Tag Archive | "murder"

The Raw Footage of the South Carolina Trooper Shooting



Warning:  Above Video is Graphic in Detail




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



If you haven’t seen the above video, you can’t understand just
how great of a shock it is.

An unarmed black man, stopped for a broken tail-light, is seen running away from a cop.  The cop, officer Michael Slager, aims and fires eight times.  The victim, Walter Scott, falls.

Slager shot the unarmed man in the back and then rushes to cover up the crime.  Slager had called in the shooting as a tussle about a Taser gun.  He calmly went to the body, handcuffed Scott, and then went back for what looked like his Taser, which he planted next to Scott.  He wiped his hands for no apparent reason.

He did all this as Scott lay dying.

It was horrific and much worse.  Scott had run away from the traffic stop, apparently fearing arrest for an old warrant.  There had been a scuffle, according to the man who witnessed the event and caught it all on his cell phone.

Except Slager killed a man and then lied about the shooting.  He apparently tried to plant incriminating evidence.  And you could see how, without the video, he probably would have gotten away with unaccountably and unimaginably shooting an unarmed man eight times in the back.

It wasn’t the only shock.  Some were shocked that the North Charleston mayor and police chief acted so quickly in immediately removing Slager from the force and charging him with murder.

Perhaps that was because Slager has had excessive force complaints in the past and is embroiled in a current lawsuit. 

Two years ago, a man said Slager used his stun gun against him without reason.  

On Friday, another Charleston County man, Justin Wilson, came forward alleging that Slager did the same thing to him during a traffic stop last year.  Wilson’s lawsuit says that when he was pulled over by police Aug. 24, he produced a valid Georgia driver’s license but was placed under arrest for having a suspended South Carolina license.

The suit alleges that Wilson was pulled from his vehicle, forced to the ground and then, although he was cooperating with authorities, Slager shot him with his Taser.  Wilson’s lawyer said he would release a statement next week.

The story in this recent South Carolina shooting didn’t begin or end there, however, because a man who was walking to work saw the scuffle and did what people do.  He pulled out his cell phone and started shooting video.  He couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  And he was scared to death to think what he had in his phone.

Feidin Santana, a Dominican immigrant, would say he thought about erasing the video and leaving town.  He worried that the cops must have seen him.  He was afraid, after watching the shooting, what they might to do him.

“My life has changed in a matter of seconds,” Santana said.  “My family’s afraid what’s going to happen next with me.  I’m afraid, too, of what can happen.  But I guess I feel that what I did is just, you know, look for justice in this case.”

After hearing what Slager had to say about the shooting, Santana took his video to a vigil for Scott and gave it to the family.  The video was released to the press, and, as it was played for the world to see, Slager was charged with murder and Santana was rightly being called a hero.

Days later, the North Charleston police released the dash-cam video
of the traffic stop.  

And the mayor promised that the police would soon be outfitted with body-cams– a policy that, locally here in Humboldt County, Chief Andrew Mills and the Eureka Police Department have been dragging their feet on for some time, especially given our own spate of multiple officer-involved shootings and fatalities over the past several years.

And so Santana would tell the Washington Post that if people see “something bad … happening,” they should reach for their cell phones to record it.  It’s a matter of justice, he said.

As shocking as that can sometimes be.

~Via NYDN, Summit News, SF Gate, IBT, Daily Kos, ABC, YouTube



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A Vineyard Dispute, Lots of Cash, and a Murder or Two



Running For Your Life Through the Napa Grapevines




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



It began with the red Adidas gym bag stuffed with $800,000 in cash– coupled with the wine deal gone sour.

A tragic story of an overhyped and failed wine venture here in the heart of Napa Valley, the drama ironically led to the emotional and furious court battles between Robert Dahl, who ran a struggling vineyard, and his chief investor, Emad Tawfilis, who had willingly handed over the gym bag to offer the vintner seed capital.

Their dispute, in a region where money flows like, well, wine, climaxed Monday in the style of a Hollywood movie or a pulp fiction thriller, with a wounded Mr. Tawfilis racing frantically through the grapevines as Mr. Dahl, carrying a silencer-equipped .22-caliber semiautomatic pistol and driving a black sport utility vehicle, methodically pursued and then killed him in sight of onlookers and arriving sheriff’s deputies.

Mr. Dahl, 47, a former Minnesotan with a checkered background of delusional disputes and broken deals, later shot himself to death as officers closed in after a chase up a twisting valley road in Yountville, near the Napa-Sonoma border.

The Napa County sheriff’s office said Wednesday that it was still sorting out Monday’s events.  But Mr. Tawfilis, who had given Mr. Dahl the $800,000 and more to finance another winery that may have been defunct at the time of the investment, had told his lawyer that day that he was meeting Mr. Dahl to examine documents and talk about settling the lawsuit he had filed to recover his losses.

Days before, a judge appeared to have backed Mr. Dahl into a legal corner, ordering a hearing on an 18-count contempt citation for violating court orders not to move or dispose of corporate assets and lying to the court.

“The settlement conference was nothing more than an ambush to kill Emad,” said Lewis Perdue, the publisher of Wine Industry Insight, who is also a mystery writer and a former police-blotter journalist.  He said he had talked to both men and written extensively about their legal dispute.

Mr. Dahl, those who knew him say, came across at first as an ambitious, fast-talking salesman with a wealth of moneymaking ideas and the appearance of financial competence.  

When he arrived in California around 2011 from Minnesota, he left behind a group of investors who so liked his pitch for Duraban International, a company he had founded to produce a mold-killing spray, that they bought the firm.

But they later decided that the product “wasn’t what it was purported to be” and sued Mr. Dahl, Steven J. Lodge, a lawyer for the investors, said in a telephone interview from Anoka, Minn.

That was one of two lawsuits Mr. Lodge said he had filed on behalf of unhappy associates of Mr. Dahl’s.

“He was real good at getting into deals,” making his business partners upset, “and then exiting in a ball of fire,” Mr. Lodge said.  “I considered him kind of pathological.”

Mr. Dahl and Mr. Tawfilis met sometime after Mr. Dahl, who was married and had three children, moved to a San Francisco suburb around 2011.  Mr. Tawfilis, 48, of Los Gatos, worked in the Silicon Valley tech industry, but apparently in finance and accounting rather than software.  A soft-spoken, private man, he was unlike the beefy, quick-tempered Mr. Dahl, according to Steve Burch, a winemaker who worked for Mr. Dahl for two and a half years.  But the two shared one thing, he said:  the dream of having a place in Napa’s glamorous wine industry.

“It’s not about the wine or the work that goes into it,” Mr. Burch said.  “It’s about the lifestyle — drinking wine every night and having great dinners.”

According to court papers, Mr. Dahl said he had the business entree that Mr. Tawfilis sought, a Minnesota business called the Patio Wine Company.  In 2012 and 2013, according to court documents, Mr. Tawfilis lent Mr. Dahl $1.2 million to finance the venture, taking 97.5 percent of the company’s stock and its assets as collateral.  In return, he was to split profits from wine sales that the loan financed.

What he did not know, Mr. Tawfilis claimed in a subsequent lawsuit, was that Mr. Dahl had already dismantled Patio and was siphoning his money into a another winery and a Napa craft beer brewery that was, at one point, said to be losing $100,000 a month.

By early 2012, the court papers state, the two men were at odds over terms of the loan.  But Mr. Tawfilis, undeterred, delivered the balance — at least $800,000 — in a bag the next year.  Mr. Dahl, elated, distributed a picture of the bag to associates.

Michael Calhoun, the husband of a member of the family trust that owns the land, the wine grapes and the structure for Mr. Dahl’s winery, said Mr. Dahl told Mr. Tawfilis he could get better deals on bulk wine purchases if he paid in cash.

“He wanted cash, and Emad met with him with Emad’s accountant,” Mr. Calhoun said.  “He handed Robert $800,000 in cash in a red Adidas bag, and Emad regretted it terribly.”

Mr. Dahl’s winery, Dahl Vineyards, was a small 7-acre leased spread producing 1,500 cases of red and white wine a year.  Dahl’s business found itself in regular trouble with county regulators, bringing in busloads of tourists to tastings over officials’ complaints that he lacked permits.  

Though the venture was little more than a leased renovated barn, his website waxed ecstatic about “the ideal home for his own wine brand that could reflect his commitment, heritage and his entrepreneurial spirit.”

But early last year, Mr. Dahl had fallen behind in loan payments and Mr. Tawfilis, investigating, discovered that Patio Wine no longer existed.  A volley of lawsuits followed, with the sides exchanging charges of fraud, money-laundering and usury, among others.

Mr. Tawfilis, no longer working by that time, “was consumed by this,” his San Francisco lawyer, David Wiseblood, said in an interview.  “This was a lot of money for him.”

Mr. Tawfilis was winning the legal war, Mr. Wiseblood and court documents both indicated.  Mr. Dahl was uncooperative, dodging court orders and making statements that the judge considered deceptive.  But negotiations continued even as the battle raged, and by last week, Mr. Wiseblood stated, the sides had agreed to meet in Napa to discuss a settlement.

That arrangement fell apart on Friday, after Mr. Tawfilis sent representatives to enforce a court order that Mr. Dahl turn over five large metal tanks that were part of the collateral for the loan.  The tanks had disappeared, and Mr. Wiseblood canceled the session.

But on Monday, he said, Mr. Tawfilis told him that he had exchanged text messages with Mr. Dahl, and that they had agreed to meet at the vineyard near Solano Lane and Hoffman Avenue to review Dahl’s records.

 “My advice was, ‘Don’t go to Dahl Vineyards alone — you canceled the meeting for a good reason,’ ” Mr. Wiseblood said.  

But Mr. Tawfilis went anyway.

Mr. Dahl had no documents to examine, however, and at 11:10 a.m. the two men held a brief telephone conference with their lawyers.  “There was no screaming, no profanity,” Mr. Wiseblood said.  “There was no hint of what was to come.”

Mr. Dahl’s lawyer, Kousha Berokim, said in an interview that he never saw a suggestion of violence in his client.  After the 11:10 phone call, he said, he believed that the two parties “were inching toward a number and a settlement.”

“I was hoping for a phone call telling me, ‘We’ve agreed on these terms, draft an agreement so we can sign it,’ ” Mr. Berokim said.  “That phone call did not come in.”

Minutes after the telephone conference, Napa County deputies received a 911 cellphone call from Mr. Tawfilis.  He had been shot, he said, and was running through the vineyard.  Mr. Dahl was in pursuit in his black S.U.V.

As rescuers arrived, Mr. Tawfilis fled onto a street intersection— near busy Hwy 29 running through the heart of the region’s wine country– and collapsed, the deputies said in a statement.  Mr. Dahl got out of the vehicle, walked up to him and calmly shot him again in front of witnesses and deputies, then got back in the S.U.V. and fled.

Mr. Calhoun, the relative of the landowners, depicted Mr. Dahl as desperate.  “Robert Dahl’s whole life was at stake, and it was do or die, and it wasn’t doing,” he said.  “He had a lot of anger toward Emad.  It’s irrational because all Emad did was invest in his company.”

With squad cars and a helicopter in pursuit, Mr. Dahl fled and sped up a heavily forested road and crashed through a private gate.  Deputies surrounded the area and called in a SWAT team, but there was no need. 

The vineyard dispute and subsequent murder, so to speak, had been settled out of court.  Mr. Dahl was found dead in his driver’s seat, due to a single self-inflicted gunshot wound.


~Via the NYT, Santa Rosa Press-Democrat, YouTube



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5-Foot-3 and Full of Rage


Las Vegas Teen: “I’m Gonna Come Back
 for You and Your Daughter”




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



His mug shot tells it all:  an angry young man arrested on charges of murder and showing no sadness, remorse, regret or shame in his face.

The suspect in what has been described as a Las Vegas road-rage slaying boasted about the shooting and told friends that he emptied several clips from his semi-automatic handgun in the gun battle that killed a Las Vegas mother of four, a police report released Friday says.

Tammy Meyers, 44, was struck by a single bullet to the head on the night of Feb. 12 while in her green Buick Park Avenue outside her home.  She died two days later after being taken off life support.

The suspect was arrested several days later after SWAT teams surrounded his house a block from the Meyers home, in a nice middle-class suburban neighborhood of modest stucco homes with tile roofs about 5 miles west of downtown Las Vegas.

Las Vegas Metropolitan Police found two shooting scenes: one near a junior high school and the other in front of the Meyers’ home less than a half mile away.  Six .45 caliber cartridge casings were picked up at the first scene.  There were seven more .45 casings at the site of the killing, one .45 bullet with human blood on it, and three 9mm cartridge casings.

The police report sheds new light on the violent encounter between 19-year-old suspect Erich Milton Nowsch Jr. and victim Tammy Meyers and her 22-year-old son Brandon Meyers last week.  

Police say Nowsch fired many shots at them on two occasions that night — once a few blocks away from their house and again in the cul-de-sac outside the home.

According to the report, Nowsch told the two friends he fired 22 times at a green car after a cat-and-mouse car chase through his neighborhood just a few miles from the famed Las Vegas strip, and knew that he had shot someone when it was over.

The two friends told police that Erich Milton Nowsch had texted one of them after the incident and asked if he could come over.  He said he had important news, one of the witnesses told police.

Nowsch bragged about the shootings to the friends and told them people in a green car were out to get him, saying the altercation began after he saw someone in a green car in a nearby school parking lot waving a gun out the window.  One of the witnesses told investigators that the 19-year-old suspect said he “got those kids.  They were after me, and I got them.”

Nowsch showed the two friends his .45 caliber handgun, some extra magazines and a box with more rounds, the witnesses told police.

The police report does not clarify some nagging questions about the investigation: how it all began, what role road rage played in the altercation, and how the two parties exactly knew one another.

Family members said the altercation began when Tammy Meyers and her teenage daughter exchanged words with another driver on Feb 12.  The mother was apparently giving her daughter a driving lesson in the family’s green Buick Park Avenue.

Daughter Kristal Meyers said she was driving a green 1993 Buick sedan around the adjacent parking lot at the junior high school, getting a driving lesson from her mother, she told police.  Kristal Meyers also took a few loops around the block be-
fore switching seats with her mother.

Tammy Meyers took an indirect route home and as she was on a six-lane road, a silver car pulled up next to them.  Kristal Meyers told police she reached over and honked the horn. The driver of the other car then followed them as the Meyers turned away twice.  The other car roared past them in a bicycle lane and angrily spun around, stopping sideways in front of them.

During the incident, a man got out of the sedan and threatened them by saying:  ”I’m gonna come back for you and your daughter.”   The man was 6-feet tall, the daughter told police.  Nowsch is much shorter.

Police say that after that threat Tammy Meyers drove home.  Fearful of her life, she then dropped the daughter off at home and picked up her son, who brought his 9mm handgun.

When he got to the car, Brandon Meyers told his mother “to come in the house and call the police,” he recounted to investigators. She insisted he come with her– or she was going out alone, the police report says.

The two drove around for a short time before encountering the silver Audi car, the son said.  They followed it and at some point the car stopped and the passenger shot at them.  Brandon Meyers told police he ducked and didn’t return fire at that time.

Tammy Meyers sped home and when she parked in front of the house, which is at the end of a cul-de-sac, Brandon Meyers got out and raced over to his mother. But before he could help her out, the silver car came down the street and the passenger shot at them again.

Brandon Meyers said he fired three times at the driver but didn’t know if he hit anything.  Tammy Meyers, however, was struck in the head by the gunman in the Audi.  Brandon called 911.

Nowsch denied involvement in the shooting when questioned by police, according to the documents.  During questioning he told investigators he was with a friend at a recording studio and wasn’t involved in shooting Meyers.  But the same friend told police that he dropped Nowsch off at a park about 9:30 p.m. and they never went to a studio.

The disclosure that Tammy Meyers had taken a motherly interest in Nowsch following the suicide of his father five years ago provided yet another twist to a case that’s posed more questions than answers.  Meyers, a mother of four who lived a block from Nowsch, had frequently consoled and counseled the young teen and given him food and money, her family said.  Her two sons had gone to high school with Nowsch.

The shooting occurred just days after the fifth anniversary of the suicide of Nowsch’s father.

With the 19-year-old suspect gunman in jail, police focused Friday on finding an accomplice who was with Nowsch.

District Attorney Steve Wolfson said that despite “a lot of twists and turns in the case,” he is confident police have the right man.  He said he expects at least one more arrest in the coming days.

Police remained tight-lipped about their efforts, a day after homicide Capt. Chris Tomaino told reporters that pieces of the puzzle would fit together once the case is turned over to prosecutors.

Tomaino said a sketch that had been circulated early in the investigation was no longer relevant.  Neighbors noticed when the 5-foot-3 Nowsch was taken into custody Thursday that he looked nothing like the 6-foot blond man police and the victim’s family had described earlier.  He was a small kid barely weighing 100 pounds.  It also begs another question:  If the family knew Nowsch– which they denied at the time– why was the sketch taken in the first place?

In addition to his charges, Las Vegas police said Nowsch had also been detained Tuesday for an unrelated warrant that was issued while he was a juvenile.

Nowsch’s Facebook page shows him with his tongue wagging, his hand and arms heavily tattooed, with a ballcap on his head and thick chain around his neck.  He’s holding what appears to be a wad of cash, including at least one $100 bill.  His Instagram profile has the majority of pictures showing him smoking marijuana in its various forms.  His moniker? Mob Life 18.

Nowsch will be arraigned Monday morning at the Clark County Courthouse and faces a growing number of charges, including one count of murder.  

The other charges include one count of attempted murder, three counts of assault with a deadly weapon, and two counts of firing a gun from a car. 

Kathleen Nowsch, the teen’s mother, was disraught and turned away from reporters, refusing to comment on her son’s alleged actions.

Tammy Meyers’ husband, Robert, said that he and others knew about Nowsch before this happened.  He described Nowsch as an “animal.”

“We knew how bad he was,” Robert Meyers told reporters.  

“But we didn’t know it was this bad.  We know this boy.  He knew where I lived.  He was an animal.  He’d gotten to this point, he and his friends.  She (Tammy Meyers) fed him, she gave him money, she he told him to pull his pants up and be a man.”


~Via Google News, MSN, Reuters, CNN, USA Today,
  Fox13, Heavy-com, and Every Joe



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A Signpost for Humboldt County


Crime, Humboldt, and New York City: 1981


Award-Winning Short Film


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



NYC, 1981 is Austin Peters’ captivating six minute documentary
about a particularly dark and intense period in New York City.

A companion piece for the drama A Most Violent Year currently in theaters, Peters relates the dark truth about 1981, the year in which the film is set. 

We can only wonder if Humboldt County and Eureka could ever get so bad as 1981’s Gotham, given the crime we’re witnessing everyday on the streets and in the pages of the Times-Standard

Murders, robberies, physical assaults, criminals and drugs seem to be a daily occurrence here, running amok in our Fair City while no one seems to give a damn—from Supervisors to Councilmen, police to prosecutors, welfare workers to probation officers. 

We shovel more money into their burgeoning local budgets with nothing to show for it as a result.  It’s just more of the same crime, day in, day out.  They talk a big line of fiscal woes and promises, but nothing ever really happens for good.  It’s no wonder we have one of the highest per capita crime rates in the state and nation.

Like Eureka, death, assault, burglaries, rape, criminals running rampant, and an influx of drugs made New York City into a living nightmare with more than 2,100 murders in 1981.  That number went steadily into remission, shrinking down to 648 in 2013 after citizens demanded change.

The short film features the people who lived through those heady nitty gritty dirty days, when one could actually be caught dead in Times Square for different reasons.  Or Eureka, for that matter.

If the NYC, 1981 has a gritty ’80s feel, it’s because it was shot on 16mm film and processed at Film Lab, the only company that still developed film stock in New York City.  That company closed its doors for good in December, like many of the shuttered businesses still littering Eureka’s 5th Street.

Speaking in the film are Curtis Sliwa, who spearheaded the Guardian Angels;  Johnnie Mae, an actress who moved to New York from the South;  Dapper Dan, a Harlem street legend and fur salesman;  Penny Arcade (real name Susana Ventura), a fixture in the downtown arts scene; Nick Rosello, a Puerto Rican immigrant and auto body shop owner; and Wayne Walsh, a delivery trucker since he was 18.

NYC made amends after sinking under its own weight into a deep dark dismal abyss.  The Mob is long gone from power; the East Side has seen an arts and business revival; slums and run down areas have been torn down to make way for new development and housing.  The cops and probation officers are doing their jobs.  The Big Apple’s murder rate has dropped 70%, crime is at historic lows, and tourists are flocking back to Times Square.  Gotham’s citizens feel better; proud of their community, their neighborhoods, and the self-made accomplishments to get it done.

Humboldt County should take and learn from NYC’s example. 

Consider it a signpost for our future.  An example that Eureka citizens can and should demand better from our leaders and take back their community, too– especially when the fat-cat bureaucrats, asking for more tax monies without future promise, seem unable and unwilling to do so.

It is up to the people to lead where their “leaders” have failed.

* * * * * * * * * *

For all of those who are striving to make Eureka and Humboldt County a better place to live, thank you.  You know who you are.  And a special shout-out goes out to Charlotte McDonald and Eureka Main Street.


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Bodies in the Street



Protesting the Nation’s Killings by Cops




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



The fallout is tremendous.

For the third night in a row, demonstrators spilled into the streets in cities across the country to protest police officers killing black men.

In New York, where a grand jury declined to bring charges against New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo in the death of Eric Garner on Wednesday, several hundred protesters staged a “die in” Friday night in an Apple store on Fifth Avenue and in Macy’s at Herald Square, according to the Associated Press.  

Several hours later, protesters blocked FDR Drive, a heavily-trafficked thoroughfare that traces the eastern edge of Manhattan, according to Reuters.

At each location, protesters carried signs and filled the streets with chants of “Black lives matter” and “I can’t breathe.”

Though the protests were largely peaceful, authorities said, there were 20 arrests between 9 p.m. and midnight, according to Newsday.  That number was a sharp decrease from a night earlier, when more than 200 protesters were arrested after they brought traffic on the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges to a standstill, according to the New York Daily News.

“This is the largest store in America, and it’s the perfect place to drive home the message:  Black lives matter,” Harris Agbor, a 25-year-old Harlem resident protesting in the Apple store, told the paper.  “Everyone is energized.  It’s electric.”

Similar protests took place in cities around the country, including Denver, Miami, Chicago, New Orleans and Washington.

Among the most vigorous demonstrations were those that unfolded in Oakland on Friday night, where a crowd of protesters blocked Interstate 880.  Demonstrators also shut down a BART  station, staged a “die-in” that shut down surface transit and “roughed up a store owner,” according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“I was just trying to protect my business and they tried to beat the shit out of me,” Edwin Cabrillo, a downtown worker who tried to stop protesters from smashing several storefront windows, told the paper.  “We put all our money, all our lives into these businesses.  I understand what you are protesting — what happened to those people was wrong — but what’s happening to us, that’s fucked up. … And you wonder why Oakland doesn’t prosper.”

Protests have escalated in the days following a Staten Island grand jury’s decision on Wednesday not to indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the death of Eric Garner.  

That decision came after a grand jury declined to indict Ferguson, Mo., police officer Darren Wilson in the shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager.  Both decisions sparked calls of injustice and stirred emotions over other officer-involved deaths around the country.

In Florida, demonstrators blocked a bridge connecting Miami to Miami Beach, and in the Denver suburb of Aurora, middle school students staged a walk-out, according to the AP.

“It makes us kids feel unsafe, that we’re outsiders, enemies of society,” Bennie Mahonda, an eighth-grader who is black, told the AP.

“They are completely glossing over the fact that these people are criminals,” Ed Queens said in disbelief. 

“If they had complied with the law, they wouldn’t be dead.  They never, ever talk about all the white cops that are shooting white kids,” Queens said.  Have you even heard of Christopher Roupe?”

Roupe, 17, was fatally shot by a female officer after she mistook the Wii remote in his hand for a firearm.  A grand jury later determined that the officer did not use authorized force when she shot the teen.

“Nobody’s willing to say it yet.  But after Ferguson, and especially after the Eric Garner case that exploded in New York after yet another non-indictment following a minority death-in-custody, the police suddenly have a legitimacy problem in this country,” Rolling Stone declared after reporting eleven racially-oriented killings by law enforcement.

“Law-enforcement resources are now distributed so unevenly, and justice is being administered with such brazen inconsistency, that people everywhere are going to start questioning the basic political authority of law enforcement. And when they do, it’s going to create problems that will make the post-Ferguson unrest seem minor.”

~Via Google News, PBS, Washington Post, Associated Press, San Francisco Chronicle, and Rolling Stone



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Happiness is a Warm Gun


Last Year British Cops Fired Their Guns 3 Times


–No One Died–




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


America has a love affair with their guns.

In 2012, 409 people were shot and killed by American police in what were termed justifiable shootings.

In that same year, British police officers fired their weapons just once.  No one was killed.

In 2013, British police officers fired their weapons all of three times.  No one died.

According to The Economist, “British citizens are around 100 times less likely to be shot by a police officer than Americans.  Between 2010 and 2014, the police force of one small American city — Albuquerque in New Mexico — shot and killed 23 civilians;  seven times more than the number of Brits killed by all of England and Wales’s 43 forces during the same period.

The Economist argues that the reason for this disparity is actually quite simple: guns are comparatively rare in the UK.

Most cops don’t carry them and criminals rarely have access to them.  The last time a British officer was killed by a gun was in 2012.  In the US last year, 30 police officers were shot and killed in the line of duty.

In December, The World reported on Icelanders grieving after their police force killed a man — for the first time in the country’s history as a republic.

~Via PRI, Joe Callandar and Vimeo


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The Hunt for Shane Miller is Over



Murderer’s Remains Found in Petrolia




Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Times-Standard news this morning:

The hunt for Shane Miller is over.

The Humboldt County’s Coroner’s Office confirmed Sunday the human remains recovered near Petrolia on Friday night belong to Humboldt County native Shane Miller, who was wanted in connection with the shooting deaths of his wife and two young daughters. 

A loaded handgun was found near his remains.

Miller, 45, was the subject of a massive manhunt in the Mattole Valley last May.

Authorities say he gunned down his wife Sandy and daughters Shelby Miller, 8, and Shasta Miller, 4, in their Shingletown home in Shasta County on May 7, 2013, before fleeing 200 miles to the Humboldt County, where he abandoned his truck and the family dog.

“Using dental records the remains have been positively identified as Shane Franklin Miller, age 46 of Shingletown, California,” a release from the office states.  ”Additional examination of Mr. Miller’s remains will be conducted this week.”…

An excerpt, the full Times-Standard article is here.


From NBC News:

Humboldt County and the rest of California’s “Lost Coast,” where the green mountains of the King Range plunge down to the sea, is the most undeveloped section of the state’s shoreline.  Its dense forests have few roads, towns or people and are little known to outsiders.

But Miller knew the area.

He grew up in Humboldt County, and was a sometime participant in one of the area’s major industries — growing marijuana.  He was convicted of felony cultivation in 1996.  He also racked up arrests for a hit and run, DUI, money laundering, marijuana cultivation, and illegal possession of a machine gun, before spending nearly four years in federal prison on a gun charge.  He was released in 2007.

People who knew Miller told local media that he had survival skills.  The Marshals described him as an “avid outdoorsman,” and the affidavit described him as “a survivalist, who frequently uses cash for purchases.”

A day after the killings, Miller’s truck was found in a remote area near the tiny town of Petrolia, California, less than five miles from the Pacific.  A week later, hikers found Miller’s dog wandering along the Lost Coast Trail, which winds through the redwoods and Douglas firs high above the ocean.  Hundreds of law enforcement personnel combed through the rugged area in an extensive manhunt for Miller.

In June, authorities found a homemade underground fortress on property that Miller owned.  An elaborate, prefabricated bunker was buried on one of the properties, with vent pipes hidden by wood and other debris, according to the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office.  Inside, investigators say, was an arsenal of rifles, shotguns and handguns — but no sign of Shane Miller.

Late Friday night, someone anonymously reported possible human remains on the banks of the Mattole River in Petrolia.

Once authorities had confirmed the remains were human, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office contacted the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, “as the body’s location was within an area where Shane Miller had previously fled from law enforcement.”

On Saturday, according to a press release from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement officers from both counties and the Department of Justice collected the remains and other evidence from the scene.  

The remains were positively identified on Sunday through dental records as Shane Miller’s.

The Shasta County Sheriff’s Office didn’t say how long the body had been at the site or how Miller died, but announced plans for a press conference about the find at a later date due to personnel currently being assigned to several large fires within Shasta County.

* * * * * * * *

~Via Times-Standard, Google News/NBC/CNN,
Lost Coast Interpretive Association


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In Cold Blood


A Random Stop Leads to a
Brutal and Violent Encounter


Award-Winning **VIDEO**


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Be forewarned.  The above video isn’t pleasant. 
You may not want to see it. 

It’s an accurate and true portrayal of tragic and violent events as they happened.  Shocked and dumbstruck by its harsh reality and brutal ferocity, it’s not only what you see but also what you hear.  It’s ugly.

We were taken aback.  It was that brutal and senseless.  And it escalated as quickly on film as it did in real life.

We don’t like intolerable abuses by law enforcement and we often report about them.  This, however, is the flip side of that story.  It’s the other side of the coin, a very dark and tragic one underscoring the life and death consequences that law enforcement may meet at any given time.  Especially when hesitating making split-second decisions.

On Monday, January 12, 1998, near the end of his shift, Laurens County Deputy Kyle Dinkheller made his last and final stop before going home, pulling a motorist over for speeding.

Dinkheller encountered the speeding Toyota pickup truck near Dudley, Georgia, which he clocked at nearly 100 miles per hour.  The deputy pulled the truck over on a rural dirt road adjacent to Interstate 16.

The traffic stop at first appeared to be a routine one.  Both the deputy and Brannan exited their vehicles and exchanged greetings.  Brannan, however, placed both hands
into his pockets.  Dinkheller instructed him to remove his hands and keep them in plain

Brannan then became agitated and belligerent.  He yelled at the deputy to shoot him.  He then began to dance and wave his arms around in the middle of the road.

Dinkheller radioed dispatch for assistance and issued commands for Brannan to cease his behavior and approach the cruiser.  When Brannan saw that the deputy was calling for other units, he ran toward the deputy in an aggressive manner.

Dinkheller retreated while issuing commands, using his baton to keep Brannan at bay.  On Dinkheller’s dashcam video, Brannan was heard shouting that he was a “Vietnam combat veteran.”  Both Dinkheller and Brannan were heard saying, “I’m in fear for my life.”

Despite Dinkheller’s commands, Brannan walked back to his pickup truck and withdrew an M1 carbine from underneath the driver’s seat, taking cover near the driver side door.

Dinkheller positioned himself near the passenger door of his cruiser and gave Brannan commands for approximately forty seconds.  Brannan stepped away from his pickup truck and pointed his M1 carbine at Dinkheller.

Dinkheller fired a shot at Brannan.  After the first shot, Brannan returned fire and a barrage of gunfire was heard.  Dinkheller did not strike the suspect and was forced to reload.

At this point, Brannan ran from his pickup truck toward the deputy and began to fire, hitting Dinkheller in the exposed areas of the arms and legs.

Brannan then began to reload his weapon.  Dinkheller, injured, tried to position himself near the driver side door of his cruiser.  Another shot from Dinkheller was heard.  Brannan began advancing and firing at the deputy, hitting him numerous times.  Before being disabled from gunfire, Dinkheller was able to inflict a gunshot wound to the stomach of Brannan.

After being struck and clutching his stomach, Brannan then raised his M1 carbine and fired two more shots with one striking Dinkheller in the head, killing him.

Brannan retreated into his pickup and fled the scene.  He was discovered the next morning by police hiding in a sleeping bag beneath a camouflage tarp in Laurens County, Georgia, and arrested for the murder.

Brannan pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, but the jury found that the murder of Dinkheller was carried out in a torturous and cruel manner. 

Brannan was found guilty of the murder nearly two years later and is awaiting the death penalty.  
Currently 66-years-old, he is still incarcerated in Georgia, has not been executed, and is appealing
his conviction.

When asked why he killed the deputy, Brannan responded, “Because he let me.”

The original dashcam video of Dinkheller’s cold blooded murder is used throughout United States police academies as a training aid.  Some students have had to leave the room after viewing it.

Dinkheller was only 22-years-old at the time of his death.  Survived by his wife, daughter, and son, he was named Deputy Sheriff of the Year by the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association.


Appreciation goes out to Gun Safety Blog, Vimeo, and Castel.

* * * * * * * * *

This Independence Day, remember those that have gone before you; those who are not with us and unable to celebrate the life and liberties, protections and rights, that we have today.



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Eureka Double Homicide Suspect Taken Into Custody


EPD and Coroner’s Office Release Identities of Suspect, Victims


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


On Wednesday, March 26 at 5:57 pm, Eureka Police officers came upon two murder victims while responding
to a call in a Eureka home.

They had initially responded to the residence located at 2109 Harris Street for a citizen’s report of an injured person in the house.

Officers entered the house to render first aid and found a man deceased with obvious trauma, namely what appeared to be a gunshot wound to the head.  

Checking the rest of the house for other persons who may need help, they found a second person deceased as well.  He, too, suffered from a gunshot wound to the head, Eureka Police said.

Based on evidence collected at the scene, EPD investigators believe the crime was a double homicide. 

One person was detained at the scene and arrested as the lone suspect in the murders.

Investigators will continue to process the scene for the rest of today.  The deceased have been identified but their names are being withheld until family members are notified by the Coroner’s Office (see below).

The suspect taken into custody is Eureka resident Vincent “Vinnie” Earnest Sanchez, DOB: 04-30-1985.  

Sanchez was booked into the Humboldt County Jail on two counts of homicide.  Mr. Sanchez, to note, has had prior contacts and arrests by law enforcement.  It is unknown if Sanchez was on probation or being supervised previous to the murders occurring.

* * * * * * * * *

The Coroner’s Office recently identified the first victim as Richard “Rick” Storre, 60, of Eureka.  The second victim is confirmed as Lance Delbert Henry, 25.  Mr. Henry is reportedly the half- brother of suspect Vincent Sanchez.

This is the third homicide to occur, rocking the small city of Eureka, population 27,000, in almost as many months.


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Craigslist Killer Confesses to 22 Slayings Across US



19-Year-Old Serial Murderer Part of Satanic Cult Luring Victims, She Says



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


SUNBURY, PA– Move over Dexter.

Nineteen-year-old satanist Miranda Barbour admits to killing Troy LaFerrara of Port Trevorton.  And there are more victims spread across the nation, she claims.

In a prison interview Friday night, she said that she considered sparing his life until he said the wrong thing.  She also said LaFerrara was one of dozens of such victims she killed in the past six years.

Barbour, with her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, of Selinsgrove, has been charged by Sunbury police in the Nov. 11 fatal knifing of LaFerrara.  She requested an interview that was recorded by the Northumberland County Prison on Friday night.

While she offered scant details of her participation in slayings in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California, city police confirmed Saturday they had been working, prior to her revelations Friday night, with investigators from other states and the FBI about Miranda Barbour’s possible connection to other killings.  

The majority of her murders, she said, took place in Alaska.

City police on Saturday would not comment on the status of those investigations.


At 22 Victims, “I Stopped Counting”

Asked Friday night how many people she had killed, Miranda Barbour said through a jailhouse phone:  “When I hit 22, I stopped counting.”

She wants to plead guilty to LaFerrara’s murder, and said she is ready to speak with police about her other victims.

“I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them,” she said.  LaFerrara, Miranda Barbour said, was Elytte’s first victim.

The 42-year-old Port Trevorton resident was killed on the Barbours’ three-week wedding anniversary.  “I remember everything,” Miranda Barbour said. “It is like watching a movie.”

She said she agreed to sex for $100 with LaFerrara, whom she met through a Craigslist ad.  The two met in the parking lot of the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummels Wharf, and drove nearly six miles to Sunbury.

At one point, she planned to let LaFerrara out of her Honda CRV.

“He said the wrong things,” she said. “And then things got out of control. I can tell you he was not supposed to be stabbed. My husband was just supposed to strangle him.”


Time to “Get It Out”

According to the obtained court documents, Miranda Barbour stabbed LaFerrara 20 times as Elytte Barbour sprang from the floor of the back seat to strap a cord around LaFerrara’s neck.

As she said upon her arrest, Miranda Barbour on Friday night repeated that LaFerrara tried to grope her, but she said it was his words that set her off.

“I lied to him and told him I just turned 16,” she said.

“He told me that it was OK.  If he would have said no, that he wasn’t going to go through with the  arrangement, I would have let him go.”

Miranda Barbour said she doesn’t care whether people believe her, that she wanted to tell her story because she wanted to come clean and stop living a lie.  She said she felt no remorse for her victims and said she killed only “bad people,” a belief she traced through a troubled childhood.

She said she was sexually molested at age 4 and was introduced to murder at 13, literally in the hands of a man who led her to satanism — beliefs that she said she held at the time of the LaFerrara homicide.

“I feel it is time to get all of this out,” she said.  “I don’t care if people believe me. I just want to get it out.”


Suspect: I Joined Satanic Cult

Miranda said when she was 4, she was sexually molested by a relative.

Elizabeth Dean, Miranda’s mother, confirmed Saturday that her sister’s husband was later arrested and charged with sexual abuse of a minor and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

“It was bad,” Dean said. “I never let (her) stay anywhere except for my sister’s house, and I was devastated when I found out.”

Nine years later, Miranda joined a satanic cult in Alaska.  Soon after, Miranda said, she had her first experience in murder.

Barbour said she went with the leader of the satanic cult to meet a man who owed the cult leader money.

“It was in an alley and he (the cult leader) shot him,” she said, declining to identify the cult leader.

“Then he said to me that it was my turn to shoot him.  I hate guns.  I don’t use guns.  I couldn’t do it, so he came behind me and he took his hands and put them on top of mine and we pulled the trigger.  And then from there I just continued to kill.”

While in the satanic cult, Miranda became pregnant.  The cult did not want her to have the baby, so, she said, members tied her to a bed, gave her drugs and she had an “in-house abortion.”

However, her mother on Saturday said that when Miranda told her about the abortion, she took her daughter to a doctor who said there were no signs of an ended pregnancy.

Miranda said she spent the next three years in Alaska, continuing in the satanic cult and participating in several murders.

“I wasn’t always there (mentally),” she said, adding that she had begun to use drugs.  “I knew something was bad inside me and the satanic beliefs brought it out.  I embraced it.”

During those three years, Miranda said she became pregnant again.

“And I moved to North Carolina,” she said.  “I wanted to start over and forget everything I did.”

She left Alaska as a high-ranking official in the satanic world, leaving the father of her second pregnancy, a man named Forest, the No. 2 leader in their cult, who was murdered.


Ready to Talk to Police

Although Miranda would not say who else may have been involved in the alleged murders, she said all police have to do is talk to her because she is ready to speak.

“I would lure these people in,” she said.  

“I studied them.  I learned them and even became their friend.  I did this to people who did bad things and didn’t deserve to be here anymore.”

Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo said authorities are aware of Miranda’s claims of murders, are taking them very seriously, and are also aware of Friday night’s interview.  Prison officials have been cooperating with his department, Mazzeo said.

“We are reviewing the recording of interview and I will not confirm or deny anything at this point,” he said.

“I will however say that through investigations by lead officer Travis Bremigen, he has been in contact with several other states and is working with law enforcement from various cities and towns.  From information we gathered and from information gathered from her interview we are seriously concerned and have been in contact with the proper authorities,” Mazzeo said.

Mazzeo also said investigators will be looking into the death of a man with whom Miranda Barbour had a 1-year-old child.  He would not elaborate.

During the interview, Miranda was asked that, given her small stature, how people would believe she would be capable of murder.

“Looks,” she said, “can be deceiving.”

Asked why she pleaded not guilty to the LaFerrara murder, she simply said: “I didn’t want to.”

“When I was at my arraignment and the judge asked me how do I plead, I was ready to say guilty and my attorney (chief public defender Ed Greco) grabbed the microphone and said not guilty.”

Miranda Barbour said she has not spoken with her husband since the day she was arrested, but saw a news photo of Elytte Barbour’s new teardrop tattoo that he displayed at his most recent court appearance.


Husband:  “Proud of What He Did”

Elytte Barbour, her accomplice, is being held in Columbia County Jail.

“He is proud of what he did,” she said. “I will always love him.”

Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest that he and his wife, Miranda, had planned to kill before, but their plans never worked out.

That was until victim Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money, authorities said.

According to Sunbury police, Elytte Barbour told investigators he hid in the backseat of the couple’s SUV as his wife picked up LaFerrara at a mall Nov. 11.  He told police that, on his wife’s signal, he wrapped a cord around LaFerrara’s neck, restraining him while Miranda Barbour stabbed him.

Following his wife’s arrest, Elytte Barbour told news media that Miranda Barbour, whom he married Oct. 22, regularly hired herself out as a “companion” to men she met on various websites, a business venture he said he supported because it didn’t involve sexual contact.

Barbour said his wife made anywhere from $50 to $850 by meeting with men for such activities as having dinner together or walking around a mall.  The ads she placed on websites including Craigslist all said upfront that sex was not part of the deal, he said.

“She is not a prostitute,” he said. “What she does is meet men who have broken marriages or have no one in their lives, and she meets with them and has delightful conversation.”

Miranda said she has no regrets for any of her alleged crimes.

“I have none,” she said.

“I know I will never see my husband again and I have accepted that.  I know I wanted to talk about all this because I know I had a 20-year window where I would possibly get out of jail and I don’t want that to happen.  If I were to be released, I would do this again.

“By no means is this a way to glorify it or get attention.  I’m telling you because it is time for me to be honest and I feel I need to be honest.”

* * * * * * * * *


Via Newsy/Google News/Sunbury Times/BBC

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Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail


One Small Detail Not Mentioned: 
Suspect Was on Probation and Shouldn’t Have Been Released From Jail 


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The crime stats for Eureka are indeed bad.  Very bad.  
The reasons are varied and many.

The Eureka Police Department has 100 sworn employees for less than a 15-mile square area.  To note, the top 10 EPD officers make upwards of $90,000+ a year.  The Chief of Police pulled in a total compensation of $156,000 in 2010.  Eureka also has the agreed upon assistance of the HCSO, CHP, Humboldt Bay Fire, the Probation and Parole Departments, and the FBI within the city limits.

That apparently isn’t enough to take a bite out of crime in Eureka.

An overcrowded jail that releases offenders early doesn’t help matters of crime, either.  But let’s take a closer look at one situation that happened recently.

After being brought to the jail on a new offense, Gary Lee Bullock, the alleged suspect in Rev. Freed’s slaying, was released on his OR (own recognizance) only a few hours before Freed’s murder.  Unbelievably, EPD was called back and contacted him again a second time due to his erratic behavior.  Bullock was merely referred to the Rescue Mission at that time.

One of the rarely mentioned points to consider is this: Mr. Bullock was placed on a three-year probation term
back in April for cocaine possession.  Along with that grant
of probation came a set of terms which Bullock agreed to for
obeying all laws of the community– or he’d be back in  jail.

When originally brought to the jail he should have been retained on a ‘Probation Hold’ until the Humboldt County Probation Department or District Attorney’s Office—who had the  jurisdiction in the matter– properly assessed his situation.  That didn’t occur.

That’s the whole idea behind the preventative  ’community safety’ thing.  There are pre- and post release procedures in place that should have been followed for individuals granted probation.  Were they?  A process exists providing for an appropriate level of scrutiny and investigation of probationers arrested for new offenses, duly superseding jail overcrowding and holding them before subsequent release into the community.

Once Bullock’s second law enforcement contact was made, he certainly should have been returned to the jail so his situation could be looked into further by his probation officer.  He was clearly– twice– in violation of the terms of his probation in a relatively short period of time.  And yet nothing happened.

Mr. Bullock, despite his felony probation status, surprisingly wasn’t held whatsoever for his case to be reviewed.  More unbelievably, he was released out of the jail– kicked out the door and onto the street to himself without assessment or any supervision whatsoever– at 12:43 in the morning on January 1, hours before the Catholic priest’s slaying in the Eureka rectory merely a few blocks away from the jail, EPD headquarters, and directly across the street from the Probation Department’s Adult Services Division.

Bullock’s probation status and lack of supervision hasn’t been brought up nor
is it widely known to the public.  It warrants investigation because other incidents, similar in nature, have been occurring routinely.  In fact, it is quietly happening all too often following our review of several hundred crime reports over the past two years. 

Think Jason Warren’s alleged brutal murder of Dorothy Ulrich and the subsequent hit and run of the Bayside joggers.  In that instance, Warren, already sentenced to State Prison, never should have been released from the jail to freely engage in his murderous rampage upon others.

We wonder if things would have turned out differently if the ‘probation hold’ process that was in place and should have occurred actually happened, and to what degree it did in both cases.  When the system fails, it fails for all of us.

Both situations should have turned out differently.  But Probation Officers and District Attorneys don’t like to work after 5 pm, on the weekends, or on the holidays.  And the jail and courts finds it far too easy to release those in custody early as long as nothing bad ever happens.

In these cases and others, however, something bad did happen.  With deadly and dire consequences.  Oops.

We hope the Grand Jury or Superior Court will look into whether the proper probation pre-and post release procedures were actually followed in both the Gary Lee Bullock and Jason Warren cases– and to the totality of circumstances as to why they happened in the first place.

Otherwise, these situations will happen again and again with random precision, a deadly and ongoing criminal problem falling through the cracks of a complacent bureaucracy– and swept under the rug as necessary.

* * * * * * *

As the County pleads for more jail funding and the Eureka City Council and Police Department look to increase taxes by extending Measure O (which provided $8.7 million for public safety since it was enacted in 2010), citizens may want to ask the conductors of the ‘give-us-more-money’ gravy train if we’re actually getting the services we’re already paying for.

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Suspect of Slain Priest Taken Into Custody


Gary Lee Bullock Released From County Jail Just Hours Before Slaying



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Authorities have taken into custody a California man who they
believe killed a Roman Catholic priest in a Eureka church rectory,
the Chief of Police said. 

He was taken into custody in Southern Humboldt this afternoon.

Eureka Police Chief Andy Mills announced Thursday that an arrest warrant had been issued for Gary Lee Bullock, asking for the public’s help in tracking down him and a 2010 Nissan hybrid belonging to the slain priest.

The previous day, the Rev. Eric Freed was found dead in the rectory at St. Bernard Church in the coastal Northern California city.  While he hasn’t given a motive, Mills elaborated Thursday that Freed died after suffering “blunt force trauma” following a “violent struggle.”

His gruesome death — which the county coroner official ruled a homicide on Thursday — has shaken many in and around Eureka, both members of the parish he served, the nearby university where he taught and the community at large.

“Eric knew as well as anybody just how senseless violence could be,” said Wiliam Herbrechtsmeier, a professor at Humboldt State University where Freed had taught since 2007.  ”When a fine person like him is brought down– that’s just tragic.”

Bullock wasn’t unknown to local authorities;  in fact, he’d been in custody earlier on the same day that Freed was found dead.

Police explained that, on New Year’s Eve, Humboldt County sheriff’s deputies responded to reports of a person “acting strangely” in Garberville.  They went to the scene and arrested Bullock for public intoxication, taking him to a jail where “he was rejected due to his erratic behavior,” Eureka police said in a press release.

Bullock — who last known address is in Redway, California — was then moved to a nearby hospital “where he became more agitated and had to be physically restrained by deputies,” police added.  He was eventually booked into a jail shortly after 4:30 p.m. that day, staying there for over 8 hours before his release at 12:43 a.m. on January 1.

Less than two hours later, police got a call about a suspicious person at St. Bernard Church.  Officers found Bullock but, as he wasn’t “intoxicated and did not qualify for an emergency psychological hold,” didn’t detain him but instead referred him to a shelter, Mills said.

At some point in the hours after that, a guard at Freed’s church found a person matching Bullock’s description on the premises and told him to leave, police said.

It was at 9 a.m. that authorities were called back to St. Bernard, this time after church staff came across Freed– who officers and a doctor, who happened to be a parishioner, both determined was already dead.  Mills said police later determined there were signs of “forced entry” and the aforementioned struggle.

Hours later, mourning parishioners and community leaders gathered outside the church-turned-crime scene to remember the late priest.

Mayor Frank Jager said Freed was a personal friend and
a “tremendous person in this community” since his arrival
three years ago.  

The 56-year-old’s loss was felt deeply elsewhere as well.

“He was a really, genuinely warm individual,” said professor Stephen Cunha, the chairman of Humboldt State University’s religious studies department where Freed taught. “… Kind is the word that comes to mind, sensitive.”

Just a few days ago, the priest sent a note to his parishioners, thanking them for their support and prayers and wishing them a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

“I cannot tell you how proud and honored I am to be your pastor,” Freed wrote in a letter posted on the parish website.  ”Our parish is alive, joyful and full of faith, hope and charity that define us as Catholic Christians.”

While he was relatively new to St. Bernard, Freed had already made an impact there and elsewhere around Eureka– including with the city’s Japanese-American community, as Freed lived in Japan for many years– Jager told reporters.

“This is an absolutely tremendous loss not only for the St. Bernard’s Parish, but for our community generally,” the mayor said.  ”For those of us who believe in prayer, this is the time for that.”

Freed’s ties to Humbodt State went back even longer.  A guest lecturer, he wrote a book about the first atomic bomb and also taught about the New
Testament, connecting with Christians and non-Christians alike.

“He was very well respected, very well liked and had a tremendous working knowledge as well as academic knowledge,” Cunha said.  ”… To think that he passed in this way: It’s just layers of grief and shock.”

Herbrechtsmeier said he got to know Freed well not just at Humboldt State but outside as well, often joining the enthusiastic pastor– a diehard University of Southern California Trojan fan– to watch sports and enjoy some laughs.

Noting that students at the state university loved Freed, who was also deeply involved in that school’s Catholic student group, the Newman Center, Cunha added:  This was not some stuffy clergyman. He was very much someone that you could sit down and speak with…

“He connected with everybody.”


(Via Yahoo and CNN News)

See also our other articles: 

One Slain Priest and the Lost City of Crime and Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail

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One Slain Priest and the Lost City of Crime


‘Eureka One of the Most Dangerous Cities in the US’


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The City of Eureka has a crime problem. 

A very significant one.

From the Times-Standard this morning:

The Eureka Police Department launched a murder investigation Wednesday after a popular St. Bernard Church priest was found dead after failing to show up to Mass.

Police Chief Andrew Mills declined to identify the victim in the case, but Mayor Frank Jager confirmed that Rev. Eric Freed was found deceased in the rectory building on the church property shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday.

Wednesday afternoon, police were called to Sacred Heart Church on Myrtle Avenue, where a church employee reported an unlawful entry.  The employee opened the church door to find a man inside.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Dave Morey said the unidentified man fled the scene as the employee called police.

Morey said it’s unclear if the incident was in any way related to Freed’s killing…


UPDATEEPD announced an arrest warrant for the murder of
Father Eric Freed.

The suspect is Gary Lee Bullock who was released from the Humboldt County jail at 12:34 am on  Jan. 1. and matches the description of a man seen around church that night.  Chief Mills said there were signs of a violent struggle at the rectory.

…You can read the full Times-Standard article here by Thadeus Greenson


We have problems.

From the Samoa Softball website, Richard Marks reports on Eureka being one of the most dangerous cities to live in the United States.

In fact, according to one study, 98% of al other cities are safer than here:


With the recent murder of Father Eric Freed of the St Bernard’s, maybe it is time to remind people in Humboldt County that Eureka is one of the most dangerous places to live in California for many years. According to Home Surfer nearly 95% of all other cities in California are safer!

Here are some references to check out:

According to Neighborhood Scout, 98% of the cities in the United States are safer than Eureka! 

Here is more information that will blow your mind from City Data. 156 sex offenders live in Eureka!

Check the crime index per year! According to USA.com  Eureka ranks  451 out of 464 cities in California in safety!

In 2006 we were above the US national average for every type crime identified! This problem has been around for quite a while. This according to Eureka Area Connect.

Just more and more statistics verifying crime in Eureka from Area Vibes. The chances of being a victim of a crime in Eureka is 1 in 16!

The crime rate City of Eureka is over 113% higher than the National average and has been consistently almost double the State and National average since 1999 according to City Ratings Crime Statistics!

And there is much more information available. What is the solution?  Hopefully the hiring of (Eureka Police Chief) Andy Mills will help some, but give him prayers for help.

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Why can’t the Eureka Police Department make a dent in our fair city’s significant crime rise?

The Eureka Chief of Police was paid roughly $133,000 in 2010– but his total wage compensation package bumped up to nearly $156,000, according to the California State Controller.

The EPD Chief’s wages were followed by:  his Captain annually topping out at $112,500;  two Lieutenants making approximately $107,000 each; and nine sergeants pulling in $71,831 to $103,462 each.

And don’t forget EPD’s 89 other employees– ranging from 37 police officers to dispatchers to records specialists to an animal control technician, at different salary levels.  In all, there are nearly 100 EPD personnel fighting crime in various capacities in the 15-square miles of Eureka, not to mention the agreed assistance from the Sheriff’s Office, the Highway Patrol, and the Parole and Probation departments.

We hope Eureka can save itself from the self-serving dysfunctional miasmus of muck and mire it has fallen into.  Good luck with the current status quo in charge changing anything, other than paying their own handsome salaries and consequently letting the roads and city fall into disrepair.

Our beautiful city by the bay should be a pearl, an oasis of Northern California living.  Instead, it has become a backwater cesspool of everything mismanaged, criminal, and gone wrong by all current accounts. 

It is unnacceptable.  The citizens of Eureka shouldn’t be left hanging with such a dire state of affairs.  They absolutely should demand better.  Until that happens, little to nothing will change– as we’ve seen over and over again.

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Please share this post with others and see our other article: Rev. Freed’s Slaying and the Deadly Probation Fail


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13 Dead in Navy Yard Shooting


One Suspect Dead, Another Sought



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


WASHINGTONAt least 13 people died Monday during a shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, officials said. 
One gunman died in the shooting, and police are seeking
another possible shooter.

The suspected gunman was identified by the FBI as Aaron Alexis, a 34-year-old civilian contractor from Queens, N.Y., who most recently resided in Fort Worth, Texas.  The mass shooting occurred four miles from the White House.  Earlier reports indicated 12 individuals died in the shooting massacre.

The U.S. Navy said Alexis was a full-time reservist from 2007 to 2011.  He left the Navy on Jan. 31, 2011, as a petty officer 3rd class and had been working for the fleet logistics support squadron No. 46 in Fort Worth.

Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said Alexis was shot during an exchange with a Metro Police officer.

Alexis was arrested in Fort Worth in 2010 for discharging a firearm in city limits, police records show.  Charges were never filed.

The Navy Yard was placed on lockdown after shots were fired inside a building on the base, the Navy said.  A Metro police officer and naval base officer were among those injured in the shooting, according to the D.C. Metro Police.

“As far as we know, it’s an isolated incident,” Gray said.  ”We have no known motive at this stage.”

The mayor said there was “no reason at this stage” to believe it was terrorism, but would not rule it out.

D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier said authorities were seeking a potential second suspect, described as a black male, approximately 40 to 50 years old, 5 foot 10, 180 pounds, medium complexion with gray sideburns, wearing an olive military-style uniform and carrying “a long gun.”

Before a scheduled economic speech at the White House, President Barack Obama deplored “yet another mass shooting” — this one targeting military and civilian personnel.

“These are men and women who were going to work, doing their job, protecting all of us,” Obama said.  ”They’re patriots, and they know the dangers of serving abroad.  But today they faced the unimaginable: violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

“We will do everything in our power to make sure that whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible,” the president added.  ”I want the investigation to be seamless.”

Janis Orlowski, chief medical officer at Washington Hospital Center, said one Metropolitan Police officer and two civilians are being treated there.  All three arrived in critical condition, Orlowski said, but are expected to make a full recovery.

One was shot in the legs, another in the shoulder. Those victims were in surgery, Orlowski said.  A woman who was shot in the head and hand would not need surgery because the bullet did not penetrate her skull.

The Navy said shots were fired at the Naval Sea Systems Command Headquarters building on the base at 8:20 a.m., and a “shelter in place” order was issued for Navy Yard personnel.

Rick Mason, a program management specialist, told Yahoo News he was on the fourth floor when he saw someone with a shotgun aiming down into the atrium.  The gunman, Mason said, was targeting people who walked into the cafeteria.

Other employees described a chaotic scene.

“We heard two shots and started wondering if that was the sound of someone dropping something or if they were really shots,” Omar Grant, a civilian employee at the Navy Yard who was on the first floor of the atrium, said.  ”We heard three more shots, and that’s when people started running out of the building and getting the hell out of there.”

Grant then led a blind colleague to safety.

Approximately 3,000 people work in the building, the Navy said, though it’s unclear how many people were inside at the time of the shooting.

The U.S. Senate complex was locked down “in light of the uncertainty surrounding the shooting at the Navy Yard this morning and particularly the possibility of suspects remaining at large,” the Senate said in an alert to staffers.  ”You may move about the building; however, for the next two hours you may not leave nor can anyone enter the building.”

A White House official said the president had been briefed several times throughout the morning about the unfolding situation at the Navy Yard by assistant to the president for homeland security and counter- terrorism Lisa Monaco and deputy chief of staff Alyssa Mastromanaco.

A heavy SWAT and police presence could be seen around the Navy Yard.  Outside the base, employees sat huddled, crying and holding each other.  At least one of the victims was airlifted from the scene, as helicopters circled overhead.

A temporary ground stop was ordered at Reagan National Airport, and schools in the area were placed on temporary lockdown.

The 41-acre Navy Yard, located five blocks from Nationals Stadium and a mile and a half from the Capitol, is home to the chief of naval operations and headquarters for the Naval Historical Center and numerous naval commands.

The Washington Nationals postponed Monday’s home game against the Atlanta Braves in the wake of the tragedy.

According to the Navy’s website, Naval Sea Systems “engineers, builds, buys and maintains the Navy’s ships and submarines and their combat systems.”  Approximately 60,000 people work there.


The Washington Post Local has more details here

(Via Yahoo News)

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Photo Series Link: Deadly Crossbow Attack in Manila


One Fatality Confirmed; Another Left With Serious Injury (UPDATED)

Picture Series Link Below


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Times-Standard Media Center:

A crossbow attack left one person dead and another with injuries off New Navy Base Road in Samoa on Sunday, September 8, 2013.

Two suspects, a black female age 25-30 and a white male age 25-30 fled the scene on bikes later retreating into the dunes.

Law enforcement with a K9 unit searched the area following a trail towards the ocean; air support could not assist due to low fog.

Little information is available at this time.  Further details are expected to be released by the Sheriff’s Office as more information becomes available.

The Times-Standard Media Center 23-photo series link by Nick Adams is hereWarning:  some of the images are graphic.


**UPDATE September 9, 2013**

From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:  Suspects Sought, One Identified

On Sunday September 8, 2013 at about 12:32 PM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call of a possible injured man lying on the southbound shoulder of HWY 255 and New Navy Base Road, Eureka (approximately 100 yards north of this intersection).

While deputies were responding, a second person called the Sheriff’s Office to report the injured male appeared to have been shot twice with an arrow and there were two people fleeing the area on bicycles, possibly suspects or involved with this incident.

One witness attempted to detain these individuals, at which point the suspects abandoned their bicycles and fled into a heavily wooded area on the west side of the road.

Deputies arrived in the area around 12:39 PM and located a 41-year old male victim who had suffered three injuries that would later be determined to be from a crossbow.  The victim had a grazing scalp wound, an arrow to the hip and an injury on his shin from a glancing arrow injury.  The victim was transported to an area hospital where he was treated and released for his injuries.

Deputies then located a second victim, found deceased, approximately 200 yards west and into the wooded area from where the first victim was located.  This 44-year old male suffered a single arrow to the face.  The names of the victims being withheld at this point.

An extensive manhunt was undertaken in the heavily wooded and coastal area for the two suspects. Assisting was a helicopter from the California Highway Patrol, Wardens from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, Officers from the Arcata Police Department along with a K9 from that agency, Deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff’s Office Special Services including ATV’s for searching the beach, and Rangers from the Bureau of Land Management.

The search was called off at approximately 11:45 PM.

Detectives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office have been assigned to this investigation. The motive for this incident appears to be the belief of the suspects that the victims may have stolen items from their transient camp.  The victims are homeless and have been occupying an encampment for the last several months.  It appears the suspects were newly arrived to the area and had a crude encampment, which a search warrant was sought for and served on.

The Sheriff’s Office is seeking the assistance of the public for any information on the suspects in this case:

Phoenix Triton King, white male, DOB 09-12-92, short blond hair, blue eyes and black heavy framed glasses, 5‘7” and 140 pounds. 

Mr. King is believed to be from Lake County, California.

King is traveling with the second suspect in this case, who happens to be a 16-year old female, and for that reason, her name is not being released:

Female, black or dark skin, 16 years of age, shoulder length “frizzy” hair that is most often worn in a bun, black hair, brown eyes, 5‘0”, 120 pounds.

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the arrest of both individuals for Murder and Attempted Murder.  These individuals are to be considered dangerous and potentially armed.  Anyone who believes they have seen these individuals are encouraged to not approach and telephone 911 with information.

Detective Jen Turner has been assigned as the lead investigator on this incident.  Anyone having further information on this case is asked to call
her at 707-268-3642.


**UPDATE September 10, 2013**

Both suspects were arrested yesterday near Friends of the Dunes Humboldt Coastal Nature Center in Manila. 

The Times-Standard has the details in their full story by Thadeus Greenson here.

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Our appreciation to, and via, Nick Adams and the Times-Standard

Please share the Humboldt Sentinel and follow and friend us on Twitter and Facebook

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Trespassers On Your Property? Shoot ‘Em!


Under ‘Castle Doctrine’ Law, It’s OK


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The murder case where a homeowner shot an Army vet dead after he caught the man’s relative urinating on his property has now turned into a legal battle over land rights.

James Crocker had grown weary of the partying canoeists and rafters who encroached on his neatly kept property along Missouri’s Meramec River.  When he caught a man about to relieve himself on a gravel bar by his yard last month, a nasty confrontation ensued that ended with one person dead and Crocker accused of killing him.

The case against Crocker is the latest to put a spotlight on “Castle Doctrine” laws, which allow the use of deadly force to protect property.  Missouri is among at least 30 states that have enacted the statutes, which supporters say protect gun rights but others insist promote vigilantism.

Crocker’s attorney, Michael Bert of St. Louis, said that Crocker was defending himself and his property.  “Here’s a man in fear for his life and fearful he might suffer bodily injury,” Bert said.

Prosecutors see it differently.  Witnesses who testified at a hearing this month said Crocker was angry and raging, shooting into the crowd of people, narrowly missing two others before killing 48-year-old Paul Dart Jr. of Robertsville, Mo.  

Crocker has been charged with second degree murder.

Even some supporters of the doctrine say the violence seemed avoidable.  “The smart thing is to back away, and nobody seemed to be willing to do that,” said Kevin Jamison, an attorney who lobbied for Missouri’s Castle Doctrine bill as a member of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance.

Crocker, a 59-year-old plastics plant worker with long hair and a thick goatee, lives in a small white frame home on a shaded gravel road about eight miles west of Steelville, the self-proclaimed floating capital of the world.  Tens of thousands of people come to the region every year to raft, canoe or kayak down the Meramec and nearby rivers.   To keep out the unwanted, Crocker posted “No Trespassing” and “Private Property” signs along the hill that slopes down to a gravel area along the meandering river.

Drinking is sometimes part of the outings, resulting in bawdy behavior that doesn’t sit well with owners of land that touches the river.  Many have complained for years about loud parties, trash left behind and crude behavior.

On July 20, Dart, a carpenter and veteran, and around four dozen other members of an extended family gathered at a campground for their annual float trip along the Meramec.  A few hours into the trip, Robert and Regina Burgess stopped their canoe on a gravel bar.  Robert, who had drunk about three beers, decided to relieve himself, he testified at the preliminary hearing.

Crocker confronted Burgess and other members of the party.  What happened then is in dispute, and will be a crucial part of the case.

Burgess and his wife testified that Crocker was immediately agitated and aggressive, firing two shots in their direction – Robert said one hit the ground near his feet.  Another bullet hit Dart in the face.  Burgess said it was only after Dart was shot that members of the party picked up rocks to defend themselves against Crocker, who was armed with a 9mm semi-automatic pistol.

“I’m standing there unarmed and the guy’s got a gun,” Burgess said.

Crocker didn’t testify at the hearing, but his attorney gave a different account.

In an interview, Bert said Crocker politely asked the float trip party to leave.  ”The response he got was angry and profane,” Bert said.

Crocker and those in the float trip party argued over whether the gravel bar was public land or Crocker’s. Eventually, the men picked up “softball-sized rocks and then began pelting Crocker,”
Bert said.  He said Crocker suffered head injuries, then fired his gun
to defend himself.

Missouri State Highway Patrol trooper Joseph Peart testified that he saw no evidence that Crocker was injured.  Police said Crocker told them, “I just shot the one closest to me.”

Whether or not the floaters were on Crocker’s property may be an issue in the case since Missouri law isn’t clear on where private property along a waterway begins.  Some experts say it starts at the vegetation line; others say property rights extend to the center of a river or stream.

Missouri’s Castle Doctrine statute, enacted in 2007, gives residents a legal right to defend themselves and their property against intruders.  

Supporters of such laws cite a number of cases in which homeowners were able to fend off burglars or other criminals without fear of prosecution.  

But Florida’s law gained notoriety after a neighborhood watch activist, George Zimmerman, fatally shot teen Trayvon Martin, and was acquitted of criminal charges.

A 2012 Texas A&M University study found that homicides ruled justifiable rose by 8 percent in states with “stand-your-ground” laws.

In the Missouri case, Crawford County detective Zachary Driskill asked Crocker if he could have called police instead of taking matters into his own hands.

“I guess I could have, but it’s my property and I was going to protect it,” Crocker responded.

(Via KCBS 12 News)

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Murder and Marijuana on Murder Mountain


Sheriff’s Office Investigating Two Incidents in Alderpoint



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Sheriff’s Office has been busy:  a homicide
investigation and large marijuana busts involving three
individuals taking place in Alderpoint over the past two days.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Dave Morey said detectives do not know yet if the suspected homicide of a 57-year old man found Thursday on the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Road in Southern Humboldt is related to the marijuana search warrants served at two nearby properties on the 4000 and 4500 block of Rancho Sequoia Road on Wednesday.

“It could be, it might not be.  We will see,” Morey said.

The area of Alderpoint– the Rancho Sequoia subdivision– has fondly become known by locals as ‘Murder Mountain’ for good reason.

We have the two Murder Mountain reports– whether or not they’re related is yet to be determined– for you here.


Here’s the HCSO homicide report issued Thursday, June 27:

HCSO badgeDetectives from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office are currently investigating a death that has been determined to be suspicious and suspected to be a homicide.  The location of occurrence is the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive in Alderpoint, CA.

The reporting party called the Sheriff’s Office at 8:50 am stating that she had not heard from her step-father for the last four days and drove to his residence in the 3700 block of Rancho Sequoia Drive.

When she arrived, she discovered her 57-year old step-father was deceased.

Deputies and detectives were dispatched to the residence and ruled the death suspicious.  They are investigating the death as a homicide.

Detectives are looking for a black 2000 Jeep Cherokee, CA license #5HNG536.

The Jeep Cherokee may be driven by Anthony Ray Lane, a white male adult, 37-years old, height 5 foot 10, weighing 185 pounds and with red and brown hair.  His date of birth is 09-18-1975.

Lane is a person of interest in this investigation and he’s being sought for questioning by the Sheriff’s Office. 

Persons should not approach Lane, but if located or spotted, they are asked
to call the Sheriff’s Office. 

The lead investigator is Detective Franco at (707) 268-3644 or (707) 445-7251.

The motive for this suspected homicide is not known at this time.  Detectives are just now arriving at the time of this release.

The name of the victim is not being released until additional family members can be notified.  Due to the infancy of this investigation, the suspected cause of death won’t be released until the Coroner can arrange for an autopsy.


UPDATE– Murder Suspect Anthony Lane Apprehended:

On Thursday June 27, 2013 at about 11:30 pm, Officers from the Willits Police Department located the black Jeep Cherokee that was believed to be operated by suspect Anthony Lane.

The Willits Police Officers had received a “be on the lookout” broadcast issued by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for this homicide investigation.  The vehicle was found in the parking lot of a motel in the Willits area.

On June 28, 2013 at about 12:30 am, officers of the Willits Police Department, with the assistance of deputies from the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, located Lane in one of the rooms of the hotel.

Mr. Lane was taken into custody without incident and transported to the Humboldt County Line, where deputies from the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office took custody of him.  Lane was booked into the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office for suspicion of murder and possession of a stolen vehicle– the black Jeep Cherokee.

At this time the motive for the crime is being investigated.  There does not appear to be a connection with the homicide to an earlier marijuana cultivation investigation although the arrests took place in the same area.  This homicide does not appear to be a home invasion, marijuana related, or in association with the Garret Rodriguez missing person investigation.

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office is still in the process of notification of family members of the victim of this suspected homicide.

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And here’s the second HCSO report– also issued on Thursday, June 27:

hcsobadgeOn 06-26-2013, at 11:15 am, Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents, assisted by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and California Highway Patrol, arrested Matthew Walker, 33, from Alderpoint after he attempted to trade marijuana for a travel trailer.

Approximately two weeks ago Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agents were alerted by a citizen who was selling a travel trailer on Craigslist that a person was trying trade the citizen “herb” for his travel trailer.

A Humboldt County Drug Task Force Agent took over negotiations posing as the seller and began contacting the suspect on line.  The suspect offered to trade four pounds of high grade marijuana and hashish for the trailer.  The Drug Task Force Agent agreed to meet the suspect at Tooby Park in Garberville on the same day at 11:00 am to make the trade.

When the suspect, identified as Matthew Walker, and another male showed up at Tooby Park, both were detained.

Agents searched the vehicle they were driving and located four pounds of marijuana bud and one pound of hashish. 

Mr. Walker was arrested on outstanding felony arrest warrants for cultivation and sales of marijuana issued out of Mendocino County Superior Court and traffic offenses.  The other male was interviewed and released at the scene.

Agents and deputies then drove to Walker’s residence in the 4500 block of Rancho Sequoia Road inAlderpoint where they served a Humboldt County Superior Court search warrant. 

At the residence they located 304 growing marijuana plants ranging from 8” to 2’ in height.  The plants were being grown in greenhouses and outside on the property.  Agents also located another approximate half pound of hashish in the residence, along with a rifle.

Walker was transported to the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where he was booked on his arrest warrants and new charges of cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.  His bail was set at $55,000.

While at Walker’s property, the Drug Task Force Agents and deputies obtained information about marijuana cultivation on another nearby parcel– in the 4000 block of Rancho Sequoia Road.

They contacted the Humboldt County District Attorney’s Office and spoke with an Investigator who obtained a search warrant for that parcel.

When the agents and deputies served the search warrant, they located 1,572 marijuana plants ranging in size from 2’ to 4’ being grown in six green houses. 

They also located a sawed-off shotgun and a AR-15 Assault weapon with high capacity magazines in the residence.

Two men were located at the scene and determined to be associated with the marijuana cultivation.  They were identified as Travis Land, 36 years old, from Redway and Juan Hernandez, from Alderpoint.

Both Land and Hernandez were arrested for cultivation and possession for sale of marijuana.  Agents also learned Travis also had an outstanding felony arrest warrant for cultivation of marijuana.

They were transported and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility where Mr. Land’s bail was set at $55,000 and Mr. Hernandez’s bail at $25,000.

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Whether or not these two incidents– involving murder and marijuana on Murder Mountain– are intertwined isn’t clear.

One thing is clear, however:  Humboldt County’s marijuana gold rush and the problems following in its wake have turned this County onto its proverbial ear.

Mr. Gallegos, we think you’re gonna need more prosecutors.

Please spread the word.  Share this– and all of our posts– with others, and friend us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  We appreciate and thank you for reading, and for giving us a little push in the right direction.

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Felons and Their Felonies


Villains and Their Villainy


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


McKinleyville Homicide Update:

On Saturday June 22, 2013 an autopsy was performed on
the victim of the suspected
McKinleyville homicide case.

At the conclusion of the autopsy the cause of death was determined to be as a result of multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen of the victim.

The identity of the victim has been determined to be Forrest Croft Lovejoy (DOB: 07-02-1979), resident of McKinleyville, California.

The suspect, Michael Raymond Youravish, remains in custody at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and had an arraignment on Friday June 21 for the charge of homicide.


Loleta ATV Jack ’n Run

cannibal island roadOn Saturday, June 22, before 5:00 in the afternoon, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a report of a robbery that just occurred on Cannibal Island Road, near Hawks Hill Road, in Loleta.

When deputies arrived on scene they met with the 65-year old male victim.  He told the deputies he parked a four wheeler ATV on Cannibal Island Road and was about ten feet away from it, working in a field doing something or another.

A silver 1995 Jeep Grand Cherokee with Idaho plates and two males inside drove up beside him.  The male passenger exited the vehicle and asked him for a cigarette.  The victim told the male he did not smoke and went back to working in the field.

The male passenger reached into the Jeep and removed a tire iron.  The passenger then began swinging the tire iron at the victim while charging the victim and making verbal threats.

The victim backed away and the male passenger got onto the victim’s four wheeler and drove off with it, driving westbound on Cannibal Island Road with the Jeep heading the same direction following it.

The victim was able to provide a good description of the suspects to the deputies.

While checking the area for the suspects, a citizen contacted the deputies and told them they found a four wheeler in the bushes near Crab Park.

Deputies checked the area and located suspect Kevin Todd Latham, 26, from Woodland, California. Latham was identified by the victim as the passenger who brandished the tire iron at the victim. 

sigh2Deputies continued checking the area for the Jeep Cherokee, but were unable to locate it.  At approximately 7:00 pm. a deputy driving by Herrick Avenue and US 101 sighted the Jeep Cherokee parked at Herrick Avenue in Eureka.

The deputy saw the driver, who matched the suspect description leaving the vehicle on foot.  When the deputy was able to get off the highway to access the Jeep, the driver was gone.  The deputy continued to check the area.

At approximately 7:20 pm the same deputy located the second suspect walking in the Broadway McDonald’s parking lot.  The second suspect was identified as Joshua Ellis Moon, 24, from Hoopa.  The victim identified Moon as the driver of the Jeep.

The knuckleheaded duo of Moon and Latham were arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Facility on charges of robbery, brandishing a weapon, vehicle theft, and cornucopia amounts of scoundrelous stupidity.

Bail for the nobbyheaded dipsticked goobers was set at $50,000.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539, the HCSO added.


Arcata Gas Station Knock Off

bad thingsOn Saturday evening, June 22 at about 8:15 pm, officers from the Arcata Police Department were dispatched to the Texaco Gas Station, 421 J Street, on the report of an armed robbery.

Upon their arrival, officers learned that the lone suspect had fled, according the the APD release.  Officers from the HSU Police Department also responded to assist and the area was searched.  Try as they did, the scurrilous suspect of the robbery was not located.

Through their investigation, officers learned that a male suspect entered the store, threatened the clerk with a knife, and stole an undisclosed amount of money from the register.  The clerk was uninjured.

The scoundrel is described as a White Male in his mid 30′s, Medium build and wearing dark clothing and a beanie.  During the robbery, the suspect wore a bandanna over his face.  The suspect fled the area on foot in an unknown direction.  His identity is not known, APD said.

Due to the vague-to-none description of the culprit everyone remains a suspect, even you.

Anyone with information leading to the identity of the suspect is urged to call the Arcata Police Department at 822-2428.


Transients Believed to Cause Structure Fire Last Night in Eureka

tree fireOn June 21 before 11 pm, three fire engines, one ladder truck, and two Chief officers from Humboldt Bay Fire were dispatched to a reported structure fire at 400 Broadway in a vacant building formerly known as the East Bay Hydraulics, according to the Humboldt Bay Fire press release.

Prior to arrival, dispatchers began receiving a bevy of calls from multiple concerned reporting parties saying that flames and smoke were visible at the back of the vacant structure and they had better get a move on.

Humboldt Bay Fire units arrived to find smoke and fire from the rear of the building.  A ‘fire attack’ was initiated and the fire was extinguished. During the overhaul phase, a firefighter was injured, transported and evaluated at a local hospital.  He was later released.

The fire was confined to the structure with no damage to an adjacent building or billboard sign. Losses are estimated at approximately $50,000.  During the incident, the Arcata Fire Protection District provided coverage to the City of Eureka and outlying areas.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.  It is believed that the fire started due to transient activities inside the structure, Humboldt Bay Fire said.

Benjamin Franklin once remarked: “A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.”

Well, Ben, if that’s the case, will cooking up some Mexican brown tar and setting a building on fire suffice?


Valley West Bike Sting Results in Arrest

bikeThe City of Arcata– and specifically the Valley West area– have been seeing a significant number of bicycle thefts going on lately.  In an attempt to combat the ongoing problem, the Arcata Police Department conducted a ‘bicycle sting’ operation in Valley West on June 22 looking for the two-wheeled pedalous purloining perps.

An innocent-looking enough bicycle was left unsecured in an identified high crime location.  Officers then layed low, conducting a surreptitious surveillance on the bicycle over donuts and coffee.  Oops, this is Arcata.  Croissants, then.

During the course of the operation, Justin Lawson, 41, of Arcata was arrested and booked into the Humboldt County Jail for 487 PC - grand theft, after he took possession of the bicycle and attempted to flee the scene.

Crime is indeed getting worse in Arcata.  The other day, the statue of William McKinley on the Arcata Plaza had both hands up.  The Arcata Police Department, however, said they will make crime pay.  They urged everyone to become a lawyer.

APD said they’ll continue to conduct this type of operation in the future to deter the theft of personal property.  Mike’s signs haven’t been working.

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bike thief

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Still Missing in the Pot Trade: Garret Rodriguez


Family Seeks Answers in Disappearance of SoCal Man Headed to ‘Murder Mountain.’


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel



Private Investigator: His Truck Found in Garberville Area
by Colleen Chalmers

Private detectives investigating the disappearance of a Southern California man — who went missing after reportedly heading to work at a marijuana grow near what he called “Murder Mountain” — said this week that his pickup truck was found broken down on private property in southern Humboldt.

Cook & Associates Private Investigation owner and licensed investigator Chris Cook said she’s notified the Humboldt County Sheriff’s office about the latest information related to 30-year-old Garret Rodriguez’s disappearance.

No one has heard from Rodriguez since Christmas time, officials and private investigators said. He was last heard from while en route from his home in the San Diego enclave of Ocean Beach to the mountains of southern Humboldt, where he was reportedly going to work at a marijuana ranch.

Rodriguez’s father, who lives in central Mexico, said he believes some of his son’s friends must know something.  “I believe that some of them know what happened to him, but they’re afraid to come forward and say anything,” Val ‘Buzz’ Rodriguez said. “I know that for a fact.”

pot leafHis mother, who lives in Georgia, said she knows her son was going to work at an indoor grow in the Rancho Sequoia area near Alderpoint for the winter.  She questions why the two people her son worked with have been silent about the case.

“It’s important for people to know who he was working with,” said Pamela McGinnis, who believes the two business associates were the last to be with her son.  Sheriff’s Office Detective Todd Fulton said the names of the two men Rodriguez worked with are not being released at this time.

“We don’t have any reason to release the names of his associates,” he said.  “As far as I know, his last known location was in San Diego.”

Fulton said the office is investigating Rodriguez’s disappearance as a missing person’s case, but it is unclear if Rodriguez was in the county.

Cook & Associates investigator Jeremy Yanopoulos said Rodriguez had been involved with growing marijuana since high school, and had also been working with marijuana trafficking and sales between Humboldt County and San Diego for a couple years.

“He wasn’t the top guy,” Yanopoulos said. “It doesn’t sound like it was paying particularly well.”

mj greenhouse IIMcGinnis said her son never seemed to make much money in the marijuana business.  “I know a lot of young guys go up to Humboldt to try and make a lot of money.  His goal was to save money, but there was always some reason why he didn’t have any,” she said.

His family said Rodriguez was in the marijuana business to save enough money to eventually fulfill his dream of having a home in Mexico.  “It was just the allure of money that got him involved, so he could build his home in Mexico,” McGinnis said.

His aunt Bonnie Taylor, who lives in the Chico area, said she was the last family member to see him before he went missing. She said Rodriguez’s friends were his family.  “He was sweet, loving, caring and good-hearted.  He had a love of life,” she said.  “This guy wasn’t somebody who just goes missing.”

Rodriguez is described as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, weighing 180 pounds, with brown hair.  Rodriguez also has a tattoo of a colored ocean scene on his right shoulder.  “He has the most gorgeous green eyes and a beautiful smile,” Taylor said.

Taylor said the family tried to talk Rodriguez out of going to Humboldt County for work.  “We tried as best we could.  He didn’t always make really good choices,” she said.  “Choice of certain friends.  Choice of going up to Humboldt.”

drawing handsMcGinnis said there have been hundreds of friends posting photos and memories of her son on a Facebook page dedicated to bringing him home, saying how much they miss him.  “Everybody’s really concerned,” she said.

Yanopoulos said Cook & Associates is investigating rumors about what has happened to Rodriguez and speculation on why he disappeared. 

It was not until April that Rodriguez was officially reported missing.  Yanopoulos said it was not uncommon for friends
and family members to go short periods of time without
hearing from Rodriguez while he was working in southern

“But this went way beyond just business as usual,” he said.

His father reported him missing on April 25 after one of his son’s ex-girlfriends told him no one had heard from Rodriguez in months.  Taylor said the family knows in their hearts that Rodriguez made it to southern Humboldt and would have contacted them if he could.

missing personAnyone with information regarding Garret Rodriguez is asked to contact Cook & Associates Private Investigations at 839-7422 or call Chris Cook at 616-4507. You may also contact the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office at 445-7251.

(Courtesy of the Times-Standard and Bruce Anderson of the AVA.  Article slightly abridged and pictures added)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


Humboldt’s Crime Reports Keep on Coming


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


McKinleyville Murder:  Suspect Arrested (UPDATED)

On Wednesday June 19, at about 1:30 pm, information was
provided to Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office detectives of a
possible murder victim, with the body still in a wooded area
north of C Avenue in McKinleyville, an area commonly referred
to as the “Baldy” area.

Witnesses provided information to detectives that led them to a deceased 33-year old male, whose body was found adjacent to a foot trail at 3:00 pm.  Based on statements from witnesses and the condition of the deceased male, the death is being investigated as a homicide by the HCSO.

Based on the evidence obtained and from witness statements, detectives arrested Michael Raymond Youravish, 21, around 5:00 in the afternoon.

A resident of the McKinleyville and Eureka areas, Mr. Youravish was arrested and taken into custody at a home in the 1400 block of Highland Avenue in Eureka.

He was booked into the Humboldt County Correctional Pokey on suspicion of PC 187, Murder.

The identity of the victim is not being released until a positive identification can be made and family members are notified.  The cause of death is not being released at this time.

UPDATE:  On Saturday June 22, 2013 an autopsy was performed on the victim of this suspected homicide.  At the conclusion of the autopsy the cause of death was determined to be as a result of multiple stab wounds to the neck, chest and abdomen of the victim.

The identity of the victim has been determined to be Forrest Croft Lovejoy (DOB: 07-02-1979), a resident of McKinleyville, California.  The suspect, Michael Raymond Youravish, remains in custody at the Humboldt County Correctional Facility and had an arraignment on Friday June 21 for the charge of Homicide.

HCSO Detective Todd Fulton is requesting that any additional witnesses with information about Michael Youravish or information about this investigation to telephone him at 707-268-3646.


Crystal Meth and Heroin Seizure

methOn June 19, a Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant received a citizen tip before noon that a vehicle belonging to Neil Eugene Kemp was parked in the parking lot at 409 K Street in Eureka containing drugs.  The citizen told the Sheriff’s Sergeant the vehicle make and color.

The Sheriff’s Sergeant checked the parking lot and located the vehicle matching the description described by the citizen.  The Sheriff’s Sergeant ran a California DMV registration check on the license plate and it came back registered to Kemp.

A Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office Detective and his trained narcotics dog were called to the scene with the dog alerting on the vehicle.  The Sheriffs Sergeant also learned that Kemp was in Humboldt County Superior Court dealing with unrelated narcotics charges from a California Highway Patrol Arrest on March 20.

While the Sheriff’s Sergeant was at the vehicle, Mr. Kemp showed up and asked why law enforcement was there.  The Sergeant explained what was occurring and requested consent to search Kemp’s vehicle for narcotics.  Mr. Kemp refused the request.

The Sergeant allowed Kemp to leave on foot while he obtained a Superior Court search warrant for his vehicle.  When the warrant was served on the vehicle, the Sergeant located approximately:

  • 25 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine
  • 17 grams of suspected heroin
  • Syringes
  • and $247.00 in cash

Mr. Kemp never returned and is wanted by law enforcement for possession of narcotics, possession of illicit drugs and possession of syringes.  He is described as: White male adult, 50 years old, 6’ tall, approx 155 lbs, brown eyes, blond hair.

Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case or related criminal activity is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.  We hope Mr. Kemp gets some help and himself into rehab soon.


Inmate Walkaway Surrenders Self

Shoes IIIOn June 19 at about 2:15 pm, a SWAP inmate work crew was clearing brush near the wooded area of the Humboldt Botanical Gardens on the College of the Redwoods campus. 

A Correctional Officer supervising the work crew noticed an inmate, Lance D. Henry, 24-years old of Fortuna, had not returned from using the restroom.  The officer found a blue jail issued shirt on the ground and determined that Henry had walked away from the work crew. 

Mr. Henry was serving 364 days in jail for a violation of probation.  He was due to be released in four months; his release date was scheduled for October 25, 2013.

On the same day about 7 hours later, Henry Lance had a change of heart and turned himself and his fast feet into the jail.

It’s unknown why Lance walked away from the inmate work crew at College of the Redwoods, but nonetheless, additional charges were being sought against him for escape from custody and being a few Cheerios and bananas short of a bowl and a bunch.


Early Morning Arcata High Speed Motorcycle Pursuit

bigfoot 2On June 20 shortly after 1:00 in the morning, Arcata Police officers attempted a traffic stop on a motorcycle with an expired registration.

The motorcyclist fled from officers, leading them in a pursuit that began on Alliance Road at Westwood Court and ended on northbound Highway 101 just north of Giuntoli Lane without further incident.  

The pursuit reached speeds of 70 miles per hour.  It ended when Arcata Police officers boxed in the motorcyclist, identified as Ronald Allen Reike, age 32, of Manila, and forced him to a stop on the east shoulder of northbound Highway 101.

Mr. Reike was arrested for felony evasion, driving with a suspended license, and violation of probation.  He was booked into the Humboldt County Jail.

No persons were injured in this pursuit and no damage occurred to any vehicles or other property.  Intoxication was not determined to be a factor, APD said.

We suspect a lack of probation supervision, however, was a factor with Mr. Reike being a clown without a circus in need of a ringmaster.

* * * * * * * *

bigfoot f  bigfoot 5

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (3)

Crime and Criminals Amongst Us


The Beat Marches On


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A smattering of police reports:

Lack of Post-Release ‘Supervision’ for Bodhi Tree Has Its Deadly Consequences

Eureka– The Eureka Police Department named Arcata double-murder suspect Bodhi Tree as a person of interest in a recent Eureka shooting yesterday.

Eureka Police confirmed to the Times-Standard they’re looking at Mr. Tree in connection to a shooting that happened May 15th at an apartment in an alley off of “J” Street, about one block from Eureka High School.  The victim, 24-year-old Rhett August, was hospitalized after being shot in the torso.

Police say they’re not making any arrest yet, but have leads and information indicating Tree as a suspect.

BodhiEPD says they do not have the weapon that was used at the Eureka shooting.  Arcata police are still searching for the gun Tree allegedly used in the Arcata homicides.

Mr. Tree has pleaded not guilty in court for Saturday’s double homicide of Arcata High School student Christina Schwarz, 18, and Alan “Sunshine” Marcet, 28.

Humboldt County Probation Department Chief William Damiano confirmed Mr. Tree was released from state prison only a month ago and placed under post-release community supervision.

“He would have been released either way, either on parole or through (post-release community supervision) realignment,” Damiano said.

We suspect Mr. Tree failed his probation supervision agreement?  That is, if there was any community supervision to begin with.

marco poloWe have been seeing these probation fails happening all too often lately.  The problem, as we’ve seen from countless police reports read, is that the probation or parole officer is nowhere, never, or ever to be found.  Like:  Nada, Presto, and Abracadabra– and he’s gone like a rabbit down the bunny hole.

Under the prison realignment post supervision program, the County Probation Department has received oodles of cash from the State to supervise returning felonious clients.  Have they been doing so?

Supervision can and does work.  That is, if you actually do it, keeping clients on the appropriate leash of rehabilitation, drug testing, and oversight.  Not so in Mr. Tree’s case, it seems.

We hope the community and courts actually look into what the level of supervision was that Mr. Bodhi had after he was released from prison last month.  Our probation fails and the subsequent dearth of supervision are having deadly consequences lately– as in the case of Jason Warren. There have been numerous others.  The Sentinel has been reporting on these routinely during the past two years.

help catIt’s been a disturbing pattern to see.  It’s all too quietly slipped under the rug, conveniently blamed on prison realignment being the current catch-all panacea du jour, and Poof!  The problem disappears, the buck is passed, and everyone’s feet can go back on the desk for another day.

Expect this modus operandi excuse to happen again.  Repeatedly, as we’ve seen.



argumentFortuna– On Wednesday, May 22nd around 9 in the morning, officers with the Fortuna Police Department responded to the 900 block of 8th Street in Fortuna for the report of property owner/tenant dispute in an apartment.

Upon arrival officers contacted Michelle Fink, 28, and Joel Guevara both of McKinleyville within the apartment.  During the contact it was learned that Guevara was currently assigned to felony probation for narcotics related offenses in Humboldt County.

During a search of Guevara’s property officers located 121.8 grams of suspected heroin, 1.2 grams methamphetamine, 11 methadone pills, drug paraphernalia and documents consistent with the trafficking of narcotics.

Joel Guevara was arrested and transported to the Humboldt County Jail, he was charged with the following crimes;

  • HS 11350 – Possession of a HeroinGuevara
  • HS 11379 – Possession of Methamphetamine
  • HS 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
  •  PC 1203.2 – Violation of Probation

Michelle Fink was arrested and transported to the Fortuna Police Department, where she was released on a citation for the HS 11364 – Possession of Drug Paraphernalia.

Another probationer running amok without supervision and drug testing?  When folks are as sharp as bowling balls they need their own lane and a wide berth of gutter to fall themselves into.

* * * * * *


gas station knockoffArcata– On Thursday, May 23 at about 9:28 am, APD officers were dispatched to a robbery that had just occurred at the Patriot Gas Stationat 1675 Giuntoli Road in Arcata.

 Officers were advised the suspect had fled on foot southbound on Valley West Blvd.  Officers checked the area, but were unable to locate the suspect.

 The suspect was described as a dark-complected male adult about 5’10″ tall and 170 pounds.  The suspect was last seen wearing grey zip up jacket, a green beanie, and sunglasses.

 The suspect mentioned having a weapon, but no weapon was displayed or seen.  The suspect left with an undisclosed amount of cash.

What?  No Hot Pockets?  Obviously a pepperoni shy of a pizza and a few Doritos short of a bag upstairs.

Anybody with information on the suspect’s identity is asked to call the Arcata Police Department at #822-2248

* * * * * * *


MIA Evert




Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Double Homicide in Arcata


28-Year Old Bodhi Tree Taken Into Custody



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Two people, a male and a female, were killed in a house on Eye Street in Arcata early this morning.

Mr. B TreePeople staying at the house said that a suspect, another houseguest, shot the two with a revolver.  Police have one individual in custody, identified as Bodhi Tree, 28-years old, and transient,” according to sources.

The victims have not been identified.  The houseguests at the scene said the female was an 18-year-old high school student.

The female was pronounced dead at the scene, according  to Arcata Police Department Lt. Ryan Peterson.  The male died shortly thereafter at Mad River Community Hospital. 

The names have not yet been released.  The shootings occurred early this morning in close proximity to the Arcata Skate Park, community tennis courts, and Humboldt State University.

This is the official APD statement:

Obadge arcn May 18, 2013, at about 2:00 am, the Arcata Police Department received a 911 telephone call from a residence in the 2400 block of Eye Street.  The caller reported hearing multiple gunshots within the residence.  Upon investigating, the resident found two acquaintances in another room suffering from gunshot wounds.

APD responded along with fire and medical.  A female adult was pronounced dead at the scene. A male adult was transported by ambulance to the Mad River Community Hospital.
He was pronounced dead a short time later.
The Arcata Police Department is actively investigating and is asking anyone with information to immediately call APD at 822-2424.  At this time, no suspect(s) have been arrested.
The identities of the victims are being withheld pending the investigation and notification of victim relatives.


Additional links for this fast-moving incident can be found here:

DOUBLE HOMICIDE ON EYE STREET (Update 2)  (Kevin Hoover/Arcata Eye)

Update: Police searching for Arcata double homicide suspect  (Times-Standard)

Suspected Double Homicide in Arcata This Morning (UPDATING)  (Hank Sims/Lost Coast Outpost)

Bodhi Tree, 28, arrested in connection with this morning’s double homicide  (Kevin Hoover/Arcata Eye)

Video of arrest of suspect Bodhi Tree (Andrew Goff)


UPDATE:  From the Arcata Police Department, May 18, 2013:

The Arcata Police Department conducted an extensive investigation with a suspect being developed.  The investigation led officers to a residence located in the 200 block of Marilyn Avenue, located in the Sunny Brae area of Arcata.
Upon initial contact with the occupants of the residence, the suspect was not located.   A short time later, citizens in the area notified police of a suspicious subject in the 1700 block of Shirley Blvd, a short distance away from the Marilyn Avenue residence.
Officers responded and located  Bodhi Tree, 28 years old of Arcata.  Tree was the homicide suspect sought by the police department and he was arrested.
Tree was transported to the Humboldt County Jail and booked for two counts of PC 187–Murder.
Alan MarcetFrom the Humboldt County Coroner’s Office, May 20–  Victims Identified:

The Coroner’s Office identified the two people killed in the double homicide Saturday morning in Arcata.  They are:

  • Alan Marcet 27-years old, from Oak Park, Michigan
  • Christina Schwarz 18-years old from Eureka, student at Eureka High SchooChristina Schwarzl

Autopsies pending scheduling of forensic pathologist for analysis.



UPDATE:  from the Times-Standard, May 24:

BodhiEPD Now Looking at Bodhi Tree as a ‘Person of Interest’ in separate Eureka High School Shooting Last Week

* * * * * * * *

(Our appreciation goes to Rose of the Watchpaul Blog for her updated links.  Thank you, Rose)


Posted in Arcata, Crime, LocalComments (7)

Kai, The Hatchet-Wielding Hitchiker, Arrested for Murder


Victim or Suspect of Sexual Assault?



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Kai, the ‘hatchet-wielding hitchhiker’ who became an Internet sensation earlier this year, has been arrested 
for the murder of a New Jersey man.

He was captured by Philadelphia police at the Greyhound Bus station in Philadelphia earlier today, Union County Prosecutor Theodore Romankow said.

“I believe that everyone is a little safer with this person off the streets,” the prosecutor said.

According to Glassboro Police Chief Alex Fanfarillo, he was taken into custody in Philadelphia shortly after his department was contacted about interviewing witnesses to Kai’s visit and discovering the drifter had stayed in the town of Glassboro, New Jersey.

galfyPolice were seeking the 24-year-old over the murder of attorney Joseph Galfy Jr, who was found dead in his Clark, NJ, home on Monday, May 13.  An autopsy showed that he died as the result of blunt force trauma.

Romankow said Kai met up with 73-year-old New Jersey lawyer in New York’s Times Square on Saturday night, left, and then returned to Galfy’s home.  Witnesses reported Kai was with Galfy over the course of two or more days.  Authorities suspect Galfy was involved in some sort of sexual encounter before being beaten to death.

After the alleged murder, Kai’s movements included two trips to meet a fan in Asbury Park, a trip to Philadelphia and another to Glassboro in southern New Jersey, before he took a train bound for Philadelphia, authorities said.

KaiKai, whose real name is Caleb Lawrence McGillvary, became an overnight hero after a man he was getting a hitchhiking ride with proclaimed that he was the reincarnation of Jesus Christ and deliberately rammed his car into the back of a Pacific Gas and Electric worker.  After a woman tried to help the worker, the driver got out of the car and started squeezing the woman.

Kai– or McGillvary, if you prefer–  then intervened and smashed the man three times in the head with his hatchet.

Kai is a drifter and prefers to call himself “homefree” rather than homeless.  He achieved semi-celebrity status after giving a colorful and profanity-laced F-bomb interview to a local news crew describing his Good Samaritan act that went viral.  He also appeared on the Jimmy Kimmel Live show and Stephen Colbert.

He was a frequent traveler to Humboldt County and  the Arcata Plaza, last visiting in March.

A Facebook post from Kai last week thanked his many fans who let him visit, stay the night or share a meal in recent months:

kai4Hey id like to express my gratitude to all the gnarly awesome people whove invited me in, partied hardy with me, and brought me to such cool places to meet such cool people. ive met some of the greatest people in my life in these last three months and i wouldnt trade these experiences with you for all the money in hollywood.

“i was thinkin today about that whole thing and really the best thing in the world was getting to know all of you.”

But on Tuesday a far darker note emerged.  It suggested he woke up and discovered he had been drugged and sexually assaulted.

He asked his fans:

what would you do if you woke up with a groggy head, metallic taste in your mouth, in a strangers house… walked to the mirror and seen come dripping from the side of your face from your mouth, and started wretching, realizing that someone had drugged, raped, and blown their fuckin load in you?  What would you do?”

One man calling himself Terry says he would beat the man with a hatchet.  Kai responded: “i like your idea terry.”

Galfy was found bludgeoned to death around the same time.  Police discovered his body while performing a welfare check after he failed to show up at work.  He was found dead in his bed, clad only in underwear and socks.

Kai3Investigators say Kai cut his long hair and tried to disguise himself.  He went on the run, staying with his Facebook fans after the murder before being caught and arrested in Philadelphia.

Kai’s carefree traveling days on the road may have come to an abrupt end.

Charged with murder, Romankow said the hatchet-wielding,  homefree hitchhiker will be processed on his arrest warrant and sent back to New Jersey for arraignment and possible trial. 

His bail was set at $3 million.

Posted in Crime, Media, NationalComments (4)

Slaying Suspect’s Car Located in Petrolia


Shasta Triple Homicide Suspect on the Loose in Southern Humboldt


Mattole Residents Advised to ‘Shelter in Place’ by Sheriff


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office:

On May 8 at approximately 3:30 p.m. the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a citizen that wanted Shasta County Homicide suspect Shane Miller’s Gold Dodge 2010 pickup truck was seen at the mouth of the Mattole River in Petrolia.

Humboldt County Sheriff’s Deputies, along with officers from the California Highway Patrol, the Fortuna Police Department and the Rio Dell Police Department responded to the area.

While enroute to the scene, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office began receiving 911 calls that Miller was in the truck and was driving on the Mattole Road towards Honeydew.

mattole mouthDeputies and officers from the other agencies converged on the area.  After an extensive search they located the truck parked and vacant in the 30000 block of Mattole Road.

Deputies searched the area and are still on scene looking for Miller.

Anyone who resides in the area is requested to shelter in place.  If anyone sees Miller they are requested to call 911.

 Anyone with information for the Sheriff’s Office regarding this case  is encouraged to call the Sheriff’s Office at 707-445-7251 or the Sheriff’s Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

* * * * * * * * *

Previously from the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office:

shane millerShane Franklin Miller is a suspect in the triple homicide shooting of his wife and two daughters in Shingletown, CA.  Miller is considered armed and dangerous, and possibly having access to a cache of weapons. 

Sheriff’s Officials are pursuing leads in the Northern California Region and a nationwide manhunt bulletin has been issued.

Suspect is believed to be driving a Gold 2010 Dodge Mega Cab Pickup with a camper shell.  CA License #8Z75988



Sandy Miller, wife, 34 years old 
Shelby Miller, daughter, 8 years old
Shasta Miller, daughter, 4 years old

Shane Franklin Miller: White male, Red hair, Blue eyes, 5’10”, 200 pounds
DOB 05/08/1968, 45 years of age

* * * * * * * *

More information can be found at The Record Searchlight.

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

Mendocino Cold Cases and Missing Persons


County Sheriff Asks for Public’s Help in Identifying Victims and Leads


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office makes their Missing Persons and Cold Cases page available to the public.

We wish the HCSO would do the same.

They ask that if you can offer any details on the cases below, please call them at (707) 234-2100.



john and jane doeOn July 08, 1979 the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a person reporting the discovery of human remains in the area of Mile Post Marker 21.11 on Highway 20.  This area was located between the city of Willits and the city of Fort Bragg in Mendocino County of California.

During a search of the rural area, Sheriff’s Detective recovered the skeletal remains of two separate human bodies.  Anthropologists determined the bodies to be that of a male and female.  In 2001 DNA testing showed the bodies were not biologically related.

Over the course of the investigation, Sheriff’s Detectives were able to obtain computer-generated facial reconstructive sketches of the bodies.

The attached colors sketches were first obtained in the early 2000′s from a forensic artist with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.  The picture of the bird in the inset at the bottom of the picture is depicted as an earring (pierced ear type) that was recovered with the human remains.

In 2012, a more advanced 3D sketch process was used by a digital forensic artist with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children resulting in the attached black & white sketches.  The new process and this specific case were featured in a BCC News television program: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-18529366.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

John Doe

  • Height 5′ 2″ to 5′ 11″
  • Race: White
  • Estimated Age: 10-20 years old
  • Date of Discovery: July 8, 1979
  • MCSO Case #: 1979-1900

Jane Doe

  • Height 5′ 3″ to 6′ 0″
  • Race: White
  • Estimated Age: 10-20 years old
  • Date of Discovery: July 8, 1979
  • MCSO Case #: 1979-1900



On the evening of August 9, 2003, Chris Robert Giauque went to the Spyrock Road area of Mendocino County and met with an associate near the Iron Peak lookout.  This area is located north of the town of Laytonville, California.

Chris Robert GiauqueChris Giauque was on probation for cultivation of marijuana and reportedly left his vehicle, a 1994 blue Toyota extra cab pickup truck at this location as he did not want to be seen in his truck on the property that he and the associate owned on Simmerly Road in Covelo, California.

Reportedly, the associate gave Chris Giauque a ride into and out of the property.  Chris Giauque was reportedly last seen in this area around 9:00 PM.  It is possible that Chris Giauque became a robbery-homicide victim.

Chris Giauque had made the trip to pick up a substantial amount of cash and it was possible that numerous people knew of the pending business transaction.

Chris Giauque’s pickup truck was located on August 10, 2003 approximately 50 miles north of Spyrock Road and 3 miles south of Myers Flat on the Avenue of the Giants near Elk Creek Road in Humboldt County.  This location is north of Salmon Creek where Chris Giauque resided.

To this date, Chris Giauque’s body has not been located and his father (Bob Giauque) has established a website to aid in the investigation.  The website located at www.chrisreward.org contains additional information on the circumstances of Chris Giauque’s disappearance and an established reward. 

The investigation into Chris Giauque’s disappearance is being handled by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office in conjunction with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

Anyone with information in regards to the disappearance of Chris Giauque is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

  • Age at time of murder 36 years-old
  • Height6′ 0″
  • Weight:  145 lbs.
  • HairBrown
  • Eyes: Blue
  • MCSO Case#:  03-3247
  • Date of disappearance:  August 9, 2003

To note, Chris Giauque’s page has much more lengthy detailed information of his disappearance and acquaintances.  It reads in part:

My family is offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to the recovery of my remains.

An additional $150,000 reward is offered for information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the individuals responsible for killing me.  And now, an additional reward incentive is being made available to anyone bringing in direct evidence of the crime.

Failure to bring rapid closure to this case will lead to a number of bounty hunters invading your territory.  They will scour the area, seeking information and asking questions.”

* * * * * * * *

mendo badge1The MCSO has other missing persons and cold cases that can be found here: http://www.mendocinosheriff.com/missing/coldcases.html

We wonder why our own Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t make similar information available to its residents as the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office does.

Why they haven’t do so– or even attempted a posting of Humboldt’s Most Wanted Individuals list for the public– is a cold case mystery in and of itself.

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (5)

Mendocino County Sheriff Releases Pics Of Piercy Skeleton Remains


Asks for Public’s Help in Identifying Victim Through Items Discovered


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


piercy shoesOn October 30, 2012 at 0659 hours, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a person wanting to report a suspicious situation.

The caller had located a shoe protruding from the earth near the shore of the Eel River in the 83000 block of Highway 271.  Upon closer examination the caller believed the shoe was attached to a human body.

A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Sergeant and a Sheriff’s Detective responded to the scene and located what the caller had

piercy shirtDuring this time it was discovered that the shoe was associated with a shallow grave that contained the skeletal remains of a human body.  Sheriff’s Detectives requested the assistance of the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico in recovering the remains from the grave.

On March 11, 2013, Sheriff’s Detectives received a report from the CSU-Chico Human Identification Laboratory in regards to the analysis of the human remains.

piercy jeansThe results of the analysis showed that the human remains are believed to be that of a white male adult, approximately 25-45 years of age with a height between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 5 inches tall.

Sheriff’s Detectives have enlisted the assistance of the California Department of Justice in recovering DNA from a bone to help establish a DNA profile for the remains.

Sheriff’s Detectives hope to enter this DNA profile into the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) and use the DNA profile to compare against Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office active missing persons cases.

Pictures of items and clothing of the skeletal remains are pictured here.  Clicking on the images will slightly enlarge them.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.

* * * * * * * * *

The Sentinel’s previous articles of the Piercy skeleton discovery can be found here
and here.


piercy knife

Posted in CrimeComments (1)

Kai, Hatchet-Wielding Hitchhiker, Defeats Racist Jesus


“Dude, that Guy was Fucking Kooked Out!  Smash, Smash, Smash!”



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Kai is a homeless hitchhiker.  He’s being hailed as a hero
after saving a woman several days ago from the clutches of

the man who was giving him a ride — who suddenly crashed
his car into a utility worker, began spouting racist invectives,
and claimed to be the reincarnation of Jesus.

kai2Kai was hitching a ride with 54-year-old Jett Simmons McBride, of Tacoma, Wash., when McBride decided to run his car into a black Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E) worker in West Fresno.  With the worker was pinned against his utility truck, McBride hopped out of his vehicle and began physically pulling on the injured worker.

A local woman, Tanya Baker, witnessed the crash and tried to stop McBride from continuing his assault or leaving the scene.  That’s when McBride reportedly grabbed her in a bear hug her while claiming to be Jesus Christ and uttering racist epithets.

“The guy just went crazy and was trying to pull the guy from underneath the car and the truck.  Then he gets in his car and tries to move the car… and we weren’t going to let him do it,” Baker told local Fox News affiliate KMPH.

Kai, the hitchhiker who was sitting in the car, saw McBride assault Baker– and sprang into action.

“Like, a guy that big can snap a woman’s neck like a pencil stick,” he told KMPH.   Kai grabbed his hatchet and battered the six-foot, 300-plus pound McBride with the blunt end, reportedly saving Baker’s life.

“I fucking ran up behind him with a hatchet — smash, smash, smash!” Kai said afterwards.

Kai4When first responders arrived on the scene, the PG&E worker was rushed to the hospital with two broken legs.  McBride was also removed from the scene with non-life-threatening injuries and is now in police custody and booked into jail on suspicion of attempted murder.

Kai has become a minor internet folk hero of sorts; a person who didn’t have to get invoved– but did so only because it was the immediate and right thing to do.

Kai said he wants to spread the love:

“Before I say anything else, I want to say no matter what you’ve done, you deserve respect, even if you make mistakes.   You’re lovable and it doesn’t matter your looks, skills, or age, or size or anything.  You’re worthwhile—no one can take that away from you.”

Since his interview with Fox affiliate KMPH went viral (below), there has been next to no news about Kai’s current whereabouts.

kai3A year-old video of the homefree celebrity strumming his ukulele on a British Columbia beach and in a music store surfaced, but that hardly provided any insight into the man behind the myth.

“He’s kind of like a superhero,” reporter Jessob Reisbeck said.   ”He’s impossible to get ahold of because he has no phone and he’s this mysterious guy, but he has this hero status.”

But Kai is still out there.  He recently said in a Facebook post:  “I’m sleeping in a hay field across I-99 from the chevron/days inn in Lathrope CA.  Do any, uh, new friends feel like sharing couchspace?”

kaiReisbeck managed to track Kai down yesterday not far from the site of the incident that made him a digital star.

“Shock and awe,” Kai responded when Reisbeck asked him for his thoughts on his overnight fame.

But besides feeling a bit more loved by the Universe than before, Kai remains unchanged.

“He’s just doing the exact same thing he’s always done,” Reisbeck said.  “Living a homefree
life, as he calls it.”

* * * * * * * * *

Identifying with Humboldt, Kai has spent time wandering through and living in Eureka and in Arcata.

The interesting and must-see viral KMPH interview of Kai describing the incident is here.

The original KMPH newscast is here.

UPDATE May 16, 2013Kai is arrested for murder.

Posted in Crime, Media, StateComments (3)

Humboldt County Man Murdered in Prison by Cellmate


Delbert Miller, 69, Pronounced Dead


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


CORCORAN – Investigators at Corcoran State Prison and the Kings County District Attorney’s Office said yesterday they are investigating the death of inmate Delbert
69-years-old, as a homicide.

corcoran3It is believed the former Humboldt County man serving time for murder was killed in his own cell at the hands of his much younger 20-year-old cellmate.

Miller was found unresponsive in his prison cell and was pronounced dead Thursday morning, January 24, according to the press release from the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR).

Miller was serving an 81-year-to-life sentence beginning in May of 2008 for the first-degree murder of
miller38-year-old Lori Ann Jones, whose decomposing body was found in Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park in 2004.  Prosecutors convinced jurors during his trial that Miller murdered Jones because he believed she was stealing from him and had accused him of rape, the Times-Standard reported.

Miller had a prior 1988 conviction from Humboldt County for rape and forced oral copulation of a child.  He had been housed at Corcoran State Prison since last July.

Miller’s cellmate, Kyle Alexander Osborn, has been identified as the only suspect.  Osborn has since been removed and placed into an Administrative Segregation Unit.  Details of the alleged killing have not been released.

corcoranOsborn, 20, was admitted to state prison from San Bernardino County in June of 2009 with a 26-year sentence for lewd and lascivious acts on a child with force and violence, and burglary and first-degree robbery.  It is unknown how long he has been at Corcoran, or sharing the same cell with the older Miller.

The Kings County Coroner will perform an autopsy.  The Office of Inspector General’s Bureau of Independent Review was notified, the CDCR said.

Ms. GipsonA small city in and of itself, California State Prison-Corcoran opened in 1988 and houses 4,595 minimum to maximum high-security level inmates.  It employs 2,300 people and is one of 32 adult facilities located throughout California.

Ms. Connie Gipson is the current warden of the all-male prison which has had as many problems as notorious inmates over the years.

Posted in Crime, Local, StateComments (0)

Mystery Surrounds Suspicious Centerville Beach Death


Strange Event Just Got Stranger

–Updated Below–



Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


First we have the HCSO report today:

On January 20 at approximately 8 a.m., the Humboldt County Sheriffs Office was called by a citizen who reported a male possibly deceased located at Centerville Beach near Ferndale.

centerville cliffsA deputy and medical was dispatched to the scene approximately 1/2 mile south of the parking lot.  When the deputy arrived he saw a male located in the area described between the cliffs and the water line.  Medical and the deputy determined the male was deceased.

Sheriff’s Detectives and the Coroners Office were summoned to the scene to investigate the death.  The death is determined suspicious at this time.  The identity of the deceased has not been confirmed.  Sheriff’s Detectives are requesting the public’s help with this case.

The vehicle described:  Blue with Tan Trim, Eddie Bauer 2000 Ford Explorer, with California Plates.

centerville beachDeceased male described: White male, late 40’s , wearing sweat pants, a sweat shirt, two scarf’s, a beanie and a hoodie.

Anyone who may have seen this man at Centerville Beach or has any information regarding this case is requested to call Detective Rich Schlesiger at 1-707-268-3642 or the Sheriffs Office Crime Tip line at 707-268-2539.

The investigation is ongoing and further information may be released in the future.

 sealsSo who was this individual whose body was found just below the steep cliffs of the now-defunct Centerville Naval Facility?  Did he commit suicide or was he murdered?  

This is where it takes a turn for the truly strange.

Kym Kemp fills us in on the rest of the bizarre story with her link here:  “Centerville Beach Body Identified as Man Outed for Pretending to be Navy Seal”

And the Times-Standard link by Luke Ramseth:  “Man Found Dead at Centerville Beach was Navy SEAL Impostor; Officials say Densmore Likely in Humboldt for Several Days”


UPDATE, JANUARY 29, 2013The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reported the following brief information today:

On 01-29-2013 an autopsy was conducted on Ike Densmore.  The medical examiner concluded that Densmores death was self inflicted by a gunshot wound.

* * * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in LocalComments (1)

Murder Suspect Kills Self in Humboldt County


Jacob Allen Green, 24, Suspected in Slaying of 16-Year Old Oregon Girl


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Multiple law enforcement agencies, medical examiners, and the Tillamook County District Attorney’s Office are investigating the death of a female found late Friday along
an Oregon highway about 18 miles east of Tillamook. 
They have confirmed the woman’s death was a homicide.

hendricksonCriminal investigators from the Tillamook County Major Crime Team, with the assistance of State and Tillamook County medical examiner offices, identified the victim as Kayla Ann Hendrickson, 16, from Beaverton, Oregon.  An autopsy done yesterday at the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed her death was caused from gunshot wounds.

Officials also confirmed a person of interest related to this investigation died Saturday from a self-inflicted gunshot wound along the northern California coast. 

The only suspect involved in her death, Jacob Allen Green, 24, of Newport, Oregon, reportedly shot himself in his parked car in Humboldt County the following day and died at a local hospital.  He had worked for a Newport area logging company.

According to police, Hendrickson and Green knew each other.  The circumstances leading to Hendrickson’s slaying in Oregon and Green’s self-inflicted suicide in Humboldt County remain murky at best.

Investigators were contacted Saturday by the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office regarding a death investigation they were conducting involving a male subject in a vehicle matching the description of the of one connected with the death investigation.

Here is what the Oregon State Police reported:

hwy 6On Friday, January 18, at approximately 10:14 p.m., a vehicle described as a late 1980s to early 1990s full-size pickup was observed by a witness stopped on the north side shoulder of the westbound lane on Highway 6 between milepost 18 and 19.

Two people, a man and woman, were seen along the highway near the stopped pickup.

About 25 minutes later, the witness contacted a Tillamook police officer advising of the suspicious circumstances along Highway 6 near milepost 18 about two miles east of Jordan Creek Road.  An OSP trooper
responded and found the dead woman along the highway.

Investigators are asking for the public’s help to develop additional information.  Hendrickson is described as:

  •  White female estimated 18 – 25 years of age
  •  Approximately 5’8″ and weighing 135 – 145 lbs
  •  Long bleach-blonde hair with a layer of dark hair underneath the lighter top layer
  •  Wearing a pink buttoned down blouse underneath a camouflage long sleeve fleece woman’s full zipper front sweat jacket, short “hot pink” shorts, and tan cowboy boots with an approximate 2 inch heel

 Anyone with information regarding this investigation, including anyone who was traveling in the vicinity around the times mentioned, is asked to call Oregon State Police Northern Command Center dispatch at (800) 452-7888.

* * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

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Deceased Man Found at South Jetty


Circumstances of Death Remain a Mystery


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


A man was found dead at the South Jetty around 7:30 a.m. yesterday.

The Humboldt County Coroner’s Office says the adult male
was found by a passerby on a quad vehicle, just above the
surf-line near the parking lot area.  They believe the body
is someone who’s been filed with police as missing out of
Rio Dell since December 1.

Deputy Coroner Roy Horton responded to the scene Tuesday and has positively identified the man.

“There are no injuries that appear to have caused the man’s death,” Horton said.

Horton said the man was discovered by a citizen on an ATV, who was gathering firewood on the beach.  The driver of the ATV reported seeing the man alive last night, according to Horton.

The Coroner’s Office is investigating how the body got there.
Investigating officials say there is a question of how the body got to this location on the South Jetty.  They report there was no vehicle associated with him at the scene.

They also indicate the condition of his body is not reflective of having been in the water for any long period of time, considering how long he’s been missing.  The body had some unexplained minor lacerations.

A witness told the Coroner’s office he was at the same Jetty location on Monday and the body wasn’t there;  it appeared within 24 hours later, he said.

Horton said the identity of the deceased man will be released after the next of kin are contacted.

The KIEM-TV news report is here.

UPDATE:  The Coroner has identified the man as Judson Isaiah Nolan, 41, of Rio Dell.  There were no injuries found for his death.  The Coroner added it’s likely Nolan hitchhiked or got a ride to the area.

 (Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Eel River Valley, LocalComments (0)

District Attorney and Judge Dropped the Ball in Warren Case


Mother of Victim Details Deadly Mistakes to State Attorney General


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Dorothy Ulrich was brutally murdered in her home in Hoopa by alleged suspect Jason Warren, a parolee awaiting sentencing on another matter.

After killing Ms. Ulrich, Warren stole her vehicle and drove to Eureka where it’s believed he ran down three joggers killing one of them, Suzanne Seemann, a professor at California State University Humboldt.

Last week, the Two Rivers Tribune published a letter written by the mother of victim Dorothy Ulrich to Kamala Harris, the Attorney General of California.  In the letter, Ulrich’s mother details the mistakes that were made granting the release of Warren allowing him to embark on his murderous spree.


In her letter, Dorothy’s mother asks:

  • Why was Jason Warren released on a Cruz waiver when the Court and District Attorney very well knew of his previous violent charges and history?
  • Why did the Deputy District Attorney, Zach Curtis, utter ‘No Objection’ to Warren’s release?
  • Why was Warren released when he had no address and was reportedly ‘homeless’ at the time?
  • Did the Judge and DA really expect Warren, free for two weeks after being granted his temporary waiver release, to return to Court and be sent to prison
    for his 4-year sentence?  Why wasn’t he simply remanded to
    custody until his prison transfer?
  • Why wasn’t his parole agent notified of his release?  Why was Warren released without any supervision whatsoever?

And the most important point of allDorothy Ulrich, one of Warren’s previous victims, was never notified of Warren’s release.

Dorothy Ulrich had no idea Warren was released from custody.  And Warren consequently killed her.  Had she been notified as a victim– as required under the Victim’s Bill of Rights and Marcy’s Law– she would have been aware of the extreme danger she was in.  Ulrich would have been able to protect herself, flee, or otherwise remove herself from the life-threatening danger that the Court and District Attorney erringly imposed upon her.

Dorothy Ulrich died because of their failure to notify her as a victim.

Adding further insult to injury, Dorothy’s mother concluded in her letter:

(Deputy District Attorney) Zack Curtis wasn’t the final decision maker.  Judge Timothy Cissna was the judge that issued the order.

It seems now that everyone involved in Warren’s case have closed ranks and refuse to offer any further explanation to me, the other victims and their families, or the citizens of Humboldt County.

We feel an explanation is clearly in order.  Bluntly put, Judge Cissna and Deputy District Attorney Zach Curtis dropped the ball allowing Warren’s release.  Dorothy Ulrich’s mother even asked if either party– the Court or the District Attorney’s Office–  had even bothered or taken the time to read Warren’s court file containing information addressing the above concerns.

The letter in the Two Rivers Tribune is a very knowledgeable, detailed, and well-written piece.

We’d like to bring the matter to your attention before it’s shamelessly swept under the rug and down the memory hole as if it never had happened.  It is a travesty– and the community should be duly outraged.

We encourage you to read the full letter here and make up your own mind as to whether there was a critical and deadly breakdown of justice allowing Dorothy Ulrich and Suzanne Seeman to be murdered in cold blood by a felon with a violent past who never should have been released in the first place.

We hope Attorney General Kamala Harris orders a complete review of this case to ensure it never, ever, happens again– and that our public safety servants perform their jobs that they’re appointed to do.

* * * * * * * * * * *

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (3)

HCSO Requests Homicide Charge for Jason Warren


Warren Responsible for Death of Dorothy Ulrich, HCSO Reports


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


From the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office release issued moments ago:

September 27, 2012: 

A California Highway Patrol Officer conducting a follow up investigation discovered a deceased female in a residence on Little Moon Lane, Hoopa.  The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office and Hoopa Tribal Police responded to and took custody of the scene.

Sheriff’s detectives were notified and also responded to the residence.

A search warrant was issued by the Humboldt County Superior Court and detectives entered the residence for an investigation.

Today, November 20, 2012: 

The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office has concluded a majority of the Death Investigation of Dorothy Evelyn Ulrich, 47-years-old of Hoopa.

Investigators determined that Ulrich was the victim of a homicide, and suspect Jason Anthony Warren, 28-years-old and a transient, is responsible for her death.

Based upon their investigation, Sheriff’s Detectives believe Ulrich was killed during the early morning hours of September 27, 2012.

A silver Kia Spectra was stolen from Hoopa shortly after Ulrich’s death.  Subsequently, the Silver Kia Spectra was recovered by the Eureka Police Department in the City of Eureka on September 27th, 2012.

The Sheriff’s Office has submitted its case to the Humboldt County District Attorneys Office today, along with a Declaration in Support of an Arrest Warrant, requesting charges of homicide and auto theft be filed against Warren.

Jason Warren is currently in custody at San Quentin State Prison on
an unrelated charge.

* * * * * * * *

Mr. Warren, you remember, is also believed to be responsible for the death and serious injuries of the three Bayside joggers on September 27.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Burial and Memorial Service for Michela Wooldridge


Former Humboldt Woman Found Murdered in Santa Rosa


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Michela Wooldridge will be laid to rest in a burial and memorial service set for next Tuesday in Fortuna and Hydesville.

The young, 24-year-old mother was brutally stabbed to death in Santa Rosa on November 1, as reported in the Humboldt Sentinel.

She lived in Humboldt County for about 5 years where her mother was raised, and had moved to Sonoma County before entering a Christian rehabilitation program there.  She leaves behind a two year son.

Michela will be buried next to her grandfather on Tuesday, November 20, at 10 a.m.  It will be at the Catholic Cemetery at 1715 Main Street in Fortuna, her stepfather, Kevin Wilson, said.

A noon memorial service will follow at the Hydesville Community Church, located at 3296 Highway 36 in Hydesville.

Michela’s family is accepting donations to help pay for her burial.

Donations can be made at any Wells Fargo bank branch to account number 2919021044.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (0)

Skeleton Found in Piercy Exhumed


MCSO and CSU-Chico Working on Identifying Long Buried Corpse


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Mendocino County Sheriff Lt. Greg Van Patten said a team from the California State University Department of Anthropology at Chico has recovered the full skeleton from
a shallow grave that was discovered along the shore of the
Eel River on October 30, as reported in the Humboldt Sentinel.

Lt. Van Patten said the team exhumed the skeleton after two kayakers made the grisly discovery of a tennis-shoe clad foot protruding from the soil near Piercy.  He said the skeletal remains were taken to the CSU-Chico lab and estimates the analysis will take four to six weeks to complete due to their caseload.

Mendocino County Sheriff’s investigators say it’s still too early to determine if the human bones located in the shallow grave of the riverbank are related to any missing persons from coastal Mendocino County. 

When Sheriff’s investigators found the bones based on the kayakers’ tip and location, they secured the area and called in CSU investigators.

Van Patten said investigators believe the bones are that of an adult, but at this time the gender is still unknown.  Remnants of clothing were also found with the remains and being examined by the lab’s forensic investigators.

Asked if the bones showed evidence of bullet scarring or intrusion, Van Patten said it’s too premature to tell at this point.

He also added that forensically it’s too early to narrow down the possible origin or identity of the decedent.  However, a botanist is working with the team to look at the growth of roots and vines over the grave in order to better determine when it was placed there.

“We’ll know a lot more when the results come back,” he said.

The Sheriff’s Department has dozens of unsolved missing persons cases dating back to the 1970s, including several from coastal areas.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100. More information on local missing persons cases can be found on the Sheriff’s Department website, the MCSO said in their release.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in CrimeComments (1)

Brutal Stabbing of Homeless Mother Goes Unsolved


Santa Rosa Police Look for Killer of Michela Wooldridge


–Reward Offered–


Skippy Massey
Humboldt Sentinel


Police are still searching for the killer of a homeless mother
who was found by joggers in downtown Santa Rosa the morning
after Halloween, as reported by the Humboldt Sentinel.

They don’t have any suspects yet but do have some leads that are being followed up on.  So far, no witnesses have come forward.

Police said 24-year-old Michela Wooldridge had recently become homeless after dropping out of a drug recovery program.  She was killed off Fourth Street just outside downtown Santa Rosa, near a lamp shop.  She was a former Humboldt County resident.

Investigators said Wooldridge was stabbed several times with a knife or blade- edged instrument.  They believe she was most likely was killed where she was found.

Wooldridge leaves behind a 2-year-old son.  Investigators said she came to Santa Rosa from at the beginning of October.  Growing up largely in Cloverdale, she had recently been living in Humboldt County. 

Friends said she had a rough childhood.  She was wrestling with repressed memories of childhood molestation and more recent sexual trauma, as well as episodes of drug use, family members said.

She came to Santa Rosa to take part in a one-year recovery program at the Victory Outreach Women’s Christian Recovery Home.  But she left the program Oct. 11, apparently with a man she met in Santa Rosa, according to her former boyfriend, Clearlake resident Nick Azbill, the father of Wooldridge’s 2-year-old son.

Wooldridge’s mother, Elizabeth Vawter, and her husband, Kevin Wilson, have recovered her daughter’s remains and taken them back to Humboldt County to bury her alongside her
grandparents in Fortuna.

People at Santa Rosa’s The Living Room and the nearby Interlink Self Help Center saw her more recently after she left her recovery home including up to the day before her body was found, said Celeste Austin, program coordinator for The Living Room Day Shelter at Church of the Incarnation.

Wooldridge was a sweet, approachable woman who made friends easily and whose naivete and vulnerability makes her violent death all the more difficult to bear, Austin said.

Women in the Santa Rosa homeless community are worried after one of their own was violently killed in an alley off of busy Fourth Street, Austin said.

“Our women were impacted at The Living Room in a pretty deep way because it was a woman; it was someone who some of them knew, and she was murdered brutally,” Austin said.  “And so our women are feeling unsafe because they haven’t apprehended the individual.”

Staff and volunteers at the day shelter have offered counseling and support, but there were others “in a lot of pain around this death,” she said.

After a week of investigation, detectives are without a suspect, though they are continuing to conduct interviews and developing leads through family members scattered around the North Coast and members of the local homeless community, Santa Rosa Police Sgt. David Linscomb said.

“We’re going in a lot of directions with this,” Linscomb said. “We haven’t ruled anything out.  People in the homeless community, my advice — stay vigilant, and stay careful.”

A memorial fund has been established at Wells Fargo Bank to help cover expenses.  Donors can contribute to Michela’s Memorial Fund, account No. 2919021044, at any Wells Fargo Bank branch.

The Sonoma County Alliance is offering a $2,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of a suspect in the case through its “Take Back Our Community” program.

Santa Rosa Police have a special tip line at (707) 975-1106.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (1)

Too Little, Too Late in Homicide Case

Jason Warren Never Should Have Been Released


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Rose nailed it in her column today.

Drawing from this morning’s Times-Standard, she wrote:

Humboldt County Superior Court Judge Timothy Cissna released Warren from custody in late August on a Cruz waiver, part of a plea agreement that had him facing six years in prison with the stipulation that an assault change would be dropped if he showed up for his Sept. 7 (court date).

A Cruz waiver is part of a plea deal, usually requested by a defendant in custody or a defense attorney, that releases the defendant prior to sentencing.  A prosecutor can oppose the waiver, but the decision to release a defendant is ultimately up to a judge.

Jason Anthony Warren, 28, was arrested on a warrant related to his failure to appear for sentencing hours after the Sept. 27 hit-and-run that killed Humboldt State University geography instructor Suzanne Seemann — the mother of two young children and wife of Humboldt County official Hank Seemann.  She died at the scene.  Her running partners, Eureka residents Jessica Hunt, 41, and Terri Vroman-Little, 50, were severely injured.

jail card2An investigation into the hit-and-run led to the discovery of 47-year-old Dorothy Ulrich’s body in her Hoopa home.

It was the right decision for that time,” Gallegos told the Times-Standard last month.  “With the benefit of hindsight, I wish to God we had opposed it, and I wish the judge hadn’t released him.”


Well, uh, yeah.  Except that it wasn’t the right decision at the time.  In fact, it was clearly the wrong one.

Mr. Gallegos’ office didn’t oppose Mr. Warren’s release one bit.  Not so much as a single word or whisper.  Judge Cissna waited for the prosecuting attorney’s response– and hearing none– made his ill-fated ruling.

If the District Attorney’s Office had objected to Warren’s Cruz waiver release as they should have done, three citizens of our community would still be alive today.

It was an epic fail that lacked a whole boatload of common sense at the lowest level.

Jason Warren, a parolee, never should have been released.  Period.  And everyone knew that.  Even Dorothy Ulrich’s mother said those very same words after learning her daughter had been brutally killed.

Mr. Warren wasn’t a mystery.  Having a long antisocial and violent history stretching back to his juvenile days and into adulthood, he was well known to the Courts, the District Attorney’s Office, Defense Counsel, Law Enforcement, the Jail, Probation and Parole Officers, and the rest of the players on the block.

His behavior and crimes were well documented over a lengthy period of time.  Everyone knew exactly who he was and what he was capable of.  Bordering on sociopathy with no feelings of remorse, guilt, responsibility, or having a wit of conscience towards his crimes or victims, and with a serious substance abuse problem to boot, Warren was one dangerous cat.

Granted his unnopposed Cruz waiver and released– without so much as supervision or monitoring–  Warren was more or less allowed to run amok.  He likely murdered three people as a result of his newly found and unexpected freedom.  Not that he cared.

Not only did the Superior Court and the District Attorney’s Office act irresponsibly in his case and the interests of public safety, their complacent and indecisive error turned out to have deadly consequences.

Warren’s predictable wrath– coupled with a lack of judicial oversight and prevailing common sense– resulted in the deaths of three individuals.  Those deaths could have been prevented.

Simply put, our public servants just weren’t paying attention to what they were doing.  They dropped the ball.  Too little, too late is aptly correct.

It never, ever should have happened.  It was a terrible and tragic mistake.  The public should be made aware of it, and they should be duly concerned and outraged so it doesn’t happen again.


You can read more here:

Rose’s Watchpaul piece, ”Too Little, Too Late.

Scott Grant Go-Forth’s Times-Standard article, “ District Attorney’s Office Opposing Cruz Waivers Following Hit-and-Run Homicide” is here.

And Allie Hostler’s excellent Two Rivers Tribune story– with the background of Jason Warren– can be found here.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)



Posted in Crime, LocalComments (3)

Humboldt Woman Found Murdered in Sonoma County


Homeless Victim Stabbed Multiple Times


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Yesterday, November 1, 2012, at 5:21 a.m., paramedics received a report from passing joggers that someone was lying in the driveway of a business in the 1200 block of 4th Street in Santa Rosa, the Santa Rosa Police
Department reported

Paramedics were dispatched to the scene and found the person, a female in her mid-20′s, was deceased. They also noticed she had injuries consistent with stab wounds to her torso.

The victim, Michela Wooldridge, a 24-year-old woman from Humboldt County, had recently moved to the area and was possibly homeless.

Police believe the assault occurred in the early morning hours.  Wooldridge was stabbed multiple times before she succumbed to her wounds.

Although the investigation is continuing, police have not yet identified the killer.  The motive for the assault is not known at this time.  There was nothing to indicate the crime was a robbery or sexual assault.

The County Alliance “Take Back Our Community Program” has offered up to $2,500 in reward money for information leading to the arrest of the suspect in this case.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation or who may be able to identify  the suspect is encouraged to contact the Santa Rosa Police Department’s Violent Crime Investigations Team at 543-3590.

* * * * * * * * *

Michela Wooldridge is believed to have arrived in Santa Rosa about a month ago from Humboldt County and had been homeless.

“We’re still tracking things down,” Santa Rosa Police Sgt. David Linscomb said Friday morning.

She had no identification when a jogger found her dead on the sidewalk in front of Bertalone Realty and The Lamp and Shade Shop near the junction of College Avenue and Fourth Street.  Linscomb said authorities used fingerprints to identify her remains.  She was fully clothed when found.

Police had one minor contact with her in recent weeks, but nothing that rose to the level of an arrest, he said.

Linscomb said it was unclear where Wooldridge had been staying, but there were some people in the homeless community who knew the woman.

This is the second stabbing occurring in or near Santa Rosa early Friday morning.  At this time, there is no indication the two incidents are related.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in Crime, LocalComments (2)

Grisly Find By Couple Kayaking the Eel


Decomposed Skeleton and Shoes Poking Through the Dirt


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


The report by the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office of human remains found in Piercy was pretty basic and grim:

On 10-30-2012 at 0659 hours, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a person wanting to report a suspicious situation.

The caller had located a shoe protruding from the earth near the shore of the Eel River in the 83000 block of Highway 271.  Upon closer examination the caller believed the shoe was attached to a human body.

A Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office patrol Sergeant and Sheriff’s Detective responded to the scene and located what the caller had reported.

During this time it was discovered that the shoe was associated with a shallow grave that contained the skeletal remains of a human body.

Sheriff’s Detectives have requested the assistance of the Department of Anthropology at California State University, Chico in recovering the remains from the grave.

Anyone with information in regards to this case is urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line by calling 707-234-2100.


Fair enough.  It was an ugly discovery and the release is short on details.

More about the gruesome find is found here– if you have to know more.

We’ll warn you it isn’t pretty.   These things never are.


(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in CrimeComments (1)

Mendocino Home Invasion and Murder This Morning

Suspects May Be Headed North Towards Humboldt


Staff Report
Humboldt Sentinel


Today at at 2:44 in the morning,  the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center received a 911 call from a person who resided in a residence located in the 10000 block of East Road in Redwood Valley.

The caller reported that two unknown individuals had entered the residence with firearms and two of the caller’s family members had been shot.

Patrol Deputies responded to the residence where they located a deceased adult male with gunshot wounds.

Deputies also located another adult male who had sustained multiple gunshot wounds during the incident.  This adult male was transported to an out-of-county hospital for treatment of his injuries.

During an initial interview of family members, deputies learned one of the suspects was described as wearing a red hoody sweatshirt and black bandanna covering a portion of their face.

Both suspects were last seen leaving the residence Northbound on East Road in a black Cadillac Escalade SUV.

Sheriff’s Detectives were called to the scene and are conducting further investigations into the circumstances of the shooting.

Anyone having information in regards to this incident is urged to call the Mendocino Sheriff’s Office Tip-Line at 707-234-2100.


During the morning today Sheriff’s detectives identified 23-year-old Celso Madueno and 19-year-old Abel Madueno, both of Redwood Valley, as being the victims of this reported shooting incident.

At this time Abel Madueno is recovering from a non-lethal gunshot wound; Celso Madueno was pronounced dead at the shooting scene.

(Posted by Skippy Massey)

Posted in CrimeComments (0)

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