Friday, February 24, 2012

Does Arizona Governor Jan Brewer have a heart?


I've dedicated my life to seeking justice for missing persons, victims of homicide and their families. Compassion has been a driving force in my life and there is nothing in comparison to the good feeling that you are simply doing the right thing. 

I'm often left perplexed when I see stories on the news about people who are witness to a crime being committed and simply walk in the opposite direction as if they didn't see a thing. I've wondered why so many people lack one of the most basic of human characteristics - a heart. 

Recently, I became aware of the story of William Macumber, a man who has been in prison for 37 years and believed to be innocent by well-respected attorneys, a Superior Court Judge and even the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. I was both inspired and disgusted by his story. I was inspired by the many professionals who stepped up to do the right thing, yet there is one person who has looked the other way. Arizona Governor Jan Brewer. Not only has she refused to commute Macumber's sentence at the recommendation of her own Executive Board, she refuses to provide the public with a valid explanation of why.  

I've seen the Good, Bad and the Ugly after working in criminal justice and victim rights for nearly two decades and I thought I had seen it all. We place our trust in those we appoint into leadership positions to represent the people and make proper decisions in times of peace and in times of crisis. Not only has Governor Brewer looked the other way when confronted with injustice, she refuses to answer to the people who I have to assume she has forgotten she answers to.

On February 20, 1975, William Macumber was sentenced to life in prison for the 1962 double homicide of a young couple in the Arizona desert. At the time, the jury was presented minimal evidence, now considered more than questionable. His conviction was primarily based upon the testimony of his former wife, Carol Kempfert, who had been employed at Maricopa County Sheriff's Office at the time. The Arizona Board of Executive Clemency released a letter stating a 'great injustice has occured' and Macumber should be released. The letter also stated Macumber's wife had the motive, means and opportunity to pin the murders on her husband. Even family members of Kempfert have publicly stated she was capable of framing Macumber and had access to the evidence. Reasonable doubt? 

During Macumber's trial, the jury had not been told there was another man who had been arrested five years after the initial homicides for another double homicide that was eerily similar to the 1962 murders. A drifter, Ernesto Valenzuela was convicted of the second double homicide but what is even more significant is Valenzuela admitted to the 1962 double homicide to not only two attorneys but a psychiatrist. After Valenzuela's murder during a 1973 prison fight, the witnesses offered to testify at Macumber's trial as attorney/physician client privilege no longer applied but the judge refused to hear the testimony of all three witnesses. One of the witnesses, Thomas W. O'Toole went on to serve 24 years as an Arizona Superior Court Judge and stated there was no doubt in his mind Valenzuela committed all four murders. 

Despite a direct admission made to reputable witnesses and the Arizona Board of Executive Clemency 2010 unanimous recommendation that Macumber be released, Governor Jan Brewer has refused. The only statement issued by Governor Brewer's office stated the governor carefully scrutinizes every Executive Clemency case and balances real and important concepts of public safety, justice and mercy. I've always been very respectful of Governor Brewer but one must question the timing of her decision and if she felt granting clemency would have compromised the announcement she was running for full-term as Arizona Governor. Political motive?

Now 76, Macumber suffers from serious health ailments and could pose little threat to public safety. From the evidence presented since he was handed down a life sentence with no possibility of parole, Macumber probably never did pose a threat. He has no prior criminal history. During his time in prison, Macumber has worked as a clerk, education aide, academic clerk, law library clerk, cable TV and audio/visual tech among many other respected positions. In the 37 years of incarceration he has only had one behavioral infraction in 1996 for being involved in an Unauthorized Gathering. A threat to society?  Really?

Governor or Tin Man?
Governor Brewer, please explain how the prosecution in this case fulfilled their obligation to 'bear the burden of proof' and prove Macumber’s guilt BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. Please explain why you have totally disregarded your own Arizona Board of Executive Clemency. Please explain why you refuse to grant clemency to a man who has served 37 years of his life in prison based upon the testimony of a woman who should be investigated for motive, means and opportunity who had direct access to the evidence in the case. That in itself should have disqualified her testimony . . . you know the powerful testimony that was used to serve up an equally harsh life sentence. Governor Brewer, I have to think there is a heart somewhere in there. I pray you don’t wait to offer your condolences to his family after he has fulfilled his life sentence. WHERE IS THE JUSTICE AND MERCY IN THAT?


For additional information:

KNXV News 15 - Son Confronts Brewer Over Clemency Decision
ABC News - Did Wife Frame Husband for Cold Case Murders?
New York Times - Governor Rebuffs Clemency Board in Murder Case
New York Times - Why Won't You Free William Macumber?

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/kympasqualini

Monday, February 13, 2012

ARTSY PRIVATE INVESTIGATORS COMBAT UNDERGROUND WORLD OF STOLEN ART



According to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the criminal enterprise of stolen art is a continuing problem that is growing with estimated annual losses up to 6 billion. Perpetrators of art theft can be small time crooks or sophisticated thieves who meticulously plan their crimes, often trafficking stolen items through an underground network of buyers. 

Bonnie Magness-Gardiner, an archaeologist who manages the Art Theft program at the FBI, indicates more than half of art related thefts occur at private homes.


What do Art Thieves steal?

Referred to as Art and Cultural Property Crimes, stolen works can include items from private owners, governments, museums or protected archaeological sites to include artifacts, statues, decorative arts, fine arts, scientific and musical instruments, coins, stamps, ethnographic objects, antique jewelry and gems, historical maps, manuscripts and other documents of historical significance. Art theft continues to increase due to market demand, open borders, improved transportation methods and even political instability throughout the world.
16th-century Caravaggio painting referred to'The Taking of the Christ' 
or The Kiss of Judaswas stolen in 2008 and recovered in 2010.



Federal Resources

In 2004, the FBI established the FBI Art Crime Team comprised of 13 special agents with specialized training and responsible for investigating art and cultural property theft in specifically assigned geographic regions worldwide. In addition, the Department of Justice has assigned 3 trial attorneys to provide prosecutorial support.


Applying technology 

The Art Crime Team Unit also works in cooperation with international authorities and maintains the National Stolen Art File (NSAF), a computerized database of stolen property reported by US and international authorities throughout the world. NSAF maintains the physical descriptions, images and case information of items reported serving as an investigative tool and analytical database.

The NSAF online database is available to the public and contains information regarding the description, title, maker, and period it was created but does not contain police reports or investigative information. It can be accessed at National Stolen Art File (NSAF). Despite international resources and specialized federal units, international art theft continues to increase and investigations can last years. According to the Public Broadcast Service (PBS), as many as 90 percent of art thefts going unsolved, stating the additional difficulties investigating stolen works is commonly attributed to poor documentation of the item, an unregulated market and failure of collectors and curators to submit reports or descriptive data into existing databases.

The  Art Loss Register (ALR) is another international resource with locations in the United Kingdom, United States, Germany, Netherlands and France that serves as an international database where owners of art works can report a lost or stolen item or register legitimate ownership of valuable possessions. It is also a public searchable database that buyers or investigators can utilize is as a tool to inquire if an item has been reported stolen or lost. ALR also offers registrants expert provenance research and investigative services by qualified art historians.

The Getty Museum developed the Object ID in 1993, creating an international standard for proper documentation and recordkeeping for valuable objects to be used as a preventive measure to theft. The manual, Introduction to Object ID: Guidelines for making records that describe art, antiques, and antiquities can be found in libraries. More recently, The J. Paul Getty Trust published Collections Theft Response Procedures manual used by international authorities, museums, collectors and libraries throughout the world. The guide helps those responsible for works by providing a checklist and guidelines addressing preventive measures and effectively responding to theft. The manual includes how to properly report stolen works, work with authorities, insurance companies and private detectives. For more information you may visit The J. Paul Getty Trust Museum.


Private Detectives Specializing in Art Recovery

Art thieve investigators can be hired by private owners, financial institutions, insurance companies, museums, art dealers and collectors to investigate and recover trafficked art and archaeological items and forgeries. For private investigators to effectively investigate and recover stolen works it is necessary to work cooperatively with federal and international authorities, develop relationships with those within the international art community as well as becoming familiar with the underground networks of unscrupulous art dealers responsible for trafficking and sales of stolen items. Working independently but cooperatively with authorities, private investigators can provide rapid response theft recovery and significantly aide in the prosecution in the dark world of art thievery.

Knowledgeable thieves can sell stolen works for millions while the smaller time thief may sell a stolen work of art for far less than it value and far less cautious in the effort to make a sale. Priceless works of art have been located in Manhattan apartments, at garage sales and even on Craigslist. Many stolen works have been sold to private buyers without the purchaser having knowledge the items is even stolen.

Private investigators specializing in art theft recovery have a desire to preserve history but also knowledge in national and international antiquity investigation techniques, customs and international law, insurance claims, appraisal, forgery analysis, criminal and civil art law, conservation, and art financial services.

Working with private investigators can also prevent victimization when purchasing valuable works. Investigators can assist with due diligence and provenance by analyzing and verifying information, collecting historical data on items and helping coordinate sales and purchases between parties assisting both the buyer and seller by reducing risk of future potential criminal or civil litigation.

Fighting art theft is a worldwide effort that involves professionals from public and private industry but when it comes to piece of history - it is always worth protecting.

Sources:
J. Paul Getty Trust www.getty.edu/museum


Author - Kym L. Pasqualini
Director, Missing Media Solutions
www.missingmediasolutions.com



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

URGENT REQUEST - PLEASE HELP PASS HB 2169


Call to Action - As founder and former CEO of the National Center for Missing Adults (NCMA), I proudly support HB 2169 here in Arizona. The Arizona Campaign for the Missing is part of a national campaign created by Kelly Jolkowski, founder of Project Jason. The goal of the campaign is to pass legislation in each state that will better serve missing persons and their families. 

Time is of the essence when searching for an 'at risk' missing person AND time is of the essence to pass HB 2169 in Arizona by February 14th. I am URGING other Arizona residents to please join in our efforts and call, email or fax our Arizona Legislators stating you support HB 2169. Please read the press release below for your representatives contact information.  


WHY I SUPPORT HB 2169

Equal Services Needed for All Missing - In 1982 Congress passed the Missing Children Act, a federal mandate requiring law enforcement to take an immediate report of a missing child and enter the data into the FBI, National Crime Information Center. No such law exists for those 18 and over. 

My Work with the US Department of Justice - During 2005-2006, I was elected to serve on the President's DNA Initiative - DNA Task Force, the National Missing Person Task Force and the Unidentified Dead Task Force funded through the National Institute of Justice and US Department of Justice (DOJ). Each task force was represented by experts to include local, state and federal law enforcement, anthropologists, FBI criminal profilers, forensic scientists, advocates and victim families.

As members, we were tasked with presenting the scope of the national problem and formulating recommendations utilizing existing and advanced technology to ensure unidentified, missing persons and their families received appropriate services. As a result, model legislation was developed, training initiatives, and DNA collection kits. The DNA program for missing and unidentified is facilitated by University North Texas – Center for Human Identification’s Forensic Services Unit in cooperation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Combined DNA Index System.

After working nearly 20 years with families of missing persons I can’t stress enough the importance of passing HB 2169, as recommended by the DOJ. I commend the families of missing persons who are determined and courageously speaking out not only on behalf of their own missing family member, but the thousands of missing persons who have never had a voice. It is time our Arizona lawmakers hear their voice and pass HB 2169!


















FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
Contact:
Amy Dattilo: amy_dattilo@hotmail.com
Kelly Jolkowski: kelly.jolkowski@projectjason.org

Arizona State Representatives Rueben Gallego and Jeff Dial Co-sponsor HB 2169

Although there are 2,000 missing person cases and close to 300 unidentified human remains in the state of Arizona, there are no formal statewide mandates in place to be sure those 300 remains are thoroughly and systematically compared to the 2,000 missing persons to potentially identify the remains, close the cases, put a stop to criminals and bring some missing person home to their families. Families of the missing have therefore begun a grass roots effort to pass legislation which will aid authorities in resolving these cases and giving a name to the unidentified.

The Campaign for the Missing is based on the United States Department of Justice's Model Legislation for best practices in handling missing persons and unidentified remains cases, and the bill takes advantage of new advances in technologies and resources, providing valuable tools for law enforcement. Nonprofit organization Project Jason keeps the bill updated as advances such as national databases and DNA emerge. Project Jason helps facilitate efforts to pass it in each state. Thus far, 10 states have adopted the law.

Amy Dattilo, cousin of missing Molly Dattilo from Indiana, is the citizen lead in the Arizona campaign. Amy states: "I became involved with the bill because of my experiences when Molly disappeared. When my sister called me to tell me that Molly was missing from Indianapolis, I was shocked to find that Molly was not classified as a high risk missing person, and there was no sense of urgency due to the fact she was over the age of 18. Two weeks later, a ground search had not been conducted nor offered, so I organized it without any experience or knowledge. Time and evidence were lost forever in those first weeks. Molly has now been missing since July 6, 2004. “

Project Jason's founder, Kelly Jolkowski, is no stranger to living with ambiguous loss, as her son Jason has been missing for more than 10 years. Jolkowski feels a significant component of the proposed law is the systematic and consistent matching of key identifiers, such as fingerprints, dental records, and DNA, from a missing person to those of the unidentified. "My son's body may have been found in another state and either buried or cremated without DNA taken, processed, and entered in the national database. If that has happened, we will live the rest of our lives not knowing what happened to him. If the available identifiers are not taken and entered into national databases by both law enforcement and authorities in charge of human remains, we'll continue to have unresolved cases, and criminals will remain free to commit more crimes," she explains.

Arizona state Representatives Rueben Gallego and Jeff Dial are the co-sponsors of HB 2169. In addition to clearing missing and unidentified person cases through the collection of critical identifiers, the bill provides a checklist of data that can be collected from the reporting party, and numerous resources that will aid law enforcement in investigation and case resolution.

How the public and media can help
Arizona residents can contact all state senators and representatives, asking for support for the bill. Media assistance is requested to facilitate awareness for the Campaign for the Missing. Often, citizens are not aware of the sheer numbers of missing persons right in their own communities, and the great difficulty the investigation of these cases presents.

Background of the Campaign: http://projectjason.org/legislation.shtml

The purpose of this law:
House Bill 2169, Campaign for the Missing is a grassroots effort to pass legislation in each state that will serve to improve the law enforcement community's ability to locate and ensure a safe return of missing persons. It will address the local & national problems of missing persons and the identification of human remains and provide the framework for improving law enforcement's response. It will also improve the collection of critical information about missing persons, prioritize high-risk missing persons cases, and ensure prompt dissemination of critical information to other law enforcement agencies and the public that can improve the likelihood of a safe return.

About Kelly Jolkowski and Project Jason
Kelly Jolkowski, president and founder of Project Jason, is one of the few non-law enforcement people trained in missing persons and has more than 100 hours of professional training on missing persons from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, The U.S. Department of Justice, and Fox Valley Technical College.

In 2010, the U.S. Justice Department’s Office for Victims of Crime named Kelly Jolkowski as the Volunteer for Victims Honoree. Jolkowski was one of eight people honored by US Attorney General Eric Holder for their work assisting victims of crime.

Project Jason, founded in 2003, is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting families of missing persons. The organization offers tactical guidance, emotional support, and hope for families continuing their searches for answers. Project Jason is based in Omaha, Nebraska. For more information about Project Jason’s objectives, activities and services, go to http://www.projectjason.org

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

FBI DEFINES PSUEDOEXPERTS


I am never here to criticize another individual's efforts to help victims but there are some public figures who can often verbally render more harm than good. Seen as experts, often their public comments take victim's families into little consideration and even have the potential to compromise an investigation. If done repeatedly, it then becomes an issue of potential social irresponsibility.



My recommendation - Listen to REAL Respected Professionals  Actively Working in the Field of Criminal Profiling.

Listen Here: Behind the Yellow Tape with Joey Ortega