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Mass Shootings in America - The Numbers Keep Rising

Since 1982 there have been more than 85 public mass shootings in America in 34 different states.  48 of the shootings have occurred since 2006.  This is a very disturbing trend that needs to be reversed.  What exactly is the cause of this rise in violence?  Guns have been around for decades, people have been around even longer - which has changed?  More than likely it's the people who have changed.  Aside from the scenario where a student or employee goes into a workplace where they have been fired or a school where they have been bullied and take aim, people in general just seem more angry.

There is a population of people who crave attention and the media attention these events generates may be a motivating factor. Even negative attention is attention.  It really seems to have started in full swing following the Columbine shootings in Colorado.  Those two young men are actually idolized by many misguided youth - because of the "strength" and courage it must have taken to walk into your own school and kill so many people.  They felt persecuted and bullied and they were not going to stand for that for that when they had guns to fire.

I'm not blaming the video game industry, but many of these teen aged shooters end up being proficient in violent video games in which killing people is actually glorified and makes the player a winner.  This isnt' real life. The video fails to show the victims families devastation, the funerals, the grief.  This is a fantasy world that sometimes they cannot separate from the real world. Other kids may not feel they have any other way to deal with a problem if they have been bullied or picked on throughout their high school years.  Bullying isn't new - I can remember people making fun of our center on the girls basketball team because of her height - she was 6'7.  That was tall back in 1982.  It's still tall today but even more so then.  We stuck up for her against the bullies on the other team.  Not one of us thought of bringing a weapon and using it to kill the bullies.  Times have changed and it's changed people.

Naturally only a portion of the mass shootings are committed by teenagers.  There are plenty of adults who should know right from wrong yet they choose to commit these acts anyway.  Perhaps they are suicidal and angry and want to take out as many people with them before they die.  Again, they may feel persecuted, picked on, laughed at - and feel like they have not been successful in life as they had hoped.  This description fits many people - life can be tough.  People lose jobs, lose relationships, lose houses and experience financial problems.  Thankfully not everyone responds with violence.

I can remember the fire drills at school.  I remember earthquake drills, being evacuated from class.  I can't imagine this generation being so accustomed to "active shooter" drills.  The fact that they are makes me sad.  So what do we do as a society? How can we collectively make the world a better and safer place?  I don't have the answer.  I know we can each try to be better people, let a car in a heavy traffic area, smile, hold the door open for someone else.  Random acts of kindness are so much better than random acts of violence.

Can we start a campaign of kindness in an effort to offset the violence we are saturated with every time the news comes on?  Let's give it a go.  It can't hurt, right?

Vehicle Transporting Det. Sean Suiter to Hospital After Shooting Was in an Accident

We are just now hearing details about the car & officer rushing Detective Sean Suiter to the hospital after he was shot was involved in an accident.  An ambulance arrived and transported him, where he later died of the gunshot injury.

I may have missed this detail earlier when researching this story, but I think I'd recall a detail such as this - another "coincidence"?  Reportedly he was being rushed to a trauma hospital by another officer when the collision happened.  Authorities say the delay in transport and the accident itself did not contribute to his eventual death.

Authorities also believe the shooter may be wounded - more than one round was fired from Suiter's service gun - guess that itself would blow the suicide theory out of the water, right Commissioner Davis?  Or did he try once and miss and then try to kill himself a second time and succeeded?  Outrageous theory.

There is a growing reward fund of over $200,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the killer.  Hopefully the reward will entice somebody who is in the know to come forward and help authorities.  Even people against snitching can't ignore that type of windfall.  I will continue to follow this story to it's conclusion because I really want to know what happened and why.    

Martin Martinez Murder Trial - Court Documents Provide Aggravating Evidence in Crews' Murder

Amanda Crews, Elizabeth Ripley, Martin Martinez
Thanks to the Internet, we can take a peek into the justice system and review court documents relating to criminal trials in Stanislaus County.  They don't divulge all, but there is some telling information to be found in the case of CA vs. Martin Martinez.  Martinez is facing a total of 6 murder charges in 2 separate cases (that may be combined) for the killings of his girlfriend (or ex-girlfriend) Dr. Amanda Crews, Rachel, who was his own 6 month old daughter with Crews, Elizabeth Crews - Amanda Crews 6 year old daughter with ex husband Timothy Ripley and Martinez's own mother and niece were among his victims.  In a separate case, he stands accused of aggravated child abuse and murder in the death of 2 year old Christopher Ripley.  Christopher and Elizabeth were the children of Amanda Crews and Timothy Ripley but Martinez was reportedly close to both of the children.

Christopher suffered a fatal head injury in 2014 while under the care and supervision of Martin Martinez.  He died in a hospital two days later of massive head injuries.  The injuries were inconsistent with Martinez's changing stories of  how the injury happened and his death was subsequently ruled a homicide.  It's not surprising that a man facing 6 murder charges is facing the death penalty.  The death penalty is for these types of cases where an entire family has been eliminated from life on earth but the delays in getting to trial can be brutal for the families.

Martinez has plead not guilty to all charges and has remained in the Stanislaus County Jail since his arrest the day after the July, 2015 murders.  He has had several court appearances and subsequent delays in appearances.  I was at the last court date and saw him with my own two eyes.  I've only seen a few pictures of him prior to the court viewing and his look has changed substantially.  Gone is the short clean cut hair, instead Martinez now has hair that goes well beyond his shoulders and a beard and mustache.  He appears much heavier than prior photos - I would bet money that he is trying to bulk up for his eventual prison sentence because the CA prison system is full of very large inmates who don't appreciate killer's of women and children.

Martinez is facing a lifetime of having to look over his shoulder, and that's only IF he is spared the death penalty.  I'd have to say that a death sentence is more likely based on the sheer volume of murders and the violence and broken trust involved.  (Allegedly) killing 3 little girls aged from as young as 6 months to 6 years old is going to put a big target on his back in prison.  He also killed (sorry, allegedly) his own mother and 5 year old niece.  In the second case, he is accused of causing the death of a 2 year old little boy.  He'd better be bulking up because he is going to be a marked man when he enters prison.

According to the Stanislaus County Court's website, the state plans to enter aggravating evidence during the penalty phase including but not limited to:

  • Testimony of friends and relatives who discovered the victims bodies
  • Photographs and video of the victims in life
  • Victim impact evidence including testimony of family and close friends of the victims
  • The defendant's lack of remorse at the scene of the homicides
  • Evidence of the defendant's statements about the victims
  • Violence used to commit the homicides
  • Crime scene details showing advance planning and lack of remorse
  • All guilt phase evidence showing premeditation and deliberation, multiple murders and lying in wait
The State will also provide evidence of the defendant's character, background and history will include but not be limited to:
  • Defendant's prior acts of child abuse and domestic violence
I don't know what type of defense Martinez has planned, but it will have to be spectacular to spare his life if he did murder 6 people in cold blood.  It seems to me that in most cases if the defendant can be put at the scene of the crime via DNA evidence (his blood mixed with victims, etc.) then for a man who can't necessarily claim he was an abused boyfriend - he may go for an insanity plea or temporary insanity.  That's the only way he could try to explain away the excessive violence it would take to kill those 5 people he knew so well.  I personally think "temporary insanity" is a bunch of bull.  If you were sane enough to plan this out, and then lying in wait - and killing one person, and then the next and the next and the next and the next...3 of the 5 were little girls.  Cowardly act if I ever heard of one.

Martin Martinez is a scary looking man.  You often hear people talking about the hair on the back of their neck standing up or certain reactions in the presence of certain people - I had that very reaction.  I wouldn't want to be in a room alone with Martinez.  He had his back to the gallery but he just had an evil aura about him.  I believe there is another hearing scheduled for December 18 and then a more substantial hearing in late January of 2018.  If I'm here in Modesto, I'm planning on attending both.  It's fascinating to see the justice system in action.  There has been so little disclosed about this mass murder case that I want to hear the whole story from start to finish.

I don't have some morbid fascination with death.  I am just very interested in the criminal justice system and true crime cases.  This just happened to have happened in my back yard and I may never have the opportunity to attend this type of trial again.  I look forward to posting if I'm able to attend.

In the meantime, I'd like to find out more about Dr. Amanda Crews.  Everything I've read about her is "heart of gold" type of descriptions - but who was she?  What did she enjoy in life?  She obviously loved being a doctor and had many many patients who were devastated at the loss of her.  That says a lot about a person.  How did she end up in Modesto?  Where did she meet and marry Tim Ripley?  I'm inquisitive.  I'll keep digging until I find what I'm looking for.  This is a tragic story, but one I really would like to tell.  Have a great week!

Another Assist For Cold Justice Team - The Murder of Nori Jones

A murder that has haunted Pocatello, Idaho for 13 years is nearing a conclusion.  In September of 2004, 25 year old Nori Jones was found stabbed to death in her home.  Her body was discovered by worried colleagues the following day when she failed to show up for work and they went to her home to check on her.
Nori Jones
At the time of the murder, police found no real evidence to assist them in finding the perpetrator of this crime.  Only a partial finger print was found.  Fingernail scrapings and rings found on and off Jone's body were also kept in evidence for future comparison against potential suspects.  Ten long years went by before the arrest of 39 year old Brad Scott Compher, aka Ralph Roy Compher. Compher legally changed his name in 2008 to Brad.

Police believe Jones was killed during a botched robbery and may have been sexually assaulted.  Early suspects in the investigation included registered sex offenders Robert Roy Spillet Jr. and Lonnie Lee Haggard.  They were excluded as suspects.  Another early suspect was Torey Adamcik - Adamcik is incarcerated for the 200 6 murder of a Pocatello High School classmate (and friend) Cassie Jo Stoddard.  That case has been profiled on TV being compared to the "Scream" movie because the killers wore similar masks when they killed Stoddard.  That was another incredibly sad murder case, particularly since her two classmates were the killers and they planned the whole thing.R

Brad Compher
A fellow inmate came forward and claimed Adamcik admitted to killing Jones, and at the time of her murder Adamcik reportedly lived within 50 yards of Jone's house.  That seems like a reasonable person of interest, however he was eventually eliminated as a suspect as well.  The Cold Justice team spent 10 days in Pocatello and assisted police as witnesses were re interviewed.  Kelly Siegler and Yolanda McClary were said to be "invaluable" to the investigation into this murder.

Due to a grant by the Cold Justice production company, the DNA evidence was sent to a lab and the results were rushed back to the police department.  Compher became a person of interest when the partial fingerprint came back to him, although the police did not have enough evidence to link him to Jone's murder he remained under surveillance.  When he carelessly tossed a cigarette butt to the ground, that sealed his fate.  The police were watching him and they collected the still warm cigarette and sent it to the lab for comparison to the  DNA evidence and they got an absolute match.

Compher was arrested almost 10 years to the day after the murder of Jones.  He has plead not guilty and has been held without bail since the 2014 arrest.  His trial has been delayed several times and is tentatively scheduled for January of 2018.  Several law enforcement agencies have been credited with working to bring this case to conclusion - including the Pocatello PD, Idaho State Police, State Crime Lab, Bannock County Sheriff's Office, Chubbock PD, and the Cold Justice team.

There are an unprecedented number of murder cases going to trial in this county which has been a factor in delays in the Compher murder trial.  If he does go to trial in 2018, it will have been 14 years after the murder.  Whoever said the wheels of justice turn slowly was spot on!  Happy to hear Yolanda McClary is back on the show - or appearing in some episodes because these two are a great pairing.  Add Johnnie Bonds and you've got a great trio.  Fun to watch and they actually help solve these cold cases.  That's pretty incredible television.  Keep watching - we want a 6th season!  Thank you to Oxygen for picking up this great true crime series. 

Suicide Theory Puts Det. Sean Suiter's Benefits at Risk

Baltimore Police Commissioner Davis' continues to contend they cannot yet rule out suicide in the shooting death of veteran Detective Sean Suiter.  I've always believed this to be the most ridiculous of theories, mostly because the commish has contradicted himself at every turn - describing a brief but violent struggle with the unknown suspicious man before Suiter being shot in the head with his own holstered service revolver.

Signs of a violent struggle and a radio transmission call for help from Suiter certainly point away at the suicide theory.  Witnesses who don't want to be named as well as Suiter's partner that day have given vague descriptions of this suspicious man in the vacant lot - unless he struggled with Suiter trying to prevent him from killing himself, this is a bogus theory.  That would make suspicious man a witness and not a suspect.  I think in order to show a little compassion to Sean Suiter's grieving family, they need to rule this suicide theory out and quickly.  

If an officer is killed in the line of duty, certain benefits kick in that could help the family survive after losing their father & husband and his income.  The family could be eligible for $1,000.00 per week in workers compensation benefits as well as lump sum payouts from state & federal governments, a special pension arrangement and more.  The value could be several hundreds of thousands of dollars.  This would also be a show of support to the family and I feel they are dishonoring this detective by even considering suicide under these circumstances.  They may need to rule it out, but quit putting it out there in the media!  What I don't see the commish considering is that the indicted officers, or in particular Officer Jenkins being mentioned as persons of interest.  After all, Jenkins would have likely benefited from Suiter's death - hopefully he had a taped deposition on the drug planting case against Jenkins that can be used in court, but Suiter was due to testify before a Federal Grand Jury the day after he was killed and Jenkins involvement in the heroin planting incident surely was on the list of questions he was due to answer to.

The Suiter family deserves better from the police department.  He was an 18 year veteran, and as far as I know he was a good officer.  He was not part of the dirty cop squad, robbing and pillaging their own community.  He deserves to be portrayed as such - not a suicidal man who set up an elaborate scenario to make it appear he was murdered while really committing suicide.  Ridiculous.

If the FBI and/or another outside agency takes over this investigation I feel there is a much better chance for the truth to come out and the shooter will be identified - and who was behind the shooting will be known.  I'm praying for the resolution of this case so Det. Suiter's family can collect the benefits they are entitled to.  Losing their father and husband is bad enough, but losing out on death benefits because of a ridiculous theory of suicide is just a slap in the face of this man.  Come on Commissioner Davis, do you have a heart?

Former AZ Police Officer Acquitted in Shooting Death of Unarmed Man

A former Arizona police officer has been acquitted by a jury of second degree murder and reckless manslaughter for the January 2016 shooting death of 26 year old David Shaver. The incident occurred after a call from a La Quinta Inn that someone was pointing a gun outside a window of a fifth floor room. 

Responding officers believed David Shaver was the person with the gun and ordered him out of his room.  A nearly 5 minute video has been made public of the incident, in which Mr. Shaver can be seen on his knees with his hands behind his head - following all of the commands of the shouting officer.  Shaver can be heard begging for his life and appeared to be sobbing and confused as he followed instructions to crawl down the hallway towards the officers.

Former officer Philip "Mitch" Brailsford shot David Shaver 5 times as he inched forward (as commanded to) towards him.  His reason for the shooting was that Shaver was allegedly reaching for something in his waistband - another officer reviewing the video said it appeared Shaver was pulling his pants up.  Either way, in the video the officer seems very angry and aggressive.  If he perceived Shaver had a gun and was reaching for it, why did he have to shoot him 5 times?  Wouldn't once had been enough to disarm him? Shaver did not have any weapons found on his body.

I understand officers have a difficult job and have to make split second decisions but after hearing and viewing this video, the shooting seems excessive and unnecessary.  Watch it for yourself and see what you think.  
David Shaver - 26 year old married father of two shot by officer

The acquittal on all charges was surprising.  David Shaver's widow plans to file a $75,000,000 lawsuit against the police for excessive force.  Mr. Shaver also leaves behind 2 children.  Two pellet rifles were discovered in Shaver's hotel room - it seems likely he may have been the one seen at the 5th floor window. If I hadn't watched the video and heard David Shaver begging the officers not to shoot him, I may have a different opinion of this shooting but it's disturbing that this former officer fired an assault rifle 5 times at a man crawling on the hallway floor and following the instructions of law enforcement.  The officer's voice is also concerning - quite frankly he sounds pissed off.  Maybe something happened before the body camera began recording but I didn't see or hear anything to justify the seemingly angry officers commands.

David Shaver seemed clearly confused and the man was sobbing.  He seemed to be in emotional distress but not dangerous!  Another senseless shooting.  Do police just get a pass when they kill someone in this manner?  I believe his widow would win an excessive force suit because it doesn't seem like it was necessary to fire 5 shots into this man. Officer Brailsford was terminated immediately by Mesa Police Chief John Meza after he reviewed the case and video footage.  Smart move.  My condolences to the family of David Shaver.  I don't believe the police had to shoot him and I hope you prevail in your civil suit.

Baltimore Police Commissioner "Still Not Ruling Out Suicide" in Det. Suiter's Death

Baltimore Police Commissioner Davis reportedly has stated that they still are not ruling out suicide in the shooting death of Detective Sean Suiter.  This is the most ridiculous theory yet and makes me even more suspicious that the department has something to hide.  How can there be a "brief but violent" struggle - even heard on a brief radio transmission call for help by Suiter and this be a suicide?  I seriously doubt a detective who was planning to kill himself would make a radio call for help with a suspicious man.  The struggle theory was based on Suiter's clothing - there are witnesses who don't want to be identified who saw a subject running down an alleyway after the shooting.  How can they raise this ridiculous theory?  What a slap in the face to Det. Suiter's family.  What is the theory based on?  Was he suicidal?  Was he in financial trouble or did he have marital problems?  If they are going to put this theory out there they should explain why they believe this is plausible.

I don't buy it for one minute.  Why would he kill himself while on duty with a partner in a public place?  This theory needs to be put to rest and they need to focus on finding the shooter.  Find the shooter and you will find out who was really behind this murder.  It seems much more likely that Suiter's fellow officers who were facing serious federal charges had motive to want him dead.  Particularly the officer that set Suiter up to find the planted drugs in the car of a person they had pulled over.  If these officers have admitted to and plead guilty to the serious crimes they committed while on duty, why is it so hard to believe they could have something to do with Suiter's murder? They need to explain the basis of the suicide theory or keep it out of the news.  How disrespectful to his family these statements are.

The people of Baltimore want answers - Suiter's funeral was attended by thousands of people who turned out to show support and respect for the murdered detective.  I believe the truth will come out.  The mayor of Baltimore needs to tie a big fat reward for information leading to the arrest of the killer and somebody out there will talk.  The murder took place in a reportedly "troubled and dangerous" part of Baltimore.  People there may jump at the chance to collect a reward for information.  Even if they need to make a deal with the killer if he/she was hired to kill Suiter, it would be worth it to find the truth.

Det. Sean Suiter's funeral (

Det. Suiter's funeral (

Mass Shootings in America - The Numbers Keep Rising

Since 1982 there have been more than 85 public mass shootings in America in 34 different states.  48 of the shootings have occurred since...

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