Death Cab-Roller Coaster Tycoon 3

January 31, 2009

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Who wouldn’t want the ability to cause mayhem and destruction on a scale like this?!?!?
– FlashAddict

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N.S. woman admits she strangled daughter to keep boyfriend

January 30, 2009

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This is one of the most tragic stories I have ever read…
– FlashAddict

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‘Mommy, don’t’: girl’s last words revealed as Penny Boudreau sentenced

Last Updated: Friday, January 30, 2009 | 12:58 PM AT

Penny Boudreau sobbed as she apologized in court Friday. She was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 20 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
Penny Boudreau sobbed as she apologized in court Friday. She was sentenced to life in prison with no parole for 20 years after pleading guilty to second-degree murder.
(CBC)

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A woman from Bridgewater, N.S., has been handed a life sentence with no parole eligibility for 20 years for strangling her only child after her boyfriend gave her an ultimatum.

Penny Boudreau, 34, pleaded guilty Friday to second-degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Karissa Boudreau.

The girl’s frozen body was found on the outskirts of Bridgewater on Feb. 9, 2008, about two weeks after her mother reported her missing.

Boudreau, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans, told the court, “I’m sorry.”

When asked about the apology, Paul Boudreau, Karissa’s father, said bluntly: “Crocodile tears.”

“Justice has been served,” he added.

Justice Margaret Stewart, who handed down the sentence at the Nova Scotia Supreme Court in Bridgewater, said Boudreau can no longer call herself mother.

Karissa’s relatives sobbed loudly as Crown attorney Paul Scovil read out the grim details of the girl’s final moments in an agreed statement of facts.

The court heard that Boudreau’s boyfriend, Vernon Macumber, told her she had to choose between him and her daughter if she wanted to save their relationship.

Carried body to river

It was dark and snowy on Jan. 27, 2008, when Boudreau drove the girl to a remote spot on William Hebb Road in Hebbville, near Bridgewater.

They got out of the car and argued. Boudreau tackled her daughter, knelt on her chest and strangled her with a length of twine.

Boudreau could feel the girl’s hands digging into the ground as she struggled.

Karissa’s last words were, “Mommy, don’t.”

Boudreau then put the body in the car and threw away the twine in a coffee cup.

She drove to a spot along the LaHave River, and as she dragged the body, pulled down Karissa’s pants to give the impression the girl had been sexually assaulted. She then rolled the body down an embankment.

Karissa Boudreau, 12, was a Grade 6 student at Bridgewater Elementary School.
Karissa Boudreau, 12, was a Grade 6 student at Bridgewater Elementary School.
(Bridgewater police)

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Boudreau later tossed several pieces of Karissa’s clothing in the garbage can at the local swimming pool.

When she got home, she told police her daughter had run away. She also called friends and teachers to spread the story.

Paul Boudreau is still trying to comprehend what happened. Karissa was living with him at one point but moved to Bridgewater to be with her mother.

“I can’t call it anything other than a senseless act,” said Boudreau, adding his ex-girlfriend had options.

“Had I known this was going to happen I would have never let her go back. But what parent is going to say, ‘No, you can’t go back and see your mother,'” he said.

Penny Boudreau was charged with first-degree murder in June 2008. At the time, police said they believed Karissa knew her killer.

Scovil said he agreed to the lesser charge of second-degree murder to give the family some closure and avoid a trial.

Murder carries an automatic life sentence. Both the Crown and defence recommended parole eligibility after 20 years.

“All in all, it was the right thing to do,” Scovil said.

As for Macumber, Scovil said there was no evidence he wanted his girlfriend to kill her daughter. He said Boudreau made it clear that she was solely responsible.

“We suspected very strongly that he must have had an idea. But there was no evidence to suggest that he either had concrete evidence or assisted in any way,” Scovil said.

Undercover police investigation

The grim truth of what happened to the girl came out as a result of an undercover police investigation.

Boudreau gave the details to officers posing as organized crime bosses, who said they could help her destroy evidence held by police.

Karissa’s story has gripped the small Nova Scotia community ever since her mother made a tearful plea at a news conference for her daughter’s safe return.

Boudreau said they had had a fight in the parking lot of a grocery store, and when she came back to the car, Karissa was gone.

Several searches of the area turned up no sign of the young girl.

Two weeks later, a passerby discovered Karissa’s frozen body on the bank of the LaHave River.

Paul Boudreau said he had suspicions about his ex-girlfriend from the moment Karissa was reported missing.

“Any parent knows their child, and when a child does something way out of character, you know from Day 1 it’s not true,” he said.

Penny Boudreau can apply for early parole after 15 years under the faint-hope clause.

http://www.cbc.ca/canada/nova-scotia/story/2009/01/30/ns-karissa-guilty.html


There’s a new Sheriff in town…

January 29, 2009

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This simply needs no introduction…
– FlashAddict

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UT vs. Halo: You’ve been served

January 29, 2009

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While not exactly World of Warcraft, but here is a saweet Machinima video that I came across today – check this $hit out…
– FlashAddict

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My Personal Journey…

January 28, 2009

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Given the significance that today’s date holds for me personally, I would like to share with you the Journey that has most affected my life in so many ways…
– FlashAddict

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On January 28th, 1994, I was suddenly woken up at around 4:30 am by my father. Without my glasses on, my mind still groggy and with the hallway light silhouetting him from behind, my father said the following words to me, “Mom is dying…”

I was 18 years old at the time, in first year at college, yet all that I could mutter in response was, “Noooooooo…” When I think back to that moment, I felt as weak as a child and completely helpless to do anything. We had known since mid-October when my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer that this might be the eventual outcome, but until that moment arrives, you live in a bubble, unwilling to accept the truth.

My father and I were the only ones in the house at the time, seeing as though my sister had moved out a few months before and my brother was on Vancouver Island, having flown a courier run during the night from Vancouver to Victoria. I quickly got dressed and my father called both my sister and our good family friend Jan Rutledge (who had recently lost her own father a few months before) and told them to come up to the house as quickly as possible.

In the half hour or so that my father and I waited for them to arrive, the BC Cancer Clinic had called again to say that my mother had passed away. I asked Jan what to do at that point and she told me that I would have to decide whether to see my mother’s body or not. She told me that when her father died, she chose not to view the body, yet something inside me pushed me to go as this might be the last chance that I would have to spend time with my mother (in an ethereal sense mind you).

My sister finally arrived and my father had gotten a hold of my brother in Victoria as well – he would be flying over to Vancouver as soon as possible and asked my father to pick him up at the airport, while my sister and I drove to the Cancer Clinic together. As we drove into Vancouver, the morning scenery was simply breathtaking – the sun was starting to rise over the mountains in the east with not a single cloud in the sky. It’s weird how you notice details like that in the face of such tragedy, yet that sunrise was the most vibrant and beautiful sunrise I had ever seen in my life.

When my sister and I arrived at the clinic, we walked up together and met the nurses at the station outside my mother’s room. They tried their best to comfort us, but I simply didn’t know how to feel or react at that point, I was just in a kind of sick limbo. They led us to her room and my sister decided to go in first while I waited outside. I stood there feeling like a fool, not knowing what to do or what to say and then after about 15 minutes or so, my sister came out – eyes bloodshot and teary. I gave her a hug and tried to console her as best I could. One of the nurses led her to a “family room” that they have set aside for families to grieve in situations like the one my own was going through and then it was just me left standing there – do I go in or not?

I took a deep breath and slowly opened the door and walked around the corner of the room. There lying motionless, face locked and eyes glazed over was my mom. As soon as I saw her, my body went numb, my legs buckled and I collapsed to the floor. I wailed and cried like an infant for God knows how long – I simply don’t know because during that moment, I went insane. I lost complete control of my emotions and concept of time or reality.

After what I think was about 20 minutes or so, I slowly regained my composure and crawled up the wall so that I could stand up. I then walked over to the bed and I reached out to touch her, but something inside me said, “No, that isn’t your mom anymore,” so I retracted my hand and gazed at her one last time. I could see that her eyes were starting to turn white and that her jaw was locked open and so I decided that I had seen enough. It was this final and brutal dose of reality that finally made me realize and accept the fact that my mother was dead that allowed me leave the room.

As I closed the door, I saw that my father and brother had just arrived and they were talking to my mother’s doctor who had also just arrived. As they walked into my mother’s room, the nurses saw that I was very much emotionally drained and on the verge of collapsing again and went and brought a chair for me to sit on outside in the hallway. The doctor came up to me and tried to offer words of comfort to me but I couldn’t say a word. I just sat there motionless, looking him right in the eyes, all the while my mind was screaming, “YOU LET MY MOTHER DIE!!!!!!!!” After a minute or two, he realized that I was not in the mood to be comforted and went inside to talk to my father and brother. Then after awhile, I regained some of my composure and left so that I could go to the family room and try to comfort my sister.

It was during this time that I called two close friends of both myself and my mother, Leslie Abramson and Caroline Porter (I am also friends with her son Andrew). Leslie is the co-owner of a flower shop in Tsawwassen where I used to work at and was also a long time political ally and friend of my mother’s. Tragically, she had also lost her own son just a few months beforehand and knew the pain that I was feeling. She told me to call the local funeral home and make arrangements for them to come and collect my mother’s body. Caroline was equally as shocked as Leslie to hear that my mother had died and also helped me during that most desperate of times.

After about another 20 to 30 minutes my father and brother emerged from the hospital room where my mother was lying and we came together as a family to try and comfort one another. We decided to drive back to the family home in Tsawwassen to grieve together and to try and come to terms with what had happened. Whereas I drove my sister’s jeep to the clinic in Vancouver, I was still in such a state of shock that I asked my sister to drive us home.

Throughout the entire drive back home though, I kept thinking just how vibrant the sun, the trees, the mountains and everything around me looked and I have never before nor since seen such a beautiful sky.

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=d&source=s_d&saddr=1076+walalee+drive,+south+delta,+bc&daddr=600+10th+Avenue+West,+Vancouver,+BC+V5Z+4E6,+Canada+(BC+Cancer+Agency)&hl=en&geocode=%3BFbqu7wId5l-p-CGhpEzc3GvnyA&mra=ls&sll=49.140843,-123.091507&sspn=0.413716,1.057434&ie=UTF8&z=11


No more Facebook Friend Requests…

January 28, 2009

I received the following email from Facebook today:

Our systems indicate that you’ve been misusing certain features on the site. This email serves as a warning. Misuse of Facebook’s features or violating Facebook’s terms of use may result in your account being disabled . Thanks in advance for your understanding and cooperation.

If you have any questions, please contact warning@facebook.com from your login email address.

The Facebook Team

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I guess that means that I will stop sending out any further Friend Requests for this project. Why was I sending out so many you might ask? Well, I wanted this art piece to become part of a greater movement, similar in scope to that of an ARG (Alternate Reality Game):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alternate_reality_game

Whereas by sending out Friend Requests to strangers (albeit fellow Emily Carr students, allumni and staff), I wanted to create a rabbit hole for people to jump down into – think of Alice in Wonderland – and I wanted to have active participants. I want people to take a chance and peel back the layers to see what is inside not only this project, but what is inside themselves as well and to tell me what they find by writing down and mapping out their Personal Journey.


Teacher: Wrong Computer Click Ruined My Life

January 28, 2009

In 2004 Julie Amero was a 37-year-old substitute teacher who looked forward to the impending birth of her first child and enjoyed educating students.

But her life took a drastic turn on Oct. 19 of that year and now, four years later, Amero has a scarred reputation and said she has suffered emotional distress after facing serious pornography charges that destroyed her teaching career.

“Everybody out there should be afraid,” the now 42-year-old Amero said on “Good Morning America” today. “If it can happen to me it can certainly happen to you.”

The Back Story: Spyware Cause Porn Popups on Teacher’s Computer

Amero started that fateful school day at Kelly Middle School in Norwich, Conn., by checking her personal e-mail and then she stepped out of the classroom to use the bathroom. While she was away from her desk, the computer began displaying a flurry of pornographic images.

She returned to find two students giggling at the computer screen. Amero said she tried to close the inappropriate images, but to no avail.

“The pop-ups never went away. It was one after another. They were continuous. Every time I clicked the box in the corner, the red box, the red X, more were generated,” she said according to a court transcript.

For several hours she says she tried to get the images of “women in lingerie, bathing suits” and more to stop. What Amero didn’t do, though, was shut down the computer.

“I didn’t even know where the button was,” she said, “never been shown, never been told.”

Amero said she wasn’t computer savvy and had limited knowledge of how to use the device.

“[My husband] had just taught me recently how to do the computer,” Amero said.

She alerted the school’s vice principal about the incident on her break and the administrator initially told her not to worry.

But then several angry parents who learned of the incident from their children called the school to complain.

“I knew there was a problem the third day at the end of that school day,” Amero said.

“At the time no big deal was made of it. Then kids went home, told their parents and it exploded from there,” said Hartford Courant newspaper columnist Rick Green, who has followed the case.

The school notified police and told Amero she could never work as a substitute teacher again. Shortly afterward she was arrested on 10 counts of risk of injury to a minor.

A Wrongful Guilty Verdict

Eventually, authorities dropped six of the counts, but Amero still faced four and a total of 40 years in prison.

“It’s a fascinating glimpse into what can happen to you if you are arrested in a wrongful situation,” Green said.

Prosecutors claimed that Amero had been surfing pornography Web sites in the seventh-grade classroom.

They offered her a deal that would have expunged the charges from her record after two years of good behavior. Amero refused the deal and maintained her innocence.

In the 2007 trial, Amero was convicted, but computer experts following the case disagreed with the verdict.

After their outcry, prosecutors sent the computer’s hard drive to state police forensics laboratory where analysis found evidence that contradicted the state’s expert witness.

“This Web page that she had allegedly clicked on, which had been presented at the trial as evidence, clear evidence by the prosecution, everything indicated to the exact contrary that she had not clicked on that link,” said Sunbelt Software CEO Alex Eckelberry, who came to Amero’s aid after reading about her case in the newspaper.

Combatting the Conviction

The bevy of computer experts that came to Amero’s aid proved that the true culprit of the pornographic pop-ups was a malicious spyware program.

The evidence was so compelling that a judge overturned Amero’s conviction, saying the prosecution’s star witness, a computer forensics expert, had given false testimony.

But for 18 months prosecutors pondered whether they should retry the former educator. They dropped the felony charges, but in November 2008 Amero pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. She can never work in a classroom again.

She said the plea bargain was the result of not wanting to spend more time in a courtroom because the entire ordeal had taken a serious toll on her health.

“They got a pound of flesh,” said Amero, who remains unemployed and says she’s unable to get work thanks to the ordeal. “The doctors all agreed that I would not make it through another trial.”

Amero said the stress of the trial caused a miscarriage and prompted breathing troubles.

Her husband, 57-year-old Wes Vello, said he sees the plea agreement as the state’s way of being inflexible.

“They were unwilling to admit they’d made a mistake,” said Vello, who works seven days a week as a shipbuilder. “In my opinion it was just a saving face for the state.”

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/story?id=6739393&page=1