CONTENTS JULY 8, 2000:
Click. Fort Ord murder probe begins. Missing woman's body found.
Click. Jenny Lin family to fund site in honor of slain daughter.
Click CARY STAYNER CASE UPDATE: Mental exam delayed. Case to move to Seattle.
Click. News Groups Ask To Open Key Files In Stayner Case. Sealed information contains details on Yosemite slaying.
Click. Justice Department didn't consider 'what-ifs' in Hearst antitrust case.
Click. Appeals court upholds seven Gayle Bishop convictions.
Click. THE PATRIOT -- ROLLING THUNDER by Pointman.
Jenny Lin family to fund site in honor of slain daughter
By Carol E. Robinson © 2000, STAFF WRITER, Oakland Tribune
CASTRO VALLEY -- To some, the small area between two music rooms at Castro Valley's Canyon Middle School is just a root-covered piece of dirt on which students walk to class.
But to the family and friends of the late Jenny Lin, the site could be a safe place where students could visit friends or wait for musical performances.
The Jenny Lin Foundation wants to donate $10,000 toward renovating the 300-square-foot site into a "Friendship Court." The Castro Valley School District is mulling over the idea, said Jim O'Connor, the district's assistant superintendent for business services.
"We did have discussions a year ago about putting something outside the music room, but the actual scope of the project still hasn't been resolved at this point," O'Connor said.
The foundation was formed after the stabbing death of Jenny Lin, 14, at her Palomares Hills home in May 1994. Her death remains unsolved.
The location is important to the Lin family because Jenny would visit friends or wait for rides home there, said foundation spokeswoman Patricia Lee. Over the past few months, several musical events required students to wait in the area before entering a music room to perform.
Site plans include a round concrete pad, four concrete benches, a bed for plants and flowers and a small granite plaque designating the area as "Friendship Court" donated by the Jenny Lin Foundation. Pacheco Brothers Gardening Inc. of Hayward is the contractor.
Canyon Middle School Principal Barbara Mensch appeared to favor renovating the area but wanted to leave the site's name to the school board, Lee said. Mensch is on vacation until August and couldn't be reached for comment Thursday.
"Its completion would not only beautify and create a safe haven for students but serve as a model to encourage others to give back to the community, whether in life or death," Lee said.
Fort Ord murder probe begins. Missing woman's body identified.
OF THE EXAMINER STAFF July 7, 2000
A homicide investigation has begun after Monterey County authorities identified a decomposed body found in a shallow grave at Fort Ord as that of a 21-year-old Seaside mother missing since April.
The half-buried remains of Richelle Lynn Cherry were found Monday by a utility contractor working on an abandoned building. The discovery came after three months of searches, including two sweeps of the inactive Army base.
The body was identified Thursday with dental records. Seaside police detectives and FBI agents, who are leading the investigation because the body was found on federal property, are awaiting autopsy results that may reveal how Cherry died.
Later Thursday, neither agency would release many details of the investigation. "We are aggressively investigating what we believe to be a homicide, but we're not commenting on suspects at this time or speculating on motives," said FBI spokesman Andrew Black.
Cherry was last seen alive April 18. In the morning, neighbors told police they saw her arrive at the home she shared with her mother and 7-year-old son on the 1700 block of Napa Street, said Seaside police Officer Barry Pasquarosa, a department spokesman.
Soon after, at about 12:30 p.m., an acquaintance saw her at a Safeway market at 2370 North Fremont St. in Monterey, but did not see anyone with her and did not see whether she was associated with any cars in the parking lot.
The clothing on the body - a light-colored top and dark pants - was consistent with witness accounts of what Cherry was wearing that day, Pasquarosa said.
On April 26, police found Cherry's blue-green Nissan Sentra parked at an apartment complex less than a mile from her house on the 1200 block of Playa Street. But detectives have not found a link in the case to anyone who lives there, and have speculated it may have been dumped there.
"We're looking at everybody who had a relationship with Richelle," Pasquarosa said. "Basically, this was a young woman who was taking care of her child and mostly staying at home."
During the search for Cherry, authorities talked to the father of Cherry's son, Kejmer Cotton, 23, as well as his 25-year-old brother Treandous Cotton.
According to published reports, Treandous Cotton was convicted of murder in 1989 for stabbing a man, and was released from the California Youth Authority at age 25. He was recently charged with another killing, that of a Seaside restaurant employee on May 25, and is now in jail awaiting trial.
In Seaside, the discovery of Cherry's body has evoked sad memories of another missing female who was found dead at Fort Ord. Christina Williams, 13, was abducted June 12, 1998, while walking her dog on the base, in a case that would make national news for months.
Her body was found the following January near the spot where she was last seen. Authorities have not made any arrests, but released sketches of two men who may have pulled the young girl into a car - sketches that still grace many buildings in Monterey County.
On Thursday, Cherry's cousin spoke to reporters and urged anyone with information about the case to call the FBI at (831) 722-8720 or Seaside police at (831) 899-6280.
The defense lawyers said it is still too early to know if Stayner will offer an insanity defense at his trial on charges he murdered Joie Ruth Armstrong, a Yosemite National Park naturalist.
"The prosecution's request for a mental examination (of Stayner) is premature," defense attorneys Marcia A. Morrissey and Robert W. Rainwater declared in a response filed late Thursday to a government motion made in May.
The attorneys termed the prosecution's efforts as "no more than an attempt to gain information from Mr. Stayner without any explicit statement as to why the requested disclosures are necessary to the government's case."
Stayner, 38, is under federal indictment in Fresno, charged with the July 21, 1999, premeditated murder of Armstrong, a 26-year-old environmentalist who lived in a cabin in the park and taught visitors about the natural beauty of Yosemite.
He is also accused in Mariposa County of the Feb. 15-16, 1999, slayings of three Yosemite sightseers: Carole Sund, 42; her daughter, Juli Sund, 15, and their friend, Silvina Pelosso, 16, an exchange student from Argentina.
Stayner's trials will be held separately, starting with the Armstrong case, which appears to be bound for Seattle on a change-of-venue order that has not been made final by U.S. District Court Judge Anthony W. Ishii.
Under federal law, the defense must notify the prosecution in advance if it intends to use Stayner's mental condition or defect as a defense at trial.
And in May, the U.S. attorney asked Morrissey and Rainwater to disclose their plans in that regard.
The defense replied Thursday by assuring the court that Stayner "understands his obligation" under the law and "will file appropriate notice" if he intends to rely on a diminished-capacity defense.
But at this point "there has been no notice of intent to raise a defense of insanity," and until that happens, the government has no right to the information it seeks or to require Stayner to submit to a mental health examination by a government expert, Morrissey and Rainwater argued.
The issue will be heard July 27 in Fresno by Judge Ishii, who also will be asked at that time to unseal a prosecution document explaining its allegation that the homicide of Armstrong was "especially heinous, cruel and depraved."
The prosecution document was filed June 20 in response to a defense motion that the government be more specific, and the judge ordered it sealed.
Attorneys for the San Francisco Chronicle, Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers and the Hearst Corp. filed an action Friday asking Ishii to unseal the documents, alleging that the judge sealed the documents "without giving the public or the press the right to be heard."
Neil Shapiro, counsel for the media, argued that a judge must give notice, conduct a hearing and make "supportable findings of fact" before sealing what otherwise would be a public document.
News Groups Ask To Open Key Files In Stayner Case
Sealed information contains details on Yosemite slaying.
© San Francisco Chronicle July 8, 2000
Fresno -- Four news organizations including The Chronicle have asked a judge to give them access to information the government says helps justify its pursuit of the death penalty against a motel handyman accused of killing a Yosemite naturalist.
The motion was prepared by San Francisco attorney Neil Shapiro on behalf of The Chronicle, the Associated Press, McClatchy Newspapers and the Hearst Corp. It was filed yesterday in the U.S. District Court in Fresno.
The news groups want the court to vacate an order by U.S. District Judge Anthony Ishii to seal a government document that details evidence prosecutors propose to use to prove Cary Stayner killed Joie Armstrong.
Prosecutors claim the killing was done in ``an especially heinous, cruel and depraved manner,'' one of the statutory aggravating factors that support a death sentence.
The news organizations claim that Ishii deprived the public and the press of their First Amendment right to be heard by failing to provide proper notice or hold a hearing before directing the government to seal information that has historically been open to the public.
A clerk reached at Ishii's chambers said the judge would not comment.
Stayner, 38, is charged with kidnapping, attempted sexual assault and murder in the July 21, 1999, death of Armstrong. He has confessed to her murder and those five months earlier of sightseers Carole Sund, 42, her daughter Juli, 15, both of Eureka, and family friend Silvina Pelosso, 16, of Cordoba, Argentina.
Stayner is scheduled to go to trial October 17 in the Armstrong case, which is being heard in federal court because she was killed in a national park. He faces a second trial in state court in the sightseers' murders.
Justice Department didn't consider 'what-ifs' in Hearst antitrust case.
(07-07) 16:22 PDT SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- The Justice Department said Friday that it might not have closed its antitrust probe of the Hearst Corp.'s purchase of the Chronicle if Hearst hadn't found a new owner for the San Francisco Examiner.
Hearst, which wants to buy the Chronicle for $660 million, satisfied the government's concerns with its plan to give the Examiner, along with a $66 million subsidy, to local publisher Ted Fang, the department reiterated Friday in a letter to U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker.
It was the second such statement in as many weeks from Justice Department attorney Mark Botti, who led the antitrust team that investigated Hearst's plans.
Hearst's critics accused the media company of trying to engineer a monopoly on daily newspaper readership in the city. But the Justice Department announced in March that it wouldn't block Hearst's plans.
Walker had pressed Botti for more details as he decides how to rule on an antitrust suit filed by former mayoral candidate Clint Reilly that seeks to block both newspaper transactions.
Justice Department attorney Mark Botti wrote that his antitrust team never determined whether the Chronicle purchase would violate antitrust laws if Hearst closes the Examiner, because the dual transactions ``did not result in a substantial lessening of competition.''
``The department simply did not reach fully the questions the court has posed,'' Botti told the judge.
Walker, who presided over a two week trial in May, has not said when he will rule.
By Brian Anderson © 2000
TIMES STAFF WRITER Contra Costa Times
PLEASANTON -- Two men charged for secretly videotaping young girls, women and a mother breast-feeding her baby at an Alameda County Fair play area for kids have been released on bail, officials said.
In separate cases, members of a special sex crimes task force watched as the men used palm-size video cameras to peer up unwitting female fair-goers' shorts and down their shirts, said sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jim Knudsen.
In the first case, a handful of officers from the Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement task force watched as one man filmed girls on the afternoon of June 25 near Kids Time Park, according to court records. With a camera concealed in his hand, the suspect sidled up inches behind one young girl, zooming in on her chest, records stated.
Arrested was Gary W. Grayson, 58, of Fremont. He was taken to Santa Rita Jail where he was released on $25,000 bail after serving three days. Grayson is scheduled to appear in court July 21 on five misdemeanor counts of videotaping under a person's clothes.
A tape taken from the camera replayed as many as 45 peeping incidents, records showed. At one point, an officer wrote in a report, the tape focused for 10 minutes on a mother breast-feeding her infant.
On July 2, members of the same task force watched as another man lurked near the kids' play park. With a video camera tucked into a backpack, the man inched up behind two women in their late teens, raising and lowering the bag, court records showed.
Officers watched for 30-40 minutes as the man went from woman to woman -- many in their teens, but some as old as 40 -- filming mostly their underwear and breasts, officials said.
Arrested was Mark Weaner, 53, of Oakland. He was taken to Santa Rita Jail where he was released on $30,000 bail after serving three days. Weaner is scheduled to appear in court July 19 on five misdemeanor counts of videotaping under a person's clothes and a drug charge.
A search of the backpack turned up more tapes, and a computer was taken from his home, records show.
Police said both admitted to secretly taping women previously, including at Stoneridge mall and Disneyland.
Knudsen said the cases do not seem to be related, but they are continuing to investigate.
The men were arrested under a new law that makes it a crime to secretly videotape someone's body or undergarments for sexual gratification. Each count carries with it a possible sentence of a year in jail and a fine.
Brian Anderson can be reached at 925-847-2121 or
SAN FRANCISCO -- A state appeals court Thursday reaffirmed an earlier ruling upholding most of former Contra Costa County supervisor Gayle Bishop's convictions for misuse of public funds and perjury.
A Court of Appeal panel upheld Bishop's convictions on five counts of misusing public funds and two counts of lying to a grand jury, but overturned convictions on two other perjury counts.
The same panel issued a similar ruling in March, but then agreed to a request by Bishop that it reconsider the case.
Dennis Riordan, a lawyer for Bishop, said his client will now appeal to the state Supreme Court and then to the federal court system if necessary. Riordan said the former supervisor's challenge contains "a series of very substantial constitutional claims."
Bishop, 60, served as a supervisor representing the San Ramon Valley from 1993 to 1997. The convictions for misuse of public funds were related to her use of her county-paid staff and resources for her private law practice and her unsuccessful re-election campaign.
The perjury counts stemmed from her testimony before a county grand jury in 1996.
If the appeal of the new ruling fails, the case will be sent back to Contra Costa County Superior Court for reconsideration of her sentence.
Bishop has been free on a $25,000 bond while pursuing her appeal.
"The Patriot" - Rolling Thunder
by Pointman © 2000. Thanks for Spiritual Piglet. First posted on Rumor Mills News Agency.
Saturday I planned on getting all of my shopping done by 11 PM and go
see the Patriot by Mel Gibson.
After watching his Braveheart a dozen times I knew this was a must.
Well, it did not work that way. I had so much to do I missed the 10 AM, 12 noon, 2 PM, 3 PM, showings at the same theater- not to mention all of the other ones in town.
At the same theater I had 3 more chances that evening- 5 PM, 6 PM and 8 PM.
After 6 PM you had to pay more so we hurried and barely made it to the 5 PM
We shopped all day outside of the theater area at other stores, occasionally
passing by to see the crowd. The parking lot was jammed packed and
all day some militia group of about 30 people stood out front
dressed just like the people in the movie - the soldier uniforms of the
They must have rotated a hundred people through those uniforms to stand out in that heat all day.
I asked "Why are you doing this?"
They said "We heard some ultra-liberal theaters are trying to either boycott it or down -play it's showing or just not advertise it. "
We talked a few minutes more about the anti-Patriotism and anti-Bible trend and how now our own government seems to have taken the place of the Red Coats. Then I went in , grabbed my goodies and ran to room 4-A.
We sat right in the middle. I anticipated witnessing only a few people there for this and a great movie and great cause going down the drain.
I had this attitude by my experience seeing only a handful of serious people in the "Patriot Movement" and other Traditional causes. I have heard great
short-wave radio shows -within the Christian and Patriot Movement - just
fold up due to lack of support. It has been very depressing to watch my Constitutional Rights get chewed up and spit out within the past 12 years - under Republicans and Democrats.
It has been as depressing as being a Vietnam -Era veteran and coming back to a country and family that not only do not care but deliberately side
up with the tyrannical "Red Coat" mentality of the government - corporation- NWO complex.
I took a deep breath sunk down in my chair to hide from any FBI agent taking pictures and gorged my face with a big bag of popcorn .
The "points" of the Federal Project Meggiddo were for all cops to watch
anybody that still believed in the Bible and the U.S. Constitution
and put them under surveillance.
I already have a bad name with these modern day "Red Coats" so I did not
want them to ruin my movie -even if I was the only guy in there. An ATF agent shaking- me- down near the end of the movie kept running through my
mind because I just knew that 'we -the- few' were in for it .
I never thought I would see the day when I would have to think like this in
the U.S.A. -whether real or just my reactionary paranoia at it's best. The lights went out and I poked my head up to see where that agent was around me almost turning my wife's Coke over on her lap. A stern smack from her on my
head -as usual- and I was back down in my "drag-racer" position in the seat.
In just that one second in a quick turn I saw an entire audience around me that very quietly came in. The theater was packed ! I could not believe my eyes, I had to jump up and stand and do a fast turn too see it again before my mind said, "Yes it is true!"
This time she grabbed her Coke . I stood and counted the empty seats - none. I turned and sat. The advertisements were over and the movie started
out slow with that real down home peaceful country scenery and
As it went along the pace became more intense I notice that my wife was
starting to tremble and uncontrollably shake. The ATF (I mean the Red
Coats ) burned the Church down with the whole congregation in it- just like
I watch people more than the average person. I saw women crying and men on the edges of their theater seats as if ready to jump into the screen
with their muskets. The cannons roared - a constant rolling thunder and
the theater shook with a vibration that made everyone tremble from a
The realism of this production was the most unusual thing about it. An audience used to space -spectaculars, super science-fiction dressed with the best special effects in all previous movies had to sit and watch something different. For once they sat there awed by the reality of war and the way this nation was born and the way this nation has survived: God, Guns, and Guts.
The shaking was almost like a spiritual awakening and the roar of the
cannons were like a distant storm coming to you from over the horizon. The
Colonial battlefield skirmishes were spectacular - it was as if it was almost 3D. The acting, the plot, the truth, the reality kept you mad or crying.
You could feel the audiences emotions move and drift just like the smoke on
the battlefield. It was a real story/s that had you twisting in your seat like the best of science-fiction novels . It was 3 hrs. and I wanted 3 hrs. more - so I'll have to go see this again and again!
After the show was over I observed the facial expressions and looked into
their eyes as they left and I remained seated. Some looked like combat-zone
marines with the "thousand yard stare!
Others left quietly and very, very seriously with thoughts they would only
share with their best friends. It was as if for some of them a lot of things
just seemed to add up and make sense within those 3hrs. -- what had to be done was in their eyes- they were awakened.
We remembered that we were the number one nation in Banking, Farming,
Industry, Commerce and "FREEDOM"! Now we have almost lost it all!
We remembered! What happened? What happened to 1970 when you could
leave your home without even locking your doors? What happened to driving around in a city all night and you were not arrested for being out too late?
What happened when there was no fear and a person could hitch-hike across
this country in 2 days!
What happened to the generations of school children that left Dad's gun at
home and did not dare touch it even when they were at home? What happened to neighbors visiting neighbors and helping neighbors?
What happened to Mom and Dad being married forever? What happened to
Freedom of Speech? What happened to Privacy of the home? What happened to create this semi-Police State of "Red Coats " that we live in now?
Who is the next General Cornwallis that thinks his high-tech army will crush
everybody to his tyrannical rule?
But for me and others that were raised up in the 50's and 60's my mind went
back to the Eagle Scouts Troop 512 at Camp Manatouk, Ohio, 1965.
It was a Boy scout Jamboree – thousands of us spent a few weeks in the wilderness in special training. Some of us had older brothers that were in
Vietnam-and some came back dead.
Every evening we had a muster at sundown when the flag was to be lowered.
Just like in the movie- in full dress uniform- we were in the open fields marching to a drummer, the flags were held high, they fired cannons, the earth shook as billows of smoke drifted downwind with rolling thunder.
Someone slowly played" Taps".
I finally came out of my daydream, the lights came on in the theater, the movie was over but somehow I knew something else was just born!
Now... back on the farm, I am watching the sunset. The farmer next door is
burning trash and the smoke is drifting across the pasture and fields
sometimes blocking the sun.
Had a few calls from some veteran buddies. We're all cleaning our muskets.
Maybe it's just a passing reaction?
But out through that smoke, every once and awhile, I can swear I hear those drums beating and the distant sound of rolling thunder.
Pointman © 2000.