This is such an incredibly sad story. An 11-year old girl and her deaf grandparents died in a house fire in Youngstown, Ohio. It is being reported that the young girl was also deaf. Around 3:30 this morning the neighbors heard a loud explosion followed by a second explosion. One neighbor said the entire house was engulfed in flames from the bottom up after she heard the explosions. The little girl was to appear as a witness in the trial against the man charged with raping her.
Robert Seman, Jr. age 46, had been charged with four felony counts each of rape and gross sexual imposition, according to local news. The victim’s mother contacted police in March, 2014 to report that her daughter told her Seman had been engaging in sexual conduct with her for several years. The rape charges could put Seman away for life if found guilty. He was to go on trial this morning, but due to the fire, the trial has now been delayed. Also of note, is that Seman was arrested and his bond was revoked this morning just hours after the fire because he allegedly tried to bribe a potential witness in the case.
More here: http://www.wfmj.com/story/28645156/green-township-man-suspected-of-raping-fire-victim-jailed
…and THIS is why the true crime community is going to shit and many true crime authors are now writing fiction. Once long ago, it was enjoyable to write about true crime and to interact with intellectual people who discussed the case and the legal process. That was until they started going full blown potato and tossing all legalities and sanity aside. Every high profile case has its share of nutters, but from my perspective — those outweigh the rational fans of true crime and that includes the not so high profile case discussion.
The Casey Anthony case was the pivotal point where the intellectuals fled the scene like rats on a sinking ship and the participants were replaced with people who screamed conspiracy, foul, “kill the bitch forget Constitutional rights, kill them again – who needs a trial”. Did I mention “kill them again and their little dog, too“? That is excessive, but unfortunately those types of comments reflect the mentality of the current state of the true crime community. Legal rights, procedure and the law mean nothing. What becomes the battle cry of these true crime junkies includes none of those items. Instead, the masses glom onto communal butt hurt and threaten jurors for voting the “wrong way” as they are now doing in the Jodi Arias matter, and as they did in the Casey Anthony case.
Continue reading The Jodi Arias Haterade
The following is part three of a series involving a 2014 New Mexico double murder trial. I look forward to your responses to this case and discussing the court system process in America. –
Find me on Twitter @EllamentryMDW
Reasonable Doubt Part 3
Ronald Santiago spent two and one half days in the psychiatric ward at Kaseman Hospital while Secret Service (SS) agent Brian Nguyen began to dig into the self-proclaiming criminal’s past. Santiago had volunteered he committed a crime, was very anxious and gave more information than asked for at their first meeting. This combination gave the agent cause to look deeper. At first glance, Santiago seemed like your standard straight up guy. He told Nguyen he had no prior trouble with the law, held down two jobs – a paid his taxes type fellow. Those jobs peaked Nguyen’s curiosity.
Santiago worked at Countrywide, the same office that had dealings with Greg and Bernadette Ohlemacher the summer of their deaths. He also worked as an armed security guard in the northeast foothills of the city. Although individually, these jobs would appear innocuous, nearly every law enforcement agency was aware of the double homicide ten months earlier. Nguyen put the pieces together, including the discovery that Santiago qualified for his NM state firearms license required to work that second job with a Ruger 9mm. It was time to have a different type of conversation with Santiago.
Continue reading Reasonable Doubt Part 3
The following is part two of a series involving a 2014 New Mexico double murder trial. I look forward to your responses to this case and discussing the court system process in America. –
Find me on Twitter @EllamentryMDW
The police descended upon Dover Court, Albuquerque, New Mexico on a Tuesday morning August 2005. No one was allowed to leave the cul de sac, nor was anyone allowed near the area, including the Vigil family. Bernadette Ohlemacher was one of eight Vigil siblings and the youngest child of Dora Vigil. Racing to Albuquerque from Santa Fe, they assembled by the crime tape, unable to get word to Renee or any information from APD.
Later that morning, Renee was photographed then transported from the mobile crime van (more like an RV) to police headquarters where she handed over her pajamas and robe in exchange for a white paper “bunny suit.” This is the building Renee would be interrogated that day and several other times during the investigation. She admitted years later she hated that building. She was none too fond of APD either.
Continue reading Reasonable Doubt: Part II
The following is part one of a series involving a 2014 New Mexico double murder trial. I look forward to your responses to this case and discussing the court system process in America. – Ella Mentry Find me on Twitter @EllamentryMDW
We have seen it on the weekly network crime shows. The defense attorney never reveals whether or not his or her client is guilty of murder. It makes no difference. The job is all about reasonable doubt and convincing 12 men and women of its existence.
We begin with some background. Just before dawn on August 2, 2005 a 911 came into the dispatch center of the Albuquerque Police Department (APD). Renee Ohlemacher, 20, was on the other end of the line claiming to be hiding in her bedroom closet because she had heard shouting, screams and gunshots coming from her parents’ room across the hall, followed by heavy hurried footsteps pounding down the stairs.
Continue reading Reasonable Doubt
Earlier this year, the Limberios family through their attorneys, Dan and Lauren McGookey, asked me for assistance in bringing Jake’s case to the public. Through the use of social media and the persistence of Jake’s family and ardent supporters, that has happened. I am thrilled to see that Dr. Phil is covering the Jake Limberios case. This case deserves national attention not only to find the truth about what happened that night, but also to elicit change in the way county coroners handle crime scene investigations and the ability to legally appeal questionable decisions.
Jake’s death was ruled a suicide by the Sandusky County Coroner’s Office having never been to the crime scene, nor did they perform an autopsy until months after his death. Jake’s parents, Mike and Shannon Limberios actually had to hire forensic pathologist Cyril Wecht to perform a separate autopsy. Dr. Wecht determined the cause of death as homicide. Months later, the county coroner’s office decided to exhume Jake a second time to perform an autopsy that should have been done from the onset.
This case has been filled with twists and turns over the past 2 years. Recently, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine stepped in to appoint special prosecutors and to empanel a special grand jury to review the facts of the case.
Part 1 of Dr. Phil aired yesterday. Brittany Bowers and William Lewis were two of the three people with Jake when he was shot and killed on March 2, 2012. They appeared as guests on the show with the Limberios’. They also agreed to submit to lie detector tests.
Part two of the “Dr. Phil” show about the death of Jacob Limberios will reveal the results of lie-detector tests taken by two witnesses who saw him die.
The Sandusky Register has provided EXCELLENT coverage of this case and is a valuable source of information for additional facts regarding Jake’s case. I will be tuning in today to hear the results of the lie detector tests. From Dr. Phil’s site:
“I just feel I got set up to do this … this is for TV right.”
Later she looks away from Dr. Phil, tilts her head up and back and seems to be talking to Jacob after Dr. Phil appears to read her the results of a lie detector test.
“Jacob, why are you doing this to me? Why?” Brittany asks in the promo for the programs.
Justice for Jake and Ella Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JusticeforJakeandElla
Jake Limberios Forum Discussion: http://prinniefied.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=7
I was contacted by the family attorney for 19-year old Jacob Limberios of Sandusky County, Ohio about the shoddy investigation by law enforcement, and the absolute failure of the county coroner to (1) even go to the home where Jake died, and (2) the refusal to autopsy Jake to determine a cause of death. Rather than doing so, Jake’s death was ruled a suicide by accident. Jacob died from a gunshot to the head in Sandusky County on March 2, 2012. Three friends were present and stated that Jake put the gun to his head when he was on the phone and pulled the trigger, even though he knew there was still a live round in the .357 magnum. Statements since that time have conflicted, and evidence was allowed to be discarded or not even collected by Sandusky County Sheriff’s. One witness during her statement to law enforcement referred to the incident that night as the “murder”.
Since that time the family through their attorney have desperately tried to get cooperation from county officials to actually investigate the matter and to change the cause of death. County Coroner Dr. John Wukie declared the death a suicide within hours of the death and to this day has refused to change that ruling. One must ask – how do you declare a death anything without actually viewing the body or at the least conducting an autopsy? This case is rife with judicial failures and is one that I feel needs to be brought to a much wider public audience. There is power in numbers and utilizing those numbers for a demand for justice or in the least — that Sandusky County officials do what they are being paid to do by the citizens of their county — INVESTIGATE this case properly.
The Limberios’ were forced to employ the assistance of noted forensic pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht who exhumed Jake’s body and conducted an autopsy. His findings were that there is “incontrovertible forensic scientific proof” that someone else shot Jacob Limberios. Dr. Wecht also stated the the tissue sample had no gunpowder residue in it thus affirming his assertions that Jake could not have shot himself. Someone else did. The deputies on the scene also failed to collect all evidence; namely the bullet that was and is still lodged in the ceiling of the crime scene. They also did not swab the witnesses for gunpowder residue.
“What 10th-grade kid in America wouldn’t say, ‘Let’s see if (the bullet lodged in the ceiling) matches up with the gun?’” Wecht said. “Even a 6-year old boy would say, ‘Let’s see if there were fingerprints left on the gun.’”
“These are basic things,” he said. “There’s nothing special about what I’m saying.”
Wecht also kept tissue samples for the Lucas County Coroner’s office. The Sandusky Register determined that Sandusky County NEVER sent the tissue samples to Lucas County. After this information was made known to Dr. Wuchie and his office, he recently decided that they wanted to exhume Jake’s body to perform an autopsy. Why not examine the tissue samples provided to his office by Dr. Wecht? Why put the family through the heartache of a second exhumation when he has tissue samples available to review without the need for an exhumation? Attorney McGookey filed a Motion for a Preliminary Injunction to block a second exhumation of Jake.
The Limberios’ family are essentially having to BEG Attorney General Mike DeWine to step in as special prosecutor in this matter so that their son’s death is investigated properly — as it should have been done from day one. They have filed a motion to remove Dean Henry from the case and appoint a special prosecutor because Dean Henry, County Prosecutor is not only the prosecutor on the case at hand, but also represents Dr. Wuchie and others in a civil action filed by the Limberios family. Conflict of interest, anyone?
Ansted and Dewey appointed Henry prosecutor Feb. 5, in an unusual court order both signed without having an assigned case.
Ansted had earlier recused herself from becoming involved in the Limberios investigation, citing a conflict of interest, but she has refused to offer an explanation how that conflict no longer applied in naming Henry to serve as both special prosecutor and defense counsel regarding the killing of 19-year-old Jacob Limberios.
Legal scholars and practicing attorneys have suggested Henry’s dual roles — as prosecutor and defense counsel — presents an obvious conflict of interest that hampers his ability to conduct a competent criminal investigation properly.
The family sent an open letter to Dr. Wuchie and others asking critical questions regarding the investigation which have yet to be answered.
So, what can you do about it? Demand action. Sign the change.org petition and share with your friends and family. Email or telephone Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and tell him to do the right thing by stepping in. This family deserves answers.
Ali Salim, 44, a New Albany, Ohio ER physician who previously worked at Knox County Hospital was indicted in the murder of Deanna Ballman and her unborn child by a Delaware County grand jury. He was arrested at his home yesterday without incident. I wrote about Deanna’s case last August when she went missing. Deanna disappeared on July 31. She told her mother that she was going to clean a house in New Albany. She had answered an ad on Craigslist. She left her two children, ages 1 and 3 years, with her mother in Pataskala. Deanna had just moved back to the area from Colorado where she was an Army Reservist and was going through a divorce. She was also nine months pregnant with a baby girl she planned to name Mabel Lily.
When Deanna did not come home that night her mother became worried and called Pataskala Police to report her missing. She had received a phone call from Deanna that disturbed her. She said Deanna had told her that she didn’t feel right and was feeling dizzy. Deanna was due to deliver her child soon. Deanna’s car was found in Delaware County when someone called the sheriff’s office to report that a car with Colorado license plates was parked in the grass near the tree line along the road. Deanna’s body was found in the backseat. A coroner’s report determined that she had died of a heroin overdose and her death was ruled suspicious. Deanna’s family was adamant that she was not a known heroin user and maintained all along that she had met with foul play.
Continue reading Doctor Indicted in Murder of Deanna Ballman
When I first started writing about the Steubenville case, there was one thing that bothered me the absolute most. It was not that law enforcement did a shoddy job — I never claimed that, and will never make that claim. I know many of the officers at Steubenville PD and they are very fine and upstanding men. What bothered me greatly was the number of bystanders (as evidenced by social media) who stood by and did nothing. The complete and utter lack of empathy of anyone that night bothered me greatly.
To be quite clear, RAPE was mentioned on August 11th as it pertains to the events that unfolded that night. No one but those using social media to discuss what happened that night put those words on their keyboards. They tweeted about “rape“. It was they who initially identified what happened that night as rape, and later the prosecutor’s office defined the happenings that night as “rape” when charges were filed against the two juveniles now awaiting trial.
Since then there has also been a lot of blaming. There is blame laid at the defense attorneys who represent the accused. They are simply doing their jobs. I had occasion to meet Mr. Madison – I thought he was very polite and cordial. I met mothers of some Big Red students and have nothing but nice things to say about them and their children. Not all kids at Steubenville High School are bad because of an irresponsible, uncaring few.
Continue reading Bystanders & Blamers