Once again, DNA evidence helped to solve several murders and to give closure to some victim’s families. However, a Colorado prison inmate, Roy Allan Melanson age 73, may never stand trial for the murders he committed in Louisiana and California decades ago.
Melanson was a drifter and a serial killer. He conned many people in believing that he was something that he wasn’t. But his DNA has linked him to murders that took place in 1974. In 2000, a federal DNA data bank was established and his DNA was submitted. His DNA proved that he was the murderer of 24- year-who was beaten, strangled and slashed across her neck in Walker, La., in 1988.
His DNA also placed him in Napa, Calif., on July 10, 1974. Here he murdered a 51-year-old woman who was closing up her family’s lounge. He raped her and slashed her throat. Two months later, Melanson was in Crested Butte, Colorado and soon after, another woman was found dead.
His string of murder and rape continued fourteen years later in a small town east of Baton Rouge, La. Melanson dragged a young woman with a strap around her neck, beat her to death and slashed her throat.
Law enforcement has been trying to connect him to other murders but Melanson is smug, taunting, and uncooperative. He will die in prison for a 1988 murder that took nearly twenty years to solve. Unfortunately, the families of the victims he killed may never have justice to their love ones deaths.
The Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) is using Facebook to help them solve cold cases, missing persons, Amber Alerts and more. The BCA wants to do everything they can do to help solve every case they investigate.
Currently on the BCA Facebook site is a three-year-old cold case. This is the case of a body found in the Mississippi River at the Treasure Island Casino Marina. It is a body of a newborn baby girl. So far, there have been no leads to who this baby was. The site has a composite picture created to show what the baby may have looked like.
In addition, the Facebook site provides information to the public about internet safety, Crime Alerts as well as general crime prevention information.
You can visit the BCA’s Facebook site at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Saint-Paul-MN/MnDPS_BCA-Bureau-of-Criminal-Apprehension/161470878700?ref=mf
In 2003, the Office of Justice Program’s (OJP) National Institute of Justice (NIJ) began funding major efforts to maximize the use of DNA technology in our criminal justice system. Much of NIJ’s work has focused on developing tools to investigate and solve the cases of missing persons and unidentified decedents. Recently the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) has gone online to help solve the nation’s 100,000 missing persons’ cases.
NamUs, a free online system, is a clearinghouse for missing persons and unidentified decedent records. This system can be searched by medical examiners, coroners, law enforcement officials and the general public to solve cases. By entering information such as description, photos, fingerprints, dental records and DNA information, the database provides potential matches and helps to further investigations.
So far, about 6,200 sets of remains and nearly 2,800 missing people have been entered. However, only about 1,100 of the nearly 17,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide are registered to use the system. This system has helped to solve 16 cases since it became operational last year.
As a result, legislation has been introduced named, “Billy’s Law” after a missing person who vanished five years ago. The bill would help to link NamUs with major FBI crime database. The cost of the bill is $10 million in grants annually to police, sheriffs, medical examiners and coroners to train people to use NamUs and to help cover the costs of entering date into the system. It will also provide another $2.4 million a year to run the system and to ensure permanent funding. The bill has passed the House and is pending in the Senate. Supporters are confident it will easily pass.
A residential section of Richmond, a city of 103,000 on the eastern Bay shoreline north of Oakland and Berkeley, seems to be a city where criminals run wild. The latest criminal activity happened in all places in a Church.
Sunday services were interrupted by a gunman with two companions in hooded sweatshirts walked into the church. They scanned the pews and fired about five shots hitting a 14-year-old boy and a 19-year old man. The congregation of about 100 people was stunned.
The 14-year-old was hit in the shoulder and the 19-year old was struck in the leg. Officials say that they will recover from their injuries. Police believe that the criminals were targeting someone in the church but it was unclear if the two who were shot were the ones they were targeting.
This city has already seen seven homicides in 2010. Last October the city gained national attention for the alleged gang rape by as many as 10 people of a 16-year-old girl outside an October homecoming dance at Richmond High School. During the rape, as many as 20 bystanders were allegedly just watching and didn’t help the girl.
It’s time that this city takes back their city. Find the criminals, prosecute them, put them away for along time in jail and ensure that their streets are once again safe.
It was a horrific scene. Four police officers were massacred while sitting in a coffee shop in Lakewood, Washington. They were preparing for their shift when Maurice Clemmons walked into the coffee shop. He went to the counter as if to order coffee but then turned and opened fire on the police officers.
The officers were in full uniform and wearing bulletproof vests but it appeared that Clemmons planned the shooting and executed the police officers. However, the motive is unknown as to why Clemmons shot the police officers.
Currently, the police may have a location for Clemmons. He may be injured and seeking medical assistance. Clemmons’ criminal history includes at least five felony convictions in Arkansas and at least eight felony charges in Washington. However, he has been released numerous times from custody despite the danger he poses to the community.
Recently, Clemmons had been in jail in Pierce County for the past several months on a pending charge of second-degree rape of a child. Six days ago, he was released from custody even though he was wanted on a fugitive warrant out of Arkansas and has felony charges in Washington State.
If you have information on Clemmons please contact your local police department. This low-scum criminal has to be caught and put in jail.
A part-time Census Bureau worker, Bill Sparkman, was found hanged from a tree near a Kentucky cemetery. On his chest was scrawled the word “fed”. This bizarre crime was committed outside of Manchester, the main hub of the southeastern Kentucky County. Just off the highway, the town has a Walmart, a few hotels, chain restaurants and a couple gas stations. Sparkman’s body was found on September 12th in a forested area of the Daniel Boone National Forest that is sparsely populated.
Mr. Sparkman was a substitute teacher and was doing census work as a part-time job. Friends and family say that he was a kind and gentleperson, perhaps even a bit naïve. He had worked for the Census Bureau since 2003 and conducted interviews over five counties in the surrounding area. His most recent work has been in Clay County.
Law enforcement officers call this “an apparent homicide.” Unfortunately, the area where Sparkman was conducting his census is known for drug activity. The person or persons responsible for the death of Mr. Sparkman are facing federal indictment for attacking a federal worker during or because of his federal job.
Law enforcement needs your help. If you know anything about this federal crime, please contact your local law enforcement agency or the FBI.
Who would have thought that a stolen iPhone could catch the thieves who stole it? Apparently, the latest technology for iPhones includes a GPS application where you can pinpoint the location of the phone if it’s ever lost or stolen.
A CMU student in Pittsburgh was mugged on the street by two men who flashed what looked like a gun. They demanded his wallet, PIN and iPhone. Thankfully, the muggers let the student go. However, his friend reminded him about the application on his iPhone. He got to work right away and started to track his iPhone. Within five minutes, he knew where the robbers were. He contacted the police and the criminals were apprehended.
The criminals will be charged with robbery as well as using stolen credit cards. Isn’t technology wonderful!
Can you imagine being assaulted in your home not once but twice – and by the same assailant? That is what happened to a South Minneapolis woman. According to the Star Tribune, a 32-year-old woman was sexually assaulted in her home less than two weeks after the first assault and beating.
Police believe it was the same man who assaulted her. The suspect is described as a 20 to 40 year old white man with gray hair, 5-foot-9 to 6-feet tall, with a medium build. He was wearing a gray hooded sweat shirt and jeans. Police don’t believe the victim and the suspect are acquainted.
If you know anything about this case, please contact police at the sex crimes unit at 612-673-3049. Let’s get this worst criminal of the week put behind bars and give this poor woman some peace of mind.
Today, the FBI’s Most Wanted Domestic Terrorists list grew by one more name. Daniel Andreas San Diego, a 31-year-old computer specialist from Berkeley, CA was added to the FBI’s list. He is wanted for the 2003 bombings of two corporate offices in California. San Diego is the 24th person on the bureau’s wanted terrorist list, and the only domestic terror suspect.
He has tattoos with one on his abdomen showing a burning field and declaring, “It only takes a spark.” San Diego is a strict vegan who also carries a 9mm handgun. The search for San Diego has taken the FBI to Germany, The United Kingdom, Costa Rica, France, Spain, Denmark, Austria, the Philippines and Chile. San Diego has ties to Germany and the FBI believes that he may be living in Costa Rica.
The FBI claims that he may be part of a group calling itself “Revolutionary Cells.” This group has taken responsibility for planting bombs at a research company conducting drug and chemical experiments on animals. This animal rights and environmental extremists have been responsible for over 1,800 criminal acts and more than $110 million in damages. Currently, the bureau is investigating 170 animal rights or environmental extremism incidents.
There is a $250,000 reward for information leading to his capture. This is five times the reward amount offered for other eco-terrorists wanted in the U.S. If you have information, contact the FBI.
If you believe in the code of “no snitching,” think again about the innocent victims’ families that you are hurting from solving murder cases. Take for example, the murder of an eighteen-year-old, St. Paul woman, Jaques Dortch who was in a parked vehicle near her home chatting with friends, when a lone gunman approached and fired shots into the car killing her instantly.
Or Eric Woulard who was shot to death by an unidentified person while he sat in his vehicle in front of a friend’s house. Or the triple murders of a family of three whose home was robbed in the early morning hours of March 23, 2007. The suspects in this case may be in jail, but the police have no proof that these were the murderers/robbers of this family. An additional award of $15,000 plus Crime Stoppers award of $1,000 for information is available for information on this crime.
To see more information about these unsolved crimes go to Crime Stoppers of Minnesota.
If you have any information about these crimes or any person(s) involved, please contact Crime Stoppers. You can remain anonymous and Crime Stoppers do pay a cash reward of up to $1,000. Help the families of these victims to gain closure on these unsolved murders.