Friday, June 28, 2013

LAPD Officers Shot

On June 25, 2013 the Los Angeles Times reported that two LAPD officers were ambushed as they were waiting for the gate to open at the station parking lot.  On the same day, in a different part of town, another LAPD officer and a parole agent were shot inside a home during a search.

Although it appeared that both shootings were unrelated, it brings up the dangers that police throughout the United States face on a daily basis.  Both situations were on different ends of the threat level meter.  One occured out of nowhere, while officers are sitting in a relatively safe area in a police vehicle waiting to enter the police parking lot.  They were ambushed from the rear and fired on in a location where the threat level would be considered very low.

In the second shooting, the officer and the parole agent were in a much more heightened  threat level as they searched a residence for a suspect.

Police work is a job that can go from sheer boredom to extreme danger in the blink of an eye.  Cops are always looking, their minds working like a computer that can register things in a nano-second that 'don't seem right' or are 'out of place.'  The work is extremely mentally taxing.

Cops are the ultimate symbol of authority in our society. They are the ones that can take away a person's freedom.  They are the ones who stop people from acting out there worst behavior on others.  There are really bad people out their with a grudge against society and the people that stand between them and us are the police.  These people obey their own code, and shooting a cop is their ultimate defiance against the society they hate.

Whether there uniform cops on patrol or detectives working on cases, once they hit the street, they are always on alert.  Even when off-duty, they're always looking.  You cant turn it off.  The price they pay for that over a career is often high blood pressure, broken marriages and alcoholism.  It comes with the job.  But they are the sheep dogs who protect the sheep from the wolves who would prey on them.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Aaron Hernandez Arrest

New England Patriots tight end Aaron Hernandez was arrested yesterday in Massachusetts for murder.  In following the case in news broadcasts and the internet, I was struck by the appearance of the detectives during the multiple searches that were done at Hernandez's residence.  In the videos and photographs I saw of the detectives conducting the searches, I noticed that the majority of them were not wearing a sports jacket.  

When I was a LAPD homicide detective in South Central Los Angeles, my lieutenant was a stickler for us to always wear our sports jackets any time we were at a crime scene or in the public eye.  People even called homicide detectives 'the suits.' It didn't matter how hot it was, whether we were canvassing a neighborhood for witnesses, or baking at a crime scene; he made us wear those jackets.  At the time some thought he was old fashioned and out of touch, but now that I look back on it, he kept up the public image of professionals at work.  Even today as a private investigator, I still wear a sports jacket when doing interviews or witness canvasses.  When people think of police detectives, they think jacket and tie.  Anything less and it minimizes the public perception.  

It was interesting to note that when Hernandez was led out of his house in handcuffs, the two detectives with him both had their jackets and ties on.

Monday, June 24, 2013

The Aaron Hernandez Investigation

Recently New England Patriot's tight end Aaron Hernandez's name has been in the news regarding a criminal investigation.  According to news reports, a number of search warrants have been served at his residence in Massachusetts related to the death of a man not far from Hernandez's home.  ABC News reported that police wanted to know why house cleaners had been hired recently to Hernandez's home.  Stating the obvious, as of yet Mr. Hernandez has not been charged with a crime related to this investigation and should be considered innocent until proven otherwise in a court of law.  News agencies have also been known to get information wrong.  My comment here is only on a possible investigation step by the police related to the alleged aspect of having a professional service clean a house, supposedly after a crime might have occurred in it.

First off, the police would most likely interview the owners of the cleaning service and the actual workers who cleaned the location.  Questions would probably include things like when were you hired, who hired you, what directions were you given, were there specific instructions regarding any problem areas at the location.  They would also be questioned as to what, if any, odd or suspicious things did they encounter in the location.  Regarding any possible blood stains at a location or in a vehicle, even after a thorough cleaning, blood stains oftentimes can still be found.  Blood stains can spatter and still be found on clothing, shoes, etc.  Forensic investigators can utilize chemical sprays that can reveal blood stains invisible to the naked eye.  The bottom line is that blood stain evidence can still be recovered even after someone tries to destroy it.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Death of the Night Stalker

Richard Ramirez, the Night Stalker, died in prison on death row on June 7, 2013.  According to his bio on Wikipedia, He was convicted of 13 murders, 5 attempt murders, 11 sexual assaults and 14 burglaries.  His trial lasted over four years. That was the headlines.  Here’s the reality.  Ramirez’s crime rampage occurred in the spring and summer of 1985.  It was during an extremely hot weather period.  He terrorized the state of California.  People were afraid to open their windows at night, despite the heat, for fear of the Night Stalker.  Although most of his crimes occurred in Los Angeles County, on one weekend he murdered a man and shot his wife in San Francisco and then drove to Orange County were he shot a man and raped his fiancĂ©.  In his long list of crimes, he nearly decapitated one murder victim, gouged out the eyes of another, and on two occasions shot and killed a husband and then raped his wife.  I worked the LAPD Night Stalker task force in the hunt for this serial killer.  He professed allegiance to Lucifer and left pentagrams at crime scenes and on a victim’s body.  Of all the criminals I came in contact with and investigated during my police career, he was the one that was truly evil.  He lived 23 years on death row before he died.  I did not mourn his passing.