Saturday, December 29, 2012

Guest Blogger and Safety Consultant Donna Gunbettie Tackles a Difficult Issue: "Armed Guards In Schools"

As we wrap up the year 2012 and move toward another, it seems important we are realistic and honest about our future. Sandy Hook is on the minds of us all. I've spent some time writing my thoughts (for what they're worth) about recent events and my observations about the responses I've observed. If you feel compelled to share my thoughts shared below please do so. If you desire to participate in a constructive (constructive being the operative word here), interactive manner please contribute here.

Armed Guards In Schools?

As 2012 ends and we look toward a new year, we find ourselves, as a nation, searching for answers to deal with the Sandy Hook tragedy. The magnitude of the violence against so many children in a place considered a foundational element of childhood sent many into a state of shock and sent others into a tailspin of negativity and confusion. Still others launched into activity conceiving poorly thought out solutions for protecting our schools and children. Arguments related to gun control and gun ownership further complicated and diluted conversations about appropriate “next steps” for protecting schools in the future.

The depth of loss in Sandy Hook requires us to be decisive, timely, and realistic about what is possible and necessary. We must do away with any hyperbole designed to distract us from the task at hand. The task at hand is to develop an in-depth security program to protect children NOW.

Gun control discussions must not delay or deflect from the urgent need to develop a school security program. The loss of life at Sandy Hook has forced the hand of the nation to address the issue of security in the schools. In much the same manner as the TSA agency was formed following the events of 9/11, the Sandy Hook tragedy requires a substantive and actionable plan for moving forward.

Fear related to the concept of armed guards in schools is understandable. To most, the “armed” aspect of the proposal seems the least agreeable. Conversations from coffee houses to social media sites suggest for many the vision of “armed guards” looks like what has been portrayed of guards in prison and war movies.

Those who will be most impacted by the addition of any security program want to know the school environment and culture which children, parents and staff are accustomed to will be maintained. Parents and staff want to ensure their children’s atmosphere will not be negatively altered by the addition of an individual who may be a daily reminder of what happened in Sandy Hook Elementary. Putting a “body with a gun” in any school could possibly be psychologically damaging to the children and the staff if the culture of each school is not taken into account when choosing a particular security specialist.

The primary role of any school protector would be to ensure the security and safety of the children and the school in the least intrusive manner. The security professional must be an integrated school presence; a beacon of safety and positive influence for the students, families and staff. Any armed protector should become an organic part of the staff and blend in with the culture of the school in which they are hired. Children, parents, and staff would accept this person as the “Security Teacher” not as the “guard” who will kill any bad guys who try to get in because the protector would look like any other teacher or staff member in the school in terms of dress and demeanor. It would never be a point of consideration or concern for children, parents or staff to know this particular staff member is armed.

Many calling for armed guards in the schools have assumed developing a school security program is as simple as placing off-duty or retired police officers in schools. This single layer of safety, an armed presence in the schools, would be grossly inadequate however and stressful for children who might view the sudden addition of a police officer as evidence “some bad guy” with a gun is coming to their school one day soon. In order to fully protect the safety of the schools and those within, a comprehensive program with several levels of security must be designed and implemented by protection specialists who have been trained and work designing safety plans and protecting lives on a daily basis.

Protective services in the schools should be provided by the same type of security professionals who provide protective services to individuals and families who can afford to hire private security. There are hundreds, even thousands of security specialists with advanced training. These specialists have skill and experience using proven processes and methodologies for establishing safety plans and maintaining security on multiple levels.

No one would consider it appropriate to protect the President of the United States with off-duty or retired police officers. While police do make up a supplementary level of security for the POTUS, highly trained security specialists control every aspect of the safety and security of the President and first family. This highest level of protection imaginable is conducted in a manner to provide, as much as possible, a sense of normalcy for the first family as they live their daily lives. This sense of normalcy in a security program for schools is achievable as well provided the correct professionals are given the opportunity to design and implement a multi-level security program in collaboration with school officials, teachers, and staff.

In order to move forward in the wake of Sandy Hook, constructive, proactive conversation needs to begin. The challenge is to create and execute a comprehensive security plan for the public school system. It seems the least we can do in memory of the loss of 26 innocent lives and the promise they held for the future of our nation.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Marijwhatnow? Seattle Police Department's Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle

On December 6, marijuana will be legal for recreational use in Washington State.
 Colorado's already got a system in place. Washington's still figuring it out.
The Seattle Police decided to take the initiative and published  this informative and uniquely creative guide to help navigate the unknowns.
When you read the blotter, be sure to check out the You Tube that's on it.
It's quite a funny variation on the Hobbit, courtesy of SPD.
Click here:
Marijwhatnow? A Guide to Legal Marijuana Use In Seattle

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Killer Pain Killers - Oxy v. Car Accidents

I added a status quote about this  subject to my Facebook page just now because I've done car accident injury and death investigations a long time and I've never witnessed, or believed a statistic like this...
More Americans are dying now more from painkillers, than automobile accidents.
Across the board, it appears Oxy... OxyContin is the main culprit.
http://oxywatchdog.com/oxy-stories/
Vicodin, Percoset, and Oxycontin are tripling the hit in Michigan.
http://www.buprenorphine-doctors.com/news/opioid-addiction-causes-more-deaths-than-automobile-accidents-in-michigan.html

There's currently a nationwide shortage of the Oxy medications to legitimate doctors and medical institutions from Florida, to Pittsburgh and Washington.
Florida, Pittsburgh, Washington State, all over.
One reason is a huge rash of pharmacies robberies that started a couple years back.
http://www.cnn.com/2011/HEALTH/06/03/drugstore.robberies/index.html
Here's a link to a message board that discusses the shortage.
And if you are hooked, stroll down, there are resources you can turn to.
http://sci.rutgers.edu/forum/showthread.php?t=148995

So now, people physically dependent on Oxy....
who are cut off from their doctors and too broke for the high price of the pills on the street...
 are choosing other avenues.
Including meth and heroin.
Meth is easy to buy and make.
Heroin is relatively easy to get.
Which is likely the primary reason why heroin addiction is also running more rampant in America than every before in history.

Dealers are now selling Oxy for $40-80 a pill on the streets.
And at that price, there are no guarantees on purity, potency or if the pill contains any Oxy at all. Maybe just baby powder, poison or any number of Oxy look-a-likes.

As for the legitimate doctors... the GP's... PCP's...
It's getting so bad out there, that some  doctors are known to hire a trusted P.I to  find out if a patient...
who is allegedly in chronic pain and the doctor now suspects is  "doctor shopping" or dealing is indeed doing so.
Because a Doctor can lose his or her license for prescribing the wrong drugs or over-prescribing.
Doctors need to protect themselves from a federal government all to eager to prosecute.

So when a suspected addict or dealer, leaves an medical building and no longer shows any physical symptoms ( a limp, slow gate, difficulty getting in and out of car), or goes straight to the street to sell the stuff... a PI could let the Doctor know so the Doctor can assess the threat level.
Legitimate medical professionals need to be protected from this Oxy epidemic every bit as much as the individuals who still depend on these meds, long after their prescriptions have run out.

Not only are prescription pain and allegedly tranquilizing meds killing the users...
these meds cause the users who are not using them for pain in the prescribed manner....
to harm others.
When you are in serious pain, and you take powerful pain med, the meds kills the pain and imho, bring you to a slightly spaced out, sedated normal.
When you are not in physical pain, the prescription pain meds just make you high, if not higher than, a kite.
They also make you dependent... because  the high becomes a monster that grows into  addiction...
that must be fed exponentially higher quantities to survive.
Drug addiction kills relationships and people.
Now... even more than car accidents do.

I would remiss to close this blog without a resource to turn to.
Benzos are incredibly difficult to withdraw from...
so as are painkillers like Oxy.
Since it's no longer considered an outrage to be addicted to medications doctor's prescribe...
people who seek help get respect and are applauded when they brake the chain of addictions.
Please do not get behind the wheel when you are high.
Please do not mix meds.
Do not drink and take meds.
Do not take energy drinks and meds.
Or energy drinks and alcohol.
An altered state is not worth a permanently dead state.
If you need help, don't go to one of those pain management clinics, like the ones in FLA, which are drug dealers in white coats.
Get off the stuff....
and watch the light return to your life.
Here's a link where you, or someone you may know can start... to stop.
http://www.stopoxy.com/



Friday, November 16, 2012

"All I want to say is...

.
..they don't really care about us."

That's how Michael Jackson's song goes and how the inmates at the CPDRC maximum security prison in Cebu Phillipines interpreted it.
The video that follows, was first uploaded to You-Tube by "a" David Beckham.
I don't know if it is "the" David Beckham...
though the slick production and the wardrobe make me think he, or his wife Victoria Beckham, may have had a hand in this.
I've seen several Flash Mob videos out of this prison.
This is, imho, the best, the most well-constructed.... so far.

For those who don't know what a Flash Mob is, here's a a wiki link (not leak).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_mob

Seattle has Flash Mobs all the time.
I find them highly entertaining and fascinating.
Usually the folks around a Flash Mob aren't aware of what's happening.
Sometimes people break into random songs...
Other times,
In Seattle we have had Wedding Proposal Flash Mobs...
and Zombie Flash Mobs.
Not so spontaneous creative combustion... though it appears that way.
In a prison, this can't be the case.
The warden and staff have to a part of it for obvious reasons.
And of course, the inmates have nothing but time on their hands to pull it off.

Still, I think this video is powerful and productive on many levels
I know there are Americans in CPDRC.
(Look and you will spot them).
I know many of the people in there are there for drug charges.
Or theft, because those too poor to feed their families will steal.
Some are political enemies.
Others, most certainly, are vicious criminals.
Still, ALL are human beings.
All have a  heart and soul.
All have something to say.
And they choose to say it this way.
I think it's impressive that despite the factions and demographic differences inherent in the prison population, there is unity for these Flash Mobs.
And despite what the inmates claim, there are people who do care about them...
or this You Tube  would not exist.
And you would not have found your way to it.
I hope you enjoy, or at least, appreciate it.
It certainly is different.

To get past the ads on the smaller blog video, double click on the image and it will go full screen.
Or click on the lower right and watch on You Tube.




Maximum Security Prison Flash Mob 2010 -to Michael Jackson

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

"Man run over by wife for not voting against Obama may be disfigured."

This link was sent to me by a friend who is openly NOT an Obama fan.
I do believe he is still reeling from the election as are many people.
According to the story, from ABC15, a man was permanently disfigured because his wife decided to punish him for not agreeing with her political point of view.
How thoughtful. Attack him with a 3,000 pound missile called  a car?
It doesn't take a brain surgeon to see this country... the Unites States... is not particularly united at the moment.
I am seeing posts all over Facebook, from various people in various states circulating petitions to succeeded from the nation.
Impeach the president.
Really? 
Personally, I think some people have all gone a bit overboard on this election call.Especially this woman.
Gilbert man run over by wife for not voting against Obama may be disfigured - East Valley Tribune: Cop Shop:
And here's a word of advice for those of you involved in  relationship.
It is not necessary for the person you live with, love, a family member or a friend to have the same political and religious beliefs as you do.
It is ill advised to run your husband over just because he's voting differently than you.
Definitely a  marriage deal breaker ...
and guaranteed free room and board at your local jail/prison.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

FACEBOOK BREAK UP: How Facebook Has Been Messing Up Relationships

"It's Complicated"

It's no secret to any of us.
Relationships, of all kinds, are complicated.
Parent, child, siblings, grandparents, friends, co-workers,  neighbors, partners, lovers, spouses.
Sooner or later two heads butt together....
and how each party in the conflict deals with that conflict determines its outcome.
Relationships end or stay together based on each party's willingness, determination and effort to see past the differences and find common ground.
Resolving difference is as simple as accepting those differences with grace, and dignity. No judgment. No condescension. Just respect.

There's a saying the civil justice system.
"In the perfect settlement, no one's happy"
I think that's so true.
No one wants to compromise, really.
People generally want what they want, period.
And if they fall short, their tempers can get short...
and that can shorten the life of a healthy relationship.

Facebook has added a whole new dynamic to relationships today.
While a generation of people are growing up with Facebook,
there's a generation of us that have not.
I am or was one of the have nots.
Meaning, in this context, I have not grown up with Facebook.

I like it, it's interesting and makes following or studying people a whole lot easier.
It's no secret I use Facebook  in my business... and to build my business network.
The social part is a fringe benefit.

As an observer of human nature and behavior, I find it fascinating to see how people all over the world act in a public arena...
when giving a wall, a blank canvas....
to create an image of themselves on.
The images people  choose to reflect to others, of themselves, sometimes astounds me.
Yet as much as I enjoy lurking on Facebook....
and posting....
I know the dangers inherent in this medium.

I know everything that anyone writes on every wall...
every word...
every image...
every f bomb and hissy fit...
is discoverable.
Meaning  if you have an insurance claim, or a legal action.... anything on your  Facebook wall, Twitter Account, Linked in, etc....  can and will be used against you in a court of law.

And if you have a spouse, partner, girlfriend or friend who is lying to you, toying with you, or cheating on you...
chances are good you may find out on Facebook before they even tell you.

I truly believe the most serious things in life are often said in jest.
Humor is subjective, of course.... however, it is undeniably  truthful and telling.
So I thought the above You-Tube was perfect in getting across how Facebook is affecting relationships.
Hats off to the folks who made this.
It's not super slick, very raw. However,  it's very creative.
And I think it's a hoot.... with this powerful underlying message:

People with nothing to hide, hide nothing.
And these days, it's hard to hide lies when you post on Facebook.


Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Tabitha Lynn Franklin: "Looking For Tabby"

RE: Tabitha Lynn Franklin – Missing Since 08-13-09

What is known, is this:

On August 13, 2009, Tabitha Lynn Franklin, known as Tabby, was picked up at her friend’s house by her ex-boyfriend.
According to the ex, who is the most likely suspect, (in this writers, and countless others opinion) he dropped her off where he works and went off to run errands.
When he came back, she was gone.
She hasn’t been seen since.
And he claims he did nothing.
In fact he left town where he lives with another woman and her children.
Seriously?
The case is likely still open, thought it appears obvious, the police have stepped away from it pending further evidence.
I believe the ex did it.
I am not alone.
This is a man who has beaten her black and blue.
This is a man who previously threatened her life.
There are picture of the injuries and the alleged perpetrator on this Facebook page run by family members.

The last man to see Tabby, her ex, has issues with dominance and control.
I am not mentioning the bad guys name here.
He’s easy enough to see on the above Facebook page.
He claimed he picked her up, dropped her off at his house, came home and then... poof!
She was gone.
Seriously?
If he picked her up.. why would she want to be dropped at her ex’s house…
instead of her own, where her three children were waiting for her?
Why would she want to hang out at her ex’s house while he ran errands?
This makes zero sense to me.
And regardless,
He left town.
And left  a shattered world behind.
What was a picture of a  what we call a family, was left in shards...
and no one to pick up the pieces.
For some reason the media hasn’t picked up the case.
So I thought I'd relaunch the blog from this platform.
One behalf of Tabby.
  
Here’s a brief link to the case on The Charley project.

Please explore the case, come to your own conclusions.
If you believe as I do…
that this guy must be held accountable…
you can show your support and see what you can do by stopping by the family’s Facebook page.
https://www.facebook.com/findtabby?fref=tsj

The You Tube below features Tabby's children. 

Children Of Missing Mother -Tabitha Lynn Franklin - Sing Her A Lullabye

Monday, November 5, 2012

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Quick Side Bar

I'm getting emails from people who can't see the full You Tubes on my blog because of the Google ads beneath them. The only way past this is to just double click on the video and it will take you full screen. Hopefully.

George Dennehy: He justs want you to know who he is.

George Dennehy - The Young Man Who Can.

When I first saw George Dennehy play guitar,  not only did I realize he's amazing...
he's an inspiration.  And a hero.
His music is an epiphany. It says no matter how challenging a life we face, few us even come  close to what this kid faced at birth... and overcame.
See George, age 18, was born without arms.
He didn't let that stop him. He taught himself to play with his feet instead.
You may wonder how that ties into a blog about private investigation.
My counter is this:
ever since I got into this business...
and way before that...
the words "I can't" where often a part of my vocabulary.
One day, I realized how many "I can'ts" were between me and my dream to be a P.I..
When I decided to stop saying "can't" and replace the word with "can"...
my life changed.
Simple as that.
Yours can too.
It is never to late to become who we might have been... or wish to be.
If you have a dream, make it a goal.
Run with it, you got feet.
Do what George did.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Jennette McCurdy-"Stronger"-With lyrics

Tough Times

I have to be out the door to catch a boat  within 10 minutes. That gives me just enough time to post a message via You Tube here to a few people I know going through tough times. This song says what I can't right now.
 It's what you do not want to hear from anyone.
Yet it is the truth.
There is a wellspring of strength in each of us.
Drink from it.
Your inner strength, instinct and resources are the key to surviving these dark and tough times.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

"COME HOME" - Song for Missing People 2011

Can you Identify Me?

People go missing every day.
Some are abducted, some are killed, some have just had it with their lives and walk away.
The ones who walk away, usually change identities and become someone else.
Time passes.
Bodies are found.
And when they are...
many are unidentified.
So a friend started a Facebook site and group called "Can You Identify Me?"
It's an online blog dedicated to America's Unidentified.
According to my friend, she and her associates have  been working behind the scenes for the past six months to team up... and turn "Can You Identify Me" to a non profit that will work toward the resolution of America's Unidentified.
So what I'd like to do is just stop time for this moment...
and take that time before I hit the road on this hot Northwest day and post a link to the "Can You Identify Me" site on Facebook.
Just a little warning beforehand...
I found it disturbing.
In a way I haven't experienced before.
I see grim images every day. With my eyes, my camera, in hospitals, on the streets, in police photos.
I see autopsy photos, death scene photos and the grimmest of injury shots.
I will never forget focusing my camera lens into a hole in a man's face where there used to be eye.
That hole was left by a bullet. It was ugly.

These photos are disturbing too, though in a different way.
Because they are lost souls.
Someone found these people, these bodies, yet no one knows who they are.
So as I scrolled the images, I found them very unsettling and sad.
Yet I knew it was necessary I look at each and every one... just in case.
Here's the link to "Can You Identify me" on Facebook.
Please hit "like" on the link and spread the word.
Here's a link to their Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/CanYouIdentifyMe?

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Big & Rich - "That's Why I Pray"

Why I Pray

At a certain point...
when every emotion converges...
or every cloud darkens...
or every thought stops...
what else is there really... but prayer?

I was born into a religion, as are most of us.
And over the years, I have observed children tend to follow the religious faith of their parents.
Some stay with it... some stray.
Yet at some point in our lives, we pray.
Today... I pray.

I pray for the little boy by whose case I just wrapped the investigation on.
He was killed by driver who was so drunk he had no clue what he did.
I interviewed grieving family and witnesses...
and photographed yet another  graveside memorial, one of so many captured by my cameras over the years, I could not count them all.

Today... I pray, for the souls of the deceased who deaths are less defined...
like the homicides disguised as suicides, heinous acts committed by wolves in sheep's clothing.
Today... I pray, for the wounded, injured people I see in my business life.
And the tattered warriors, the family and friends  in my personal life...
people I know, love, have held... who are hurting so deeply inside.
Too many were taken from me before I saw it coming, before I got to say good bye.

Sometimes, in my head.... the boundaries....
they blur.
Like this morning.
There's so much pain floating around.
It is indeed hard, on some days, to just get up and get out there on the streets and see one more broken body.
One more shattered dream.
So here's what I do on days like this.

I pull my car, or my body over.
I shut the engine off.
I close my eyes.
And I pray.

When everything goes out of focus in your life...
(and it will, because it always does)
consider looking inward...
and pray.
It may or may not change things.
It may, however, make you feel a little less powerless.
It make give you the strength to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and begin another day.

I heard the song above yesterday on my rounds.
It came just at the right time.
I hope you see in it... what I do.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

"Stronger "| -Seattle Childrens Hospital

"What Doesn't Kill You Makes You Stronger"

As a Personal Injury Investigator, I spend a good bit of time in Children's Hospital of Seattle, visiting young clients who are seriously hurt or injured.
My  clients are children who were injured in their car seats in  car wrecks; children who fallen from buildings; children who have been shot by a stray bullet from a drive-by shooter.
When I'm there, I sometimes stop by the cancer ward and drop off what I can the kids might like.
I'm often successful in my attempts to engage in a conversation with a kid who responds to my "hello".
I do what little I can in a situation so big...
I still don't understand how a kid can handle cancer.
Yet they do, with strength, dignity and a deeper awareness of the intrinsic value of life and health, than any other kid who wants to play their video games or text and party all day.
Chris Rumble is 22 years old and  a patient in Children's. You'll see him at the end of this video.
He thought up the idea and pulled it off.
If you want to know the story behind the making of it, go to this link:http://pulse.seattlechildrens.org/cancer-patients-sing-their-strength-in-stronger-music-video-3/

Monday, August 6, 2012

In the Wake of Colorado

According to some reports, including the one, just released... which I am linking you to below...
James Eagan Holmes’ psychiatrist allegedly warned a  Colorado  threat-assessment team  that Holmes was indeed a threat.
However, her warnings were ignored. Or lost in transmission.
I wonder though, if it would have made a difference.
There are plenty of sick and twisted people walking around out there no one can do a thing about.
Until they commit a crime, you can't commit them.
However, this article  gets you thinking.
If only there were way we could know...
that someone would booby trap their home, hoping to set off a diversion to occupy the police...
while he, the shooter was busy shooting people in the theater.
Imagine what would have happened had that apartment blown up as Holmes intended. How many more lives would be lost?
It took a brilliant mind to excel in neurology school; to build the complex set of triggers, trips and wires leading the major explosives in his apartment.
I think that same mind could fool a threat assessment team.
Just like he's trying to fool us all now with his courtroom act.
http://www.policymic.com/articles/12340/james-eagan-holmes-psychiatric-crisis-raises-questions-about-strong-warning-systems

Sunday, August 5, 2012

RE: James Eagen Holmes, the Colorado Shooter

I,  like almost everyone, am totally fascinated by the psyche of the man with a promising future who blew it all... and blew so many lives away for... what?
Is he insane? No.
Is he a narcissist? Yes.
Was he suicidal?  I'm not sure.
Was he homicidal? I'd say yes.
There is this theory, that when we reach break point...
when things get so bad and so dark and life is so hopeless...
those standing at the precipice do one of two things:
they either commit suicide or homicide. 
  
In my line of work and life observation, I have observed that to be true. With an addendum....
When unstable people when people reach  the point where they just don't want to go on...
They take themselves out. 
Or they take others out. 
Or they take themselves... AND others out.
The latter would be "suicide by cop."
Mug Shot 07-23-12

So why did James Eagen Holmes do what he did that  Dark Night in Colorado's Aurora Movie Theater?
I think he  added a new element to the motive equation.
I do not think he was suicidal.
I do not think he was insane.
I do not think he wanted to take himself out.
I  think he was one big ball of inner rage, hate and loathing -- a toxic blend of id, ego and super ego that combusted. He exploded rather than imploded.

And this whole act he is playing out on in the courtroom right now, it offends me. Truly. He's not even a good actor. 

In the end, I wish he could be sentenced to the same hole batman was in the Dark Knight movie.
This kid's so weak, he would never climb out alive.
 Here's a great link and look inside this guy's head that was just released a few minutes ago.
http://www.canoncitydailyrecord.com/ci_21238407/holmes-part-intellectual-elite-before-aurora-theater-massacre 







The Sunday Project

It's fairly obvious I stopped blogging again for a while.
I've got the usual excuses... too much work, too little time... yadda, yadda, and yadda.
However, I have a medium and I have message.
And this would be the place for it to be. Even if I have write shorter blogs.
Less is always more.

It's been one heck of a few weeks.
As summers heat up and the economy continues its slow down...
edges get rougher, tempers flare and ignite.
Cars crash, people clash, lives get smashed...
and the phone rings.
or an email comes.
And someone needs help.

Most P.I.'s prefer to work through attorneys rather than direct with the public.
Attorneys provide a legal shield and often, the soundest direction on cases.
Working with individuals, AKA regular people without attorneys, can be difficult and most of us avoid  doing so... because often clients become too invested in their case and the outcome of it.
While Investigators seek the truth, other people would rather keep running from that truth than face it.

An attorney can handle an P.I. who says,  "Yes I interviewed those witness and they all say your client is a guilty scumbag who did it"
However, many are the private clients, the public citizens, who get really ticked off when the truth is NOT what they want to hear.
They have their version of the truth and hired a PI to substantiate it.
When we tell them what they do not want to hear,  many turn their anger on us -- complaining about our abilities. Or refusing to cut a check.
Which is one reason most savvy P.I.'s get money up-front when working directly with the public.

And so, while this blog has been slumbering...
I have ticked a few people with the truth, while pleasing others with it.
It is has been a rough road on many levels lately...
however I am still here.
The blog is still here.
And so are you.

I wish you a very safe and peaceful Sunday...
and invite you to comment today,  or say hey on Facebook, if you have found your way to this blog today.
My goal, my Sunday project, will be to rise a half hour earlier every day to post daily here.
It just helps to know... someone's listening.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

"Mad Man Walking": More On The Keller Case.

This morning, I felt compelled to add a link follow-up story to the Keller case. It comes from a local paper after the videos were released.... and has more details on the case you ight find as interesting as I did. It also announces a scholarship fund has been set up in his daughter's Kaylee's name.

The  Peter Keller case is such a sad, hopeless case.  And his ability to pull the whole plan off over the course of years... is hard to fathom. I think he, like Ted Kaczynski, the Unabomber, were brilliant madmen.
Sometimes we can see that madness coming... and still can't stop it.
Other times, as in Keller's case, there is nothing we can do to stop it. Because the person who is, or has madness brewing is on a slow, low simmer... not a noisy,  high heat rolling, boiling pot of emotions.
Some who go mad, simmer on a barely noticeable heat... over days...weeks...months years.
They make plans in their head and replay them over and over,
They release their physical energy by  building their bunkers, bombs and preparing their end of the world scenario.
And  when it comes... they are a destructive tsunami.
No way of stopping them.
Such was Keller.
And this would be the link
http://www.seattlepi.com/local/article/Peter-Keller-3702751.php

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Re Peter Keller Video's - Inside a Killer's Head

Just a few months ago, in April of this year,  2012,  just east of Seattle...
in a home outside of Northbend, Washington....
at the base of a mountain very near where some of our family members live...
41 year old Peter Keller, a local, unassuming family man...
shot and killed his wife, Lynetttee Keller and his 18-year old daughter Kaylene Keller.

After murdering his wife and child, Peter Keller followed his own, systemic, pre-meditated plan...
and set his house own fire...
while the bodies of his wife and daughter, lay inside with gunshot wounds to their heads.
Keller then fled into the mountains while police investigated, then suspected and pursued him.
That's where phase two of Peter Keller's operation began. In a bunker he built. No one knew it then.

Here's a link from a local news site before police found Keller and while he was hiding.
http://www.king5.com/news/Peter-Keller-now-suspect-in-murders-of-his-wife-daughter-148967865.html

Keller hid out in an underground bunker he'd been building for years.
It was one the one of the most elaborate bunkers many in local law enforcement had seen.
It was hard to spot.... and everyone was surprised,  that despite the time, effort and multiple trips it took over years to build it... that no one noticed his comings and goings.
Beyond that, it was thick and deep in the forest, hard enough to access. Harder even to spot.

Regardless, one eagle eye tracker did notice the trail Keller used while police were looking for him.
They found the bunker and found him dead,  gunshot wound to the head.
Here's a link to that day.
http://abcnews.go.com/US/peter-keller-alleged-killer-shot-washington-bunker-cops/story?id=16233994#.UAGmQb9ME1g

So in the end, three people, dead...
two of those... very good people... murdered and torched by the one person they loved and trusted the most.
Everyone wondered "why"?
Why, why, why why, why?
It's the one question, the one word I hear most often in the P.I. business.
Why did he do it?
Why did he kill his wife and daughter?
Why didn't we see it coming?
Why did he do what he did?
I always hear the "why" question.
It's what people want to know most.
They want to get inside the killer's head because only the killer knows.

And that's what today's blog is all about.
Getting inside a killer's head and seeing if there is an answer to the "why" question there.
Let's see if you see it, because I sure don't.
Peter Keller kept video diaries the King County Sheriff just released.
Following are two of those video diaries... filmed by Keller himself and just released.
 To me, Keller looks like an average, everyday,middle aged guy.
He was clearly bored with life... and thought shooting his wife, daughter...
burning the house...
emptying the bank accounts...
then robbing banks, pharmacies....
and living in a bunker would be better than his current, as he called it "boring" existence.
If the police show up, he pretty much says, no problem.
I'll shoot myself.
That's what he did.

In my humble opinion, Peter Keller provides no specific answer to  "why" question in his self-made You-Tubes which follow.
I believe he was either a psychopath, sociopath, a ticking time bomb, a wolf in sheep's clothing.
Some people are born bad, he was one of them.
It was not an act of impulse, alcohol, rage, a blast of insanity.
It was pure, pre-planned, pre-meditated murder.
With one child left behind.
The one who wasn't there, the one he didn't murder.
Money found in the bunker will go to her college fund.




Peter Keller Video Diary Two

Peter Keller Video Diary One

Saturday, July 7, 2012


Friday, July 6, 2012

Re: Court TV Shows

I  confess. I love these shows. I have no clue why I am obsessed... because you'd think I get enough of this stuff in the field.  However, there's something about the point when someone ticks the judge off, that's the part I like. Along with the absurd defenses... and attitudes.
I think Judge Milian  speaks with such great passion to someone who definitely needs an attitude adjustment. Especially since this cocky kid plans to enter the legal field -- a profession good attorneys, judges, investigators, bailiffs, court reporters, bail agents and bondsmen take so seriously.
I hope you enjoy the following You Tube as much as I do.
Here's one for the tribal elders!

The People's Court - Judge Milian Flips out on Defendant

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Have Safe 4th. Dont Blow It!

This is a real x-ray and proof positive....
Alcohol and explosives do not mix.

Monday, July 2, 2012

PS22 Chorus: "ROLLING IN THE DEEP"

RE: Rolling in The Deep

In asking around, I have concluded people either love Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" or despise it... deeply.
Personally I love it. Then again, I have a fiery soul born of the sea. 
I was born in New Bedford,  Massachusetts, a whaling town once -- it was the setting for the famous book "Moby Dick."
Our little house had a "widow's walk" on the second floor.
It was a tiny little porch facing the sea to hold one person... one woman waiting... looking to the sea longing for her man's ship to come home, to safe harbor.  Back then, I though the "widow's walk" could have been better named, then again they weren't all that optimistic about the sailor's life.

My father .... before he took to  the road for his civilian work... was a sailor. Navy.
Later in his life, he bought a boat... I worked on it and at the place it was docked.
Later in my life, I did work that took me aboard a fleet of cruise ships all over the world.
It was that same work, that once led me to England, Ireland and Scotland for a TV show that revolved European water sports.

I love the water.
I am not afraid of it,  However I have been humbled and challenged by it, more times that I could truly count.
I have literally been caught in riptides and under currents and escaped on my own.
I was stung by a man of war, made it through that.
And while it wasn't Jaws or anything, I felt mighty satisfied when I punched a little shark in its nose when it tried to take a bite out of my leg and it swam away.
Everything seemed to work out okay in the end with me,  rolling in the deep.  
Except this one time I am going to tell you about right now.

I was scuba diving in a ocean for the first time,  the Atlantic, which a little different from the Puget Sound where I learned. The Puget Sound doesn't have the  huge undercurrents the Atlantic or any ocean has, so I had no lessons, no training, no clue what was going on when I saw everyone around me underwater grabbing onto rocks and boulders and reef for dear life as I was whipped out to sea screaming something akin "WTF" in my my mouthpiece while my oxygen deeply rapidly depleted due to the rapid breathing, high-anxiety, holy-crap response.

Aboard the scuba boat, where the other divers were surfacing and boarding while I was still being pulled away...
was my dear sister Alice.
And I am convinced were it not for Alice  I'd be a either be shark's supper or a movie of the week.
Because I do not believe there was a dive count done that day.

No one noticed I hadn't returned to the vessel except Alice.
Normally, Alice would be underwater with me, a real dive buddy, not the lame excuse for one  the dive master assigned me to.
But Alice was pregnant then, couldn't scuba dive.... yet insisted on coming along on the tourist boat to  keep an eye out for me any way because she cared....
and because she knew ocean diving was new to me.
So fortunately, not only did Alice's eagle eye notice I was missing, she even cared about it.
 
When I surfaced as  quickly and as safely as I could, pulled off my mask and looked around...
and  then saw I was  in the middle of the ocean, alone....
and as you do that 360 circle to see if there's anything there and there's nothing....
there was that inevitable moment of "holy crappola" I can not describe right now.
However it quickly passed as I saw that little boat chugging towards me and eventually,  I saw Alice's  bright red t-shirt shirt and pregnant tummy at the bow. She was waving at me and smiling. We laughed about it after Alice stopped berating my alleged dive buddy.

Writing about it now... it seems less funny and much deeper to me.
Because were it not for the force of love... the love that made Alice insist on riding that dive boat with me that day...
I'd probably still be rolling in the deep.
Maybe in the belly of some ancestor of Moby Dick.

I love this rendition of Adele's song. If you haven't heard it, and even if you hate the original,  I hope you see in this version what I do.
The beauty and majesty of these kids. The power of the lyrics. And most of all,
The hero.
The teacher.
He is the one who has driven and inspired these children. He keeps them afloat.
He is their "Alice. "


Sunday, July 1, 2012

RE: Burning Bridges

I have wanted to post the quote below on my Facebook wall for some time.
However I and others I have shared it with, think it's one of those "loaded" quotes that can go both ways...
and Facebook is totally different than a blog.
It's easy to tick people off on Facebook and once you do that, things get a little crazy.
On a blog, when you tick people off, "oh well."
People who disagree  here can write a comment. Even when I disagree with the person writing, I post the comment as long as it does not contain a four letter word, name-calling, or a death threat. (I forward the latter onto the authorities)

To burn a bridge, one might think, is a horrible thing.
I know for most of my life,  when I thought of a burning bridge, I didn't see that as a positive, which is why the quote below first caught my attention.
I think of the history behind the bridge: the hands, years, blood, sweat and tears it took to build it.
Every time I cross a bridge, be it an old country one...
a modern floating one...
or a massive metal mega-structure, like the Tacoma Narrows...
I am humbled. Truly. Bridges are an inspiring thing for me.
I  am profoundly moved by the collaborative human effort it took to envision, design, fund, build and maintain that bridge.
I have even seen bridges blasted, then carved, through huge mountains of slid rock. They are the stuff that unites or divides us.

The quote below, however, made me think twice about everything I thought about bridges and the burning of them. Maybe it's not always horrible, I have decided, to burn a bridge. Especially when an army is coming after you from the other end with Uzi's in the middle of dark and dangerous jungle.  Burning the bridge could keep the enemy at bay and light the way to freedom.

What I wonder is if I could ever do it.
If I could be the one to actually burn the bridge down completely...
to permanently close the portal from one good, decent human being to another.
In the past, I would think myself an arsonist for doing that.

I have witnessed people ahead of me take a match... a lighter... a torch... to bridges that others, myself included, attempt to rebuild more times than I care to count. And with the writing of this post and the addition of the quote below today, I realize now... I get it!
It took me a real long time to figure this one out...
longer than some people reading this have been on the planet.

Sometimes, bridges are burned just because people get so heated up their negative energy is combustible, a firestorm.
Other times, the bridges are be burned to light the way to a more positive path.

Whatever the reason, I prefer the bridge be left alone. It is, in my opinion,  one of the last bastions of humanity.





Saturday, June 30, 2012

RE: Michael Morin's Suicide

People who know me as an investigator, know I have a deep attraction to murder cases.
Particularly homicide/suicide. Meaning was it a homicide? A suicide?
Or a homicide staged as a suicide?
Investigative skills in Death Investigation, come in handy when insurance companies are investigating cause of death. Because of contractual law, insurance policies do not pay out on suicides...except under certain conditions, specific exceptions and exemptions.

That said I have been closely following the case of Michael Marin, an attorney who, it appears, hit more than few bumps in the illegal road he paved  and was ultimately, unwilling to face the consequences. He took what witnesses and law enforcement suspect was a poison at his trial.

This is a quote from the article that follows.
"This is one of the strangest cases I've seen in a long time," said Jeff Sprong, a spokesman with the Maricopa County sheriff's office. "We're hoping to find out exactly what he was thinking and exactly what he took."
As an outside observer looking in from day one of this case, I couldn't agree more,

And I'm also thinking Marin was a complete and total chicken.
A narcissistic chicken.
Rather than face his punishment like a man, he turned into a chicken and  crossed the road to get to the dark side.
He killed himself in front of everyone...
Everyone who knew he did wrong
Before his suicide,  his worst case scenario already happened -- his scam was revealed,  exposed,  he got charged.
He survived the public humiliation, embarrassment, arrests and the mugshot below.
The need to poison himself in the courtroom and further traumatize MORE people....
rather than suck it up and do his time?
What was that about?
Imho, the worst was behind him.
He didn't need to run anymore.
Yes, he had to trade his Rolex for handcuffs ....
and designer suits for orange jumpsuits for a while.
A long while.
Still, I am of the opinion, doing time is no reason to take yourself out.
Otherwise... our prisons would be empty.
Personally I hope Marin does not rest in peace.
Because the people he stole so much from will never recover from his breach of trust.

Suicide by poison suspected in Ariz. court death
Source: Odd News News
Originally published: Jun 29, 2012 - 5:13 pm

In this undated photo provided by the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office, 53-year-old Michael Marin is shown. The former Wall Street trader and attorney is suspected of fatally poisoning himself as he was found guilty of arson of an occupied structure in a Phoenix courtroom on June 28, 2012. (AP Photo/Maricopa County Sheriff)

Associated Press
PHOENIX (AP) - As the word "guilty" filled the silence of a Phoenix courtroom, defendant Michael Marin closed his eyes, put his head in his hands and appeared to put something in his mouth. He then took a swig from a sports bottle.
Minutes later, the 53-year-old Marin was dead.
Now investigators are trying to confirm their suspicion that Marin popped a poison pill after the jury found him guilty of arson, a bizarre ending to a case that began in 2009 when he emerged from his burning mansion in scuba gear.
Prosecutors said he torched his home when he couldn't keep up with the payments. Marin, an attorney and father of four, faced seven to 21 years in prison.
"This is one of the strangest cases I've seen in a long time," said Jeff Sprong, a spokesman with the Maricopa County sheriff's office. "We're hoping to find out exactly what he was thinking and exactly what he took."
Detectives will get the liquid from the sports drink tested for poisons. An autopsy was being conducted Friday to determine if any poison was in Marin's system, but results weren't expected to be released for months.
Marin's four grown children, who live in Arizona, did not return requests for comment, nor did his attorney, Andrew Clemency, or prosecutor Chris Rapp.
Marin, a former Wall Street trader, had summited Everest and wrote on his Facebook page that he had scaled six of the world's seven tallest mountains. He also was an art collector who had original Picassos.
Prosecutors painted him as a desperate man who had $50 in his bank account in July 2009, down from $900,000 a year earlier. He also had a monthly mortgage payment on the mansion of $17,250 and an upcoming balloon payment of $2.3 million.
Marin also owed $2,500 a month on a different home and owed $34,000 in taxes, prosecutors said.
On July 5, 2009, Marin told investigators that he escaped a blaze in his 10,000-sqaure-foot mansion in a posh part of Phoenix using a rope ladder and wearing scuba gear to avoid inhaling smoke.
Fire investigators later determined that the blaze was intentionally set. As Marin was led off to jail, he told reporters that he was innocent and "utterly shocked" that he was being arrested.
On Thursday, a jury found Marin guilty of a felony count of arson of an occupied structure.
After the verdict, he appeared to put something in his mouth, according to video footage. Soon after, a bright-red Marin coughed, reached for a tissue, buried his face in his hands and appeared to sob, The Arizona Republic reported.
Marin then began making noises that sounded like snores and whoops as he began convulsing and fell on the floor face-first, according to the newspaper.
Sprong, the sheriff's spokesman, said an investigator in the courtroom tried to resuscitate Marin. He was pronounced dead soon after at a hospital. Sprong said the department planned to interview his family and search his home.
Records show that other defendants found guilty of arson of an occupied structure, on top of other serious charges and when other people's lives were at risk, have received more lenient sentences than the one Marin faced.
For instance, a Phoenix man was sentenced to 10 years in prison and three years' probation after being convicted on charges that included arson of an occupied structure. Prosecutors said he endangered 12 people, including six children.
Franklin Zimring, a law professor at the University of California, Berkeley, who specializes in criminal sanctions, said a sentence up to 21 years in prison seemed overly long in Marin's case.
"What makes the potential sentence both seem quite long and seem, in some sense, inappropriate is that the life that was put at risk was that of the offender," he said.
Zimring said Marin likely would have been eligible for a shorter sentence had he agreed to a plea deal.
Jerry Cobb, a spokesman for the Maricopa County attorney's office, said talks about a plea deal had broken down and the case moved to trial. He could not say which side was more responsible for the breakdown.
Cobb said that after Marin was convicted, prosecutors would have sought a harsher sentence for him, anywhere between 10 1/2 and 21 years in prison.
Among Marin's last posts on Facebook, in November 2009, was a photo of his four children that said there was something more important to him than his Everest conquest.
"More than anything else I may have accomplished in this life, this is what really matters to me: the blessing of knowing the amazing individuals I am privileged to call my children," he wrote.
___
Follow Amanda Lee Myers on Twitter at https://twitter.com/AmandaLeeAP


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Carrie Underwood

Who Took The Wheel?

I've been an auto accident investigator a very long time. And I've seen some serious miracles out there. Sometimes an accident victim will tell me a the story about how he or she survived a huge hit. How they lived  is sometimes, something I can not believe or fathom --  the facts of the collision defy logic, analysis, reason, statistics.
So this single mother told me recently, how stressed out she's been over her impending divorce.
And how she admits she was distracted, despite  that long dark stretch of highway with no lights, pouring rain and oncoming traffic ahead.
The woman said she looked up at the very last minute and saw a passing lane ahead on the left and a truck headed right to her. She said as her body braced up she instinctively sang out out: "Jesus take the Wheel".
She said she sang it just like the Carrie Underwood song.
She said the car spun a full 360 degree, according to witnesses. And the car came to a dead stop.
Nothing was hit.
And she said... she knew immediately...
post impact....
"Jesus DID take the wheel.  Otherwise I'd be dead."
And she said , just as her car did a 360, she did the same with her life.
Turned it around. Complete 360.
That would be the reason why I am posting this song.
Not for the purposes of religious conversion...
more on a broader scale.
Beyond that, as an accident investigator, I have always loved the song for the message it contains.
I believe there a greater force of good.... a higher power.... somewhere out there, or within each of us... we can all tap into.
Whoever you believe in as a higher entity or entities, I think there is sufficient evidence, in times of crisis,  that calling out to who you believe in... can indeed summon the angels, the cavalry, or maybe even, the head honcho.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Sacred Spirit - Yeha Noha

Interview With A Wise Woman

Right now... everyone around me, human and canine, is exhausted and asleep. Their energy is spent.
Not mine evidently.
I hear their individual breaths if I listen hard enough.
It is 9:32 pm in the Pacific Northwest US and the sun is still out over Port Gamble Bay.
We are so close to Alaska... I often feel our endless days of summers, sunsets past ten, dawn again around 4... are almost unworldly.
All of us here on Port Gamble Bay, our motley crew called a family, we have traveled many miles, over meany decades, to find each other and this odd yet precise point  in space in time.
Tonight, I feel intense gratitude to be home safe and sound.
And I want to share this gratitude... and wisdom garnered from a chance encounter...
with whoever happens by the blog.
I want to write about a case.
I am limited in what I can say, so I will put this carefully.
I worked an investigation in the past day or so, where a driver, who was a very bad man, ran over a woman in a kind of a wheelchair-like device that got sort of got sucked under his truck.
The guy who hit her acted like he could care less.
Strangers emerged from nowhere.  Supermarkets, banks.
It was very inspiring to hear how many sets of strong mens' arms lifted a 350 pick up off that woman's body and freed her.
The paramedics and ER staff saved her.
I was blessed  that I was sent to get her statement, because her words inspired me.
See this woman, a 100% Native American who is quite spiritual...
a tribal elder...
told me a story of forgiveness, survival and redemption.
Despite the multitude of crushed bones replaced in her body now by metal, pins, plates, and rods...
Despite the fact doctors do not know if she will ever walk again... 
the first thing she spoke to me of was forgiveness.
Not her injuries, not her pain.
It was all about how soon she will choose to forgive this man who crushed so many bones...
She hasn't forgiven the man yet, she said.
She knows she will though.
And as I proceeded to take photographs... pictures... and move around her body in the hospital bed with my camera...
I found myself consciously having to focus on injuries in the lens... and not the thoughts in my head -- being what this poor woman will have to endure the rest of her life.
She keeps talking in this soft, almost hypnotic voice.
I am done. Normally I just hop up say my good-byes and leave.
This time I put my camera away, closed my notebook, picked up my case case file and them  slumped back  into the overstuffed chairs one of the nurses brought in to face the injured woman for my interview.
The interview is over...
I'm just not ready to leave. 
She is so calm.
She is so grateful... and graciousness.
She tells me of growing up on the reservation. She tells me tales of darkness and tales of light.
My pen is away. I rely now on the sponge called my brain.
She is proud. Dignified.
Two nurses enter the room, I just sit there.
She does not complain when the nurses lift her to change a dressing.
I reach for my camera to document her pain and suffering...
to photograph her grimacing lips and tortured eyes...
and assure the nurses,  as I always do, none of their faces will be in the pictures.
When the nurses left, I asked her why she is this way.
She aked, "What way?"
I respond, "Just so...I dunno... rationale or calm about the whole thing?"
She laughed and said the EMT doctors and hospital staff asked the same thing.
She said she gave us all the same answers.
"Because I choose to. Because we choose how we respond to everything good and everything bad. I choose to not to complain and to be happy I am not dead."
And that was that.
I didn't know what else to say because she said it all.
I think we all have to think that at any point...
any second...
something can go down in our worlds to change it.
Dramatically.
How we "process" that change is the key, I truly believe, to our emotional and physical well being.
That said, I am grateful to have made it through another day.
And equally grateful you have somehow found your way to this blog.



Monday, June 25, 2012

Motivation On Monday

Today, I'm all about motivation... self-motivation... because it's just what I need to take a running start and lift off into another week of vast unknowns. Normally the lift-off and trajectory into a week of investigation is a both a thrill and pleasure. Sometimes I even step off at the very top of the roller coaster.  This morning, it is different. I can't find the adjective. Surreal. Third worldly. Uncertain. There is a unusual ripple beneath the surface of calm with which I choose to approach Mondays. 
I DO know why.
I have had a mix of way too much bad stuff go down in the past few weeks.
Start with death threats and on-going hate mails from a recent post about a cold case.
Stir in an excessive amount of personal turmoil.
Add a crash or two...
And the end brew is a wicked one.

I confess. The stress has been a bit much for me lately.
Still, it's way less stress than most people are experiencing now.
So really, I'm not complaining, just releasing.
In freeing my thoughts, I free my spirit.
And I hope,  also to free other living spirits who feel imprisoned by an injustice, loneliness, despair, their past, their financial desperation. Life is a raw, visceral experience when you live on the edge.
So many people are uncertain about the future. So many feel empty, lost, hopeless. Alone.
That loneliness.... I have both experienced,  witnessed and stared into it.
Loneliness and/or desperation form a huge, black, soul-sucking void. 
It takes great courage and strength to not jump in, or be sucked in...when you feel the options are limited.
Some of us feel like nothing more than ants in the colony,  hamsters on the wheel, empty shells.
And unless you have a secure job and a savings account...
or a whole tribe of family and friends...
You may be feel like most people on this planet these days --  alone, broker than broke and worried about the next meal. Or worse, whether you want to... or can... make it to the next day.
I am in a safe place. A safe house.
Many are not.
I'm going to see a family of five (three minors) today who I am thinking will lose their house because of their breadwinner's injuries.
So I woke up, determined to  be motivated,  to be positive.
I went first for the toothbrush, then the dogs and their walk, then to my email.
More hate mail here and on Facebook.
So this morning I said... Enough.
Today I turn the tables on the negative energy.
So I'm going to post one of my favorite all-time motivational videos on Facebook.
And I am posting another video here. This one,
while "schmaltzy"....AKA corny....
says what I would say if I wrote a blog post about what I believe without pictures.
Once, when I was at the very bottom of the earth, in as deep a hole as I could ever be in...
feeling unloved, unwanted, hated, alone, in despair...
a voice said to me..."attitude is everything."
So I looked at myself and realized, truly, it is my own attitude that determines not only my day...
also my fate.
I climbed out of that great big hole. It took me years and years. One pile of mud after another had to be cleared away.
Bottom line, it happened for a reason.
Which has me wondering...
maybe it's  the same reason you found your way to this blog and the You tube below...
I hit send now and cast these words in into the cyber wind.
Like a note in a bottle,... and like all bloggers I suppose...
I hope these words find you.

"Everything Happens For a Reason"

Friday, June 22, 2012

TGIF

I have definitely had better weeks. I am so glad it is Friday and so happy I have finished my last case of the day out there. It appears Seattle has skipped spring altogether and now, maybe summer isn't a happening thing either.
It is cold and wet,  60 degrees outside. Thunderstorms are expected. So I got my scene photos and measurements in early this morning.
Then I stopped in a small town to talk to a young man who had the presence of mind to duck and  wrap his arms around his head right before a car crash. (Most people instinctively tense up when they see it coming.) Had he not done that, he would have sustained a massive brain injury along with the five broken bones  he did get from the hit.  It's always these instinctual moves people make prior to, or at the point of impact, that can make the difference between living and dying.
So got all these images in my head from the week past....
all kinds of wrecks...
and thoughts that keep going in circles.
So when I heard Matt made a new 2012 You Tube I went straight for it.
It lifted my spirits.
It made me smile.
And it just goes to show what one person with a dream can accomplish.
Matt is from Seattle by the way...
We grow 'em good out here.

Where the Hell is Matt? 2012

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Divine Justice

The older I get, the more I believe, there is some greater force at work out there in the universe. That force, one of light, somehow serves up justice when justice comes undone in the courtrooms of mortals.
Divine justice may take days... weeks... years... decades.
Yet I have never seen it not to be true... that "what goes around, comes around."
Inherent in our our legal system are so many rights to protect the innocent, the guilty slip through the loopholes and walk free.
Casey Anthony for one.
OJ was set free... though he didn't last long.
Still he managed to get in more than a few rounds of golf until he blew it big time in Las Vegas.
For me... when after twenty years... you finally get to speak the name of a man you believed killed your friend, without fear of being killed or sued yourself... that is justice.
Not just regular justice. Poetic justice. Divine Justice.
For 20 years the victim's family and cherished friends have suffered in silence.
The song below is for all of you.

Johnny Cash -God's Gonna Cut You Down

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Secrets

It is said a secret is only a secret if more than one person knows it.
I would agree.
In my experience, when someone tells someone a secret...
and the person sharing the secret says "don't tell anyone else..."
that's simply an invitation  for the person keeping the secret to tell someone else.

I believe "information is power"
That's why Elizabeth Roosevelt Longworth said, many moons ago,
"If you haven't got anything nice to say about anybody come sit next to me."

The theory is quite simple:
If you have info no one else has...
and you use it against a person...
or you use it to control a person...
or you use it to impress a person...
or you use it to betray, enhance or entrance a person...
you are using information as power.

That's why attorneys, private investigators, police agencies, medical providers are now going to the extreme to protect the power of privacy when it is to the public's, or the law's, advantage.
Thus, all the paperwork involved in medical and legal proceedings designed to keep private information safe.
There's the HIPPA Privacy Act.
Countless releases and authorizations.
Attorney/Client confidentiality.Attorney/Investigator Work Product privilege.

However, there's also a counter balance, the FOIA -- Freedom of Information Act.
And the Public Disclosure Act which is also called the Public Records Act.

So on the one hand, information...which is power... is protected via privacy laws.
And that same information,... which is power... is released via  public disclosure laws.
It is a most precarious balance.


OneRepublic - Secrets

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Re:Mystery

I think the best part of blogging is how fluid it is.
Put something up, change your mind, take it down.
It's not like publishing a newspaper. or book.
You got no editor, you got no word limit...
all you got is what's in your head and what you are willing to  type on the keyboard and release into the vast galaxy called cyberspace.
 The song I had earlier today on my blog made me kind of sad given the events I've blogged about this past week.
So I decided to take the sad song down and lighten the mood in my head and on the blog... by re-posting  one of my favorite all time songs/performances by Hugh Laurie.
Many of you know him as House.
He is also a fabulous musician and songwriter.
I have posted this on the blog before. Twice I think.
I post it this evening for therapeutic purposes.
And also for selfish ones.
The life of a private investigator always carries a measure of risk.
You never know if something bad  will happen.
And with the hate mail I have been getting lately, that concept truly hits home.
Part of my job is looking at what people left behind when bad things happened to them... I want  to leave a nice neat tidy blog before I head out for another week of professional unknowns.
I think this song is a nice leave-behind until I get back.
See you on the flip side.

Hugh Laurie - "Mystery" song

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Raw Nerves

Renee Duskin  August 23, 1962-July 4, 1994

When people die, what's left behind is spirit and raw nerves. Spirit, being the person who passed. Raw nerves being the exposed ragged edges of the tattered spirits of the living, who mourn the dead.

For whatever the reasons the universe brought me to Renee Duskin, her family and her story.... almost twenty years ago...
that same higher power, force, fate, whatever you wish to call it, including coincidence...
brought me right back full circle this past week, upon hearing the news, from her brother, via the police, that his deceased sister's former boyfriend was found dead.

This former boyfriend, a well-respected attorney was a suspect in her murder according to newspaper stories.
I was friend of the family's.
Very confused and curious.
Did Renee kill herself or did someone else?

So I did the research anyone, with the family's written permission could do.
And what I found was the same thing other people were finding out. That something was definitely not right in the suicide determination.
And all indicators -- from the scene to trace to GSR tests to forensics to tox screen to interviews with witnesses, independent and otherwise...
everything, right down to the death scene and autopsy photos...
(which I might possibly have viewed before the family did, if they ever did...)
indicated something was afoul, amiss.
In other words... and in my opinion... it was NOT a suicide.

Now I am not going to name any more names in this post.
Or go over the whole story gain.
All you have to do is scroll down a  little bit and see the blogs I wrote about Renee's death.
Some comments on that blog are real nasty.
However... these same people think I am being nasty, by writing about a man who just passed and left a grieving family. A a platoon of friends. A posse of angry people who wish to defend the man, father, friend, brother, son they believe was falsely accused and is being disparaged.
Can you blame them?
No.

I get it. I truly do.
However, I know more than just a bit about homicides/suicides.

Life insurance companies especially, are interested in these  kinds of cases because a lot of policies do not pay out in the case of a suicide within a specific time period.
So Renee's insurance company did not want to pay her beneficiary,  who was...go figure... her suspect boyfriend.
And who was, by the way, allegedly pressing the life insurance company for a fast payout.
So while the police were looking at this in criminal court,
the insurance company was looking at this in civil court.

Each court has its own standards of determining guilt.

A criminal court must prove guilt "beyond a reasonable doubt" -- meaning the jury or judge is 100% convinced the person did it. Not a doubt there. At  least not a reasonable doubt there.

A civil court must prove guilt based on the preponderance of the evidence -- meaning the evidence is more like than not the person did it.

In the case of Renee Duskin, no criminal court charged anyone with homicide.
In civil court, it was determined that Renee's death was not a suicide.
And, I  believe, under "cause of death," Renee's death certificate was changed from "suicide" to "undetermined."
While I could be wrong about these fact as it has been close to 20 years, I do remember the sweet moment of victory for Renee's family when that death certificate was changed.

So to the point... and  the end of this story.
I am still getting hate mail and comments on my posts.
I publish them unless they are obscene or nothing but threats and name calling.
Some say "take your blog down, this man is dead, what about his children?"

To that I say...  when those kids enter his name in any search engine: mega search, dogpile, google, bing,  the  newspaper articles come up too.
There wasn't just one article published on renee's case. there were many.
Yes my blog comes up.

Should I take it down?
No, I think not.
It is something I chose to write about because I feel deeply about the subject and did indeed experience it as much as a non family member, a friend, could.
So when when the issue of Renee's mysterious death arose, I felt catapulted into the past. However,I  have been aware that there are two opposing sides here.
And a great deal of volatility.

That's why I called Renee's brother and read him this very piece before I posted it.
I wanted to address, with him and with my blog readers a very important issue -- the children of the decendent. They are minors.
They are innocent.

My theory is this -- and it is based on experience having worked with this issue before.
If the alleged suspect's  children ask about him, before they surf the net...
before someone in school brings it up...
the family will likely have spoken to the children about their deceased father.
If the family to chooses to do so, should the kids ask...
they can say he was accused falsely.
His family can tell his story any way they want.
Renee's family can tell her story any way they want.
And I can tell my story any way I want.
Why?
Because I am a blogger!
Just one more  measly voice among millions, perhaps billions...
one more ant in the colony called earth with an opinion.

My husband, a soldier... his father, my father, my family members and most likely someone in everyone's family.... has a family member who has... or is... currently fighting in a war somewhere to defend this country.
They fought for America's ideals, which happened to include free speech.
This blog post would be an example of that.
Free speech.
I never expected to blog about Renee again.
Then again, I never expected to get the emails I did tonight.

 I like to say, "There are three sides to every story -- your side, my side and the truth."
Let's leave the truth to the police and media now.
Thankfully, they too protect me and my freedom of speech.



Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday - Jump Start

I want to see if I can keep the blog going and my life on track at the same time until business slows down again. Summers are slowest for the personal injury cases I work, however,  other cases do pick up in terms of heat-related mayhem and madness in terms of angst, arguments, domestics, shooting, murders. When people get physically hot under the collar, they also get psychologically hot too.  The higher the temperature, the hotter people's heads get I think.

So I am heading out today to do the usual cases including a medical malpractice, which...I believe... along with slip and fall cases, are the hardest for attorneys to wins. I go into hospitals all the time, barely a week passes that I haven't met an injured person in an ICU or ward somewhere north, south, east, west of Seattle.

In the world of what docs call "medical misadventures", and lawyers call malpractice,  I have noticed mersa and flesh eating bacteria running rampant in hospitals.... so I do gear up when advised...
and take precautions when entering the hallowed halls of the ill and wounded among us.

That said, I saw this and thought it was a perfect match to my admittedly bizarre sense of humor and today's blog topic. Whoever this was...  knew what he or she was talking about. And they were one of the folks who liked to get the last word in.


Monday, June 11, 2012

RE: Commencement:The Speech Below

The following You Tube, the Wellesley high school commencement speech below,  is now going viral... so if you've heard it, forgive me. I've been listening to talk radio stations using it as today's fodder. I decided when I could, I would post the entire speech after I heard it on National Public Radio.
I am curious what others think of this. I have mixed feelings for sure.
If I were a graduating student, ripe with dreams, filled with promise.... I might find it both amusing and depressing. Not inspiring.
As an adult... which I am... I find quite truthful, entertaining and painful at the same time.
Because it's a longer clip, I will cut to the chase.
Please take some time to listen to this.
I can guarantee, you've never heard a graduation speech like this one before.

You Are Not Special Commencement Speech from Wellesley High School

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Re: The Renee Duskin Case

This will be a blog post more for me... than for you the reader.
I need/want to vent.
I don't know if that's a good thing or a bad thing...
because this cyber blog thing is a whole new thing to everyone.
There's no AP style book for bloggers.
How we use our blog spaces and places is up to us.

So here's the deal.
I decided to start blogging again after a long gap for a whole lot of reasons I will spare you.
Suffice to say most of those excuses involve lack of time...
which seems to be a common dilemma for most of us struggling to earn an income, stay healthy and have a life in this tanking world economy.

That said, I wrote a blog post a couple days ago.
It just happened to coincide with a personal,  life altering event and I wrote about it.
It is called "Another Bad Guy Bites The Dust" and it's just below the song below this post.
I wrote it for me.
And I wrote it for Renee's family.
I wrote it with Renee's brother approval.
Because I wrote for a purpose.
I felt Renee's death was a murder staged as a suicide.
And it happened to a friend.
And I happened to care.
And just as other people believe the guilt often run free,  so do I.

So, yes... I repeat... I do believe for a fact... Renee Duskin was murdered.
And I do believe I know who did it.
So I believe, does  Renee's family, Renee's friends, her work associates, her clients, and all the people  who came forward under cloaks of confidentiality or anonymity.
Even, in my opinion, the police and then prosecutor know who did it.

Who did it was her estranged boyfriend....
a prominent Attorney in Everett Washington, which is located in Snohomish County.

I believe I can legally mention this safely now, not only because: it was in newspaper articles,  in public records and everyone but a few people know he did it anyway.
I will also reiterate that this is purely my opinion and I could be wrong.Only, I think I'm right.

Renee DID NOT kill herself.
My opinion, unproven by law, purely conjecture is she was murdered by Tim Robbin about 18 years ago.
I would've put the guy under citizen's arrest years ago if I didn't think he'd kill me first.
And if this blog post is the last time it is ever said by anyone, at least I said it.
I will spare the "why's",  the evidence, the thought patterns...
there's much in the blog I wrote before this.
Yet I want to respond to  a comment made in the comment section  by a family member of Tim's.
 It was an eloquent, intelligent,  linear and completely understandable response given the fact his brother has died and left a grieving family behind.

However he could not have been more wrong in what he said about me. Yours truly.
He said I get some kind of gain out this? Are you kidding me?
This is NOT my idea of good time on a Sunday.
I do not enjoy writing about this knowing there are children, nieces, nephews,  parents, siblings associates of Tim's out there grieving just as Renee's family did.

The family member stated the suicide defense. Renee killed herself, she was depressed and the Tim was falsely accused.
Fair enough.

Yes she was depressed because her mother died.
Who wouldn't be?
Especially when you have such an awesome mother you are so close to?

Every piece of evidence indicates Renee was not clinically depressed and certainly not suicidal.
She had no desire to kill herself.
Evidence, witness reports, letters, her datebook, everything, indicates she was happy,  upbeat and couldn't wait to get on to life WITHOUT Tim.
She just wanted him out of her beach house. He wanted to stay in the beach house and said she should be the one to leave.
Can you say "War of The Roses?"
It wasn't very quiet around Tim and Renee.
It got really nasty when they decided to split.
While heresay now, the fact that she told someone close to her something like  "If anything happens to me look at Tim first" certainly has some bearing here, don't you think?

Renee had a tight-knit family -- brother, sisters, nieces, nephews, plus uncles and aunts who were just like parents. And countless,  devoted friends she confided in.
Renee was so not alone, so loved and so in love with life and in the very end, the day of the murder,  so out of love with Tim.
Her calendar and conversations  reflect an active, pre-planned life the day before and in the hours before her murder.
And the days long after she'd be dead.
She was so looking forward to the future.
She had plans that very night.

I believe this "she was depressed because her mother died and killed herself" defense was the line of  defense, Robbins used to explain why someone with such a zest for life and an admitted hatred of guns would put his gun in her own mouth and pull the trigger while he was there, in her house.
Right before she was due at the neighbor's house for dinner.
That neighbor was a friend she confided in and watched much of the day's activity through a window with her mom and dad.
This is all in police files.

The neighbors  saw Tim arrive at the house (he was not supposed to come home that day).
The same neighbors saw Tim wash his hands through a window and then flee the scene.
Little kids heading up the dirt road report him racing down the dirt past them at  a high rate of speed, his face bright red, his eyed wide, gripping the wheel, not even seeing him.
Tim was at the scene when Renee shot herself.
He  left the scene and didn't call 911.
I believe it was a neighbor  who ran back the the house after Tim left and found Renee dead who cried out to someone to call 911.
The crime scene photos are still embedded on the cellular soft-drive called my brain.
She was kneeling on the ground beside the beds. Her hands in a prayer position.
I will spare the other details.
Suffice to say, a suicide it was not.
In my opinion.

It wasn't for lack of anyone's effort on any part Robbins did not get charged.
I suspect the Snohomish County detectives initially bought the suicide story at first...
Then I think they did everything they could once they realized what Robbins was about and what really happened.
The Grand Jury tried.
Not enough evidence.
Everyone could only dig so deep because, suffice to say, to everyone but his family and close friends... Tim was very scary. He knew how to both sue and hurt people. He liked to hunt and had weapons. Still, he was handsome and seemed nice enough. Some of his clients loved him and remain intensely loyal to him to this day.

You know how everyone says after someone freaks out and shoots a group of people or becomes a serial killer, they almost always say something like this?
"We had no clue. I was his best friend and he was the nicest guy. He'd never do that"
This would be one of those cases.

I am of the opinion that it  was because of Tim's brilliance as an attorney... because he knew how to beat the system that he beat the system.

Yes, I am defending myself in this blog and I am defending the post I wrote earlier because I DO know these things...
I am not making them up.
And had not the haters chosen to descend on my email and blog like locusts, I would have let it be.
The facts of Renee Duskin's murder are, in my opinion, verifiable and on file.
Of course, I could be wrong here... last I knew, determination of death was changed from "suicide" to "undetermined"

There are Public Disclosures laws and the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) that allows public access to police investigation files that are not under active investigation. And  Renee's family allowed a few people, myself included,  access to all files the police would allow, in the hopes we could comprehend the incomprehensible.
When we thought suicide was suspect and set about to find the truth.
Just no doubt, as robbins family is doing now.

When we and other citizens looked deep, it was like like we stuck a stick in a hornet's nest.

So when I posted the article I did so because Tim had passed away and could not hurt me, or  Renee's family or other people anymore.
Then, out came the haters.
People hating me for writing the truth.

If you don't believe me, or agree with me.... no worries.
I'm all about free speech.
I anticipate, expect and accept that.
What I will not accept -- in silence --  is some of the emails I am getting.
Some  come in through through the comments section of these blog posts and I delete them and do not post them.
And some come in my email.

The good news is any hate letters and threats sent to me by email can be traced via my computer forensics expert friends. Sending hate or threats over state lines via the internet is a Federal offense. The F.B.I. is always open to new business. And as a blogger I am allowed to state my opinion.

The other good news is this is MY blog and I will continue to delete and not publish the rude, crude and lewd responses I am getting... I suspect... from Tim Robbin's friends.
See, Tim has a posse. Some of us believe that posse is still out there.

This blog is about Renee Duskin's life.
They recognize and acknowledge that she lived, loved, was loved and in my opinion, murdered.
And the man who we believe killed her, was found dead -- with a handgun and a note-- almost two decades late.
We believe it IS newsworthy

Cold cases always stay warm in the heart of the victim's family and friends.