Report: Golden State Killer suspect tied to yet another murder

VISALIA — Joseph DeAngelo, the man authorities believe is the infamous Golden State Killer, will be charged Monday for the shooting death of a Visalia father in 1975, the earliest murder allegation against the suspected serial killer, according to a CBS News report.

The Tulare County District Attorney is expected to file the charges against DeAngelo for the murder of Claude Snelling, a father who was shot to death as he tried to rescue his 17-year-old daughter from the clutches of her attacker. The murder charge would officially tie the suspected Golden State Killer to the “Visalia Ransacker” cases that had many similarities to the later Sacramento and Bay Area rapes and attacks.

Snelling was shot to death in September 1975 after a masked gunman broke into his daughter’s bedroom in the middle of the night, dragging her into the family’s carport.

“That’s when I heard my dad yell and… the man with a ski mask pushed me to the ground, turned, and shot my dad twice as he was coming through the back door,” said Snelling’s daughter Elizabeth Hupp, who spoke to CBS News on Monday.

Snelling died on the way to the hospital.

“He’s always been my hero,” Hupp said. “I would not be here today, I’m sure of it, if it hadn’t been for him.

“In my heart, I believe he’s the one, and that my father was his first victim,” she said.

Tulare County district attorney Tim Ward told CBS News he believes Snelling was the first victim murdered by DeAngelo.

“We’re filing first degree murder charges against Mr. DeAngelo, along with an allegation that he used a firearm in the commission of that murder,” Ward said.

Law enforcement believes DeAngelo killed a dozen other people and carried out more than 50 rapes up and down the state of California during the 1970s and ’80s. …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Richard Russell: Details emerge of a ‘warm’ man after Seattle plane heist and fiery crash

By Alex Horton | The Washington Post

The hardest part of stealing a commercial plane from an international airport was already over for Richard Russell.

Russell, a ground services worker for Horizon Air, was permitted to get very close to passenger aircraft. And part of his job was to drive the tractor that backed the aircraft into position for takeoff.

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He spun a plane around Friday evening without raising suspicion and climbed aboard with 76 empty seats behind him. He would have flipped overhead switches and set the propellers of the Bombardier Q400 spinning before he roared away from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

It’s not clear whether Russell, 29, had ever really flown a plane before. But that flight was his last.

This undated image posted to Richard Russell’s YouTube channel shows Russell, an airline ground agent. Investigators are piecing together how Russell stole an empty commercial airplane, took off from Sea-Tac International Airport in Seattle, and crashed into a small island in the Puget Sound in Washington. (Richard Russell/YouTube via AP) Richard Russell/YouTube

Russell flew wild loops over Puget Sound, screamed low over frightened onlookers and had existential – and, at turns, bizarre – chats with air traffic controllers as two Air Force F-15 jets gave chase. Then, about an hour after he took off, Russell plunged into sparsely populated Ketron Island 25 miles southwest of the airport, sparking an intense fire.

He is presumed dead in the crash, but no one else is thought to be injured or killed, and the fighter jets did not fire on him, authorities said. The FBI is investigating the stunning heist, which has raised concerns about the security of commercial aircraft and mental health …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Unruly passenger causes flight from Maui to San Francisco to be diverted

HONOLULU — Officials say a flight from Maui to San Francisco was diverted to Honolulu because of an unruly passenger.

Hawaii News Now reports Hawaiian Airlines Flight 42 departed from the Kahului Airport on Saturday afternoon and landed at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport after about three hours in the air.

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Officials say a male passenger caused a disturbance after consuming alcohol. Federal charges of interference with a flight crew are expected to be filed against the man Monday.

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The flight left Oahu at about 6:30 p.m. Saturday and continued to California. The flight held 278 passengers and 10 crew members. No injuries were reported.

Crew members did not declare an emergency during the flight.

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Information from: KGMB-TV, http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/

…read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

Seattle plane thief friendly to controllers before fatal plunge

By GENE JOHNSON

SEATTLE (AP) — He cracked jokes, complimented the professional demeanor of an air traffic controller and apologized for making a fuss.

But the friendly tone of a 29-year-old airport worker who stole a commercial plane Friday night, performing acrobatic stunts before the fatal plunge into a thick island forest, belied his desperate actions.

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“I think I’m going to try to do a barrel roll, and if that goes good I’ll go nose down and call it a night,” Richard Russell said from the cockpit, according to a recording of his conversation with the controller.

The Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed Sunday that Russell had died in the fiery wreckage, but whether the crash was deliberate or accidental was one of several topics remaining for investigators.

Others include how, nearly 17 years after the 9/11 attack, someone can simply take a passenger plane from a major U.S. airport without authorization.

The Seattle FBI office said Sunday that it had recovered the flight data recorder and components of the cockpit voice recorder from the Horizon plane.

The NTSB is now processing the equipment.

Tragic as Russell’s death was, he could have inflicted vastly more damage had he been so inclined.

Potential targets included tens of thousands of fans assembling at Safeco Field, about 12 miles away, for a sold-out Pearl Jam concert just as he took off.

“Last night’s event is going to push us to learn what we can from this tragedy so that we can ensure this does not happen again at Alaska Air Group or at any other airline,” Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines, told a news conference Saturday.

The plane was a Bombardier Q400, a turboprop that seats 76 people, …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World

      

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