Disturbing details are starting to be pieced together regarding the mummified body of Pia Farrenkopf that was discovered in the garage of her Detroit home last week. Now, reports say her latest voting records may only add more mystery to this case.
Farrenkopf’s body was found in the back seat of her Jeep Liberty on March 5, and while an autopsy has yet to reveal a certain cause of death, it did show that Farrenkopf died in 2008 at the age of 49. Since then, all of the woman’s bills have been paid regularly due to automatic withdrawal, so nobody was ever alerted to her home. When the money in her account ran out last year, however, her house went into foreclosure, and because of that, a contractor hired to do work on the house discovered her body in the garage.
To add to more mystery to this case, the Detroit Free Press is reporting that Farrenkopf, a German-born immigrant, was said to have voted in the November 2010 elections. Officials say that this is likely due to an administrative error within the voting system, but authorities say they will still investigate these claims.
Farrenkopf reportedly has a sister, and authorities say they are working with her to conduct a DNA test in the hopes coming closer to solving this case. The autopsy that was performed on Farrenkopf didn’t show any signs of foul play, but due to the nature of the discovery, police are treating this as a homicide.
Neighbors say that Farrenkopf was a quiet woman who lived alone. Nobody was ever alarmed that they hadn’t seen her in so long because, as they claim, she kept a very low profile. Many had assumed that she moved away, and one of the neighbors actually kept Farrenkopf’s lawn mowed all these years.
A toxicology report has been conducted, but it could take weeks to see results.
Earlier this month, Opposing Views reported about the gruesome death of 28-year-old Alfred Wright. The circumstances surrounding his disappearance were initially alarming; he reportedly abandoned his truck at a gas station and ran off into the woods, completely randomly. 18 days later, his body was found in the woods nearby, and he was brutally maimed. Wright was stripped down almost naked, wearing only his boxers and a single sock with his cell phone tucked into it. One ear, his eyes, and his tongue were all missing from his body, and despite all signs pointing to foul play, authorities quickly dismissed it as a drug overdose.
Wright’s family immediately knew that police were wrong, as they claimed their son, a married father of two and well-regarded physical therapist, was not using drugs, and they tried to get police to investigate it as a murder. The official autopsy done by police said there was no reason to think it was foul play, but when the family decided to get a private autopsy done, that pathologist determined that the cause of death was severe trauma.
“The Wright family and I had a three-hour meeting with Sherriff Maddox in his office and there was a map that I got up and took a marker and asked the Sherriff to search one specific area on that map and Sherriff Maddox told me no,” said Quanell X, leader of the New Black Panther Party and representative for the Wright family. “Not only did Sherriff Maddox tell me that we could not search that area, he went further to say that if any of the search organizers decided to search that area they would be arrested on the spot. I knew right then that Sherriff Maddox had his fingerprints all over this young man’s disappearance.”
The Wright family turned to Houston Congresswoman Sheila Jackson, asking if she could appeal to the Department of Justice to get involved. Finally, the federal government took on the case, and since then, there have been some major updates.
According to reports, there has been speculation that Wright had an affair with the daughter of the sheriff that was initially investigating the case. Although the daughter denies the affair, that would definitely explain why the police department was so blasé about the case from the start.
“On a telephone conference call with Sherriff Maddox and Texas Ranger Danny Young, Sherriff Maddox denied ever hearing any rumors that his daughter knew Alfred Wright,” said Quanell X. “I asked him how he could possibly know that and he admitted to all of us on the telephone that he questioned his own daughter. I asked him [if] he thought that it was right for him to question his own daughter during a major investigation and he said yes.”
The investigation is ongoing, and now, the Wright family is offering a $30,000 reward for anyone that can give them information about Alfred’s death.
Over 40 photographs depicting U.S. Marines burning the corpses of Iraqi insurgents have surfaced, prompting the military to conduct a formal investigation of those involved.
The graphic photos, which were acquired and published by TMZ, show Marines pouring gasoline over dead bodies and lighting them fire, as well as the aftermath of their actions. Thus far, neither the source nor the legitimacy of the photographs has been confirmed. If the depicted events are proven to actually have happened, however, the Marines involved would have violated U.S. military code.
The photographs were allegedly taken in Fallujah in 2004, but the Huffington Post reports that there is no statute of limitations on the case. If the Marines depicted in the images are found guilty of the alleged crimes, they could face prosecution.
If the photographs are, in fact, real, they could cause the U.S. military an entirely new set of issues in the Middle East. Cremation is strictly forbidden by Islamic custom, and the burning of the bodies could signify a lack of respect for the local civilians. Reports of similar activity occurred in 2005.
In order to curb any potential backlash on the home front, Navy commander and Pentagon spokesman Bill Speaks issued a statement urging civilians not to judge the military as a whole for the actions depicted.
“We are aware of photos appearing on TMZ.com that depict individuals in US marine uniforms burning what appear to be human remains. The actions depicted in these photos are not what we expect from our service members, nor do they represent the honorable and professional service of the more than 2.5 million Americans who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Speaks, according to The Guardian.
WARNING: GRAPHIC PHOTOS BELOW
Alleged Rape Victim Daisy Coleman Recovers from Third Suicide Attempt; Attacker Matthew Barnett Gets Off With Probation
In January of 2012, a 17-year-old male allegedly raped a 12-year-old-girl; he then abandoned her, intoxicated, incoherent, and unable to walk, outside of her house. The temperatures were in the low 20s when Daisy Coleman pounded on the door for help.
What ensued was a seven-month investigation that made national headlines and culminated in Matthew Barnett’s official apology to the Coleman family on Thursday. He pleaded guilty to a lesser charge than the one with which he had initially been charged.
Daisy Coleman is currently in a hospital, recovering from a suicide attempt on Sunday. This is her third suicide attempt since January 2012.
Barnett, now 19, faces two years of probation during which he must avoid all contact with the Coleman family, perform 100 hours of community service, and avoid alcohol and be subject to drug tests. In addition to apologizing to the Colemans, he must pay $1,800 to family; the funds will be used to provide mental health counseling for Daisy.
Should he fail to meet the conditions of his probation, he faces 120 days in jail.
Back in January of 2012, Daisy Coleman and a 13-year old friend snuck out of the Coleman’s house together to meet up with Barnett, then a senior in high school, and one of his friends. Barnett had sex with Coleman, while his friend had sex with Coleman’s 13-year-old friend.
The events were recorded on an iPhone; the file has since been deleted. Police have been unable to recover the file.
In 2012, Barnett and his 17-year old friend were charged as adults with felonies and misdemeanors. Several months later, Nodaway County Prosecuting Attorney Robert Rice dropped the charges. He cited lack of evidence and the Coleman’s apparent refusal to cooperate.
Republican Rice’s actions prompted a new wave of outcry, based on the claims of preferential treatment: Barnett is the grandson of a prominent Republican.
In response these outcries, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker was appointed as a special prosecutor.
Baker, who considered a felony charge, ultimately decided against it. “In this case, there was insufficient evidence to go forward on sexual assault (charge),” Baker said.
Daisy has said that the boys gave them alcohol, and that she doesn’t remember much of what happened afterwards. Both boys have said the sex was consensual.
According to court documents from December, Coleman admitted to investigators that Barnett could have thought the encounter was indeed consensual. “He was drinking too, so yeah, he could have,” Coleman said.
In a statement issued on her behalf, Daisy Coleman expressed gratitude and a positive outlook on the future. “I am ready to move forward. To all those who supported me, I promise that what happened on January 8, 2012, will not define me forever.”
Sources: The Blaze, KCTV News
Photo Source: The Blaze
Georgia Police Launch Investigation After Twitter Users Post Pictures of Passed Out Woman, Joke About Raping Her
Police are investigating the case of a Twitter user posting a picture of a woman passed out on the floor with the caption, “Somebody put something in her drink, anyways, me and my brother bout to rape this b**ch.”
The tweet was posted just after 1 a.m. on New Year’s Day, and it quickly spread all over the Internet. The user, @RichloneyJuan, continued to tweet about the passed out girl all night, and even after he insisted it was a joke, police are not taking the situation lightly.
In the tweets that followed the initial posting, the user continued to make light of the incident, even tweeting that the woman had stopped breathing and didn’t have a pulse.
At one point, another Twitter user, TaBarius, posted a picture that appeared to be the same girl, but in this picture, she was dressed and cleaned up, although still passed out on the floor. The user went on to keep tweeting, saying that he had the girl locked up in the trunk of his car and asked his followers whether or not he should kill her.
People all over social media were outraged that the users would make jokes about rape and murder, and now, the police are involved. Dana Pierce, an officer in Cobb County, Georgia, said that they don’t have the names of the two men yet, but plan to begin a thorough investigation.
“How are we going to find them?” asked Pierce in a statement to Buzzfeed. “We could find their IP addresses, but we’re not going to do that on New Years Day… They [detectives] will probably really sink their teeth into the case tomorrow. “
Police say that someone claiming that none of what was posted was truthful contacted them, but the investigation will still go on despite the claims.
“The alleged incident that has gone viral is not a crime,” said Pierce. “We need a lot more evidence to prove that this happened.”
Both Twitter users are from the same area in Georgia, according to their accounts, which is why Cobb County police are heading the investigation.
The laws regarding police officers discharging their weapons are difficult to regulate after an incident has occurred. If an officer feels threatened, he or she may use a weapon in order to subdue or kill a suspect. Unfortunately, many instances have occurred in which officers have shot unarmed victims because they mistakenly perceived a threat from an individual.
Dallas police are investigating one such incident, in which Officer Amy Wilburn shot 19-year-old Kelvion Walker. According to Fox DFW, Dallas police have stated that Wilburn “perceived Walker to be an imminent threat, drew her weapon and discharged it once striking him.”
Witnesses of the incident have since questioned what Wilburn believed was an “imminent threat,” as Walker was reclined in the front passenger seat of a vehicle and holding both his hands in the are when the officer approached him.
Wilburn, who has worked for 12 years on the force, was placed on administrative leave while the officers conduct an investigation into her actions.
WFAA 8 reports that Attorney General Kevin Washington has sued the Dallas Police Department for the shooting and death of another unarmed individual, Clinton Allen.
“I don’t know how many unarmed individuals are going to have to be killed before someone intervenes,” Washington said.
Dallas City Councilman Dwaine Caraway agreed that action needs to take place in the city regarding the police’s use of excessive force.
“I think it’s getting to a point now or it has gotten to the point where we are going to have to bunker down and ask some tough questions about police training and get a better understanding of it,” Caraway said.
Exact statistics are not available, but several news reports have emerged from Dallas in recent months regarding the shooting of unarmed individuals. Walker remains in critical condition at the hospital for shooting-related injuries.
FBI Arrests 18 Officers From The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department After Lengthy Investigation
The FBI has arrested at least three Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department officers in a case involving prisoners that were mistreated in the county’s jails as well as the obstruction of justice regarding one particular inmate, in a nearly two-year case that was spearheaded by an undercover investigation involving federal agents.
The FBI charged 18 “current and former members” of the law enforcement agency with “excessive use of force and obstruction of justice, according to the New York Times.
Although the majority of charges stem from general abuse towards and mistreatment of inmates, one of the central issues of the case involves a particular inmate that the Sheriff’s Department attempted to hide from federal agents. The inmate, Anthony Brown, is currently “serving 423 years to life in prison for armed robbery,” according to the LA Times.
Brown himself commented on the arrest of the officers, claiming that he was unaware of his involvement with the case.
“I didn’t know it then, but they were hiding me from the feds,” Brown said.
The reason for which the charged officers were hiding Brown from federal agents currently remains unclear. The Sheriff’s office also maintains that the FBI’s accusations are false and that they would have allowed access to Brown had the federal agents requested it from them. The Sheriff’s Department has not yet responded to the allegations stemming from the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s statement regarding the “criminal corruption and civil rights” charges that are reported to be inflicted upon the county. According to the New York Times, however, the L.A. county jails are riddled with corruption and abuse.
In the case of Kendrick Johnson, the teen who was found dead in a rolled up mat in his high school gym, it seems like one thing after the other just doesn’t add up. Police still claim that he died of asphyxiation after getting caught up in the mat while trying to retrieve a lost shoe, but the family and private investigators say that all evidence points to foul play and that there is clearly a cover up.
Now, in a report obtained by CNN, Lowndes County Coroner Bill Watson seems to have written his honest feelings on the way police handled the initial investigation at the scene.
“I was not notified of (sic) this death until 15:45 hours,” wrote Watson in the report from January 22nd. “The investigative climate was very poor to worse when I arrived on the scene. The body had been noticeably (sic) moved. The scene had been compromised and there was no cooperation from law enforcement at the scene. Furthermore the integrity of the evidence bag was compromised on January 13, 2013 by opening the sealed bag and exhibiting the dead body to his father.”
CNN apparently obtained the coroner’s report through an open records request at the coroner’s office.
“I do not approve of the manner this case was handled,” Watson continues. “Not only was the scene compromised, the body was moved. The integrity (sic) was breached by opening a sealed body bag, information necessary for my lawful investigation was withheld.”
Johnson’s family is still maintaining that the 17-year-old was murdered and that there is an elaborate cover up going on, and with new evidence and testimony surfacing every day, their claims seem very valid.
The U.S. attorney’s office just launched their own investigation into the case, and after CNN tried to reach out to the Lowndes County Coroner’s office for comment on the report, they declined due to the new investigation.
"In light of the US attorney's review of this matter, the Lowndes County sheriff and the Lowndes County coroner will not comment further on this case,” said Lowndes County lawyer Jim Elliott. “They will fully cooperate and respond to all inquiries of the United States attorney.”
A recent investigation found that a local Goodwill has found an interesting way to make a little extra money: selling donors' personal information.
Indiana NBC affiliate WTHR reports that legal records, credit cards, and tax documents that had been accidentally donated to Goodwill centers were on display and available for purchase at stores. The news station sent in secret shoppers to the stores that on numerous occasions purchased boxes of old personal documents.
One shopper, Emily Watson, bought a box of documents from the store containing almost any information she would need to steal the donor’s identity.
"This all belongs to one family. I have their social security numbers. I have their pictures and addresses and children's information. And I pulled it all out of a bin at Goodwill," she said. "I specified exactly what was in here. I specifically said there were social security numbers, birthdates … The manager looked through it and said ‘It doesn't look harmful to me. It's OK.' So I bought it. If I left it there, who was gonna get it? I wanted to take it home because I felt bad for the people who took it there."
Watson paid $27.69 for the family’s paperwork.
WTHR took their findings to the Indiana Metro Police. Sgt. Eric Eads, who specializes in identity theft, was shocked.
"This is bad. Really bad. You have every single document you would need in here to go and portray yourself as these people, to create an entire identity using their information based on this paperwork," he said. "It's just shocking the amount of social security numbers and tax records you found.
"…Please stop selling this, for everyone's sake. This is crazy. I just can't believe they would sell this stuff.”
The news station contacted the people whose information they’d purchased. Every single one of them said the documents had been donated on accident. Nevertheless, they were shocked to see their personal information was available for purchase.
"They should know better than to put someone's personal information out for someone to get ahold of," one customer said. "How hard would it be for them to shred this?"
Goodwill is now reporting that they’ve launched an internal investigation on the matter.
"We do take this very seriously. Your investigation started our investigation," said a Goodwill representative. "We're going to take a look and see how we can prevent that from happening… Our process would have been and should have been and will be ‘let's shred it.'"
The Dallas police officer who shot a mentally ill man and was caught on tape in the act was fired, according to the Dallas Police Department.
Officer Cardan Spencer reported that 52-year-old Bobby Gerald Bennett, who suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, lunged at him with a knife before he shot the man. However, a neighbor’s surveillance camera shows Bennett did not move toward Spencer when he arrived at the scene.
Bennett was charged with aggravated assault, though the charges were dropped when Spencer’s report came under question.
Spencer had been on leave of absence while an investigation into his actions was underway.
Police Chief David Brown announced Thursday that Spencer was charged in the incident, but that a judge declined to sign a warrant, so the case will go to jury.
"Officers are not above the law," Brown said. "We as a police department are not going to look the other way."
George Milner, the Bennett family attorney, said Bennett was shot in cold blood.
"What happened 10 days ago should have never have happened in the first place,” Milner said, “and I want to make sure it never happens again."
Milner added that it was impossible for Spencer not to be charged with a crime.