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December 22, 2011
California -- A San Diego County woman who shot and killed her four children failed Monday to win a reprieve from the California Supreme Court, which voted unanimously to uphold her death sentence. In a ruling written by Justice Ming W. Chin, the state's highest court rejected an automatic appeal by Susan Dianne Eubanks, who was convicted of murdering her sons, Brandon, 14; Austin, 7; Brigham, 6; and Matthew, 4, in October 1997. Susan Eubanks killed her four sons in an execution style slaying to punish her husband for leaving her. After drinking and taking tranquilizers, Eubanks put a revolver to the temple of Brandon and shot him, according to the court's opinion. She fired another shot into his neck from a few inches away. She shot her younger three boys in their bedroom. Before shooting herself in the abdomen, Eubanks left several notes, including instructions that she be buried in the same casket as her youngest son. Detectives found the notes in the San Marcos home shortly after the killings.
Video Aired: August 11, 2011
Evidence presented at her trial showed that Eubanks had become addicted to prescription drugs after suffering a workplace injury. She had lost her job, and she and her husband were having marital problems. The court said her oldest son had telephoned the mother of his best friend for help before he was killed. The woman told him to reassess the situation and call back if necessary.
Eubanks challenged her death sentence on several grounds, including the fact that the trial court admitted evidence during the penalty phase that she had once smeared her nephew's face with feces. The court said the evidence was proper because it was intended to rebut claims that she had been a good mother. Legal errors made at the trial were minor, and the jury would have voted for death even without them, the court concluded.
July 28, 2011
Jury selection in the sexual assault trial of polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs began in Texas on Monday, nearly a week after his motion to remove a judge assigned to the case was denied. Jeffs' motion to remove the judge assigned to hear the sexual assault charges against him was denied Tuesday by a different Texas judge. He is expected to go on trial to face the bigamy charge at a later date. District Judge Barbara Walther told the pool of potential jurors the trial could last two to three weeks.
Jeffs is charged with two counts of sexual assault on a child and one count of bigamy stemming from a 2008 raid on a ranch operated by his church. Authorities raided the Yearning for Zion ranch near Eldorado, Texas, and removed 400 children who they feared had been sexually abused. Some of the men at the ranch were charged with sexual abuse and most of the children were later returned to their families. The ranch is operated by the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, an offshoot sect of the mainstream Mormon Church. The FLDS splintered from the Mormon Church more than a century ago when Mormons renounced the practice of polygamy. Jeffs' church is believed to have about 10,000 followers.
Texas - (WCJB) -- Polygamist leader Warren Jeffs is not only running the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but he has also ousted at least 45 high-ranking members he considered a threat to his leadership, two well-placed sources tell CNN. Those who have been kicked out of the church -- all men -- are not allowed to return to their wives or children, the sources said. Jeffs, scheduled to go to trial this year on sexual assault and bigamy charges, is running the affairs of the church from his jail cell in Texas, the sources said.
Jeffs gave up control of the splinter sect that advocates plural marriages, including marriages that involve girls younger than 18, after he was convicted in 2007 of rape as accomplice. That conviction was overturned last year. Sources within the church tell media sources that the man who replaced Jeffs as business head of the church, Wendell Nielsen, has been removed and that Jeffs has signed documents retaking control of FLDS. Also removed are Willie Jessup, Jeffs' one-time bodyguard who served as the spokesman for the church after a raid on its Texas compound; and David Zitting, the mayor of Hildale, Utah, a town in which the population consists almost entirely of members of the church.
Critics of the FLDS say underage girls are forced into "spiritual" plural marriages with older men and are sexually abused. Sect members have denied sexual abuse. Texas prosecutors filed charges against Jeffs in 2008 after authorites raided the sect's Yearning for Zion Ranch in El Dorado, Texas. They removed 400 children. Authorities feared they had been sexually abused. While some of the men at the ranch were charged with sexual abuse, most of the children were later returned to their families.
Jeffs was eventually extradited from Utah to Texas. He was arraigned on the Texas charges in December in Tom Green County.
July 28, 2011
I haven't actually used this method yet, myself, but this is the approach I will select shortly.
--From manifesto attributed to Anders Behring Breivik
Olso, Norway - (WCJB) -- Anders Behring Breivik, to hear his purported manifesto tell it, was nothing if not patient. Though the world didn't know of Breivik until Friday's attacks, his road to violence began in his teens, when he first started honing his abhorrence for Islam. The 32-year-old Norwegian waited years before setting off on his vicious, self-confessed rampage last week that killed eight in a bombing in central Oslo and left dozens more dead at a nearby island youth camp.
He bought a farm as a front to procure fertilizer for bombs and planned other details meticulously, down to the photos of himself he wanted distributed among media outlets after his arrest, he wrote. It's now been revealed that parts of his 1,518-page egomaniacal treatise were lifted from right-wing blogs and a similar manifesto by Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, but the document paints the frightening picture of a man driven to violence by the "colonization" of Norway by a religion that actually composes about 3% of its population.
In the manifesto, he wrote of joining Knights Templar Europe, a revolutionary group he lauded for its "crusader nationalism," in 2002 after becoming disenchanted with Norway's conservative Progress Party. He blamed the media for vilifying his party and denounced democracy as an institution. "Armed struggle appears futile at this point," he wrote, "but it is the only way forward."
Despite what he called his "privileged upbringing," Breivik appears to have begun fostering a hatred for Muslims at an early age, according the manifesto, titled "2083: A European Declaration of Independence." Media sources could not independently verify that Breivik wrote the document, and Norwegian authorities would not confirm that the man in their custody wrote the manifesto. The document, which has been widely distributed online since last week's massacre, begins with a title page attributing it to "Andrew Berwick, London -- 2011." Later, in an explanation of his interest in genealogy, he traces the origins of the names Anders, Behring and Breivik.
Breivik joined Oslo's hip-hop movement at age 12 and by 15 was the most active graffiti artist in the Norwegian capital, he wrote. He had Muslim friends and hung out with violent Pakistani street gangs, which he said was essential to the safety of Norwegian teens in Oslo. "Unless you had Muslim contacts you could easily be subject to harassment, beatings and robbery. Our alliances with the Muslim gangs were strictly seen as a necessity for us, at least for me," the manifesto states.
Breivik wrote that he left the hip-hop community when he was 16, the same year he was attacked by "an older and much stronger/bigger Pakistani," one in a series of assaults Breivik said he suffered at the hands of Muslim youth. After this incident, he ended his friendship with a Pakistani named Arsalan, and he and his Norwegian pals no longer enjoyed the protection of Muslim street gangs. "From now on we would have to arm ourselves whenever we went to parties in case Muslim gangs showed up," he wrote.
Despite staying in his own west Oslo neighborhood, Breivik was attacked or confronted at least once annually until he was 21, he wrote. He alleges most of the assaults were unprovoked, though he concedes he "contributed" to one of the incidents when he was 20 by uttering profanities at a girl who pushed him and called him a name at Burger King. Though he suffered a broken nose in a fight with a Pakistani gang when he was 18, he boasts he was able to outsmart or negotiate with the Muslim "savages" in most cases. Fighting with them, he wrote, was not his policy "under normal circumstances."
"As all my friends can attest to I wouldn't be willing to hurt a fly and I have never used violence against others," he wrote. "If we wanted to we could have harassed and beaten up dozens of Muslim youth. However, as we didn't share their savage mentality, violence was pointless." Breivik, it seems, does not fit in a tidy compartment. He is a man of contradictions. He describes himself as optimistic yet pragmatic and as a "cultural conservative" with liberal economic views. His diatribes against Islam and calls for violence are littered with winky-face emoticons and playful Internet lingo like "lol."
Is Christian a good label for Breivik? His manifesto includes an image of him in preppy dress, a collar popped over the neck of his sweater. In other photos, he sports a variety of dress: a sensible suit, a hazmat outfit, elaborate military regalia and a frogman's jumpsuit with a shoulder patch that reads, "Marxist Hunter." He also claims to be a moderately religious Protestant who would like to see the denomination absorbed by Catholicism. This paradox, perhaps, is nothing compared to his claim of being Christian while confessing to having disregarded the Bible's least debatable commandment.
Breivik's massacre, according to police, began about 3:20 p.m. Friday -- less than three hours after Breivik concluded his online treatise, saying, "I believe this will be my last entry. It is now Fri July 22nd, 12.51."
The week was winding down in Oslo, and many people were heading home for the weekend, said journalist Asgeir Ueland. "All of a sudden, I heard a massive explosion and saw a massive cloud of smoke coming from the streets," he said. "Of course, this has never happened in Norway before, so I think people were mostly in panic and didn't really know what happened." Video and photos from the scene show the blast shattered windows on all six floors of a building housing the Petroleum and Energy Ministry. Across the street, the bomb's shrapnel almost reached the top offices of the 17-story government headquarters where Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg's office is located.
Mona Dundeberg was on the fourth floor of a building a block away. "We ran up to the building and saw everything was shattered," she said, describing the scene as "just chaos." A young woman told a local television station, "We suddenly felt a barrage of glass hit us from behind. We were then told to run through the back door. That's when we saw everything was blown up. People said there were bombs around. I didn't really know what's going on."
If the manifesto attributed to Breivik is a blueprint, he took great pains to ensure his bomb had maximum impact -- and he left what appear to be instructions to like-minded saboteurs. Several pages of the document outline a plan to buy various chemicals and more than a ton of nitrogen fertilizer for bomb making. Breivik tells his would-be followers to create a company, preferably a year or two before ordering the fertilizer, and join an organization of small- to medium-sized farmers. He suggests learning how to distribute the fertilizer and use the chemicals legitimately in case the agricultural supplier poses "security questions."
He also suggests buying seeds for an imaginary crop and, in addition to two 1,100-pound bags of nitrogen fertilizer, purchasing one or two "dummy bags" of non-nitrogen fertilizer to "strengthen the credibility of the transaction as it will act in your favor when it comes to avoiding suspicion." "I haven't actually used this method yet, myself, but this is the approach I will select shortly," he wrote. "I guess you will soon find out if I succeed or not. Remember, confidence separates the winners from the losers, so good luck."
According to his lawyer and police, Breivik wasn't done after his bomb ripped through the Grubbegata, the avenue housing the government quarter in central Oslo. He traveled to Utoya Island and, about 90 minutes after the blast, began shooting at campers attending a youth camp organized by the Labor Party, one of many sources of Breivik's angst. A hospital chief surgeon said he had never seen wounds like those suffered by the victims and speculated that Breivik may have used expanding bullets, according to a hospital spokesman. The manifesto has links to several websites containing instructions on how to make custom bullets. Breivik also includes instructions on how to load bullets with chemical/biological agents (such as ricin, pure nicotine or globefish toxin) and what to do if hollow-point ammunition is banned in your country.
Witnesses say Breivik was wearing a police uniform when he arrived at a meeting room where hundreds of campers had gathered for a briefing on the Oslo bombing. Many of the youngsters said they thought Breivik was there to discuss the Oslo blast. Instead, he opened fire. About 700 teens and young adults had converged Wednesday on Utoya Island for the youth camp, which was slated to end Sunday. It's an idyllic setting on Lake Tyrifjorden, one the prime minister has called a "paradise of my youth." Stoltenberg had been scheduled to deliver a speech at Utoya the day after the shooting.
Many of the campers had pitched tents on the 26-acre island, and after Breivik opened fire in the meeting hall about 5 p.m., the campers scattered, some back to their tent village, others to the waterline. Witnesses said Breivik shot people who took refuge in their tents before making his way to the shore.
Survivor Otzar Fagerheim said Breivik had three guns and shot them calmly, as if he were taking photographs. He smiled at times, Fagerheim said. Another survivor, Adrian Pracon, recalled his friends and counterparts dropping one by one as he ran down a hill to the water. "You're all going to die!" he remembered the shooter screaming.
Kasper Ilaug was at his summer home on Storoya Island, less than 2 miles away, when he received a call about the shootings. He jumped in his 18-foot fishing boat and headed to the island. "The first thing I noticed that (there) was a lot of youngsters laying in the shore, and they were very calm. They were sitting in groups," he said. On the shore, he saw 10 dead, he said. Later, he saw three more people behind a rock. They, too, may have been dead, he concluded, because they didn't respond when he called out to them. He took three boatloads of campers -- more than 20 in all -- back to the mainland. Many of them were in bathing suits or half-dressed, in shock and shivering from being immersed in the 64-degree lake.
One of the girls asked Ilaug if he was a police officer and was relieved when he said no. It's unclear how Ilaug, one of at least two boaters who reportedly ferried youngsters in the water back to the mainland, was able to make multiple trips to the island without being shot himself. Back on the island, police began arriving shortly before 6:30 p.m., but the young people were unsure what to make of them and pleaded with them to put down their weapons.
An elite police unit finally took Breivik into custody about 6:27 p.m. Norwegian authorities have come under heavy criticism for their response. People on Utoya Island who called police told local media they were ordered to stay off the emergency services line unless their call was about the Oslo bombing. There have also been reports that an overloaded police boat had to turn back after it sprung a leak crossing Lake Tyrifjorden and that the Oslo police's helicopter crew was on vacation and couldn't be mobilized to respond.
Oslo Police Chief Johan Fredriksen addressed the helicopter allegation during a Tuesday news conference, saying the issue had been "blown completely out of proportion" and explaining the chopper's availability was related to weather conditions and personnel. "We are professionals, but we are only flesh and blood," Fredriksen said, according to The Wall Street Journal, adding that he welcomed scrutiny but "it's not the time for people to bring politics and issues of resource allocation into a situation like this."
Attorney Geir Lippestad told a television station that his client would explain himself at a Monday hearing, but a judge ordered the proceeding closed for security reasons and also so it wouldn't impede the investigation, a court spokeswoman said. Judge Kim Heger also denied Breivik's request to wear a uniform to court.
In solitary confinement, Breivik has been allowed to see only his lawyer, who said Monday that his client felt the killings were "horrible" but necessary. On Tuesday, Lippestad further said his client "may be" insane. He added that Breivik was a "little bit surprised" he was able to kill 76 people but felt his plan had "succeeded -- succeeded in his mind."
July 25, 2011
(Anders Behring Breivik leaves court after being remanded in custody for eight weeks.)
The rightwing extremist who confessed to the mass killings in Norway boasted in court on Monday that there were two more cells from his terror network still at large, prompting an international investigation for collaborators. Anders Behring Breivik pleaded not guilty, despite admitting that he had carried out the attacks in Oslo and on Utøya island, officials said it was possible he had not acted alone.
Anders Behring Breivik (pictured left) has confessed to both assaults but denied crminial responsibility for them and pleaded not guilty at his first hearing. He told the court he wanted to save Europe from Muslim immigration and warned that there are two other cells of his terror network. Prosecutor Christian Hatlo said Breivik had been calm in court and "seemed unaffected by what has happened", adding that the suspect had told investigators during his interrogation that he never expected to be released.
"We can't quite rule out that someone else was involved. This is partly based on the information that there are two other cells," Hatlo said.
The prosecutor said he could not discuss whether Breivik had organised the cells or whether he was working alongside them. Police have said they have no other suspects at present. It also emerged on Monday that Norway's police security service had been alerted to a suspicious chemical purchase by Breivik in March, but had decided not to investigate further.
Police also lowered the previously announced death toll, saying 68 people died on Utøya, not 86 as previously stated. Eight died in the bomb attack in Oslo, taking the total number of fatalities to 76.
July 28, 2011
NEW YORK (WCJB) – A grand jury has indicted Levi Aron and charged him with two counts of first-degree murder in the case of Leiby Kletzky, the Brooklyn boy whose remains were found last Wednesday. Aron faces up to life in prison without possibility of parole if convicted, Brooklyn DA Charles Hynes announced early Wednesday evening. Aron’s arraignment is scheduled for July 28. The eight-count indictment also includes a first-degree kidnapping charge. Leiby’s death has been ruled a homicide and, according to the Medical Examiner. He was killed from intoxication followed by smothering. Police also confirmed that they found a variety of pills in Aron’s apartment. Hynes said that Kletzky was given Cyclobenzaprine, a muscle relaxant; quetiapine, an anti-psychotic drug; and hydrocodone before Aron used a towel to smother the child. However, Hynes said that “there’s no evidence of sexual abuse.” There were also marks on young Kletzky’s wrist, evidence that he was tied up in the hours before he was killed and his body was dismembered.
Police have confirmed that last Monday night, Aron drove young Kletzky to upstate Monsey, where he attended a wedding while the boy stayed in the car. Then they went back to Brooklyn, authorities said. The boy stayed in Aron’s apartment Monday night and all day Tuesday while Aron went to work. Chief Police Spokesman Paul Browne said Kletzky was killed either late last Tuesday afternoon or early Tuesday evening. That means the boy was likely alive for about a day after he disappeared.
Detectives later found the boy’s severed feet in Aron’s freezer along with three bloody carving knives and a cutting board. The rest of the boy’s body was found wrapped in a plastic bag stuffed inside in a suitcase in a dumpster in Sunset Park.
Media sources have confirmed that some of the boxes removed from Aron’s home contained a sizable quantity of other children’s clothing. Police will also be digging up Aron’s backyard again to see if there is anything that leads to other missing children.
July 18, 2011
July 11, 2011
Police have arrested a man in the killing of an 8-year-old Hasidic boy whose dismembered body was found Wednesday in the suspect's freezer and a trash bin in Brooklyn, N.Y., the New York City Police Department said. Levi Aron, 35 ( pictured left, entering police car wearing the traditional Jewish Kippa or Kipa.) was apprehended Wednesday after making statements that "implicated" him in the killing of Leiby Kletzky, who had stopped to ask the suspect for directions on his way home from camp, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly said. Kelly said the child's dismembered remains were found early Wednesday in Aron's refrigerator and in a plastic garbage bag dumped into a trash bin in Brooklyn. "This was a horrendous crime," Kelly told reporters during a press conference Wednesday.
(A kippa or kipa ( /kɪˈpɑː/ ki-pah; Hebrew: כִּפָּה or כִּיפָּה; plural: kippot כִּפוֹת or כִּיפּוֹת), also known as a yarmulke (i/ˈjɑrməlkə/ yar-məl-kə or /ˈjɑːməkə/ yah-mə-kə), or hech cap (U.S.), is a hemispherical or platter-shaped head cover, usually made of cloth, often worn by Orthodox Jewish men to fulfill the customary requirement that their head be covered at all times, and sometimes worn by both men and, less frequently, women in Conservative and Reform communities at times of prayer.)
(Note: When Aron Levi exits the police car, he is without the kippa or kipa, he wore upon entering the police car.)
Leiby was last seen walking home from Boyan Day Camp in Borough Park, Brooklyn, just before 5 p.m. Monday. A grainy surveillance video shows a man walking near the boy, who is seen in the footage wearing a backpack as he walks down the street, police said. Kelly said the boy appeared to be lost and had asked Aron for directions. He said the boy's parents had agreed to let him walk seven blocks alone from his day camp to a location where he was supposed to meet his mother.
"This is the worst nightmare that can happen to anybody," Rabbi Berish Freilich, a senior leader in Brooklyn's Jewish community, told media sources. Freilich, who knows the boy's family, described the neighborhood in the tight-knit Orthodox Jewish community of Borough Park as "very safe." "It's an extremely safe area for children," Freilich said. "This is devastating for everybody. Who would think of hurting an innocent young boy?"
Kelly said he does not believe Aron knew the boy and described the alleged crime as "totally random." "It was just happenstance and the terrible fate for this young boy," he said. Kelly said that approximately 35 minutes after Leiby left the camp, he was inside the suspect's 1990 brown Honda Accord. Kelly said the suspect made statements that indicated he brought the boy to his apartment, where killed him and dismembered his body.
Investigators tracked Aron with the help of surveillance video that showed him being approached by the lost boy. Police then visited Aron's third-story attic apartment at 2:40 a.m. Wednesday, where they found body parts believed to be Leiby's inside the man's freezer. "When detectives asked where the boy was, Aron nodded toward the kitchen," Kelly said, adding that deputies then found a cutting board and large amounts of blood. The rest of the body was found inside a red suitcase that had been tossed into a trash bin in another Brooklyn neighborhood, police said. Kelly said statements made by the suspect indicate "he panicked and that's why he killed the boy."
Formal charges are pending against Aron, who lived alone in the apartment in a building shared with his parents. Aron, whose birthday is Wednesday, once had a summons for urinating in public but otherwise did not have a criminal record.
Aron has lived most of his life in New York, working as a clerk at a maintenance supply company in Brooklyn, but about a couple of years living in Memphis, Tenn., where he worked briefly, Kelly said. He lived about a mile away from the boy and was believed to be Orthodox.
Kelly said detectives were investigating whether he had a history of mental illness. Kelly said there was no evidence of a sexual assault, and said it didn't seem like Aron had ever seen the child before. The medical examiner has yet to determine the cause of death, he said. The New York Post, citing sources close to the investigation, reports that that boy was suffocated before he was dismembered.
Thousands of people had joined the search for Leiby, who was last seen near 44th Street and 12th Avenue in Borough Park. Investigators hunting for the boy noticed the man on the video going into a nearby dentist about 5:30 p.m. Monday, police said. The dentist, located later in New Jersey, said he remembered someone coming into the shop who wasn't a patient, but who was paying a bill for a patient there. Kelly said Leiby waited for Aron at a street across from the dentist's office for about seven minutes before the two got into his vehicle. Freilich said Leiby was the only son of the Kletzky family. The couple has four daughters, and the husband works as a driver for a private car service.
New York State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, whose district includes the area, said the outpouring of support for the boy and his family has been tremendous. "This is beyond the pale," Hikind told media sources. "In this neighborhood I represent, crime is really nonexistent ... You'd never dream in a million years there's something to be concerned about." Hikind said that while the man may have killed the child because he panicked, "no one is asking the question of why he picked him up in the first place."
"This guy is an adult, an older person," he said. "This has to be a wakeup call for parents everywhere."
A community-funded reward for information leading to the child's safe return was raised on Tuesday to $125,000 as police checked schools, synagogues, homes and businesses for any clues into the boy's disappearance. As many as 2,000 people took to the streets Monday to search for Leiby, and crowds returned again on Tuesday, with buses carrying some volunteers in from New Jersey. Members of the community where the boy lived described him as obedient and unlikely to talk to strangers.
June 17, 2011
"'Money, women and my Jewishness.'"
--Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Head of the International Monetary Fund in an April 28, 2011 interview with the French daily newspaper Liberation on the difficulties he will have to overcome to become France's Socialist Party candidate for president.
New York (WCJB) -- When Dominique Strauss-Kahn was approached by Port Authority officers on the Air France flight, the first thing he said was, "Do you have my cell phone?" The report shows he called the hotel several times, looking for a phone he thought he left behind. A new prosecution document in the Strauss-Kahn case reveals that the former chief of the International Monetary Fund at first claimed to have diplomatic immunity when he was taken into custody after being removed from an Air France flight at John F. Kennedy International Airport but later said he was not invoking it. Strauss-Kahn told a Port Authority detective, "I have diplomatic immunity," according to a transcript in the document. But four hours later, he told a New York Police officer with the Manhattan Special Victims squad, "No, no, no, I'm not trying to use that. I just want to know if I need a lawyer." The IMF has said that Strauss-Kahn would have been entitled to diplomatic immunity only if his alleged crime involved official fund business, which is not the case in this situation. Strauss-Kahn repeatedly questioned why he was being detained, at one point asking, "What is this about?"
Later that night, just before 11 p.m., he was asked whether he'd like to speak to detectives about the incident. He responded, "My attorney has told me not to talk. I was ready to talk." His attorney declined to comment on details of the case in a brief statement outside the courtroom after entering the plea. "We intend to defend this case and defend it vigorously, but we are going to do so in the courtroom," he said, renewing statements that evidence in the case will reveal his client is innocent.
Strauss-Kahn (pictured above, left) who was considered a front-runner in France's presidential race before his arrest, faces charges including criminal sexual acts and sexual abuse. Strauss-Kahn pleaded not guilty June 6 to seven charges involving a May 14 incident in which a housekeeping employee at New York's Sofitel hotel accused him of sexual assault.
March 22, 2011
Jerusalem (WCJB) -- A Tel Aviv district court sentenced former Israeli President Moshe Katsav ( pictured left) to seven years in prison on multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment. The case involved three women -- two in the president's office and one in the Tourism Ministry. In late December, the three-judge panel found Katsav guilty of two charges of rape, two charges of forceful sexual harassment and one charge of sexual harassment.
December 30, 2010 In one of the most high-profile rape convictions in history, a three-judge panel of the Tel Aviv district court found former Israeli president Moshe Katsav ( pictured left, wearing the traditional Jewish Kippa or Kipa.) guilty of multiple charges of rape and sexual harassment. The conviction followed Katsav’s decision to rescind an earlier agreement to plead guilty to lesser charges and pay a fine. The victims denounced the plea bargain. At the time, prosecutors responded to widespread criticism of the plea deal by insisting that they were uncertain of being able to secure convictions on the rape counts. Yet, shortly before the plea hearing, Katsav pulled out of the deal.
The verdict handed down in a case that had riveted the Israeli public was hailed as an affirmation of the rule of law and the rights of women, as well as a sign of changing norms in a society that for decades tended to condone sexual advances by powerful men in government and the military. The president, whose role is largely ceremonial in Israel, is the head of state and is supposed to serve as a unifying national symbol. Katsav, 66, served in the post from 2000 to 2007, and the crimes of which he was convicted included several committed during that period.
August 12, 2010
Atlanta, Georgia (WCJB) -- Michigan authorities are filing paperwork for the extradition of the man who prosecutors say is the suspect in the stabbing attacks in three states. Elias Abuelazam, 33, was arrested Wednesday night at the Atlanta airport as he was trying to board a flight to Israel. Abuelazam could be back in Michigan as early as Friday if he waives the extradition process. Otherwise, his return could take a couple of weeks, police said. Abuelazam is wanted on a charge of assault with intent to murder in connection with 20 stabbings in Michigan, Ohio and Virginia. A judge in Flint, Michigan, issued the arrest warrant.
Abuelazam was trying to board a Delta Air Lines flight to Israel when he was taken into custody Wednesday night in Atlanta, police said Thursday. Two sources said the man is an Israeli citizen who is in the United States legally. A federal law enforcement official involved in the investigation said the man was traveling on an expired Israeli passport.
Elias Abuelazam has been named as the suspect in a three state stabbing spree that featured 20 victims; five of whom perished.
Abuelazam had been arrested a week ago in Arlington, Virginia, Michigan authorities said Thursday. Though he finally was charged, the airport arrest was not the first time police stopped Abuelazam during the stabbing spree. At least twice in recent weeks, police in Michigan and Virginia nabbed him, with police in Virginia even spotting possible murder weapons. In both cases, the authorities let him go, apparently failing to peg him as a suspect in the stabbings.
(Photo - October 29, 2010: Suspected serial stabber/killer Elias Abuelazam listens to Judge John Conover during his first appearance in a courtroom since he was extradited from Georgia in August. Abuelazam's face was battered from an altercation at the jail.) In one incident, Abuelazam was charged with providing alcohol to a minor on the evening of July 29 in Genesee County, Mich., according to court records on file in the 67th District Court there. The citation came the same day as an early morning attack in the area now considered part of the stabbing spree. Abuelazam was supposed to appear in a Mount Morris, Mich., court room on the charge on Aug. 4, but he failed to show up. The 67th District Court still has Abuelazam's Florida driver's license, which he surrendered at the time of his citation in lieu of posting bond, according to the Genesee County Prosecutor's Office. In another incident, last week, Abuelazam was picked up in Arlington, Va., for failing to stop at a stop sign, Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton said. During a background check, police discovered he had an oustanding warrant for misdemeanor assault. While he was booked and placed in a holding cell, police impounded his car. During a search, police found a knife in the driver's side door and a hammer, two weapons victims of the attacks had described. But at that point, there had been no known attacks in Virginia and Abuelazam was released and the car was returned to him, Leyton said.
See: The Monster in Men! - Part II
Movie Intermission! Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer!
Description: Aileen: Life and Death of a Serial Killer looks at Aileen’s violent, tortured childhood in Troy, Michigan and her subsequent years on the road as a hitchhiking prostitute which culminated in the murders.