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ARMED AND DANGEROUS – Katelyn Settle and Zachary Dickman

According to West Virginia State Police, 20 year old Zachary Thomas Dickman Facebook page and 14 year old Katelyn Settle from the Brush Fork area are considered armed and dangerous by troopers after they allegedly assaulted a juvenile at the victim’s home.  From comments on the WVNS Facebook page, Katelyn and Zachary are brother and sister.   While teens wanted for attempted murder is really not something that out of the ordinary, what I did find interesting was the guardian of Katelyn’s comments on Facebook.  When crimes like these happen many always rush to judgment and point a finger at bad parenting. I’ve been guilty of it – I think most of us have.

However in this instance. Katelyn’s father  immediately commented to the post and basically said that he did not raise his child that way and if she was found armed and officers were at risk, that they should take whatever means necessary to apprehend the pair.  Of course, others got on the thread and told him he was a shitty father because he spoke out and said his daughter was a bad person for being involved in the alleged shooting of his fiance’s son and leaving him for dead.  Bottom line, folks.  We can’t have it both ways.  We call out shitty parenting and make judgment from our keyboards and then others come along and want to pull at the scab by telling the father that he’s a bad parent for calling out his daughter for breaking the law.   Some were claiming that he wished her dead.  I didn’t read that in any of his comments, but he knows the reality of two armed kids going up against cops.   I say good on this parent for calling it like it is.  His child made a bad decision and now she must answer to the law for it. 

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The Twisted Life of Gypsy Rose Blancharde

A few weeks ago, a friend posted on my Facebook about a missing persons/murder case in her hometown of Springfield, MO.  The mother of a disabled girl was found stabbed to death in her bedroom, and the disabled daughter was gone – nowhere to be found, and her wheelchair was left behind.  A strange message was posted on the Facebook account that they shared.  That in itself caused me to give the ol side eye.  Gypsy Blancharde was allegedly in her late teens yet shared a Facebook account with her mother?  The message posted said “That bitch is dead” followed by an equally disturbing “I fucken SLASHED THAT FAT PIG AND RAPED HER SWEET INNOCENT DAUGHTER…HER SCREAM WAS SOOOO FUCKEN LOUD LOL.”

When friends of the Blanchardes couldn’t reach them by phone, they became worried that something was wrong.  It was then that a neighbor crawled into the house and not finding anything amiss, the police were called who entered the house to find Claudinnea “Dee Dee ” Blancharde face down in her bedroom and stabbed to death. 

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Sayreville, NJ High School Cancels Football

A hazing incident that “went too far” is at the center of the investigation into the Sayreville, NJ high school football team.  The superintendent took a very proactive stance and canceled the rest of the football season.  My thoughts are GOOD ON YA, Mr. Superintendent!!

Mr. Labbe said it all — it is time.  Time for people to stand up for what is right rather than ignoring it or becoming part of the problem.

“We need all of our student-athletes, all of our students, heck, all students in the state, in this nation, to understand that the one true way to stop bullying is for those bystanders to do the right thing and become up-standers and report to an adult or someone at an authority level of what is going on. They have a moral and ethical responsibility to prevent harm. Emotional harm or physical harm from being performed on another one of their peers by being an up-stander. Standing up, doing the right thing, doing the courageous thing and going to an adult or going to a member of any authority.”

Hey Steubenville, are you paying attention to this?  This school actually did the right thing.   *drops mic*

 

Steubenville PSA – SHHHHH! Play Ball!

 

Burch Middle School: Mandatory Reporting Failure

After all of the publicity surrounding the Steubenville case, it is hard to comprehend that ANYONE in their right mind would attempt to protect their own when it comes to sexual abuse allegations within a school system.  That is exactly what is happening in Delbarton, WV by school administration at Burch Middle School.

On Thursday West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrissey filed an injunction against several employees at Burch Middle School and the Mingo County Board of Education seeking injunctive relief based on allegations of sexual abuse by two juvenile boys who are alleged to be related to school administrators, as well as  civil rights violations against the victims.  The complaint seeks to prevent the school administration and teachers from preventing or interfering with the criminal investigation and Human Rights Commission investigation into the sexual assault allegations.

On Friday a statement was issued by school administrators which read:

“We are aware of the complaint that has been filed in the Circuit Court of Mingo County. Once the county has been formally served, we will respond accordingly. Mingo County Schools takes student safety seriously and remains committed to providing a secure environmental for all students.”

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Tweeting Sexual Pictures

We all realize that kids do stupid things.  They are kids, but bring social media into the mix and it can have disastrous effects.  I don’t think anyone here is going to argue about the long-lasting effects that social media can have on someone’s life.   A 16-year old Stow, Ohio high school boy is facing a felony charge after he took a picture of himself and a female classmate engaged in a sex act and posted it to Twitter.  According to a police report, the 16-year old student took a photo of himself while engaged in a sex act with a 14-year old female student.  He texted the photo to three of his friends and then tweeted it.  He removed it from Twitter approximately 10-15 minutes later, but by that time it was too late.  Once it hit Twitter it was seen by countless people who circulated it around the school.

A student told a teacher about the photo that was circulating, and the school contacted police.  The 16-year old is now facing a second degree felony for pandering obscenity involving a minor and a misdemeanor charge of  telecommunications harassment.  Again, I cannot stress enough the importance of having “that talk” with your kids about the use of social media and what is considered proper use of the internet.

 

Collateral Damage

I watched the “Nodi Wylin About a Dead Girl” video today and it took nearly an hour to finish listening to it.  It was a very painful 12 minutes 29 seconds.  The content of the video was just THAT horrible.  Almost two months ago when I first started writing about the Steubenville case, I detailed how shocked and upset I was at the tweets that I discovered.  Reading those tweets was a walk in the park compared to actually hearing the filth roll off of another human being’s tongue about the events of that night.  I cannot imagine if Nodi were my son or my brother, but I can feel compassion and sorrow for his family — unlike the lack of emotion he showed for the victim.  I cannot imagine the humiliation and shame that his actions have brought upon his family – who are also innocent victims.  They did not ask for this shame.  Many lives were forever changed that night by the actions of all of those involved.

I think what most find disturbing is the lack of empathy and compassion from so many of those who witnessed the brutality.  What kind of  person stands by and watches gleefully as another is violated and publicly humiliated?   There are so many questions and it is my hope, and has always been my motivation that those questions somehow be answered.

 

Mallory Owens Beating Not a Hate Crime

I first became aware of the Mallory Owens case on the Justice for Mallory Facebook page.  The page contained graphic photographs of the victim after she had been beaten while attending Thanksgiving dinner at her girlfriend’s home in Mobile, AL.   She suffered multiple skull fractures and crushed bones.  Her attacker?  Her girlfriend’s brother, 18-year-old Travis Hawkins Jr.

Hawkins was arrested on  second degree assault charges.  Initially, it was reported that Travis beat Mallory Owens because she is gay but Mallory is now stating to the media that it was not a hate crime.   Alabama does not consider sexual orientation a hate crime – perhaps they should.  Everyone else does.

Mallory was released from the hospital yesterday and has returned to the Hawkins’ home.   Regardless of whether the attack was spurned because of her sexual orientation or not, one has to ask what kind of man beats a woman to the extent that Travis Hawkins beat Mallory?  It is alleged that his family stood by and did nothing as he beat her.  What type of person stands by as another human is violated and does nothing?   Wait…don’t answer that.  It happens far too often in our society.

Petition for Travis Hawkins to be tried for attempted murder here:  http://www.change.org/petitions/mobile-county-alabama-prosecutor-bring-travis-hawkins-jr-to-justice?utm_campaign=autopublish&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=6826624

 

Arrest Made in Jessica Ridgeway Murder

Jessica Ridgeway, 10-years old went missing from her Westminster, Colorado home on after leaving her house to go meet a

friend.  She never returned home but was found many miles away from her home in an open space park – her remains left in a garbage bag.  Law enforcement had released a photo of a wooden cross pendent that was found at the crime scene, and days later announced that an attempted attack at a nearby park on Memorial Day weekend was definitely connected to the case, but would not go into details as to what that connection was.

Austin Reed Sigg, 17, was arrested for Jessica’s murder and he made his first court appearance on Thursday.  He was ordered held without bail, pending his next court appearance when prosecutors will ask that he be tried as an adult, however due to his age they will not seek the death penalty.

Authorities have DNA evidence linking the teen  to Jessica’s murder.  Sigg was arrested 18 days after Ridgeway disappeared on her way to school  after his mother called police and he turned himself in.   Sigg is being described as a loner by those who knew him and he was interested in mortuary science.

These types of cases make one wonder what is happening in our world.  Has it always been this dangerous or are we more apt to hear about all of the atrocities of our world because we can get information in real time?  Whatever the case may be, I am glad that her murderer has been caught and is off the streets.

 

 

 

 

Wheeling Park Student Arrested

On Thursday, Wheeling Park High School senior, Cody Brautigam was arrested at the school’s campus for allegations that he sexually assaulted two girls younger than 10 years old.  He was booked into the Northern Regional Jail in Moundsville on two counts of first-degree sexual assault and two counts of first-degree sexual abuse.  He is being held on $100,000 bond.

The Wheeling Intelligencer reported:

According to a police report, a 9-year-old girl told a sexual assault counselor earlier this month that Brautigam engaged in sexual behavior with her at the girl’s home in July. The girl said Brautigam illegally touched and kissed her, sometimes while both were undressed, according to the report.

The following day, an 8-year-old girl told the counselor that Brautigam on multiple occasions pulled her by her hair into a room, where he sexually assaulted her. Those alleged crimes occurred around the same time as those involving Brautigam’s other accuser, the police report states.

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