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LISTEN: 911 Call of Florida Man Who Shot Entire Family

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

AbleStock.com/Thinkstock(BELL, Fla.) — A chilling 911 call reveals the moments after a Florida man shot his entire family in cold blood before committing suicide.

Don Spirit of Bell, Florida, turned the gun on himself after police arrived at the scene of the crime at his mobile home last week where they found seven other bodies, including that of Spirit’s infant granddaughter.

“Yes, ma’am, I just shot my daughter and shot all my grandkids and I’ll be sitting on my step, and when you get here I’m going to shoot myself,” Spirit, 51, said during the call, obtained Tuesday by ABC News.

Spirit was eerily calm as he gave the dispatcher his address, but refused to answer some of her questions.

“It doesn’t matter what kind of gun I got,” he said. “They’re all dead. When you get here, I’ll shoot myself and then you figure out what kind of gun I have.”

He refused to stay on the line until help arrived and committed suicide shortly after officers got there.

The victims include Bell’s 28-year-old daughter, Sarah Lorraine Spirit, and her six children, including a baby girl born in June.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Song of The Day

Secretly Recorded Phone Calls Played in Doctor’s Poisoning Trial

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — Prosecutors played intimate phone calls secretly taped between two Texas doctors in a trial accusing one jealous lover of poisoning the other.

The assault trial for Dr. Ana Gonzalez-Angulo, 43, began Monday in Houston where she is accused of poisoning Dr. George Blumenschein, an oncologist at the prestigious cancer hospital MD Anderson.

The world-renowned cancer researcher’s intimate phone calls were secretly taped by Blumenschein. In one of the phone calls played for the jury Monday, Gonzalez-Angulo tries to convince Blumenschein his longtime girlfriend, Evette Toney, was the one who poisoned him.

“Why in Christ would I ever hurt you? Why?” Gonzalez-Angulo says in one of the calls.

“Why would Evette hurt me?” Blumenschein responds.

“I don’t know, I don’t know you two,” Gonzalez-Angulo replies. “I would’ve run away a long time ago. …You seem to know things better. You seem to know her better. You trust her.”

Gonzalez-Angulo, a fellow oncologist at MD Anderson, allegedly spiked the coffee with a sweet-tasting chemical used in antifreeze in January 2013, prosecutors say. The chemical is also commonly found in medical labs, including those at MD Anderson.

The jury also heard from Toney Monday, who tearfully recounted how she miscarried while Blumenschein was carrying on an affair with Gonzalez-Angulo.

“He said he was not attracted to her,” Toney testified. “He was adamant. He said it was just work.”

Prosecutors allege that Gonzalez-Angulo poisoned the coffee after Blumenschein picked Toney over her.

The poisoning left Blumenschein with permanent kidney damage, according to testimony from doctors who treated him. Blumenschein took the stand Friday and described the day Gonzalez-Angulo allegedly poisoned him.

“She said she had a special Colombian coffee for me to try,” Blumenschein testified.

Blumenschein said he asked Gonzalez-Angulo why the coffee tasted so sweet and that she responded that she had put Splenda in it.

Gonzalez-Angulo has pleaded not guilty, but if convicted on the felony charge of aggravated assault, she could spend the rest of her life in prison.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Ravens Owner Denies Charges in ESPN Report

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Rob Carr/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — Baltimore Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti Monday refuted accusations made by ESPN’s Outside the Lines that the team knew former running back Ray Rice had struck his then-fiancee inside a hotel elevators hours after it happened last Feb. 15.

Among the other points raised in the ESPN story was that Bisciotti and the Ravens front office pressured NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to only penalize Rice with a two-game suspension, which the owner denied.

After the video of Rice punching Janay Palmer surfaced two weeks ago, the Ravens cut Rice from the team and Goodell boosted the penalty from two games to an indefinite suspension, which the former Raven is now appealing.

Meanwhile, Bisciotti said he made a huge mistake by not attempting to see the fateful surveillance video earlier, admitting to reporters, “I lacked a whole lot of interest. Zero desire to see that tape.”

As for why he didn’t kick Rice off the team when the first video showed her collapsed on the floor after the elevators doors had opened, Bisciotti also conceded, “I’m not that good. I’m not that honorable I guess. I was not prepared to take the worst-case punishment against somebody I have loving feelings for.”

Meanwhile, the owner speculated about why he felt the ESPN story was filled with inaccuracies, saying, “It’s Ray’s attorney, it’s Ray’s agent, and it’s Ray’s friends, and you know, they are building a case for reinstatement and the best way to build a case for reinstatement, is to make everyone else look like they’re lying.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Nugget of Knowldege

Miss America 2015 Kira Kazantsev Denies Hazing Allegations

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) — Miss America winner Kira Kazantsev, who spoke during the pageant about protecting women from domestic violence, is this morning denying allegations that she harshly hazed members of her college sorority.

“They are not true,” Kazantsev, 23, said Tuesday on Good Morning America of claims from an unnamed source on the website Jezebel that under her supervision, “Pledges in the incoming class were called names, berated for their perceived physical flaws and imperfections, and made to perform physical tasks to the point of bruising and exhaustion …” and that she “made the recruits’ lives ‘a living hell.’”

“I’m incredibly hurt that someone has said these things,” said Kazantsev, a former Miss New York and former member of Alpha Phi at Hofstra University.

Kazantsev, a trilingual honors student who served as Alpha Phi’s new member educator and recruitment committee president, did not deny that she was involved in hazing while at the university.

“All I can do is sit here and be honest and share that, yes, I was involved under the broad definition of hazing at some point but never ever in a million years what this is claiming to hold,” she said of the Jezebel report.

The report, which appeared on the website on Monday, also claimed that Kazantsev was kicked out of Alpha Phi, allegedly for exceptionally harsh hazing.

Kazantsev said on GMA that she was asked to leave the sorority in her senior year but that the conflict came over an email in which a joke she wrote was, she says, misconstrued.

“I was asked by a New Member Educator when I was a senior to reach out to the alumni base to have an event of sorts,” Kazantsev explained. “In the email I basically made a joke and that was taken out of context and forwarded to the national office.”

When asked what the joke was, Kazantsev replied, “That we would make the evening scary for the pledges when that never came to fruition and none of those things that I’ve been accused of ever happened or were ever intended to happen.”

The Miss America winner says the hazing tasks she participated in while at Hofstra were “menial,” and included things like reciting information and spending sleepless nights crafting.

“I was hazed,” she said. “I was kind of brought up through the organization thinking that’s appropriate behavior when, clearly, I’m two years removed from the organization today and I understand that that’s just not true.”

“I came in as an impressionable freshman,” Kazantsev added. “Everybody wants to be part of something. At the time, unfortunately, that was just the culture of the university.”

In a statement to ABC News, the Alpha Phi International confirmed that Kazantsev was no longer a member of the organization. The statement said the organization could not comment on details related to membership status changes.

The Miss America organization said in a statement to Jezebel that Kazantsev has been “fully transparent with the Miss America organization about her termination from the Alpha Phi sorority.”

Kazantsev wowed judges with her unique rendition of “Happy,” which she sung while sitting cross-legged on the stage and banging a red plastic cup to the music. With her win, she became the third consecutive contestant from New York to win the Miss America crown.

Though Kazantsev brought a platform of domestic violence against women to Miss America, the pageant winner says she now plans to also speak out about her own hazing experience during her year-long reign.

“I think now that obviously this is all out in the open and I think it’s very important for me to address it,” Kazantsev said. “I’m going to take this negative and turn it into a positive.”

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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Fox Attacks Second-Grader on Connecticut Playground

Tuesday, September 23rd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

ABC News(EAST WINDSOR, Conn.) — A Connecticut community is on high alert after a fox attacked people on an elementary school playground, biting at least four people, including a second-grade boy.

The fox on the run outside Broad Brook Elementary School in East Windsor Monday attacked 7-year-old Evan Witzke during an outdoor gym class.

Physical education teacher Elissa Daniele was teaching class around 11:30 a.m. when she noticed the fox sneak out of the woods and latch on to her student.  She risked her own safety for the students and ripped the animal off him. Once Daniele was able to corral the fox, she wrapped a neck brace around its mouth to prevent it from biting. She then trapped it under a recycling bin.

“It was trying to gnaw at his wrists and ankles,” Daniele told ABC News. “I knew I had to pin the fox down to get it away from my student to keep my student safe.”

Daniele and a staffer were also bitten. It’s unclear whether the fox is rabid.

Authorities believe the same fox also attacked nearby resident Danielle Bopko earlier that day while she was on her way to breakfast to celebrate getting engaged less than 24 hours before coming face-to-face with the animal.

“I have never experienced an animal that when you scare it, it keeps coming back and coming back, it almost came in the house and I kicked it,” Bopko told ABC News affiliate WTNH-TV in New Haven.

All four victims have been treated for rabies as a precaution and are expected to make full recoveries.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Pet of the Week

Smoke on Plane Sparks Evacuation at Detroit Airport

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(DETROIT) –  Passengers on a Delta Airlines flight ready to leave the Detroit airport were evacuated on the taxiway on Monday.

The plane was about to take off for Cincinnati when the pilots told the tower there was smoke onboard. The passengers evacuated on the plane’s stairs.

The fire department found no evidence of fire and no injuries were reported.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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How Other Survivalists Eluded Police Capture

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) –  The Pennsylvania man accused of shooting two state troopers and slipping away into the woods is the latest fugitive survivalist to dodge capture by fleeing into the wilderness and surviving on the land.

It sometimes takes years to find fugitives who are accomplished outdoorsmen.

Convicted murderer Eric Rudolph famously evaded authorities for five years while hiding out in North Carolina mountains before he was captured in 2003. Cherokee County Sheriff Keith Lovin remembers the day Rudolph, charged with the 1996 Olympic park bombing in Atlanta and another blast at an Alabama abortion clinic, was cornered outside a grocery store in Murphy.

“He could have been foraging for supplies,” Lovin said. “That’s part of being a survivalist — taking advantage of what resources you have and knowing where to look for them.”

Rudolph, who is serving a life sentence, survived by sleeping in abandoned houses and summer homes.

“We have a lot of summer homes that are vacant for a good amount of time, and a lot of homes that are for sale,” Lovin said. “You can go in and get out of the weather for a day or two — particularly if that home is out of the way.”

Lovin suspects the situation is similar in the Pocono Mountains of eastern Pennsylvania, where a massive manhunt is under way for suspect Eric Frein, accused of ambushing two state troopers at the Blooming Grove police barracks on Sept. 12, killing one officer and critically injuring another.

But he points out that Rudolph’s situation was unique because he believes the criminal got help while he was on the lam.

“While it is one thing to be able to go into the wild and live off land and camp, it’s entirely different when you have associates or friends who are willing to assist you,” Lovin said.

Other residents of the southern mountain town might have offered food or help unknowingly, thinking Rudolph was “a homeless person, or someone down on his luck,” Lovin added.

Last year, police arrested Troy James Knapp, known as the “Mountain Man,” in the woods in Utah, where he had lived on the run for six years, sleeping in a tent and killing wild animals for food.

Knapp was wanted for a string of cabin burglaries around Sevier County. He survived the cold winters by breaking into snowbound homes and sleeping in the owners’ beds while they were away, authorities said, sometimes leaving behind threatening notes, like “Get off my mountain,” and one time a message to police: “Gonna put you in the ground.”

He drank their whiskey and stole their guns before retreating to the woods with high-end camping gear. Knapp, 46, pleaded guilty in June under an agreement that will likely put him in prison until 2024.

Yet another fugitive who lived off the land while running from police is Jason McVean, accused with two other men of killing a Colorado police officer in 1998. His remains were found in 2007 in southeastern Utah, along with a bulletproof vest, camouflage backpack, pipe bombs, an AK-47 and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

The bodies of his alleged accomplices, Alan Pilon and Robert Mason, were found years earlier.

And Robert Fisher, an Arizona man accused of murdering his family before setting their home on fire, has been missing ever since his alleged crime in 2001. The FBI for a while considered that sightings of a man who turned out to be Knapp might be Fisher, described by authorities as a survivalist and skilled hunter and outdoorsman.

There have been many reported sightings of Fisher, but he hasn’t been found.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Crusin In Cruces

Long-Lost High School Sweethearts Marry 63 Years Later

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Some love stories move slower than others — like 63 years slow. That’s how long it took for high school sweethearts Marcella and Johnny Vick — who live in Arkansas — to tie the knot.

The two first met in 1950 at a ballgame and dated for a year before drifting apart.

Marcella, 79, went on to marry for 39 years and have three daughters. Vick, 80, married another woman with whom he had two daughters and two sons.

Both of their spouses passed away, and after reconnecting a few years back at an area reunion, the Vicks went on an official date this past June.

“We spent the day together, and we’ve gone from there and picked up where we left off when we were teenagers,” Marcella told ABC News. “I think at the very beginning we realized when we saw each other that we cared very much for each other. At our age now we were kind of hesitant at first but we realized a few weeks in that we were in love and wanted to get married.”

And so they did on Saturday in front of family and friends who all created pages for a big family scrapbook.

“It was wonderful! We didn’t really know his family, but we asked everybody to do a scrapbook page and have pictures of themselves and their family and some information about each other,” Sheila McCall, Marcella’s daughter, told ABC News. “We stored that all around the reception hall so everybody could see something about the others.”

It was a total family affair, with McCall’s son performing the ceremony and her granddaughter singing Rod Stewart’s “Have I Told You Lately.” Both Johnny and Marcella’s high school friends were in attendance.

McCall remembers hearing about Johnny her entire life.

“Mom had a wooden box that she had from the days when she was a teenager, and his name was in that box. She wrote in it in pencil. I’ve seen his name and heard about him my whole life,” she said. “This has all been a whirlwind! They’re acting like teenagers and so in love. Obviously they had a great connection even back then, and all they did was renew it.”

The nuptials were also a long time coming for Johnny, who told ABC News that though he and Marcella never tried to get in touch over the years, he “always thought she was kind of special.”

Marcella credits a shared background to their special bond.

“I think we value the same things in life. We both go to church, and he’s got a family he’s very close to and I have a family I’m very close to, and those are the things I value in him more than anything,” she said.

Johnny and Marcella plan to split their time between their two houses.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Home Instead Senior Care

College Student Killed in Rare Bear Attack While Hiking in NJ

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

iStock/Thinkstock(WEST MILFORD, N.J.) — A 299-pound male black bear is suspected of killing a hiker in northern New Jersey on Sunday.

Searchers found the body of 22-year-old Darsh Patel a few hours after he and his friends encountered a bear and ran away, realizing later that Patel was missing.

Sheriff’s officers and wildlife officials killed the bear, located about 30 or 40 yards from the body.

Black bear attacks are rare, and Kelsey Burgess with New Jersey Fish & Wildlife guesses the attack may have been sparked by hunger.

“It could be a function of food,” Burgess said. “The animal is just hungry…we’re dealing with a mass shortage this year – typically when you see predatory behavior by black bears, it’s a result of a lack of food.”

Larry Rangonese with the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection advises hikers confronted by a bear to not run away.

“You don’t want to run from a bear, you don’t want to look it in the eye to challenge it, so that the bear thinks it’s being challenged,” Rangonese said.

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Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

Double Your Dollars

Hannah Graham Searchers Return to Jesse Matthew’s Apartment

Monday, September 22nd, 2014 by

Posted in National News

Charlottesville Police Department(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — A new warrant was issued Monday to carry out a second search of the apartment belonging to a man who police say was the last person to be seen with missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Charlottesville police carrying out the search were seen Monday at the apartment of Jesse Matthew.

Matthew, 32, has been described by Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo as the last person who was seen with Graham, an 18-year-old sophomore at the school who vanished more than a week ago.

Matthew is not charged in connection with Graham’s disappearance, but after speeding away from a police station on Sunday, cops issued a warrant for his arrest for dangerous driving.

According to public records, Matthew was involved in 22 incidents between 1999 and 2007, the majority of which were related to some kind of traffic violations ranging from failure to wear a seatbelt to failure to yield or obey stop signs. He was found guilty in six of those incidents, guilty in absentia in nine cases, prepaid dismissal in five, not guilty or acquitted in one and got an undetermined verdict in another.

Matthew’s car, a burnt orange 1998 Chrysler coupe, has been seized by police. Police have also previously searched Matthew’s apartment and served a search warrant for his phone.

The last images of Graham were caught on store surveillance cameras, which police said show the student with Matthew, described by police as being 6-foot-2, 270 pounds and with dreadlocks. Graham and a man police say was Matthew were recorded by surveillance cameras as they entered and left two establishments.

“I believe Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with Hannah before she vanished off the face of the Earth because it’s been a week and we can’t find her,” Longo said.

The chief has reiterated that police are not calling Matthew a suspect, just someone who could have useful information about what happened to Graham.

Matthew has updated his Facebook profile and replaced his profile picture with a blacked-out square. There are no other personal posts on the page.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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