Carnival of the True Crime Blogs XXVI

It is Wednesday again and that means the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. So for the best of the true crime stories stop by The Trenchcoat Chronicles and check it out.

It’s not always what it seems

This 13 year old boy had had a tough life. In 1997 his father died.  In 2001, his mother died. As per his mother’s wishes, he moved in with his paternal grandparents, Leroy and June Candelario (61). Then Leroy died in 2002.

His grandmother has been working at the sheriff’s office for 3 years as a counselor, and counseled inmates with emotional problems. The grandmother worked from 4 pm to 2 am four days a week. 

While she was at work, the grandmother allegedly padlocked the boy in a plastic dog kennel in his bedroom while she was away. When she arrived home about 3 am she would then release him from the cage. The boy weighed 110 pounds and was 5’4″ (64 inches).  The cage measured 46 inches by 30 inches by 35 inches. Police have reported that it appeared to have a pillow or sleeping bag in the cage, but they didn’t know how he used the bathroom or if he used the bathroom while he was in the cage. Police are investigating whether she left food or water for him while she was gone.

Evidently the boy talked to someone at school about the treatment, that boy told his mother and she contacted police. Allegedly this has been going on for three years.

The boy is now in protective custody with Children’s services. Candelario is being held for investigation of false imprisonment, child abuse, kidnapping and reckless endangerment. She has been suspended from her job and is being held in jail on $100,000 bond. She has been ordered not to have any contact with the boy.,1299,DRMN_15_4732011,00.html

If you have ever worked evening or night shift, you would know that it is hard to get day care for children of any age. And likely the Grandmother knew that leaving most 13 year old kids home alone at night is almost asking for them to get into trouble. No offense to 13 year olds, but they are just old enough to have curious, social, imaginative minds and not old enough to have too many protective inhibitions.

 And though this grandmother may not have wanted to be a parent again, she certainly had experience as a parent and with her job should have had some idea how to work with a 13 year old boy who had had such a hard time in life.

But putting him in a dog kennel? What happens to him if someone breaks into the home? What happens if there was a fire? What happens if he had a medical emergency? What happened if he had to go to the bathroom? What happened if he got a cramp, as with that size cage he probably couldn’t even have stretched out full length, let alone sit up.

 Neighbors had noticed that the boy would hurry to get home from school, and he had said that he would get in trouble if he was late. Thinking of my own children’s schedule after school, there would have been snack time, homework time, TV/play time, and bath time along with a lot of talking.

 Yet this boy would get out of school and rush home, because his grandmother had to be at work at 4 pm.  When did he have time for the usual activities? What would he do with himself in those long hours while his grandmother was at work, alone in the home without anyone to talk to? When did he have time to do homework? When did he have time to just be a kid?

The grandmother would have sounded like a very capable person to leave your child with if you were unable to care for him. But often things are not always what they seem.


 He was ten years old the first time his grandmother forced him into the cage. Police say he was dragged to the cage and his grandmother used her hands and feet to force him into it. After a couple of weeks he began to comply. About two weeks prior to the investigation the heat got so bad in the box that the boy vomited. The dried vomit was still in the box when it was taken into evidence.


The older siblings say they have tried to make contact with their brother through the years since their mother died, but that their phone calls and letters went unanswered. The older brother has asked to get the boy, but Children’s services is discouraging it because they say that he needs a mental health evaluation.,1299,DRMN_15_4741786,00.html


  June Candelario has been charged with 39 criminal charges. One felony count of attempt to commit child abuse resulting in serious bodily injury, one count of second-degree kidnapping, and 37 counts of misdemeanor child abuse.,1299,DRMN_15_4744520,00.html


June Candelario pleaded guilty to charges of felony child abuse and was sentenced to 3 years in prison and 1 year probation.

The child refused to come to the sentencing hearing because he is reportedly still afraid of his grandmother. However he did send a letter telling what it felt like being caged, how scared and lonely he felt. He asked that his grandmother be locked up for 4 years.

His adoptive parents have said that he is doing well, he has put on weight and is making new friends. The family has plans to adopt him.       

Too young

At 7 months it is hard to tell what her awareness might be of the events that have been swirling around her. She may be aware of loud voices, she may be aware of the absence of certain people in her life. It is hard to determine how much she might be aware of the violence. But certainly she is too young to be aware of how the events that have happened could affect her life, and too young to voice her opinion of those events.

Her mother Kim McNeal was in a vehicle with her paternal great grandfather Bob Wiles, and with Jimmy Wiles, Bob Wiles' grandson. They were parked in front of Bob Wiles' home. There was dispute over her.

Her great grandfather, Wiles allegedly shot her mother in the forehead with a .22 caliber handgun. She got out of the car and tried to run, however Wiles got out of the car also and went to the driver's side where he shot McNeal in the back.

Jimmy Wiles was successful in getting the handgun from his grandfather, however Bob Wiles went into his home and came out with a shotgun. He then shot himself.

Her grandmother was in the home, and at some point developed a medical problem and she also had to be transported to the hospital. She remains in the hospital, but no further information is available on her condition.

Both her mother Kim McNeal and her grandfather were transported to separate hospitals, where they have been reported to be in critical condition. However, one article mentioned that both are expected to survive.

No charges have been filed as yet, but there was a mention of attempted murder and felonious assault. Likely those will have to wait until Bob Wiles' condition shows some improvement.

She is 7 months old. And her mother is in the hospital in critical condition, her great grandfather is also in the hospital in critical condition, and her great grandmother is also hospitalized. Her great grandfather is looking at facing charges of attempted murder and felonious assault.

She is too young to know exactly what happened, too young to know how it will affect her life and her future, and too young to be able to have an opinion on the events. And these events will likely have a major affect on her life, as her mother will likely be hospitalized for a while, if she recovers she will still need some recuperation time after her discharge from the hospital. There will potentially be some repercussions that could interfere with her relationship with her father. And I really have to wonder, if she was old enough to be aware and if she could talk- I wonder what her reaction to the events might have been.

Bob Wiles most likely felt he had good reason for his actions. Who knows what led up to it. Could possibly have been over treatment of the baby or custody or visitation issues. But the problem is that whatever the issues were that led up to the violence, they are less likely to be improved or resolved now.

Breaking up is hard to do

Violet Karagiannis, 54, had had a 2 year relationship with Ali Ceber, 43,  but she broke it off two or three months ago. Allegedly Ceber had difficulty with letting go of the relationship, reportedly he called her incessantly. Despite this, Karagiannis had not sought an order of protection.

Sun. night, Karagiannis had gone to a nightclub with friends. Allegedly Ceber approached her at the club and an argument ensued. Reportedly Karagiannis told him to "leave her alone."

After Karagiannis left the club, she went out to eat with her friends. Allegedly Ceber went to her home, and used a key to enter, a key that he had kept from the previous relationship. There he waited for her to arrive, and when she arrived he reportedly attacked her with kitchen knives. Reportedly she was stabbed about 20 times.

Ceber then left the home, went to a nearby parking lot where he found local police officers. He approached them and allegedly "blurts out that he had a fight with his girlfriend, that he thinks he hurt her, he killed her" Police then went to her home, where they found Karagiannis, and she was pronounced dead at the scene.

Ceber has been charged with 2 nd degree murder and first degree burglary.,0,7678248.story?coll=ny-linews-headlines

When I was younger, I used to think that an ex boyfriend who continued to call and try to get back together was a sign of their devotion. It seemed flattering. I now know this is not a sign of love or devotion. It is a sign of obsession. And obsessions are dangerous in that if you don't cooperate, you can be in danger. It is also an indication of a need for control. To the other person, the relationship is not over until they say it is over.


Friends have stated that Ceber was stalking Karagiannis. They state that Ceber would  call her cell phone incessantly, alternately leaving threatening messages then adoring messages. They state that he often appeared uninvited at her home, her place of employment and other places he thought she might be. They have stated that two weeks previously the couple had argued and "He waved a knife at her and told her he was going to cut out her tongue and knock out her beautiful teeth."

At the arraignment, prosecutors stated that while Ceber was at the home he cut the phone lines so that Karagiannis could not call for assistance.,0,7743785.story?coll=sns-ap-nationworld-headlines

The more I read about this case, the more I wonder why Ceber was only charged with 2 nd degree murder and 1 st degree burglary. He entered her home, he waited for her, he used a kitchen knife to kill her in the bedroom, and he cut her phone lines. And this was all done after he entered her home illegally and as a part of a stalking pattern. Looks like first degree to me. Of course I am not a prosecutor.


Stephen J. Austin, 26, had his own residence, but went to visit his mother frequently as she had been in poor health. His brother 22-year-old brother, Jonathan N. Austin resided with his mother.

On Thurs. the brothers argued. It is believed that Stephen struck his brother in the head with a crowbar and then strangled him. Allegedly, he then took his brothers body to a field a short distance away and dismembered him. He then took the body parts and tools and began to bury them along the highway.

Police received a report from a relative that Stephen had been seen with a body in his vehicle. They put out a bulletin and began searching for him. They were able to locate him and pull him over. A search of the vehicle found some of the body parts in the vehicle.

Stephen Austin has been charged with criminal homicide, abusing a corpse, and tampering with or fabricating evidence. Police have not released a motive for the crime.

By all reports, Jonathon was a talented musician and had built a music studio in the garage of the parents home where the murder occurred.

The relationship between siblings is complicated. Often it is composed of some mixture of love, jealousy, pride, protectiveness, anger, and frustration. A very confusing mix at times. And, often a sibling will know more about another sibling than even the parents.

One brother had a musical talent, and was residing in the parents home. The other brother had established his  own residence and family.

Breaking into the music industry is not an easy thing. It takes time, money and almost a single minded dedication. Sacrifices are often made by the participants, and sometimes sacrifices are made by their families also.

Why it happened? The relationship between siblings is so complicated that it could be any number of things. It might be something that happened recently. Or it may be something that has acculmulated over time.

Losing a child is one of the worst things that can happen to a parent. And when that child is lost violently- the need for retribution can be overwhelming. Often when parents lose a child, they want to cling to the other child. And it is also a parents first instinct to want to defend their child during times of trouble. 

Yet during a time of intense grief, one of their children sits in jail, accused of murder. These parents are caught in a conflict, they have lost one child at the hands of the other child. Which means that they have not only lost one child- they could lose the other.


Stephen Austin was recently reconciled with his wife. A local attorney described him ''As far as I know he was a working man, a family man, a father, a husband,'' ''This man had it all going for him. He had it all together. That's why it's a total shock to me. I feel bad. I feel really bad for this family.'',0,6609924.story?coll=all-newslocal-hed


In roaming around the blogs I came across these entries on this case. Shadowraiths has come up with a lot more information, and has drawn some interesting conclusion. (And he is also an excellent writer- very clear and informative)

On Trial

Scott McCarter pled innocent of the charges of three counts of aggravated sexual assault, one count of sexual contact and two counts of endangering the welfare of a child. The charges were filed in July of 2004 and he was out on bail.

He had been accused of assaulting the 16 year old female relative of his wife (I have read it was his stepdaughter) and her 16 year old friend between 2001 and 2004. Shortly after the allegations were made, the teen moved out of the house. McCarter and the child's mother were not married at the time the alleged assaults took place. Allegedly the couple had argued about the allegations of the assaults, but later married.

The trial had begun, and Wed. the prosecution had played a tape in court of what McCarter had told police about the alleged assaults. Allegedly there was some graphic detail.

The trial was expected to continue on Thurs., however it will not be continued.

Scott McCarter did not show up for court on Thurs. when his defense to the charges were scheduled to begin. So a friend was sent to his home. That friend called police.

 Police say they found Scott McCarter slumped in a chair in the family home, dead from a single shotgun blast. His wife Wendy Bennett McCarter and his  7-year-old daughter, Melanie were found dead in the bed in the master bedroom. The couple's 12-year-old son, Scott Jr. was found in his own bed, also deceased.

Police believe that Scott McCarter shot his family then turned the gun on himself. They believe the shootings must have happened early, as the family was found in bed, and had not gotten up to start their day. (sexual assault trial)

When your 16 year old child accuses the adult male in the home of abuse, who do you believe? The child? Or is it as the defense claimed, that the child was attempting to get even with the adults for stopping her from seeing her older boyfriend? Evidently, the mother chose to believe the boyfriend, as she later married him.

I wonder if something changed, as the prosecution had just played the tape that was made when McCarter was talking with deputies and claimed that he was just instructing the girls about hygiene and sex and that if he touched them it was accidental? I wonder if perhaps hearing the story he told deputies might have caused some question in Mrs. McCarter's mind? Or if maybe his story to them, might have differed from what he had told her?

This one is going to be tough for all concerned. Because of the fact that sexual abuse is normally done in secret, and unless some medical examination has produced evidence it almost always becomes a matter of 'he said, she said'. But McCarter did answer some questions on tape. Yet now with no defendant, we will never know who the jury found to be most believable.

But there are two kids out there who have gone through the examinations, the questioning by investigators and then the trial. And suddenly it all stops with no resolution, and 4 people are dead. If the allegations are true, just the assaults would likely cause some psychological scarring. But to have it end like this….. one of those girls lost her mother, and two of her siblings. That is a lot of psychological trauma. I hope they are able to recover from this.

Families that party together, may not stay together

911 was called out this morning, on a report of a person not breathing. Police and emergency crews arrived and found 19 year old Charles Bruener lying on the sidewalk in front of the mobile home.

But they were told that he was not who the call was about. The person who was not breathing was inside. Inside the home, police found 16 year old Dwayne Carroll, not breathing. Emergency aid was given, but they were unable to revive him.

Charles Bruener and a 17 year old girl were transported to the hospital. There has been no word about Bruener's condition and the 17 year old girl was treated and released. Police believe that they overdosed on some type of drug, but will not know for sure what drug was ingested until lab tests and the autopsy toxicology report are completed.

Police have placed Betsy Carroll, 34 and Charles Bruener Jr., 35 under arrest for charges of unlawful transaction with a minor. Bruener is also charged with selling a controlled substance to a minor. 

Bruener is the father of the 19 year old and Carroll was the mother of 16 year old Dwayne Carroll. The parents, Bruener and Carroll may have been dating.

A person who sells drugs to kids is bad. But to sell the drugs to their own minor child? It is bad enough that the parents chose to use drugs. But to then give drugs to their sons? It is no secret, I hate drugs. But they were adults, and if they chose to use drugs, then they had no one to blame but themselves if there was a problem. I also don't believe the excuse of "I was under the influence" is a good reason for reducing any sentencing, if they choose to do the drugs then they take the consequences for any behavior they have while under the influence. And I guess that you could say the same about the 19 year old. But the 16 year old son and the 17 year old girl? I don't think any parent should be under the influence in front of or around their children. Not only do they risk harming them while under the influence, but kids see what parents do- a lot of times they want to do it too! This was not just an accident. This death occurred as a result of a crime committed by the parents, selling their drugs to their own kids.

I hope the 19 year old Bruener makes it. And I hope he will get treatment for the drugs, and that what has happened will scare him badly enough to stop him from even thinking about doing drugs again. I can always hope.

National and International Missing Children’s Day

In 1983 President Regan set aside May 25 as National Missing Children's Day in the US. Canada and the European Commission has also declared May 25 as Missing Children's Day.

I encourage everyone to check out the links I have listed below and become familiar with the faces of the missing children. And to keep an eye out for them as you go about your daily activities. It is horrible for any parent to lose a child, in any way. But to not know the fate of a child, to not know if they are alive or dead, hungry or cold, or whether they are being mistreated- to me, that is so much worse.

So get familiar with those faces and watch for them. Many of the sites have posters you can print and put up in your area. We need to bring these kids home. Info about the Missing Children's Day:




Missing Children's sites:

Yes, that is a lot of missing children's websites. But there are many more sites out there that I haven't listed. There are a lot of missing children, some have been missing a short time, some have been missing for years. They all need to be brought home.


An interesting article about Missing Children. Would you notice if you came across a missing child?

Too many of these

Caique Souza, 11, was a popular and outgoing 6 th grader. He had recently become an older brother, and happily talked about his new little 5 month old brother at school.

His mother Carla, 37, has been reported as friendly and a devoted mother, she was a regular attendee at the local Mormon Church, which she had attended for about  8 years. Originally from Brazil, she had been in the US for 6 years. Caique was born during her first marriage, and the new baby during her second marriage.

She was married to Jeremias Bins, 30. Bins was also from Brazil and had been in the US for three years. The couple was married at the Mormon Church, but reportedly the church was a known problem with the couple. Allegedly Bins thought she spent too much time at the church and there may have been problems with whether or not he would join.

Sat. just after 11 pm, Carla Souza called 911 and frantically reported a problem with her husband and requested police assistance.

Police arrived a minute later. They found both Caique and Souza lying in a pool of blood in the bedroom, their heads beaten and a hammer nearby. There was also a cordless phone, still connected to a 911 dispatcher. Both later died from the injuries.

Police were not aware there was a baby who lived in the apartment, until Jeremias Bins showed up at the police department and he got out of the taxi with the baby. The baby was unharmed. Bins was placed under arrest and the baby was placed with Children's services.

The Dept. of Social Services has said they have not had prior contact with the family and police say they had never been to couple's address before.

There are way too many of these. Couples with no known history of abuse, and out of the blue one or more of the family is dead.

I can understand that a couple would have daily frustrations. And I can understand anger in a relationship at times. But the kind of rage it would take for a husband to beat his wife with a hammer, and killing her and her 11 year old son I cannot understand. Especially in this country, where a divorce can often be easily obtained, and where there is no law against a man just walking away.

Someday that child will grow up. And someday he may learn that he was born to a mother who loved him, and a brother who loved him. And that he lost his mother and brother at the hands of his own father. What kind of legacy is that for a father to leave his child?

I want to mention here, that I cannot imagine what the dispatcher is going through. After they dispatched police, they helplessly hung onto the phone. There was nothing else they could do, but listen.  

It’s confusing

On April 10, Travon Howard, 32, allegedly shot his wife Natasha Howard, 25,  in the shoulder. Before police arrived he then forced his wife and his 17 month old son and his 3 year old stepdaughter into a vehicle. He then drove his wife to a nearby hospital and dropped the children off at his mother's home.

Authorities were searching for Travon Howard after the shooting. There was a $250,000 warrant for his arrest.

On May 19, he allegedly highjacked Natasha Howard and her vehicle from her mother's driveway. In the car with her was her 18 month old  nephew. An Amber Alert was issued for the child and the family waited for news.

Police later found the vehicle. Natasha Howard was inside, dead from a gunshot wound, and the child was unharmed. The boy was later returned to the family.

Saturday morning police miles away recieved a "suspicious circumstances" call miles away. They found Travon Howard slumped in an alley. He was dead from a gunshot wound, and the handgun was found nearby. Police believe the wound was self inflicted. They do not know how Howard got to the area, as there was no vehicle found nearby.

Domestic violence is confusing. First, he shoots her. Then he drives her to the hospital for treatment of her injuries. Then he goes back and shoots her again, killing her this time.

In the last month, while Travon eluded capture, she was likely in fear. After he shot her once, surely she feared him coming back. But he did take her to the hospital for treatment, did that indicate concern? Was he then angry at the warrant out for his arrest?

It is often hard for family and friends to look back. They may have known the fear for their loved one. But often they saw the love between the couple also.

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