It has been said that you should never judge a book by its cover. Unless, of course, the cover is this image of Connor MacCalister, a deranged woman—transitioning to a man—from Saco, Maine.
Last week, MacCalister went to Shaw’s supermarket in Saco, tailed 59-year-old Wendy Boudreau from the parking lot into the store, grabbed her from behind in the ice cream aisle and slit her throat.
Apparently, she thought Boudreau “looked at [her] funny” and, since she was off her meds and not thinking straight, decided to attack her. Boudreau later died at the hospital.
Following her arrest, MacCalister confessed to planning the random attack over the course of a month. She was “angry with life and wanted to get back at someone.” The bug-eyed killer targeted older women “whom she knew wouldn’t resist” and her initial plan was to murder “several random people.”
Yes, the world is a crazy place full of crazy people—and judging from this picture, MacCalister is undoubtedly at the top of this list. So watch your backs, people. You just never know who might be lurking there.
In the fall of 1888, the Whitechapel district of London was terrorized by a serial killer who preyed on prostitutes and murdered them in the most brutal fashion: the infamous Jack the Ripper. And for more than 125 years, the identity of this vicious madman remained a mystery, despite there being a handful of potential suspects.
Well, it looks like the mystery has finally been solved—and not by a seasoned detective, but by an amateur sleuth named Russell Edwards.
The revelation came after Edwards acquired a shawl that was found at the crime scene of one of the Ripper’s victims, Catherine Eddowes. A world-renowned expert in DNA analysis—Dr. Jari Louhelainen—examined the shawl and was able to recover not only blood from the victim, but semen from her killer. He then used mitochondrial DNA—as well as samples from descendants of Eddowes and several suspects—to determine the identity of the notorious slasher: a Polish immigrant named Aaron Kosminski.
Kosminski fled to England in the early 1880s to escape the Russian persecution of Jews in Poland. According to his immigration papers, he worked as a hairdresser in Whitechapel and lived only a few hundred yards away from where his third victim, Elizabeth Stride, was murdered. Kosminski also suffered from serious mental illness—most likely schizophrenia—and spent the end of his life in an asylum before dying of gangrene at the age of 53.
Thus ends one of the most interesting mysteries in history. Jack the Ripper has finally been unmasked, so now people can focus on solving other mysteries… like what the hell McDonald’s really puts in their Chicken McNuggets!
Within hours of posting an article entitled Headless—about a New York City man who decapitated himself in broad daylight in the Bronx recently—members of the Islamic State known as ISIS beheaded yet another American journalist: Steven Sotloff.
Sotloff was kidnapped by Islamic terrorists in 2013 while reporting on the war in Syria. And sadly, he worked only as a freelance reporter for several publications; this was not his full-time job.
A three-minute video just released by ISIS shows Sotloff moments before his head is removed from his body, which is shown in graphic detail. Fortunately, the video has been removed from major websites and should be nowhere to be found online. One can only hope this is true for the sake of his family and friends.
Sadly, this horrible video comes mere weeks after a video showing American journalist James Foley’s beheading surfaced. And as you might imagine, they both fueled international outrage… and understandably so. What a terrible way to die.
I’m not sure what ISIS hopes to gain from executing innocent people—especially journalists who are simply reporting the news and pose no real threat—but I’m also certain this won’t be the last disturbing video we receive from these extremists. My hope is that they realize just how counterproductive such measures are and find a new, constructive and non-violent way to address their issues.
In other words, I don’t think Allah or any other deity would appreciate the slaughter of innocent people, even if it is performed in blind obedience to a religion some followers obviously don’t understand.
In 2002, American journalist Daniel Pearl was abducted by Pakistani militants and beheaded by Al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Omar Sheikh, who was subsequently hanged for this gruesome crime. Pearl’s murder ignited a firestorm of retaliation by American forces and eventually resulted in the killing of numerous Al-Qaeda leaders.
Well, it looks like the Islamic State—the extremist group formerly known as ISIS—has followed Al-Qaeda’s horrific example and beheaded another American journalist, James Foley. After being abducted last November in Syria and reportedly held near Damascus, Foley appeared in a recent video with an ISIS executioner, who apparently hacked off his head on camera.
Fortunately, the video entitled “A Message to America” was removed from YouTube shortly after being posted there, but a transcript of its message went something like this:
“This is James Wright Foley, an American citizen of your country. As a government, you have been at the forefront of the aggression towards the Islamic State. You have plotted against us and have gone far out of your way to find reasons to interfere in our affairs. Today, your military air force is attacking us daily in Iraq; your strikes have caused casualties among Muslims.”
I share this only because I’m struggling to understand why beheading innocent people seems like the right approach for ISIS or any Islamic militants, for that matter. All it really does is piss off America and lead to more death and destruction, which these days come in the form of unexpected drone attacks. If death is their ultimate goal, then this certainly is an effective way of achieving it. They may label it as jihad, but it seems much more like suicide if you ask me.
Another thing that boggles the mind—at least my mind—is this: Why in the world would any journalist volunteer to cover the Middle East? Are they as suicidal as the jihadists who eventually kidnap and murder them? Or is covering the Middle East considered “paying your dues” as a journalist—kind of like those rookie meteorologists forced to cover every hurricane while high winds and rain bombard them?
Whatever the case may be, the obvious answer to the question of peace in the Middle East is this: it will likely never come. As long as violence and murder supersede love and compassion, there may never be a lasting peace. America needs to realize this and do something it should have done long ago: get the hell out of there. Otherwise, I fear more innocent people—including the 20 journalists still missing in Syria—will pay the ultimate price.
And personally, I don’t care about Middle East news coverage if it costs more American lives. Do you?
A 16-year-old Japanese girl in Sasebo, Nagasaki prefecture is in big trouble after allegedly murdering 15-year-old Aiwa Matsuo last Saturday evening.
Matsuo had gone to meet some friends, but never returned and was reported missing by her family. Unfortunately, she was found a short time later, only her body was not intact. Her head and left hand had been severed.
Apparently, the suspect clubbed Matsuo over the head with a metal object, strangled her and then proceeded to dismember her body. The two girls attended the same school, but the principal was unaware of any problems they might have had with one another.
“I have no words to say now,” he said of the terrible tragedy. “I am overwhelmed by sadness, regret and various feelings.”
I can only assume some of his message was lost in translation. If not, then he has to be the vaguest principal on the face of the planet… but I digress.
To date, no one knows why the suspect chose to both kill and dismember her victim. Her mother passed away last year and friends have described her as being “very smart, with emotional ups and downs.” Of course, this still doesn’t explain why she would commit such a gruesome and heinous act.
I understand that a motive in this killing has yet to be revealed, but if the girls did have some kind of “beef” with one another, why is murder the best option in solving their problems? Don’t people just meet after school to brawl anymore?
The times they are a’changing, I suppose… and certainly not for the better.
Few things are as shocking and disturbing as the news. And no, I am not referring to the endless stream of Obama bashing by the GOP, the ongoing search for that missing Malaysian airliner or the constant references to Benghazi, either. I’m talking about your everyday, run-of-the-mill news stories, most of which focus on death, destruction and other negative topics. Just look at some of the stories making headlines these past few weeks and know that where shock value is concerned, nobody does it better than our fellow humans.
DAYTON, OHIO: On Sunday, a brave young boy ventured into an abandoned house with an overgrown yard, a front door plastered with citations and no visible signs of life. And when he reached the bedroom closet, he discovered why. Hanging by the neck with a belt was the mummified corpse of Edward Brunton, the man who used to live there.
Apparently, Brunton was estranged from his family and friends and decided to take his own life… in 2009! This means his body hung in that closet for nearly five years, shielded from the elements and foraging animals, which resulted in his mummified state. Pretty gruesome, huh?
COFFEE COUNTY, TENNESSEE: Gregory Scott Hale was arrested on Monday for murdering 36-year-old Lisa Hyder, a woman he had never met. Of course, it wasn’t the killing of a complete stranger that added shock value to this story; it’s what Hale did with her body once his first evil deed was done.
After murdering Hyder, Hale chopped off her head, hands and feet and placed them in buckets with some of her other body parts. Then he buried her dismembered torso in a burn pile and—by his own admission—proceeded to dine on some of her remains.
Dr. Hannibal Lecter would be so proud. What a freak.
MOTTA VISCONTI, ITALY: The World Cup is one of the most popular and most watched sporting events on the planet. And people all over the world go to great lengths to watch every single game, sometimes neglecting work, friends or even their families as a result. Carlos Lissi is one such person, only he went to extreme lengths to watch the match between Italy and England on Saturday: he murdered his wife and two little girls before heading to a local bar for the game.
According to the latest reports, Lissi was in love with a female coworker, but she showed little interest in him. He assumed it was because he was married with kids, so he decided to remove this obstacle in the most brutal fashion. After having sex with his wife on the living room sofa, he suddenly turned on her, beat her up, stabbed her and slit her throat. Lissi then proceeded upstairs where he slit the throats of his two sleeping daughters. Moments later, he strolled to the local bar, dropped his knife into a storm drain along the way and joined other fans for the World Cup match.
Ironically, Italy won its match against England on the same day three innocent Italians lost their lives. How sad is that?
ARUNDEL, AUSTRALIA: Tuesday morning was anything but quiet for residents of a relatively peaceful Australian neighborhood. After awaking to the sound of a car exploding, they soon discovered something grim and rather gross: a message written in blood on the door of a neighbor’s garage.
What makes this so disturbing is that the blood came from a cat that had first been dismembered—all four of its paws were cut off, as was its head. And to date, no one has any idea who committed this cruel and heinous act. It does prove one very important point, though: in this violent world of ours, not even our pets are safe!
COLUMBUS, OHIO: Our last shocking story comes from Ohio, where criminal defense attorney Javier Armengau has been accused of doing some terrible, sexual things. Apparently, he tried to convince the mother of one of his clients to give the judge a blowjob, claiming the judge was “in his pocket” and that pleasuring him could result in a favorable decision for her son. When she refused, he allegedly took her into a conference room and forced her to blow him instead, which of course qualifies as rape.
The victim also claimed that on ten different occasions—while visiting Armengau’s office—he stripped naked and jerked off in front of her. Why this was allowed to happen so often remains to be seen, but at least five women have brought accusations against the perverted lawyer since this initial complaint. And he now faces charges of rape, sexual battery, kidnapping, public indecency and gross sexual imposition.
I’m not sure if Armengau plans to represent himself in court, but if he doesn’t, I have a suggestion on how to achieve true justice: force him to blow his own lawyer! That’s what we call an eye for an eye, baby. Or one eye for one eye, I suppose.
Are you sufficiently shocked? If not, then all you have to do is turn on the news and I’m sure something there will produce this effect. It always does.
Although he should have been honored last week, today’s clear winner of the Jackass of the Day Award is Jeffrey Chapman, a young man awaiting trial in Great Bend, Kansas for the 2011 murder of Damon Galliart.
Galliart’s body was discovered by hunters in a wooded area southwest of Great Bend in November 2011.
Unfortunately, Chapman has a neck tattoo that both he and his counsel feel may influence the jury against him: a mirror image of the word MURDER.
Yeah, I can see how something like that might be prejudicial to Chapman if seen by the jury. Of course, Chapman asked the state to pay for its removal—and even expected to be transported “off-site” to have it done (since Kansas law only allows tattoo artists to practice in licensed tattoo facilities)—and that’s why he is my award winner today.
Clearly, Chapman should have thought of this before he got the tattoo in the first place—and definitely before he decided to murder Mr. Galliart.
Despite being the Jackass of the Day, I do give Chapman credit for referencing one of my favorite films with his misguided tattoo, the 1980 Stanley Kubrick (via Stephen King) masterpiece The Shining. What he really has is a REDRUM tattoo, but that likely wouldn’t matter to a jury. And that’s why Chapman is now planning to wear a turtleneck in court.
What’s funny to me, though, is that his trial was set to begin on April 28th, but recently got delayed until August 18th. Chapman’s attorney is trying for a change of venue, which would be cause for such a delay, but I suspect the prosecution played a role, as well.
After all, being forced to wear a turtleneck in the late summer heat of Kansas sounds like a prison sentence unto itself!
On March 12th in Phoenix, Arizona, 12-year-old Austin Tapia was sitting at home, playing video games while his mother and two sisters went out to get dinner. As they were leaving, they noticed 27-year-old Andrew Ward—Austin’s half-brother—walking toward the home, but still went about their business and left the young boy home alone.
This is a decision Austin’s mother will likely regret for the rest of her life.
Around 5:30 that afternoon, Ward phoned police from a local convenience store and told them he had stabbed someone. When the cops arrived, they found Ward covered in blood and—a short time later—discovered Austin’s body. They questioned Ward about the murder and asked him why he killed the young boy—and his reply was pretty chilling, to say the least.
“Honestly, I just felt like killing.”
Needless to say, Ward was arrested and charged with first-degree murder and child abuse. He pleaded not guilty, but his confession was enough to land him in Lower Buckeye Jail—his 12th jail visit since 2006.
In other words, Ward and crime seem to go hand-in-hand. Unfortunately, though, jail wasn’t enough to contain his need to kill because last Wednesday night, he claimed yet another victim: 33-year-old Douglas Walker, a convicted armed robber and Ward’s cellmate for three weeks.
Officers discovered Walker dead in his cell after inmates reported a fight. A peanut butter sandwich and plastic bag had been shoved down his throat, he had been beaten severely, his neck had been slit using a playing card and his eyes had been gouged out with a golf pencil. Ward immediately confessed to beating and choking his cellmate. He also told detectives that he had “no regrets for the attack,” but his motive remains unknown… or does it?
If you ask me, what we have here is a natural born killer… not someone especially skilled at killing, but someone who feels impelled to kill. And since psychiatric experts cleared Ward following the murder of his half-brother—sending him to jail rather than a mental hospital, which he originally requested (as if criminals have a right to choose)—it’s probably safe to assume that other natural born killers with deep emotional issues or mental problems still walk among us.
It’s a comforting thought, isn’t it?
Last year, an organization known as the Violence Intervention Program filed a lawsuit against the New York Police Department alleging that they “deprived [six Latina women] of access to NYPD services” by denying them interpreters, despite their limited English proficiency.
“Not only does the NYPD fail to provide language assistance,” the lawsuit states. “It also degrades, ridicules and otherwise mistreats limited English proficient individuals who request interpreter services, actively demeaning them for their lack of English proficiency.”
Personally, this rings true since I’ve heard plenty of Americans complain about “foreigners” coming to America and making no effort to learn our language. Of course, I’m not aware of many Americans doing this when they move or travel to other countries, but that’s another issue altogether.
The lawsuit against the NYPD is still pending, but based on some recent developments, it now seems as if these allegations could be valid. Consider the case of Deisy Garcia and her two daughters, who were murdered on January 18th by her husband Miguel Mejia-Ramos.
Last May, Garcia filed a police report expressing fear that her husband might kill her and their two young daughters. Since Spanish was her native language, she filed her report in Spanish and believed police would follow up later. They never did.
Five months later—on November 27th—police responded to a call from Garcia’s home and were told that when her husband returned that morning, he threatened to kill her once again. As she did before, Garcia filed another report—also in Spanish—and described what happened like this: “At about 2:40 a.m. my husband came home and assaulted me… he pulled my hair and kicked me twice, then grabbed my phone. After he did that, I called the police, but he changed and ran out. Today in the morning, he was threatening me that he would take away my daughters.”
The following day—and likely because her May report was ignored—Garcia went to the police precinct to follow up and filed a formal complaint against her husband. Unfortunately, her claims never ended with an arrest; they ended in murder.
On January 18th, Mejia-Ramos returned home from a night of drinking, went through his wife’s phone and Facebook account, and discovered photographs of her with another man. In a rage, he grabbed a knife, found his wife in bed and stabbed her to death. He then went into his daughters’ bedroom, hugged and kissed them, and then murdered them as he begged for their forgiveness. Their lifeless bodies were discovered by Garcia’s uncle and cousin the following day, but Mejia-Ramos was nowhere to be found.
Three days later, police caught up with Mejia-Ramos in Schulenberg, Texas—a small town near the Mexican border—where he was presumably hoping to cross over and flee. Instead, he was transported back to New York and charged with first-degree murder, second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon. If convicted—or should I say when he’s convicted—Mejia-Ramos could face life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Of course, it now seems as if these senseless killings could have been prevented… and it was the NYPD who failed to act. As it turns out, none of Garcia’s police reports were translated from Spanish to English, which means they were never reviewed and no action was ever taken to stop the domestic abuse that eventually led to her death and the deaths of her children.
“No one translated it and they just put it away or placed it into the system,” explained Roger Asmar, an attorney hired by Garcia’s family. “Three complaints were filed by Deisy, and none of the times she filed a complaint did police actually arrest Mr. Mejia. No one actually translated the text into English, so apparently no one looked into it.”
And now three innocent people are dead.
What is most bizarre about this situation—aside from the obvious bias against non-English speakers and the hypocrisy of referring to America as a “melting pot” while condemning foreigners who choose to come here (apparently forgetting it was foreigners who founded our great nation)—is the fact that the NYPD is equipped to handle language issues.
“The NYPD has more foreign-language-speaking officers than any police department in the country, including thousands of Spanish-speaking officers,” explained Nicholas Paolucci, a New York City Law Department spokesman. “Also, the NYPD has a corps of 19,000 members who can provide interpretation services in over 70 languages.”
Sadly, none of this helped Garcia or her daughters—two-year-old Daniela and one-year-old Yoselin. And even though NYPD officers are now being trained on how to translate and store incident reports in languages other than English, it’s definitely too little, too late for Garcia’s family.
“We’re thinking maybe we sue the police because this wasn’t just his [Mejia-Ramos’] fault, the authorities are also at fault,” Garcia’s mother said recently. “My daughter may be dead and can’t do anything in this case, but I want justice.”
I certainly hope she gets it, too. And with any luck, non-English-speaking people will get the consideration they deserve… and soon.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!