Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Murder. Show all posts

August 30, 2019

Second Homicide At Virginia Veterans Hospital, Dying is One Thing But To be Murdered At Your Hospital?


"Even our Vet Hospitals are becoming Russia like"


                         Image result for veterans affairs hospital west Va


The widow of a veteran who died under suspicious circumstances at a West Virginia Veteran Affairs hospital last year told NPR an autopsy report found the 81-year-old died of unnecessary insulin injection. It is the second confirmed homicide in a string of deaths at the facility that is being investigated. 
The widow, Norma Shaw, referred further questions to her lawyer, David Glover. He said the body of George Nelson Shaw Sr. was exhumed in January. Shortly afterward, he said, the family received an autopsy from an Armed Forces medical examiner "that talked about a severe hypoglycemic event."
"It listed the cause of death as insulin administration," Glover said, adding that while Shaw had other ailments, he was not diabetic. 
Insulin can cause hypoglycemia, or low blood sugar, in non-diabetics and can be deadly. 
The Office of Inspector General for the Department of Veteran Affairs confirmed on Tuesday officials are investigating several suspicious deaths at Louis A. Johnson VA Medical Center in Clarksburg. 
In a statement, the Inspector General's office said it has been working with federal law enforcement partners "to investigate the allegations of potential wrongdoing resulting in inpatient deaths." It did not specify the number of deaths that are being reviewed nor the time frame of the fatalities.  
The announcement of the ongoing investigations comes after a wrongful death claim was filed with the VA last week, regarding the death of retired Army Sgt. Felix Kirk McDermott. An autopsy of the 82-year-old who died on April 2018 showed McDermott received "one massive insulin injection" that killed him within a matter of hours, the family's attorney Tony O'Dell told NPR. 
The complaint filed by O'Dell alleges the Inspector General's office is investigating up to 10 other cases in which veteran patients died of hypoglycemia caused by insulin injections. Over the past week, he said, he's been contacted by multiple families seeking answers to unexplained hypoglycemic deaths dating as far back as June of 2017. 
"Whenever there's an unexplained death or a suspicious death, the hospital has to report it and they go through a process looking for the root cause," O'Dell explained. "The fact that that did not happen here tells you that there was a complete system failure at this hospital," he said. 
Officials at the medical center said in an emailed statement that the allegations of potential misconduct do not involve "current" employees. 
The VA has yet to publicly identify any person of interest. 
Reports of the suspicious deaths have drawn ire from the public and politicians, including U.S. Sens. Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito who were informed of the investigations several weeks ago. 
In a letter to VA Secretary Robert Wilkie and Inspector General Michael Missal on Tuesday, Manchin, who sits on the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, urged them to "quickly complete" the investigations into the potential homicides. 
"I also ask you to contact grieving family members and share as much information as you can with them." he wrote, adding that as of this morning he had heard from seven families seeking information into the deaths of their loved ones. 
Manchin also expressed frustration with the lack of communication and transparency from either office regarding the investigations. 
"Let us not forget that there are Veterans families who are in grief because of this terrible situation," he said. 
Emily Allen from West Virginia Public Broadcasting contributed to this story.

June 14, 2019

A Man Caught and Charged With The Murder of Transgender Muhlaysia Booker in Dallas




Image result for murder charge for Kendrell Lavar Lyles
 On left Kendrell Lyles on right his allegedly his victim Ms. Booker
         The BBC reports:

 That a man has been charged with murder following the fatal shooting of transgender woman Muhlaysia Booker last month, police in Dallas, Texas say.
Kendrell Lavar Lyles, 34, has also been charged with the murders of two other people, officials said.
Ms Booker's killing caused an outcry and highlighted the issue of violence faced by transgender people in the US.
Weeks earlier, she was assaulted during a traffic accident and video of the incident was shared on social media.
In a statement, Dallas police said Mr Lyles was charged with Ms Booker's murder after he was arrested on 5 June in connection with the other two killings.
The first was the fatal shooting of a woman in Dallas on 22 May and the second was the killing of a man in a drugs-related incident a day later. The victims have not been named. Neither was transgender, the Washington Post quoted police as saying
Investigators said that, during the course of investigating these two cases, detectives noticed that Mr Lyles drove the same type of car believed to have picked up Muhlaysia Booker on 18 May - the day she was found dead. 
Mobile phone analysis indicated he had been in the area where she was picked up as well as at the scene of her murder, the police statement said.
"Muhlaysia Booker was last seen getting into a light coloured Lincoln LS, which is the same type of car driven by suspect Lyles," the statement said, adding: "Thus far... Lyles has been charged with three counts of murder. 
Police have not suggested a motive for the killings. 
Detectives said Mr Lyles was also a "person of interest" in the death of 26-year-old Chynal Lindsey, a transgender woman whose body was found floating in a Dallas lake on 1 June, the Washington Post reported.
Chynal LindseyImage copyright
  DALLAS POLICE
Image captionChynal Lindsey's body was found in a lake in north-eastern Dallas

What's the background?

Police had earlier said there was no evidence linking the death of 23-year-old Ms Booker to Edward Thomas, a 29-year-old man charged with assaulting her in April.
During that incident, Ms Booker had said she backed into another vehicle while reversing out of a parking space. The driver allegedly pointed a gun at her and refused to let her leave unless she paid for the damage.
As a crowd gathered around, police say one onlooker, Mr Thomas, was offered money to beat Ms Booker.
A video of the incident showed a man putting on gloves and punching her repeatedly, giving her a concussion and a broken wrist.
Mr Thomas was charged with aggravated assault, but denies using homophobic language during the attack.
A second person was arrested for kicking Ms Booker in the face but has not been charged.
Figures show that transgender people, particularly trans women of colour, are disproportionately likely to be the victims of violent attacks in the US.
Human Rights Campaign (HRC) said that at least 26 trans people were killed across the US last year - the majority of whom were African-American trans women.
Its report said that "some of these cases involve clear anti-transgender bias", for example, where the perpetrator may have used transphobic language.

June 9, 2019

18 Yr. Old Targeted LGBT in Detroit Killing 3, Caught and Charged with First Degree Murder




Devon Robinson, 18, was charged with first-degree murder in the killings of three people in Detroit, officials said.CreditCreditWayne County Prosecutor's Office
               

 
An 18-year-old man who was targeting members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community was charged with first-degree murder in the killings of three people in a Detroit home, the authorities said.

Officials said the man, Devon Robinson, shot the victims — two of whom were gay and one who was a transgender woman — on May 25. An investigation by the Detroit police led to his arrest on Thursday, prosecutors said in a statement.

Officials said Mr. Robinson also shot two other people who survived their injuries. Maria Miller, an assistant prosecutor, said on Saturday that a motive would be revealed at a trial.

“It is alleged that these victims were targeted and killed because they were part of the L.G.B.T.Q. community,” she said. 

Officials identified those killed as Timothy Blancher, 20, and Alunte Davis, 21, who were gay, and Paris Cameron, 20, a transgender woman.

It was unclear whether Mr. Robinson knew the victims or had any previous interactions with them. It was also unknown if there was any relationship among the victims or if those who were injured were gay or transgender.

“The alleged actions of this defendant are disturbing on so many levels, but the fact that this happened during Pride Month adds salt into the wound,” Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor, said in a statement.

Alanna Maguire, president of the Fair Michigan Foundation, said, “This case illustrates the mortal danger faced by members of Detroit’s L.G.B.T.Q. community, including transgender women of color.”

The foundation’s Fair Michigan Justice Project promotes civil rights for gay, lesbian and transgender people in Michigan and works with law enforcement to help solve crimes against them.
 
Mr. Robinson was charged with three counts of first-degree murder, two counts of assault with intent to murder and five counts of the use of a firearm in connection with a felony.

He was being held in jail and was scheduled to appear in court on June 21. It was not immediately clear on Saturday whether he had a lawyer.

February 5, 2019

70 yr Vladimir and His Gay Life Time Partner of 64 Nikolai Were Found Murdered in Their Home_Russian Town Shrugs It Off





A playground in the town of Ilsky
A playground in the town of Ilsky
Wikimapia

In a special report for Novaya Gazeta, correspondent Elena Kostyuchenko traveled to the town of Ilsky in Russia’s Krasnodar Krai to learn about the murder of an elderly gay couple. She found a community where homophobia is so common and accepted that many locals don't even hide their relief to be rid of two men who enjoyed a loving relationship. Meduza summarizes Kostyuchenko's report below. 
On January 10, neighbors reluctantly checked in on 70-year-old Vladimir Dubentsov and 64-year-old Nikolai Galdin and discovered their bodies. People in Ilsky repeatedly asked Novaya Gazeta correspondent Elena Kostyuchenko not to name them in her story — not because they were ashamed of how these two men were harassed or even murdered, but because they were embarrassed that a gay couple lived in their town at all.
Many in Ilsky don’t conceal their hatred of Dubentsov and Galdin, and complained to Kostyuchenko that the couple was openly gay. Starting roughly five years ago, the two men started feuding with neighbors, and local youths began tormenting and abusing them. The trouble apparently intensified when Dubentsov started lobbying the local government for priority housing that many in the community felt he didn’t deserve. He regularly called local officials, demanding the assistance and entitlements he was owed as the son of a World War II veteran (his mother served in the USSR’s brief naval war against Japan).
Dubentsov reportedly had a tense relationship with the local Cossacks, as well, who allegedly refused to let him join their May 9 Victory Day March as the son of a veteran, claiming that his homosexuality made him “less than a man.” The group’s leader, Ataman Viktor Pikalov, denies these rumors. Pikalov says he met Dubentsov twice: once to help him when his home flooded, and a second time when he asked for help being buried beside his mother. The Cossack elder even took Kostyuchenko to a former factory dormitory where some of the town’s gay men apparently live, in order to demonstrate his supposed benevolence toward the LGBTQ community.
While Kostyuchenko was in Ilsky, detectives told her that homophobia was the most likely motive for the double homicide. Police working the case had interviewed all the known gay men in town, and the senior investigator joked to Kostyuchenko that the murders might have been a crime of passion committed by a jealous lover. The victims had just received their pensions, but the killer left the money and everything else in the house. In connection with the case, police interrogated the neighbor’s son, Alexander Panteleenko — a 53-year-old unmarried, childless, nearly blind man, whose detention mortified his mother. When he was released after three days, Panteleenko’s biggest concern was that the town would think he is gay, like Dubentsov and Galdin.
After Kostyuchenko left Ilsky, police arrested 23-year-old Alexander Fet-Ogly for the murders. Previously incarcerated for burglary, Fet-Ogly has history with the local Cossacks: as a teenager, he traveled to Krymsk in 2012 with the group and helped with flood relief efforts. Fet-Ogly’s father was also a Cossack member. The young man was arrested a day before he was due to ship out for contract military service. He’s confessed to the killings, claiming that Dubentsov and Galdin made a pass at him while they were all drinking together, and he “defended himself.” “It seems he went a bit overboard,” the police told Kostyuchenko.
On January 13, Dubentsov’s remains were laid to rest next to his mother's grave. Galdin’s body is still at the town morgue, as officials search for his relatives. He won’t be buried beside his long-time partner.
Report by Novaya Gazeta's Elena Kostyuchenko
Summary by Kevin Rothrock
Meduza


January 30, 2019

29 Yrs Old FL.Man Steals Fam $200k and Spends It On BulgarianCall Girl But When Gig Was Up He Killed the Fam.






Grant Amato made his first appearance in a Florida courtroom on Monday. (Image by WKMG News 6) (WKMG News 6 ClickOrlando)

Grant Amato had a problem and it was ripping his family apart.
Outside the walls of his family’s well-manicured home in a rural area northeast of Orlando, the 29-year-old could have been mistaken for another luckless young man surfing through a bad patch — lost his job, kicked out of school, living at home.
But inside the house, Amato was allegedly gobbling up whatever money he could steal. He lifted $150,000 from his parents, Chad and Margaret. His brother Cody lost $60,000; when that was gone, Amato allegedly stole his brother’s guns and sold them. Amato even allegedly took out a $65,000 loan on the house.
Amato flung all that money through his Internet connection, police say, where it landed more than 5,600 miles away in the Balkans. Since last June, he had been communicating with a Bulgarian woman — who has not been publicly identified. They met on Cam Girls, a live-streaming pornographic website. In three months, he had paid out more than $200,000 to interact with the woman. His family knew he had stolen the money, and they knew where it was going. His mom and dad demanded Amato enter rehab for a pornography addiction last December. Promises were made, a contract signed between parents and son. The family drama hit such an intense pitch that Cody confided to his girlfriend he was worried his brother “would kill everybody,” according to an arrest affidavit filed recently by the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office.
Authorities now believe he did. On Friday morning, police discovered inside the family home the bodies of Chad, 59, Margaret, 61, and Cody, 31. All had been gunned down in what a police affidavit described as an “execution-style” shooting. Amato is now in police custody facing three first-degree murder charges. Police alleged his obsession with the girl across the Atlantic propelled Amato to violence.
“I think we have some mental health issues,” Jeffery Dowdy, the defendant’s attorney, told reporters this week, according to Orlando’s Fox 5. “A few months ago . . . he had checked himself into an Internet sex addiction facility in Fort Lauderdale. He had walked off there.”  


 As Amato’s hours and money were beginning to be consumed with his overseas obsession last year, his life beyond the computer screen was also coming undone. 
On June 21, 2018, Amato was working as a registered nurse at AdventHealth Orlando. According to a police report, hospital staff discovered eight empty vials of propofol, a medication used as a sedative before surgery, in two rooms Amato was overseeing. No doctors had ordered the drugs, and records indicated Amato had taken them from a storage machine.
When confronted about the unauthorized drugs, Amato told hospital authorities “he administered the drug to patients who were not being adequately relaxed,” the police report stated. The hospital believed he had previously improperly administered propofol as well.
During the confrontation, Amato expressed suicidal thoughts, and the police were called. Officers arrested Amato and the hospital said it planned to prosecute, according to the police report, though public records do not indicate charges were ever filed. Amato’s brother’s girlfriend later told police he was then kicked out of anesthesiology school. 
Amato’s online relationship intensified, meanwhile, and he continued sending large sums of money overseas. The family, watching Amato’s online infatuation drain their bank accounts, reached a tipping point. According to the arrest affidavit, on Dec. 22, his father Chad called a family meeting, along with Margaret, Cody, and eldest son Jason. Chad told Amato that if he wished to stay at their house, he needed to enter a 60-day sex and pornography rehabilitation center in Fort Lauderdale.
He agreed to go, but walked away from the center before his treatment was complete on Jan. 4.
After returning home, his father presented Amato with a two-page list of rules he was required to follow if he wanted to live at home.
One of the conditions was that he cease all communication with the Bulgarian woman. According to the arrest affidavit, Amato would later explain to police that he agreed, “but he didn’t think they were fair because he felt that the Bulgarian female was his girlfriend and they had a relationship.”  
He continued, however, to communicate with the woman over Twitter, according to the arrest affidavit. Not much later, his father discovered the messaging was still ongoing. On Thursday, the family again confronted Amato, telling him he had to get out of the house.
That night, Amato’s brother Cody was with his girlfriend when he received a call from his father asking Cody to come home. When the girlfriend asked what was wrong, he replied that it was “stupid” family nonsense, the arrest affidavit said. Later, she texted her boyfriend for a status update.
“[A]ll ok,” he wrote back.
But when Cody did not show up for work the next morning, the girlfriend called the police to check on the family.
Sheriff deputies arrived at the house at 9:17 a.m. Friday. No one answered the knocks. The windows and doors were all locked. Calls to the family members went unanswered. The deputies even blasted the cruiser’s air horn, but no one stirred inside. 
A deputy eventually slipped the deadbolt on the back door using a knife. Chad was lying on his back on the kitchen floor, blood pooling across the ground. Cody was curled into the fetal position on the floor of a storage room. Margaret was sprawled over the desk in her home office. All had been shot and a 9mm handgun was recovered at the scene.
Amato’s 1996 Honda Accord was missing from the house. Law enforcement put out a bulletin for the car, and the next day police tracked the Honda down to a DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Orlando. Approached by investigators, he agreed to sit for an interview. Amato described the family drama stemming from his relationship with the Bulgarian woman.
But he denied killing his family, instead claiming he left the house after his father confronted him about the Twitter messages. Later, Amato said he returned to the house and saw police and news vehicles outside the house. He claims he fled again. 
After showing Amato ghastly pictures of the crime scene — his father face up on the kitchen floor, his brother curled up in the storage, his mother spilled over her desk — investigators asked Amato is if he “had any remorse.” 
According to the arrest affidavit, his “response was his family had been blaming him for months for ruining their lives, stealing and not following the rules of the home, so he might as well be blamed for this too.” 
Court records indicate Amato will be formally arraigned on the charges on March 26. Authorities have not signaled whether the unnamed cam model is facing any charges related to the deaths.

November 16, 2018

Murder Charges For Navy Seal and Marine Raiders


Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar was killed last year in Bamako, Mali.
The Navy will move forward with murder charges against four elite service members who are accused of strangling a Special Forces soldier in Mali last year, U.S. military officials said Thursday.
Two Navy SEALs and two Marine Raiders face charges that include felony murder, involuntary manslaughter, conspiracy, obstruction of justice, hazing and burglary, according to U.S. military documents. They are accused in the June 2017 death of Army Staff Sgt. Logan Melgar, a member of 3rd Special Forces Group.
Military investigators said in charge sheets released Thursday that the accused service members broke into Melgar’s private bedroom in Bamako, Mali’s capital, while he was sleeping, with intent to assault and bound him with duct tape. Then one of the service members put Melgar in a chokehold that was “inherently dangerous to another and evinced wanton disregard for human life,” the charge sheets said. 
The charges, first reported Thursday by the Daily Beast, had been expected for some time in the close-knit Special Operations world, which was rocked by the death. The Navy moved forward Wednesday and has scheduled a preliminary hearing for the four service members Dec. 10 in Norfolk A one-star Navy officer, Rear Adm. Charles W. Rock, has been appointed by the Navy to oversee the proceedings.
A spokesman for U.S. Special Operations Command, Navy Capt. Jason Salata, said in a statement that if substantiated, the allegations would represent “a violation of the trust and standards required by all service members.” The military trusts all of its members to safeguard U.S. interests and to do so with honor, he said.
“We will not allow allegations or substantiated incidents of misconduct to erode decades of honorable accomplishments by the members of U.S. Special Operations Command,” Salata said. “Ours is a culture of professionalism and accountability, which prides itself in being a learning organization that uses critical self-examination in a relentless dedication to improvement.” 
The names of the accused service members were redacted from the charge sheets released Thursday, but they are identified by rank as a Marine staff sergeant, a Marine gunnery sergeant and two Navy petty officers.
Melgar’s death was kept secret by the U.S. military for months as the Naval Criminal Investigative Service and other federal officials began probing what happened. It was first reported in October 2017 by the New York Times. A native of Lubbock, Tex., Melgar had served two previous deployments in Afghanistan.
The accused service members wanted to confront Melgar after he was invited to a party at the U.S. Embassy in Mali and they were not, the Daily Beast reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the case. There allegedly was an ongoing disagreement between Melgar and the others in part because some of them had solicited prostitutes in the past and brought them back to the military’s safe house in Bamako, the Daily Beast reported.
The case marks the latest black eye for the Navy SEALs, who have been faced with a series of allegations involving war crimes. On Wednesday, the Navy began a hearing in San Diego for another SEAL, Special Operations Chief Edward Gallagher, who is accused of stabbing to death an unarmed Islamic State fighter in the Iraqi city of Mosul.

October 28, 2018

Britain Knew Saudi Arabia's Planned to Get to Khashoggi (Because of What He Knew) 3 Wks Before









MURDERED journalist Jamal Khashoggi was about to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of chemical weapons in Yemen, sources close to him said last night. The revelations come as separate intelligence sources disclosed that Britain had first been made aware of a plot a full three weeks before he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

intercepts by GCHQ of internal communications by the kingdom’s General Intelligence Directorate revealed orders by a “member of the royal circle” to abduct the troublesome journalist and take him back to Saudi Arabia.
The orders, intelligence sources say, did not emanate directly from de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, and it is not known if he was aware of them.
Though they commanded that Khashoggi should be abducted and taken back to Riyadh, they “left the door open” for other actions should the journalist prove to be troublesome, sources said.
Last week Saudi Arabia’s Attorney General confirmed that the murder had been premeditated  - in contrast to initial official explanations that Khashoggi had been killed after a fight broke out. he suspects in the incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention,” he said.
“The Public Prosecution continues its investigations with the accused in the light of what it has received and the results of its investigations to reach facts and complete the course of justice.”
Those suspects are within a 15-strong hit squad sent to Turkey and include serving members of GID.
Speaking last night the intelligence source told the Sunday Express: “We were initially made aware that something was going in the first week of September, around three weeks before Mr. Khashoggi walked into the consulate on October 2, though it took more time for other details to emerge. 
“These details included primary orders to capture Mr. Khashoggi and bring him back to Saudi Arabia for questioning. However, the door seemed to be left open for alternative remedies to what was seen as a big problem.
“We know the orders came from a member of the royal circle but have no direct information to link them to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
"Whether this meant he was not the original issuer we cannot say.”

September 5, 2018

A Judge Ordered A Man To Stand Trial on Murder with Hate Crime on The Death of Gay Student



                                                                      
                                                                   

— A Southern California man was ordered Tuesday to stand trial on charges that he murdered a gay University of Pennsylvania student in a hate crime after prosecutors linked him to the stabbing through DNA and showed he had troves of homophobic and hateful material on his mobile phone.

Samuel Woodward is accused of stabbing Blaze Bernstein at least 20 times after the two former high school peers met at a park last January. He has pleaded not guilty.

Woodward, 21, told investigators he was disgusted when Bernstein kissed him on the lips in his SUV and pushed him back, but didn't say he did anything violent toward him.

Investigator Dylan Jantzen testified during a one-day preliminary hearing in Orange County Superior Court that Woodward wanted to call Bernstein an expletive and slur for homosexual men. Bernstein, 19, went missing Jan. 2 and Woodward was arrested about a week later after the body was found in a shallow grave in the Lake Forest Park where the two had gone that night.

Blood stains from the blade of a knife found in Woodward's bedroom, under his watch and on the visor of his car matched Bernstein so closely that the chance of the genetic material coming from someone else was 1-in-a-trillion, forensic scientist Corrie Maggay testified.

Defense lawyer Edward Munoz didn't present any witnesses but showed on cross-examination that Woodward revealed he had autism and was socially awkward and sexually confused. He argued there was no evidence of a hate crime because reprehensible writings found on Woodward's phone were not shared with others, but in emails to himself.


"I think in a hate crime instance you have to have an outward manifestation of your loathing to the world," Munoz said after the hearing.



(Homicide suspect Samuel Woodward. Paul Bersebach/Orange County Register via Getty Images)

Investigator Craig Goldsmith testified that Woodward had over 100 pieces of content related to the violent hate group Atomwaffen. The group's insignia was the wallpaper on his phone.

One email he sent himself was called "Sam's Diary of Hate," and he chatted
online with a group about attending a "Death Valley Hate Camp" that included 
mention of weapons, Goldsmith said. Two weeks before the slaying, next to an illustration
of a bloody knife, he wrote on Snapchat: "Texting is boring, but murder isn't," 
according to Jantzen. 
His phone also included pictures with Nazi references.

Bernstein, who was gay and Jewish, was visiting his parents in Lake Forest, California, during winter break from his sophomore year at Penn.

If convicted of first-degree murder and the hate crime allegation, prosecutors 

could seek a sentence of up to life in prison without parole. 


August 29, 2018

"I Found My Brother's Killer After 37 Years, on Facebook"




Photo of Chris Farmer and Peta FramptonImage copyrightCOURTESY PENNY FARMER
Image captionChris Farmer and Peta Frampton, shortly before setting off on the adventure that would end their lives

Nearly 40 years after the tortured corpses of a young British couple were discovered in Caribbean waters, and the trail for the killer went cold, a breakthrough came from an unlikely source on the other side of the world, writes Ben Dirs.
You can find anything on the internet. An old schoolmate, a long-lost cousin, an ex-girlfriend. A dog that ran away. 
If they're not on there, someone will be who knows how to find them. In the age of social media, there is no escape.
On the afternoon of 2 October 2015, Penny Farmer returned from a walk in the Oxfordshire countryside, flipped open her laptop, fired up Facebook and typed in the name of the man she suspected of murdering her brother, back when the world was a bigger place. 
And there he was. Grey beard. Baseball cap. Sunglasses. Denim shirt. Looking, Penny thought, just like a serial killer.
"Heaven knows why I didn't look earlier," says Penny, a cheerfully frank woman who tells her story without indulging in self-pity. 
"I suppose I thought he was lost to us. He just seemed so remote and hidden. But thank God I did."
In July 1978, the bodies of Penny's brother Chris and his girlfriend Peta Frampton were found floating off the coast of Guatemala. They had been tortured, bound and weighed down with engine parts. The doctor who carried out the autopsy stated that "the aspects of [both corpses] were monstrous".
In Manchester, Penny's parents awaited Chris' next letter. Chris, a 25-year-old doctor, and Peta, a 24-year-old lawyer, were childhood sweethearts on an exotic adventure. Both wrote regularly, but in that pre-digital age, especially in Central America, communication was haphazard. Lapses were to be expected. 
But when days turned into weeks, turned into months, the families of both Chris and Peta began to fret. Government authorities and police were notified, searches were carried out, appeals were made, sightings were reported. 
Peta's letters to her parents had revealed that she and Chris had met an American and his two young sons in Belize, shelved their original plan to catch a bus to Mexico and decided to sail on the American's small fishing boat to Honduras instead. In the last letter she sent, Peta signed off with: "Nothing much happens on a boat."
Penny's father contacted the harbour master in Belize, who revealed that the Justin B had set sail with Chris and Peta on board but returned without them. 
The American, one Silas Boston, was traced to Sacramento, California, and questioned by the British Consulate General. Though convinced of Boston's involvement in Chris and Peta's disappearance, they could garner no proof.
Remarkably, Greater Manchester Police allowed Penny's father to telephone Boston. Boston was arrogant and evasive and denied knowing anything. 
On 1 February, the Farmer family received the call they had been dreading. When Penny walked into the front room, having been called home by her weeping mother, the first thing she saw was Chris' graduation photograph. 
"The thought flickered through my head - there will be no more photographs."
Soon, the case was cold. There had been no crime scene investigation, no story in the Guatemalan newspapers, no assistance from the Guatemalan police. 
Boston's story was full of holes, he had a rap sheet that included assault, carrying a concealed firearm and rape, and the third of his seven wives had disappeared 10 years earlier. But the Sacramento Police Department could make no headway. 
Most remarkable of all, Boston's two sons were never interviewed and there was no suggestion that anyone had tried to trace them.
"It's difficult to imagine just how difficult it was back then, with no computers or mobile phones," says Penny. 
"Guatemala was a third-world country, and there wasn't really a Guatemalan police force. There was no communication with Britain, because they laid claim to Belize, which was a British territory. 
"The American police weren't very helpful. The Greater Manchester Police handed the case back to my dad. And something happened in the 1980s, which we don't know the full extent of, that made the case fall off a cliff completely.
"I could see the effect it had on my parents, but they didn't buckle. My mum took one day off work, not because she didn't love Chris, but because she thought she couldn't give into it. There was no counselling or medication, Mum and Dad just knew they had to cope. I find that really admirable."

Penny FarmerImage copyrightCOURTESY PENNY FARMER
Image captionPenny Farmer found her brother's murderer decades later

Penny, who was 17 when her brother was murdered, went off to university, became a journalist, got married and had three children. She found happiness again, as, she thinks, did her parents. But they remained plagued by questions.
"You develop ways of coping with it but scratch the surface and not far beneath remains huge hurt. I know my parents were haunted by the thought, 'Why did they end up as they did?' 
"A lot of people have sadness in their lives, but Chris and Peta's deaths were particularly tragic. They were so innocent, lambs to the slaughter, and they would have had fulfilling, worthwhile lives."
With the advent of the internet, Penny's father attempted to breathe new life into the case. His email to the Sacramento Police Department is heart-breaking in its lack of bitterness or rancour. 
He received no reply. 
Penny's father died in 2013, knowing that something terrible happened to his son, but neither how or why.

Photo of Chris, Russel, and Vince on the Justin B boat, holding a fish.Image copyrightCOURTESY PENNY FARMER
Image captionChris, Russell (with fish) and Vince on the Justin B. This photo only emerged in 2016 when Russell salvaged it from his father's things

That might have been that, had Penny not had her lightbulb moment, out with her mum in the Oxfordshire countryside. 
Not only did Penny find Silas Boston on Facebook, she found his two sons, Russell and Vince, as well as his fifth wife. She messaged them all but got no immediate reply. 
Undeterred, Penny contacted Greater Manchester Police, which contacted the Sacramento Police Department, which, it just so happened, had just reopened the case into the disappearance of Boston's third wife. Renewed hope, at last.
Astonishingly, Boston's sons had told the police that it was an open family secret that their father had killed their mother. 
Even more astonishingly, they had spent the best part of three decades trying to convince the police that they had witnessed their father murdering Chris Farmer and Peta Frampton in Guatemala. 
The Sacramento Police Department, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the FBI, Interpol, Scotland Yard, the Serious Organised Crime Agency (which in 2013 was replaced by the UK's National Crime Agency) - all are believed to have been informed. None of them acted. Meanwhile, Boston, his body failing after a debauched life on the run, had returned home to California.
In March 2016, six months after her initial Facebook enquiries, Penny, her mother and her older brother Nigel gathered at Greater Manchester Police offices in Ashton-under-Lyne. Officers had brought along witness statements from Boston's two sons. Penny's mother wanted them to spare no detail.
"It's quite incredible how much I know about what happened that day," says Penny. 
"Boston was a rapist. My brother was in a very bad way, tied-up on the top deck. Peta was down in the cabin. I don't really need to say any more. I hope people can join the dots without me being too graphic. 
"The really heart-warming thing was that even though Chris had a fractured skull and other broken bones, and there was blood all over the deck, he was still trying to comfort Peta, telling her it was all going to be alright. Even when they were trussed-up like turkeys, waiting to be thrown overboard."

Penny Farmer with Russell BostonImage copyrightCOURTESY PENNY FARMER
Image captionPenny with Russell Boston

Russell also claimed his father murdered two more tourists, possibly from Scandinavia, only a fortnight later. Penny discovered that attempts had been made by the FBI to trace them at the time, to no avail again. 
Boston was eventually tracked down to a nursing home in Eureka, California. A couple of years earlier, having complained of having no friends, a carer set up a Facebook page for him. The carer could be forgiven for thinking, 'Who would be looking for this sad old man anyway?' Boston thought the same.
Thinking Boston might be the so-called Golden State Killer, who terrorised California in the 1970s and 80s, police took a swab. A DNA test came back negative. (Joseph DeAngelo, the man police think is the Golden State Killer, was arrested in April and is accused of 13 murders and dozens of rapes).
However, the FBI had tracked down various witnesses from Belize and Guatemala, including one of the ambulancemen who had retrieved Chris and Peta's bodies from the sea and who was now living in New York. They had also traced the doctor who wrote the autopsy, who was now in his 90s, as well as the harbour master from Belize, who had corresponded with Penny's father.
Penny also visited Boston's son Russell in America. When the woman sitting next to her on the plane asked what she planned to do in California, Penny replied, "I'm going to meet the guy who saw my brother murdered".
Penny was surprised by how normal Russell seemed, despite having lived his entire life in fear of a psychopathic father. 
Boston had confided in Russell that he had killed 33 people. If true, that would make Boston one of the most prolific serial killers in American history. He even threatened to kill Russell and his brother, immediately after killing Chris and Peta, to keep his secret safe.
Russell described life on the boat, which sounded almost idyllic. They sailed the Caribbean Sea for hours in glorious sunshine, fishing over the side. Even Russell's father loved listening to Chris's music on his beloved 'boombox'. Supertramp's Crime of the Century was a favourite. 
Russell described how Chris had defended him from his father and how his father had sought revenge. 
And he described how his father would grow agitated, after Chris and Peta were dead, when Pink Floyd's Dogs came on: "When they turn their backs on you, you'll get the chance to put the knife in…" 

Silas BostonImage copyrightSUBMITTED
Image captionSilas Boston

On 1 December 2016, 14 months after Penny had located him on Facebook and 38 years after his despicable crime off the coast of Guatemala, Boston was arrested and charged with the murders of Chris Farmer and Peta Frampton.
However, Boston had a few more tricks up his sleeve. Strapped to a hospital bed, his organs failing, he exercised his right to withdraw medical treatment. 
On 24 April 2017, Penny received the news that Boston was dead.
"He took the coward's way out," says Penny. "I felt cheated. I would have relished seeing him in court and telling him how he'd devastated both our families. Bringing him down had become an all-consuming passion. But he exited on his terms. That was him sticking two fingers up at the world.
"Closure is a lovely term, and I do believe that closure only comes when the truth is known. My mother is 93 and now has all the answers to the questions that haunted her for 38 years. But just because you've found answers doesn't mean you stop hurting. I'm not quite there yet."
A statement from Greater Manchester Police said the case went cold because of a lack of evidence but was never closed. 
"As with all cases, when new information came up, we started looking back into it. The Farmer family were very positive about our investigation when more evidence came to light."
Penny has written a book, Dead in the Water, about Chris and Peta's murders and her attempt to bring Boston to justice. She hopes it will stand as a lasting memorial to a beloved brother who had so much more to give. 
It is also, Penny happily concedes, simply a remarkable story, almost too mad to make up, too good not to tell and which one day, no doubt, will be a film.
But Penny suspects the story is not over yet. Most of all, she would like to know why the case was closed, allowing a psychopath to roam free and kill again. 
So while Penny's work on the case is at an end, she hopes others will delve deeper. 
Because, as Penny well knows, the world got smaller.

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