Society's ChildS

Bizarro Earth

Zoo blames idiot mom for death of her 2-year old son mauled by wild dogs

The Pittsburgh Zoo where a two-year-old toddler was torn apart last Nov. 4 when his mother accidentally dropped him into a pit of wild dogs is saying the boy's death was the mother's fault and that the zoo did nothing wrong.

Maddox Derkosh was killed when his mother, Elizabeth Derkosh, lifted him up over a railing designed to keep zoo patrons from stumbling into an exhibit of Lycaon pictus (the so-called "Painted Dogs").

Because the boy had poor vision, she raised him over the four-foot high railing where he could see the dogs better. But she lost her grip on the child. Maddox slipped out her hands and over the rail, fell 14 feet, bounced off the protective netting over the African dog exhibit and into the pit.

Eleven of the dogs descended on the toddler, mauling him to death.


37 dead in fire at Russian psychiatric hospital

© AFPRescuers take away a body bag with a victim of a fire near the charring remains of a burned out psychiatric hospital in the village of Luka in the northwest Russian Novgorod region on Friday.
A pre-dawn fire swept through a Russian psychiatric hospital Friday, killing 37 people, Russia's top investigative agency said. Authorities had long warned that the mostly wooden building dating to the 19th century was unsafe.

It was the second such deadly blaze in less than five months, underlining the widespread neglect of fire safety standards in Russia.

The fire in the one-story hospital in the village of Luka, about 450 km northwest of Moscow, erupted around 3 a.m. Friday and quickly engulfed the structure, the Emergency Situations Ministry said. The Investigative Committee said rescuers so far have recovered 10 bodies. It did not explain how it confirmed about the other deaths.

The agency added the blaze was apparently sparked by a patient.

Eye 2

Giant python kills pet dog, Miami-Dade, Florida

Florida wildlife officials are expanding efforts to find and kill African rock pythons in Miami-Dade County after a 10-foot-snake strangled a 60-pound Siberian Husky.

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue received a 911 call at 10:05 p.m. on August 30. The caller said a python was wrapped around the neck of their Husky named Duke. Six minutes later, Duke was dead.

Fire Rescue arrived on scene and killed the snake, a 10-foot-long, male, African Rock Python. It had bite marks on its back which are believed to be from the dog. The snake was sent to the University of Florida for a necropsy.

"Why worry? They don't belong here, and they are absolutely huge," said Kenneth Kyrsko, a herpetologist at the University of Florida. "These are 15-foot snakes over 150 pounds. Do you want one of those living in your backyard?"

Heart - Black

Heartless: Nevada dumps 1,500 mental patients via one-way Greyhound ticket to California

Greyhound Bus
© Gertan/Shuttertock

A new lawsuit filed by the city of San Francisco on behalf of the state of California alleges that over the past five years, the state of Nevada has dumped 1,500 mental patients onto other states by putting them them on Greyhound busses and sending them over state lines with no prior arrangements with families or other mental hospitals once they arrive.

According to the federal class action lawsuit that the city of San Francisco is spearheading, nearly all of the patients bussed to California need continuous medical care - none of which Nevada state arranged, and all of which cost the city of San Francisco at least $500,000.

"While some of the patients were given the names of shelters or told to dial '911' upon arrival in California, a substantial number were not provided any instructions or assistance in finding shelter, continued medical care, or basic necessities in the cities and counties to which they were sent," the formal complaint states.

Rawson-Neal Hospital and its administrators and staff, which include doctors, nurses and social workers, were aware their patients were indigent, living in shelters or on the streets of Las Vegas or other Nevada cities, and suffered from mental illness requiring ongoing medical care and medication, the plaintiff says.

Heart - Black

Scathing obit about abusive Nevada mother goes viral

Reno - The children of an abusive woman whose horror stories prompted Nevada to become one of the first states to allow children to sever parental ties wrote a scathing obituary that was published in the local newspaper - and has since become an Internet sensation.

The obituary opened with a harsh statement about the legacy of Marianne Theresa Johnson-Reddick: "On behalf of her children who she abrasively exposed to her evil and violent life, we celebrate her passing from this earth and hope she lives in the after-life reliving each gesture of violence, cruelty and shame that she delivered on her children."

Katherine Reddick said she wrote it about her mother, who died at a Reno nursing home Aug. 30 at the age of 78.

Now a psychology consultant for a school district outside Austin, Texas, she said she decided to share the story of their painful physical and mental abuse after consulting with her brother, Patrick Reddick. They said they grew up with four siblings in a Carson City orphanage after they were removed from their mother's home and had been estranged from her for more than 30 years.

"Everyone she met, adult or child was tortured by her cruelty and exposure to violence, criminal activity, vulgarity, and hatred of the gentle or kind human spirit," the obit said. "Our greatest wish now is to stimulate a national movement that mandates a purposeful and dedicated war against child abuse in the United States of America."

Heart - Black

Staff at Alberta long-term care home find mice nibbling dementia patient's face

© www.cbc.caFriends of Medicare allege an employee at the St. Therese Villa long-term care facility found mice nibbling on a patient with dementia.
A health-care advocacy group says a dementia patient at a long-term care home in southern Alberta is recovering after a staff member found mice nibbling at her face.

Friends of Medicare says it happened at St. Therese Villa in Lethbridge on Sept. 1.

"We found out that last Sunday ... one of the staff of that facility walked into this resident's room and found mice nibbling on her face," Sandra Azocar, executive director of Friends of Medicare, said Monday.

"The lady was in fact bitten and now she's been medically treated for that ... I'm completely horrified. I think it's beyond words. I can't imagine being that lady who had this happen to her."

The woman also has disabilities and would not have been able to move the mice off her face, Azocar said.

"She's doing OK. Emotionally it impacted her and she's on medication to prevent infection."

Azocar said a nest of mice was found in the woman's closet.

Staff at the 200-bed facility operated by Covenant Health first complained about mice about a year ago, Azocar said. She added the care centre, built in 2008, also has had a bed bug infestation for about nine months.

Arrow Up

Catholic priest punishment for lurid photographs of young girls: 50 years

Shawn F. Ratigan
© The Kansas City StarShawn F. Ratigan
The Rev. Shawn Ratigan, the Catholic priest and church pastor who repeatedly used young girls to produce child pornography, was sentenced Thursday to 50 years in federal prison.

The sentence handed down by U.S. District Judge Gary Fenner virtually ensures that Ratigan, 47, will spend the rest of his life in prison. There is no parole in the federal prison system.

Federal prosecutors portrayed Ratigan as an arrogant and reckless man who flagrantly disregarded his priestly vows, used young girls as sexual objects, and repeatedly lied to his superiors, fellow priests and police when he was found out.

"Ratigan is a danger to society because he has proven he is not amenable to supervision and is unable to control his impulses," Assistant U.S. Attorney Katharine Fincham said in a written memorandum filed before Thursday's hearing.

Before hearing his sentence, Ratigan asked the judge in front of a packed courtroom to limit his sentence to 15 years.

"I hope that you won't sentence me to a life of hell on earth," said Ratigan, who choked with emotion as he spoke. "Prison is hell, and I know I deserve 15 years. But 50 years? Come on, I don't think so."

The mother and father of one victim, who was 2 at the time that Ratigan took pictures of her, talked to the judge, too.


Javier Gonzales-Guerrero awarded $5M in settlement with city of San Jose after being shot over twenty times by police - because of toy gun

toy gun
© Unknown
A man in San Jose, California is about to get a lot of money.

The man, Javier Gonzales-Guerrero, now 27-years old, was passed out drunk on the stairs of an Extended Stay Deluxe Hotel when police approached him to get him up. Guerrero was dressed up as a surgeon for Halloween, and had a gold toy gun tucked in his waistband as part of his costume.

When authorities arrived on the scene and attempted to wake the intoxicated Guerrero, they saw the toy gun, assumed it was real, and thought that he was reaching for it. Guerrero was shot more than 20 times by the officers, suffering from many injuries and having to undergo multiple surgeries to repair his "ravaged body." He was just 25 at the time, and he miraculously survived the shooting because of the surgeries he underwent.

Guerrero filed a lawsuit with the city of San Jose not long after the incident, and the city has now settled for nearly $5 million.


EU lawmakers nominate Edward Snowden for Sakharov human rights prize

snowden mask
© Reuters/Ueslei Marcelino
Members of the European Parliament have officially nominated whistleblower and former CIA employee Edward Snowden for the prestigious prize, which celebrates freedom of thought.

Edward Snowden "deserves to be honored for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by US and European secret services," leaders of the parliament's Greens group Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Rebecca Harms said in a statement. "Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours."

Eye 2

Animal, not a man: 'I drowned my daughter in a rage'

Umair Zaib
© UnknownUmair Zaib says he drowned his daughter in a fit of rage
A man in Pakistan who confessed to drowning his one-and-a-half year old daughter says he now regrets his actions. His family says it was because he wanted a son, but it highlights the grave issue, across South Asia, of female infanticide. The BBC's Aleem Maqbool met the family in Lahore.