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The USA is the most corrupt country in the world and I have 10,000 posts that point heavily to that fact…

Remains found in Long Island marsh believed to be missing woman’s December 14, 2011

After a yearlong search, police investigators in New York announced Tuesday they believe they have discovered the skeletal remains of a missing woman who vanished last December after fleeing a client’s home in a panic one of several deaths police believe may be linked to a serial killer.

Suffolk County Police Commissioner Richard Dormer said searchers found the bones Tuesday morning in a dense wetland thicket, not far from where Shannan Gilbert disappeared. He said authorities believe it is Gilbert’s corpse.

Police began searching for the 24-year-old woman last December when they came upon the first of what would become 10 homicide victims’ remains. They were strewn along several miles of thicket along a parkway leading to Jones Beach.

Police believe a serial killer is responsible for those deaths. They think Gilbert may have drowned accidentally while fleeing a client’s home for an unclear reason.

Dormer said the location of the skeleton suggests that Gilbert may have been trying to flee across the wetland to a causeway. He suggested that she had become hopelessly entangled in the brush, which he called a “tough, desolate, tangled mess.”

“The terrain would have made it impossible,” for her to get through to the road,” Dormer said. “Our people who were in there over the last few days had to cut through that brush and bramble area, before she was located.”

Gilbert was last seen meeting a client for sex in Oak Beach. Last week, authorities renewed the search after finding some of her personal belongings, including her cellphone, jeans, shoes and pocketbook with ID, in a marshy wetland adjacent to Oak Beach.

Officers using heavy earth-moving equipment have been excavating the site for the past week.

Relatives of others whose bodies were found along a nearby beach highway were holding a vigil Tuesday to mark the anniversary of when their loves ones’ remains were found.

A police officer and his cadaver dog were following up on Gilbert’s disappearance when they came across a set of human remains on 11 December 2010. Two days later, three more bodies were found. By April, the total had risen to 10 bodies, all strewn along several miles of Ocean Parkway, on a barrier island south of Long Island that leads to Jones Beach.

Authorities at first believed several people could be involved, but Suffolk County police commissioner Richard Dormer has said recently that detectives now suspect one serial killer is likely responsible for all 10 deaths because the victims all had some connection to the sex trade.

The victims included eight women, a man and a toddler. Police believe the women were prostitutes and suspect the man was involved in the sex trade because he was found wearing women’s clothing. The toddler is believed to be the child of one of the prostitutes. Only five of the 10 victims have been identified, and police have not commented on any possible suspects.

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Jury weighs life-or-death fate of Connecticut murderer December 6, 2011

New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) — Jurors deciding whether to sentence a man convicted of murdering a Connecticut mother and two daughters to life in prison or to death are set to resume deliberations on Tuesday.

The five men and seven women on the jury began deliberating on Monday, but ended the day without a decision.

Joshua Komisarjevsky was convicted in October of 17 charges, including three counts of murder, for the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit.

Komisarjevsky was also convicted on four counts of kidnapping and charges of burglary, arson and assault in connection with the deadly home invasion.

On Friday, in a last-ditch attempt to spare his client’s life, a lawyer for Komisarjevsky described him as “damaged” and suffering from a mood disorder.

Steven Hayes, the first defendant to stand trial in the case, was sentenced to death in December 2010 after a jury convicted him of 16 of 17 charges.

Prosecutors had argued that Hayes and Komisarjevsky went into the Petit home, beat and tied up Dr. William Petit, raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before attempting to flee. The two daughters, who were both tied to their beds, died of smoke inhalation; William Petit managed to escape.

Prosecutor Michael Dearington described the ordeal as hours of “terror that no person should endure.” He also contrasted the defense’s discussion of Komisarjevsky’s family history with the status of William Petit’s family.

“When I looked at the Komisarjevsky family photos, I realized that Dr. Petit doesn’t have any family photos anymore, because they were burned,” Dearington said.

He described what he called the heinous nature of the crime, insisting that a troubled past couldn’t justify Komisarjevsky’s actions.

“How many people do you have to kill before the death penalty is appropriate?” he asked.

Throughout the trial, defense lawyer Walter Bansley insisted that Komisarjevsky “wasn’t involved in the killings to the extent that Mr. Hayes was.”

He then recapped what he described as Komisarjevsky’s sordid family history and ongoing battle with his personal demons. His client, Bansley said, was a “dark kid” who later got caught up in a life of crime, especially burglaries.

“Joshua was a damaged young man … and he remains that way to this day,” the attorney said.

Komisarjevsky was then quoted from a letter to his mother, saying he was sorry “for not being the boy you wanted me to be” and “a loser.” Bansley insisted his client poses no danger as long as he is in prison, where he creates art and studies Latin.

“Josh is not a future danger to anyone, and you really shouldn’t consider killing him,” Bansley said. “There is no reason to kill him.”


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Jury set to decide life-or-death fate of Connecticut murderer December 5, 2011

New Haven, Connecticut (CNN) — A jury will deliberate Monday whether to sentence a man convicted of murdering a Connecticut mother and two daughters to death or to life in prison.

Joshua Komisarjevsky was convicted in October of 17 charges, including three counts of murder, for the deaths of Jennifer Hawke-Petit and her daughters, 17-year-old Hayley Petit and 11-year-old Michaela Petit.

Komisarjevsky was also convicted on four counts of kidnapping and charges of burglary, arson and assault in connection with the deadly home invasion.

On Friday, a lawyer for Komisarjevsky described his client as “damaged” and suffering from a mood disorder during a last-ditch attempt to spare his client’s life.

Steven Hayes, the first defendant to stand trial in the case, was sentenced to death in December 2010 after a jury convicted him of 16 of 17 charges.

Prosecutors had argued that Hayes and Komisarjevsky went into the Petit home, beat and tied up Dr. William Petit, raped and strangled his wife, molested one of their daughters and set the house on fire before attempting to flee. The two daughters, who were both tied to their beds, died of smoke inhalation, though William Petit managed to escape.

Prosecutor Michael Dearington described the ordeal as a night of “terror that no person should endure.” He also contrasted the defense’s discussion of Komisarjevsky’s family history with the status of William Petit’s family.

“When I looked at the Komisarjevsky family photos, I realized that Dr. Petit doesn’t have any family photos anymore, because they were burned,” Dearington said.

He described what he called the heinous nature of the crime, insisting that a troubled past couldn’t justify Komisarjevsky’s actions.

“How many people do you have to kill before the death penalty is appropriate?” he asked.

Throughout the trial, defense lawyer Walter Bansley insisted that Komisarjevsky “wasn’t involved in the killings to the extent that Mr. Hayes was.”

He then recapped what he described as Komisarjevsky’s sordid family history and ongoing battle with his personal demons. His client, Bansley said, was a “dark kid” who later got caught up in a life of crime, especially burglaries.

“Joshua was a damaged young man … and he remains that way, to this day,” the attorney said.

Komisarjevsky was then quoted in a letter to his mother, saying he was sorry “for not being the boy you wanted me to be” and “a loser.” Bansley then insisted that his client posed no danger as long as he is in prison, where he creates art and studies Latin.

“Josh is not a future danger to anyone, and you really shouldn’t consider killing him,” Bansley said. “There is no reason to kill him.”


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Sandusky admits showers with boys November 15, 2011

Jerry Sandusky is facing 40 criminal charges

The former Penn State coach at the centre of a child abuse investigation that has shocked the US has admitted in an interview showering with young boys, but denies being a paedophile.

Jerry Sandusky told NBC News that he had “horsed around with kids”, hugged them and touched their legs, but was innocent of the charges against him.

In a phone interview, he said he should not have showered with the children.

Mr Sandusky, 67, is accused of abusing at least eight boys over 15 years.

According to grand jury testimony, a witness saw him raping a boy as young as 10 in the Penn State showers in 2002.

‘Sexually attracted?’

In an interview with NBC News’ Rock Center programme broadcast on Monday night, Mr Sandusky said: “I have horsed around with kids. I have showered after workouts.

“I have hugged them and I have touched their legs without intent of sexual contact.”

When asked if he had done anything wrong, he said: “I shouldn’t have showered with those kids.”

Continue reading the main story

Child abuse in America

Every five hours a child dies from abuse or neglect in the US.

The latest government figures show an estimated 1,770 children were killed as a result of maltreatment in 2009.

A recent congressional report concludes the real number could be nearer 2,500.

In fact, America has the worst child abuse record in the industrialised world. Why? The BBC investigates.

Asked if he was a paedophile, he said: “No”.

The former defensive co-ordinator for the Penn State Nittany Lions was also asked if he felt sexual attraction to underage boys.

“Sexually attracted?” Mr Sandusky said. “You know, I enjoy young people. I love to be around them. But no, I’m not sexually attracted to young boys.”

In an interview with CNN on Monday evening, Mr Sandusky’s lawyer, Joe Amendola, described his client as a “big overgrown kid” and said athletes have a culture of showering together.

Mr Amendola said his client had been “destroyed” by the charges – that bricks had been thrown through the windows of his home.

The lawyer added: “We have an answer for every allegation.”

Mr Sandusky was formerly assistant to Penn State head coach Joe Paterno, who was fired last week amid criticism he did not do enough about the allegations.

On Monday, Mr Paterno’s name was taken off the Stagg-Paterno Championship Trophy, also known as the Big Ten.

Meanwhile, the president of Mr Sandusky’s charity for disadvantaged children resigned. Jack Raykovitz said he hoped his exit would help restore faith in the organisation.

Mr Sandusky – who was arrested a week ago – allegedly groomed victims through the Second Mile, which he founded in 1977.

He retired from Penn State in 1999, but continued to use the university’s facilities for his work with the charity.

It emerged on Sunday that the judge who granted Mr Sandusky unsecured bail had donated to the charity and worked as a volunteer for the group.

State College District Judge Leslie Dutchcot did not immediately respond to questions about whether she would recuse herself from the case.

The Penn State scandal also claimed the job last week of the university’s president, Graham Spanier.

Meanwhile, Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and senior vice-president Gary Schultz deny charges they covered up the alleged abuse.

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Herman Cain accuser breaks silence to tell of ‘inappropriate behaviours’ November 5, 2011

One of the women at the centre of the Herman Cain sex row has broken her silence to allege she had been subjected to a “series of inappropriate behaviours and unwanted advances” by the Republican presidential candidate.

The woman issued the statement through her lawyer, Joel Bennett, after being released from a confidentiality clause in a financial settlement.

Her claim of being the victim of several incidents appears to be at odds with Cain’s version earlier in the week. Cain, one of the frontrunners in the Republican race for the White House, said he could recall only one incident, and suggested all he had done was to compare the woman’s height to his wife’s, and raise his hand innocently to his chin.

The woman’s statement, and one from the National Restaurant Association, where the two worked at the time, leaves Cain damaged – but it could have been worse.

The woman opted to remain anonymous, a move that will help Cain. If she had been prepared to speak in front of the television cameras, her appearance might have tipped the balance among some supporters willing at present to give him the benefit of the doubt.

She also declined to provide details of the alleged incidents.

Cain received a boost from the latest polls which showed him effectively neck-and-neck with Mitt Romney in the battle to be the Republican nominee against Barack Obama for the White House next November. An ABC/ Washington Post poll, which puts Romney on 24% and Cain on 23%, was taken after the row broke on Sunday, and suggests that so far conservatives have not turned against him.

But there was an underlying threat for Cain in the polls that indicated support for him may turn out to be soft. Four in 10 of Republicans surveyed, when asked about sexual harassment allegations, described it as a serious matter.

Politico reported on Sunday that two women had complained of harassment by Cain while he was chief executive of the restaurant association in the late 1990s, and each had received a financial settlement. A third woman has since come foward to make similar complaints. Cain denies sexual harassment.

Bennett, in the statement issued Friday on behalf of one of the women, said he had been retained in 1999 by a woman “concerning several instances of sexual harassment” against the then chief executive officer.

“She made a complaint in good faith about a series of inappropriate behaviours and unwanted advances from the CEO. Those complaints were resolved in an agreement with her acceptance of a monetary settlement,” Bennett said.

“She and her husband see no value in revisiting this matter now, nor in discussing this matter further, publicly or privately. In fact it would be extremely painful to do so.”

He added: “She is grateful that she was able to return to her government career, where she is extremely happy serving the American people to the best of her ability. She looks forward to continuing to work hard for them as we face the significant challenges that lie ahead.

“She wishes to thank the media for the restraint that they have shown, her family – especially her sisters – for their love and support, her colleagues and supervisors for their patience and forbearance and her advisors for their wise counsel, and most of all, her dear husband of 26 years for standing by her and putting up with all of this.”

The statement added: “Sexual harassment is unfortunately very much alive and with us even today, and women must fight it in all kinds of workplaces and at all levels. My client stands by the complaint she made.”

The present chief executive of the association, Dawn Sweeney, issued a separate statement saying it had waived the confidentiality restrictions.

Sweeney confirmed the complaint. “Based upon the information currently available, we can confirm that more than a decade ago, in July 1999, Mr Bennett’s client filed a formal internal complaint, in accordance with the association’s existing policies prohibiting discrimination and harassment. Mr Cain disputed the allegations in the complaint,” Sweeney said.

“The association and Mr Bennett’s client subsequently entered into an agreement to resolve the matter, without any admission of liability. Mr Cain was not a party to that agreement.”

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Cain accuser decides not to speak

Joel Bennett has been involved his client’s sexual harassment claim since 1999

A woman who made a sexual harassment complaint against Herman Cain in the 1990s will not discuss the issue or her financial settlement, her lawyer says.

Joel Bennett said that his client “sees no value in revisiting the case”.

Mr Bennett said that his client stood by her sexual harassment claim against Mr Cain, now bidding to be the Republican presidential nominee.

The National Restaurant Association, which Mr Cain headed in the 1990s, confirmed that a claim had been filed.

The association said in a statement that it had agreed to waive the confidentially agreement made as part of the settlement.

The woman filed a formal internal complaint alleging multiple instances of sexual harassment in July 1999.

“As indicated in Mr Bennett’s statement, his client prefers not to be further involved with this matter and we will respect her decision,” the association said.

The group specified that Mr Cain was not a party to the eventual settlement between the NRA and Mr Bennett’s client.

‘Smear campaign’

Allegations of misconduct against at least two women first came to light on Sunday.

Herman Cain has continued his fundraising and poll success since the allegations surfaced

Politico reported that while Mr Cain was head of the restaurant lobby group at least two women had complained of inappropriate behaviour from him.

The association reached financial agreements with the women, who left their job and were required not to speak publicly about the allegations.

Mr Cain has maintained that the allegations of sexual harassment are “baseless”.

However he did concede that, over the course of several media interviews on Monday, “it looked like I changed my story” on the issue of whether a financial agreement had been reached.

Mr Cain said initially that he was “not aware of any settlement” but gradually recalled that there had been an “agreement”.

He described an incident as an exchange with an employee in his office, commenting that the woman involved was about the same height as his wife.

On Wednesday a third former employee of the restaurant lobby group claimed she was sexually harassed by Mr Cain around the same time that the original complaint was filed, but she did formally complain.

Mr Cain has called the allegations a “smear campaign” designed to damage his recent successes in opinion polls.

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What Makes You Trust Anyone’s Investment Advice? September 30, 2011

Mitch Tuchman

It is well documented in surveys and studies by financial institutions that when we seek investment help, we make choices based upon one major criterion: trust. It all boils down to this one word. Who is giving me the advice? Can I trust them? 

If you are a hard-core do-it-yourself investor who loves to day-trade, you may trust the Motley Fool or the Daily Options Trader based upon the success of their recommendations. If you delegate your investing, you may trust your friend’s son who works at Smith Barney. You know, the one who got his Wharton MBA and plays with your kids.

[In Pictures: 6 Numbers Every Investor Should Follow.]

Conmen and Ponzi scheme operators know how to get our trust by playing with our fears and our greed. The SEC knows it can’t regulate trust, but it does regulate how advisors engender it. Thanks to laws from the 1930s, an investment advisor cannot advertise testimonials from other clients. That’s why you never see advertisements showing celebrities like Oprah crowing, “Joe Morningstar is my favorite money manager! He helped me buy this estate in Maui!” In fact, social networks are panicking many investment advisors today. We wonder: If a client “likes” you on Facebook, is he endorsing your service and leaving you open to an SEC investigation?

We may look at past performance from mutual funds for trust. But this has been proven fallacious at best; thus the fine print noting that “past performance is no indication of future results.” And as we’ve written many times, the game of performance reporting is rigged. A bad mutual fund can buy up a high-performing one and just assume the latter’s track record.

[See In Pictures: 20 Funds That Have Weathered Downturns.]

But when it gets down to it, we must trust someone or something before handing over our dough.

Unfortunately, most investors fly blindly without ever thinking through the question of, “Who should earn my trust and why?” We continually encounter investors who own a variety of mutual funds, pay enormous fees, and have no idea that they are engaged in “active” investing. They believe that if they are buying products from a large institution, then they’ll achieve their goals. We meet investors who have delegated managing their money to an individual because he was on the Barron’s “Top Financial Advisors” list.  Others find status by being able to say, “I’m a Goldman client.”   

Giving our trust is a complex emotional dynamic that we’ll leave to the shrinks to articulate. But what can we learn about trust from the smartest investors in the world? Do the trustees of Yale sit with prospective hedge fund managers, look them in the eye, and then have a discussion about who has better eye contact and a more confident handshake? No. They develop investment trust, not by emotions or instincts, but through a logical evaluation of three dimensions in the following order:

1. The process. First and foremost, smart investors invest with an investment methodology. They adhere to a philosophical approach that they believe to be true about investing. For instance, Warren Buffett fans believe in buying out-of-favor, inefficiently priced stocks and holding them until everyone else changes their opinion. At MarketRiders, we focus on finding the right asset allocation and then recommending low-cost ETFs and a consistent rebalancing protocol. Vanguard fund owners have generally bought into the idea that low fees will make them more money, so they like passive investing instead of active investing. Whether or not you know anything about investing, you need to spend some time learning about the various investing “religions” and developing your own point of view.

[See Why You Should Give ETFs a Try.]

2. The institution. Institutions come and go, as we’ve seen with Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns. A “Wall Street Legacy” is an oxymoron. The names come and go. But doing business with a firm with a culture and track record of delivering on your process is nonetheless vitally important. The firm needs to be solid and have checks and balances and high standards of compliance. Why does Vanguard have over a trillion dollars under management? Because Jack Bogle’s original vision to help working Americans by building a not-for-profit organization has remained intact. Vanguard continually lowers its fees as it adds assets, and it adheres to its process of passive investing. 

3. The person. If you have a belief in an investment process and have found an institution that embraces that process, then trusting the individual with whom you work becomes the last piece of the equation. You can make sure the individual has not been sanctioned by regulators and ask for background information. But make this is the last piece, not the first, for establishing trust. Trusting people and institutions before you’ve first developed a core belief about investing gets the whole thing backwards. Spend the time to understand the various investment philosophies and then develop your own point of view. Then look for people and institutions to help you implement it.

Mitch Tuchman is CEO and founder of MarketRiders, an online investment advisory and management service helping Americans invest for retirement. MarketRiders gives investors greater peace of mind knowing that they are leveraging the best thinking of Nobel Laureates and the investing methods used by the world’s most elite institutions and wealthiest families. MarketRiders is on the investor’s side, helping reduce investment costs and risks, and increasing retirement savings.

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