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Woman's Torso Found in Niagara River Sparks Homicide Probe

WARNING: This story contains details that some readers may find disturbing
Image
© David Duprey/Associated Press
Niagara Police pulled a woman's torso from the Niagara River between the Maid of the Mist and the Rainbow Bridge on Thursday.
Canada - A woman's torso has been recovered from the lower Niagara River, and police say her death was a result of homicide.

Niagara Regional Police said the torso was spotted floating in the river on Wednesday afternoon.

Const. Derek Watson told CBC News in a telephone interview that "citizens saw what they believed to be a torso floating in the lower Niagara River between the Maid of the Mist and the Rainbow Bridge."

When pulled from the water, the torso was missing its arms, legs and head, Watson said.

Preliminary results from a post-mortem examination have determined that the victim is "a middle-aged Caucasian female," police reported in a news release on Thursday.

The news release said the victim had a pierced navel and "at least one caesarean section and a tubal ligation procedure."

Sherlock

Texas surgeon accused of hiring man to kill doctor dating his ex charged with capital murder

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon, David Neal Shepard
© Lubbock Police Department
Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon (left) and David Neal Shepard
Lubbock, Texas - A plastic surgeon was charged with capital murder Thursday after prosecutors said he hired a man to kill another doctor who was dating his ex-girlfriend and paid for the murder using silver bars.

Dr. Thomas Michael Dixon of Amarillo, along with the accused gunman, David Neal Shepard, were each indicted on capital murder charges in the July death of Dr. Joseph Sonnier III, who was found fatally shot and stabbed in his home. Both men are each being held in lieu of a $10 million bond in the Lubbock County Jail.

An arrest warrant affidavit suggests a love triangle involving Dixon, Sonnier and Dixon's ex-girlfriend, who was dating Sonnier. Sonnier's family members have said he had told them that his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend had been causing problems. The woman's name isn't included in court documents.

District Attorney Matt Powell said prosecutors haven't decided whether to seek the death penalty.

Dixon's two attorneys and Shepard's public defender all declined comment Thursday. Court records describe Shepard as Dixon's business associate but don't provide details about how the men knew each other.

Sheriff

Police Brutality? Man Kicked by Cop Now Faces Own Charges for Stalking Roseville Girlfriend

But man's ex-girlfriend had little sympathy. "I'm a victim of his brutality every day," she maintained.

A YouTube video of a St. Paul police officer macing and kicking a man during an arrest for stalking a Roseville woman has gone viral.

The video is making news across the country, prompting St. Paul Police to launch a brutality investigation and suspend an officer, Jesse Zilge. (Note: Video contains obscenities and violence.)


At the same time, Eric Hightower, 30 was charged Thursday with aggravated stalking, terroristic threats and fourth-degree criminal damage to property, according to the Pioneer Press, for harassing his 20-year-old ex-girlfriend.

Hightower's girlfriend told a WCCO-AM reporter, in an interview conducted near her Roseville home, that Highwater had violated a protection order she had obtained against him.

Stormtrooper

Police Brutality! Woman Gets Body-Slammed To Pavement (TWICE) By Los Angeles Cops

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A 34-year-old registered nurse and mother was brutally body-slammed to the pavement by two male Los Angeles Police Department officers after being pulled over for talking on her cellphone, ABC4 reports.

Michelle Jordan's (pictured) Aug. 21 takedown was caught on surveillance video from a Del Taco restaurant, not too far from a where she was stopped. The video shows her stepping out of her vehicle after she parks - a move that, traditionally, is not advised. It is commonly understood that a person who is pulled over should stay seated in their car with the ignition turned off and their hands placed firmly on the wheel to show they are not an immediate threat.

"She made some unwise moves," said her attorney Sy Nazif. "But certainly nothing that warranted a physical assault from the LAPD."


Cell Phone

Colorado Shooting Suspect May Have Called University before Rampage

James Holmes

James Holmes during his first court appearance on July 23. Was he 'greenbaumed'?
Accused Colorado gunman James Holmes may have phoned a University of Colorado operator just nine minutes before the shooting at a midnight screening of The Dark Knight Rises that killed 12 people, a defense attorney said on Thursday.

Holmes' attorney, Tamara Brady, raised the possibility of such a call during a pretrial hearing in the case while questioning Dr. Lynne Fenton, a University of Colorado psychiatrist who had treated Holmes before the July movie house massacre.

"Did you know that James Holmes called that number nine minutes before the shooting started?" Brady asked Fenton, referring to a number for a campus operator.

Fenton responded that she did not know.

Holmes, a former neuroscience graduate student, is accused of opening fire on July 20 at a midnight screening of the recent Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. In addition to those who died, 58 people were wounded in the attack.

Prosecutors have painted a picture of Holmes as a young man whose once promising academic career was in tatters as he failed graduate school oral board exams in June and one of his professors suggested he may not have been a good fit for his competitive PhD program.

Comment: See also:
"A Coordinated Attack": July 20th Colorado Shooting Anomalies
FBI and DHS Warned in May of Terrorists Planning to Attack Movie Theaters
Suspect 'Eyewitnesses' - From 9/11 to the Colorado Massacre
Nurse Who "Saw Everything" At Hospital After Suspicious Batman Shooting Found Dead at 46


Telephone

"No snitching' Trend Ignored By Fed Up Residents

Hunting Park resident Darnell Mann still remembers the day last summer when a shootout at the corner store at North 27th and West Sterner streets brought a bullet flying into the living room of his home.

"The store next door, the whole glass of the front door was shot out and the bullet went into the wall adjacent to my house," he said. Pockmarks in the aluminum siding and a hole ripped through the blinds are tangible scars that daily remind him of the violence. "I have security bars on my front window, so a bullet ricocheted off that and came into my living room, where my granddaughter plays at, and kind of fell on the floor." His daughter and granddaughter have since moved out of the neighborhood, fearing for the child's safety.

USA

Corn Madness: A Russian Immigrant's View of Collapsing America

Another guest post. Translated from the Russian by Your Humble Narrator. It's a letter sent in by one young, once optimistic Russian who finds himself marooned in some blighted Boston exurb in southern New Hampshire.

burger
Dear Dmitry,

I hope you don't mind that this is in Russian. I think that this way I can be more completely honest. I am a relatively recent graduate of one of the many faceless post-Soviet institutions of higher learning, with a degree in philosophy. Last year I moved to the USA and married an American woman.

The question of when the modern capitalist system is going to collapse has interested me since my student years, and I have approached it from various directions: from the commonplace conspiracy theories to the serious works of Oswald Spengler and Noam Chomsky. Unfortunately, I still can't fathom what it is that is keeping this system going.

Question

Padre Pio Shrine in South Jersey Gains Reputation for Miracles

Padre Pio Shrine_1
© Dave Griffin
Bonnie McCann, from Galloway, tell a story of a 47 year old cancer patient that recovered from an infection after touching a Padre Pio Relic at the start of the Wednesday evening Rosary at the Padre Pio Shrine in Landisville.
Buena Borough - Hundreds gathered Wednesday night at the roadside shrine to St. Padre Pio, as they do every week.

A brother in a long beard and a brown robe spoke about faith over the roar of passing motorcycles. Attendees bowed their heads, some rubbing rosary beads. Others waited in line to touch the glove relic.

Marie D'Andrea, who founded the shrine, travels to local hospitals with the relic, which she claims brings miracles. She received the glove, which she said was worn by the Italian monk, from a priest during a trip to Italy.

"He said, 'This glove is worth more than your life. You need to really take care of it.' So I'm on top of it," she said. "I'm never going to get another one like it. And we've had so many healings from it."

She keeps a book filled with pictures and letters of claimed healings, which she calls the miracle book.

Bonnie McCann, of Galloway Township, spoke to the group about her most recent experience with the relic. Her friend, a 47-year-old man, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. It was removed and he developed infections. McCann asked D'Andrea if they could bring the relic to the man.

"As true and loving as she is, Marie said, 'Where is he? Let's go right now,'" McCann told the group.

The man was in Philadelphia, so D'Andrea let McCann take the relic herself.

"I was so honored and I felt so blessed, because quite honestly Marie couldn't tell you my name, but she knew my face," McCann said.

Bomb

China coal mine gas explosion kills 19 miners and traps dozens

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© AFP/Getty Images
Rescuers prepare to head to search for survivers at the coal mine near Panzhihua.
A gas explosion at a coal mine in south-west China has killed 19 miners and trapped dozens more, state media has reported.

The Xiaojiawan coal mine in Sichuan province's coal-rich Panzhihua city exploded on Wednesday evening with 152 miners inside, Central China Television (CCTV) said. Rescuers recovered the bodies of 16 miners who died from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Three other miners died at a hospital after being pulled to the surface, CCTV said. It did not provide details on the cause of death of those miners. CCTV said 28 miners remained trapped.

Owners of Zhengjin Industry and Trade, the company that owns the mine, were in police custody for investigation, the Panzhihua city government said in a statement posted online.

House

Connecticut house explosion kills one, injures two


One man was killed and two others were critically injured after an apparent propane explosion at a home in Connecticut Wednesday.

Police said the homeowner, John Wilkinson, 46, called his friend, Anthony Fratino, 47, to help fix a propane leak in the water heater in the basement of his home in New Milford, Conn.

The explosion happened around 6:40 p.m., according to reports.

Fratino was killed instantly, officials said. Wilkinson and Fratino's 9-year-old son, Nicholas, who was at the home at the time, were rushed to Danbury Hospital in Danbury Conn., with severe lacerations and burns.

Nicholas, police said, will soon be transported to a hospital in Boston, more than 150 miles away.