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| Chapter 5 Stalking |
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| Back Stalking: Why do Men and Women Stalk Each Other? |
Woman angry at boyfriend torches apartment building, five killed in Charlotte, South Carolina
Latrobe area, Pennsylvania, doctor killed by physician/girlfriend
Resident physician found dead
Ex-lover charged in doctor's murder
Bagby murder evidence exposed
Dr. Shirley Turner and infant son found dead in murder-suicide
Asinine custody decisions result in child's murder
Through it all Dr. Turner remained in denial
Forest fire started by woman stalking her estranged husband in California
Justyn Rosen knew woman was a threat before she killed him
Restraining order sought by Mr. Rosen before slaying
Kidnapped and slain
Long record of marriage, divorce, theft, and violence
Minimal relationship with her father
Wife's wild ride targets husband in Salt Lake City, Utah
Woman is back in jail after SUV incident
Judge refuses to reduce bail
Actor John Cusack granted restraining order against woman who was stalking him
Astronaut turns lunachic and goes stalking
Windsor, Colorado, man sets ex-wife's car on fire
Ex-wife fatally stabs former husband in Davenport, Iowa, despite restraining orders against her in three states
Brigham Young University student stalked and then raped by beauty queen
Long distance stalking
Joyce McKinney, kidnapper and rapist
Arrest and escape
Back in the United States
Still stalking her victim in 1984
McKinney moves on to pit bulls
McKinney also wanted in Tennessee
Patricia Crowl strikes again in Seattle, Washington
Patricia Crowl had killed before
Lesbian District of Columbia judge's ex-girlfriend gets 5 years in prison
Stalker kills Leadville woman then self
Actor Leonardo DiCaprio granted restraining order against Livia Bistriceanu in Los Angeles
Bakersfield, California, doctor stalking her boyfriend dies while trying to get to him by coming down his chimney
Colorado Springs woman shoots her way into ex-husband's apartment and is killed in self defense
Black Forest, Colorado, man in critical condition after driving into estranged wife's house, setting it ablaze
Colorado Springs police officer arrested for repeatedly filing false accusations against former boyfriend
Falsely accused Manitou Springs police officer sues Colorado Springs
Relentless stalking, persecution, and jail time was a time of terror for former Manitou Springs cop
Knocked up former Colorado Springs cop Sydney Huffman pleads guilty to felony
Colorado statehouse lobbyist sentenced to jail for stalking ex-wife
Thousand Oaks, California, woman stalking ex-boyfriend is stuck in the chimney of his house
August 1, 1991 An apartment building went up in flames early Wednesday, killing four adults and a toddler. A woman who residents said was angry at a boyfriend in the building was arrested on arson and murder charges.
The fire in the Poinciana Apartments left dozens of residents, mostly low-income and elderly, with nowhere to go.
Abstracted primarily from articles by Richard Gazarik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Tuesday, November 6, 2001 The body of a Latrobe Area Hospital physician was found Tuesday morning in Keystone State Park, Derry Township.
Dr. Andrew Bagby, 28, a member of the hospital's Family Practice Residency Program was found shot to death inside the park, which is located about two miles east of Saltsburg. Dr. Bagby was born in St. Louis, but grew up in Sunnyvale, California the heart of Silicon Valley, where his father, David, worked as a software engineer.
Dr. Bagby's body was discovered by two passers-by who were out for a morning walk state police said. When found, he was wearing hospital scrubs with an identification tag around his neck. He had been shot five times in the head, chest and rectum, and suffered a head injury.
His body was found in a parking lot near the boat launch area of the park. The night before, William Smith of Derry Township was walking along the main road through the park and saw Bagby's Toyota Camry parked next to a sport utility vehicle in the lot near the boat launch area, state police said.
The next morning, Smith was walking in the same area and saw Bagby's car still parked there, but the other vehicle was missing. State police said they later learned that Dr. Shirley Turner drove a late model Toyota RAV 4.
Bagby did not arrive for a social engagement Monday night and did not arrive for work Tuesday morning, hospital officials told state police.
State troopers went the hospital Tuesday morning to inform Dr. John Bertolino, director of the residency program, that Dr. Bagby's body had been found.
Bagby had enrolled in the Family Practice Residency Program at Latrobe Area Hospital July 1 st and was assigned to the Saltsburg office. The three-year program, designed to give young doctors hands-on experience in treating patients, places physicians who want to practice family medicine in one of the hospital's satellite offices where they can treat patients under the guidance of another physician.
Friday, November 30, 2001 State police allege that an angry Iowa physician, Dr. Shirley Turner, flew from Pennsylvania to Iowa, turned around and drove 16 hours back to Latrobe to kill the lover who had spurned her days before.
State police Thursday charged Dr. Shirley Turner, 40, of Council Bluffs, Iowa, with the November 5 th murder of Dr. Andrew Bagby. He was a graduate of the Memorial University of Newfoundland Medical School and completed one year of a surgical residency in Syracuse, New York, together with Dr. Shirley Turner before he quit and decided to go into family practice.
Dr. Turner moved to Sac City, Iowa, to work at Loring Hospital. She then moved to Council Bluffs, also in Iowa, and worked at a clinic operated by Alegent Health there.
She did not attend a memorial service for Dr. Bagby earlier this month in Latrobe. However, she did attend a service for Dr. Bagby held at Memorial University of Newfoundland, where they attended medical school together.
Canadian newspapers reported that Dr. Turner, who majored in chemistry in college, had aspirations to become a doctor but gave up her goal in 1980. She taught high school chemistry for a decade before resuming her medical school studies. By the time she went back to medical school, she was in her second marriage and had three children ranging in age from 5 to 12. She eventually had four children from at least three different fathers.
In announcing the issuance of a warrant for Dr. Turner's arrest at a news conference, Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said troopers amassed some “very positive evidence” linking Turner to Bagby's murder despite finding little physical evidence at the scene.
“We feel very strongly we have a very solid case,” said Capt. Frank Monaco, commander of Troop A in Greensburg. “Their relationship was coming to an end.”
Dr. Shirley Turner, who was born in Kansas to an American father and a Canadian mother, holds dual U.S. and Canadian citizenship. She was raised in Daniel's Harbour, Newfoundland, a remote fishing area on the province's west coast.
According to police Dr. Turner fled to Newfoundland, ostensibly to help one of her children who was injured in an auto accident, before charges were filed. The Royal Newfoundland Constabulary had been notified of the charge but Dr. Turner was not taken immediately into custody.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck said he will begin extradition proceedings to return Turner to Pennsylvania to face a first-degree murder charge, a process that could be “involved and complicated.” Peck must persuade Canadian authorities that the evidence against Turner is credible before a judge in Ottawa will allow her to be extradited.
But Peck already had removed one hurdle. He told Canadian authorities that he would not seek the death penalty against Turner if she is convicted. Peck said the Canadian government is reluctant to extradite its citizens to the United States if they face possible execution. If Dr. Turner were to be convicted she faced life without parole.
Dr. Turner's attorney conceded that she had spent a week with Dr. Bagby in Latrobe before returning to Iowa on November 3.
Troopers Mike McElfresh, Randall Gardner and Kirk Nolan were able to trace Dr. Turner's return automobile trip to Latrobe and subsequent return to Iowa by using cellular telephone records to trace her journey. Troopers found that Dr. Turner began her return trip to Latrobe on November 4 th .
According to an affidavit accompanying the charge, she made two calls on her way back to Pennsylvania on November 4 from Chicago. She made a third call to Dr. Bagby the same day from South Bend, Indiana.
Records also showed that Dr. Turner made a call from Pittsburgh on November 5 th , even though she told state police she was not in Pennsylvania the day of Dr. Bagby's murder.
“These records indicate Dr. Turner's path of travel to Pennsylvania,” Trooper McElfresh stated in the criminal complaint.
The phone records also revealed Dr. Turner made calls from Cleveland on November 5 th and the next day from Stuart, Iowa.
“These records indicate her path of travel back to Iowa,” said Trooper McElfresh.
Dr. T. Clark Simpson, the chief resident at Latrobe Area Hospital, informed state police that Dr. Bagby told him Dr. Turner had showed up unexpectedly at his apartment at 5 AM on November 5 th .
“Bagby appeared to be angered by her arrival, according to Simpson,” police stated in the affidavit.
Meanwhile, investigators have been searching for a gun they believe is the murder weapon, a .22-caliber semi-automatic handgun purchased by Dr. Turner in Iowa.
According to the affidavit, Dr. Turner gave conflicting and incriminating statements to police and others. On November 6 th Turner told Trooper Gardner by telephone she had the weapon in Iowa and said she would turn over the gun to the Council Bluffs, Iowa, police the next day.
Before Iowa detectives reached her home, Dr. Turner had called Trooper Gardner and said the gun was missing. On November 7 th she changed her story again.
Turner told Trooper Gardner she had given the gun to Dr. Bagby, “but she didn't specify when or why,” according to the affidavit.
Another witness linking Turner to the missing gun is a Council Bluffs firearms instructor, Paul Fryett.
State police interviewed Fryett, who said he taught Turner how to shoot using the missing weapon. Fryett also said Dr. Turner unexpectedly called him on November 6 th and told him that her gun was missing. Fryett, according to the affidavit, said Dr. Turner also admitted lying to police about the gun.
Police interviewed a mutual friend of Drs. Bagby and Turner in Nova Scotia who told investigators that Dr. Turner admitted to him she had seen Dr. Bagby on November 5 th .
Chad Timothy Nelson Burkhart said Dr. Turner called him on November 9 th and told him she had spent a week with Dr. Bagby and the visit “went well.”
Dr. Turner's attorney said she officially learned her client was a suspect when Trooper McElfresh telephoned her on Wednesday, November 28, 2001. She said her client has cooperated in the investigation but that Dr. Turner returned to Newfoundland several weeks ago because her son was injured in an auto accident. She said the boy was discharged Wednesday from a Canadian hospital.
She confirmed that Drs. Bagby and Turner were romantically involved and described them as “very dear friends” who occasionally went on vacations together.
Monday, December 2, 2002 For the first time, a Canadian Supreme Court Justice has described in detail the evidence against Dr. Shirley Turner, who is charged with killing Dr. Andrew Bagby, 28, a first-year resident at Latrobe Area Hospital.
Dr. Turner, a former high school teacher who became a doctor, allegedly killed Bagby in a jealous rage after she told him she was pregnant and he told her he was seeing another woman, according to an opinion written by Newfoundland and Labrador Supreme Court Justice Derek Green.
Justice Green, in a November ruling, said Dr. Turner was driven by “jealousy or revenge flowing from the breakup of her relationship with Dr. Bagby.” Dr. Bagby had been seeing another woman who worked at Latrobe Area Hospital, the judge wrote and had purchased a box of condoms from a city drugstore in anticipation of a date with her.
A receipt for the condoms was found on Bagby's body, and the empty box, which matched the lot numbers on the receipt, was found by police during a search of Dr. Turner's residence in Iowa, the judge wrote.
Green said that “creates a web of circumstantial evidence” that could convince a jury that Dr. Shirley Turner murdered Dr. Andrew Bagby. In his decision, Justice Green details the evidence, starting with the time Dr. Bagby last was seen alive.
Dr. Turner flew to Latrobe and stayed with Dr. Bagby from October 26 to November 3, 2001, when she returned to Iowa, according to the document.
But state police charged that Dr. Turner immediately drove back to Pennsylvania to confront Dr. Bagby and tell him she was pregnant with his child. A son, who was born last summer, was being cared for by Dr. Bagby's parents.
The judge described how investigators traced Dr. Turner's return trip by tracking cellular telephone calls she made along the way. That information placed her in Latrobe at the time of the shooting.
Police said an agitated Dr. Turner appeared unannounced at Dr. Bagby's door about 5 AM on November 5, 2001, wanting to discuss their relationship. Dr. Bagby was last seen alive by a nurse at the Family Practice Clinic at Latrobe when he left work at 5 PM. Police believe Drs. Turner and Bagby planned to meet at the state park where his frost-covered body was found the next morning.
Initially, Turner told state police she did not return to Latrobe and did not give Bagby a gun she had purchased a month before the murder. She later admitted to police she had been less than truthful and changed her statement, Green wrote.
The judge also detailed other evidence that presented jealously as a motive for murder.
The other woman Bagby was seeing told investigators that a month before the killing she received anonymous telephone calls from a female who advised her to ask Bagby about “the beautiful blond lady doc he's been with.” In what may have been an effort to sour the relationship, the caller told the woman that Dr. Bagby “hurts people.”
Investigators later discovered that the calls to the employee were made from Dr. Turner's cell phone.
“If, indeed, Dr. Turner was the maker of these calls, it reveals anger and a state of mind that might suggest a motive for the crime, namely jealously,” Green wrote.
Justice Green said the inconsistent statements Dr. Turner allegedly gave to state police, the condom box, the bullet and telephone records are damning but “none of these items, in themselves, of course clearly identifies Dr. Turner as the killer of Dr. Bagby.” But, he added, “Taken together, they lead inexorably to the inference that Dr. Turner was present in Latrobe and at the murder scene at the time of death and was the one who caused the death.”
Justice Green thus ordered Dr. Turner sent to Pennsylvania to face trial for first-degree murder. But Dr. Turner, who has dual citizenship in the United States and Canada, was freed on bond while she appealed the extradition order.
Wednesday, August 20, 2003 Legal efforts to return the 42-year-old Canadian-American physician to Pennsylvania ended when mother and her child were found dead Monday night along a beach in Conception Bay, just south of St. John's, Newfoundland. She successfully avoided prosecution for two years and had continued legal efforts to avoid extradition to the United States to face a murder charge in the shooting death of Dr. Andrew Bagby of Latrobe. Dr. Bagby was once her lover and was apparently the father of her 13-month-old son, Zachary, one of four children she had from at least three fathers and two failed marriages.
According to police accounts, Dr. Turner took her baby from his bed at about 11:30 PM Sunday and left her residence in the capital city of Newfoundland. She drove her older son's 1994 Mercury Topaz to Avalon Peninsula, just south of St. John's, and parked in Kelligrews, one of the small towns along the coast.
“The night she left, I saw her because she needed the car,” said her son, T.J. Shears, 21, of St. John's. “I had to give her the car keys. I thought she was going to the store or something. She seemed all right to me. Didn't seem like anything was wrong.”
Shears said he seldom discussed the pending murder case with his mother because he didn't want to know much about it.
When Dr. Turner did not return home with the car a bail bondsman, worried that she had fled, notified the Newfoundland Royal Constabulary. Police distributed photos of Dr. Turner and her child, seeking the public's help in finding them.
On Monday evening, a couple walking their dog on the beach found their bodies at Conception Bay near the town of Long Pond-Manuels. Police notified her Newfoundland attorney, who identified the bodies.
Newfoundland's Chief Medical Examiner's Office Tuesday listed the cause of their deaths as drowning in a murder-suicide. Officials determined that Dr. Shirley Turner, 42, committed suicide and killed her son, Zachary, by entering the waters of Conception Bay, outside of St. John's, Newfoundland, late Sunday or early Monday, Newfoundland's Deputy Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Charles Hutton said Friday. Hutton said he made his ruling after police ruled out any other possible explanation for the deaths. “Once you rule out any other situation, you must conclude that she killed her son and herself,” Hutton said.
“They ruled out that other people threw them into the water in some fashion. And, being there about midnight, they weren't out for a pleasure swim. If it was 90 degrees out, I wouldn't go out there in that bay under the noonday sun,” Hutton said of the chilly waters.
Although the bodies were found by passers-by on a beach Monday evening, Hutton said the area isn't easily accessible, further leading investigators to believe that Dr. Turner sought a remote location to take her life and that of her son.
“It's filled with boulders about five-feet high,” Hutton said. “I nearly broke my ankle climbing down there.”
According to police affidavits, Dr. Turner tried to commit suicide in 1999 in West Chester, Pennsylvania, after the breakup of another romantic relationship. Police reports indicate she was treated at a hospital after taking an overdose of over-the-counter sleep medication. Police said she left suicide notes directing that the payout from her life insurance policy should go to her children.
Dr. Turner lost custody of her infant son when she was imprisoned after the Supreme Court of Newfoundland and Labrador ruled she could be extradited to Pennsylvania. While she was in custody, Zachary was cared for by Dr. Andrew Bagby's parents, who left their home in California to live in Newfoundland after their son was murdered by Dr. Turner. She appealed, won her release on bond and somehow regained custody of the baby despite her indictment for murder in the first degree of Dr. Bagby. That incomprehensible custody decision ultimately resulted in her murdering the boy.
David and Kathleen Bagby, the child's grandparents, blamed the Newfoundland legal system for the infant's death and questioned the adequacy of the Department of Heath and Community Services, the department responsible for social services in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Dave Bagby, the boy's grandfather, was shaking with anger and unspeakable grief when he described Dr. Shirley Turner as an “evil monster” who should never have been set free on bail in Canada or given custody of his grandson, Zachary. “We believe that the legal system helped her to kill our grandson,” Bagby said during an emotionally-charged news conference, his wife Kate weeping beside him. The deaths were preventable, Bagby said, because there was evidence to suggest the infant was not safe with his mother. Dave Bagby said he and his wife had been granted visitation rights with Zachary and had applied for full custody.
After the murder of their son, Zachary became their reason for living, he said. “He became our new reason to be alive,” Bagby told reporters, his voice cracking. “He was beautiful and sweet and a lovely, happy baby and we loved him and he loved us.”
The grandparents fought for custody in court and also expressed concern about Zachary's safety to provincial officials. “We feared what she might do to Zachary if she got upset,” Dave Bagby said. The custody case had not been resolved by the time Dr. Turner walked into the frigid Atlantic Ocean clutching Zachary to her chest.
The Bagbys say they notified social services about their concerns for their grandchild even before he was born but nothing was done. “That department never responded to us, and obviously never acted to remove Zachary from Shirley Turner,” David Bagby stated at the very emotional news conference.
Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck, who was planning to prosecute Dr. Shirley Turner on a charge of first-degree murder, said the deaths are another tragedy for the family of Dr. Andrew Bagby. Peck said it is sad that David and Kathleen Bagby, who had formed a relationship with their grandson, have lost the last link to their son.
“It was just an incredible tragedy that she would kill yet another person,” said Peck.
In one of her few public comments about the case, Dr. Turner maintained her innocence in a January story in The Telegram, a St. John's newspaper.
“I realize the alleged crime is horrible. I also know I am innocent of the alleged crime,” she said.
Dr. Turner's legal odyssey began in December 2001 when she left Iowa for Canada. Although she said she went to help one of her children who was injured in an auto accident, authorities argued she fled to avoid arrest and prosecution.
According to a police affidavit, Dr. Turner told Kathleen Bagby that an attorney had advised her to flee to Canada after she murdered Mrs. Bagby's son and that she had no intention of returning to the United States.
A year after the slaying of Dr. Bagby, a Supreme Court justice in Newfoundland ordered Dr. Turner taken into custody after he ruled there was sufficient evidence for an American or Canadian jury to conclude Dr. Turner killed her former lover.
She argued the evidence against her in Westmoreland County was “flimsy” and based entirely on circumstantial evidence. She appealed that decision and was released on bond pending further appeals and was given custody again of the child she eventually murdered.
July 21, 2002 During the hot, dry summer of 2002, Peri Van Brunt of Bakersfield, age 45, followed her estranged husband to the Roads End Resort on the Kern River and then apparently camped nearby. On Sunday, July 21, 2002, her campfire started the McNally forest fire that eventually burned 150,696 acres in Tulare County within the Sequoia National Forest, including the Roads End Resort she had tracked her husband to.
Mrs. Van Brunt was described as having abused drugs, particularly methamphetamine, for some years before her marriage broke up. However, there was no evidence she was under the influence of drugs when she built her campfire without a permit and without adequately clearing brush and detritus from around her campfire.
Under Federal law Mrs. Van Brunt has been accused of starting the forest fire “willfully and without authority.” If convicted she faces up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Abstracted from articles by Kirk Mitchell, Sean Kelly, Howard Pankratz, and George Merritt, Denver Post Staff Writers
© 2003 The Denver Post
Some material abstracted from articles by Sarah Huntley, Rocky Mountain News
Sunday-Tuesday, October 5-7 and 10, 2003 Justyn Rosen, a Denver car dealership owner, died in an evening rush-hour shooting Friday after he was kidnapped by his long-term mistress Teresa Perez. Teresa, whom the newspapers described repeatedly as a “gold digger,” stalked and married older, wealthy men, sources told The Denver Post.
The 79-year-old auto dealer had tried for months to end his relationship with Teresa Perez. But the 40-year-old woman who once worked for Rosen refused to let go.
Teresa Perez and Justyn Rosen met about seven years ago when she took a job as a saleswoman at his dealership. Teresa told people the two grew closer over coffee breaks and lunches.
She threatened to expose their relationship to Rosen's wife of 60 years then made good on the pledge, according to a sworn statement Rosen gave the day before he died. She stalked him, left regular threatening phone messages and promised to expose their relationship to a wider audience his children.
Rosen's lawyer, Craig Silverman, warned Teresa Perez last month to leave his client alone. “Colorado law looks particularly harshly on offenses committed against elderly at-risk persons,” Silverman wrote Perez on September 15 th . “Such offenses are mandatory sentencing crimes in Colorado which resulted in aggravated mandatory prison sentences. Mr. Rosen is nearly eighty years old and your days of bothering him are now over.”
Justyn Rosen had taken out a restraining order against his former employee the day before she shot and killed him.
Mr. Rosen obtained the temporary order against Ms. Perez on Thursday morning from Judge Kathleen M. Bowers in Denver County Court, alleging abuse of the elderly and stalking.
Details of Rosen's troubles with Ms. Perez are contained in his application for the restraining order. Rosen wrote to the court that Perez had delivered a packet of information to his wife to try to hurt his marriage. He said she recently made it clear that she was willing to “deliver similar packages of information to my children and other people I care about if I terminate our relationship and stop providing her money.”
In the court papers he doesn't describe the exact nature of his relationship with Teresa Perez but did say in the sworn statement:
“Several years ago, I became involved in a relationship with Teresa Perez. While I initially welcomed Ms. Perez's company, I have many times recently sought to end my relationship with her. In response, Ms. Perez has consistently demanded money from me to support herself and she is unwilling to let me terminate our relationship.”
Rosen said that in recent months Teresa Perez followed him to and from work and to and from restaurants whether he was alone, or with his wife and friends. Mr. Rosen also stated that:
“Further, on the phone and in person, Teresa Perez has repeatedly called me abusive names including ' asshole', ' liar' and a ' dirty Jew.' She has frequently made derogatory references to my Jewish heritage especially in the context of my unwillingness to fulfill her demands for monetary payments. She has repeatedly told me during the last couple months of her belief that all Jewish people deserve to suffer because they are bad.”
Rosen also noted in his affidavit that Ms. Perez left “vitriolic messages full of insults” on his cellular phone voice mail. He said that when he did answer the phone, she' d berate him with insults and demands he meet her.
He said he had become increasingly concerned about what she might do. “Teresa Perez represents a threat to my mental and physical health... I made the mistake of giving her money in the past and now she feels that she is entitled to more money. She is not,” Rosen wrote. “Because of my age and physical and mental condition, I feel as if Teresa Perez has long been manipulating and taking advantage of me. I need it to end now.”
The court found that Rosen and Teresa Perez had an “intimate” relationship.
Sheriff's deputies attempted to serve Teresa Perez with the restraining order Thursday and Friday but could not locate her. A woman in Ohio, Patricia Wietzel, who befriended Teresa when she served as her foster mother, said Ms. Perez was aware that authorities were trying to reach her but was too distraught to answer the door. Ms. Wietzel said Perez was “at her wits' end” because Justyn Rosen was calling off what Teresa considered to be an intimate and lasting relationship.
But Teresa Perez is reported by other sources to have pursued Mr. Rosen solely in an effort to get “money and attention.” Rosen's widow said her husband fired Perez years ago.
“She did work for him for a while, but he had to let her go because she was so much trouble,” Marian Rosen said. “She was a very sick woman.”
But on Friday, October 10 th the Denver Post reported that each month Justyn Rosen slipped $100 bills under his mistress' door at her plush apartment.
Rosen, 79, gave Teresa Perez, 40, wads of cash to pay for plane trips to his $400,000 Scottsdale, Arizona, home and to pay off a hospital debt when she sprained her ankle snowboarding.
Using cash was how Rosen concealed a six-year affair with a woman who spent her adult life charming wealthy or well-established older men and marrying them for their money.
But when Rosen became ill with cancer and tried to sever their private relationship, Teresa Perez instead ended it on her terms in a very public way.
Mr. Rosen was gunned down Friday evening after he was taken at gunpoint from his east Denver home. Teresa Perez drove a rental car to Rosen's home and left it running, blocking his driveway. As he pulled up, she jumped into his SUV with him and pulled a gun. She then forced him to drive his SUV near the 2200 block of Colorado Boulevard, just west of the Denver Police Gang Unit building in City Park, according to a police source. There Mr. Rosen managed to get out of the vehicle and was trying to flag down a police officer for help when he was shot by Teresa Perez, who reportedly was a good shot. She also shot at police officers who responded to Rosen's calls for help. She was then killed by shots fired by three police officers. She slightly wounded one of those officers before she fell.
Investigators searching Teresa Perez's car found a letter, penned by Ms. Perez. That letter was reproduced in full in the October 11, 2003 edition of the Rocky Mountain News (p. 21A).
Officer Randy Yoder was caught in the gunfire and was grazed by a bullet. He was treated at Denver Health Medical Center and released.
Justyn Rosen leaves behind his wife of 60 years, Marian, two daughters, three grandchildren and a large network of extended family and friends.
Teresa Perez nee Garret had been married at least four times.
Perez was charged in 1993 with a felony fraud count when she used his identification to buy a $500 camcorder. She pled guilty.
Teresa Garrett's first common-law husband was Bob Costello, a longtime employee of the Rocky Mountain News who now works for the Denver Newspaper Agency. They had a daughter who is now 20-years old.
Costello, then 40, met Teresa Garrett on the street and invited the “beautiful” 19-year-old homeless woman to stay at his home. The two occasionally went out into fields and fired pistols. Perez could hit bottles and cans with ease, he said.
Within a year, a romance with the man old enough to be her father developed. The couple had a daughter, whom Costello raised until she was 5.
It wasn't until years later that Costello, a maintenance worker, realized his young common-law spouse needed more than love.
“She related money to happiness and security,” Costello said. “She looked at these men as a father/husband, and the two didn't go together.”
Teresa next married a Denver construction and real estate business owner 41 years older than her.
In 1988 Teresa was introduced to wealthy construction and real estate owner Vincent Rieger in a pricey restaurant. She later invited him to lunch, said his daughter, Linda Rieger.
Rieger was a successful 66-year-old businessman, a Navy fighter-pilot ace who shot down five planes in World War II. Teresa was a car dealership saleswoman, a 25-year-old mother with a young daughter.
With Teresa three-months pregnant, the couple married in December 1988 in a luxurious downtown hotel, but filed for divorce less than three weeks later. They reconciled around the time their son was born in June 1989. But Teresa filed for divorce the following December. For a year after that, Mr. Rieger fought her for custody of their son and eventually prevailed.
“We got along great until we got married,” Rieger said.
“She was something,” said Burt Boothby, a former business associate of Vincent Rieger. “She was looking for a big daddy. There wasn't any question she was after money.Vince gave her a home in Cherry Hills and that didn't seem to satisfy her.”
Because of their age difference, Vincent Rieger and Teresa, who was young enough to be his granddaughter, made an odd-looking couple, particularly to the groom's children.
A week after Teresa married Rieger, she bought a new Cadillac without telling her husband, said Rieger Jr., a son from a previous marriage.
“It became clear real soon the whole objective was money,” he said. “She was a classic gold digger.”
Conflicts between the couple erupted soon after their wedding. During one altercation, Teresa struck her husband and apparently his BMW with a golf club. On another occasion she arranged to have Rieger arrested for drunk driving. Rieger also said that Teresa had made threats against his life when they were married.
During the lengthy and vicious divorce Teresa at first had possession of their Cherry Creek home. A custody war ensued. Rieger won all major battles, including custody of their son, after a judge found Teresa had little interest or involvement with her son.
In November 1990, then-Denver District Court Judge Lynne Hufnagel noted some of the same characteristics Mr. Rosen listed in his affidavit for a restraining order when she presided over the divorce of Vincent Rieger and Teresa Perez.
Judge Hufnagel noted that Ms. Perez had an IQ of 86 (average is 100), expressed considerable anger, and had “a comfort with harsh judgmentalness towards individuals who are weak or different from most people.”
Judge Hufnagel also found that Teresa then known as Teresa Rieger had often resorted to what she termed “almost pathological lying.” She appeared to have difficulty being empathic and forgiving and could be perceived as being self-absorbed, the judge said. Further, Judge Hufnagel said Teresa blamed others for her problems, was disorganized, and was alienated from her family, friends and significant people in her life.
In awarding the child to Vincent Rieger, Hufnagel noted that Teresa Perez already had a 6-year-old, had no high school education and had “very few resources intellectually, personally or financially.”
A mental profile completed during the divorce found Teresa had scored high on the psychopathic deviate and paranoia scales. She was self-absorbed and had “a strong need for affection and attention,” doctors found.
When Vincent Rieger Sr. took back ownership of his house, he found it empty of lifelong possessions: Every couch, table, chair, bed, article of clothing and knick-knack was gone.
Rieger's daughter, Linda, said Teresa cleaned out the house and sold almost everything in it. Among the items missing were heirlooms, such as the Navy ace's uniform and medals and his flight log book documenting his aerial kills.
Vincent Rieger said he was contacted by police about the death on Saturday night. “I' m concerned about the child,” he said. “I don't want him to be embarrassed. I want this all to be over with soon.”
Teresa's experience with Vincent Rieger didn't lessen her interest in older men. Michael P. Mansfield, who is 20 years older than she was, was married to her between March 1993 and December 1996.
Mansfield, 60, said Teresa stalked him as well in 1993, thinking the real estate agent was wealthy. But he led her to believe that by showering her with expensive gifts. Mansfield said he dated her for about four months, and she pursued him aggressively, following him around town.
Mansfield said he saw her shadowing his movements. He frequently spotted her trailing him in his neighborhood and near his real estate agency in the Denver area. “She was stalking me.” She must have watched his home, he said, because she would tell him about people who visited him. Mansfield said Teresa was full of charm and “absolutely beautiful,” which made her alluring to older, wealthier men. “She was a gold digger,” Mansfield said. “That's kind of her portfolio.”
They married in a quickie marriage chapel in Las Vegas in 1993 at Teresa's suggestion, Mansfield said.
Within months after they were married Mansfield caught her having affairs. “She was...probably the toughest woman you ever met...She was very angry.”
Teresa had a daughter and a son from her previous relationships. During their marriage Mansfield said she would go gambling at Central City until 2 AM three or four nights a week, leaving him to watch her small daughter.
When Mansfield confronted her about the gambling binges and reports by friends that she was dating other older men, she became hostile.
Teresa often threw things at Mansfield and struck him with her fists. “You have to understand what she looked like, and it was the most surprising thing in the world,” Mansfield said. “She was a very angry person.”
Their marriage was quickly in trouble, Mansfield said. Within a year, he agreed to relinquish his house to her and they divorced in December 1996.
After divorcing Mansfield, she married Mario Alberto Perez in December 1997. He was only 12 years her senior and a financial analyst earning nearly $90,000 a year.
By the time they divorced in 1999, Mario Perez was out of a job, saddled with debts and living on $1,200 a month in unemployment checks. And Teresa Perez was already involved with Justyn Rosen.
In 1999, when Mario Perez filed for divorce from Teresa Perez, he said he needed immediate court intervention because his wife was bankrupting him.
He claimed that Teresa had drained all of his bank accounts; forged his signature on checks; charged more than $42,000 in debt; maxed out all of his credit cards; and forged his signature on at least one or two credit-card offers.
Mario Perez said his wife had “an extreme gambling addiction” and was scheming to “embezzle thousands of dollars” from him.
Court records show a bitter, back-and-forth divorce. She was deliberately unemployed, the court found, and had a “gambling addiction” and lost “amounts that almost boggle the mind.”
Records show she owed money to 12 casinos. On August 10, 1998, she withdrew more than $1,000 from ATMs to gamble with, which she blew in less than two hours.
While she was still married to the financial analyst, Teresa Perez went to work for Justyn Rosen. The relationship, that started two years before her divorce from Mario Perez, began with trips to coffee shops and restaurants and evolved into a romantic one.
After Teresa left Mario Perez, Rosen made $900-a-month apartment payments for her. He also gave her $400 a month for food. Her former lover, Bob Costello, also reported that Teresa called him and told him their daughter, then 14, had to move out because Rosen wanted her to live alone.
Although Rosen was 39 years her senior, Teresa was deeply in love with him according to Patricia Wietzel, her former foster mother. In telephone conversations three times a week with Wietzel, Teresa also gave intimate details of a sexual relationship, including hotel rendezvous. Wietzel said Teresa told her Rosen was getting acupuncture and testosterone treatments to help him sexually.
Rosen also gave Teresa a 2002 Ford Escape and they took trips to Dillon, Colorado, and Scottsdale, Arizona. Their plan was to move to California and live near a beach, Teresa told Wietzel.
About three years ago Teresa sent a letter to Rosen's wife of 60 years disclosing their affair. But the on-again, off-again affair continued according to Wietzel.
But age began to catch up to Justyn Rosen. In the summer of 2003 he reportedly had to have a number of radiation treatments and various medications for cancer. He repeatedly tried to end his relationship with Teresa. But Teresa couldn't let go and she kept stalking him.
“I think he was tired and ready to sit down and be an old man,” Patricia Wietzel said.
Teresa Perez nee Garrett, was born in Los Angeles to Jerry Garret and Sonya Harvey. Her parents divorced three years after Teresa was born. She and an older sister, Monica, then moved to Zanesville, Ohio, with their father.
When he remarried, the wicked stepmother didn't want the girls, and the children were given to a foster family near Columbus that already had 10 biological children. The foster family lived in a 150-year-old farmhouse with no running water.
“There is an abandonment issue I think she suffered from,” Monica Garrett said. “I feel Teresa didn't know how to work through it.”
“Teresa was a tomboy,” her sister said. “She had short hair and wore bib overalls. She was rough and tough growing up. She would go hunting and trapping...She didn't play Barbies very much.”
The foster family they lived with treated the two girls like outsiders, even though they spent most of their childhood with them, Monica Garrett said.
“How can a person have healthy relationships if you were not loved as a kid?” she asked. “And we weren't.”
Teresa survived by immersing herself in sports. She played basketball and golf. Later she tried out for quarterback on a professional women's football team in Denver.
At 14, she moved in with Patricia Wietzel. There Teresa had her own horse and she would ride it through orchards by moonlight. She was a caring and giving person who had a good sense of humor and a fun personality according to Wietzel.
Teresa's father, Jerry Garrett, moved to Denver, where she joined him and her stepmother when she was 16. But they didn't get along, and Teresa left the house three years later, her stepmother throwing her clothes out of the house.
“I think he (her father) loved her, but she was missing something,” said Teresa's mother, Sonya Harvey. “That's why I think she was involved with older men.”
Teresa Perez's father, Wheat Ridge resident Jerry Garrett, said Monday that he had spoken to his daughter only twice in the past 15 years. Once, in 1998, Garrett suffered a heart attack and his daughter visited him in the hospital.
The second time, two months ago Teresa called Garrett seeking her birth mother's number and address in Southern California. Garrett asked his daughter to e-mail him later in the week and said he' d try to get the information. He said she never contacted him again. Her father thought that Teresa was “rather cold” each time they spoke.
Jerry Garrett called Teresa a “good mother” and said she never indicated she was having money problems. Of Teresa's two children, her father met only one, his 20-year-old granddaughter. He had never met his 14-year-old grandson.
© 2006 Salt Lake Tribune
April 27, 2006 30-year-old Brenda White was booked into the Salt Lake County jail on Wednesday after she drove her SUV into a building, striking her husband.
The husband, Jon White, who is going through a divorce with his wife, was leaving a building in the area of 4001 S. 700 East about 4:45 PM when his wife, at the wheel of an SUV, confronted him, said Salt Lake County sheriff's Lt. Chris Bertram.
Mrs. White chased him through the parking area, and when the man went into Woodland Towers, she went straight through the doors at a high rate of speed, Bertram said. As he ran, he yelled for others to get out of the way, including a young girl.
The plate glass windows and doors came crashing down into the lobby. She drove the vehicle through the lobby and into the front lobby area where she struck her husband (see photo), which was captured on video and widely broadcast.
When Brenda noticed he was not seriously injured, she backed up and tried to hit him again, Bertram said. He got up on his own, and some people helped him around the corner. Others detained Mrs. White.
Jon White was in serious condition suffering leg injuries. Mr. White's ankle was dislocated and he needed 63 stitches.
Brenda White showed no emotion and sat in the car until police arrested her for attempted murder. She was also injured from broken glass.
After receiving medical treatment for her injuries, police booked Mrs. White into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of attempted criminal homicide. Deputies say its amazing no one else was injured.
Brenda White was later charged in 3 rd District Court with attempted murder, a first-degree felony, and criminal mischief, a second-degree felony. She was released from the Salt Lake County Jail after posting $500,000 bail.
Shortly after the incident, her husband filed for a protective order against his wife. The protective order applied to Jon White and also the couple's two children.
Deseret Morning News
May 9, 2006 Brenda Christine White, 30, arrested a little more than a week ago for trying to run over her husband by driving her SUV through a building was arrested again over the weekend after being accused of violating a protective order.
Sunday, May 7 th just after 12:30 PM, a woman, believed to be Brenda White, called a house in the Sandy area where one of the White children was staying, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Jaroscak.
Someone else answered the phone and would not allow the woman to speak to the child, Jaroscak said. After the phone conversation ended, the person who answered the phone called the sheriff's office.
Trying to make contact with her children is a violation of the protective order against her and she was arrested and booked back into the Salt Lake County Jail.
Abstracted from article by Pat Reavy , Deseret Morning News
May 10, 2006 Several incidents came to light Tuesday involving Brenda Christine White since the SUV incident on April 27 th .
White, 30, appeared via video from the Salt Lake County Jail Tuesday morning before 3 rd District Judge Stephen Henriod. Wearing an orange jail jumpsuit, White fought back tears as the judge discussed the two cases against her.
After attempting to kill her estranged husband, Brenda White was released from the Salt Lake County Jail after posting $500,000 bail. She was arrested again May 7 th , however, after authorities said she tried to call her two daughters, ages 3 and 5, who were staying at a sister's house in White City. Prosecutors claim it was in violation of a protective order filed by her estranged husband, but an official charge had not been filed by late Tuesday afternoon.
Defense attorney Jason Schatz argued in court Tuesday that the daughters were not specifically named in the protective order.
But Paul Barker, with the Salt Lake District Attorney's Office, argued it was only one of a number of reported incidents violating the protective order. The prosecution claims she has driven by her sister's house and waved to the children and has also called the police department at least three times making unsubstantiated claims.
Salt Lake County Sheriff's Sgt. Paul Jaroscak said White called the sheriff's office Saturday, claiming her in-laws purposely blew smoke into her daughters' faces.
As for her trying to call her daughters Sunday, Schatz told the court his client just wanted to talk to them. “She is a mother. These children are her life,” he said. “She clearly misses her children.”
Judge Henriod, however, denied the motion to reduce her $5,000 bail, prompting more animated facial expressions by Mrs. White as she looked up to the sky while her mouth dropped open.
“Do you understand your situation?” the judge asked White. “You can't have any contact.”
In December 2005 Jon White reported to Taylorsville police that Brenda White “started punching and kicking him and pulling his hair” and “pulled out a large chunk of his hair” while he was at the house to pick up some of his belongings, according to a police report.
After Jon White got into his car, Brenda White pounded on the vehicle “and made the comment that he should just run her over,” according to the police report.
Jon White declined to pursue charges in that incident.
Taylorsville police responded to the Whites' house, near 6100 South and 1350 West, two more times on May 2 and January 27, 2006, but no police action was taken.
Brenda White filed for divorce on December 22, 2005. Jon White filed for a protective order May 1, 2006, after his estranged wife attempted to kill him.
July 20, 2006 (AP) A woman ordered to stay away from actor John Cusack denied Wednesday that she was stalking him.
Cusack, 40, won a temporary restraining order in Los Angeles Tuesday against 31-year-old Emily Leatherman, claiming that she has been stalking him for more than 18 months.
In court papers, he said she has thrown “long letters of interest over my fence in bags with rocks and screwdrivers inside,” made unannounced visits to offices of people he works with, and listed his address as her own during a recent arrest. She “threatens to commit acts of violence against herself if I do not help her,” the papers stated.
Ms. Leatherman, who has been staying with friends in Los Angeles, said she only sent Cusack two letters and told The Associated Press by phone: “I've never written any of that .” She said they were to request that he use his celebrity status to urge police to investigate her belief that she was drugged and raped by several men in 2001. She said police have refused to take a report.
Ms. Leatherman must stay at least 500 feet from Cusack, his home, workplace, car and any company or office where he does business.
Abstracted from Wikipedia article
The arrest on February 5, 2007, of Navy Captain (O-6) Lisa Nowak, age 43, at the Orlando, Florida, airport brought to light one of the most bizarre stalking stories we've heard. [EJF: Note that Nowak's age coincides with the average age at which estrogen hormone levels drop during perimenopause.]
At the time Lisa Marie Nowak (née Caputo) (DOB May 10, 1963) was a Navy Academy graduate (Class of 1985), naval aviator, and NASA astronaut. She was selected by NASA in 1996 and qualified as a mission specialist in robotics. Capt. Nowak flew aboard Space Shuttle Discovery on the STS-121 mission in July 2006, where she was responsible for operating the robotic arms of the shuttle and the International Space Station.
Capt. Nowak married Richard T. Nowak, a classmate at both the Naval Academy and naval flight school, in 1988 The Nowaks have three children, a son born in 1992 and twin daughters born in 2001.The Nowaks separated in January 2007 and subsequently divorced following her arrest.
It was learned that Lisa Nowak had begun an extramarital affair in 2005 with Navy Commander (O-5) and fellow astronaut William Oefelein shortly after his divorce. He reportedly began to break off the affair gradually near the end of 2006 at which time he had become romantically involved with Air Force Captain (O-3) Colleen Shipman, who was working as an engineer with the 45 th Space Wing at Patrick Air Force Base, Florida.For a time Cdr. Oefelein was apparently seeing both women.
LIsa, although married and the mother of three children, didn't take the breakup of her affair lightly and began to stalk Oefelein and Shipman. While stalking them Capt. Nowak intercepted sultry emails between the astronaut she was sleeping with and the woman he was dating, according to court documents.
On February 45, 2007, Capt. Nowak drove 900 miles (1,400 km) from Houston, Texas, to Orlando, Florida. She packed latex gloves, a black wig, a carbon dioxide-powered (CO 2 ) BB pistol and ammunition, pepper spray, a hooded tan trench coat, a 2-pound steel mallet, black gloves, 3-4 feet of rubber tubing, plastic garbage bags, approximately $585 in cash, her computer, an 8-inch (20 cm) Gerber folding knife and several other items before driving to Florida. Police reports indicated she wore diapers during the trip to reduce the number of stops. It is standard procedure for astronauts to wear diapers when they suit up for launch and re-entry.
After arriving in Orlando on February 5, 2007, Lisa Nowak went to the Orlando International Airport, waited for about an hour in the baggage claim until Capt. Shipman arrived, and then followed her to the airport parking lot.
In statements to officers, Colleen Shipman said that after arriving, she was aware of someone following her to an airport satellite parking area. When she got into her car, she heard running footsteps and quickly locked the door. Lisa Nowak slapped the window and tried to open the car door, asked for a ride, then started crying. Shipman rolled down the window a couple of inches after which Nowak sprayed the pepper spray into the car. Capt. Shipman drove off to the parking lot booth where police were summoned.
Several Orlando Police Department officers arrived minutes later, with the first officer observing Lisa Nowak throwing a bag into the trash at a parking shuttle bus stop. Nowak was subsequently arrested at Orlando International Airport on charges of attempted kidnapping, battery, attempted vehicle burglary with battery, and destruction of evidence. Citing evidence of elaborate planning, disguises, and weapons police recommended Capt. Lisa Nowak, US Navy, be held without bail.
In a handwritten request for a restraining order against Lisa Nowak after her arrest, Shipman referred to Nowak as an acquaintance of a boyfriend but did not identify Cdr. Oefelein. Shipman also claimed Nowak had been stalking her for two months.However, Colleen Shipman dropped her request for a protection order on February 15, 2007.
Capt. Nowak told investigators she was involved in a relationship with Cdr. Oefelein that she described as being “more than a working relationship but less than a romantic relationship.” But she told police that she obtained Capt. Shipman's travel plans and emails between Oefelein and Shipman from his work computer. Some evidence suggests she might have looked on his home computer, too as Nowak had a key to his apartment, and some of her notes on Colleen Shipman's itinerary were written on paper from a memo pad Oefelein kept at home.
The relationship between William Oefelein and Colleen Shipman was vividly recounted in emails that police found in Capt. Nowak's car after her arrest. One was sent by Shipman to Oefelein while he was in orbit on space shuttle Discovery in December 2006: “Will have to control myself when I see you,” Shipman, 30, wrote Oefelein, 41. “First urge will be to rip your clothes off...” Oefelein didn't get the email at the time because his email link had been turned off but he later wrote her: “You must really have me around your little finger that I can't even function without you here, and with you here, I am slightly smarter than a slug.”
On February 6, 2007, Lisa Nowak was initially ordered released on $15,500 bail under the condition she wear a GPS tracking device and not contact Colleen Shipman. Before Nowak could be released, however, Orlando police charged Nowak with attempted first-degree murder and announced she would not be released on bail. Her lawyer alleged that police and prosecutors, unhappy that Nowak had been granted bail, pressed more serious charges solely to keep her confined to jail. In the second arraignment that same afternoon Capt. Nowak was charged with attempted first degree murder with a deadly weapon, for which the judge raised bail by $10,000. [EJF: Can you imagine a man accused of stalking and attempted murder being released on just $25,000 bail?] After posting bail, Lisa Nowak was released from jail.
On February 13, 2007, Lisa Nowak pled not guilty to the charges but her assignment to NASA as an astronaut was terminated effective March 8, 2007.
On November 10, 2009, Nowak agreed to a plea bargain with prosecutors and pled guilty to charges of felony burglary of a car and misdemeanor battery. She was sentenced to a year's probation and the two days already served in jail, with no additional jail time.
Naval authorities waited until the criminal charges against Lisa Nowak were resolved and she remained a U.S. Navy Captain until August 2010. A naval board of inquiry composed of three admirals, then voted unanimously to reduce Nowak in rank to Commander and to discharge her from the Navy under other than honorable conditions.
Abstracted from story in Windsor Now
January 26, 2008 James Tompkins broke into his ex-wife's garage and set a car in the garage on fire. Although the victim was at home during the incident she was not injured in the fire.
It was learned by Windsor police officers during the investigation that Tompkins, who had not had contact with his ex-wife for some time, called her shortly after the incident on January 26, 2008, to inquire about her well being. Tompkins, who repeatedly called the victim throughout that day, was later arrested at a Fort Collins motel on charges of phone harassment.
James Tompkins was arrested on November 2, 2009 and charged with arson and burglary. He was convicted on May 7, 2010, of first-degree arson and second-degree burglary. On July 12, 2010, he was sentenced in Weld County District Court to 22 years at the Colorado Department of Corrections.
James Tompkins, 51, received a 22-year sentence for the arson conviction and a 10-year sentence for the burglary conviction; however, the sentences will run concurrently.
The court considered Tompkins' prior criminal history, including numerous domestic violence related convictions and a second-degree murder conviction in deciding the 22 year sentence.
July 11, 2008 (AP) Police in Iowa say a woman traveled halfway across the country to stab her ex-husband in a shopping mall in Davenport.
Debi Olson of Sarasota, Florida, is charged with first-degree murder in the death of 52-year-old Mauricio Droguett (muh-REE'-see-oh droh-GEHT') yesterday. He had been working for a traveling circus that had set up in the parking lot of a mall.
Police say Ms. Olson has confessed to investigators.
One of Droguett's circus co-workers reportedly subdued Debi Olson until police arrived.
Droguett had gotten restraining orders against his ex-wife in at least three states, but it's not clear if Iowa was 1 of them.
Police call it a “very strong case of anger.”
Abstracted from story in the London Daily Mail
August 7, 2008 At first it seemed a straightforward example of the oddball stories which emerge during the long, slow, news days of high summer.
A “Californian woman” had paid 25,000 English pounds to a South Korean laboratory to have her dead pitbull terrier cloned, in the first transaction of its kind.
“Bernann McKinney” had saved tissue from the ear of her beloved “Booger,” which was frozen after the dog died, and then used as DNA source material to produce five pitbull pups.
So far, so silly season. (But as the eccentric Miss McKinney beamed joyfully from the world's television screens vague bells began to ring.)
The face was familiar, albeit older and heavier. The surname was the same.
So was the alleged American, ex-beauty queen background, and the unusual devotion to pitbull dogs.
Surely it wasn't? Could the new owner of the world's first commercially cloned pups be the same woman who had gone on the run from British justice 30 years ago, having been the star of one of the most bizarre, entertaining and downright saucy court cases in living memory?
In 1978, Joyce McKinney jumped bail and disappeared after being charged with kidnapping a 240-pound male Mormon missionary, whom she had chained to a Devon cottage bed with mink handcuffs and forced to have sex.
At the time, she famously said of her victim: “I loved him so much that I would ski naked down Mount Everest with a carnation up my nose if he asked me to.”
Were these two blonde, American, dog-loving and, yes, quite possibly barking mad, Miss McKinneys one and the same person?
So, dear readers, let us turn back the clock 30 years to Joyce and the sensational circumstances of what became known as the “Mormon Sex Slave Case.”
Joyce McKinney was born in Avery County, North Carolina, in August 1949, the daughter of two school teachers.
She first made the headlines, albeit local ones, in 1972 when she was crowned Miss Wyoming, but soon tired of the world of beauty pageants and enrolled as a drama student at Brigham Young University, the heartland of Mormon America.
It was there that she met 19-year-old Kirk Anderson, a 6 foot 4 inch fellow drama undergraduate, some seven years her junior, from a small town near Salt Lake City.
There was a brief fling, and McKinney later claimed that she had miscarried his baby.
Overcome by guilt, Anderson, a devout Mormon, apparently sought advice from his bishop, who told him to sever ties with McKinney and move away from Utah.
She was not prepared to be spurned so easily. Private detectives were hired to trace Anderson from the U.S. to Ewell in Surrey, England, where he was living as a Mormon missionary.
In the summer of 1977, McKinney flew to England with an architect friend, Keith May.
Armed with an imitation revolver, May confronted 21-year-old Anderson on the steps of Ewell's Church of Latter Day Saints, and frog-marched him to a car in which McKinney was waiting.
Chloroformed and hidden under a blanket, the bespectacled Mormon was driven some 200 miles to Okehampton, where his kidnappers had hired a 17 th -century “honeymoon” cottage for 50 pounds a week.
McKinney later said that she had packed the fridge with Anderson's favorite food and studied The Joy Of Sex in preparation for what was to come.
McKinney's accomplice, May, chained the prisoner to a bed. For two days, McKinney tried to persuade the missionary to marry her and father her children. She even read Scriptures with him in bed.
When this failed to melt his opposition, McKinney reverted to Plan B.
This involved slipping into a “see-through nightie,” playing a cassette of “romantic music,” having Anderson “spread-eagled” and sexually stimulating him.
She claimed this was a bondage “game” played with his full consent.
He later told a court:
“I couldn't move. She grabbed the top of my pyjamas and tore them from my body until I was naked.
I didn't wish it to happen. I was extremely depressed and upset after being forced to have sex.”
She raped him three times.
For the record, his pyjamas, later produced in court, were light blue and “silky.” He also claimed to have been wearing some kind of Mormon chastity belt underneath. Alas, to no avail.
Fearing he would be kept prisoner for weeks (later there would be a body of male opinion which felt pangs of severe jealousy at his plight), Anderson promised to marry her. [Note that it is perfectly acceptable even in 2008 to mock male victims.]
But after she loosened his chains he escaped and went straight to the police.
McKinney and May were arrested at a roadblock three days later and charged with false imprisonment and possessing an imitation firearm.
There was an entertaining, if not downright titillating, committal hearing at Epsom Magistrates' Court, during which her counsel said of Anderson: “Methinks the Mormon doth protest too much... you have seen the size of Mr. Anderson and you have seen the size of my client.” [Note that it is perfectly acceptable to blame and humiliate the victim if they are male.]
McKinney spent three months on remand in Holloway Prison to which she had been driven weeping through the bars of a Black Maria before being released on bail on grounds of her failing mental health.
Now the case, which had already become a worldwide cause celebre, was about to be given a new lease of life with a sensational twist.
McKinney met the similarly bailed May and the pair fled to Canada, using false passports and disguised as deaf-mute mime artistes.
It was later alleged that McKinney was helped to escape by her former landlady, an Irish woman, who went with her to a West End theatrical outfitters.
There, they bought the wigs and glasses which were later used in their flight from justice.
By now an international fugitive, McKinney reappeared staying at the Hilton hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, disguised as a nun.
Before long, the press caught up with her and she dropped her disguise to revel in her sexual notoriety she posed topless for a number of glamour magazines before the U.S. authorities finally caught up with her and she was arrested.
Once again, she was freed on bail and, by now 1979 there seemed to be no appetite in the UK for forcing her extradition.
McKinney then apparently vanished into an increasingly desperate world of prostitution, drug abuse, and psychiatric problems.
Joyce McKinney resurfaced once more in 1984, when she was arrested near Salt Lake City Airport, where Kirk Anderson the man she had kidnapped was working.
In her car, police found a length of rope and a pair of handcuffs. The implication was clear that she was about to make a second kidnap attempt, but she failed to show up in court and the case was dropped. [And how likely is it that this case would have been dropped if McKinney was male?]
By the late Nineties, McKinney was back in North Carolina, dogged by ill health and often in a wheelchair, living on benefits in a remote smallholding with only three ponies and a fiercely devoted pitbull called Hamburger for company.
On one occasion, she had broken into a dog pound to rescue a pitbull terrier possibly Hamburger which was to be put down for mauling a jogger.
“I love those pitbulls,” she explained. “They're such sympathetic animals.”
Locals, who knew of her racy past, treated her with suspicion, if not fear. She had a taste for litigation and was described as “one wild woman.”
In a rare comment on the Mormon affair, she said in 1999:
“I loved Kirk and all I really wanted was to see his blond-haired babies running round my home. Nobody can understand what it is to lose the man you love to a cult, and I believe that is what the Mormons are. Back in Britain [then] nobody knew what a cult was.”
McKinney's accomplice, Keith May was last heard of selling plumbing supplies in California, while Kirk Anderson was an estate agent in Utah and understandably reluctant to rake over his past misfortunes.
According to August 2008 news stories, Joyce Bernann McKinney is also wanted in Carter County, Tennessee, on charges she tried to plan a burglary in 2004. She has been charged with criminal conspiracy to commit aggravated burglary, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and failure to appear in court.
Crockett County authorities stated Ms. McKinney told a 15-year-old boy to break into a house, telling him she needed money to buy a false leg for a beloved horse.
Abstracted from article by Jennifer Sullivan, Seattle Times and other news stories
November 23, 2009 A Seattle woman who killed another woman 12 years ago in a jealous rage over a man is now accused of stabbing her new boyfriend's ex-girlfriend earlier this month.
Patricia Crowl, 50, was charged last week with attempted first-degree murder. Police say she lured her new boyfriend's former girlfriend, Jamie Checkos, 28, to a Kirkland parking garage and attacked her on November 13 th .
Ms. Crowl used Leonard Jackson's, her current boyfriend, cell phone to dupe Ms. Checkos, his ex girlfriend, into believing they were making plans to meet.
According to court documents, Ms. Checkos believed she was corresponding with Jackson via text messages when really Patricia Crowl was the one sending her messages. On November 12, 2009, Crowl, posing as Jackson, asked Checkos to meet her at a parking lot. But when Ms. Checkos arrived and found only Patricia Crowl there, she left, refusing to open her car door to Crowl, whom she says in court documents she had never met before.
But the next day, still texting with who she thought was Jackson, Jamie Checkos again agreed to meet in the garage at 11250 Kirkland Way. When she arrived, Checkos received a text message from Jackson's number saying that he was at the lot, but was looking for his dog that had gotten off his leash. As Checkos got out of her car and went to find Jackson and his dog, Crowl attacked her from behind.
“Crowl ran at her with a knife and began stabbing her multiple times,” Jamie Checkos told investigators and “thought she was going to die” when she “heard the blood coming out of the two stab wounds on her neck.”
After stabbing Checkos in the neck, head, throat and abdomen “even puncturing a vital organ” Crowl left her alone in the parking lot to die according to court documents.
In a phone call to 911 after the attack, Checkos pleaded, “help me, help me,” and told the dispatcher she was “stabbed everywhere.” Checkos was rushed to nearby Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.
“In a chilling 911 recording, the victim called 911, reported that she was dying, and...guided police to her location,” Senior Deputy Prosecutor Gary Ernsdorff wrote in his request to have Crowl's bail set at $3 million. A judge granted Ernsdorff's request.
Checkos sister told police after the attack that Jamie had recently broken up with her boyfriend of three years. Police talked to the ex-boyfriend, Leonard Jackson, that day, and he said that he last spoke with the victim on November 7 th when he used his new girlfriend's cell phone to call her. The man told police he was now dating Ms. Crowl. Several hours later, the man called police to say Ms. Crowl had just told him, “I need to turn myself into police, I have to go.”
That night, police found Patricia Crowl at Valley Medical Center in Renton, where she sought treatment for cuts on her palms and fingers from a knife. Ms. Crowl was arrested and immediately demanded a lawyer.
Police met with Ms.Checkos at Harborview Medical Center on November 14 th and showed her a photo montage of possible suspects. She immediately identified Crowl as her attacker, court charging papers said.
Jamie Checkos had been stabbed 18 times and suffered a punctured lung but somehow survived and was released from Harborview Medical Center. However, she has permanent and painful nerve damage in her right arm that has kept her from returning to work as a dental assistant.
On November 28, 2010, Patricia Crowl, now 51, pled guilty to attempted first-degree murder for the attack on Jamie Checkos. The plea came on the same day Crowl's trial was slated to start.
At her sentencing on December 10, 2010, King County Superior Court Judge Richard McDermott peered down at Patricia Crowl and said that in his 11 years on the bench he had tried to search for the good in defendants and give them a break. But in Ms. Crowl's case, he said, there was no reason to cut her slack.
Judge McDermott ignored requests by the prosecution and the defense for a reduced sentence and ordered Patricia Crowl to serve 25 years in prison for attempted first-degree murder. The sentence is at the top of the range.
When investigators began looking in the suspect's background what they found astonished them. Patricia Crowl had been convicted of a “remarkably similar” crime in 1997. She had been released from prison in November 2006 after serving 9 years of a 13-year sentence for killing Shawn Beatrice Wallace because Wallace was dating Crowl's then boyfriend.
Wallace, who was six weeks pregnant, was bludgeoned with a wrench and choked on May 14, 1997. After the murder, Crowl hid Wallace's body under her house but she moved the remains to a dead-end road in Tukwila with the help of her ex-husband, Jonathan Adam Henry.
Abstracted from article by Keith L. Alexander, Washington Post
July 2, 2010 The ex-girlfriend of a District of Columbia Superior Court magistrate judge was sentenced Thursday to more than five years in prison for stalking the judge and breaking into her Northwest Washington home.
During an emotional and often complex hearing, Judge Russell F. Canan sentenced Ms. Taylar Nuevelle, 41, to the maximum sentence under the court's guidelines. In February, a jury found Ms. Nuevelle guilty of stalking her former girlfriend, Judge Janet Albert, who oversees child neglect cases.
In September 2008, Ms. Nuevelle was found unconscious in Ms. Albert's attic. She was under the influence of wine and prescription pills, and was discovered above Albert's bedroom, with food to eat and a toilet fashioned from an ice bucket, police said. Authorities said Ms. Nuevelle had been in the magistrate's attic for more than 24 hours.
Magistrate Albert, her voice shaking, pleaded with Judge Canan to sentence Nuevelle to the maximum and spoke of how Nuevelle “traumatized” Ms. Albert's 9-year-old son with unwanted visits to the house, phone calls and e-mails. Magistrate Albert said the problems started when she ended the year-long relationship with Ms. Nuevelle.
“I was in a constant state of panic waiting for the next shoe to drop. I am emotionally battered by her actions,” Magistrate Albert testified. Ms. Albert, sometimes in tears, said Taylar Nuevelle's actions have changed her life.
Ms. Nuevelle apologized to Ms. Albert and blamed her actions on post-traumatic stress from years of abusive relationships that began when she was a child. She said she was trying to recover some of her belongings when she went to Ms. Albert's house and was discovered in the attic. While there, she decided to end her life by taking pills, she said.
“It is clear I hurt Ms. Albert. There is no apology good enough. I hear her. I hear her suffering,” Nuevelle said. Nuevelle said she began to “unravel” during an argument in which she said that Magistrate Albert threatened to use her authority to make sure Nuevelle never saw her own son again. Ms. Albert denies making such a threat. Ms. Nuevelle's son is 16 and living with his father.
During the trial, Ms. Nuevelle insisted she lived at Magistrate Albert's house for about a year and had numerous belongings there that she still has not recovered. Ms. Albert testified that Taylar Nuevelle stayed at her home only on occasion. But in a November 2008 court filing in a separate civil case Taylar Nuevelle filed to recover her belongings, Michelle Zavos, the lawyer then representing Ms. Albert, wrote that the women “resided together for a period of less than one year.” Judge Canan did not allow the jury to hear about the filing.
Ms. Nuevelle also lodged a judicial misconduct complaint against Magistrate Albert, saying that Ms. Albert had used her position to remove a child from a home without the mother's consent or a court order and had the child live with the women for almost six weeks.
Taylar Nuevelle, who spent time in a Northern Virginia foster care facility as a child, said years of abuse make her vulnerable in relationships. “People who grow up in abuse tend to attract abusive people,” she said.
During sentencing, Judge Canan acknowledged Nuevelle's troubled childhood, but said the abusive relationships she had as an adult were of her own making. Canan called Nuevelle's actions “outrageous” and said Nuevelle “set forth in any way she could think of to harass and stalk” Ms. Albert.
Judge Canan also cited court records to point out previous behavior after Ms. Nuevelle's broken relationships. The judge said that during a 1999 custody battle with her ex-husband, she ducked out of a District courtroom and fled the country with her son, then 5, for three years. Ms. Nuevelle said her ex-husband abused her.
Judge Canan also mentioned a 2002 case involving a former girlfriend in Oakland, California, who held Ms. Nuevelle and her son hostage for several hours in Nuevelle's apartment. The woman had a gun and a knife and was arrested by a SWAT team.
Finally, Judge Canan cited a 2005 case in which Nuevelle and a Washington woman obtained restraining orders against each other after they ended their relationship. Ms. Nuevelle's then-girlfriend said Nuevelle threatened to publicize their partnership. Nuevelle said the woman struck her with her car.
In each case, Judge Canan said, Taylar Nuevelle was the aggressor, and in some instances there was no evidence of abuse.
After Thursday's hearing, Nuevelle's lawyer, Latif Doman, said the sentence was too severe and the case never should have gone to court. “The lesson of this is don't have a bad breakup with a lesbian judge,” he said in an interview. “It means you go to jail for 5 1/2 years.”
July 8, 2010 A Colorado woman was fatally shot by a man who was free on bail after being arrested on a charge of stalking her, authorities said Thursday. The man then killed himself, Lake County Sheriff Ed Holte said.
Yvonne Flores, 58, was killed in her driveway Wednesday night, Holte said. He identified the gunman as Anthony Medina, also 58.
Mrs. Flores and her husband lived next door to Medina, who lived with his mother, authorities said.
Medina had been stalking Flores for about two years and was arrested June 22, Holte said. He was released on $2,500 bail, which is standard for a stalking or harassment charge, Holte said.
A judge issued a temporary restraining order on June 24 requiring Medina to stay away from Flores.
Mrs. Flores told deputies that Medina would look in her windows, follow her, touch her and make inappropriate remarks, Holte said. Her husband, Dave, started work on a privacy fence between the two houses earlier this year.
Holte described Medina as “a different type of person” but said he showed no signs he could be violent “to this level.”
Yvonne Flores was a kindergarten teacher's assistant at a Leadville elementary school.
Compiled from various news reports
August 25, 2010 Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Carol Goodson granted Leonardo DiCaprio a temporary restraining order against Livia Bistriceanu. According to documents filed by DiCaprio at the L.A. Superior Court Ms. Bistriceanu, 41, claims she is married to the 35-year-old actor and is carrying his child, Jesus.
DiCaprio stated in papers filed at the LA Superior court today that “I am frightened of Ms. Bistriceanu” whom he claims is a “delusional” stalker. He said that Ms. Bistriceanu has repeatedly attempted to contact him through emails and has even tried to visit him at his home.
He stated in his court filing that she is: “sending me unwanted and unsolicited letters in which she expressed delusional thoughts and irrational feelings, calling and showing up at business I am associated with and, most recently, locating and travelling to my private residence.”
At his house, she acted “aggressively” and was “yelling and screaming.”
He also revealed that she has vowed to live with him in the afterlife. “[Bistriceanu] maintains a delusional belief that she is my wife and carrying my child, Jesus...and has threatened that we will live together forever in His Kingdom.”
DiCaprio further stated: “I am frightened of Ms. Bistriceanu and feel that my personal safety, and the personal safety of those around me, is in jeopardy.”
Livia Bistriceanu is originally from Romania and lives with her elderly parents in a small apartment on the North side of Chicago.
Her father, Ilie, who speaks only broken English, said of his daughter: “She no good in the head. She always is on the Internet. She's more on Internet than she talks to me or her mother.”
According to the court documents Ms. Bistriceanu travelled to Los Angeles earlier this summer, turning up at an event attended by DiCaprio in late July, then at his home two weeks later.
She was spotted by security guards near the driveway, sitting on a suitcase. She was taken away by police, who took her to a hospital where she is still being held according to her father.
On September 10, 2010, DiCaprio was granted a three-year restraining order against Livia Bistriceanu. During a brief hearing a Los Angeles judge ordered that Livia Bistriceanu stay 100 yards away from the actor. The actor did not attend the hearing.
Bistriceanu, who has been twice placed on psychiatric hold, was notified of the temporary restraining order but did not appear in court for the permanent orders hearing.
Abstracted from various news sources
August 31, 2010 A doctor involved in an “on-again, off-again” relationship tried to force her way into her boyfriend's home by sliding down the chimney, police said Tuesday. Her decomposing body was found there three days later.
Dr. Jacquelyn A. Kotarac, 49, first tried to get into the house with a shovel, then climbed a ladder to the roof on August 25 th and removed the chimney cap and slid feet first down the flue, not realizing that the chimney shaft tapered to a width of just four inches. An autopsy concluded that Dr. Kotarac died of mechanical asphyxiation, as her lungs were unable to expand in order to properly breathe.
While she was trying to break in, the man she was pursuing, William Moodie, 58, escaped unnoticed from another exit “to avoid a confrontation” and spent the night with a friend.
Kotarac died in the chimney but her body was not discovered until a house-sitter noticed a stench and fluids coming from the fireplace Saturday, according to a police statement. The house-sitter and her son investigated with a flashlight and found Dr. Kotarac dead, wedged about two feet above the top of the interior fireplace opening.
Officials said Kotarac's office staff reported her missing August 26 th when she failed to show for work. Her car and purse remained near Moodie's house.
Firefighters spent five hours late Saturday, August 28 th , dismantling the chimney and flue from outside the home to extract Dr. Kotarac's body.
Reached by telephone by reporters, Moodie did not dispute the police's characterization of his relationship with Dr. Kotarac. Moodie, who runs an engineering consulting firm, said Dr. Kotarac was a superb internist who often provided service and medication free of charge to her patients. However, patient ratings gave her only 2 out of 4 stars with 20 ratings according to Vitals.com (later removed).
Abstracted from stories on October 11, 2010, October 12, 2010, and October 23, 2010, Colorado Springs Gazette and court records
Early on the morning of October 9, 2010, Cristen Ann Cox, 46 (DOB 9/21/1964), shot her way into the apartment of her ex-husband, Richard Lynn Cox, 43 (DOB 4/25/1967).
Police were called about reports of gunshots at 1:08 AM Saturday and found Mrs. Cox dead shortly after arriving at apartment I of 2555 Paragon Drive, an apartment building on the south end of the Windtree Apartment Homes near Union Boulevard and Vickers Drive.
Mrs. Cox had a .44-caliber revolver with which she destroyed the lock of the apartment's front door by firing four bullets into it. She then entered the apartment and fired another shot in the living room before heading for the bedroom. Alerted and woken by the gunshots, Richard Cox grabbed his shotgun and fired one shot at a silhouette he could see entering his bedroom. Only after turning on the lights did he discover he had killed his ex-wife.
The El Paso County coroner ruled Cristen Ann Cox, 46, died from a single shot to her torso.
The district attorney determined that Richard Cox acted in self defense and will not be prosecuted. The Colorado statute commonly called the “Make My Day Law” protects people from any criminal charge or civil suit if they use force including deadly force against someone invading their home. This case clearly fell under that statute.
Cristen Cox legally changed her name from Cris Ann Elwell in 1994 when she and Richard Cox were married. She was 30 and he was 27. Records show she purchased a home on Chelton Road in February 2004 and added Richard L. Cox to the deed in May 2005. The couple sold their home in November 2009 after separating in October.
Apparently after nearly 15 years of marriage Cristen began an emotional breakdown, likely as she entered perimenopause around age 44. According to court documents in early 2009 Cristen Ann Cox had pointed an unloaded gun at her husband's head and pulled the trigger. She told him she “just wanted to know what it felt like.”
Following that incident and after their separation, Richard Cox filed for a restraining order against Cristen on January 13, 2010.
In his motion for the permanent restraining order, Richard Cox wrote that Cristen Cox said in one voicemail, “A restraining order never stopped a bullet so you better watch your (expletive) back.” In the same message, she warned Richard Cox she was in his apartment complex with a .357 Magnum in her pocket.
He was granted a permanent restraining order against his wife by Magistrate Robin Chittum on January 26, 2010. Richard then filed for divorce on February 3 rd and the decree was granted on June 4, 2010, just four months before she shot her way into his apartment and was killed.
Abstracted from story by Maria St. Louis-Sanchez, Colorado Springs Gazette
November 8, 2010 William Anthony Gooch, 50, was severely injured Sunday after El Paso County sheriff's deputies say he crashed his car into the Black Forest home of his estranged wife, set the house on fire, and then barricaded himself inside.
Deputy Teresa Murphy said Gooch slammed his car into the house at 16520 Great Smokey Avenue about 11:15 PM on November 7, 2010.
His estranged wife fled the house and called 911.
Deputies said when they arrived Gooch had lit the house on fire and was barricaded inside. He told authorities that he used gasoline to start the blaze.
Murphy said a SWAT team and crisis negotiators tried to talk Gooch into coming outside.
“He was in the home for quite a while before he left through a window, with a weapon,” Deputy Murphy said. She said he fired his gun and the shot went into the ground.
Deputies subdued Gooch with a stun gun and arrested him for first-degree arson, felony menacing, and failure to leave premises upon the request of a peace officer.
Initially he was flown to Memorial Hospital to be treated for smoke inhalation, and then to the Anschutz Medical Campus burn unit in Denver due to the extent of his injuries. Hospital officials stated he was in critical condition Monday.
Deputy Murphy said this isn't the first time that Gooch has barricaded himself inside the home. In August 2009, Gooch was arrested after a six-hour standoff. That time he had a gun and was threatening suicide.
According to court records, Gooch's ex-wife filed for restraining orders against him in January and August 2008. She filed for divorce November 2, 2010.
The house, valued at $282,000 by the El Paso County Assessor, burned to its foundation.
Abstracted from article by Joel Millman and Tom Roeder, Colorado Springs Gazette
June 10, 2011 A Colorado Springs police officer who accused a former Manitou Springs cop of assault last year has been arrested for lying to authorities.
The 4 th Judicial District Attorney's Office announced the arrest of Colorado Springs police officer Sydney Huffman, 24, on Friday, saying she was held on investigation of attempting to influence a public servant, a Class 4 felony.
Officer Huffman claimed to have been the victim in a June 9, 2010 attack by former Manitou Springs policeman Jarrott Martinez, age 30. However, Martinez was acquitted of the charges in a February trial.
Now, authorities say Ms. Huffman, a decorated three-year veteran of the department, misled investigators as the alleged victim in the domestic violence case.
Police say they learned of the issue on April 21, then turned over the investigation to the district attorney's office.
Last year, Ms. Huffman claimed Martinez, her estranged boyfriend, met her in a restaurant parking lot off Woodmen Road. She told investigators that Martinez tried to talk her out of testifying against him in a restraining order case, then strangled her as she tried to leave his pickup.
The case against Martinez was hampered by inconsistencies in Ms. Huffman's account. She first told police that Martinez pulled up behind her car and forced her into the parking lot, but later said she had agreed to meet him there.
In court, Martinez' defense attorney Daniel Deters told jurors that Martinez was not in the parking lot that night and Ms. Huffman lied about the entire incident.
Ms. Huffman was held in the El Paso County jail Friday ion just a $20,000 bond on investigation of the Class 4 felony. She is on paid administrative leave pending the filing of formal charges, police said.
Abstracted from article by Jakob Rogers, Colorado Springs Gazette
June 14, 2011 In a lawsuit filed today in U.S. District Court Jarrott Martinez alleged that Colorado Springs police officer Sydney Huffman was aided and abetted in her vendetta against him by MIchael Jelmo, a detective also with the Colorado Springs Police Department. Jelmo oversaw three investigations in 2010 on allegations that Martinez burglarized Ms. Huffman's apartment and repeatedly beat and sexually assaulted her.
The suit claims Detective Jelmo conspired with Officer Huffman to draw up the charges, often overlooking Ms. Huffman's lies, and facts and witness statements that exonerated Martinez. Her vendetta of false charges was drummed up after Martinez broke up with Ms. Huffman in April 2010.
The suit came less than a week after Ms. Huffman was arrested on suspicion of trying to influence a public servant, a class four felony.
The suit claims Ms. Huffman led “a campaign of personal destruction” against Martinez by coercing Colorado Springs investigators into pursuing four warrants including one issued after Martinez was acquitted in two trials and a district attorney dropped charges in another case. The warrants falsely alleged Martinez committed burglary, domestic violence and sexual assault, against Ms. Huffman, among other allegations.
According to the lawsuit, in three affidavits written by Detective Jelmo last year Ms. Huffman alleged:
Martinez beat her in May 2010, causing a fresh bruise on her eye.
Martinez tried hitting her vehicle with his pickup truck in June 2010 while out of jail on bond. She claimed he then tried strangling her once the two pulled over.
Martinez, again out on bond, broke into the apartment she was staying at three times in August 2010, threatened her and beat her with a candle holder. He was jailed for six months following the alleged incident spending much of his time in solitary confinement because he was a police officer.
Martinez turned himself in to the El Paso Count jail following the August 2010 accusations. Jarrott Martinez then spent six months in solitary confinement for a crime he didn't commit because a vindictive and jealous police officer wanted her revenge. One can hardly imagine the pain and agony of a man sworn to uphold the law being falsely imprisoned by a mentally-deranged woman, who is also a police officer. “I was in disbelief,” Martinez said. “My family was heartbroken, I was heartbroken. It just really hurt. But if you look at the pattern and how relentless they've been in hunting me, and the lack of investigative effort there has been, it's kind of par for the course.”
On October 5, 2010, a jury acquitted Martinez in the May incident. In February 2011 another jury acquitted him of the second incident. Prosecutor's with the 4 th Judicial District Attorney's Office then dropped charges in the third incident and he was released from jail in March 2011.
The suit notes that in aiding and abetting Ms. Huffman in her vendetta, Detective Jelmo ignored, or didn't catch several inconsistencies in her claims, including:
Witnesses placed Martinez at a firearms training course in Gunnison in the days prior to when Ms. Huffman's fellow officers noticed the bruise on her eye in May 2010.
When security camera footage showed Martinez on a date with his girlfriend at the time of the alleged incident in June 2010, Sydney Huffman, a sworn police officer, admitted she lied, later saying she voluntarily met Martinez five hours later than originally reported. A fellow police officer then refuted even her second account, noting she was at his house that evening.
When Huffman was confronted with the tape, she said the assault actually occurred five hours later than she had previously claimed. Dropping the allegation about being forced from the road, she said she lied out of embarrassment that she had agreed to meet Martinez.
That story, too, failed to check out. A male roommate also a Colorado Springs police officer told police that Ms. Huffman was with him at the time she had insisted she was choked by Martinez.
Inconsistencies in the report of the August 2010 incident, including the fact that the gun said to be used in the assault was in Ms. Huffman's police locker, not her apartment as claimed.
The lawsuit detailed a fourth warrant written by Detective Jelmo and filed in April 2011 in which Ms. Huffman claimed Martinez strangled her with a cord, cut her with a knife and sexually assaulted her with a curling iron. The fourth set of charges claimed Martinez had a history of abuse despite the acquittals. The arrest affidavit also wrongly claimed Martinez had once been sought for attempted murder.
Upon learning of the charges, Martinez once again turned himself in to the El Paso County jail. However, the district attorney, finally waking up, declined to press charges in the fourth incident. Those charges were dropped by prosecutors and the District Attorney's Office instead filed felony charges against Sydney Huffman.
Based on a story by Jakob Rodgers, Colorado Springs Gazette
June 15, 2011 Former Manitou Springs police officer Jarrott Martinez said he was in “sheer terror” when jailed following accusations of domestic violence by his ex-girlfriend, Sydney Huffman, a Colorado Springs police officer.
“I thought for sure they would do a complete and thorough investigation...but that wasn't the case,” Martinez said. “I was just in a state of confusion and shock....She's basically, up until now, been given carte blanche to do whatever she wanted.”
Apparently Colorado Springs police officers his former girlfriend worked with were “more than willing” to help Sydney Huffman and Detective MIchael Jelmo pursue charges that landed him in jail five times in the last year. And it is horrifying to find this level of corruption extends into the police department, although the level of false allegations in the 4 th Judicial District have made it obvious such malfeasance must exist.
The Colorado Springs Police Department has opened an internal affairs investigation into the allegations against Ms. Huffman and Michael Jelmo, said police spokesman Sgt. Steve Noblitt. He declined to comment further but we can expect the usual whitewash of police misconduct.
Martinez stated that Ms. Huffman began airing false accusations after Martinez ended their five-year relationship. He said she concocted her plan when she learned he was seeing another woman, whom he later married.
“It was just relentless observation that she constantly maintained over me.” Martinez said. “She was very jealous. She was always very skeptical of my whereabouts. Over time, I just ultimately decided to leave the relationship.”
While in jail the last time from August 2010 to March 2011 Martinez stated: “I spent a lot of time praying and a lot of time staring out windows...It's humiliating and degrading to be locked away all day. It's just crushing.”
Martinez has been unemployed since June 2010, when the Manitou Springs Police Department fired him after his second arrest. Conversely, Ms. Huffman remained on paid leave at last report.
He has been unable to get another job in law enforcement due to a restraining order filed by Ms. Huffman that has yet to be lifted.
He said he has spent much of his time with his family “trying to breathe free air.”
“I'm glad that it seems most of the worst is behind me now,” Martinez said. “Finally they can't hide the truth any further.”
Unfortunately, now it will almost certainly be left to the innocent taxpayers of Colorado Springs to pay for the injustice done this man and the malfeasance of the city's sworn police officers.
Based on story in Colorado Springs Gazette
April 29, 2013 Former Colorado Springs police officer Sydney Huffman, who was eventually fired amid allegations she lied about domestic violence to put an estranged boyfriend in prison, pled guilty Monday to a single felony count.
The plea deal by Sydney Huffman, 25, came the morning she was to begin trial in what attorneys for victim Jarrott Martinez have called a “campaign of personal destruction” against him that led to him spending more than six months in jail, two jury trials, and the loss of his job as a Manitou Springs police officer.
Charged with six counts of attempting to influence a public official each related to a different occasion in which she lied to police to obtain an arrest warrant against Martinez - Huffman pled guilty to just one felony count. Attempting to influence a public official is a class 4 felony punishable by two to six years in prison.
Ms. Huffman, who obviously has difficulty keeping her knees together, was visibly pregnant at the hearing. She will avoid jail time and faces up to four years' supervised parole if 4 th Judicial District Judge Larry Schwartz accepts her plea deal at a June 24 sentencing. She is also eligible for house arrest, which would be appropriate for a harlot. A red light in front might also be needed.
Martinez said he has been unable to find work since his termination as a police officer, partly because a restraining order Ms. Huffman took out against him has remained active despite six felony charges against her for making false allegations.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss the remainder of the charges, and Ms. Huffman agreed to lift the restraining order and admit she lied about abuse to obtain it. Against all evidence Ms. Huffman stated in court that she hasn't suffered from mental disabilities. Nonetheless, she agreed to a mental health evaluation.
After nearly two years of court battles - including a $480,000 civil settlement paid to Martinez by the city of Colorado Springs the last-minute agreement appeared to run into trouble when prosecutors complained Ms. Huffman was “hedging” over the question of her guilt as she addressed the court. In addressing Judge Schwartz, Huffman read from a written statement in which she said the attack didn't happen “at the time and place” she had claimed.
After a 10-minute recess, Ms. Huffman returned to the podium with a fuller confession admitting she concocted details about a June 2010 incident in which she claimed that Martinez caught up to her in her vehicle, forced her from the road and then choked her.
In a plea for pity Ms. Huffman's attorney, Karen Stinehauser of Denver, told the court Huffman was prepared to fight the allegations at trial but changed her mind after learning she was pregnant. Huffman has had complications with her pregnancy, and did not want to risk a miscarriage, Stinehauser said.
Prosecutor Amy Fitch countered in court that Huffman and her attorneys were told they could postpone the trial until after Huffman had given birth. And one might speculate that she became pregnant in order to avoid jail time.
But our pity is reserved for the child of this monster and the price society will pay to raise it.
Abstracted from story by Jordan Steffen, The Denver Post
December 17, 2011 After being convicted of stuffing chicken parts into the air ducts of his ex-wife's Stapleton home and committing other crimes, Ronald Smith a former lobbyist at the Colorado statehouse, was sentenced to 90 days in jail followed by three years' probation. He was also ordered to receive mental health and alcohol treatment, as well as pay $10,136 in restitution.
Smith was found guilty of Class 3 felony burglary, Class 4 felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor harassment in September, 2011.
In September 2010, Smith, 58, broke into the home of his ex-wife, Michelle Young. Young's computer hard drives were erased, her new hardwood floors were scarred by bike cleats, and her piano was ruined by a corrosive substance.
When Young returned from a vacation in California on Sept. 28, 2010, she immediately noticed the cleat marks on the floor, but it took weeks to before she realized the full extent of the damage.
During the trial, prosecutors built their case around hateful e-mails and text messages Smith sent Young during the months before the break-in. The defense claimed the crime was self-inflicted by Young, who wanted more money from Smith during the pair's divorce. Investigators did not find any fingerprints or DNA linking Smith to the break-in.
Young spoke for about 10 minutes during the sentencing hearing, recalling the year of escalating harassment she said she endured before Smith was arrested. She detailed threatening text messages and a death notice Smith sent her.
“Every day his words ring in my ears, 'I will ruin my life to ruin yours,'” Ms. Young said.
Before issuing his sentence, Denver District Judge Edward Bronfin said one of the most concerning points in making his decision came from letters he read supporting Smith. Only one of the letters, Judge Bronfin said, acknowledged that Smith had committed a crime.
Abstracted from stories by KTLA5 and other sources
October 19, 2014 Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa, 30, was arrested after police found her stuck in the chimney of a home of a man who had recently ended a relationship with her.
A neighbor heard the woman crying in a house in the 1900 block of Woodside Drive at about 5:45 AM and called 911. Deputies responded and found a woman trapped in the chimney.
The Ventura County Fire Department's search and rescue squad was then called to the scene and found Ms. Nunez-Figueroa stuck in the chimney about eight feet from the top. She had been there an estimated two hours, Capt. Renee Ferguson of the Ventura County Sheriff's Department told KTLA TV.
In order to free Ms. Nunez-Figueroa, the rescue crew had to dismantle the chimney and lubricate her with dish soap. She was finally removed from the chimney around 8:15 AM and was transported to a local hospital. After an evaluation, Ms. Nunez-Figueroa was arrested on suspicion of illegal entry and giving false information to police.
The homeowner, who only gave his name as “Lawrence,” was away from the house when the incident happened. “It wasn't Santa Claus, for sure...Having someone in your chimney is like kind of a weird thing you wouldn't expect to come home to.”
Lawrence told authorities he had met the suspect online and went out with her six times before ending things recently.
“It's actually the second attempt for her trying to access the inside of my house, from the roof,” Lawrence told reporters. “Which just goes to show you, you have to be careful who you meet online.”
Although Lawrence now has to deal with a dismantled chimney, Genoveva Nunez-Figueroa's family has offered to pay for the repair, saying the suspect is a good person. Her bail was set at $2,500.
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