Friday, February 29, 2008
MEGAN WILLIAMS FAMILY SAYS SENTENCE TOO LIGHT, CALLS FOR PROTEST MARCH
By SHAYA TAYEFE MOHAJER
FEBRAURY 28, 2008
Associated Press Writer
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) — The parents of a black woman who was allegedly tortured by six white men and women in Logan County are lashing out at the county’s prosecutor for not demanding harsher penalties.
Matthew and Carmen Williams held a news conference Wednesday at the First Baptist Church in Charleston to voice their frustration with Logan County Prosecutor Brian Abraham.
“We were OK with the first two deals that (Abraham) made with Alisha Burton and George Messer, but then he started getting up to plea deals with Karen Burton and Frankie Brewster,” said Carmen Williams, referring to four of the defendants. “I think they should have gotten, to be honest, life in prison. We were very dissatisfied.”
Her 20-year-old daughter Megan Williams was allegedly held captive at Brewster’s trailer in Big Creek for days last summer, forced to eat feces, sexually assaulted and stabbed. Megan Williams was rescued Sept. 8 after an anonymous caller alerted deputies.
Karen Burton, her daughter Alisha Burton, Brewster and Messer all were initially charged with kidnapping, which carries a maximum life sentence. Alisha Burton and Messer each pleaded guilty to kidnapping and assault but received 10-year sentences. Karen Burton and Brewster pleaded guilty to lesser charges.
“To me, what’s going on here is a slap in Megan’s face. Not mine, but Megan’s. They promised her one thing, and then destroyed it,” Matthew Williams said before breaking down into tears and leaving the podium.
Abraham said all six defendants were given identical charges before the investigation was complete, and that those charges were never intended to stand throughout the criminal process.
“Each defendant will be held accountable for his or her personal actions in the case,” said Abraham. “I have and will base all of my decisions on the evidence that the investigation has revealed.”
The Williams family said the 49-year-old Brewster’s sentence could be especially light. Brewster pleaded guilty to second-degree sexual assault, which carries a 10- to 25-year prison term. Her sentencing hearing is scheduled for March 12.
Karen Burton, 46, of Chapmanville, pleaded guilty to malicious wounding, assault and violating Williams’ civil rights. If served consecutively, the charges could result in 30 years in prison. Karen Burton was the only defendant charged with a hate crime.
Burton’s sentencing is set for March 3 at the Logan County Courthouse. The Williams family urged protesters to attend that hearing. They plan to organize a car pool to depart from First Baptist Church at 8 a.m. that day.
“We want to impact the city of Logan with our presence, and we want to see justice served,” said Bishop James Carter, the family’s pastor.
Felony charges including kidnapping and sexual assault are pending against Brewster’s son, 24-year-old Bobby Brewster of Big Creek and Danny Combs, 20, of Harts. A seventh defendant, Karen Burton’s son, Linnie Burton Jr., 21, was indicted on a misdemeanor battery charge.
At Wednesday’s news conference, Abraham was also criticized for not providing consistent information to the family about plea agreements.
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Using state-by-state data, the report says 2,319,258 Americans were in jail or prison at the start of 2008 - one out of every 99.1 adults. Whether per capita or in raw numbers, it's more than any other nation.
The report, released Thursday by the Pew Center on the States, said the 50 states spent more than $49 billion on corrections last year, up from less than $11 billion 20 years earlier. The rate of increase for prison costs was six times greater than for higher education spending, the report said.
The steadily growing inmate population 'is saddling cash-strapped states with soaring costs they can ill afford and failing to have a clear impact either on recidivism or overall crime,' the report said."
Monday, February 25, 2008
The Associated Press: Obama Photo in Turban, Robe Causes Stir
WASHINGTON (AP) — A photograph circulating on the Internet of Democratic Sen. Barack Obama dressed in traditional local garments during a visit to Kenya in 2006 is causing a dustup in the presidential campaign over what constitutes a smear.
The Associated Press photograph portrays Obama wearing a white turban and a wraparound white robe presented to him by elders in Wajir, in northeastern Kenya. Obama's estranged late father was Kenyan and Obama visited the country in 2006, attracting thousands of well-wishers.
The gossip and news Web site The Drudge Report posted the photograph Monday and said it was being circulated by "Clinton staffers" and quoted an e-mail from an unidentified campaign aide. Drudge did not include proof of the e-mail in the report.
"I just want to make it very clear that we were not aware of it, the campaign didn't sanction it and don't know anything about it," Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson said in a teleconference with reporters. "None of us have seen the e-mail in question. If anybody has independent reporting that they've done on it I would welcome it."
Media Matters - McLaughlin echoes smear of Michelle Obama: "You don't think she's a black militant?"
During the February 24 edition of the syndicated program The McLaughlin Group, referring to Michelle Obama, host John McLaughlin asked Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page: "Do you think Michelle -- do you think she leaves the impression -- not mine, but I've heard this -- that she has a chip on her shoulder?" Page responded: "I think that's BS. You know, people say that she's got a chip on her shoulder. That's like, well, she's been the B-word, which is a classic, you know, epithet against women whenever they sound aggressive or they really state their mind. ... Maybe I know her too well. She doesn't have a chip on her shoulder." McLaughlin then asked: "You don't think she's a black militant?" Page replied: "A black militant? Well, I'm a black militant, John, and the Tribune hired me anyway. Seriously." Several media figures have recently suggested that Obama has a "chip on her shoulder," including VDARE.com contributor Steve Sailer, who wrote that Obama "sounds like she's got a log-sized chip on her shoulder from lucking into Princeton due to affirmative action."
Saturday, February 23, 2008
However, his supporters are still awaiting a separate, major ruling from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit that will determine if he is granted a new trial, has his conviction overturned, or sees the death sentence reinstated.
Abu-Jamal was convicted, in a political frame-up and a thoroughly corrupt trial, of killing police office Daniel Faulkner in 1982.
The appeal that was rejected on Feb. 19 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court had challenged a 2005 ruling against a Post Conviction Relief Act (PCRA) petition filed on the case."
Thursday, February 21, 2008
The Black Commentator - The Biggest Lie Ever Told: Today’s Republicans Need to Stop Claiming to be the Party of Lincoln - Between the Lines By Dr. Ant
The only thing today’s Republican Party has in common with the Radical Republicans of the 1850s and 1860s is the name. It’s like saying the Ford at the turn of the 1900s is the same car Ford makes in the 2000s. Or the Jeffersons of 18th Century (related to Thomas) is the same Jeffersons (related to George) of the 20th Century. Both the face and the mindset are different."
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
'For the first time in my adult life, I am proud of my country,' she told a Milwaukee crowd today, 'because it feels like hope is making a comeback.'
Which, frankly, doesn't sound as bad as when I heard only the initial clause. However, the Telegraph has this quote, which feeds my sense of dread:
Speaking at a rally in Milwaukee, she said: 'Hope is making a comeback and, let me tell you, for the first time in my adult life I am really proud of my country. Not just because Barack is doing well, but I think people are hungry for change.'
Ironically, Fox solves the mystery of the discrepancy."
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
The Vanessa Mack Murder:
On Sunday, February 20, 1994, Vanessa Mack's mother, Barbara, came to pick up her grandchild as she did every Sunday so Vanessa could go to her job at the Carolinas Medical Center. She arrived a little earlier than usual, as it wasn't quite the appointed 6 a.m. Barbara was surprised to find the door ajar. Assuming that her daughter and granddaughter were just inside, she called out, expecting to hear a familiar, "Come in, Mom!" No one answered her. Stepping into the foyer, Barbara knew something was wrong. Vanessa's four-month-old child was asleep on the sofa, still in her play clothes from the day before, but Vanessa was nowhere to be seen. Not in the kitchen, not in the bathroom, not in her bedroom. But – when Barbara did a double take at the bed she realized that that gray bundle of covers was not a bundle at all, but her daughter thrown partially dressed in a misshapen position across the mattress. Something was wrapped around her throat; it looked like a pillowcase. Her skin tone matched the dull fatigue of the morning sky outside her window, and, by the touch, her skin had become as cold as the pane of glass that faced the winter chill. Scooping the tot from the sofa, Barbara raced into the hallway where she pounded on a tenant's door for use of his phone.Jeff Baumgarner was the first patrolman to arrive on the scene. One glance at the corpse and he knew, from hearing the stories his fellow police officers told after finding some of the other strangling victims, that the same killer – or someone like him – had struck again
This is also from Crimelibrary:
Six-foot tall, 200 pounds, and with a very pleasant face, 29-year-old
Henry Louis Wallace was, outwardly, a very affable fellow. He was chatty,
bright, a go-getter and smiled, constantly – except at certain times, like the
night after Vanessa Mack's murder, when he sat down before his TV set to affix
himself to the dinnertime news report. But, he smiled again when the program
ended and there had not been even the slightest reference to the latest
strangling or to the manhunt that the police claimed was in full vigor.He
decided to stay indoors that night, for the same reason he kept out of sight
after all the other murders – just in case someone had seen his face and the
cops were on the streets with a composite drawing of his puss in their hands.He
felt remorse at what he'd done to Vanessa Mack – damn it, he always felt
remorse! – but he figured it would wear away. It did all those other times,
after he had killed Hawk, Love, Stinson – all of them.Time heals, said the
cliché. It was true.
This one came from "Just A Charmer" news article:
On Feb. 19, the first anniversary of her daughter's death, Sumpter held a news conference and beseeched the killer to turn himself in. "Do you remember the fear in her eyes as she struggled for her life?" Sumpter said. "Do you remember feeling her last heartbeat slip away or seeing her take her last breath? "Maybe you recall filling the bathtub with water and dumping my beautiful princess into a sea of darkness. I wish you could feel my unadulterated pain." The morning after Sumpter issued her plea, Vanessa Little Mack was found strangled in her bedroom, the eighth of Wallace's alleged victims. Sumpter believes Mack was killed a year to the day after Shawna Hawk was murdered.
Sally Miller is certain she saw Wallace at Vanessa Mack's funeral last month. She realized it the minute she saw his mugshot on TV. He had the same eyes, the same hoop earring. She'd had such a strange feeling the day of the funeral. She felt so upset, she left before Vanessa Mack's wake was over and before her funeral had even started. Mack was the eighth of Wallace's alleged victims. "I'm sure it was him," Miller says. "And it's because of that feeling I had. It was an eerie feeling. It was really spooky." Miller, a member of the support group Mothers of Murdered Offspring, had gone to the wake to lead a candlelight vigil and decry the violence that has cut short so many young lives. Her 13-year-old son was killed in a drive-by shooting, gunned down as he stepped onto his front porch. Miller couldn't even finish her presentation at Mack's funeral. She rushed to her car and headed back to Charlotte, crying all the way home.
The study was marred by low use of the gel, which could have undermined results, they said. Women used it less than half the number of times they had sex, and only 10 percent said they used it every time as directed."
Monday, February 18, 2008
Sunday, February 17, 2008
By LINDSEY TANNER and CARYN ROUSSEAU
CICERO, Ill. - The middle-class Chicago suburbs that send their sons and daughters to Northern Illinois University struggled Sunday with the closeness of the country's latest massacre — this time the gunman grew up among them, in a community some consider "Mayberry."
Parishioners at Our Lady of the Mount Catholic Church in blue-collar Cicero, on Chicago's southern fringe, prepared for the funeral of Catalina Garcia, the youngest of four children of parents originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. They're longtime parishioners at Our Lady of the Mount, a tight-knit group of low and middle-income families, many of them young, with some older Czech and other immigrants.
The Garcias were the "typical Mexican-American family," working low-wage jobs to help put their children through school, Jaime Garcia said Sunday on the porch of the family's two-story red brick home.
"My parents came here to better their lives," he said. They worried more about their children getting caught in gang crossfire at home than away at college "in the cornfields" of DeKalb.
"It's like the all-American dream cut short," he said.
Investigators still haven't determined what set off 27-year-old shooter Steven Kazmierczak, who killed five students and injured more than a dozen other people with a shotgun and pistols and took his own life, Kazmierczak grew up to the west, in Elk Grove Village, and played saxophone in the school band. He spent time in a mental health facility in his late teens, and police have said without elaboration that he had stopped taking some kind of medication in the days or weeks before the shooting.
"I couldn't believe coming from a place like Elk Grove he could do that," said Judy Glomski, who has lived in Elk Grove Village for 39 years. "It's just a friendly town. I guess there are sick people everywhere."
Kazmierczak attended NIU, studying sociology. Three semesters back, he transferred across state to the more prestigious University of Illinois in Champaign. Most students and professors on both campuses remembered him as a promising student.
Some NIU parents took the shootings as a call to action, speaking out for stricter gun control in hopes the tragedy would propel the issue into the presidential campaign. Connie Catellani, a Skokie physician whose 22-year-old son is an NIU senior, helped organize a weekend news conference with other NIU parents.
"It's sickening. What are we supposed to do, surround college campuses with barbed wire and metal detectors?" Catellani said Sunday.
Her son, Tony Skelton, was in art class when the shootings occurred. Catellani heard about the shootings from a friend, but was unable to reach her son for more than an hour.
"It felt eternal," she said. "And at the end of it, I was overjoyed to hear from him and all I could think was a lot of parents are not going to get this kind of phone call."
At least six people remained hospitalized Sunday, with three in serious condition. The other three were in fair condition. A seventh patient, who had been upgraded from serious to fair condition Saturday, was transferred from Advocate Good Samaritan Hospital, spokeswoman Laura Taylor said Sunday.
In addition to Garcia, the dead were Daniel Parmenter, 20, of Westchester, Ill., Ryanne Mace, age 19, of Carpentersville, Ill., Julianna Gehant, 32, of Mendota, Ill., and Gayle Dubowski, age 20, last of Carol Stream, Ill.
Parmenter stood six-feet-plus and played rugby and football. He also was quiet, studious and introspective, recalled Joe Morgan, who served as his confirmation mentor at Christ Church in Oak Brook for nine months when Parmenter was a high school freshman.
"He was a big kid who was gentle," Morgan said.
The shooting recalled another senseless modern tragedy that struck the congregation, who arrived for services in the soaring, modern sanctuary Sunday under steady rain and a driving wind. One of the church's pastors, Jeff Mladenik, was a passenger on one of the planes flown into the World Trade Center by terrorists on Sept. 11, said the Rev. Daniel Meyer, senior pastor.
"You're not meant to offer platitudes, you simply offer love," Meyer said.
At First Baptist Church in DeKalb, members passed pinned-on red ribbons for a morning service.
The Rev. Joe Sanders prayed for the NIU community and the victims' families and asked God to help Kazmierczak's family cope with the attack and their own grief of losing a son: "We want God to be merciful and gracious to them."
La Bella Shawna Denise Hawk (1972-1993)
Here's the story of Shawna's Life and of her death.
Warning: Some of the details of her death may be gruesome and unsettling to some people, especially young children visiting this website. Here's her story:
Many would remember Shawna Denise Hawk as a murder victim of Henry Louis Wallace, but few remember her as a very beautiful, smart and virtuous young woman. She was the second child and only daughter of Dee Sumpter and Walter Hawk II. She grew up to become a very beautiful, sweet, gentle, shy, saintly young woman with so much to offer. She and her beautiful mother are very tight with each other, for Shawna share her mother's petite stature, very smooth skin, and very sparkling bright eyes. The ladies have a lot in common.
Miss Shawna wanted to be a paralegal. She also want to have a child as well. Her ambitions were cut short by someone she knew and trust. His name is the nortorious serial killer Henry Louis Wallace. He was once her boss at Taco Bell in East Charlotte, where she worked. He betrayed her trust and kindness by killing her,then have the audacity to attend her funeral like nothing ever happened. Then several months later, Mr. Wallace came upon Ms. Sumpter and said to her how much he missed her and that he was "sorry" to hear about her death. He behaved in a "gentlemanly" manner but unbeknownest to her, that man has a very evil side that he reveal to his victims when they are alone. A month after Shawna's death and funeral, she and her best friend who was also Shawna's godmother started a victims' rights support group known as Mothers of Murdered Offspring.
For those who want to pay tribute to Shawna, please go to my two sponsor pages I created in her memory at:
Shawna Denise Hawk at Find A Grave.com
HW Essay at Abagond
The following is from Crime Behaviour by Mr. Giannone:
The Confession by Henry L. Wallace regarding Shawna Hawk
___________________________________________________________________- Accused killer 'just a charmer'
Author: BEN STOCKING JOBY WARRICK;
STAFF WRITERS CHARLOTTE --
Four women strangled in just three weeks, all of them within blocks of Denise Spencer's house. She was terrified -- too terrified to stay home alone at night. She wouldn't open the door for most of the guys who hung out at her east Charlotte apartment complex. But she would open the door for Henry Wallace. "I wouldn't have let anybody else in," Spencer says. "I trusted Henry." Most everybody who knew Henry Louis Wallace trusted him. He was polite, thought ful, friendly, easygoing. He's also a serial killer, police say. Over four years, police have charged, he killed 11 women, strangling most, stabbing a couple, beating one senseless, setting one's house on fire, dumping one face-down in a bathtub, throwing another into a pond and standing on the bank while he watched her sink. Most of them considered themselves his friends. They trusted him enough to open their doors to him. One liked him enough to date him. But police say Henry Wallace was not what he seemed. He was too polite to swear in front of women, but when the urge came over him, police say, he would squeeze the life out of them. The loyal son who called his mother every few weeks is accused of taking other mothers' children away. The man who enjoyed holding a friend's infant daughter is accused of choking the baby of an alleged victim. And after allegedly sending his victims to their graves, he sometimes sent condolences to their families. He sent flowers to one mother and hugged another. He even attended the funerals of two victims, friends say. Police say he fooled them, too. Despite a pattern of alleged sexual assaults over four years, Wallace, 28, slipped through cracks in the criminal justice system and served time only once -- a few months on burglary charges. And despite a string of strangulation killings of women with ties to him, he never emerged as a suspect until the week three of his neighbors turned up dead, all of them strangled. So skillful was Wallace at deflecting suspicion that his hometown police chief simply refused to believe it when Wallace was linked to a strangulation killing in 1990 -- the first of 11 murders he has been charged with. "He was a very likable guy," said Buddy Darnell, the Barnwell, S.C., police chief. "None of us ever thought Henry could do anything like that." Couldn't have been Henry Two months after she found her 20-year-old daughter strangled, floating face down in the bathtub, Dee Sumpter bumped into Henry Wallace at a shopping center. He told her how sorry he was to hear about her daughter's murder. He gave Sumpter a hug. Since the February 1993 killing, Sumpter had run down a list of Shawna Hawk's male friends over and over again, trying to figure out which of them might have killed her. Hawk had let the murderer into the house. She must have known him. When she bumped into Wallace that day, Sumpter realized she had left him off her list of suspects. After he consoled her, Sumpter saw no reason to put him on it. It couldn't have been Henry, she thought. Hawk, an ambitious young woman who was studying to become a paralegal, had dated Wallace before she was murdered. Sumpter had met the young man twice, and she liked him. He didn't have the looks of Denzel Washington, but he had a way with women. "He was just a charmer," Sumpter says. "He was very respectful, well-mannered and soft-spoken. He was a gentleman." Hawk met Wallace when he hired her to work at a Taco Bell restaurant. He had offered to pay her nearly $7 an hour -- much more than she'd been paid at previous fast-food jobs. She was thrilled. She had started working at age 14 to help Sumpter, a struggling single mother, make ends meet. Sumpter never asked her daughter to work. She just came home one day and said she'd gotten a job at McDonald's. She turned over each paycheck to her mother and put up a fight when Sumpter tried to give them back. One night, in the summer of 1992, Wallace came by and took Hawk to a comedy show. Sumpter remembers seeing them off. "Henry, you take care of my girl," she remembers telling Wallace. "This is my precious cargo. I want her back in one piece." "Yes ma'am, I will," she says he replied. "I promise you I will." On Feb. 19, the first anniversary of her daughter's death, Sumpter held a news conference and beseeched the killer to turn himself in. "Do you remember the fear in her eyes as she struggled for her life?" Sumpter said. "Do you remember feeling her last heartbeat slip away or seeing her take her last breath? "Maybe you recall filling the bathtub with water and dumping my beautiful princess into a sea of darkness. I wish you could feel my unadulterated pain." The morning after Sumpter issued her plea, Vanessa Little Mack was found strangled in her bedroom, the eighth of Wallace's alleged victims. Sumpter believes Mack was killed a year to the day after Shawna Hawk was murdered. 'Brandi was murdered' Two days before Wallace's March 13 arrest, Khevin Sherrill stopped by a Fast Fare on his way home from work to buy a pack of Camel Lights. As he left the store, he saw Wallace in the parking lot. He looked panicked. "Khevin, did you hear the news?" Wallace asked him. "What news?" Sherrill replied. "Someone told me Brandi was murdered." They hurried over to Sherrill's house to watch the 5 o'clock news. Sure enough, Brandi June Henderson had been strangled in her apartment. They showed her picture on television, read her name, said she was the 18-year-old mother of a 10-month-old baby boy. They showed a picture of little Tareese, who had been choked in the attack but survived. Henderson and Tareese lived with Berness Lamar "Squeaky" Woods, the baby's father. Woods found Henderson's body on March 9, when he came home from his second-shift job at a nearby restaurant. Woods, Wallace and Sherrill had met while working at a nearby Chuck E. Cheese restaurant. Wallace and Woods were good friends, Sherrill said. When Wallace walked through the door on his first day of work, he greeted Woods with a hug. Wallace was a regular visitor at Woods' house. Wallace seemed so concerned about Henderson's murder, Sherrill said. After they watched the news, the first thing Wallace wanted to do was call Squeaky to make sure he was OK. Friends and neighbors His neighbors in east Charlotte's Granville Apartments saw a lot of Wallace in the days before his arrest. He had lived at the complex since last summer with his former girlfriend, Sadie McKnight. Like Wallace, many residents in the complex work at the fast-food places and strip malls that dominate the neighborhood. When they're not working, they come and go from one another's apartments at will -- watching TV together, listening to music, shooting the breeze. Six of Wallace's alleged victims lived in similar complexes within a short stroll of his house, and worked at the fast-food restaurants up the street. Elvin Eaddy, who lived next door to Wallace, felt like they were brothers. They would play cards together, drink beer, have cookouts. Wallace, proud of his cooking skills, loved to barbecue. A former radio disc jockey, he would sometimes spin records at neighborhood parties on his elaborate stereo system. Wallace was very considerate to women. Friends remembered how he would offer to do the dishes and help with other domestic chores. He liked to cradle one neighbor's baby in his arms. The mother called him "Uncle Henry." But easygoing Henry had also been using drugs -- not often, friends say, but enough to alarm his girlfriend, who threw him out about a month ago after discovering he had been smoking crack. That's when his world really seemed to fall apart. "Since she's been gone, he's been on a rampage," Eaddy says. He left his job at the Black-eyed Pea restaurant. He sold everything in his apartment. And in the week before his arrest, he stopped changing his clothes. Still, Wallace's friends had no clue that he might be a killer -- even in that last week, even after two bodies turned up in two days within a few blocks of his house. Wallace looked desperate and strange, but they chalked that up to all the crack he'd been smoking. Even strung out, friends say, Wallace remained considerate and polite, especially with his female friends. Two days before his arrest, Wallace stopped by to visit Anita Ramirez, who lived in an apartment just across from his old place. This was the same day Betty Jean Baucum's body was discovered, and one day after Brandi June Henderson's body was found. Both women were murdered at The Lake, an apartment complex a short walk from Ramirez's apartment. Ramirez didn't suspect a thing. She served Wallace a bowl of menudo, a traditional Mexican soup, which he ate while they watched Oprah on TV. Terrell Smith, another of Wallace's old neighbors, didn't suspect anything, either. "How the hell are we supposed to recognize a serial killer?" he asks. "I'd never been around one before." The day before his arrest, Wallace stopped by to visit Larry Spencer and Devin Johnson, who live just across from his old apartment. They watched some pro wrestling, then took in an episode of "Kung Fu." Wallace was distraught. He missed his girlfriend, and the crack was tearing him up. Spencer told him he needed to get away, relax awhile, get his head together. As he sat there munching on leftover pepperoni pizza, Wallace called the Greyhound station to see what time the buses were leaving. He wanted to visit his mom. Spencer offered to give him a ride to the bus station. Wallace thanked him over and over again. "Everybody else has turned their back on me," Spencer remembers him saying. Before he left the apartment that morning, Wallace talked to his girlfriend on the telephone. He begged her to take him back. When she refused, he stood there in the kitchen, leaning against the refrigerator, crying. One day later, when the news broke that Wallace had been charged with 10 murders, his neighbors were floored. Denise Spencer suddenly remembered an incident from the week before, when she had pushed Henry in the chest, just joking around. Henry, usually so calm and friendly, had grabbed her arm and squeezed it so hard he left white marks on her flesh. Thinking about that now made Spencer's skin crawl. She ran to the bathroom and scrubbed her arm. She had trusted this Henry Wallace. "It's a trip," she says. "I liked Henry." Now Wallace's neighbors are thinking of writing a book: "Henry, The Guy We Thought We Knew." 'Well thought of' As early as 1990, at least one person was beginning to suspect that Henry Louis Wallace wasn't what he seemed. That was Joey Zorn, the barrel-chested, slow-talking sheriff in Wallace's hometown of Barnwell, S.C. To Zorn, Wallace was charming, intelligent, exceedingly polite -- and probably a killer. When a high school girl turned up dead in a local pond on April 1, 1990, it was Wallace who emerged as Zorn's top suspect. The sheriff questioned Wallace repeatedly about the girl and even impounded his car. "But due to a lack of evidence," Zorn drawled, "charges were never filed." And so, police say, for the next four years, until he confessed to the crime, Wallace got away with murder. If so, that's not all he got away with. Over the next three years, Wallace would be charged with multiple counts of burglary, larceny and sexual assault without ever serving a substantial prison term -- or even seeing his reputation sullied. In fact, even after his arrest, it was hard to find anyone in Barnwell with something negative to say about him. "Henry Wallace," Zorn said on the day after the killer's confession, "is well thought of in this community." Most people in Barnwell, a factory town of 8,000, remember Wallace as the kid who broke the sex barrier on the high school cheerleading team. In the 1983 school yearbook, he stands in stark relief as the only male and one of only two blacks on the 15-member squad. Anyone who attended a football or basketball game was sure to notice him. "He definitely stood out," a city police officer recalled. "He was the first male cheerleader Barnwell ever had, and we haven't had another one since." In school, he was popular enough to win election to the student council, and brainy enough to take college-prep courses. Friends say he was also an exceptionally smooth talker -- a gift that later made him successful as the teen radio disc jockey "Night Rider" on Barnwell station WBAW-FM. It also made him popular with women. "He was a lover," said Janice, a counter worker at an Allendale fast-food store, who Wallace frequently asked out on dates. "He was very sweet -- the kind of guy you'd want to date," said the woman, who declined to give her last name. "He was always offering to take you places, or to show you around the radio station." The smooth Casanova with the sexy voice and disarming smile -- that's how she would remember Henry Wallace, right up to the day she saw his face on TV, next to the long list of his alleged victims. "I was shocked," she said. Managing to find trouble If there were warning signs along the way, Henry Wallace's own sister didn't see them. The only thing Yvonne Wallace knew was that her brother's luck seemed to run out shortly after graduation from high school. Henry Wallace had tried college, but dropped out after two semesters. He joined the Navy in hopes of becoming a pilot, but he flunked an altitude test and ended up working on ships. He married high school sweetheart Maretta Brabham in 1987, only to see the relationship crumble two years later. Then, in January 1988, while stationed in Washington state, he had his first scrape with the law: a second-degree burglary charge for stealing electronic equipment from a hardware store. He spent 38 days in prison and was discharged from the Navy. After that, Wallace never could seem to hold on to a job very long. But he always managed to find trouble. He regained his old radio job in Barnwell, only to be dismissed on suspicion of stealing. Later he would be arrested for breaking into another radio station in nearby Allendale, and again for stealing video equipment from his old high school. The two burglaries landed him in jail for 3 1/2 months and left his family shocked and bewildered. "We don't know why he started stealing," his sister would later say. "It was just something he did." But what family members didn't know was that Wallace might be hip-deep in something far worse. In March 1990, 18-year-old Tashanda Bethea was slain in a wooded area outside Barnwell. Police say Wallace confessed to the crime last week after being charged with the Charlotte killings. They say he raped Bethea at gunpoint then killed her because she threatened to tell. Wallace, then 24, had a crush on the younger girl and became angry when his affections weren't returned, police say. The slaying was badly botched. Police say he first attempted to strangle his victim, then tried again when she revived in the back seat of his car. They say he slashed the girl's wrists and throat and threw her into a pond. And even then he worried that she wasn't quite dead. "For a long time he stood beside the pond and watched her sink," said Zorn. "The next few days he cringed in fear, thinking she was going to come out of that lake alive. But when time passed and no one said anything, he figured it must be OK." Less than two weeks later, Wallace was arrested for a sex crime. He pleaded guilty to luring a 16-year-old girl into a motel room in Allendale and trying to rape her at gunpoint. This time the victim's screams brought a stranger to the rescue, and Wallace was slapped with a charge of attempted sexual assault. The next day, as Wallace sat in a jail cell awaiting arraignment, some teens on a fishing trip discovered Bethea's nude, badly decomposed body floating in a spillway. Someone remembered seeing Bethea and Wallace together weeks earlier, and suddenly Wallace was being linked to two sex crimes -- one of them deadly. Zorn was never able to charge Wallace with Bethea's slaying, despite his strong suspicions. And in the other case, Wallace's plea bargain drew him only a sentence of probation and an order to participate in a program for nonviolent sex offenders. Wallace never completed the program. An arrest warrant was drawn up, but it was never served. Two years later, while living with his sister in Rock Hill, S.C., he would again be charged with a sex crime, this time the rape and kidnapping of a 17-year-old girl. Local authorities ran a background check but somehow missed the outstanding warrant from 1990. Wallace was released on his own recognizance. Weeks later, he packed his bags for Charlotte. 'No one listened' Yvonne Wallace says she had no inkling of the slayings until last Sunday, when she returned home to a lawn filled with news reporters asking questions about her brother. That night, when Henry Wallace called home from a jail in Charlotte, his family had only one question for him: "Why?" His answer was rambling and sometimes incoherent, Yvonne remembers. He talked about the break-up of his marriage, and about "flashbacks" -- painful memories that would pop into his head and feed his rage. He also spoke of drugs. "He talked about hanging out with this guy he had met in Charlotte who had been using LSD and cocaine," Yvonne said. "He said the drugs were taking over his mind. He didn't know what he was doing." "Why didn't you talk to someone?" Henry was asked. "I tried to, but no one listened," came the reply. That same night, Yvonne herself faced tough questions from a friend whose sister had been one of Henry Wallace's alleged victims. The woman wanted to know why her sister had been killed. Then, her voice breaking, she demanded to know how Henry could have the audacity to play mourner at Valencia Jumper's funeral. Yvonne, who also went to the service, had no answers. "When Valencia died, Henry sent flowers and called the parents to console them," Yvonne said. "He even called me, all upset and crying about Valencia's death ... " Sally Miller is certain she saw Wallace at Vanessa Mack's funeral last month. She realized it the minute she saw his mugshot on TV. He had the same eyes, the same hoop earring. She'd had such a strange feeling the day of the funeral. She felt so upset, she left before Vanessa Mack's wake was over and before her funeral had even started. Mack was the eighth of Wallace's alleged victims. "I'm sure it was him," Miller says. "And it's because of that feeling I had. It was an eerie feeling. It was really spooky." Miller, a member of the support group Mothers of Murdered Offspring, had gone to the wake to lead a candlelight vigil and decry the violence that has cut short so many young lives. Her 13-year-old son was killed in a drive-by shooting, gunned down as he stepped onto his front porch. Miller couldn't even finish her presentation at Mack's funeral. She rushed to her car and headed back to Charlotte, crying all the way home. Sam Jordan, Shawna Hawk's godfather, is convinced he saw Wallace at her viewing one year before Mack was laid to rest. As mourners filed by Hawk's open casket, Wallace sat all alone at the back of the room with a strange look on his face, just staring, Jordan says. Hawk was the fourth of Wallace's alleged victims. Thinking of him at her wake makes Jordan shudder. Jordan loved Shawna like a daughter. "Oh man, she was my heart," he says. "She was my baby girl." It enrages him to think of how police let Wallace slip through their hands time after time. There he was, arrested in South Carolina on charges of raping a woman at gunpoint, and the judge let him walk without bail. "He's been falling through the cracks since day one," Jordan says. "He's been falling through the cracks since the day he was born."
Saturday, February 16, 2008
PageOneQ | Anti-gay pundit pleased at 'admission' that AIDS is a 'gay disease'
Today, right now, more than 45 percent of African-American gay and bi men in key urban areas are infected with HIV, with a 33 percent increase in new diagnoses among our brothers under age 30 over the past six years. Today, right now, African Americans are nearly 10 times more likely than white people to be diagnosed with AIDS.
The response — internal to our community and external — is appallingly racist. Internally, when these numbers come out, the “established” gay community seems to have a collective shrug as if this isn’t our problem. Folks, with 70 percent of the people in this country living with HIV being gay or bi, we cannot deny that HIV is a gay disease. We have to own that and face up to that.
Even more disgusting is the response of our government. Of the 129 interventions developed and approved by the CDC to address HIV in the African-American community, only one has been designed for gay black men. Twenty-six years into the epidemic and only one out of 129 addresses the group of people most affected by HIV. And, on top of that, funding for meaningful and honest prevention programs has been systematically excised from the federal budget. If these things don’t prove that our government considers the lives of gay black men utterly expendable, I don’t know what does.
--Matt Foreman, outgoing executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force
The above was part of Matt Foreman's State of the Movement address given on February 8, 2008 at the Creating Change conference in Detroit. The second paragraph, in particular, is all but a victory of rhetoric for Concerned Women for America's Matt Barber.
"Because of their war on semantics and being in such denial and not focusing on the reality of the dangers of their behaviors," said Barber to Cybercast News Service, "many people have contracted the disease."
"Who knows," Barber adds, "how many lives could have been saved had homosexual activists been honest about the dangers of the lifestyle they choose to engage in."
While HIV, as an opportunistic infection, does not discriminate on who it infects, gay men who practice unprotected sex are at particular risk of becoming infected and spreading the virus. Early cases of HIV were given names such as "gay cancer" and "gay-related immune deficiency" due to gay men being the first major demographic affected.
"It's extremely encouraging," says Barber in a recent press release, "to see Matt Foreman, a homosexual activist who has for so long been in denial about the dangers of the lifestyle he has promoted, publicly coming to terms with the undeniable perils of that lifestyle."
"I only hope," he continues, "he will now stop promoting homosexual conduct and push for other liberal elites, especially those running our public schools, to do the same. Educators must truthfully address the 'gay' lifestyle's potentially deadly consequences."
I am personally getting sick and tired of racist hiding behind the conservative banner and daring somebody to say anything about what they say. I am no fan of Al Sharpton but I think that if these racist talk show host keep sticking their chins out there it's time for us to tap it by voicing our displeasure to them and their advertisers.
You can listen to Laura's comments here: http://www.letstalkhonestly.com/LTHtakeactionpage.html
Laura Ingraham email contact Email Show or firstname.lastname@example.org
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Friday, February 15, 2008
He felt that after seeing and hearing several video's showing the faints he suspected that they were staged because:
1) The 'faint' would always happened next to the stage.
2) Barack Obama showed calm and stated the same words over and over in each of the six occurrances - 'Make some space for her. Make some space for her.'
3) The 'faintee' was ALWAYS a woman.
4) Each of the occurrences (6) when shown together all felt the same and process like.
We, at MAXINE would like to see what Michael Medved had seen ... we were only left with Michael's radio account and the playing of the audio of a recent Obama campaign stop from Santa Barbara, California."
by Mira Oberman Thu Feb 14, 9:03 PM ET
CHICAGO (AFP) - A black-clad gunman turned a university lecture into a Valentine's Day massacre Thursday, killing four people before turning the gun on himself in the latest episode of US school violence, authorities said.
Armed with a shotgun and two handguns, he calmly stepped out from behind the curtain at the front of a packed auditorium just minutes before a geography class ended at Northern Illinois University, officials and witnesses said.
"It started and ended within a matter of seconds," university police chief Donald Grady said at a press conference outside this Midwestern US city.
"We have no apparent motive at this time," Grady said. "The suspect killed himself on the stage."
Grady would not identify the four victims or confirm reports that a teacher was among the 18 people shot.
Witnesses said the shooter, described as a white male around six feet (1.8 meters) tall, said nothing as he opened fire.
"He was aiming towards the crowd but I don't think he was aiming at a specific person," a witness named Sheila told WBBM radio. "He was quiet. He just stood on the stage in front of everybody and just started shooting."
"I saw him holding the gun and it was huge. I thought it was fake and then I realized he was really shooting at people and I got down," she said. "I saw a lot of blood. I have blood all over my clothes."
Officials of the 112-year-old university 65 miles (105 kilometers) west of Chicago gave out few details of the incident.
"It has been confirmed that there has been a shooting on campus and several people have been taken away by ambulance," its website said.
A spokesman for nearby Kishwaukee Community Hospital earlier said 17 wounded victims had been brought in.
Students described now-familiar scenes of panic in the fifth school shooting in the United States in the last week.
"I saw a lot of confusion," Dominique Broxton, 22, told the Chicago Tribune, describing the scene from her dorm room. "Students were running. People really didn't know what was going on."
The shooting came 10 months after 32 students and faculty were shot down by a mentally disturbed student at Virginia Tech University in the deadliest massacre ever at a US school.
Chicago has long been noted for the Valentine's Day Massacre of February 14, 1929, when seven people were executed by machine-gun, in a Mafia killing during the city's gangster heyday.
Northern Illinois University, chartered in 1895, is a teaching and research institution with a student enrollment of more than 25,000 and nearly 1,300 teachers. It has 862 international students from 88 nations.
Broxton said she could see two wounded students from her dorm room.
"The ambulance took away two students on the ground right outside my dorm," she said. "I don't know them. They looked bloody. Where I am right now, there are a lot of police, at least a dozen. There are police cars and trucks everywhere."
"There is an intercom system inside the dorm. Someone came on and stated that someone had been caught. They said they caught the shooter and that we should remain calm and stay in our rooms."
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
For a few days now we have been hearing about Natalee Holloway and the new developments in her case. But a similar situation happened last year with another American teen: Phylicia Moore. Have you heard of her? Unfortunately most people haven't. So today I'm going to do a flashback post. I have not posted on her before because I'm just finding this out myself. After about an hour of searching, I finally found an article from June 2007 that I think will give you guys a good understanding of what went on with the case.
When Lola Moore thinks back to the day her daughter and two dozen of her classmates said their goodbyes as they prepared to leave for a trip to Ghana, one moment is especially haunting. "The last thing the chaperones said was, `Don't worry — we'll take good care of her,'" Moore recalled Friday as she fought back tears. "And she was the only one who didn't come home."
Six weeks after 18-year-old Phylicia Moore's body was discovered at the bottom of a hotel swimming pool in the Ghanaian capital of Accra, Lola and Douglas Moore are demanding answers to questions they say have not been adequately answered by the initial investigation in Ghana or by school officials in Teaneck.
Their anger stems from two beliefs: that their daughter's death was not an accident, and that Phylicia would still be alive had the trip's chaperones been more vigilant in monitoring the students.
"She was stolen from us," Lola Moore said in an interview at the office of Nancy Lucianna, an attorney representing the family.
Lucianna filed a legal notice Friday informing the Teaneck School District of the Moores' intent to sue for negligence in their daughter's death.
They also have been pushing for the FBI to investigate, an effort aided by Rep. Steve Rothman, D-N.J. The U.S. ambassador to Ghana, Pamela E. Bridgewater, told the Moores in a letter Friday that Ron Nolan, the FBI's legal attache assigned to Lagos, Nigeria, would travel to Ghana next week and serve as a liaison to a task force formed by Ghanaian authorities to review Moore's death.
Under international law, the FBI cannot be formally involved in the investigation until it receives an official request from the Ghanaian government. The FBI had not received such a request as of Friday.
The details of the final hours of Phylicia Moore's life are frustratingly incomplete. She was seen leaving the hotel swimming pool alone around 10:30 p.m. April 15. About 11 hours later, her body was discovered in the pool, still clad in a tank top and shorts with a bathing suit underneath.
An autopsy performed in Ghana found no foul play, pending the results of toxicology tests. A separate autopsy performed in the United States for the Moores concluded that Phylicia's body had not been in the water for a significant amount of time.
Douglas Moore rejects the notion that his daughter, who could tread water but was not a swimmer, would have been horsing around in the pool — particularly at the deep end, where her body was found.
He is troubled that Phylicia's absence apparently was not noticed by the chaperones, nor was it reported to them by the students, some of whom were awake until the wee hours of the morning while the chaperones slept.
"Most certainly there was negligence," Douglas Moore said.
Teaneck High School Principal Angela Davis was out of the office Friday and could not be reached for comment. School district officials have said they support an FBI investigation into Phylicia's death.
The Moores claim Ghanaian authorities botched the investigation by failing to interview more than a handful of students and chaperones before the group continued its tour delivering supplies to schools and to an AIDS orphanage. The group returned to Accra before flying home, but that gave authorities little time to conclude an investigation.
"I feel it's important that in order to solve this, everybody should be interviewed, not just a few people," Douglas Moore said. "That goes for the people connected to the hotel, any visitors, all the students and the chaperones. Then they will most likely get a handle on what happened to my daughter. But to just let it go for a month like this, that's no good."
For now, the last images of Phylicia are found on a video shot by a student on the bus to the airport. She is wearing a pink sweat shirt and flashing what her mother called her "signature smile." She looks giddy with anticipation as the videographer asks her how she is feeling.
"I feel good," she says. "I'm leaving my parents. I'm excited. I'm scared I forgot something.
Phylicia Moore, a Teaneck HS honors student, went to Ghana on a goodwill mission to donate books to an orphanage and assist children suffering from AIDS with 23 other students and nine chaperones. This was a dream trip for Moore, who saved for months and took an after-school job at a local Bed Bath & Beyond to pay the cost of the trip. She was a well-rounded student with so much to offer.
Nearly a year since the above article was written, it appears that there is no new information in the case. But thank God for people like Congressman Steve Rothman (D-Fair Lawn) who pushed to make something happen. On December 3rd, 2007, he introduced Phylicia’s Law (in memory of Phylicia Moore), a bill that require public schools to have safety plans and security procedures in place for school-run, overnight, off-premises field trips.
“Every child’s life is precious so when there are reasonable steps that we can take to better protect our young people, then I believe we should take them. It is not unreasonable to put safety plans and procedures in place before a trip occurs. This will help ensure that all involved – the schools, the chaperones, the students, and parents – know what their individual roles and responsibilities are on a trip and what will happen should tragedy strike,” said Rothman.
Phylicia’s Law says that at a minimum a safety plan should address policies on curfews, room checks, and chaperone qualifications, and emergency procedures to be followed in the case of serious injury or death. However, school districts, who know their own schools and students best, will have full discretion to set the specific requirements in a plan as they see fit. Parents will see the policies before approving a trip and can then determine whether they feel that it is safe for their child to go.
You can go here to read the full text of Phylicia's Law. There's also a website where you can find a petition created for those who support Phylicia's Law. Please show your support by signing it and passing the word on to your family and friends.
To further show your support you can donate to the Phylicia Moore Scholarship Fund in her honor.
Keep Phylicia's memory alive and push for more exposure and investigation on her story!
Hat tips to Latimer Williams and Electronic Village for reporting her story.
The motion, to be moved Wednesday by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd in Parliament, is directed at thousands of Aboriginal children who were forcibly removed from their families under assimilation policies that lasted for decades.
Aborigines remain the country's poorest and most disadvantaged minority.
“We apologize for the laws and policies of successive parliaments and governments that have inflicted profound grief, suffering and loss on these our fellow Australians,” the apology motion says."
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
Former Liberal, now independent MP Bob Such made his comments to the State Parliament during debate on rape reform legislation.
Dr Such believes that some women may be inadvertently sending a wrong message by the clothing they wear, such as t-shirts.
'What clothing you wear or don't wear, none of that justifies any form of sexual assault,' he added.
'Some of these young women, they might think it's fun to put that message on but I don't think it helps the situation to be encouraging people out there who don't need much encouragement to do what they shouldn't do.'"
Monday, February 11, 2008
"Jena 6" Defendant Arrested In Texas, Teen Faces New Charge After Being Accused Of Slamming Student's Head Into Bench - CBS News
The defendant, Bryant R. Purvis, 19, was arrested on a charge of assault causing bodily injury Wednesday after an altercation at Hebron High School. It began because Purvis believed a student had flattened his tires, Sgt. John Singleton said."
Saturday, February 09, 2008
In 1971-72, a killer called the Freeway Phantom terrorized the young black female population of Washington, DC. He was never caught. He raped and strangled at least 6, discarding the victims near I-295. (Hence the name). It is hoped that this video might generate even one clue that might solve these tragic cases. Background music is George Harrison's "Give Me Love" and Louis Armstrong's "Wonderful World". -- KWH
Friday, February 08, 2008
This is a remake of my earlier tribute to the 9 victims of serial killer Henry Louis Wallace. Thanks to Stephanie B. for her artwork and music selections. May all the victims Rest in Peace. For the suffering families and friends, remember Jesus's words: "I am come that you might have LIFE .." - KWH
Thursday, February 07, 2008
I am not a fan of Formula One racing but I started paying some attention when Lewis Hamilton shook up the rafters and brought some real excitement to the sport.
Hamilton, a 23 year old Black Briton, has however angered some Spanish fans who support his Spaniard team mate and rival, Fernando Alonso.
So what is a bigotted Spanish fan to do when your hero is left looking quite ordinary by a brilliant Black kid?
Well taunt him of course. And what better way to taunt him than by showing up in blackface and wooly wigs with shirts that read "Hamilton's Familly" (sic).
These bigots showed up on Saturday as Hamilton was testing at the Montmelo circuit in Barcelona.
Hamilton says he is saddened by this behaviour. But he is not alone in facing this kind of racist abuse.
Sports figures who are not white are often racially abused at sporting events in Spain.
Last year there was a spate of racist insults at football (soccer) matches.
The U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement is considered a non-starter in the U.S. Congress because the country is the world’s deadliest for union activists. Less known, but equally disturbing is the systematic violence now confronting Afro-Colombians.
African descendants comprise 26% of Colombia’s population. As with other African descendants, we face racial discrimination which results in economic hardships far worse than those experienced by the average Colombian. However in Colombia, a vibrant 1980s civil rights movement won full recognition of our cultural rights and collective ownership and community control of our territories and natural resources. The 1991 Colombian Constitution and the landmark Law 70 explicitly enshrine these rights and recognize official democratic Afro-Colombian governance structures, similar to those of your Indian tribes."
Monday, February 04, 2008
Saturday, February 02, 2008
Each year, Black women contribute to fashion and beauty industries in the amount of 40 billion dollars. We go to malls outside our communities to buy the latest in fashion. Are we going to believe the oft-repeated lie in the fashion industry that they can't hire a Black model because we're not profitable to the world?
The fashion and beauty industries are 75 years behind when it comes to race. People of Color make up 33% of America's population. Yet the fashion industry's runway and ad campaigns remained lily-white.
What about modeling agencies? Most of the modeling agencies are located in relatively affluent white areas and often dispatch modeling scouts to mainly white shopping centers and malls instead of cities and neighborhoods of Color to recruit models. What the industry wants to project is a false lily-white image of America to the world and most people fall for it.
The faux idea that white women are the epitome of beauty, virtue, and affluence is being exported to the far corners of the earth along with hateful images of Black women. This racist/misogynistic duality of women has harmed women in America and the world. The fashion industry wants to project the image of white models so that brainwashed and gullible public buy into the peculiarly American notion of the cult of white womanhood.
This is what the industry wants and prefer and want it to continue because the industry, like everything else is soak completely in the oil of racism/classism.
Friday, February 01, 2008
Black Inventors A-Z
Famous Black Inventors
Contemporary Black Inventors