Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Carnival 54 Where Are You?

The Carnival of the True Crime Blogs endures. This week, as usual, we bring you the best in True Crime blogging. Without further ado, here are the picks of the week:

I haven’t seen Laura Young’s blog before, but I’m glad to welcome her to the carnival this week. The Dragon Slayer’s Guide to Life doesn’t specialize in True Crime, it looks like she focuses on tales of courage, this week her guest blogger Jason gives us a cop’s eye view on the most dangerous kind of call, the domestic disturbance: War Story.

Wyatt Earp is a police detective from Philadelphia. His blog Support Your Local Gunfighter brings us another cop’s eye view of the street. This one kind of reminds me of the old Adam-12 show, one of my favorites: Locked, Loaded and … Zilch.

Laura James of CLEWS says she’s been slacking lately. I know how you feel, Laura. This week she offers us a tale from Old New York about the disappearance of a young girl and How the Feminine Sherlock Holmes Solved the Disappearance of Ruth Cruger. If that’s slacking, Laura, keep it up.

Home Sweet Home is a blog of domestic crime. This week Sweet brings us an all too common story about “eternal” love in Love Is Not Always Eternal.

Trench Reynolds is one of the hardest working Crime Bloggers out there. His blog The Trenchcoat Chronicles is one of the oldest True Crime Blogs and it focuses on violence at school. This week Trench brings us an update on a brutal case out of Pennsylvania Patrick Armstrong Pleads Guilty to Manslaughter.

HOTT stands for Hot On The Trail. It is a blog focusing on unsolved cases, is actively involved in investigations and provides resources for victims and their families. This week The Carnival brings you two entries from HOTT

Where is Coreen Weise? Gives us the sad story of a missing 15-year-old. The other question is Did she jump?

IRS & SSA As Missing Persons Locator Tools: When & How informs us of an important resource in the search for missing people.

My Life of Crime is a fairly new member of our True Crime Blog community. This week Bonnie offers more on the horrible case of the microwaved baby Paris Talley.

Lilo of Lost in Lima Ohio likes to deal with tough issues. This week is no different. She offers us Fireman Wants His Job Back.

The Crime Scene Blog is one of my favorites, not only for its crisp writing, but also for the sensibility Stephen McCaskill brings to his work. This week he offers We Have the Baseline Killer. Is Phoenix’s nightmare over? At least one of Stephen’s readers thinks it’s not.

Harding of T.O. Crime did not offer a submission to the carnival this week, but I won’t let him get away with that. Harding brings us cold tales from the north and my week is complete without a visit to his site. This week I choose T.O. Crimes article The Pig Farmer on Trial.

Last but not least slabtown chronicle looks into the mysterious death of David Hughes in Something Weird is Going On Here.

Well, that’s it for this week’s Carnival of the True Crime Blogs. If you would like to find out more about the carnival or submit an article for an upcoming edition please go here.


Something Weird is Going on Here

By the time David Earl Hughes checked into the Hospitality Inn on SW Capitol Highway in November 2006, his life had spiraled far out of control. According to some evidence on the internet, Hughes life had been going that way for the last two years.

A reader of the Portland Tribune, who identified himself as “a Neighbor”, speaks of how Hughes’ neighbors and the police had tried to save him from the dangerous people who had been hanging out at his Northeast Portland house. The neighbor claims that Hughes’ drug addiction had caused personality changes in Hughes and that he had started hanging out with a dangerous group of car thieves and strippers.

In two years Hughes had gone from being a “normal” neighbor to being a wanted fugitive. His legal troubles began in March when Hughes accompanied his 1st ex-wife, Treva Richardson, to the home of Gary George on NE 42nd in Portland. Richardson had recently ended a relationship with George and was fighting with him over custody of a dog.

Hughes and Richardson were armed when they confronted George at his home. They threatened George’s life if he didn’t return the dog. They broke the window of George’s home. Hughes poured gasoline in through the broken window and threatened to burn the house down.

“I’m going to burn your house,” Hughes said, according to court documents, “You really screwed up, Gary.” Hughes fired his shotgun and George returned fire. Hughes and Richardson fled the scene but were arrested a few blocks away with an illegal sawed-off shotgun.

Hughes was charged with attempted murder, but that charge was dropped when he plead guilty to first degree burglary with a firearm, possession of a short barrel shotgun and arson. He was scheduled to appear in court for sentencing on Tuesday November 7, 2006. Instead Hughes disappeared.

Hughes is reported to have told friends and neighbors that he would run or die rather than go to jail. Portland Police and U.S. marshals spent a week searching for Hughes in the Portland area. They visited the Hospitality Inn on SW Capitol Highway more than once looking for him. On Sunday November 12, they arrived at the motel about 10am and found Hughes.

That morning Hughes sent text messages that some are seeing as his suicide note. At 7:00am Hughes sent to his daughter, “they are here I love you clear my name.” An hour later he sent “to murdock and hoe god bless you” this message was evidently for two North Portland police officers. A few minutes later he sent “I forgive whoever gets me tell them I wish them well.”

After sending the messages Hughes called KGW TV and told them that he was wanted on a weapons charge, “but had never been in any real trouble with the police.” He told TV reporters that the police were going to kill him.

Hughes reportedly called the front desk a little after 10am to say that police were looking for him and someone was pounding on his door. While motel employees were calling the police they saw Hughes jumping from the window of his room with his luggage.

After jumping from the window Hughes found himself in an alley surrounded by high chain link fences. Police had soon cut off Hughes’ escape. Hughes refused to give up and yelled at the police to shoot him. Hughes reached into his jacket. Police fired a “less than lethal” bean-bag round at Hughes, but the chain link fence blocked it. Hughes continued to yell at officers to shoot him and reached for his waist-band as if he were going for a weapon.

Three police officers opened fire at Hughes and he was hit several times. He died on the way to the hospital and police found no weapons on him. This is the fourth police shooting in this city in just a few months. Unlike the other shootings there has been almost no attention paid to the death of David Hughes.

Could it be because of the investigation into the murder of Gary George? George, the man Hughes had threatened in the March assault, was found beaten to death in his home a few weeks after the confrontation with Hughes and Richardson. Police discounted Hughes as a suspect in the murder and have charged Bobby Donald Barnes with the murder.

Barnes, who has a long criminal record for prostitution and rape and who is a registered sex offender, is awaiting trial on charges of aggravated murder and “associated crimes.” Chief Deputy District Attorney Norman Frink said, in an email, that it is “unclear if there will be a trial.” More on Barnes in a later post.

Every time I read or hear something about this case, it leaves me with an uneasy feeling. More is going on here than meets the eye. This case nags at me. I am aware that some of my readers are acquainted with the people involved. If you are I would like to hear from you. Please contact me through the comments on this page (I will keep your contact information confidential) or email me at jdchandler2002@yahoo.com and please let me know how to get in touch.

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Monday, December 04, 2006

Coming Attractions

National Novel Writing Month is now over and I completed 50,000 words of my second novel during the month. The problem is that only finishes about half of the story, so I have a lot more to write. I am missing my crime blogging, though and want to get back to it. there is a lot going on in Portland and I will be writing about it here soon. If anyone is interested my first novel is here.

Balance is the issue, because I also am enjoying fiction writing and I plan to finish the novel I started (go ahead and check it out). Here are the things I am planning for Slabtown in the upcoming weeks:

Something Weird is Going on Here -- The murder of Gary Douglas George in April 2006 left a lot of unanswered questions. In June Portland Police arrested Bobby Donald Barnes for the murder. Barnes, a registered predatory sex-offender, has disappeared from the news so I am looking into what is happening with him. A few weeks ago there was a very puzzling development when David Hughes was shot to death by police in what is being called a "suicide by cop." Hughes is the boyfriend of George's ex-wife who assaulted George and threatened to burn down his house shortly before George was killed. I will have more to say about this very odd case soon.

His Hands Were Cold as Ice -- This is about a strangler who stalked Portland in the 1950s and a woman who survived an encounter with him.

Missing Families -- The recent disappearance and (Thank God) rescue of the Kim family reminds us of another family that was not so lucky. In 1958 Ken Martin took his family down the Columbia Gorge to cut a Christmas tree. The family was never seen again. This case is one of Portland's most enduring mysteries.

The Akin Case -- My research into this famous unsolved murder continues and I will have a follow up to my two previous posts soon. Akins Murder Was Never Solved and The Port Commision

Sudafed Murder -- In 1992 there was a series of killings in the Olympia, Wa. area involving Sudafed that had been poisoned with cyanide. One victim survived and Joe Meling is in Federal Prison for the crime. I will take an in depth look at this case and I will present exclusive information.

See you again soon and thanks for reading.