Saturday, February 26, 2011

Teen Depression & Suicide

Depression In Young Ones

Sometimes we older ones become so wrapped up in our own depressions, we discount the feelings of the wee ones, the babes in the woods.
The children, teenagers, young adults following in our footsteps towards a most uncertain future.
They haven't been through the jungles, tar pits, the quicksand, slugged through the overgown, intertwined, complex tundra we have.

They have not walked in our mocassins,
Yet we feel that by virtue of having been young once, we have walked in theirs.
And it is our duty as their family member or friends to guide them away from the tigers and towards the safety nets.
And it has been my experience, across the board... the young would prefer to find their own way. Some, however.... get lost and needed help.

I suspect, statistically speaking, the youth of my generation were far less depressed than the kids of today.
There were no computers when I was a kid.We played outside or in our heads.
There was an innocence to our lives the internet and tv no longer affords us.
There was never an expectation for us, as teenagers, to  knowingly or unknowingly exploit or expose ourselves on a world-wide live interactive stage of predators.

When I was kid, there was no cyberspace... 
only outer space, the lunar landing and original moon walk...
and no cyber world that didn't existed at all.
There was no internet for millions of us growing up.

I rememeber getting our first tv when they came out, it was black & white.
I watched the Wizard of Oz, the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.... and JFK's assinanation, playecd over and over on it, sitting idian style in ront of the TV.
I even watched Oswald take a bullet live from Jack Ruby for the assasination of our President.
Then saw Bobby Kennedy anbd Martin Luther Kennnedy gunned down.
I recall being depressed as a kid. I had my reasons.
But suicide weas never a thought or consideration to me...
as it is to today's young.

I like this video above because it expands upon a very important blog issue this week. Depression.
It opens our eyes to an issue many people don't think about.
Some one else.
And in this case, that would be the wee ones.

Friday, February 25, 2011

REM Everybody Hurts

Jim Carrey - On Depression

Depression Is Depressing

A good investigator knows everyone wears masks.
Who we are in public is not who we are behind closed doors.
So the movie and rock stars the public is fascinated with, they are just people like us wearing masks when they face the world.
And behind each mask is a face, a head, a brain that works its own mojo.
Ultimately, the brain rules.
Hopefully the brain is healthy.
The mask is a facade the brain selects to make the ego feel safe when dealing with external environments and others.

I admit, this is a heavy subject that doesn't, at first glance, appear to have anything to do with investigation.
However, when you are a P.I., and you are allowed entry into the sacred sanctuary of a clients thoughts,
you realize how much depression must play into the drama and trauma we deal with daily.
Often, depression is the "why" behind suicide.
So I added a quote from Jim Carrey on my Facebook wall this morning.
Then I figured that quote, as powerful as it is...
is also a mask.
It is masking the fact that one of my favorite celebrities, someone I believe is a comedic genius, is also living in his own private hell.
And I don't think he will mind my sharing that here, because he has spoken openly about depression.
Every client I deal with has some level of depression or otherwise they wouldn't need a lawyer or PI.

It is depressing to have to fight for your rights when someone is doing you wrong.
It is depressing to try to find someone who is missing.
It is depressing to believe someone you know who was murdered... has "suicide" listed on the death certificate.
It's depressing when people think you are crazy or you feel like no one is listens, cares, understands, knows you exist.
Depression is one of the emotions most often associated with the victims.... and the accused... in the legal process.

Some of funniest people in the world on the outside....
are the saddest in the inside.
Here's  the link to Jim Carrey's story.
If you get just one thing from it, know....
you are not alone.
You just have to fight your way out of it.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Stand By Me | Playing For Change | Song Around the World

Aftermath Somali Pirate Murder

In 2010, Somali pirates took 1181 hostages.
How insane is that?
This link takes you to the story behind that count.

That number doesn't include the number of hostages being held around the world.
Hostage-taking is big business in third world countries, as is white slave trading and other kidnap/ransom crimes where people are commodities.
I use to dream of sailing around the world.
Now the concept seems more like a nightmare.
I use to travel to third world countries quite frequently for business or pleasure.
Now I avoid them.
Call me Dorothy, I'm just sayin'...there's no place like home.

I need to leave the blog for while and I want to leave something important behind.
That be would be this story... the drama turned trauma the world been focusing on all week.
I think this New York Times article takes this crime to the investigation level now.
The amazing part... is we are living the story as it unfolds.
Soon, we will be calling it  a "case."
Just go the following the link.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Peace Train by Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)

The Tragic End of This Pirate Story

This was not necessary.  It was pointless. Useless.
A complete waste of humanity,
It's like a suicide bomber walking onto a city bus or into or a crowd of people.
It's like an angry kid loaded down with dad's weapons walking into a school building.
It's like a self-proclaimed patriot blowing away an Oklahoma building which housed, among so many businesses and lives, a thriving and full daycare.

This recent murder of Americans on the high seas by Somali pirates is an act of evil I believe the defense will mask as some form of political or religious statement.
However, I don't buy it for it for a heartbeat.
There is NO political statement here.
Just madness.
And no one will really come close to knowing what ensued unless all the surviving pirates are isolated, interogated and provide the same story....  the latter of which is most unlikely.
Were the four coldly executed?
Or did some fight for their lives and get killed for doing so?

Two Seattlelites were aboard that boat.
I knew one casually.
She had mentioned her fear of pirates to a friend.
However, she had also been around the world once by sea and it so compelled her....
she sold most everything she had to relive a dream she had no way of knowing would be her final nightmare.

The killers denied me the opportunity to get to know her better.
And they denied her friends, her family, all four families.... a sense of peace.... for the rest of their lives. They will revisit the terrifying and haunting death of their loved ones from this point forward.
Those last moments when someone dies is something that is the hardest for a loved one to grasp.
To me, from the safety of secure seas...
plumbing the depths of these particular deaths is unfathomable.

I looked for the most recent, informative link to the story before I return to the day job.
Here it is. And off I go.
click here:

Monday, February 21, 2011

Pirates vs. Seattlelites - Update

This is the latest update.
I'm glad the sea I will be crossing today by car ferry is patrolled by the US Coast Guard.
There are also two naval bases, a trident sub bases and other military installations on my tip of this content. So I not only feel safe at sea.... I often feel observed.
You can't even drop a finishing line in the water for more than a couple hours without a drive by visit from a Coast Guard vessels checking licenses, fish hooks, looking around for alcohol or non-compliance.
There's a sense of safety  we have in this country we either whine about, take for granted....
or at moments like these, appreciate.

Back to the story at hand. Here's the link to the latest update:

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Somalia Pirate Interview

Pirates Plunder: Seattle Couple Among Four Held Hostage

A recently put a post up here about Charlie Sheen... partially, as a test.
I wanted to see if readership increased when a Hollywood celebrity took a nose dive.
I got my answer.
No one cares any more about fallen Hollywood stars.
Gollywood, Lost Angeles, Dope, Rehab.... It's all Old News. 
And I suppose that's what makes blogging such a unique, fluid form of creative expression.
You can instantly erase mistakes or move past them and carry on.
So at this point I'm not sure what I'll do with the Charlie Sheen story.
I do know, however, what I'll do with a story I've been following closely.
Share it here.
When I first heard about this case, I was on the road and decided it was too important not to blog about.
Because it's not movies.
It's real life.

And the link to the story follows at the end of the post.
This story not about celebrities snorting white powder...
It's about pirates taking over the free seas, holding people captive, because they claim, they can no longer earn a living as fishermen.
So this, they claim, is the next best thing.
There's no better way to earn a living than kidnapping innocent people who are trying to escape people like them?
But wait... it gets worse.

Now the people being held captive are being publicly criticized for sailing through "Pirate Alley" in the first place.
They should stay out of the bad ocean hoods, cry the naysayers.
I say, the ocean is a big place.
There are no billboards.... road, street or warning signs on the ocean.
And if you're a small pleasure vessel, you won't out-run the heavily armed commandos whose mission is to overtake you.
So no sea is safe, really.
And that's why we have battleships, the Navy.
In this case, the Military is on it....the Seals.... and the copters hover overhead.
Negotiations are underway.
The pirates are staffing up.
Last I heard there were four of them to to every one hostage.
I have no clue how this one will end.
I do know it will not end well.
Here's a link to the story from the Seattle Times.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Train Wreck: Charlie Sheen Radio Interview-Part One

Charlie Sheen: Professional Suicide?

I think Mel Gibson committed a form of media suicide.
Same with the Michael Richards guy who plays Kramer on Seinfeld.
If you say something really racist, offensive, insulting or act like an a-hole, the American public tends not-be to happy happy about that.
They'll turn their back on you and your career is history.

I think it unlikely Gibson will ever make a comeback.
We still haven't seen Kramer anywhere.
Yet Charlie Sheen is everywhere,
Despite... or in spite of... the crack Charlie Sheen made about crack in this recent radio interview with Dan Patrick.
There are two parts to the interview. This is my favorite, Part One.
It's amazing how someone can be a complete train wreck, be so off the tracks...
and continue to keep on  chugging.
Or shorting.
Or shooting up.
We've lost too much talent too soon, to the lures, traps, addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Judy Garland, WC Fields, Janis Joplin, Montgomery Clift, Janis Joplin, John Belushi, River Phoenix, Heath Ledger, Elvis Presley Michael Jackson...the list goes on and on.
Check out this site. 42 Hollywood Drug deaths.
Whether these were suicides or overdoses is pointless in my mind.
Drugs are drugs.
Dead is dead.
Re: Charlie Sheen, in my opinion the jury is still out. And so is he.
He's chosen to do his rehab at home.
He's chosen to to this radio interview and discuss social crack smoking.
And I don't know about you, but he sounds high as a kite to me.
Everything Charlie Sheen is smoking, snorting or shooting...
and the number of prostitutes he has allegedly been involved with...
won't lengthen that life span of his.
It appears he's already lost more than a few brain cells in this interview.

Dont Give Up - Willie Nelson & Sinead O'Connor

Friday, February 18, 2011

For Carly Henley

The following song is dedicated to beautiful  Carly Henley, a University of Washington student, who took her own life and took a piece of this community's heart with her.
She didn't chose the bridge. So at first her death appeared suspicious. It was indeed a suicide.
And I think until after the fact, no one had a clue of her inner  anguish and turmoil.
In fact, I don't know if any one could have stopped her unless she verbalized her intent.
Yet a whole lot people feel her pain and loss now.... and will never be same because of the unknowing. And Carly's undoing.
If you want to know more about Carly, go here.

The Band Perry - If I Die Young

Before the Barrier - Praying to save lives on the Aurora Bridge

Aurora Bridge Suicides: Link to Ron, Don and Rachell Belle's story.

I listen to the radio a lot when I am on the road.
All day and often into the night.
Years ago, I listened mostly to music, and still listen to it a lot.
It's helpful when I've got images in my head.... brain matter and blood spatter for instance...
photos of dead children... accident scenes..,..
or pictures of a squished sports car I just took on behalf of a  deceased client who alive in that car before it went under that semi.
The music triggers some button in my brain and I find escape in the songs.
Depending on mood and cases, I travel between places to hard rock, soft rock and mellow.
I still can't handle "easy listening"

Mostly, however, I listen to talk radio -- specifically to the hosts and shows I've become familiar with over the many number of years I have lived in the Seattle area.
I love B.J. Shea in the morning.
And Ron and Don for the commute home.
Late  at night I will confess. I listen to and like Tom Lycos (most women don't) and found great amusement and occasional insight in Dr Laura.
National Public Radio is my favorite  radio place to be on the road on Saturday.

So a couple of weeks ago, I was driving into Seattle across the famous Aurora Bridge where many suicides happen.
The statistics quoted are varied and astounding.
There are a whole lot of bodies falling by windows and landing near pedestrians, car or boats.
Sometimes jumpers hit the water, many times they hit the concrete... or the tops of cars...
which is mortifying to witnesses....
and routine, yet equally mortifying, to first responders and clean up crews.

As far as launching pads, the Aurora bridge used to be the one of choice for those who feel they have nothing left to live for.
Or no desire to feel the pain any more.

Yes, suicide is a choice.
It is probably the most painful choice a person can make, to end his or her life.
Imagine that.
Feeling so low, so  alone, so afraid,  so scared, so different,  so desperate, so poor, so anxious, so bone tired, so humiliated, hopeless, whatever...
imagine feeling so bad about yourself, your existence.... you take the leap over the rails of the bridge.

I usually travel the Aurora Bridge to and from the ferry because it allows me to travel back in time while staying in the present. It also keeps me off the concrete sea, the freeway, I-5.
It is a bridge of so many stories I could tell you now.
One story is about a bus full of people sent flying  high off that bridge by a lunatic criminal.
However, my time is limited and so is the attention span.

So back to the case in point.
Over the course of months... I have been going over the Aurora bridge watching the suicide barriers go up.
I was very skeptical as to how and whether they would work.
I listened to many talk radio debates  about how these "activists" wanted the barriers put up, the city or some groups in the city were defiant and a waste of money.

People pro-barriers said, not only  did the bridge make it too easy for someone to act on what is truly an impulse decision that often passes...
so many people were jumping, their bodies and flight and on impact were traumatizing the workers below who saw it happening all the time.
Imagine that.
So many people jumping. So many people seeing.
Not a good thing.

So I don't know when exactly, a couple weeks ago, I was driving over the bridge, the traffic was slowing, I slowed in a traffic jam took pictures of the new suicide gate/barrier going up. I knew I wanted to put a photo on Facebook and blog about it sometime.
Now is that time.

I'd blogged before about a similar bridge in China, though the Aurora Bridge was much more personal.
Because I have know more than casually  two people who jumped off that bridge. For both, I think, the pain of living was so strong, they couldn't handle it any longer. No one even suspected the thought was in their minds. They hid it well.

So yesterday I was driving south on Aurora listening to the the Ron on Don Show.
Rachel Belle has joined them with what I think of as sidebar stories, which are always fascinating.
For road warriors like me,  Ron and Don are the torch lights home.
They are the beacon that penetrates the darkness and endless sounds of drone cars on concrete trying to get us to and from our places at varying paces.

Ron and Don are popular because they don't care as much about ratings as about what matters.
And because they are like this, they have a huge following.
So yesterday, I delivered cases to a law firm,  hopped in mu car and happily approached the Aurora Bridge northbound.

As I slowed enough to tick people behind me off.... I looked at the completed barriers, and viewed a roadside cross and picture placed on the rails of the bridge by the loves ones of a young woman who must have jumped before the barriers were complete.
Then, I flipped on the Ron and Don Show...
and there was Rachel Belle's brilliant and moving story about the very bridge I was on and obsessed with.
I am linking you to that story now...
And if you can, find a way...  listen to the Ron and Don Show, they are on KIRO, on the radio where you live... or on your computer.
They'll open your eyes.
And your mind.
Just like Rachel Belle did their show.
To hear Rachel's  amazing story, click on the small horizontal link provide in the link below that plays the entire radio bridge story. It's on the bottom left area of the link below.

Please... pretty please.... click here to open your eyes and mind to how suicide affects all of us.
Aurora Bridge Suicides Through the Eyes of a Seattle Firefightere

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Working Class Hero - John Lennon

Stealing Money and Lives: Madoff's Son's Suicide.

Madoff Rip-Off Fall Out

I confess. I have a major Bernie Madoff fascination.
I've studied every article written about the case, particularly the Vanity Fair series and now the New York Times email yesterday.
That email came from Madoff  that came through to the world via The Federal Correctional Complex in Butner, N.C.

For this investigator, there's nothing like hearing/reading a criminals words fom his own mouth.
(Note how I intentionally left the word "alleged" in place before the word criminal.)
When a Perp talks, there's a whole world of learning in their words and between the lines.

I was particularly struck by this paragraph:

"While he acknowledged his guilt in the interview and said nothing could excuse his crimes, he focused his comments laserlike on the big investors and giant institutions he dealt with, not on the financial pain he caused thousands of his more modest investors. In an e-mail written on Jan. 13, he observed that many long-term clients made more in legitimate profits from him in the years before the fraud than they could have elsewhere. “I would have loved for them to not lose anything, but that was a risk they were well aware of by investing in the market,” he wrote.

Here's a link to full New York times Madoff email interview just out.

Now take the story a bit further.
Because Madoff isn't the only one will be making off.
So will the attorneys involved in the case... albeit their earnings are legal.
Most of my clients are lawyers and law firms. Without them, I'd be out of work.
And I truly believe many cases can be more chaotic and volatile than it already is were not for the lawyers, the attorneys who give pain, outrage, victimization
Litigation, or the threat of it, often causes the volatile to chill.However, war is pricey.

So by no means am I judging the legal system for fighting to recoup that money Madoff stole.
I'm just saying.... Wow. Read this:
Lawyers make millions off Madoff mess

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

When Love Turns Bad.

Steven McKee found guilty of stabbing ex-fiancee

Steven McKee and Lisa Whyte Steven McKee attempted to kill Lisa Whyte at their home in July 2010
A man who stabbed the mother of his children in the neck after she called off their wedding has been convicted of attempted murder.
Steven McKee was found guilty by a majority verdict of trying to kill his ex-fiancee at their home in Slamannan, Falkirk, on 24 July last year.
Lisa Whyte, 32, was treated for serious injuries to her neck following the struggle.
Father-of-two McKee will be sentenced next month.
During the trial at the High Court in Glasgow, jurors heard McKee was left devastated when Ms Whyte called off their wedding after her hen night in Newcastle, a week before the ceremony was due to take place.
'Vicious attack' The day after they were supposed to be married, the court heard that McKee had plunged a knife into her neck after attacking her with two other knives.
McKee claimed that he was trying to kill himself and Ms Whyte had got in the way.
But prosecutor Stephen O'Rourke said it had been a deliberate and vicious attack on an already seriously injured woman.
With the knife sticking out of her neck, Ms Whyte subsequently tried to get help from a neighbour who described her head as "looking like it had been dipped head first in blood".
In a statement, Ms Whyte said her family had been "devastated by this horrendous ordeal" and were relieved that justice had been done.
She added: "I would like to thank all the medical professionals for saving my life. I would also like to thank my friends and family for their continued support, and my thanks to the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service.
"Under the circumstances I would like to try and put this horrendous ordeal behind me and concentrate on my children and therefore would appreciate my privacy."

Saturday, February 12, 2011

The Truth about Facebook!

"Please Rob Me?"

There is a great article I wanted to post here written by Helen A.S. Pope.
It's called: "Your Facebook profile: An open invite to crime?"

It was written a year ago, however it's still relevant and.... shocking.
It talks about social media and crimes, including places like Facebook, Twitter, and a site called "Please Rob Me" which I suspect will disappear shortly.
However, I'm hoping the "Please Rob Me" site hangs around long enough for you to witness the madness out there in cyberspace.
Here's the link:

Whenever you post on Facebook things like "I'm going on vacation" or  "Party at my place", you might as well leave your front door unlocked and your bedroom door open. Then add neon breadcrumbs to lead the way and a  sign that says "victim this way."

You have privacy settings. Use them. Just go to your FB profile, then "Account Settings." in upper right corner. Then hit "Privacy Settings" and start closing the your doors and locking the windows. It is now time to batton down your cyber hatches.

Avoid all the applications that have spun off the Farmville and Mafia Wars mania. The endless, intrusive apps people post on your wall -- "My Top Friends", "Find Out Who's Stalking You", "So and So sent you flowers, hearts, teddy bears" --  all those apps, they're really traps. Holes in the cyber earth covered by leaves that drop you into identity theft hell.

When you enter the application door or portal.... you allow the app access to your own personal private data. So you might as well kiss your privacy and safety goodbye. Beyond that, you are giving your friends' addresses and private info.  So by entering those portals, you are putting your friends in harm's way.

Here's one case that came across today.
This may or may not have been discovered  had privacy settings been adjusted...
however it does proves a point I like to make when I can.
Social networking  keeps the wheels of the criminal justice system greased and rolling.
You can diminish the odds of your becoming statistic, a cyber victim, by changing your public ways.

Today, please think about your Facebook wall, read the article I linked you to above.
And know this: the number of FB friends you let in your door has NO reflection on popularity or true friend count.
You can count real friends, in real life, on one or two hands.
The ones who'd take a bullet for you... are even fewer.

So today's social media message:
Be smart. Be ever-vigilant.
Accept the fact there there are a whole lot of evil idiots out there.
And some could be studying your wall.

Pa. teen admits trying to hire hit man on Facebook

Associated Press
Posted on February 12, 2011 at 11:06 AM

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — A Chester County teenager faces 11 to 22 years in prison after agreeing to a plea agreement on charges he used Facebook to try to hire a hit man to kill a woman who had accused him of rape.
Nineteen-year-old West Chester, Pa., resident Corey Christian Adams accepted the plea agreement Friday on charges of rape, criminal solicitation of murder and other counts.
In July, a 20-year-old woman who had accused Adams of raping her after a party called police to point out a posting on his Facebook page offering $500 for "a girls head." In a later posting, police say Adams said "he needed this girl knocked off right now."
The Daily Local News of West Chester reports that neither Adams nor his attorney commented outside court.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Egyptian Revolution Blues - Sandy Cash

Whirled Peas

Years ago, I watched the Berlin Wall come down.
Today, I watched what happened in Egypt... after witnessing, over the course of days... a whole country of individuals rise up and become a hive of humanity all focused not on protecting their queen. Rather, hey wanted to overthrowing their "king."
It was profound for me to watch that hive of human protest grow and stand their ground.
To watch the army shift to the people.
To witness a non-violent overthrow of a man I believe was a dictator and narcissist.
To this blogger, the image was/is.... inspiring.
I am so sick and tired of one people or culture lumping and labeling another people or culture... through ignorance or prejudice... into a mish-mash of ignorant misperceptions.
Many people believe everyone in the Mid East is a religious, violent extremist.
Much is to be learned from the lesson Egypt has tough us and the whole world.
However, this is not a poltical blog and I am merely a P.I.
So I call it like I see it.
And I say "You Go Egypt!"

And I say, c'mon America. Let's get it together.
Let's stop saying we are Republicans.
Let's stop saying we are Democrats.
Let's just say we are Americans.
Yes, some of us really hate Obama and want him out.

Yes, others of us really support him 100% and believe the mess he was handed when he came into office was not his doing and will not be his undoing.
Some cheer Sarah Palin's shooting wolves from helicopter as a sign of her strength.
Others see it as animal cruelty or insanity.
We will never ALL agree as a nation.

Point in fact however:
We Americans citizens are ALL Americans.
And as one American I was pleased to know other  Americans who were watching tv....
or listening on their radios...
or following on the net....
would see the faces of all the Egyptians in the crowd, men AND women.
And those images were being projected to a nation of viewers I believe has been fixated on Martin Sheen and Lindsay Lohan for way too long.

I felt... at last.... Americans can really see that other cultures in what they believe are third worlds can be first class.
It was important to me, that people realize  just because others seem foreign does not make them less human.
And every culture contains people who are as real, kind and as caring and emotional as we are.

My job is cross-cultural.
Almost every day I go into different homes.
I  meet Somalians, Egyptians, Iranians, people from Iraq, Samoa, the Phillipines, Guatamala, Peru,  England,  Africa, Croatia, New Zealand, Russia, you name it.
I sit on their furniture. Study the art on their walls. Smell their food. See their children. Photograph their injuries. 
And sometimes... watch their tears flow because they too have been catastrophically harmed by someone else.

Seeing those tears of joy on the TV screen flow this morning  down the faces of the Egyptians... well, it led me directly to this blog before I start my day.
I fully intended to blog later about the  woman I met this week who told me what it was like to have a huge bottle of liquor slammed into her face by another drunk woman. How her teeth shattered,  how her cheekbone cracked and her eye cavity turned to dust. Then I wanted to tell you how she got through it.

I fully intended to blog about how I am often in awe of people who have been sober.... for months,  years, decades even....
then they get an injury and refuse painkillers because their sobriety is more important to them than their pain. 
Despite their shattered, crushed, or broken bones, they tell me the pain itself is telling... and they'd rather bear the pain than the addiction.

We are now a nation addicted to drugs.
Knee shakes? Take this.
Virility diminishing  with age? Take that.
Anxiety? Stressed out? Bummed Out? Here's a script. Pop this pill.
No health insurance?
No problema.
Drink this, snort that, needle anyone?  Huff paint or if you prefer....inhale bath salts? (I wrote a blog about that below).

As you go about your life, know this.
We have only one life.
Just one.
How many experiences we pack into that life....
how many people...
it's all up to us.
How we handle our emotions, bodies and minds...
whether we evolve or devolve...
it's up to us.
For most people, it's about choice.

Some of us choose to exit this existence by their hands, in their own way, for their own reasons.
Others hang on the very edge of the cliff of life with unbelievable determination and strength.
I say.... make today a new day in your life.
Make today a new start.
Jump start your heart.
Be that person you've always wanted to be. Starting now.
As bad as you think you have it, someone, somewhere, has it worse.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Superhero Granny

Heading out fast, though not before I get this You-Tube video up.
It has maybe 300 some hits this morning.
By end of day, I  suspect it will go viral and will have millions of You Tube hits.
There was a professional cameraman on the scene, so when the incident went down, he turned his camera on the scene and caught the robbers trying to do a jewelery store smash and grab.
Then the camera caught Super Granny.
She and her handbag went into action.
The rest speaks for itself.
Lesson learned: never underestimate people just because they're older.
They too can be heroes.
And this one has refused all media interviews.
Go granny!


Old Lady in England Fends off Robbers With Her Purse - RAW VIDEO

Monday, February 7, 2011

Splish Splash: Snorting Salts For The Bath

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, here come the bath salts.
Don't get me wrong. Bath Salts have their place.
And that would be the bath tub.
The place they do not belong is up your nose.
Yet, this happens to be the newest trend among the young and the rest of the dumb among us.
I guess they're the new  LSD of the wet set -- hallucinogenic, lethal and in many

I just wonder, how bad can life be that you turn to snorting bath salts to get high?
If you're stressed out, freaked out, lost your job, lost your love, have overwhelming anxiety, depression, whatever, here's a word of advice:
Do not snort the bath salts.
Instead, turn  on your bath tub faucet, empty the bath salts into the tub and soak.

The following article is not mine.
It does a better job than I ever could of  of describing this new bizarre new epidemic.

Hallucinogens Legally Sold as 'Bath Salts' a New Threat

These products can spur self-destructive 'highs' but are legal in most states, experts warn

FRIDAY, Feb. 4 (HealthDay News) -- An influx of highly hallucinogenic, potentially lethal but -- in most states -- fully legal drugs sold as "bath salts" has law enforcement and drug abuse experts very concerned.
According to Mark Ryan, director of the Louisiana Poison Center, in the first month of 2011, there have already been 248 bath salts-linked calls nationwide from at least 25 states, compared to 234 calls during the whole of 2010.
The $20 packets are available in corner stores, truck stops and on the Internet, and marketed as bath salts or sometimes plant food and come with the (often-ignored) disclaimer, "not for human consumption." They're not subject to regulation even though they contain various potent chemicals, including mephedrone, which is a stimulant.
"It's a derivative that's very similar to amphetamines, and its side effects are largely the same side effects we see with amphetamines in large dose," said Jeffrey Baldwin, professor of pharmacy practice and pediatrics at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, which seems not to have experienced this scourge -- at least not yet. "[Those side effects] would be increased heart rate and blood pressure, not sleeping, not eating and eventually becoming paranoid."
The "salts" come with gentle-sounding names like Ivory Wave and Vanilla Sky and are typically snorted, smoked, injected and even mixed with water as a beverage.
"If you take the very worst of some of the other drugs -- LSD and Ecstasy with their hallucinogenic-delusional type properties, PCP with extreme agitation, superhuman strength and combativeness, as well as the stimulant properties of cocaine and meth -- if you take all the worst of those and put them all together this is what you get. It's ugly," added Ryan, who recounted some harrowing stories.
"The psychosis is impressive," he said.
One man barricaded himself in an attic with a rifle, Ryan said, vowing to "kill the monsters before they kill me," while another user vowed to remove their own liver with a mechanical pencil.
The products have also been linked to suicides, not to mention hospitalizations, and on Tuesday investigators confirmed the presence of bath salt drugs in the blood of a man who killed a sheriff's deputy in Tippah County, Miss., ABC News reported.
Once an addled user gets to the emergency room, they're not controllable with normal sedatives such as valium, even in high doses, Ryan noted.
And when doctors try to wean patients off stronger sedatives or even antipsychotic medications, they just become uncontrollable again. "The longest I heard was someone who was sedated for 12 days and the psychosis came right back," Ryan said. "The huge concern is the possibility that some of these effects could be permanent. We don't know because we've never tested it on humans."
At least with older drugs, sedation works and the patient returns to "normal," at least until they hit the streets again.
Also worrisome is the fact that while all of the products "have the same basic chemical structure," small changes in the chemical composition give you different side effects, which clinicians then have to learn how to deal with.
Despite these trips -- which users readily admit are horrible -- the cravings are so intense they often go back to the drug.
Louisiana has already banned the products, via a decree from the governor's office that recently made them a Schedule 1 substance, putting them in the same class as heroin. Now law enforcement officials in that state -- and Florida, which enacted a similar decree -- can do more than just charge people with a misdemeanor for using or selling the fake bath salts.
Federal regulation of the products could take much longer. "We are actively studying and researching the abuse data to see if [the compounds in 'bath salts'] warrant scheduling. We evaluate the addictive potential and the harm to the user," explained Rusty Payne, a spokesman for the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). "But we are not the only agency involved -- the Department of Health and Human Services is also involved. It can take years, though it may not."
The agency is also looking into whether it should try to get a 12-month emergency rule to control the substances, he said.
In the meantime, lawmakers in Mississippi are close to enacting a ban on the bath salt drugs there, and this week a measure to outlaw the products neared passage in Kentucky, according to the AP.
New York Senator Charles Schumer has also called for a ban on the products and White House Drug Czar Gil Kerlikowske spoke out against the products earlier this week.
But officials and doctors may still be facing an uphill battle.
When the ban in Louisiana went into effect, "calls dropped off the cliff but in the last four days we've had one each day, so it's starting again," Ryan said. In part, people are getting around the ban by ordering the products off the Internet and having them shipped to neighboring Mississippi, which has not yet outlawed them.
More information
There's more on dangerous drugs at the U.S. National Institute on Drug Abuse.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Update on How To Spot A Meth Lab Photos

I have just been told my post on this subject, which is below, is not showing pictures.
Guess cut and pasting doesn't work well on blogs. Or maybe I am just a techno-dork.
So.... because I think everyone must know how to spot a Meth Lab...
here's a link that will take you right there.
Before you go there, this is what the words I received in the email read:

"As a law enforcement officer I have been approached by several people lately wanting to know how to identify a Meth Lab.
Here is a picture of four Labs.  I think it's pretty obvious which one is the Meth Lab.  I hope this helps. 
Let me know if I can be of any further service in this matter."

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Train - Calling All Angels


I got my third homicide/suicide case in 30 days.
A parent called, said his daughter would never have killed herself.  She hated guns, was very vain, would never have put one in her mouth and pulled the trigger.
He and his wife are sure the psycho boyfriend with the new girlfriend did it.
They are still grieving, the police are at a stand-still even though the investigation remains open.
And there's an insurance policy recently issued to the boyfriend as sole beneficiary.
They want an investigation launched.

I also got a bunch of witnesses to find, someone to serve, a thief to investigate, and a stalker to stop.
I've got a head full of stories shared with me daily by strangers the minute they ask and I choose to tell them what I do.
I suppose this job is somewhat like being a shrink.
People tell you their problems.
Same thing with P.I.'s
Only we do more crisis management and hands-on work in the field....
on scenes, in homes, in places where you have to step over puddles of piddle, rat dropping and needles.

It's not an easy business. And nowhere as glamorous as TV makes it.
It's often hard, dark, lonely and dangerous work.
And its work we tend not to talk about because doing so means violating confidences.
Or worse, reliving things we'd prefer to forget.

So it's a weekend night and I have visions in my head of a case I recently investigated.
A young man run over by a train.
The question is, was he too close to train -- standing where the warning signs said not to?

Or was he standing where everyone stands? Just behind the brightly colored warning line?
Except...some amazing confluence/convergence of factors/events... perhaps weight, height, speed.... all governed by the laws of physics....
something(s) caused the kid to get sucked right off the platform and under the train which kept moving until it could fully stop.
Not much was left of him.
I saw the pictures and took a few of the memorial and the scene.
It all happened in front of many witnesses. Some of whom I have interviewed. Many of whom are minors. I've spent time with his parents. He is/was an only child
So it's hard to shake this stuff out of your head sometimes.
What you have to do instead, is focus on the living. The survivors.
The tiny specks of light in the darkness,
The people who have lived through the incomprehensible.

See... parents aren't supposed to outlive their kids.
And when a DUI kills someone you love, at that remains is a hole in the soul and an urgent, unrelenting, overwhelming, obsessive demand for justice.

Sometime I see the role of a P.I. as a crisis manager.
And when some crises are inexplicable or unfathomable, that's when I call on "the angels."
I use them allegorically, not religiously.
Because every culture, all people, have their own vision and version of angels in their heads.

It's angels I talk to grieving parents about at roadside crosses where their kids died.
It's angels I speak of to a man with a broken neck and leg who for all intents and purposes should have been killed by the pick-up that hit him in the cross walk.

"You must have an angel" I said to the young woman  who would still walk -- despite the fact she took a bullet to the spine while at a bus stop, caught in drive-by gang crossfire.
She smiled and said, "Yes, I do. My mama, she died when I was a baby."

So I thought tonight would be the perfect time to post one of my favorite songs.
It  says a lot about how I....and other P.I.'s.... feel.
Admittedly, some of us are jaded and see only dark humor in dark places.
Me... I see the glimmers of light, the beacons of hope.
I call on the angels.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Witness, if you will, how relevant Tracey Chapman's song is today even though it was written decades ago.
I have always liked her music and today, I had a glimpse of a world in serious turmoil and this song came to mind.
What this visionary singer saw has materialized.
Thought I'd post this before I call it a night.
I have no clue if anyone will find this post, or listen to the song.
I just felt a compulsion to post it.
The tables HAVE turned.
Talking about a revolution. Again.

Talking About A Revolution" (Tracy Chapman)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011