Archive for August, 2012

Is the U.S. Department of Justice Targeting the Views of Military Veterans?

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, available exclusively at Amazon.com in December of 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Update: Circuit Court Orders Brandon Raub’s Release

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You, available exclusively at Amazon.com in December of 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Feds Seize Former Marine, Eagle Scout for Facebook Posts

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Update: More Info on Cell Phone Tracking, Police Authors

To view this article, please checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. I & II available now at Amazon.com.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Milwaukee Dismemberment Case Fuels Speculation

Based on a handful of e-mails to SF, the May 30 discovery of a dismembered body in a Milwaukee sewer is cause for intense speculation.  One person asked if a serial killer was on the loose.  Yet another said the crime brought back memories of Johnny Deep dismembering the body of a slain mobster in the movie Donnie Brasco.

What we do know is Department of Public Works employees conducting routine maintenance on a sewerline stumbled upon—no pun intended—human body parts near N. 40th Street  and  W. Garfield Avenue on the city’s north side. An August 16 report, released by the Milwaukee County Medical Examiner’s office, notes that the homicide victim’s upper arms and torso are “still missing.”

“It must be a dope dealer,” one person wrote.  “Why hasn’t anyone reported the victim missing?”

This question is impossible to answer since the medical examiner (ME) and the Wisconsin Regional Crime Lab are unable to identify the body. This means the victim’s DNA is not on file with the Wisconsin Department of Justice or CODUS—the FBI’s nationwide DNA database.

The report from the ME’s office states that the person murdered was “an adult black male” who was “dismembered with an unknown tool.” 

In order to clear a homicide, it is important to establish an investigative timeline. This is virtually an impossible task when investigators are unable to identify the victim. Answering the ‘who’ question—as in who was murdered—enables detectives to develop a reference point in conjunction with relatives, friends, and acquaintances.

Moreover, it is risky to speculate about a motive without knowing the background of the victim. 

Consider the circumstances behind some recent North American dismemberment cases. 

  • In Elmore City, Oklahoma, authorities charged 30-year-old Justin Hammer with killing the ex-boyfriend of his girlfriend, dismembering the body, and placing the parts in a pond on his property.
  • In Bethany, OK, police located the dismembered body of 19-year-old Carina Saunders inside a military-style duffel bag. Two suspects, 34-year-old Jimmy Massey and 37-year-old Luis Ruiz, stand charged in connection to the young woman’s murder.
  • In Montreal, Canada, the so-called ‘cannibal killer,’ Luke Magnotta, killed and dismembered 32-year-old Jun Lin.  According to the Reuters News Service, “…police believe that the murder is shown in a gruesome online video of a man stabbing another man to death before dismembering and defiling the corpse.”
  • Outside of Detroit, members of the U.S. Coast Guard pulled the mutilated torsos of 32-year-old Danielle Greenway and 42-year-old Chris Hall from the Detroit River after their dismembered remains were spotted by a local angler. Prosecutors charged the couple’s houseguest, Roger Bowling, 39, with the slayings.
  • In Canada, a review of 13 dismemberment cases there indicates that, in the majority of instances, the suspects knew the victims.

The aforementioned cases seem to suggest that dismemberment victims typically know their killers.  However, before drawing any conclusions in the Brew City dismemberment slaying, it is important to know and understand the totality of the crime, although a hunch tells me that—absent the identity of the victim—this case might be difficult to clear. 

You can bet that homicide detectives from the Milwaukee Police Department are scouring missing persons reports from Milwaukee and, if need be, Chicago.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


NYC’s Mayor and the Big Apple Police State

To view this article, checkout Best of the Spingola Files, Vol. II: Here’s Looking at You coming to Amazon.com in December 2012.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


When Mistaken Priorities Cost Lives

 Sunday’s heinous shootings at a southeastern Wisconsin Sikh temple—dubbed by the FBI a possible act of domestic terrorism—illustrates that, in some instances, the criminal justice system tragically misallocates precious resources.

While the FBI correctly claims that the current state-of-the-law prevents its agents from collecting data on suspected domestic terror suspects, under the provisions of the Patriot Act, law enforcement can purchase information from privately held companies or non-profit organizations. Corporations, such as ChoicePoint and Acxiom, routinely sell detailed dossiers on American citizens to law enforcement. In the 1990s, the Milwaukee Police Department paid for and received information from the Southern Poverty Law Center—the same group that followed the activities of Sheikh Temple shooter Wade Page for the past ten years.

Even though red flags popping-up around active shooters, such as Colorado’s James Holmes, Tucson’s Jared Loughner, and Page, in hindsight, appeared visible, too often the resources needed to monitor trouble individuals are wasted enforcing trivial laws and incarcerating those who are relatively harmless.

This certainly is the case with an Arizona man locked-up on July 9, 2012, for holding a weekly Bible study in his Phoenix home.

The Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead reports that Michael Salman was “fined more than $12,000 and sentenced to 60 days in jail starting on July 9, 2012, for the so-called “crime” of holding a weekly Bible study in his Phoenix home”—a violation of city building codes.

“In such a society,” Whitehead argues at www.rutherford.org, “we are all petty criminals, guilty of violating some minor law. In fact, Boston lawyer Harvey Silvergate, author of Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent, estimates that the average American now unknowingly commits three felonies a day, thanks to an overabundance of vague laws that render otherwise innocent activity illegal and an inclination on the part of prosecutors to reject the idea that there can’t be a crime without criminal intent. Consequently, we now find ourselves operating in a strange new world where small farmers who dare to make unpasteurized goat cheese and share it with members of their community are finding their farms raided, while home gardeners face jail time for daring to cultivate their own varieties of orchids without having completed sufficient paperwork.”

Mr. Salman is currently an unfortunate guest at Sheriff Joe Arpaio’s 2,000-prisoner tent city, where according to Whitehead, prisoners “battle the heat by positioning themselves in front of a few large fans, but they are of little use when temperatures reach 145 degrees. Stun fences surround the perimeter, with four Sky Watch Towers bearing down on the occupants. Facial recognition software and K-9 units keep track of the people moving about, longing for their freedom.”

In the interim, while law enforcement and our courts incarcerate thousands of people like Mr. Salman for minor offenses, those exhibiting psychotic and/or homicidal behaviors seemingly roam from state-to-state under the radar screen of the newly created American surveillance state.

Moreover, if an organization, such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, is able to compile data on individuals like Wade Page and lawfully sell this data to law enforcement, one has to wonder if the 77 intelligence fusion centers—funded in part by federal tax dollars—are up to the task or if these domestic spy operations spend too much time focusing on individuals like Michael Salman instead of keeping their eye on the prize.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012


Police Looking for Info in Bizarre Abduction of Hall of Famer’s Mother

In a plea for assistance from the public, former Baltimore Orioles shortstop and baseball Hall of Fame member Cal Ripken, Jr. appeared on Good Morning America asking anyone with information regarding the abduction of his mother to contact law enforcement.

Vi Ripken, 74, told police she was taken from her home at gunpoint on July 24. She was blindfolded by a thin, white male and driven around the area for nearly a day in her own Lincoln Continental.  She was returned, unharmed, on July 25 and found bound in the same vehicle parked on a street near her residence–a location that, only a few hours early, was buzzing with police activity.

“It’s just hard to believe the guy came all the way back on the street and dropped her off,” 43-year-old Mike Hudson told the Huffington Post.  “That makes me believe he was local, very local.”

Law enforcement has had little to say about the ongoing investigation.  Earlier this week, billboards appeared in the Baltimore area displaying a composite sketch of the person involved.  Video footage from a Wal-Mart store depicts a 22 to 28-year-old suspect wearing a thin, white jacket covering a gray t-shirt, an orange ball cap with a black front and white logo, blue jean pants and brown boots.  The man appears to have light brown or dish water blond hair. Being a warm Maryland evening, the jacket might be an attempt to conceal tattoos or other identifying features on the suspect’s arms.

Vi Ripken told a neighbor the man involved did not appear to know that she was Cal Ripken, Jr.’s mother, although he wanted her car and some money.  No ransom note was ever sent.

SF is keeping tabs on this ongoing investigation.

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Steve Spingola is an author and retired Milwaukee Police Department homicide detective. His new book, Best of the Spingola Files, is now available at Amazon.com.

If your group is in need of a fascinating guest speaker, consider the Spingola Files Psychology of Homicide presentation.  For more information, visit www.badgerwordsmith.com/the_psychology_of_homicide_presentation.html

or

www.badgerwordsmith.com/books.html

© Steven Spingola,Wales, WI, 2012