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-   -   Astoundingly poor judgement: The curious case of psychic police tipster Presley “Rhonda” Gridley (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=693839)

trabajábamos 06-14-2013 02:29 PM

Astoundingly poor judgement: The curious case of psychic police tipster Presley “Rhonda” Gridley
 
Unfortunately, things this stupid happen with surprisingly frequency:
Quote:

Presley “Rhonda” Gridley, [is] a self-described psychic who created a national frenzy by telling authorities that a Liberty County couple, Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton, had a mass grave on their property. She has been ordered to pay the couple $6.8 million [in damages for defamation].
An excerpt from a 911 call Gridley made contains this gem:
Quote:

Originally Posted by Gridley
I'm a reverend and a psychic. Souls and spirits talked to me an there 32 of them that told me they think the kids are there.

...so, to sum this up:
  1. Gridley called 911, announced she was a psychic, and shared the revelation of a mass grave she knows about because "souls ans spirits" told her
  2. The police dutifully followed up on this tip by holding various press conferences and tearing apart the home of Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton (apparently turning them into social pariahs in the process)
  3. Nothing is discovered
  4. Bankston and Charlton file suit against the police and Gridley
  5. The case against the police is dismissed and Gridley is on the hook for a $7M payout that she will never, ever make good on

Points for debate:
First, it is appalling that the police acted on Gridley's tip at all because there is no such thing as a psychic. And, while people from all walks may experience the divine in deeply personal and subjective manners, "spirits" don't go around pointing out mass graves to "psychics." Maybe they assumed she was a crazy person with a thread of truth in there somewhere- who knows- but the notion that they ought to follow every lead (as suggested by members of the department in the video above) is mind-boggling.

Second, hanging Gridley out to dry for making a(n obviously) false statement to the police is just sad. The statement that, "the spirits told me about a mass grave", is not even true enough to be false. I could give them the benefit of the doubt if she hadn't tossed that stuff out about being a psychic and spirits; if she'd just said, "Psstt... there are bodies buried all over that guy's yard", that might have been worth a look-see.

Third, if the sanity of the defamer doesn't enter into defamation hearings, there's something really wrong in the legal system. Clearly, Gridley got it with both barrels because she didn't deign to appear in court... but if a guy wearing a traffic cone on his head accuses me of being a Moon Lizard, I'm not sure I'm entitled to damages.


...and just to editorialize: That nobody in the Liberty County Sheriff's Department got tagged for this is simply shocking to me.

Thudlow Boink 06-14-2013 02:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trabajábamos (Post 16380670)
First, it is appalling that the police acted on Gridley's tip at all because there is no such thing as a psychic.

No argument there. And even if there were such a thing as an actual psychic, that wouldn't mean that everyone claiming to be a psychic is telling the truth, or that all "visions" or spiritual revelations accurately reflect reality.

Didn't they need a search warrant to tear up the couple's home? And doesn't a search warrant require more in the way of probable cause than a phone call from a self-described psychic?

RTFirefly 06-14-2013 02:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 16380722)
Didn't they need a search warrant to tear up the couple's home? And doesn't a search warrant require more in the way of probable cause than a phone call from a self-described psychic?

That's what I was wondering too. Because if the call from the psychic was the principal evidence that the police based their search warrant on, then you'd think they'd be the ones on the hook.

For now, I'm betting that the police had some real evidence to search the property in this manner that isn't in the linked stories.

trabajábamos 06-14-2013 03:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RTFirefly (Post 16380743)
That's what I was wondering too. Because if the call from the psychic was the principal evidence that the police based their search warrant on, then you'd think they'd be the ones on the hook.

For now, I'm betting that the police had some real evidence to search the property in this manner that isn't in the linked stories.

...well that's what I'm hoping, anyway. In the meantime, here's another story which certainly implies that they were mostly just taking Gridley's word for it:
Quote:

Originally Posted by news.discovery.com
Deputies from the Liberty County Sheriff’s office went to investigate but didn’t see anything amiss. After a second call the following day, dozens of officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and the Texas Rangers were on the scene—not to mention cadaver dogs, news helicopters and gawkers.

<snip/>

Though the incident became a national embarrassment, the police refused to apologize, saying that procedures were followed and that the severity of the claims warranted an investigation. Whether a tip comes from an ordinary citizen, an anonymous informant or a self-proclaimed psychic, information about mass murders cannot be ignored.


...bolding mine; I wonder if that's just a statement of opinion or if "mass murder" has some legal standard of scrutiny behind it?

Czarcasm 06-14-2013 03:08 PM

They had to investigate-what if Gridley was an accomplice that either had a screw loose, or maybe had killed someone and buried someone herself?

Shodan 06-14-2013 03:18 PM

Still can't see how the police got a search warrant based solely on a call from a psychic.

Regards,
Shodan

trabajábamos 06-14-2013 03:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 16380820)
They had to investigate-what if Gridley was an accomplice that either had a screw loose, or maybe had killed someone and buried someone herself?

I really can't comprehend a world in which the police summon the FBI to investigate every single crazy call they get. I'm willing to allow that they had some marvelous reason to do so in this case- apart from Gridley- that simply hasn't filtered into the media coverage yet, but the most recent link I posted seems to indicate that deputies went there, saw nothing suspicious, and then called in the FBI anyway. And they don't even try to defend it.

Funny aside: Googling for "Bankston Charlton Gridley warrant" yields this thread as the top result!

trabajábamos 06-14-2013 03:36 PM

Hmmm.... and now I see a big part of the problem is that the people talking about this story now (me included!) are just doing a really crappy job with the details.

It turns out that the deputies did find blood on the porch at the house and this was the basis for the warrant.

An NY Times Story from 2011 says:
Quote:

Liberty County’s top elected official, County Judge Craig McNair, told reporters that the woman first called about the house on Monday evening, claiming to be a psychic. Acting on her tip, deputies went to the general area of the house on Monday. On Tuesday the woman called back, describing the house in greater detail and telling officials where to search.

When deputies went to the house, they found blood and noticed an odor.
Same deal from this story in The Guardian:
Quote:

He told KHOU-TV his daughter's ex-boyfriend had cut his wrist when drunk two weeks before, possibly leaving blood that might have piqued investigators' interest.

....but that's OK! I can still be at least a little outraged about them going out to the house in the first place, right?

Shodan 06-14-2013 03:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trabajábamos (Post 16380927)
I can still be at least a little outraged about them going out to the house in the first place, right?

Sure you can, but as Czarcasm says, it was possible that the "psychic" was an accomplice who was involved in the crimes. And was really, really bad at coming up with cover stories.

Regards,
Shodan

Robot Arm 06-14-2013 04:45 PM

I wonder how these 32 souls and spirits knew they were buried in the same place. It seems like it must have been a coincidence. I picture a couple of them hanging out in a bar and chatting...

"So. where ya buried?"
"Some guy's backyard in Texas."
"No shit! Me too. Which county?"

Kimmy_Gibbler 06-14-2013 05:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 16380722)
Didn't they need a search warrant to tear up the couple's home? And doesn't a search warrant require more in the way of probable cause than a phone call from a self-described psychic?

Home? Yes. Acres of land on which the home is situated (and where the mass grave was clairvoyanly located)? No: open fields doctrine.

Kimmy_Gibbler 06-15-2013 03:28 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 16380722)
No argument there. And even if there were such a thing as an actual psychic, that wouldn't mean that everyone claiming to be a psychic is telling the truth, or that all "visions" or spiritual revelations accurately reflect reality.

Gold star for you: This is one of the two prongs of the erstwhile Spinelli test for establishing probable cause on the basis of an anonymous informant's report.

While this report is not anonymous, and while Spinelli has been replaced by a "totality of the circumstances" test (the elegant phrasing the Court uses to state "We don't really have a rule for this") after Illinois v. Gates, 462 U.S. 213 (1983), even in Illinois v. Gates, the Court acknowledged that the Spinelli factors remain crucial, even if they would no longer be evaluated on a point-by-point basis.

The Spinelli test required a showing of (1) why the informant's report should be considered credible and reliable, and (2) what the circumstances are that allowed the informant to become knowledgeable of the fact that evidence of a crime will be found in the place sought to be searched.

So even if we accepted the existence of clairvoyance, merely asserting that the informant has psychic powers will only satisfy the second prong. It remains to be shown that we have reason to suppose that the psychic is truthfully reporting his or her premonitions.

Good work, Thudlow, that's thinking like a lawyer.

Maastricht 06-15-2013 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 16381155)
I wonder how these 32 souls and spirits knew they were buried in the same place. It seems like it must have been a coincidence. I picture a couple of them hanging out in a bar and chatting...

"So. where ya buried?"
"Some guy's backyard in Texas."
"No shit! Me too. Which county?"

Thanks for the guffaw.

"Who's that lady over there, you have any idea?"
"Oh, don't go near her. She's a psychic, and I swear, she must be either high or deaf. I talked to her earlier but she kept on mishearing me and telling me to go into the light."

wolfman 06-15-2013 04:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trabajábamos (Post 16380670)

Points for debate:
First, it is appalling that the police acted on Gridley's tip at all because there is no such thing as a psychic. And, while people from all walks may experience the divine in deeply personal and subjective manners, "spirits" don't go around pointing out mass graves to "psychics." Maybe they assumed she was a crazy person with a thread of truth in there somewhere- who knows- but the notion that they ought to follow every lead (as suggested by members of the department in the video above) is mind-boggling.

That would be a tough one. When someone gives a tip, based on crap. Can you really afford to do nothing? Maybe she is just trying to protect an old poker buddy who got drunk and said where they were. Or maybe she overheard it on a bus and delusions made her think it was spirits. I think they do have to "act" on it to some extent.

However, "A ghost told you? Well boys bring out the backhoes!" is not an appropriate "action".

Little Nemo 06-15-2013 04:28 PM

Did the police get a warrant? Maybe the owners just caved to public pressure and "voluntarily" agreed to allow the search in order to prove there were no bodies on their property.

If so, that might explain why the police went public with the tip. They wanted to create the public pressure.

Kimmy_Gibbler 06-15-2013 04:35 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 16383353)
Did the police get a warrant? Maybe the owners just caved to public pressure and "voluntarily" agreed to allow the search in order to prove there were no bodies on their property.

If so, that might explain why the police went public with the tip. They wanted to create the public pressure.

As noted above, one only needs a warrant to search the home and the curtilage (the envelope of open space immediately surrounding the home). Merely having title to some unimproved land does not require the police to obtain a warrant before searching it.

Warrants are required to search homes, not real property generally. This is the "open fields" doctrine. (Recall that the language of the Fourth Amendment is "the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.")

ctnguy 06-15-2013 05:22 PM

Even if they don't require a warrant, surely entering and digging on private farmland without the landowner's permission is some kind of trespass? Aren't the police liable for that?

Kimmy_Gibbler 06-15-2013 05:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ctnguy (Post 16383456)
Even if they don't require a warrant, surely entering and digging on private farmland without the landowner's permission is some kind of trespass? Aren't the police liable for that?

No, the authority to enter onto private land to investigate and enforce criminal law is an essential attribute of sovereignty. It is, quite literally, the police power which the Constitution's main purpose is to delineate and expressly confine. Confinements not expressed by the Constitution, therefore, do not exist at all.

In other words, no, there is no trespass. The government cannot "trespass" in any meaningful sense. The limitations on the sovereign right to enter land within its jurisdiction are (1) the search and seizure protections of the Fourth Amendment, and (2) the Takings Clause restrictions of the Fifth Amendment. Neither have been violated here (under the facts as we are understanding them to be).

Fear Itself 06-15-2013 06:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfman (Post 16383329)
That would be a tough one. When someone gives a tip, based on crap. Can you really afford to do nothing?

I think the police have a duty to do nothing when the substance of the tip is, "An invisible ghost told me to tell you...". The appropriate response is, "Well, tell that ghost to come to the station and tell me himself, and we'll get a warrant." Since when is hearsay probable cause?

Little Nemo 06-15-2013 06:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 16383572)
I think the police have a duty to do nothing when the substance of the tip is, "An invisible ghost told me to tell you...". The appropriate response is, "Well, tell that ghost to come to the station and tell me himself, and we'll get a warrant." Since when is hearsay probable cause?

Crazy people witness crimes too. In fact, crazy people sometimes commit crimes. So when somebody calls the police and tells them a vampire killed five people and hid their bodies in his cellar, they go check the guy's cellar. Even if vampires aren't real, you might still find the bodies there.

If the police had found the bodies where Gridley said they'd be, I'm sure the police would have been interrogating Gridley at least as much as they would have been Bankston and Charlton.

Kimmy_Gibbler 06-15-2013 06:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 16383572)
I think the police have a duty to do nothing when the substance of the tip is, "An invisible ghost told me to tell you...". The appropriate response is, "Well, tell that ghost to come to the station and tell me himself, and we'll get a warrant." Since when is hearsay probable cause?

Taking these in reverse order.....

Hearsay is not allowed where the rules of evidence apply (at trial or in a testimonial deposition). An affidavit for a warrant is not such an instance. Many affidavits for warrants rely on hearsay to furnish probable cause (as when the police or state's attorney seeks a warrant on the basis of an anonymous informant's report). However, the reliability of the hearsay statement has to be explained.

By "duty," I assume you mean "good policy." That is, you do not mean to suggest that a police department that seeks to obtain a warrant on the basis of information gathered through a Ouija board session has violated any legal restriction (now, a magistrate who issues one, on the other hand ......). Now, routine violations of what most voters consider good policy can often lead to such unhappy outcomes as losing an election for Police Chief, or Mayor (if that's who's doing the appointing), or State's Attorney. And these are perceived as just as bad outcomes as losing a lawsuit. But there is no legal duty to refrain from seeking a warrant on the basis of bogus psychic visions.

Assuming that this is an instance where warrants were not required (open fields), do the police have a legal duty to refrain from investigating (since the intermediary of a warrant application to a magistrate is not present)? No, I don't think so. But again, this is the sort of blundering police work that effects extra-legal bad outcomes (like being fired as Chief of Police). (See our penultimate Commissioner of Internal Revenue, for instance.)

Fear Itself 06-15-2013 06:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Little Nemo (Post 16383584)
Crazy people witness crimes too.

But the psychic didn't claim to witness a crime. She claimed the invisible spirit of the victims witnessed a crime. I don't think the police have any duty to investigate her claim beyond interviewing her to satisfy what should have been their initial conclusion, namely that she was nucking futz.

Chronos 06-15-2013 06:58 PM

So what did the police find in Gridley's back yard?

And if the answer is that they didn't search it, then why the Hell not? They had a lot more probable cause for going there than to the other folks' place. As the old saw goes, the police have a name for someone who claims to be able to tell them reliable information about the circumstances of a crime with no understandable explanation: They call that person a "suspect".

Sailboat 06-15-2013 07:47 PM

The police involvement is demonstrably crazy. I mean, "a duty to investigate?" What if I told them I'd been told my a gopher stolen jewels were stashed in your (the hypothetical you) liver? Would they "have to" cut your liver open just in case I was an accomplice to the gopher?

No, this story fails the common sense test resoundingly and embarrassingly. Especially considering that with actual evidence the police often fail to act or fail to follow up (it's happened in my own experience).

Little Nemo 06-15-2013 07:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 16383607)
But the psychic didn't claim to witness a crime. She claimed the invisible spirit of the victims witnessed a crime. I don't think the police have any duty to investigate her claim beyond interviewing her to satisfy what should have been their initial conclusion, namely that she was nucking futz.

My apologies if I was too subtle in my previous post. My point was that you can't simply say that a person can't know anything about a murder because they're delusional. Plenty of murders are committed by delusional people. A psychic can witness a crime - if they committed the crime.

Miller 06-15-2013 09:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Sailboat (Post 16383724)
The police involvement is demonstrably crazy. I mean, "a duty to investigate?" What if I told them I'd been told my a gopher stolen jewels were stashed in your (the hypothetical you) liver? Would they "have to" cut your liver open just in case I was an accomplice to the gopher?

Of course not.

That's what we have X-Ray machines for.

Claverhouse 06-15-2013 09:34 PM

Quote:

Deputies from the Liberty County Sheriff’s office went to investigate but didn’t see anything amiss. After a second call the following day, dozens of officials from the Texas Department of Public Safety, the FBI and the Texas Rangers were on the scene—not to mention cadaver dogs, news helicopters and gawkers.


*Idly wonders how they train cadaver dogs*

dropzone 06-16-2013 12:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claverhouse (Post 16383915)
*Idly wonders how they train cadaver dogs*

With a bottle of Stiff Whiff.

wolfman 06-16-2013 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fear Itself (Post 16383572)
I think the police have a duty to do nothing when the substance of the tip is, "An invisible ghost told me to tell you...". The appropriate response is, "Well, tell that ghost to come to the station and tell me himself, and we'll get a warrant." Since when is hearsay probable cause?

Well like I said, It's a tough one, and I'm not sure I could put a finger on exactly what they should do.

But for an imperfect analogy, if my 6 year old kid came in and said "Abraham Lincoln started some rags on fire in the garage" My first thought would not be to scientifically explain how Lincoln was dead and could not have done anything of the sort. My first thought would be "get my ass to the garage, now!"

There is a point at which a BS attribution doesn't mean the claim should be dismissed.

aruvqan 06-16-2013 02:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Robot Arm (Post 16381155)
I wonder how these 32 souls and spirits knew they were buried in the same place. It seems like it must have been a coincidence. I picture a couple of them hanging out in a bar and chatting...

"So. where ya buried?"
"Some guy's backyard in Texas."
"No shit! Me too. Which county?"

*snicker*
Quote:

Originally Posted by wolfman (Post 16383329)
That would be a tough one. When someone gives a tip, based on crap. Can you really afford to do nothing? Maybe she is just trying to protect an old poker buddy who got drunk and said where they were. Or maybe she overheard it on a bus and delusions made her think it was spirits. I think they do have to "act" on it to some extent.

However, "A ghost told you? Well boys bring out the backhoes!" is not an appropriate "action".

I could see running a cadaver dog, and an overflight with a helicopter [to check for disturbed area indicating something might be buried there] and possibly requesting permission to search the house.

As to finding blood on the porch - I would hate to luminol our back deck - we had a pair of feral dogs get into a fight and rip a chicken in half. [one of our chickens was a houdini and would frequently escape the coop and end up on the porch scrounging cat kibble, a pair of feral dogs chased her up onto the porch, both grabbed at her and were playing keep away when I shot them] so even despite really scrubbing the heck out of the deck and back wall, there has got to be wicked blood spatter evidence there. In our bathroom and kitchen it would look like an abatoire, as both mrAru and I have bleed thanks to random injuries being dealt with. And the back of my old IH scout has blood spatter from hauling an injured ewe to the large animal vet in town.

You *can't* take blood spatter to indicate humans or foul play all the time - there are lots of legitimate reasons for bloodspatter that do not involve murder or mayhem.

Simplicio 06-16-2013 03:21 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by trabajábamos (Post 16380670)
Second, hanging Gridley out to dry for making a(n obviously) false statement to the police is just sad. The statement that, "the spirits told me about a mass grave", is not even true enough to be false.

Yea, that bothers me to. She told them upfront that she was acting on "visions". Putting aside whether the police acted appropriately to that information, I don't think its fair to find her liable for what happened. She doesn't seem to be a con-artist (there isn't really any way she could've profited out of this) or a lonely attention seeker (she tried to stay anonymous). It seems plausible she really thought she had visions and was trying to help. So far as I can tell, she didn't lie about the level of evidence she had.

Quote:

Originally Posted by kimmy
In other words, no, there is no trespass. The government cannot "trespass" in any meaningful sense. The limitations on the sovereign right to enter land within its jurisdiction are (1) the search and seizure protections of the Fourth Amendment, and (2) the Takings Clause restrictions of the Fifth Amendment. Neither have been violated here (under the facts as we are understanding them to be).

Interesting, but in this case the house was searched, so presumably the cops had a warrant. (and apparently left in rough shape, at least according to the couple).

Condescending Robot 06-16-2013 06:19 AM

Every possible explanation except "dumb people believe in psychics and cops are almost universally dumb people" being bandied about to avoid stating the obvious, eh?

Zakalwe 06-16-2013 07:32 AM

Wonder what the cops would do if they starting getting phone calls about mass graves in the backyards of county officials? Or maybe the Sheriff? Or maybe their fellow cops' yards? Like one or two a day. Bet the contrast would be illuminating.

don't ask 06-16-2013 07:52 AM

Joe Bankston and Gena Charlton probably put Presley “Rhonda” Gridley up to it so they could get the cops to till their soil.

smiling bandit 06-20-2013 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zakalwe (Post 16384536)
Wonder what the cops would do if they starting getting phone calls about mass graves in the backyards of county officials? Or maybe the Sheriff? Or maybe their fellow cops' yards? Like one or two a day. Bet the contrast would be illuminating.

Just wait 'till you hear about SWAT-ting...

Really Not All That Bright 06-20-2013 10:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simplicio (Post 16384376)
Interesting, but in this case the house was searched, so presumably the cops had a warrant. (and apparently left in rough shape, at least according to the couple).

They did have a warrant (based on the blood discussed above). It's just as likely that the family would have consented to the search, though. Innocent people often cooperate with police thinking their cooperation will demonstrate that they have nothing to hide.
Quote:

Originally Posted by Condescending Robot
Every possible explanation except "dumb people believe in psychics and cops are almost universally dumb people" being bandied about to avoid stating the obvious, eh?

Explanation for what? It wasn't just cops; a judge issue a warrant based in part on the "informant".

gena_c 07-12-2013 11:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Thudlow Boink (Post 16380722)
No argument there. And even if there were such a thing as an actual psychic, that wouldn't mean that everyone claiming to be a psychic is telling the truth, or that all "visions" or spiritual revelations accurately reflect reality.

Didn't they need a search warrant to tear up the couple's home? And doesn't a search warrant require more in the way of probable cause than a phone call from a self-described psychic?

There is more going on in Liberty County than people realize. And those responsible for the "search" were... well... they would have been suspended from any school in the USA for bad behavior had they been that young. Several had been "let go" from Harris County PD prior to Liberty hiring them. And the judge who signed the warrant was opposing counsel to Charlton in a nasty divorce. bankson and Charlton were notified of the search by reporters while they were in Dallas. It was a drama and a disaster and a mess. Wish people could know the entire story though.

Czarcasm 07-12-2013 12:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gena_c (Post 16466404)
There is more going on in Liberty County than people realize. And those responsible for the "search" were... well... they would have been suspended from any school in the USA for bad behavior had they been that young. Several had been "let go" from Harris County PD prior to Liberty hiring them. And the judge who signed the warrant was opposing counsel to Charlton in a nasty divorce. bankson and Charlton were notified of the search by reporters while they were in Dallas. It was a drama and a disaster and a mess. Wish people could know the entire story though.

Do you have a role in any and/or all of this, or are you just interested in the case?

Bozuit 07-12-2013 04:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aruvqan (Post 16384341)
one of our chickens was a houdini and would frequently escape the coop and end up on the porch scrounging cat kibble, a pair of feral dogs chased her up onto the porch, both grabbed at her and were playing keep away

Quote:

You *can't* take blood spatter to indicate humans or foul play all the time
Very true. It could be fowl play.

Tim@T-Bonham.net 07-13-2013 01:59 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by gena_c (Post 16466404)
And the judge who signed the warrant was opposing counsel to Charlton in a nasty divorce.

Things like this are often at the bottom of such cases.

A few years ago, we had a widely-publicized child-sex ring case here in Minnesota prosecuted by the County Attorney. Lots of wild accusations leaked to the press of satanic sex rituals, possibly buried bodies, etc. Eventually nothing came of it, charges were dropped when it was shown that the child witnesses had been coached & rewarded for telling the desired stories, etc.

The first guy accused? Just happened to be the campaign manager for the candidate who ran against that County Attorney. The 'investigation' expanded to include a lot of others -- most of them were campaign volunteers for that candidate. Odd how that happened. Seemed to me that the County taxpayer's money was used (a tremendous amount) to smear a political opponent.

Ibn Warraq 07-13-2013 06:58 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Shodan (Post 16380853)
Still can't see how the police got a search warrant based solely on a call from a psychic.

Regards,
Shodan

Agreed. Who was the judge who signed that warrant?

dropzone 07-13-2013 01:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Czarcasm (Post 16466486)
Do you have a role in any and/or all of this, or are you just interested in the case?

Excellent question, because if gena_c is not involved there is nothing to prevent her from telling us all of the dirt evidence to which she is privy.

ETA, hurriedly: Which we will use with the utmost discretion to form a more complete picture of what went on. Or something like that.

Love Rhombus 07-15-2013 08:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Simplicio (Post 16384376)
Yea, that bothers me to. She told them upfront that she was acting on "visions". Putting aside whether the police acted appropriately to that information, I don't think its fair to find her liable for what happened. She doesn't seem to be a con-artist (there isn't really any way she could've profited out of this) or a lonely attention seeker (she tried to stay anonymous). It seems plausible she really thought she had visions and was trying to help. So far as I can tell, she didn't lie about the level of evidence she had.


You're kidding, right? Assume that somehow she's right and there was a mass grave. Think of the celebrity she'd get. Hell, she could get a book deal irregardless.

I have to hope that I'd have washed off the blood on my porch before 2 weeks were up, though.

Also, why don't they use real corpses to train the dogs? I'd donate my body when I go. Be a good cause.

bufftabby 07-15-2013 08:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Claverhouse (Post 16383915)
*Idly wonders how they train cadaver dogs*

There's a "body farm" in Knoxville, TN with bodies in all manners of decomposition that they use for training humans and dogs alike in various cadaver arts. A friend says you can smell it from the nearby hospital's parking lot on a breezy summer day. Encouraging, I'm sure.


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