Silk Road saga has a new and improved twist

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Double agent?

Well it’s simply a rumor at this stage but, recently news has begun to spring that the attorneys for Ross Ulbricht filed a letter with the US attorney’s office in Maryland saying that they have found evidence that an “unnamed agent” with the US Government sold information regarding the investigation, then deleted the evidence of his/her betrayal.

I don’t mind saying this, I am not surprised. 

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Ross Ulbricht if you don’t know, happens to be the former darknet market operator convicted of creating and running the Silk Road who was arrested in 2013.

Ross Ulbricht is also known by his pseudonym – Dread Pirate Roberts.

Ross is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was convicted of money laundering, computer hacking, conspiracy to traffic fraudulent identity documents, and conspiracy to traffic narcotics in February 2015.

According to Ross’s attorneys, they claim that an “unnamed agent” may have sold information to Ross, who was a Silk Road operator with regards to the investigation into the ill fated Silk Road.

That “unnamed agent” then deleted all of the evidence pertaining to the sale.

All that is known about the said agent is that he or she used the aliases “notwonderful” and “albertpacino” while on the Silk Road playing and posting in forums

He or she then deleted all of the evidence pertaining to the exchange “after” the government seized the servers.

Yes, after the government seized the servers.

As luck would have it, Ross’s legal team had forensics experts looking through communications between Ross, AKA Dread Pirate Roberts when they happened across communications between Ross and “notwonderful.”

“Notwonderful,” claimed to be someone working for the government and went on to state that they were willing to sell Ross intel regarding a government investigation into Silk Road and none other than Ross.

Ross’s team claims that someone purposely deleted those communications from evidence that was turned over as part of the investigation into Silk Road but that those communications were deleted after the servers were seized by the government.

Of course, adding fuel to the fire is the fact that two men who were originally part of the investigation were arrested, charged with and sentenced for crimes they committed while investigating the Silk Road.

Shaun Bridges was convicted of money laundering and obstruction of justice, he also tried to flee the country after he was handed down a 71 year sentence for his crimes….

Carl Mark Force was convicted of money laundering, obstruction and extortion.

Yet according to Ross’s attorneys, the culprit in this newest saga is neither one of those two agents.

Now of course that opens up the possibility that the Government’s entire case against Ross is full of corruption and puts the entire investigation into question.

If evidence was in fact deleted from the servers after they had been confiscated, evidence could have potentially also been planted.

It’s not a one way street, you take stuff off a server and you can also load stuff onto a server.

I won’t bore you with how back-up’s and discovery work, but if a server is being backed up, then you could tell if things were tampered with and when they were tampered with.

According to Ross’s attorneys, someone “surgically” removed evidence.

At the end of the day, I personally have always felt that Ross was just the fall guy.

They couldn’t go after the users so they went after Ross and to drive the message home to the users they charged Ross with everything and anything that they could and sentenced him remain behind bars for the rest of his life.

Ross Ulbricht’s charges, sentence and case are very much deserving of a second look, one that would not be so agenda filled.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

 

Kidnap victim’s story true or just an elaborate hoax?

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Sherri Papini – Redding, California

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Initially at the news of Sherri Papini being found Thanksgiving morning in chains on the side of the road roughly 140 or so miles from where investigators suspect she was abducted from, it seemed as if a family’s prayers had been answered.

She had been abducted on November 2, 2016 so as you can imagine everyone feared the worst, 21 days had gone by after all.

Now it would seem, that the nightmare hasn’t quite ended.

I asked a very good friend of mine, a detective what his thoughts about this case might be…just a simple “hey what are your thoughts on the Sherri Papini case?” We didn’t get into this long drawn out discussion mind you, but he simply said that when he first heard of it, he was a little skeptical because it’s not often, although not unheard of, that a kidnap victim is found alive, not to mention lack of motive plays a big part in this.

He’s right about that. Most of the time when a kidnapping victim is found alive it is either because the police stumbled across the situation, tracked them, or they were kidnapped as children and forced to stay with the abductor and escaped or were found when they are much older.

Social media is on fire with those that firmly believe that Sherri’s story is nothing but a hoax, even some media has reported in such a way that would cast doubt on the story.

To be completely honest, even I find the story unusual, albeit not unlikely.

A couple of things before we delve into my thoughts here are some details about her case as released by investigators:

Sherri was released Thanksgiving Day in Yolo County

She had been bound with restraints

She described her alleged abductors as two Hispanic women with a gun

She had been battered but investigators did not elaborate on how badly, they did say that they appeared to be non-life threatening, she was treated and released from the hospital

The driver Allison Sutton who found her on the side of the road told the New York Daily News:

“ she didn’t look like she was hurt but she did look scared.”

The details her husband Keith released to Good Morning America are slightly different:

“Her signature long, blonde hair had been chopped off, she has been branded, and I could feel the rise of her scabs under my fingers. She was thrown from a vehicle with a chain around her waist, attached to her wrists and a bag over her head. The same bag she used to flag someone down once she was able to free one of her hands.”

Keith told another media outlet that her face was covered in bruises in varying stages of healing from repeated beatings and that at the time of her rescue she was only 87 pounds.

What’s more is that now according to a couple of media outlets, which users at Reddit jumped on, Sherri ran away back in 2006 and oddly,  staged her own abduction at that time.

With no obvious motive a great many are wondering if the tale is just an elaborate hoax.

A recent story has come out about a racist Facebook post that Sherri posted shortly before her disappearance.

I read the post, and will not post it here because it is part of the ongoing investigation, however if you were to Google it, you might be able to find a copy of it.

At any rate, while it was not over the top racist the impression I got when I first read it was that it had been written by someone attempting to lend credit to a story that was to be told or known about,  that had nothing to do with the point of it which was about halfway through the post.

Midway through it she attempted to make it about “Why Girls Should not Fight.” I don’t know to me it seemed like the switch was to throw investigators or anyone for that matter off the scent of the real motivation behind the post, which was to prove that Hispanics or Latinos are bad people.

Lastly another interesting detail is that according to CNN, Keith never really got around to telling their children that their mother was missing. That in and of itself is not that unusual for the youngest who is 2, but the 4 year old I am guessing might have noticed mommy gone for roughly 21 days.

While investigators have not released all of the details as one might expect and they should not, more questions about the case than answers have taken over social media.

What’s so odd and unusual in fact it’s perplexing is the story of two Hispanic women. So as I explained to my detective friend, I focused on just that.

It’s highly unlikely that any non-US born Hispanic or Latino women would abduct her, first you have to get through the why.  What would the motivation be? It doesn’t make sense.

US born citizens:

Gang initiation – doesn’t make sense because they tend to like to beat them, then leave them pretty quickly.

Cartels – highly unlikely, they do prefer dead victims

Sex trafficking – they tend to like them much younger and really drugged up – CNN did run a story a wee bit back that some in the sex trafficking trade were marking girls, they were doing it with ink, as in tattoo ink.

Perhaps, these two women are part of a party of three and were instructed to abduct Sherri? But again why?

Her facebook post? If she was racist it doesn’t make much sense than anyone other than who was on her facebook would have seen it, meaning the chances of someone who is not white seeing it are greatly reduced.

It could have been shared and inspired some anger…but then, the planning of the abduction, the watching her so the kidnappers could be sure not to get caught and then the subsequent beatings, then to just like that let her go in a really sloppy way. I mean the abduction left virtually no clues…Yet they dump her on the side of the road with a bag over her head?

Women, generally don’t abduct a victim unless they are highly motivated to do so, i.e. being instructed by someone who is more dominate than they are. They sometimes do it in an attempt to obtain a child after the urge to be a mother is far too great to control, the same goes for when they abduct a pregnant woman and cut the child from it’s mother’s womb.

Money is a great motivator…but again in this case no ransom was demanded and to everyone’s knowledge money hasn’t been exchanged so far as investigators have found. They could look into the GoFunMe money the family was able to collect since Sherri’s disappearance? Since she was found alive it’s not going towards a funeral and she was treated and released from the hospital so, I am guessing it’s not going to cover medical bills.

Not to mention that you never really hear of two female abductors being involved with a crime unless they are the submissives in some sort of group…

Investigators have a lot of work to do and they will not leave any stone un-turned.

Throughout history women have created, believe it or not some pretty elaborate stories and hoaxes in efforts to garner attention, keep a lover or husband, cover crimes and to gain a home, money or material possession.

They will change the way they look, they have been knows to self inflict wounds, have friends do it…you name it, it has been done.

In a case with no motivation, it’s difficult to determine if it was all just a lie.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Donald Trump twitter response to election recount is pure genius

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Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania

Jill Stein’s push for a presidential recount unlikely to change Trump’s victory.

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If it’s not going to change anything why bother then?

Well according to Jill, she is concerned about the hacking of election machines, which by the way doesn’t make 100% complete sense because in Michigan the votes are all cast by hand, machines are not used in the state.

In all reality I suspect that Jill is simply trying to prove that Hillary did in fact win the popular vote, or more rather that Donald did not, which doesn’t matter because the Sunday before the election, I published a piece about presidents who made it into the oval office without the benefit of having the popular vote.

This move has really made an already fed-up nation even those that are anti-Trump, even more fed-up. People are ready to just move on.

Hillary Clinton’s team even hopped right onto the bandwagon here although they were very careful not to make it appear that Hillary was somehow going back on her word, she has after all already conceded that Donald Trump won the election.  

What happened to losing gracefully?

Many suspect that in the end by the time it’s all said and done Hillary will garner more of the popular vote but still not near enough to even remotely put a dent in the sheer numbers that Trump has.

You win some and you lose some, our nation really needs to get over the mentality of you get a trophy just for participation.

What happened to winning gracefully?

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Trump as per usual ran to rant on twitter, one of the tweets stated “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally”

He later tweeted “Serious voter fraud in Virginia, New Hampshire and California – so why isn’t the media reporting on this? Serious bias – big problem!”

Saying something along the lines of “I am confident the recounts are not going to change the outcome, even Jill Stein herself admits she doubts the recounts will change the outcome.” And leaving it at that would have more than sufficed according to many.

But….why play nice guy when you have the opportunity to cut the head right off of the snake?

You do have to give Donald Trump a little credit here, rather than wait this one out and allow for the recounts which will drag on for weeks, to trump up (no pun intended) suspicions galore, he in turn cut the head off of the snake in a rather creative way.

He was able to grab headlines, thus overshadowing the recount headlines and forced the media to focus on the fact that the recounts most likely are in fact, not going to change anything but more importantly, his outrageous tweets.

He effectively took control over casting doubt over his numbers and win away from the mainstream media.

You have to love that.

The mainstream media has said that he has made unfounded and outrageous claims, made him out to be a complete idiot, a fool, a poor choice as our leader, some have said that his comments are leaving many to wonder “if he isn’t in over his head” and I forget who it was now that had a headline that said he was paranoid, some headlines hinted at him quoting fake news with his tweets…

While what he said may have “seemed” outrageous, the truth is, it was rather pure genius on his part and I am sure quite planned that way.

Some of his past rhetoric has cost him support and he has some ground to make up in order to smooth some of what he has said over during his campaign days.

So…

While I do not always agree with Donald Trump, his voter fraud tweets from this past weekend go down as a win in my book.

I do believe without a doubt that mainstream media got a little bit owned by Donald Trump this past weekend. 

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Cannibalistic teen found eating dead man’s face had issues with mental illness

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According to his behavior and to the journal that he kept

19 year old Austin Harrouff, the young man who murdered a couple then proceeded to eat part of the murdered man’s face actually wrote in his journal about having issues with anxiety.

According to his family, he often spoke to himself, believed that he had some sort of special powers, had been sent to save people and according to the FBI toxicology report, he had no detectable hallucinogens in his system at the time of the murders.

He has plead not guilty, which is to be expected.

While his case may be incredibly disturbing, what I find even more disturbing is the fact that his family appears to have known something was deeply wrong with this young man prior to his crime.

Leading up to the crime, his family described his odd behavior for investigators. Some of the behavior included telling his mother that he had special powers, was attempting to drink cooking oil, stated that he had become immortal, had the power to unlock doors and claimed to be half human/half animal.  

He uploaded a YouTube video prior to the murders where he describes his mental agony, stating that he had both “psycho side and a normal side. I’ve lost my mind, help me find it.”

The 19th Judicial Circuit State Attorney’s Office released hundreds of documents in the case on Wednesday, many of the documents were Austin’s writings, where he further describes his mental anguish.

“Do you know what it feels like to be so afraid to speak? Becoming a bully ‘cause all the bullies bullied me, fuck man, I just wanted to be accepted. The anxiety I feel inside feels like I internally bleed.”

Clearly, leading up to the crime he was suffering a great deal from a mental illness and cannibalism has long been considered a form of schizophrenia, which can cause hallucinations and delusions when the reasons for it are other than survival or ritual.

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Austin’s case truly brings into question holding someone accountable who is mentally insane during the commission of his/her crime.

We must carefully consider if he is found competent to stand trial is he truly competent?

Individuals who suffer from mental illnesses such as schizophrenia have moments of clarity that can last days, weeks, months and even years and at the same time have no recollection of a crime they might have committed.

That said, prison would not be a solution for Austin, however I agree that he could not be living on his own in his condition currently and for the foreseeable future.

I do believe however, that his parents should face some form of punishment for the simple fact that they knew something was wrong with this young man and did absolutely nothing to help him.

They above anyone else, could have started a chain of events that would have prevented the deaths of John Stevens and Michelle Mischon.

One phone call could have prevented this tragedy and Austin’s parents neglected to make that call.

Austin’s parents are not the victims but rather the enablers because he lived in the home, they carried a responsibility to him as well to the community.

They neglected that responsibility and their own son.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Chicago holiday shooting -19 wounded – 1 dead, so far

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Chicago, Thanksgiving weekend violence

At least 19 have been injured, 1 person has been killed at the start of this Thanksgiving weekend in Chicago.

As we near the close of 2016 and head into the busiest holidays of the year, it looks like Chicago is well on the way to reaching 4,000+ shooting victims for the entire year.

According to heyjackass.com, year to date Chicago is sitting at a whopping 3,998 people shot so far, of that 645 have been shot and killed, 3,353 have been shot and wounded and Chicago has seen 720 homicides this year.

By the time this holiday weekend is over, Chicago will have hit that 4,000 shooting victim mark for the year, leaving just one month left to close out this violence filled year for the windy city.

Some within Chicago’s government are hoping that more gun laws might be the cure, while the reality is that ship sailed already and gun law’s, or the lack thereof rather, well they are not Chicago’s problem.

I and a pretty fair number of many experts across this nation have pointed out that you can put all the gun laws you’d like on the books and it’s still not going to resolve the issues in Chicago.

That whole background check thing by the way, just doesn’t seem to work for the modern criminal so they buy guns through this thing called “illegal means.”

At any rate, the root cause of the violence, for individuals looking to join gangs and kill each other just so happens to be lack of money and jobs, jobs that really pay the bills.

In fact, I saw over on Breibart news a story that said “One Chicago leader is pressing for a “declaration of a state of emergency” for the city, and state Representative Sonya Harper wants to require serial numbers on every bullet and bullet casing.”

Lawmakers and government officials are at best, so very out of touch with the public that they serve that it is truly disgusting. Rather than take the time to really learn what the real issues are then solve the core issues, the crux of the matter they reach for the easiest possible answer and it never will solve the problem with violence.

I talk about perception a lot because we will perceive a problem and come up with a solution to the problem that really doesn’t solve any problem at the end of the day.

Often times, we learn years later that our perception of the problem helped us to create a solution that really didn’t help matters much because what we thought was the problem really was not the problem at all.

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To truly solve Chicago’s problem with Gun Violence, we must change our attitude about it and stop labeling it “Gun Violence.”

So here we have this perceived problem in Chicago and we’ve labeled that problem “gun violence,”  and we are beating a dead horse over and over again to come up with a solution to our perceived problem “gun violence.”

And we have yet to stop “gun violence” in Chicago despite Chicago PD’s best efforts, new gun laws and the like.

The reason we have yet to stop “gun violence” in Chicago is because we are looking at solving the wrong problem.

The idea that “gun violence” is the problem is a bit far fetched. The problem is people, the problem is the fact that those people, those individuals cannot find jobs and if they do they can’t find a job that will cover all of the bills we must cover in order to just survive.

As a direct result of that, they turn to crime because it is the only option that they have, the only way to put food on the table, make money, have a home, support a family and themselves.

Sure, we can take away guns or try to make it more difficult for a criminal to use a gun, historically speaking that has never turned out well, criminals just find other weapons of mass destruction…

Hopefully as we end 2016 and enter into 2017 we all begin to look at Chicago a little more closely and remove the label “Gun Violence” so that we can finally begin to really see clearly, what the problems are, take the steps to fix the real problems and stop labeling them something they are not. 

Can we finally see a call to some real action or are we still going to label what’s happening in Chicago something it never really was?

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop

Donald Trump finally pays the piper for his campaign rhetoric

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Trump condemns neo nazi/alt right wing statements.

In a bold statement President Elect Donald Trump said that he disavowed and condemned the neo-nazi and alt-right wing groups.

CNN did sort of put out a blurb about it, but I did not see them marching in experts to analyze what trump said….over and over again. Which is pretty sad considering that they usually march in multiple panels and experts to analyze what our President Elect says or does.  

While Donald Trump condemns these groups, he needs to realize that what he said during his campaign days actually does, in fact matter.

That is because, it was read and heard, by like minded individuals who support him and his spoken beliefs. The one’s that he dramatically stated while running for President of the United States.

Trump’s campaign rhetoric, the choices he has made with some of his top cabinet picks, well it sort of more or less completes the picture for these groups.

I do believe that he is learning that he can no longer play the “yes I said it but, that isn’t really what I meant,” card. The brutal reality is, he said and behaved like a racist, sexist, bigot throughout his campaign and as a direct result of that, he attracted like minded individuals, those individuals and groups, they backed him, endorsed him and voted for him.

They heard and read every single word he both wrote and said, every word. Those words have power, it showed these individuals and groups that the dream of being a white supremacist, a racist, a sexist and a bigot is in fact not dead and they no longer have to closet those beliefs up.

Every word Donald Trump spoke struck a profound chord in so many people and groups.

Those words can’t be taken back nor brushed under the carpet of “I didn’t mean it that way.” For instance another issue social media is having a hay day with is that many seem to feel that Donald Trump vowed and promised to prosecute Hillary Clinton.

First thing is first, he told her that he would but he didn’t really technically make that part of his overall plan while on the campaign trail, it was more or less something that he said in the heat of the moment.

 Both the media and the public ran with what he said as if he swore up and down that he would in fact prosecute her.

Words matter, what we say matters, they can be taken quite literal and they can be taken as a rock solid promise regardless of whether or not you truly made a promise.
The prosecute Hillary thing, that is not at all the way it played out in real life, that was however more or less what you saw as reported by mainstream media.

Besides, I said this before, the FBI destroyed evidence, without it, you really don’t have a case. Point blank.
Trump was warned, many reported to him about things he said and urged him to be more mindful of what he spoke while on the campaign trail and he refused to do that.

So now, it’s time to pay the piper and sow what he has reaped.

I usually find that when the words that come out all to easily, when rolled off of someone’s tongue or off of the fingertips in a heated, passionate moment are usually words that they truly do believe in deep down inside both heart and soul.

When Donald Trump get’s angry or tries to be a show off or gets excited, sexist, racist or bigoted words seem to roll off of both his tongue and/or from his fingertips so very easily.

These are words that he deep down he himself truly believes because they are spoken so easily and passionately by him right off the cuff with no effort whatsoever. 

My old boss Troy over at GOFAST Sports & Beverage, who is a great speaker by the way, is the one who taught me the difference between saying what you, yourself truly believe and what you would want others to believe.

So now it is time to pay the piper for President Elect Donald Trump.

Hopefully this holiday, he will take the time to truly be thankful but also reflect and grow past that racist, temper tantrum throwing bigot, sexist and into someone who can garner respect, grow some dignity.

If he cannot do those things, he’ll never be able to truly disavow or condemn the very alt-right/neo-nazi groups who heard and/or read every word that fell from his lips and fingertips during his campaign.

Words do matter, they have the power to heal, the power to hurt and worst of all the power to bring about unrest and war.

Cristal M Clark

IOS users can find The Crime Shop on Apple News

@thecrimeshop