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Las Vegas gunman's computer had child pornography and 'disturbing search history,' report shows

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By David Rind

f11photo/iStock/Thinkstock(LAS VEGAS) — The analysis of a computer belonging to Las Vegas mass shooter Stephen Paddock revealed a “disturbing search history” and numerous images of child pornography, investigators said today.

In the months, weeks and days leading up to the Oct. 1, 2017, shooting, Paddock searched online for open-air concert venues, Las Vegas SWAT tactics, weapons, explosives and the expected attendance for the Route 91 Harvest Festival on the Las Vegas Strip, according to a preliminary investigative report released by police today.

Paddock ultimately opened fire at the country music festival and killed 58 people.

Several hundred images of child pornography were also found on the hard drive of Paddock’s laptop, according to the report.

“This report is not going to answer every question or answer the biggest question, which is why he did what he did,” Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a news conference today before the report’s release.

Paddock opened fire on the music festival crowd from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. A total of 851 people suffered injuries directly related to the shooting and its aftermath, and 422 of them specifically suffered from some kind of gunfire injury, Lombardo said.

Authorities found Paddock, 64, dead inside his hotel suite. The Clark County coroner’s office later ruled Paddock’s manner of death a suicide, saying the cause was an intraoral gunshot wound to the head.

Investigators believe Paddock decided to take his own life when he realized authorities were within close proximity to him, Lombardo said.

Although a motive remains unknown, the report says investigators have determined that Paddock acted alone and was self-funded through his gambling and past real estate transactions. There was no evidence of radicalization or ideology, the report says.

“There was only one person responsible and that was Stephen Paddock,” Lombardo said at today’s news conference.

No suicide note or manifesto was found stating Paddock’s intentions, according to the report. The only handwritten document found in either of Paddock’s connecting hotel rooms was a small note indicating measurements and distances related to the use of rifles.

Investigators don’t anticipate charges to be brought against Paddock’s girlfriend, Marilou Danley, Lombardo said.

She lived in a retirement community with Paddock at his home in Mesquite, Nevada, but was visiting family in the Philippines at the time of the shooting.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Baltimore police looking for suspects caught on video beating, burning cat

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By David Rind

SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Thinkstock(BALTIMORE) — Baltimore police are asking for help identifying five suspects caught on surveillance video beating a cat with a cinderblock and setting it on fire in mid-December.

Animal Control was called to the scene, where the cat was pronounced dead, police said.

A Facebook post on the Baltimore Police Department’s page included video of the incident, as well as images of the suspects.

A local resident who saw the incident unfold and called police told ABC affiliate WMAR that the suspects are teens who have been causing trouble for quite some time.

“Damaging people’s property hanging outside the 7/11 and stores like that — I don’t know where the parents are and I think they’re partly responsible for these cats being killed like this,” the resident, who asked not to be identified, said.

“I don’t think it’s kids being kids,” the resident continued. “I think it’s the parents not looking at these group of kids that’s hanging together. To me, it’s like a babysitter that they’re letting these kids go out in groups and they figure they’re alright and they don’t know what they are doing.”

Although the resident said she has never seen the teens acting aggressively against other people, she wonders if this behavior could lead to something far worse.

“When they start killing animals, next they start killing people,” the resident told WMAR.

“Anyone with information on the identity of the suspects is asked to call detectives at 443-681-0101 or Metro Crime Stoppers at 1-866-7Lockup,” police said.

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Captive siblings not so different from prisoners of war, have a tight bond, hospital staff says

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By David Rind

Creatas/iStock/Thinkstock(RIVERSIDE, Calif.) — The California siblings allegedly held captive and tortured by their parents have a bond “with each other that’s very natural for people who are cut off from the outside world,” one doctor treating them told ABC News.

That bond helps them recover both physically and emotionally, continued Dr. Fari Kamalpour, who works at the Corona Regional Medical Center, where the adult victims are being treated.

A limited staff is now working with those victims trying to develop their own bond with the siblings, Corona Regional Medical Center CEO Mark Uffer added.

“We’ve limited the type of physicians that go in to see them,” Uffer told ABC News. “We’ve used people that we knew that they could develop a bond with and trust.”

Uffer said patients notice if their doctors appear “hopeless,” “so we picked the most positive, upbeat, caring, consistent individuals to care for them and I’m sure that they can feel that.”

David and Louise Turpin, accused of abusing their children for years, were arrested after the victims were found Sunday at their home in Perris. The Turpins allegedly forced the children to shower only once a year, shackled them and beat them routinely, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin said. When found, they hadn’t been to a doctor in over four years and had never been to a dentist, he added. The Turpins have pleaded not guilty to the charges against them.

A lawyer for David Turpin told ABC News, “What we would like the public to know is that our clients are presumed to be innocent and that’s a very important presumption.” He added, “We’re going to provide a vigorous defense.”

The siblings — ages 2 to 29 — have since been hospitalized for treatment.

All the victims except for the toddler are severely malnourished, Hestrin said, adding that the eldest victim — a 29-year-old woman — weighs only 82 pounds. He said another child, a 12-year-old, is the weight of an average 7-year-old.

Uffer described the victims’ conditions as “not so different than a prisoner of war.”

Now, the hospital staff is acting as these siblings’ “first stage of their introduction to the outside world,” Kamalpour told ABC News. “So what they pick up from us as a group of providers in this hospital is going to be the stepping stone for the future, adjustment to life. So we are providing that environment … in terms of the teaching, training, educating, nourishing emotionally and physically.”

Louise and David Turpin were arrested in the torture and child endangerment case in Perris, Calif.

Asked if she ever breaks down after leaving her patients, Kamalpour said, “Absolutely. How can you not? You reflect when you leave.”

“The staff that’s worked with them have made comments to me,” Uffer said. “One of our nurses, she says, ‘I’m 24 years old.’ And so these adults are right in her age group. And she said, ‘I feel so very fortunate with the experiences I’ve had in life as I see this unfolding before me.’

“So it’s affected the staff. I don’t think there’s any time that any of us have left them where we haven’t been somewhat tearful,” he said. “It becomes very personal to you. And you it hurts to see what another human being can do to another human being. So it does stay with you. I don’t think there’s any of us that are involved or have spoken to them or interacted with them that slept much in the last week because you wake up in the middle of the night worrying about them.

“We feel we’ve done the best for them while they’re here and we hope that that will pay off for them moving forward as they go back out into life someday,” Uffer said.

The Riverside University Health System Foundation has opened the Perris Sibling Support Fund “to ensure that the healthcare and educational needs of the children and young adults are cared for both now and in the future,” said Nicole Orr, senior director of development at the Riverside University Health System Foundation.

“The response was immediate and it has been tremendous,” Orr said. “We are receiving hundreds of calls and emails. It is encouraging that events like this bring out the desire in people to help in whatever ways they can.”

David Turpin, 57, and Louise Turpin, 49, have each been charged with 12 counts of torture, 12 counts of false imprisonment, seven counts of abuse of a dependent adult and six counts of child abuse. David Turpin was also charged with one count of a lewd act on a child under the age of 14 by force, fear or duress. They have pleaded not guilty.

Hestrin said, “We’re asking the public to reach out if they have any information about the case.”

Anyone with information can call the tip line at the Riverside District Attorney’s Office at 888-934-KIDS.

Watch the full story on ABC News “20/20” FRIDAY NIGHT at 10 p.m. ET

Copyright © 2018, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Source:: National News


Governor Abbott Names Duggins Chair Of Parks And Wildlife Commission

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By lauren.mccanse@gov.texas.gov Governor Greg Abbott has named Ralph Duggins presiding officer of the Parks and Wildlife Commission. Duggins was first appointed to the commission in 2008 and reappointed in 2013. Governor Greg Abbott has named Ralph Duggins presiding officer of the Parks and Wildlife Commission. Duggins was first appointed to the commission in 2008 and reappointed in 2013. The commission manages and conserves the natural and cultural resources of Texas and provides hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

Ralph Duggins of Fort Worth is partner of the Fort Worth-Dallas law firm of Cantey Hanger LLP. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas and the Colorado Bar Association. He is also a fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a master of the Eldon B. Mahon Inn of Court, and former member of the Supreme Court Advisory Committee. He serves as a director of The Peregrine Fund and the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. Additionally, he is former chairman of Cook Children’s Healthcare System and Cook Children’s Healthcare Foundation, a former advisory director for J.P. Morgan Chase – Tarrant County, and a former director of Lena Pope Home, Inc. and Lena Pope Foundation. Duggins received a Bachelor of Arts from Southern Methodist University and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Missouri.

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Source:: Office of the Governor


Suspected serial killer accused of shooting 9 in 3 weeks is an 'aspiring music star'

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By Michael Dobuski

iStock/Thinkstock(PHOENIX) — The man accused of committing nine murders in just three weeks in Arizona is an “aspiring music star” who has spent nearly half of his young life in prison, according to police.

Cleophus Cooksey Jr., 35, has been in custody since the last of the nine alleged killings on Dec. 17, when police say he shot and killed his mother and stepfather.

The nine homicides spanned from Nov. 27 to Dec. 17 in Phoenix and nearby Avondale and Glendale, police said. Four of the nine murders happened within 2 square miles, police said.

Cooksey had been in prison for about 16 years after being involved in an armed robbery, police said. After his release from prison, he was in and out of jail, police said.

Police described him as an “aspiring music star,” and some of his YouTube videos — posted between November 2015 and January 2016 — had haunting lyrics, like, “That’s the mentality of a killa,” and, “I chopped all the best of ’em / murdered all the rest of ’em / nothing left of ’em.”

Phoenix Police Sgt. Jonathan Howard called the crimes “disturbing” and told ABC News only three of the nine victims were not known to Cooksey.

Cooksey is accused of stealing a gun from one of the victims and using that weapon in the following six killings, Howard said.

Police believe there is a “distinct possibility” of more victims and Howard said they are being flooded with calls from people helping them find possible connections.

Here is the timeline of crimes, according to police:

Nov. 27:

Two men — Andrew Remillard and Parker Smith — were found dead in a car in a parking lot. They were each shot once in the head, according to court documents.

Dec. 2:

A man identified as Salim Richards was in a “physical struggle with the suspect during the shooting” that left him dead, according to court documents. A gun and a necklace were taken from the victim, and on Dec. 3 Cooksey posted a Facebook video showing him wearing a similar necklace, according to court documents. Cooksey was also wearing a similar necklace when he was arrested weeks later, according to court documents.

Cooksey stole the gun from Richards, a security guard, and used it in the following six murders, according to Howard.

Dec. 11:

Cooksey allegedly killed his girlfriend’s brother hours after the girlfriend apparently broke up with him, according to court documents.

On Dec. 11 between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m., Cooksey went into an apartment and used a stolen gun to fatally shoot Jesus Real two times in the face at close range while Real was lying down, apparently sleeping, according to court documents.

Real’s sister was dating Cooksey, and Cooksey stayed over at this Avondale apartment where the family lived several nights a week, according to court documents. Real’s sister told police Cooksey was her ex and they broke up the night before, and he left the house around 7 a.m. on Dec. 11, court documents say.

Dec. 13:

On Dec. 13, a man named Latorrie Beckford was found shot dead on the ground next to an apartment complex parking lot with two gunshot wounds to his head.

Witnesses told police they heard two gunshots and “when they approached they observed a dark-skinned black male” walking from “close proximity to where the victim was lying,” court documents state.

“Witnesses reported the black male pulled out a black semi-auto handgun after being seen by them,” the court documents say.

Witnesses said earlier in the day, Beckford was in an altercation with two other men, court documents state. A photo of Cooksey was later shown to one of the witnesses who said the photo was very close to the man she saw in an altercation with Beckford. That assault reportedly took place about three hours before the shooting, the court documents states.

Witnesses said Cooksey was known as “Playboy” at the apartment complex, and in an interview in January, Cooksey admitted to investigators “he goes by the nickname ‘Playboy’ because of how good he is with women,” court documents say.

Dec. 15:

A man named Kristopher Cameron was shot in the neck and abdomen at an apartment complex, court documents say.

When officers arrived at the west entry gate, a man told police “my cousin has been shot” and he directed officers to where the shooting victim was, according to court documents.

Witnesses said “a black male was observed removing the victim’s backpack from him then leaving on foot,” court documents say.

After Cooksey was identified as the suspect, that first responding officer “was interviewed and shown a photo of the person he spoke with at the west entry gate. That confirmed Cooksey was the person he spoke with who told him ‘my cousin has been shot,'” court documents state.

Cameron was hospitalized and later died. Authorities said Cameron had met Cooksey for a drug deal.

Dec. 15:

Also on Dec. 15, Cooksey was seen on surveillance cameras going into an apartment complex, court documents say. Victim Maria Villanueva was seen parking her car that apartment complex, where she was headed to visit her boyfriend, documents state. The suspect is seen going to her car and watching her, and after several minutes, interacting with her, documents state; at one point, they drive away together. Authorities said she was sexually assaulted. She was found shot to death in an alley, naked from the waist down, documents say.

Cooksey later told police “he did not know how she was killed which he also said about all of the other victims related to these crimes,” the documents say.

Dec. 17:

Cooksey’s mother and stepfather, Rene Cooksey and Edward …read more

Source:: National News


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