Articles Posted in Kidnapping

A Massachusetts jury spent more than 3 ½ hours deliberating the fate of Clark Rockefeller before going home for the day. The 44-year-defendant is charged with kidnapping his 7-year-old daughter last summer. During closing arguments, the prosecution had urged the jury to think of the defendant as controlling, self-centered, and an expert manipulator-albeit with a personality disorder-Rockefeller’s defense attorney argued that his client suffers from an acute mental illness and that it was “pure madness” that drove him to take his daughter.

He also contended that there is no way that Dr. James A. Chu, the psychiatrist for the prosecution, could have properly diagnosed his client after just one 2 ½ hour session. The defense noted that its own mental health experts, who were trained in forensics and had evaluated dozens of defendants in the past, met with Rockefeller 14 times for a total of 28 hours.

Rockefeller had pleaded not guilty to the kidnapping charge by reason of insanity after he abducted his daughter on July 27 during a supervised visit. They traveled to Maryland and he was arrested six days after they disappeared. His daughter Reigh was found unharmed. He is also is charged with assault and giving police a false name.

Rockefeller’s Massachusetts kidnapping case has drawn national attention in part because of his interesting backstory. His real name is Christian Karl Gerhartsreiter and he reportedly has used five different aliases over the years, including pretending to belong to the famous Rockefeller family.

He later married Sandra Boss, who is Reigh’s mother. Boss says she never doubted her husband’s personal history until she hired a private investigator when they got a divorce in 2007. Rockefeller’s attorney claims that Rockefeller “went over the edge” after Boss filed for divorce and he lost custody of his daughter. Rockefeller believes his daughter was using telepathy to tell him that she needed to be saved.

‘Clark Rockefeller’ kidnapping case goes to jury, Google/AP, June 8, 2009
Defense closing: Rockefeller not ‘playing with a full deck’,, June 8, 2009

Related Web Resources:
Clark Rockefeller Case Timeline,
Massachusetts Laws, Justia Continue reading

By now, you have probably heard of the gentleman who has allegedly chosen the name “Clark Rockefeller”. The Commonwealth says his real name, or part of it, is Christian K.G. We, however, will simply call him the “Defendant”.

He is facing charges in Boston for parental kidnapping. However, his attorney is arguing that it is too prejudicial to have the trial in the city and that the matter should be moved to western Massachusetts.

The reason?

The defense argues that, because of the extensive media coverage, the potential jury pool has been tainted to the extent that it is impossible for the Defendant to receive a fair trial.

The argument is based on a survey done for the defense which found that more than three-quarters of respondents in Suffolk County – where potential jurors would be culled – said they were aware of the case. Of those, roughly half said they believed he was guilty.

“That’s a staggeringly high figure, even for a high-profile case,” said the Defendant’s attorney.

The prosecutor, however, not to be outdone in his mathematical abilities, countered that the same poll found 52 percent of county residents had not formed an opinion.
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A 28-year-old mother has been charged with the murder, kidnapping, and rape of an 8-year-old girl. Melissa Huckaby was arrested last Friday in California following the discovery on April 6 of Sandra Cantu’s body in a suitcase. The piece of luggage containing her body had been thrown in a pond at a dairy farm.

Cantu was last seen on April 27 in the Tracy mobile home park where she lived. Huckaby and her 5-year-old daughter also have a home there, and Sandra and Huckaby’s daughter were playmates.

Huckaby is a Sunday school teacher. She owns the suitcase that Sandra’s body was found in and claims that someone had stolen it.

Police searched multiple locations, including the church where Huckaby taught, to find Cantu. They are also trying to find out of if there may be more victims.

Formal charges against Huckaby include one count of murder with the special circumstances of rape with a foreign object, murder in the course of kidnapping, and lewd or lascivious conduct with a child. If convicted, Huckaby could face life in prison or be put to death. Huckaby is expected to enter a plea to the criminal charges on April 24. According to KCRA 3, a Local California TV station, investigators say that Huckaby admitted to killing the 8-year-old girl but that the death was accidental.

Huckaby, who remains behind bars, has been placed on suicide watch. She has also undergone a mental health evaluation that is being presided over in the mental health court. Any mental issues would impact the criminal case against her.

The 28-year-old reportedly has suffered from depression and in recent years experienced a series of setbacks, including divorce and bankruptcy. She is also on probation for a petty theft charge that she pleaded guilty to in November 2008.

First court appearance: Tracy woman accused of murder, rape in Sandra Cantu’s death, Mercury News, April 15, 2009
Slain girl’s family express ‘shock and disbelief’ at neighbor’s arrest, CNN, April 11, 2009
California girl, 8, disappears after playing with friend, CNN, March 31, 2009
Related Web Resources:
Women of Death Row

Women and the Death Penalty
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Last week, he was trying to get to Boston. Now, he is in Bridgewater. The state hospital, that is, for a mental evaluation. He was not going to make it to his desired location anyway. The prosecuting attorney already convinced the court to hold him without bail.

It is the tale of Jquan D., 30 (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). Last Wednesday night, he allegedly carjacked a car, and kidnapped three women, for his wild ride. Those felonies were not enough for the Defendant, though. He is also said to have repeatedly punched and threatened to rape and kill the women whom he ordered to drive to Boston. According to police reports, the Defendant kept explaining that he did not want to strike them, but “the spirit is going to get him”, which, apparently, caused him to nonetheless hit the 21 to 22 year old women several times.

One of the women lives in Fitchburg. The other two had come to visit when the ordeal began. The three women were outside the car, and the driver told police she had gone to move items into the back when the Defendant, who she did not know, approached and said the women were supposed to get into the car.

“She stated that once she saw him, he was striking her friend in the back seat and that he would kill them all,” Officer James S. McCall wrote in his report. “She stated that she started to resist when she was struck in the mouth by him.”

The punch sent her tooth into her lip, she said, and the man continued to hit her as she drove and made repeated threats to kill them.
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Kieth L, 22, (hereinafter, the “Defendant”), described by the Boston Herald as a “mama’s boy” is in big trouble today. He is scheduled to stand before a judge in Brockton Court. At this very moment, his attorney is wondering what he can say to get his client out on bail.

He may as well not even try. His client is not going anywhere.

The Defendant is charged with the most serious of charges, stemming out of an extremely violent scene in Brockton yesterday. He is alleged to have been raping a handcuffed Cape Verdean woman when the woman’s sister walked in. He is said to have shot the “intruder” to death and shooting the rape victim several times as she ran for help.

An elderly homeless man who may have witnessed the carnage in the middle of Clinton Street was also gunned down,, while two hero Brockton cops who captured the rampaging gunman cheated death by inches
A neighbor who lives across the street from the sisters said the surviving sibling still had handcuffs dangling from one wrist when he ran outside to assist them after hearing gunshots.
“I looked outside and saw one of the girls running, blood all over her,” he said. “I grabbed her and sat her down and told her to hang on while I ran to her sister, who I could see a distance away. But I could see her sister was already dead.”
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The Boston Herald is reporting that the New Bedford man charged with the murders of his mother and ex-girlfriend and in the kidnapping of a 12-year-old daughter has previous criminal convictions going back as far as 1992. Gary Gomes was arrested and charged last week after the two women’s bodies were discovered.

His mother Katherine Gomes’s body was found under an inflatable bed in her apartment. The body of Gary’s ex-girlfriend, Robyn Mendes, was found in another room. Both women had been fatally stabbed.

Prosecutors claim that Gomes dressed up Mendes’s body and put make up on her face after he murdered her. Gomes is also accused of going to Mendes’s house after the slayings and holding her 12-year-old daughter hostage while waiting for her husband to arrive so that he could kill him.

It may be that the Boston area is simply a dangerous place for a nanny. Several years ago, we had that case in Cambridge where a British nanny was accused (and, actually, convicted) of killing a baby. The case made international headlines. She did have an extremely experienced criminal lawyer on her side and…guess what? She ended up going home when it was all over.

Well, this case is a tad different and the attorney ends up not being needed for the nanny after all. In fact, there was no nanny. Not even a baby. And the outer-Massachusetts part of the drama did not take place overseas, but in Miami, Florida.

You remember Florida, don’t you? Another fraud, to the tune of billions of dollars, was recently discovered there.

Meagan M., 22 (hereinafter, the “Defendant”) is a Miami woman who is alleged to have come up with an inventive way to try to keep her man. She made up a baby.

Well, kinda. She tried to do it the regular way, but did not suceed. Apparently, she lost the baby due to a miscarriage three months into the pregnancy. However, Miami police said the Defendant pretended to carry the baby to full term in order to keep her boyfriend, John B., 26, (hereinafter, “Big John”) from breaking up with her. She even named the phantom child, giving it Big John’s last name.

The real problems began when Big John wanted to see the child after its alleged birth. So, the Defendant did what seemed to be the logical thing…she reported that the baby had been kidnapped, and then reported the baby missing to police.

Now, what could be more romantic than that?
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Former football great OJ Simpson has been sentenced to up to 33 years in prison-with the possibility of parole after 9 years-for his involvement in an armed dispute at a Las Vegas hotel. On October 3-13 years to the day that the 61-year-old was acquitted of murdering his wife Nicole Brown Simpson and her friend Ron Goldman-Simpson was convicted of 12 charges of armed robbery, assault with a deadly weapon, and conspiracy to kidnap.

During his sentencing hearing in Las Vegas, Simpson, 61, apologized to Judge Jackie Glass, saying he never intended to hurt anyone and that he was only trying to get back his property. He acknowledged he was wrong in approaching the confrontation the way that he did and said that he didn’t know that he was breaking the law.

On September 13, 2007, Simpson led a group of men, a few of them armed, into a room at the Palace Station Hotel and Casino. They were supposed to get sports memorabilia back from dealers Al Beardsley and Bruce Fromong. Simpson claims the items were stolen from him.

Simpson denies knowing that any of the men planned on bringing weapons, but two of his co-defendants claim that he told them to bring guns.

Four of the other men charged with the armed robbery crime worked out deals with the prosecution and testified against Simpson and co-defendant CJ Stewart. Simpson and Stewart were found guilty of all charges against them.

Criminal defense attorneys for Simpson say they intend to appeal the verdict. They say Simpson was unable to obtain a fair trial because of the infamous 1995 murder trial. Even though a Los Angeles jury found him not guilty of the murders of Nicole and Ron, the former football hero became a social outcast and many people in the public continue to question his innocence.

Anyone charged with any crime in the United States is entitled to a fair criminal trial-even if he or she is an infamous person or has been charged or convicted for unrelated crimes in the past.

O.J. Simpson to serve least nine years in prison, CNN, December 5, 2008
Simpson Sentenced to at Least 9 Years in Prison, New York Times, December 5, 2008

Related Web Resources:

O.J. Simpson Police Report, TMZ, September 13, 2007
The Simpson trial timeline, USA Today Continue reading

Well, it just goes to show you…nobody is immune to the criminal justice virus.

Ask most members of law enforcement, and they will tell you that there is a big difference between “us” and “them”, referring to themselves and the “perps” they go after on a daily basis. The difference? Well, that “we” are the good guys and “they” are the bad guys, of course.

Hm. Somebody apparently forgot to mention this to Boston police detective Sgt. Thomas J. (hereinafter, the “Defendant”). He is alleged to have gotten a bit confused about this difference back in March during a trip out of town. In fact, it was in Savannah, Georgia, where he was celebrating St. Patrick’s Day. His actions during that vacation have now earned him an even longer respite from work now that he has been suspended without pay from the force. The suspension came when the eight-count indictment was handed down last week. Before that, the highly respected drug detective had simply been on paid leave from the department since March 15th.

Savannah police say that the Defendant followed a group of women back to their home and pounded on the door, saying he was a police officer and demanding they open up. He then attempted to force his way inside and struggled with one of the women at the door, police said.

He soon overpowered the women and pulled them outside, where he forced them to the sidewalk but made no further demands, police said. Instead, he fled. However, that course of action apparently works as well in Georgia as it does in Massachusetts. The Savannah police caught him.

According to the indictment, he then resisted arrest. Yes, same result as when it happens in the Commonwealth.
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In Brockton District Court, Boston Fire Chief Peter Pearson was arraigned on Wednesday on charges of impersonating a police officer, armed kidnapping, and rape. He pleaded not guilty to the charges and posted $50,000 cash bail. He will have to wear a GPS monitoring device.

The charges are related to an incident that occurred in Brockton a few months ago. The alleged victim, who had been detained on the charge of being a common nightwalker, said that she had been raped by a patrol officer a couple of weeks prior to her arrest.

Earlier this week, the alleged victim identified Pearson as the man that pretended to be a police officer and raped her at gunpoint. She and her boyfriend had seen him walking down Haverhill Street, and they contacted police who apprehended the deputy fire chief.

At Pearson’s arraignment, a prosecutor accused Pearson of stalking the victim for three weeks before pretending to be a cop and kidnapping her at gunpoint. The deputy fire chief is licensed to carry a firearm.

Pearson’s defense attorney calls the allegations baseless. Boston police say there is no physical evidence connecting the deputy fire chief to the rape. Pearson has been married for 30 years and has two children. He has worked for the Boston fire department for over 20 years, where he is the Division 2 deputy chief.
Fire official pleads not guilty to rape,, August 21, 2008
Deputy fire chief accused of rape,, August 20, 2008
BFD deputy Pearson faced sex for a fee charge in 1996,, August 20, 2008

Related Web Resources:

Boston Fire Department

The General Laws of Massachusetts
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