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B.C. mystery feet Canada CTV Horner mysteries mystery feet News pigs RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police Toronto Star transcript true crime unsolved unsolved mysteries Vancouver Vancouver Island video

“Mystery Feet” news conference: 2 feet from same man (VIDEO)

New (July 11): New leads emerge after B.C. police reveal shoes… (globeandmail.com)

New: CBC News video:

New: Cops seek help in solving missing feet mystery (CTV Video)

New: Pictures of all 5 shoes (in post below)

New: Cororner’s findings, DNA analysis yields more clues in feet mystery (pdf)

New: Transcript of opening remarks from investigators.

New: CTV raw (UNEDITED) VIDEO of the news conference

Part 1 (runs 8:12)
Part 2
(runs 15:28 )

(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.

Shoes 1 and 2
Shoes 1 and 2

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.

Shoes 3 & 4
Shoes 3 & 4

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).

Shoe 5
Shoe 5

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?

###

Previous posts on Mystery Feet:

July 9:     Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery
June 28:  Pig video lends insight into B.C. human feet mystery
June 23:  Truth yet to surface in human feet mystery

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Beyond 90 Seconds breaking news British Columbia Canada Horner law enforcement mysteries mystery feet News pigs police RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police Strait of Georgia Sweden true crime unsolved unsolved mysteries Vancouver Vancouver Island

Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery (VIDEO)

Update (July 10, 11:01am PST)News conference underway: 2-feet came from same person

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.

But let’s wait and see…

You can watch the CTV story here.

(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.

According to a Vancouver Sun (Canwest News Service) report :

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.

For more insights into this investigation, check out this blog’s earlier story, Pig Video lends insight into B.C.’s  human feet mystery.

You can also read my initial post on this investigation, Truth yet to surface in human feet mystery.  At the time of that initial story, police had announced plans to hold a news conference.

It never happened.

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B.C. mystery feet Beyond 90 Seconds British Columbia Canada forensics Fraser River law enforcement mysteries mystery feet News pigs RCMP Strait of Georgia Sweden true crime unsolved unsolved mysteries Vancouver Vancouver Island

Report: Human foot found on Swedish beach

Update (July 9): Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery

ANY CONNECTION TO BRITISH COLUMBIA CASE?

Followers of this blog may be familiar with my recent interest in the case of the five human feet that have surfaced from the waters near Vancouver, Canada.  Most recently, I blogged about a fascinating “underwater pig” experiment that investigators say is lending insight into the mystery.

Still, I was caught a bit off-guard early this evening when I learned that a human foot turned-up on a beach near Stockholm, Sweden earlier today.  More to the point, I was surprised someone had wondered if the Swedish case is connected to the investigation in British Columbia.

But then again, why not ask?

Canwest News Services apparently did so; putting what may appear to be a far-fetched question to the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

“I’ve mentioned it to the investigators,” said Const. Annie Linteau from Vancouver. “We have not been in contact with the authorities over there and vice versa, they have not contacted us either. We are just continuing our own investigation.”

Read the article and, indeed, the mystery deepens:

Lifeguards apparently realized at 1p.m. on Tuesday that the shoe contained a foot.

“They had seen the shoe yesterday, sploshing around at the water’s edge,” Sjolander told The Local. He also said it was “far too early” to make a connection between between the foot in Sweden and five feet that have been found in Vancouver near the mouth of the Fraser River or on islands in the Strait of Georgia that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland.

The five feet discovered in B.C. are all in the care of the B.C. Coroner’s Service, which is being deluged with media calls from around the world, according to chief coroner Terry Smith.

You can read the entire Canadian News Service story here.

The english language Swedish newspaper, The Local, has a story that can be found here.

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mystery feet News RCMP unsolved mysteries Victoria Underwater Experimental Under the Sea video

Pig video lends insight into B.C.’s human feet mystery

Shoe with human foot

Update (August 3): This post has received a tremendous response and even a link from a Canadian newspaper’s blog.  A lot has transpired since I wrote this story.  Be sure to read about all of the developments concerning this case here.

Update (July 9): Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery

(Please be advised that this report includes pictures and video of a decomposing pig.)

***

Fascinating video of a dead pig pinned to the ocean floor off of British Columbia is providing new insight into events that may have led up to the emergence of five human feet in the Strait of Georgia. Dead pig underwater Simon Fraser University forensic scientist Gail Anderson wanted to know–make that “see”–exactly what happens as a pig decomposes in the waters off of British Columbia. It is well worth noting here that Anderson has worked closely with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in its investigation of the mysterious human feet. But how does one get good video of a dead pig on a sea floor? Anderson didn’t want just a few hours or days of video, either.  She wanted weeks and weeks of it. The answer turned out to be as close as VENUS.  Not the planet, but a revolutionary underwater laboratory already in place in the Strait of Georgia. University of Victoria researcher Richard Dewey is the chief scientist behind the Victoria Experimental Network Under the Sea(VENUS) project.  Working with Anderson, the team has produced some compelling video regarding that dead pig that will surely prove fascinating to forensic scientists and true crime fans. Gail AndersonDewey recently presented the team’s findings.  A video of that presentantion appeared today on the Leader-Post’s (Regina) Web site and also appears below. Early in his remarks, Dewey establishes the significance of Anderson’s expertise. ““When a body washes up, a human body washes up on the shore, and the RCMP call her, they want to ask her, ‘Is this kind of wound caused by torture or a squat lobster?'” Dewey explained that the dead pig used in the VENUS experiment had been electrocuted.  Therefor, with no open wounds, the animal went three days with little to no attention from the ocean’s creatures. Everything began to change after something–presumably a shark–took a large bite of pig overnight. After a couple of weeks, a leg was detached from the pig. “They’ve (crustaceans) actually eaten the flesh away from the joint and something like an ankle becomes disarticulated from the carcass and in fact we see one of the legs over here to the right, there’s actually a crab nibbling on it there, that’s become separated.  And this has direct bearing on the feet that have washed up in the Strait of Georgia. “And, in fact, from the first (human) foot on, Gail has been very involved with the RCMP because of her research on VENUS,” Dewey explained. After two weeks spent underwater, much of the pig’s carcass had been stripped clean. A month later, there was no trace of the swine. “After a month and half, there was not a single piece of this pig left on the bottom.  We went back with the ROV six months later and frankly had a tough time even finding small bones.” Dewey added that bare bones may simply float away from the scene of a body’s final underwater resting place. Something a detached foot might do days or weeks earlier.

Watch video of Dewey’s presentation:




*The following 2006 CBC News story provides an excellent overview of the VENUS Project :

*ADDITIONAL VIDEOS: (Updated July 4, 2008 ) From what I’ve read on the official VENUS Project Web site, the pig study referred to in this story was conducted in 2006.  The VENUS Project conducted a second pig study in 2007. I initially provided a link here to a series of higher-resolution videos concerning the 2007 pig study.  Those videos were quite thorough from start-to-finish as they began with “pig 2” being lifted from a large ship and then lowered into the water (an underwater camera even followed “pig 2” as it sunk to the sea floor).  However, today I’ve noticed that the link now requires a User ID & password.  There are additional high-resolution videos of an underwater pig experiment at the VENUS Project Web site.  At this time, they do not require a User ID and password.  I do not know if the pig in these videos is “pig 2”.  Still, if you’re interested in matters related to decomposition/forensics beneath the sea, these videos should prove of interest.

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B.C. mystery feet Beyond 90 Seconds British Columbia Campbell River Canada Fraser River law enforcement mysteries mystery feet News Newsweek RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police Seattle Seattle Times Strait of Georgia true crime unsolved unsolved mysteries Vancouver Vancouver Island Washington

Truth yet to surface in human feet mystery

(Update, July 9, 1:30pm PST): Breaking News: Police to hold news conference about human feet mystery

(Update, June 28, 8:59am PST)“Pig video lends insight into B.C.’s human feet mystery”

Update:  NEWS CONFERENCE DELAYED

(June 26, 2:23am PST):  “Police delay update on feet mystery” –Seattle Times

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) has delayed a news conference on the case of the five feet that have washed ashore along the Strait of Georgia over the past year.

The RCMP had planned to update the public this week but has now decided to hold off until more of the investigation is complete, said Constable Annie Linteau, the agency’s spokeswoman. –Seattle Times

(June 23) It’s already happened five times in less than a year: a human foot found washed-up on a beach or floating in the waters within British Columbia’s Strait of Georgia.

One week ago, a foot was found inside a sneaker floating near Westham Island in the mouth of the Fraser River.

It was a left foot.

Four prior discoveries, dating back to August 2007, were all right feet.

It’s a story that appears in today’s Seattle Times.

So far, investigators have not been able to link any of the feet to people who’ve been reported missing.

British Columbia’s chief coroner says that–so far–there is no evidence of foul play.

Despite a tight-lipped stance from police, the case is now netting media attention from around the world.

Of course, theories are emerging from people trying to solve the mystery.  One theory is that the feet drifted across the Pacific Ocean after tsunamis or storms in Asia.

Others speculate that the feet are from people who’ve drowned or disappeared in the strait.

Another theory is that the feet are the result of a sick prank performed by someone who has access to cadavers.

And, yes, some people wonder if this is the work of a serial killer.

According to the Seattle Times, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is expected to hold a news conference about the case this week.  Although, the paper reports, it’s quite possible that the news conference won’t produce much new information.

subsequent news coverage:

(June 24): “Cold Feet: A bizarre mystery baffles British Columbia” –newsweek.com

The macabre discoveries have attracted armchair investigators from around the globe and inspired a couple of twisted pranksters. An anonymous posting on Craigslist last week urged readers to “have some fun” and “take a raw turkey drumstick, tie it inside one of your old running shoes and throw it in the ocean late at night when no one can see, or drop it off the ferry from the car deck. Then watch the news.” A sixth foot, found at Campbell River on June 19, turned out to be an animal appendage wrapped in seaweed and crammed into a shoe-seemingly a sick joke on the cops and local citizens, who are gobbling up any details about the story they can find. –newsweek.com

(June 24): “Feet theories abound, while 28 men are missing” –globeandmail.com

We’re likely to get fresh news this week about the feet. At least, so says RCMP Constable Annie Linteau, the poor soul responsible for dealing with the monsoon of media calls from around the world about the feet-stuffed shoes washing up on our shores.

Actually, Ms. Linteau sounds a little star-struck by some of the calls she’s been getting. The king of talk, CNN’s Larry King, wanted her on his show to chat about the story. So did Mr. King’s CNN colleague, Nancy Grace. Constable Linteau graciously declined the invitations.

Jay Leno may be harder to turn down.  –globeandmail.com

-prior news coverage:

( June 21, 2008 ) “B.C. floats endless foot theories” –thestar.com (Toronto)

Eric Kunze, who conducts research into ocean physics at the University of Victoria, said it would be impossible for the feet to have travelled from Asia to the coast of British Columbia.

“If feet were coming through from there, we would have thousands of feet coming onto the shores of B.C.,” he said. “From an oceanographic standpoint, all we can really say at this point is they originated somewhere from the Strait of Georgia.” –thestar.com

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Beyond 90 Seconds California Juliana Redding law enforcement Mark Horner murder mysteries News police Salpointe Santa Monica true crime Tucson unsolved unsolved mysteries

Who killed Juliana Redding?

NEW:  (March 10, 2009)  TV station removes Juliana Redding “arrest” story from its Web site

(August 30, 2008):  DNA links Santa Monica man to three murders

Check out this June 2, 2008 story:  Photos offer closer look at condo rented by Redding

Check out this May 21, 2008 story: Santa Monica’s third homicide of 2008

Check out this May 5, 2008 update: Posters asking “Who killed Juliana Redding?” plaster Venice street

Check out this April 14, 2008 update: Maxim photos reveal Redding’s beauty

Your comments on the Juliana Redding case are welcome here.

updates:

Juliana Redding

  • KNBC, (*on Merman case*) Autopsy reveals Santa Monica artist stabbed, beaten, March 24:
  • The LookOut News (*on Merman case*), Homicide victim stabbed to death, coroner concludes, March 24:

Alexander Merman, who was found dead in his Santa Monica condo last week, died of multiple stab wounds, according to the Los Angeles County Coroners Office. -The LookOut News

The findings of the autopsy conducted Saturday dispelled a report in the Los Angeles Times that Merman had been shot to death. Police had reported that Merman died as a result of “blunt force trauma.” -The LookOut News

Both Merman and Juliana Redding, who took several courses at Santa Monica College, were living alone and discovered after their mothers had asked for someone to check in on the victims, concerned after having difficulty reaching their children. -Santa Monica Daily Press

  • KNBC, Investigations into two Santa Monica murders continue, March 21:

Alexander Merman, 35 — who was apparently beaten to death — was found dead in his apartment at 520 Montana Ave. at about 8:05 p.m. Wednesday, said Santa Monica police Lt. Alex Padilla. -KNBC

“The mother had not been able to get in contact with her son for several days,” Padilla said. It was unknown how long Merman had been dead, he said. -KNBC

  • LAist.com, Details come out on second Santa Monica murder, March 21:

Police say the two murders in Santa Monica are unrelated, but both draw eerie similarities. Both murdered in their multi-family complexes, 3-miles apart, Juliana Redding, found dead on Sunday, and Alexander Merman, found on Wednesday, were discovered in their states at the request of each of their mothers for someone to check on them since communications had lessoned. -LAist.com

An artist’s body is found in his Montana Avenue apartment. Police say there is no apparent connection between his death and the killing of a woman whose body was found Sunday about 3 miles away. -Los Angeles Times

2nd victim: Alexander “Sasha” Merman

Merman’s Web site

  • KFOX, Police investigate 2nd “suspicious death” in Santa Monica, March 20 (article updated 7:49pm PDT)

Last fall a woman was assaulted in her Princeton Street home by a 17-year-old man from Oxnard who was believed to have been working on her house during the day.

The two incidents were unrelated but occurred on women who were believed to be living alone at the time.

When it comes to safety… -Santa Monica Daily Press

  • KCBS: Santa Monica man’s death now called suspicious, March 20:

Santa Monica police were expected to release more information about the discovery later on Thursday, Toti added. -KCBS

(on the Juliana Redding case)
Assistant Chief Ed Winter of the coroner’s office said that Redding’s autopsy was completed, but Santa Monica police put a “security hold” on the results. Winter said it would probably be 30 to 60 days before the results would be made public. -KCBS

  • KNBC: Man’s body found inside Santa Monica apartment, March 20:

Police on Thursday investigated the “suspicious death” of a man whose body was found inside a Santa Monica apartment, the second apparent homicide in the normally tranquil city since the weekend. -KNBC

Police, meanwhile, continued to investigate the death of Juliana Maureen Redding… -KNBC

Kovacik said police had determined there was no connection between the man’s death and Redding’s murder. -KNBC

  • Long Beach Press-Telegram, March 19 (10:58pm), a perspective column about recent violence against young people, including Juliana Redding

My sister Ginny Clements is on the line from Tucson, and she sounds distraught.

“What’s wrong?” I ask.

“A girl I knew who was the granddaughter of a close friend was murdered in Santa Monica,” she said. “Her name was Juliana Redding, and I just feel terrible about it.”-Long Beach Press-Telegram

“The preliminary investigation has revealed no bullet or stab wounds,” Winter told the paper, though he declined to elaborate on Redding’s injuries or disclose a cause or time of death.

KABC reported that the autopsy results won’t be released for 30 to 60 days.

Police said they were working with DNA taken from the scene.

“We have collected some evidence at the crime scene that we’re looking at, both DNA and other,” Padilla told KABC. “And so any of that information will certainly be evaluated.”-FOX News

With tears in their eyes, friends from the Venice wine bistro where she had worked part time for about a year brought flowers to her apartment building Tuesday, placing them by a nearby palm tree. -LA Times

  • Arizona Daily Star (Tucson), March 19, California cops hunt leads in death of Salpointe graduate
  • KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) *video* 10:19pm, Tuesday, Friends remember 21-year-old aspiring actress, model
  • KABC, (March 18 ) Autopsy completed on murdered actress
  • KVOA-TV (Tucson) has just reported at 6pm that Redding was attending community college in Santa Monica and was working as a hostess in a restaurant
  • KABC reporter appearing on Tucson’s KGUN-TV at 6pm: Police say it appears Redding died from blunt force trauma

In high school “she was involved in the drama department, as well as the Salpointe golf team and student council, she was a good student,” said Kay Sullivan, a spokeswoman for the school. -Tucson Citizen

“I was divinely placed in a position to see how the music made those living in poverty feel so good,” he (Cipes) says.

  • Tuesday’s 11am video from KNBC-TV.
  • “ex-boyfriend” Greg Cipes tells KNBC Redding was “very lonely and scared of being in her apartment” and claims Redding worked at strip club on Sunset Boulevard.
  • FOX 11 (LA) latest video and article: “She was not shot. She was not stabbed.”

***

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call the Santa Monica Police Department at 310-458-8451.

A young woman who went to California to pursue her dream of becoming an actress and model was found dead inside her Santa Monica apartment early Sunday evening.

KABC-TV in Los Angeles reports that 21-year-old Juliana Maureen Redding was murdered and that police discovered the victim’s body after receiving a phone call from Redding’s concerned mother. Juliana ReddingThe news station reports the mother had made “several attempts” to contact her daughter.

A KNBC-TV (Los Angeles) story states that police believe Redding was killed Sunday.

According to KABC, police have said Redding was “assaulted.” KNBC reports that “there was some trauma to the body.”

No word yet on the cause of death.

(*KABC has several videos now on the Redding story. Video “New details in Santa Monica murder” shows police investigating what appears to be a trail of blood near Redding’s apartment. This video also includes a movie clip featuring Redding and an interview with her high school golf coach).

Redding had moved to California from Arizona. According to published reports, she graduated from Salpointe High School in Tucson.

Juliana Redding

While the Internet Movie Database does have a listing for a “Julianna Redding,” the popular movie Web site has no listing for a “Juliana Redding.”

*Update: Movie trailer and cast info for film featuring Juliana Redding. This appears to be the same person killed in Santa Monica.

There are some conflicting reports concerning the spelling of Redding’s first name. KGUN-TV (Tucson) appeared to spell it “Julianna.” However, this could not be verified as the station has not published the Redding story on its Web site.

As of early Tuesday morning, KOLD-TV (Tucson) used “Juliana” in its copy/text portion of its Web report. However, “Julianna” appears beside the victim’s picture at kold.com.

In a November 28, 2004 article, the Arizona Daily Star (Tucson) included Juliana Redding of Salpointe High School in its “honorable mention” list of standout high school golfers.

At this time, Beyond90Seconds.com has decided to use the Associated Press spelling of the victim’s name.

If Beyond90Seconds.com learns that a correction of the victim’s name is needed here, the correction will be made promptly.

Your comments on the Juliana Redding case are welcome here.

Additional links

Santa Monica Daily Press

KCBS-TV

Los Angeles Times

*special thanks to Tami over at Crime Interrupted who sent me some of the links concerning Greg Cipes.