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Jailed mom 'who got girlfriend to burn baby alive' appears in court in leg brace

A mother accused of asking her girlfriend to burn her baby son to death has appeared in court sporting a leg brace. Hanna Nicole Barker, 24, limped into a courtroom in Natchitoches, Louisiana, last Thursday with a serious leg injury. It is unclear how Barker sustained the injury, which was spotted by a reporter from the Alexandria Town-Talk. But feelings against her and lover Felicia Marie Smith, 27, run so highly that a jury will now be bused in from outside her home parish to try the case against her. Barker has been tried with the capital murder of six month-old Levi Cole Ellerbe, who is said to have been covered in gasoline by Smith before being burned in a ditch in July 2018.

Smith went to work a shift at an IHOP pancake house after, with a driver who was headed home from work stopping after she spotted a fire in a ditch. She found baby Levi, who was rushed to hospital and died the next day with second and third-degree burns covering 90% of his body. Police charged both Smith and Barker with capital murder, with prosecutors applying for both women to face the death penalty if they are convicted. Barker is set to face trial in January, with a defense hearing scheduled for November 25. Levi is said to have been killed by Barker’s girlfriend Felicia Nicole-Smith, with the infant’s burning corpse discovered on an isolated hill by a driver. On the evening of Levi’s death, Barker called police to claim that her son had been kidnapped by two people who’d knocked her door and maced her face. But prosecutors say she asked Smith – who was besotted with Barker- to kill him. After her arrest, Barker reportedly told officials that she was only with Smith for attention and money, and that she had asked her lover to kill Levi. But Barker’s attorneys now say there is no evidence to prove that allegation.

Barker was on probation for drugs offenses at the time, and is said to have breached her terms by having Smith at her home. Last Thursday’s court hearing also saw Barker mouth ‘I love you’ to her family members. Members of Barker’s family went on to clash with Ellerbe’s loved ones, with the latter group claiming Barker was receiving favorable treatment.

https://metro.co.uk/2019/11/11/jailed-mother-got-girlfriend-burn-baby-death-appears-court-badly-injured-leg-11080186/

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Hundreds gather to bury American woman and her four children who were incinerated in burned-out SUV during ambush by Mexican drug cartel gunman

Hundreds of mourners gathered on Friday for the burial of a mother, her months-old twins and two other children on the fringes of a township founded by breakaway Mormons in Mexico, in a second funeral for the victims of a brazen armed ambush.

Suspected cartel gunmen shot Rhonita Miller LeBaron, 30, and four of her children on Monday, also striking two other vehicles, killing a total of three women and six children on an isolated dirt road in the hills of Sonora. 

All of the victims were dual US-Mexican citizens.

Miller's SUV exploded in flames during the attack, incinerating her along with her 13-year-old son, 11-year old daughter and 7-month-old twins, Titus and Tiana.

We pray, Father, that good will come out of this terrible incident, that the way may be opened up for this country to find justice for those that don't have a voice,' said Rhonita's father-in-law, Kenny Miller, speaking at the graveside where children lay flowers as a soft rain fell.

On Thursday in La Mora, the first funeral was held for victims of the attack, with mourners guarded by heavily armed soldiers.

More than 250,000 Mexicans have been killed in the mounting violence that has gripped the country since 2007, many of them victims of drug-related crimes. Tens of thousands more are missing.

Echoing sentiments expressed by relatives in recent days, Miller said the cartels had grown stronger than the government in some areas, comparing the situation to conflicts in the Middle East. 

He stopped short, however, of supporting emerging calls for the United States to take a larger role in Mexico.

'I witnessed the army, scared to go in,' Miller said, apparently describing the day of the attack, which occurred in the morning, when cartel firefighting lasted for hours, restricting search parties. 

Authorities did not arrive until sundown.

'That is uncalled for in a sovereign country,' Miller said at the cemetery outside the town of Colonia LeBaron. 

Nearby a rusting road sign was punctured with bulletholes.

His voice trembling, Miller described the horror of finding the young family's vehicle in roaring flames, not knowing if they were inside, and returning hours later to find their charred remains. He called it an act of terrorism.

Both the families and the governments blame warring drug cartels, although they disagree whether the families were targeted or victims of mistaken identity in the attack.

'They talk about terrorism in Iraq and Iran, those aren't our countries, this is our country. We've got terrorists here,' Miller said.

The victims were all part of a community of breakaway Mormon sects who arrived in Mexico from the 1880s onwards to escape a clampdown on polygamy in the United States.

A shrinking number still practice polygamy, but families are large. 

Rhonita Miller is survived by her husband and three other children. 

The mourners arrived in a convoy of dozens of trucks in Colonia LeBaron on Friday after a five-hour drive across backroads from La Mora, where the victims all lived.

The ambush took place on a track near La Mora.

'I really believe that the cartels in Mexico have moved to another level of barbarity, they are as bad or worse than ISIS. ISIS have an ideology,' said resident Rosa LeBaron, 65, whose cousins, nieces and nephews died in the attacks. 

'These sicarios, why are they doing it?' she said, using a term for 'hitmen.' 

'Out of greed and pure evil.'

She said Mexico needed to overcome pride and accept outside help from a neighboring country or international coalition, like the United Nations, to stamp out the cartels.\

A shrinking number still practice polygamy, but families are large. 

Rhonita Miller is survived by her husband and three other children. 

The mourners arrived in a convoy of dozens of trucks in Colonia LeBaron on Friday after a five-hour drive across backroads from La Mora, where the victims all lived.

The ambush took place on a track near La Mora.

'I really believe that the cartels in Mexico have moved to another level of barbarity, they are as bad or worse than ISIS. ISIS have an ideology,' said resident Rosa LeBaron, 65, whose cousins, nieces and nephews died in the attacks. 

'These sicarios, why are they doing it?' she said, using a term for 'hitmen.' 

'Out of greed and pure evil.'

She said Mexico needed to overcome pride and accept outside help from a neighboring country or international coalition, like the United Nations, to stamp out the cartels.

However, he has resisted taking a tougher line with the gangs, instead pursuing a strategy of non-confrontation he calls 'hugs not bullets' and arguing he can end violence by addressing the root causes of crime such as poverty and joblessness.

Adrian LeBaron, whose daughter and grandchildren died in the attack, reflected the views of several other relatives who said they had little faith in Mexico's judicial system and federal government, but still hopes the country will rise to the challenge.

'I love Mexico, and this happened in Mexico, and these children are Mexican,' he said. 'The FBI, the whole world, must be dying to do something, but it wouldn't be right... we should be able to do it.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7666969/Slain-Mexico-7-month-old-twins-buried-rain-swept-funeral.html

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A super rich father is beaten to death in his own garage and left to rot.

The sister of a murdered millionaire is still fighting to bring her brother's killer to justice - nearly 15 years after he was found beaten to death in his own home.  

Michael Griffey, 45, was brutally bludgeoned in the garage of his family's property in Pakenham, in Melbourne's south-east, on New Year's Eve 2005.

His body was covered in a tarp and a sheet, and was discovered by his wife Diane and daughter Cassandra several days after he died. 

The murder weapon was never found. 

Diane and the couple's son Kenny were arrested in connection to Michael's death, and his teenage daughter Cassandra confessed that she was the one who killed her father. 

Diane and the couple's son Kenny were arrested in connection to Michael's death, and his teenage daughter Cassandra confessed that she was the one who killed her father. 

The wealthy father made his fortune through a successful transport company and appeared to have been living comfortably before his death.  

But an investigation later uncovered financial issues within the business that showed it was actually deep in debt.    

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It was later revealed Diane had also received a $1.5million payout from Michael's life insurance policy after he died.  

The mother was arrested and charged but the case was dismissed before it could go to trial in 2008 due to lack of evidence.  

Meanwhile, Kenny was arrested but released without charge, and last year he broke his silence to publicly deny any involvement in his dad's death.  

He also alleged a metal tool was missing from the garage after his father died. 

At the time of his death, Michael had been separated from his wife, had been dating other women, and was reportedly planning to file for divorce. 

According to his longtime girlfriend, he was also in the process of writing his will.

Diane refused to comment when asked about her husband's death by A Current Affair. 

Katrina said she just wanted her brother's killer brought to justice. 

'I just wish that they please come forward and just let Michael rest, and let me have peace of mind,' she said. 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7672161/Sister-murdered-millionaire-says-fighting-bring-killer-justice.html

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Mum gives birth to premature son days after husband dies in the same hospital

While Kelsey Ferguson already knew she would encounter some significant challenges when her baby was born, she had no idea she would be going through it as a widow.

Kelsey, 31, lost her husband Scott four days before delivering son Maxley Russell, who weighed just 1021 grams when he was born at 33 weeks gestation in June last year.

Scott, 30, hadn't been well for some weeks by the time Kelsey was admitted to hospital due to her high risk pregnancy, but the couple thought it was a flare up of his psoriatic arthritis. 

"I had been admitted on Monday to Abbott Northwestern Hospitals Mother Baby Centre... He went home after visiting me that night and before bed, was coughing up blood and couldn't catch his breath," Kelsey recounts on her blog.

She wrote that Scott attended the ER near their home in Prior Lake, Minnesota, but there was no lung specialist at that hospital so he was transferred to Abbott, where Kelsey was on bedrest.

She was able to visit him while he had a steroid drip, which made him feel better for a short time.

But his health began to deteriorate again during the following two days, with Kelsey visiting him as much as was permitted.

"He was still having a really hard time getting his oxygen levels up and was getting really frustrated. I knew it would take some time for him to get better but we thought he would get discharged on Thursday or Friday."

After a bad night's sleep on Thursday the pair napped through the morning. In the early afternoon Kelsey got the call that Scott was in respiratory distress and was being transferred to ICU.

She was able to see Scott, but not for long.

"At this point they sent me back to my room. I got a call from his doctors a little later that his lungs were so much worse than they anticipated so they needed to put him on lung bypass to give his lungs a break and let the machine breathe for him for a few days. So I rushed back to authorise the bypass. But, in the process of putting him on lung bypass, Scott went into cardiac arrest."

After an hour's CPR and a period of trying to stabilise him, the bleeding on Scott's lungs could not be stalled and he passed away after midnight, after Kelsey held his hand and said her goodbyes. She had to be taken back to her room after collapsing and vomiting.

He died shortly afterwards of an inflammatory disease called Granulomatosis with polyangiitis, which affects five in every one million people in Australia. Sadly, Scott's case had been identified too late to save his life.

"I really didn't know how sick he was. Nobody told me he could die. Nobody said his body was shutting down," Kelsey said.

Consumed with grief, she gave birth to Maxley just four days later on June 12. She said the days in between were a "complete blur" and concerned doctors had made the decision to induce her

Now Kelsey focussed on her son's survival.

An ultrasound at 20 weeks revealed heart defects and a chromosomal abnormality called 12q14 microdeletion syndrome, which results in developmental delays and affects physical growth.

While she and Scott had known that Maxley would have a tough start to life, they also didn't know for sure if he would survive.

"I would say my world ended the day [Scott] left this earth but in a way a new life began when our son was born just four days later," she said.

Defying doctors' predictions, Maxley pulled through and went home in September, though Kelsey knew they would be back in four months' time for Maxley's first open heart surgery.

To date, the youngster has endured seven surgeries amid his extensive health issues.

While Kelsey devotes her life to her son and his wellbeing, she continues to suffer the traumatic loss of her beloved life partner Scott.

"I thought it would get easier as time went on but it turns out I am more broken than ever," she said. 

"He was an incredible husband and made my life easy. I was happy every single day with him. We did everything together and there isn't a single thing in my life that doesn't remind me of him."

Of his dad's memory, Kelsey fully intends to keep that alive for Maxley.

"I will tell Maxley all about his dad and how much he loves him. We have a long road ahead of us in so many ways, but in the end, we have each other – and I count myself incredibly lucky for that."

http://www.essentialbaby.com.au/birth/birth-stories/mum-gives-birth-to-premature-son-days-after-husband-dies-in-the-same-hospital-20191110-h1jj1j

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Pharmacist, 29, is left paralysed for a month after developing a terrifying condition while jogging - and the only symptom was a tingle in her toes

A jogger who noticed she had pins and needles while running was left paralysed and 'locked in' to her body for a month with no means of communicating after feeling the tingles for 24 hours.

Pharmacist Anstey Campbell, from New Zealand's North Island, decided to start the morning of January 17 with a light jog before heading off to work, noticing that the prickling sensation hadn't subsided by lunchtime.

'By mid-afternoon it had spread to my fingertips so I went and saw a GP because I thought it was weird,' the 29-year-old said. 

'He suggested that it was anxiety and to return the following day if it hadn't improved.'

But she didn't get the chance, as her body deteriorated overnight and left her with chest and stomach pain that led to a frantic hospital visit.

'A feeling of weakness was spreading to my upper body and face by this time,' she said.

'Within 15 minutes the doctor diagnosed me with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) and referred me to the emergency department of our nearest major hospital.'

GBS is a rapid-onset muscle weakness caused by the immune system attacking the nervous system. 

The first symptoms are usually painful tingles in the feet or hands, just like Ms Campbell was experiencing.  

'Over the course of the day I slowly became paralysed from the legs to the top of my head. By the time I was intubated I was so weak I could barely open my eyelids,' she said. 

As her breath grew shallow, doctors decided to place Ms Campbell into a coma to help protect her lungs from further damage. 

A few days later Ms Campbell was given a tracheostomy - an incision in the neck - and put on a ventilator for 86 days.

'After around a week of being fully out, the doctors lowered my sedation and from what they saw I was completely unresponsive, but I was actually locked in,' she said.

'It was the most terrifying thing imaginable.'

Locked In Syndrome (LiS) involves the patient's consciousness and cortical functions remaining normal but with a complete inability to move or convey awareness.

'I remember the doctors tried all these tests to get some sort of response and it was really terrifying when I realised I was stuck inside. I was trying to do what they were telling me to, but nothing was happening,' she said.

'I remember the doctor pushing hard on my brow bone to try and make my eyes open, it was so painful and all I was saying inside was "stop."'

Ms Campbell was uncomfortable - and often in pain - but was unable to tell anyone about it.

With her eyes permanently shut the only way to establish whether it was day or night was to try and figure out how many visitors were in the room. 

After four weeks the first movement she got back was in her jaw, and she started to twitch once to mean 'yes' and twice to mean 'no'.

'When I woke up, I was told that I had been quite sick, and my case was on the severe side so it would take me while to get off the ventilator and breathe for myself,' she said.

Ms Campbell is still in hospital 10 months after her injury but is allowed to return home each weekend for a break. 

She has regained some strength in her upper body and recovered movement since doing physiotherapy twice a day for the last six months. 

'Some doctors have been positive and said I will regain most, if not all, of my function whereas others have said I'll be in a wheelchair for a long time. But the common theme is that my recovery will take a long time,' she said.

She can't grip anything with her hands yet and she can't stand unaided but with time Ms Campbell is hoping to move on her own.

The main treatment plan for GBS are blood transfusions and physical therapy. 

'I have spent a lot of time asking why this happened to me, but it got me nowhere except feeling resentment towards the hand I've been dealt,' she said.

'If something unexpected happens in life, let go of the life you had planned and accept the new story you get to write.' 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-7654319/Jogger-left-paralysed-month-terrifying-locked-syndrome.html

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A Russian military historian, 63, is dragged from icy river with the severed arms of his 24-year-old 'student lover' in his backpack before her head was found in his flat

A leading Russian military historian was arrested on suspicion of murder after he was dragged from a freezing river carrying two severed arms in a backpack.

A decapitated head and a body along with a saw covered in blood were later found at Professor Oleg Sokolov's flat in St Petersburg.

The young woman - identified by police sources as 24-year-old Anastasia Yeschenko - was a student of the professor, reported Russian media.

She had been in a relationship with the historian, 63, when he 'accidentally killed her' following an argument, according to the report which stated he had confessed to police.

Earlier reports had said the victim was a relative.

Multiple reports say the academic is in detention in hospital suffering from hypothermia.

He was dragged from the icy Moyka River in St Petersburg in the early hours of Saturday morning.

In his backpack were two female arms severed at the elbow and a gun.

The gruesome corpse and a severed head were found at his nearby apartment on Moyka Embankment, say reports.

Sokolov is considered a leading Russian expert on the Napoleonic Wars and is a professor at St Petersburg State University.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7667869/Russian-military-historian-63-dragged-icy-river-severed-arms-backpack.html

 

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Madeleine McCann's parents are 'shocked and saddened' as 'disgusting' Facebook troll pretends to be their missing daughter during a night out

Madeleine McCann's parents have been left 'shocked and saddened' after they were trolled when they went out for a meal.

Kate and Gerry, both 51, made a rare trip out to Beijing Banquet in Renfrew, near Glasgow, while visiting family on Saturday night.

But someone photographed the couple from Rothley, Leicestershire, carrying plates of buffet food back to their table, with a Facebook troll writing: 'Mum and dad are closer than I thought'.

It refers to the then three-year-old Madeleine's disappearance during a family holiday in Praia da Luz, Portugal, in May 2007.

She had been left sleeping alone with her younger twin siblings while her parents were eating in a nearby tapas restaurant with friends.

A family source told the Sun: 'Kate and Gerry are both shocked and saddened that someone could stoop this low.

'It seems they can't even enjoy a meal out with family on the eve of Remembrance Sunday without some lunatic abusing them and for what purpose? They find it despicable.'

The source added: 'It's more than sickening and sad that a time to remember our war heroes people are hitting out at Madeleine's parents. It's been going on since day one and they wonder if it will ever cease. It's cruel, it's callous, it's mindless.'

The troll got savaged on social media by other users who branded the person 'bloody sick' and 'absolutely disgusting'.

One posted: 'The poor girl could be dead and you're sat here making up stupid accounts you horrible person.'

Another added: 'I'm shocked at the amount of sick minded people. A three-year-old has been missing for 12 years, I dread to think what she's been through if she's still alive.'

Madeleine's great uncle Brian Kennedy visited the war memorial in the family's home town on Saturday.

He took part in Remembrance Day tributes at the monument that also has a candle for Madeleine - who would now be 16 - burning.

Earlier this month Kate and Gerry thanked the public for 'being by their side' and vowed to continue their search for their daughter after a £300,000 funding boost.

They wrote on the Official Find Madeleine Campaign Facebook page: 'Thank you for being by our side as we continue to search for Madeleine.'

It came after the couple vowed to carry on looking for their daughter 'for as long as it takes'.

The Metropolitan Police's Operation Grange search for Maddie has reportedly cost £12million and the £300,000 boost was given in July.

In June, detectives in the Madeleine McCann case said they were closer to solving her mystery disappearance as they looked into a new suspect.

The McCann family spokesman Clarence Mitchell has refused to comment on the trolling.

And the duty manager at Beijing Banquet confirmed the McCann's visit on Saturday but said she was not aware of any trolling.

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7674077/Madeleine-McCanns-parents-shocked-Facebook-troll-pretends-missing-daughter.html

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Boy, seven, who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery

A seven-year-old who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery.

The boy has been taken to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons performed the operation.

His mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook and said he was out of surgery, but his current condition is unknown.

The operation comes months after the boy plunged from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley theme park in May, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

A seven-year-old who fell 30ft from Lightwater Valley theme park rollercoaster has undergone emergency brain surgery.

The boy has been taken to Leeds General Infirmary where surgeons performed the operation.

His mother posted a picture of her son on Facebook and said he was out of surgery, but his current condition is unknown.

The operation comes months after the boy plunged from the Twister ride at Lightwater Valley theme park in May, with one saying they heard loud screams before seeing a child on the ground.

'I would like to say the speed in which the emergency services swarmed to the scene was amazing and all did their job brilliantly and the off-duty officer and another lady, whom was constantly updating the boys mum (whom was stuck on the ride) were both truly legendary.'

Taking to Facebook, Mr Philo added: 'Maxwell (his son) and I tried out the Lightwater Valley Theme Park [and were] queuing for the twister rollercoaster ride when we both witnessed a young boy get thrown about 30 feet from the ride. 

'Shocking scenes but I had no other thought than to jump over the fences and climb over the rollercoaster tracks with the coaster still in motion to be the first one on the scene. 

'I was followed by an off duty police officer and we were shocked at what we saw. The boy had facial injuries, which I wont forget in a hurry, he had also been recently released from hospital. 

My first thought however after seeing him was not good, as he was motionless. Very scary moment. I have to say, the off-duty officer and his wife whom helped were amazing and the staff that eventually arrived did their bit. 

'I was however very proud of my boy for helping the paramedic guide the air ambulance where to land and his patience whilst I was with the boy for over an hour.' 

Mark Charnley, 46, who was visiting from his home in Cumbria with his wife Clare, 42, and two daughters, said the boy was hanging out of the back of the ride.

He said: 'Me and my eldest daughter were in the queue for the Twister ride, which is like a rollercoaster but with individual spinning carriages.

'We were about ten minutes from the front of the queue when we saw the little lad hanging out of the back of his carriage.

'His head was well behind the back of it and he was out of his restraints. He was in the carriage with his mum, who was screaming hysterically.

Everyone in the queue was shouting for the ride operator to stop the ride for about ten to 15 seconds but they didn't seem to have noticed. Then the boy must have fallen about 15ft.

'We jumped over the barrier to try and help and one man identified himself as an off-duty police officer and he sort of took over.'

Lara-Susan James, who had just joined the queue for the rollercoaster with her children, said a group were shouting at the operator to stop the ride.

She said: 'It was at that moment I realised something was wrong. I saw the operator apply the emergency stop. My husband pointed to the fallen kid on the ground, saying they had fallen out.

'When the ride stopped, the family jumped the barriers and went to the kid. I ushered our kids away as I don't want them to hear or see any more.'

A spokesman for the theme park said at the time: 'We have been informed by North Yorkshire Police that the medical condition of the child involved in the incident at the park yesterday has deteriorated overnight and he is now in a critical condition.

'We are devastated by this news and our thoughts are with the family.

'While the Health and Safety Executive investigation is continuing, we will support them and be guided by their advice.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7338309/Boy-fell-30ft-Lightwater-Valley-theme-rollercoaster-undergone-emergency-brain-surgery.html

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Acid Attack Victim Is Still Traumatised And Finds It Hard To Look In The Mirror

An acid attack victim is still traumatised and housebound one year after the horrific incident that scarred her for life.

Teresa Townsley, 38, had corrosive liquid thrown at her when she answered the door her Edinburgh home to a track-suited man last year.

The man fled the scene in a stolen grey Ford Fiesta and Teresa was left with serious burns to her face and neck and lost part of her ear.

She spoke of the horror on the anniversary of the attack as she appealed for information in a bid to catch the perpetrator.

She said: "It was the worst day of my life and today is the second worst as it brings it all back.

"Fortunately I have a new partner who is being tremendously supportive and I have my kids to keep me going.

"But, day to day it is still hard, it is hard just to go out of the house, to look in the mirror. Most of the time I am confined to the house."

After the attack, Teresa moved away from Edinburgh.

The man is described as a 5ft 11in tall, aged early twenties and of slim build.

He was wearing a dark-coloured tracksuit, a grey top with the hood pulled up, dark gloves and trainers with light reflective sections.

His face was covered.

"If anyone knows anything then they must come forward. I am scarred for life and coming forward with information could prevent someone else suffering as I have. It may even prevent someone losing their life," Teresa added.

According to the police, the man got in a grey Ford Fiesta with false number plates showing the registration number BN65 LFV.

The car was seen at around 9.45pm travelling north in Drum Street with its lights off.

It then went down Gilmerton Road, into Glenallan Drive and was driven into Inch Park where it was set on fire.

Two men were seen to run off towards Glenallan Drive.

Detective Inspector Jonathan Pleasance said: "The attacker targeted Teresa at her front door while her young children were just a few feet away.

"This serious assault resulted in life-changing injuries and also shocked the local community.

"If you recognise the man described or saw the car, before or after the attack, please contact police immediately.

"I am confident that there are people in the Gilmerton area who have information that can assist the inquiry and I would urge them to come forward."

Anyone with information can contact Gayfield CID on 101, quoting incident 4125 of November 9 2018, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/acid-attack-victim-left-housebound-20845370

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Mum Installs Fake CCTV Camera To Get Kids To Behave Ahead Of Christmas

Survivors of the horrific 1999 Columbine High School massacre have opened up about the hardships of raising children in a world plagued with gun violence.

Kacey Ruegsegger Johnson survived the shooting in Columbine, Colorado that killed 12 classmates and a teacher, and reveals that one of the hardest parts of becoming a parent is sending her children to school.

She was a junior reading a magazine in the library when gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold stormed in. They found her crouching under a computer desk and shot her in the right shoulder. Instead of crying out, she played dead until the gunmen left and she could flee.

Today, she has scars on her right shoulder and is unable to reach high shelves or use her right arm to lift her four children.

Ruegsegger Johnson revealed she would cry most mornings as her kids left the car to head to school, and relied on texted photos from their teachers to make it through the day.

Now, she sees mornings as an opportunity. She wakes early, makes breakfast and strives to send a clear message before her kids leave home: I adore you.

She along with other Columbine alums are now parents and say the emotional toll and trauma of the 1999 massacre spikes every time another school shooting makes headlines.  

'I'm grateful I have the chance to be a mom. I know some of my classmates weren't given that opportunity,' Ruegsegger Johnson said, tears springing to her eyes. 'There are parts of the world I wish our kids never had to know about. I wish that there would never be a day I had to tell them the things I've been through.' 

For the last 20 years, she has lived with post-traumatic stress disorder, along with physical pain. She worked as a nurse until the injuries to her arm forced her to stop.

Though she was thrilled to become a mother, she struggled to leave her infant daughter at daycare during church services and considered home schooling her kids.

Leaning on her religious faith and family support, she worked hard to push the terror down as her children got older. She avoided media coverage of school violence and became a resource for other survivors of shootings. She grew tired of living in fear and unwilling to let her past affect her kids' experience. 

Columbine survivors have seen a string of school shooter attacks follow theirs including Virginia Tech in 2007, Sandy Hook in 2012, Parkland in 2018.

Now that their kids are in school, they see just how much these heartbreaking acts of violence have altered schools.  

Drills teaching students to 'lock down' inside classrooms have become routine. Schools have formed teams to assess threats, particularly from students. Security firms forged a multibillion-dollar industry, introducing surveillance video, panic buttons and upgraded doors and locks. And police have changed their strategies for responding to a gunman intent only on killing. 

Some of the Columbine survivors find comfort in students being shielded by high fences or locked doors. Others find themselves frustrated by the ready acceptance of active-shooter drills in schools.

Now, many of these students-turned-parents grapple with crippling fear dwarfing pride as their children walk into their own schools.  

Ruegsegger Johnson told her kids the drills were important and they should practice them to keep safe. But her daughter Mallory confessed to feeling afraid that 'a bad person' could still find her in the evacuation location used during one drill. 

'The bad guys found me, and I thought I had a really great hiding spot,' Ruegsegger Johnson said to her daughter. 'So what am I going to say to a little girl who has that same fear that the bad guy might find her? It was a really hard moment for me.'

Ruegsegger Johnson has developed her own ritual for the school drop-off. On a recent sunny spring morning, she helped her kids find their book bags and tie their shoes before ushering them to the car. She prayed aloud as they neared the school, giving thanks for a beautiful morning and asking for a day of learning and friendship.

As always, she made a silent addition: Keep them safe. 

For Columbine survivor Amy Over, the prospect of her 13-year-old daughter starting high school could have triggered a panic attack in the not-too-distant past. But now she's focused on helping the girl prepare for the unexpected.

She coaches her daughter when she ventures to places outside her mom's control: Where is the closest exit? What street are you on? Who is around you?

'I never want my kids to feel an ounce of pain, the way that I felt pain,' Over said. 'I know that that's something that I can't control. And I think that's hard on me.'

Over was in the Columbine cafeteria when the gunmen approached the school, targeting students eating lunch outside. She escaped with no physical injuries, but has struggled emotionally for years.

Therapy and family support helped. But waving goodbye to her daughter on the first day of preschool triggered a panic attack - the first of many. She was diagnosed with chronic panic disorder, resumed therapy and found new strategies for her life as a mother of two.

Over's daughter, Brie, was 11 when her mother first told her about Columbine, a few days before the anniversary. That April 20, they visited the school for a memorial ceremony that included a reading of the names of the 13 people killed. Afterward, the Overs walked together through the quiet school.

Here is where she hid in the cafeteria, Amy Over showed her daughter. And that is the staircase where she last saw her basketball coach, Dave Sanders, who died in a classroom awaiting rescue after valiantly trying to help evacuate the school.

For Over, opening up to her daughter was cathartic and so they have continued to attend annual memorial events, now imbued with a gentler tone with the girl by her side.

'It's a day of reflection,' Over said. 'It's a day of love and hope. And I get to share that with my daughter.'

Though it sometimes seems mass shootings inside schools are a commonplace occurrence, they are relatively rare, and statistics show the number has not substantially increased since 2000.

But that is of little consolation to a swath of American parents. About two in 10 parents said they are not at all or not very confident in their children's safety while at school, while a third of parents are very or extremely confident, according to a March survey by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Austin Eubanks, who survived being shot in the Columbine library, is among those who doesn't fear the schools his sons, ages 13 and 9, attend.

Instead, he laments that active-shooter drills, video surveillance and armed guards are all too routine for them - as natural as a tornado drill was for him growing up in Oklahoma.

'We are so unwilling to actually make meaningful progress on eradicating the issue,' said Eubanks, who remains scarred by watching his best friend, Corey DePooter, die. 'So we're just going to focus on teaching kids to hide better, regardless of the emotional impact that that bears on their life. To me, that's pretty sad.'

Isolation, depression, addiction and suicide are among the larger dangers he sees facing his kids' generation, and he knows firsthand the damage those can cause.

For more than a decade after the attack, Eubanks was addicted to prescription pain medication. He got sober in 2011 and began repairing his family, including his relationship with his sons and their mother. He works at an addiction treatment facility and travels the country telling his story.

At home in Colorado, he tries to help his sons become attuned to pain others may be feeling. He encourages them to talk to an adult when peers seem so angry or afraid that they may need help. He tries to remember that - for them - all of the changes in schools are just normal.

He was horrified by videos that Marjory Stoneman Douglas students shot in Parkland, Florida, as they hid inside a classroom while a gunman moved through the halls of the high school. He has urged his own boys to always try to escape first - whatever it takes - even if the drills advise staying put.

'These are my children, and what I care about most is their safety,' he said. 'And I know that for them, in a situation like that, getting away from it as quickly as possible is the best likelihood of success.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6926691/Columbine-survivors-raise-children-world-shaped-attack.html

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'Bored' squaddie accidentally shot his best friend dead with a pistol after being seen been 'posing with his gun like a rapper'

A lance corporal who accidentally shot his best friend during a game of 'quick draw' had been seen posing with his handgun 'like a rapper', it has emerged.

Colin Theaker, 30, was jailed for three years in March after pleading guilty to manslaughter after he accidentally killed Scott Hetherington, 22, when they were on deployment helping train local soldiers to fight Islamic State 2017. 

The pair, whose relationship was described as 'brotherly', had both been 'playing around' with their service pistols while cleaning them prior to the fatal shooting at Camp Taji in Iraq, north of Baghdad. 

A military investigation has now suggested the shooting happened because The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment were 'bored' and treated their pistols 'like new toys'.

Theaker had been seen emulating rappers, according to a Ministry of Defence report seen by the Sunday Express. And once struck a pose with his Glock pistol while using a phrase relating to 'an American rapper of the hip-hop genre who was injured in a shooting incident'.     

The Glock pistols were seen to have a 'high social value' and as a 'gangster weapon', the Ministry of Defence report added.  

'It was recognised that young soldiers in particular would be attracted to messing around with their general service pistol, based on its novelty and how hand-guns are portrayed in the media,' it said.

The report is also said to have identified a number of failings by the Army leading to the death of Hetherington. And revealed that a similar incident, in which no one died, had taken place in the same accommodation block six months earlier.  

Hetherington died from a single fatal wound to the lower chest in what was described to the court in March as a 'tragic accident'. 

The court heard the Lance Corporal, nicknamed 'Snowball', said 'no, no don't do that' prior to the shooting at around 4pm on January 2, 2017.   

While playing around with his weapon, Lance Corporal Theaker had unwittingly made ready his gun and a round was in the chamber when he pulled the trigger, the court heard earlier this year.

Hetherington, a vehicle commander in the Force Protection Platoon, became the first British soldier to have been killed in Iraq since 2009.

The pals were on deployment helping train local soldiers fight Islamic State militants at the time of the fatal shooting in the living accommodation pod they shared together. 

Theaker, who was part of a detachment from 2nd Battlion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment (2 LANCS) based at Camp Taji, pleaded guilty to manslaughter by gross negligence in February.  

He was jailed for three years after being sentenced at Catterick Garrison court martial centre and dismissed from her Majesty's service in March.

Lance Corporal Hetherington's partner, Savannah Brown had only given birth to their daughter Safaya-Rose three months before the fatal shooting.

He was buried with full military honours in his hometown of Middleton, Greater Manchester, three weeks after his death.

In an emotional victim statement, Hetherington's sister Sian told a court: 'After I was told he died I was heartbroken. When I found out it was Colin I was even more heartbroken.

'Myself and Scott are siblings but I believe him and Colin are siblings.

'Him being sentenced is the worst thing that could happen to our family. If he was to be sentenced that's not justice for me, Scott or his family.'

In a statement read out to court, Hetherington's mother Anne Hetherington added: 'He [Theaker] made the biggest mistake you can make and he will pay for the rest of his life. He doesn't need to go to prison.

'I don't wish any criminal charges to be brought against him, it was an accident with no malice.'   

Theaker and Hetherington had been cleaning their service pistols and were stood on their beds playing a game of 'quick draw' before the fatal shooting, the court heard.

But Theaker had taken the magazine on and off and a round was in the chamber when he pulled the trigger. 

Theaker came out into the hallway screaming for help, a court heard.

Passing sentence in March, Vice judge advocate general of the armed forces, Michael Hunter, presiding with a three-person military board, said: 'Theaker you are not an immature soldier, you are now 30-years-old.

'You played around with weapons after you have been clearly and strongly warned not to play around with weapons.

'We have heard evidence in the course of this trial and have concluded Hetherington himself expressed what could only have been a warning before you shot him dead.

'It has been contended by your counsel that the weapons training in the services is inadequate and that you were inadequately trained.

'While there is no evidence before us to substantiate this the military members of the board hope this is unfounded.

'You do not need to know you do not play around with weapons and point them at someone deliberately and deliberately pull the trigger

'This is something that any soldier would know whatever the state of their training.

'You are very fortunate to have the support of the Hetherington family. Their actions on your behalf can only be described as truly noble and generous, something that is not very often seen in courts of law of cases of this nature.'   

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said the military investigation will now be studied 'carefully' and any recommendations made will be considered.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7668941/Lance-Corporal-accidentally-shot-best-friend-dead-seen-posing-gun-like-rapper.html

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Man Left With Arrow In Chest After Neighbour Tries To Kill Him With Crossbow

A man has been filmed firing a crossbow at his neighbour in a failed murder bid in Scotland. 

Ralph Muir fired the weapon at Shaun Reynolds, 46, amid a row between the two men in Bathgate, West Lothian, Scotland. 

Muir, 31, was filmed on a woman's iPad screaming: 'I'm not leaving here until you are dead.'  

He admitted attempted murder after the shooting and claimed he wanted to 'murder the people' who caused him trouble, Glasgow High Court heard on Friday.

There had been 'previous arguments' between the men and neighbours had reported him for 'anti-social behaviour'.  

On the day of the attack, Muir spotted Mr Reynolds and pointed his hand at him in the shape of a gun before re-appearing with a crossbow, Prosecutor Owen Mullan told the court.

Mr Reynolds can be heard asking why Muir has a crossbow and says 'I've been shot... right by my heart' in an iPhone clip shared by Mirror Online.

He added: 'I can't take it out bro, I can't take it out. I've been shot. It's f***ing killing me.'  

Mr Mullan told the court: 'Minutes later, Muir was armed with a crossbow in each of his hands - he pointed one directly at Shaun Reynolds' chest.'

The furious neighbour 'activated the trigger firing it within  a 8ft-10ft range of his chest'.        

Mr Reynolds was 'immediately aware of a sharp pain' and saw an arrow sticking out', the court heard.

The victim then decided to yank the bow back through his chest. 

Muir was also seen with a large knife and a silver baseball bat when the firearms officers arrived shortly after. He was ordered to lie on the ground.

After being held, he stated: 'All I remember is having two crossbows. All I wanted to do is murder the people that were causing me hassle.

'I have crossbows for my defence...and with them, I can kill.'

Police found three crossbows, a chainsaw, a baseball bat and a knife during raids at his home.

Mr Reynolds suffered a single wound to his chest during the attack, the court was heard.

While his injury was described as 'superficial' and only needing painkillers, one medic said being shot by a crossbow has 'potential to cause life threatening injuries'.

Lady Dorrian remanded Muir in custody and his sentencing is due on December 13 in Edinburgh.     

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7667457/Moment-man-shot-crossbow-emerges-house-attacked-furious-neighbour.html

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Teen, 14, stole an SUV with two children, aged 9 months and five years, in the backseat before leaving them in a field where they were found an hour later

Connecticut police have arrested two teenagers and are searching for a third after a 14-year-old stole an SUV with two children inside it. 

The boy, 14, was arrested Thursday after allegedly stealing Jenny Santos' Mercedes SUV on Wednesday at about 5pm.   

Police said Santos had parked the SUV outside the Roberto Clemente Elementary School in New Haven, Connecticut, leaving it running with two of her children in the backseat, while she walked to the school to pick up another child. 

The 14-year-old was said to have jumped into Santos' car and driven away, without realizing that the children - a five-year-old boy and a nine-month-old girl - were in the car, too.

Santos told NBC Connecticut that she hadn't even made it to the school building when she realized that her car was being stolen. 

'I literally jumped in front of the car and I was like my kids are in the car,' Santos said, adding that she then ran into the school and called police.

As police searched the area, Santos said that she attempted to track her SUV with the car's built-in technology. 

'My heart, I felt like I was going to die right there. I felt worthless like what am I gonna do,' Santos told NBC Connecticut. 

The 14-year-old was said to have taken Santos' two children out of the car and then left them in East Rock Park's Rice Field. 

About an hour after being deposited in the field, the children were found by a passerby, Kasandra Monteiro, who Santos called 'a guardian angel.'

Monteiro said that she happened to be driving by the field while taking a shortcut around heavy traffic on her way home, when she spotted the children. 

The little girl was said to have been in her car seat at the time, while her brother was huddled around her, according to NBC Connecticut

'There's a reason I had to get off the wrong exit,' Monteiro told reporters, according to the Hartford Courant. 'I'm just a regular person doing what anyone else would do, you know. I guess God put me on this road for a reason before it got dark. You never know what could have happened.' 

A police detective was said to have spotted the SUV on the street later that evening and recognized the 14-year-old from an unrelated arrest warrant. 

Although the detective wasn't able to stop the SUV at the time, officers tracked him down and took him into custody Thursday morning. 

The SUV itself was found in West Haven, Connecticut, on Thursday afternoon.  

An 18-year-old boy, identified by police as Dulyn Foreman, a high school senior, was also taken into custody. 

Foreman was accused of using the credit cards that were stolen from inside Santos' car, but police said that they do not believe that Foreman was inside the car when it was stolen with the children inside - he was picked up at a later time. 

Foreman was charged with with sixth-degree larceny, theft of a credit card and illegal use of a credit card and arraigned Friday. His case was postponed until November 19, according to the New Haven Register.      

The 14-year-old who allegedly stole the car is said to be at a detention facility in Bridgeport, Connecticut. His charges include two felony counts of reckless endangerment. 

New Haven Police Department Assistant Chief Karl Jacobson told the newspaper that the 14-year-old told police that he saw the running car and decided to take it, not realizing that the children were inside the car at the time.  

'It’s very clear that these kids did not intend to steal a car with children in it,' Jacobson said. 'That’s the one thing we want to make clear. And as soon as they realized it, they tried to remedy it - not probably in the greatest way.'

Police also have a warrant out for a 15-year-old who was in the car during

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7666683/Teen-14-stole-SUV-without-realizing-two-children-ages-5-9-months-backseat.html

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Teen survivor recalls horrifying details of ambush in Mexico that killed 9

A 13-year-old boy hailed as a hero in the wake of last week's deadly ambush in Mexico is speaking out for the first time about the horrors he witnessed that day.

Devin Langford said the last thing his mother said to him before she was fatally shot was "get down right now."

"She was trying to pray to the lord, and she was trying to start the car up to get out of there," Devin said in an interview Monday on "Good Morning America."

His mother, Dawna Langford, and his younger brothers, Trevor, 11, and Rogan, 2, were among the nine women and children killed in the gruesome Nov. 4 attack.

"They just started hitting [the] car first, like with a bunch, a bunch of bullets. Just start shooting rapidly at us," he said. "The car didn't work. So she was just trying right there, starting the car as much as she could, but I'm pretty sure they shot something so the car wouldn't even start."

"Afterward, they got us out of the car, and they just got us on the floor and then they drove off," he added.

Devin, who was unharmed in the attack, walked about 14 miles seeking help after hiding his injured siblings in the bushes and covering them with branches. He said the shooters had long guns and he feared for his life the entire time.

As he made the trek for help, he said he wondered "if there was anybody else out there trying to shoot me or following me" and he thought about "my mom and my two brothers that died."

The family was ambushed by a heavily armed group while traveling from the town of Bavispe in Sonora state to Galeana in Chihuahua state between 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. local time, according to Mexican authorities. The family members were U.S. citizens but lived in a Mormon community, called La Mora, in the Mexican border state of Sonora.

The area where the attack took place -- less than 100 miles from the Arizona border -- is of territorial dispute by several cartels, and it's possible the family's convoy of cars was mistaken for one of them, authorities said.

Speaking in an emotional interview beside his father, David Langford, Devin said he prayed over and over for his family to pull through.

He said the other children tried to flee as well, but most of them -- including his sister, Kylie, who was shot in the foot and his baby brother, Brixon, who was hit in the chest -- were too injured to travel.

"We walked a little while until we couldn't carry them no more. And so we put them in the bushes so they wouldn't get hit or nothing. So I started walking," Devin said. "Every one of them were bleeding really bad. So I was trying to get in a rush to get there."

Devin said he doesn't feel like a hero, but his father said there's no doubt in his mind that his son saved lives.

"Every one of my children that survived that are living miracles," Langford said. "How many bullet holes were fired into that vehicle … at that horrific scene and how many children were involved. It's amazing. It's amazing. It's beyond amazing that they survived."

"To be honest with you, my boy's a hero simply because he gave his life for his brothers and sisters," he added.

Langford said more evidence is showing the killers were cartel hit men -- a belief that has shaken Mexico's Mormon community.

That's why Langford, and much of his extended family, said they're leaving northwest Mexico. They're part of a fundamentalist Mormon group that has lived in this area for decades before the drug cartels took over and the violence became inescapable.

"It's not worth living in fear," he said. "The toughest part for me was saying goodbye … saying goodbye to two innocent lives that were cut short and a vibrant wife that lived a life to its fullest that had many friends and was loved by everybody."

As for Devin, he said he's focusing on helping his siblings heal and keeping his mother's memory alive.

"She was a nice person and a brave woman that tried to save her kids," he said.

https://abcnews.go.com/International/teen-survivor-recalls-horrifying-details-ambush-mexico-killed/story?id=66893436

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,Conjoined twins cut in half at 4 now have one leg each and 'feel like everyone else'

Twins Kendra and Maliyah Herrin are your typical teenage girls.

They love spending time with friends and sharing their fun lives on social media.

But the 17-year-old sisters were born conjoined twins and became world first pioneers when they were 'cut in half when they were just four.

But for Kendra and Maliyah they just feel like everyone else.

Kendra said: "When people first hear our story, they like to ask a lot of questions - but simply we feel like we're the same as everybody else, we just have a few things that are different."

The sisters, who were born conjoined, shared an abdomen, pelvis, liver, large intestine and two legs.

When their parents made the brave decision to separate their daughters it was the first time an operation of the kind had been carried out.

Aged just four the 18 hour surgery took place on August 7, 2006.

It was the first time surgeons had ever separated conjoined twins who shared one kidney and months of preparation had to be done before the operation could be carried out.

Following the difficult separation doctors then operated on each twin separately for another eight hours, where they were fitted with titanium rods into their spines.

The girls' parents, Erin and Jake, made the difficult decision to go ahead with the procedure after being warned their daughters had a short life expetancy because of their shared kidney.

Speaking to BBC Three documentary, Living Differently, Maliyah said: "Our parents talked to us about 'cut apart day' but we were so young we didn't really understand what was happening."

Kendra and Maliyah spent just over a month in hospital before being allowed home.

Kendra was given the girls' only kidney while he sister went onto dialysis following the surgery.

Their mum donated one of her kidneys to her daughter but sadly, 10 years after the transplant it failed and Maliyah had to go back onto dialysis.

Mum Erin said: "She just took it in her stride. She had to deal with the loss of her friends and I'm amazed at how well she did."

Maliyah had her second kidney transplant last year and so far it has been successful

And despite only having one leg each, the girls refuse to let it hold them back.

Both incredibly determined they are having regular gruelling gym sessions to build up heir strength so they can use crutches all the time.

They get around using crutches, a wheelchair or crawling and pulling themselves up on furniture.

Kendra and Maliyah, from Salt Lake City in Utah, the US, have a lot of friends and enjoy school.

Maliyah said: "We're lucky and we've never been bullied at school but I know a lot of people aren't that lucky."

Just like any other teenagers the twins still have to do their daily chores, which includes one of them making dinner each night.

And while they share a close bond with their parents, siser and younger twin brothers, Kendra and Maliyah spend the most time with each other.

They have a huge social media following with their own blog, YouTube channel and Instagram account, which have thousands of followers.

Mum Erin said: "They are so excited when people respond to them.

"Their self-esteem blows me away, people could learn a lot from them."

Kendra added: "We like making the videos just to make people feel positive and we like sharing our world."

Even though they are identical twins, the girls don't believe they look alike and have very different personalities.

Kendra is the more outgoing of the pair, who are an inspiration to their friends.

School pal Annabelle said: "I don't know that I could go through what they have been through. I'm so proud of what they've accomplished."

The thing the girls find hardest to deal with when adults stare at them because "they should know not to"..

But Kendra joked: "The best thing about only having one leg is we only have to paint on set of toenails."

https://www.mirror.co.uk/tv/tv-news/conjoined-twins-cut-half-4-14467598

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olumbine high school principal whose 'jock' mentality was blamed for a culture of bullying opens up about his regrets

The headmaster of Columbine High School has opened up about his regrets ahead of the 20th anniversary of America's most notorious school shooting that left 13 people dead in Littleton, Colorado. 

'My worst nightmare became a reality,' Frank DeAngelis said of April 20, 1999, the day 18-year-old Eric Harris and 17-year-old Dylan Klebold, wearing trench coats stocked with an arsenal of weapons, opened fire on the halls of Columbine High School. 

Twenty years on, DeAngelis is telling the story through his eyes in his forthcoming memoir, They Call Me "Mr De".

'It was a beautiful spring day, 70 degrees, with blue skies,' the former headmaster told The Daily Express

'My secretary comes running in, and says there's a report of gunfire.'

Harris and Klebold had placed two 20lb propane bombs in the school's cafeteria and were planning to shoot survivors as they fled.  

When the bomb timers failed, the pair stormed into the school and started shooting everyone in sight.  

DeAngelis left his office to see the events unfolding at his school, under his watch, with his own eyes. 

He soon found himself face to face with one of the gunmen, who wore a backward baseball cap, a white T-shirt and a black vest. 

'I remember the gun - a long gun,' DeAngelis said.

Suddenly a flock of girls coming out of a locker room on their way to gym class. 

They were in the middle of the crossfire, so I ran to them,' DeAngelis said.  

The group fled down a side hallway toward the gym, but the door was locked.  

'Girls were screaming, the gunman was firing shots and he was getting closer,' DeAngelis said, describing how he scrambled to pull out his keys and miraculously got the right one on the first try.  

'I believe it was divine intervention,' he said. 'If I would have had to fumble around to find the key there's a good chance the girls and I would have died.'

For the next three hours, DeAngelis hid in the gym with the girls as the gunfire continued. 

Police and SWAT teams waited three hours to intervene, fearing that the shooting wasn't over. 

By the time they did, the gunmen had already killed themselves and several of the wounded had bled to death waiting for help. 

Once authorities secured the scene, DeAngelis addressed the crowd of hysterical parents outside the school who'd been waiting to hear if their children had survived. 

'There's a good chance their kids lost their lives that day,' he said. 'It was one of the most devastating things I've ever had to do.' 

Twelve students and one teacher were killed and 24 more were wounded on that day, not including the two deceased gunmen. 

Speaking 20 years later, DeAngelis' voice shook with emotion as the former sports coach explained how he was blamed for the shooting because many thought his 'jock' mentality meant that he turned a blind eye to bullying.  

'I let them down,' he said. 'Something that I have to live with is 13 people died on my watch. The damage and the devastation was done by two of my kids.'

He then asked: 'What did I miss?'

While most Columbine teachers quit after the shooting, DeAngelis stayed on for another 15 years. 

He said the shooting created a ripple effect of other tragedies.

A student who held the body of a dying teacher later hanged himself, the mother of a paralyzed student took her own life, and 'many turned to alcohol and drugs and contemplated suicide. DeAngelis himself suffered PTSD.  

'People ask: "Does it get back to normal?" It never does,' he said.

After retiring in 2014, DeAngelis became a counselor for schools where shootings have occurred.   

He also campaigns for improved gun control regulations nationwide.  

'I continue to fight because one more death is one too many,' he said. 'We need to come together as a society to make sure this violence ends.'  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6793957/Columbine-high-school-principal-speaks-20th-anniversary-notorious-school-shooting.html

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Sad, Princeton grad Thomas Gilbert is found GUILTY of murdering his dad

Thomas Gilbert Jr., the spoiled Princeton graduate who murdered his father because his allowance was being cut, was sentenced to 30 years behind bars in New York City on Friday. 

The 34-year-old shot his father, Thomas Gilbert Sr., in 2015 in their Upper East Side Home after arguing with him because he threatened to cut his allowance. 

Gilbert Jr. had tried to plead not guilty by way of insanity but it was rejected by the court because he had sent his mother, Shelley, out to fetch him a Coca Cola and a sandwich before he opened fire on his father.  

The extra effort he went to to get her out of the way proved pre-meditation. On Friday, Shelley addressed the court to ask the judge for leniency. 

She was 'weepy' as she read aloud a statement and called her son a 'good boy' who struggled with mental health issues. 

Gilbert Jr. also spoke. He asked if the sentencing could be delayed and complained about his legal representation. 

At no stage during the proceedings did he show any kind of remorse. 

As the judge rejected on the family's claim that he is mentally ill, Shelley shook her head from side-to-side. 

Gilbert Jr. did not react emotionally when the sentence was handed down. He looked back at his mother as he was led away in cuffs.    

Gilbert Jr., shot his father, Thomas Sr., in the head at his Upper East Side Home because he had been gradually reducing his allowance.

The playboy had been living on $1,000-a-week and had his apartment paid for him separately.

He was however furious when his father insisted that he get a job and start looking after himself.  

The final straw was when his father reduced the allowance from $400-a-week to $300-a-week.

'The free ride was going to an end. It wasn’t a symptom of psychosis, it was a symptom of entitlement,' prosecutors said during the trial.

Before carrying out the killing, he researched murder online and purchased a gun.    

Gilbert Sr. had recently set up a hedge fund but had been turned down for a $1.5million loan to finance it. 

Until then, Thomas Jr. had lived off his parents lavishly, traveling the world on their money. 

They paid for his memberships to exclusive clubs in the city and the Hamptons, paid his rent on his Chelsea apartment, his Jeep and all of the parking tickets he incurred with it.  

The defense claimed that he was unable to keep a job because he was schizophrenic and that his parents supported him because of it. 

His mother Shelley testified for the defense and said he was mentally ill. 

'Tommy was far sicker than we ever really knew,’ she said earlier this year. 

It was Shelley who called 911.

In her recorded call, she told the operator when asked who had shot her husband: 'My son. 

'He’s nuts, but I didn’t know he was this nuts.

'He shot him in the head.' 

Gilbert Jr. used a 40-caliber Glock, which he had driven to Ohio to buy to commit the killing.  

Beforehand, he had researched websites such as 'hireakiller.com' and 'hitman.com'. 

Gilbert Jr.'s old roommate testified at the trial that he had tried to kill him 'several times'. 

After the sentencing on Friday, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. said in a statement that justice had been served 

'Thomas Gilbert, Sr. was a beloved member of his family and business community when his own son murdered him in a cold-blooded killing.

'But now, thanks to my office’s prosecutors, the defendant has finally been held accountable and he will serve a life sentence for this unconscionable crime.

'While nothing can undo the tragedy of Mr. Gilbert’s death, I hope that the resolution of this case helps his loved as they continue to heal from this devastating loss.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7513485/Thomas-Gilbert-Jr-sentenced-murdering-father-row-allowance.html

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Civil servant who endured the agony of losing 12 babies tells of her delight at finally having two miracle boys thanks to pioneering medical trials

A civil servant who endured the heartbreak of losing 12 babies has told of her delight after having two sons born through medical trials.

Ellie Robson-Grice, of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, feared she would never have children with her medical translator husband Mike, 35. The pair even considered adopting at one point.

The 36-year-old had seven miscarriages and a medical termination with her former partner, before experiencing four more miscarriages with Mike. Doctors never found if there was anything to blame for her ordeals.

But now she is a proud mother to Aidan, four, and Sam, six months, after taking part in one trial to make her uterus a more habitable place for pregnancy and another to increase the chance of an embryo implanting. 

The former involved injecting a protein or a placebo into her stomach to try and make her uterus - Mrs Robson-Grice still does not know what she received. The latter saw doctors give her an endometrial scratch.

She said: 'I had always really hoped to be a mum, but had it in the back of my mind that it would not happen. I don't know why I felt like that.

'I met my first partner at university and we started trying and had a number of losses in quite quick succession, after which I realised I was probably never going to be a mum.

'I actually had no problem getting pregnant. The first time I was using contraception and fell pregnant, but I would miscarry within a few weeks.'

Mrs Robson-Grice's first pregnancy with her former partner, who she does not wish to name, was in 2008 when she was 25.

'We were so happy, but eight weeks in I started to experience pain while on the bus home. I went to hospital and was told the baby had gone,' she recalled.

'It was heartbreaking and took us completely by surprise. Between 2008 and 2011 we lost six babies, in just a three-year period.'

Two of her miscarriages happened before her 12 week scan, then in 2010 she made the ‘hardest and most harrowing’ decision to terminate a pregnancy.

She was told the baby had a 10 per cent chance of surviving to full term and that if they survived outside the womb they would have significant abnormalities.

Following a devastating fourth miscarriage in March 2011, doctors tested the tissue produced, but could not explain what was happening.

Mrs Robson-Grice said: 'I couldn't understand what was happening. It felt like if you lose a baby before 12 weeks nobody really talks about it. You feel you have no-one to turn to.

'On each occasion, as soon as I got a positive pregnancy test, I couldn't help getting excited, but it was tinged with huge amounts of sadness.'

Mrs Robson-Grice and her then-partner, still determined to have a family, relocated to Newcastle from Manchester, to be close to her relatives in July 2011.

'We were still thinking, “Let's give this a go”, and in October 2011 I fell pregnant again. But, again we suffered an early miscarriage.’

Mrs Robson-Grice said that ordeal ‘really took its toll’ on her, adding: ‘By this point I was absolutely certain I would never be a mum. I felt like I could no longer continue to try.

'My relationship broke down and it felt like my whole world was falling apart, but with hindsight it was the best thing that ever happened.'

She met her now-husband through a mutual friend in June 2012, and they quickly became seriously involved.

'I told Mike straight away about my history and that I didn't think I'd be able to be a mum,’ Mrs Robson-Grice said.

‘He said to me it was not the be all and end all but we could try if I felt strong enough. There was no pressure and it was a case of let's see what happens.'

She became pregnant again in December 2013 and was optimistic when a scan at six weeks found a heartbeat - but she miscarried again at eight weeks.

Mrs Robson-Grice was referred to an early pregnancy unit at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary but doctors found no explanation.

She said: 'It was unbelievable. My body had gone into overdrive and I had all the pregnancy symptoms. I had no idea I had miscarried which is the cruel twist of it all.

'There was no explanation as to what was happening. They could find nothing genetic or chromosomal. It was just one of those things. There was no pattern.

'I was really struggling mentally. At the time I was working with social services and with families where there was a lot of neglect and it was hard to not be angry and difficult to stay impartial.

'I went to the doctor asking for a phased return to work and to be office-based and they said, “God willing you will have a child”.’

Mrs Robson-Grice added: ‘I was thinking, “What has God got to do with it? Am I unworthy of a child? Am I so bad?”’

Her next miscarriages came in March 2014 on her 31st birthday at five weeks, and at the same time point again in June, again at five weeks.

After hearing through her consultant about a medical research trial in July 2014, the couple decided to give having a child one more go.

Mrs Robson-Grice enrolled in a trial overseen by stillbirth and pregnancy loss charity Tommy's. Participants did not know whether they were taking a placebo or not.

She had to inject a protein similar to that found in the uterus called NT100 or a placebo, a dummy drug, and would not know which she was taking. 

Mrs Robson-Grice found out she was pregnant in August 2014 and for the next nine weeks she had to inject her stomach every day under the close eye of a midwife.

'We got to our six-week scan, then the eighth, 10th and 12 weeks then the 16th week and 20th week,' she said.

'There was such an overwhelming sense of relief with each scan that passed. We were renovating the house at the time and had got to the nursery but still couldn't bring ourselves to do it.

'When we got to around 26 weeks, I realised I was actually going to have a baby. But I still couldn't bring myself to buy any baby books or think about the actualities of it.'

Mrs Robson-Grice was induced after 36 weeks, after her scan showed Aidan had stopped growing. He was born at 10.14am on May 11 weighing exactly 6lbs at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary.

'It was the most magical moment when he was handed to us,’ she said. ‘Everybody had a tear in their eye, as they really appreciated the journey we had been on.

'It was completely surreal holding him. The first time I remember kissing his feet and hands. I couldn't stop crying. He was perfect.'

Although there were signs, like Mrs Robson-Grice's white blood cell count going up, the pair have no idea whether they were part of the test group or control group.

Having married in July 2017, they wanted to try for a brother or sister for Aidan, sadly losing another two pregnancies in the process.

Then they contacted Professor Siobhan Quenby, an obstetrician at Tommy's National Centre for Miscarriage Research and met her in December 2017.

Although the tests came back clear and they left without a diagnosis, their experience had been so positive that they volunteered to take part in a research project with Tommy's.

She had an immune system biopsy and endometrial scratch - a procedure to disrupt the endometrium which can increase the chance of an embryo implanting and causing pregnancy.

It was part of a study aimed at identifying causes of miscarriage related to the lining of the womb.

'Because it would have increased our chances, Mike and I decided to give it one last shot and that would be it,' said Mrs Robson-Grice.

'Again we do not know for sure, but it is likely the procedure itself was a determining factor in getting pregnant with Sam.'

To their delight, Sam - like Aidan known as a 'rainbow baby' as he entered the world after a miscarriage - was born on February 7 weighing a healthy 6lb 7oz.

'We were so happy. A lot of the anxiety I had after Aidan was born has passed,' said Mrs Robson-Grice.

'I appreciate every single moment with my boys and I know I'm not having any more children. In my heart I would love more and to experience pregnancy without anxiety, but I know I can't.

'We have our family now. Aidan is the most amazing big brother and Sam's face lights up as soon as he sees him. We're just in a really happy place with our rainbow babies.'

'I know taking part in trials won't have the same outcome for everyone, but somehow it worked for us.

'It also takes the research one step further to help find out why and to stop miscarriage from happening. Without people participating in the research we will never find answers.'

A spokeswoman for Tommy's said: 'A shocking 71 per cent of parents are not told why their baby has died in pregnancy or has been born prematurely.

‘In many cases, doctors simply do not know why it's happening. Without a medical reason, parents, particularly women, blame themselves.

‘Not knowing why leaves them feeling alone, powerless and full of worry for future pregnancies. Parents deserve to know why it happened. Only then can it be prevented in the future.'

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-7434477/Civil-servant-lost-12-babies-tells-delight-finally-having-two-miracle-boys.html

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A Connecticut banker charged with manslaughter in the death of 'cocaine-crazed

Shocking recordings have emerged of the threats made against a Connecticut banker charged in the death of a hotel worker in Anguilla as island authorities issued an arrest warrant after he refused to return for a court hearing.

Scott Hapgood, 46, refused to return to the Caribbean island for a court hearing on Monday, citing the vicious death threats he has received and concerns about receiving a fair trial.

Hapgood and his family say a hotel worker, Kenny Mitchel, 27, showed up at their room unannounced during their April vacation. They say he pulled a knife and threatened Hapgood and his young daughters before attacking the father. 

Mitchel died, and Hapgood, who said he acted in self-defense, was charged with manslaughter. 

A toxicology report said Mitchel had cocaine in his system at the time, but prosecutors pressed charges nonetheless after massive outcry from islanders to make an example of Hapgood. 

An arrest warrant was issued in Anguilla on Tuesday after Hapgood failed to return to the island for his latest court hearing. 

His spokesman told DailyMail.com that he could not attend, given the circumstances, for fear of attack or being thrown in jail. 

'There is a significant likelihood Scott's incarceration would be indefinite, as a trial may not happen for many years. 

'Second, there is near certainty the death threats he has received will come to fruition if he were to be held in an Anguillan prison for any length of time.

'For these reasons, Scott has not returned to Anguilla,' he said. 

He declined to state whether the banker would ever agree to go back, saying only: 'We're only focused on this particular hearing at the moment, so we have no comment on whether he would return in the future.' 

Hapgood, he added, offered to appear via video link but his spokesman says the court refused. 

He also says it is 'abundantly clear' that the case against him is prejudiced. 

'Seven months ago, an employee of the Malliouhana Hotel on the British Overseas Territory of Anguilla, who was high on a cocktail of drugs including cocaine and had a pending rape charge, entered Scott Hapgood's hotel room under false pretenses, attacked Scott and threatened the lives of two of his minor children. In response, Scott defended himself and his children,' he said.

'When the attacker died – in the hospital about an hour after the attack – Scott was charged with manslaughter. Three independent medical experts have now concluded that the attacker died due to the drugs in his system.

'Despite the unfairness of the charge continuing, Scott has cooperated with the Anguillan legal process and has returned to the island three times for hearings in an effort to clear his name.

'But it has become progressively apparent that Scott would not receive a fair trial in Anguilla.' 

His team claims witnesses 'altered their accounts', submitted false statements and that the state hid a toxicology report which speaks to how many drugs Mitchel had taken at the time of his death.  

'An inflammatory and false rhetoric has also grown around this case. Scott was accused of perpetrating racial violence. In many of the witness statements submitted into evidence by the Crown, Scott was referred to as simply 'the Caucasian' or the 'white man.' 

These accusations are deeply offensive and wrong. Scott's race, and Kenny Mitchel's race, are irrelevant to the facts of what happened,' he added. 

Prosecutors in Anguilla are yet to respond to his comments and allegations.  

Mitchel's friends and family have already disputed Hapgood's version of events and his team's characterization of the hotel worker. 

Hapgood's attorney, Juliya Arbisman, said: 'We understand there will be people in Anguilla who say Scott is running from a trial. That is 100 percent false. 

'There is nothing Scott wants more than to clear his name and get his life back. But he cannot clear his name if he is dead, or if the legal process by which he is bound is fundamentally biased and unjust.' 

The hearing on whether or not the case should go to trial is expected to last two days. 

Earlier this week, his mother-in-law gave an interview voicing the same fears as he has shared. 

'I'm very hopeful that we will get some sort of guarantee he will return,' she said.

'What we're most afraid of is that they will decide to remand him to prison meaning he will be stuck on the island.

'He knows he's innocent and he wants to clear his name.' 

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7678325/Connecticut-banker-charged-manslaughter-Anguilla-reveals-shocking-voicemail-threats.html

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Man, 33, who fatally stabbed his wife, 27, and then hanged himself from a tree said to have been abusive and jealous of her crush on a Bollywood actor

The New York City man who stabbed his wife to death and then hanged himself was jealous of the crush she had on a Bollywood actor, friends say.   

Dineshwar Budhidat, 33, is believed to have stabbed his bartender wife, Donne Dojoy, 27, to death Friday night in their Queens home, before going to a field in Howard Beach, New York, and hanging himself from a tree. The couple had married in July.

In between the murder and suicide, Budhidat was said to have texted Dojoy's sister to tell her that he killed Dojoy and that the key to the apartment was under a flower pot, police sources told the New York Post

Their deaths come just two days after Budhidat pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct in court on Wednesday in relation to an incident in August where he attacked his wife. She had a protection order against him at the time of her death.

Although it's unclear why Budhidat allegedly killed Dojoy, her friends have said that he had raged over Dojoy's infatuation with Indian actor Hrithik Roshan in the past.

Gemini's Ultra Lounge karaoke singer Mala Ramdhani, 52, told the newspaper that Dojoy - a bartender at the lounge - had told her that whenever she was at home and watching a movie starring Roshan or listening to him singing, Budhidat 'would ask her to take it off because he would get so jealous'. 

Another of Dojoy's friends, Andel Rodney, a chef at Gemini's Ultra Lounge, said that although he believed Budhidat loved Dojoy, 'at the same time, he was obsessed with her, because of the type of job she did, and she had a good [sexy] body'.

Rodney added: 'She looked good, she always made her money, so he was probably jealous of her.'

The New York Daily News reported that Budhidat slapped and strangled Dojoy in August inside their Queens apartment. 

He was arrested on August 21 for the incident and Dojoy had protection order against Budhidat since then. He was due to be sentenced in January. 

According to her friend, Dojoy moved out of the couple's apartment in late October. 

Rodney said that Dojoy had gone back to the couple's apartment to watch a movie and 'chill' with Budhidat before starting her bartending shift Friday night. 

Dojoy's sister, Fannita Barakat, supposed that Dojoy 'wanted to give him another chance' but that 'in the end, he was heartless for her.'

Rodney said that in the past, Dojoy had talked about Budhidat 'abusing her, controlling her, beating her, scaring her, threatening to kill her,' but that she 'never took it seriously because she loved' Budhidat. 

Although police have not released a motive for the murder-suicide, Dojoy's cousin, Anthony Dojoy, said that 'It has to be jealousy,' noting that 'there’s nothing else - she’s sincere, genuine, honest'. 

Dojoy was pronounced dead at the scene having been stabbed multiple times in the torso, ABC 7 reported.  

https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7669111/Man-fatally-stabbed-wife-hanged-abusive-jealous-Bollywood-actor-crush.html

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