Suspected serial killer appears in British court

Friday, May 28, 2010

A man accused of being a serial killer has appeared in Bradford magistrates court in West Yorkshire today charged with three counts of murder. 40-year-old Stephen Griffiths is accused of killing Suzanne Blamires, 36, Susan Rushworth, 43, and Shelley Armitage, 31, all prostitutes.

Griffiths, a former van driver with a degree in psychology and studying for a PhD in criminology, gave his name as “Crossbow Cannibal” when asked. He has been in police custody since Monday when police were alerted to a CCTV recording that appeared to show a murder.

A caretaker had been reviewing footage from the flats where Griffiths lives when he saw footage of a woman and a man enter a flat early on Saturday morning. Two minutes later, she ran out and was followed by the man, who beat her to the ground and shot her in the head with a crossbow. Over the course of the weekend, the man was seen several times with bin bags and a rucksack.

On Tuesday, the day after the arrest of Griffiths, Blamires’ remains were found in the River Aire in nearby Shipley. She had been cut into several pieces and her head was located in a rucksack. Police continue to search for the other two alleged victims; Rushworth has been missing since June last year and Armitage vanished in April.

Police have searched much of Bradford’s red-light district, where Griffiths’ third-floor flat is located. Forensic investigations at the flat are expected to last around three weeks. There are plans to search landfill sites for bodies, and police may yet expand the inquiry to cover three more cold cases, although at present they have not been linked to the current inquiry.

Sniffer dogs have been used throughout the city, and police have been taking away plastic evidence bags. Some alleyways remain closed off. Police charged their suspect yesterday.

Griffiths was known as “the lizard man” in his block of flats owing to his habit of walking his two pet monitor lizards in the area. One neighbour is reported to have quoted him as saying he was studying for “a PhD in murder and Jack the Ripper,” and he has spent time in a high-security psychiatric hospital. During his five-minute court appearance he did not enter a plea, kept his head bowed and fidgeted with his cuffed hands. He said “Here, I guess,” when asked for his address.

As he stood in the glass-fronted dock, guarded by three security officers, he was watched by the families of Rushworth and Armitage, who were accompanied by police family liaison officers. Blamires’ family chose not to be present, but the victim’s mother Nicky Blamires, 54, has told the press that Suzanne was a “much-loved” family member even though she “went down the wrong path and did not have the life she was meant to have.” “Nobody deserves this,” she said. “All these girls were human beings and people’s daughters.”

Griffiths’ morning court appearance was followed by a second one this afternoon, at Bradford Crown Court. This time, he confirmed his name without incident. He was remanded into custody until next month, when he will appear in court again.

British media has been quick to compare the case to Peter Sutcliffe, dubbed the “Yorkshire Ripper”. Sutcliffe was a Bradford killer responsible for thirteen murders and seven attempted murders, including several prostitutes. Since his 1981 conviction he has spent most of the last three decades in Broadmoor high-security psychiatric hospital near London.

Scots report crime using Facebook

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Facebook has revealed a new system in conjunction with the Scottish Lothian and Borders Police whereby users can report criminal activity and concerns to police using the social networking site.

The “Made From Crime” initiative allows Internet users to anonymously report their concerns to police on a dedicated Facebook page that is being established to direct people with tip-offs to Crimestoppers. Police will also be able to send mass Bluetooth messages to mobile phones at public events like football matches to encourage the public to report crime.

Designed to make use of the Proceeds of Crime Act, it will be the first of its kind in Scotland with the Scottish government, the Crown Office, and Procurator Services constituting the foundation of the service. Their backing will allow officers to seize assets that have been purchased through criminal activity.

Assistant Chief Constable Iain Livingstone of Lothian and Borders Police has stated to the public: “We know there are people living beyond their means on the proceeds of crime, be it through the purchase of flash cars, designer clothes or expensive jewellery, and that communities are suffering from the side effects of drug dealing, violence and other associated crimes”.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill states that Lothian and Borders Police is tackling the problem of dirty money that has been obtained through criminal activity in a serious matter. Constable Livingstone has encouraged this, appealing to local communities to provide information and come forth immediately either to Crimestoppers or the Lothian and Borders Police.

Solicitor General Lesley Thomson QC has affirmed that they will take a robust approach to those that profit from crime, using the vast powers at their disposal though the Proceeds of Crime Act.The act has resulted in more than £41 million (US$67.09 million,€46.66 million) in seizures from crooks. It has been utilised in new community projects in Edinburgh, the Lothians and throughout Scotland.

Get A Facelift During Your Lunch Break: Cosmetic Dermal Fillers

Get A Facelift During Your Lunch Break: Cosmetic Dermal Fillers



The idea of aging gracefully seems to be a thing of the past in this day and age; with celebrities as young as 23 getting 10 procedures in one day, women of all ages are giving in to the pressure to look younger. Plastic surgery has always been a topic of much debate regarding body image and self-confidence but the option is there for women who want to look their best. Now, the average working woman probably won’t have the time or money to go through with invasive plastic surgery and recovery so they opt for Dermal Fillers instead. You can literally take 10 years off you face during your lunch break, it won’t give you same results as a full facelift but there is no need for knifes.

So, what are Dermal Fillers?

Dermal Fillers are made of a naturally occurring substance in the body called

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Hyaluronic Acid

; the brand your doctor chooses to inject can range from Juvederm, Restylane or Perlane. This chemical is very different from

Botox injections

as it doesn t freeze your face; it actually fills flattened or shriveling areas. Dermal Fillers are not considered to be anti-wrinkle injections.

Where are these Fillers injected?

Dermal Fillers are injected in all areas of the face, where your doctor chooses to inject all depends on the look you want to achieve. Some women want to give their face a younger appearance and other women want to reshape their lips, nose, cheek bones, chin, brows, and disguise eye bags. For women with mature skin their face may lose volume which can cause folds to appear. A common procedure for rejuvenation is Nasolabial fold correction, where they fill in deep folds which run from the side of the nose to the corner of the mouth.

Which Fillers is the best for me?

That decision will ultimately be made between you and your doctor depending on the areas you want to correct. Typically you will know upon your first consultation which filler or combination of fillers will be used. The lasting effect of these fillers will range from 4 to 24 months, they are not permanent and the prices will vary for each clinic. The selection of cosmetic dermal fillers is quite small; therefore the price per injection must also be considered when you make your choice. If you are on a budget you can ask your doctor to write a prescription for the filler and buy the product from a licensed

Canadian online pharmacy

. You can then bring the product into your next visit for injection.

Do whatever makes you feel better and younger but do it safely; always ask about the risks and do your own research first so you have questions when you go for a consultation.

I have been working along side women who want to look their best but are on a budget. Every woman owes it to herself to look her best and if cosmetic procedures are the answer then it should be done safely. There are safe Canadian online pharmacies available that will help you look and feel your best

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Mumbai officials demolish 39K shanties; 200K homeless

December 25, 2004

Officials in Mumbai, India, demolished over 6,000 shanties today in a push to eradicate the capital city’s slums. In total, 39,000 shanties have been flattened, displacing over 200,000 people, in the city’s biggest-ever demolition drive, which began in early December.

When complete, over 2 million people are expected to be displaced. After wiping out the least desirable shanties, next in line for demolition are the illegal ‘well-off’ shanties and neighborhoods, according to the legal and bureaucratic motions that have been executed toward cleaning up Mumbai’s appearance by lowering the dominance of shanties, which make up 62 percent of Mumbai’s housing.

“As far as eye can see, there are mounds of wood, tin and tarpaulin, the remains of 6,200 illegal homes, flattened by a heavy excavator running on tank-like tracks and giant motorised claws,” the Indian Express reported about today’s destruction. [1]

Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh said that citizens would see a change within six months. “Every chief minister likes to be remembered, and I’m no exception,” said Deshmukh, who despite having an empty exchequer, also announced that Rs 31,000 crore will be spent on new roads, sea links and rail lines. [2]

Looted, possibly contaminated body parts transplanted into USA, Canadian patients

Monday, March 20, 2006

Fears of contaminated bone and skin grafts are being felt by unsuspecting patients following the revelation that funeral homes may have been looting corpses.

Janet Evans of Marion Ohio was told by her surgeon, “The bone grafts you got might have been contaminated”. She reacted with shock, “I was flabbergasted because I didn’t even know what he was talking about. I didn’t know I got a bone graft until I got this call. I just thought they put in screws and rods.”

The body of Alistair Cooke, the former host of “Masterpiece Theatre,” was supposedly looted along with more than 1,000 others, according to two law enforcement officials close to the case. The tissue taken was typically skin, bone and tendon, which was then sold for use in procedures such as dental implants and hip replacements. According to authorities, millions of dollars were made by selling the body parts to companies for use in operations done at hospitals and clinics in the United States and Canada.

A New Jersey company, Biomedical Tissue Services, has reportedly been taking body parts from funeral homes across Brooklyn, New York. According to ABC News, they set up rooms like a “surgical suite.” After they took the bones, they replaced them with PVC pipe. This was purportedly done by stealth, without approval of the deceased person or the next of kin. 1,077 bodies were involved, say prosecuters.

Investagators say a former dentist, Michael Mastromarino, is behind the operation. Biomedical was considered one of the “hottest procurement companies in the country,” raking in close to $5 million. Eventually, people became worried: “Can the donors be trusted?” A tissue processing company called LifeCell answered no, and issued a recall on all their tissue.

Cooke’s daughter, Susan Cooke Kittredge, said, “To know his bones were sold was one thing, but to see him standing truncated before me is another entirely.” Now thousands of people around the country are receiving letters warning that they should be tested for infectious diseases like HIV or hepatitis. On February 23, the Brooklyn District Attorney indicted Mastromarino and three others. They are charged with 122 felony counts, including forgery and bodysnatching.

Formula One set to see standardised engines

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Formula One looks set to enter an era of standardised engines. The FIA is meeting with teams in Monte Carlo and is expected to approve the use by some teams of a standardised power unit provided by Cosworth, an automotive engineering company, from 2010 onwards. The move to a standard engine, which is common in lower tiers of open wheeled racing such as GP2, was pushed for by FIA President Max Mosley earlier this year as he aims to reduce team costs. This would not see the exclusion of manufacturer made engines, as at this time participation in the system would be voluntary and teams would be free to build licensed Cosworth engines or their own powerplants but on a performance par with the Cosworth unit. Mosley has stated that stabilising Formula One means that the FIA “…must stabilize the system with a base engine which anyone can have and which is inexpensive, as well as a standard gearbox” and has warned of future budget problems, saying that “Honda pulled out because of falling car sales and there is no guarantee that these falling sales, which affect all manufacturers, will not drop further”.

Ahead of the meeting of the FIA there have been rumours in the Italian press that Formula One team Renault had broken with the Formula One Teams’ Association (FOTA), rumours which Renault has strongly denied. FOTA was established earlier this year by the teams to negotiate with the FIA over cost cutting measures and other changes, changes it hopes will stop the introduction of compulsory standardisation of engines and other parts on F1 cars. The FOTA’s position was hard hit last week by the announcement by Honda that they were leaving F1 due to the economic crisis, a move which has caused many teams to re-assert their commitment to a future in Formula One. David Richards, whose Prodrive entry to Formula One was called off last season due to costs, highlighted what he sees as the need for fundamental changes, saying that Honda’s exit was ‘a salutary lesson for the whole of F1 that things are going to have to change, and everything is going to have to come back a little bit if the whole sport is to prosper in the future’.

Five teams have reportedly expressed an interest in the Cosworth engines from the 2010 season, the five being all four independent teams (Williams, Force India, Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Toro Rosso) joined by manufacturer Renault. If only four teams sign up to the idea, the FIA has announced it will go ahead. Renault have been highly vocal in criticising the failure of the engine development freeze that has existed in Formula One and have, after a couple of seasons of struggling, been under pressure from their parent company to justify the continued expenditure in Formula One. Cosworth have previously been prolific engine suppliers in Formula One, their last stint was supplying engines to Williams in 2006.

The talks come as many of the Formula One teams are in Jerez for part of their winter testing regime, with potential Toro Rosso driver Sebastian Buemi topping the time sheets for the first two days.


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Disney Cruise Line to add two new ships

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In a press release on February 22, 2007, Disney announced the expansion of its cruise line. Disney plans to add two new ships to its current fleet of two. This expansion is expected to more than double the cruise line’s current passenger capacity. By expanding, Disney hopes to meet the increasing demand for its cruise line.

The two new ships are to be very similar to each other and will weigh about 120,000 tons. They are planned to be two decks taller than the two existing ships, the Disney Magic and the Disney Wonder and will have 1,250 staterooms. These two ships are scheduled for christening in 2011 and 2012.

In the press release, Disney President and CEO Bob Iger stated: “Since our maiden voyage in 1998, Disney Cruise Line has been a huge success for our guests and for our shareholders alike. It has brought our unparalleled family vacation experience to the high seas, and has also generated high margins and double digit returns on invested capital. We’re excited to announce the expansion of our fleet, which is a logical next step in what is a real growth business for us.”

Names have not yet been announced for the ships.