THE WORLD TONIGHT

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TERROR ROCKS CANADIAN CAPITAL AS GUNMEN OPEN FIRE…SOLDIER DEAD

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OTTAWA, Canada | DMN — Canada’s Parliament Hill came under attack today after a man with a rifle shot and killed a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa, before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block nearby. MPs and other witnesses reported 30 to 50 shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building, shot by the House of Commons sergeant-at-arms, according to MPs’ accounts. Prime Minister Stephen Harper was on the Hill at the time of the shooting, but was safely taken away. Harper will make an address to the country later this evening. Ottawa police confirmed early Wednesday afternoon that the soldier died from his injuries.  “One shooting victim succumbed to injuries. He was a member of the Canadian Forces,” a release said.

Police are not releasing the soldier’s name until next of kin are notified. CBC News has confirmed the soldier is a reservist from Hamilton. Police also confirmed the death of a “male suspect” and added “there is no one in custody at this time.” Later in a news conference, police and military officials confirmed the incident is not over, saying people in the downtown core should remain vigilant and stay inside. “This is a dynamic and unfolding situation,” said RCMP Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud, commanding officer of the national division. Michaud also suggested that police had no forewarning of the attack, saying “it caught us by surprise.” He added that it’s too soon to say whether the dead gunman was already known to security officials.

Michaud added that police have maintained a “medium” level of security of Parliament for the past number of years, and that had not changed in recent days. Police also would not say whether the gunman was a Canadian citizen or whether police had retrieved the weapon. Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau asked witnesses to the incidents to come forward. Ottawa Civic Hospital confirmed three people were taken to hospital, two of them with non-life-threatening injuries. One of those injured, with a gunshot wound, is a parliamentary guard. Despite earlier reports of shots fired near the Rideau Centre shopping mall east of Parliament Hill, police later said “no incident occurred near the Rideau Centre.”

 

 

Alain Merisier, who works at the cafeteria in one of the Parliament Buildings, told CBC News that he saw a man in a car at the Centre Block with a long gun. Cellphone video shot by a Globe and Mail reporter showed a chaotic scene in the elegant hallway leading from the front doors of Parliament’s Centre Block to the Library of Parliament during the attack. A sustained volley of shots was fired. Startled security personnel and political staff scrambled to take cover in the limestone alcoves as bullets flew.

In the minutes after the shooting on Parliament Hill, MPs and parliamentary staff began tweeting and telling reporters that it was Sergeant-at-Arms Kevin Vickers who shot the gunman. The tweets included:

  • NDP MP Craig Scott: “MPs and Hill staff owe their safety, even lives, to Sergeant at Arms Kevin Vickers who shot attacker just outside the MPs’ caucus rooms.”
  • Veterans Affairs Minister Julian Fantino, former head of the Ontario Provincial Police and ex-Toronto chief of police: “I am safe & profoundly grateful to Sgt at Arms Kevin Vickers & our security forces for selfless act of keeping us safe.”
  • Justice Minister Peter MacKay: “Thank God for Sgt at Arms Kevin Vickers & our Cdn security forces. True heroes.”

Cabinet ministers, MPs and journalists in the buildings housing the House of Commons and Senate were in lockdown as police tracked the gunman. Sources tell CBC News that Harper was on the Hill at the time, and was extracted safely from the area by security. Opposition NDP Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau were also reported safe. In a statement released earlier in the day by Harper’s office, he said, “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of those who were attacked.” His office released a photo of the prime minister being briefed away from Parliament Hill by RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson.

 

 

Harper’s spokesman Carl Vallée said on Twitter that Harper also spoke briefly to U.S. President Barack Obama on Wednesday afternoon. Harper also spoke with Mulcair and Trudeau, the Prime Minister’s Office said. Earlier, police sealed off the area around the National War Memorial while the injured soldier was given emergency medical aid. He was later put into an ambulance. “We were waiting there for a city tour and suddenly I heard four shots,” said Jan Lugtenborg, a tourist visiting downtown Ottawa from Holland. “Suddenly I saw a small guy with long black hair … with a long rifle, and he ran away after the shots, across streets in the direction of ParliamentHill,” he said.

Raivo Nommick, another bystander, said “all of a sudden I just heard a shot, turned around and there was a guy with a rifle …. and just pow pow. “Then I saw one of the other Armed Forces guys just running. He barrelled over, just ran right over. The other guy just dropped. I looked back and just dived underneath and immediately called 911.” The National War Memorial stands in Confederation Square in the heart of downtown Ottawa. The Parliament Buildings are to the northwest. Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said he saw a man running with a double-barrelled shotgun, wearing a scarf and blue jeans. Walsh said the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of a car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shots, Walsh said. Some witnesses were taken to the city’s police headquarters. New Democrat MP Hélène Laverdière said she heard 20 to 30 shots inside Parliament, and hit the floor. She and fellow MPs Charlie Angus and Rosane Doré Lefebvre were later led out of the Centre Block to safety. Doré Lefebvre said she was worried about getting her daughter from the daycare facility on Parliament Hill.

 

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: MICHAEL BROWN MAY HAVE GONE FOR DARREN WILSON’S GUN

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REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: MICHAEL BROWN MAY HAVE GONE FOR DARREN WILSON’S GUN

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In protests held in Ferguson, Mo., for more than two months, some said 18-year-old Michael Brown had his hands up when he was killed by police officer Darren Wilson. Hence the clarion call: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” But a St. Louis Post-Dispatch analysis of Brown’s official county autopsy suggests the teenager may not have had his hands raised after all. Experts told the newspaper Brown was shot Aug. 9., at close range — and may have been reaching for Wilson’s weapon. The autopsy found material “consistent with products that are discharged from the barrel of a firearm” in a wound on Brown’s thumb. Judy Melinek, a forensic pathologist in San Francisco, said this “supports the fact that this guy is reaching for the gun, if he has gunpowder particulate material in the wound.”

Melinek, who was not involved in the investigation, said the autopsy did not support those who claim Brown was attempting to flee or surrender. “If he has his hand near the gun when it goes off, he’s going for the officer’s gun,” she said. St. Louis medical examiner Michael Graham, who also reviewed the autopsy results for the Post-Dispatch, said they were consistent with Wilson’s reported claim that he and Brown struggled inside a police SUV. The examination “does support that there was a significant altercation at the car,” he said. Early Wednesday, the newspaper published Wilson’s most detailed account yet, according to an unnamed source with knowledge of his statements to police.

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According to the source, Wilson saw Brown and his friend, Dorian Johnson, walking down the middle of Canfield Drive. Wilson noticed Johnson’s clothing matched the description of a suspect who had just robbed an area market where cigarillos were stolen. Brown was carrying cigarillos in his hand. Wilson reportedly told investigators that when he tried to get out of the vehicle, Brown slammed the door on him and punched him in the face. Wilson drew his weapon and a struggle ensued. The source said the first time Wilson tried to shoot, the gun didn’t fire. The second time, it did.

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The Post-Dispatch reported:

Wilson told investigators he thought the bullet had struck Brown in the hand, the source said. … Broken window glass was everywhere, and blood was on the door, the gun and Wilson’s hands. At the time, Wilson said, he wasn’t sure whose blood it was. Sources told the newspaper that Brown’s blood was found on Wilson’s gun. The autopsy confirmed Brown’s blood was on Wilson’s car. “Someone got an injury that tore off skin and left it on the car,” Graham said. “That fits with everything else that came out. There’s blood in the car, now skin on the car, that shows something happened right there.” Brown has had three autopsies. The Post-Dispatch obtained the official autopsy, released to prosecutors but not the public, for its latest story. A private autopsy done at the behest of Brown’s family, discussed in detail at an August press conference, largely agreed with the official autopsy, but said Brown had not been shot at close range. A third autopsy — the results of which have not been released or been leaked — was performed by the Justice Department.

Eyewitness accounts vary. Johnson, 22, said Wilson grabbed Brown and tried to pull him into the vehicle. Then later, when Brown tried to run, Wilson allegedly chased him, shot him once before he turned around and then shot and killed him while his hands were raised. Others have said Wilson shot at Brown as he fled. Some said Brown stood still. Some said his hands were in the air; some said they were not. The source who spoke to the newspaper said Wilson told investigators he did indeed get out and chase Brown before Brown rushed him.

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The Post-Dispatch wrote:

Wilson said he had yelled for Brown to stop, then fired, the source said. Brown flinched as if he was hit, and Wilson said he had stopped shooting. Brown continued running toward him, and Wilson said he had fired several more shots. The source said that Wilson had recalled that Brown’s head was down when the last shot hit him there. A toxicology report performed with the autopsy stated Brown had THC, indicating marijuana use. “The detection of THC in the postmortem blood of Michael Brown really indicates his recent use of marijuana (within a few hours) and that he may or may not have been impaired at the time of his death,” Alfred Staubus, a consultant in forensic toxicology at the Ohio State University College of Pharmacy, told the Post-Dispatch in an e-mail.

The Post-Dispatch’s report has no legal significance as the world waits for a St. Louis County grand jury to decide whether Wilson will be charged in connection with the shooting. The grand jury’s deadline isn’t until Jan. 7. However, as protests that sharply divided Ferguson in August occasionally re-ignite, the newspaper’s account — even if cloaked in forensic science leaked to media — may prove inflammatory. “I hope I’m wrong, but I have a feeling that prosecutors are getting ready to drop the hammer on us,” attorney Eric Guster wrote on the Root. “They want us to be ready for what every tear-gassed, unlawfully arrested, shot at, beaten, harassed, billy-clubbed protester doesn’t want to hear: Wilson probably won’t be charged in the killing of Michael Brown.”

On social media, St. Louis Alderman Antonio French (D) — a familiar face on Ferguson’s front lines — questioned whether Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCullouch or the U.S. attorney general should investigate the leaky investigation of Brown’s death. “Bob McCulloch and Attorney General Holder should be launching investigations into who is leaking this info,” French posted to Twitter. “Police? Attorneys? Jurors?”

BLACKWATER GUARDS FOUND GUILTY IN 2007 SHOOTINGS OF THREE IRAQI CIVILIANS

An Iraqi woman walks past 24 September 2

WASHINGTON, D.C. | DMN — A federal jury returned guilty verdicts for all four former Blackwater security guards charged in the 2007 shootings of more than 30 Iraqis in Baghdad. The guilty verdicts marked a sweeping victory for prosecutors, who argued in a 10-week trial that the defendants fired wildly and out-of-control in a botched security operation after one of them falsely claimed to believe the driver of an approaching vehicle was a car bomber. The guards claimed they acted in self-defense and responded appropriately to the car-bomb threat and the sound of incoming AK-47 gunfire, their defense said. Overall, defendants were charged with the deaths of 14 Iraqis and the wounding of 17 others at Baghdad’s Nisour Square shortly after noon on Sept. 16, 2007. None of the victims was an insurgent.

David Schertler, who represents one of the guards, Dustin Heard, called the verdict “incomprehensible.” “The verdict is wrong,” he said. “We’re devastated. We’re going to fight this every step of the way.” The jury of eight women and four men deliberated 27 days before convicting Nicholas A. Slatten, of Sparta, Tenn., of murder. The panel also convicted Paul A. Slough of Keller, Tex., of 13 counts of manslaughter and 16 counts of attempted manslaughter; Evan S. Liberty of Rochester, N.H., of eight counts of manslaughter and 12 counts of attempted manslaughter; and Heard of Knoxville, Tenn., of six counts of manslaughter and 11 counts of attempted manslaughter. Slough, Liberty and Heard were also convicted of using military firearms while committing a felony.

Slatten faces up to life in prison for murder. The other three — who, like Slatten, are military veterans — face a mandatory minimum of 30 years in prison. U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth set sentencing for later. The jury’s verdict marked an end to a years-long quest by prosecutors to bring the case to trial, and a milestone in the government’s efforts to monitor security contractors’ conduct on the battlefield. The contractor shootings and the American government’s refusal to allow the men to be tried in Iraq sent relations between the two countries into a crisis, and the Blackwater name became shorthand for unaccountable U.S. power. In Congress, lawmakers denounced the Nisour Square shooting as recently as July, but legislation that would provide clearer jurisdiction for U.S. prosecutors and investigators to pursue criminal wrongdoing overseas by private security contractors has languished for years.

blackwaterFormer Blackwater Worldwide guard Nicholas Slatten leaves federal court in Washington, Wednesday, June 11, 2014. CLIFF OWEN, AP
The security firm’s founder, Erik Prince, eventually left the company, which was renamed Xe Services and then Academi. The defendants were among 19 Blackwater Worldwide guards providing security for State Department officials in Iraq. At the time of the incident, their convoy was clearing the way for another Blackwater team evacuating a U.S. official from a nearby car bombing. The prosecution faced several obstacles, including some problems of the government’s own making. Charges in the shooting were first brought against six Blackwater employees in 2008, one of whom, Jeremy Ridgeway, pleaded guilty to manslaughter and testified for the government in the current trial. Charges against another man, Donald Ball, were dropped. A federal judge, however, threw out the other indictments in 2009, saying that prosecutors improperly relied on statements that the guards gave the State Department immediately after the shooting, believing that they would not be used in court. An appeals court reversed that ruling in 2011, enabling prosecutors to obtain fresh indictments.

The remaining four defendants claimed the violence was triggered by Ridgeway, whom a prosecutor conceded suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder and “lost it” in Iraq, and by the convoy’s team leader, Jimmy Watson, who, like several other members of the Blackwater team, was granted limited immunity by the government for his testimony against former colleagues. While prosecutors called 70 witnesses to only four for the defense, some ex-Blackwater employees also disagreed over whether Slatten or others fired the first shots, and some agreed that they heard incoming AK-47 fire. The prosecution suffered another setback during the trial when they discovered that they had failed to turn over all the photographs from a computer disk of evidence taken by investigators after the incident, including one belatedly released to defendants showing AK-47 shell casings from a bus stop near the square from which they claimed to be taking fire. However, jurors rejected the guards’ claims that they acted in self-defense, instead concluding they acted excessively and unreasonably by initiating a firefight with a phantom enemy, shooting and killing unarmed civilians without regard for the threat they posed.

Prosecutors claimed the convoy’s command vehicle was hit by shrapnel from an American grenade. Prosecutors also claimed that Slatten “lit the match that ignited the firestorm,” assistant U.S. attorney Anthony Asuncion said in closing arguments, and charged Slough, the convoy command vehicle’s turret gunner, with causing the most harm, as team members fired unprovoked into stopped traffic and then turned more firepower onto a panicked, fleeing crowd. To make the case, prosecutors called 30 Iraqis to appear, in what it said was the largest number of foreign witnesses to testify in a U.S. criminal trial. Prosecutors also contended that Slatten and Liberty held hostility toward the Iraqi civilian population, and with Slough on occasion fired weapons at Iraqi targets without provocation.

Defendants’ attorneys said their clients acted reasonably at a time when the Iraqi capital was the scene of “horrific threats” from car bombs, ambushes and follow-on attacks, sometimes aided by Iraqi security forces infiltrated by guerrillas. Defense attorneys said the U.S. government was overstepping legal limits by even bringing the prosecution under MEJA, or the Military Extraterritorial Jurisdiction Act, under which government employees and contractors can be prosecuted for criminal acts they commit abroad. Defendants said they were in Iraq under contract with the State Department, not the Pentagon. Prosecutors said MEJA extends to those engaged in actions related to supporting the U.S. military mission.

 

SPECIAL REPORT: ATTACK ON CANADA’S PARLIAMENT HILL…MULTIPLE GUNMEN REPORTED AFTER SOLDIER SHOT AT WAR MEMORIAL

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OTTAWA, Canada | DMN — Canada’s Parliament Hill has come under attack today after a man with a rifle shot a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa,before seizing a car and driving to the doors of Parliament Hill’s Centre Block nearby. MPs and other witnesses reported several shots fired inside Parliament, and a gunman has been confirmed dead inside the building. The soldier’s condition is not known as this time. Police sources say there is more than one suspect, and shots have been reported at other locations surrounding Parliament Hill as the downtown area remains in police lockdown.

It was not immediately known if there are further injuries, but paramedics have been seen carrying a stretcher into the Chateau Laurier Hotel, just east of Parliament Hill. There were reports of shots fired there as well. Alain Merisier, who works at the cafeteria in one of the Parliament Buildings, told CBC News that said he saw a man in a car at the Centre Block with a long gun. Witnesses said they then heard shots fired, and there was an unconfirmed report of a person injured outside the Library of Parliament. Police confirmed the shooting at the National War Memorial, and sealed off the area while the injured soldier was given emergency medical aid. He was later put into an ambulance. “We were waiting there for a city tour and suddenly I heard four shots,” said Jan Luchtenburg, a tourist visiting downtown Ottawa from Holland. “Suddenly I saw a small guy with long black hair… with a long rifle, and he ran away after the shots, across streets in the direction of Parliament Hill,” he said.

UPDATES:

  • Shooter still believed at large in downtown Ottawa.
  • Police searching cars leaving Ottawa trying to go to Quebec.
  • Report of additional shot fired near Chateau Laurier hotel, east of Parliament Hill.
  • Police going door to door on Sparks Street; downtown schools in lockdown.
  • All three main party leaders, Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau, reported safe.

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Reevo Namic, another bystander, said “all of a sudden I just heard a shot, turned around and there was a guy with a rifle….and just pow pow. “Then I saw one of the other Armed Forces guys just running. He barrelled over, just ran right over. The other guy just dropped. I looked back and just dived underneath and immediately called 911.” The National War Memorial stands in Confederation Square in the heart of downtown Ottawa. The Parliament Buildings are to the northeast. Scott Walsh, who was working on Parliament Hill, said he saw a man running with a double-barrelled shotgun, wearing a scarf and blue jeans. Walsh said the man hopped over the stone fence that surrounds Parliament Hill, with his gun forcing someone out of their car. He then drove to the front doors of Parliament and fired at least two shot, Walsh said.

Cabinet ministers, MPs and journalists in the buildings housing the House of Commons and Senate were in lockdown as police tracked the gunman. The Prime Minister’s Office says Stephen Harper is safe and not on Parliament Hill. Opposition Leader Tom Mulcair and Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau are also safe, it has been reported. Police are still searching for any other gunmen, and have sealed off the area, moving bystanders and reporters to the nearby Chateau Laurier Hotel. Other witnesses were taken to the city’s police headquarters. New Democrat MP Hélène Laverdière said she heard 20 to 30 shots, and hit the floor. She and fellow MPs Charlie Angus and Rosane Doré Lefebvre were later led out of the Centre Block to safety. Doré Lefebvre said she was worried about getting her daughter from the daycare facility on Parliament Hill.

Ottawa War Memorial shooting Live

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Canadian police say shots have been fired at a mall near Parliament, AP reports.

There are three incidents that police are trying to get a handle on: at the war memorial, inside parliament and now at the Rideau Center. The Center is on lockdown, like most of downtown Ottawa.

The soldier shot in the first incident is in care at Ottawa Civic Hospital.

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UPDATES 12:55PM EDT

  • 1 shooter dead, 1 still believed at large in downtown Ottawa.

  • Police searching cars leaving Ottawa trying to go to Quebec.

  • Report of additional shots fired near Chateau Laurier Hotel, east of Parliament Hill.

  • Police going door to door in downtown core; downtown schools in lockdown.

  • All three main party leaders, Harper, Mulcair and Trudeau, reported safe.

There were two soldiers standing guard at the war memorial in Ottawa near Parliament, and a gunman shot one of them, a witness told CNN on Wednesday. Peter Henderson, a journalist, said other soldiers doing drills nearby ran to help the fallen soldier. Henderson said he knew the person shot was a soldier because of the ceremonial uniform the soldier was wearing. There were “several shooting incidents in downtown Ottawa” on Wednesday morning, police said on Twitter. “Incidents occurred at National War Memorial, near the Rideau Centre and Parliament Hill.” All Ottawa police buildings remain on lockdown and are closed to the public, police also said on Twitter. There were “numerous gunmen” Wednesday morning at the Canada War Memorial shooting, said Marc Soucy of the Ottawa Police Service. Authorities are working to figure out if there were two or three gunmen, he said. Only one person was shot, Soucy said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REPORTERS NOTEBOOK: INDIANA SERIAL KILLINGS AGAINST BACKDROP OF DECREPIT CITY

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Gary, Indiana is a city that time forgot. Until now. The north-west Indiana suburb of Chicago is the worst, ugliest, smelliest, most decrepit, dangerous city in the Midwest, if not the nation. There are 10,000 abandoned houses in Gary, the mayor has said as details emerged about the cities latest headline…a serial killer. Several bodies linked to possible serial killer Darren Vann were found inside abandoned buildings throughout the city of Gary. Police went through at least 90 more abandoned buildings searching for any criminal activity and marking them for demolition.  The city has received nearly $9 million dollars in federal money to help with blight removal.

Because of the Vann case, Gary officials created a new task force to accelerate the process of getting those buildings boarded up and demolished. They acknowledge the safety issues associated with the structures, but deny they were the reason for the alleged killings.  Chris Jones steps away from the doorway of an abandoned home, recoiling from a powerful stench. Inside the room, underneath two windows, are long black stains along the wall and floor where the decomposed body of Teairra Batey, 28, lay for almost a year before it was discovered on Sunday. Police say she was a victim of Darren Deon Vann, 43, the man charged on Monday with one count of murder who has, they say, confessed to the killings of six other women, including Batey. They believe he may be responsible for the deaths of at least 20 other women missing in north-west Indiana.

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Jones, a carpenter with the city of Gary, and his partner Lory Welch, are tasked with boarding up the five locations where Vann’s victims were discovered. Abandoned by their owners years ago, the homes are overrun with shoulder-length weeds and littered with the detritus of squatters: old mattresses, broken glass and liquor bottles. Jones doesn’t expect the fresh plywood over the doors and windows to stay for long: he points to vacant homes next door, now open to the elements, saying he boarded those up five years ago. “Going to be an overtime kind of day,” he says. For Gary, a city where more than 35% of residents live under the federal poverty level, the news of the serial killings is another blow. Hit hard by the loss of steel mill jobs, its population has fallen to 78,000 from more than twice that in the 1960s. The city has faced corruption and crime, but worse the legacy of nearly 10,000 blighted and abandoned homes the city cannot afford to knock down.

Tracy Cobb, 48, says the blight has made his neighborhood in Gary dangerous. “If you walk these streets at night, it’s nothing but an accident waiting to happen,” he says. “There’s always one bad apple on that tree.” Cobb knew Batey, the young woman discovered on Sunday. He met her in December when they were both in a rehabilitation facility for drugs and alcohol in nearby Merrillville. “She talked about getting her life together. She was a real down to earth lady who was struggling,” he says. The next month, she was reported missing and never seen again. With little help from the authorities, their families looked for them over these last several months, not knowing that their bodies were barely hidden, simply discarded in abandoned homes. Despite the smell given off by the bodies, and the ease with which the homes can be accessed, Jones says they were easy to miss because of the magnitude of the blight problem. In his eight years on the job as Gary’s chief of board-up – that is his real job title – Jones says he secures between 40 and 50 homes a month and purchases plywood in bulk, 300 sheets at a time. But it’s never enough. “This is a dangerous job,” he says.

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Jesse Washington, 72, who operates an auto shop three blocks from where the body of Anith Jones, 35, of Merrillville, was found on Saturday, says that blight has made it impossible for people to sell their homes to move somewhere better. So many just walk away, leaving their homes to rot, and the problem grows. The home where Jones was discovered, for example, is one of five that lies empty on a block of 10. Behind the house is a mud path for an alley, surrounded by a forest of weeds. “It’s a worry,” Washington says. “Especially after this weekend. And especially when you have people living next door.” Jones went missing 8 October. Her sister Yolanda Nowell told a local newspaper she was “a kind, loving woman” and “everybody’s favorite aunt”.

Vann was arrested for murder, murder in the perpetration of a robbery, and robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, for the death of Afrikka Hardy, 19, at a Motel 6 in nearby Hammond. Lake County prosecutors say Hardy, who was strangled to death with a cord, was found in a bathtub on Friday. They say she met Vann via Backpage.com where he responded to her ad for prostitution. Vann is said to have confessed to the killing on Saturday. During his interrogation, he told police of the six other victims and led them to their bodies. The other victims are Christine Williams, 36, of Gary, and three unidentified females. Police say it is likely additional charges against Vann are pending upon further investigation. Vann is a registered sex offender in Texas and in 2004 was convicted of misdemeanor residential entry in Indiana. Lake County prosecutor Bernard Carter said on Tuesday he is reviewing the case to determine if he can pursue the death penalty against Vann. “There is no reason for urgency. He’s being held on the one murder. He’s not going anywhere,” he told reporters. Lori Townsend, Hardy’s mother, posted on Facebook on Tuesday: “I cry, in my private moments, when I’m looking at my Baby’s pictures. I start to giggle and laugh when I remember something silly she did. I’m trying not to cry.”