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Monday
Apr112011

Cops: Long Island Bodies May Be from More than One Killer

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The heavily thicketed ground that borders a highway along a stretch of New York beaches where as many as 10 bodies have been found is now being examined as the disposal site for a serial killer and a possible dumping ground for other killers.

More bones were found Monday along the Long Island beaches and have been sent to the medical examiner's office to determine whether they are from one or two people. One of the remains is just a skull.

Authorities involved in the painstaking probe along the popular stretch of public beach now involves more than 125 state, federal and local investigators from two neighboring counties.

Investigators have said they believe that a serial killer was responsible for the murders, and Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said Monday that police are looking for "the animal that has obviously taken the lives of a number of people."

But probers now say that they cannot rule out the likelihood that more than one killer will be linked to the bodies, which total seven sets of adult human remains, a toddler's remains and the bones found Monday that may be from one or two people.

"Now the question is connectivity," one law enforcement supervisor told ABC News. "Geographically it is secluded and makes a perfect dumping ground."

According to authorities, any differences in the method of murder, disposal, burial, and any DNA evidence will be among the elements of a rigorous forensic examination. The probe will include the assistance of state police and FBI agents including evidence collection experts, behavior science investigators and profiling gurus.

According to multiple sources familiar with the investigation, a number of persons are under investigation in connection with the first eight corpses, and those include persons of interest with a law enforcement or emergency service background and familiarity with the beach. All of those who were described to ABC News were local suspects. They were under examination for any role in the killing of some or all of the victims.

The corpses were strewn along a several-mile stretch that includes state-run and county beaches. The stretch begins about 45 minutes from Manhattan and includes the popular Jones Beach State Park.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 

Monday
Apr112011

Hunt for Long Island Serial Killer Turns Up More Bones

Spencer Platt/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Investigators hunting for a serial killing "animal" found two more sets of bones on New York beaches Monday, raising the number of possible victims to 10.

The medical examiner on Long Island, however, is trying to determine whether one set of bones is human or animal. One of the remains was just a skull, police said.

Police sources also revealed to ABC News that one of the bodies is that of a toddler about 18 months old. It was not clear if the child was connected to the serial killer's murderous spree.

Investigative sources told ABC News that there are multiple persons of interest who may be linked to the bodies on the Long Island beaches and to missing prostitute Shannan Gilbert, whose body has not been found. Among those persons of interest are several who have links to law enforcement and have knowledge of or regular access to the beaches, sources to ABC News.

"We want to bring to justice this animal that has obviously taken the lives of a number of people," Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano said.

The latest discovery was about five miles from where eight other bodies were located, and about 1.5 miles east from the popular Jones Beach.

A team of 50 people broadened their search from Long Island's Suffolk County to Nassau County on Monday. They have been joined by New York State Park Police and the FBI, including the FBI's behavioral analysis team.

The fear of a serial killer first spread in December of last year when four bodies were discovered near Gilgo Beach in Suffolk County. The four victims were all identified as prostitutes who advertised their services on Craigslist.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Mom Brandishing Giant Pliers Hunts Daughter's Alleged Kidnapper

Orange County Sheriff's Office(ORLANDO, Fla.) -- A brave eight-year-old and her fiercely protective mother are being hailed for tracking down a homeless man who police say tried to snatch the girl while she walked home from school.

The girl, who police have not identified because of her age, slipped out of the hands of Micah Green, a 29-year-old transient with a lengthy criminal record, and ran home Friday, police said.

When her mother learned what happened, she and the girl jumped in their car to find Green, who the girl said was not wearing a shirt. She said she had noticed him watching her from behind a tree before he tried to grab her near her home in Orlando, Fla.

"She looked back and felt him grab her," said Cpl. Susan Soto, spokeswoman for the Orange County Sheriff's Office. "She screamed and pushed him. She cut loose and ran home."

When the girl spotted Green from the car, her mother jumped out of the car and began chasing the suspect with a heavy set of pliers, police said.

She chased him into the convenience store of the RaceTrac filling station, according to the police report.

The mother then told the store's staff that the man was suspected of trying to kidnap her daughter. A clerk and several customers helped detain Green until police arrived.

Greene was arrested and appeared in court late Friday. Charges were decreased from kidnapping to attempted kidnapping. Bond was set at $50,000. Green, who has been arrested 10 times since 2002, has not yet entered a plea but told ABC News affiliate WFTV, "I'm innocent of all charges." 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Temple Attack Suspect Boarded Greyhound Bus for New York

Santa Monica Police Department(NEW YORK) -- The man suspected of using a never-before-seen launcher to fire a projectile at a California synagogue boarded a New York-bound Greyhound bus after the attack and police have alerted authorities along the bus route, police said.

Ron Hirsch, who is the subject of a nationwide manhunt, got on the bus the same day he hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into the roof of a building adjacent to the Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica Synagogue, police said.

Investigators confirmed that a man known as J. Fisher, a known alias used by Hirsch, purchased the ticket. He was originally scheduled to arrive in New York on Sunday, but surveillance video shows him getting off the bus in Denver, Colo., investigators said.

Police along the bus' route have been alerted. The bus makes 10 scheduled stops between California and New York.

Hirsch, who is believed to have family in New York, is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced off the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four-block radius.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House, which appears to have been its target.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Hirsch, a heavyset white male, is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Real-Life X-Files Reference 'Flying Saucers' in New Mexico

Thinkstock/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Flying saucer sightings? Reports of three-foot-tall aliens? Secret memos about suspicious objects recovered near Roswell, N.M.? They're all included in the thousands of declassified government documents posted to the FBI's new online "Vault."

Earlier this month, the FBI announced its revamped online reading room that contains more than 2,000 government files. While the documents had been previously available to the public, not all had been digitized and easily searchable online.

Among the so-called "X-files" are once-classified reports dating back to the 1940s and 1950s detailing Air Force investigations into "flying discs" and the "bodies of human shape" discovered inside them.

In one report from March 1950, Guy Hottel, a special agent with the FBI, said he received information from an Air Force investigator about flying saucers found in New Mexico.

"They were described as being circular in shape with raised centers, approximately 50-feet in diameter," he wrote. "Each one was occupied by three bodies of human shape but only 3 feet tall, dressed in a metallic cloth of a very fine texture. Each body was bandaged in a manner very similar to the blackout suits used by speed flyers and test pilots."

The informant, whose name is redacted in the file, said he thought the saucer was spotted in New Mexico because a high-powered government radar in the area interfered with the saucer's controlling mechanism.

At least one document will disappoint those who believe a spaceship landed at Roswell, N.M., probably the most famous UFO conspiracy theory. The document from 1947, with the word "Roswell" handwritten across the top, says that a "flying disc" was recovered near Roswell, N.M.

"The disc is hexagonal in shape and was suspended from a balloon by cable," the document said. "The object found resembles a high-altitude weather balloon with a radar reflector."

Other reports once marked "restricted" and "confidential" detail sightings of mysterious flashing lights and other "unidentified aerial objects."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Three Arrests Made in Deadly Pennsylvania Teen Party Shooting

John Foxx/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(CHESTER, Pa.) -- Police arrested two more people Sunday in connection with the shooting at a birthday party in a Philadelphia suburb Friday night that left two teenagers dead and eight others injured.

Carlisha Coleman, the 19-year-old woman who threw her birthday party at Minaret Temple No. 174 in Chester, Pennsylvania, was arrested Sunday along with another individual.  She faces charges of resisting arrest, risking a catastrophe and other related charges, according to ABC News affiliate WPVI-TV in Philadelphia.

Chester Police Department Chief Darren Alston said Coleman was arrested after she allegedly fought with police officers.

Two teenagers died after the shooting, and one of the eight others wounded was still listed in critical condition as of Sunday afternoon.

A 17-year-old male was arrested on weapons charges Saturday in connection with the incident.  His name and the name of the other person arrested have not been released by Chester Police.

Police haven't indicated what they believe led to the shooting, and investigators are still looking for more people who may have played a role in the incident, according to WPVI-TV.

One victim, identified as 19-year-old David Johnson, died early Saturday.  A second, 17-year-old Robel Laboy, died Saturday afternoon, according to WPVI-TV.

Nine of the victims were taken to Crozer-Chester Medical Center, while a 10th person was treated at another hospital, according to a hospital spokesman.

Of the other people wounded in the attack, three -- two males and one female -- were in stable condition on Sunday, while another male victim was in critical condition, according to Grant Gegwich, a spokesman for the Crozer-Keystone Health System.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Calif. Police: Transient's Jerry-Rigged Launcher Attacked Synagogue

Santa Monica Police Department(LOS ANGELES) -- The man who constructed a never-before-seen launcher that fired a projectile into the roof of a building adjacent to a Jewish outreach center in Santa Monica, Calif., is a transient known in Los Angeles for towing a trailer full of possessions behind a bicycle, police sources said.

A joint FBI, Santa Monica police and Los Angeles police manhunt remained underway early Monday for Ron Hirsch, a 60-year-old man who has regularly frequented area synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking handouts, law enforcement officials said. Hirsch was last spotted on a bus in Denver and was heading east, police sources said.

According to multiple officials familiar with the case, Hirsch created a mechanical launcher that hurled 300 pounds of pipe and concrete into roof of a building adjacent to a Chabad House and less than a block from the Santa Monica Synagogue. The incident took place shortly before prayer services at the Chabad House Thursday morning and triggered the evacuation of about 100 people from a four block radius.

The projectile appears to have been fired from an alley, bounced of the center's wall and crashed through the roof. The bang shattered windows, punctured a hole in the synagogue and sent the 300-pound metal pipe into a neighbor's house where a young boy was sleeping.

Even as the investigation and manhunt were underway, officials faced a groundswell of concern across the Jewish community, where early speculation included al Qaeda-inspired terror as a motive.

Instead, a transient with an alias and a grudge that may be seated in a personal relationship at one religious institution was the one officials believe triggered a Friday afternoon security alert by the Anti-Defamation League to synagogues and other Jewish organizations in the Los Angeles area.

Hirsch is also known as Israel Fisher, according to information released by police. He constructed the projectile device using elements including concrete, explosive powder, dry ice and what appears to be an expansion joint sealant, or other expanding plastic or foam.

The oddly constructed mechanical launcher appears to have been highly effective at hurling its material, although it did not seriously damage the Chabad House which appears to have been its target.

According to the Santa Monica Police Department, Hirsch, a heavyset white male is being sought on state charges of possession of a destructive device and unrelated local charges. He "is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons," one police official said. He is known to stay in motels from time to time for a night at a time.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Long Island Serial Killer Taunts Victim's Teen Sister

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A teenager who received a taunting phone call from a man who is believed to have killed her sister and at least seven other people said Monday the man claims he is not done killing and she fears he may now come after her.

"I just don't understand why he chose me...how many other girls and how many other families...why was I chosen, why was I taunted?" she told ABC News Monday.  The teenager was shown in silhouette and spoke on the condition that she not be identified out of growing fears for her safety.

Her older sister, Melissa Barthelemy, disappeared in July 2009.  Her body was found in December on Gilgo Beach in New York's Long Island area along with the bodies of three other women.  All found women were prostitutes who advertised on Craigslist, police said.

Four more bodies were found earlier this month, including what the New York Post claims may be the body of a child.  Those victims have yet to be identified.  In addition, police are still searching for the body of Shannan Gilbert, a woman who also advertised sexual services on Craigslist and was last seen near Gilgo Beach.

The search for bodies has expanded from Long Island's Suffolk County to the beaches in the adjacent Nassau County.  In addition, State Park Police and the FBI, including the FBI's behavioral analysis team, have joined the dragnet for bodies and analysis of clues.

Sources told ABC News there are multiple suspects who may be linked to the Long Island bodies.

Barthelemy's sister said she was just 15 when she received the first in a series of calls from the man believed to be the killer.  The calls eerily came from her sister's cell phone.  The man sounded calm, despite his angry words, the teenager said.

"They were very taunting and angry words," she said.  "[It was] very scary.  My heart would stop and I just didn't know what to do.  I'm scared of my own protection, the fact that he's calling my phone... I have to be worried about is that going to happen to me one day?"

She said that it was frustrating because the man would allow her to ask a few questions about her missing sister's whereabouts.

The girl also said she believes the man isn't done with his killing spree.

"If he's doing that many murders he's not going to stop, he obviously enjoys it and he's sick in the head," she said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Tipsy Toddler: Detroit Restaurant Mistakenly Serves Alcohol to Child

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(DETROIT) -- It was toward the end of their meal at an Applebee's restaurant in Detroit when Taylor Dill-Reese noticed something odd about her son, D.J.

The 15-month-old boy was acting strangely, his mother said.

"He was saying hi and bye to the walls," she said.  "He eventually laid his head down on the table and we thought maybe he was just sleepy."

Maybe so, but the toddler was also drunk.  He had been served alcohol mixed in with his apple juice.

Police said it was an accident; a mislabeled bottle at the bar was poured into a cup for the child.  Applebee's said it's looking into the matter.

"Obviously, any situation like this is unacceptable," Applebee's said in a written statement.  "We are working with local authorities and conducting our own investigation to assess exactly what happened."

Applebee's has been in this situation before.  In 2006, a New York City Applebee's admitted accidentally serving a five-year-old a Long Island iced tea alcoholic drink instead of apple juice.  A year later, a California restaurant served a margarita to a toddler in a covered, plastic sippy cup.  Again, the patrons had ordered apple juice.

In Detroit, after realizing what had happened, Dill-Reese said her son was taken to the hospital.  The toddler was found to have a 0.1 blood alcohol level, well above the legal limit for an adult to drive.

His mother said the child is now fine but Dill-Reese, who is 18 and too young to drink legally in Michigan, doesn't understand how something like this could have happen.

"Nobody at the table ordered alcoholic drinks; we can't, so he definitely shouldn't have received one," Dill-Reese said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Monday
Apr112011

Idaho Prepares for 'Wolf Disaster'

AbleStock.com/Thinkstock(BOISE, Idaho) -- The governor of Idaho is considering whether to declare a "wolf disaster," as lawyers in federal courts wrangle over the future of the state's wolves.

The Idaho legislature approved a bill last week that would give Gov. C.L. "Butch" Otter the power to declare a state of emergency because of the rising wolf population.  Otter has said he supports the bill, but his staff is reviewing legal issues before he signs it and invokes the power it gives him to enlist local law enforcement to cull the state's wolf packs.

Idaho, like neighboring Montana and Wyoming, has been battling the federal government and environmental groups since 1995, when wolves were reintroduced to the northern Rocky Mountains.

Ranchers and hunters blame wolves not only for attacks on livestock, but for declining populations of elk and other wildlife.

However, the bill awaiting Otter's signature also refers to a "clear and present danger to humans" created by the "imported wolves."

Karen Calisterio, who spoke in support of the bill at a public hearing at the statehouse in Boise last week, said four wolves recently trapped her in the driveway of her Benewah County home.

"I cannot convey to you the horror of that event," she said.  "The government's wolves have free rein of my property and I do not.  Until something is done about these wolves, I'm a prisoner in my own home," she said.

No human has been injured by a wolf since the animals were reintroduced to the Rockies 16 years ago, and wolf biologists say there has never been a documented attack on a human by a healthy wolf in North America.

"Wolves are less dangerous than most wildlife we've lived with for generations," Suzanne Stone of Defenders of Wildlife told lawmakers.

When the wolves were reintroduced by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, they were listed as endangered species, but in 2009 that protection was lifted in Idaho and Montana -- though not in Wyoming -- giving those states the right to develop a management plan for the animals.

State management has never happened, though, because of the ongoing legal battle over interpretation of the Endangered Species Act.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







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