Entries in Murder (63)


Leaked Photographs of Pistorius Murder Scene 'Not from the Police'

Photo by Herman Verwey/City Press/Gallo Images/Getty Images(PRETORIA, South Africa) -- Photographs of the bathroom where Olympian Oscar Pistorius allegedly killed his girlfriend were leaked on Friday, with questions abound regarding the handling of the crime scene.

Pistorius, who is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp in February. Pistorius maintains he shot Steenkamp, 29, by accident, mistaking her for an intruder on Valentine's Day. He is due back in court on June 4 with a trial scheduled to take place before the end of this year.

In recent weeks there have been reports that one of the runner's watches was missing from his home following the initial police investigation. After the lead investigator was kicked off of the case for his own legal issues, the leaked photos are the latest complication in the Olympian's murder case.

"The photos that we have seen are not from the police," South African National Police Brigadier Phuti Setati said. "We do not know the origin of the photos or the footage. We are looking into the matter with the view of establishing if it warrants an investigation."

It is not clear who may have had access to the crime scene in addition to investigating officers and Pistorius, though one source suggests that a South African police officer may have taken the photograph after the preliminary investigation. Police are already looking into a number of media leaks, including the confiscation of 40 South African police officers' phones.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko Suspected in Murder Case

SERGEI SUPINSKY/AFP/GettyImages(NEW YORK) -- Former Ukrainan Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a galvanizing figure in the Orange Revolution of 2004, has been named a suspect in the murder of a powerful businessman and lawmaker and three others in 1996.

Supporters of Tymoshenko, who is serving a seven-year sentence in a separate case, say the accusations are just the latest in an attempt by President Viktor Yanukovich to keep his rival behind bars.

The prosecutor's announcement comes as the European Court of Human Rights is expected to rule that Tymoshenko's current imprisonment is illegal. The fiery opposition leader's party said the new case is just a way for the government to keep her in jail when that happens.

"Understanding that the European Court of Human Rights will put an end to the dirty and empty tricks against Yulia Tymoshenko in the near future, Yanukovich's associates have resorted to a desperately brazen and mendacious step," the Fatherland party said in a statement.

"They are no longer hiding that they want to hold not only the opposition leader but all of Ukraine behind bars for life," it said.

The European Union has called her jailing "selective justice."

The 52-year-old is suspected of "ordering and organizing" a hit on the life of Yevhen Scherban and three others, who were shot to death as they stepped off an airplane, the Prosecutor General's Office said on its website.

Scherban was a member of Parliament and one of Ukraine's richest men. At the time of the killing, Tymoshenko was a prominent gas trader. Prosecutors said the alleged hit appeared to stem from a business rivalry.

Tymoshenko has not yet been formally charged, but the announcement of her status as a suspect paves the way for prosecutors to pursue charges.

The latest allegations come just weeks before the European Court of Human Rights is expected to issue a ruling on the detention of Tymoshenko.

She is serving a seven-year sentence for abuse of power for ordering a gas deal with Russia in 2009. Prosecutors claimed she did not have cabinet approval to proceed with the deal and that it is was detrimental to Ukraine's economy. She denied the charges.

Tymoshenko said she believes her prosecution and detention are politically motivated and that she has not been granted judicial review, the court said in a news release. She also complained about inadequate jail conditions, according to the release, and said she has not been afforded proper medical care for her health issues, which reportedly include a debilitating back condition.

Tymoshenko co-led the Orange Revolution in 2004, when hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians protested in response to allegations of widespread fraud in the election of Viktor Yanukovich over rival Viktor Yushchenko.

Thousands of Ukrainians occupied the center of Kyiv, insprired by the fiery speeches of Tymoshenko, and the movement only grew until the election results were voided and Yushchenko was elected president in a new vote.

Tymoshenko briefly served as acting prime minister in 2005. She was elected in December 2007 and served until March 2010.

She was convicted on the abuse of power charges in October 2011 and was banned from holding public office for three years.

The imprisonment of Tymoshenko has contributed to unrest in the country.

The Oct. 28, 2012 election was marred by claims of stuffing the ballot box.

That anger boiled over in December when a brawl erupted in the newly elected Parliament.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


Six Men Charged with Murder After New Delhi Gang Rape Victim Dies

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(NEW DELHI) -- A 23-year-old woman died on Saturday due to injuries from a gang rape last week, and six men connected to the rape in New Delhi will now face murder charges, reports the BBC.

The female victim was transferred from a Delhi hospital to a specialist in Singapore and passed away on Saturday.

According to the BBC, there are hundreds of armed police and riot troops on patrol in Delhi to monitor public protests over the rape victim’s death.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Guatemala Could Deport John McAfee Back to Belize

JOHAN ORDONEZ/AFP/Getty Images(GUATEMALA CITY) -- Software anti-virus pioneer John McAfee is in the process of being deported to Belize after he was arrested in Guatemala for entering the country illegally, his attorney told ABC News early Thursday.

ABC News has learned that McAfee is scheduled to be deported to Belize later Thursday morning.  But a judge could stay the ruling if it is determined McAfee's life is threatened by being in Belizean custody, as McAfee has claimed over the past several weeks.

Just hours before his arrest, McAfee told ABC News in an exclusive interview on Wednesday that he would be seeking asylum in Guatemala.  He was arrested by the Central American country's immigration police and not the national police, said his attorney, who was confident his client would be released within hours.

"Thank God I am in a place where there is some sanity," said McAfee, 67, before his arrest.  "I chose Guatemala carefully."

McAfee said that in Guatemala, the locals aren't surprised when he says the Belizean government is out to kill him.

"Instead of going, 'You're crazy,' they go, 'Yeah, of course they are,'" he said.  "It's like, finally, I understand people who understand the system here."

But McAfee added he has not ruled out moving back to the United States, where he made his fortune as the inventor of anti-virus software, and that despite losing much of his fortune, he still has more money than he could ever spend.

In his interview with ABC News, a jittery, animated but candid McAfee called the media's representation of him a "nightmare that is about to explode," and said he's prepared to prove his sanity.

McAfee has been on the run from police in Belize since the Nov. 10 murder of his neighbor, fellow American expatriate Greg Faull.

During his three-week journey, said McAfee, he disguised himself as handicapped, dyed his hair seven times and hid in many different places during his three-week journey.

He dismissed accounts of erratic behavior and reports that he had been using the synthetic drug bath salts.  He said he had never used the drug, and said statements that he had were part of an elaborate prank.

Investigators said that McAfee was not a suspect in the death of the former developer, who was found shot in the head in his house on the resort island of San Pedro, but that they wanted to question him.

McAfee told ABC News that the poisoning death of his dogs and the murder just hours later of Faull, who had complained about his dogs, was a coincidence.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


John McAfee: It's 'Exhausting' Evading Police in Murder Probe

John McAfee/Facebook(NEW YORK) -- Cyber security tycoon John McAfee told ABC News that evading Belizean police for the past few days has been "extremely exhausting," but he vowed to keep slipping through their fingers until his neighbor's real killer is apprehended.

McAfee, 67, has been wanted for questioning since Nov. 11, when neighbor Greg Faull was found dead, shot in the head.  Weeks before his death, Faull had filed a petition against McAfee on behalf of the neighborhood complaining about McAfee's "aggressive" armed guards.

Though the software millionaire has not been charged with a crime in relation to Faull's death, McAfee quickly went on the lam.  He has told reporters he's innocent and only fearful of what he called Belize's corrupt government.

"I am a very nice guy and certainly innocent of the charges leveled against me in the press," McAfee told ABC News in his first broadcast interview last week.  He said he fears that if he gives himself up, the local police will kill him while in custody.

So instead of turning himself in, McAfee has turned to the Internet to spread his side of the story, even starting a live blog about his efforts to evade the cops.  In it, he reveals details about how he allegedly disguised himself to be able to walk around near the crime scene, including darkening his skin with shoe polish, coloring his hair and stuffing his cheeks with chewed bubble gum to make his face appear fatter.

"I needed to be close to the area where the events occurred and needed to watch, and hear, the actions of the authorities," he wrote Monday.  "I also needed to do my own investigation, since the police only seemed to be investigating my whereabouts.  My safety is contingent on the truth being discovered."

His disguise worked so well, he claimed, that he nearly sold an Associated Press reporter a small souvenir.

Even before the blog provided readers an inside look into how McAfee is thinking while in hiding, Belize's top official, Prime Minister Dean Barrow, said he thought McAfee seemed "extremely paranoid" and "bonkers."

"They may call me as they wish," McAfee told ABC News.  "I do not intend to turn myself in, no matter what they call me."

And even with all the heat coming down on him, McAfee said he has no plans to run away from Belize.

"No, this is my home.  Why would I leave here?" he said.

On the blog, McAfee said that even if he's captured, he's already prewritten enough material to keep the blog alive for a year.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Belize Murder: John McAfee Tells ABC News He Is Innocent

John McAfee / Facebook(NEW YORK) -- Tech guru John McAfee told ABC News in his first broadcast interview that he did not kill his neighbor Gregory Faull, and is now in hiding, fearful of what he calls a "corrupt government" in Belize that he believes is trying to kill him.

"I am a very nice guy and certainly innocent of the charges leveled against me," McAfee told ABC News by phone on Wednesday.  The millionaire declined to meet with ABC News for an interview.

"Well, we'll talk on the phone first.  Talking face to face is going to be a very difficult thing, sir.  People know you're not being followed by.  I can assure you, but you are," he said.

McAfee said he would possibly grant ABC News an interview after our reporters research what he calls the corruption in Belize and the witch hunt against him.

"I insist that we're living in a corrupt government, it's easy to point that out," he said.

McAfee is now on the run from police in San Pedro, Belize, after he was named a person of interest by police after Faull, 52, was found murdered Sunday morning.

McAfee, who is being sought for questioning in Faull's murder, is not believed to have left Belize.  He would not comment on his location, but said he feels secure where he is.

The 67-year-old fears he will be killed if he ends up in government custody.

"The government is able to listen to any phone conversation and triangulate fairly closely," said McAfee, who changes phones every few hours.

On Wednesday, Belize's Prime Minister Dean Barrow said McAfee needed to "man up" and talk to police.  "He seems to be extremely paranoid.  I would go so far as to say bonkers," Barrow said.

Police say they have good reason to question McAfee.

ABC News has obtained an exclusive copy of the complaint against McAfee, which Faull wrote on behalf of the neighborhood and filed with local officials last month.

"The residents and visitors of the Mata Grande Subdivision and surrounding properties petition [local authorities] to address 3 issues affecting our safety, health and tourism," says the complaint.  "These problems are all at the residence of John McAfee."

The petition charges that security guards on McAfee's property "walk around with shotguns at night and up and down the beach...They have been known to shine spotlights right into peoples' eyes at night and act aggressively with their guns, chambering a bullet and nonsense such as this.  People are scared to walk down the beach at night as a result. The tourists are terrified."

The complaint also alleges that taxis and delivery trucks arrive at McAfee's house at all hours, and that "vicious dogs" on his property are running amok.  "These animals get loose and run as a pack.  Three residents have been bitten and three tourists have been attacked."

According to the complaint, when one of McAfee's dogs attacked a young female tourist, a neighbor who had witnessed the attack confronted McAfee, who had also witnessed the attack.  McAfee "did nothing about it," says the complaint.  Neighbors told ABC News that Faull, who lived 300 yards from McAfee, was the person who confronted McAfee.

On Friday, McAfee said through Wired editor Joshua Davis, who has kept in touch with McAfee while in hiding, he found his dogs poisoned.  To be humane, McAfee said he shot four of the dogs to put them out of misery and buried them.

Faull was found dead on Sunday morning on the second story of his home with a gunshot to the back of his head.  There was no sign of forced entry, and police found a 9 mm casing at the scene.  Faull's laptop and iPhone were missing.

McAfee brushes off reports that he is insane.  Recent photos have surfaced showing the former software tycoon pressing a pistol to his temple and totting a shotgun.  McAfee says the media has portrayed him as gun-obsessed.

"I've never seen myself walking around shirtless carrying a shotgun, what an absurd thing to do," McAfee said.  "… I would walk around armed, but mostly with a pistol in a holster and wearing clothes for god sake."

McAfee is best known for developing anti-piracy software in the 1980s and helping to pioneer instant messaging in the 1990s.  He sold his shares in the software company that bears his name in 1994 and pocketed $100 million.  After losing all but $4 million of his fortune, he moved to Belize five years ago.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Belize Murder: Police Say Tech Millionaire's Flight After Slaying 'Raises Questions'

John McAfee/Facebook(AMBERGRIS CAYE, Belize) -- Police in the Caribbean country of Belize are now engaged in a full-scale search for John McAfee, the eccentric software magnate who is considering a "person of interest" in the Sunday slaying of his neighbor, and say that his flight and his history of feuding with the victim "bring some questions to mind."

Retired Florida developer Gregory Faull, 52, was found shot in the head on Sunday morning in his home in San Pedro on the resort island of Ambergris Caye. He and McAfee, who lived closed by, had argued repeatedly about McAfee's dogs. The results of Faull's autopsy will be released Tuesday.

McAfee has not been seen since the murder, and has contacted a Wired magazine editor to say that he is in hiding and did not kill Faull.

McAfee claims that he hid in the sand with a box over his head when police came to arrest him, and that local authorities are biased against him and want him dead.

"The police have set up roadblocks across the country to catch me," McAfee told Wired. "I slept last night on a mattress infested with lice."

"I am adept at hiding. I will do whatever it takes to stay alive."

Police say they believe McAfee, who has a second property in the Belize highlands, is still in the country. Raphael Martinez, a spokesman for the Ministry of National Security, urged McAfee to turn himself in, and said that authorities hope the public can help police determine his whereabouts.

"It does bring some questions into mind, that he refuses to come into police," said Martinez. "He lived just 300 yards north of Faull."

"As a matter of fact, just a day before Faull was found dead in his home, [McAfee's] dogs had been poisoned, but by the time Faull was found dead they were buried," noted Martinez.

Martinez questioned McAfee's state of mind, given his efforts to elude police. However, he said that McAfee is still officially a "person of interest." He also said two people have been detained in the investigation for questioning.

McAfee and Faull, both American expatriates, had traded barbs and nearly blows over McAfee's nine dogs. Faull's father, Arthur, told ABC News his son had demanded that McAfee quiet them down. McAfee allegedly threatened Faull that the next time he set foot on his property he'd shoot him. Faull promptly filed a complaint. He was shot a few days later.

McAfee is best known as the inventor of antivirus software in the 1980s, though he no longer has any ties to the company that bears his name, and as a pioneer of instant messaging in the 1990s. His life began unraveling in 2008, when he lost all but $4 million of his estimated $100 million fortune in the combined collapse of the stock market and real estate market. He auctioned off everything he owned in an open auction filmed by Nightline.

He then moved to Belize, where he established a company that sought to transform jungle plants into modern medicine. That company began to fall apart in 2010, after an investor fled the country.

The combative McAfee kept running afoul of police. In May, said Vidal, his teams raided McAfee's home and lab, finding an unknown substance thought to be narcotics, which McAfee insisted was a natural antibiotic. He was not charged with a crime.

According to freelance writer Jeff Wise, who profiled McAfee's decline on the website, McAfee had become deeply enmeshed in the world of gangs, narcotics and arms. Wise told ABC News McAfee had become something of a prophet of "bath salts," crowing about the "super perv powder" and the drug's erotic effects on various hardcore drug message boards.

Bath salts, synthetic drugs that can mimic the effects of cocaine, have been linked to numerous bizarre and violent incidents in the U.S.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


US Embassy Security Staffer Murdered in Yemen

STR/AFP/GettyImages(SANAA, Yemen) -- A U.S. embassy security team leader from Yemen was reportedly gunned down on his way to work Thursday in the Yemeni capital.

Qassem Aqlan, who headed a team tasked with protecting the American compound in the unstable nation, was killed by an unidentified gunman in Sanaa.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragic incident involving a Yemeni employee of our embassy in Sanaa and we are working with Yemeni authorities,” a senior State Department official told reporters.

Aqlan’s death comes a month after four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens, were killed in a terrorist attack on a diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

In a dramatic Congressional hearing Wednesday, State Department officials faced tough questions about whether it had failed to respond to concerns about the security of its staff in Libya, an obviously violent nation, before the attack.

U.S. officials have said the Benghazi attack may be linked to Ansar al-Sharia, a militant group with ties to the al Qaeda affiliate al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM). Though no groups have claimed responsibility for the murder in Yemen, officials there say the attack is characteristic of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), BBC News reports.

In recent years, top U.S. officials have said regional affiliates of the terrorist group, especially AQAP and AQIM, pose a greater threat to the U.S. homeland and American interests abroad than the “core” al Qaeda group that was led by Osama bin Laden before his death last May.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


'Black Widow' Killer, 77, Charged with Poisoning New Husband

Hemera/Thinkstock(CAPE BRETON, Nova Scotia) -- An elderly woman known as the "Black Widow" for killing her first husband has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly poisoning her current husband.

Melissa Ann Weeks, also known as Melissa Ann Friedrich, was arrested this week after her husband mysteriously fell and was taken to a hospital in Nova Scotia, where the couple was on vacation. Both Weeks and her husband are 77 years old.

"We were called on Sunday, Sept. 30, by the hospital," said Desiree Vassallo, spokeswoman for the Cape Breton Regional Police. "The hospital had some concerns about a patient that had been admitted, displaying strange symptoms."

Weeks' husband has not been identified by police, but tests confirmed he had been poisoned with an undisclosed substance.

She was charged with "administering a noxious substance," said Vassallo.

Weeks will appear in a Nova Scotia court Friday to attend a bail hearing. It was not known if she had a lawyer.

Week's 1991 conviction for murdering her first husband, Gordon Stewart, earned her the nickname, the "Black Widow."

According to testimony, she drugged Stewart and then ran over him twice with a car outside of Halifax. She was released from prison after serving two years of a six year sentence.

In 2000, she married Robert Edmund Friedrich after just days of courting. The 83-year-old Canadian died in 2002.

Friedrich's family said that she had emptied his bank account of $400,000 and claims that she drugged Friedrich, according to the Canadian Press. According to reports, he was hastily cremated and no autopsy was performed. Weeks was not charged with any crime in his death.

In 2005, Weeks was sentenced to five years in prison on charges that she stole $20,000 from then boyfriend Alexander Stategos.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Yasser Arafat's Death Becomes a Murder Investigation in France

AWAD AWAD/AFP/Getty Images(PARIS) -- The 2004 death of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat is now a murder investigation in France.

Prosecutors agreed to look into the matter after Arafat's family pushed for an official investigation into the death of the former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization, who died in Paris at age 75.

Arafat fell into a coma at his Ramallah compound and was transported to France for treatment that failed to revive him.  His official cause of death was listed as a stroke resulting from a blood disorder.

However, a subsequent probe of Arafat's belongings uncovered what were described as "significant" traces of radioactive polonium-210 on his clothing.

The most famous example of someone dying from that toxic substance was former KGB officer Alexander Litvinenko, who was poisoned with polonium-210 after obtaining political asylum in London in 2006.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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