Archive for September, 2012

The Sock Puppet Cometh

Since his ascension to Milwaukee County Sheriff via appointment by then Gov. Scott McCallum, David Clarke, Jr. has never been afraid of controversy. 

The leaders of the sheriff’s rank-and-file union bristle at Clarke’s no-holds barred management style. Critics also claim that the sheriff is by no means a consensus builder. Yet one thing is certain: very few Milwaukee County residents can claim that they are unsure where the sheriff stands on issues of public safety.

In addition, it is no secret that Sheriff Clarke and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett mix like oil-and-water. The personalities of these two leaders, their political philosophies, and their management styles are the antithesis of each other.

Clarke, an African-American, is a law-and-order conservative; Barrett, who is white, is a touchy-feely liberal.

The mayor believes in leading by consensus, while the sheriff’s inspiration is Rudy Giuliani’s take the bull-by-the-horns style of leadership.

Barrett’s critics claim he is virtually invisible when it comes to critical issues facing the city. One of the mayor’s critics, WTMJ talk-radio host Charlie Sykes, notes that Barrett’s mug might appear on the side of a milk carton—a reference to a missing person. Clarke, on the other hand, is hands-on, very passionate about his public policy positions, and flamboyant in public. He is, on occasion, observed in cowboy garb while visiting Mitchell International Airport.

In the middle is Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, a relative newcomer to executive office. A trust fund baby, Abele lacks any meaningful administrative experience, which, his critics argue, makes him little more than a sock puppet for Mayor Barrett.

One need not scratch too far below the surface to unravel the Barrett-Abele conspiracy to defund the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s office.

By state law, Sheriff Clarke is a constitutionally elected official.  In other words, unless the Barrett-Abele axis can defeat Clarke in an election, there’s not much Milwaukee’s liberal leaders can do to run the sheriff out of town. Instead, the county executive and the mayor have taken a different approach: minimizing Clarke’s ability to lead by gutting the sheriff’s budget.

Last year, Abele’s county budget resulted in significant layoffs of Milwaukee County Sheriff’s deputies, some of whom had nearly a decade on the job. This stab at Clarke reduced jail staffing to dangerous levels while using dedicated law enforcement professionals as pawns in a political power play.

The latest Machiavellian maneuver from the Barrett-Abele axis guts the sheriff’s budget by another $3.3 million by transferring patrols of the county parks from the sheriff’s department to local municipalities. The political scam, though, is in the details. Over $1.7 million—about 93 percent of the money dispatched to municipal law enforcement agencies to patrol the county parks in their jurisdictions—goes to one agency: the Milwaukee Police Department (MPD). This even though the vast majority of county park real estate is outside the Milwaukee city limits. Suburban law enforcement agencies would each receive, on average, about $7,000 apiece.

Talk to law enforcement veterans from Milwaukee County and, almost to a person, they chuckle when asked about MPD becoming the county park police.

“Besides county parks, there are also city parks in Milwaukee, where Milwaukee police are currently assigned,” said one former MPD veteran. “What kind of patrols do these city parks receive? No more attention than any other block in any squad area. As such, one can see where this is going. Barrett and Flynn will take the $1.7 million paid by Milwaukee County taxpayers, including those living in the suburbs, to off-set the MPD’s budget, while doing little, besides patrolling the Lake Park and Bradford Beach areas.”

Suburban Milwaukee County taxpayers should voice outrage by Chris Abele’s sloppy wet kiss to Tom Barrett’s city budget. This deal is so bad that the term ‘sock puppet’ is too flattering a reference to Abele, although the other euphemisms offered by some former coppers to address the specifics of the Barrett-Abele political relationship are not fit for print.

—————————————————————-

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

 


Missing Persons Cases Show Need to Minimize Risky Behaviors

When a missing person investigation hits the news, it seems that the subliminal message is to prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. 

When the missing person is a woman, the fear factor looms even larger.

The cases of women, who have disappeared, however, often end with a bizarre tale of risky behavior.

Consider the conduct of Heather M. Boyd, 28, a “dancer” at Cheater’s Adult Night Club in Coco Beach, Florida.  On August 28, Boyd did not return home—where she lives with her mother—after her shift at the club. Three weeks later, after her story appeared in the media, the dancer returned home, claiming that she had spent over 21 days with a “friend” in Vero Beach, but never bothered to telephone her mother to explain her absence.

Another missing person case that garnered national attention occurred in Tulsa, Oklahoma.  On September 13, a 59-year-old woman seemingly vanished from her apartment. After obtaining a key from the apartment manager, the woman’s family members searched the woman’s abode, even calling out her name, but she was nowhere to be found.

The day after the initial search, nearly five days since the woman’s initial disappearance, her son reentered the apartment and heard a voice calling, “Help me. Help me.”  The missing woman was then discovered inside of a freezer stored in the apartment closet.

“It [the freezer] was plugged in and functioning,” Tulsa police Cpl. Daisy Vallely told CBS News.  “We’re not sure why she couldn’t get out. There was evidence she was trying. There’s evidence of that, but we don’t know how she got in there or anything else.”

Other news, although still peculiar, is not always as good.

On September 7, New York State Police confirmed that the headless torso of a woman found floating near the falls by an operator of a tourist boat was that of 30-year-old Loretta Gates. She was last seen alive on August 25 after telling her mother, whom she lived with, that she was going across the street to purchase a pack of cigarettes from a convenience store. Gates’ head and one severed hand were later discovered by a couple near a hiking path on Duck Island in Hype Park. Police appear to suspect that Gates might have left her mother’s home to meet someone that she probably knew.

The commonality with many of these missing persons reports are women secreting rendezvousing with another, which makes their cases much more difficult to investigate.

In the Gates homicide, for example, you can bet police are carefully combing through her computer and telephone records in search of those she might have contacted.  Since a forensic pathologist suggested that Gates might have been alive for up to a day since her initial disappearance, she likely spent time at a location familiar to her killer, who then used tools to dismember her body.  The sloppy method of disposal suggests that the perpetrator was in a relative hurry and somewhat disorganized.

Regardless of the circumstances, these missing persons cases each concluded differently, which is why it is important for investigators to keep an open mind. Moreover, it is imperative to minimize risk to avoid becoming a victim.  This can be done by alerting a third party to one’s particular whereabouts and providing a name of whom they will be seeing.

——————————————————————————————————

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


Coming Soon: An Identification System that Would Make George Orwell Blush

When completed in 2014, the FBI’s Next Generation Identification (NGI) will be the world’s most advanced personal identification computer network—so vast that its capabilities will make the concepts depicted in George Orwell’s novel 1984 seem like the good old days.

Developed by defense contractor Lockheed Martin at a cost exceeding $1 billion, the system includes iris scan identifiers, biometric facial recognition software, voice recognition, palm print scans, fingerprints, keyboard stroke identifiers, and DNA analysis.

Sources say the FBI already has 13 million photographs on file to scan for biometric facial recognition. Most of these images are booking photos, although driver’s license images from states in compliance with the new Real ID law are also subject to facial recognition searches. 

Images in the public domain—those on Google, Facebook, and Twitter, just to name a few—might also be extracted for storage and analysis for NGI.

The Rutherford Institute’s John Whitehead documents the intrusive nature of NGI in a commentary entitled, Smile, the Government is Watching: Next Generation Identification

https://www.rutherford.org/publications_resources/john_whiteheads_commentary/smile_the_government_is_watching_next_generation_identification

—————————————————————–

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


Alleged ‘Voluntary Interview’ of Maker of Islamic YouTube Video is a Red Flag

First, it was former Marine Brandon Raub seized for a mental health exam, in the presence of federal agents, for posting lyrics from a heavy metal band and blasting the government on Facebook.  Now, federal agents have targeted the maker of the YouTube video Innocence of Muslims in order to deflect attention away from the administration’s failures to heed warnings about threats against the American diplomatic mission in Libya.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/09/anti-muslim-film-nakoula-basseley-innocence-muslims.html

The First Amendment is sacrosanct in a functioning democracy.  These fundamental rights—freedom of speech and freedom of the press— foster a robust debate, keep government officials in check, and protect Americans from overzealous agents. 

Or do they?

Fox News legal analyst and former Judge Andrew Napolitano believes federal authorities are figuratively shredding portions of the Constitution. 

Whether it is far-reaching executive orders pertaining to immigration and control of the Internet, searches of homes absent a search warrant, consent or exigent circumstances, or the seizure of Americans for expressing their First Amendment rights, traditional American freedoms are under assault.

Judge Napolitano addresses some of his concerns in an interview with the Washington Times.

http://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/sep/11/judge-andrew-p-napolitano-is-the-popular-senior-ju/

——————————————————————————————————————-

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


U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner Supports Landmark Privacy Bill

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.

——————————————————————————————–

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


Drew Peterson Case: Will the Guilty Verdict Stand?

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

——————————————————————

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


Why NSA is an Acronym for ‘Never Say Anything’

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.

——————————————————————-

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 Chief’s Association Lobbies Against Anti-Big Brother Legislation

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

—————————————————————-

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