Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LXV Edition

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Hello and welcome to the 65th edition of the Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. There are some who may not know what a carnival is in the blog world. In the real world we think of festivals, rides and games. But on the internet, a new language has developed. Sometimes it is new words- like blog, sometimes it uses old words and gives them new definitions. Carnival as it relates to the internet world is defined by Wikipedia as:

A blog article that contains links to other articles covering a specific topic. Most blog carnivals are hosted by a rotating list of frequent contributors to the carnival, and serve to both generate new posts by contributors and highlight new bloggers posting matter in that subject area.

A True Crime Carnival highlights crime stories from the true crime bloggers.

This week it is my privilege to be the carnival host. So without further ado, I would like to present the 65 th edition.

First up we have the True Crime Blog UK. He is bringing us the story of Cop Killer David Bieber. The story of a man who fled the U.S. under suspicion of a murder and later was convicted of killing an unarmed West Yorkshire police officer. One more connection between our two countries, but this time a bad one.

Next up we have Trench. Trench is disturbed this week. Most of us have heard about the miraculous recovery of Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Owenby. And of the arrest of Michael Devlin who is accused of kidnapping Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Owenby. But Trench has the story of ‘someone’ who may be trying to capitalize on Shawn Hornbeck’s story. Click on over to read False Shawn Hornbeck MySpace.

In Public Enemy: Player 1 Trench also studies video games and their relationship to today’s crime. This week he has Utah mall gunman did play video games. But check out what police found (or didn’t find) in his home.

From Lost in Lima Ohio (Fondly referred to as LiLO) we have Ashford….What A Creep. Now most of us know that sexual predators are out there. But what many do not realize is how open they can be (under the supposed protection of anonymous nicknames, that is.) They say they are not doing anything illegal and only using their constitutional right to free speech as they put up their websites, promote their organizations, lobby against age of consent laws, and attempt to influence votes to politicians they believe will be most sympathetic to their ’cause’ (or my preferred term- perversion) and talk about what they want to do to our children- and why they should have a right to do so. Yet when LiLO exercised her right to free speech, it seems that one or more was disturbed by that. I promise it is easy reading and something that every parent and grandparent should read.

J.D. Chandler takes us back to 1958 and the narrow escape of a woman from an attack, the woman who was not so lucky and how the two are related. His Hands Were As Cold As Ice is well worth the read.

Harding is blogging from the beautiful country of Canada. But the story he has to tell is not one of the beauty. He is taking us on the Toronto Underground. And I mean you feel you are really there! Along the trip he tells of a sexual predator who is targeting commuters and passing along the description and advice on what to do if you run into the man.

Submissions from off the blogroll are as follows:

Campus Grotto is discussing the arrests of Gonzaga University basketball players in Gonzaga Drug Problems. I think we need a whole blog for the sports/crime stories.

And Chris Dolley has been telling her story of identity theft in Pergonini MD: Part Two (Pergonini MD).  A riveting story of what can happen when the wrong people gain control of your identity.

It’s an excellent Carnival this week with a wide variety of reading.

This last is about Crime News. I have mentioned the site here a few times and I use it frequently. Because of problems with the software they were using, they have changed. They now have a new look and a much faster moving site. They have also a included a ‘feed’ from many of the TCB blogs so that you can read excerpts of several blogs at one site. If you signed up previously you will have to sign up again, but it is worth the effort.

For HSH just a heads up. When I update an old post with new info, I have started noting that in a comment. So when you see a comment from me showing up and not in response to another comment- I’m really not talking to myself- I only do that offline.

Graphic is by Harding at T.O. Crime

As always let’s try to make this world a better place: Remember to Commit a Random Act of Kindness

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Early one morning

It was around 6 am on Monday when Hyang Sun Lee gathered her three children, ages 9 years, 7 years and 2 years of age. She helped the children into bed with her sleeping husband.

It is alleged that she then poured a liquid on them and began trying to light a paper with a grill starter. That is when the husband awoke and managed to extinguish the fire on the paper. It is alleged that the liquid that Hyang Sun Lee poured over her family was lighter fluid.

Police say they received a call from the household about 6:12 am regarding a suicide attempt.

Thanks to the husband awakening, no one was injured. 

Hyang Sun Lee has been charged with suspicion of attempted murder. Police have not released a motive.

ocregister.com   cbs2.com  nbc4.tv  signonsandiego.com

I found it interesting that the call to 911 was on an attempted suicide.

Many of us identify strongly with our family. And usually at the thought that we might or have lost a member, we feel that it is unbearable and that life cannot go on.

So might a suicidal person in all their confusion feel. In considering the future for the family, a suicidal person might feel remorse at the pain their family will feel and may wish to spare them that pain. They may fear the future for the family due to financial or other reasons. They may feel they are committing the act out of love, and to relieve or prevent some real or imagined suffering.  It is called an ‘altruistic’ murder and usually will be accompanied by some type of mental problem. jaapl.org

Of course I have no way of knowing if this was the motivation for this, but the fact that it was called in as an attempted suicide does make me wonder.

If this is the situation for this family, hopefully some consideration will be made to provide treatment for her while she is going through the justice process.

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The charges against Hyang Sun Lee are 3 counts of attempted murder with deliberation and premeditation. She has also been charged with one count of aggravated assault for an incident last year in which it is alleged that during an argument she swung a steak knife at her husband cutting him in the stomach multiple times.

sfgate.com                                           contracostatimes.com

She was going to leave

Alicia Bartholomew, 26, is accused of shooting her husband James Bartholomew, 29, in the back about 7:30 pm on Friday. He was taken to a hospital for treatment. Police say a single shot was fired and hit Bartholomew in the spine. Doctors fear he may be paralysed.

It seems simple, but alas life is never simple. Alicia Bartholomew’s family says that is only a part of the story.

In court last Tues. Alicia Bartholomew said that she was also a victim. A victim of an abusive husband. Her mother has told media that Alicia and James Bartholomew were married for 10 years. And that 10 years of abuse is what led to the shooting of Bartholomew in the back.  

“I knew she would shoot him in the back…so she wouldn’t have to face him…she still loved him.”

Alicia Bartholomew appeared in court by video link and told the court that she had tried to leave her husband recently. She told the court that she had reached out

“I was trying to to get out of the house, I just had talked to a Safe House lady trying to get out of the house.”

The Commonwealth’s Attorney has said the prior abuse allegations are known and are being investigated.

According to all reports, the two were at a local American Legion when witnesses say a physical argument developed in the parking lot. The two left there and apparently they went back to their apartment. There it is alleged they were each burning some items belonging to the other outside the complex.

According to a police report:

“The parties began to burn each other’s clothing in the courtyard of the complex and the dispute continued back into the apartment where the perpetrator smashed some electronic equipment and a computer belonging to the victim,” “The victim at some point produced a handgun but did not use it. He laid the handgun down, and the perpetrator picked up the weapon and shot the victim in the arm.”

Alicia Bartholomew’s mother has said that Alicia was finally standing up for herself.

James Bartholomew was taken to the hospital where he is reported to be in serious condition. Alicia Bartholomew has been given a $25,000 cash bond and ordered to stay away from her husband, family is trying to raise the money and trying to find her an attorney.

The couple’s 3 children- ages 5 years, 2 years, and 2 months were in their apartment at the time and were not harmed.

Alicia Bartholomew has been arrested and charged with first degree assault.

 news.kypost.com       wcpo.com      wlwt.com

news.enquirer.com    local12.com   news.enquirer.com

I don’t know if the allegations about James Bartholomew are true or not. I did a quick search of the newspaper archives to see if the names showed up, but got nothing. However, many times old news articles don’t get archived in a way that is searchable by search engine or they just go away. And many domestic violence reports and even arrests don’t make the news. Police are still investigating so more info could come out later.

In making a decision to stay or leave an abusive relationship, most people consider whether it is more dangerous for them to stay or leave. Some consider the well being of the children. But most don’t stop to think- what happens if they are put in the position of deadly force to defend themselves…. or what happens if it gets to the point where they break?

There is often a very fine line drawn on what is self defense. And though the ‘battered women’s syndrome’ is now accepted by the court, proving the accused suffered from it and that it led to the violence can be very difficult to do. So in making the decision, this should always be considered.

If a decision is made to leave, it is important to reach out to a domestic violence agency to develop a safety plan, and to follow through on the plan. And to not talk about it to anyone. Not the spouse or partner or even friends. Once in a place of safety, others can be notified.

Celebrating a Birthday

It was the 27th birthday for Michele Vasquez and she and a friend were celebrating when an argument began.

The two were roommates and neighbors have said arguments were not unusual between the two. One neighbor reportedly once told them

“I said, ‘one day one of y’all are going to kill each other,’ and it’s sad it had to happen on her birthday,”

Around 4:15 am on Sunday, emergency personnel were called to their apartment for an accident. But witnesses present at the time have said it was not an accident and police say that investigation bears that out.

Allegedly Jocquelette Rawlings, 20, first stabbed her girlfriend Michele Vasquez, 27, then pushed her off a balcony, where she struck her head and was later pronounced dead.

According to reports the two had a girlfriend relationship.

rdu.news14.com                   fayobserver.com

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Other witnesses talk about what happened that night, Rawlings family says self defense, and a discussion of other domestic violence incidents between the two.

Jocquelette Rawlings has been charged with first degree murder and assault with a deadly weapon.

fayobserver.com   fayobserver.com   rdu.news14.com

Left Alongside the Road

A passerby noticed a body lying along the roadside among some sapling trees and contacted authorities. The body was female and was found fully clothed. Police said it appeared to have been a recent death. The body was found around 9:30 am on Wed. morning.

The remains were identified as Robyn Renee Everage, 41. Robyn Everage’s husband Michael Everage, 38,  had reported her missing on Tues. Feb. 20th about 3 pm. In that report Michael Everage is alleged to have reported that the two of them had had an argument and Robyn Everage had dropped him off at a convenience store. 

However, according to one report it appears there is another missing person’s report that allegedly was filed on Wed. about 2 am, filed at a different location and saying she was last seen at a different convenience store. However, that is not mentioned in the other articles.

Police declined to call the death a murder, but stated they were investigating. Later they obtained a search warrant for her home and took away several bags of items and towed away her vehicle.

On Saturday her death was ruled a homicide. Police have issued a warrant for the arrest of Michael Everage on a charge of first degree murder. Everage is not in custody, police are looking for him. Everage is described as 6’1″ in height and 175 lbs. He is reported as having brown hair and green eyes. Police say Everage

“has been in contact with investigators throughout the case,”

But they say he is not in custody and are asking for persons who may have information about his whereabouts or the investigation to please make contact with them.

Police have not released any information as to the cause or circumstances of the death.

The two were the parents of a 4 year old daughter. One report has said the child is not with her father.

dailypress.com  content.hamptonroads.com  wavy.com

pensacolanewsjournal.com  pensacolanewsjournal.com

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Michael Everage has turned himself into police.

wvec.com                       wavy.com

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Cause of death has been determined as blunt force trauma to the head. Police have not released any other information about the death including where they think the death occurred.

wtkr.com               content.hamptonroads.com

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The judge denied bond for Michael Everage. No details were given about the murder or the evidence against Michael Everage, however the prosecutor did say that the body was found with several items purchased by Michael Everage near it.

A Toyota with two flat tires and flashing lights was found near the scene and also a truck mirror.

According to Robyn Everage’s family, Robyn’s birthday was Feb. 10. And they say it was on that day that she found out her husband had had multiple affairs. She allegedly kicked him out of the home and changed the locks on the doors. She also reportedly told friends and family about the affairs.

The Everage’s had one daughter together, Michael Everage had two sons from a previous relationship, and those children resided with them also.

content.hamptonroads.com    content.hamptonroads.com

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More information has come out. The day before the body of Robyn Everage was found, two friends had found her missing vehicle near there with two flat tires. The vehicle was towed away and the two friends returned to the area the next day and they found her body. Apparently police have not determined where she was killed.

After initially refusing to give permission to her family to make the funeral arrangements, Michael Everage did give that permission for her family to make the funeral arrangements for Robyn Everage.

 Bond for Everage has been denied.

wtkr.com                   wavy.com                    wtkr.com

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I have found an undated article that contains some info that partially contradicts the last info posted above. The persons who found the body of Robyn Everage was a group of three according to police. The group was comprised of Michael and his male and his female lovers.

Relatives of Robyn Everage have said that she had known that Everage had had an affair with a male, but that she later learned that he had also had an affair with a female. The couple were in the process of a separation according to Michael Everage.

wtkr.com

The Medical Emergency

Authorities were called to the home of Mandy Granger, 22, on Tuesday on a call for a medical emergency. But police say what they found at the home was inconsistent with what the boyfriend Daniel Hobby, 39, had reportedly said occurred.

Upon questioning, police say that Hobby admitted to assaulting Mandy Granger, and he admitted to moving her body to make it look more like a medical emergency.

“He was trying to disguise any wrongdoing,” the detective said. “Through investigation, police were able to determine that the crime scene had been tampered with.”

Police say that when they arrived, Mandy Granger was already dead and she was transported to the hospital where doctors could pronounce her.

They say that Hobby has now admitted to assaulting her, they do not believe there was a weapon involved, they believe the assault was with his fists. Police also say that in the original call, Hobby did not mention that his girlfriend had been assaulted.

Police are awaiting an autopsy to determine the time and manner of the death. But they believe

“Quite a bit of time had lapsed in between the assault and when he did call for medical assistance.”

Hobby has been charged with criminally negligent homicide. Police say that Hobby did not have a criminal record.

nyjournalnews.com                        thejournalnews.com

thejournalnews.com                         nyjournalnews.com

So he is accused of assaulting her, waiting until she died, then trying to hide what occurred and reporting it as a medical emergency.

I would be interested in just how he moved her body to make it look like a medical emergency. Police are awaiting toxicology results.

The Family’s Message

This post is a bit more graphic than usual, but I believe the situation warranted it.

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They love their relative Dolores Bibiano, 23, they saw what was happening and tried to get her to leave her common-law-husband Marcos Sanchez Abrego, 29. The couple had reportedly been together for 6 years and they had 3 children together. Delores Bibiano also had another child from a previous relationship.

The family has reported that Abreo was ‘agressive’ and that he made promises to change. But they say he didn’t. They tried to get her to leave him, but she wouldn’t. As she was an adult, they couldn’t make her leave. And they could not stop what happened.

They were aware of an incident in Nov. of 2006, when Abrego is accused of hitting her in the eye and leaving it swollen and bruised. After pulling her into a bedroom, he is alleged to have hit her with his hands and after the beating he then sat down to watch TV. He ended up in jail, but allegedly reached out to her by sending her a letter saying the two of them would

“ride for life”

When he got out of jail, the couple went back together.

There were witnesses as to what happened on Sunday. Allegedly Abrego and Bibiano were arguing when Abrego is alleged to have punched Dolores Bibiano, then grabbed her by the hair and dragged her upstairs. His grasp on her hair so strong that some of her hair was yanked from her head and left on the ground.

When police arrived they found Delores Bibiano behind the apartment. Her face was swollen, her mouth full of blood. She complained of her back hurting. And she was unable to move. She allegedly named Abrego as her assailant.

In her pocket authorities found a note. 

If anything ever happens to me, it read, please call my sister.

In the apartment police found three of the four children, they were not harmed but reportedly saw at least a part of the violence. Dolores Bibiano suffered a broken neck. She needs surgery to realign her neck so that she will be able to sit. She is paralysed.

As I said, the family has a message and the message is for anyone else who may be living in a similiar situation as Dolores Bibiano

“It’s not worth staying in a relationship like this,” she said. “It’s not worth ending (up) like her.”

When police arrived they reportedly saw Abrego jump a fence and run from the area. He was captured about a block away from his mother’s house. Abrego was taken into custody and charged with attempted murder.

woai.com                                          ksat.com      

mysanantonio.com                        ksat.com   

I could not say it any better than the family. The only thing I might add, is that if a decision is made to leave- do it safely. As it has been mentioned on here many times, the most dangerous time can be at the time the abuse victim decides to leave.

Make contact with a domestic violence agency and make plans on how to extricate yourself safely. Do not tell that you are leaving, just leave. If you decide you must tell, that can be done later- by phone or letter-  while you are in a safe place.

There is help for you. But you must be the one to make the decision and you must ask for the help. And always keep in mind- leaving is not selfish. You do for yourself but you also do it for your children and for your family.

How do you know you are in danger? As someone said here the other day- trust your gut. If you have suspicion or feel fear, then you know. Trust your instincts. You may tell yourself that he is only kidding, or only angry for right now and doesn’t really mean it. But if you felt that fear, then denying it to yourself and others will not change it.

This was first posted at Crime News by D.P.

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Clarification on the Nov. arrest, this article says Abrego spent a month in jail on other charges. And when arrested by police for the beating he gave his girlfriend, he was already wanted for misdemeanor assault charges. No explanation on that, whether it referred to an assault on Bibiano or someone else.

Abrego charges attempted murder and evading arrest.

mysanantonio.com

According to the above article, 25 people in San Antonio lost their lives due to domestic violence last year. That is only one city out of how many cities in the U.S.?

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Family says that Dolores Bibiano is paralyzed from the waist down. She is still on a ventilator but is no longer listed in critical condition. Family has started a fund for her.

mysantonio.com

Carnival of the True Crime Blogs LXIV

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So sorry for the delay, but that was my fault- not the fault of the blogroll. Today is the 64th edition of the True Crime Blogs and it is up at The Cellar. There are some really good crime stories this week, and one submission is from a blog that is new to the blogroll. True Crime Blog UK is blogging from across the ocean and helping to keep us informed on what is happening crimewise in the UK. Check him out and make him welcome.

Goals, Dreams and Aspirations

Her family says that Lena Murphy Phillips,  23, wanted to go to college after high school, but finding out she was pregnant she held off on her dream. That child is now 7 years old and she also has 3 others with the youngest child 2 years old.

She had been seeing a man named Martwain Phillips for the last 4 years, and was very happy when they married in June. She was a loving mother, and attended her stepfather’s church where she was the choir director. And family says she had begun making college plans again. They say she wanted a better life for herself and her four children and she also wanted to help people. Because she loved children, she wanted to become a pediatric nurse. Family says

“She had goals, and she had dreams, and she had aspirations.”

She also had plans to leave her husband. Family says that was part of the plan to make life better for herself and her children.

Tuesday a dispute developed between Martwain Phillips and Lena Phillips. It became bad enough that the oldest child called a family member and told them what was happening. The family member called 911.

But when police arrived in response to the report of a woman being beaten, they found Lena Phillips dead from stab wounds and Martwain Phillips had left the home.

U.S. Marshalls found Martwain Phillips at his brother’s residence in another state on Thursday. He has been arrested and is awaiting extradition. Because of the holiday he will not appear in court until later this week for an extradition hearing.

The children were not physically harmed in the incident. Family says they have talked about their mother’s death.

pantagraph.com           hoinews.com               wrex.com

grandhaventribune.com                        pantagraph.com

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Four more children who witnessed at least a part of their mother’s death. Another child who had to take the role of an adult and try to get help for her mother. Four more kids left without a mother, and with memories of the violence that took their mother’s life. As two of those children were children of both Martwain and Lena Phillips- at least two will be without a father also if he is convicted of the murder. He left them with a nightmare of a memory, and no parents available to hold them, to explain to them, to help them through this.

But Lena Phillips was more than a mother. She had plans to become a pediatric nurse. Plans to care for other children. Plans to save lives. Those children have a void in their lives with the loss of their mother. And so does the rest of the world.

‘I’ve had to relive a life I never wanted to live.’

Back in May I wrote ‘It Never Goes Away’. The story of the death of John Gough at his wife Wanda Gough’s hands. Many came here and spoke in her defense. Wanda Gough of course could not speak out because she was awaiting trial. But others came and spoke of the abuse she had received at John Gough’s hands.

Very properly Wanda Gough waited until the trial to speak of what she went through. She told the court of the abuse that began soon after her marriage and then she told of the threat made against her daughters. She told of the gun fired at her daughter’s door. She talked about how she left her husband 5 times, and how she always returned. Sometimes because he promised change, sometimes out of fear because of threats he made against her family.

And she admitted to the court that John was sleeping when she fired the first shot at him. And she told of the gun he slept with under his pillow and her feelings that he was going to kill her.

And she was not the only one who testified. Her daughter testifed in her defense telling what she remembered of the abuse. A police detective testifed as to what was known about John Gough’s temper.  And police testifed of the two bulletholes they found in the ceiling and floor. A professional counselor spoke of the signs seen in Wanda Gough of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

On Feb. 1, the jury went into deliberations. They were back in three hours. The verdict was not guilty.

Wanda Gough is now free. Free, but with $40,000 in legal bills incurred in her fight to prove she acted in self defense. She has told media that for many years she blocked out the memories of her marriage and her abuse. But the trial brought them all back again. And she says they are causing stress.

‘I’ve had to relive a life I never wanted to live.’

newsobserver.com  lufkindailynews.com kilgorenewsherald.com

zwire.com       news-journal.com  news-journal.com                   

“Battered Woman’s  Defense” is accepted in court. But that acceptance is relatively new. Previously when a battered woman wanted to use that as a defense, she ended up pleading temporary insantity. But in 1977 the ‘Battered Woman’s Defense’ became accepted as an acceptable defense. However, it is very risky. Many jurors still ask the question “Why didn’t they just leave?” And many times, that defense is not accepted and the woman ends up convicted.

Studies show that women will leave up to 10 times before they will leave for good. The reasons they return can differ. It may be out of love despite the violence, it may be because they think it is best for the children, it may be because of financial reasons or it may be out of fear.

And sadly that fear is not an unreasonable one. Chronicled here are many instances where an abuser chose to destroy- often with as much pain as they could possibly inflict, rather than to allow the abused to leave. And many times they didn’t stop at just the abused spouse.

Wanda Gough faced a Grand Jury years ago and they refused to indict. As the years passed, it may have seemed like it was over. But more than 20 years later, she faced trial. Finally it is over. But now she is faced with paying the legal expenses that were incurred to maintain her freedom.

What many do not realize when they consider that if they leave an abusive relationship, when they consider they may have to move away, they may have to change their name and begin a whole new life? That always seems unfair, but whether they stay or leave- there will be difficulties no matter which choice they make.

Hopefully Wanda Gough will be able to live in peace now.

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