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Tag: Florida

Homeland Security Employee, 2 Family Members Murdered in ‘Witchcraft’ Killing

Blue Moon/Wikipedia

Blue Moon/Wikipedia

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Three family members in Florida, including a Homeland Security employee, were beaten with a claw hammer and their throats were slit in a triple murder that appears to be tied to “witchcraft” and the blue moon, The Washington Post reports. 

Law enforcement said the gruesome attack near Pensacola, Fla., was being investigated as a “ritualistic killing.” Killed were Voncile Smith, 77, and her sons John William Smith, 49; and Richard Thomas Smith, 47, a Homeland Security employee who also was shot in the head.

“The elements of this case are odd, at best,” Escambia County Sheriff David Morgan said at a news conference, as Reuters reported. “We have a very reclusive family. Obviously we’ve canvassed the neighborhood, spoken to people who’ve lived there for years and years. Neighbors have related to us that they’ve never met members of this family.”

Police said they have an person of interest “with ties to witchcraft.”

“Initial research has led us to believe it was a ritualistic killing,” Morgan also said, as the Pensacola News Journal reported. “The method of the murder — blunt force trauma, slit throats, positioning of bodies — and our person of interest has some ties to a faith or religion that is indicative of that. The time of the death on Tuesday also coincides with what’s referred to as a blue moon, which occurs every three years.”

Did FBI ‘Whitewash’ Investigation of Saudi Connection to Sept. 11 Attacks?

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

About two weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, a well-connected Saudi family left their luxury home in Sarasota, Fla., leaving behind expensive possessions without letting neighbors or the mail carrier know.

The New York Post reports that a couple made a hasty, suspicious retreat back to Saudi Arabia.

A subsequent investigation found that at least one of the family members trained at the same flight school as some of the hijackers.

The investigation was active for years and included the FBI’s Tampa field office and the bureau’s office in New York and Washington.

The New York Post wrote:

The Saudi-9/11 connection in Florida was no small part of the overall 9/11 investigation. Yet it was never shared with Congress. Nor was it mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Now it’s being whitewashed again, in a newly released report by the 9/11 Review Commission, set up last year by Congress to assess “any evidence now known to the FBI that was not considered by the 9/11 Commission.” Though the FBI acknowledges the Saudi family was investigated, it maintains the probe was a dead end

FBI Faces $30M Lawsuit in Fatal Shooting of Ibragim Todashev in Florida

Ibragim Todashev

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

A Florida-based Muslim advocacy group is suing the FBI after an agent fatally shot Ibragim Todashev, a Chechen national who was friends with one of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, The Boston Herald reports.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is suing for $30 million in the wrongful death lawsuit.

“We are seeking answers and justice for someone who was shot seven times by an FBI agent in his own home after hours of interrogation,” CAIR Florida Civil Rights Director Thania Diaz said in a statement. “A few key weaknesses in FBI practice are unfortunately highlighted all too well in this case.”

A spokesman for the FBI did not comment.

The FBI agent was not charged in the shooting because the Florida state attorney determined the shooting was self-defense.

 

Ex-FBI Agent John Connolly Appeals 40-Year Prison Sentence, Says He’s Not Guilty

John Connolly

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Ex-FBI agent John Connolly is trying to convince a Florida appeals court that he should be released from prison because he is not a murderer.

The Miami Herald reports that appeals judges in Miami-Dade are revisiting the former agent’s conviction of murder with a firearm in a case connected to notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger.

Connolly’s defense attorney, Manuel Alvarez, is arguing that there’s no way Connolly could have killed a suspected “snitch” in Florida because the agent was in Boston at the time.

“My client had a gun three weeks before, 1,200 miles away — nowhere near Fort Lauderdale,” Alvarez told the entire panel of the Third District Court of Appeal.

Prosecutors said Connolly, who is serving a 40-year prison sentence, was very much involved in the murder, and a jury properly decided that he was guilty.

“John Connolly is not an innocent FBI agent sitting at his desk 1,000 miles away from the murder,” said Assistant State Attorney Joel Rosenblatt. “He was a primary mover.”

TSA Agent Arrested After Estranged Wife’s Body Found in Van in Florida

Herve Placide

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com 

A TSA agent has turned himself in after his estranged wife was found dead in a parked van Monday in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.

Herve Placide, 49, was arrested Monday following the discovery of his wife in a Walgreens Parking lot in Poinciana, Fla.

Placide is considered a suspected but was not charged as of Monday evening, the Daily News wrote.

A family member told police that Placide drove off with Magalie Placide after a physical altercation between the two.

About 45 minutes later, her body was found in the van.

Other Stories of Interest


FBI Seeking Help Identifying Hundreds of Children Victimized in ‘Sextortion’ Case

istock illustration

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

The FBI is looking for help identifying suspects in its largest “sextortion” case ever prosecuted.

WJXX-TV reports that a Northeast Florida man was asking for sexually explicit photos and videos of girls as young as 13 years old.

“He pretended to be a young boy the same age,” said McCarley. “He befriended them, joined their Myspace, Facebook trying to get to know them.”

Agents were shocked when they found what was on Lucas Chansler’s computer: 350 victims and 80,000 pictures and videos on his computer.

Only about 100 victims have been identified.

Chansler was sentenced to 105 years in prison.

Homeland Security Official Who Investigated Prostitution Scandal Accused of Hiring Prostitute

By Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com
 
A federal investigator in charge of a prostitution scandal involving the Secret Service in 2012 has stepped down after surveillance allegedly caught him with a prostitute in Florida, the New York Daily News reports.
 
Homeland Security investigator David Nieland resigned Aug. 9, ostensibly for health reasons. But federal officials said Nieland wouldn’t discuss the allegations against him before stepping down. 

According to investigators, Nieland was seen in a building that was under surveillance for prostitution. A prostitute eventually identified Nieland as a client.

Nieland was the lead investigator probing the 2012 scandal in which Secret Service agents were accused of bringing back hookers to their hotel rooms in Columbia.

FBI Finds 100+ Photos, Videos of Child Porn in Florida Teacher’s Home

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

FBI agents arresting a Florida teacher at his home Monday made a disturbing discovery – thousands of images of child porn on his computer, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

Matthew Graziotti, 42, a fifth grade teacher at a South Daytona private school and director of the school’s summer day camp, was charged with producing and distributing child porn.

Seized in the raid were 141 images and six videos depicting sexually abused and exploited children.

One folder on his computer was named “personally known” and included 31 subfolders with different boys’ names, according to the FBI. One image showed him sexually abusing a “prepubescent” boy.

“The FBI director told me that they, at this point, could not clarify where these boys are from, or who they are, or anything,” Mark Tress, superintendent at Warner Christian Academy, said. “We’re cooperating with them and providing them the assistance they need to determine whether or not any of our children were a part of that.”