- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CALIFORNIA

Missing women may be linked to convict

LOS ANGELES — Investigators said yesterday that they are trying to find at least 50 women they have linked to a photographer on death row for killing two aspiring models in the early 1980s.

Authorities are looking into whether the women were raped or killed from 1975 to 1984 by William Richard Bradford, according to a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Web site.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, Bradford posed as a freelance photographer in the West Los Angeles area, taking sexually explicit photos of women he met at bars and auto races, according to the site. The site showed women posing in 54 photographs seized from his home in the 1980s.

Investigators renewed their interest in the photos while reviewing old cases recently, but they have had trouble contacting the women, sheriff’s Lt. Debra Lenhart said.

CONNECTICUT

Dolls nearly lead to woman’s eviction

GREENWICH — Emily Gibbons has been collecting dolls for 15 years, amassing about 200 in her small apartment.

They have brought her a lot of joy, at times reminding the 73-year-old woman what it’s like to hold a baby in her arms again, she said. Most recently, though, they have gotten her in trouble with the Greenwich Housing Authority.

Housing officials said the doll collection cluttered the public housing apartment and is a fire hazard. The Housing Authority threatened to evict her if she didn’t clear the clutter.

“The dolls per se were not the issue — it was that the apartment was not up to standard,” said Terry Mardula, the housing authority’s deputy director.

Miss Gibbons packed away all but about 20 of the dolls and is temporarily storing the rest at her daughter’s home.

Housing officials will inspect her apartment every two months.

FLORIDA

3 convicted in Xbox killings

ST. AUGUSTINE — Three men were convicted of murder yesterday in the slayings of six persons, who authorities said were bludgeoned with baseball bats in a dispute over an Xbox video game system.

The jury will return later in the week to decide whether the men should receive life in prison or death by injection.

Jurors deliberated about six hours before returning their verdict against Troy Victorino, 29, and Michael Salas and Jerone Hunter, both 20.

Prosecutors said Victorino was angry with victim Erin Belanger, 22, who had him evicted when she found him living in her grandmother’s home in Deltona. She kept some of his belongings, including some clothing and the video game system.

INDIANA

17-year-old held in highway shootings

SEYMOUR — A 17-year-old was being held yesterday as a suspect in a series of highway shootings that killed one man, wounded another and damaged at least four vehicles, a prosecutor said.

Zachariah Blanton was facing preliminary charges of murder, attempted murder and criminal recklessness, prosecutor Stephen Pierson said. The teen is being held at the Jackson County Jail.

Mr. Pierson said state police had recovered a rifle they thought was used in the shootings. Two persons were hit Sunday as they rode in pickup trucks on Interstate 65 near Seymour, south of Indianapolis.

About two hours later, bullets struck a moving tractor-trailer and a parked sport utility vehicle on I-69 in Delaware County, about 100 miles to the northeast. No one was injured in those shootings.

LOUISIANA

Pay raise proposed for police, firefighters

NEW ORLEANS — Police and the lowest-paid firefighters in this city that continues to reel from Hurricane Katrina will get pay raises to help retain and recruit employees, Mayor C. Ray Nagin announced yesterday.

Plans, which need final approval from the City Council and a civil service committee, call for a 10 percent raise for all police officers and a 33 percent increase for new firefighters. The raise, expected to kick in Sept. 1, will take the base salary for starting police officers to $36,600. Starting firefighters will earn $20,800.

The ranks of both forces have been thinned since Katrina washed away the homes of many police and firefighters, the chiefs of both departments said yesterday.

The raises, which will cost about $2.2 million, will be funded by reallocating savings in the budgets of both departments.

NEW JERSEY

Severed hand, skulls found at home

SOUTH PLAINFIELD — A severed hand was found at the home of an exotic dancer who decorated her home with skulls, and she was charged with improper disposition of human remains, authorities said.

Friends said the hand had been given to the woman by a medical student.

Police responding to a report of a suicidal person at the home of 31-year-old Linda Kay discovered the large, roughly severed hand in a jar of formaldehyde on a bedroom dresser, according to the police report. The subject of the suicidal-person report was not located, authorities said.

Six skulls were found in another room, and the Middlesex County medical examiner determined that all are human.

Miss Kay was arrested Friday and freed on $100,000 bail pending arraignment today.

NEW YORK

Extra weight caused boat to capsize

NEW YORK — A tour boat that capsized on New York’s Lake George last year, killing 20 persons, overturned because it was loaded more than three times its capacity, the National Transportation Safety Board said.

There were 48 persons aboard the Ethan Allen when it capsized Oct. 2, 2005, acting Chairman Mark V. Rosenker said yesterday. The boat should have been limited to 14 passengers.

The board said New York needs to issue technical guidance to owners of modified commercial tour boats to give them a way to easily determine a safe load and should discontinue the use of manufacturer capacity recommendations based on Coast Guard regulations for small recreational vehicles. The Coast Guard should help states with stability standards.

UTAH

Missing girl’s body found

SALT LAKE CITY — The body of a 5-year-old girl missing for more than a week has been found in the basement of a neighbor’s home, and the neighbor was arrested, authorities said.

Craig R. Gregerson, 20, was booked early yesterday on kidnapping and homicide charges. It was not known whether he had an attorney.

Relatives said Destiny Norton disappeared July 16 after being allowed out in her back yard, which has a chain-link fence and gate. They said she vanished in the five or 10 minutes before her father went to check on her.

Police Chief Chris Burbank said Destiny’s body was found Monday night in the basement of Mr. Gregerson’s house, whose property abutted the Nortons’ back yard.

From staff reports and wire dispatches

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