence of Xanax and alcohol, he decided to punish her by shooting himself twice in the arm. The 29-year-old Guabello then threatened to kill her if she tried to send him to rehab or call for help. After this, he stumbled into the kitchen and fell into the oven, knocking himself out. He was taken to hospital and then to jail.

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