Monday, July 14, 2008

FELONSPY.COM - Is a fraud, says SNOPES.COM

I noticed this awhile back when I saw this site and knew it was a fraud. You can enter any street name, city and state and keep clicking the SEARCH button and each time something different pops up. I guess they think people are real stupid, and I'm sure a ton of gullible people who do not stick with government only web sites believe it. Also see the images below the horizontal line of my test. Try it out for yourself, here.

They also have another site called "Child Trader" which is apparently fake as well.

Click on the image below to visit the site




They also have this on their FRONT page - Click to enlarge



And this as their DISCLAIMER - Click to enlarge



This is their WHOIS info - Click to enlarge





And here is my test. Notice each time the data changes? Click the images to enlarge.

Test #01



Test #02



Test #03



NY - Court Defines Test for Obtaining Identities Behind Online Posts

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07/14/2008

The authors of anonymous online posts that accused a former congressman of paying $25,000 to the mayor of Mamaroneck, N.Y., in connection with a home renovation project may soon find themselves the named defendants in a defamation action.

Westchester County Court Judge Rory J. Bellantoni held that after Richard Ottinger and his wife notified the online contributors of their right to intervene anonymously and stated a prima facie case of defamation against the fictitiously named defendants, the couple had sufficiently satisfied the standard necessary to pierce the free speech rights of the writers who allegedly posted false comments about the Ottingers on a Web site operated by The Journal News.

The posts appeared under the names "hadenough," "SAVE10543" and "aoxomoxoa."

Mark A. Fowler of Satterlee Stephens Burke & Burke, who represented the newspaper, said that while an Internet service provider cannot be held liable for the defamatory statements of its subscribers, many providers traditionally would turn over identifying information of users in a "knee-jerk fashion." By requiring a plaintiff to make a heightened showing before obtaining the identity of anonymous posters, Judge Bellantoni's ruling sets forth "important safeguards" for the entire online community, where speech sometimes gets "wild and wily," Fowler said.

The allegedly defamatory posts, which appeared on the "LoHud" site maintained by the Journal News, centered around an effort by Ottinger and his wife, June, to renovate their Mamaroneck home.

In September 2007, a post under the name "SAVE10543" accused the couple of presenting a fraudulent deed "in order to claim they own land under water," and "lying to the State" and other officials to secure permits for their home's construction. Subsequently, a post under the name "hadenough" maintained that the Ottingers were part of an "illegal scam." A third post by "aoxomoxoa" later chimed in that the mayor of Mamaroneck "took the juice from Richard and June Ottinger to the tune of $25,000 so they could build their starter Taj Mahal on a substandard lot."

In February 2008, the Ottingers brought a "John Doe" action against the anonymous writers.

Mr. Ottinger, who served as the dean of Pace University Law School from 1994 to 1999 and spent 16 years as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and his wife contended that the online statements defamed their "good name" and honest reputation. The couple sought, among other relief, $1 million in punitive damages and a "public apology" on the LoHud site.

After the Ottingers served a subpoena on the Journal News to compel the disclosure of the writers' identities, the newspaper made a motion to quash.

During a hearing in late May, Judge Bellantoni converted the action to a special proceeding to permit the Ottingers to seek pre-action discovery under CPLR §3102. He also ordered the Ottingers to post a notice on the LoHud site that gave the forum posters an opportunity to intervene "anonymously, or otherwise" in the action.

In July, after no one came forward in response to the court-ordered notification, Bellantoni turned to the merits of the Ottingers' request for the writers' identities.

"There is no question that the First Amendment protects the right of a person to speak anonymously. That protection, however, is no greater than the right of a person to speak when their identity is known," the judge wrote in Ottinger v. The Journal News, 08-03892, a case of first impression in New York.

He noted that Greenbaum v. Google Inc., 18 Misc.3d 185, 2007, constitutes the "only reported decision" in New York that addresses the rights of anonymous writers who post allegedly defamatory statements on the Internet.

"That case, however, failed to set a standard because the court found, as a matter of law, that the statements made were not defamatory," the judge wrote.

Judge Bellantoni then turned to the four-step test set forth by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, in Dendrite International v. Doe, 775 A.2d 756 (2001), to guide his inquiry.

In Dendrite, the court held that a plaintiff who wants an Internet service provider to disclose the identity of anonymous posters must first "undertake efforts" to inform the writers that "they are the subject of a subpoena or application for an order of disclosure."

A plaintiff must also identify the "exact" alleged defamatory statements and "produce sufficient evidence supporting each element of its cause of action, on a prima facie basis."

Finally, a court "must balance the defendant's First Amendment right of anonymous free speech against the strength" of the plaintiff's case.

Bellantoni explained that he had already ordered the Ottingers to provide notice to the writers. And with the exception of constitutional malice, the Ottingers had sufficiently backed up each element of their prima facie defamation claim, the judge wrote.

Relying on the Delaware Supreme Court case of Doe v. Cahill, 884 A2d 451 (2005), he acknowledged the difficultly of proving actual malice before learning of the anonymous writers' identities and concluded that "the petitioners, at this point in the proceeding, need not prove this element to obtain pre-action disclosure."

Russell J. Ippolito, a solo practitioner in Tarrytown who represents the Ottingers, said he thinks that one individual used three separate aliases to defame his clients.

Ippolito said the next step is to look up who owns the Internet provider addresses linked to the posts. The addresses were given to him last week by the Journal News, he said.


IN - Trafalgar official faces child porn charges

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07/12/2008

Affidavit: Council leader admits downloading images

A tip from a computer repair company led police to pornographic images of children that authorities say were downloaded by a town official in southern Johnson County.

On Wednesday, a Johnson County sheriff's detective arrested Max Knapp, 73, on two felony counts of possessing child pornography. If convicted, Knapp could face two to eight years in prison and a $10,000 fine for each count.
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Knapp is president of the Town Council in Trafalgar, a community of slightly more than 1,000.

After receiving the tip from the business, detectives obtained a search warrant to go through Knapp's computer files. They found 74 photos or videos of children engaged in sex acts, according to a probable cause affidavit.

Some of the children in the images were as young as 2 years old, according to the document.

Knapp, who posted his $16,000 bond the day of his arrest, is in his second term on the Trafalgar Town Council.

A Republican who formerly was Johnson County highway director, Knapp was first elected to the council in 2003.

Computer businesses have become an important partner with law enforcement agencies looking to crack down on child porn, said Col. Doug Cox of the Johnson County Sheriff's Department.

"It's something that's seen too much anymore," Cox said. "We wish we didn't see any of it."

City police agencies, which serve areas with a larger concentration of computer businesses, are notified more often about possible Internet child pornography than sheriff's departments serving more rural jurisdictions, Cox said.

Knapp told police he did not derive pleasure from the images and did not know why he had downloaded the files, aside from simple curiosity, the affidavit said.

"I might download four or five and never watch them," Knapp told a detective, the affidavit said. "Why I did it, I don't know. It wasn't a turn-on or anything."

Knapp said he began downloading the files "a year ago or so" from the LimeWire site, which police described as a free file-sharing site on which users download music, videos, images and other files.

"I'm not a pedophile, and I don't mess with kids or anything," Knapp told the detective, further admitting that his actions were "stupid," according to the affidavit.

Knapp did not respond to a phone message left at his home Friday.


GA - Woman sues over ongoing sanctions for sex as a teen

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07/14/2008

Wendy Whitaker's name may be on Georgia's sex offender registry, but her offense suggests she is no predator.

At age 17, while a high school sophomore, Whitaker had oral sex with a 15-year-old male classmate. In 1997, she pleaded guilty to sodomy and got five years' probation.

Whitaker, 28, has moved twice because of the sex offender law's restrictions that say an offender cannot live within 1,000 feet of places where children congregate. Whitaker was recently told by a sheriff she must move again because her home is within 1,000 feet of a church.

"It's a recurrent nightmare," Whitaker said Friday. "It's like a roller coaster. One minute, I'm OK. The next, I'm not. This time, I really thought everything was going to be all right."

Whitaker is the lead plaintiff in a federal lawsuit filed in Atlanta that seeks to have the residency restrictions found unconstitutional. Whitaker and her husband, Michael, purchased their home in Harlem in January 2006, but her name was not put on the deed until 2007.

This is a potential problem under S.B. 1, the sex offender law passed last session to address a decision by the Georgia Supreme Court. In November, the court struck down residency restrictions that applied to homeowners, saying that making them have to abandon their homes was an "illegal taking."

S.B. 1 maintains the residency rules but says they cannot be enforced against offenders who bought homes before July 1, 2006.

Last week, Columbia County Sheriff Clay Whittle, after finding Whitaker's name was placed on the deed in 2007, ordered her to move within 48 hours.

Whitaker said Friday she has had ownership rights to the home, even if her name was not on the deed. "We've been married eight years, and everything we have we have together," she said.

Whitaker's lawyers asked Whittle to not enforce the residency restrictions against the woman while the suit is pending. The sheriff agreed. The matter is now pending before U.S. District Court Judge Clarence Cooper, who is overseeing the federal case.

But on Thursday, the state Attorney General's Office filed a motion stating that if Whitaker actually has a property interest in the home, she should seek relief from being evicted in the state courts, not the federal court.

"Assuming there is actual enforcement of an existing provision of the sex offender statute, [its] purpose ... is to protect the most innocent of victims, Georgia's children," the motion says. "There is indisputable evidence that convicted sex offenders have a propensity to re-offend."
- No there is not, show me then? This is crap people have said over the years without any study to back it up. I have some studies here, here, here and here which show this is a total lie.

Whitaker's lawyer, Sarah Geraghty, said the state should let the matter rest until the federal suit is over.

"Wendy Whitaker is not now and has never been a threat to anyone," she said. "The state of Georgia has better things to do than to evict a woman from her lawfully purchased home because she had sex as a teenager."

Augusta lawyer David Hudson, who represents Whittle, said the sheriff wants direction from the courts. If Cooper denies Whitaker's request, the sheriff "will enforce the law."

As for Whitaker's case, Hudson added, "My personal opinion is it seems to be costing the state of Georgia a lot of time and effort because of a law that reaches out to place these onerous burdens on offenders who are not predators."


WA - Sex offender in Everett mansion worries neighbors

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07/14/2008

By David Chircop

EVERETT -- Rick Lowrey searched the county's map of registered sex offenders before he bought his house on E. Grand Avenue in January.

When he didn't find any offenders living nearby, Lowrey, who has a 12-year-old daughter, felt safer moving to the block with white picket fences and old homes overlooking the Snohomish River.

He was alarmed last week when a flier was delivered to his front porch.

It had a photo of the McManus mansion across the street with the headline "WHO is going to live there?"

The six-bedroom house was sold in June to a former Seattle police officer who is in business with a man who runs boarding houses for sex offenders who are also recovering from drug and alcohol addictions.

Last week, a 28-year-old high-risk sex offender moved into the house, which was built in 1893 for the prominent banker and state Sen. J.E. McManus, and has since fallen into disrepair.

Neighbors are concerned that more sex offenders could be coming and what that could mean for property values and quality of life.

"You can't get away from it unless you move to the country and buy 12 acres. And who can afford that anymore?" Lowrey said. "I just don't understand why they are integrating them into a neighborhood."

The new tenant was convicted as a minor for raping a younger boy and molesting two others, according to the state Department of Corrections.

He is listed as a level 3 sex offender and is under court orders not to drink or make contact with children.

In prison, the man underwent sex-offender treatment, which statistically lowers his chance of a new sexual offense, law enforcement officials say.

Despite some people's perceptions, providing housing for sex offenders makes the community safer, said Mike Westford, who rents rooms to dozens of sex offenders in a cluster of rental houses near downtown Everett.

Westford is business partners with Alex Thole, the former Seattle police officer. Thole in June paid $460,000 for the McManus house, which is on E. Grand Avenue near Everett Avenue, according to public records.

Westford declined to share plans for the McManus house. Thole could not be reached for comment.

Westford is known for hanging signs listing the Ten Commandments on his rental houses. Recently, one of those signs went up at the McManus house.

Neighbors are asking questions about what exactly is being planned for the house. At a meeting scheduled tonight, they will be speaking with neighborhood leaders and Department of Corrections officials. The 7 p.m. meeting is at the Everett Library Auditorium, 2702 Hoyt Ave., Everett.

While Westford won't say what's planned at the house, he does say that even convicted sex offenders need places to live. Corrections officials say stable housing can lower recidivism rates, but landlords often won't rent to convicted sex offenders, who end up on the street where they are harder to monitor.

"I'm not an advocate for sex offenders," Westford said. "I'm an advocate of their victims."

There are 44 homeless sex offenders in the county, according to the Snohomish County sheriff's office.

Westford said he rents rooms for as little as $350 a month. Without the cheap rooms, even more sex offenders would be on the streets, he said.

There are currently 1,620 registered sex offenders in Snohomish County, including 319 in prison or jail. The vast majority are men. They range in age from 13 to 95.

Most --1,347-- are level 1 sex offenders, deemed by the state least likely to reoffend.

Before determining where offenders can live, state corrections officers look at conditions of supervision, said Katrina Lindell, a field administrator for the corrections department.

The state looks at the distance from schools, parks and childcare facilities.

"It's a case-by-case basis when we look at our offenders," she said.

Washington, like most states across the country, allows sex offenders to register as homeless.

When that happens, Lindell said the community is put at a greater risk.

In April, a high-risk sex offender was ordered to sleep under a bridge in Snohomish before he fled the state.

After completing a year's sentence for failing to check in with police, state corrections officials were unable to find a place for David J. Torrence to live. Homeless shelters and hotels refused him and he told officials he wasn't interested in staying with relatives.

Officials said they had no choice but to order Torrence to sleep under a bridge. It turned out the bridge was about 5 miles from the home of the woman Torrence raped.

Three days after being released, Torrence allegedly cut off a GPS tracking device and ran.

A few weeks later, on May 9, Torrence turned himself in to authorities in Arkansas.

People in the Riverside neighborhood acknowledge that sex offenders need somewhere to live. Still, they're concerned about what it could mean for them.

Patricia Rodriguez bought a home next to the sagging McManus house a decade ago. While the house has had its share of rough tenants, including bikers who rode their motorcycles up the stairs, Rodriguez described the neighborhood as close-knit.

People watch out for each other's kids and pets and aren't afraid to keep their windows open on a hot night.

She's concerned that's about to change. Rodriguez said she has been telling her daughter to keep her granddaughters at home. She said she has also drawn her blinds shut more often.

"It's going to be a big change in my life," she said. "I feel like I live in a cave now."

Reporter David Chircop: 425-339-3429 or dchircop@heraldnet.com.


MA - Who killed Tim Finch?

Timothy Peter Finch
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07/14/2008

At high noon on the Fourth of July, a 40-year-old former U.S. Army medic was beaten to death near Faneuil Hall Marketplace in full view of countless tourists and celebrants who dismissed the mayhem as homeless men skirmishing.

The death of Timothy Peter Finch constitutes perhaps the most public homicide ever in the Hub, directly across from a row of famous bars and bistros and just steps from a great hall known as the Cradle of Liberty.

Yet not much has been said about Finch, a troubled man whose huge, tight-knit family filled a 50-passenger bus that took them to his funeral at Massachusetts National Cemetery in Bourne last week, a procession led by his brother, Jeffrey Finch, a minister.

The family insists that their “Timmy” was neither homeless nor alone, yet they fear he will be relegated to a nameless, faceless statistic, the year’s 31st murder.

“I want people to know he has a name,” said his sister Sherrye Harris, 47. “He has a family. We love him. He is not homeless.”

After the funeral, three of Finch’s sisters - Harris, Karretta Simpson, 59, and Doris Montgomery, 53 - sat in their adjoining Mattapan backyard along with his niece to recall Timmy Finch as a protective, albeit eccentric, younger brother who was haunted by a profound sense of unworthiness that sent him on long stints away from home.

Timmy Finch wasn’t stable enough to raise his 6-year-old son - and he knew it. So he found little Timmy a loving adoptive mother in his sister Karretta. Yet he didn’t check out entirely: He took his little boy to the circus, taught him to ride a bike and got down on the floor with him to assemble puzzles.

Timmy Finch grew up in a house on Hiawatha Road in Mattapan packed with seven brothers and sisters and 10 other close relatives. They lost everything when their place burned down in 1980, but bounced back with resiliency.

He graduated from Framingham North High School through the METCO program in 1986. His father, P.T. Finch, died that year, followed by his mother, Emma Finch, months later in 1987.

The deaths tormented him, and he took refuge in booze while serving as an Army medic at Fort Carson in Colorado. In 1989, he was honorably discharged. A lengthy string of arrests followed from 1992 until 2007, for charges like lewdness and public drunkenness. He was listed as a Level 1 sex offender for charges that could not be determined. With each bust, he told police he was homeless.

When sober, Timmy Finch tried to compensate for his misdeeds. Case in point: the time in Karretta’s car when he saw an elderly woman carrying shopping bags. He made his sister pull over and drive the woman home.

“He brought her bags upstairs and came back down. I said ‘Timmy, I am done with you,’ ” Simpson recalled, laughing.

Though sober since January, according to his sisters, Finch battled booze to the bitter end, evidenced in a note found in his room: “It said, ‘I must beat this. Not for my family, but for myself. To make myself a better man,’ ” recalled his niece, April Olsen, 40.

In the days leading up to his brutal murder, his sisters believe Finch was taking steps to make that happen. He had just moved into a Dorchester apartment , his first permanent address in years. But the temptation to drink taunted him again.

Two days before he died, Finch told his family he planned to check back into a program at the VA. But first, he wanted to stop by his favorite spot.

“Faneuil Hall brought the best of everything for him,” Olsen said. “Even though his death was a sad thing, we know he was in a place that he loved. He loved meeting people from other countries. If you had an accent, he’d say, ‘Talk to me a little bit.’ ”

Finch arrived at Curley Memorial Plaza on July Fourth, the area abuzz.

Suddenly, a commotion ensued and someone delivered a blow to the back of Finch’s head.

As Finch lay on the ground, police received a report of a homeless man bleeding profusely.

BPD Commissioner Edward Davis said yesterday that several cooperative witnesses told investigators what they saw. Surveillance footage is also being reviewed. “People were certainly concerned about it,” Davis said.

Yet no one got involved and his attacker got away.

After all, Timmy Finch was just another homeless man.

“That shouldn’t even matter anyway,” Harris said. “He wasn’t some man lying there that nobody cared about.”


NV - The Sex Offender Next Door

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