Homicide classification

This is an attempt to classify homicides into different categories. Elements of section 5, mental illness, may contribute to the other categories.

1. Fights and disputes

A common type of homicide. An argument or dispute breaks out, leading to fighting. If weapons are to hand homicide becomes a real possibility. There is no rational motive – such as financial gain. There will likely be elements of self defense ( “he picked up a knife so I shot him” or “I thought he had a gun so I shot him”).

1.1. Fights between intimate partners, or ex-partners.

Common is for abusive, violent boyfriends to kill their partners, after being rejected, when the girlfriend is leaving.

Sometimes one partner kills the other for financial gain, typically during a divorce.

Sometimes women kill their partner in self defense.

Occasionally abusive, violent women kill their partners.

1.2. Other fights and disputes

Often alcohol or drug related, or disputes over property, noise, annoyance. Usually not premeditated.

Revenge killings. Honor kilings.

2. Homicide related to burglary, robbery, drug crime

During home invasions, robbery of stores or other properties.

Elimination or witnesses, homicide while evading capture following a robbery or other crime.

3. Other homicides for financial ( or similar gain )

Neglect or murder of step-children

4. Homicides for a political motive

Terrorism, political extremism.

5. Homicides due to mental illness / mental incapacity ( taken broadly )

Paranoia ( schiophrenia, or due to PTSD )

Depression ( murder-suicide, infanticide )

Extreme child neglect / bad parenting.

To be continued, first draft.

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Woman survives death row but apparently kills self

Via Bill Pelke. An extraordinary tale I only found out about today.

Bill Pelke, a grandson of the slain Bible teacher, said he forgave Cooper, who said she had been abused as a child, and visited her in prison 14 times. They exchanged e-mails almost weekly the last two years of her incarceration.

In one of their last messages, Cooper told Pelke that her time in prison was about up and she was scared. She had spent most of her life incarcerated. She had never written a check or paid a bill.

She had so much she didn’t know how to do, she told him.

He offered to help. But the two talked only once after she was released.

Pelke said he was devastated to hear of Cooper’s death.

“We had wanted to do things together around restorative justice and the death penalty,” he said. She wanted to be an example for other young people who have been abused.

“She wanted to tell them, ‘Look, this is how I responded to the hate and anger, and look at all the trouble I got into,’ ” he said. “She wanted to give them alternatives so they didn’t end up like her.”

Cooper’s pursuit of an appeal made her world renowned. According to the Indiana Historical Society, the Indiana Supreme Court received 2 million signatures in support of her appeal. Pope John Paul II sent an emissary to Crawford’s office and wrote an appeal to then-Gov. Robert Orr. The United Nations received a million signatures in support of overturning Cooper’s death penalty.

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2015/05/28/indiana-death-row-inmate/28054065/

Ruth Ellis

Key points

  • Last woman to be executed in the UK
  • Desmond Cussen heavily involved
  • chose solicitor Bickford
  • after trial Ellis dismissed Bickford

Timeline

10 April 1955 : Killed abusive partner David Blakeley.
10 June 1955 : Trial. Jury convict after 16 minutes deliberation. Mandatory death sentence.
12 July 1955 : Makes new statement to new solicitor Victor Miscon. Home Office refuses to take action.
13 July 1955 : Executed just after 9am,
Early 1970: Bickford states that Cussen told him in 1955 that Ellis lied at the trial. After a police investigation, no action regarding Cussen taken.
2003 : Criminal Cases Review Commission.refers case to Court of appeal which refuses to hear appeal, stating “On any view, Mrs Ellis had committed a serious criminal offence.”
2007 : Petition to Gordon Brown to reconsider and grant pardon.

The statement on 12 July 1955

  • Gun was provided by Cussen
  • Cussen drove her to the murder scene

Extract from TruTv.com:

“Ruth visited him here frequently, but again, developed a phobia that George was having improper relationships with the staff and female patients. On one occasion, she became so inflamed, ranting and raving and screaming in coarse, uncouth language, she had to be forcibly restrained and sedated. Dr Rees, a psychiatrist who was looking after George, prescribed drugs for Ruth and from that point on until the day she killed David Blakley, she was under his care. It has always remained a mystery why her defence counsel at her trial did not call him to give evidence of her state of mind, and that fact that the legally prescribed sedatives, combined with alcohol, could have made her incapable of rational behaviour at the time she fired the fatal shots.”

Conclusions

  • Ineffective defense, solicitor chosen by Cussen [who may have provided gun and drove her to murder scene – not proven]
  • Ruth Ellis was convicted on the basis of her own perjured evidence
  • State assisted suicide
  • Domestic violence – type : Mutual violent control
  • Final “hesitation” ineffective – it was too late
  • Legally prescribed sedatives, combined with alcohol are the key

References

Ingmar Guandique

Another Ed Edwards case, headed for reversal, good to see things moving along,

Wrongly Convicted Group Website

Ingmar was wrongly convicted of the murder of Chandra Levy in May 2001. He was implicated by Edward Edwards as witness #10 in the arrest affidavit dated March 2009. Edwards was not identified as the author of the affidavit and did not appear at trial. Edwards blogged on ZodiacKiller.com  from Levy’s hometown, four days before killing her. [ Source: It’s Me, page 338-339 ]. There is  more detail in the book about Edward’s activities around this time.

Proposal Post

News May 26, 2015

Five years ago, a jury convicted Ingmar Guandique for the murder of Chandra Levy. It now appears that a new jury will re-hear the case.

Federal prosecutors have dropped their opposition to Gaundique’s defense attorneys’ requests for a new trial, paving the way for the case to return to court. Now the judge who presided over the first trial will decide if there will be a…

View original post 12 more words

Convictions tossed out in Austin satanic day care case

This was a witch hunt from the beginning,” Johnson wrote, finding fault with investigators who too easily accepted fantastic claims of abuse, including plane trips to Mexico during which children were abused and returned to Austin in time for afternoon pickup by their parents.

From Convictions tossed out in Austin satanic day care case May 20, 2015

Via The ongoing legacy of the great satanic sex abuse panic Radley Balko, Washington Post, May 26, 2015

Of course, witch hunts are still with us, and probably always will be, the trials of Debra Milke, Amanda Knox and Jodi Arias show that people are still as easily fooled now as they were then.

Another example: Nightmare at the Day Care: The Wee Care Case

Recent Rash of US Exonerations Only the Surface: Many More Remain Wrongfully Imprisoned : Forensic Science contributions

Thanks, I missed this the first time around. Jeffrey’s testimony on these issues deserves a wide audience.

FORENSICS and LAW in FOCUS @ CSIDDS | News and Trends

 PrintandBook

Jeffrey Deskovic, an exoneree himself (NY), writes about the increase in wrongful convictions being overturned in the US from a very personal perspective. He focuses on the root causes of these injustices such as incentivised witnesses (aka snitches), prosecutorial misconducti, dishonest judges and cops, and forensic fraud and junk science like bitemarks.

His statements about forensic junk science and fraud are particularly telling and parallel what I have posted about. here, here, and here.

It is no surprise that forensic associations like the American Academy of Forensic Sciences refuses to admit that they sponsor one sub-group which still promulagates ‘bitemark identification’ (without the use of DNA) in courts. My post on that subject is here.

This is an excerpt from Deskovic’s article. His POV is clear.

Junk science. For 40 years, FBI experts have testified in court about “bullet lead analysis” a procedure in which bullets…

View original post 139 more words

Ground report closing

Ground report may be closing down soon. I wanted to record this classic comment taken from my article April 28, 2010: http://groundreport.com/support-growing-for-oscar-pistorius/

This article would have to be the stupidest and most polemic comment I’ve seen on the Pistorius trial. It is so ridiculous it made me think that it perhaps originated with the defendant or some member of his family.

The last sentence “the odds of a conviction for murder appear to be slim to non-existent” is comedy gold.

Oscar was duly cleared of murder!

Copy of the article:

The pundits and “experts” have been opining loudly on the live televised trial of Oscar Pistorius.Oscar Pistorius

Pamela Engel boldly declared that Prosecutors have built a good case against Pistorius.

However nobody seems to quite know what this “strong case” really is, is it more hype than reality?

The undisputed facts

Oscar Pistorius admits to shooting Reeva Steenkamp in the early morning of Thursday, 14 February 2013, at his Pretoria home.He fired four shots through a toilet door, the toilet being a very small room off the bathroom.

The prosecution case

Oscar and Reeva had an argument, Oscar lost his temper and shot Reeva.

The defence case

Oscar mistook Reeva for an intruder, and fired the shots unintentionally, as a reflex action in a state of fear.

An argument?

Some witnesses, living some distance away, reported hearing a woman’s screams followed by gunshots.However, immediate neighbours heard Oscar screaming, followed by the sounds consistent with Oscar breaking down the door with a cricket bat.

A single witness, living some distance away, reported hearing an argument on the night in question.However, no argument was reported by immediate neighbours, suggesting this must have been some other unrelated argument.

Oscar’s relationship with Reeva

In a recovered text message, Reeva stated “I’m scared of you sometimes, of how you snap at me”,However, this appears to have been due to Oscar reacting to Reeva flirting with other men, and there is no evidence Oscar was ever abusive to Reeva.

Especially significant is an unopened Valentine’s card Reeva gave to Oscar, telling himfor the first time that she loved him.This indicates the relationship was at an early stage, far too early for a major argument to be plausible.There is no evidence of a progression of violence, or that Oscar had ever been verbally or physically abusive to a woman.His character generally is exemplary, performing charitable work for the disabled, and also helping victims of crime on two occasions.

A discrepancy in Oscar’s testimony?

Oscar’s bail affidavit stated he went “onto” the balcony, whereas he testified at trial this was incorrect, and he only went “to” the balcony, not “onto” it.However, this discrepancy is not major, and can be a simple misunderstanding by whoever interviewed him for the defence. The balcony is not large and Oscar apparently put one foot outside, whether he went “onto” the balcony is a matter of opinion.

The crime scene

The crime scene was not properly preserved, giving rise to confusion and doubt.

Unlikely events

Murders and accidental shootings are both relatively rare events.Because an accidental shooting seems unlikely, we should not conclude that it is implausible, given that Reeva is dead. Very often similar incidents will end without tragedy, and we never hear about it.

Summary

Overall, there seems to be no reliable evidence that Oscar intended to kill anyone, let alone Reeva.The principle of “Mens Rea” states that if there is no criminal intent, there is no crime, provided Oscar’s actions were reasonable. Given Oscar’s lack of a criminal record, andexemplary character preceding the shooting of Reeva, he is entitled to the benefit of any doubt.

As time passes during the long adjournment for Easter, and sensation gives way to sober reflection, the “strong” prosecution case seems to be fading away, like a mirage, at least in South Africa. A Facebook group for supporters has grown rapidly from a handful before trial to over 800 members. With more defence witness to come when hearing resume on May 5th,the odds of a conviction for murder appear to be slim to non-existent.

First published as a Facebook Note.

An unusual case of self-defense

Just noting this for future reference.

A cook who stabbed an off-duty bouncer to death during a confrontation downtown has been released from jail after prosecutors declared that he was acting in self-defense, a decision sparked by the revelation that the man who died was also armed with a knife.

..

According to witnesses and police, Viri was at Johnny V’s bar and night club when the cook entered but not before checking his attache of kitchen knives at the door. Johnny Van Wyk, the bar’s namesake owner was among several bar occupants who said the cook was acting erratic and upsetting female patrons, which eventually prompted management to tell him to leave.

The cook complied, got his knives back and started walking west on the north side of Santa Clara Street toward First Street. That’s when Viri left the bar and walked quickly after the man who just left, according to witnesses.

A brief fight broke out, and within seconds, Viri was on the ground with a slash wound to his neck. Bar staff and patrons caught up the scene and tried to render aid to Viri, while other witnesses pointed police toward the cook, who ran off toward the SAP Center. He was quickly caught and arrested.

http://www.mercurynews.com/crime-courts/ci_25147812/san-jose-prosecutors-cite-self-defense-drop-case

Another coincidence – impossible climbs?

Another coincidence in the eerily similar prosecution cases against Amanda Knox and Jodi Arias. For Amanda, they said Rudy Guede couldn’t climb up to the window without bending a nail, for Jodi they say Jodi could’t climb up to get the gun without disturbing something on the shelf. All nonsense!!

Some notes on Jodi’s climb:

From the photo below we cannot see what was on the back of the shelves or whether the items were disturbed. Depending exactly how Jodi used them to assist the climb, they might move by very little. The pins supporting the shelves are right at the front, Flores didn’t even attempt to do a realistic experiment with items on the shelf and a real person of Jodi’s weight and height reaching up.

Flores testimony, around 29 minutes in. Cross around 36 minutes,

ClosetFromTrialVideo

Discussion

See A light-hearted comparison of the cases of Amanda and Jodi for more coincidences.