Evidence 101

EVIDENCE 101...Wherever you go, there you are...







Monday, January 25, 2016

Feelers

While I sit here and write this, my world has become so big I have disappeared and my problems don't seem to matter anymore. I'm even kind of misty-eyed at the office. Yes, I am writing this on my break. Egads, our government dollars at work. 

Yep. There it is. So what. I have a good excuse today. Shad ap!

My brother is about to go into surgery to have his colon removed. It might seem like an ordinary major surgery for most which requires some recovery time and a lifestyle change. It is. The exception is that my brother has blood clots on his spleen and a failing liver. He is on the liver transplant list. It makes his surgery more risky.

My parents are the parents I know best and who taught me the basics, my moral compass, and my belief system. They were our only parents, but we also shared the "village parents" as well which included our aunts and uncles, grandparents, and the Farsonites. They are all great people and had impacts in our lives which will last forever. 

Along the way, my brother was there undergoing all of the childhood happenings with me. He is the person I know best and especially in a time most of our adult friends didn't experience with us. I may not be the one he likes the best, but we went through the same things as kids for the most part. I may not be the most interesting, and he may not be the most interesting, but we are the closest and probably the clearest to each other; aside from our spouses. 

He is my childhood buddy, despite me being the mean big sister. I'm sure he wishes or thinks he is a quasi-only child. Why? I picked on him relentlessly. Yet, he grew strong and intelligent. He was a little mischievous, but good. I was good in the base sense of the word, but very naughty. I don't know how he turned out so terrific with a turd sister like me. I never went down the easy path nor chose the right road. I always went left. Left turn, Clyde. We are like different flowers from the same garden. But he turned out to be a wonderful person...more so than I could ever become. 


At the first news of this, I was worried. My brother was worried. After talking to him this last week, he is ready and wants to feel good again. I want this for him, too, so I am more optimistic about the operation. Still, Worrywartitis is an epidemic in some of the female genes of our family. Me...being one who inherited this serious mental problem, is restless today and full of prayer for my superfantabulous brother.


I can't really find my funny, but some things still make me smile and giggle when they are presented to me. For instance, let me share something which tickled my Funny bonZ today:


Maybe I even snorted at Tina Fey's impersonation. And then I saw a story this weekend which gave me Feel Goods. New words? Why yes!


feel–goods

play
noun \ˈfēl-ˌgu̇dz\
feelings of extreme satisfaction or warm fuzziness 
which touch your heart


Below, I thought I would share another nice development in the news which you may have already seen. I found this to be a great feel good story. This is using the singular version of the word as an adjective.

feel–good

play
adjective \ˈfēl-ˌgu̇d\

  1. relating to or promoting an often specious 
  2. sense of satisfaction or well-being, cheerfully sentimental 

Follow this link... it's worth the watch:
Shaq shows up at the police station. 

So with that, I bid you ado today. I want today's words to be there for my brother as well...in both the noun and adjective sense.

And now, I must go back to my knee mails...




Monday, January 18, 2016

Lost In Translation

Take a moment, if you will, and remember the fallen officers from Utah and Ohio today, Barney and Cottrell. Officers (human and fur babies) are at risk of being assassinated-ambushed, killed during a call or traffic stop, while working on a highway/roadway, or by other means more and more. It saddens me. Moral compasses nor longer point north but spin around from some magnetic mind channeling interference called douchcanoeitis. It is becoming more prevalent.  Be vigilant.

For those we have lost, rest in peace.



The Harry Potter House is alive with fur babies and Momma Fargo today as I have the day off. I am babysitting two dogs. That is two plus three equals too many fur babies. Beat me.

Keeping Oliver ( Cousin It) in line is worse than herding ants with a toothpick. He goes from cute to trouble in 2.5. Oy.

Oliver The Terrible


Coffee is abundant. I might need to add Bailey's or Kahlua later. Blankies and books. Go me!



Today's selfie. Fargo blurred.
So amidst all this national sorrow and confusion...let me bring back one of the oldies to make you smile. Yes, I was snarky and really did talk like that-maybe too often. You just have to choose your audience to avoid trouble with the supervisors. You will find those who appreciate your sarcasm and those who do not. Eh, it's the way it goes-win some, lose some.

Here is a street find from a few years back...

Enjoy!

Homeless people are some of the most interesting, dangerous, and crazy people we encounter. We have had several homicides, assaults, robberies, and rapes involving them as suspects. Desperate times equals desperate measures. Setting aside the violent crime, the most common criminal problem with them is their intoxication level and squatting.

Rounding the corner on routine patrol, something red caught my eye. I glanced over to see a backpack, sleeping bag, garbage, and a man. It was a business that had gone under so the building was empty and abandoned. I turned into the lot and called out on the radio. As I approached him, I could tell he got up on the wrong side of the bed...uh...sidewalk...or stoop.

He had bottles all around him, trash, and clothes. It was obvious he made himself at home.

ME: Good morning.

HOBO JOHN: Yep. What do you want?

ME: Really? It would be nice if you weren't drunk, stayed at the Mission, and didn't litter up my city with your bottles and trash. What's with the brown bottles?

HOBO JOHN: Vanilla extract.

ME: Ah. Better than getting drunk on Listerine.

HOBO JOHN: Listen, lady. I'm sobering up. I'm moving on. See that ridge on the horizon? That's where I'll be tonight.

ME: I don't care where you'll be tonight. You're here now. Can I see some ID?

HOBO JOHN: Yep. [hands me his ID] I have a warrant out of Indiana.

ME: For what?

HOBO JOHN: Public Intoxication.

ME: I'm so surprised.

HOBO JOHN: You don't have to be a smart ass, lady.

ME: Yes, I do. I received therapy for it, but it didn't work. My medication wore off two hours ago. Deal with it.

HOBO JOHN: All you cops are the same. I'm not bothering anyone. I'm going to college to get my master's degree.

ME: Oh, yeah?

HOBO JOHN: Yeah.

ME: What are you getting your degree in?

HOBO JOHN: Psychology, addiction.

ME: Yep. Good field for you. So when do your classes start?

HOBO JOHN: Well. I'm taking classes by correspondence.

ME: Umm. Yeah. How's that working out for you since you are such a traveler?

HOBO JOHN: Good. Good. You don't believe me, do you?

ME: Not all. Thanks for asking.

HOBO JOHN: I am getting my degree, lady! It's in my head. The more I think about it, the closer to finishing my degree I get. Picturing it, visualize. Then it becomes reality.

ME: *blink*blink*

HOBO JOHN: It's true.

ME: Yeah. I received my college degrees by osmosis. Mostly from passing out on my books from an all night drunk.

HOBO JOHN: Yeah. It happens. I still think you are being sarcastic. You gonna take me to jail?

ME: You know, it's in my head. The more I think about it, the closer I get to picturing you in jail. Visualization sometimes becomes reality.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bug Logic

Driving home from a school function last night, the Bug was actively engaged in a conversation about proper attire, selfies, and how we present ourselves to the public. "Like, Mom, You shouldn't have put that selfie on Facebook with your red shirt on because it shows your boobs. Disgusting."


Fargo The Slut


"Well, I didn't mean to look like a ho. However, it was New Year's Eve and people kind of look ho-ish on those events. Sometimes. And. Ok. Nevermind..."

"Mom! Be respected of yourself!"

"...except your mother who should never dress like a hoe. Or be a ho."

"Mom. This is not a good conversation. You shouldn't talk to your daughter like that."

"Like what?'

"Like talking about hoes."

"They are great for gardening."

"Mom, you know what I mean."

She went back to putting her ear buds in and ignoring The Momster. Bug was sitting quietly in her seat for quite some distance (road miles) with her phone and headphones on listening to anything other than Eminem which I had blaring on the car stereo. Sometimes you just have to do it.  You have to listen to Eminem. Actually, that urge happens to me a lot. He's one of my faves. Color me hip hop crazy.

I actually got to sing at the top of my lungs or shout out to a few songs. I think I made Eminem proud. Then...she reached over and turned down the music. I looked at her. She looked at me.

With her headphones on she shouted at me, "It's too loud. I can't hear my music."

Well...la tee dah.

It is all about the child.

I decided to get down at a lower volume and not harass her for touching the magic of my Marshall Mathers. While I'm in the groove, my daughter nonchalantly piped up...

"Mom?"

Me (not paying full attention but still banging along) "Yeah?"

"What would you do if I suddenly decided to become a stripper?"



"What the? NO! I mean you can be anything you want to be. No! What the hell?"

"Ha. Gotcha. I got you."

"Yep."

Teenager logic.

If that was not enough, she wanted me to try harder on winning the lottery. Yep. Think about that one for a while. Kids. Do they ponder life questions just to get a reaction out of parents or do those mind channeling thoughts really linger in their brains? Never mind. I don't think I want an answer.

Sometimes I wonder if they are smarter than the average bear, Boo Boo.


Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Simple Logic

Each day, I am more and more grateful I was raised in Wyoming during the 60s, 70s, and 80s. It was not for pussies. All I hear most of my days is whining...whining about the weather, whining about the wind (5-10 mph), and whining about shoveling snow. I do not exaggerate when I tell you they cry over it with big fat crocodile tears and if I looked closely enough, I think they might have peed their pants. Mostly women, but there are a few men.

These people would never survive a Zombie Apocalypse.

Then there's me!

Yippee! I get to use my snow shovel! I get to go snow shoeing! Dogs get to play! Quiet time! Pussies.



And not to be rude, but people from the Midwest (near south Indiana state) and southern ladies and gents cannot drive FO SHIT. FMITA. It's snow. It's ice. Drive slow and get off your cell phone. If you can't drive, stay off the effing roads. It's simple logic.

I find myself being a taxi service driving people around on ice because I eat that shit for breakfast. And everyone is astounded that a girl can drive like a boss.

Oh...sprinkles of snow....close the schools in 3,2, 1. It's not because the buses can't get around. It is for the safety of the kids. Do you know how dangerous children are home alone while their parents still have to work in adverse weather?

No. Because employers here excuse you to stay home when the schools are closed. Mostly. Except mine. Because they are mean.

I will never understand these ways nor get used to it. I am so ever thankful for the frontier of the wild west.

Thank you, Mom and Dad, for not raising a pussy.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

A Series Of Unfortunate Events

The life of Steven Avery is an interesting series of unfortunate events.



Have you been sucked into the binge watching marathon of Making A Murderer on Netflix? My colleagues talked me into watching it so they could compare notes and get my opinion. Several of my friends have also asked about it.

So, duh. I had to accept the challenge. Curiosity kills the Kat, you know.

I really like the music on the introduction. It is very fitting. Eerie.

While I think it is an extraordinary venture in film making, and it does draw some questions about the integrity of the justice system- I don't find Steven Avery an innocent man. Additionally, it is very slow moving which is to be expected, but does not excuse the pain. I think watching grass grow on a golf course would be more entertaining. It is a documentary, so the entertainment value is not Hollywood. I get that. It doesn't change that my attention span had waned midway through episode 2.

Avery's first major case was a misjustice and later he was found to have been wrongly imprisoned for over 18 years. From the rape testimony, supposed opportunity, and a false identification from the victim..he landed in prison.  And later DNA exonerated him. How many times have we seen these things happen? Many. It is a travesty of justice. Looking at the actual rapist and Avery's pics, they look a lot alike. The victim spoke out and felt an incredible sense of complicated emotion in the wrongful ID. Rightfully so. Who wouldn't?

Avery's past personal choices, experiences, and criminal conduct did make him a likely suspect. Although he really never should have been convicted.  We know that now.

Fast forward to the Halbach murder, 2005. It had to be a gruesome ending to a young lady's life despite the fact the body is burned to bits and we can only assume from the case facts what happened. That is if the case facts are indeed true or partially true.

Probability that she was raped and torture are high, although statements may or may not be credible. Steven Avery does have a sexual assault past and disturbing behaviors despite the bumbled rape charge.

What can you deduct from a burned body, "sinister cover ups", and a family of oddballs? Something bad happened to somebody and the fact that the woman's remains were discovered on the property gives suspicion to the Averys as suspects.

So the defense claims the cops were dirty and framed Avery. They presume the cops felt they were framing a person who was guilty, but in fact, they were framing an innocent man-words from the defense. I don't know if I buy into that theory.

I found some things were not on the up and up, but the defense's main smoking gun...fizzled big time in court. Did they poke holes in the integrity and honesty of law enforcement? Yes. Do I think the cops were super good guys and the defense was floundering at any way to defend Steven? No. I think the cops didn't like this family (Avery) and felt Steven was a bad apple who needed to be sent away. I also think they believe he did it. Does this make Avery innocent? No. I think he is guilty of other crimes which surround his life and beyond a reasonable doubt guilty on Halbach. The jury spoke. But what are the chances a misjustice could happen twice? Could his other family members had something to do with it, i.e. Earl and Charlie? Bobby? Sure. I don't have enough information on that.

The puzzlement is the fact that there was so much physical evidence on the Avery property, that why would the police need to plant further evidence? Someone there did something to Halbach and it can't be that hard to figure out it was connected to the family members or member. Why not find the right bad guy? Maybe the cops wanted to tweak the pendulum all the way to the right because Steven was a public enemy. I don't know. Maybe it all pointed to Steven.

Steven is obsessed with women and sex, a dangerous mix for a predator to carry around in his head. Not only that all this obsession is operating on a level of IQ far below average which seems to enhance his obsessions and may add to the escalation of problematic behaviors.

Could his brothers or other family members be cut from the same cloth? Possibly. It seems they are all tight knit and there is no other way to say it: inbred and low IQ. What does this mean? Well, the past sexual obsessions, assaults, and cat burning episode are alarming and should be. This is indicative of bad brews.

Steven supposedly would have no idea a person or family member was burning a body in your fire pit? Come on. If not you, then did your brothers do it? Did you see it? How about after the fact? There was a big fire. We can all agree on that. Fires are long lasting, long smelling, and everyone knows about them on your own property. He knew.

The FBI laboratory scientist testified that the DNA from the RAV4 did not contain EDTA (preservative) which would be present from drawing blood from a purple top tube as the defense wanted to portray which they felt was a plant from the cops. This same scientist also testified the FBI is interested in matters of public corruption which was brought to their attention in this case.

Was the discovery of the unsealed tube suspicious? Absolutely. However, the lab scientist who was deemed an expert in his field stated the swabs collected from the RAV4 would indicate active bleeding from the suspect rather than blood drawn from a purple top tube which was indicated by the defense as sinister act from police. I bet behind the stoic faces were some grins from the prosecution on that one.

Oooooh. Make the FBI scientist a boogie man because he didn't test every sample on the RAV4, but most of them. This happens all the time. Labs don't do all the swabs, but usually one random one from each area. It's just the way it is. Does this become problematic? For the jury yes. For the defense, prosecution, and cops? No. They know all the science behind this and the reasoning. The defense's expert did not impress me.

And all the hoopla about this being "sweat" when the scientist testifies to samples of DNA and reference to blood?  This leaves me with questions. And how can you know that the DNA was sweat when it wasn't tested for those properties? Did you taste it? Gross. It could be oil, exfoliated tissue, spit, drool, bio matter of some sort, etc. Could you assume it was sweat with high certainty in the areas and manner the substance was found? Sure, but I wouldn't testify to that fact. This isn't CSI. All that technology and assumption may be available in the true world and good for Hollywood, but not for the average police force to go to the press.

Then there is Brendan Dassey. He is the biggest travesty in this case. Did he have a good enough lawyer (Kachinsky) defend him in the beginning? No. What a doob. That guy didn't give a shit about his client or doing a good job. He was excited to get press time. Was it the worst lawyer I have seen? Maybe. Then you get lawyers stepping in trying to fix things. Oiks. What a mess they have to unwind. Can they do it? Again, a lot of "I don't knows."

Brendan is a kid with a low IQ, and a pitiful soul, but do I think his statements bring question to things? Yes. Was he handled properly by police? No. Not from what was shown, anyway. Was it horrifically bad work? Not that horrific that I felt it was ABUSE like many voiced on the Internet, but possibly not the best for his intelligence level. Was the confession good? I don't know. I have not seen all of it.

Did he need his parent(s) present? No. The public needs to realize this is not a right. Many departments now address the fact that parents get notified in the process when their kid is picked up or interviewed, but it is not a constitutional right nor a break in any laws. They are required to address Miranda and make sure statements are voluntary.  Did Brendan understand his Miranda rights? I don't know. Does he know right and wrong, truth and lie? I believe so. Does he want to impress? Possibly. Did Brendan understand he could have an attorney present? I don't know if he could comprehend that need. But...what about his statement to his mother and why would he say those things? Hmmm. I would have liked to see those interviews in their entirety.

Slamming the Reid interview and interrogation method? So dumb. Means nothing again. Just the defense trying to throw up spaghetti. This method is tried and true and is designed to bring out information about the truth. Just because a suspect doesn't lay it out in x, y, and z and in order with all the details, doesn't mean the police are full of crappy interview skills. It means all suspects lie and hide and omit. Is it pushy? I didn't find their style pushy and/or aggressive. Again, I didn't see the entire recording of Brendan's contact with investigators.

Dassey recants his confession. "I could have gotten it out of books?" Please. I don't think he is a reader in the first place. I could be wrong. He claimed, "Kiss The Girls." That was a book by James Patterson made into a movie with Morgan Freeman.  Dassey has a fourth grade reading level and his confession does not match or even mirror Patterson's version of terrible crimes against women. Does Dassey have a great imagination? I don't know if he is capable of such details and I think he is just a simple young man. I don't think he is capable. Again, we may never know.

And then there is Kayla Avery. Why did she backpedal on the stand at first?  Is she scared? We don't know her state of mind nor any family influence she have experienced. Made it up? Really confused? I find that hard to believe. Collusion to protect the family members? Yep. Seems so. Just my opinion.

What about Steven Avery not taking the stand? So what. That happens all the time. It does not mean innocent or guilt.

What about the professor the defense brought in on the interview of Dassey. Again, so what. He didn't impress me.

What does all this mean? I don't know. With blips and half clips, you can't really make a sound judgment on the entire case which spanned much more than what we see on Netflix. It is a great piece of work, hard work. I do have to give the creators credit for the film.

The movie makers making a big deal out of the log for the crime scene not being totally accurate and the police not being reprimanded? Again, the earth does not quake beneath my feet. It doesn't mean there is a sinister cover up, but gives the defense a reason to poke holes. That is why cops need to be meticulous. If the police were, in fact, disciplined over malfeasance or substandard paperwork, the public may not be privy to that information.  They would never know. That is internal. Is that sinister? No. It might just mean the police made unintentional errors with no direct cause and effect other than giving the defense a reason to point at the cops.

Whether I like any of these characters in the film or real life makes no never mind. The police are not always bad and they are not always likable characters. Do I think something is amiss here? Yes, but not the entire justice system and not the entire force. What? Who? I don't know all the facts.


Do I like Kratz, the prosecutor? No. I think he is a creepy guy. Actually slimy. I wished he would grow some balls during the trial and not sound so "soft". That would have driven me nuts the entire time. And he should not be able to practice law but I am sure they could not prove his sicko behavior was a reason to disbar him. Or maybe they didn't try hard enough.
People can say so many things about what if's and what have's and "they didn't let me do this and that" or "they are lying" after the fact. I would like to ponder the reports and recordings in their entirety.

I don't know what to think of Steven's parents. They are a sad couple. I am sure they are feeling the brunt of the social out-casting being done to them and their business. I think they, too, they are simple folks who don't understand or comprehend their family doings, criminal behavior, or the wrongs and crimes their children/family members have committed, but they still have faith in the justice system and seem to think the best of things are to come out of their fight.

The prison girlfriends? Stupid. Nut jobs. I can't take them seriously. Really? What normal person would contact prisoners in hopes of a relationship? It astounds me. Even I'm not that stupid. (snork, snork)

Polygraphs? Mean nothing in a court of law. They are an interview tool and don't come into play here. Just because someone says they will take one does not matter. Can people beat them? Yes. Go ahead and throw them out there to make people think you are innocent or show guilt.

I think Brendan's best ally is his attorney, Steven Drizin. I was surprised Brendan was denied a new trial but the burden is great for the defense to gain ground here in any court.

What is the truth? I don't know. It is so muddled we may never know. We do know that Ms. Halbach died a tragic death at the hands of another. I do believe Steven Avery is a disturbed and dangerous man. I don't know what to think of Brendan. I do think he was mishandled in his interviews but is was he coerced or forced to say untruths? I can't say that from what I have seen.

The moral compasses are all over the place with all these characters which gives me a headache. The docu-series gives for some interesting contemplation and surely this will be an eye opener film for the justice system. Bring lots of popcorn and Ibuprofen for the strain of boredom. Don't forget to watch it with an open mind.




Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Resolutes

The first of the year causes me to reflect briefly on the past year but I don't dwell or even linger on what is behind me. Like a slap in the face, I feel I have, however, been settling for things which may not be in my best interest or I just live with the way things are because I don't believe I deserve anything better. Starting over again at 43 really took the wind out of my sails so much so that even little glimmers of hope have not made me rise to the challenges and so here in a gloomy hole I stay.

It sounds depressing. However, I am a positive person who always looks forward to bigger and better things. Except for the last three years, where my spirit has been crushed enough to stall it out. During the holiday season I was in a fog and funk which clouded my way.

It came to me at a party where some party goers had seen me on television. They said, "There are those whom exist in the uniform, dream, seek, and those who truly are the uniform. Then there are those who are beyond the uniform. Kathryn has been there and accomplished that." It was a collaborative effort of philosophy by drunks. I really didn't think I deserved those words, so I waved them off and wrinkled up my nose.

Perhaps, I feel insignificant because I have lost my identity as an officer. There are times I miss the job but more importantly I miss who I was. My cop friends still look at me and ask why I left because cops usually leave because of tragedy, scandal, or they are forced to resign. My reasons were none of those.

I have never been one to stand still. Nor have I ever accepted a below average or a mediocre life until now. Problem is I got nothing to move me upward. You have to have connections or money, or means to earn extra money. And right now I am just tired of fighting for everything. Just once it would be nice to have something easy. But that's not how I roll. I do admit I get weary and then kick my own ass and move forward until I hit a roadblock.

My character has been lost by the mellowing out and dissipation of cop life over the last three years. Deep down, the core of myself is still there. But I am a different person.

Is it a bad thing? No, I just think it is a transition that I am not coping with very well. So here I sit. I am about to go run. Why? Because running is about being better than you used to be. Because when I run, I can still hold onto a piece of me. And over time, maybe I will become a better me inside and out. It isn't about the physical benefits as much as it is about the mental.

Mental and physical toughness have left any need here and so I have a marshmallow brain. I need to find my inner guts again to restart my goal seeking drive for the next half century of my life. I cannot go out like a lamb. There are days I feel lost. I sure miss Smoky and Otis because around them...I didn't have to be tough or put up a front. I was just me and they made me better. Yes, they are only animals. Only those who have bonded with one in a crisis would get it.

Smoky saved my life as we slid over a ledge in the Shoshone National Forrest in 2003.  He knew we were in trouble and according to instinct, he drove upwards until he landed on stable ground. I was only holding on by the horn with one foot caught in the stirrup.

With Otis, it was his determination and drive as a Search and Rescue dog which inspired me. Otis never stopped. I felt I could not either. In the wilderness on Smokey's back or clinging to Otis while he was dragging me through cold Rocky Mountain snow runoff, it was there that they built my character. Trust was just understood between us.



Now all I have are memories and running. This is what it must feel like to be Forrest Gump.