Monday, May 16, 2011

'America's Most Wanted' Canceled, but Host John Walsh 'Not Ready to Throw in the Towel'

Original Article

Best news I've heard in a long time. Now I know why he's been pushing the NCMEC so much. I'm sure he'll be exploiting his sons death for more money and hate laws.

05/16/2011

You didn't have to watch "America's Most Wanted" to be grateful it's there. For 23 years it has resided on Fox, rallying its audience into a nationwide crime watch from which everyone benefited.

The viewership was not insignificant: 5 million viewers, on average, this season.

But other numbers were more impressive. Like the 1,151-and-counting worldwide captures it claimed, a public blessing for which the show, and the community it roused, could take proud credit.
- So in 23 years of being online, that is all they captured?  Doesn't sound very good to me.

No wonder if the public was shaken by the news on Monday that Fox has canceled "AMW."

Too expensive, Fox entertainment Kevin Reilly explained when making the announcement. Instead of "AMW," Fox will air weekly repeats of its prime-time entertainment series. He said there would be just four, two-hour "AMW" specials next season.

John Walsh had gotten the bad news on Sunday.

Walsh, of course, is the host of "AMW" and its driving force, a man who led a crime-busting crusade in the aftermath of the abduction and murder of his 6-year-old son Adam in 1981.
- And it's NEVER been proven his son was sexually assaults, nor that Ottis Toole was actually the person who did it, but he needs a scapegoat, so Mr. Toole was the target, along with sex offenders.

"I was quite surprised," he said by phone Monday afternoon from backstage at the Fox's presentation for advertisers in Manhattan. He said he told Reilly, "We performed hard for you and we had a good year. We caught more guys than we've ever caught."

But that wasn't the metric that mattered to the network.

Set aside for a moment the public good "AMW" has provided. It's also been a remarkable TV institution. It premiered in April 1988 on the fledgling Fox network during a season when other freshman Fox shows included such long-forgotten fare as "The New Adventures of Beans Baxter" and "Second Chance."

It was billed as "a weekly nationwide criminal manhunt." Walsh, a former hotel executive with no TV experience, was its host, with a simple message for the law-abiding public that he deputized to help flush out the bad guys: It's us or them.

"AMW" caught on, where most of Fox's lineup failed. (In July 1989, it became the first-ever Fox program to rank first in its time slot.)

It's been a fixture on the network ever since, and, since 1994, planted at 9 p.m. Eastern on Saturdays. Oh, except for a couple of months in 1996 after Fox canceled it the first time.

"The public went bananas," Walsh recalled. So did government and police officials, who regarded the show as an invaluable law-enforcement resource. The network swiftly reconsidered, and "AMW" carried on with its good work.

"It's a show that seems like it was always there," said Brad Adgate, an analyst for the firm Horizon Media. And innovative: "It harnessed the wisdom of crowds long before social media."

"AMW" had another thing going for it. No matter how aggressively the show led a fight to drain the nation's swampland of depravity, there was no danger it would ever run dry. "AMW" has content guaranteed to keep going forever.

Anyone other than Walsh might have received the news that "AMW" was being cut down with a measure of relief. After a quarter-century immersed in the dark side of humanity while keeping up a punishing schedule, he might reasonably welcome a respite now, at age 65.

But he's not about to slow down.

"We're getting better at it," he said of the collective effort he and his show display. "I got better at it, smarter at it, tougher."

Walsh said there will be a couple more episodes to do for the network.

Meanwhile, he'll be talking to Twentieth Television, the network's studio arm, about possible new outlets for the show.

"I think this show could go into syndication big-time," he said. "And I'll do those specials, because I love the network. Who else would give the father of a murdered child a chance to host a revolutionary reality show?"

Then he had to get off the phone. He was needed onstage at the presentation.

"Television is a business and I understand that," Walsh said in parting. "But you never know: We came back once, stronger than ever. ... I'm not ready to throw in the towel."
- And so is exploiting a child for ones own personal financial gain, IMO.


CA - California Bill Would Force Change to Facebook Privacy Settings

Original Article

Once again, Big Brother wanting to do the job of parents instead of parents being parents! Also, children under 13 are not suppose to be on Facebook in the first place. I think kids should be allowed on social networks, if they are aware of the dangers and smart enough to understand, otherwise they should not be on Facebook.

05/16/2011

A new bill proposed in California could force Facebook and other social networking sites to strip out personal information for children at a parent's request.

SB 242 (PDF) - also known as the Social Networking Privacy Act -- would require Facebook and others to carefully police which pieces of information on individuals under age 18 are accessible to the public. It would also provide a means for concerned parents to demand that a site take down their children's information, or face stiff fines as high as $10,000.

It's all wrapped behind the bill's main provision, which would establish privacy settings when a user first joins the network, rather than somewhere down the line.

"You shouldn't have to sign in and give up your personal information before you get to the part where you say, 'Please don't share my personal information,'" Sen. Ellen Corbett (D-San Leandro), who introduced a revised version of the legislation on May 2, told the San Francisco Chronicle.
- You don't!  You can chose to supply or not supply your personal information.  This just shows how little legislature knows about social networks or technology.

Corbett worries that the default settings on some sites make photos and biographical and family information available to everyone on the Internet after a user registers, unless the user changes those privacy settings.
- Well, she is wrong!

But that seemingly innocuous requirement has some far-ranging ramifications.

The bill "would force users to make decisions about privacy and visibility of all information well before they even used the service for the first time, and in such a manner that they are less likely to pay attention and process the information," said Tammy Cota, the executive director of the Internet Alliance trade association that includes Google, eHarmony, Match.com, Facebook and other companies, in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
- So, they are going after Facebook only?  What about the other sites mention above?

And Facebook itself, which has wrestled with the issue of privacy over the years, isn't exactly happy with the bill.
- I'm sure they are not, and they should fight it in court.  It's a Constitutional right to privacy, which the user has the ability to hide or not hide the information, it's up to them.  Although, I do agree, all sites should, by their own accord, not government mandates, make all info private in the first place and a user can make it public if they so chose.

Spokesman Andrew Noyes told the Chronicle that "any legislative or regulatory proposal must honor users’ expectations in the contexts in which they use online services and promote the innovation that fuels the growth of the Internet economy. This legislation is a serious threat both to Facebook’s business in California and to meaningful California consumers’ choices about use of personal data."


GA - Former cop (Kevin Head) pleads guilty to sex crime

Original Article

05/16/2011

By Alexis Stevens

A former Atlanta police officer will spend two years in prison for sexually assaulting a woman while on duty.

Kevin Head, 32, pleaded guilty Monday to charges of sodomy and violation of oath of office, Fulton County District Attorney Paul Howard said. Upon his release from prison, Head will serve eight years' probation.

Head was patrolling an area of Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard on June 15, 2004, when he offered to drive a 44-year-old woman to a MARTA station, Howard said.

The woman accepted but instead of driving her to the train station, Head detoured to an empty warehouse a short distance away. There, the officer groped the victim and demanded oral sex from her in his patrol car.

Head cleaned himself with a piece of notebook paper, which was later used as evidence, Howard said. He then took the woman to the MARTA station and gave her $3 for fare. The woman reported the incident to police.

Head, who began his employment as an Atlanta officer in 2000, resigned in 2006 while under administrative investigation.


KS - Kansas Just Got Tougher on Sex Offenders

Original Article

05/16/2011

By Terra Hall

LEAWOOD - Kansas last week became the fifth state in the nation to adopt The Adam Walsh Act, named after the murdered son of America's Most Wanted host John Walsh. The new law aims to crack down on sex offenders, and officials say that they hope that it helps keep people across the state safer.
- It won't!

Rep. Pat Colloton
"I believe we have increased safety. We've reduced the likelihood of recidivism by sex offenders in Kansas," said Kansas State Rep. Pat Colloton, R- Leawood. She says that the murder of Ali Kemp just a mile from her home made her want to do more to make the community safer.
- I have not seen anything about this being a sexual crime, yet instead of cracking down on murderers, they go after sex offenders?

She says that the new law lets convicts know that Kansas takes sex crimes seriously.
- What about murderers?

"Instead of reporting three times a year, they must now report four times a year. Instead of having 14 days to report, which is the current law, they will have only three days to report if they move, if they travel, if they go to a different school or if they change jobs," said Colloton.

The new law is also tougher on offenders who don't keep law enforcement privy to their whereabouts. Ohio, South Dakota, Florida and Delaware have already signed the bill into law, and the rest of the nation has until July 27th to adopt The Adam Walsh Act, or risk losing federal funding.
- And they apparently have not investigate it much, because it will cost MORE to comply with the extortion laws, that to now.

Gov. Sam Brownback
"We have created an aggravated failure to report crime. If you fail to report for more than six months and you are obviously an absconder who is trying to duck reporting, and we catch you, you will go to prison for a very long time, for several years," said Colloton.

Kansas Governor Sam Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law this week. It will retroactively go into effect on July 1, 2011.
- A retroactive law is an unconstitutional law (ex post facto).

"We've made Kansas a very unfriendly place for sex offenders, which is in part our intention," said Colloton.
- Yes, that is obvious, but what about murderers?


FL - Strengthened Sexual Offender Law on Tuesday's New Port Richey City Council Agenda

Original Article

If people live near this place, and are ex-offenders or family members, you need to attend this meeting and voice your opinion.

05/16/2011

By John Haughey

Proposed revision specially requires those convicted of sexual crimes in other states to comply with city residency prohibitions

New Port Richey has one of Florida's most restrictive residency ordinances for registered sexual offenders, but the city's law doesn't specifically require newcomers convicted of sexual crimes in other states to comply.

That oversight is addressed in a proposed revision of the city's 2005 sexual offender residency ordinance, which will be presented to the City Council when it meets at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 17, in City Hall, 5919 Main St.

The revision also updates the city ordinance's definition of sexual offender and sexual predator to be consistent with changes in state statutes made in the last six years.

Florida law prohibits those convicted of certain sexual crimes against children from living within 1,000 feet of any school, day care center, church, park or playground.

New Port Richey is among more than 60 municipalities in the state that have expanded that buffer zone to 2,500 feet.

The city's 2005 ordinance reads: "It shall be unlawful for any person who has been convicted of a violation of F.S., §§ 794.011, 800.04, 827.071 or 847.0145, regardless of whether adjudication has been withheld, in which the victim of the offense was less than sixteen (16) years of age, to reside within two thousand five hundred (2,500) feet of any school, day care center, library, church, park (including linear parks), or playground."
- This is not exactly true.  The law, if I understand it right, affects ALL sex offenders, not just those who had child victims under 16.

The ordinance applies only to offenses committed after Oct. 1, 2004.

On March 15, city resident Tom Harris, a father of three children, claimed there are several registered "sexual predators" living "across the street" from Gulf Middle School, and that the city was either not enforcing its residency prohibitions for those convicted of sexual crimes or needed to revise its ordinance.

New Port Richey Police Chief Jeffrey Harrington said the city would review state statues and the city's ordinance to ensure "we are up to date." Interim Deputy City Attorney Susan Churuti agreed to update the ordinance if necessary.

Churuti's proposed revision specifically requires "people convicted of similar (sexual) offenses in other jurisdictions" to comply with the ordinance's 2,500-foot prohibition, and expands the city's law to include updated state statute classifications of those designated as sexual offenders and sexual predators.

First-time offenders would be charged with a third-degree felony and incur a $500 fine and a 60-day jail sentence. Subsequent violations double the penalties.


UK - Police officer (Philip Strolin) jailed over child porn

Original Article

05/16/2011

By Camilla Goodman

A police officer who downloaded thousands of indecent images of children was jailed for eight months last week.

PC Philip Strolin, 50, who worked as roads policing officer for Thames Valley police, was arrested by colleagues last November after they raided his home in Hampden Avenue, Chesham, and found thousands of images of children on his laptop and a desktop computer.

Strolin resigned from the force in January after being charged with possessing 6,893 images of children and 12 specimen counts of making indecent images, Swindon Crown Court heard on Friday (May 13).

The father-of-two had served as a police officer for 22 years after working in the army for 13 years.

Sentencing, his Honour Deputy Circuit Judge Boothman told him: ''It's very sad to see someone like you in the dock facing these serious offences. I fully accept that you are a fine police officer."

"You knew what you were doing was illegal and you must have known that this sort of offence does encourage the abuse of young children. I do accept that your court appearance has had a devastating effect on you and your family and I bear that in mind. Having said that, I can see no reason to defect from the sentencing guidelines.''

He ordered that Strolin's computer equipment should be destroyed.

The former police officer was made to sign the Sex Offender's Register at a previous court hearing.

A forensic examination of a tower computer and a laptop found more than 6,000 indecent images, with the 'vast majority' being at level one - the least serious. A total of 99 were at level two, 58 at level three and more than 200 level four - the second highest level.

Colin Meek, prosecuting, said: ''There were a number of programs which are on the computer, which he used to erase internet history and images and there is no history on the computer. It has been erased. There is evidence, however, that images had been downloaded to external sources.''

He added that no such devices had been found.

Claire Evans, mitigating, said that Strolin's life had been 'devastated'' by his offences and he had been cut off from his family.

His wife of 26 years left him and moved to the North of England and only one of his adult daughters would speak to him, she said.

She added: ''He is 50 years of age and in my submission I would describe him as a broken man."


OK - Oklahoma's violent offenders registry growing quickly

Original Article

This is a start to an all criminals registry, but, they only include a few crimes. Why not all criminals?

05/16/2011

By NICOLE MARSHALL

It may not be as well-known as the state's Sex Offender Registry, but Oklahoma's Violent Crime Offender Registry has grown exponentially since it took effect nearly seven years ago.

At least 400 violent offenders are registered in the state and about 53 in Tulsa, authorities said.

The Department of Corrections posts the registry of violent offenders on its website. This week, Tulsa police decided to make a local list available on the Internet, even though it is not required by law, said Sgt. John Adams said. The local registry should be online soon.

"It is definitely growing. We are expecting it to double over the next year and for it to just to keep growing," Adams said. "They are starting to get out and register and every month we see more."

The law was passed in 2004 with the intent of creating registries that would be open for public inspection.
- Vigilantes as well.

Anyone who is convicted or receives a deferred or suspended sentence for a violent crime is required to register with the Department of Corrections and the local law enforcement agency. The crimes specified in the law include murder, manslaughter, shooting with intent to kill, assault with intent to kill, assault, battery and bombing.

Violent offenders remain on the list for 10 years, but those who are classified as habitual violent offenders - those convicted of subsequent violent crimes - will stay on the list for life, according to the law.

Since the law took effect, 586 people have registered as violent offenders. About 400 offenders are considered active because the rest have moved to another state or died, DOC spokesman Jerry Massie said.

The Mary Rippy Violent Crime Offenders Registration Act is named for an 89-year-old Wewoka woman who was found strangled to death in 2003. [name withheld], a neighbor who had served time for first-degree manslaughter and felonious possession of a firearm, was convicted of first-degree murder.

Neither Rippy nor her daughters were aware of [name withheld]'s violent past.

Most of the offenders that Tulsa has registered were convicted of shooting with intent to kill or assault since the sentences for those crimes average about five to seven years and they have been released from prison since the law took effect, Adams said.

The registry can be a helpful tool for officers to keep track of violent offenders, Adams said. Armed robbers are not on the list - but probably should be, he said.
- The registry is nothing but an online shaming list, or hit-list for those wishing to do harm to the people on the list.  The police already have access to all this information, it's called a computer, which they have in their office and police cruisers.

At its current size, the Violent Crime Offender Registry does not cause much more work for police. One reason may be because there are no residency restrictions for the violent offenders like there are for the sex offenders.
- Why not? Sex offenders are less likely to commit another related crime, while other violent offenders are more likely to. Doesn't make much sense to me.

Both the DOC and the Tulsa police say that they do not get many requests from the public about the violent offender registries.
- Mainly because the moral panic has not been spread by the politicians, media and police, yet!

Most inquiries that the DOC gets are about the Sex Offender Registry, Massie said. At this point, it is a far larger list, with more than 6,000 sex offenders tracked by authorities.