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Archive of some fucked relationships in the news

These items have been culled from 'Anna's News Clippings'. Clippings archives are at this URL. The most recent are at the bottom.

8 October 2002
In an update on a December 2000 story - see http://theanna.org/clip/december2000.html - Nathaniel Bar-Jonah will not face charges that he kidnapped 10-year-old Zachary Ramsay and fed his body to neighbours in 1996. This is because the victim's mother, Rachel Howard, believes her son is still alive. Police contend that the boy in a post-1996 video offered by Howard as evidence is not her son.
Bar-Jonah spent 11 years in a mental hospital after, authorities claim, he tried to kill two boys. Before that, he forced an eight-year-old boy into his car and choked him with his belt. He was sentenced for other assaults on boys earlier this year.

In White Cross, North Carolina, nine-year-old Katilyn Ann Plante died in hospital after she attempted to move a turtle out of the way of oncoming cars. The Highway Patrol's investigating trooper reported that the girl was riding with her father when she saw a turtle in the road. She asked if he would let her rescue it; he assented and pulled over so she could run into the road. Plante was struck by an SUV driven by Barbara Strickland, who unsuccessfully swerved to avoid the girl. Strickland's SUV hit a utility pole, snapping it in half and dropping power lines onto the vehicle. She escaped after the SUV burst into flames, officers reported. The father's name was not released, and no charges have been filed.

Four-year-old Devon Booth's 10-year-old sister beat him to death, allegedly on the orders of stepfather Louie Guerrero, 38. Las Cruces [New Mexico] Police spokesman Mark Nunley said the children's mother, Natasha Guerrero, was arrested for permitting fatal child abuse, allegedly watching television throughout the incident. Booth died in an Albuquerque hospital after his punishment for bed-wetting and drinking from the toilet. Both parents have been taken into custody, as have the three remaining children in the home.

Nashville's Aretha Oneal pleaded guilty to ripping off one of Dennis Ross's testicles with her fingernails while he was sleeping last year. Oneal, whose attack came after Ross returned home after having sex with another woman, has been sentenced to 81 days in jail and anger management counselling. Ross, 38, whose testicle has been reattached, plans to marry Oneal, with whom he continued to live after the June 2001 incident. Ross didn't press charges against the woman he calls "my heart, my soul, and ... my better half", but the District Attorney did.

In St. Bernard Parish, Louisiana, an eight-year-old boy was stopped when he tried to leave a store with a cart of stolen groceries and cases of beer. He said his father, outside, had a receipt. Outside the store, Herbert Toney and Latisha Washington told security personnel that they didn't know the boy and walked away. The child told officers that his parents had asked him to steal the items and that it wasn't the first time. Sheriff's deputies then found Toney and Washington, who eventually admitted to knowing the boy. Washington finally acknowledged that he was her son. He was released to a grandmother. The parents are being held.

A Franklin, Indiana, couple punished a nine-year-old by shutting him in a room with no furniture but plenty of cat faeces. Deputy Police Chief David Lutz said the boy's mother, Hope Lee White, 35, said the boy had been in the room, eating there and sleeping on the floor, for at least a week. Both she and the boy's stepfather, Jason Wayne White, 29, unemployed, await charges. The child and his 10-year-old brother were placed in foster care. Interviewed in jail, Hope said "I don't know what I did wrong" and pointed out that the boys - "the most precious things to me in this world" - had been allowed to use the bathroom. She added "They're supposed to be sitting there until ... they're just grounded".

Also in Indiana, health investigators found Karen McCann's three grandchildren in her care with faeces stuck to their limbs. Health officer Betsy Swearingen said that, when officers showed up, McCann, carrying the baby into the house, slipped on the Greenwood house's excreta-slickened floor and fell. The house, with cat-urine-soaked carpet and piles of faeces, was condemned. Officer Brian Swisher reported that the children, ages 1, 3, and 4, had head lice and the youngest had been drinking from a bottle of spoilt milk. Swearingen added "And that bottle had bugs in it, too". On their first visit, animal control officials removed 28 cats.
Medics told the parents that their children should be examined at hospital. Brandon McCann said the condition of his mother's home was normal and "how it was when he was growing up", according to Swearingen.

We move all the way to Illinois for this next story. Frank and Marylynnette Barney, foster parents of a 15-year-old mentally disabled boy, are charged with brutally beating him. The Barneys used a wireless video camera to keep an eye on him when he was in his room. And a neighbour's home security system used the same frequency. It taped Frank hitting the boy more than 30 times with a tape-wrapped stick and punching or slapping him in the face when he cried out in pain. On the video, Marylynnette can be heard encouraging Frank. The beating apparently occurred because the boy had taken an extra hot dog at a meal without permission. On-scene, police found a blood-spattered, broken stick and notebooks containing 'I will not disregard my mother' and 'I will not steal food from my house' written thousands of times.

When Nakia Burgess decided to leave a well-paying job in Trenton, New Jersey, for job opportunities in Atlanta, Georgia, she took her three-year-old daughter, Asan'te, with her. The child's grandmother, Mary, who had been caring for her on weekdays and taking night classes to learn how to teach a child with Down syndrome, asked that Nakia leave the girl with her until she had found a job and settled in in Atlanta. Nakia refused. In Atlanta, she was fired from two jobs because of her "problems finding child care" - Asan'te's father, Darryl Burgess had been was sent to prison for selling crack cocaine at about the time the child was born.
In her third new job, she was told she needed to show up the next day or be fired. So Nakia left Asan'te in her car and checked on her while at work. Her second check revealed an unconscious child, who soon died.

In another child-raising story, police in Conway, Arkansas, have charged Evelyn Ticey and her twin 13-year-old children with beating a woman on a city street until she died. Althellia Givan, 42, was apparently chased down the street by the three after a fight or argument. Police spokesman Lt. Chip Stokes said witnesses described Givan being beaten with pieces of lumber or tree limbs.

18 October 2002
Arthur Pratt, 65, rang police to report that his wife, Kelli, 45, was repeatedly biting him. The Modesto, California, man suffered more than 20 deep bites, which are being investigated for their possible role in his death six days later in hospital. Kelli, whose attacks allegedly stemmed from Arthur's refusal to have sex with her, fought with the police who responded to the 911 call. Police Sgt. Al Carter said she "tried to bite them too".

24 October 2002
California's Richard and Jennete Killpack are charged with forcing their four-year-old adopted daughter to drink so much water that she died. The Springville couple were using forced water drinking as a form of therapy to help the girl, who had been abused before being adopted, bond with her new parents. The parents' defence claims that the Cascade Center for Family Growth recommends the therapy for teaching children to go to their parents for comfort, but director Larry Van Bloem said "No, we never recommend it" and police Lt. Dave Caron said, after an investigation of centre records, "These parents looked at [the water drinking] as kind of an offshoot kind of thing".

The Independent Record tells of of Helena, Montana, 27-year-old Chad Calvin Porter, who was moving out of his wife's house when two men in masks entered the house and duct taped the couple together, ripped the upstairs telephone from the wall, and left. Porter left soon after. The woman told police that she recognised one of the two invaders as Porter's 17-year-old brother. The brother, a Blake Noy, is in custody, as is his friend and henchman. Police chief Troy McGee said the two entered the home as part of Porter's plan to convince his wife that she needed him.

James Jackson of Grand Rapids, Michigan, called police to report his three-year-old son missing. Five hours earlier, Jackson had been at a crack house and left his son behind when he was trying to get more cocaine. The problem was that he couldn't remember where the crack house was. A man and woman dropped the boy off at a church the next morning. Jackson is charged with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, a misdemeanour.

Karen Danielle Mako, a 19-year-old university student in Clarion, Pennsylvania, has been charged with homicide and leaving her newborn son, with the umbilical cord still attached, in a canvas bag in a rubbish bin. Authorities stated for the court that Mako said she left the baby in a duffel bag in her car while she attended a baby shower. She said she intended to bury the body but never got the chance. A note in an outside pocket of the bag said 'Little Davy Wavy sat on a wall, little Davy Wavy had a great fall. And all of the King's horses and the King's men couldn't bring Davy Wavy's best friend back to him again'. Mako had a boyfriend named Dave.

A New Jersey pet shop employee heard shrieks and followed them to a man in the parking lot. Richard Mattia, 53, was squeezing the head of the hamster he had just bought. He had clipped the hamster's teeth and was busily pinching and hitting the rodent's head and pulling its paws, according to police Sgt. Robert Faust. Mattia told the police that his actions were intended to "teach them to listen". Officers found two more hamsters, one starving, in his home. Finally, when Mattia went to police headquarters to be charged, officers found 18 packets of heroin in his trousers.

A 26-year-old Medford, New Jersey, man was beating his mother, Josephine Pituch, when his five-year-old niece struggled to free herself and alert neighbours that her grandmother was hurt. The police arrived after Josephine died and perpetrator Ronald Pituck escaped, to later kill an 11-year-old boy in the woods nearby. Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi said the boy's death was more or less random but that Ronald's 62-year-old mother apparently "refused to purchase him a pack of cigarettes". Ronald surrendered soon after the murders and is being held in the Burlington County Jail.

1 November 2002
The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reports that a two-year-old boy was sitting on his bed while his 21-year-old mother and his aunt argued about how one should discipline children. The boy's 24-year-old aunt decided to fetch a handgun. She then shot the boy in the head. The aunt fled. The child required surgery. New Orleans Police Department spokesman Sgt. Paul Accardo said it is unclear if the shooting was intentional. The names of the child, aunt, and mother were not released.

The Arizona Republic reports that a bloodied Margarita Rojas, 26, brought her daughter to Thunderbird Samaritan Medical Center with a partially severed finger. Rojas claimed the 15-month-old cut her finger on a kitchen drain while bathing in the sink. She later admitted to biting the child's ring finger, according to police. Sgt. Randy Force said officers believe Rojas had been abusing her for three months. The girl weighed eight pounds rather than the 17-24 pounds typical for a girl her age, and Force said "the mom said she believed if she continued to withhold food that by next week, Stella would have died".
Rojas's other three children have been removed from the home. Child Protective Service had received earlier reports of her neglect and 'failure to get aid for children'.

5 November 2002
The Boston Herald reports that a Wareham woman has been questioned in relation to her alleged stabbing of her live-in boyfriend in front of her three children. The stabbing was the finale to a fight over Halloween candy. The woman, whose name was not released, drove the victim from her trailer to hospital after the stabbing, which she claims was in self-defence.

The Canadian Press reports that Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, resident Rosaire Roy pleaded guilty to hiring someone to fulfil his sexual fantasy. Tracy Bannab told police that Roy offered to pay her if she entered his store with a pellet gun and ordered him and a female acquaintance to undress and assume a sexual position, whereupon she was to tie them together and leave with the money from the till. Bannab, who followed through with the plan, was not charged because, Crown Prosecutor John Syrnick said, she didn't realise Roy's female acquaintance wasn't in on the plan. Bannab did tell police that she had tried to calm the woman, who freed herself and Roy and called the police.

In July, Jodi Lynn Henry, 38, was found not guilty of attempted murder for putting prescription tranquilisers in her two daughters' ice cream. The Phoenix, Arizona, woman is now suing mental health care provider ValueOptions, Jewish Family Services, and a nurse practitioner, saying they caused her to enter the drugged haze in which she committed the act. After Henry's overdose, which involved 15 medications, she told police that the drugs would put her and her daughters to sleep and they would wake in heaven.

9 November 2002
A 13-year-old Michigan girl met a 16-year-old boy online last year. The boy, Brian Newman, came to live with the girl's family for extended periods. However, the boy was not really a boy; one Valerie A. Charles had invented the persona of Newman and has now been charged with criminal sexual misconduct, among other things. The ruse was uncovered when Charles's grandmother tracked her down and found her living with the 15-year-old's family. Sheriff Stan Burchardt said the victim's family indicated that they had never realized Charles, age 23, was a woman. She later violated a protective order to meet the teenager, who is now 15, and is now in jail.

The /New York Post/ tells us of Drayton Chancellor, 43, who was recently cleared of robbery charges when 'discrepancies' were found in the case, is in the news again. He has now been charged with raping his girlfriend's daughter, age nine. The girlfriend's mother found letters in which the girl spoke of how much she loved Chancellor and enjoyed having sex with him. The child referred to the married Chancellor as her 'Daddy'. When her mother took her to Long Island College Hospital to be examined, she was determined to be 16 weeks pregnant.
Chancellor allegedly told police "I'm going to have the same lawyer. He'll get me off the same way as the other one."

Colorado's Lea Dowler wrote to Platte Valley Medical Center and Boulder County, begging officials to give her step-son Joseph and his pregnant wife Audra parenting classes so that the baby could be 'protected and raised healthy and happy. We want to be a part of his life - his long, healthy life.' The pleas went unheeded, and Tanner Dowler died at 18 weeks of age after his parents took him to hospital with evidence of broken arms, legs, and ribs. His burned feet had been wrapped in toilet paper. Police said Audra, 19, quoted Joseph as saying "I think I broke our son" and that she and her hsuband had, among other things, covered Tanner's face with pillows because he cried loudly.
State child protection officials said a letter like Lea's wouldn't prompt action because it didn't provide an address for Joseph and Audra (they lived in their car) or 'an indication the child would be harmed'.

The next story shows that the raw material for fuckedness doesn't always lead to fucked relationships. It has a happy ending. Luciana Buonocore, 28, of Gragnano, Italy, was born a male, but his birth certificate and name indicate otherwise. The priest who baptized him, his teachers, and those who rejected his application to join the army applied the letter of the law to him. He met with delays and other difficulties when he went to court seven years ago to try to become 'Luciano, male' officially. More recently, he ran afoul of Italy's ban on same-sex unions and was not allowed to marry his fiancee. After that, he appealed to have his sexual identity changed under Italy's sex-change law. He simply had to prove to be a man. The court report said the clinical examination left "no doubt about the fact that the inspected was of the masculine sex from birth". "It was a trick", Buonocore said, "but it was an open trick".

14 November 2002
Santa Fe, Texas man Eugene Robbins faces felony charges for chaining his daughter's ankles together before taking her to school. Robbins, 33, said school officials told him last month that his 12-year-old daughter had skipped all but 10 days of school this year. Shortly thereafter, a judge told Robbins and his wife they had to see that the girl attended school or they would face criminal charages. Robbins said "I can't stay with her all day...I didn't know what else to do". Robbins, who could spend two to 10 years in prison if convicted of child injury and endangerment, added "Hell, I'm going to go to jail over this. The least she could do is go to school."

A St. Petersburg, Florida, stands accused of stabbing his girlfriend's son during an argument. Police had arrived shortly after William Peppler, 70, apparently threatened to kill Jeffrey Rolfe, 49, over the way he had trimmed some shrubbery. Rolfe was stabbed in the chest shortly after that, said police spokesman Rick Stelljes. Rolfes was pronounced dead within minutes of the stabbing.

Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, probation officer William Knox required stitches around his eye after 17-year-old Henry Williams beat him just after the teenager's hearing at the Shuman Juvenile Detention Center (it had been decided therein that Williams would face charges of narcotics possession). Police said the teenager's mother, Kimberly, 37, kept screaming "Kill him! Get him! He deserves this!" during the attack, which was ended by Center guards. She has been charged with criminal solicitation to commit aggravated assault, retaliation against a prosecutor or judicial officer, disorderly conduct, and corruption of minors.

The AP reports on Mississippi two-month-old Alfred Griffin Jr.'s death of multiple skull fractures. The father, Alfred Sr., 22, said he found the baby unconscious with bite marks on his jaw and scratches on his face. Police spokesman Robert Graham said authorities suspect the baby's four-year-old sister. According to Alfred Sr., the girl may have been jealous of the baby and gave him nasty looks when he spent time with the infant. The state Department of Human Services has taken custody of the four remaining Griffin children. Hinds County District Attorney Faye Peterson said it is too early to know if any criminal charges, such as neglect, will be filed.

23 November 2002
Reuters reports on a Phnom Penh woman who hit her husband several times in the groin with the blunt end of an axe. He died. Chhoeun Sovann, 35, was then able to run off with her son-in-law, with whom she had fallen in love, said presiding judge Sim Samoeu six years after the crime. She went on to say "It is totally unacceptable in Cambodia that a wife should kill her husband by smashing his genitals. After hours of deliberation, I decided to punish her with 15 years in jail." The verdict was issued in absentia.

The Mainichi Shimbun reports on Gunma Prefecture auto mechanic Tadaaki Takahasi, who was arrested for keeping his girlfriend captive in his apartment for two years. The 32-year-old man apparently set up video cameras in all three rooms of the apartment and put handcuffs on the 31-year-old woman's ankles whenever he left. At lunchtime, he would return from work to eat with her and then restrain her again. Police quoted him as saying "I was worried that she might have an affair". Takahashi was arrested when the emaciated and bruised woman escaped with her two children and sought a neighbour's help.

In a report from Bridgeport, Connecticut, Jimmie Kave, 75, was prompted by his lawyer to apologise in court for impregnating a 10-year-old girl who met him through an 'Adopt-a-Godfather' programme. Kave, who claimed the girl seduced him and would give him sex in exchange for gifts, has a sexual assault record going back to 1947, but of his crime he asked in a statement "God has forgiven me, why can't you?".
Superior Court Judge Richard Damiani said "you insult the intelligence of the court and everyone in the courtroom when you say your door is always open to the young victim", who gave birth in May. Both the baby and her mother are in the custody of the state.

Enfield, Connecticut, woman Jay Olechny, 82, was upset that her sister Stasia Phillips had yet again placed plastic flowers on her parents' tombstone. She is accused of trying to run over Phillips, who was on her way out of church. Olechny claims that her niece filed a bogus complaint after she had merely called her sister over to her car and yelled at her about the flowers. She claims this was part of Phillips's plot to keep her out of the cemetery by getting her driver's licence revoked.
A third sibling, Joseph, has attempted to keep plastic flowers off the tombstone by afixing to the marker "Do not place anything on this stone" notes written on duct tape. Of his sister Jay he said "She gets a little rambunctious sometimes, but I don't think she'd run anyone over."

31 December 2002
While testing a high-powered bow indoors, Troy Johnson of Muncie, Indiana, accidentally shot his 11-month-old daughter in the head. Johnson, 21, will not be prosecuted, but Delaware County Division of Family and Children officials have ordered him to take a hunter education class. "There was no evidence of any type of criminal intent or behavior that would rise to the level of criminal recklessness", according to J.A. Cummins, the county's chief deputy prosecutor.

Cambodian police released Kampong Thom province's Mao Savoeurn, 35, from custody now that she has signed a pledge not to abuse her children again. She had nailed her 13-year-old daughter's foot to the wooden floor, allegedly to punish her for playing elsewhere rather than helping with household chores. A human rights group claims that the girl, after escaping and seeking a neighbour's help, was forced to bring buckets of water from a distant well. Officer Ou Mech said "if it happens a second time, we will definitely pursue a legal course".

Her girlfriend didn't help matters...
British Columbia's Tammy Chibanoff has pleaded guilty to arson after she tried to burn down West Whalley Junior Secondary school - on three separate occasions, all in the space of a week. Chibanoff, 29, had developed friendships with several students, driving them around in her car and smoking marijuana with them. She also was a science teacher at the school and had received a layoff notice two days before the first blaze. All three fires were extinguished quickly, thanks in no small part to Fire Hall No. 2 being next door. Police took her in for questioning when she was seen laughing and dancing after the third fire started.
One reason for her marijuana use is that her partner Yvonne Daily had encouraged her to stop taking antidepressants in order to see if she really did have bipolar disorder. The court has now heard that she does and that students and other teachers had noticed her paranoid delusions. She has been given an 18-month conditional sentence.

11 December 2002
In a story from Delaware, Lori Ann Becker, 20, crashed estranged husband Michael's car into a concrete barrier, with Michael, 25, clinging to the roof. Lower Chichester Township Officer Ralph Conte said Michael was "extremely cold" and wearing only socks and a t-shirt. After the crash, Michael pushed Lori back into the car and stabbed her 17 times in the thigh with a tool hanging from the rearview mirror. He told police that he had grabbed the roof rack after an unsuccessful attempt to stop her stealing the vehicle from his driveway. Both are being charged in connection with the incident.

Georgia's Mearsall Leroy Gerald, 19, was sentenced to 15 years in prison after pleading guilty to beating his girlfriend's grandmother with a stick, kicking her in the face, and stealing the $300 she was given for Mother's Day and her birthday. He wanted to buy beer and marijuana, but, Prosecutor Elizabeth Bobbitt said, he told police his main reasons were that he hated her and needed to pay off a drug debt.
Bobbitt said "Her face was not even recognizable. It looked like raw meat" and it wasn't clear if she had been bitten by any of the cupful of fire ants that Gerald had dug up in a neighbour's yard and thrown in her face. Gerald, who fled in the woman's car, was arrested the next day.

Judith Ann Garland of Baltimore, Maryland, was charged with trying to sell her two-year-old son. The 19-year-old needed the money for bail, police said. Maryland State Police Sgt. James DeWees said authorities were contacted by the woman to whom Garland offered the child. The contract drawn up by Garland was to "solidify the deal to relinquish... parental rights for $250". As the child's father is in jail too, this woman, a cousin of the father, has been awarded temporary custody of the child. DeWees said "If this person didn't want to purchase the child, who would she have gone to next?"
Garland's initial arrest came when she was arguing with her mother in the Carroll County General Hospital emergency room parking lot in Westminster. A trooper asked if she had a weapon, whereupon she pulled a glass crack pipe from her handbag.

AP Wire reports describe a 34-year-old Singapore woman, whose name was not released, who used a hammer to break the windscreens of the cars at the dealership she and her husband shared. She also destroyed a computer and telephone. She did this because she suspected her husband, Robin Tu, 37, of having an affair since he was coming home later than usual, and recently not until dawn. Channel NewsAsia estimated the damage at $56,500. She said she felt better after releasing her anger and added "It is my shop, my cars - I can do what I like to them".

When a gun-toting St. Paul, Minnesota, man was subdued upon threatening police officers who were responding to a 911 call, they found his injured aunt, Lorene Nell McIntyre, 50. The blood-covered Richard B. Bruestle told police that she had told him to leave her home during an argument about the flavour of her chili. She died en route to hospital.
After the argument, he had followed her to a neighbour's house with a butcher knife, he said, and stabbed her about 15 times. He then got a gun, returned to the neighbour's home, and fired several rounds at McIntyre. Bruestle, 38, is being charged with second-degree murder. Police spokesman Michael Jordan said "there've been shootings over dice games and Xboxes and video games - what can I say?"

18 December 2002
Anthony Smith of Warren, Michigan, recently pleaded no contest to charges that he arranged for his wife to be raped. Police said Smith was lying awake next to his wife when another man entered the couple's trailer and told him to lie with his head in his pillow. After three unspecified sexual acts, the attacker said the equivalent of "I owe you $5000" and left, said Detective David Andrews. An apparently remorseful Smith told police that he had lost money playing pool and wanted to pay off some of his gambling debts, of which his wife was unaware.

Wrestling coach Andrew Fonseca, 23, of California's Moorpark High School was sentenced to a year in jail for having sex with a 14-year-old student. Of Fonseca's relationship with the girl, now 15, her mother said, "It's been the best thing that ever happened to her". Fonseca lives with the parents of the girl, whom he has married, so misdemeanour charges might be brought against them, said prosecutors. Judge Kevin J. McGee said "This case is one of the most unusual that one can imagine".

22 December 2002
Wichita Falls, Texas, native Lee Wayne Lawrence was afraid that his daugher had a job as a stripper at Maximus Gentleman's Club. Police say Lawrence, 41, entered the club in camoflage fatigues, started slashing furniture with an eight-inch hunting knife, and asked for a drink. Serving him, manager Vic Robinson saw a homemade bomb around Lawrence's neck. Seconds later, police entered. A few days later, after security camera footage was reviewed, Lawrence said "I would do that for my daughter if I could get her out of there".
While his daughter, Kera, had applied and auditioned for a job at the club, Robinson said he had turned her down because her identification looked fake. Lawrence, who was released from prison in February after serving time for assaulting a police officer, has returned to jail.

Teresa Milbrandt, 35, was raising money for her seven-year-old daughter's chemotherapy when authorities at the girl's school in Urbana, Ohio, decided to get involved and contact authorities. They had noticed that her hair had been cut or shaved rather than falling out. Teresa's husband, Robert, said neither he nor the girl, Hannah, knew the cancer was faked. He said he has taken his wife to a mental hospital. Hannah has been placed in the care of other relatives. Sgt. David Reese said "I've delivered death messages that people have taken easier than some of the people are taking this".
Teresa had given Hannah sleeping pills and placed her in classes for preparation to die. She also used a bandage to cover a nonexistent chemotherapy port on her daughter's back.

In a report from Jamestown, New York, Danielle Monroe, 23, will serve up to a year of jail time for attaching jumper cables to her three-year-old son's genitalia. She then spent two to three hours taking her son to hospital, where he underwent surgery for his injuries. In court, Monroe explained that she had tortured her son as punishment. He and his two siblings have been placed in foster care, and the Department of Social Services will decide if Monroe will regain custody.

Kaye Campbell, a transsexual living in Caithness, Scotland, told police she feared that her wife would kill her. She claimed that Joanne Campbell saw her cleaning hoofprints from her Shetland pony off the bathroom floor and that then "there was a thunk and a kitchen knife appeared through the side of the fibreglass bath". Kaye, 49, claims that Joanne also grabbed her hair and hit her head repeatedly against a stone hearth. The court heard a recording of the 999 call Kaye placed at the time, in which she screamed "I'm being murdered". After the call, Kaye left on foot and was later found on the motorway. Joanne denies the charges.

14 January 2003
Robert H. Morrison pleaded guilty to failing to pay child support. The law caught up with him after nearly 10 years, during which time he moved from Arizona to California and used assumed names. Morrison is the author of Divorce Dirty Tricks, a book describing how to avoid paying child support. Due for sentencing in March, he faces up to two years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

When she attempted to stop a fight between her mother and her mother's boyfriend, Chicago's six-year-old Alma Manjarrez suffered a severe beating. The girl's mother, 26, waited until the end of the day to seek help, whereupon Manjarrez died in hospital. Child welfare workers had previously investigated a November incident wherein Alma required medical treatment after trying to protect her mother from a male family member. At that time, Alma was determined to be in no danger because that family member was no longer around, said Cook County children's welfare deputy director Mary Ellen Eads. A September report of Alma having two black eyes was not addressed because her family couldn't be located.

The United News of India reports that Sri Devi of Etawah wanted her mother-in-law not to butt into Devi's argument with her husband. When his mother intervened, Devi chopped off her nose with a sickle. She also injured her husband before fleeing the house. Both were admitted to a clinic for treatment.

California writer Steve Young has joined the many attemping to earn a quick buck via eBay. Inspired by the recent sale of a town on the auction site, he consulted with his family and then placed them on sale, with a minimum bid of $5 million. The auction was pulled since it is against company policy to sell human beings.
Young's offer indicated that he and his wife would change their surname for the winning bidder and that the family would provide a lifetime of platonic companionship, including invitations to family gatherings and cooking tips. "You have patrons of the arts, museums and charities. I wanted a patron for my family", he said.

30 January 2003
The Associated Press report that Angela Bazley, 17, of New Orleans is charged with killing her newborn daughter because she didn't want her parents to know that she had been pregnant. Bazley's grandmother - the 38-year-old Helen Jordan - dressed the baby and placed the body in a gym bag, where it was found by two homeless people who were looking through the contents of rubbish bins. Jordan is being charged as an accessory to murder.

A Welsh security guard decided to counter what he described as a voodoo curse after a fight with his wife of less than two months, Joanne Mugford. So he set fire to his house in Splott in Cardiff. He then sent a text message to Mugford which read "I'll pay for the damage. From your husband. PS I think voodoo is in the house." Adeyemi Dosumu, 43, pleaded guilty to reckless arson and has now been sentenced to two-and-a-half years in jail. Defending him, Lee Ingham argued that "Dosumu has received love letters from his wife while still in prison".

Australia's Herald Sun reports that a mother left her three children in a car in 40-degree (Celsius) weather while she went shopping for milk and cigarettes. She later explained that she didn't want to wake them up. The 32-year-old woman also admitted to stealing a package of nappies. A Metropolitan Ambulance Service spokesman said the children, aged one month to seven years, were severely dehydrated when found. The mother disputed this, saying, "They said my children were dehydrated. They were a bit warm but nowhere near dehydrated", and she added, "I felt quite confident with [the seven-year-old] watching them for this short time of their life".

A fucked relationship wanna-be... Jack Bowen, a 54-year-old former Oklahoma City television anchorman and radio personality, has been charged with stalking a woman who turned down his New Year's Eve marriage proposal. Melody Wilson, a bridal shop employee, filed for a restraining order after her employer allegedly saw Bowen trying to place a "partially nude" photo of Wilson on the storefront. Bowen was apparently dressed in a women's fur coat and wore a fake beard.

9 February 2003
Eric A. Shaw, 36, married a Weston, Illinois, woman last year after a two-week romance. He is now wanted for stealing $33,000 in retirement funds from her. He had told her the money would help him start a business venture. The 31-year-old woman later told police "after he received that money, he treated me like a dog....he was throwing money away and flaunting it". After she became pregnant by him and moved back in with her parents, she maintained telephone contact with him and thus got to hear about Shaw's plans for a new business venture: hiring prostitutes to sell drugs. When the woman's uncle called police, an investigation revealed that Shaw was still married to an Ohio woman.

18 February 2003
Koh Santipheap reports that Hong Bunrith, from Battambang province in Cambodia, ran out of wine when entertaining five friends. He told his wife, Leang Kimleap, to buy more. She told the newspaper that there was no more money and only battery acid to drink. When she told her husband this, he reportedly said he would drink any kind of water and would kick her to death if she refused to give it to him. She then presented him with a glass of battery acid. Bunrith is in hospital with burns to the mouth, face, and chest. It is reported that his wife is in police custody.

A couple in Moundsville, West Virginia, planned for a Valentine's Day wedding. However, Denise Rose and Luigi Corvino Senior were arrested before the ceremony instead. Each had been arrested in the past for domestic battery of the other. Both had posted bond, or had it posted for them. One condition set for bond was that they not have any contact with each other.

Jennifer Jones, 21, of Elgin, Illinois, left her newborn baby with the father, who decided a few days later that he needed to get his car fixed and couldn't care for the child anymore. He and a friend went to the salon where Jones was having her hair done and, after an argument, the father set the baby, in a car seat, on the sidewalk next to Jones and left the scene. Jones set the car seat in the left driving lane and returned to the salon. Cars swerved to avoid the three-week-old girl until a man in a barbershop rescued the child. Jones has been charged with misdemeanour counts of child endangerment and reckless conduct.

2 March 2003
The Hong Kong edition of the China Daily reports that the Conyming District's Shi Yousheng asked his brother, Shi Zhihai, for a loan after an unsuccessful business venture. The 41-year-old's reply was apparently "I can't lend you a penny unless you get rid of my wife". Shi Yousheng agreed and earned himself HK$2400 for killing the woman at her home while his brother played cards with workmates. The brothers were arrested at their homes.

Donald Luis Cooper Jr. and Chaunee Marie Helm of Hesperia, California, were arrested in connection with the sexual assault of a four-year-old girl's corpse at the county morgue. Cooper, 32, and Helm, 30, are employees of All-County Transportation, the firm responsible for transporting bodies for the coroner's office. The mutilation was discovered by a medical technician who went to the morgue to harvest the girl's corneas. Following a review of surveilance tapes, the coroner's office decided to stop using the services of All-County Transportation.

A nine-year-old boy from Daytona Beach, Florida, was serving a three-day suspension from school when he attacked his 88-year-old grandmother. The grandmother, Mazelia Dalmacy, said she had gone into the back yard because she was cold inside the house. When the boy hit her with a shopping trolley, she took her chair back inside, but he followed her, throwing rocks at her. He then wrapped a blanket around her head, she said and threw more rocks. She said she "didn't want to want to wake [the boy's mother]" but started screaming when she became scared. The mother rang the police, who are charging the boy with aggravated battery on an elderly person. Of the child's behaviour, his 11-year-old sister, Favienne Charles, said "He does that to me all the time".

Pennsylvania's Linda Schultz, 36, was with her nieces and nephew when she allegedly placed a dildo in her shorts, pretending to have a penis. She then chased two of the children, ages seven and eight, around. Pottsgrove Police Officer Steven James Ziegler said in an affidavit that Schultz also hit one of the girls on the head with the sex toy. During the investigation, police also found a 15-year-old girl who claimed that who said Schultz threw a dildo at her and said "Have fun with it". The children later confided in an adult and one apparently mimicked Schultz's conduct repeatedly. Schultz is being charged with open lewdness and corruption of minors.

Vivian Frazier married Jeremy Guinther in the Indiana jail where he was incarcerated. During the ceremony, she kissed him, passing two grams of methamphetamine to him by mouth. A guard at Vigo County Jail became suspicious when seeing a bulge in Guinther's cheek. Guinther, 26, swallowed when ordered to open his mouth, and the packet of drugs was recovered in a hospital. After pleading guilty to felonious trafficking in drugs with an inmate, she has now been sentenced to two years in prison. Kissing during weddings at the jail is now forbidden.

Annoyed that his girlfriend dumped him, Ulysses Davis doused his 1990 Ford station wagon with a flammable liquid, set the car on fire, and drove it into her Novato, California, home. Investigators said he was aiming for her bedroom, evidently hoping his ex would die. The car stopped near her bed. Davis, 44, left the scene and, after a tip from a homeless man, was found nursing his wounds on the road. He was arrested and hospitalised with severe burns to the face and hands. Police Sgt. David Bynum said the woman and three others in the home were surprised but not hurt.

Jarrod Devinney took his nine-month-old son on an outing, robbing a convenience store with the child, who was in a car seat. According to a complaint filed in court, Devinney ran to a nearby hotel with the child and about $120 he took in the robbery. Robbery detective John Thies said the baby made it easier to find Devinney, 22, as "he's running with that child [and] kind of sticks out".
The shop clerk recounted that Devinney, baby in tow, bought a candy bar and returned to the store a moment later and asked to stand inside because it was too cold for the baby outside. When the crowd thinned out, he threatened her and demanded cash. She gave him all the $20 bills and was trying to give him more cash when he said he didn't need more and ran off.
Thies said the child's mother "was a little bit upset at the whole incident".

11 March 2003
In a plea bargain agreement, Caroline Marie Mayer of Punta Gorda, Florida, pleaded guilty to child neglect and attempted sexual activity with a minor. Mayer, who is infertile, used her 16-year-old daughter as a surrogate mother, watching as her husband, Andrew Christopher Mayer, impregnated the girl three years ago. After the girl told her aunt that her stepfather molested her and stated under oath that "they pulled me out of bed at midnight and asked me if I'd have a baby for them", Andrew was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Caroline and Andrew had planned to replace their baby's name on the birth certificate with Caroline's.
State prosecutor John L. Burns said the plea agreement was based solely on the victim's wishes. Mayer will serve one year, less time already served, is not to contact her daughter or any minor for eight years, and will be classified as a sex offender for the rest of her life.

16 March 2003
After electrical and other services to his Denton, Texas, home were suspended due to nonpayment, James Mack, 48, and his 87-year-old mother had apparently been living out of his van to stay warm in recent months. After someone told police that no-one had been seen around the house for a few days, officers entered the home and found empty beer cans and rubbish throughout, said officer Jim Bryan. They then broke into the van, where they found empty beer cans piled nearly to the ceiling as well as Mack's decomposing body, naked below the waist. His mother's body was also found in the van, under a pile of rubbish, and appeared to have been decomposing several months longer than Mack. Two dogs were alive in the van.

28 March 2003
Backing the family van out of her driveway, Dianne Anthony of Germantown, Wisconsin, hit a landscape timber near her lawn, so she backed up and tried again, hitting the timber again. Meanwhile, Anthony's father, Kenneth Hess, who was minding some of Anthony's children, noticed them run outside. Watching through the window, he saw her back over something but couldn't get her attention, he said. When he went outside, she got out of the vehicle and realised that she had in fact hit her two-year-old son four times. The child will live.

No charges have been filed in connection with the death of a Salem, Oregon, infant at the hands of a four-year-old girl. County prosecutors say the girl repeatedly threw four-month-old Jakob Goulart onto the bedroom floor at the day care run by her mother, Jessica McNeely. McNeely had asked the girl to carry Goulart to the bedroom while she talked on the telephone and breast-fed another daughter.

Sisters Roberta Stubbs, 21, and Beth Stubbs, 20, told investigators that Orson William Black Jr., accused of having unlawful sex with them when they were minors, is innocent. They explained that he filled a syringe with his semen and, after showing them an explanation in a medical encyclopaedia, left them alone to artificially inseminate themselves. "He said the Lord told him to do it this way", Roberta was quoted as saying in court transcripts.
Three other women living with Black have agreed to be interviewed by investigators. Black himself, a member of an offshoot of the Mormons, has so far eluded capture. The 41-year-old fathered two children with Roberta, one with Beth, and three with their older sister Rosie. All told investigators they are engaged to Black, who has a legal wife and a girlfriend.

Pierce County, Washington, sheriff's deputies said a three-year-old boy was staying in the yard at a family friend's house while the mother was doing laundry inside. The child began to play - it is unknown how roughly - with the friend's three pit bulls, one of which then attacked him. He was rushed to Tacoma's Mary Bridge Hospital, where he was declared dead on arrival.

6 April 2003
In Ottawa, a 60-year-old man has been charged with bestiality for his actions at the Canada Agriculture Museum. Staff had contacted authorities to report that the man received oral sex from one cow and one calf in a public petting barn area. Museum spokesman David Sutin said "his, I would characterize it as nervous, behaviour during previous visits had us keep an eye on him and then with what happened yesterday we thought it was prudent to call the police".

Former retirement center nurse Rowena Ledbetter of Waco, Texas, has been married seven times. Her most recent marriage occurred while she was also courting former policeman Herman Wilson, who died in April of last year. Wilson, an 85-year-old widower who had a day earlier included Ledbetter as a beneficiary of his will, was poisoned. In the murder trial that followed, Ledbetter's defence attorney, John Donahue, contended that Wilson, a fingerprint expert, killed himself but planted a bottle of pesticide in Ledbetter's handbag for the sake of his reputation, then placed poison in both his coffee cup and hers, prompting a trip to hospital. The case continues.

It seems that Steve Wilson of Great Barr, Birmingham, was upset when his wife, Dee, walked out on him, so he showed the children a videotape he had made after forcing her into prostitution. When she still refused to return to him, he beat her and used a homemade knife and screwdriver to kill the two young boys, Brett and Brad. He then called the police. When they found him, the knife was in his own chest. Wilson, an ex-soldier, said he and the children had been attacked by Albanian gangsters.
After a 12-day trial, a jury took 55 minutes to find him guilty of the two murders and assault of Dee, sentencing him to life in prison. This is despite Wilson's claim to be a born-again Christian who'd changed his ways.
A family friend reported that Wilson had also forced his children from his first marriage - a boy and a girl - to eat his first wife's ashes. Wilson, 44, allegedly told them that "the big black lumps are the cancer which killed her". His own parents obtained a restraining order against him 17 years ago. Wilson's mother said "all I want now is for me to die before he gets out of prison so he cannot do me any more harm".

Tricia DeHart, 32, became involved with a 14-year-old boy from Connecticut when she was leading a church youth group. The mother of three is now five months pregnant and claims the boy is the father. After returning home from court, she said "I did not assault him. ... He told me he wants to marry me next year." DeHart insists that the boy was her assistant and colleague rather than her student. The relationship came to police attention after DeHart took the teenager to Florida with her, leaving his parents and teachers worried about his whereabouts.
DeHart said she was "in a naive stage" when they had sex and "since I learned of the law, we have not been doing that". She is in the process of divorcing her estranged husband.

In a slightly similar story, this one from Prairieville, Louisiana, 41-year-old Daina Sancho, a mother of two, fell for Irwin Vincent O'Rourke III, who was 13. A few months later, O'Rourke, his parents, and Sancho sought a marriage licence. Judge Ralph Tureau's initital reaction was "No, I'm not signing that". When O'Rourke reached age 14, he was of legal age to marry in Alabama so did. His father asked "if you've met the man of your dreams, why wait?" But the couple did try to keep the union a secret, including from her children, to safeguard Sancho's job as a dental hygienist and the custody of her children.

Corrine Galford of Marlow, New Hampshire is moving back in with her husband to give the relationship another chance. She pleaded innocent of trying to poison him last year but moved back in with him while awaiting trial, set for summer. Then, two months ago, Galford accused her husband of raping and beating her. He retaliated by filing for divorce and claimed Galford was trying to steal the house for herself. A judge has said they can move in together again. Galford's lawyer said the two "are not denying there have been some substantial problems" with the marriage.

The Arizona Republic reports on a Mesa family who all slept safely in the same bed. Shawn H. Solecki, wife Cortney, and their two sons were lying in bed together when the handgun they kept in the bed went off, injuring Shawn, 22, and Cory, 2. The parents' stories of events differed, but both featured Cory firing the gun. Child Protective Services is seeking permanent removal of the two boys - who are staying with grandparents - from the home. The family had shown up on the agency's radar a year earlier, when the boys were found wandering in the streets in nappies.

Responding to an anonymous tip, Italian police found Pasquale Tavoletti, 90, living in a filthy attic that smelled of rotting food. Spinetoli Police spokesman Francesco de Palo said of the dark, windowless room, "I have seen better kept dog kennels". Tavoletti's brothers Mario and Luigi had apparently kept him locked up since 1963, cashing his veteran's pension cheque each month. "The family lived in a fantastic house worth £250,000 and tucked away in this attic in disgusting conditions was the elder brother who had seen action in the war", said de Palo. Due to their age, Mario and Luigi have been released on bail. They will face charges of fraud, assault, and false imprisonment.

San Antonio, Texas, police received a tip from someone who had seen Jerry Thomason's wife on a 25-foot lead. The witness apparently asked Thomason why his wife had a chain padlocked around her neck. Giving the chain a tug, Thomason had explained that it was to keep her from running off. When officers showed up at the Thomason residence, the woman was found in the driveway, bruised and still chained up. Her husband was asleep in the car.

Westchester, New York, woman Sheila Davalloo was playing a game with her husband, Paul Christos, 36 - and with blindfolds and handcuffs. Police don't know if Davalloo puncturing her 33-year-old husband's chest with a paring knife was part of the game. They do know that he eventually persuaded her to take him to hospital. In the parking lot, she stabbed him again. The two were yelling at each other as well, prompting a passerby to ring emergency services. William Rehm, deputy commissioner of the county police, said Davalloo attempted to flee. Christos required surgery.

21 April 2003
Poughkeepsie, New York, second-grade teacher Milton McFarlane was sentenced to 10 years in prison for rape, sodomy, and sexual abuse of several of his pupils, aged seven to nine. At the time of McFarlane's arrest, it was discovered that such acts had been carried out over a three-year period. In breach of regulations, some of the earlier allegations had not been reported to the police. McFarlane, 39, is HIV-positive.

Car salesman Marc Wolfgang Liebig's girlfriend, Jennifer Robinson, was found dead at the home he shares with his parents in Port Royal, Florida. Less than a year later, another body - that of 24-year-old Sara Gambaccini - was found in the same location. Both women's corpses were found in Liebig's bed. In the more recent case, Corynne Gamaccini walked into the bedroom and found Liebig with her twin sister's naked, dead body. She said the corpse had white powder under its nose. Liebig and Gambaccini had been going out for two years.
No charges have been filed, but Liebig, 24, was arrested later on drugs charges, a raid of the home revealing cocaine, marijuana, oxycodone, methadone, needles, and syringes in the bedroom and in his car. When Robinson died - of a drug overdose - Liebig told authorities that he had purchased many of the prescription medicines in the bedroom over the Internet and produced documentation to this effect.

Khalidan Tunkara, 28, and Olin Washington, 32, "were having a domestic dispute" when Washington called the police, said Gwinnett, Georgia, police Corporal Dan Huggins. Not able to decide who should care for their nine-month-old daughter, they left the baby in the parking lot. Washington thoughtfully rang the police again to say the problem had been solved. Officers were en route to the scene anyway and came upon the child, in a car seat straddling a painted line between two parking spaces. Jed Nitzberg, a spokesman for the state's Department of Human Resources, said "Our ultimate goal is reunification with the parents, but it is in the judge's hands".

The Japan Times reports that plastic surgery clinic director Suguru Miyamoto, 44, approached police with a complaint that he was being blackmailed in connection with videos he had shot. In the course of their investigation, the police found a tape that Miyamoto had recorded while allegedly performing indecent acts on a female patient during an operation. The police determined that the woman should not have been undressed for the procedure and did not require general anaesthesia. It is alleged that Miyamoto didn't allow assistants to work with him when he performed operations on women.

Aspiring rap artist Antron Singleton, or 'the Big Lurch', stands accused of murdering and eating some of a young woman, whose mother claims his record label encouraged the act. The mother, Carolyn Stinson, charges that Death Row Records gave Singleton an apartment and various drugs, including PCP, in an attempt to make him more marketable as a true gangsta rapper.
Singleton got the police's attention by wandering the streets naked, high on PCP, and spattered in blood. A search of his apartment revealed the body of his roommate, Tynisha Ysais. She had been stabbed and had bite marks on her face and lung. Human flesh was found in Singleton's stomach.

5 May 2003
Getting an early start in establishing healthy relationships...
Police in Stamford, Connecticut, arrested a nine-year-old boy on charges that he raped a seven-year-old girl in a unisex loo at Roxbury Elementary School. The boy allegedly followed the girl into the one-person loo and sodomised her. The situation came to light when the students' teacher went looking for the boy, who didn't have a bathroom pass. She saw both children leaving the loo. School superintendant Anthony Mazzullo said that the boy is no longer attending the school.

Charges have been filed against a Kansas couple and the babysitter they hired to look after their son. Neil Edgar Sr., 47; Christy Edgar, 46; and Chasity Boyd, 19, will stand trial in connection with the death by suffocation of nine-year-old Brian Edgar. Authorities say the boy was wrapped head to toe in duct tape as a punishment for stealing food. The Edgars - who are pastors of God's Christian Outreach Ministry in Kansas City - have also been charged with abusing two of their other children. Meanwhile, five other members of the church face charges of abusing Brian.

In Annapolis, Maryland, video store manager Vicky McLaughlin was on duty when a seven-year-old boy, with a sweatshirt hood pulled tightly around his head and possibly with two companions, pointed a handgun at her and announced "I'm going to stand this place up". The police were summoned, and an officer wrested the gun from the boy's grasp. The .32-calibre gun was a fake - with the standard orange tip removed - but "we're still in disbelief", McLaughlin later said. She added that the language the boy let fly at the cops was also disturbing. He was charged with attempted armed robbery and released into the custody of his mother.
The boy maintained that his intention was to rob the store, though he had not asked for money. His mother stopped by the store twice later to threaten the employees, according to the police and witnesses.

Thailand's The Nation reports that a 17-year-old and her brother and parents had just arrived at the family estate when her boyfriend, Phanumas Nuchcharoen, there to prove his love for her in front of his family, decided to shoot her instead. The 18-year-old gunman later explained that he thought the girl's brother was her new boyfriend and had become jealous, opening fire on her when she was still in the family car. At that point, her brother, Thanat, wrestled with Phanumas, who shot him, grazing his temple, and then escaped on a motorbike. Phanumas's uncle later persuaded him to turn himself in to the Bangkok police. The girl died.

14 May 2003
Germany's Der Spiegel reports that the police in Übach-Parlenberg are investigating reports of a man walking through the streets with a human skull under his arm. His other hand held a knife. After a preliminary investigation, Aachen state attorney Robert Deller was able to confirm that "It is a real human cranium" and a 24-year-old man from Yugoslavia was arrested in connection with the incident. The skull apparently belonged to the man's 25-year-old sister-in-law, also from Yugoslavia.

Hong Kong's Liu Yanghua carried the severed head of his mother-in-law into a police station. The South China Morning Post reports that Liu confessed to the murder and subsequent decapitation, explaining that she had convinced his wife to divorce him due to his addiction to gambling. Liu was found guilty of murder and executed.

Ochola Adebe, from Kisumu District in Kenya, allegedly chopped off his genitals with a knife after an argument with his wife. Accusing his wife of infidelity, the 50-year-old Adebe decided not to make up with her and that cutting off his penis and testicles would ensure this. The father of nine was admitted to the Nyanza Provincial General Hospital, where Dr. Thomas Nyamache said Adebe's mental state is being investigated. Neighbours said Adebe, who had several times before accused his wife of unfaithfulness, was troubled.

The Arizona Republic reports that 45-year-old Manyatan A. Caballero, is facing felony charges in connection with her 15-month-old grandson becoming ill. Authorities say the boy became ill from snacking on the methamphetamine that Caballero had concealed in his crib. She is also being charged with driving with a suspended licence. The child's mother, Caressa, told detectives that her mother was a chronic drug user. The child is recovering.

Karen Lynn Lovell faked a seizure in the Tennessee prison where she was being held for stalking and harassment. On the way back to the DeKalb County Jail from hospital, she stole a patrol car, and went to the home of her sister, the guardian of Lovell's three-year-old son. As police closed in, Lovell held her son hostage at gunpoint. Sheriff Lloyd Emmons said. "Unfortunately, she engaged my deputy with the handgun, and she was shot". Lovell was injured and taken away by ambulance. The boy was unharmed.

In New Zealand, 28 boys between the ages of 13 and 15 are being forced to pay child support, which includes the potential confiscation of earnings from their newspaper routes if they don't voluntarily contribute the appropriate amounts. Representatives of the Inland Revenue Department also met with a 12-year-old Napier boy who has fathered a child with an 18-year-old woman. He too is being made to pay, in line with the scheme.

24 May 2003
Police in Columbus, Ohio, said that a mailman asked a homeowner to take her dog inside, whereupon her 16-year-old son attacked the mail carrier, who retaliated with Mace. The boy's uncle, George Cranshaw, then threw a tyre iron at the postal employee - but missed and hit his nephew. The teenager is recovering. Cranshaw was charged with negligent assault and attempted felonious assault.

Samantha Jones of Bloomingburg, Indiana, wanted to protect her husband, James Stalter, who was convicted of raping her eight-year-old daughter. The 35-year-old Jones decided the best way to do this was to regain custody of the girl from her ex-husband and get her to change her story, which would prompt a retrial, according to state police investigator Michael Rogan. Jones and Stalter figured that the best way to regain custody of the girl was via having her father murdered. The couple planned to pay an Orange County Jail inmate $2,500 to arrange for the death. The inmate went to the authorities.

Germaine M. Taylor of Racine, Wisconsin, was put on probation after he got Kristina pregnant when she was 14 years old. He then got Beckie Knecht pregnant when she was 17. After he was given another chance, he had his third child, by a 15-year-old. The unemployed Taylor, 20, has now been sentenced to 17 years in prison by Judge Allan Torhorst, who told him "I want you out of this community".

Judge J. Ray Gayle III sentenced Theodore Moody of Brazoria County, Texas, to two years in state jail for letting his two- and three-year-old children wander the neighbourhood unsupervised in dirty nappies while he was occupied elsewhere. Moody, 27, was busy marching his eight-year-old stepson to school after he had missed the school bus. As an incentive to walk more quickly, Moody shocked him six to 10 times with a stun gun on the way. Gayle told him "I concluded that you weren't dumb, you were either mean or just lazy". The children are in protective custody.

Police called the death of a Homestead, Florida, couple's five-month-old daughter a possible case of malnutrition. Lamoy and Joseph Andressohn, who are "raw foodists" and as such consume only raw vegetables, fed their daughter Woyah according to the same diet. At the time of her death, Woyah weighed six pounds, slightly less than average for a newborn. Investigators said the couple had had previous contact with the Department of Children and Families but no reports of abuse had been filed.

A 35-year-old woman in Kathleen, Florida, contacted the Department of Children and Families several times to ask them to remove her two teenaged sons because she couldn't control them. After her sons, 13 and 15, were charged with stealing a neighbour's car, Karen Abe told the Department of Juvenile Justice that she would lock them up if they were sent back home.
When they returned home, she bought chains and padlocks to chain them to their beds by the right ankle so they couldn't leave the house while she was working the night shift at Breed Technologies. Her ex-husband, Allen, was home at the time and unlocked the younger boy to let him use the loo. The 15-year-old urinated out the window, so Karen gave him a jug to use from then on. After the second night, the 15-year-old was charged with violating his probation for stealing another vehicle, and he mentioned the chains to his probation officer. The Abes were arrested forthwith.

In a follow-up to a story from May of last year, Trenton Michael Veches, 32, was found guilty of lewd conduct, mostly on account of sucking the toes of over a dozen young boys he supervised at a youth recreation centre where he worked. He admitted to having such encounters with 20 children (19 toe-suckings and three buttock-touchings). He will appeal the verdict, which could carry a sentence of over 300 years in prison. Veches maintains that his behaviour was not sexual, and his lawyer said the child pornography found on the accused's computer prejudiced the jury.

A 12-year-old girl in Rockville, Washington, acknowledged that she stabbed her 15-year-old brother to death during a daylong quarrel over whose turn it was to use the telephone. The quarrel, which included the two throwing each other's belongings outside, came to a head when the girl stabbed her brother in the heart. He died in hospital. Judge Dennis McHugh ordered the girl held in a juvenile facility for treatment.

Rose M. Cherry, 56, is charged with beating to death the youngest of her four grandchildren, for whom she was 'caring' while her daughter served in the armed forces in Iraq. The Waco, Texas, woman explained that she had beaten four-year-old Destiny for not doing her homework. When the prosecutor asked Cherry why a four-year-old would be doing homework, Cherry said she concocted some homework for Destiny after the girl saw her siblings doing their own homework and became jealous. FBI Special Agent Daniel W. Chadwick said "I never got a sufficient explanation for why this homework was being done at 1:00 in the morning".

3 June 2003
Utah's Salt Lake Tribune reports that a motorist called police at 3:00am to report that he had to swerve to avoid a child who was crawling westbound through multiple lanes of traffic. The motorist stayed with the child until officers arrived to fetch the one-year-old boy, who was clad in only a soiled nappy. Police Lt. Doug Edwards said that "a baby on State Street is not what you would expect to see, regardless of the time of day".
It appears that the child's aunt and grandmother, who had several children to look after, left a door open. One theory is that the child crawled out of the house while the two adults slept. Edwards said the aunt told officers conducting a door-to-door search that "we're not missing any here, I don't think". When the child's mother returned home, she found the officers and corrected this information.

In a story that has probably hit the news in your area, a two-year-old girl in Pomona, California, is recovering from injuries sustained at the hands of a washing machine. Her mother, Erma Osborne, had placed her in a washing machine at Lucy's Laundromat, then removed her from that machine and tried another, which locked and started running when the 35-year-old Osborne closed the door. The police freed the child after Osborne and bystanders' efforts to free the girl failed.
"I don't believe what the [security] camera says", said Osborne's grandmother, Mary.

Florida's Sandra Garner complained that her husband, Darryl, made too much salad for their Memorial Day party, so he ordered the guests to leave, then punched holes in the walls. When the police arrested Sandra for repeatedly slapping him, Darryl was "understanding", said Tarpon Springs police Sergeant Mike Trill, but he became angry when his wife was handcuffed and taken away. A few minutes later, an inebriated Darryl headed off for the police station on foot, carrying a handgun. Officers disarmed and arrested him.

14 June 2003
Tokyo's Kiroyuki Mori, who has often been told his voice sounds like that of a woman, pocketed over 10 million yen in a telephone scam in which he posed as a dominatrix. The 33-year-old Mori, who admitted to fooling over 450 men since December 2000, was arrested after a 25 May incident in which he arranged a meeting with a Yokohama man, telling him "I'll test whether you can be a good boy and obey my orders. Now place 30,000 yen at a location I am going to tell you so we can stay at a hotel and buy some sex toys". The duped businessman alerted police when no dominatrix showed up at the rendezvous point.

In Texas, Jose Guadalupe Perez's wife Beatriz accused him of having an affair. They spoke of reconciliation. Beatriz made him a tuna sandwich, and the next day his 15-year-old daughter persuaded her friends to take the groggy and semi-coherent Jose to hospital. Beatriz, 43, told police that she ground up eight sedative pills "because I wanted to kill him". She said she had used only three pills when she tried the same thing two years earlier. "All he did was sleep all day", said her affidavit.
Ernest Perez said he plans to get a job so he can bail his suicidal mother out of jail; after all, "nobody wants their mother in jail".

Ertha Augustin teaches 'at-risk' students in Newburgh, New York. After a confrontation with one of her students, she rang the 12-year-old boy's mother, Jamie Lynn Mereness, whereupon the boy spat in Augustin's face and pushed her. Augustin told Mereness of her intention to suspend the boy from school. Merennes allegedly became abusive and the 'phone was handed to the school security guard.
Later in the day, after the security guard went home, Mereness and her two sons broke into the church basement where Augustin works and beat her unconscious with fists, a desk, and a telephone receiver. Mereness's 10-year-old son escaped to summon help from a pay 'phone outside.
According to police, Mereness had called the school district's administrative office before the attack and expressed a desire for violent confrontation. Minutes before the beating, the director of the 'at-risk' students' programme called a co-ordinator to address matters, and the co-ordinator assured her that a meeting would be scheduled with Mereness.
Mereness's police record includes being charged with stabbing her boyfriend. Three of her children have been taken into custody and the 12-year-old released to a neighbour's care.

20 June 2003
A seven-year-old boy had apparently been locked in a Phoenix, Arizona, closet since January by his parents. After Isaac Loubriel's grandmother called the police to ask them to investigate, officers Ben Baltzer and Christi Carlton found Loubriel huddled in the closet, surrounded in his faeces and urine. According to Carlton, he weighed 36 pounds, his hair was falling out, and his skin was falling off.
Loubriel's mother, Melanie, had initially told Carlton and Baltzer that there was no-one else in the house. During the search for the child, she insisted that the lights didn't work, then tried to bat Baltzer's torch from his hand. After the officers found the barricaded closet and its occupant, the parents later explained that they kept Loubriel in the closet because he was misbehaving.
Samantha Lagarda, the family's former landlord, said she had reported them to Child Protective Services four times over five years. She said "the kids always looked hungry, but both the parents were fat".

New York's WABC reports that Paul Kushnick wanted to end his 38-year marriage with an inexpensive divorce procured via the Internet. A judge has ruled that the Mexican divorce is invalid, so Kushnick is now married to two women. Judge Anthony Falanga, State Supreme Court Justice said "there was no basic entitlement to the divorce from what we could see. No notice, no appearance in Mexico, just fill out some forms on the Internet and, 'poof, I'm divorced'. It doesn't work that way." The Internet-based firm, 'Global Associates', is not responding to telephone calls at this time.

7 July 2003
Vietnam's Pham Thi Hanh was arrested after she poured a pot of boiling cooking oil over her sleeping daughter's face. According to police, the 49-year-old Pham was angry that daughter Vo Thi Thu Tram, 22, had ignored her ever since she became a famous model and married a foreigner. According to the Tien Phong newspaper, Pham said she had worked as a street scavenger to support Vo and that she hoped to become close to her daughter again once Vo's face was destroyed.

In Pontiac, Michigan, city firefighter Lavoisier D. Washington's wife found him looking at a pornographic Web site while his children were sleeping in the same room. She caught him again the next day, and this time she told him she would cut the cable to the computer if he didn't stop looking at the porn. So he fetched a gun. While he was pointing it at her, the children woke up and Washington fled to hid mother's home to hide the weapon. He has been suspended without pay and is being charged with assault and carrying a concealed weaspon.

Mary Rowles and Alice Jenkins, a lesbian couple in Akron, Ohio, locked three boys in a bedroom closet, opening the door only to feed them. After two months, the thirsty boys forced open the door of the urine-soaked closet and jumped from a second-storey window to freedom.
The boys had three other siblings, who were not immune from abuse by their mother and Jenkins. The children told police that they were sometimes forced to hold each other down during beatings and kickings. Only the sole girl appeared healthy, while the six-year-old boy weighed 29 pounds and the 10-year-old only ten pounds more. The children said they were forced to eat cat and dog faeces if they tried to take extra food, sometimes leaving them hungry enough to eat their own vomit.

On the Poospatuck Indian Reservation in Mastic, New York, a 54-year-old woman offered Joseph Bullard boxer shorts in exchange for crack cocaine. He declined the offer, so she offered him her 15-year-old grand-daughter instead. Bullard allegedly raped and sodomised the teenager while she screamed for her grandmother. He denies the charges. The grandmother faces identical charges as she is deemed to have acted in concert with Bullard.
Shortly before the incident, the grandmother, who was homeless, had moved in with her daughter and grand-daughter, according to authorities.

21 July 2003
San Antonio, Texas, man Antonio Aragon is accused of punching ex-girlfriend Jill Garza's eye shut, then dragging her to the side of the road and running over her three times with his car. At his trial, Garza, a mother of three, insisted that she still loves him and that prosecutors "don't know him". The 24-year-old Garza said "it wasn't him that day" and explained that his anger had been sparked when he locked himself out of his car and had to break a window to retrieve his keys.

Nashville's Zenobia Newell Gordon is the owner and operator of the Small Wonders Child Care Center. She took the children in her care to the UniverSoul Circus, but she left her 22-month-old son in the car. The child died. She later said she thought he was at the day care centre. The district attorney's office hasn't yet indicated how the case will be pursued.

Australia brings us a court decision in which a sperm donor has been found liable to pay child support to two lesbians. The man, from Victoria, had come to an agreement with a lesbian couple that he would donate sperm in the "usual and customary manner" without his retaining any rights or responsibilities concerning the child. However, the Family Court decided that he was responsible because the child was conceived via sex, explaining that "one parent could not waive a right to seek child support from another parent".

The Detroit Free Press reports that a Mt. Clemens, Michigan, boy is accused of sexually assaulting four female classmates in May. The girls are seven years old, and the boy is eight. The Macomb County Prosecutor's Office announced that it might also bring charges against an ex-boyfriend of the boy's mother, for watching pornography and having sex with another woman in front of the boy, who was six at the time, and his sister, then three.

27 July 2003
Police believe North Seattle, Washington, man Louis G. Carnaghi was annoyed that his wife hadn't left his medicines in the pill box and that he had had to answer one too many early-morning 'phone calls for her. The 87-year-old Carnaghi rolled his wheelchair behind his 86-year-old wife, Arline, and hit her several times with a steel pipe. Prosecutors allege that he then bit chunks out of her arms as he fell out of his chair. A neighbour rang 911 after finding the blood-covered couple on the floor.

A woman from Nanaimo, British Columbia, ate her daughter. Laurina Marie Aune slit the two-year-old Kyla's throat and cut up the body for soup. Aune explained that she cannibalized the girl "so Kyla would be with me forever". Justice James Taylor has ruled that Aune, a schizophrenic, was not criminally responsible since she didn't know her actions were morally wrong. She has been taken to the Forensic Psychiatric Institute.
Aune's family explained that they didn't suspect her of having a mental illness because "that's Laurina". She'd begun hearing voices at age 12, and her illness worsened with childbirth. Ex-boyfriend Scott May had told social workers that she was unstable and that she thought Kyla's three fathers kept changing bodies. May later noticed Kyla's absence...

In another tale of a heartwarming family, Kathleen Wortman Jones of Barnegat, New Jersey, stopped at the Sun National Bank, where her twin 14-year-old daughters used a toy pistol to acquire some money. The 34-year-old Jones served as the getaway driver. Her husband, Kevin, and her 16-year-old daughter were also involved in this attempt to save the family home from foreclosure and fund the care of Kevin and Kathleen's various children.
After the robbery, the family were tracked to Atlantic City, where the parents were gambling. Kevin explained "it was the children that thought this up.... She woke up and caught them stealing my car to do a robbery. She drove that car to make sure her kids were safe".

The Apple Daily reports that a man in Taipei county, Taiwan, became depressed that his girlfriend was dating someone via the Internet. Huang Tzu-heng, 20, had decided to prove his girlfriend's faithfulness. Convinced that Hsiao Lan wouldn't leave him, he contacted her online in another guise. After 'Mr. J' had wooed her by email for a while, she told Huang face-to-face that she wanted to break up with him in favour of her online amour. A devastated and confused Huang killed himself by burning charcoal in his bedroom. He left two suicide notes offering explanations.

In California, a Buena Park woman came home to find her husband engaged in oral sex with a 16-year-old neighbour. While the teenager was beating a hasty retreat, Sherry Derosiers yelled at her husband, apologised to him, and then fatally shot him. The 31-year-old Derosiers has now been sentenced to 40 years to life in prison.

12 August 2003
A dog owner contacted animal control officers in Las Cruces, New Mexico, to complain that neighbour Daniel Simerson was French kissing and touching his Rottweiler. Simerson, 30, will not face charges - since the man's dog wasn't injured. However, another matter came to light during the investigation; Simerson is now in detention, charged with criminal sexual contact of a minor, for molesting a neighbour's son.

A Hopewell, Pennsylvania, couple showed a lack of judgement when choosing which relative they wanted to watch their 10-year-old daughter. The father's uncle, Ronald E. Dodson, had been convicted two years earlier of molesting the girl. The 53-year-old Dodson molested the girl again. The parents have been charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The father's attorney said, "He made an error in judgment about a person who was supposed to be rehabilitated and on probation".

A garbage collector found some videotapes in Kelly Marie Lumadue's rubbish, so he took them home to watch. When he saw what was on them, he contacted authorities. The tapes featured the 26-year-old Deltona, Florida, woman performing sex acts on a five-year-old child. Lumadue confessed to the crime, adding that her now-deceased husband had videotaped the assaults.

And from the 'How Not To Start a Relationship' department
Mohammed Talha Shekhani, a 23-year-old medical student in South Carolina, reportedly kissed and groped four females - aged 12, 14, 20, and 23 - one day after a friend told him that the best way to meet woman is to walk up to them and touch them. According to a police report, Shekhani said the women 'did not respond to his touching the way he had hoped'. The two oldest said Shekhani apologised and walked away when they spurned his advances. Shakhani's lawyer, William Runyon, told a judge that his client was probably suffering from stress associated with pursuing two advanced degrees simultaneously. He also said the kissing spree was "bizarre".

24 August 2003
German judge Beatrix Homann summarised a recent case for Reuters. Her court in Hanover sentenced a 26-year-old man to 18 months in jail for biting off his 50-year-old girlfriend's nose. Homann quoted the woman as telling the court, "I still love this man". The woman, who has had six operations to build a synthetic nose, said she has forgiven her partner for the attack. Homann said, "He was just drunk...".

An Alabama woman claimed that her 18-month-old daughter fell from her arms while she was cooking. Melissa Wright said the baby hit the oven door and rolled in, with the door closing behind her. The girl's father heard the child's screams and entered the kitchen. The child survived with third-degree burns to 70 per cent of her body. Prosecutors planned to argue that Wright tried to broil the infant out of jealousy of the attention the girl's father gave her. But Wright, 27, decided to admit to attempted murder. She was sentenced to 25 years in prison. District Attorney Randall Houston said Wright isn't mentally ill, "just mean".

6 September 2003
Pennsylvania's Patricia M. Johnson wanted her son to have a happy birthday. When she, her son, and three of his friends were unable to rent go-karts, the 34-year-old mother bought a 30-pack of beer and took the youths to a hotel. According to police, she then gave the boys $1 notes and told them she wanted to be a stripper. She also asked them to spank her. After they declined the prescription pills she offered them, she laid waste to the room. In the morning, she asked them to get her breakfast, though they weren't old enough to drive. Finally, she drove them home - at speeds of up to 100 mph.

In slightly older news, Carlos Alberto Canuto of Sao Paulo, Brazil, reported to police that someone had broken into the house where he lived with his parents and had killed them. The 44-year-old Canuto admitted under questioning that he killed them, attacking his father, Manuel, with a machete and asphyxiating his mother, Iracema. The motive, he explained, was his parents' disapproval of him keeping an inflatable doll in the house. According to Folha Online, his sexual behaviour had led to several arguments with his parents in the past.

15 September 2003
James Taylor was sentenced to five years in prison for raping a 13-month-old girl between August and December of last year. The 43-year-old was caught after officers taking part in an international pornography investigation were given a tip that Taylor had been posting child porn online. In his home, police found floppy disks containing 2,280 indecent images of children. He had tried to delete some pictures he had taken himself.
Scotland's most senior legal officer asked for an investigation of whether the sentence was too lenient. One factor affecting the severity of the punishment was a psychologist's report saying there was a low risk of Taylor reoffending. The psychologist's report states that it was his viewing of pornography that compromised his moral boundaries.
Taylor said his crimes were caused by the stress of working constant night shifts to provide for his wife and three children.

After Arizona's JoAndrea Peeler ran out of drug money and was evicted from her apartment, she began prostituting her 13-year-old daughter for drugs and money. According to a police report, the girl "does not feel comfortable right now because of all the people coming over wanting to have sex with her". Peeler also got the girl addicted to crack. The 36-year-old mother explained that she had figured the girl would try the drug anyway and that it would be safer to smoke it together. Peeler added, "I need the rock and so did she. It sounds worse than it is".

The latest rage in pick-up techniques...
According to Norway's Bergensavisen, a woman fell asleep while on a night bus from Bergen to her home in Fyllingsdallen. She says that when she woke up, she found that a male passenger had placed her hand down his trousers and she was holding his penis. She pulled her hand away and ignored the man's attempts to talk to her just before he got off the bus. Bjørn Eide of the Fyllingsdalen police said, "This is unusually maliciously done. We are taking this very seriously." A description of the man has been released.

In a disturbing story from Merlin, Oregon, police say a 13-year-old girl was repeatedly bound, gagged, beaten, and raped by her father, half-brother, and another man, 53-year-old registered sex offender James Sparks. Police say the girl was raped at least 11 times in the course of a year. The father - 40-year-old Thomas Vanburen - and the half-brother - 24-year-old Frank Schmitz - were charged with sodomy, rape, and incest. When Sparks was arrested, he was in bed with a four-year-old girl.

A Clearfield, Utah, woman wanted to send her husband, a serviceman in Iraq, a reminder of home, so she took pornographic pictures of her daughters, aged seven and nine, and emailed them to him. In court, Dee Dee Williams said, "I knew it was wrong when I done it, but I didn't stop it". Her defence attorney begged District Judge Ted Stewart to be lenient, as "prior to this, she was a very good mother". She was sentenced to 20 years in prison. In July, the girls' stepfather, Paul Jeffery Williams, was given 27 years in prison for sexual abuse. Stewart said of Dee Dee, "It's apparent that she simply was doing whatever was necessary to satisfy her husband".

24 September 2003
This is a slightly unusual relationship...
David Smith pedalled a bicycle decorated with knickers, gloves, and rubber straps onto Pennsylvania's Youghiogheny River Trail and was spotted a short while later performing a sex act on a nearby rock. One witness described a naked Smith lying atop the rock and thrusting against it in a simulation of sexual intercourse. Another saw Smith merely stand atop the rock exposing himself. When police asked him his name, he provided his driver's licence number.
The Hempfield Township man has been charged with indecent exposure, open lewdness, public drunkenness, and disorderly conduct.

Joan W. Harris of Port St Lucie, Florida, asked her husband to prepare for Hurricane Isabel. However, he was watching an American football match and insisted the matter could wait until half-time. His 70-year-old wife took issue with this and allegedly attacked him with a butcher's knife. When he feld into a bedroom, she stabbed at the door until gaining entry. She threw the knife at her husband, catching him in the lower leg. Harris faces a charge of aggravated assault.

A pick-up technique that doesn't always work...
If you're going to wink at women in WalMart as you walk past them with your penis exposed, you might be less likely to get away with it if you not then use your bank card to make a purchase at the store. David E. Jones of Emery, South Dakota, discovered this the hard way. He is due to face public lewdness charges. When the Patton Township Police Department contacted Jones, he admitted to exposing himself to the women, according to court documents.

Ananova reports on what happened after Alison Smith of Angus, Scotland, discovered her husband of 10 days, 21-year-old George Greenhowe, in bed with her 44-year-old mother, Pat Blair. Smith, 20, filed for divorce. She said later, "At first I was disgusted. But I gradually fell out of love with George and realised how happy he and Mum were. He never apologised for what he did but everyone makes mistakes." She agreed to be her mother and ex-husband's bridesmaid. As Scots law prohibits a man marrying his ex-wife's mother if the ex-wife is still alive, a humanist ceremony (without legal force) was held.

In North Wales, Keith Young rang estranged wife Samantha and told their seven-year-old son to say goodbye to his mother. Young provided a running commentary as a lawn mower pumped carbon monoxide into the car where he and the pair's four sons were sitting.
Harris, 38, had first begun talking of killing himself and the children last year, but he didn't carry out the threat until he found out that Samantha was pregnant by another man. On the 'phone, he told her, "I hope you have a grudge against that baby for the rest of your life". Samantha told him she would have an abortion and they could try to make their relationship work, but one of the children was already dead and Keith declared that there was no turning back. After the five perished, Samantha had a miscarriage.
The pair's relationship had begun when she was 14 and he 24. They kept it a secret because he had just moved in with another woman at the time. After they were married, an inquest was told, Keith assaulted Samantha a number of times but she kept returning for the children's sake.

A construction worker in Denver raped and kidnapped a jogger at stun-gunpoint, then took her back to his trailer, where he raped her five more times over a 24-hour period. He finally freed her after she agreed to pretend to enjoy having sex with him on videotape. He went to Sears to buy a camcorder before making the recording. After watching the tape, he left her at a motel with $2 in quarters. Police were able to track down the man - Michael Jesso - because the 45-year-old jogger memorised the man's name and address, which she saw on a magazine label in the pornography-littered trailer. Jesso, 29, had told the woman he was "a nice guy but a pervert".

Two brothers in Marlow, Georgia, are accused of raping their 68-year-old mother. A third brother and a girlfriend of one of the brothers were charged with elder abuse after the woman was found curled up on the bed in a bug-infested, smelly house. Officer Randy Johnson described finding human waste on the floor and a hole where the loo should have been.
The 24-year-old brother explained that she allowed him to have sex with her but didn't want her other sons to. He accused his 40-year-old brother of rape. The 31-year-old admitted to having sex with her and told Johnson "he felt bad and knew that it was wrong", according to an affidavit.
The woman at first remembered slapping the 31-year-old son away during an attempted rape but later didn't recall the incident or her sons. Medical personnel said the woman's genital area was bleeding and that she could have been assaulted by as many as four people.

In Oakland, California, three-year-old Chazarus Hill was helped with his schoolwork by his father. If he didn't correctly identify the numbers on flashcards, his father would hit him with his fist or sticks or a belt. After the boy died of these injuries, one pathologist with the Alameda County Coroner's Office said the injuries "were like a boxer taking blows". Chazarus Hill Sr., 23, admitted his involvement and, according to Sgt. Mark Dunakin, "showed absolutely no remorse; he said he was enforcing discipline". Initially, he had said the boy was hurt while playing football and his wife said she couldn't remember how he was hurt.
Neighbours said they had alerted Child Protective Services several times over the last few months. Dunakin said of Hill, "any time he got upset with his wife [the boy's stepmother], he'd take it out on his son".

2 October 2003
Police in Kenya report that Alfonse Mumbo accused his wife, Penina, of having an extramarital affair. Officers said that, deciding to teach her a lesson while she was out and wanting "to give her a free hand to go after other men", he used a kitchen knife to remove his penis and testicles. Penina, who insists that she was not having an affair, came home a few minutes later and found the 38-year-old former barber unconscious in a pool of blood.
The Kajulu Wath Orego man later told the East African Standard that "I found myself disgusted with the penis and decided to cut it off. ... The knife was too sharp and before I realised what I had done, it was too late."

A Port Huron, Michigan, woman faces charges of throwing her seven-month-old baby out a window. LaFayre Marie Banks is accused of throwing the child from a bathroom window in her second-floor apartment, causing the infant severe internal and head injuries. The 32-year-old Banks denied the allegations, explaining that she was bathing the child when it reared up and went through the window. The child has been placed with a foster family.

That child didn't die. The dead baby tally this week begins with five.
The BBC report that a couple in Czerniejow, Poland, were arrested after five babies were found in a vat of pickled cabbage in their basement. The babies, found by DNA tests to be the couple's offspring, "were born live and killed shortly after birth, over a period from 1992 to 2003", according to prosecutor's spokesman Andrzej Lepieszko. The couple, identified as Jolanta, 38 and Andrzej K., 44, have four living children, aged between 12 and 17. Two of them found the bodies while playing in the basement. Prosecutors say Andrzej denied knowing that his wife had been pregnant. Jolanta disappeared after initial reports were filed.

Prosecutors in Olathe, Kansas, said a nine-year-old boy was being punished for stealing biscuits when he died. The boy's adoptive father, 48-year-old Neil Edgar Sr., had the help of his wife Christy and nanny Chasity Boyd, 20, in duct-taping the child from head to toe, leaving only his nose exposed. The Edgars had to go to the store and buy more duct tape at one point. The child suffocated on his vomit after they left him for the night. Christy pleaded guilty last week, while Neil and Boyd were tried and found guilty of first-degree murder and child abuse. The defence argued that Christy had manipulated members of Neil's storefront church, who considered her a prophet, and told them God said to discipline children by tying them up. The dead child's siblings said they had been tied up but thought it a reasonable form of punishment.

Officials in Georgia say Curtis Grayer Jr., 37, killed his baby the day after it was born and dumped the body in a lake. While the boy's body hasn't been found in the lake, his teddy bear has (along with an ATM, several tyres, and a 'phone booth). Grayer's wife, Sheila Hearns, said Grayer had told her and her 10-year-old daughter not to get attached to the boy, but the 10-year-old girl - the baby's mother - had made a crude birth certificate for him. Hearns added that she and her daughter were often locked in the home and not allowed to leave on their own. Grayer denies the allegations.

The Arizona Republic tells of Delano Yanes, who was the subject of reports to the police and Child Protective Services in April. An investigation showed that his five-month-old child, Elijah Alexander, had a broken arm, which the family blamed on the boy's four-year-old sister. Six months later, Delano called paramedics to report that he'd found his son in his playpen not breathing and had tried to perform CPR. An autopsy revealed that the child's heart had ruptured when he was sodomised. The 25-year-old Delano was taken into custody.

This one didn't quite die.
Dakeysha Lee was sent to prison but didn't tell anyone that her two-year-old daughter was in her Jacksonville, Florida, apartment. Three weeks after the 22-year-old Lee was sent to prison, the child's father, Ogden, found the malnourished girl in the apartment, where she had survived by eating mustard, ketchup, rice, and raw pasta, according to police. Ogden says his wife, from whom he is separated, had told him by telephone from prison that their daughter was with neighbours.

Janine Bloom, a 21-year-old mother from Colorado Springs, Colorado, has been sentenced to life in prison for smothering her six-month-old son with her hand. After the killing, Bloom allegedly had sex with her husband's best friend, Jeremy Ellis, in the next room. Defence attorneys suggested that Ellis or SIDS caused the death. A suicide note that Bloom addressed to two other boyfriends and her husband on the day after the child's death was read into evidence.

Prague's Tomas Kaspar didn't want to have children, but girlfriend Jitka Bouchalova did. In 1999, Bouchalova asked Kaspar to provide sperm samples to a clinic so her doctors could devise a more effective form of birth control for the couple. Later, she was artificially inseminated using the sperm and gave birth to twins. After Bouchalova and Kaspar broke up, Bouchalova sued Kaspar for child support. Bouchalova told the court that Kaspar couldn't have believed her story, as "when you enter a fertility clinic ... do you think you are there to decide about birth control?". A court ruled that Bouchalova and the Gest Fertility Clinic misused Kaspar's sperm, and he was awarded the equivalent of $36,800 in compensation. He has begun paying child support since the ruling.

Marcus Tian Washington was caught hiding marijuana in his underwear while serving time for hitting a man with a bottle and shooting at him. Before a judge for sentencing, Washington decided to take advantage of the situation. The 25-year-old West Chester, Pennsylvania, native decided to be married by the judge after she added six to 23 months to his prison term. Judge Paula Francisco Ott repeatedly asked 19-year-old Timalin Douglass, who wore a beaded wedding dress, if she was sure she wanted to marry Washington, who wore shackles for the occasion. Washington will be in jail for at least three more years.

Police are on the lookout for Steve Danos, 24, who is accused of entering 12 young women's apartments in the Louisiana State University area and watching then sleep. One said the intruder wrapped his arms around her while she was sleeping. When the women woke up, sometimes he would ask them where the after-party was. Sometimes he folded clothes or arranged shoes. Danos was arrested in March in connection with a similar incident. Pleading guilty to a lesser charge, he paid $940 and agreed to stay away from the victim and her apartment complex.

6 October 2003
This is an unusually heartwarming story for the Clippings. Tennessee's Shirley Martin stabbed her boyfriend, Larry Henry, with an eight-inch butcher's knife when she thought he was looking up the skirt of another woman. Martin, who was sentenced to two months in prison for assault, testified that Henry had bitten her finger in the incident as well. State prosecutor Tiffani Taylor said that the pair have "worked out their differences, and they plan to get married next month".

Eight-year-old Stephen Crawford was found bleeding and covered with dirt on a Metairie, Louisiana, street. The boy, who hadn't eaten for two days when he was found, said his father had finally acted on his threat of 'dumping him', sending the child off with a punch in the nose. Paul Crawford, 40, was arrested a few days later, whereupon he confessed to selling the medicine the child was prescribed in hospital to treat the insect bites he got when forced to wait outside the house during Paul and girlfriend Samantha McCarthy's prostitution operation transactions.
Feeling sorry for Paul and his wife, whom he has since kicked out in favour of girlfriend Samantha McCarthy, a local couple had bought them a house and later contacted Child Protective Services about Stephen, who has never been to school and can't read or write. McCarthy, explained that Paul abandoned his son because he couldn't deal with him anymore.

Getting off to a good start...
Stacy Lynn Gilligan, a 22-year-old New York woman, was drunk when an ambulance took her to Glens Falls Hospital. She then gave birth to a baby whose blood alcohol content was 0.18 per cent, more than twice the state legal limit for driving. Contacted by the attending physician, Child Protective Services contacted the police, whose Capt. Stanley Wood said, "It's something I haven't seen in my 35 years as a police officer". Gilligan was arrested on a misdemeanour charge of endangering the welfare of a child, and the child was taken into protective custody.

A New Haven, Kentucky, woman has been arrested for trading sex for drugs. She is also charged with trading sex with her daughters, aged 12 and 14, and another child for "approximately $25 to $50, and/or some marijuana", according to Detective Mark Gillingham. "She was taking three female juveniles to a person, having those three engage in sexual intercourse with that adult, and she was receiving profits for that in the manner of either money or narcotics", said Gillingham, who added that the 2500-person town's police force deals with "speeding tickets, if that". The woman's daughters are now in foster care.

A 35-year-old Houtzdale, Pennsylvania, woman was afraid that her 15-year-old daughter would be placed in foster care. The woman plotted with her daughter's 20-year-old boyfriend to get the teenager pregnant so that she could be considered an adult in the eyes of the law and could, as an emancipated minor, choose to continue living with her mother. The boyfriend's lawyer, Charles Kroboth, and the mother's lawyer, Ed Blanarik Jr., both said they hope to reach an appropriate resolution to the case.

A happy tale...
Brazil's Regina Claudia Ribeiro de Souza ran away from home 17 years ago. Now 25, she was arrested for robbery and sent to Sao Paulo's Pinheiros prison, where her mother, Marina Souza, was being held after being arrested for drug dealing. The women were placed in the same cell. Regina Claudia said, "We finally had time to get to know each other, and we got very close". Souza was then sent to the state women's prison, and her daughter is campaigning for her to be sent back to Pinheiros.

16 October 2003
Valerie Charlene Lucie, an 11-year-old girl from Syracuse, New York, apparently hanged herself in her bedroom, prompting an enquiry. The police found evidence that she had been sexually assulted once, earlier in the day. Her father, 46-year-old Timothy, confessed to raping her after threatening to cut her hair when she wouldn't behave herself. His wife believes he is innocent, and his attorney, Raymond Dague, says the family "went through hell losing their daughter, and now that's compounded by these false allegations against the dad". After cosulting with Dague, Timothy withdrew his confession, explaining that the police threatened to have his other four children removed from the home.

Linda Conley of Columbus, Ohio, took several pictures of her 10-year-old niece over a one-year period so that her husband could get sexual gratification from them in prison. Her husband, Russell, allegedly showed other inmates the nude photos, which a prison spokesman said entered the prison via an unknown method. The 38-year-old Conley is also accused of taking the girl to the prison and laying her on Russell's lap while performing a sex act on him.

For a change of pace, here is a family unfucking itself, for a happy ending:
Brazil's Raimundo Borges became worried when his son, 23-year-old Juscelino da Silva Borges, disappeared from his home in Goncalo dos Campos. He went to the police station, where he identified a dead body as that of his son. According to Terra Noticias Populares, whe returned home to find that his son had returned after going away with his girlfriend. The body that Juscelino paid to bury still awaits identification.

24 October 2003
In a follow-up to a story from July, we discover the fate of Kathleen Wortman Jones, who drove the getaway car for her twin 14-year-old daughters after they robbed a bank. The 35-year-old New Jersey woman has been sentenced to 15 years in prison. The twins pleaded guilty and are spending four years each in a juvenile facility. Defence attorney Lawrence Welle said "they're all going to jail over one aberrant, stupid day in their lives".

In the Seattle area we find Denise Griffith, who took Rafael Gomez into her family for foster care when he was three days old and addicted to cocaine and amphetamines. The boy was returned to his parents 10 months later, then was returned to Griffith to recuperate from a broken leg. He was again returned to his biological parents, and two months later Griffith was caring for his broken femur and wounded skull. His supervising physician wrote that there was 'no doubt' that the child had been abused. In a letter asking for the boy's upcoming return to his parents to be reconsidered, Griffith said she asked a caseworker why the supposedly hyperactive child never was injured when living with her family and said the worker said "I don't know".
Griffith contacted the chairman of the state's Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee, who concluded that he was powerless to influence the case. Nine of 13 people on a 'child protective team' agreed that it was safe for the boy to be returned since he had four siblings in the home and his parents had attended drug abuse classes.
Griffith wrote in her letter, "In my opinion, a fifth time could be his final, fatal time in the system". Six months later, the boy's parents brought the unconscious child to the hospital and explained that he had choked on food. After he died, doctors found multiple skull fractures.

Connecticut's Sonya Chrucky has accused ex-boyfriend Peter Carli of biting her on the lip when she was kissing him. She is suing him, claiming that she suffered scarring, losses, and pain and suffering due to the "willful, wanton, and malicious" lip bite. Chrucky claims that Carli had promised to pay the ensuing medical bills but did not do so.

Darren Saechao, an eight-year-old Sacramento boy, died when he and his cousin were playing with a loaded shotgun. Afterward, the cousin "looked really sad, and tears came out", according to another cousin, Meg. The gun belonged to an older cousin. Two years ago, Darren's older sister, Nai, was killed at age 12 while with a group of children who were playing with a gun.

29 October 2003
We have a couple of loving families this time...
Collingswood, New Jersey, residents reported that someone was rummaging through their rubbish. Officers caught the culprit, an 18-year-old boy who was five feet tall and weighed 45 pounds. Vanessa and Raymond Jackson, who adopted him in 1995, have been arrested on charges that they starved him and three other boys (ages 14, 10, and 9) they adopted through the state child welfare agency. The boys were placed in foster care, as were two adopted girls and a 10-year-old girl who was in the Jackson home pending adoption.
The parents, who apparently locked the children out of the kitchen and fed them uncooked pancake batter, cereal, and peanut butter and jelly, told people that the boys were small because of an eating disorder. The 10-year-old girl's caseworker is under investigation, and five state employees have been dismissed.

A woman in St. Gabriel, Louisiana, bailed her 19-year-old daughter out of jail, where she had been deposited on a domestic violence count. Danetta Orgeron, 35, decided that she needed the $5,000 back, so she apparently hired bail bondsman Cory Robichaux to fetch Ashley Wallace from her mobile home so she could be returned to jail. Robichaux handcuffed Wallace and drove her to a rendezvous with her mother. After Orgeron showed up at the jail with her handcuffed daughter, investigators arrested her and Robichaux for charges related to kidnapping. Both have been released on bond.

6 November 2003
Gregory Hogg, a 41-year-old from Lebanon, Ohio, had heard that the law forbids spouses being forced to testify against each other in court. So, after he was accused of threatening two bar employees who had ejected him for disorderly behaviour, Hogg figured the best way to prevent girlfriend Cheryl Skaggs, 43, from testifying against him was to drag from her apartment and force her to marry him. Skaggs alerted a police officer 10 days after the wedding. The charges against him now include kidnapping, domestic violence, and intimidation of a witness. Skaggs can still testify in the original case if she wants.

A four-year-old girl in Charlotte County, Florida, said her mother's boyfriend told her the smoking pipe he placed in her mouth would give her energy. In addition to the pipe full of crack cocaine, Shawn Malsky, 34, gave the girl a heroin injection. When the police arrived afterward, Malsky jumped into a canal. That didn't prevent officers finding a glass pipe, a tube with cocaine residue, and a bumbag containing cocaine. The girl was given treatment in hospital, and Malsky was given a court date.

Barbara O'Leary called the police and told them she found a newborn baby in the back of her car while she was investigating a sneezing sound. The 36-year-old Swansea, Massachusettes, woman is the child's mother. She has now confessed that "she felt overburdened with the pregnancy, she did not tell anyone about the pregnancy and at this point really did not know what to do", according to Swansea police Chief George Arruda. He said charges were expected.

A nice family outing...
A 43-year-old man in Ann Arbor, Michigan, took his son trick-or-treating. When the boy returned from a woman's house in tears and said he hadn't been given any candy, the man confronted the woman. She told him that she had given him candy. The pair left and returned a few minutes later. The man gave her a piece of paper with his address on it and told her to call the police. The police report states that the man then threw a pumpkin through the woman's front window, threw another at the front door, and tore out and smashed a bird feeder in her front yard. When he approached a large potted plant, a neighbour yelled at him to stop. The father and son were at home when the police arrived.

16 November 2003
The LA Times reports on the death of college student Kelly Bullwinkle at the hands of two former classmates. One of the friends, 20-year-old Kinzie Gene Noordman, has explained that the pair lured Bullwinkle to a freshly dug grave, where they had planned to scare her with a fake death threat: "Kelly was supposed to freak out, and that was supposed to be it". "But then the gun went off", Noordman told her boyfriend in a telephone conversation recorded by the police. She said Damien Matthew Guerrero - an ex-boyfriend of Bullwinkle - fired by accident but, as Bullwinkle lay wounded, "I shot her in the head.... didn't want her to suffer anymore". Paintball players found the partially buried body three weeks later.

Also in the 'now it all makes sense!' department we have a 16-year-old Japanese boy who went to Nishiyama Junior High School in Kumamoto and took a female student hostage at knifepoint. He called the police to report that he had a hostage. The girl, also 16, managed to escape an hour later when the boy wasn't paying attention. He was caught at a local convenience store nearby. According to the police, the boy said he was trying to do "something big" to gain the attention of his former girlfriend, who had recently dumped him. He was hoping the media coverage would remind her of him. He had no prior relationship with his hostage.

Turkey's Orhan Babutcu, 41, was found in the bathroom of his house. His wife had placed a bowl on the floor for his food. The Hurriyet daily reports that Babutcu, a rich industrialist, had been locked in the bathroom for three years by his wife, who claimed he was mentally disturbed. As evidence of his madness, she cited his taking three showers each day. Babutcu said his wife - who stated that she plans to seek a divorce - planned "to make me sick so that I die and she inherits my fortune".

The New York Daily News reports that 55-year-old Mary McCray became suspicious when her son, DeWayne, kept making trips to her bedroom, where she had money hidden. She says that when she confronted him about the ransacked bedroom and her empty wallet, he called her a "bitch and a ho", lifted her from her wheelchair and threw her onto her bed. She told him she had had enough of his abuse, and he punched her in the face. She says she climbed back into her wheelchair and fetched a steak knife from the kitchen. She stabbed him once in the chest, and he died. McCray called the police. Police say the theft of $40 was to pay off a drug debt.

In North Wales, Jackie and Karl Fekete retired to the bridal suite after their wedding. The Queensferry, Flintshire, couple were interrupted by another hotel guest, who claimed that the room was his. Jackie said "Karl leapt up red-faced and stark naked" to confront the other man. The ensuing drunken brawl, in which she says she tried to be a peacemaker, left Jackie jostled toward the door and then locked out of the room naked. When she was able to return to the room, Karl had disappeared and "I spent our wedding night alone". Karl had spent the night in jail after the hotel rang 999 to report a disturbance. He was charged with resisting arrest. Deciding that she and her four children couldn't cope with Karl's temper, she dumped him on the following day.
The couple had been in the right room.

A jury acquited Levittown, Pennsylvania, mother Colleen Broe of child abuse charges connected with her alleged duct-taping of her foster children. Broe's estranged husband, Neil, photographed the silver-wrapped children, aged one and two, lying in a crib. Three of Colleen's sons said they saw her taping the foster children. The defence argued that Neil duct-taped the children himself and gave the authorities the pictures to punish his wife before she finalised a divorce. The matter of custody of three other children has yet to be resolved.

20 November 2003
According to the Belgian newspaper Het Laatste Nieuws, a jury in Gent found a 31-year-old police officer guilty of child abuse for luring a 12-year-old girl into 'improper conversations' online. The officer, who was sentenced to a one-year jail term, had been attached to a special police unit responsible for tracing and collecting evidence against paedophiles on the Internet.
The sentencing comes days after it was revealed that convicted paedophile Marc Dutroux sent 400 love letters to a 15-year-old girl over a two-year period, from his cell in a Belgian prison. Prison authorities apparently had full knowledge of these goings on.

26 November 2003
In Clintonville, Pennsylvania, Samantha Carla Hoffman, 23, was preparing food in the kitchen when her boyfriend pulled down her sweat pants. Accoding to a criminal complaint, "as (he) was walking away she threw a butter knife at him". The knife missed her boyfriend but did connect with her 6 1/2-month-old son, becoming lodged in his head. The child was in critical condition at last report, and Hoffman was arrested on assault and reckless endangerment charges.

9 December 2003

A Philadelphia woman left her one-year-old and three-year-old with child minder Lashawda Whitehead, explaining that the socks on her one-year-old's hands were there because she had burned the child with a cigarette lighter, causing two blisters to form. Whitehead later noticed that the three-year-old had burned hands. She removed the socks from the one-year-old's hands and found that "all his fingers were burnt, every last one of them. ... Before we got the sock all the way off, all you see is just bleeding and flesh". The children are being placed in foster care.

Police in Clearwater, Florida, say that Kurt Gerard Walczak was angry because his father, Gerald, criticised him about his weight. Kurt solved the problem by fetching a handgun from his bedroom and fatally shooting his 76-year-old father. The 173-cm, 400-pound Kurt was on the front porch when officers arrived to arrest him.

Daniel Lee Hurst, a 33-year-old man from Moraine, Ohio, rang Montgomery County Juvenile Court to request a marriage licence. As his intended bride was under the normal age of consent for marriage and her mother was opposed to the proposed union, he was seeking special dispensation from the court. Hurst explained to the employee who took the call that he wanted a marriage because he had impregnated a 13-year-old girl. The employee notified the police, who arrested Hurst.
Officer Paul Guess said Hurst acknowledged that he knew what he was doing was wrong. The girl's family are friends of the unemployed Hurst, but it is unclear beyond that why they didn't contact the authorities when they learned of her pregnancy.

In a rather horrible story, a woman from Pretoria, South Africa, was found guilty of being an accessory to repeated rape because she had not protected her 11-year-old daughter from her stepfather's advances, even when the girl begged her to do something. A social worker's report stated that the mother gave in to her husband's fantasies of taking the girl's virginity after months of nagging and threats to leave her for a woman who could meet his sexual demands. She comforted her daughter by saying that she too had been raped as a child and that it was "not so bad". The mother testified that she held onto the girl's leg while her husband raped the girl because she was trembling. Acting Judge M.P. Tsoka sentenced the 34-year-old woman to 17 years in prison.

A Toronto woman who has been keen on various fads, including karate and Buddhism, sought psychotherapy from Dr. Alan Abelsohn, 52. She is now complaining that the doctor used treatments such as 'sexual body scans' that involved lying on the floor of his office while masturbating and sexual 'rewiring' that allegedly featured Abelsohn standing next to her with his fingertips touching her more intimate areas and his allegedly erect penis pressing against her.
The doctor's notes bear out most of this but also seem to indicate that the 50-year-old mother of three might have become obsessed with him. The woman, whose identity is protected under law, appeared upset mostly that the doctor didn't respond to her advances with equivalent fervour to that she displayed in such acts as sending the doctor a microwave oven for his office and penning a letter beginning "I had birds in my head guarding a frozen lake full of razor blades and shards of glass" and going on from there. He declined when she asked him him to make love to her, and he became angry when she gave a poem to a hotel staffer to deliver to him during a conference he was attending.

22 December 2003
With the help of his brothers, Pakistan's Mohammed Sajid, 19, poured acid over the face of his fiancee after a seemingly minor argument. Rabia Bibi, 17, lost both eyes as a result. In addition to a jail term for the three men involved, Judge Afzal Sharif ordered that Sajid be blinded by acid himself. The punishment is to be carried out by a doctor at a sports stadium. Police said an appeal is likely.

Thomas A. Willow had been pastor of an Arlington, Ohio, church, for about three years when he was caught inside a church member's home without permission when he knew no-one would be home. A sheriff's investigation revealed that he had unlawfully entered two other homes of church members and then masturbated. In a sentencing hearing at Hancock County Common Pleas Court, he asked for forgiveness. He resigned as pastor as well. In court, one woman said she found Willow in her home but overlooked this because he was her pastor. She has since learned that Willow had entered her home about once a week over a two-year period. He apparently was guilty of a similar offence when living in Pennsylvania in the mid-'90s.

In Bakersfield, California, a 140-pound man allegedly committed forcible sex acts on a 24-year-old prostitute. The woman, who weighs 275 pounds, took the knife from Adrian Castillo Ramirez and, after asking other prostitutes how many of them had been forced to have sex by a man wielding a knife, paraded Ramirez in front of them. She then tried to take the naked would-be rapist to the police station.
He had been convicted of four counts of rape in 1988 but failed to register as a sex offender. He was also charged in connection with another incident involving forcible sex acts.

8 January 2004

In a shop in Fort Myers, Florida, Tammi Edwards selected four shirts and handed the clothing to her 11-year-old daughter. She told the girl to stuff the shirts into a handbag, according to police spokeswoman Kara Winton. The 29-year-old Edwards apparently intended the four shirts, valued at $57, to be the girl's Christmas present. The girl, who doesn't live with her mother, will probably be referred to a juvenile misdemeanour programme.

Effie Goodson of Holdenville, Oklahoma, convinced her husband that she was pregnant, and a baby shower was held for her. When her expected delivery date neared, the 37-year-old Goodson spent some time in a casino with friend Carolyn Simpson, 21, who was six months pregnant. Authorities say she then cut the foetus from Simpson's uterus. Simpson's body was later found in a field, with a gunshot wound to the head. Prosecutor Linda Evans said she planned to charge Goodson with the death of both Simpson and the foetus.

It was night in Dade County, Georgia, when a group of men crept up to Eva Hurst's house to discourage her daughter's relationship with a biracial man. They had brought with them a cloth-covered cross soaked in transmission fluid. Shortly after the fire finally took hold in Hurst's yard, one of the men began to worry that the woods nearby were dry enough that Hurst's elderly neighbours could be injured or worse. He rang 911. Six men were later arrested. Hurst said this wasn't a KKK-related cross-burning, saying "I was raised around the Klan. The Klan had morals."

Miami police saw a girl selling heroin on the street and prepared a sting operation. Sometimes, the girl wore her pyjamas for the sales. Other times, she was in her school uniform. The girl, 11 years of age, was apparently obeying the wishes of her mother and a man who might be her stepfather. The girl's mother, Alison Lolanda Davis, 36, was arrested, and various drugs were seized from her home. The girl's seven-year-old sister was removed from the home.
"It was disturbing," said police Sgt. Ruben Rodriguez.

20 January 2004

Tennessee's Debra Elaine Kirk Moore and her husband are addicted to the narcotic OxyContin. When her four-month-old son wouldn't stop crying and go to sleep, she told police, she "took his pacifier into the bathroom where the OxyContin had been crushed... I stuck the wet pacifier into the dust and crumbs and put it back into the baby's mouth". When she awoke the next morning, the baby wasn't breathing. She was convicted of criminally negligent homicide and aggravated child abuse, which carry sentences of one to two years and 15 to 25 years in prison, respectively. Four months earlier, her two-year-old daughter died in a swimming pool.

Danielle and Robert True of Cocoa, Florida, were arrested after their four children were apparently found with head lice and living in a house with at least several months' worth of cat faeces. "The youngest child was one and a half years old crawling and waddling in the stuff, and that's abuse, that's negligent, and that is criminal", said Brevard County Sheriff's spokeswoman Yvonne Martinez, who added that Danielle had said of the lice "If I treat it or get rid of it, it's going to come right back". Children Cheyanne, Chylah, Chancellor, and an unnamed one-year-old were removed from the home. Their grandmother, Ann Lovell, said "I don't feel they should have been arrested. They should have been given the opportunity to clean the house."

In Martinsburg, West Virginia, firefighter William Feimster did his profession proud. He said he went to his mother's mobile home while she was out to get some videos to watch at work. He became upset at the mess in the house, so he lit a roadside flare and placed it in a rubbish bin in the kitchen. He then drove to a private ambulance company where he worked and helped fight the fire when the call came out. The mobile home was destroyed. Feimster, 25, turned himself in at the sheriff's office. He has also been charged with embezzlement in an unrelated case.

A 33-year-old Indiana woman stands accused of injecting human waste into her daughter via a hospital IV. Highland's Tracie L. Fleck was arrested after she was caught on videotape interfering with the 21-month-old daughter's IV tube. Hospital officials said their suspicions had been aroused when the child kept developoing infections after receiving treatment. Cameras were placed in the room after investigations revealed that faecal matter was to blame for the infections. Fleck had taken her daughter to the hospital 11 times in the past year.

Pennsylvania parole officer James Cameron Thomas started paying frequent visits to the furniture store where parolee Thomas E. Cahill Jr. worked. Cahill discovered that Thomas was having an affair with his wife. On account of the affair, Cahill and Thomas's wife developed a friendship, which Thomas reported as harrassment. Cahill was therefore sent to prison on a parole violation. After he was cleared of wrongdoing and released, he began abusing alcohol again and was divorced. Judge Christopher C. Conner has ordered Thomas to pay $233,600 to Cahill. As Thomas was fired from his job, it appears that the award will go uncollected.

1 February 2004

Donald Winniewicz, a 36-year-old man from Houston, Pennsylvania, came up with a clever plan to kill his four-year-old son. This involved recording himself repeatedly saying to strangle or smother the child. Winniewicz played the tape to his sleeping 10-year-old stepson in hopes that the suggestions would work. The boy told his mother that he remembered hearing voices. Later, she found the tape in a filing cabinet and contacted the police. Police chief James Horvath said Winniewicz admitted to making and playing the tape.

In Elgin, Texas, a 10-year-old girl was forced to have sex with her stepfather, David Alexander Farris, who broadcast the images live over the Internet. Someone watching the Webcam footage in a chat room asked Farris for a 'phone number, then called the police. Farris and common-law wife Carol Barron, who is the girl's mother, were arrested. The couple's three children have been removed from the household.

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