Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Russell Speigle is "innocent until proven guilty," but the guilt is written on his face, in a way

So everyone who is arrested is innocent until proven guilty. However, Russell Speigle of Cottage Grove, WI, has guilt written, or rather, "burned," onto his face. If there was ever a time to use the old adage, "play with fire and you'll get burned," now is that time. If he keeps this up, he might be up for a Darwin Award rather than a Shiitake.

As an aside, vigilantes should be properly handled and cooked until the internal temperature of 165 degrees. Get your vigis ordered at least medium-well, and not rare.

Cottage Grove man arrested on suspicion of burning house intended for sex offender
2/24/15, By Nico Savidge, Wisconsin State Journal

Dane County authorities arrested a town of Cottage Grove man they say set fire to a house Sunday night in a vigilante effort to keep a sex offender from moving in there.

Russell A. Speigle, 50, was arrested on a tentative charge of arson for the fire, which destroyed a home at 4721 Gaston Circle in the town of Cottage Grove, Sheriff Dave Mahoney said Tuesday.

Investigators are now trying to determine if Speigle was responsible for another fire that damaged the same house in December, Mahoney said.

They are also looking for some pieces of evidence that could connect Speigle to the fire, the Sheriff’s Office said.

The home was to house 40-year-old Harold Nyberg as part of a supervised sex offender release program, over vocal opposition from the man’s neighbors — Speigle among them, Mahoney said.

The first fire, on Dec. 8, caused $90,000 worth of damage, the Sheriff’s Office said. The home was repaired after that blaze and was considered a total loss after Sunday’s fire.

Speigle lived “only doors away” from the Gaston Circle home, Mahoney said, and had attended a notification meeting the Sheriff’s Office held last week to tell neighborhood residents about Nyberg.

“Like many, (Speigle) voiced his displeasure” that Nyberg was coming to the area, Mahoneysaid.

An article about the notification meeting from The Herald-Independent quoted Speigle saying the neighborhood was “upset and on guard” with Nyberg set to move in.

Nyberg was convicted in 1994 of second-degree child sexual assault and was later committed as a sexually violent person to a secure treatment center in Mauston, according to courtrecords.

Despite objections from Speigle and other neighbors, some of whom are now pushing the Cottage Grove Town Board to adopt an ordinance barring sex offenders on supervised release from living there, Nyberg was set to move to the home within a fewweeks.

“The place to carry out those kinds of actions is at the public notification meeting, so that we can address those concerns,” Mahoney said. “What is unacceptable is acts of vigilantism such as this.”

Investigators talked with Speigle at his home soon after the second fire, Mahoney said, and could see that he had recently suffered burns.

Speigle’s booking photo from the Dane County Jail shows what appear to be burns across much of his face.

Mahoney did not say why investigators didn’t arrest Speigle that night, but the Sheriff’s Office said authorities learned he had left Cottage Grove soon after talking with detectives.

Investigators with the Sheriff’s Office and the state Department of Justice continued building a case against Speigle, tracked him to a relative’s home in Muscoda and arrested him there Monday, Mahoney said.

Speigle was treated and released from the UW Hospital burn unit, then booked into the jail Tuesday afternoon, the Sheriff’s Office said.

At a news conference Tuesday, Mahoney declined to say whether authorities suspect anyone other than Speigle may have been involved in the arson, or if Speigle has been cooperating with investigators.

Mahoney stressed that Sunday’s blaze put firefighters and first responders in danger, and said the “most alarming” aspect of Speigle’s actions was that he set fire to a home so close to where he lived.

“Not only did the actions of Mr. Speigle endanger public safety professionals, it endangered his own neighbors,” Mahoney said.

As they continue their investigations, Mahoney said authorities are looking for two gas canisters they believe Speigle used in the Sunday night fire.

Mahoney said investigators could see Speigle holding the red, plastic jugs Sunday night in images taken from a camera near the home that burned.

Authorities suspect the cans may have been dumped somewhere between Cottage Grove and Muscoda, and asked anyone who might have seen them to call the state arson tip line at 800-362-3005 or the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 608-284-6900.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Doug Ennen of Hemet CA gets to be our first Everyday Zero of 2015. Should I put a sign in the yard?

So this clown is Doug Ennen of Hemet, CA. He is trying to force a registered citizen to move and he's taking a not-so-original but particularly annoying approach that I sincerely hope backfires. You know what would be funny? If someone thought he WAS the registrant and egged his car. Maybe then Doug would understand what it feels to be targeted by a harassing thug.

(By the way, the police are in the wrong because this does indeed constitute harassment)

Hemet Man Displays ‘Child Molester Danger’ Sign To Warn Residents Of Neighbor

HEMET ( — A homeowner has displayed two bright green posters in a Hemet neighborhood in an effort to warn neighbors of a man who is registered as a sex offender on the Megan’s Law database.
Doug Ennen made the posters, one of which says “Child Molester Danger,” and taped them to his two cars. He then parked one of those vehicles in front of a registered sex offender’s home.
According to the Megan’s Law website, 59-year-old Harlan Steiner lives on Ennen’s street, although the date of the crime isn’t listed.
“It’s just one of those things that everybody should know and be aware of. I don’t believe they can change,” Ennen, a homeowner, explains. “It’s horrible, especially if you have kids; you can never relax fully.”
One neighbor, who didn’t want to talk on camera, disagreed with the public shaming and said Steiner is a nice guy who’s already done his time.
This same neighbor’s children are grown, unlike Michael Lopez, who also lives in the area and has a teenager.
“Everybody has to be aware. We’re living in some dangerous times,” Lopez, a neighbor, said.
Both Lopez and Ennen are concerned about their property values decreasing even though Ron Remily, another neighbor, says Steiner fixed what was once a dilapidated house.
“I don’t really feel it’s my position to judge what he did or didn’t do,” Remily said.
But Ennen said: “I’d like to see him move. If he knew this why didn’t he buy a house in the middle of nowhere. There’s plenty of them.”
A woman at the home answered the door, but said she didn’t have a comment.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said a sign like Ennen’s isn’t illegal because it’s a display of public information.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Nevada GOP lawmaker proudly proclaims "sexual predators" should get a "bullet to the head"

Well, the story really isn't about "sexual predators," per se, but this crazy gun nut proposes that "hot little girls" on campus need to pack heat and shoot people in the head to stop the Rape Apocalypse.

Republican Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore is trying to push a bill allowing guns to be carried onto college campuses under the guise of preventing on-campus sexual assaults.

Fiore, said in a telephone interview with the New York Times:

“If these young, hot little girls on campus have a firearm, I wonder how many men will want to assault them. The sexual assaults that are occurring would go down once these sexual predators get a bullet in their head.”

Now, it might just be me, but she reminds me of a certain vigilante gun-nut who lives in South Florida, only Fiore isn't as ugly. But she is just as stupid.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Comedy writer writes a joke of an article about Registered Citizens, showing HuffPost writing standards is also a joke

After reading an article like this, I wonder just how much "wine" Elaine Ambrose mixed in with her "laughter." The problem here is the HuffPost allows too many people lacking credentials on a subject to write on any topic. So now we have a "humor" writer writing an article about sex offenders. Well maybe that is fitting because this article is a joke.

Monsters Are Real: Protect Your Grandkids From Sex Offenders
Posted: 02/13/2015 6:57 pm EST Updated: 02/13/2015 6:59 pm EST
Elaine Ambrose (Author, syndicated blogger, featured humor speaker, publisher, and retreat organizer knows that laughter - with wine - is the best medicine.)

Ollie Oxen isn't free anymore. I remember the familiar call of "Ollie Ollie Oxen Free" from my childhood as neighborhood children freely played outside until dark. The phrase is from an Old English game that ended when anyone still hiding could come back without fear of being tagged. "All's out come in free." Those were easy times when monsters lived within our imaginations, not in the house next door.

I recently received an alarming email: A registered sex offender has moved down the street. I clicked on the link and stared into the face of a 49-year-old man who had been convicted of sexual battery of a minor child a dozen years earlier. Because my small granddaughters often visit and we regularly scamper to the nearby playground and swimming pool, I immediately recoiled in shock. Why did he move here? Is he still dangerous? What are the laws? How can I protect my grandchildren?

I turned off my email and began an online research about registered sex offenders. The U.S. Department of Justice maintains the National Sex Offender Public Website,and each state has its own site. I learned that three registered sex offenders lived within a mile of my home, and 21 offenders lived within three miles. I got up, locked the door, and returned to my research.

Here are some sobering facts from the U.S. Department of Justice: [Shiitake Award note: The "factoids" came from the National Registry page, NOT the DoJ.]

* Approximately 150,000 adult sex offenders are currently in state and federal prisons throughout the United States. Between 10,000 and 20,000 are released to the community each year.

* About 12 to 24% of sex offenders will reoffend.

* Approximately 30% of sexual assault cases are reported to authorities. More than 63,000 cases of child sexual abuse were reported in 2012.

* According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics' National Criminal Victimization Survey, in 2012, there were 346,830 reported rapes or sexual assaults of persons 12 years or older.

* State laws have specific regulations and laws that mandate the offenders cannot live near schools, playgrounds, or swimming pools.

* The best actions for a parent or grandparent are to know where the offenders live, watch the children at all times, educate them about stranger danger, and be prepared to confront anyone suspicious and notify authorities.

Parents have the primary responsibility to raise their children, but grandparents play an important secondary role. The adults should talk to children about inappropriate touching, listen to their opinions, and create a family safety plan. Support the parents as they routinely discuss the differences between normal, healthy sexuality and sexual abuse. Learn how predators operate, and monitor social media and other online activities. Refuse to live in fear but error on the side of caution.

Various websites, such as Stop it Now , offer details and suggestions so families can become educated about the realities of registered sex offenders. More clarification is necessary in many of the descriptions. For example, a mutual dalliance between a 19-year-old young man and a 17-year-old girl is common but can unfairly receive the same label as the horrific acts of a 50-year-old man sexually assaulting a child.

My new neighbor served jail time for his crimes, and I won't be taking him a welcome basket with cookies. From my front door, I can see his house and our neighborhood playground. Maybe he has reformed. Maybe he hasn't. His conviction has robbed our neighborhood of complacency and turned us into vigilantes. The carefree sounds of laughter from my childhood summers are silenced by a heavy click from the turning of the lock.

As icing on the cake, this woman thinks

So giving people the facts makes you an asshole now?

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles uses sex offender panic to push anti-transsexual bathroom bill

Rep. Frank wants you to show him your penis. 
I know this whole transsexual issue has hit the news with that teen transsexual who killed herself here in Ohio where I live, and admittedly I haven't been keeping up with all these letter designations for sexuality (if we keep coming up with new gender identities we'll have to borrow letters from other languages). It is not my place to judge them and as far as I'm concerned, we're all deserving of equal rights. This is what I do know. If you use Predator Panic as the basis of passing any law, no matter who you are targeting, well, I will give you a new identity -- Shiitake Award Nominee. 

You know, this Artiles fellow has some very interesting thoughts. maybe we should be watching this guy very closely:

Florida’s Transphobic ‘Show Your Papers to Pee’ Bill is Bad for Everyone
by Steve Williams
February 13, 2015

One Florida Republican is making it his sworn duty to overturn local civil rights ordinances and stop trans people using the public restrooms that accord with their gender identity.

Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles (R) recently introduced H.B. 538, which to quote the bill summary, would:

Requires that use of single-sex facilities be restricted to persons of sex for which facility is designated; prohibits knowingly & willfully entering single-sex public facility designated for or restricted to persons of other biological sex; provides exemptions; provides private cause of action against violators; provides for preemption.

So in effect, if a trans person uses a public bathroom that accords with their gender identity and not their birth sex, they are liable under the law to a $1,000 fine. The legislation would also open up the trans person in question to a civil suit, and would make the owner of those public accommodations similarly liable.

Artiles claims the bill was inspired by what he perceives to be a “massive loophole” created by local trans rights ordinances like the one recently enacted by Miami-Dade County that simply and narrowly allows people to use the restroom that comports with their consistent gender expression. It is, of course, the old “sexual predators could prey on women and children” that Artiles clings to when he says, no, he is not anti-trans or trying to discriminate, but simply looking out for the public interest.

In a post on his own website, he says in part:

The goal of HB 583 is not to discriminate against any individual, but to ensure the public’s safety in Florida.  My main concern is that criminals, sexual predators, and sex offenders will hide behind the law in order to commit a crime due to the over broad, vague, and subjective language passed by some counties across the State.


“The reason for this bill is due to the Local county commission ordinance that allows MEN (who do not fall under any of the LGBT’s definitions) to enter a WOMENs bathroom, locker room and dressing room. It is disturbing for a woman to walk out of a gym shower and have a man staring at her. It is a matter of privacy/public safety and not intended to discriminate against transgender or transsexuals. However, criminals, sexual deviants, pedophiles and voyeurs will take advantage of the loop hole the local ordinance has created giving them protection under the law.”

One would imagine that if Rep. Artiles is so concerned about this problem, he must have several accounts of such abuses at hand, most notably because Gainseville has had these protections since 2008. Artiles has yet to point to a single incident anywhere where trans protections have directly allowed an abuse to take place — and it’s no wonder, because they are so infrequent that law enforcement officials tell us that they aren’t a concern at all.

In fact, experts from across 15 states have looked at statistics and confirmed for Media Matters that this just isn’t a problem and is unlikely to ever be a problem. They also point out that these ordinances do not change what is already law: people who are victims of physical and sexual assaults in public restrooms are protected and could bring criminal proceedings, and these ordinances do not change that fact.

But let’s not kid ourselves that this is just Rep. Artiles just being overly concerned about public welfare. Artiles displayed his ignorance of trans identity and the vague hint of transphobia when he told the Miami Herald (h/t Thinkprogress): ”A man such as myself can walk into the bathroom at LA Fitness while women are taking showers, changing, and simply walk in there. Someone can say, ‘What are you doing there?’ Under the ordinance, I don’t have to respond. It’s subjective. If I feel like a woman that day, I can be allowed to be in that locker room. I don’t know about you, but I find that disturbing.”

The legislation also has another disturbing aspect. Another look at the bill’s text and we see it contains language that wouldn’t just preclude trans people from using the public amenities that align with who they are, it implicitly sets a standard for what we consider male and female enough:

“Sex” means a person’s biological sex, either male or female, at birth. For purposes of this paragraph, the term “male” means a person born as a biological male and the term “female” means a person born as a biological female.

Currently, Florida state does allow for gender change recognition albeit through a laborious process. The proposed law wouldn’t directly undercut that, but the concern is that, with its “biological male” and “biological female” designations, it segregates trans people and makes them other — they can amend their IDs but try and pee in a bathroom that matches their gender expression? Then they’re criminals. Not only that, but it also raises the question whether gender variant people (women who may have a more masculine presentation or men who have a feminine style) may also be subject to discrimination and a “show your papers to pee” rule.

What seems to be the biggest shame in all of this, though, is that Florida Republicans are feigning concern over imagined scenarios of sexual assaults in public restrooms, when they are the ones trying to jam their heads under the stall doors to dictate who can and can’t use a particular restroom.

Monday, February 9, 2015

"You're probably innocent of this crime and all, but we might stick you in civil commitment anyways."

Here at the Shiitake Awards, we sift through dozens of crazy stories throughout the year, and it seems every time we think we've reached the pinnacle of stupidity, a new crazy story comes around that seemingly outdoes the other. 

I won't publish the entire article-- it is a mile long. I suggest you click the news article link and read the full story. Imagine spending decades in prison for a crime you didn't commit. Now, imagine having insult added to injury by being civilly committed. 

Considering how infrequently a prosecutor goes to bat for a convicted person, this story is even more amazing.

Prosecutor backs man believed innocent of 1986 sexual assault

Posted: Saturday, February 7, 2015 11:30 pm
By FRANK GREEN Richmond Times-Dispatch

Michael Kenneth McAlister’s prison term ended last month.
But this Richmond man, who some former investigators believe is innocent of a 1986 abduction and attempted rape, now faces possible indefinite confinement as a violent sexual predator.
McAlister’s saga will take a new turn March 3 at a hearing scheduled for Richmond Circuit Court that could see him serving additional decades, if not the rest of his life, inside the Virginia Center for Behavioral Rehabilitation in Burkeville.
That doesn’t sit well with Richmond’s top prosecutor, who does not believe McAlister’s record should lead to imprisonment or commitment as a violent sexual predator.
“We put the innocent guy in prison, and now we want to civilly commit him,” Michael N. Herring, Richmond commonwealth’s attorney, said in an interview last week.
If efforts to force McAlister into the state’s sex offender treatment facility proceed, Herring said he will tell the court that he believes McAlister did not abduct and attempt to rape a young woman in South Richmond 29 years ago — the crimes that make him eligible for further commitment after his sentence has ended.
In addition, Herring said he will work with McAlister’s lawyers to try to clear his record of the 1986 crimes.
“I’m going to sit down with the governor’s office and sit down with the attorney general’s office — whatever it takes,” Herring said.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Today's Lesson: Most sex crimes occur in the home, by someone the child knows, and that person isn't on the Registry

sometimes, a good story beats a gaggle of statistics to drive home the point that stranger danger is overblown. You can't make some stories up. Well, maybe you can come close. 

I'm willing to bet the event went something like this...

Police: 6-year-old boy 'kidnapped' for being too nice to strangers
By AnneClaire Stapleton and Steve Almasy, CNN
Updated 1:16 PM ET, Fri February 6, 2015

(CNN)A 6-year-old boy in Missouri endured an emotional four-hour staged kidnapping because his family thought he was being too nice to people he didn't know, police said Thursday.

The four people involved in the alleged plot -- the boy's mother, grandmother, aunt and a co-worker of the aunt -- have been charged with kidnapping and other felonies, the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said.

"Family members told investigators their primary intent was to educate the victim and felt they did nothing wrong," the press release said.

During his reported ordeal the boy was lured Monday into a pickup after getting off his school bus, tied up, threatened with a gun, taken to a basement where his pants were removed, and told he could be sold into sex slavery, police said.

The boy was told in the truck by Nathan Wynn Firoved, the aunt's co-worker, that he would never "see his mommy again," and he would be "nailed to the wall of a shed," the sheriff's statement said.

The boy started to cry, police said, and Firoved, 23, showed the child a gun and said he would be harmed if he didn't stop bawling. Firoved used plastic bags to tie the child's hands and feet, police said. He took his jacket and covered the boy's head so he couldn't see.

He guided the boy, still unable to see, into the basement of the mother's home, where his 38-year-old aunt took off the boy's pants, according to the sheriff's statement.

"The victim remained in the basement for some time before he was unbound and told to go upstairs, where the victim's family lectured him about stranger danger," the statement said.

The suspects kept each other updated throughout the incident on cell phones, police said.

The boy's 25-year-old mother, Elizabeth Hupp of Troy, is charged with felony kidnapping and felony abuse and neglect of a child. The 58-year-old grandmother, Rose Brewer; the aunt, Denise Kroutil; and Firoved are also charged with felonious restraint.

The sheriff said Kroutil approached Firoved to kidnap her nephew to "scare" him because he was "too nice" to people. The statement alleges the mother and grandmother both agreed the boy should be kidnapped to teach him a lesson.

The boy was placed into protective custody after he told school officials Wednesday what had happened to him.

CNN has been trying to track down lawyers for the accused, but has been unable to locate information on the attorneys.

Troy is about an hour northwest of St. Louis.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

If you are accused of a Sex Trafficking offense, Utah Republican Senator Paul Ray wants to kill you.

I can almost imagine Paul Ray promoting this idea with "Achmed the Dead Terrorist." Actually, Rep. Ray has a lot in common with terrorists, considering his obsession with the Death Penalty. I think he should be fired, preferably by squad as well.

Utah lawmaker wants death penalty for sex traffickers
TUESDAY , FEBRUARY 03, 2015 - 1:36 PM
Capital West News

SALT LAKE CITY — A Davis County Republican wants to give convicted child sex traffickers the ultimate punishment – the death penalty.

Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton, is pushing to make child sex trafficking a capital offense. He says he accompanied the Salt Lake City vice squad on patrol a few years ago. He’s realized how big an issue child trafficking is in Utah. He said he's been working on bills to target prostitution and trafficking for years.

“I got so fed up with what I've seen,” Ray said. “It's time to take the ultimate jump and say if you traffic a kid for sex, we're going to kill you.”

Marina Lowe, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union of Utah, said the group opposes capital punishment in all forms. Lowe cited some of the current botched lethal injections as ways that America is finding out that the death penalty is not effective.

“At the end of the day it's our position that the state shouldn't be in the business of killing its citizens,” Lowe said. She added that Ray's proposal is unconstitutional.

In 2008, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled child rape is not punishable by death, striking down a Louisiana law as unconstitutional because the punishment was “cruel and unusual.”

Ray acknowledged that his proposed bill could be challenged in the court. He said he was willing to take a chance, despite the bills uncertain future. Ray said he would love to fight for this law at a federal level.

“I'm going turn the tables on them, and say 'prove to me why you can execute for treason and I can't execute for a crime that in my world is ten times worse than treason,'” Ray said. Ray acknowledged that he would have to add a constitutional note to the bill. This would let legislators know that the bill may be legally challenged in the courts’ system.

Parker Douglas, chief of staff of the Utah Attorney General’s office, said it’s the office’s policy to defend laws that are legally passed in Utah, whether they personally agree with them or not.

Ed Smart, the director of prevention and rehabilitation of Operation Underground Railroad, said he needed more time to decide whether he supported the bill. Operation Underground Railroad is an organization that works with victims of the sex trade. Smart said child sex trafficking is prevalent in Utah but it's hard to pin down the numbers because of its secretive nature.

“I have not met one of those who have been prostituted or trafficked who have chose to be there,” Smart said.

Smart, kidnap victim Elizabeth Smart’s father, said he would like for Utah to follow after Sweden and start cracking down on those who visit prostitutes. Smart said these individuals now get a slap on the wrist.

He said the key is to cut down on the demand for these services, noting Sweden cut their prostitution on the street in half. Smart said there needs to be a greater deterrent to participating.

Arlington Heights, Illinois limits garage sales because of Predator Panic

I would like to know just how people come to idiotic conclusions like this. Even worse, the ordinance was passed unanimously, by ALL NINE Village Idiots. 

I think I save solved the mystery, actually...

Arlington Heights limits garage sales after sexual assault
By Sally Ho
Chicago Tribune
FEBRUARY 4, 2015, 12:37 PM

Arlington Heights is now limiting garage sales, months after neighbors blamed an out-­of-­control number of such events for a home invasion and sexual assault in the Cedar Glen area.
A policy limiting the number of garage sales to three per year on residential property was approved Monday by the village board, according to a recording of the meeting posted on the village website.
Garage sales now must be held between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m. and last no more than three consecutive days. The move is in direct response to the community outcry following a crime that happened in September. A woman reported that she was sexually assaulted when her home in the 2400 block of South Embers Lane was broken into. Neighbors claimed the area was becoming unsafe due to a regular flood of strangers attending garage sales.
Some residents pointed to two homes in the residential area south of the Township High School District 214 headquarters for reportedly hosting frequent events that sometimes last for day s and occur several times a month.
In approving the new policy , the village board agreed that it was necessary but debated how the new code amendment would be enforced and whether it was overreaching or unproductive.
The rule does not create a permitting process that would require residents to seek permission to host what is for some a de-cluttering tradition. Instead, the village's new local law will be addressed on the basis of complaints.
Those thought to be breaking the law would be cited for violating the municipal code. A law enforcement official would document every complaint in support of a ticket.
A judge in Cook County housing court would then likely hear the case, with a fine of up to $750 possible, village officials said.
Trustee Joseph Farwell commented that he didn't want a "permit to wipe our nose every time we sneeze" but that he "wouldn't be surprised" if permits were needed in the future to curb ordinance "abusers."
The village manager said the policy is meant to warn would-­be offenders before a citation is necessary, while also avoiding an "overly elaborate process" for law-­abiding residents.
But Trustee John Scaletta, who is running for reelection in April, said he was concerned that a judge would throw the cases out in a "he said, she said" situation.
"I'm all for doing something but I just want to make sure what we do is productive," Scaletta said.