Eric Delacruz and his buddy Fernando Romero were convicted of the murder of Sonia Rios Risken yesterday. Why is this noteworthy? Well, when the LAT article begins
That kind of makes you take notice. At the time of her death, Risken was being investigated by the FBI in the death of her second husband, who was killed while visiting Risken’s relatives in the Philippines.
And then Risken herself was capped; Delacruz was her grandnephew, and apparently expected to inherit Risken’s estate.
By way of Balko, we learn that Charles Stobaugh has been convicted in the murder of his wife, Kathy Stobaugh. Ms. Stobaugh disappeared the day before her divorce became final in 2004. I can’t work up the indignation of Balko over this: “despite no body, no physical evidence of a crime, and no proof the alleged victim is actually dead.” All of these things are true, but a murder conviction without a body is not unheard of (see Anne Marie Fahey). In addition:
If she had a plan to leave that night, [prosecutor Cary] Piel said, her plan had to have started with a phone call. The farm is secluded and Kathy Stobaugh couldn’t have walked. She was 12 hours away from a default divorce, yet she would have had no money, no credit cards and no vehicle.
Yeah, the evidence is circumstantial. But, to quote Thoreau, “Some circumstantial evidence is very strong, as when you find a trout in the milk.”
In other news, the LAPD apparently has a lead in the 2002 murder of two men in Studio City.
As they delved into the case, detectives uncovered an intriguing back story that included a Playboy cover model, a $40-million Wall Street investment ponzi scheme and an ill-fated bid by Tardio to sell as much as $700,000 worth of jewelry purchased with ill-gotten proceeds.
If the $75,000 reward being proposed in this case isn’t enough, surely the chance to see it dramatized on Law and Order: Los Angeles is an additional incentive.
Speaking of Ponzi schemes, we neglected to note the alleged Amish Ponzi scheme yesterday, so let’s fix that now. (This also gives us a chance to tell our favorite Amish joke: “What sounds like this: Clip clop clip clop clip clop clip clop BANG! Clip clop clip clop clip clop clip clop…” “An Amish drive-by.”)
And, finally, it was anarchists who burned down the Texas Governor’s Mansion in 2008. At least, that’s what the Texas DPS is saying now. Hey, at least it wasn’t nihilists. We would post a Crimestoppers!, but the DPS claims to know who at least three out of four of the anarchists are. So we’ll ask some questions instead:
- Who told the Statesman that auto-play on videos was a good idea?
- The fire took place nearly two years ago. Why is this evidence just now being presented? Did it take them two years to go through all the video from the area? Or to do the video enhancement?
- What evidence is there connecting the Jeep to the arson? “Someone sitting in the back seat can be seen taking two photos of the house with a flash. McCraw characterized that as ‘obviously pre-ops surveillance’ but would not elaborate.” That sounds kind of hand-wavy to me.
- What kind of half-assed security lets someone walk up to a building and throw a Molotov cocktail? (Hattip: Lawrence.)