With a hint of pride, pig farmer William Robert Pickton, tells police the only reason he got caught was because he got “sloppy at the end”.
A pig farmer by trade, Robert William Pickton of Port Coquitlam BC, stood before the courts charged with the first degree murders of twenty-six women. Pickton stood trial for six of the murders, yet on the first day of his trial it was alleged that Robert Pickton confessed to an undercover cop that he was one kill short of 50. Pickton stated to the police officer that he didn’t get his goal and was only caught because he had gotten “sloppy”.
His goal? Just what was this self-professed, cold-blooded killer out to accomplish?
This was a man who was well known to police for his outrageous parties and obnoxious behaviour. Pickton threw wild parties on his property under the guise of a registered charity called the “Piggy Palace Good Times Society.” The so-called non-profit society had an official mandate to “organize, co-ordinate, manage and operate special events, functions, dances, shows and exhibitions on behalf of service organizations, sports organizations and other worthy groups.”
According to court evidence these ‘events’ were hardly more than wild rave parties, complete with downtown east-side prostitutes; the favoured targets of Pickton. Pickton was arrested during an investigation into illegal firearms on his property. Police later obtained a second search warrant as part of the larger ‘BC Missing Women Investigation‘. This resulted in the discovery of personal items belonging to a missing woman being found on his property. The investigation then turned more serious.
Police combed every inch of Pickton’s pig farm and other property belonging to Pickton. It was a tedious task to uncover any more evidence, as it was alleged that Pickton fed his victims to his pigs. It was also alleged that Pickton may have compounded human flesh with ground pork from his farm, and later given it out to friends and other visitors to the farm.
Before the courts, Pickton pleaded not guilty to all charges of first-degree murder. Of the forty nine murders he was investigated for, Pickton ended up with eight sticking. Pickton was on trial for six of the murders, with evidence getting some cases dropped. It was on the first day of his trial it was alleged that Robert Pickton confessed to an undercover cop that he was one kill short of 50. Pickton smirked when the verdict was read, and second degree murder was reached in a few counts.
Early on in the trial, witness Andrew Bellwood told the jury that Pickton confessed to him he would strangle his victims while he had sex with them, gut and butcher them in his slaughterhouse and feed some remains to his pigs. Pickton has acknowledged the bodies were found on his property, but denied killing them.
Later, the accused serial killer Robert Pickton described how he killed prostitutes after having sex with them and used his pigs to help dispose of the remains. Prosecution witness Andrew Bellwood, who lived briefly at Pickton’s farm, testified that Pickton showed him handcuffs and play-acted as he described stroking their hair and telling them everything would be okay, “it’s over now”. Bellwood said Pickton told him that after butchering the dead women in the farm’s slaughterhouse, he fed some of the remains to his pigs. Any remains the pigs did not eat were put into a container and taken to an animal rendering plant.
As proceedings continued relentlessly, the star witness in the trial of an accused Canadian serial killer offered graphic testimony at his trial in British Columbia. Lynn Ellingsen told the court that she walked into the barn at Robert Pickton’s pig farm to find him covered in blood and a woman’s body hanging from a chain. Ellingsen, a former sex worker, said she recognized the woman’s body as that of a prostitute they had picked up earlier that night. She did not say when the event occurred.
Pickton told a friend he was not a murderer and that a female acquaintance of his was responsible for at least some killings, the Canadian court heard. In another bizarre twist, Pickton blamed the murders of prostitutes whose bodies were found on his Vancouver-area pig farm on Dinah Taylor, who spent time at his property, his friend Gina Houston told the court under questioning by Pickton’s lawyer. Houston, a friend of Pickton’s for more than a decade, said Pickton made the comments in a February 20, 2002, conversation that happened after police raided his farm but before he was formally charged with any of the murders. “Willie told me that she would take responsibility for what she said she would take responsibility for,” Houston said.
Jurors in the trial of a farmer accused of killing 26 women watched videotaped interviews in which he denies knowing the victims and asks a police officer: “Do I look like a murderer?” He was accused of luring women to his pig farm outside Vancouver, where investigators say he threw drunken raves with prostitutes and drugs. In the videotape shown, Pickton is slumped in his chair, often with his head in his hands as he is interviewed by Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Bill Fordy.
Fordy is seen telling Pickton a “huge amount” of blood was in his trailer on the farm. “That’s human blood, lots of it,” Fordy says. “That’s Mona Wilson’s blood. This is where she’d been dumped. There’s DNA all over the place; it’s on the floors, it’s on the walls.”
“But that don’t mean I did it,” Pickton says.
Finally, after more than nine days and into the second weekend, the jury reached a verdict: Pickton was found guilty on six counts of second-degree murder, but not guilty on six counts of first-degree murder. Many in the courtroom were stunned and disappointed. While Pickton will receive a life sentence, he could be eligible for parole in ten years. The jury left this decision in the hands of the judge. The verdict meant that the jury either did not believe that Pickton had planned the murders or that he had acted on his own, although they clearly did believe that he was involved. The problem for the jurors considering the first degree conviction was the absence of an obvious ‘smoking gun’.
Getting to the point here, we should pose the question; is Pickton really a cold-blooded murderer, or a victim of his upbringing and society? He has been quoted as saying things such as the references to his apparent notoriety repeatedly, saying “I’m a legend already.” Later in transcripts, Pickton says, “You must have heard about me from the … news or the paper. Everybody knows about me, right?” He continues: “The whole f–king world knows me, all the way to Hong Kong everywheres.” And again, things like – “Now they are trying to charge me for 50 murders. Fifty f–king murders.” … But later, Pickton says he was “gonna do one more, make it an even 50.”
He also complains the investigation has ruined his life, saying, “I’m buried now” and “I hear I’m dead.” He laments police taking “everything away from you, everything you worked for.” When asked by the undercover officer what evidence police have against him, he says they found DNA and “old carcasses.” He also refers to a “rendering plant” while discussing ways to dispose of things. Pickton reveals details of his life growing up, talking about working on the pig farm and saying his family lived in a chicken coop when he was two years old. He tells the informant he has no vices, saying, “I don’t do drugs, I don’t smoke, I don’t drink … I am just a farm boy.”
Apparently, we have a man who is either delusional, or grasping at an insanity plea ..
What is your take on this shambles? Here, we have not only other innocent victims of a debauched society, but is Pickton to be counted among the victims as well? Or is Pickton a manipulative and conniving murderer, who killed his victims in cold blood? Also, how do you feel about the fact that this ‘man’ will soon be eligible to walk our streets again .. free to claim his ‘victim number 50’?
Pickton’s trial commenced on January 30, 2006 in New Westminster.Pickton pleaded not guilty to 27 charges of first-degree murder in the Supreme Court of British Columbia. The “trial within a trial” (determine the admissibility of evidence) phase of the trial took most of the year to decide what evidence may be admitted before the jury. On March 2, one of the 27 counts was rejected by Justice James Williams for lack of evidence.
On August 9, Justice Williams severed the charges, splitting them into one group of six counts and another group of twenty counts. The trial proceeded on the group of six counts. The remaining 20 counts could have been heard in a separate trial, but ultimately were stayed on August 4, 2010. Because of the publication ban, full details of the decision are not publicly available; but the judge has explained that trying all 26 charges at once would put an unreasonable burden on the jury, as the trial could last up to two years, and have an increased chance for a mistrial. The judge also added that the six counts he chose had “materially different” evidence from the other 20.
The date for the jury trial of the first six counts was initially set to start January 8, 2007, but later delayed to January 22. On that date, Pickton faced first-degree murder charges in the deaths of Frey, Abotsway, Papin, Joesbury, Wolfe and Wilson. The media ban was lifted and for the first time Canadians heard the details of what was found during the long investigation: skulls cut in half with hands and feet stuffed inside; the remains of one victim found stuffed in a garbage bag, and her blood-stained clothing found in Pickton’s trailer; part of another victim’s jawbone and teeth found beside Pickton’s slaughterhouse; and a .22 caliber revolver with an attached dildo containing both his and a victim’s DNA. In a videotaped recording played for the jury, Pickton claimed to have attached the dildo to his weapon as a makeshift silencer.
As of February 20, 2007, the following information had been presented to the court:
During Pickton’s trial, lab staff testified that about 80 unidentified DNA profiles, roughly half male and half female, have shown up on evidence.
The items police found inside Pickton’s trailer: A loaded .22 revolver with a dildo over the barrel and one round fired, boxes of .357 Magnum handgun ammunition, night-vision goggles, two pairs of faux fur-lined handcuffs, a syringe with three milliliters of blue liquid inside, and “Spanish fly” aphrodisiac.
A videotape of Pickton’s friend Scott Chubb saying Pickton had told him a good way to kill a female heroin addict was to inject her with windshield washer fluid. A second tape was played for Pickton, in which an associate named Andrew Bellwood said Pickton mentioned killing prostitutes by handcuffing and strangling them, then bleeding and gutting them before feeding them to pigs.
Photos of the contents of a garbage can found in Pickton’s slaughterhouse, which held some remains of Mona Wilson.
In October 2007, a juror was accused of having made up her mind already that Pickton was innocent. The trial judge questioned the juror, saying “It’s reported to me you said from what you had seen you were certain Mr. Pickton was innocent, there was no way he could have done this. That the court system had arrested the wrong guy.” The juror denied this completely. Justice Williams ruled that she could remain on the jury since it had not been proven she made the statements.
Justice James Williams suspended jury deliberations on December 6, 2007 after he discovered an error in his charge to the jury. Earlier in the day, the jury had submitted a written question to Justice James requesting clarification of his charge, asking “Are we able to say ‘yes’ [i.e., find Pickton guilty] if we infer the accused acted indirectly?”
On December 9, 2007, the jury returned a verdict that Pickton is not guilty on 6 counts of first-degree murder, but is guilty on 6 counts of second-degree murder. A second-degree murder conviction carries a punishment of a life sentence, with no possibility of parole for a period between 10 to 25 years, to be set by the trial judge. On December 11, 2007, after reading 18 victim impact statements, British Columbia Supreme Court Judge Justice James Williams sentenced Pickton to life with no possibility of parole for 25 years—the maximum punishment for second-degree murder, and equal to the sentence which would have been imposed for a first-degree murder conviction. “Mr. Pickton’s conduct was murderous and repeatedly so. I cannot know the details but I know this: What happened to them was senseless and despicable,” said Justice Williams in passing the sentence.
Some of the missing women thought to be Pickton’s victims – This does not depict all of the missing women from Vancouver’s East Side.
Injustice, And Even Injustice Within Families Has Been Around For A Very Long Time, And Here Is Just One Story:
Norma (Hipel) Jacques and her daughter Nancy Dasent
This post contains quotes from my friend, Ant World. His comments and question are outlined by italic script and quotations.
The former Ontario Liberal MPP and Cabinet Minister, The Hon. Norman O. Hipel, was also a prominent businessman, father and husband. He passed away in 1953, in what is now Cambridge, Ontario, leaving behind a wife, Olive, and two children, George and Norma.
When Mr. Hipel passed away, he left an inheritance to be divided equally between his two children, after his wife passed on. A considerable sum, and his daughter was never going to see a penny of it – for 60 years, that is.
Since the death of her father, Norma has struggled through poverty to raise seven children, even after her mother passed away in 1978. In 2004, one of Norma’s daughters stumbled upon her grandfather’s will in public archives and began investigating. A year later, with the help of her family, Norma launched a lawsuit against the estate of her later brother, George, and TD Canada Trust Co. The claim against Canada Trust was for punitive damages for the alleged breach of trustee duty, negligence, breach of trust, and other failures by Waterloo Trust and Savings Company (acquired by Canada Trust in 1968) in the handling of her father’s estate.
Norma, now Norma Jacques, filed a suit for $20,000,000 against Canada Trust and a suit against the estate of her brother, George. In 2008, the estate of her late brother settled out of court for roughly $560,000 in cash and property. In 2011, Norma lost the case against the trust company, the judge citing that she should have known about the inheritance long ago and made the claim within the allotted time frame, which is 6 years. That would have given Norma plenty of time, according to the courts .. 54 years ago. After struggling for decades to make ends meet, Norma lost her case against the powerhouse Trust company.
Important documents could not be located by Canada Trust, while the court agreed that Norma’s brother, George ripped her off and hid the inheritance. (Ant writes;) “At the same time, the courts held Canada Trust blameless on their fiduciary duties. In other words, while they were supposed to have been managing the affairs of the inherited trust, they could not prove they kept proper records. When asked to show their records on the case, all they could produce was an empty folder. They claim it was customary to discard papers.”
“Is what we have in this instance a case of the judge being influenced by the Power brokers of society? Another innuendo that cannot be proven is that the brother had deceptively taken control of the company and made decisions behind Norma’s back. If he had dealings with Waterloo Trust, how reliable is the position of WT and the claim of conveniently lost papers?”
“Another interesting fact is that when the company that George was running was about to be audited, the building burned down. In the Fire Marshall‘s report, he stated it could not have been more convenient. The Fire Marshall’s testimony could not be taken into court, because it was construed as hearsay – he had passed away, so his testimony was not accepted by the courts. “
Ant also points out, “So how weak is the judge’s decision that says, “he agrees with the plaintiff, but cannot hold the trust company liable because it was too late to file a claim?” Are we telling people in our society if you were wronged, ‘well then, too bad, so sad, you waited too long?’ Do we have different levels of standards and obligations depending on who you are and where you stand in society? Are we telling people if they expected a certain level of service but it was never clearly delivered, a provider is able to drag their feet long enough to discharge their duties?”
Norma suffered a stroke a few years before going to court, and had some difficulty remembering exact dates. That would not be
Should there be punishment within families for faith and fidelity to the one we love, even if our family does not approve?
unusual, as Norma is 91. You might wonder yourself why this kindly woman waited so long, and did not know of the inheritance long ago. The answer is simple; Norma married a man that the family did not approve of and became estranged from her family before her father’s passing. She may not have known her father left her any monies at all, at this point, figuring that because of her choice of husband, her father had omitted her from the will.
Ant poses the questions, “If you cannot trust your own sibling, who can you trust in this world? How could someone so blatantly rob their own blood relative like that?” Good questions, Ant. I think it is important to point out that this was a prominent family once upon a time. Perhaps the family thought they were ‘dishonoured’ when Norma married a man they did not approve of. Does that make it acceptable for someone to treat their own blood that poorly, to watch them struggle endlessly, just because they felt slighted?
Sad fact is, there is a lot of mistreatment within families, then and now. Power struggles within families is a old as history itself. Why is this? As blood relatives, we are supposed to look out for one another, as God intended. The paths that we choose should be our own choices, and it is normal for our family members to be concerned if we stray a little from what they believe is good for us.
In Norma’s case, she married a man and endured decades of poverty with this man. Now, should she be punished for being dedicated to this man of her choice? I think not. That is love in it’s strongest bond. For better or worse, Norma remained faithful and true to a man she loved, and he in return did the same. That is no cause to be punished by anyone, let alone family members.
I applaud Norma and her husband for prevailing and raising seven fine, upstanding children. Children, who helped their mother to seek justice for the grievous slight to her so long ago. Her children, blood relatives, who stood by their mother and respected her enough to help her, unlike the blood brother, mother and father that abandoned her so long ago.
Family – God’s Assurance We Will Never Be Alone
Families do not always band together as they should, and in some cases, will strike out against another member, as was this case. We are Blessed to have children, parents and siblings, so why do some feel the need to be in control of the family and lash out at one member for following the path they choose for themselves? If we believe that a family member is straying from a healthy path, should we disown them, or remain close and support lovingly? I think the answer is clear.
Ant poses the question to you, the reader; “Do you believe the statute of limitations should apply in such a case? If so, why, when it is perfectly clear the trust company had a duty of care for Norma?”
Many thanks to Ant World, for sharing your valued opinions on this topic.
Jealousy, Anger Management Issues, PMS, or Are Some People Just Born That Way?
Is Anger Animal Instinct, or Normal Behaviour For Some?
You know, after researching and writing all of this information, I wonder how many people will actually read this and wonder if they too have a personality disorder! Written on a typical Monday (great start to the work week, right?)
How many types of personalities have you encountered this week? Think back now; what was your day like? Whether you work or are a stay at home parent, you must have left your house at some point. Did you drive? Walk? Take a bus? Go into a store or restaurant? How many places can you think of that you visited this last week? Now try to remember how many faces you saw. I can bet there are a lot of them. Did you know that the most complaints about ‘lunatics’ originate in the workplace? This could be because we spend a good deal of time there – or perhaps there is something far more interesting at play here .. How many types of personality do you think you came across this week? How many possibilities are there? Here are just a few:
Sounds like a lot, doesn’t it? In the larger picture, it really is minimal. On any given day, we may really only come across one or two people who meet the ‘different’ category, though not everyone seems to be within what we consider as ‘normal’ in our own perception. We will, however, come across people we do not always get along with. Some of them have genuine emotional or social issues, and some may simply have a different view or outlook on life and what is socially acceptable.
In any larger work environment, we find at least one person that everyone seems to dislike and has ongoing issues with. Worst case scenario, this is your superior, and that can only mean trouble! A real clash can happen easily between different personality types, if you are either aggressive or passive, and your co-workers are opposite.
Let me give you a brief run down on the A,B,C’s (D too) of personality types ..
A) – A typical Type A is more aggressive, independent, ambitious, volatile, and rigid than most. They are usually fast talkers, and have no patience for laziness, and do not eat or sleep well, because their minds are constantly on the move.
B) – Type B’s are gregarious, social animals, who live by the motto, “don’t sweat the small stuff.” They are generally well-liked, but suffer from distractedness and a lack of attention to detail. These are the folks who used to get yelled at in science class for talking to their partner about the big party at Lisa’s rather than dissecting the frog. Social, not driven by success but rather personal relationships; needs to be well liked.
C) – This lesser-known type is notorious for feeling like they should sweat the small stuff. They are logical, analytical rule-followers who need to be sure of the why’s and how’s before making a move. They dislike risks, are not the greatest at standing up for themselves, and tend to be a bit anti-social, preferring the unchanging manner of numbers and facts to the unpredictable nature of other people.
D) – Hardly anyone talks about this type, probably because they are too busy worrying to make much of an impression. Type D’s are described in such wonderfully complementary terms as “anxious”, overreacting”, and “needing to be told what to do”. On the positive side, they are often the “rock” of the workplace, the loyal one with little ambition of her own—the perfect person to complain to about other co-irkers or your Type A boss.
We all need comedy in our lives!
It may be difficult to deal with someone (or many) whose personalities differ from yours. You may find you are a real go-getter, and your co-worker (or superior) is, in your eyes, a slouch. Or you have a boss who is a complete slave-driver and is working you to the point of exhaustion.
Lets discuss the list of personality types for a moment:
1) – Addictive personality:
An addictive personality refers to a particular set of personality traits that make an individual predisposed to addictions. An addictive personality may be defined as a psychological setback that makes a person more susceptible to addictions. This can include anything from drug and alcohol abuse to pornography addiction, gambling addiction, Internet addiction, addiction to video games, overeating, exercise addiction, workaholism and even relationships with others.
Addictions come in many forms!
Experts describe the spectrum of behaviours designated as addictive in terms of five interrelated concepts which include: patterns, habits, compulsions, impulse control disorders, and physical addiction. Such a person may switch from one addiction to another, or even sustain multiple addictions at different times.
2) – Antisocial personality disorder:
Antisocial (or dissocial) personality disorder is characterized by a lack of empathy or remorse and a pervasive pattern of disregard for, or violation of, the rights of others. There may be an impoverished moral sense or conscience and a history of crime, legal problems, and impulsive and aggressive behaviour. According to Professor Emily Simonoff, Institute of Psychiatry, childhood hyperactivity and conduct disorder showed equally strong prediction of antisocial personality disorder (ASPD) and criminality in early and mid-adult life. Lower IQ and reading problems were most prominent in their relationships with childhood and adolescent antisocial behaviour.
3) – Borderline personality disorder:
Borderline personality disorder (BPD) is a cluster-B personality disorder, the essential feature of which is a pattern of marked impulsivity and instability of affects, interpersonal relationships and self image. The pattern is present by early adulthood and occurs across a variety of situations and contexts. Other symptoms usually include intense fears of abandonment and intense anger and irritability, the reason for which others have difficulty understanding. People with BPD often engage in idealization and devaluation of others, alternating between high positive regard and great disappointment.Self-harm and suicidal behaviour are common.
The disorder is recognized in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Because a personality disorder is a pervasive, enduring, and inflexible pattern of maladaptive inner experiences and pathological behaviour, there is a general reluctance to diagnose personality disorders before adolescence or early adulthood. However, some emphasize that without early treatment symptoms may worsen.
Most of us can get a point across with an even tone and temperament, whereas some find it impossible.
4) – Depressive personality disorder:
Depressive personality disorder (also known as melancholic personality disorder) is a controversial psychiatric diagnosis that denotes a personality disorder with depressive features. People with depressive personality disorder have a generally gloomy outlook on life, themselves, the past and the future. They are plagued by issues developing and maintaining relationships.
5) – Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder:
Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), also called anankastic personality disorder, is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control and a need for power over one’s environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency. It causes major suffering and stress, especially in areas of personal relationships. Persons affected with this disorder may find it hard to relax, always feeling that time is running out for their activities and that more effort is needed to achieve their goals.
They may plan their activities down to the minute—a manifestation of the compulsive tendency to keep control over their environment and to dislike unpredictable things as things they can’t control. Obsessive–compulsive personality disorder (OCPD), also called anankastic personality disorder, is a personality disorder characterized by a pervasive pattern of preoccupation with orderliness, perfectionism, mental and interpersonal control and a need for power over one’s environment, at the expense of flexibility, openness, and efficiency.
Living with OCD is very difficult.
It causes major suffering and stress, especially in areas of personal relationships.Persons affected with this disorder may find it hard to relax, always feeling that time is running out for their activities and that more effort is needed to achieve their goals. They may plan their activities down to the minute—a manifestation of the compulsive tendency to keep control over their environment and to dislike unpredictable things as things they can’t control.
6) – Passive–aggressive behaviour:
Passive-aggressive behaviour is the indirect expression of hostility, such as expressed through procrastination, sarcasm, stubbornness, sullenness, or deliberate or repeated failure to accomplish requested tasks for which one is (often explicitly) responsible. In psychology, passive-aggressive behaviour is characterized by a habitual pattern of passive resistance to expected work requirements, opposition, stubbornness, and negative attitudes in response to requirements for normal performance levels expected of others.
Passive? Or aggressive?
Most frequently it occurs in the workplace where resistance is exhibited by such indirect behaviours as procrastination, forgetfulness, and purposeful inefficiency, especially in reaction to demands by authority figures, but it can also occur in interpersonal contexts.
7) – Personality development disorder:
A personality development disorder is an inflexible and pervasive pattern of inner experience and behaviour in children and adolescents, that markedly deviates from the expectations of the individual’s culture. Adults usually show personality patterns over a long duration of time. Children and adolescents however still show marked changes in personality development.
Some of these children and adolescents have a hard time developing their personalities in an ordinary way. Children and adolescents are at higher risk to develop an antisocial personality disorder if they showed signs of conduct disorder and attention deficit disorder before the age of 10. The concept of personality development disorders also focuses on the severity of the disorder and the poor prognosis. An early diagnosis might help to get the right treatment at an early stage and thus might help to prevent a personality disorder outcome in adulthood.
Similar to the adult diagnosis personality disorder these children display enduring patterns of inner experience and behaviour deviating markedly from the expectations of the individual’s culture. These patterns are inflexible and pervasive across a broad range of personal and social situations, lead to clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning and they are stable and of long duration (more than a year).
8) – Personality pathology:
Personality pathology refers to enduring patterns of cognition, emotion, and behaviour that negatively affect a person’s adaptation. In psychiatry and clinical psychology, it is characterized by adaptive inflexibility, vicious cycles of maladaptive behaviour, and emotional instability under stress. In the United States and elsewhere, personality disorders are diagnosed categorically on Axis II (see below) of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders published by the American Psychiatric Association.
9) – Psychopathy:
Psychopathy (or sociopathy) is traditionally defined as a personality disorder characterized by enduring antisocial behaviour, diminished empathy and remorse, and disinhibited or bold behaviour. It may also be defined as a continuous aspect of personality, representing scores on different personality dimensions found throughout the population in varying combinations. The definition of psychopathy has varied significantly throughout the history of the concept; different definitions continue to be used that are only partly overlapping and sometimes appear contradictory.
The triarchic model, formulated by Christopher J. Patrick et al., suggests that different conceptions of psychopathy emphasize three observable characteristics to varying degrees.
Boldness. Low fear including stress-tolerance, toleration of unfamiliarity and danger, and high self-confidence and social assertiveness. The PCL-R measures this relatively poorly and mainly through Facet 1 of Factor 1. Similar to PPI Fearless dominance. May correspond to differences in the amygdala and other neurological systems associated with fear.
Disinhibition. Poor impulse control including problems with planning and foresight, lacking affect and urge control, demand for immediate gratification, and poor behavioral restraints. Similar to PCL-R Factor 2 and PPI Impulsive antisociality. May correspond to impairments in frontal lobe systems that are involved in such control.
Meanness. Lacking empathy and close attachments with others, disdain of close attachments, use of cruelty to gain empowerment, exploitative tendencies, defiance of authority, and destructive excitement seeking. The PCL-R in general is related to this but in particular some elements in Factor 1. Similar to PPI Coldheartedness but also includes elements of subscales in Impulsive antisociality. Meanness may possibly be caused by either high boldness or high disinhibition combined with an adverse environment. Thus, a child with high boldness may respond poorly to punishment but may respond better to rewards and secure attachments which may not be available under adverse conditions. A child with high disinhibition may have increased problems under adverse conditions with meanness developing in response.
Who is in charge?
10) – Queen bee syndrome:
Queen bee syndrome describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female. This phenomenon has been documented by several studies. In another study, scientists from the University of Toronto speculated that the queen bee syndrome may be the reason that women find it more stressful to work for women managers; no difference was found in stress levels for male workers. An alternate, though closely related, definition describes a queen bee as one who has succeeded in her career, but refuses to help other women do the same.
Queen bee syndrome describes a woman in a position of authority who views or treats subordinates more critically if they are female. This phenomenon has been documented by several studies. In another study, scientists from the University of Toronto speculated that the queen bee syndrome may be the reason that women find it more stressful to work for women managers; no difference was found in stress levels for male workers. An alternate, though closely related, definition describes a queen bee as one who has succeeded in her career, but refuses to help other women do the same.
11) – Sadistic personality disorder:
Sadistic personality disorder or Sadism involves gaining pleasure from seeing others undergo discomfort or pain. The opponent-process theory explains the way in which individuals not only display, but also take enjoyment in committing sadistic acts. Individuals possessing sadistic personalities display recurrent aggression and cruel behaviour. Sadism can also include the use of emotional cruelty, purposefully manipulating others through the use of fear, and a preoccupation with violence.
While some sadistic individuals do gain pleasure in imposing pain and suffering upon others, sadism does not always involve the use of physical aggression or violence. More often, sadistic individuals express aggressive social behaviours and enjoy publicly humiliating others in order to achieve a sense of power over them. Sadistic Personality Disorder is often found to occur in unison with other personality disorders. In fact, studies have found that sadistic personality disorder is the personality disorder with the highest level of connection to other types of psychopathologic disorders. However, sadism has also been found in patients who do not display other forms of psychopathic disorders.
One personality disorder that is often found to occur alongside sadistic personality disorder is conduct disorder, not an adult disorder but one of childhood and adolescence. In addition, anti-social and narcissistic personality disorders are sometimes found in individuals diagnosed with sadistic personality disorder. Other disorders that are also often found to exist with sadistic personality disorder include bipolar disorder, panic disorders,depression, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, self-defeating personality disorder and passive-aggressive behaviour. Studies have found other types of illnesses, such as alcoholism, to have a high rate of association with sadistic personality disorder.
DSM-III-R Criteria for sadistic personality disorder:
A) A pervasive pattern of cruel, demeaning and aggressive behaviour, beginning by early adulthood, as indicated by the repeated occurrence of at least four of the following:
Has used physical cruelty or violence for the purpose of establishing dominance in a relationship (not merely to achieve some noninterpersonal goal, such as striking someone in order to rob him or her)
Humiliates or demeans people in the presence of others
Has treated or disciplined someone under his or her control unusually harshly (e.g., a child, student, prisoner, or patient)
Is amused by, or takes pleasure in, the psychological or physical suffering of others (including animals)
Has lied for the purpose of harming or inflicting pain on others (not merely to achieve some other goal)
Gets other people to do what he or she wants by frightening them (through intimidation or even terror)
Restricts the autonomy of people with whom he or she has close relationship (e.g., will not let spouse leave the house unaccompanied or permit teenage daughter to attend social functions)
Is fascinated by violence, weapons, martial arts, injury, or torture
B) The behaviour in A has not been directed toward only one person (e.g., spouse, one child) and has not been solely for the purpose of sexual arousal (as in sexual sadism).
Histrionic personality disorder
12) – Histrionic personality disorder:
Histrionic personality disorder (HPD) is defined by the American Psychiatric Association as a personality disorder characterized by a pattern of excessive attention-seeking emotions, usually beginning in early adulthood, including inappropriately seductive behaviour and an excessive need for approval. Histrionic people are lively, dramatic, vivacious, enthusiastic, and flirtatious. HPD affects four times as many women as men. It has a prevalence of 2–3% in the general population and 10–15% in inpatient and outpatient mental health institutions.
HPD lies in the dramatic cluster of personality disorders. People with HPD have a high need for attention, make loud and inappropriate appearances, exaggerate their behaviours and emotions, and crave stimulation. They may exhibit sexually provocative behaviour, express strong emotions with an impressionistic style, and can be easily influenced by others. Associated features include egoistical, self-indulgence, continuous longing for appreciation, and persistent manipulative behaviour to achieve their own needs. People with HPD are usually high-functioning, both socially and professionally.
They usually have good social skills, despite tending to use them to manipulate others into making them the centre of attention. HPD may also affect a person’s social and/or romantic relationships, as well as their ability to cope with losses or failures. They may seek treatment for clinical depression when romantic (or other close personal) relationships end. Individuals with HPD often fail to see their own personal situation realistically, instead dramatizing and exaggerating their difficulties. They may go through frequent job changes, as they become easily bored and may prefer withdrawing from frustration (instead of facing it). Because they tend to crave novelty and excitement, they may place themselves in risky situations. All of these factors may lead to greater risk of developing clinical depression. Additional characteristics may include:
Constant seeking of reassurance or approval
Excessive sensitivity to criticism or disapproval
Pride of own personality and unwillingness to change, viewing any change as a threat
Inappropriately seductive appearance or behaviour of a sexual nature
Using somatic symptoms (of physical illness) to garner attention
A need to be the centre of attention
Low tolerance for frustration or delayed gratification
Rapidly shifting emotional states that may appear superficial or exaggerated to others
Tendency to believe that relationships are more intimate than they actually are
Tendency to make rash decisions
Blaming personal failures or disappointments on others
Being easily influenced by others, especially those who treat them approvingly
Being overly dramatic and emotional
Always try to have a positive attitude!
Some histrionics change their seduction technique into a more maternal or paternal style as they age.
13) – Self-defeating personality disorder:
Self-defeating personality disorder is:
A) A pervasive pattern of self-defeating behaviour, beginning by early adulthood and present in a variety of contexts. The person may often avoid or undermine pleasurable experiences, be drawn to situations or relationships in which he or she will suffer, and prevent others from helping him or her, as indicated by at least five of the following:
Chooses people and situations that lead to disappointment, failure, or mistreatment even when better options are clearly available
Rejects or renders ineffective the attempts of others to help him or her
Following positive personal events (e.g., new achievement), responds with depression, guilt, or a behaviour that produces pain (e.g., an accident)
Incites angry or rejecting responses from others and then feels hurt, defeated, or humiliated (e.g., makes fun of spouse in public, provoking an angry retort, then feels devastated)
Self-defeating personality disorder
Rejects opportunities for pleasure, or is reluctant to acknowledge enjoying himself or herself (despite having adequate social skills and the capacity for pleasure)
Fails to accomplish tasks crucial to his or her personal objectives despite demonstrated ability to do so, e.g., helps fellow students write papers, but is unable to write his or her own
Is uninterested in or rejects people who consistently treat him or her well, e.g., is repelled by caring sexual partners
Engages in excessive self-sacrifice that is unsolicited by the intended recipients of the sacrifice
B) The behaviours in A do not occur exclusively in response to, or in anticipation of, being physically, sexually, or psychologically abused.
C) The behaviours in A do not occur only when the person is depressed.
14) – Narcissistic personality disorder:
Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD) is a personality disorder in which a person is excessively preoccupied with personal adequacy, power, prestige and vanity, mentally unable to see the destructive damage they are causing to themselves and to others in the process. It is estimated that this condition affects one percent of the population. First formulated in 1968, NPD was historically called megalomania, and is a form of severe egocentrism. Some people diagnosed with a narcissistic personality disorder are characterized by exaggerated feelings of self-importance. They have a sense of entitlement and demonstrate grandiosity in their beliefs and behaviour. They have a strong need for admiration, but lack feelings of empathy.
Symptoms of this disorder include, but are not limited to:
Expects to be recognized as superior and special, without superior accomplishments
Expects constant attention, admiration and positive reinforcement from others
Envies others and believes others envy him/her
Is preoccupied with thoughts and fantasies of great success, enormous attractiveness, power, intelligence
Lacks the ability to empathize with the feelings or desires of others
Is arrogant in attitudes and behavior
Has expectations of special treatment that are unrealistic
Head in butt syndrome
In addition, other symptoms include: Is interpersonally exploitative, i.e., takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends, has trouble keeping healthy relationships with others, easily hurt or rejected, appears unemotional, and exaggerating special achievements and talents, setting unrealistic goals for himself/herself.
Narcissistic Personality Disorder is characterized by an over-inflated sense of self-importance, as well as dramatic, emotional behaviour that is in the same category as antisocial and borderline personality disorders. In addition to these symptoms, the person may display arrogance, show superiority, and seek power.
The symptoms of narcissistic personality disorder can be similar to the traits of individuals with strong self-esteem and confidence; differentiation occurs when the underlying psychological structures of these traits are considered pathological. Narcissists have such an elevated sense of self-worth that they value themselves as inherently better than others, when in reality they have a fragile self-esteem, cannot handle criticism, and often try to compensate for this inner fragility by belittling or disparaging others in an attempt to validate their own self-worth.
Comments and criticisms about others are vicious from sufferers of NPD, in an attempt to boost their own poor self-esteem. Another narcissist symptom is a lack of empathy. They are unable to relate, understand, and rationalize the feelings of others. Instead of behaving in a way that shows how they are feeling in the moment, they behave in the way that they feel they are expected to behave or what gives them the most attention.
The DSM-IV organizes each psychiatric diagnosis into five dimensions (axes) relating to different aspects of disorder or disability:
Axis I: All psychological diagnostic categories except mental retardation and personality disorder
Axis II: Personality disorders and mental retardation
Axis III: General medical condition; acute medical conditions and physical disorders
Axis IV: Psychosocial and environmental factors contributing to the disorder
Axis V: Global Assessment of Functioning or Children’s Global Assessment Scale for children and teens under the age of 18
Really, is it any wonder the workplace can be such a frustrating experience? Personality disorders seem to be caused by a combination of genetic and environmental influences. Genetically, it is the temperament and the kind of personality a person is born with, and environmentally, it is the way in which a person grows up and the experiences they have had. We do not know (generally) the background of our co-workers, let alone understand their genetics. Best we can do is try to be patient and understanding.
In closing, I would like to say that I hope everyone had a great start to the week! Keep smiling!
How Did 9/11 Change Our World, Our Perceptions Of It, And of Each Other? How much influence has media had in how we now view the world?
Open your mind and your heart will follow.
I want to share something. It is a moment in my life that I cannot forget any more than I can forget my own name. I am sure most of us will remember where we were and what we were doing the moment ‘two planes collided with America’. This is where I was the day the world came to a screeching halt ..
“Sit down and watch your show while mommy talks to the school about your bus, Rebecca”.
“But Momma, there’s something wrong with the channel. My show’s not on!” Rebecca responded jumping up and down excitedly.
Frustrated with the school board’s refusal to bus the neighbourhood kids and my daughter’s lack of patience, I tuned the television to the kid’s channel in the living room. Only what I saw was not meant for a child’s eyes.
This was not a day the world would soon forget. The world was about to change …
“Momma, what’s that show?”
“Amy, take Becca outside and play in the backyard okay?”
“Auntie Amma, what’s wrong? Why are you covering your mouth?”
“Just do as I ask, Amy. Please!”
I hung up the receiver that I just realised was still in my hand, which was hanging limply at my side, and hastily called my fiancé’s cell phone. Marc had just left for the University where he taught only a few minutes ago. Hadn’t he? Everything was surreal.
The kids in the yard. The dogs barking in the distance. Did the birds really stop singing? The world moved in slow motion – horribly slow. My thoughts were plagued with images of a third World War. Was it happening? The uncertainty was terrifying.
The lines were jammed, but after a few tries, I was able to leave a message. I just sat down, too shaky to stand, to watch the horrors unfold before my eyes when the phone rang, startling me back to reality. “Hello?”
“Amma, I’m coming home. Stay where you are, and keep the kids in the house.”
“Marc, what’s going on? Have you heard about the World Trade Centre? They said it was a terrorist attack.”
“Listen honey, calm down. I’m already in my car. I have to call Sammy to make sure he’s okay and tell him not to board that plane. Everything will be fine.”
“Hurry Marc. Please. I’m scared!”
I called the kids inside and settled them in Rebecca’s room to watch a video. Amy, who was only eight, was sharp and sensed something was terribly wrong. Marc, who lived next door, arrived home a few minutes later. Tires screeching, he slammed his car door and ran to my house. I nodded toward the television, but couldn’t get a word to come out.
“I can’t reach Sammy. The lines are down in Mesopotamia. I’m sure he’s okay Amma. I’ll try again.”
We were never to hear the voice of our gentle friend again. We discovered later that he and some of his family members were killed in a roadside bombing, on their way to the airport – bound for Canada, and freedom. Sammy left Canada for Iraq weeks earlier, after hearing rumour of a terrorist cell causing a resurgence in his grandparent’s hometown. He vowed not to return to Nova Scotia without his family.
Sammy was born in Iraq. His parents moved to Canada when he was five years old. He was one of the kindest, gentlest souls I have ever known .. he was also one of my closest friends for almost two decades.
A Good Friend Is Irreplaceable
Life itself has changed since then, and so has the way we see it .. and each other, generally speaking. It was not a day that could have been usurped by the likes of Justin Beiber, Jessica Simpson, or even Lady Gaga. The sensationalism by the media lasted for months. We have seen countless people cash in on the tragedy with books and magazines and films. That in itself is a crime. Why does media insist on rubbing the insult into the noses of the general public?
Those who are old enough to have witnessed the attacks and were affected by it, have suffered trauma to one degree or another, and so have our views of the world. Everything from the way we board planes, to world affairs and peace, to the way we interact with each other, has been altered. That is what we wish to discuss here – unity, and what 9/11 has done to change that.
As children, we played, without a care in the world, making new friends without reservations. As adults in 2012, we have social media such as Twitter and Facebook to find social satisfaction. For some people, the Web is close enough. All the socializing they feel they require is in one package, in your hand or on your lap. There is a safe distance there; you can’t see me, you don’t know where or who I am. The drawback? You truly do not know with whom you are speaking. It could be anyone, therefore we keep the walls up to keep people out.
These days we need to be much more cautious than ever before. Social media is great for communication and staying in touch with loved ones, but can also be a dangerous tool, if used the wrong way, by the wrong people. This means anyone who could potentially harm us. This includes predators and con-artists. We simply need to watch our children carefully and use common sense.
Also dangerous is the effect social media can have on us and how it can alter our views on society. People tend to believe everything they read. Very dangerous! The media has one job to do, and that is to sell whatever they are feeding you. It is glorified and exaggerated for effectual purposes. Catchy headlines override the ‘real story’. Ratings override facts. That is a fact. There are the rarer media sources that will tell it like it is, but they are not as popular as those with images of bloodied, crying children on their covers.
“The lost innocence is caused by influencing of the mind by social media. We have developed opinions based on the ideas that are fed into our minds by images like Time Magazine, CNN, AOL, etc. [feed us]. You will find that they [people] have equally less interest in what the media portrays as a large issue.
Another point that social media faults us on is real, old-fashioned human contact. We have become a society that can avoid people with the stroke of a key. How are we supposed to overcome our fear of the unknown if we do not face it? Without real contact, we cannot learn to accept visually. In other words, we can avoid personal contact quite easily, and form opinions of others through what we hear and read in the media. Thus, we have a propensity to be judgemental of one another face to face. We are left with a biased opinion of others. This is more prevalent in the last ten years.
There is much we can learn from others
Not all media is guilty of tainting our thoughts and views of others. We have our own common sense to blame as well. If we believe all we hear and read, that is our choice. Just as choosing to find out the facts before leaping headlong into a hardened judgement is a choice. To pass judgement on someone we don’t know is to narrow our minds and close ourselves off to progression, denying ourselves the possibility of a harmonious existence. The fact is, the tensions where people are scared of their own shadow is built by the media, government and authorities that the ordinary man, woman or child on any street, anywhere in the world, couldn’t give a crap about.
We do have escalated racial and religious tension. However, how much of that is spun by the media – hearsay. The lost innocence is caused by influencing of the mind by social media. The challenge is that maybe if people became friends with at last one person perceived ‘to be the enemy’, maybe, just maybe, we will find some of that innocence returned. In this world, it is easy to ‘hate’ someone that is ‘inanimate’ to us. When that person becomes a brother, sister or friend, it is not so easy to ‘hate’. Ideology is formed by thing that we cannot touch and feel. Should we live our life on ideologies, or should we live our life on the person sitting across the table from us?
We need to live life in a tangible sense, not what could be. If we were always afraid of getting hit by a car, would we risk crossing the road to get to work? We cannot live on possibilities. To be afraid of making friends is what has happened to the world. The world needs to unite and face our fears together. To coin a phrase, ‘give peace a chance’. There is nothing wrong with using common sense and knowing the facts before passing judgement. You just never know who your next best friend may be. I would much rather have eye to eye contact with the person I am speaking to, as I would prefer to enjoy physical company over a social network. I am sure everyone would prefer to smile and shake the hand of a new friend, over being alone, and that is where the future is headed if we do not open our hearts and minds to the possibilities.
The best friend is the one who does not judge us, but accepts us for who we are and supports us, encouraging us to become all we can be.
There was a time when walking the dog, we could look someone in the eye, smile and say hello. I don’t pass many people these days that will return the smile and hello any more. I find this especially true in the big Cities. Smaller communities have a somewhat friendlier feel, but not to the level it was 11 years ago. So we slowly draw away from those we pass on the street. They don’t say hello, so why should I? We should not have to think, consciously or unconsciously, about whom we pass on the street or whether we want to smile or not. Have you ever passed someone and thought, “they don’t look friendly”?
Why has all of this changed? We have been conditioned over the last ten years to be wary of people we do not know well. Chances are, the people we expose ourselves to every day mean us no harm, but we now possess an inborn fear of people in general. Have you ever held a door for someone just to get a ‘what do you want’ look?
Have you ever watched people sitting in an open area, and noticed how they look around nervously? Have you been on the subway and noticed how many people sit with crossed arms and legs, or appear hunched forward? People who look nervous sitting in the open? How many people have you heard say they will never fly again? How many people do you see every day who do not look you in the eye? We have become afraid of one another to a degree.
These things are signals of someone who has closed themselves off from everyone around them, and all of these things are typical of a post-traumatic experience. Not all of this is due to the mistrust 9/11 has caused, but a good deal of the way we see others and society can be attributed to the media. For those who lost loved ones because of the attacks, we understand their grief, but without realising it, most of us have been mourning the World as it was, pre- 9/11. We bear sorrow for those lives lost, and the loss of trust.
It is human to become misty-eyed remembering that day. Recalling the faces of those fleeing from the Trade Centre, the images of planes deliberately crashing into the buildings, and the choked voices of the reporters as they looked on, are all things not easily dismissed from our minds. There is so much more to it. Depression has sky-rocketed since then. Countless thousands have been directly affected by loss of loved one or friend, and millions more by the act and feeling of being violated.
What are the perceivable changes? Aside from stringent precautions at airports and required passports for Canadians entering the United States, we have changed the way we speak to and treat each other. We place barriers between ourselves and others. We treat others differently than we used to. We are more cautious about letting others into our lives. Worst of all, we have done this with a preconception of certain people of certain races and religions. Why do we judge all by the actions of one? In all races and religions there is good and evil. It has been a fact of life since the dawn of man.
May Peace be our future
Does the Bible not tell of distension and discourse? What about Homer’s ‘Iliad’? Here we have a written account of good and evil on two sides of the Trojan War. Homer furthers this by adding the battles their gods had amongst themselves. That is a mite far-fetched, but goes to show that the thought of the wind, sky, sea, and earth at odds with each other, was there, in the minds of the ancient people. This is discord. It goes back as far as recorded history. It will always exist, unless we change our misconceptions that people who are ‘different’ are our enemy. The Bronze Age, we believe, was an uncivilised era, but have we progressed any further as a society?
One person is as human as any other. Why do we feel the need to belittle or disregard others because of the actions of a few? What we choose to believe is up to us, but our future, and our children’s future is at stake if we do not learn to be accepting of one another. We used to teach our children to accept people no matter what. If you saw someone lying on the ground after being struck by a car, would you stop to help? What if that person was ‘different’ than you, would you still help? What if it was the other way around, and you were lying in the street, clinging to life? You wouldn’t care who came to lend a hand. This is just common sense, and we know that, but do we always use common sense?
To be alone in this World is a horrible thing.
Regardless who we are, we all bleed the same colour. We all feel pain, emotional and physical. Everyone loves, they care and hurt the same as anyone else. Priority is to feed their families, care for their homes, have fun, and do whatever they do. So why do we persist in putting up walls and not letting others in? Humanity has changed throughout the world. The same holds true with society, it has changed too. We were on a path of Universal acceptance, but all of that has changed. To reverse it, we need only try.
My last thought is this; We should never forget what happened that fateful day, but rather learn from our reactions, and for the sake of humanity, learn to forgive. By no means am I attempting to diminish the magnitude of the attacks, they were the most heinous of crimes in all our history. September 11/2001 will always be remembered by the thousands of lives lost, and the woeful heartache that followed. It was the day the World wept together. May we always stand together as a World, united against the evils that are wont to tear asunder.
What we have lost here is our ability to relate to and understand one another. However, my point is this; Stop for a second. Stop and listen to other people. Stop to talk to people. Sit down with them and listen to what they have to say.
Do You Know What Genes You Are Serving For Dinner Tonight?
Genetically Modified Foods And The Implications
Genetically Modified strawberries
Have you ever bitten into a kiwi fruit and wondered why it had a hint of banana flavour to it? Or maybe it had a strawberry flavour? Sometimes I think they have the smallest hint of blueberry. People have many ways of describing the flavour of a kiwi. The kiwi is just one example of nature’s mysteries. It was grown that way in nature for thousands of years, maybe even before recorded history. That is the way nature intended for the kiwi to taste – unique.
Now what if you were to take that same kiwi and made it grow twice or even three times faster? What do you think could make it do such a thing? We have all seen those big, juicy-looking, bright-red apples that shone so bright you could swear you saw your reflection. They look simply divine, don’t they? What about those tomatoes that are so large you only need one rather than three.
In some way most of our food today has been subjected to what is termed “Genetic Engineering”, or “Genetic Modification“, and is exactly what it sounds like .. genetic modification. Genetically modified organisms or GMO, has invaded our global food supply in astounding percentages, and we are not even aware of it. There has been little to no testing on humans in many instances, and labels do not tell you that the food you are about to consume has been genetically altered. In North America, suppliers are not required to label GM foods. While having the option, they have opted not to tell us if what we purchase has been altered or modified.
GMO’s are the direct result of DNA modification. That is to say that a specific food has been injected with the DNA of another food to produce a new or enhanced food. A good example of this is the so-called ‘sweet white corn‘. Looks appetising, and will tend to take longer to decay, but has been altered from its true form.
Genetically modified sweet white corn
Lab testing began on GMO’s began long before we were even made aware, and the products on our shelves in local supermarkets a few years after the testing stage began. Sounds absurd that we are unaware of this ‘fake’, cancer-inducing phenomenon invading our supermarkets, doesn’t it? It may be absurd, but it is a fact – our governments have allowed these ‘products’ to find their way to our dinner tables without our knowledge.
Originally, the experiments were a part of a quest to feed the world’s hungry. A solution to an age-old dilemma. If we can make food bigger and grow it faster, we can solve hunger issues in deprived countries. That was the twisted thinking that started the ball rolling. But wait! Did thee geniuses consider that altering a specific food’s DNA may cause it to produce unwanted side effects? Nope, this wasn’t in the cards then.
There have been many reports that this type of manipulation has potential to cause specific types of cancer. This modification a can also lead to other worrisome health issues. For starters, these foods produce their own form of pesticides. While we struggle with bans on pesticide use for our private homes, the government allows these labs to feed it to us directly. One of the leading companies producing GMO’s is Monsanto.
As unappetising as the term ‘Genetically Altered”
Their claim is that through GM foods, they will help farmers produce enough food for the staggering increase in demand. Their plan is “To produce more with less, conserving resources like soil and water” and “to improve lives.” How do they plan to do this claiming, “We do this by selling seeds, traits developed through biotechnology, and crop protection chemicals.”
The socioeconomic ramifications of altering our food in this manner are astounding. Crop uniformity will reduce genetic diversity making them more vulnerable to disease and pests and further the need for pesticides, which the biotech firms are promoting. This furthers the need for pesticides, which biotech companies like Monsanto produce also. Efforts to introduce labeling of GMO’s has repeatedly met resistance from lobbyists and politicians affiliated with companies like Monsanto.
GE is an expensive technology, and farmers of developing countries will not easily afford. Food shortages and hunger will always be something that the poorer countries have to face, if food production is continued in this manner. With the way we are producing genetically altered foods, and the health and environmental damage it causes, this is not the way to go for a developing country that already struggles to feed their hungry. Some argue that there is more than enough food in the world and that the hunger crisis is caused by problems in food distribution and politics, not production.
We eat enough that is bad for us, do we need to make it worse?
Which brings me to another related topic – In Vitro Meats. IVM is meat produced from animal tissues, but has never become a living animal. Cultured in labs, this meat has never lived or breathed. It is partial in completion, and genetically engineered, ‘grown’ entirely in labs. This so-called meat is cultured much the same way as GMO’s, in the time frame is greatly reduced in completion. Most meat is animal muscle. The process of developing in vitro meat involves taking muscle cells and applying a protein that helps the cells to grow into large portions of meat. The price of in vitro meat at retail outlets and supermarkets may decrease prices to levels that middle-class consumers consider to be inexpensive, due to technological advancements.Milk, cheese and eggs could also be produced without needing multiple animals.
What are we really eating?
This may pose many health hazards because large scale production of in vitro meat requires artificial growth hormones and antibiotics to prevent bacterial infections. You may, as I do, find the thought of artificially cultured meat distasteful. Completely unconventional methods of obtaining foods is appalling to many, not to mention the exorbitant costs. Currently, a piece of IVM meat costs approximately $1,000,000 USD. A million dollars that could have been spent on feeding some of the world’s hungry.
Glofish – A novelty fish produced by altering it’s DNA. These fish, a living being, are very fragile because of the genetics tampering.
A waste of time, energy and resources? We may never see this meat on our shelves in our lifetime, so how much time and money will be spent on researching this technique, instead of putting the money where the hungry mouths are? It really is maddening when you think about it; there are people dying all over the world from hunger, while these people are spending millions, if not billions, playing with test tubes. God gave us land and animals to feed ourselves, so why don’t we accept mother nature as it is and work with her to feed the world’s population?
We should eat the way our ancestors did
The complexities of this situation with modifying our food supply is beyond the average person. We will be left in the dark about what we are eating as long as politicians and government itself are connected to and continue to support companies like Monsanto. Time and again, Monsanto and sister companies have battled opposition in court, and won.
Here is a video that will help explain what GMO is. .
So what are the consequences for altering our food supply in this manner? Here are a few of them:
New toxins and allergens in foods
Other damaging effects on health caused by unnatural foods (such as cancer and allergies)
Increased use of chemicals on crops, resulting in increased contamination of our water supply and food
The creation of herbicide-resistant weeds
The spread of diseases across species barriers
Loss of bio-diversity in crops
The disturbance of ecological balance
Artificially induced characteristics and inevitable side-effects will be passed on to all later generations and to other related organisms. Once released, they can never be recalled or contained. The consequences of this are incalculable.
Isn’t that enough? We need to leave nature alone and till the land as our ancestors did. It was good enough for them, so why can it not be good enough for us too?
Prince Edward Island – Red Earth – All natural
Many thanks to Ant World for the riveting topic and discussions that lead to the general content of this Post.
As an addition to this post, I would like to add a link from The National Post. Take this into consideration …
McDonald’sburger, after one year, exposed to the open air.
In closing, I would like to add that this is information is based on articles I have read on the matter, and is my opinion.
They are a priceless part of us, and capture our hearts and souls the instant they are born. From that moment we will do anything to protect and care for them. This is human nature. It is an inborn instinct to safeguard our loved ones and is something we all experience. Whether it is our children, our elderly, our partner, a family member, or even our friends, we all experience protectiveness at one point in our lives. For most of the world’s population, this is an ongoing phenomenon – for life.
What if someone you loved went missing; what would be your first reaction? Worry? Panic even? Perhaps. If that ‘someone’ was a mere child of only two years, you might even be out of your mind with terror and apprehension, fearing the worst.
Would you wait an entire month before calling police to report the child missing? Not very likely now, is it? However, that is exactly what happened when Caylee Marie Anthony went missing on June 16 / 2008. Caylee’s (then) 22-year-old mother, Casey Marie Anthony waited until she was pressured to report the toddler missing on July 15 / 2008. A month after her baby girl was last seen. Seems impossible, doesn’t it?
Casey Marie Anthony – Mother of missing toddler Caylee
On July 15, Caylee’s Grandmother, Cindy Anthony, called 9-1-1 and told police she had not seen the child in weeks. Caylee lived in Orlando, Florida, USA, with her mother and grandparents (George and Cindy Anthony). The hartbreaking call was made far too late. Cindy told the 9-1-1 dispatcher, “Caylee’s missing. There is something wrong. I found my daughter’s car today and it smells like there’s been a dead body in the damn car..” Haunting words that will play over in the dispatcher’s mind for a very long time. When the dispatcher asked why she hadn’t reported the missing child earlier, Cindy Casey replied, “I’ve been looking for her
Caylee with Cindy and George Anthony (grandparents)
and just gone through other resources to find her, which was stupid.”
The ‘car’ Caylee’s grandmother was referring to was used by her own daughter, Caylee’s mother. The day the child was reported missing, Casey’s parents went to the impound yard to retrieve Casey’s car, where it had been towed. The car smelled like a body had been decomposing in it, the impound yard manager and Casey’s father claimed later. As a nurse, Cindy knew the odour immediately. She later recalled asking her husband after driving home, “What died?”, not actually thinking that there had ever really been a dead body in the car at the time she made the statement. The car was owned by her parents, but it was driven by Casey alone.
It appears that Casey was staying with a boyfriend at the time her daughter went missing. After locating the car and returning it to their home, Cindy Anthony searched it and found a purse with information on a friend of Casey’s. Cindy asked the friend to take her to Casey’s boyfriend’s house. She confronted her daughter and demanded to see Caylee. They drove around for a while, then Casey finally admitted that she didn’t know where her daughter was. Returning to the Anthony family home, Cindy finally called police. Casey spoke to the 9-1-1 operator as well, and calmly told them that her daughter had been missing for four weeks, but she was afraid that her abilities as a mother would be questioned by authorities, and that is why she did not report the disappearance.
Casey was arrested following the report of her daughter’s disappearance that same night, and charged with the egregious act of murdering her own child. In all, Casey faced seven counts in her daughter’s death, including first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, child neglect and misleading investigators. If she were convicted, Casey could have faced the death penalty. That was not to be the case. Casey Anthony was acquitted of all charges. That is astonishing, when you consider the evidence the Crown presented at trial.
FACTS IN THE CAYLEE ANTHONY CASE:
Last time Caylee was seen was on June 16 / 2008. Casey claimed (one of several claims) that a nanny, Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, had run off with her daughter on June 19. Casey gave the fictitious woman the nickname “Zanny” . A woman with this name exists, but has never met Casey or any of the Anthony family. September 5, Casey was released from prison on $500,000 bail, posted by her parents. On October 14, Casey Anthony was indicted by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to police. She was arrested once more. Judge John Jordan ordered that she be held without bond. On October 21, the charge of child neglect was dropped against Casey, according to the State Attorney’s Office, citing that “as the evidence proved that the child was deceased, the State sought an indictment on the legally appropriate charges.” On October 28 Anthony was arraigned and pled not guilty to all charges.
Skeletal Remains, Presumed at the Time to be That of Caylee Anthony
Sadly, on December /11 / 2008, remains of a small child are discovered in a wooded area near the Anthony family home. The skeletal remains of the tiny body were found in a garbage bag, along with a blanket. Duct tape was found at the front of the skull, skin tissue was attached to the tape, but little possible DNA sources remained, save the hair, which was consistent with the colour of Caylee’s hair. On December 19 / 2008, DNA tests confirm that the remains were indeed little Caylee.
Evidence from the trunk of the car was indisputable. A strand of hair found matched the DNA of hair from Caylee’s hairbrush, and upon analysis, the strand from the trunk confirmed that the hair was from that of a deceased child; specifically Caylee Anthony. October / 24 / 2008, a forensic report by Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory deemed that results from an air sampling performed in the trunk of Casey Anthony’s car provided chemical compounds “consistent with a decompositional event” based on the presence of five key chemical compounds out of over 400 possible chemical compounds. A group of technicians from Dr. Vass’ lab confirmed the presence of chloroform in Casey’s trunk.
On April /13 / 2009 prosecutors announced that they planned to seek the death penalty. In October / 2009 officials released 700 pages of documents related to the Anthony murder investigation, including records of Google searches of the terms “neck breaking” and “how to make chloroform” on a computer accessible to Casey Anthony. According to detectives, crime scene evidence included residue of a heart-shaped sticker found on duct tape over the mouth of Caylee’s skull. However, the lab was not able to capture a heart-shape photograph after the duct tape was subjected to dye testing. A blanket was found at the crime scene that matched Caylee’s bedding at her grandparents’ home.
Casey Anthony shown during trial
Jury selection began on May / 9 / 2011, and took longer than expected; 9 days, with twelve jurors and five alternates being sworn. The panel contained nine women and eight men. The trial took six weeks, during which time the jury was sequestered. The trial began on May / 24 / 2011, at the Orange County Courthouse, during which time, Casey was described as someone who was a ‘party girl’, loved to have a good time and did not want the responsibilities of parenthood any longer. Casey’s defence attorney claimed that the little girl had drowned in the family pool, and it was George Anthony that found the lifeless child. He said Casey’s father told her that she would spend the rest of her life in jail, and hid the body. Defence also claimed that the reason Casey was able to carry on as she would normally is because she hid her feelings well, after having been molested by her father as a child. This, of course, did not hold water.
George Anthony was the first witness for prosecution and refuted all claims during his testimony. When Cindy Anthony testified, she claimed that her comment to the 9-1-1 dispatcher that Casey’s car smelled “like someone died” was just a “figure of speech”. At some point, the question whether Lee Anthony (Casey’s brother) was Caylee’s father arose. This was proven false.
After examination and cross-examination of dozens of experts, friends and family, the jury was left with more questions than answers. Questions were raised about the examiners method during autopsy. More about the use of chloroform and whether it was actually used. Someone even claimed that despite the fact Caylee was found in a garbage bag, dead, it did not mean there was homicide involved. How that makes any sense is beyond all logical thought. Yet it is this lack of professionalism that bemused jurors and placed that ‘shadow of a doubt’ in their minds. The evidence against Casey is impossibly clear, yet the lack of ‘hard’, ‘tangible’ evidence allowed her to walk free on all charges related to her daughter’s death.
On July /5 / 2011 the jury found Casey not guilty of aggravated manslaughter, first-degree murder, and aggravated child abuse. She was however, found guilty of four misdemeanour counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. 1) Casey told law enforcement that she was employed at Universal Studios during 2008, pursuant to the investigation of a missing persons report, and leading the investigation astray. 2) Casey also told law enforcement that she had left Caylee at an apartment complex with a babysitter causing the authorities to pursue the missing babysitter. 3) Casey told law enforcement that she informed two “employees” of Universal Studios (where she lied about being employed) of the disappearance of Caylee. 4) Casey lied to the authorities and claimed she had received a call and spoke to Caylee on July / 15 /2008, causing them to expend further resources. None of which will carry a sentence that has much impact.
Sentencing was on July / 7 /2011. Casey Anthony was given one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for each of the misdemeanours in turn. She received 1,043 days credit for time served. Additionally, she was credited for ‘good behaviour’. Casey was released on July / 17 /2011. She filed an appeal for the minor charges and fines two days prior to her release. A judge ruled that Casey Anthony must pay $217,000 to the state of Florida. In the end, she had to pay those costs directly related to lying to authorities about the death of Caylee.
Timeline of Important Events in Caylee’s Case:
June 9, 2008 — Casey Anthony and her daughter Caylee move out of Casey’s parents, Cindy and George Anthony’s home, and in with her ex-boyfriend, Ricardo Morales, and friend, Amy Huizenga.
June 15, 2008 — Cindy swims with Caylee in the Anthony’s pool that day, afterwards removing the ladder and closing the gate.
June 16, 2008 — Caylee is last seen alive at the Anthony family residence. According to George Anthony, Caylee departed with Casey by car around 12:30 PM with backpacks on their shoulders. According to the defense, Caylee drowned in the family’s above-ground swimming pool during this day and both Casey and George Anthony panicked upon finding the body and covered up her death. Between 3:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Casey makes numerous short calls to her parents and several friends. Surveillance videos show Casey Anthony and her boyfriend walking around casually at a Blockbuster video store.
June 17, 2008 — George and Cindy Anthony notice that the gate to the swimming pool is open and the ladder is next to the pool.
June 20, 2008 — Casey Anthony is captured in various photos partying at the Fusion nightclub and participating in a “hot body contest.”
June 30, 2008 — Casey’s car is towed from a parking lot after being there for several days; her purse and a child’s car seat are found in the car.
July 2, 2008 — Casey gets a tattoo on her back saying “Bella Vita” which means “beautiful life” in Italian.
July 15, 2008 — George and Cindy Anthony pick up Casey’s car from the impound yard. George Anthony observes a strong odor emanating from the vehicle. Distressed because Casey has not brought Caylee home in a month, Cindy has Amy Huizenga take her to where Casey is staying and makes Casey come home.Casey tells her parents that she hasn’t seen Caylee in a month and that a babysitter named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez (“Zanny”) may have kidnapped her. Cindy Anthony immediately calls 911 and reports her granddaughter Caylee missing.
July 16, 2008 — Police investigators discover Casey Anthony has been lying about her place of employment and where she says her nanny lives. As a result, Casey is arrested and charged with child neglect, making false official statements, and obstructing an investigation.
July 17, 2008 — Casey appears in court, during which time the judge denies bail, saying she showed a “woeful disregard for the welfare of her child.” The policemen from the Sheriff’s Office searches Casey’s car and takes several items of evidence.
July 18, 2008 — Casey Anthony hires Jose Baez as her legal attorney,who writes a letter to Orange County Sheriff’s Office about Casey’s willingness to cooperate with law enforcement.
July 22, 2008 — Because of police testimony about allegedly incriminating evidence from the car, Circuit Court Judge Stan Strickland sets Casey Anthony’s bail at $500,000.
July 29, 2008 — Judge denies defense motion to ban the release to the media all jailhouse recordings, 911 tapes and visitor logs. Florida public records law mandates record requests by media be honored promptly. Over the next three years thousands of pages of audio, video, forensic information and legal documents detailing the criminal investigations will be released.
August 5, 2008 — The State Attorney’s Office files formal charges against Casey Anthony for one felony count of child neglect.
August 8, 2008 — WFTV reports that investigators suspect Caylee may have drowned in the family swimming pool on June 16.
August 11, 12, 13 – Meter reader Roy Kronk reports suspicious bag to police. A police officer meets Kronk at the scene and Kronk tells him he had seen a skull and bones in a bag. However, the officer was rude and conducted only a cursory search.
August 21, 2008 — After bail bondsman Leonard Padilla pays Casey Anthony’s $500,000 bailshe is fitted with an electronic monitoring device and released.
August 29, 2008 — Casey Anthony is arrested again on charges of writing four checks worth nearly $650 on Amy Huizenga’s checking account without permission. Orange County police said the charges are “unrelated to the investigation.”Prosecutors offer Casey a limited immunity deal related to “the false statements given to law enforcement about locating her child.” She refuses it soon after.(The offer is renewed on August 25and again refused.)
September 5, 2008 — Casey Anthony’s parents post a $500,000 bond and she is released from county jail into their custody after being fitted with an electronic tracking device.
September 6, 2008 — Deputies seize a handgun from the trunk of George Anthony’s car because having a gun on the property violates Casey’s bail.George says he planned to use it to force Casey’s friends to tell him what happened to Caylee.
September 10, 2008 — The whole family allegedly refuses to take a lie detector test offered by both the FBI and local authorities.
September 15–16, 2008 — Casey Anthony turns herself in on new check fraud charges, fraudulent use of identification, and petty theft.She is released the next day on $1,250 bond, and again fitted with an electronic tracking device.
September 25, 2008 — Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzalez, the woman Casey Anthony reportedly named as an alleged baby sitter and suspect in the case, files a defamation lawsuit against her.
October 14, 2008 — Casey Anthony is indicted by a grand jury on charges of first degree murder, aggravated child abuse, aggravated manslaughter of a child, and four counts of providing false information to police. She is later arrested. Judge John Jordan orders that she be held without bond.Because it is a capital crime, Casey Anthony faces possible death penalty.
October 21, 2008 — Charges of child neglect are dropped against Casey Anthony on assumption the child is dead.On October 28 Casey Anthony is arraigned and pleads not guilty to all charges.
November 8–9, 2008 — Texas EquuSearch leads hundreds of volunteers in a search of a grid for Caylee, but when nothing is found they suspend their search.
November 15, 2008 — A psychic instructs the Anthony family’s private investigator Dominic Casey to search the area where Caylee’s remains later are found. The search is videotaped. The family’s attorney denies asking Dominic Casey to search there. The area was under several inches of water at the time.
December 5, 2008 — The state initially says it will not seek the death penalty against Casey Anthony.
December 11, 2008 — After yet a fourth tip from Roy Kronk, skeletal remains of what appeared to be a small child are found one-quarter mile from the Anthony home.Orange County Sheriff’s Office obtains warrant and searches Anthony residence.
December 19, 2008 — Police announce DNA testing confirms that the remains belong to Caylee Anthony.
January 23, 2009 — Police discover George Anthony, who had been text messaging family members, despondent and possibly under the influence of alcohol and medication in hotel room. Police also discovered a lengthy suicide note.
January 29, 2009 — Judge Stan Strickland orders Casey Anthony to appear at all court hearings in her case.
April 14, 2009 — The State of Florida reverses self and will seek the imposition of the death penalty.
September 17, 2009 — Casey Anthony’s defense team files a motion to dismiss the murder charges against her because the state allegedly failed to preserve evidence in the case. The motion is denied.
November 24, 2009 — Defense attorneys accuse EquuSearch’s Tim Miller of lying to the court in their claim that only 32 people searched in the area where Caylee’s remains were eventually found and that the number was much higher.
December 18, 2009 — Judge Stan Strickland denies a request to take the death penalty off of the table in the prosecution of Casey Anthony.
January 26, 2010 — Casey admits guilt for 13 fraudulent check charges, takes responsibility for her actions,and makes full restitution. The judge sentences her to time served.
April 19, 2010 — Judge Stan Strickland steps down after Casey Anthony’s defense team files a motion accusing him of having inappropriate conversations with a pro-prosecution blogger. Strickland granted the motion because the accusation would “generate renewed allegations of bias”. Judge Belvin Perry, Jr. is appointed to take over the case.
May 11, 2010 — Judge Perry will allow the state to seek the death penalty.
August 14, 2010 — Cindy Anthony on the “Today” Show calls Casey a victim, and claims she’s not involved with what happened to Caylee’s remains.
August 16, 2010 — George and Cindy Anthony’s attorney, Brad Conway, steps down because he disputes a Jose Baez motion claiming Conway was given unrestricted access to documents belonging to Texas EquuSearch to which he was not given the same access.
Cindy Anthony on the witness stand
January 4, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry postpones ruling on over two dozen defense motions to exclude evidence from the trial. Over the next several months Perry rules for or against these various motions to exclude evidence. He admonishes, and later financially sanctions, defense attorney, Jose Baez, for failing to turn over expert witness discovery information to prosecutors before a certain deadline.
April 1, 2011 — After numerous outbursts by lawyers in court over what is and is not scientific evidence, Judge Perry ruled more such behaviour would result in a fine of $100 per outburst, with the proceeds to go to the United Way.
May 20, 2011 — After eleven days of jury selection, Judge Perry swears in a jury of five men and seven women, plus three men and two women as alternate jurors.
May 24, 2011 — Trial begins in Orlando, Florida. The prosecution states Casey Anthony used duct tape to suffocate Caylee Anthony. The defense contends the child actually drowned in her grandparents’ swimming pool, that Casey’s father George Anthony warned Casey she would be imprisoned for life for child neglect and then covered up the death; thus she failed to report the incident for 31 days. Also, because George Anthony had sexually molested Casey as a child she had a habit of hiding her pain and lying.Baze admits Casey had fabricated the story of the nanny named Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales. Baez also questions whether Roy Kronk, who found the remains, actually removed them from else where and questioned police motivations for pursuing a murder investigation. Prosecutors call George Anthony as their first witness and he denies to them having sexually abused his daughter Casey or covering up the death of Caylee.
May 25, 2011 — Various friends of Casey Anthony testify about her fabricated stories during June and July 2008 of having a job and employing a nanny for Caylee. Neighbor testifies that in mid-June 2008 Casey and a boyfriend borrowed a shovel from him to dig up a bamboo root.
May 26, 2011 — Former boyfriend testifies Casey told him her brother, Lee Anthony, sexually groped her. George Anthony says he did not smell decomposition in Casey’s car on June 24, 2008 and states he put duct tape over a hole in one of the plastic gas cans she had returned to him.
May 27, 2011 — Tow truck company manager and George Anthony testify that from their experience the smell from Casey’s car resembled human decomposition.George Anthony denies to Jose Baez having sexually abused Casey.
May 28, 2011 — Former boyfriend testifies about Casey’s normal behavior on June 16, 2008. Cindy Anthony testifies that they swam that day and that Caylee could get up the ladder into the pool. She also believed Casey worked at Universal Orlando Resort and had a babysitter named Zanny.
May 31, 2011 — Cindy Anthony says her description of Casey’s car smelling “like someone died” was just a “figure of speech.” She tried to get rid of the smell by spraying Febreze household odor eliminator. She says she found the pool ladder in the pool the evening of June 16. Casey’s friend Amy Huizenga talks of Casey’s frustration about getting help with Caylee and reveals that on June 27 Casey texted her about a dead animal on the frame of the car.
June 1, 2011 — The first officers to arrive at Anthony home on July 16, 2008 say they did not smell human decomposition in Casey’s car and admit they did not search the other two family cars. They testify about Casey going to Universal Orlando Resort with Casey that day, where she confessed she no longer worked there and did not have a nanny named Zenaida Fernandez Gonzalez.
June 2, 2011 — Video tapes of Casey lying to her parents in jail and denying to an officer on July 16, 2008 that Caylee had drowned in the pool, as he suggested.
June 3, 2011 — Investigators describe evidence collection from Casey’s car and obtaining from the towing yard the garbage bag that had been in it. One investigator states he smelled human decomposition.
June 4, 2011 — An FBI forensic scientist testifies the single hair removed from the car trunk was similar to a hair from Caylee’s hair brush and had “root-banding” consistent with that from a decomposing body.
June 6, 2011 — Dr. Arpad Vass of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory describes using a gas chromatograph mass spectrometer to find signs of human decomposition and a high level of chloroform in the trunk of Casey’s car. The defense challenges Vass’ financial motivation and the chain of evidence.
A little too late
June 7, 2011 — FBI forensic chemist confirms chloroform residue in trunk of Casey’s car but admits household cleaning products leave traces of chloroform. Dog handler describes dog alerting to human decomposition in the trunk, as well as Caylee’s playhouse.
June 8, 2011 — Second dog handler says his dog smelled decomposition in back yard. Computer analysts confirm a search for “chloroform” on Casey’s computer March 17, 2008 and “how to make chloroform” on March 21, 2008.
June 9, 2011 — Software analyst John Bradley states someone used the Anthony computer to search the website Sci-spot.com for “chloroform” 84 times on March 21, 2008. He admits that automatic page reloading could account for that number and there was no way of knowing who performed the searches. Investigators show photographs of the remains, including of duct tape that appears to be over the mouth area. One admits that duct tape might not originally have been on the mouth and could have shifted position as he collected remains. Casey Anthony becomes ill looking at the photographs and the jury is dismissed for the day.
June 10, 2011 — Medical examiner states that the death is ruled a homicide because of the delay in reporting the disappearance, the fact the body was hidden and the existence of duct tape, but admits she did not know how the child died. Crime scene investigators describe similar maggots found in the car trunk and at the crime scene.
June 11, 2011 — An expert in forensic entomology states he found flies related to decomposition in the trunk of Casey’s car. Orange County crime scene investigators identify a piece of Henkel brand duct tape found at the scene and testify it is the same brand as George Anthony put on the red gas can. One states that no Henkel brand tape was found else where in Anthony’s home.
June 13, 2011 — FBI examiner states a hair from the child’s skull is consistent with but not identical to the single hair found in the trunk. FBI agent could not find fingerprints on duct tape found near the remains but initially did find adhesive in the shape of a heart on a corner of a piece of duct tape; later she could not find it again.
June 14, 2011 — FBI quality assurance specialist says the hair found in trunk could have come from any member of the Anthony family. A crime scene investigator says heart shaped stickers were found in Casey’s room but did not link them to the one alleged to be on the duct tape. Testimony about and photo of Casey’s “Bella Vita” tattoo made on July 2, 2008.
June 15, 2011 — Prosecution rests its case. Defense makes a motion to acquit based on insufficient evidence a murder was committed, which the judge denies based on previous case rulings.
June 16, 2011 — Defence begins it’s case, often recalling state witnesses for further testimony. Crime scene investigator says no blood was found in Casey’s car or incriminating stains on her clothes. FBI analyst states no DNA evidence was found in the car or at the crime scene. She states FBI did a paternity test that showed Lee Anthony was not Caylee’s father. Crime scene investigator and forensics supervisor state a heart-shaped sticker was found far from the body. An FBI forensic document examiner found no evidence of a heart shaped sticker on the duct tape found near the remains.
June 17, 2011 — Entomologist called by the defense states if there was a body in the trunk, there should have been hundreds or even thousands of blow flies trapped in the trunk as well.
June 18, 2011 — Defence calls a new witness, Dr. Werner Spitz, who questions the medical examiner’s autopsy, including the failure to open the skull, and says there was no indication the death was a homicide. He believes the duct tape was placed on the skull after decomposition and that the crime scene photos of the position of the hair on the skull were staged, possibly by the medical examiner.
June 21, 2011 — A defence-called forensic botanist challenges the prosecution’s theory of when the body was placed at the crime scene. An expert in analytical chemistry who works with Dr. Vass challenges the process of testing for the presence of chloroform.
June 22, 2011 — An FBI forensic examiner says no dirt from the crime scene was found on shoes at the Anthony home or a neighbor’s borrowed shovel. FBI forensic toxicologists found no toxins in the hair from Caylee Anthony’s skull. A scientist who worked with Dr. Vass who testifies tests did not conclusively prove there was a body in the trunk. The FBI’s forensic chemist examiner could not find traces of chloroform in the car. The FBI forensics expert found no hair in the trunk liner showing signs of decomposition. She also testified the duct tape at the crime scene was dissimilar to that in the Anthony home.
June 23, 2011 — An FBI hair and fiber expert says only one hair from the car truck had a sign of decomposition. There is a long debate among prosecutors and defense over the reliability of “root banding.” An expert in forensic toxicology testifies Dr. Vass’s test “lacked organization and planning” and had “minimal standards of quality control. ” He also mentions that chloroform is a byproduct of chlorinated swimming pool water.
June 24, 2011 — The defense shows Cindy a photograph of Caylee on the pool ladder and she again mentions the ladder was in the pool on June 16 when she returned home, adding that she called George to ask about it. The defense also showed the jury a picture of Caylee appearing to open a sliding-glass door at her home. Cindy says Caylee was capable of opening the sliding door to the yard and the pool. Lee Anthony states he was not told Casey was pregnant until days before Caylee’s birth. Search volunteer testifies about duct tape being used at search headquarters.
June 25, 2011 — Judge Perry temporarily halts proceedings after defense motion to determine if Anthony was competent to proceed with trial, based on a privileged communication from Casey Anthony.
June 27, 2011 — Casey Anthony found competent to continue after psychological evaluation. June 27 also is the date the prosecution states it discussed with defense attorney Jose Baez software analyst John Bradley’s post-testimony admission to prosecutors that there was only one search for chloroform, not 84. In testimony, the lead detective admits cadaver dogs had not searched inside the Anthony’s home, or in two other Anthony cars. A professor of chemistry called by the defense says there is no scientifically valid instrument that can identify decomposition, that there is no consensus on what chemicals are typical of human decomposition and that chemical compounds identified by Dr. Vass in air samples can be found in household products and garbage. Three witnesses discuss the November 2008 videotaped search by Anthony family private investigators in the woods where Caylee’s body later was found.
June 28, 2011 — A Texas EquuSearch team letter discusses their November search for Caylee of the site where the body later was found. George Anthony denies he had an affair with Krystal Holloway, borrowed money from her, or told her Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” He admits going to her home and sending her a text message. He testifies he bought a gun to threaten Casey’s friends into telling him where Casey was, even though he knew having one violated Casey’s bail. Cindy Anthony denies she sent private investigators to search the site where Caylee’s body later was found; her son Lee Anthony and the case’s lead detective then testify she did so, after talking to a psychic. Roy Kronk testifies about his calls to police and finding the body. He denies he told his son finding the body would make him rich and famous, but admits he did receive $5,000 after Caylee’s remains were identified. Judge Perry does not allow jury to hear Casey’s ex-fiancée say that Casey told him Lee had once tried to grope her while she was sleeping.
June 29, 2011 — Cindy Anthony says Casey’s response to the media theory that Caylee drowned was “Surprise. Surprise.” Baez asks George Anthony about his suicide attempt in January 2009 and the next day the judge allows the jury to see the suicide note. Roy Kronk’s son states that Kronk did say that finding Caylee Anthony would making him rich and famous. Kronk testifies about why he changed his story about lifting the skull. An expert on grief and trauma testifies that pretending nothing had happened and partying was one of many different ways people, especially young people, express grief.
June 30, 2011 — Casey Anthony tells Judge Perry she does not want to testify. Perry will not allow the jury to sniff air samples from the car trunk. Defense calls search volunteer Krystal Holloway who states that she had an affair with George Anthony. She states that George Anthony told her that Caylee’s death was “an accident that snowballed out of control.” Under cross-examination she also agreed with her earlier statement to police in which she said George Anthony did not say he knew it was an accident. After Holloway steps down, Judge Perry tells jurors that her testimony could be used to impeach George Anthony’s credibility, but that it is not proof of how Caylee died. George, Cindy and Lee Anthony testify that their pets had been buried in the back yard. Cindy calls it a “tradition” to wrap them in blankets and a plastic bag; duct tape was used to keep the plastic bags from opening. After this final witness, the defense rests. The prosecutor rebuttal begins with showing the jury photographs of Caylee’s clothes and George’s suicide note.
July 1, 2011 — The prosecution continues rebuttal with two representatives of Cindy Anthony’s former employer explaining why their computer login system shows Cindy was at work the afternoon she said she went home early and searched her computer for information about chloroform. A police computer analyst says someone had purposely searched online for “neck + breaking.” Another analyst testifies she did not find evidence that Cindy Anthony had searched certain terms she claimed to have searched. An anthropology professor is recalled to rebut a defense witness on the need to open a skull during an autopsy. The lead detective states that there were no phone calls between Cindy and George Anthony during the week of June 16, 2008, but admits he did not know that George had a second cell phone.
July 3, 2011 — Judge Perry rules that during closing arguments the defense could argue there was a drowning because there was sufficient evidence of that, but could not argue George had sexually abused Casey. Prosecution does an hour and a half of closing arguments, offering a timeline of events and asserting that Casey suffocated Caylee by putting three pieces of duct tape place over her face. The alleged motive was that the child interfered with her partying and spending time with her boyfriend. The prosecution states the defense’ story that Caylee drowned and George encouraged her to cover up the accident made no sense. The defense counters with four hours of arguments insisting there was no proof of how Caylee died, challenging the prosecutors’ most important evidence as “fantasy,” and emphasizing the reasonable doubt that Casey killed Caylee. It again insists that after the child drowned, Casey panicked and George Anthony made the death look like a murder and put the body in the nearby woods.
July 4, 2011 — Prosecutors present a rebuttal to the defense closing, telling jurors their forensic evidence had proved their case, while the defense made claims they did not prove. The case then goes to the jury. Judge Perry issues final instructions to the jury.
July 5, 2011 — After more than ten hours of deliberation, the jury acquits Casey Anthony of all felony charges (i.e., of first-degree murder, aggravated manslaughter, and aggravated child abuse), but finds her guilty of four misdemeanor charges of giving false information to police.
July 7, 2011 — Judge Perry sentences Casey Anthony to one year in county jail and $1,000 in fines for each of the four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer. The judge orders all sentences to run consecutive to each other, with credit for time served. Based on three years credit for time served plus additional credit for good behavior, her release date is set for July 17, 2011. Judge Perry announces he will not release the juror’s names for seven days saying some people “disagree with their verdict” and “would like to take something out on them.”
July 13, 2011 – Texas EquuSearch, which assisted in the search for Caylee, sues Casey Anthony for the costs of the search.
July 15, 2011 — Casey Anthony appeals convictions of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.
July 17, 2011 — Casey Anthony is released from jail at 12:10 AM, with $537.68 in cash.
July 19, 2011 — Prosecutors write a letter responding to a New York Times article about alleged withholding of exculpatory evidence about the chloroform searches and says they were about to give the jury a Notice of Supplemental Discovery but did not do so because jurors had reached a verdict.
July 26, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules juror names will remain secret until October 2011, citing public “outrage and distress” over the not guilty verdict. He also appeals to Florida legislators to bar the release of juror’s names in some cases “in order to protect the safety and well-being of those citizens willing to serve.”
August 1, 2011 — Orange Circuit Judge Stan Strickland signs amended court documents that order Casey Anthony to return to Orlando within 72 hours to serve one year of supervised probation for the check fraud charge that Anthony pled guilty to in January 2010. Jose Baez accuses Strickland of bias in the ruling. Strickland excuses himself from the case.
August 5, 2011 — Baez obtains an emergency hearing with Judge Perry arguing Anthony already had served her probation and that Strickland no longer had jurisdiction over her. Perry postpones a decision calling the situation “a maze.”
August 10, 2011 — The Florida Department of Children and Families releases report concluding that Casey Anthony failed to protect Caylee, and that Casey’s actions or lack of actions resulted in the death of the child. The finding has little legal relevance.
August 12, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry upholds Judge Strickland’s order, ruling that Casey Anthony must return to Orlando to serve one year’s probation for check fraud, reporting no later than noon on August 26. The judge declares that her residential information during the probation period may be kept confidential because of threats made against her life.
August 23, 2011 — After defense attorneys file motion to appeal Judge Perry’s probation ruling, the Florida Fifth District Court of Appeals upholds it.Casey Anthony reports for probation at a secret location on August 24.
September 15, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules Casey Anthony must pay $97,000 of the $517,000 the state of Florida wanted her to pay for investigative and prosecution costs to the state under a provision of Florida sentencing law. He ruled she only had to pay those costs directly related to lying to law enforcement about the death of Caylee, i.e., search costs up to September 30, 2008, when the Sheriff’s Office stopped investigating a missing-child case. In earlier arguments Attorney Cheney Mason had called the prosecutors’ attempts to extract the larger sum “sour grapes” because the prosecution lost its case. He told reporters that Anthony is indigent.
September 23, 2011 — Judge Belvin Perry rules Casey Anthony must pay an additional $119,000 for the recalculated costs of the sheriff’s search for Caylee Anthony, for a total of $217,000.
October 8, 2011 — Casey Anthony answers a few questions and takes the Fifth Amendment repeatedly in a video deposition regarding the Zenaida Fernandez-Gonzales lawsuit.
October 25, 2011 — Judge Perry releases names of jurors in Casey Anthony trial.
Just days after the not guilty verdict, several Sates in the U.S. Began drafting ‘Caylee’s Law”, which tightens the noose on parents and guardians who do not report the disappearance of a missing child in a timely manner. Something that should be common sense – for those who have common sense and have not caused the disappearance themselves. It is a moral obligation for all to take appropriate actions when we believe another life is in jeopardy. Another question I would pose is, “why did the grandparents wait so long to report the child missing themselves?” Or at least have an appropriate authority investigate when their daughter failed to produce the child earlier?
A poignant message in support of Caylee’s Law
This is a very tragic story, one we are not likely to forget, once known. It is not about the Anthony family. It is not about the media or press. It has been exploited abundantly, but there are plenty of people out the who know exactly what I mean – it is about a little girl who is no longer in this world because someone stole her life. A heinous crime of hideous proportions. That killer walks the same streets we do every day. Is the person that stole little Caylee’s life even the slightest remorseful? Where is the justice for Caylee?
We all have our opinions on these things, and I for one, am struggling to contain mine. You will always be in my thoughts and prayers, Caylee.
Sweet Dreams Precious Angel. May God Watch Over You.
Listen to Caylee’s Song – She’s Going Places .. Here
Song performed by Rascal Flatts – Link leads to YouTube. Song posted by ‘ripBenoitFamily’
August 31 / 2009, former Attorney General, Michael Bryant was charged for criminal negligence causing death and dangerous operation of a vehicle causing death. The victim was identified as Darcy Allan Sheppard, 33. A father of three who was employed as a bicycle courier. The arrest of Mr. Bryant began that evening with a collision between a bicycle and luxury Saab Convertible in Toronto’s most illustrious shopping development, late the evening of August 31 / 2009. The incident began as a minor dispute, then quickly turned deadly, leading to the injuries and subsequent death of Darcy Sheppard.
Michael Bryant Arrested
Bryant, 45, is a former public administrator and former politician in Ontario, Canada. He was a member of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario and a Harvard-trained lawyer, representing the electoral district of St. Paul’s for the Ontario Liberal Party from 1999 to 2009. Bryant served until May / 2009, as a member of (Premier) Dalton McGuinty‘s provincial cabinet, first as Attorney General. Bryant was the province’s youngest-ever to serve that position. He then stepped down to take a position as President and CEO of Invest Toronto, an agency set up by the city to promote investing.
That being said, Bryant also worked to enforce stricter traffic laws for Ontario’s roads, ironically enough. His main targets were street-racers. In 2007 police were handed the power to seize and destroy modified cars meant for street racing, even if no charges were laid on the owner. Bryant said these were “as dangerous as explosives”, and “We will crush your car. We will crush the parts.” Later in 2007, the province passed a bill to regard any vehicle travelling more than 50 kilometres an hour faster than the speed limit to be racing. This includes immediate vehicle seizure.
On the evening of August 31, 2009, Bryant and his wife were driving home after an anniversary celebration. They passed cyclist, Darcy Allan Sheppard, who, according to an interview with Bryant, was “tossing garbage and holding up traffic by executing figure eights.”As they neared an intersection, Sheppard pulled in front of Bryant’s car. Bryant claimed his car stalled when he stopped behind Sheppard.
As Bryant tried to restart the car, it lurched forward, which brought the car into contact with Sheppard’s tire. Analysis of security camera footage confirmed the car’s headlights dimmed in a manner “consistent with this explanation” and the vehicle had a “sensitive clutch”. The Crown determined that there was no damage to the bicycle’s rear wheel rim.
Witnesses said that Sheppard (Right) confronted Bryant and his wife “loudly and aggressively” while they “remained passive.” The car’s next movement resulted in Sheppard ending up on the hood of the car. The car travelled 30 feet, lasted 2.5 second, the car’s speed was between 9 and 13. km/hr and brakes were applied after 1 second. According to Bryant he was looking down trying to restart the vehicle and applied the brakes when he saw Sheppard on the hood. The Crown determined that there was no evidence Sheppard was seriously injured at this point.
In the next instant, when Bryant attempted to drive away, Sheppard grabbed hold of the side of the vehicle, and refused to let go. Bryant, in what witness describe, appeared to be an attempt to shake the cyclist from his vehicle. Bryant sped into oncoming lanes, which resulted in Sheppard being slammed into trees, lamp posts and mailboxes, before hitting a fire hydrant, flying from the car and hitting his head on the pavement. Once Sheppard was on the pavement, the rear tire of Mr. Bryant’s car ran over the bleeding man. The Saab Convertible sped off, leaving the man on the ground, into the driveway of a nearby hotel, where police arrested Bryant a while later. (Above Left)
Reports say that about an hour before the incident, Sheppard had been questioned by police on an unrelated matter. He was found then to have been drinking, and at the time of death, his blood alcohol level was double the legal limit. It is also said that Sheppard had wrangled with six other motorists in less than a month before his encounter with Bryant. Witnesses also claim that Sheppard was throwing traffic cones in front of cars at the corner of Bloor and Yonge less than twenty minutes before the incident.
Bryant, spent the night and next morning in custody and was released the next day by the police on his own recognizance – without a bail hearing. He appeared in a suit and tie to read a prepared statement to the media, where he maintained that he was innocent of the charges and extended condolences to Sheppard’s family. A veteran defence lawyer suggested that “anyone else would have been taken to bail court and forced to stand in the box, unshaven and dishevelled”.The terms of Bryant’s release required him to abstain from driving, surrender his passport and remain in Ontario until all was said and done. Bryant also resigned as CEO of Invest Toronto, saying that the arrest would act as a distraction for the corporation. Staring directly ahead, he left the Traffic Services police station at about 2:30 p.m. the day after the incident, amid a flash of cameras and throng of questioning reporters.
Dressed in a suit, Bryant appeared distressed and haggard, he read a brief statement:
“May I ask for your understanding in not making a statement today on last night’s tragic events. At an appropriate moment I will of course speak to you. I would, however, like to extend my deepest condolences to the family of Mr. Sheppard. To all those who have offered support to my family in the past 12 hours, thank you,” Bryant said, with a flicker of emotion. (Below)
Bryant with the press
Bryant was next to appear on October / 19 / 2009. The case was adjourned six times. On May /25 / 2010 the prosecutor (Richard Peck) withdrew all charges against Bryant, noting there was “no reasonable prospect of conviction.” Peck said that “Bryant was attacked by a man who unfortunately was in a rage. Bryant was legally justified in his attempt to get away.”
After his release, Bryant made a statement, shown in this video release, sharing his condolences for the family and friends of Sheppard.
This story raises many questions and concerns. Should this case have been “terminated” because one man was defending himself from another? Did Bryant get away with vehicular manslaughter? Was there preferential treatment involved in the final decision? Where is the justice for a man whose life was cut short? Who then, is responsible?
Will some people never be forced to take responsibility for their own actions, and will yet others forever be condoning of the behaviour of ‘favoured citizens’ in today’s society? Yes, we see that perhaps Mr. Sheppard was behaving in an obnoxious manner, but for that, did he deserve to die? He too, just as the man in the expensive suit was, human. What if the tables were turned, and Mr. Bryant was the unfortunate victim that fatal night? It matters not who the victim was, but that there was a victim at all, is disturbing. There are family and friends who are left to mourn the life lost on that doomed August night.
Again, are we seeing the elements of society being skewed? We have two people here, with two different backgrounds and professions. Does society see one as more ‘valued’ than the other? Possibly. Does that mean that one life is valued more than another as well?
My deepest gratitude to Ant World for this topic and thought-provoking discussions that supplied much of the content in this Post.
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