Tag Archives: Murder-Suicide

EU Issues Travel Warning for U.S. and Mexico Due to Swine Flu Scare

Swine flu warnings reach Europe. The EU has advised caution in travel to the U.S. and Mexico, BBC News.  The U.S. has called the warning unwarranted, EU Business.

USA Today on the differences between Presidents Obama and Bush in the first 100 days of the Obama presidency.

Torture Debate: The FBI says leads on catching the perpetrators of the September 11th attacks were obtained without the use of torture. The FBI learned from prisoner Abu Zubaydah that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was the mastermind behind the September 11th attacks and FBI agents familiar with the case said they got that information by bonding with the  prisoner as he recovered from a gunshot wound- not by torturing him. In some ways this is a conflict between the FBI, who used traditional law enforcement techniques to get information and the CIA, who used tactics such as waterboarding unsuccessfully. The CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times but never got any concrete information on Osama bin Laden. President Obama has rescinded White House approval to use techniques that violate the Geneva Conventions. The Justice Department is investigating Bush era officials who approved torture, NPR.

Interesting Op-Ed in the New York Times calling for the end of university education as we know it. Mark Taylor, chair of the religion department at Columbia, argues that graduate degrees are “the Detroit of higher learning,” putting students massively in debt for degrees that are not actually in demand.

George Zinkhan still at large. Police have few leads. Classes continues on schedule at the University of Georgia, Athens Online. See our previous coverage of the tragedy for more information.

Still little information on the Parente murder-suicide. We now know that William Parente’s wife and two daughters died by blunt force trauma and asphyxiation. William Parente cut himself and bled to death on the bathroom floor of the Towson Sheraton hotel room where the family was stying. The FBI has opened an investigation into Parente’s financial dealings, WBAL. Our previous update on the Parente murder-suicide.

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More Than 70 Dead in Two Suicide Attacks in Iraq

Suicide attacks in Baghdad and Baquba have resulted in the deaths of more than 70 people. Victims of the attack at a restaurant in Barquba included Iranian pilgrims. The attack in Baghdad happened in a crowd where police were distributing aid to the homeless, BBC News.

2 Canadian diplomats held captive in the Saharan desert around Mali and Niger for the past four months have been released. Officials say the release was negotiated, but have not released details, Globe and Mail.

Supply trucks were set on fire on a NATO supply route to Afghanistan through Pakistan. U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says she fears the Pakistani government is abdicating to extremists by allowing Sharia law in the Swat region. However, USA Today says that public backlash against the Taliban in Pakistan is building.

The Sri Lankan government has requested international aid for displaced people who have been driven from their homes by the conflict between Sri Lankan and the Tamil Tigers, Bloomberg.

More details surface from the declassified Bush administration torture memos, including information that as National Security Adviser, Condoleezza Rice approved waterboarding of prisoners, BCC News.

On the 60th anniversary of China’s navy, China stages a demonstration of its warships, including two nuclear submarines that have never been shown publicly before, UPI.

The African National Congress (ANC) is still leading in the South African elections as ballots are counted, New York Times.

The Baltimore Sun has a discussion about the financial problems of the individuals involved in recent tragedies. Christopher Wood, who killed his family then himself in Middlewood, Maryland, owed more money on his Florida home than it was worth.  William Parente, who police say beat and asphyxiated his wife and two daughters in a Baltimore area hotel room, may have owed a client $450,000. Depressing excerpt: “It is so regular a pattern among most of the industrialized countries of the world that it is virtually an economic indicator,” said M. Harvey Brenner, professor emeritus at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. “It’s a standard feature of recession.”

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Parente Baltimore Murder-Suicide Update

More information is out about a possible motive in the tragic murder-suicide of a Long Island family at a Shertaon hotel in Towson, just north of Baltimore, Maryland.

Newsday, a Long Island area paper, reports that the New York State Attorney’s General office is investigating claims made by Bruce Montague, a lawyer in Queens, New York, who says he invested $450,000 with William Parente. After the Bernie Madoff scandal, Montague requested his money back. Parente gave Montague six checks but told him to only cash the first two. Those checks bounced on the day after the discovery of the murders.

Baltimore County police say Parente killed his wife and two daughters before killing himself. A press conference is scheduled for 11 EDT. Previous post with details on the discovery of the deaths.


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Victims Identified in Baltimore Hotel Deaths- Police Suspect Murder-Suicide

Update: Last night we brought you news that 4 people had been discovered dead in a Sheraton hotel room in Towson, just north of Baltimore, Maryland. Officials are now reporting that one of the victims, a teenage girl, was a sophomore at Loyola College in Baltimore. The Baltimore Sun identifies the victims as William Parente, 59; his wife, Betty Parente, 58; and their daughters, Stephanie Parente, 19; and Catherine Parente, 11, all of Garden City, N.Y. and notes that police are investigating the deaths as a possible murder-suicide. WBAL has photos of the victims, which I will not be posting here. This tragedy comes after a rash of murder-suicides throughout the U.S., including one in Middlewood, Maryland where a father killed his spouse and their three children. See our earlier coverage of that tragedy here.

A little more than a year ago, a Rockville father brought his three young children to a Marriott hotel in downtown Baltimore where he drowned the children one by one in a bathtub. The father was engaged in a custody battle with the children’s mother, his ex-wife. This incident particularly sticks in my memory because I was at work in the building next to the hotel when the bodies were discovered. The Baltimore Sun has a good article about estranged parents who hurt their kids.

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Police Arrest “Craigslist Killer” Suspect

A 22-year-old med student at Boston University has been charged with killing a woman in Boston and robbing two others. Philip Markoff is suspected of being the “Craigslist Killer,” a moniker given to the person who shot Julissa Brisman, 26, in a Boston hotel room last week, CNN. Markoff is engaged to be married to another med student at BU and had no previous police record, but  police labeled Markoff a “predator” and suspect there are more victims that have yet to come forward, NY Daily News.

The only Somali pirate to survive the attack on the Maersk Alabama has landed in New York and is set to stand trial. The pirate is just 16-years-old. The other three pirates who attacked the ship and held the boat’s captain hostage were killed by Navy SEALs, BBC News.

On this 4/20, NPR takes a look at what the U.S. would be like if the government legalized marijuana. Read the analysis here.

The Pulitizer Prize winners were announced today, with the New York Times winning five awards, but the most interesting winner was Paul Giblin of the East Valley Tribune. Giblin was laid off more than three months ago by the newspaper. He helped the paper win an award for his coverage of immigration enforcement operations in Arizona, Assoicated Press.

Check our earlier post on updates on the four people found dead in a Baltimore-area hotel room. Police suspect it may have been a murder-suicide, info here.

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Breaking: 4 Found Dead in Baltimore Sheraton Hotel

The Baltimore Sun is reporting that staff found four dead on the 10th floor of a Sheraton hotel in Towson, just north of Baltimore, Maryland. Baltimore County police have not released any details about the victims. We’ll have more details as they become available.

Update: Officials say the victims are a man, two women and a teenage girl. Police say the victims are related and they suspect were not from the area. It is believed to be, at this point, a possibility that it was a murder-suicide.


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Another Family Murder-Suicide in the U.S.

A man has killed his family as well as himself today in Middlewood, Maryland. 34-year-old Christopher Wood murdered his wife, two sons, ages 4 and 5, and 2-year-old daughter with a gun and, police suspect, a knife. This is a growing trend in America with several reported cases of family murder-suicides this year alone, CNN.

President Obama has spoken out against the 8-year sentence given by Iran to an American journalist. White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the president “is deeply disappointed at this news.” The U.S. is working with Swiss diplomats in Iran, as they lack ties in the country, to get information on the case, NPR.

Houston, Texas is experiencing massive flooding and 5 children are missing after a car was swept away in a flash flood, MyFox Houston. Officials estimate millions of dollars of damage already and say flooding is worse than the disastrous 1994 floods, WTVY.

The U.S. will boycott a United Nations racism meeting because the language in the meeting’s final document could be seen as criticism of Israel. The U.S. is also concerned that the text could lead to restrictions of free speech for Israel, MSNBC.

In some good news, 10-year-old Damon Weaver, made famous after interviews with Vice President Joe Biden and NBA star Dwanye Wade, has been offered a full college scholarship by Albany State University in Georgia after he completes high school. Weaver also had a heartbreaking segment featured on 20/20 where he talked about gun violence in his hometown (watch the video here, 21 minute mark). The aspiring jounalist and Florida native plans to accept the offer, WPBF.


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