Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Will Charges Be Filed Against Lindsay Lohan?

There are two different issue to consider in the latest Lindsay Lohan incident (a possible assault charge against her from a run in with a female worker at the Betty Ford Rehab Clinic last night). First issue: are there going to be charges in this case, and second: is this going to be a violation of her probation. Either one could land her back in custody.


This is a "she said/she said" kind of situation so it is all about credibility here. Lindsay Lohan does not have very good credibility, so the issue is now going to be, is this worker, Dawn Holland, credible? The worker, Holland, was just fired because she broke the confidentiality rules at the clinic. There are rumored allegations that Holland has a former assault charge against her husband, which also goes toward her credibility.


Anytime that there is a confidential situation with leak of information, there is going to be a mark against credibility. Here also though we have a drug addict, Lohan, who will go to any desperate measures to be able to use and abuse drugs. We have someone who has lied to the court before, someone who has done very little to stay out of jail. So in a credibility call, it is hard predict where the truth will come down.


Lohan was only two weeks away from her end of the stay. It is hard to believe that she would risk everything by sneaking out, according to what many witnesses are saying, since she did not have permission to leave the clinic that night. If she sneaked out and used drugs, it would make sense why she refused to take a test and became agitated with Holland. Judge Fox specifically kept Lohan in custody to make it through the difficult time of the holidays, ending her stay on January 3rd. 


Although some may want to believe Lohan is now cured after her rehab stay, it seems consistent with her continued addiction that she is relapsing again. After several months in rehab, why is she resorting to this kind of behavior? Is she really taking it all seriously? No one seems truly convinced that Lindsay Lohan has been cured. She has not admitted she has a problem. It seems she is utilizing rehab as a way of avoiding jail.  Bar-hopping and drinking is is not on the Betty Ford list of approved activities. However, they have given Lohan opportunities to have day passes because these are markers that Betty Ford uses to test how well a patient is committed to the process. Lohan had permission to shop, but not to drink.


Lohan is probably going to be facing a Judge, yet again, and possibly even facing now criminal charges. The real problem is, from a PR point of view, that Lohan is on the defensive once again. Until she really takes an offensive approach to her problem, she will always be steps behind. If this assault allegation and violation has anything to do with drugs or alcohol, and that is proved, Judge Fox will put Lohan back in custody.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Justice For Smart Family

Just want to echo the simple yet eloquent words of 23-year-old Elizabeth Smart as she said today: "I am so thrilled with the verdict, but not only that I am so thrilled to stand before the people of America today and give hope to other victims who have not spoken out about what’s happened to them," Smart said from the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Salt Lake City Friday afternoon.

Today was a win, even if it wasn’t surprising, it certainly relieving and thankfully quick to justice with only five hours of deliberation (two hours yesterday and three today). This has been an excruciatingly long process for the
Smart family. Thankfully, justice delayed is still justice.  Now we, again, wait to see what happens in the penalty portion of the trial. Let’s hope that the sentencing will be equally as quick and equally as just.

Happy Holidays to the Smart family and to all victims of crime who can only hope for justice even if it is prolonged.

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Last Few Weeks in Hollyweird

The Ronni Chasen case has everyone on the edge of their seats with new twists and turns around every corner.  Some call this case a strange murder mystery, but for Angelenos this is more than a captivating story – this is personal. We are all obsessed here. Obsessed with the clues and obsessed with the lack of 4-1-1.  
 
But the lack of 4-1-1 is a refreshing new change to the leaks that dominate celebrity justice.  But is no news really helping or are we now going the other way where the lack of clues and insights is causing new waves of rumor, speculation, and potential loonies falsely confessing?  Would it be helpful to get more information out there? Do we have  a right to know? 
 
Whatever your opinion, it is certainly refreshing to see the investigation begin and end with Beverly Hills Police Department.  They have said they are in charge and they certainly are.  Kudos to you and anytime you want to share news, I am here for you guys!!!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Most Incriminating Types of Evidence

Evidence is crucial for ruling out suspects, finding criminals and proving their guilt. Many criminals go to great lengths to cover up their crime and leave no feasible trace of evidence, but major advances in forensics and investigation practices have made it possible to dig up various types of evidence that are admissible in court and bring police closer to catching criminals. Here are the 10 most incriminating types of evidence:


1. Fingerprints: Fingerprints are the most incriminating types of evidence used in criminal cases because it’s one of the most reliable forms of identification. No two people have the same fingerprint, making it a truly fundamental tool for accurate identification of criminals. Only when fingerprints can’t be traced back to a person with a criminal history do they have less power in an investigation. However, if the suspects can be narrowed down, their fingerprints can be tested to see which one matches.


2. Blood: Blood is an incriminating type of evidence for various reasons. DNA can be extracted from blood to find a criminal and blood type can be analyzed to help rule out suspects. Blood splatters can also help investigators piece together crime scenes and it provides more evidence to test.


3. Hair: Hair is another useful type of evidence that can bring police closer to a criminal. A strand of hair collected from a crime scene can be submitted for DNA testing. Forensic scientists may have a better chance at testing the DNA if the hair follicle is still intact. In addition, the color of a hair strand can also be used to rule out suspects whose hair does not match the recovered hair sample.


4. Skin: Although difficult to see at a crime scene, skin can be analyzed and tested to find a criminal. Like hair, skin samples can help determine the skin color of the person involved in the crime and DNA can be extracted for a more accurate identification of criminals. Skin can also be a harbinger of other evidence at the scene, which brings police closer to finding the criminal and understanding the crime in greater detail.


5. Witness Testimony: Testimony from a witness who was at the scene of the crime is one of the most incriminating types of evidence. How incriminating the testimony is depends on the credibility of the witness, which is determined by the jury. It can be the deciding factor in a case.


6. Written Documents: One of the worst things you can do as a criminal if you want to evade the law is write things down. Some criminals write in dairies, journals, letters and even e-mails to chronicle their plan of action or confess their guilt. Suspects may be in correspondence with others who can present these documents to police, or investigators may find such documents when searching a suspect’s home.


7. Semen: Semen can be used in several ways to verify rape accusations, as well as extract DNA to identify the criminal. Semen can also be analyzed and tested to determine if there was more than one person involved in a sexual crime.


8. Shoe Prints: Shoe prints are extremely useful in police investigations and they can be a very incriminating type of evidence. Police can tell by a lot about a shoe print, such as the make, model and size of a shoe, as well as the gender and approximate height of the person. Shoe prints also indicate the activity of the wearer when the print was made and, if the impressions are visible, police may be able to trace the criminal’s moves and follow their prints to the next destination, such as a nearby home or woods.


9. Videotapes/Photographs: Videotapes and photographs are both compelling and incriminating types of evidence. Whether the videos or photos capture the crime taking place or the people present during or after the crime, it is valuable evidence that can be used to rule out suspects and find the criminal.


10. Ballistics: Ballistics is the study of firearms and ammunition. This technical form of evidence includes shell casings, gun powder, bullets, gunshots and other firing characteristics of a weapon. Even the slightest remnants of a gunshot can be traced to a specific firearm, where it’s sold and its owner, if registered. 


From Criminal Justice Degrees Guide

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sign the Letter


Letter to Superintendent Cuneo and Principal Pedroza about Mr. Ari Marken, Santa Monica HS teacher


Please click if you would like to sign this letter.





Dear Superintendent Cuneo and Principal Pedroza,


We have learned that on December 4, 2008, the SMMUSD found that Mr. Ari Marken, math teacher at Santa Monica High School, sexually harassed a thirteen-year-old student in one of his classes, in violation of SMMUSD policy 5145.7.  He was placed on leave for five weeks while the investigation took place.  We are also aware that Mr. Marken was placed on leave again in December 2009 while the SMMUSD investigated him for improper electronic communications with present and former students.  We are aware that Mr. Marken did not return for the entire 2009-2010 school year, and resumed teaching at Santa Monica High School in September 2010.  



For more information about this case, please see the web page: 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Updated: Grayson Vaughn's best interest

Grayson Vaughn is now an endangered child, victim of flaws in our justice system that ignore the best interest of children. After a three-year legal battle, parents Christy and Jason Vaughn lost custody of their son Grayson to his biological dad, who many have said is unfit to be a parent. 
Please, if you would be willing to take a moment to tweet and ask your followers to help support the Vaughn family during this terrible time, it will go a long way. We are still working to bring this child home to his adoptive parents who love and miss him!
Read my updated article on Huffington Post

Twitter: Follow @KeepGraysonHome

Facebook: thousands of “Like” supporters already, join the fight at

Website: You can learn more about Grayson Vaughn's story at 


Friday, November 12, 2010

It is time to DEMAND Justice

Please consider attending and/or sending out this information about an important march/rally and Press Conference happening tomorrow, Saturday November 13. Some background:


With the arrest of Phillip Garrido in August 2009, the entire nation learned how broken the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has become. Investigative findings by California State Inspector General David Shaw and the State Attorney's General' office concluded that a number of parole agents over a period of nine years had failed to do their jobs properly surrounding the parole supervision of Phillip Garrido.

Other CA parolees making the news for their horrific crimes include: John Gardner (murdered Amber Dubois and Chelsea King), Charles Samuel (murdered Lily Burk), Omar Armando Loera (murdered Chere Osmanhodzic) -- to name a few. It is time to DEMAND something be done. Join me in a rally tomorrow to demand justice and accountability!  Here are the details:


What:
March and rally will be held at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in El Sereno from 1974 N. Marianna Ave. to the 1800 block of Landsdowne Ave to demand an investigation of the Division of Adult Parole Operation and that those responsible for the breakdown in parole supervision be held accountable.

Where:
Cal State LA (1800 block of Landsdown) -- at the University Hills sign flagpole

When:
Marching, speeches and Press Conference will begin at 1:30pm tomorrow, Saturday Nov. 13

Contact Information:
carolineaguirre@sbcglobal.net, 323-254-3221 (or call me at 310-470-9955 with questions)

Links:
Ron Kaye LA announcement about rally
City Watch article by former parole agent

Mayor Sam


JOIN US!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Top 10 Unsolved Missing-Person Cases

From Criminal Justice Degrees Guide Online:
Unsolved crimes take on a whole new level of eerie attraction when it comes to missing-person cases: instead of the stone-cold whodunit murder with a body and clues, they revolve around unexplained disappearances and thus feel more puzzling than other crimes.  Circumstantial evidence often presents itself later, allowing family, friends, and investigators to mostly piece together what happened, but the lack of finality makes an unsolved missing-person case feel like a situation that will never be resolved, no matter what’s learned. Top 10 Unsolved Missing-Person cases:

1. The Springfield Three, 2. Maura Murray, 3. Natalee Holloway, 4. D.B. Cooper, 5. The Beaumont Children, 6. Ambrose Bierce, 7. Percy and Jack Fawcett, 8. Joseph Crater, 9. Michael Rockefeller, 10. The Roanoke Colony
Go to Site to read full story


If you or someone you know was a victim of crime or is a missing person, consider visiting The Surviving Parents Coalition. From their site:


The Surviving Parents Coalition is a parent-driven, 501c4 organization committed to saving lives.  Our coalition’s founding demonstrates the power of survival and how suffering can motivate people to accomplish extraordinary things. We must defend the innocent. Child safety programs and the agencies involved need resources. We lobby for funding and legislation because they are essential to effective change. Our goal is to ensure young people mature naturally without abuse and emotional turmoil. The SPC is determined to grow and spread out nationally one family at a time. United together we become a mighty force for reform.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

"Survive and Thrive"

October is Domestic Violence Awareness month as established twenty three years ago in October 1987.   While many think we have come along way... I think we still have a long way to go. Today, statistics indicate that domestic violence is still quite prevalent and actually reported instances are climbing.


This past weekend, I was honored and blessed to be amongst runners, advocates, law enforcement, survivors, and supporters atthe Survive and Thrive Walk Event organized by CrimeSurvivors.org. This event, at the Orange County Sheriff Regional Training Academy, was beyond inspiring, it was downright exhilarating to see so many survivors, so much passion, and so much positive energy in one place.


As one of the featured speakers at the event I used the opportunity not only to be  a cheerleader for survivorship and empowerment but to educate and advocate. My issue for the day was about the power of language and the importance of  "word choice."  The crux of the speech was distinguishing between being a "survivor" and being a "victim." I also used the opportunity to chat about the problem of semantics in human trafficking as well and how the wrong words further perpetuate the problem.


One can be victimized (and referred to as a victim in a criminal case), but my dream and goal is for all victims to become survivors. Victimization is not just a word - it is an entire way of thinking. Likewise, being a survivor is also a way of thinking. Both a victim of abuse and a survivor of abuse have gone through the same trauma, but how they choose to 'label' themselves post the event makes all the difference. A victim stays in a victim role and never moves forward to change any behaviors that might influence the feelings that they are suffering from. While one who has been victimized by crime cannot change what happened, they CAN change how they will react to it. Once a "victim" makes the decision to recover, they become a survivor who has the power to go on.  Abusers do not have to win!


Words and misues of words can perpetuate crime, abuse, and misjustoice.  Another example is in the case of Baby Grayson Vaughn. There is a small but vocal minority of supposed "father's rights" activists out there who haven been blasting my assertions that a mother has the right to choose adoption as a viable option for her unborn child. The words "father's rights" are being used to mislead in the media, the public, and particularly men.


Just because one advocates for a child does not mean that they are fighting against a biological father.  In this case, I am not advocating against the biological father but rather advocating on behalf of the child.  I have cut both biological and adoptive parents out of the equation, and am only looking at what is best for Grayson Vaughn NOW regardless of all the screw ups and problems with the court system.  And unfortunately, when it comes to adoption you can't cut a kid up (split the baby so to speak), as only one person is going to be deemed custodial parent.  To me whatever the case was in the past, it is NOW about saving a child from being ripped from his home and loosing the only parents he has ever known for the three short years of his life. You can read more about this case in my posted articles.

So for October it is truly so important that we come together to recognize that protecting ourselves and our kids starts with us. This month we mourn with those who have lost loved ones because of domestic violence, we celebrate those who have survived it, and we connect with those who work to end violence and injustices for children and parents everywhere!

Friday, September 17, 2010

10 Good Murder Mysteries

From Law Enforcement Schools.orgFor some reason, murder mysteries really intrigue us. Some provide us with an escape from reality and we get tangled in the web that authors spin, leaving us hunting for more answers within the book. The following murder mysteries are great reads for the murder mystery mind:

          • # 1 The Postcard Killers
          • # 2 All Around the Town
          • # 3 And Then There Were None
          • # 4 Ice Cold
          • # 5 Roses are Red
          • # 6 The Nine Tailors
          • # 7 The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
          • # 8 Murder on the Orient Express
          • # 9 The Killing Room
          • # 10 The Final Detail
And for #11 one of my personal favorites ...
      • MURDER BEHIND THE BADGE: True Stories of Cops Who Kill by Stacy Dittrich

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Taking Sides & Making Judgments

How is that divorce cases always become about sides? Have we learned nothing from our own lives -- that is: most things are not black and white and are often very gray? Let's take a peek at the divorce cases making headlines in the last two weeks: Elin Nordegren vs. Tiger Woods - and - Jamie McCourt vs. Frank McCourt. From the Blogsphere this week on Wood's divorce: "Her divorce all but a formality, Elin Nordegren Woods will very soon walk away from her six-year marriage with Tiger Woods with approximately $100 million ... I say, Kick ass Tiger. It'll only be a matter of time before the capricious media is on your side again."

There was a lot of banter on whether or not Elin "deserved" the money. I think this is ridiculous - how can we as a society decide the value of their marriage (let alone their divorce)?  Even courts don't try to decide that -- instead looking to a dissomaster to spit out the correct answer.  Most importantly, how can we criticize ELIN when it was Woods' zillions of affairs that brought their marriage to a tumbling crash? I usually don't like to comment on people's marital affairs as there is soooo much behind the scenes; however, in this case I really must say that Elin has been nothing but a class act.  She handled the infidelity news with grace and dignity. 

I was particularly impressed with Elin's interview in People Magazine. In her own words: "My immediate plan is for the kids and me to continue to adjust to our new situation. I am going to keep taking classes, but my main focus is to try to give myself time to heal." It was refreshing to hear from her directly to put some closure on the whole mess.  I can only imagine how hard it must have been for Elin to do that interview and I give kudos to her for being brave and forthright.


And from the Blogsphere on the McCourts: "The McCourt case may end up being the most-discussed case of all recent divorce cases. It is the ultimate Hollywood he said-she said, a saga that includes Malibu mansions, millionaire ballplayers, conflicting legal documents and some of the country's most accomplished -- and most expensive -- attorneys."


Like the Woods' case, the McCourts are dealing in a dispute in the hundreds of millions. Unlike the Woods' case though, allegations of Jamie cheating on Frank have not been confirmed (although I'm not surprised there is infidelity underlying both cases). The McCourt trial started this past week and we are definitely in for a bumpy ride.


Obviously in the law there are always at least two sides (A "versus" B). And the news media, while trying to remain fair and balanced in their reporting of the stories, inadvertently (sometimes) leads us to one side or the other. Whether or not you think Elin deserves her 100 million dollar settlement from Woods or whether Jamie should share in the Dodger empire with Frank, I'm sure we can all agree that public divorces are a source of some fascination (especially when the divorce involves a large amount of money) but really is a private matter where our big mouths and noses should not be.

We all know there is always much more to the story then what we hear. Even between non-divorcing spouses, people often cannot get the facts straight.  (Just ask Andy, we fight about the "facts" everyday -- he still is insisting that Hannah got up in the middle of the night Saturday when both she and I say KNOW she did not).  Divorces often begin with different views of the "facts" that gets rolled into other issues: childhood problems, our psyche, etc. 

Isn't the real issue that we all have flaws and its much easier to point the finger at others than look at ourselves? Well, I'm going to start (I hope a new trend) in that I'm going to admit that marriage is hard, that I'm a handful and I have a ton of flaws.  (Thankfully, Yom Kippur is not till next week so I don't have to start admitting and apologizing about them till next week.)

As we sit in here in judgment of others perhaps we should spend a few moments judging ourselves, looking at our own story, and deciding for ourselves whose side would you be on if you were being told your life/marital story. In the spirit of Rosh Hashana (the Jewish New Year) we should take this time to reflect on our own relationships and see where at and how we could be better.

Whereas the Woods' case has wound down for now, the McCourt case is gearing up, and all of our own lives continue on each and every day.  How about using today to decide what side you are on in your own marriage, relationship, or in life? Are you happy?  What would you say about yourself on a gossip rag?  Don't worry you don't need to share, you don't need to write it down, just think about it... especially when you start talking about others.

Have a Happy 5771 and Jewish New Year to those who are celebrating!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

My Middle Men Moment

For over a week I have been agonizing if I should publicly write about a movie premier I recently attended: Middle Men.  You can imagine my trepidation writing about a movie which appears to be Studio 54 meets Boogie Nights and is about the creation of porn on the Internet. While the trailer certainly was designed to tantalize the masses by showing ample skin - to me this movie was as entertaining as it was thought provoking.  Throughout the fast paced story of sex, drugs, money, and greed there were strong underlying themes of business savvy succeeding and positive messages that appeal to our inner-self help/hope mantras. The movie touched upon core issues that lurk behind closed doors of our lives: faithfulness, family dramas, personal struggle, and selling out.

I would have never thought that the main character, Jack, would have become a hero or even a guiding force as there is so much about him that one could find despicable (i.e. the man who made sellable sex on the Internet what it is today).  However, Jack is not an adult film producer or even its advocate.  He is a businessman, a leader, and a fixer.  He was not in the adult film business, he was in the “fixing business.” Jack's track record of fixes fledgling companies gives way to his mantra, “Let's focus on why we are here” -- a line that I have used daily since I have saw the movie.

This concept of staying focused has really made me think.  Focus is an essentially skill that often gets lost in the shuffle of our day-to-day task oriented way of proceeding with our lives. My focus and goal, newly reaffirmed, is to educate people, advocate for people and causes and sometimes even shame or cajole people to be better. So I realized that this movie is not so dissimilar from my core beliefs and what I stand for. As important as it is to insure that the justice system does what it is supposed to, I want to also make sure I do my part: that is to teach others to open their minds and become aware. What will your refocus moment be like?

So my friends, the bottom line is this: Middle Men is a movie I urge you to see. It is now playing at selected theaters -- Find Local Listings.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

What News?


Do we really want our President chillin' on the couch with the ladies of The View? I mean, isn't there other business he could be tending to...? Maybe yes or maybe not. It is August now where Congress is on hiatus and The Supreme Court is down for the count -- so what else is really going on?  I mean we can talk Mel until we are blue in the face, but as skilled as Radar is at making it news each day, it's really the same old story.


There is, of course, Lindsay Lohan whose release from custody would have been way more newsworthy if she threw a pre-rehab "blow out" party.  There is also the tragic case of Kyron Horman -- the news conference last week where even the media griped for calling a news conference when there was actually no update. There is Arizona, the thunderstorms in the Southwest, and of course the catastrophic BP oil spill.  But really no matter how you cut - things slow down in the summer.  The people who normally make news are watching the news from their hotel rooms, rehab beds, jail cells or - if you're Polanski - from wherever you want!


So what better change of pace than having our Commander-In-Chief have a little sit down with the ladies of The View where we can see him raw and see just how The President dodges questions on pop culture, life, and politics - right!?  Frankly, he said it best himself when he said he would rather answer questions about Afghanistan than about Mel Gibson.


But what I really wanted to know is: does Barack think Chesea Clinton needed $15,000 a piece porcelain port-a-potties with piped in music when there are people starving, jobless rate at record highs, etc. etc. Of course, if Chelsea is only to to get married once and mom and dad are paying - go for it, right? Did he think that the the "cheating" clause in Chelsea's pre-nup was appropriate? Did he think Hillary's dress outshined Chelsea? Ah soo many questions, but I'll leave the pondering to Diane Dimond whose coverage of Marriage de Golden Child on ET was simply awesome.


As for Obama's View appearance ... I still think he should have known who Snookie is -- that is a matter of National Security for sure! In any case, even though I still can't decide how I feel about the appearance I am happy to see that Obama is pushing the barriers of presidential appropriateness and at least trying to reach out to the regular folk. I am happy he chose August, and the only thing I guess that I am hoping for is that if he does something like it again -- he will actually weigh in on life's pressing issues: Should the bachelorette have chosen Chris Lambton instead? Should Jennifer Anniston go through fertility treatments? Was Charlie Sheen's sentence fair?

Monday, August 2, 2010

Justice for Stacey Doss & Baby Vanessa

Background & Commentary
Stacey Doss adopted baby Vanessa at birth with the help of an adoption agency. This was a legitimate adoption. Baby Vanessa, now two years old, has been ordered to return to Ohio. Vanessa will be cared for by her paternal grandmother, whom she has never met. Stacey Doss, Vanessa’s adoptive mother, was given until July 16 to turn over the child. Vanessa's allegedly violent biological father, Benjamin Mills, Jr. (who has a child endangerment charge on his record as well as being imprisoned for domestic violence) is seeking to take Vanessa away from Stacey, the only mother she has ever known. It is unclear why Mills suddenly wants to assert his paternity. As a former prosecutor, I see this as an case where bio-dad has desire to gain power and control over his favorite victim, bio-mom. So he is hurting everyone in the process to to gain power -- instead of thinking of the best interest of this child.


Please visit my recent posts on Baby Vanessa and join our fight to help Stacey Doss retain custody of her daughter.

SIGN THE PETITION: 

More information: Articles
Media Clips
NBC Ch. 4 Available at: 


Good Morning America Interview
Available at: www.robinsax.com/media.html

CBS Channel 2 News Link
Fox News Vigil Footage

NBC July 31, 2010

Statements from Stacey Doss: 
"My attorneys have told me that in California, an adopting parent and a child get a hearing in the case of a failed adoption to determine if custody must change or if, perhaps, a guardianship, which permits the birth parent to retain parental rights, is in order.  By blindly following Ohio's orders, the CA court denied me that right and violated my constitutional rights and my daughter's rights as well.
Wednesday July 14, 2010
"The California Court of Appeal has granted us our appeal request for an immediate temporary stay.  The response states, '...the child shall not be removed from Orange County, CA, until further order of this court.'  This means that Vanessa is safe in California, with me, for the time being.  We are elated that the emergency stay is based on the Appellate Court’s concern for Vanessa’s best interest. Today's decision is one victory in what will likely be a long fight.  We are hoping that this case is somehow precedent setting for all children in this country."   

Operation Vanessa (visit the site)
Facebook Page (to leave Stacey a message)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

This world needs a big mouth!

My goal to employ Sax Summer Hours (i.e. taking a little break from working non-stop) has somewhat failed - although I did spend a wonderful day with my daughter at Disneyland and made time to see the new Despicable Me film with the fam last week. However, there are too many important cases and issues bubbling to stay on the sidelines for longer then one week.  I mean how could I keep my big mouth quiet when Mel Gibson's tirade was released by Radar Online, the Swiss wimped out and disgraced victims and the justice system by denying extradition, Florida gave custody to Mindy McCready's abusive mom, and people are still trying to rip Courtney Love Cobain off?  Yup, this is a peek at all of the issues that I have been personally entrenched in all week long. So, while I have totally impeached myself with my lofty ideas of "summer break", and though the sun is shining, the dark world of injustice still persists -- Ok, I know it sounds dramatic, but just flip on the TV and you will quickly agree. This world needs a big mouth and right now that is me. So, folks, I am asking for your forgiveness for my fib of summer hours post and help me in spreading the word and fighting the injustices in both my cases (feel free to check them out at Current Case File) and any of yours. New Sax summer motto: be proactive (but wear flip flops while doing it)!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

"Circle of Hope" - Vigil THIS THURSDAY

OC Operation Vanessa Candlelight Vigil
Thursday, July 15, 2010
8:00pm - 9:00pm

Location:
Mission Viejo Christian Church
27192 Jeronimo Road
Mission Viejo, CA. 92692


Description:
Friends of Operation Vanessa here in Orange County... please come out and show your support for Stacey Doss! There will be a candlelight vigil appropriately called "Circle of Hope" the night before the appeal deadline to pray that Vanessa be kept safe and sound in her home. We will be gathering on the back garden of the chapel at Mission Viejo Christian Church.

Directions

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sax Summer Hours!

Even though crime doesn’t stop for the summer, it seems that everyone else does or at least slows down. Congress isn’t in session in July and August; Oprah and other syndicated shows go on “hiatus” for several weeks; and of course, schools that operate on the traditional calendar are off too!  So people, I am adopting Sax Summer Hours!
Yup, you read right! I am kicking off the high heels, tossing the suit to the curb, and going to spend some much needed quality time with my family and friends. (Hi, remember me?) 

That is not to say that you won’t see my smiley mug on TV or read my words on your favorite blogs --  it means I have remembered that summer is the traditional time of year when we rest a little and should be more family/friend oriented. So I am going to tote flipflops and not run around like a chicken with my head cut off. I know you're thinking "yah right" but this is serious! Serious Summer business, that is.


Normally I give you my outspoken viewpoints on cases but today I am sharing a tidbit to take care of you. I realize that relaxing or resting sometimes seems like a huge luxury that we cannot afford, either for financial or personal reasons. But most of the time the only thing keeping us from having a more relaxed and calm mindset is ourselves. You know you can take a few hours on the weekends for beach or pool time ... You know you can head to the movies one summer night (see my Finds below for info on The Grove movies in The Park!) .... You know you can make these things happen ... so do it!




We all need some time. Time to think, reflect, meditate, connect, disconnect, decompress, and simply chill.  I know do it’s easier said than done (trust me!).  But do it anyway.  Use the time for you and your friends and family, take the time to pick up a new hobby (or not), read the book that you always wanted to (the trashy one is fine too!!!). Or enjoy any of these out-of-state Wacky Summer activities from MSNBC:

Summer Redneck GamesJuly 10, Dublin, Ga.?Barnesville (my favorite!)
Potato DaysAugust 27/28, Barnesville, Minn.
Mid-Atlantic Hermit Crab ChallengeJuly 10, Virginia Beach, Va.
The Wayne Chicken ShowJuly 9/11, Wayne, Neb.
Roswell UFO Festival July 1/4, Roswell, N.M.
Weird Contest WeekAugust 16/20, Ocean City, N.J.
Wisconsin State Cow Chip ThrowSeptember 3/4, Prairie du Sac, Wis.
Hemingway Days FestivalJuly 20/25, Key West, Fla.
World Championship Cardboard Boat RacesJuly 31, Heber Springs, Ark.
National Tom Sawyer DaysJuly 1/4, Hannibal, Mo. 





Whether you go big for a Summer trip or just go out for a Summer night, DO something to signify it's Summer! Adopt Sax Summer Hours and let's spread the word!


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

No fault divorce in NY!

New York is one of my favorite places. It makes me feel alive and connected to the world. I love that it is place that sets the trends, fashions, and finances for the rest of the country. But how is that it JUST now is finally becoming a "no fault" divorce state! For those of you who are not up on the legal implications, here is a brief description: "No fault" divorce basically describes any divorce where the spouse asking for a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did something wrong - i.e. "where the dissolution of a marriage does not require a showing of legal wrong-doing by either party".

Laws providing for no fault divorce allow a family court to grant a divorce (in response to a petition by either party). The person bringing the petition doesn't have to show a breach of the marital contract (e.g. infidelity or other kinds of wrongdoing). Laws providing for no fault divorce limit the potential legal defenses of a person who would prefer to remain married. Put simply, it doesn't matter if you cheated, if you lied, or if you are a piece-of-work, it means you are getting divorced and no one cares why or who is to blame.

A fault divorce: required grounds are present and at least one spouse asks that the divorce be granted on the grounds of "fault". Only some states still allow fault divorces. The traditional fault grounds are cruelty (inflicting unnecessary emotional or physical pain) -- this is the most frequently used ground for divorce.  Other grounds are things like adultery, desertion for a specified length of time, confinement in prison for a set number of years, physical inability to engage in sexual intercourse (if it was not disclosed before marriage).

A critical difference between fault and no fault is that one spouse cannot stop a no fault divorce (objecting to the other spouse's request for divorce is itself an irreconcilable difference that would justify the divorce); whereas a spouse can prevent a fault divorce by convincing the court that he or she is not at fault. California was the first no fault divorce State (as of January 1, 1970). By 1977 nine states had adopted no-fault divorce laws. By late 1983, every state but South Dakota and New York had adopted some form of no-fault divorce. South Dakota then adopted no fault divorce in 1985. New York was basically the last hold-out.

The National Organization for Women (NOW) sent out a Press Release last week asserting that this law will give judges permission to ignore "cruel and inhuman treatment" as grounds for divorce. Consequently, they say, moneyed spouse (usually the husband) would have freedom to shelter the marital assets, hire an attorney, and start divorce proceedings before his wife ever suspects what is happening. NOW has asserted that judges routinely ignore domestic violence in NY and that this law would rubber stamp the practice.

Currently 95% of all divorces are settled out of court in NY. So perhaps the support no fault is  supported by the NYS Bar Association and the NYS Women's Bar Association is because their members will gain monetarily from the move, which will drive more cases into the courts? So why choose a fault divorce option when you have a "no fault" option? Some people don't want to wait out the period of separation required by their state's law for a no fault divorce. And, in some states, a spouse who proves the other's fault may receive a greater share of the marital property or more alimony.

But what about this... Without having fault and blame, there may be little need to work hard on the marriage. A person who wants to call it quits can -- quite simply and easily, too. As a matter of fact, it is probably harder to fire someone at work than it is to get divorced. At least in the office, employers create paper trails, look for reasons to dismiss, have conversations and meetings about whether all avenues have been exhausted before firing is a necessity, and even use probationary periods to try to determine how unworkable a person or a situation before simply canning the person.

Are we letting people off the hook to easily? Is NO FAULT the best way? What do you think?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Karr & van der Sloot, again!

Chris Rozvar has taken the words out of my mouth in his recent New York Magazine post. Is it surprising that both Jon Mark Karr and Joran Van Deer Sloot are back in the news? Not really. The surprising part is that they hit the news in the same week; the not surprising part is that they both are still wreaking havoc on victims and society. Besides being two of the biggest narcissists, they both represent dangerous enigmas. We are dealing with two of the most notoriously unsolved/unprosecuted cases of our time — the Jon Benet Ramsey case (Karr) and the Natalee Holloway case (van der Sloot).
 
Many of you already know who these creatures are, but just in case - here are summaries: Joran van der Sloot is the Dutch teenager who was arrested but never convicted of being involved in the death of Natalee Holloway. He is now suspected of brutally killing Stephany Flores Ramirez in a hotel room in Lima, Peru almost exactly five years later.  John Mark Karr is the man who confessed to the 1996 death of child beauty queen Jon Benet Ramsey but was released for lack of DNA evidence. He is now being sought out for death threats against a former student.

While many people want to write-off these guys as just “nuts," I am much more concerned. Joran van der Sloot has shown that he will likely continue to kill and will continue to confess. Karr, whether you believe is confessions about Jon Benet or not (he still maintains he is responsible), is equally dangerous, if not more so.  Karr is obsessed with little girls. How do I know? He says so in his writings, he had child pornography on his computer, he is known to associate with “pedo” groups, he scared ABC’s Good Morning America producers in 2006. When he was in touring his old neighborhood via limo he suddenly had the limo stop so could approach a school where he used to teach. According to Jeffrey Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, "his behavior gave us serious pause, and ABC decided not to proceed with the interview." I have much more evidence, but I think you get the point.

Now we are hearing from brave people like my client, Samantha Spiegel, who is willing to come forward on National television to confirm Karr is dangerous. Samantha admits that she thought about recruiting young children for Karr who requested she do so (note: she never actually did it).  While Samantha has been the only person who has come forward as of late, there are others out there who either have been approached by Karr to help facilitate his desires - to live in a Manson-esque type of family with little children all around servicing him.  As law enforcement gets wind of his alleged sex cult recruitment of little girls he changes the name from "The Immaculates" to the “The Protectors.”

John Mark Karr is no dummy.  He stays very close to the line of the law and works hard to have others do the crime so he can stay hidden and elusive.  While many think that the case is now behind us (because he was served with the restraining order), I am sure his name will continue to bubble in the news.  I am most grateful to San Francisco Police Department who worked diligently with my amazing personal team of investigators for finding him and serving him before he slithered off to unknown places once again.


My big question: how is it that these two men were roaming free to continue to prey on women and children? What is the flaw in our justice system that cannot get these men convicted and put away for their initial crimes? In the case of van der Sloot, why wasn’t he prosecuted for extortion right away?  I mean the crime was committed the second the money was exchanged. Perhaps if he was in prison there would not have been a crime against Stephany Flores.  I hope the Peruvian criminal justice system brings swift and unyielding justice to the family of Stephany Flores Ramirez (and perhaps some peace to the Holloway family). And I dearly hope that our State of California does justice in my client's case again John Mark Karr. I hope the news that we hear of him is NOT that he harmed another woman, child, or person.

But the safety of future victims should not rest on my hopes alone. The justice system should and must work. We should demand it does so that the van der Sloots and Karrs of the world don't reappear in the news in another five years - or sooner. 

Friday, June 4, 2010

Did Richard Hirsch's Statement do Bruce Beresford Redman Justice?

You have probably heard the expression "a day late and a dollar short." Never has it been so apropos than in the recent Press Release statement issued by Bruce Beresford Redman (via his lawyer Richard Hirsch) this last week.

You know the Bruce Beresford Redman.  He is the Survivor producer who went on vacation to Cancun with his wife who was found strangled to death adjacent from the Moon Palace Resort.

It was only after Mexican officials had made Beresford Redman aware of a signed arrest warrant on Monday, May 31, 2010 that Beresford Redman all of a sudden had a rush of sympathy and expressed condolences to the Burgos family. In the 57 days preceding that, he never said he was sorry or sad. He never offered explanations or contributed financially or otherwise to the investigation for the real perp.  We haven't seen him desperately trying to get home from Mexico to take care of his young children who must be heartbroken after learning of the death of their mother.  As a matter of fact all we have seen is him being evasive - fleeing, not making himself available to law enforcement for questioning when they so desired approximately two weeks ago. We saw a desire to bar his kids from the ONLY memorial that was set up for their mother Monica, and a plan to “fight” extradition to Mexico.

By the way, this is all in addition to other factors that tend to show that he is guilty .... like - um - the 3 different life insurance policies he took out on his wife's life within 3 months (including than accidental "death and dismemberment policy!"; witnesses that will attest to fighting the night before her mysterious death; a weak (if not lame) excuse that she went shopping but whoops didn’t bring a cell phone and left at 8:30AM (who does that in CANCUN while on vacation!?); scratch marks on his neck; inconsistencies in his accounts and the accounts of witnesses; need I go on?

As much I would like to heed Richard Hirsch’s desire to avoid “rushing to judgment”  -how can we not and why shouldn’t we?  Face it people: we live in a judgmental society. We size people and situations up all the time. We draw conclusions over cocktails, in lunchrooms, and in op-ed pieces (like this one).  Granted, those judgments must be cast aside if we are in AMERICAN court where U.S. law is practiced.  But right now, because of Bruce Beresford Redman’s own actions we are not in a court of law, in the United States or otherwise.

So, as long as this case is being looked into at the court of public opinion (where there is no presumption of innocence) I say Bruce (and Richard) it’s time to think of a new strategy because this one ain’t working!

Read Press Release Quote (posted on TMZ) 

Monday, May 24, 2010

National Missing Children's Day: May 25, 2010







National Missing Children's Day is coming up tomorrow, May 25. This is an annual reminder for me and always brings up questions: Are we still are failing our children by choosing to disbelieve them, discredit them, and fail to honor them as the people who deserve to be heard and protected? Are the cases that we know about -- the Caylees, the Haleighs, the Natalees -- really representative of the hundreds of cases that don't get media attention and yet are happening in cities and counties all over the country every day? I take it as my personal responsibility to share important and lesser known cases with the public. Like the case of Mitrice Richardson. If you have never heard of this case, please check it out at: www.findmitrice.info

As trite and over-used as the expression seems, "Knowledge truly is power." I am not suggesting that parents need to tell kids about the gruesome details of every case in the news, or grill them with statistics. And I'm not suggesting we all need to operate out of fear or concentrate on this every single day. But you can take at least ONE day this year to focus on your child's (or grandchild, G-d child, niece, nephew, cousin, etc.) safety as a priority. Youngsters need to have a solid understanding of how they can defend themselves in ways appropriate to their age. As teachable moments arise in your daily life, keep these safety tips in mind:



1. Be consistent with your messaging with your kids.
2. Become tech savvy, not tech-fearful. In other words - enter the 20th century and get Facebook!
3. Empower your children. Make them understand that you trust them and are trustworthy.
4. Listen to your instincts and teach your children how to find theirs. Find the ut-oh moments.
5. As parents we need to teach our children to find a trusted adult, even if it is not us as the parent, as a safe person to disclose to, if necessary. This is the 'telling person' in your child's life.



Safety talks are difficult for many parents to broach, as they bring them face-to-face with fear of events out of their control. However, children depend on adults to teach them how to be safe. Such talks are also a great opportunity to bond and learn from your child. 


May 25 is simply one day, one reminder about our children, but use this day to remind yourself that our children depend on us to empower them, honor them and especially protect them every day! Here is a final tip from the Klaas Kids Foundation: You can make a wonderful contribution to your children’s safety by reviewing our free Child Safety Kit. You can then set aside some special time on Tuesday, May 25 to role play with your children the safety lessons that are most pertinent to their lives.  If you would like to order your personal free Child Safety Kit, please click here.



Friday, May 14, 2010

Lawrence Taylor & Terminology

I'm sure many of you have seen the coverage of 51-year-old former Giants linebacker Lawrence Taylor all over the news in the past week. You may even have seen some of my TV commentary on the subject on Larry King Live (if you missed it, find the show link below in "Features").
 
If you missed the coverage altogether, here is a recap: basically Taylor was arrested for having sex with an underage child. Before you respond with “but she was a prostitute”  take a moment and think about what you are saying.  Even if a child is receiving money for sex and the features of prostitution exist the reality is that this type of sexual abuse is still exploitation. 

We all know that language and terminology matters.  Nowhere is that more true than in the area of the exploitation of children. (Recall my Huffington Post article discussing human trafficking as Problem of Language).  So here is today’s lesson: children can NOT be prostitutes.  They can be prostituted (by adults) but they can not be prostitutes. The difference in language is critical. And in order to make positive steps to protect children it is time we get our terms straight.

Taylor's attorney, of course, asserts: "My client did not have consensual sex with anyone." But this young girl describes the evening and how Rasheed Davis, her pimp, brutally beat her and forced her to have sex with Taylor. She shares in graphic detail how the condom got stuck in her during the act.?This case is an example of how child abuse, sexual exploitation, and human trafficking is misunderstood in this country. It is happening here in the U.S. everyday!   Sex trafficking is the second biggest criminal business in this country, next to drugs.

In Taylor’s case we have the alleged victimization of a child, who was  apparently exploited and sold for sex. This cannot possibly be her fault. She is not a prostitute - she is a victim. The kid cannot even rent car, vote, lease an apartment, sign a  contract, let alone have a chosen career of prostitution. 

Ronald Monestime from NY Examiner.com said it well, so I will quote: "in a case of this magnitude, or any case for that matter involving a celebrity, every single detail must be examined from a purely objective point of view. This means that every discrepancy must be looked at with a scrutinizing eye.  The justice system as well as the court of public opinion owes that to the accuser and the accused. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world."?
 
So people lets start with scrutinizing our language.  Terminology that accurately depicts these children as victims will lead to their identification by first responders as victims of domestic minor sex trafficking – prostituted children.
 
We certainly don't live in a perfect world. We live in a world where former NFL hall-of-famers can and do have sex with children forced by others to have sex for money-- prostitutes and try to not go to jail for their acts (I'm not naming any names here). We'll see how this all plays out! Pun intended.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Find John Mark Karr!

I am on a mission. My mission is to find John Mark Karr! Karr is a former murder suspect and self-professed pedophile.

The name John Mark Karr may sound familiar to you already.  Karr falsely confessed to the 1996 killing of child beauty queen JonBenet Ramsey. But before you chalk Karr up to being just a nutbag, please read what I have to say.
John Mark Karr, also known as Daxis, is now transgendered and assuming the name Alexis Valoran Reich (yes, as in the Third Reich!). He is reportedly living in a woman's homeless shelter in Seattle and seeking a teaching or nanny job. And he has a new victim.


While many of his victims over the years have been too scared to come forward, Samantha Spiegel has bravely come forward now to stop John Mark Karr. Samantha is speaking out not only with intention of protecting herself, but with the goal of educating others as to how and why Karr is such a potential danger/threat to society. 

I will share with you the details of his threats and behavior in the next week when Diane Dimond and I co-author an article exposing the true John Mark Karr/Alexis Reich. But for the time being, please help me to help Samantha Spiegel today by taking a look at this Wanted Poster and website (below). Any information you may have, whether seemingly important or not, would be appreciated.



John Mark Karr must be found! If you have any information on his whereabouts, please fill out this form to report clues to the investigators who are looking for him! If you have any other tips or information that may help lead us to him, please contact us!

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