All Articles Tagged "murder"
72-year-old Kermit Gosnell, the doctor who was convicted for killing three babies that were born alive during botched abortion procedures at his Philadelphia abortion clinic has just dodged the death penalty, the Huffington Post reports.
Former employees of the clinic told prosecutors that Gosnell frequently performed illegal abortions at the facility on women who were past the state’s six-month limit. They also testified that Gosenell delivered babies who were still moving, breathing or whimpering and that he would “snip” the spines of the newborns.
One witness testified that Gosnell performed an abortion on a teen who was 30 weeks pregnant. The witness went on to say that Gosnell later joked about the size of the fetus, saying it was so big, it could “walk to the bust stop.”
An FBI raid of Gosnell’s clinic uncovered 47 aborted fetuses, jars contianing severed infant feet, blood-stained furniture and unsanitary medical equipment.
Prosecutors originally sought the death penalty in the case, because Gosnell was responsible for more than one death; however, the AP is reporting that his age presented a likely possibility that he would not make it to his execution date before all of his appeals ran out.
Jack McMahon, Gosnell’s attorney said that his client has accepted his fate.
“He wanted this case aired out in a courtroom and it got aired out in a courtroom in a fair way. And now he’s accepting what will happen. He’s an intelligent guy.”
Gosnell is also facing federal charges and has yet to be formally sentenced in the overdose death of a patient and hundreds of other charges.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City prosecutors say they have arrested two men in connection with the death of Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of political activist Malcolm X.
An official of the city’s prosecutor’s office who was not authorized to be quoted by name says the two suspects are employees of the bar where Shabazz reportedly got in a violent dispute last week.
Read more on TheGrio.com.
‘Suck My D**k Or I’ll Kill You’? Petition Created To Stop DJs From Playing Chief Keef At School Functions Following Murder-Rape Lyric
It was only a matter of time before a petition like this was created and, truthfully, I’m surprised it took this long, but Girls Like Me Project, Inc. is finally taking a strong stand against Chicago teen rapper Chief Keef.
The 18-year-old is no stranger to controversy, having been as much on the radar of rap fans as the police since Kanye took his local song “Don’t Like” and made it a global hit. Not long after he became a recognized name, there was concern that he may have ordered the death of another Chicago teen, Lil Jojo, due to some things he said on Twitter, and now the rap newcomer’s words have him in hot water yet again — the Rick Ross kind. Chief Keef just dropped a new single, “You” which has listeners up in arms due to this threatening lyric:
“You aint gonna let me f**k and I feel you, but you gone suck my d**k or I’ll kill you.”
Immediately Girls Like Me Project sprung into action and drafted a petition calling on Chicago Public School officials to ban this young man’s songs from all school functions, writing.
As an artist on a national label, Interscope Records, Chief Keef and his label mates have the ability to mass-produce messages that glorify rape and murder of girls. His platforms allows him access to influence minds and psyches of impressionable students in CPS. While it may be a challenge to stop radio stations from promoting this message, school officials have the authority to exercise their moral obligation which calls for the boycott of music that promotes rape or any kind of gender violence. Many DJ’s claim students aggressively demand Chief Keef be played, however, you can set the boundaries to the type of music your students are exposed to.
Therefore, we are asking CPS to take a stand and limit the exposure your students have to this destructive music. In a city where violence disproportionately halts the potential of our young people, we cannot afford this type of influence in our schools. If no where else in this city, our girls deserve to feel safe from sexual violence and misogyny in their school communities.
We are pleading with you to ban DJ’s from playing this music during your assemblies, dances, proms, sports activities, or any variation of school functions.
Honestly, that’s the least school officials could and should do and I’d like to see radio stations, like 103.7 The Beat which recently banned Lil Wayne and Rick Ross, follow suit. It’s been apparent to me since day one that Chief Keef is a guy who has zero concern for his own life, not to mention that of those around him and that’s just not an approach to living that impressionable teen boys need to be encouraged to follow — let alone the blatant threat this poses to young girls.
So far, the petition only has a little more than 100 supporters. Here’s hoping more people get behind this act and incite real change behind the DJ booth.
Last week we reported on how outraged the family of Emmett Till was over Lil Wayne’s offensive rap lyrics that compared Till’s brutal killing to sexual acts to be performed on a woman. Now, family members of the gruesomely murdered teen are doing some writing of their own. In a two-page open letter to Lil Wayne, which was published by Vibe, the Till family addresses the power of words and how the rapper’s lyrics were destructive to their relative’s legacy. Check out an excerpt of the letter below.
“Yesterday marked a week since the “unofficial” release of “Karate Chop~remix” inclusive of your lyrics. The words we speak are powerful enough for preservation of life but also have the capacity to destroy it. When you spit lyrics like “Beat that p—-y up like Emmett Till”, not only are you destroying the preservation and legacy of Emmett Till’s memory and name, but the impact of his murder in black history along with degradation of women.
“The tongue possesses power! I could offer you a history lesson and talk about the trailblazers that paved the way for our people and lyricists to engage in freedom of speech such as Marcus Garvey, Nat Turner, Frederick Douglass, Medgar Evers, Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Mamie Till Mobley; but this isn’t an argument about freedom of speech. It is critical that we stay true to urgency of the hour… our youth! Your “celebrity” thrusts you into the spotlight affording you the opportunity to embrace your role as a black man, father, friend, and artist that has the ability to reach international audiences. Are you bothered in the least by the staggering statistics of the extinction of our children?”
You can read the letter in its entirety here. What do you think of the family’s decision to write a letter to Wayne?
On January 29th, news spread like wildfire that Chicago teen, Hadiya Pendleton, who marched in President Obama’s inaugural parade a mere one week prior, had been gunned down in a Chicago park. This past Saturday, the 15-year-old was laid to rest following her funeral, which was held at Greater Harvest Baptist Church and attended by White House officials Valerie Jarrett, Arne Duncan and First Lady Michelle Obama. Now, only two days after Hadiya’s funeral, two young men have been charged with her murder, reports the Chicago Tribune.
According to police, the fire opened on Hadiya and her friends in the Chicago park on that fateful day, was a result of two gang members seeking revenge. Kenneth Williams, 20 and Michael Ward, 18 were both charged with first-degree murder, attempted murder and aggravated assault with a firearm. It appears that Hadiya and her friends were targeted in the shooting because Ward had somehow mistaken one of Hadiya’s friends for a rival gang member who had shot Williams back in July.
“The offenders had it all wrong. They thought the group they shot into included members of a rival gang. Instead it was a group of upstanding, determined kids who, like Hadiya, were repulsed by the gang lifestyle,” said police Superintendent Gary McCarthy during a press conference.
The two men were arrested by police on the night of Hadiya’s funeral as they were en route to a friend’s birthday celebration at a local strip club.
“I don’t even know what to say about that. They were going out to celebrate at a strip club,” Supt. McCarthy said.
While Ward confessed that he and Williams got out of a car, crept up on the unsuspecting teens in the park, opened fire and then fled the scene, Williams has yet to confess to anything and thus far, police have not recovered the murder weapons. Both men are scheduled to appear in bond court this morning.
Last night, when he learned of the charges being brought against Wald and Williams, Hadiya’s father, Nathaniel Pendleton expressed how relieved he was that his daughter’s killers were off the streets.
“I’m ecstatic that they found the two guys. (I’m) thanking God that these two guys are off the streets, so that this doesn’t happen to another innocent person,” he told the Tribune during a phone interview.
Jazmine Denise is a news writer for Madame Noire. Follow her on Twitter @jazminedenise
In light of the murder-suicide by Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher of his girlfriend, Kasandra Perkins, and himself, the National Football League is stepping in to provide financial assistance to the couple’s now-orphaned child. The league has agreed to pay for funeral arrangements and provide their three-month-old daughter, Zoey, with at least $1 million throughout her life span.
According to TMZ, the NFL agreed to pay for funeral arrangements to relieve the families from massive funeral and memorial service bills.
Baby Zoey, who is now in the custody of the Belcher family, will be taken care of through the league’s Surviving Child Benefit and health care plan. According to USA Today, she will receive $9,000 a month for the next four years and at least $4,000 a month until she turns 18, or 23 if she decides to go to college.
You can get the story in its entirety over at ESSENCE.
I’m sure you might have heard the very sad story of Autumn Pasquale, and if you haven’t you should be informed for the sake of keeping your own children protected, and making sure your children are responsible for their actions. It all happened in the town of Clayton, N.J.
When 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale left her home at 12: 30 p.m. on Saturday on her beloved BMX bike, her family didn’t know that it would be the last time they would ever see her alive. With a curfew of 8 p.m. that Pasquale didn’t show up for, her father decided to call police and put them on alert that she was missing around 9: 30 p.m. By Monday, hundreds of law enforcement officials and volunteers were out on the streets looking for the young girl, but with no luck. Sadly, by Monday night her body was found in a recycling bin, and just as quick as it started, the search was over.
It has now come out that the people allegedly responsible for the death of Autumn, who was set to turn 13 next week, were teen brothers, young black boys who had lured Pasquale into coming to their home by using Facebook in order to trade BMX bicycle parts. At least, that’s what she thought she was going to do. When she arrived, her bike was stolen, and in the end, she was strangled and left in the recycling bin. The brothers, 15 and 17, have been charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, as well as tampering with the evidence and theft. The youngest brother was also hit with a luring charge for pushing Pasquale to come to their home. Because they are minors, they are currently being charged as such (hence their names not being released officially). However, prosecutors are asking for the boys to be charged as adults because of how heinous the crime is.
What makes this story all the more intriguing is the fact that the two boys were finally taken in not because of their own confessions (though they did leave a lot of evidence everywhere), but by their own mother. According to CBS News, she became alarmed and thought they could be involved after finding suspicious comments on their Facebook pages. She called the police on Monday, and that’s when the wheels really started to turn. Pasquale’s bike and the other possessions she brought with her to meet up with the boys were found at their home. To be clear, her body was found in a recycling bin that was actually behind a vacant home next to the boy’s house. The boys actually had the gall to show up at Autumn’s vigil on Monday before her body was found and arrests were made, but I guess that was done to keep people from being suspicious.
In a story on USA Today’s website (via the AP), it seems people in the community had different views of the boys and their behavior. While friends and neighbors thought the boys were respectful for the most part, others in the community of 8,000 say the two boys were known for stealing bikes and their mischief.
As Beverly Davis says, “We are not surprised by who the suspects were. We’re not surprised at all. They’re not always on the right side of the law.”
While the youngest boy involved in the murder seemed to be an everyday sophomore who participated on the wrestling team, the elder brother involved went to a school for students with behavioral, social and academic issues, and according to neighbors, you wouldn’t catch him outside of the house as much. Sadly, the boys’ father was contacted by the AP and he said that not only had he not seen his sons in a year, he had pretty much been in and out of their lives for seven years, so he really couldn’t comment on their actions.
All in all, I’m proud of the mother for stepping up and doing something that I’m sure (or at least I hope) was very difficult. No one wants to watch their children go to jail and get in trouble, but by calling the police, she helped a family get the closure they deserved. If the tables were turned, I’m sure she would have wanted the same respect. But what would you have done? I could say I would have pushed for my kids to turn themselves in, but it’s tough to say until you find yourself in such a terrible position. Pray that it never happens.
How would you have handled the situation if you were the mother in this story?
Are They Both Victims? Veteran Suffering Traumatic Brain Injury Beats Girlfriend To Death, Later Kills Himself
On Tuesday night, 5.6 million people tuned in to watch “Private Needham’s War” on 48 Hours. The special told the story of 26-year-old Iraq War Veteran John Needham who was arrested in 2008 after he was found naked and covered with blood next to his girlfriend, Jacqwelyn Villagomez, 19, who he had beaten to death. On the surface, that fact easily makes John the perpetrator or murderer and Jacqwelyn the victim, but as the CBS special showed, both young adults may actually be victims in this case.
What you wouldn’t know just by looking at John that day in 2008 was he had recently come home from the war in Iraq and had been diagnosed with post-traumatic disorder (PTSD). He also “had severe back pain from combat injuries. He was prescribed a fistful of drugs and often downed them with alcohol,” though he had never been a drinker, according to CBS. Though John has never been able to describe why he killed Jacqwelyn, he told investigators that he tried to restrain her during an altercation and something inside of him just “snapped.” This is the account from CBS:
According to Homicide Det. Joe Gaul of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department, “There was blood spatter on the doorjamb, the wall, the bathroom door — what we call impact patterns, somebody being struck and the blood spraying off of being struck.”
Det. Gaul learned the bloodshed was sparked by a jealous rage – Villagomez’s. Earlier that evening, Jacque had finally agreed to move out. But just as she was leaving, an old girlfriend — Renee Stoner — showed up to visit John. Soon after, Jacque stormed back in.
“And Jacqwelyn was very upset that Renee was there at the house with John,” Det. Gaul continued. “They got into a physical confrontation over that fact. John had separated both of them. And John was restraining Jacqwelyn while Renee escaped to the bathroom. Eventually John told her to get out of there.”
Once outside, Stoner called 911, where she described Jacque Villagomez as the aggressor, not John Needham.
“At that time [Stoner] didn’t see any blood. She didn’t witness any – beating or assault of any kind. She just left the scene,” said Det. Gaul.
But something happened in the few minutes it took deputies to respond. When they found Jacque Villagomez, she was battered — near death — and would not survive. John Needham was naked, crying and smeared in blood. Deputies say Needham charged them and they had to use a Taser to subdue him.
“There was no evidence to indicate anything other than John’s fists were used to beat Jacqwelyn,” the detective said.
While the facts do suggest John did in fact “snap” that day, additional evidence from his background shows he had been unraveling for quite some time. In addition to the standard mental toll of the war, in June of 2007, his unit was ordered to shoot a man suspected of trying to detonate an improvised explosive device (IED), later than summer an IED killed five of his comrades, and just when he thought he was returning home, his tour in Iraq was extended. To make matters worse, John started engaging in reckless behavior which often landed him in trouble with his superiors, but when it came to treatment for his psychological issues, CBS reports it’s unclear what—if any—help he received.
Hope appeared to be on the horizon when in July 2008, nine months after being medevaced from Iraq, John Needham was given a medical discharge. However days after his paperwork came through, he met Jacque Villagomez, two months after that he was accused of murder, and two years later he would overdose on painkillers, overcome by the threat of 25 years-to-life in prison for murder, a confirmed traumatic brain injury as a result of the war, and excruciating pain from combat injuries. All of which make John a victim too in many people’s eyes.
Check out the full 48 Hours special below. What do you think about this case?
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South Africa’s constitution was the first in the world to outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and the only nation in Africa to allow same-sex marriage, but clearly hate doesn’t consult the law. In the same town where 24-year-old Thapelo Makutle recently won a “Miss Gay” pageant, he was murdered and mutilated in what most are calling a hate crime.
The Associated Press reports:
Thapelo Makutle was found with his throat cut Saturday morning in a room he rented in Kuruman, a town in northwestern South Africa, police said in a statement. The motive of his death is unknown and the case is being investigated as a murder, police said.
However, Jabu Pereira, the spokeswoman of the local gay rights group LEGBO, said Thursday that the perpetrators didn’t steal anything from Makutle and his body was mutilated in a way that indicates it was a hate crime, an extra charge that leads to greater punishment. Makutle’s body was found under a blanket with his throat cut and tongue removed, Pereira said. His genitals were also cut off and put in his mouth, witnesses told Pereira.
“The community is in a state of trauma, they are shocked,” Pereira said. “The community gathered last night and we just stood with the family.”
Makutle was a leader in the local gay community, Pereira said. Among other things, she said, he organized the Miss Gay Kuruman pageant.
Javu Baloyi, spokesman of the Commission for Gender Equality, condemned the killing.
“It was such a barbaric act,” said Baloyi, whose government agency promotes the rights of gays, lesbians and other South Africans.
South Africa’s constitution bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, but gays here still face discrimination and violence.
The Global Post also reported that Shaine Griqua, director of LEGBO Northern Cape, said in a statement that two men followed Makutle back to his rented room, broke down the door and attacked him. Griqua said Makutle’s throat was so badly slit, it was near decapitation. This happened supposedly after getting into an argument with the men over his sexual orientation.
It’s odd that the police aren’t willing to call this a hate crime when the supporting evidence seems clear, but maybe they know (or don’t know) something that isn’t being reported. Regardless, this is a tragedy that can’t be condoned. What makes a person believe they have the right to take another person’s life simply because he or she lives a homosexual lifestyle? It is absolutely senseless. Our hearts goes out to the victim’s family in this case and we’re hoping they find the killers who are, apparently, still at large.
Alissa Henry is a freelance writer living in Columbus, OH. Follow her on Twitter @AlissaInPink.
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If you had any doubt that people are still creating and running religious cults these days, this story is proof that they are thriving, and some of the sickest of people are leading them. Peter Lucas Moses is a 27-year-old man, and polygamist, who is the leader of a radical religious group made up of a number of women and young children, most of the women he had been involved with, and eight of the nine children were his. According the Associated Press, the group was called the Black Hebrews, individuals “whose members believe they have descended directly from the ancient tribes of Israel.” While living with Moses, the women and children were said to call Moses, “Lord,” and he and these individuals all shared a one-bedroom home in Durham, N.C. There were nine children in the home, including Jadon Higganbothan, the son of one of Moses’ “wives,” Vania Sisk. He was the only child in the home who wasn’t blood to Moses. The 4-year-old boy became a threat to Moses and his group after the man claimed he allegedly saw Higganbothan hit the backside of another young boy, and was also suspicious because the father of the young boy left Sisk and Higganbothan high and dry. Because of these incidents, Moses came to the conclusion that Higganbothan was gay, and of course, homosexuality is something the group was very much against. With what seems like no opposition from his mother, Moses took the young boy into the garage, played the Lord’s prayer, and then shot Higganbothan in the head. His body was disposed of in a garbage bag and buried in a shallow grave in the backyard of Sheilda Moses, the mother of Peter Lucas Moses.
Moses also claimed responsibility for the murder of Antoinetta Yvonne McKoy, a woman staying in the home who wanted out. According to WRAL-TV, she had a romantic relationship with Moses as well. When she tried to flee the home and seek help from a neighbor, asking them to let her use the phone, McKoy was dragged back home by other “wives” of Moses, and the neighbor did NOT call police. She was then beaten by them, taken to a bathroom, and again, religious music was played, and ironically, she was shot by Vania Sisk, the mother of little Jadon Higganbothan. McKoy’s body was also disposed of as she was wrapped in multiple trash bags and put in the backyard of Peter Lucas Moses’ mother’s home.
The Black Hebrew’s leader plead guilty to two counts of first-degree murder, taking responsibility for both deaths as prosecutors said they were done because Moses wanted to preserve the sanctity of his group. Prosecutors hope to seek out the death penalty against Moses, and he’s being held without bond. On top of that, Moses’ brother and sister, as well as his “wife,” Lavada Harris, were charged as accessories in McKoy’s death, while Vania Sisk and two other women were who lived in the home were charged with murder and as accessories in Higganbothan’s death. If you were wondering how all this came to the attention of police since that shady neighbor didn’t call them, a young woman who lived in the home at one time allegedly escaped and was able to alert police of the murders in the small Durham home that belonged to Moses. The eight children left that stayed in the home are now in the custody of social services and are said to be very scared of Moses.
I really don’t have too much commentary to add to this story because it completely shocked and disgusted me. Let’s just hope that this innocent young man, who probably knew nothing yet of the difference between being “straight” and “gay,” as well as McKoy, get some justice for these heinous crimes. And to use religion and the Lord as a reason to do things like this always irks me to no end. This is just an all around sad and crazy story.
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