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Park Dedicated to Murdered Seattle Prosecutor; Case Remains Unsolved

Thomas Crane Wales/fbi photo

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The dedication won’t right the tragedy, but it’s still pretty nice.

Friends and family gathered Saturday to dedicate a 1.3 acre park in the Queen Anne section of Seattle to assistant U.S. Attorney Tom Wales, who was murdered while he worked in his basement in Seattle 10 years ago, according to NWCN news. The shooting remains unsolved.

“It never gets any easier, but it gets more simple in a sense because he knows we’re OK and we’re happy and that is what he would want,” Wales’ daughter, Amy Wales said, according to NWCN news.

The news station reports that Wales had been on a neighborhood committee that helped keep the little park in public hands.

Say it Ain’t So: Someone Threatened Col. Sanders, FBI Files Show

Col. Sanders

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Threatening to kill Col. Sanders of KFC fame is almost as bad as threatening Santa Claus — at least for those of us who grew up on the 11 herbs and spices.

We last reported that the FBI opened a file on the legend after he asked for an autograph from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover.

But apparently there’s more.

The Associated Press reports that released FBI documents from the 1970s show someone threatened the life of Sanders.

AP reported that someone wrote a hand-written note addressed to Sanders and his wife who lived in Kentucky. It  stated  that he was in “grave danger of being murdered.”

AP reported that the note said “for details go to any recruiting station and call the Los Angeles Nike Missile Base.” The note was signed “The General.”

Sanders died in 1980 at age 90. He had leukemia.

KFC spokesman Rick Maynard told AP that Sanders received millions of correspondence and virtually all were positive.

“While it was prudent for the Colonel to take this isolated threat seriously, we have no reason to believe the anonymous letter was anything more than a prank,” Maynard said in an e-mail.

The FBI files were first reported by the Lexington Herald-Leader on Thursday.

Politicians Voice Opposition to the Axing of Justice Unit that Cracked Down on Adult XXX

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Some conservative politicians — mostly Republicans but some Dems — are beating their chest over pornography.

The politicians including Sen. Orin Hatch (R-Utah) signed a letter earlier this month that was sent to Attorney Gen. Eric Holder Jr. complaining about the Justice Department shuttering its Obscenity Prosecution Task Force. The unit was created  under President George W. Bush, according to Politico.

The group is complaining that the department isn’t doing enough to crackdown on pornography.

Politico reports that the Justice Department insists it’s not giving up the battle against pornography, but it’s best handled at the U.S. Attorney level.

“Attorney General Holder told the Judiciary Committee last year that this task force was the centerpiece of the strategy to combat adult obscenity,” Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) told POLITICO in a statement Friday. “Rather than initiate a single new case since President Obama took office, however, the only development in this area has been the dismantling of the task force. As the toxic waste of obscenity continues to spread and harm everyone it touches, it appears the Obama administration is giving up without a fight.”

In the letter sent to Holder, according to Politico, the politicians said: “We write to urge the Department of Justice vigorously to enforce federal obscenity laws against major commercial distributors of hardcore adult pornography.

“We know more than ever how illegal adult obscenity contributes to violence against women, addiction, harm to children, and sex trafficking. This material harms individuals, families and communities and the problems are only getting worse.”

Not all see the elimination of the unit as a bad thing.

“It’s a very smart and pragmatic move on the part of the administration,” Diane Duke of the Free Speech Coalition, a group representing businesses that produce sexually-explicit entertainment, told Politico. “It was a witch hunt against folks in the industry, and it wasn’t one that was particularly successful. … It just seems like, finally, the Department of Justice has caught up with the rest of the nation.”

Read full report

Jewish Defense League Schemed to Extort Money from Rapper Tupac Shukur, FBI Documents Reveal

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

The radical Jewish Defense League plotted to extort money from rappers including Tupac Shakur by threatening them, then offering them protection for a fee, recently released FBI records reveal.

Others who were targets of the plot included Eric Wright aka “EAZY-E” of Ruthless Records, who who died of AIDS, the FBI documents show

The scheme, according to the FBI documents, involved the JDL making death threats to rappers, then offering to provide protection and intervene to make the threat go away. The plot involved the victims and their family being taken to a “safe haven” with gun toting guards, the documents said.  One document said the extortion figure amounted to about $50,000.

It was unclear from the documents how far the plots got. Shakur was murdered in 1996 in Las Vegas.

Read FBI Documents

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How Sleuths Cracked the Anthrax Mystery Via Genetic Fingerprints

One of the real anthrax letters in 2001/fbi photo

By Daniel de Vise
Washington Post Staff Writer

WASHINGTON — Inside a Rockville laboratory, a team of scientists labored in round-the-clock shifts to do something many colleagues thought impossible: decode the genetic “fingerprint” of a deadly anthrax sample to help the FBI solve a case.

The researchers had been swept into Amerithrax, the massive federal investigation into the 2001 anthrax mailings, and they yearned for a breakthrough. But finding unique markers in the organism’s vast genetic code was a long shot.

The big break came in a small package: tiny test tubes, delivered by the FBI, from a military lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, where lab workers had spotted a series of odd-looking bacteria colonies. Those oddities would help the Rockville scientists decipher the genetic signature of the anthrax used in the nation’s most serious bioterror attack.

To read more click here.

Weekend Series on Crime: Secret Service and Counterfeit Cash

Bad Week for Ex-Baseball Stars: One Convicted and Another Charged

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This has not been a good week for ex-baseball players. First, Barry Bonds was convicted of obstruction of justice in connection with steroid use. And now comes ex-baseball star Lenny Dykstra.

Dykstra, 48, a former outfielder for the New York Mets and Philadelphia Phillies who lives in Encino, Calif., has been charged by the feds in southern California with bankruptcy fraud for allegedly selling items from his $18 million mansion in Ventura County that legally belonged to his bankruptcy estate after he filed for bankruptcy. The property was supposed to go toward paying his creditors.

Authorities said Dykstra, who retired from baseball in 1996, filed for bankruptcy on July, 7, 2009.

Authorities allege that Dykstra removed, destroyed and sold about $400,000 worth of property that was part of the bankruptcy estate without the permission of the bankruptcy trustee.

Authorities  said when Dykstra filed for bankruptcy he listed two residences – a mansion in Lake Sherwood Estates purchased from Janet and hockey great Wayne Gretzky that he estimated was worth $18.5 million, and a home in Westlake Village that he estimated was worth $5.4 million.