Man Who Beheaded Greyhound Passenger Wants To Die

August 5, 2008


A Chinese immigrant accused of stabbing, beheading and cannibalizing a man on a Greyhound bus in Canada pleaded in court Tuesday for someone to “please kill me,” and was ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Vince Weiguang Li, who immigrated to Canada from China in 2004, is charged with second-degree murder in last Wednesday’s slaying of 22-year-old carnival worker Tim McLean — an attack which witnesses aboard the bus said appeared to be unprovoked. He has yet to enter a plea.

Li was scheduled to appear Tuesday to determine whether he should undergo psychiatric testing, but the judge in Portage La Prairie adjourned the hearing for a short recess to allow a legal aid attorney to confer with him. Since his arrest, Li has declined to speak to prosecutors and his court-appointed attorney.

When asked again by the judge after the recess if he wanted a lawyer, Li shook his head and then quietly said “please kill me,” The Canadian Press reported.

Li’s remark was heard by reporters and confirmed by court clerks, but was not acknowledged by the judge. He is due back in court Sept. 8.

Officers at the scene of the bus attack discovered a plastic bag containing an ear, nose and part of a mouth in Li’s pocket, according to a police report submitted by prosecutor Joyce Dalmyn as evidence supporting a request for the psychological test.

The night of the deadly attack, Dalmyn said, the only response officers received from Li was: “I have to stay on the bus forever”.

Passengers on the bus described a horrific scene that began Wednesday night as they shuttled through the darkness along a desolate stretch of the TransCanada Highway about 12 miles from Portage La Prairie.

Thirty-seven passengers were aboard the Greyhound from Edmonton, Alberta, to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Some were napping and others watching “The Legend of Zorro” when Li attacked McLean, allegedly stabbing him dozens of times, according to witnesses. As horrified passengers fled from the bus, Li severed McLean’s head, displaying it to some of the passengers gathered outside the bus, witnesses said. He then began hacking at the body, they said.

A police officer at the scene reported seeing the attacker hacking off pieces of the victim’s body and eating them, according to a police tape leaked on the Internet.

A church pastor, Tom Castor, who helped hire Li soon after he immigrated in 2004 with his wife, Anna, said the man never showed any sign of anger or emotional problems when he worked there as a custodian.

Church officials said they vetted Li by contacting references listed on his application and running a criminal record check.

More than 105,000 people have joined an online memorial group for McLean.

Article from Associated Press

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Brazilian Confesses To Killing and Dismembering Girlfriend

August 1, 2008

Police on Thursday accused a Brazilian man of killing and dismembering his 17-year-old British girlfriend, taking pictures of her body parts with his cell phone and stuffing her torso in a suitcase.

Officers found the suitcase with the torso of Cara Marie Burke at the edge of a river Monday in this central Brazilian city, Goias state police inspector Jorge Moreira da Silva said.

Burke’s boyfriend, Mohamed D’Ali Carvalho Santos, 20, was arrested and charged with homicide Thursday after “he confessed he cut her up and even photographed the body on his cellular phone,” Silva said.

One photo appeared to have been taken in a bathroom shower stall, showing Burke’s severed head placed on the chest of her torso along with a bloody butcher knife.

Silva said Santos confessed he killed Burke because she threatened to tell his parents he was a drug dealer addicted to cocaine, and she was considering turning him in to police.

After fatally stabbing Burke on Saturday, Santos left her body in the bathroom and went to a party, returning to dismember her the next day, the police inspector said.

Burke’s family in England identified her from a tattoo that said “Mum” after images of the body were broadcast on TV, Silva said.

Burke met Santos in London, where his mother lives, Silva said. She had been in Brazil for about three months.

Police were still searching Thursday for Burke’s head and limbs, which Santos said he hid in a rural area outside town. Taken out of his cell in handcuffs to be filmed by television crews, he held his head down and said nothing.

Karine Neves, a spokeswoman for the British Embassy in Brasilia, said a British vice consul is in Goiania tracking the case and the police investigation.

Burke’s online acquaintances demanded justice in messages they posted on her Web page on Orkut, an online social networking community hugely popular in Brazil.

The page also featured pictures of the blond teenager posing with friends in London and Brazil and holding a baby in her arms.

Article by Marco Sibaja

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President of Darfur Charged With Crimes Against Humanity

July 14, 2008

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court filed genocide charges Monday against Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, accusing him of masterminding attempts to wipe out African tribes in Darfur with a campaign of murder, rape and deportation.

The filing marked the first time prosecutors at the world’s first permanent, global war crimes court have issued charges against a sitting head of state, but al-Bashir is unlikely to be sent to The Hague any time soon. Sudan rejects the court’s jurisdiction, and senior Sudanese officials said the prosecutor was politically motivated to file the charges.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo asked a three-judge panel at the International Criminal Court to issue an arrest warrant for al-Bashir to prevent the slow deaths of some 2.5 million people forced from their homes in Darfur and still under attack from government-backed janjaweed militia.

“Genocide is a crime of intention — we don’t need to wait until these 2.5 million die,” he told The Associated Press.

“The genocide is ongoing,” he added, saying systematic rape was a key element of the campaign. “Seventy-year-old women, 6-year-old girls are raped,” he said.

Moreno-Ocampo was undeterred by concern that his indictment against al-Bashir might ignite a storm of vengeance against Darfur refugees and spur Sudan to shut out relief agencies and possibly peacekeeping troops. Al-Bashir’s ruling National Congress Party on Sunday warned of “more violence and blood” in the vast western region if an arrest warrant is issued against the president, state TV reported.

“I am a prosecutor doing a judicial case,” Moreno-Ocampo said. He filed 10 charges: three counts of genocide, five of crimes against humanity and two of murder. Judges are expected to take months to study the evidence before deciding whether to order al-Bashir’s arrest.

Al-Bashir “wants to end the history of the Fur, Masalit and Zaghawa people. I don’t have the luxury to look away. I have evidence,” the prosecutor said in a statement after submitting his case to the judges.

One victim cited by prosecutors said rapes are woven into the fabric of life in Darfur.

“Maybe around 20 men rape one woman. These things are normal for us here in Darfur,” she said. “I have seen rapes too. It does not matter who sees them raping the women — they don’t care. They rape girls in front of their mothers and fathers.”

Moreno-Ocampo said the rapes were producing a generation of so-called “janjaweed babies” and “an explosion of infanticide” by victims.

The head of Sudan’s Bar Association and ruling party stalwart, Fathi Khalil told The Associated Press that Sudan was not a member of the International Criminal Court and was not bound by Moreno-Ocampo’s decision.

“The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court with his announcement demanding the arrest of President al-Bashir has proved that he is playing a political role, not a legal one,” Khalil said.

Khalil said the decision came after international pressure on the court, undermining its reputation and independence. He said neither the ICC nor the U.N. Security Council have the right to refer a country that is not a member to the ICC to the court.

The Sudanese Liberation Movement-Unity, a rebel group in Darfur, offered to help arrest and extradite any war criminals from Sudan.

If judges issue an arrest warrant, they will effectively turn al-Bashir into a prisoner in his own country. In the past, Interpol has issued so-called Red Notices for fugitives wanted by the court, meaning they should be arrested any time they attempt to cross an international border.

In the United States, which is not part of the ICC, American officials said they were examining the indictment.

“We make our own determinations according to our own laws, our own regulations with respect to who should be subject to war crimes, genocide related statutes. The ICC is a separate matter and we are not part of the ICC. All of that said, we certainly stand for accountability,” said State Department spokesman Sean McCormack.

Moreno-Ocampo said most members of the three targeted ethnic African groups were driven from their homes by Sudanese forces and the janjaweed in 2004. Since then, the janjaweed have been targeting the camps aiming to starve the refugees.

“These 2.5 million people are in camps. They (al-Bashir’s forces) don’t need gas chambers because the desert will kill them,” Moreno-Ocampo said, drawing comparison’s with Nazi Germany’s most notorious method of mass murder during the Holocaust.

The refugees “have no more water, no more food, no more cattle. They have lost everything. They live because international humanitarian organizations are providing food for them,” he added.

An estimated 300,000 people have died in Darfur since conflict erupted there in 2003 when local tribes took up arms against al-Bashir’s Arab-dominated government in the capital, Khartoum, accusing authorities of years of neglect.

Moreno-Ocampo said the international community needs to act.

“We are dealing with a genocide. Is it easy to stop? No. Do we need to stop? Yes,” he told AP.

“The international community failed in the past, failed to stop Rwanda genocide, failed to stop Balkans crimes,” he added.

There are fears that the fresh Darfur case could spark a backlash against the 9,000-strong U.N.-African Union peacekeeping force in Darfur.

The prosecutor said it was up to the U.N. Security Council, which asked Moreno-Ocampo in 2005 to investigate crimes in Darfur, to “ensure compliance with the court’s decision.” Achieving unanimous backing for any action will be fraught with problems since two of the council’s members, China and Russia, are Sudan’s allies.

A spokeswoman for the force said it had not suspended any military operations.

“All essential peacekeeping operations are being carried-out by troops,” Shereen Zorba told The Associated Press in an e-mail from Khartoum.

However, she said: “a limited number of operations that carry security risk to civilian staff are temporarily restricted.”

Other international courts have indicted Serb leader Slobodan Milosevic and Charles Taylor of Liberia while they were in office. Milosevic died in custody in The Hague in 2006 shortly before the end of his trial, while Taylor is on trial for orchestrating atrocities in Sierra Leone.

Article by Mike Corder
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Another Pregnant Soldier Found Dead In North Carolina

June 25, 2008


Authorities in Fayetteville, North Carolina, are investigating the death of a soldier who was 7 months pregnant: Spc. Megan Lynn Touma, 23, a dental specialist from Cold Springs, Kentucky. She was assigned to the 19th Replacement Company.

Fayetteville police found her body late Saturday morning after responding to a call about a strong odor coming from one of the rooms. The body was sent to the state Medical Examiner’s office in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, to determine the cause of death.
Before arriving at Fort Bragg on June 12, she had served five years with the U.S. Army Dental Activity Clinic in Bamberg, Germany, and in Fort Drum, New York.

Touma is the second pregnant servicemember to die in North Carolina in recent months. The remains of Lance Cpl. Maria Lauterbach and her fetus were found beneath in a fire pit January 11 in Marine Cpl. Cesar Laurean’s backyard.

Laurean is suspected of killing Lauterbach on December 14, 2007. Before fleeing to Mexico, he used her ATM card 10 days later. He was taken into custody after he walked up to a roadblock set up by a local anti-kidnapping task force investigating another case in Mexico.

Laurean is currently awaiting extradition to North Carolina.

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Murderer Scott Peterson Going Back To Trial

June 9, 2008


Scott Peterson, the man convicted of killing his wife and their unborn child, will be heading to trial again, this time in civil court. The parents of his wife, Laci Peterson, have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him, seeking a multimillion-dollar judgment, after a judge in Stanislaus County Superior Court ruled that he Scott would have to stand trial again.

As a reminder, a jury found him guilty in 2003 of killing Laci Peterson and her fetus and dumping the body in San Francisco Bay on Christmas Eve of 2002. Scott has always maintained his innocence, and his lawyers site a video tape made at San Quentin Prison where he says he continues to say he is innocent.

The judge stayed his ruling until June 23 to allow lawyers to appeal.
The trial is set to begin July 8th.

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Japanese Boxer May Face Retrial After 40 Years in Prison

May 4, 2008


Japan’s longest serving death row inmate, Iwao Hakamada, has maintained his innocence for 40 years in the four murders he was convicted of. His confession was coerced, Hakamada says.
The judge who wrote the death-sentence now agrees with him.
“My feelings about Mr. Hakamada remain the same – I believe he is innocent,” said Judge Norimichi Kumamoto. He has revealed that he argued for acquittal but two other judges outvoted him in their secret deliberations before handing down their ruling in 1968. As the junior judge, he was tasked with writing the death sentence order.
The case has brought unprecedented focus on Japan’s secretive criminal justice system, causing a flurry or questions in legal circles and about the death penalty in a country where it’s culturally correct not to question.
Amnesty International, Japanese boxers and Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, the American boxer imprisoned nearly 20 years for three murders before the convictions were overturned have all come out in Hakamada’s support.
The Japanese judicial system is now be picked through with a fine-tooth comb. Possible results may even include an overhaul and revision of the system itself.

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Dying Kidnapper Confesses to Murder 22 Years Ago

April 30, 2008

What happened to Iris L. Brown after she was kidnapped in 1976 was a complete mystery to her parents until recently, according to the police. The kidnapper, now seriously ill in a prison medical facility, has finally confessed to strangling her and dumping her remains along Interstate 89. 61-year old Willam J. Posey told Burlington Police Cold Case Investigators that he killed the victiim, then 27. He explained that he had coaxed her into his car, then he tried talking her into selling cocaine with, at which point an argument began, and he strangled her. He dumped herbody along the Interstate. Police plan to take some official steps in finding her remains, but little detail from the murderer only makes this harder for law enforcement.

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