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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Welcome Home, Abigail Hernandez

This July, Abigail Hernandez surprised everybody. Missing nine months and presumed dead, she defied the statistical odds by surviving a brutal abduction and finding her way home again -- welcome back, Abby Hernandez. Well done.

Nine days of total seclusion later, she would stun us all once more, showing up in court to face the accused kidnapper she'd been quietly helping investigators to finger. He in chains this time; she stoical but stone-faced, and seeming so much older than the little girl pictured in her missing person poster. So much wiser than her mere 15 years.

July 29, 2014, Conway District Court, NH:  She still sees it all in her mind's eye. She still feels imprisoned in her soul. She thinks this monster standing in front of the judge's bench, who would snatch a young girl like some coveted object on a store shelf, has robbed her of more than just time. 

He's taken things she can't retrieve anymore, no matter how hard she might try. He's stolen her childhood, her naiveté, her innocence ... she might never laugh or love again.

Beside the gaunt, pale and hard-jawed Abigail Hernandez sits her stricken mother Zenya. She's overjoyed to have a long lost child at her side once more of course, but, like her traumatized daughter, she too wears a grave and tortured expression. 

Together the two solemnly watch the court proceedings unfold from the first row; both bearing an uncannily sad family resemblance and defiantly eying the lanky, shackled defendant who boldly turns to glance at them.

His name is Nathaniel Kibby, age 34, and he has a criminal rap sheet as long as he is tall, dating all the way back to when he was a teenager.

If convicted of abducting Abby Hernandez on October 9th 2013 and cruelly confining her for nearly a year in a soundproof shipping container next to his mobile home, Kibby will receive only a seven-year sentence. 

Which means the career criminal would likely serve about five years max, assuming that throughout this brief period of incarceration he at all times exhibits "good behavior."

On the other hand, if "Crazy Nate" Kibby can be linked to other eerily similar disappearances in the area, then the good people of New Hampshire could probably put him away for life...

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

EBOLA PANDEMIC? Airplanes Aid Serial Killing Virus

As killer Ebola threatens to claim the life of another leading physician stationed in Africa, world health agencies scramble to quell growing fears that hundreds may now be carrying the disease worldwide:

The virus is so lethal it has a 90-percent mortality rate and is known to be one of the most contagious on the planet. There is also no known cure.

Prior to American doctor and missionary Kent Brantly taking sick with it this past week, Patrick Sawyer, 40, also contracted the disease while in the region. But, whilst the "gravely ill" Brantly is presently in quarantine, denied permission to return to his homeland or go elsewhere for needed treatment, Sawyer was allowed to freely travel wherever he pleased.

In fact, the then highly-infectious government official managed to board a number of international flights without detection, during which he came in direct physical contact with hundreds of unsuspecting air passengers and employees.

Scarier still is that, on the last leg of his journey, Sawyer was visibly ill with fever, sweats, diarrhea, bleeding and vomiting, yet only trace amounts of sweat, feces, blood, urine, saliva or vomit are necessary for transmitting the Ebola virus to other persons

And, although upon landing, Patrick Sawyer was whisked away to a hospital where he then succumbed to the final throes of the disease, all those he could have infected before dying continued onward in their travels to different countries.

The case of Dr. Brantly, said to be on his own deathbed now, bears frightening similarities in that his wife and young children had just come to see him in Africa where he was stationed to assist in containing the runaway ebola epidemic.

They all recently returned to the United States, evidently without being subjected to a single screening and only a few days before the doctor's dire diagnosis was finally released.

In the interim, yet another American aid worker has been stricken with Ebola; this one a young female charged with the duty of decontaminating patients, operating rooms, and other parts of the medical facility where she was employed as a nurse.

Dr. Brantly's family members are apparently all in good health at the moment. However, it's still too soon to say that none of them contracted the virus during their African visit because it can take up to three weeks to become fully symptomatic.

Nevertheless, health-agency spokesmen are today adamantly insisting that America is "absolutely in no danger" of a deadly Ebola outbreak such as the one Dr. Brantly, Nurse Writebol, and their various healthcare associates were sent to address in Africa.

But that doesn't seem to make any sense, now does it?

Maybe that's why the CDC sent an Ebola alert to U.S. doctors just yesterday, in it demanding they question, test, and isolate all patients who might be infected with the killer virus...


Monday, July 28, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Abigail Hernandez Abductor Arrested

A man residing near Abigail Hernandez was arrested today and charged with felony kidnapping and confinement of the 15-year-old girl nine months ago:

A traumatized "Abby" Hernandez somehow returned to her Conway New Hampshire home last weekend in a perilously malnourished state and since then has been quietly recuperating and cooperating with authorities still working her missing person case.

Earlier in the week, based on the teen's descriptions, police released an artist's sketch of a possible male suspect, and by Friday reported they were actively pursuing at least 20 "good leads" so far.

The arrest today of 34-year-old Nathaniel Kibby "without incident" at his Gorham, NH trailer home, just 30 miles north of where Abby Hernandez lives, was therefore a relatively swift -- but long overdue -- break in one of the strangest disappearances on record.

Kibby has been charged with felony kidnapping and is scheduled for arraignment tomorrow (Tuesday, July 29th) at Conway District Court. 

It is not known if the defendant has his own lawyer yet or if one will be appointed for him, but a press briefing has been scheduled for Tuesday immediately following the arraignment.


MARKET BASKET MUTINY: Corporate Greed Take Heed

The Market Basket Mutiny has got to be the most effective workers strike since the historic labor revolts of the 1920s and 30s, and it's swiftly brought a four-billion-dollar, tri-state grocery chain to its knees. So why aren't the national news corporations covering it?

After all, at the heart of this larger-than-life dispute between employees and management lies all the major elements of a bestselling story: A longstanding family feud, a sinister board of directors, a hostile takeover and ousted CEO, and a David versus Goliath struggle that, rightly so, sees the 'little guy' ably winning.


Corporate Greed Crime of the Century:

Kudos to the savvy and well organized mutineers -- nearly 20,000 strong -- who have succinctly put a halt to Big Business's typical business-as-usual mindset and bloodletting. They should be proud and, nationwide, their fearless actions emulated.

Yet, just a few short weeks ago, it was the family-owned company's powerful board of directors and their newly-appointed CEO who were slapping themselves on the back. No doubt, wild with anticipation about their own 4-percent raises, and those job layoffs and pay cuts they'd *necessarily* be making soon in order to increase corporate profitability and shareholders' earnings.

Today though, in Massachusetts, Maine and New Hampshire where the super-sized supermarket chain runs over 70 stores in all, it's clear that the board's subversive plan has backfired considerably. 

The shelves of MARKET BASKET are almost empty this week, whilst its warehouse workers and shipping forces join the checkout clerks and baggers in a massive public protest over the firing of their beloved and benevolent former CEO, "Arthur T" Demoulas and the hiring instead of his allegedly wicked, scheming cousin, "Arthur S" Demoulas.

As to the mobs of once-loyal shoppers, they too have picked sides, the majority actively supporting strikers with a crippling boycott, petitions by the score, and storefront rallies that are now drawing in thousands of people at a pop.

Mom and Pop (and Uncle Mike):

Early in the 20th century, newly-landed immigrants Athanasios (Arthur) and Efrosini Demoulas opened a deli in Lowell Massachusetts. Together the Greek couple successfully sold lamb there for decades until retiring in 1954 and handing off their still-small but thriving enterprise to favored sons, George and Mike. 

Fifteen years and 15 stores after that, the two Demoulas brothers were well on their way to snagging the American Dream and creating the multi-billion-dollar grocery business known today as "Market Basket."

Soon thereafter, however -- with one greedy brother dipping into the till while the other one wasn't looking -- this happy tale takes a rather sad but predictable twist. The kind which would make Mom and Pop Demoulas roll in their graves perpetually, and leave their heirs forever fractured and feuding.

So perhaps the current contest pales in comparison with that of thieving Uncle Mike, although his selfish acts at least only served to siphon off some of the family's whopping profits, not strip all their stores bare.

Yes, We Have No Bananas:

Actually, the one thing there's now a glut of at the beleaguered supermarket's many outlets is bananas ... but these fruits don't keep well of course, so they're being given away before they rot. 

Ditto for sliced bread, hotdog rolls, and hamburger buns.

Bread Alone:

Obviously, emptied stores and wasted produce isn't a business model that can be maintained for very long, and, albeit the filthy rich and fighting Demoulas may be used to operating well amidst chronic stress and strife, by week three of the standoff it's becoming perfectly clear this isn't a family quarrel either side will win.

Their business is at a virtual standstill. Their customers are practically nil. Their paid employees are picketing.

All that has to happen now to seal their corporate doom is that the national news agencies catch wind of all this...


Friday, July 25, 2014

Abigail Hernandez Update: Police Sketch Released

Authorities investigating the Abigail Hernandez nine-month disappearance from her Conway, New Hampshire community say the formerly-missing teen is cooperating with them, to some degree.

Thus far, however, scant details have been released to the public, and no one but prosecutors, police and her family even know where the girl actually was throughout the entire time she was missing. Let alone whether Hernandez willingly ran off last autumn, was lured away from her residence by someone she trusted, or outright abducted by a stranger.

But a police sketch of a possible suspect in this strange missing person case is now being widely circulated. 

Officials are hoping someone may recognize the thirty-something male in the pencil portrait or remember seeing him in the vicinity of the Hernandez home, either on the day she vanished -- October 9th 2013 -- or in the days preceding the event.

The unknown male subject depicted in the police handout was described by Abigail Hernandez herself as having darkish skin, dark brown eyes, and black stubble facial hair. She also noted that he was slightly overweight and stood not much taller than her own 5-foot-4 frame.

Whether this individual aided the then 14-year-old as a voluntary runaway or is in fact her kidnapper still isn't clear, officials state. But either way, custodial interference of a minor child is a felony, so the man is being sought now for more than just questioning.


Thursday, July 24, 2014


Three weeks after Erin Corwin, 19 and newly pregnant, disappeared en route to meet her married paramour in Joshua Tree National Park there is still no sign of her:

California investigators now claim the pretty and petite 19-year-old and her ex-marine lover, Christopher Lee, were rendezvousing there on June 28th "to go hunting" together "in celebration" of the surprise pregnancy. 

They also suspect that therein lies a hidden and bloody crime scene, albeit numerous searches of the vast forest reserve for clues as to the missing young woman's fate has thus far turned up nothing.

Records indicate -- and Lee has admitted -- that the former marine was in fact hunting within Joshua Tree park grounds at the same time Corwin was alleged to have gone there to meet him. She has not been seen nor heard from since.

Corwin is herself the wife of an active-duty soldier, although her husband is no longer considered a suspect in her disappearance. Attention instead is now squarely on Christopher Lee who, not incidentally, has been apprehended on a separate but "unrelated" weapons charge.

Neighbors of both Corwin and Lee allege the two have been secretly seeing each other "for awhile" and that Lee expressed fears he might lose custody of his own legitimate child if the illicit affair and pregnancy was revealed to his wife.

A concern like that is often motive enough for a premeditated killing, police are aware, as is the wrath of an extremely jealous spouse...

However, despite the strong belief that "a felony occurred" in the missing person case of Erin Corwin, authorities have not yet ruled out the possibility she may have left the area voluntarily and are therefore asking the public to be vigilant.

Corwin is described as 5'2" tall, 120 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes, and will be turning 20 soon. She has no known medical or psychological issues which could otherwise account for her sudden and unplanned absence.

Anyone with knowledge of this missing woman's current whereabouts or her remains is urged to call the San Bernardino County sheriff’s Specialized Investigation Division at (909) 387-3589 or the sheriff’s dispatch at (909) 387-8313. Anonymous tips can also be submitted via the WeTip hotline at (800) 782-7463.


Missing Abigail Hernandez Mystery Deepens: Home Safe?

The disappearance of New Hampshire teen Abigail Hernandez, home after nine months missing, remains as mysterious as the day she vanished:

This past weekend the now-15-year-old girl -- believed by many to be dead -- suddenly came home, putting an end to the seemingly fruitless and heart-wrenching search for her, but not to the intrigue surrounding the case.

To be sure, Hernandez's return to her family and hometown "in good condition" this July is an unusually happy ending for one who has been gone so long without a trace. But it still leaves all the important questions about her strange absence unanswered.

Did she willingly leave with someone according to a secret plan? Or was she snatched, drugged, and transported someplace to be exploited and abused by strangers? And where has this child actually been all the months she was missing?

“At the time of her disappearance, Abigail was 14-years-old and had no known means to facilitate her disappearance or provide herself with shelter, meals, or other necessities over the ensuing nine months,” reads a joint statement released early this week by New Hampshire prosecutors and police.

“Should the investigation reveal evidence that a person or persons were involved with Abigail’s disappearance and/or detainment or concealment, then the appropriate criminal charges will be brought.”

Fighting words and a daunting goal, but in truth all that's really left to go on still are the missing-person posters bearing a prodigal daughter's Mona Lisa expression and her equally beguiling smile. And even these are now quickly fading from view.

So, with no satisfactory explanation in hand nor suspects in custody, investigators are determined to once and for all resolve the Hernandez mystery.

In that renewed effort, they're amping up their criminal probe into what exactly occurred that afternoon in October 2013 when young Abigail Hernandez walked home after school but for some bizarre reason never made it to her house again.

Which means either she herself can't remember what happened ... or else she isn't telling.


First article since February -- apologies for my own unexplained vanishing act -- rumors of my death, however, are great exaggerations. (Or at least a bit premature.)