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Monday, December 27, 2010

Constitutional Rights

It seems as we move further along in time, our freedoms slowly dissipate. There's always someone trying to ban or stop us from utilizing our freedom that was set forth by our forefathers. These attempts to enslave us have not made us weaker, but only stronger. Remember our constitution states:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Lest we forget:

Amendment #1: Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Amendment #2: Right to Bear Arms.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

 
Amendment #3: Quartering of Soldiers.
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
 
Amendment #4: Search and Seizure.
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Amendment #5: Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings.
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 
Amendment #6: Right to Speedy Trial, Confrontatoin of Witnesses.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

Amendment #7: Trial by Jury in Civil Cases.
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

Amendment #8: Cruel and Unusual Punishment.
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

Amendment #9: Construction of Constitution.
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

Amendment #10: Powers of the States and People.
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Help Wanted!

Okay folks. I don't have many connections and can't afford a budget right now to pay people, so I'm asking for volunteers to help me out from time to time with simple little things -- marketing, making movie videos, book commercials, cover art/photo shoots for my books, doing mystery parties, etc. Unfortunately, the people I counted on before just showed me I can't rely on them anymore to HELP out and I don't want to go through the problems of spending countless hours working on something just to have it destroyed later on and all the hard work flushed down the drain as if it never meant anything to anyone.

You will get credit, of course, which is always helpful putting on a resume, and if I can afford to pay something, I will. Oh, and there will have to be some sort of mini-contract involved basically saying you'll work on a volunteer basis and not demand something from me in the future (for example, I had a cover photographer who volunteered to do my cover shots and then afterward, demanded her name be on the cover. Or spending a great deal of time creating videos just to have someone demand they be removed from the public eye. Or agreeing to market my book for a small price and then not finishing the job because the payment wasn't enough. I don't want any replays of these fiascos.)

Interested? Let me know.

Thanks.

Secret Desires

Okay, so I'm back. After some deep soul-searching, I remembered I live in America. Over here, we have the freedom of speech and no one is going to dictate to me what I can or can't say. If someone wants to harass me for venting to this blog, then I should be honored. It means I'm that important to them and they have nothing better to do with their lives. I'm sure my one follower will be happy I'm back (yes, despite my various attempts and advertising, I just can't get anyone to even visit this blog so it's not like I'm posting to the world.)

However, I will continue to journalize my endeavors into the writing world. That includes any troubles and trials involved with my writing, whether it's involving a cover photographer, my marketing efforts, book launches, criticisms, etc.

Speaking of which, I wrote several scripts for short film parodies that I was proud of and I wanted to share them. Unfortunately, I don't have access to people that can help me, so once again I relied on those closest to me. Everything was cool and I loved the videos we made. They were uploaded to YouTube so that people can view my skills as a writer and producer as well as the acting achievements of those special people that were involved in the making of the film.

Those YouTube videos were up for two years and yes, I always thought it would be cool if some movie people saw them and approached me for whatever reasons. Well, of course, that didn't happen and suddenly, after two years, I was ORDERED (not asked politely) to remove those videos because someone thought I was exploiting the actors involved and worried that a stalker might come after the people in the movie. I was shocked at this revelation. The nameless person demanding this only had a problem with me putting such stuff up but yet all the actors involved have Facebook pages with plenty of photos plastered for everyone in the world to see (and yes, some of those photos could be construed as somewhat sexy), but my cute little parodies had to be removed?

I tell you, first I get screwed on my marketing campaign with The Fear Within and now I'm not allowed to show off my movie scripts? What's next? I get banned from the Internet completely, or my blogs reported and removed? *sigh*

This Freedom of Speech thing is a difficult one and I'm being persecuted for it, but I'll keep on trying, no matter what because my writing is important to me. It's important that I share it, in any way, shape, or form.

And that's all she wrote...

Monday, November 15, 2010

FBI News

Real Serial Killer?

A Serial Killer on the Loose in L.A.

Christine Pelisek Christine Pelisek
Fri Nov 12, 2:29 am ET

.NEW YORK – The murders were committed years and miles apart. But in exclusive interviews with The Daily Beast's Christine Pelisek, investigators reveal that the crime wave may be the work of the same killer.

The first body was found in a patch of weeds in L.A.'s industrial wastelands. The victim, a woman, was naked; her feet and wrists had been bound.

The second body was discovered in a vacant field near a school sixty miles east of the city. The woman, also naked, lay facedown, in a semi-fetal position.

The third body was found, partially clothed, in a dirt gulley of a desolate area miles away in the county of Riverside. She, like the others, had been strangled.

The murders were 20 years apart yet police believe they were committed by the same person—a serial killer still on the loose.

"This could be the only three, or there are more out there and they are undiscovered and the police haven't done a good job with it," says Sgt Scott Brown of the Riverside County Sheriff's department. "I have to stay open to all of the possibilities."

Investigators have kept quiet about the cases but confirm in exclusive interviews with The Daily Beast that the killings of the women are linked, and that detectives are reviewing other cold cases for DNA evidence to see if the unknown killer may have killed others.

"We got one DNA sample off of Fields, and one on Pomona, and a partial sample in Los Angeles," says Brown.

According to authorities, all three women had histories of prostitution. The victims otherwise seemed to have little in common.

Sonia Smith, the first victim who was found in 1980, was a 25-year-old, black woman from South Los Angeles. The second victim, Vanessa Williams, found in 2000, was also black but, at 45, significantly older. She lived in Pomona, a city 60 miles east of L.A. Christy Fields, also found in 2000, was 27-year-old, and white. Like Williams, she lived in Pomona but her body was discovered in Riverside County.

"Someone may definitely still be out there."

"It looks like [Fields] was killed somewhere else and left on the side of the road," says Brown, who is in charge of his department's cold case unit, which is currently investigating 82 unsolved cold case murder cases in the county. "There wasn't a lot of evidence at the scene. There were no signs of a struggle. It had all the earmarks of a body dump."

By digging through old records and looking at forensic evidence and DNA, investigators discovered that the three victims were linked to the same murderer. What they haven't found yet, though, is a suspect to match that DNA. Or a motive.

"Some of these serial killers will kill because they are disgusted by the women and others because it is an opportunity," says Brown.

One puzzling question to investigators is the large gap in time between the murders. Smith was killed in 1980, the two others in 2000.

"Why the 20 year gap?" asks Cliff Shepard, a veteran homicide LAPD detective who has worked on numerous serial killer cases, including Rodney Alcala, Michael Hughes and Chester Turner. "We are back to the questions: Are we missing other murder victims? Was he locked up? Did he take a break for a while? We don't know."

"Who knows why he has laid low?" adds LAPD's Lou Rivera, who is handling the Smith investigation. "We won't know until we catch up with the dude and say 'where have you been?'…He could have been locked up, or found Jesus."

The original investigation into the Smith killing was kept alive by investigators such as Shepard, who during the 1980s worked the patrol beat but, many years and murders later, still remembered her, and other forgotten victims.

"This was the beginning of rock cocaine," says Shepard of 1980s L.A., a time when murders in the city topped more than 1,000 every year. "The crack epidemic raging, gangs were shooting people in the streets, and the unemployment rate was skyrocketing…Some of the victims became entangled in drugs and may have been exchanging sex for the drugs and going into areas where there was a lot of criminal activity. The murder rate was going up. People were afraid to go out at night. It was really insane."

Initially, homicide investigators believed that Smith had been killed by the Southside Slayer, a mythical serial killer who police thought responsible for the murders of at least 50 women in South L.A. during the 1980s. But through improved forensic technology—and dogged detective work—detectives discovered that wasn't the case. Instead, many of the killings attributed to the Southside Slayer were actually the grim work of several killers stalking the same area during the same period.

And, eventually, detectives began cracking the cases.

One of their biggest arrests was that of 31-year-old Louis Craine, an unemployed construction worker from Watts with an IQ of 69. Craine was convicted of the strangulation murders of four prostitutes between 1984 and 1987, including two attributed to the Southside Slayer cases. Craine was picked up by police in the late 80's.

Over the years, with advances in DNA technology and deeper databases of suspects and cases, investigators solved a number of other high profile cases.

In 2003, cold case investigators caught up with Chester Turner, who is considered to be one of the city's most prolific serial killers. Turner, a former pizza deliveryman and crack dealer, strangled 10 women with his bare hands in South Los Angeles and Downtown Los Angeles between 1987 and 1998. He received the death penalty in 2007. He is currently sitting on San Quentin's death row.

In 2008, Michael Hughes, who was already in prison for the sexual assault and strangling deaths of four women between 1992 and 1993, was linked through DNA evidence to four other slayings in Los Angeles going as far back as 1986.

And this summer, Grim Sleeper suspect Lonnie Franklin was charged with the murders of 10 women and the attempted murder of another after a reign of terror that began in 1985. Most of his victims were shot or strangled. The 57-year-old mechanic with a history of car theft was nabbed through "familial" DNA testing after his son was arrested in the summer of 2009 and had to give up a DNA swab. His last known victim was 25-year-old Janecia Peters. Her body was found in a Dumpster by a homeless man looking for cans on January 1, 2007.

Like the current killer, the Grim Sleeper appeared to stop killing for an extended period of time—his last known victim was a woman killed in 1988—until he resumed his murderous business again in 2001.

Laverne Peters, whose daughter was allegedly killed by the Grim Sleeper says she is not surprised to hear that another serial killer may be at large. Neither is Margaret Prescod, a local radio host, who, as part of a civic coalition, kept vigil outside the downtown police headquarters during the 1980s to demand that more be done by the police.

"If there are three [victims in this case], there very well may be more," she says. "Someone may definitely still be out there."

Christine Pelisek is staff reporter for The Daily Beast, covering crime. She previously was a reporter at the LA Weekly, where she covered crime for the last five years. In 2008, she won three Los Angeles Press Club awards, one for her investigative story on the Grim Sleeper.

Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a joyful time to feel gratitude for the finer things in life. I remember when I was a kid and the holidays were fun and entertaining. Everyone got along back then and we were happy. My mom would make the turkey (which I love and could never wait to get once a year) and pumpkin pies. My dad was famous for his wonderful stuffing (which I never ate since I don’t like stuffing but I’m told it was the best). Since it was a holiday weekend, we would enjoy having the time off.

In the morning, we always started with watching the Thanksgiving Day parade on TV. I never liked parades much, though, but it was tradition in our house. My favorite show around this time of the year was A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving. My dad loved Snoopy’s antics, and so did I. The turkey would be in the oven, awaiting its gruesome fate, while its delectable aromas filled our house. It was a day to really give thanks, and back then, I was thankful for a lot of things.

We never even dreamed of hitting the stores on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, but for a lot of people, it’s tradition. Some people chose this weekend to go hunting for a Christmas Tree and Thanksgiving symbolized the beginning of the Christmas season. Santa Claus always arrived at the end of the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Not so today. The Christmas season seems to start when November arrives.

I just recently had my 41st birthday. Things are totally different today than when I was a kid. My four older siblings are all married with kids of their own, but I’m still single and alone. Some years it’s easier to give thanks and other times, it’s a lot harder. I know I should be thankful for the simple things we have – being alive, family, my job (ever since the economy dropped, I can barely scrape together enough money to pay bills), my home, and friends. But I’m not (it’s a long story and I’m no longer able to vent or share my writing journeys on this personal blog journal of mine anymore – a blog that no one outside of a few family members even read). Oh, don't get me wrong. I'm glad to have those things, but sometimes they seem to be more trouble than they are worth, but things could be a lot worse, I suppose, and are for a lot of people. It's really a sad state we live in these days.

What I am thankful for is having a faithful companion that loves me (my dog), being a creative thinker (my writing is all I have), and for God’s love (He could never let anyone down). I’m also thankful that I have food, shelter, and clothes. I wish I could be thankful for having lots of money to share with those less fortunate, but seeing as how I barely make much in my current job, that’s one dream that will have to wait to be thankful for.

I miss the old days when we were all happy and loved. Now, the holidays are just one huge grudge match, it seems. But I’m sure I’m not alone.

What are you thankful for?

Saturday, November 13, 2010