Cases to look forward to

My catch-up post last week was mostly about major cases that have recently wrapped up or are underway currently.  Now, here are some cases to look forward to:

Pedro Hernandez — he reportedly has confessed to murdering Etan Patz in New York back in 1979 when Patz was just six years old.  Until last week, this had been one of the most publicized and most baffling unsolved child abduction cases in American history.  Despite the reported confession, we’re already hearing from Hernandez’ attorney about how “sick” he is (some reports say “bipolar,” others say “schizophrenic,” and still others say both).  Yeah, right, he’s apparently been able to live just fine in New York City for the past 33 years, but we’re supposed to believe that back then, he was so “sick” that he didn’t know it was wrong to abduct and murder a kid?  Bipolar disorders and schizophrenia don’t generally disappear right after afflicted individuals commit major crimes.  Plus, the confession reportedly includes evidence of premeditation and planning (e.g. luring Patz into a store basement with an offer of a soda), which would generally mean that Hernandez is guilty regardless of whether he is or was mentally ill.  Hopefully, after 33 years, this one won’t get dragged out any longer than it needs to (i.e. with a Chicago-style “razzle-dazzle” about incompetency and/or insanity) so that the Patz parents can finally have a chance at some peace.

John Doe’s in Tokyo — I don’t have the suspects’ names for you on this next one yet, but two young American men, ages 19 and 23, are in custody in Tokyo, Japan after an Irish college student named Nicola Furlong was found dead in one of the men’s hotel rooms (and apparently, one of the men is also alleged to have “inappropriately touched” a female friend of the deceased woman on the night before her death).  This could be the next “Amanda Knox” case.  I don’t like to see Americans “locked up abroad” when they’re innocent, but I also don’t like to see guilty Americans commit violent crimes overseas and then end up back here on the streets with the rest of us just because the police work in another country may have been substandard.  Either way, I hope that the Japanese will do a better job than the Italians did in the Knox case.  (If you’re not familiar with Knox, you can search for it in my blog archives — I wrote about it multiple times as it played out and ultimately resulted in Knox’s return to the U.S. a free woman).

Casey Anthony — she certainly needs no introduction to my viewers and readers, and for anyone who’s been missing the days of my Anthony updates, this one’s for you!  Despite remaining in hiding, Anthony reportedly has been served with a subpoena to testify in the defamation lawsuit filed against her by Zenaida Gonzalez, the woman whose name Anthony used to send cops on a wild goose chase for a non-existent, child-abducting nanny in the days immediately following the death of Anthony’s daughter, Caylee.  Casey reportedly is disgruntled because having to face justice for the damage that she did by lying about an innocent woman will force her to postpone her plans to leave the country once she’s off probation.  Apparently she’s really matured and developed some humility since being acquitted of Caylee’s murder!  If you’re anxious to see Anthony back in a courtroom, you’ll have to wait a while though.  It looks like it’ll be early 2013 before it happens, if it ever even does (given that Anthony reportedly has no assets to speak of — yet — it could possibly be postponed, settled for a piece of future earnings, etc.).  In the meantime, I can also report that a t.v. movie about the case is in the works, which very well may air before “Zanny the Nanny’s” case is tried.

Wanetta Gibson — now here’s a perjury and fraud case that I hope we can look forward to.  Ten years ago, Gibson accused a young man of raping her on the grounds of their high school.  With no DNA evidence, it was a he-said/she-said.  Nevertheless, for some as-yet-inexplicable reason, the young man’s lawyer apparently counseled him to make a plea deal and avoid trial, which he did.  He entered a no-contest plea and spent five years in prison until last week, when Gibson, who sued the school district (for inadequate campus security) and collected a reported $750,000-$1,500,000 settlement in the meantime, reportedly admitted that she had lied.  Accordingly, the young man’s been released from prison, but this woman now ought to spend at least as many days in prison as he spent, and when she gets out, she should never be allowed to have a single dollar above the poverty line unless/until she’s given back every cent of the school district’s money, with interest.  As I’ve said many times, we don’t do nearly enough in this country to people who make false allegations.  When we catch such an individual, he/she ought to suffer at least as much punishment as he/she tried to inflict on an innocent person (e.g. if a woman falsely accuses a man of rape, she ought to be in prison for at least as long as the man would have been in prison if convicted).  Now I know that some may say, “But Brian, if we do that, then no one else will ever come forward and admit lying, and guys like the young man in this case will remain wrongfully in prison.”  Okay, first of all, liars don’t often come clean and admit their lies anyway, but I hear you nonetheless, so how about this:  We tell false accusers, if you come forward and admit your lies, you’ll spend just one day in prison for every day that the person whom you falsely accused would’ve spent (or did spend, if actually convicted, as in this case), but, if we discover and prove your lies some other way, you’ll spend ten days in prison for every day that the falsely accused person would’ve spent or spent, if you live that long!

“Baby Lisa” — I predicted that the “Baby Lisa” case would heat back up this summer, and it looks like that may well be happening before it’s even officially summer.  The parents of “Baby Lisa,” missing since last year, are reportedly now telling a new story — that a debit card stolen from their home was used to try to purchase legal forms (or similar services) for the purpose of changing someone’s name (apparently, ostensibly, the baby’s name, i.e. that someone abducted the baby, has kept her alive, and is now trying to raise her, or adopt her, or sell her, etc., under a new name).  No surprise, the story doesn’t appear to be holding up, though.  If the card was even stolen at all, there’s no apparent indication that it went missing from the home at the same time as the baby.  In addition, the purchase, or attempted purchase, in question apparently involved a web site that actually sells stationary, not legal forms.  If the story’s bogus, some are speculating that perhaps the parents made it up in order to draw media attention back to their missing daughter.  Yeah, or maybe it’s more of the same Anthony-esque obfuscation that we’ve seen in this case before.  I still predict that this case is going to heat up further this summer and that it may well be the next “Anthony” case, so stay tuned!

Now, this has been a rundown of cases to look forward to in the future, but here in the present, it’s Memorial Day weekend, so as we try to get some holiday relaxation and recreation, I hope that we’ll all look back and remember all of the service men and women who’ve given their lives securing our freedom to do so.  Happy Memorial Day and thanks to our service men and women past and present!


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