(At about 12:30pm PST on July 10, Beyond90Seconds.com first reported that an arraignment date had just been set for the Wayne Bent case. Less than an hour later, the arraignment date had been rescheduled. This story has been updated to include the new arraignment date.)
At 1:04pm PST Beyond90Seconds.com leaned that the arraignment date for the Wayne Bent case has been changed.
Union County District Court Clerk Karen Vieites reports that the arraignment is now scheduled for Friday, July 18 at 10:30am in Raton.
Earlier today, the arraignment date had been set for July 14 in Clayton. Again, the date has been changed to July 18 in Raton.
On May 20, a grand jury indicted Bent on four counts: two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor in the second degree, unclothed. And two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Judge Gerald E. Baca will preside over the July 18 arraignment. The hearing is also scheduled to address Bent’s conditions of release.
(July 10) Canada’s CTV is reporting that two of five human feet that have washed ashore in the Strait of Georgia over the past year are from the same man.
Not surprisingly, several stories about today’s news conference are now appearing on the Internet. Here’s an excerpt from a report published on the Toronto Star’s Web site:
Although, initially, all the feet found were believed to be male, police now say that one of the feet belonged to a woman.
Constable Annie Linteau said there is no evidence that the feet were severed.
And here’s an excerpt from the CTV report:
Appearing at a news conference, RCMP Const. Annie Linteau said there is no evidence of trauma or tool markings to suggest the feet were severed.
“It appears it’s a natural process of decomposition,” she said, adding, “We have to be aware these still could be homicide victims.”
This distinction regarding the word “severed” is important.
I’ve refrained from using it in my stories about this case because it seems to me that “severed”–in its popular usage–strongly suggests that someone had cut the feet from the bodies.
After reading KOMO-TV’s July 9 headline about this case on komonews.com, I felt compelled to revisit the definition of sever. KOMO’s headline read, Retracing the steps of the severed feet.
(note: I’ve just noticed KOMO also uses “severed” in its headline concerning today’s news conference, Police: Two of Canada’s severed feet from same person)
KOMO’s headlines are deserving of scrutiny given this afternoon’s declarative sentence from the Toronto Star: “Constable Annie Linteau said there is no evidence that the feet were severed.”
KOMO isn’t alone, at the very moment Constable Linteau firmly states that there is no evidence that any of the feet were severed, CTV put the the following words over at the bottom of the video: Update on B.C. severed feet investigation (the headline for this story on CTV’s Web site opts for the word “detached”: RCMP update the detached feet case.
When I went to dictionary.com this morning, I found 6 definitions for “sever”, including:
1. to separate (a part) from the whole, as by cutting or the like, and
2. to divide into parts, esp. forcibly; cleave.
Loosely, I felt “severed” worked in this case. But in the popular use of the word, especially as it implies some sort of cutting, I don’t think it’s the best word here. One could argue that to do so is even misleading; especially in light of information that came from today’s news conference.
I worked in TV news for 20-years, and I can almost hear the argument in a newsroom for using “severed” (someone has no doubt quipped that the “sexiness” of the word gives the story “more legs”).
In previous media reports that have addressed “theories” for the mystery feet, investigators and scientists have stated that the most likely explanation for the feet in this case is the natural underwater “decomposition” of bodies.
In its excellent June 23 report, 5 feet, few clues make 1 big B.C. mystery, the Seattle Times addressed several possible explanations for the feet, including:
The feet are the result of the natural decomposition of people who have drowned or gone missing in the Strait.
Pro: This theory is most favored by experts, who say there is no evidence of foul play.
Con: The number of feet found in a short time — without any accompanying body parts — makes for an incredible coincidence.
All of this hardly sounds like someone’s going around cutting feet off of people (living or dead).
While it’s still possible, the experts have suggested it is the less likely explanation for this case.
Even if the decomposition theory turns out to be correct, foul-play could be involved. Afterall, how did these people die (if we are to assume they are dead)?
And if, in fact, the entirety of the bodies were/are in the Strait of Georgia, how did they end up there?
Update (July 10: 9:48am PST): As we wait for today’s news conference, I thought I’d feature two new videos about the “Mystery Feet” story.
(Please allow a few seconds for video to load.)
Seattle’s KOMO-TV aired a nicely-produced story (above) last night. KOMO’s story does a good job of capturing the intrigue of this case. The KOMO story also includes interviews with two researchers featured in a June 28 Beyond90Seconds.com report (Pig video lends insight into B.C.’s human feet mystery): forensic scientist Gail Anderson and University of Victoria researcher Richard Dewey. Dewey is the chief scientist behind the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea (VENUS) project.
The second video comes from Canada’s CTV television network and does a terrific job of delivering exclusive information. Specifically, we learn that the shoes the feet were found in will be displayed at today’s news conference. The CTV story also states that DNA testing has been completed on all five feet. This is especially significant for relatives of a 2005 plane crash. Five people died in that watery crash. But four of the victims have never been located. Investigators do have DNA profiles for those missing plane crash victims. Based on the CTV report, a headline coming out that new conference later today might be, Mystery feet not connected to plane crash, police seeking public’s help.
(July 9) Despite a determined effort to stay tight-lipped about the mystery of five human feet that have emerged from the watery depths off of British Columbia, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police now appear ready to give-in to increased pressure from world media outlets.
Today, investigators said that they will hold a “media briefing” Thursday.
Authorities in British Columbia have been so inundated with calls from around the world concerning the mysterious human feet that have been washing up on the province’s shores that investigators have promised to hold a media briefing to update the public on the case.
The RCMP and the B.C. Coroners Service have scheduled a joint news conference for Thursday morning in Vancouver. Officials from each agency will answer questions that are relevant to the public interest, the RCMP said Wednesday.
One question left unanswered: Will investigators show any of the five mystery sneakers at the news conference? It would appear to be a logical move aimed at generating tips.
According to today’s Vancouver Sun, organizers of Thursday’s news conference are not planning to address yesterday’s discovery of a human foot on a beach in Sweden.
Rise Magazine has included the murder of 17-year-old high school football star Jamiel Shaw II in its list of top high school sports stories of 2007-2008. The list was also published today on the magazine’s Web site, RiseMag.com.
In beginning its overview of the Shaw case, Rise Magazine writes:
It seems obvious to label the murder of a teenager tragic or senseless, but in the case of Jamiel Shaw, there’s no other way to put it. Shaw was truly one of the best and brightest.
Rise Magazinecalls itself “the nation’s leading sports and active lifestyle magazine for teens.”
Jamiel Shaw II was gunned down March 2 as he walked towards his Los Angeles home. He was speaking to his girlfriend on his cell phone and was so close to making it home that his father heard the sound of the gunshots.
Investigators arrested 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza. Shaw’s parents say their son was targeted because he was black.
Espinoza, an illegal immigrant, had been released from jail just 28-hours prior to Shaw’s murder.
At the time of her son’s murder, Shaw’s mother was serving her country in Iraq.
Beyond90Seconds.com has followed the Jamiel Shaw II case from the beginning. To read the entire archive, please click this link. The most recent article will appear at the top of the page.
Finally, the video below features the March 11 news conference announcing the arrest of Shaw’s alleged killer. It had already been a very emotional day as a funeral service for Shaw had been held just hours earlier. Many of the people appearing at the news conference had also attended the funeral service.
This video is the unedited footage that had been featured live on KNBC.com’s “News Raw” web page.
(Total run time is 10:52. Video may take several seconds to load.)
The Los Angeles murder story that continues to fuel heated political debate concerning illegal immigration is now the focus of a new documentary produced by the alternative news source Full Disclosure Network. The documentary provides an in-depth interview with the parents of the late Jamiel Shaw II.
Police say Jamiel Shaw II, 17, was walking home and speaking with his girlfriend on a cell phone March 2 when a gang member approached him, then shot and killed him.
It’s a case Beyond90Seconds.com has closely followed from the beginning.
Investigators have charged a 19-year-old Pedro Espinoza with the murder. Espinoza, who is an illegal immigrant, had been released from jail just 28-hours prior to Shaw II’s murder.
Police do not believe the victim knew his killer. The victim’s parents believe their son was killed because he was black. In the new documentary, Shaw’s parents claim that some city leaders refuse to acknowledge this alleged motive because doing so would be politically unpopular.
The Jamiel Shaw II case has prompted one mayoral candidate to propose Jamiel’s Law, an effort to amend the Los Angeles Police Department’s Special Order 40.
Proponents of Jamiel’s Law argue that police should be allowed to make inquiries concerning an arrested person’s immigration status if that person is believed to be a gang member.
Presently, Special Order 40 dictates that “officers shall not initiate police action with the objective of discovering the alien status of a person.”
Shaw’s parents have also blasted people who’ve claimed that their son had gang ties, suggesting that the claim is part of a smear campaign aimed at dissuading voters from supporting Jamiel’s Law.
According to the Web site fulldisclosure.net, the person who produced its new documentary is Leslie Dutton. The Web site provides the following information concerning Dutton’s background:
For more than a decade, Emmy Award winning producer-host Leslie Dutton has provided an alternative news source with Full Disclosure Network®. More than mere investigative journalism, Leslie has exposed political corruption, voter fraud, malfunctioning state courts, and errant police policy where it compromised the Rule of Law.
From the judicial system to the Presidency, she has interviewed prosecutors, police chiefs, & attorneys general, pursuing government accountability in issues including Iran Contra, Watergate, Whitewater, immigration policy (See Special Order 40), border security, and its effect on the War on Terrorism.
A nearly 10-minute long excerpt of the Full Disclosure documentary recently appeared on youtube. The excerpt also appears on the Full Disclosture Web site beneath the headline, “Is LA soft on criminal alien gangs?”
Wearing camouflage and a green beret, Joseph Kimojino is now at war with poachers in Kenya’s spectacular and untamed Mara Triangle. Kimojino’s weapon of choice is a video camera, supported by a computer with an internet connection. The result is a nearly immediate and dramatic look inside the battle’s front line.
Kimojino is the head of tourism and anti-animal harassment for the Mara Conservancy. His “office” is filled with raw energy, wild beasts, spectacular beauty and–at times–the slow grind of a heartbreaking fate.
Just today, in an adrenaline-filled moment, two male lions fought and nearly tumbled into Kimojino’s vehicle; an episode that sent the cyber-crusader into an immediate scramble.
On the web today, Kimojino wrote the following account:
We found a male lion this afternoon which had been mating with a female. When we arrived the female got up to hunt, and the male left in the opposite direction.
As we headed back to Serena we then saw another mating pair of lions by the road. The male lion could hear the other lion roaring, and roared quietly in response. Eventually the now lone lion found the mating pair…
The video (below) of the lions runs 2:18. After a showdown, the fighting ensues at 1:43.
Two days ago, Kimojino uploaded an incredible video of hundreds of zebras (and other animals) crossing the Mara River and, at times, going nose-to-nose with massive crocodiles. Here is an excerpt from his blog entry of that moment:
The zebras are still coming across the Mara River in large numbers from the Musiara Plains in the North. With them there are a few wildebeest, and slowly but surely the Triangle is starting to fill with animals. Yesterday we managed to capture a video of an early morning crossing… You will see that the crocodiles have been eating so well these past few days that they are becoming too lazy in their attempts to capture the crossing animals.
Also this week, Kimojino shared his photographof a group of hyenas feeding on a zebra. Once again, his dramatic account of that moment provided unique insight into the struggle against poaching.
On Sunday at around 4pm, one spotted hyaena was found near Olpunyata at the central plains of the Mara Triangle. He had a serious wound around his neck inflicted by a wire snare which was still cutting deep into his flesh. He was feasting with other hyaenas on the carcass of a zebra, which had been injured by crocodiles when crossing the Mara River and then finally killed by the hyaenas. As the hyaena with the snare around his neck was feeding on this zebra we could see food spilling out from the open wound of his oesophagus. It was so sad to see.
I first read about Kimojimo’s plight in the May 27, 2008 Wired.com story, Life, Death & Twitter on the African Savannah. Now, I eagerly read his daily updates on Twitter (where I learned the hyena with the snare on its neck was found dead today).
Videos, photographs and first-hand experiences are all shared at Kimojimo’s blog. Beneath a banner stating We cannot lose the Mara, visitors can make a financial contribution to Kimojino’s efforts to combat poaching.
So, why the spike in poaching? Kimojino explains that it’s largely due to the fallout from last December’s presidential election in Kenya. Weeks of deadly violence and unrest followed that election (it’s a story I told through the eyes of an Arizona woman in a two-part video series, Crisis in Kenya).
To say Kenya’s tourist industry is suffering now seems an understatement. It’s a trickle of its former self.
And when the tourists fail to arrive, so does money depended upon for important programs such as protecting the Mara Triangle.
At last, the politics of Kenya have found a time of peace. But Kimojino’s lens provides daily proof that the nation’s Mara Triangle remains very much in a state of crisis.