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Posts Tagged ‘criminal’

Investigators Burst Balloon Boy Bubble

December 22, 2009 Leave a comment

Richard Heene and his wife, Mayumi Heene, may have not been expecting quite the media storm that they have received since announcing that their 6-year-old son floated off in their home-made helium balloon.  Instead of the positive media frenzy that the reality TV couple was hoping for; they are now facing the very REAL possibility of jail time.

In a recent article published by the Associated Press (AP), investigators have determined that the so-called ‘balloon boy parents’ acted alone when they fabricated a story about their son floating off in a runaway balloon. It turns out that the couple did this all in an effort to gain publicity.

TSK! TSK!

Apparently, the TV couple loved the limelight so much that they decided to take matters into their own hands and get the entire family (not to mention much of the Larimer County law enforcement, National Guard and even the FAA) involved in the search for their son.

As some may recall; on October 15, 2009, the Heenes made a frantic phone call to police in which they stated that their 6-year-old son, Falcon, had floated away from their Fort Collins home in a UFO-shaped helium balloon that Richard Heene had built in his backyard. What ensued was approximately a 50-mile chase to try to rescue Falcon out of what looked like a flimsy looking structure resembling a Jiffy Pop flying saucer. In the meantime, millions of Americans stopped what they were doing and stood transfixed to their television sets as live coverage poured in to record the unfolding media sensation.

In the end, Falcon was found not in the runaway balloon; but, rather, he was found hiding in a box in the attic of his parents house. When asked why he didn’t respond when he heard local authorities or his parents calling his name while they searched the house for him, little Falcon dropped the bomb by saying,

You guys said, that, um, we did this for the show…

GOTCHA’!

On November 13, 2009, Richard Heene pleaded guilty to a felony count of falsely influencing the sheriff while his wife, Mayumi Heene, pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of knowingly filing a false report with police. Now, the couple not only faces jail time, they also face having to pay a substantial amount of restitution regarding the incident. Some approximate numbers that the couple may be looking at:

  • Appx. $16k for the two National Guard helicopters used to track the makeshift aircraft
  • Appx. $8,500 in damages to the field where the craft landed
  • Appx. $11k by the FAA for launching an unauthorized aircraft

In addition, approximately $8,000 was spent by the Larimer County police department in overtime alone in the search for Falcon; and another $13,500 was spent by law enforcement agencies from nearby communities (including the U.S. Forest Service)- all of whom were helping in the search for Falcon. [source]

Prior to the balloon boy hoax, Mayumi Heene and her husband, Richard, twice starred on the reality TV show, Wife Swap. Below is a video chronology of events leading up to the Heenes’ current ‘reality’ situation:

Falcon Heene Disappears in Home-made Balloon:


Falcon Found Safe, Not in Balloon, but At Home


Falcon Drops a Bomb..


For more information about criminal investigations, contacCat’s Eye P.I. today at 919.878.9988.

Inmate Uses Bedsheets to Escape from Prison

September 21, 2009 Leave a comment

If there is one thing that Joshua Duane Barnes is really good at, it’s being a masterful escape artist.  The only downside is getting caught in the act.  According to a recent news article, 21 year-old Barnes escaped from a medical unit within the Potter County Detention Center in Amarillo, TX.

Third Time is the Charm

This isn’t the first time that Barnes has escaped from prison.  In fact, Barnes has escaped from custody twice before.  Barnes’ first break from custody came in June of 2008 when he fled the county courthouse shortly after being asked to take the stand during a probation violation.  His next escape came in October of 2008 when Barnes fled from the county jail recreational yard after jumping onto a roof and using it as leverage to gain access to the fence.  In both instances, Barnes was found four days later, hiding out at motels. [source]

With regards to Barnes’ most recent prison break; according to a spokesman for the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Barnes had engaged in a physical altercation with another inmate and was being held in a special offender unit for the injuries that he had sustained.  He was alone in a locked room when officers performed a routine check and discovered that Barnes was missing.  Upon closer inspection of the room, there was a hole in the wall.

ABC News reports:

Authorities believe Barnes cut a hole through the room’s sheetrock to reach a portion of the window blocked by the wall and then, after busting through the half-inch to inch-thick glass, tied bedsheets together to rappel from the seventh-story room to the roof of another building about five floors below. [source]

This time around, Texas and other federal authorities are hoping that they can round up Barnes for good.  However, there is much criticism circulating around the fact that this is the third time Barnes has gotten away.  One would like to think that the security at the prison would’ve been beefed up a little by now.

Apparently, not enough.

If he is apprehended,  Barnes (who is currently serving a 35-year sentence for multiple burglaries as well as aggravated assault) will certainly have plenty of years left to practice his great escapes.

For more information about private investigations, contact Cat’s Eye Private Investigations today at 919.878.9988.

Annie Le Murder Still Leaves Questions About Motive

September 18, 2009 Leave a comment

A 24 year-old  graduate student of  Yale University’s School of Medicine was brutally murdered just before her wedding day.  Annie Le was set to wed James Widawsky, a 24 year-old physics student at Columbia University, on Sunday, September 13th, but never made it down the aisle. According to the Connecticut medical examiner; on Sunday, September 13th, Le’s body was found stuffed in a crawl space of the research center where she worked in the Yale Medical School complex.  Evidence showed that Le (who only stood at 4 feet 11 inches tall and weighed around 90 lbs) was killed by asphyxiation caused by severe neck trauma.

But who would dare to commit such a heinous crime?

Police have since turned their attention to 24 year-old Raymond Clark III, who worked as an animal laboratory technician at Yale University in the same building as  Le.  Clark worked in a custodial role at the same laboratory where Le conducted research.  One of his duties was cleaning the cages where the experimental mice lived, something which would have brought him into contact with Le. [source] However, investigators first became suspicious of Clark after FBI agents and Yale police were combing the basement of the Yale University laboratory building where Le was last seen.

Among the people searching the lab was Clark.

According to a law enforcement official involved in the investigation, Clark moved among the other officials in an “apparent effort to cover his tracks” [source].  The Hartford Courant reports:

One investigator, among a group of investigators who were in the lab interviewing employees and students shortly after Le disappeared, witnessed Clark trying to hide lab cleaning equipment that they discovered contained blood spatters. Clark was observed cleaning up areas that Le was in before she was reported missing, the law enforcement official said.

While this aroused suspicion among some of the investigators, the final piece that led to Clark’s arrest on September 17, 2009, was the discovery that evidence in both the ceiling and in the crawl space where Le’s body was found contained DNA of both Le and Clark.

As The Evidence Grows, So Does the Question: “Why?”

Adding to the already mounting evidence against Clark, computer records showed that Le had used her Yale ID swipe card to enter the laboratory where she worked on the morning of September 8, 2009.  The Hartford Courant also reported that Clark’s swipe card records showed that he had entered the same room as Le shortly afterwards, indicating that he was the last person to see her alive.  Add, still to this, the fact that Clark failed his polygraph, that there were scratches on his body as well as the fact that he attempted to clean up the crime scene, and you’ve got what seems like a pretty open and shut case.

But there is still the question as to the motive.

Sources say that just hours before Le was reported missing by her roommate, Clark had sent a text message to Le requesting a meeting to discuss the cleanliness of the cages that the research animals were kept in, leading some to believe that the crime may have been linked to an issue of workplace violence.  There are also several other sources which are describing Clark as a “control freak” who often clashed with researchers and viewed the laboratory as his territory.

But still…why Annie Le?

Chris Le had the following to say about his sister after learning about her tragic death:

Stuck in a 4’11 frame, she had a 7′ tall personality.  She will always live on through us.. [source]

For more information about hiring a private investigator for a criminal investigation, contact Cat’s Eye P.I. today at 919.878.9988.