Reality Round-Up: Let Justice Prevail

Where is the love? (Infosecurity)

Where is the love? (Infosecurity)

As Valentine’s Day weekend officially comes to an end and people return to work, so do the hands of justice, which seem to be working overtime based on some of the headlines I’ve read. Some criminals await trial for their transgressions; some face their day in court; and some continue to victimize innocent people while law enforcement closes in on them. Take a gander at some of the stories that show how the love of the weekend has been overshadowed once again by the hate and fear of crime in America.

Some things never change, I suppose.

SUNBURY, PENNSYLVANIA

Elytte and Miranda Barbour were married in October 2013 and had one very dark desire in common: they wanted to kill someone. And three weeks later—after placing a companionship ad on Craigslist—the couple got what they wanted.

Based on the promise of sex for $100, 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara responded to the ad and met Miranda in a mall parking lot on November 11, 2013. He jumped into her Honda CR-V and headed for Sunbury, presumably for the aforementioned sexual relations, but instead found death waiting for him. Elytte was hidden in the back seat and quickly wrapped a cable cord around LaFerrara’s neck while his wife stabbed him 20 times. His body was discovered the next day in the backyard of a Sunbury home.

The Barbours wanted to kill (AP)

The Barbours wanted to kill (AP)

Fortunately, the last number dialed on LaFerrara’s cell phone led authorities to the Barbours, who were arrested and charged with criminal homicide, among other things. They both pleaded not guilty and currently reside behind bars, but things took a dramatic—and more disturbing—turn on Friday when Miranda granted an interview to a reporter from Sunbury’s Daily Item.

According to Miranda—who said she joined a satanic cult in Alaska when she was only 13—LaFerrara wasn’t her only victim. In the past six years, she claimed to have participated in as many as 22 murders in Alaska, North Carolina, Texas and California.

“When I hit 22, I stopped counting,” she told the reporter. “I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them.”

As you might expect, authorities are taking her claims very seriously and have been working with law enforcement officials in some of the states mentioned to determine whether or not they could be true. A source close to the investigation did call Barbour’s claims “conceivable” and said they could be “the real deal.” Only time will tell if this is indeed the case, though.

In response to this horrifying situation, I offer only one piece of advice to readers: stay the hell away from Craigslist. You may be able to find some good bargains there, but given all the criminals who target visitors to this popular website, spending a little more at a brick-and-mortar store seems like a much safer alternative.

WORCESTER, MASSACHUSETTS

On Wednesday, Julie Corey of Worcester was found guilty of first-degree murder in the 2009 slaying of her friend Darlene Haynes, who was eight months pregnant at the time. Haynes’ strangled and beaten body was found in her apartment on July 27, 2009—with her unborn child cut from her womb, no less.

Corey was arrested in New Hampshire, along with the baby she stole (WMUR-TV)

Corey was arrested in New Hampshire, along with the baby she stole (WMUR-TV)

Thanks to DNA evidence collected at the scene—as well as a fingerprint left on a bottle—police were able to connect Corey to the killing and found her several days later in New Hampshire… with the baby. She claimed to have given birth to the child at a Massachusetts hospital, but some of her friends became suspicious and contacted the authorities, who quickly caught up with and arrested Corey. She now faces a maximum sentence of life without parole and will appear in court on Tuesday to receive her punishment.

“This woman was killed for her baby,” Worcester County District Attorney Joseph Early Jr. said recently. “It’s probably the most horrific case this office has seen.”

Horrific doesn’t even scratch the surface of this one, I’m afraid. There certainly are some sick people in the world.

JACKSON, MISSISSIPPI

Another woman heading to jail for a long time is Natasha Stewart—also known as Pebbelz Da Model—who was convicted of culpable negligence manslaughter on January 31st and sentenced to seven years in prison late last week. She was also found guilty of conspiracy to commit manslaughter in the death of Atlanta’s Karima Gordon.

Pebbelz Da Model, as her friends know her (MS News Now)

Pebbelz Da Model, as her friends know her (MS News Now)

Stewart apparently took $200 from Gordon in exchange for referring her to a “nurse” who provided silicone buttocks injections—injections she herself claimed to have gotten more than 20 times. Sadly, the injector was not a nurse and Gordon died a few days after getting the shots. The official cause of death was silicone in her lungs.

I guess this goes to show you that when it comes to medical procedures—even ones that may cost and arm-and-a-leg to get done—the best place to go is to a licensed professional, preferably at a hospital or private practice. Have we learned nothing from the back alley, coat-hanger abortions of old?

WENTZVILLE, MISSOURI

On a lighter note—as light as criminal activity can be, I mean—we end in Missouri, where police are currently hunting a serial flasher. The man described by witnesses as a white male in his mid-twenties with short hair—who drives a dark blue or black truck—has exposed himself to a number of women. And police fear that his crimes may escalate if he isn’t apprehended soon.

The most serious incident happened in a Walmart parking lot on February 6th as a woman was leaving the store. She got into her car and seconds later, the door flew open and she came face-to-face with the flasher’s junk. When she screamed, the man shoved her back into the car and fled. Unfortunately for him, placing hands on his victim changed an indecent exposure charge to assault. And since surveillance footage provided police with a clear shot of his license plate, it’s only a matter of time before the cops catch up with him.

Then he can expose his genitals to his cell mate, who may be more responsive than his female victims.

Do victims of a serial flasher even look at his face? (Wentzville PD)

Do victims of a serial flasher even look at his face? (Wentzville PD)

Yes, the love of Valentine’s Day is a wonderful thing, but now it’s back to reality and the evil that men do. And when the Reality Round-Up returns, I hope it’s for stories much more positive and uplifting than these.

Chalk it up to the “Monday blues” since I’m in the throes of them as we speak!

Posted on February 17, 2014, in Perspectives and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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