Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Freezepop - Bike Thief Music Video

The Case of The Stolen Bike.

I have been down for the count due to this lovely swine flu I had no clue was running rampant. (see pig posts below)  Today I feel much better. Answered emails, did some Facebook stuff, also worked a few cases via computer and made/took phone calls.
So on the phone, I  just promised a  dear friend who is a nurse,  I would curl up on my sofa  all day, drink the fluids, take vitamins, do nothing. And specifically not blog.
Yet with a blog,  according to my youngest daughter, the social marketing genius, a blog has to stay current or it gets deleted, ignored, forgotten.
So I am keeping all my promises to my good friend the nurse, except this one.
I am blogging. Though only a little bit.
Instead, I have another guest blogger, Caroline Deer. .. a student who was in my P.I. class last night.
The blog started  as an email sent me this morning.
I was telling stories in class about "pretext"... a tool we investigators use to elicit information. There are many legal restrictions to pre-texting, so one must always follow the law. When you are a P.I. and use pretext, you become someone else -- like an actor.
Caroline's story was intriguing, innovative and may be helpful to someone else who has had their property stolen.
This same thing, a bicycle theft, happened recently to a close family friend. His bicycle was important to him and has still not been found. Maybe this information can help someone  in some way.
So here, with Caroline's Deer's permission, is her story...in the email  form it was originally sent to me. Caroline Deeer, btw, is on Facebook. If you friend her, tell her I said Hi.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
"Bike Thief  E-Mail" by Caroline Deer.

Hi Susan-

Last night in class I remember you talking about playing a role or being in character during some of your investigations and I want to share this story with you that I know you will appreciate.

At the beginning of the year on January 8th, my bicycle was stolen from my condo garage. The garage is an open air space with an automatic rolling gate. Two other points of entry into the garage are two doors, one located next to the rolling gate and one on the side of the building down a stairwell. I had my bike propped up against the wall toward the rear of the garage and off to the side of the garage where it could not be seen from the street. I looped a plastic covered chain/lock through the frame and wheel on the bike.

I had been gone most of the day (a Saturday) and returned late in the evening around 11:00. I was preparing to go skiing the next day, so I was loading my gear in my truck. I noticed then that the bike was missing. My first reaction was being pissed and then my other thoughts were how did the thief make entry and is this person still around the building?

I immediately called 911 to report the missing bike. I also walked through the building to make sure it was secure just in case the thief could be somewhere else in the building. While I was waiting on the responding officer I noticed the rolling garage door was off track at the ground. This was the entry point. The officer showed up to take a statement and even collected a can left behind as evidence. I asked the officer the motive of bike theft and she said they either end up at the pawn shop or on Craigslist.

This was not my first time being victim of crimes since I have been in Seattle (I have also been victim to three bank robberies), so I was ready to take matters into my own hands and search for the bike. The following Monday a friend and I travelled up and down Aurora Ave looking for the bike at pawn shops, but no success. I then began looking at Craigslist every few days to see if I could find it. After a week and a half, I found it! I decided to give Craigslist a quick check one afternoon and when I saw the ad with a picture of my bike! I couldn’t believe it. I went into character and called the number on the ad and played it cool. A man named Scott had the bike listed. I found out his location which he told me was Tacoma and got an address to his home. I also asked him questions about the type of bike and year of the bike, which he could not answer. I asked where he got it from and he said an auction along with a few others. This told me that he didn’t know squat about the bike, so it was likely stolen. I set up a time to go see it after work and he agreed.

I immediately called police for advice and they were not much help. I got the run around from both Seattle and Tacoma, so I said never mind, I will handle it myself. I recruited the help of a male friend to see if I could borrow his car to go there because I didn’t know if this guy was the actual thief and he would put two and two together if he saw my truck pull up. The truck was parked close the bike. My friend said "lets go together." On the way to Tacoma I went over every possible thing that could go wrong in my head mapping out if this happens then we’ll do this type scenarios. I also wrote the serial number to my bike on the inside of my arm and the address to his house as well. I dropped a mini flashlight in my pocket along with my cell phone.

We pulled up and the man came out of the garage with the bike in tow. I said, “Wow that is a nice bike! I have looked at so many and this one by far is the nicest for the price. Why are you selling it?” He said he picks up bikes at auctions for low prices then sells them. Now brace yourself….he then says,” They even have the serial number still on them!” I was floored! I said “where on earth would they put a serial number on a bike?”He then says, “Let me show you.” He flips the bike over and there it was….my serial  number! I said, “Can I take the bike for a spin and make sure all the gears work?” He said “sure.” So my friend stayed behind and chatted him up while I went around the block. I confirmed once again that it was my serial number and then I called the police. Two officers arrived and went to confront him. Of course he gave them some song and dance about where it can from and then they cuffed him. In the end the man was arrested for possession of stolen property and the police were able to obtain a search warrant for his garage. He had the entire thing full of stolen goods. He was booked into Pierce County and released the next day. The following day I got a call from Seattle Police asking me for more information about my bike, so they could investigate further. I told them the information and then let them know that I recovered the bike the night before. I told them the Tacoma Police Department case number and they used the information from that case to catch the actual thief that took the bike in the first place.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Swine Flu Song

Swine On The Mind.

One of the miracles the internet has brought us is the ability to track trouble in real time -- natural  and man-made disasters and epidemics world-wide on a daily basis. Having walked this planet pre-personal computers, pre-remote controls, pre-video games, pre-non-religious talk radio,
I guess I had no clue there were serial killers running rampant, sex offenders on every streets, earthquakes in foreign countries,  tsunamis sweeping lives and worlds away and nuclear reactors melting down.

Having been raised by a family that was neither Christian or Catholic, I has no clue I would be later told as an adult  that I was condemned to go to hell if I did not believe in Jesus Christ.
To me hell was an tomb of fire and screaming souls, Dante's Inferno, the place I vanquished my enemies in my head. It had nothing to do with religion. The idea that I would be sent there because I was born into a family that raised me with a differing set of religious and cultural beliefs than those whose parents raised them to believe in Jesus Christ... or missionaries who spread the word... made no sense to me.  It still doesn't. Believe want you want, just don't force your ideas on me.

I remember being in third grade, asked to read aloud, and not knowing what the word "Jesus" was...let alone how to pronounce it. I  stumbled over possible pronunciations as the class laughed at me, and the teacher stared in bewilderment.

There is a point to this blog, I promise. I am getting there.

In the course of my job I go places regular citizens wouldn't on a daily basis. Hospitals, jails, prisons, morgues. And  because most of my client base is attorneys who represent injured people, I  am dispatched to the injured. Many times, it is to their homes where they are wounded, they feel broken, desperate and come from completely different worlds with their own sets of beliefs.

Good old American red-nicks, rich folks, poor folks, Indian chiefs...
yuppies, gang-bangers,  soldiers, construction workers, holy-rollers and Hasidic Jews...
millionaires and people so poor...they are homeless.  Regardless of culture or religious beliefs,  seriously injured people are mostly shell shocked,  afraid, broken, and occasionally, suicidal.

When there is no home to meet in...  we converse under trees, in cars, at coffee shops. Mickey D's and flea bag motels. I meet Americans, Somalians,  Hawaiians, Koreans,  East Indians, Africans, Native Americans,   Japanese, Hindus,  Chinese, Iraquis, Iranians,  people from Russia,  Bali, Peru,  Fiji, Thailand, Vietna, Nepal, Libya and so many more more -- all who have immigrated to our country. The list of people from places I have met is as limitless as the cultural and religious imprints and beliefs on this planet.

Most of these people have children yet retain their cultural identity at home -- their spiritual or religious leanings, their specific arts, their fabulous foods with foreign smells.   I am always intrigued to walk in a new door.
I take a deep breathe, smell unusual spices. I look at the walls and the art is nothing like what's on my walls.  Generally speaking, this new generation of children born  to American immigrants demonstrates great love, respect, regard and protection for their parents. They translate for me,  and explain their parents worries in a way I understand enough to relay to attorneys helping them.

America has indeed become one mega melting pot and I truly believe there's room enough of this planet of ours for many religions, not just one or two. For many beliefs. For many forms of government.  For differing political parties and philosophies. For differences in both our thought patterns, physical appearances, genetic structures and of course, DNA codes.

That said, such exposure has its dangers. One being the limitless number of illness out there. I tend to stay healthy and avoid plagues. I tend to get my flu shot every fall or winter. I carry anti-bacterial hand lotion in my car and back. And if someone  sick needs to borrow my pen, or sign a declaration, I leave the pen with them. So I have been a bit cocky about my good health... until now.

About ten days ago I caught this "little cold" which then turned out to be a "little flu" which then turned out to be a big case of H1N1... swine flu. It threw me for a psychological and physical loop.

Being an Investigator, I  was determined to find out how I caught it.... because allegedly, the "flu" shot I got in December 2010 was precisely for that purpose. However, I did note, a little too late... the V.A. was requiring their patients to get a flu shot and an H1N1 shot. It was interesting at the time, though it did not correlate until the past ten days...  while I have been down for the count and doing massive research.  I wandered the internet as a distraction to the  feverish fluid filled wasteland called my body to see just how this could happen. And the results were startling.

H1N1 is alive, well and taking lives across WA state,  the US, and many countries on this planet right now. The reason is my best guess because I have no time to lay out the evidence here. Suffice to say,  many of the shots given in 2010... and the nose spray.... contained no NO H1N1 vaccine.
"Oops, we forgot" just doesn't cut it for me.

Allegedly someone high up figured this out so now the flu shots in 2011...  allegedly... contain both flu and H1N1 components. Other sources are telling me, this may not be true.  That one still has to specifically request an H1N1 vaccine.

And that is the whole point of today's blog. No murders, suicides or bear stories.
Just a warning to anyone who finds their way here today.
Truth be told, while writing.... I feel a bit like those folks on TV talk shows who tell their horrendous sagas  and say... "If I can just help one person, then it will all be worth it."
That is why I am connecting you to the following link.
Allegedly, it will allow you to follow the latest round of swine flu, H1N1 sweeping the nation... world.

Venezuela currently has it big time. And heaven (or wherever) forbid, it hits a quake, tsunami, refuge zone.
I can't imagine being without my blanket, chicken soup,  o.j., hot tea,  aloe coated kleenexes, vitamins,  internet and the full spectrum of satellite tv. I am quite a fortunate person to have been born when I was, to the parents I was, in the place I was. Somehow I walked across this beds of swine coals  and the only burn came from the fever.

So the last line of this blog is a link to a flu tracker by Dr Henry Niman of Rhiza Labs and of course, Google. Oddly it indicates a date of May... and if you enter the current months, it does not update. However the current date is on the chart, so someone's watching it. And another flu tracker I found showed much the same results for this year.  I know my country health department has issued alerts.

Morale of this story. Get your H1N1 shot if you haven't already.
And remember, you must be healthy before you get the shot.
Just follow the link below.
http://flutracker.rhizalabs.com/

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Leona Lewis - Happy (Lyrics)

She Just Wanted To Be Happy.

I've enjoyed having Shash and The Bearman on the blog this week.
I find the story heartening and inspiring -- especially given the current global/economic meltdown.
And now, having survived a long stint with a flu and being down for the count, in my nice cozy little beach house.... I think about what a gift my life truly is.
What a gift most of our lives are.

If you are reading this, your life is a gift.
Because you have a computer, you have internet, you have time to read my words.
Just as I have time, albeit it brief, to write this blog.
Like me...  if you have access to the web you are most likely, at this very moment, safe.

However...are you happy?
Really happy?
The level of business I grow as a P.I. can be correlated, in my opinion at least, to the level of  unhappiness out there.
When I was a newbie Investigator, I took more domestic cases than I could count.
Now, I farm them out unless I am sure there is a fraud involved.
Because all stories, especially ones of love, have at least two sides.
And there's always a third side, the truth.
If a woman hired me because her man is cheating...
how do I know the woman who hired me is not cheating? Or not whacko?
Or maybe she is driving her man into the arms of another woman just because she's so miserable to live with.

I am working for a family now on yet another homicide/suicide.
I occasionally get  those cases once the Medical Examiner writes the word "suicide" on the death certificate.
The family usually doesn't buy it when they hate the boyfriend/husband/lover.
Did she blow her own brains out, or did he?
The family, of course, blames him.
He, of course, blames her.
I tell the families, when they hire me, I may find out it WAS a suicide.
So they may pay me their good money for the answer they do not want to hear.
Ultimately, it is all about the evidence.

A  P.I.  is not an advocate for the client.
We are advocates for the truth.
And sometimes, people don't like or want the truth. They prefer to swim in their own illusions or delusions.

So I was investigating one such suicide/homicide case a little while ago.
I asked for keys to the dead woman's car.
The suicide didn't happen there, the car wasn't being held in evidence.
And the case had  just been closed after the police investigation.
No one had been in her car since she died.
He didn't want it and was going to sell it, said it had too many bad memories.

A few facts first, before I get to the point.
She met  him on the net, a dating site.
He swept her off her feet.
Said he was once a soldier, when he was not.
Said he graduated from a college he never attended.
I could find no record of a G.E.D. or high school diploma.
He always had a wad of bills when they dated, always paid the tab.
Once he hooked her, she paid.
Something wasn't right.
He was nowhere as bright or motivated as she.
He began to isolate her from friends and family.
Her beloved pets both "disappeared" one day at the same time.
It was just the two of them.

Her family knew  he had bad mojo.... felt it, tried to talk her out of letting him move in.
However, she had never been in love like this, she said. Ever.
All she said was "He makes me so HAPPY!"

And there's no fighting the happy hormone tsunami of two people who first fall in love.
That is a physiological fact.
The first stages of love are so nauseatingly sweet, it's hard to swallow or listen to the endless affirmations of love
It's all they talk about.
New lovers are so bound in each other's essence,  they lose themselves, their individuality, for at least.... some say 6-12 months.... when the hormones  ultimately wear off.
Then the  real truth emerges.
In my opinion, every couple needs a few good arguments under their belt to see the other's truth.

Sometimes it's a good truth, some times it is not.
Personally,  I believe true love is as rare as diamonds.
And this dude I was investigating turned out to be a lump of coal who saw her as his diamond.
When the fights started, when words got flung, when the booze was guzzled, she ultimately realized he was not what he appeared to be.
She confided her fears in one person, on another coast.
However, by then, it was too late.
Somehow, he moved in to her paid-off house, convinced her to refinance it.
He got her to marry him in City Hall. Fast.
The witnesses were his two friends.
No pre-nup (she had money, no kids).
And six months later, allegedly, she used his gun to shoot herself in the face.
Even though she was opposed to the Second Amendment... even though she signed a petition to that effect and hated guns.
Beyond that, women tend not to shoot themselves in the face when we commit suicide because of the vanity factor.

He had nothing, she had everything.
She is gone... now he has everything.
And the police don't buy the family's argument.
She had a turbulent psychological history. She was on antidepressants. She drank.
She dutifully took pills he said were vitamins.
The tox screen found lots of oxy and benzos in her blood and above the legal driving limits of alcohol.

So back to the point of this story.
She's dead, I was investigation that death. Homicide or suicide?
I was sitting in the driver's seat of her car. I noticed a CD in place.
I turned on the engine,  the CD  instantly went on, the song I am linking you to next played loudly about a minute into it.
I think  the song speaks volumes as to her state of mind.

I am still working the case. I remain open to all possibilities though suicide isn't looking good to me right now.
I also found this guy had three former wives.
I've only found one, so far. She hung up on me the minute I  called and mentioned his name.

The point of the story is this:
With the economy on the down tick, predators are on the uptick.
Bad boys and  bad girls are looking for fulfillment, security, opportunity or money from others. Predators are running rampant, wolves in sheep's clothing.
So should you meet someone who seems too good to be true, they may be just that.
Too good to be true.
May i suggest you savor a new relationship... while moving slowly...investigating deeply.
And if you are older and have assets, get a pre-nup. And have an exit plan just in case.

Many women going through divorce end up at lower income status than their husbands.
Many are reduced to poverty level.
Maybe it has to do with glass ceilings. I think it has more to do with the fact that women tend to fall in love  too fast without strapping on a parachute.... because they still believe in Prince Charming.
Even if he is a toad in disguise.

The song above is the song I found in her car.  I decided to post the version with lyrics.
You draw your own conclusions.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cougar vs Bear Cub: Happy Ending Guaranteed

"SHASH: PART TWO" by The Bearman

This story below is Part Two of the the saga of Shash and The Bearman. 
Scroll down, you'll find part one below.
It was written by Investigatior friend, Dan Bekins, who sent me his story after I wrote about Bubba, my beloved rescue pup.
All the words from this point on are Dan's. You can find -and friend.-Dan Bekins, A.K.A. The Bearman, on Facebook. I've also added a link to his website at the end of this post.


The Transition

Here we are in the year 2000.  Shash and I have been the best of friends for almost six years now.  Though we don’t know Shash’s actual birth date, we use the first of February.  Shash just turned six.

We have been playmates since he was 13 lbs.  In five and a half years we have grown together.  Many people at the Zoo have helped to bring up Shash to be the wonderful, playful adult Bear that he is today.  Many people have helped when I went in and played with him.  To all of you please accept my gratitude for your concerns and caring.

The hardest thing about moving to the Phoenix metro area for me has been the distance between Shash and I.  He is only too ready to show me in his displeasure with the arrangement.  After a few minutes that is over and we have overcome all distance and time since our last visit.

Because of one thing or another, it had been nine months since I had actually hugged my little buddy. In February everything was perfect to go in and play with Shash.  We spent about 40 wonderful minutes together.  I held him.  I scratched him.  I buried my face in his fur and smelled that fabulous Bear musk of his.  Many people long to do, and to have, what Shash and I share.

Some say that I place too many human traits to what they consider a “wild animal”.  Well, all I can say is that they don’t share the bond that Shash and I do.  Before we play, Shash grabs one of his arms and bites himself.  I had wondered about this for sometime before I understood just what he was doing.  He was testing how hard he could mouth me so that he would not hurt me.  The bond that we share is a bond of love and mutual respect. 

There will be those that think that this is a story of fear based on “wild animal” instinct, or based on what Shash might sometime do.  Some will say, “you never can tell what a wild animal will do, he could turn on you.”  They are wrong.  This is a story of love; the love that Shash and I share for each other.  It is because of my love for Shash that I have made a decision that I do not like making.  I have made the decision not to go in with Shash again.

I went and played with Shash again after that time in February.  Phyllis, my wife, was in Florida.  She came back with a story that helped me with my decision.  Phyllis talked with a couple that is professional animal rehabilitators in Georgia. The man, named Chippewa, went in with a four-year-old, 250 lb Black Bear that he raised and had daily personal contact.  Everything seemed normal and the Bear gave no indications otherwise.  Suddenly the Bear went off on him.  It mauled and attacked him.  The man is crippled for life because of the incident.  This is still not the reason that I based my decision on.  While lying in the enclosure, bleeding and broken, Chippewa pleaded for those present not to harm the animal.  He told the horrified onlookers “ Tell my wife and children that I love them.  Please don’t harm the Bear.”  They shot the Bear once with a tranquilizer dart and it had no effect.  They hit him again with another dart.  The Bear was too pumped on adrenalin and this did not slow the Bear down.  They had to kill the animal while the crippled trainer protested.  He loved that animal enough that he placed his life secondary to the life of the Bear.  This is why I made my decision.

I have more than a little bit of pride and an ego being able to play with such a magnificent animal as Shash.  I think that Shash knows this because he allows me to have had such great photos of us taken.  Of course Shash is a bit of a ham himself.  When I heard the story that Phyllis told I made a decision in less that a minute.  I would play with Shash one more time and our time together would transition to visits with a wire mesh between us.    This is not about fear for myself, because I have never feared playing with “the Shasher.”  I know that the Keepers had such fears and sometimes watched anxiously while we played.  The decision is about my fear for what might happen to Shash.  I could not live with myself if he was harmed in anyway because of me.  This is a truly painful decision for me to make, but the right one.

We played one last time.  I scratched his belly one last time.  He mouthed my hand and arm.  I buried my face in the fur on his back while we were sitting together and cried.  I told him that this would be the last time we would be playing like this.  I told him that I loved him and why I could no longer be with him in this way.  I left the enclosure.  Shash sat there for a moment and left to sit in a corner by himself.  He had a strange look about him.  Shash knew what I said and was grieving in his own way.  Yeah, you can say that I put to many human feelings to that Bear.  Anyone that was there to see our parting moment can tell you about how we both felt.

I will continue to see my little buddy as often as possible.  Our relationship is in transition.  The wire may separate us but barriers cannot separate the love we share.  My Creator allows Shash and I to share a connection that others can only dream of.  He allows us all to be a part of something greater than ourselves.

I want to thank the Creator for allowing Shash and I to have such a bond.  I also want to thank my family, and the staff and volunteers at Heritage Park Zoo for their understanding and support in the development of the relationship that Shash and I share.

Though your individual experiences with the animals at Heritage Park Zoo may be different than mine, I hope that you can find a special relationship with an animal here.  Many people have done so and have decided to adopt their favorite beasts.  My experience with Shash began with volunteering my time.  It is in giving that we receive so much more in return.

Dan Bekins aka Bearman                                                          

        Shash stands 7'2 tall and weighs 550 lbs. I am 6'4.
Link to the Bearman's Website: http://www.bearmanpi.com/
                                                                                      


Friday, March 25, 2011

The Bear Song

"SHASH: PART ONE" by The Bearman

This story comes to the blog from an Investigatior friend, Dan Bekins.  He's called The Bearman for reasons you are about to learn. Dan sent me this story after I wrote about Bubba, my beloved rescue pup.

I was deeply moved by Dan's unconditional love of the bear cub he and his family "adopted". And then the story of Shash's growth and eventual departure from the nest. I asked Dan if I coud publish it here in the blog. It's a two part series.  He generously agreed. All the words from this point on are Dan's. You can find... and friend... Dan Bekins, A.K.A. The Bearman, on Facebook.


Shash

Shash.  Even the mention of his name brings to me treasured memories of my favorite Black Bear.  Whether it is his antics with his ball, swimming in his pool, or playing with a gunnysack, we all have our special memory.  Shash is part of my life, we are buddies and playmates.  I am lucky enough to be the Bearman.

Shash was born on the San Carlos Apache Reservation near Globe, Arizona.  His name means “Little Bear” in Apache.  On May 7th of 1994 a hunter killed his mother and he became an orphan.  The hunter, who was hunting legally, discovered his mistake and since it was cub season, looked for cubs.  He found one cub and turned him over to Arizona Game and Fish.  There is a heavy fine for shooting a she-bear but in spite of this, he chose to take responsibility for his actions, and did the right thing.  Something that does not happen all that often in today’s society.

Shash was lucky to find a home.  A certified wildlife rehabilitator in the Globe area was the next human touched by Shash.  For two weeks the family kept the cub at their home.  This family went the extra mile to provide love and care to Shash until we at Heritage Park Zoo in Prescott, Arizona could take responsibility for him.

The usual ending for bear cubs is euthanization because there are so few places that can provide a home.  Once animals have become imprinted, they will return to where humans live.  This is dangerous for both Bears and humans.  

My wife Phyllis has a soft spot for animals and we have our share around the house.  I had become a whiner because Phyllis would keep bringing home animals.  I whined to our veterinarian who suggested that she volunteer at the local zoo.  I was overjoyed because this could be the solution to keeping a steady population here at home.  All the animals that she could ever want, but she couldn’t bring any of them home.  Phyllis happened to start the day a 13-pound Black Bear cub named Shash came to live at the zoo.

Phyllis would come home with stories about the little bear. Phyllis and others took turns bottle-feeding him every three hours.  After two weeks of stories I went to see the bear.  I helped feed him, played with him, and I was hooked.  This is when my memories of Shash began.

Little larger than a teddy bear, Shash was fearless and charged with energy.  I still can see him sitting is his many wading pools.  I remember removing the shredded pieces of those pools.  I see him standing on his first den and when Phyllis least expected it, and bent over, he would jump on her back.  “What shall I do, what shall I do” she’d cry.  “Stand up” I’d say.  As he would roll to the ground, we would both laugh.  I remember removing the shredded pieces of the first den.  Bears in general are destructive animals; I think Shash is just mischievous.

How Shash loves water.  He had a stock trough for a pool after he started destroying the plastic ones after only a day.  I can truly state that the makers of those troughs can be proud of their product, they are bear proof!  He would run across his enclosure and could skillfully land on the rim.  Shash would then lower himself into the “pool” in such a way that he would look like anyone of us at home in the tub.  He also loves to get sprayed with the hose in the summer.

Shash now has a deluxe pool with a waterfall provided from donations and a local Scout Troop provided the much-needed muscle for this project.

I remember getting a panicky call from one of the Zoo Keepers that Shash had gotten out and was on top of his enclosure.  On the ride to the zoo my heart seemed as if it was tearing its self lose from my chest.  I had visions of King Kong on top of the Empire State Building.  Those horrible what if’s.... were running through my mind.

I arrived at the zoo to find Shash bouncing on the wire that covered the enclosure thoroughly enjoying himself.  He was having a good old time.  I spoke to him sternly and told him to come down.  He had a look like Pooh getting caught with his paw in the honey jar and proceeded to come down.  He went left, he went right, and after a minute or so, several of us guided him back inside his enclosure.  Oh you little Shasher!

I still go in the enclosure and play with my “little buddy”; I try to do so as often as I can.  There is nothing like a Bear hug to set the day right.  He stands at over seven feet now and weighs over four hundred fifty pounds.  Shasher is a large part of my life.  Even the dogs at home realize this and don’t think twice about me coming home smelling like a Bear.  I have many more memories than I can get down in this space.  Shash has touched many people’s lives and we all have those special moments when that cuddly Bear comes to mind. 

It was through volunteering my time I got this opportunity for which I am truly grateful.  I find my time donated to the zoo very fulfilling.  There may be a project in your area that could use your help and support.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Wrath of Helen

I heard this story yesterday on my rounds.
I figured it was bull, radio fodder for the masses.
I was wrong.

It happened in Florida.
One neighbor, Dwight, a 53 year old current or retired cop (can't recall which) helped out his 92-year old neighbor Helen next door with varying tasks.
It's what we tend to do when we are decent human beings.
So Dwight, the neighbor, took Helen's trash to the curb.
Helen was so moved, she wanted/demanded a kiss from Dwight.
I think his response was appropriate.
He didn't insult her. Or hurl.
Instead, he  diplomatically said he had a girlfriend.
And that was that, or so he thought.

 

Whoever said "Hell knows no fury like a woman scorned," got it right this time.
Because scorned Helen was seriously ticked off.
She went in her house, got her gun and proceeded to blast away, shooting a barrage of bullets into Dwight's window, walls and one into his car.
Fortunately, Dwight was not hit, though he was quite shaken up.
And Helen was arrested.
Helen told the judge he really wanted to just go home.
The judge didn't think it was such a good idea.

And I'm wondering today what Dwight was thinking because this just happened.
It's not the best time to sell your house, especially in Florida.
And I don't think, even in his wildest dreams, well-intentioned Dwight could have seen that one coming.However, it happens.

Moral of this little story?
The flame, no matter how old we are, doesn't die in some people.
Nor does the desire for revenge.

I will never forget being introduced to a 100 year old man, an old soldier, who asked me for a kiss.
This was almost a decade ago.
I was surrounded by family, I figured.... what the heck?
When I went for a peck on his cheek, he whipped out one hand,  grabbed the back of my head and pulled my mouth directly on his.
It took a bit of force to break the suction, similar to a toilet plunger... and pull away.
I wasn't sure whether to slug him, or laugh.
Instead, I just steppped away...
found some mouth wash in a nearby bathroom...
and added it to my list of bizarre and strange life experiences.


Now, thinking about that moment and writing this post... it is remarkable to me that after
100 years on this planet, the guy thought he's still got it going on.
Yet, like Helen, socially acceptable boundaries eroded over the years.
Fortunately, though... unlike Helen... he had no gun at the time.

Here's a link to the case from  "The Smoking Gun"
http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/florida/woman-92-goes-ballistic-after-being-denied-kiss-874093

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Evacuation

At this very moment, when I really think about it... I suppose it was just a matter of time before  "evacuation" would be come a commercial enterprise marketed to civilians.
Yet, before all the natural disasters as of late....
combined with the waves of war and revolution currently washing over this planet...
I never thought I would see an ad for evacuation products and companies on places like Facebook.
I will link to you to one such company at the end of this post.
My intent  with this blog post, is not to push a push a particular company or product.
Rather it is to make a point.
Evacuation is no longer a word used primarily in bathrooms; Hollywood; or during Hurricane threats to our east coast.
It is now a big business.
And it is reaching out to beyond First Responder networks to the general public.
This morning, I discovered the Evacuation Chair, advertised on FB.
That gave me pause to ponder and post here before I begin my day.

Not only has the world shifted on it is physical axis due to a shift in the earth's crust and tectonic plates...
the people on this planet have shifted psychologically, emotionally, politically, culturally, socially.
We have witnessed the unfathomable.
Been touched by the inconceivable.
In my mind, since 911...
the current generation which may not be so familiar with the atrocities of the Holocaust, is now familiar with a whole new spectrum of of horrific possibilities.
Not only what people do to other people, also what nature does to people.
It appears we individual humans are not the center of the Universe.
There are greater forces at work here.... and it does each  of well to pull our collective heads out of the sand and take a good look around.
Sometimes, in order to save ourselves, we need to save others.

So it is with this thought in mind, I post a link to one company.
Its name isn't the best given yesterday's internet release of barbaric photos taken by what I would consider a whacked out squadron of  American soldiers from a unit with the same name.
The "trophy" photos show soldiers displaying the dead much like a hunter holds up a deer he just killed. Court martial procedures are now underway. I won't link you to the photos.
Once you see them, you can't erase them from your head.
Those photos had the same effect on me as the beheading videos released on the net years ago.
I watched those and was shaken to the core. I had my own earthquake; then a tsunami of emotions I choose not to subject anyone else to by re-post or linking them here.

Instead, consider this.
When you care about... or for... someone who can't care from themselves...
and a call comes out for evacuation, there are products that can help you when the first responders are helping others.
Of course, the current economy keeps the average citizen from keeping products like these on hand.
However, it is important to know products are out there that can help you move a disabled person when and if the need arises.
Now I know this isn't an "uplifting" blog post in the traditional sense.
However,  the lift the Stryker chair gives can save a life.
And isn't that why we  humans are supposed to be here... to live  as long as possible?
Even when we are in harm's way.
So here's a link worth visiting.
From this link to company's home page, check out the Stryker Chair and the full line of products.
It is both sobering and liberating if that's possible.
http://www.evacuation.stryker.com/en-us/evac/evachome

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Letter From Sendai Japan

A friend of mine emailed me this letter yesterday. I asked if I could share it here today and she agreed. She thinks it's a great idea if it gets shared.
So here it is, my friend's note and then the letter.
I think it speaks for itself.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Hello My Lovely Friends,

First I want to thank you so very much for your concern for me. I am very
touched. I also wish to apologize for a generic message to you all. But it
seems the best way at the moment to get my message to you.

Things here in Sendai have been rather surreal. But I am very blessed to
have wonderful friends who are helping me a lot. Since my shack is even more
worthy of that name, I am now staying at a friend's home. We share supplies
like water, food and a kerosene heater. We sleep lined up in one room, eat
by candlelight, share stories. It is warm, friendly, and beautiful.

During the day we help each other clean up the mess in our homes. People sit
in their cars, looking at news on their navigation screens, or line up to
get drinking water when a source is open. If someone has water running in
their home, they put out sign so people can come to fill up their jugs and
buckets.

Utterly amazingly where I am there has been no looting, no pushing in lines.
People leave their front door open, as it is safer when an earthquake
strikes. People keep saying, "Oh, this is how it used to be in the old days
when everyone helped one another."

Quakes keep coming. Last night they struck about every 15 minutes. Sirens
are constant and helicopters pass overhead often.

We got water for a few hours in our homes last night, and now it is for half
a day. Electricity came on this afternoon. Gas has not yet come on. But all
of this is by area. Some people have these things, others do not. No one has
washed for several days. We feel grubby, but there are so much more
important concerns than that for us now. I love this peeling away of
non-essentials. Living fully on the level of instinct, of intuition, of
caring, of what is needed for survival, not just of me, but of the entire
group.

There are strange parallel universes happening. Houses a mess in some
places, yet then a house with futons or laundry out drying in the sun.
People lining up for water and food, and yet a few people out walking their
dogs. All happening at the same time.

Other unexpected touches of beauty are first, the silence at night. No cars.
No one out on the streets. And the heavens at night are scattered with
stars. I usually can see about two, but now the whole sky is filled. The
mountains are Sendai are solid and with the crisp air we can see them
silhouetted against the sky magnificently.

And the Japanese themselves are so wonderful. I come back to my shack to
check on it each day, now to send this e-mail since the electricity is on,
and I find food and water left in my entranceway. I have no idea from whom,
but it is there. Old men in green hats go from door to door checking to see
if everyone is OK. People talk to complete strangers asking if they need
help. I see no signs of fear. Resignation, yes, but fear or panic, no.

They tell us we can expect aftershocks, and even other major quakes, for
another month or more. And we are getting constant tremors, rolls, shaking,
rumbling. I am blessed in that I live in a part of Sendai that is a bit
elevated, a bit more solid than other parts. So, so far this area is better
off than others. Last night my friend's husband came in from the country,
bringing food and water. Blessed again.

Somehow at this time I realize from direct experience that there is indeed
an enormous Cosmic evolutionary step that is occurring all over the world
right at this moment. And somehow as I experience the events happening now
in Japan, I can feel my heart opening very wide. My brother asked me if I
felt so small because of all that is happening. I don't. Rather, I feel as
part of something happening that much larger than myself. This wave of
birthing (worldwide) is hard, and yet magnificent.

Thank you again for your care and Love of me,

With Love in return, to you all,
Anne.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Hats off to Hero Tom Henderson and Shelter Box.

Haiti. Australia. Japan's disaster...earthquake, tsunami and now nuclear meltdown.
All while waves of  democracy and revolution are sweeping across this planet.
And as I type, I watch the news... and witness the United  Nations, launch the overthrow of a brutal dictator in Libya and his self-entitled sons. It was fascinating to watch the President of France step forward this morning and speak of the atrocities we... all unified democratic forces.... are addressing on Libya.
Yesterday on my rounds, I heard one analyst say if Khadafy's brain was an elevator, it doesn't go all the way to the top. It stops short about two floors. And, said the analyst, his sons are  really ruling the country.
I think he's right.
From what I have seen and heard from these kids, I think it's about time someone stepped in and helped the innocent victims of the Khadafy family's insatiable and arrogant appetite for power and possessions.

Today, this PI is down for the count with a flu, so I have this rare opportunity  to watch the good guys take down the bad guys in Libya... which won't be an easy task for sure.
I have never seen anything like this recent tidal wave of natural and political disasters in my life.
While I sit cozy on my sofa, watching the world news unfold...
watching the nuclear reactors meltdown...
wondering about the workers at the  nuclear plant who are saying goodbye to life for the sake of their nation and families...
admiring the strength and courage of those who are doing something about it...
I am compelled to salute Tom Henderson here.
Tom came up with a way to turn money into Shelter Boxes containing enough survival elements for years. Each shelter box contains, among other things, a huge tent that will hold 10; food,  a water purification system; everything a family needs to a survive  the after-effects of a disaster.
In Haiti, Tom's Shelter boxes are being passed from one family, which has stablilized, to another family, still homeless. 

I'm following this post with a link to the CNN article about Tom...
and then I will make my meager donation towards a Shelter Box.
For most unemployed and financially strapped Americans, sponsoring one Shelter Box can be  too costly, about a grand (which adds up to two  front row seats listening to Charlie Sheen blather.) 
Or, you can also donate $10.00, $25.00 or $50.00 towards a Shelter Box and all the small donations add up to one big box you share with others.

Either way, the Shelter Box you contribute to, can be tracked, just like mail at the post office.
It's an amazing concept ...and I want to  share it... and honor Tom Henderson, in this tiny little blog, for coming up with the idea.
Within 24 hours of the disaster in Japan, Shelter Box was there.
If you want to do something more specific than throwing money into a vast pool of aid sources, consider Shelter Boxes.
Here's the link.
All we can do now is watch, pray, and for those who can...give.
Here's the link:
http://www.cnn.com/2011/WORLD/asiapcf/03/17/cnnheroes.henderson.japan/index.html?on.cnn=1

Thursday, March 17, 2011

An eye for an eye?

The following is a story from KIRO news. It's  the next chapter in the Clearly Lasik murder for hire. One doctor took out a hit on another....the families are related by blood.
I often wonder whether it is a tough, heavy,  or time consuming considered decision to hire a hit man, Or an impulsive one.
Either way it's not a good thing to do.
I think it's far better to dissolve a business partnership than  to put a hit out on your business partner. Especially one who is related to you. The whole concept blows the whole family dynamic out of the water.

For a brief moment in time, many moons ago, someone put a hit out on me....
and the attorney I worked for once we discovered a witness had been killed by a subject on a prior case.It was not a pleasant experience.... not was it one that was discovered by the media.
Once it got to the point not only the attorney's life and mine were threatened... but also our families...
I got out of the case. Just like that. So did the attorney.
Being  P.I. and not a police officer I get to pick and choose my cases.
I can say no anything that causes me concern.
A police officer has no such choice. He is called to scene -- domestics, a meth house, he must take the scenario all the way to its conclusion.
In this case of the  Clearly Lasik co-founder and potentially lethal doctor... Dr. Michael Mockovak... what worries me most is what happens when he gets out.
Thank you Kiro News for this story.
Here's  the link:

Eye Surgeon With Murderous Plot

Link to story - Eye Surgeon With Murderous Plot Receives Prison Sentence - KIRO Seattle

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sex Offender In Friday Harbor?

Friday Harbor is one of the San Juan Islands, a magical island amid a huge archipelago of islands here in the Pacific Northwest reachable by float plane or boat.
The community of Friday Harbor is small, closely knit and  tightly woven.
However the community's sense of safety and security started to unravel when word was that a habitual sex offender, David Stewart, was being released to live with his wife in Friday Harbor.
Unhappy is an understatement. Outrage would more the community's response.
And no wonder.
Friday Harbor has never had a sex offender live there before.
And this guy is allegedly a repeat offender who had sexually assaulted children as young as six.
The house he would live in had children in houses all around him.
In the community's mind, having him live in Friday Harbor was like giving lighter fluid to an arsonist.

I found all this out today.... and followed the story in the course of my travels.
In the morning, it seemed like the guy was moving to town despite the community's outage.
Here's a link to an earlier article that details the plan, protests and the wife's adamant stance her husband would not offend again from the Seattle P.I.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/437163_sex-offender-friday-harbor.html
Many hours later, I made it home and checked the news on this case.
It appears the worm has turned.
There's been an update.
No sex offender for Friday Harbor. Also from the Seattle P.I.
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/437211_friday-harbor-sex-offender.html
Lessons learned?
It does take a village.
And love is blind.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Alexandra"s Meltdown


Boy would I hate to be this girl's mother right now.
Or worse, I definitely would hate to be her right now. Alexandra Wallace Racist D'jour.
What an idiot.
Really.
She is a well endowed blond who is, in my opinion, the person the blond jokes were written for.
Instead, she jokes about Asians in a very vile and vicious way.
And she gives most of us intelligent, compassionate Americans a very bad rap.


Alexandra opened her mouth before really thinking  through what the effect of what she had to say... was going to have on the lives of so many people she offended.
Beyond that, she had clue with with what magnitude that You Tube post would rock her world.
I suspect she never considered the ripple effect, or the tsunami she'd send her way.
Now she's nuclear.
And likely.... melting down somewhere in a safe-house.
Go the link I'm about to post to read more about the story.
It's one of the few places you can fully find the YouTube rant.
Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom and catch this YouTube of her original post before the version on this link is found and deleted:
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1366132/Alexandra-Wallace-YouTube-racist-Asian-rant-day-Japan-tsunami.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

The response to Alexandra, especially on YouTube,  has been venomous and cautionary.
This girl now has a target sign on her front and back.
Must suck to be her today.
Still, must suck even worse to be the victims, family, friends, responders in the disaster zone.
First the quake. Then the tsunami. And now, potential nuclear meltdowns amid on-going and terrifying aftershocks.
You would have thought this girl's mama would have taught her better.

Monday, March 14, 2011

David Bowie - Heroes (live)

Hero

My life has gone to the dogs lately.
If you're a Facebook friend, you'll see why.
I put pictures of my dogs on FB instead of pictures of me. That's because some P.I.'s...
myself included.... prefer visual privacy/invisibility.

Even though I am on the net, easy to reach...
when afforded the opportunity to fly under the radar, I will generally choose that option.

Celebrity doesn't interest this P.I.
The secrets do.
That's why I lurk in the shadow lands of cyberspace.
And why I make a dog I rescued from a pit bull fighting ring.... his name is Bubba... the focus of my pictures on my Facebook wall.
Bubba's fate was to be pit bull bait until I and/or or a higher power, intervened.

So I have been on the road with Bubba a long time these past few days working cases.
He's happy to travel with me every day as I go to and from locations all over western Washington.
My gas guzzling Chevy Trailblazer is like one big playground for Bubba.
When we go through the  ferry line, espresso stands and the bank drive-thrus, the clerks usually toss Bubba a dog cookie or a piece of their lunch when he bats his bushy brows at them.
In between cases, the GPS directs us to local parks. When free of crack heads, lunatics and pitbulls, we take walks.

 Bubba is also my early warning invasion detection system... a loud bark backed by a series of shorter and repeated barks as he spies a potentially dangerous advance on our locked, parked, tinted vehicle.... while I am looking elsewhere or writing up case notes in a neighborhood people like me do not belong in unless we're working.

So I want to tell you a dog story today.
I promise to be brief because I have very few words left in me at the moment.
I was in a hardware store in the town of Sequim, getting a  rare kind of door lock, when I met an elderly man who told me a story about a dog.
The man his wife (the wife was in the car while we were talking) built a home in the boonies.
It was their dream home.... a log cabin.... in a remote location and they built it over the years with their own hands.
They never met their neighbors, the houses were separated by patches of thick woods and long dirt drives with locked and gates fences.
People who live in  places like this deliberately want to be away from others.

So this man and his wife had noticed a bedraggled dog --  a Black Lab adult male, very thin, very friendly -- greet them their second visit to their property.  The dog stayed out with them every visit after that, all the while they built the house. Even after it went up.

The dog hung around if they hung around on weekends. While they assumed it was a neighbors dog, it always appeared hungry when they arrived and it stayed outside at night, sleeping by their ten door, then curled up by their back door at night on a blanket they provided while they slept inside.

"Of course we fed and watered him," the man said. "It was the right thing to do."

One day.... the man said as he told me this story in the hardware store... he was cleaning out a big fish pond in his back yard. He hadn't seen the dog all morning, he said.
The man tripped over a rock, fell face first in the water and broke his neck.
So he was unable to lift his own head up to breathe and was literally drowning in the fish pond.

He said he believed he was a goner.
His wife was in the house, there was no one there.
He started to black out when he felt something grab his belt and then felt himself being pulled out of the water. The dog continued to drag him a few more feet, then more feet, all the way into a level ground.. The dog licked his face, and turned the man's head with his nose. The man spit water everywhere then discovered he could breathe through his nose. But he could not move his body.

The dog then sat beside the man  and barked steadily until the man's wife came running.
911 was right behind.
The man lived, his neck healed and the dog stayed with them.
The man in and his wife took the Lab in, named him Hero.
There were no missing dog signs, no one ever came looking for Hero.
And Hero never slept outside another night unless they all went camping.

After I heard this story in the hardware store, I followed the man out to meet his wife and Hero, in the backseat of  the man's Jeep.
If I hadn't known Hero's story he would have been just another dog.

Yet if it hadn't been for Hero.... the man I was talking to would no longer have existed.
He would have been just another statistic of a tragic accident.
While his wife would have been just another widow.

Lesson learned from this amazing yet true story?
Miraculous things happen every day in the insane world of ours.
Look for those miracles.
Many of them arrive in animal form.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Meltdowns and Murder

You may have noticed the blog is lacking my usual commentary lately.
That's because I am fairly busy.... and speechless.... at the end of the day as the world economy continues to tank. As people continue to lose their grip on reality, some do illegal things.... many of which truly confound me and in their cruelty and ingenuity.

Some analysts I respect say the economic bubble that burst around us all.... its size expanded by the internet bubble.... was the largest collective financial bubble blast in  history. It had been building a long time.

Today, waking up to the news of the quake and tsunami in Tokyo, studying the footage... then turning to my case files led me to this blog before beginning my rounds. The human lives/economy are going to feel a huge ripple effect from the latest events in Japan. Already we have tsunami warnings on the Washington and Oregon coast. I will be crossing the Puget Sound shortly to my first case.

So many unemployed. So many foreclosures. So many people with no health or auto insurance or cars. And now, missions overflowing with the homeless. So many more Americans on unemployment and food stamps.

I am not a pessimist. I consider myself a realist. I don't think things are going to improve in the  real estate market for a long long long time.  And as far as I am concerned, the stock markets are the largest gambling casinos in the world.

In this economy cash is king and those without it....who also happen to be without scruples... are stealing it from those who have it.
If they can't steal it fast enough, they kill their subjects and take their insurance.
I know it sounds grim. That's because it is.
However, it is the P.I.'s reality. It is my reality.

I am working a few "was it murder or suicides?" now, cases that the police have hit walls on. Economic budget cuts have hit police budgets hard,  so P.I.'s are often asked to work alongside police by a victim's family.

Many families are convinced their loves ones were murdered and did not kill themselves. Most often these client involve females killed, by boyfriends who were at odds with them or have prior criminal records. Therefore I can understand their suspicions. Finding the evidence to convince a grand jury to indict? That's a completely different story.

And then there are the missing.
Go through my Facebook friends list and you will see just how many desperate families have turned to cyberspace to help find their missing, kidnapped or murdered love ones... so many years later.

I came across the following BBC article I am linking you to this morning, about an unsolved murder I have heard about for decades. It is overseas. And it quite relevant to the subject at hand. A family wants justice and will not give up.

Murder has a ripple effect.
One person is dead, permanently.
The living, loved ones around them are the living dead until they get answers.
Imagine what toll the following case has taken on everyone involved. Not just the victim...
who coincidentally enough, happens to be a private detective/ private investigator. 
Daniel Morgan.
Be forewarned, this story is not for those with a weak stomach.

Here's the link:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-12712119

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Private detective Slain -from BradentonHerald

This article came to me from a fellow PI today. HJust passing on the message.
Be ever vigilent.
Private detective with Bradenton roots slain - News - BradentonHerald.com

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Charlie Sheen’s Meltdown - Newsweek Story

Link To: What Charlie Sheen’s Meltdown Means - From Newsweek

Winning - a Song by Charlie Sheen

One for the Defense: Lohan's Counter-Punch

This comes from the following Empire media link.
http://www.empirestatemedia.com/news/lindsay-lohan-plans-to-file-lawsuit/

"According to a report by TMZ Lindsay Lohan’s legal team is prepping to file a lawsuit against the company that has accused her of stealing a $2,500 necklace. As we mentioned earlier the surveillance tape of Lindsay Lohan was sold by the jewelry store to Entertainment Tonight for 35-40K. Reportedly Lohan’s team plans to sue for illegally profiting off of Lindsay’s image without her consent. The store has since in turn told TMZ they had no choice but to release the tape because the number of inquiries was too demanding."

Report: Lindsay Lohan Feels Vindicated