Monday, June 18, 2012

Vagina Angina

by Donna Pendergast

Say it loud, say it proud, the vagina word (gasp) screams out from the crowd.

A scene the likes of which has never been seen before will unfold this evening as thousands of women converge on the steps of the Michigan State Capitol to protest the recent silencing of a women legislator who was banned from speaking on the house floor after saying the word vagina during a heated debate about abortion.

Last week Representative Lisa Brown was speaking against a bill that seeks to put new regulation on abortion providers and ban all abortions after 20 weeks. She ended her statement with the comment "Mr. Speaker, I'm flattered that you are all so interested in my vagina but no means no." The reaction was quick and severe. The next day Brown was censured and not allowed to participate in floor debate on the final day of session before the summer break. She was informed that she would not be allowed to give her opinion on a school employee retirement bill because she had "failed to maintain the decorum of the Michigan House of Representatives." In a separate move Representative Barb Byrum was also blocked from addressing the legislature on Thursday. The house forbid Byrum from introducing her amendment to the abortion bill which would have banned men from getting a vasectomy unless they could provide proof that it was a medical emergency.

The response from women was swift and overwhelming. Women across the country rallied in support of Brown and Byrum and newspapers across the country made note of the unprecedented ban. A rally was organized for the Capitol steps for tonight and women in masse RSVP'D to the event in a show of support. But it was about to get more interesting. The rally was to grow to a crusade and then to a scream. The scream was then to grow to an event. By The time of this post nearly 3000 woman had expressed their intent to attend the rally which by then had morphed to something never seen before.

In the event's latest incarnation the rally will be highlighted by several Michigan legislators Who will be joined by Eve Ensler, author of "The Vagina Monologues" for a live performance on the Capitol steps. Carpools and bus transportation have been arranged for the masses and it is anyone's guess how many vaginas (gasp I said it) will turn out for tthe event. Whatever your feelings on the underlying hot button issue and subsequent ban, the event promises to be an extraordinary event. Women of both political persuasions intend to make sure that their voices are heard in this arena.

As for that troublesome "v" word, oh yeah that, in the play alone the word will be spoken 127 times tonight.

Oh my it promises to be an interesting night in Michigan and the heat being felt won't be coming from the warm summer night.

Statements made in this post are my own  and are not intended to reflect the views, opinion of the Michigan Attorney  General or the Michigan Department of Attorney General.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

My Anti-Fan-Fiction of Fifty Shades of Grey: When Christian killed Ana

Out on August 15, 2012
SAVE THE LIFE OF A YOUNG WOMAN - Link this post to any place young women go on the Internet who think Fifty Shades of Grey is a romance, that the exact type of guy we warn young women to run from is somehow now cool, exciting, and will change if you just love and understand him. The kind of man Christian Grey is, a serial sex predator, will get you abused, stalked, and killed. Women every day are filing restraining orders against this kind of controlling obsessive sadistic psychopath and a good many of them find themselves with gas thrown at them and set on fire, disappearing down mine shafts, and shot dead on the courthouse steps. Fifty Shades of Grey is one of the most dangerous pieces of fiction to get into the hands of young women that I have even seen. Make sure they read the story below to get the real ending of Fifty Shades of Grey which would never have made it to a trilogy if it were anywhere close to the truth. - Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

When Christian Killed Ana

Christian gazes down at me from above, my hands tied behind my head to the bed rail with that grey tie of his, my ankles bound with rope to the side rails at the foot. His expression is unreadable but as my eyes shift from his face to his chest and then to those jeans of his hanging deliciously off his hips, my inner goddess jumps for joy; heat rushes down there and I squirm desperately as I wait for Christian to touch me. Oh, shit, he is so hot.

He runs his hands through that slightly tousled hair of his.

"I'm bored with you, Ana," he says quietly.

I am stunned. How can he be bored with me? I have done everything he wanted, minus a few items I put a line through on the contract.

"But we have only been together a couple of months, Sir!" I had thought I was different then the train of other women he had been through. "I thought I was special."

Christian actually laughs. "Special? What would you think I would find so special about you?" He admonishes me. "You are a mildly attractive run-of-the-mill college girl with nothing particularly alluring or interesting about you."

Tears flood my eyes. "But, Sir, you said I was special, different, that you had never had vanilla sex or slept the night with anyone but me!"

"And you believed me, you little fool." He smirks. "Why don't you bite your lower lip again? You really think that drives me mad for you, don't you? It doesn't do anything but make me hate you." He reaches out out with both hands and grabs my nipples, twisting them cruelly. I yelp with pain.

Christian looks at me with disdain. "You don't think I have told each one of my girls how adorable they are? Don't you realize I told every one the same stupid things that I told you? You are all so easy to dupe." He sighs. "All of you who think you are going to be the one. You are going to change me. From what? From myself? I like myself just the way I am." He leans in and snickers. "Do you know, my dear Anastasia, that I was never abused as a child? Not once. But, oh, how easy it was to make you feel so sorry for me."

My inner goddess curls up into a ball. I feel sweat break out on my forehead. Panic starts rising in my chest. I look into the eyes of Christian Grey and see nothing there at all, nothing. Everything I thought he might have been has vanished and I realize I have been living in a dream. Reality hits. I am tied up, hand and foot, alone with a sadistic psychopath, a snake, a demon.

Christian's face appears inches away from mine behind my wall of tears. "You know all those things that weren't in the contract? Well, today you get to do them all." He smiles, so coldly, so evilly. "I am going to use you as my toilet, I am going to put my fist up your ass, I am going to whip you until your body is covered with marks and listen to you scream until you have no voice left to scream with."

He leers at me and suddenly he is holding a razor sharp knife against my cheek. I feel searing pain and he pulls the blade back, red with my blood, oh god, my blood, my blood, and he licks it off with that tongue that I used to adore.

"I am going to cut that annoying bottom lip off of you."

I start screaming uncontrollably and the hell begins. I am just a young girl and I thought I had my whole life ahead of me. I now know that I have never known true love nor had anyone actually make love to me.Why I ever thought I should be treated in such a demeaning and ugly manner, I do not know. All I know is that now I have no choice; then I did. I should have run; I should never have trusted a stranger, a stalker, a sadist who told me he was so taken by me that he would never hurt me. How stupid I was.

I will not tell you each and everything that happened that day, the hours of terror, the hours of humiliation, the hours of unending pain. I will just tell you what I see from above my body, well, above the pieces of my body. My bottom lip that I always bit, he cut that off first. It was then I knew for sure I was going to die. Next he removed my breasts and then he put them to his chest and danced around with them while I gazed down at the gaping holes on my own body. I cannot go on and tell you what he did next, but when I felt the knife cut through my throat, I wished I had valued myself a whole lot more than I did the day I met that psycho Christian Grey.

He is now placing my legs and arms in a suitcase. What is left of my body, a torso is what I believe they call it, is lying in the center of the bed. I am not tied up anymore, I note ironically. My head, yes, that is my head with the bottom lip missing and the eyes gone from their sockets, it is laying where it was tossed, in the corner of the room, like an old soccer ball with some of the air missing from it.

Christian finishes packing up my parts and he takes them from the room. I see him drive off in his car, and when he returns a bit later, he showers and dresses, immaculately as always. He leaves again in his fine automobile and I follow him down the street. He pulls into an upscale pub and glides over to the marble bar. He seats himself next to a pretty blonde, college age. She turns her head and I can see she is immediately attracted to him.

"I'm Christian," he says softly and he takes her hand. She does not pull it back. I cannot watch any more.

Criminal Profiler Pat Brown

June 16, 2012

Harkening back to the writing styles of the earlier American authors – John Steinbeck, Harper Lee, and Carson McCullers, "Only the Truth" is a story of soul searching, a psychological mystery which examines the question, “Whom should one love and when should one quit doing so?” Billy Ray, a lonely and rather slow, uneducated African-American man living in the mountains of Arkansas, runs across a mysterious young woman at the railroad tracks. She asks to go home with him and Billy Ray takes her with him as she requests. He comes to love this woman, Charlene, unconditionally. She is the only woman he has ever loved, and life is finally good for Billy Ray. Then Charlene shoots the neighbor and burns down the neighbor’s house. His happy life destroyed, a confused and devastated Billy Ray is at a loss. Is the woman he loves “just a troubled girl” or a psychopathic killer? Billy Ray sets out on a quest to find the truth, only the truth, whether it leads him to be able to save Charlene from a death sentence or it frees him from her spell.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Courtroom Knife Wound Analysis Presents Challenges

by Andrea Campbell

In Urbana, Ohio, about 40 miles northwest of Columbus, a grisly murder took place in a rented duplex. Some dismembered remains of Jessica Rae Sacco were found in the shower. Gary Zerkle, the landlord, had been approached by Sacco’s mother who came looking for her 21-year old daughter after not hearing for too long. 

Zerkle took the key and went to check it out himself and once inside, encountered a locked bathroom door.

Jessica Rae Sacco
"I didn't think that was right," he said of the locked bathroom door. "Sometimes you get a gut feeling."

Reports say he removed the doorknob and pried open the door. It was the look behind the shower curtain that he wasn’t prepared for. "I pulled it back, and that was it," he said. "And I zoomed out the front door... I was trying to gasp for air."

Police say that Sacco had moved to Urbana from California the year before. The duplex she shared with her on-again, off-again boyfriend Matthew Puccio rented for $360 a month. In the latter part of the year, Andrew and Kandis Forney, of Fenton, Michigan, began staying with them.

Allegedly, Puccio had killed Jessica Rae Sacco by placing a bag over her head and suffocating her. The Forneys and yet another couple, Christopher Wright and Sharon Cook, of Urbana, are accused of helping with her dismemberment. Reports from police say that some of her body parts were found miles away in Kentucky.

According to an article for the Huffington Post about the intent, “Police would not discuss a motive for the killing, which they believe occurred around March 22. Police allege the Forneys, Wright and Cook were in the apartment when Sacco was killed but failed to intervene. Police say Puccio and Andrew Forney moved Sacco's body to the bathtub and dismembered it.”

Left to right: Matthew Starr Puccio, 25
Andrew Peter Forney, 26 (helped with dismemberment)
Kandis Jenniene Forney, 25 (helped cover up) Christopher Wright, 37 (cover up)
Sharon Cook, 25 (cover up)

Follow-up form the police chief said that Sacco, took classes at a local college and had only been in Urbana about a year after she moved there from California. He said Puccio had only been in Urbana a few months. Both were unemployed.

While the evidence in this case has multiple witnesses and overwhelming physical clues because of the dismemberment, typically the science used to identify knife and saw mark wounds, and the examination and its interpretation in bone has received little more than a cursory consideration in the forensic science industry.

History of Saw Mark Analysis
In the 1970s two science researchers attempted to introduce the topic of saw marks and toolmark analysis in bone to make it more useful to the field of forensic science. Wolfgang Bonte was one of the first who made a concentrated effort to more closely examine and describe saw mark striae in human bone. His casework however suffered limitations in that he failed to understand and recognize saw cutting action. 

In 1978, another scientist, R.O.Andahl attempted to describe saw cut characteristics in metal and animal bone, but his work in medicolegal cases of human dismemberment pointed up the need to analyze these characteristics more fully as his examples were often too simple and less than accurate. There needed to be an improvement in understanding not only the different areas of toolmark characteristics but to have a standardized way to describe forensically the principles of tool action in a cut.

Present Case Studies
The problem with today’s analysis is that there are many differences between knife cut wounds and saw mark analyses on cut bone. The ability to accurately describe in a court of law the features involving dimensions, the elements depicting wounds, and how to discriminate between different classes of saws and knives is still a tricky element. There is no standardization, meaning, it does not have “forensic standing” as a element of crime—it cannot pass Daubert evidentiary standards—and therefore testimony in that regard is just one person’s opinion. Steven A. Symes, Ph.D is the first researcher to publish a doctoral dissertation on the topic of saw mark analyses of cut bone, completed in 1992. He worked on and aided over 200 dismemberment cases involving approximately 700 to 10000 knife cut wound cases. Symes sees the diagnostic potential of developing a methodology to describe the features of cut wounds but it has yet to be implemented fully.

Problematic Terminology
Symes believes that since knife wounds are second only to ballistic injuries as the major cause of violent death in America, the widespread use of meaningless and misleading descriptors such as "sharp", "single-edged blade" and “hesitation mark" (which erroneously implies behavior) are common and may result in serious misinterpretation by attorneys, judges and juries.

The sharp force trauma that appears as an incised wound can be completed with any tool that has a sharp edge. Most of the incised wounds are created by some class of knife and are recognized as sharp force trauma. Most wounds are commonly termed a “knife stab wound” (KSW). But the term KSW is often misused, particularly by anthropologists, since most wounds they examine are without soft tissue.

Incised knife cut wounds are often described as wounds to the bone but are not necessarily due to stabbing. A KCW in bone is indicated when a sharp edged tool superficially incises bone while traversing over the surface of the bone. Symes thinks that forensic students are taught stereotypical adages when it comes to terminology. The difficulties with testimony fall on the fact that, “anthropologists and pathologists conduct numerous saw and knife mark analyses on dry and fresh bone, most professionals are reluctant to examine this bone within the soft tissue." In an article entitled Knife and Saw Toolmark Analysis in Bone, “the reasons for this avoidance include, but are perhaps not limited to: 1) difficulties in examining and transporting decomposed tissues, 2) a lack of equipment or training to process the remains after soft tissue examination, and 3) a general avoidance, 4) a lack of interest in the soft tissues in general, or finally 5) it’s just too damn difficult. Unfortunately, the situation often applies to forensic anthropologists and occasionally to medical examiners and coroners.”

So while the Sacco case might not hinge on knife wound analysis and toolmark evidence, this area of forensic science needs to be further examined and documented for standardized testing and ultimately, courtroom testimony.

Taphonomy – Edged, Incised, Hacking, and Impaling Traumas (Caution, photographs may be disturbing) 

Monday, June 11, 2012

Elite Prep-School Predators

by Gina Simmons, Ph.D.

I attended an inner city high school hot with rumors of pervert P.E. teachers and weirdo janitors that left the savvy among us well warned to keep our distance. One of my friends was primed with pot and champagne by a teacher determined to get into her pants. My child's former babysitter was seduced by her band teacher. His abusive behavior and the subsequent criminal trial changed her from a popular talented teen into a socially isolated pariah.

Elite prep-schools possess perverts who groom their victims with promises of wealth and social status. Horace Mann, a prestigious school in New York (ranked by Forbes Magazine as the second best prep-school in the nation) faces a significant blow to its reputation due to a recent New York Times story by playwright Amos Kamil. Kamil, an ambivalent alumni of Horace Mann, wrote a chilling account of decades of sexual abuse of students by faculty.

Kamil writes of  Mark Wright, assistant football coach and art teacher, who held unnecessary "physical examinations" that included fellatio and masturbation. After a student complained, Wright left the school. No announcement was given to parents. Typically institutions that support pedophiles follow the no talk rule. Just keep silent and all will seem as if the sordid affair never happened.

Stan Kops, a weirdo history teacher that liked to "frolic" with his students, was terminated after a student complained that he came up behind him at a camping trip. The next day Kops asked "what were you doing last night" while grabbing his own privates. When the student reported the incident Kops left, then went on to teach at another prep-school. Horace Mann apparently did nothing to warn the next school of Kops inappropriate behavior. Eventually Kops committed suicide.

Johannes Somary, head of the arts and music department, allegedly molested a boy named Ben over several years. Somary took Ben to Europe where they ate expensive meals, stayed in the best hotels, met famous musicians, and shared a bedroom. Ben reported the abuse, as did Ben's mother who confronted Somary. "Ben kissed me first," he claimed. When she demanded, "How dare you put your tongue down my son's mouth!" she said he replied, "That's how we Swiss kiss." A lawyer warned the family that unless they had evidence on tape there was nothing they could do to prove their allegations. After 15 years Ben committed suicide.

Institutional memory of decades of abuse has a way of fading into a vacuum of denial similar to that of the alcoholic. Several rationalizations prevent full disclosure and full repair for the victims. "It's just an isolated incident. It won't happen again. It wasn't that bad. Maybe it didn't even happen. Telling anyone about it will damage my reputation. It's all in the past. Good people will be hurt by talking about it. No use in embarrassing everyone. Revealing this will cost me money." The list of rationalizations could fill volumes.

In the Horace Mann School Family Handbook they mention respect, tolerance for different cultures and the importance of instilling pride in the school. There might be a lot more pride in the school if the children graduate without suffering abuse.

When survivors of abuse fail to receive full restitution and repair from respected institutions like the Catholic Church, and elite schools like Horace Mann or Penn State, it amplifies the original emotional injury. For victims the world organizes itself into an agonizing instrument of humiliation and exploitation with no justice or voice for their pain.
That's why we need to keep talking about sexual abuse, keep rubbing it in people's faces until they have to see it, deal with it, care about it. For victims like Ben, suicide provides an escape from unbearable pain and loneliness. When we listen to abuse victims, believe them, love them and accept them, we can minimize the damage, prevent others from becoming victims and save lives.

Photos courtesy of  Graham Morrison/Bloomberg and

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Does Canadian Cannibal Luka Magnotta Have Adult Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Fetal Alcohol  Syndrome was discovered over 30 years ago . At that time medical geneticist Dr. Ken Jones and  Dr. David Smith found a distinct pattern of mental and physical defects in children with associated facial patterns associated with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy.
For years research concerning the effects of Fetal Alcohol Syndrome on children was examined. Studies were done to analyze the damage to the brain and other structures, which resulted  in psychological or behavioral problems and physical damage.  Studies have shown cognitive issues along with attention deficits, memory problems , reasoning problems, impulsive behavior ,and poor cause and effect reasoning. Most of the research has been done on children.
Now these children with FAS have grown up and become adults. As a result  there is now a whole host of issues facing those with the disorder. In fact  Fetal Alcohol Syndrome  is starting  to be recognized by the legal community as a  high risk factor for criminal behavior.
In addition, studies have shown that a  disproportionately large number of youth and adults with fetal alcohol syndrome appear to be coming into conflict with the legal system. Learning and behavioral difficulties associated may make them more susceptible to criminal behavior.
Those with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome have a distinct  pattern  of facial features. Thy often have a flat midface, thinner upper lip,flattened ridges between the base of the nose and the upper lip (i.e., a flattened philtrum), skin folds at corner of eye, smaller head circumference, ‘train line’ ear folds and a short nose.

If you look at the early photos of Canadian Canibal Luka Magnotta aka Clinton Newman as a child , you can see many of the facial characteristics   which may appear to be associated with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome.

According to  his aunt , he was "a timebomb waiting to happen " and had a myriad of behavioral problems. As a teen he  allegedly had brushes with the law and  according to newspaper accounts he was arrested for credit card fraud.  Recently, he allegedly posted videos  of himself online  torturing animals .

At 19 he became a male stripper and a porn star and one of his co-workers reported that he allegedly  had temper outbursts where he would hit himself in the head.
Based on his facial and physical  characteristics,  it seems  to me that it is a possibility that his  behavioral characteristics may be consistent with that of adult Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, especially with regard to his aberrant and deviant behaviors.