On AMW show night, you never know what's going to happen.
At The NAFI Conference In Baltimore, Md.
POSTED: 8/11/09 5:01 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
This week, our newsroom headed up the road to Baltimore, Md. for the annual conference of the National Association of Fugitive Investigators.
It's a great event where hundreds of investigators from around the country gather for fugitive training workshops, and brainstorming sessions to help them better track down the criminals we all want off the streets.
This year, like most others, producers from America’s Most Wanted presented a workshop, with our Co-Executive Producer, Steve Katz, running the show.
After the conference, many of the investigators lined up, fugitive case files in hand, in hopes of getting their story on the air.
I’ve been to several of these conferences, and this year, I was lucky enough to walk away with four good cases; look for them soon on AMW.com.
In the meantime, we are working to put the finishing touches on this Saturday's show, when I'll re-visit the story of Joey Offutt.
When we first brought you the story last year, we got some solid leads, and now, investigators need your help to solve a mystery.
Posted: 05/4/09 @ 12:44 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
We're off the air this week so FOX can bring you NASCAR action live from Darlington Raceway, but there's no rest for us in the AMW newsroom.
This week marks the two-year anniversary of Madeline McCann's disappearance; it feels like yesterday that we did our first reports on this little girl.
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has just released an aged-enhanced photo of what she may look like today, at 6 years old.
I always remember the safe recoveries of Elizabeth Smart, Shawn Hornbeck, and Ben Ownby. All three children were abducted, found, and reunited with their family, and whenever I cover any missing child case, I try to remind our viewers of these miracles.
There is always hope for every missing child case.
Also this week, we're working to find 17-year-old Brittanee Drexel, who went to Myrtle Beach, S.C. for spring break.
She hasn’t been seen by her friends in more than 10 days, and police and her family fear she is in imminent danger.
Meanwhile in Georgia, a college professor, George Zinkhan is on the run for allegedly shooting and killing three people, including his wife, in a theater parking lot.
Police told me over the weekend that after Zinkhan shot the victims, he jumped into a vehicle with his two children, ages 8 and 10, and dropped them off at a neighbor’s home.
His Jeep was found last week, and all of his personal property was left inside, including his driver’s license, social security card, laptop, and camera. He does not have a criminal history, and cops feel he may try to blend back in with society.
On a personal note, I just got back from Denver, Colo. and Omaha, Neb. for a unique identity theft story, set to air sometime this summer.
This week, I'll be flying out to Los Angeles to interview News Corp’s Chief Security Officer, Hemanshu Nigam, at the MySpace headquarters. Looking forward to bringing you that story.
If you have an active crime going on in your in your neighborhood or an unsolved case, shoot me over an e-mail directly: firstname.lastname@example.org
We will be back on the air May 16, but for now, you can check out the latest updates on all of these cases and more at AMW.com.
TIPSTERS TURNING UP THE HEAT
Posted: 01/14/09 @ 2:45 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
It's a new year in the newsroom, but AMW’s mission continues.
When John Walsh revealed his annual picks of fugitives he'd most like to see behind bars last month, Yaser Said topped the notorious list. You'll remember his teenage daughters were found brutally murdered in the back of his taxi. After we first aired this story last winter, tips poured into the hotline with many possible sightings for cops to follow up on. But Said is still on the run, and this weekend we've got some new images to share with you. Cops are hoping these images can help you to lead us to his capture.
Also this week, we’re following up on another man accused of murdering his own family, Haitian voodoo priest Esnel Jean. Your tips resulted in some great leads for authorities. We found out that not only was Jean traveling between Miami and his native Haiti, but a viewer tip gave FBI the name of the boat he'd supposedly been using, and the exact time he'd be on it! It looks like he might have slipped away this time, but cops say he's definitely feeling the heat from the search.
Finally, we've got some updates about that sick husband-and-wife team, Bradley "Butch" and Luann Chase. We last showed you these self-admitted child molesters back in October, when they got their 15 Seconds of Shame. After their airing, Texas viewer Judy Balson realized that the images flashed on her screen were actually photos of her neighbors! She made a call to cops and soon was a witness to their dramatic capture. Judy got to witness firsthand how her quick action could directly lead to getting evil off of the streets.
Thanks to your tips, we are able to help authorities with new information that brings them that much closer to taking down the worst fugitives. Remember, we can't do this without your help. Thankfully, the Chases are now behind bars, but if you have any tips about Yaser Said, Esnel Jean, or any of the other fugitives on this week’s show, call our hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.
END OF THE ROAD FOR SUSPECTED BAD GIRLS
Posted: 12/12/08 @ 1:15 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
This weekend, we're looking back at the story of Tina Loesch and Skye Hanson, two lovers who had been implicated in two murders.
After years on the run, their saga ended hours after AMW aired their story on Nov. 15, 2008. Less than two hours after the AMW broadcast, three people discovered a Dodge Durango left in a rural area of northwest Tucson, Ariz. with the two women's bodies inside. Now, the investigation is far from over as authorities in three states search for Tina's missing son, Kristopher Loesch.
Also this week, we're looking back at the story of missing mom Joey Lynn Offutt. Her family members describe her as a loving and trusting person. She doesn't believe that there are bad people in the world, and she is willing to give anyone the benefit of the doubt.
But now it appears that Joey's trusting personality might have gotten her into trouble. In the early morning hours of July 12, 2007, fire fighters and state police responded to a house fire in Sykesville, Pa. But after the flames were finally extinguished, police say they found a lot more than smoke and fire damage. Check out the full story at http://www.amw.com/missing_persons/case.cfm?id=48408.
AMW viewers gave law enforcement some great tips, but they still need your help. If you know anything about the disappearance of Joey Offutt, call our hotline at 1-800-CRIME-TV.
IT'S BEEN A WHILE
Posted: 11/6/08 @ 3:30 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
We’ve had some new, awesome changes at AMW -- and we've all been quite busy! My focus is still traveling around the country, catching the worst of the worst criminals, and in addition to that, I've been focused recently on developing the AMW Safety Center, along with producer Renee Rosenfeld.
The Safety team doesn’t just focus on crime and safety, it focuses on any safety topic to educate our viewers and readers.
I want to hear from you, so if you have any interesting safety topics, or crime stories going on in your hometown, please shoot me an e-mail at email@example.com
Over the summer, and up to this point, we’ve been tracking some interesting cases, and solving a lot of crimes.
One case I’ve personally been working on out of Washington, D.C. (guy wanted for murder went on a foot chase rooftop to roof top and ran away from the cops through the streets) was just approved by my Executive Producer to air in a couple of weeks, but the suspect, Pedro Petrovic was caught just the other day at a Beastie Boys concert in North Carolina. Needless to say, we won’t be airing that story.
But the great part about Petrovic’s capture is that the victim, Bladamir Morale's, family finally has justice!
Also, tune in for the guys who broke out of prison by using dental floss -- their names: Humberto Fortanelli & Shannon Ray. Investigators from Fordyce, Ark. are making the trip in as well to hear from you. Shannon Ray is behind bars now, I interviewed him personally a couple of months ago, but Humberto Fortanelli is still on the run.
Looking forward to writing again next week; let's see what this weekend brings -- hopefully plenty of captures!
A FEW MORE IN THE CAN!
Posted: 3/27/08 @ 5:14 p.m. EST
by: Michelle Sigona
This week, your leads led us to the doorstep of Kevin Armstead. A female tipster contacted the Homicide Unit in Baltimore and gave them the URL of Armstead's MySpace account, where he was posing as a woman, but that's another story. Through an intense police investigation tracking IP addresses, U.S. Marshals were able to track him down at his job -- washing cars in Decatur, Ga. -- making him Direct Capture #986.
Also, since my last post, Mark Earhart was nabbed as well. A tipster, who worked with Earhart on a barge in Kentucky, recognized his face and called local police. The tipster provided information that led to the exact address of where Earhart was staying, and cops arrested him without incident.
This week, I have an update airing on our show for the Kurt Sohrbeck case. He's the guy who cops shot a police officer five times, wounding him. We were on the ground in New Mexico this week, when something we never thought would happen with this case: it has a wild ending, with Sohrbeck ending up dead. Stay tuned this Saturday night for my update!
Have a safe one.
A STEADY WEEK FOR TIPSTERS!
Posted: 3/13/08 @ 4:00 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
It's been a steady week for our staff here at AMW. The leads poured in after our last show, and investigators are diving into the detailed tips right now. Although we didn't have any captures in the immediate post-show hours, we got a great tip on William Greer.
A caller says she thinks he was using the name "Rick" and living in an RV park in Arizona. U.S. Marshals assembled a task force, and hopped to it. They found the RV park, and they picked up the guy named "Rick."
Based on the information we have on Greer, and the person they were questioning, things weren't matching up. Turns out it wasn't our boy. I found that personally working on this case, and flying out to states across the country to follow his tracks, that he will do anything to take advantage of people – especially women. Some of the best leads on this guy have come in during the middle of the week. We are waiting to jump when another good one comes in to round him up.
Terrence Washington was among the busiest cases of the night. A solid lead came in from Louisiana, and the locals went out to check it out. A caller claimed that she knows Washington, and also knows where he was going to be over the weekend. By the time our investigators got there, everyone was gone, including the "possible" Terrance Washington. Did you see the video of that guy driving? He's got some skills – hopefully police won't need to have another dangerous chase to take him down. Have a safe week.
GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO CAPTURE #1,000...
Posted: 3/3/08 @ 2:20 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
Another day, another capture! You've done it again, and this week, we rounded up Capture #983 – Dwayne Edward Lee. He got his 15 Seconds of Shame a week ago, and the tipster's information panned out. Seriously, it still amazes me that, with only 15 seconds of prime-time publicity, a fugitive can be caught so quickly. Police say a woman recognized Lee, and called police to say she knew that Lee's sister was helping him out and sending him money.
Miami-Dade police didn't mess around, and tracked the place where the sister was sending the money. They set up surveillance, and when they knew the fugitive was home, they moved in. Great work!
It was another productive Saturday night for the AMW Hotline. The murder of Brianna Dennison yielded a slew of positive, Priority One leads for the Reno, Nev. cops to follow up on; the detective left with a stack of tips with specific names, and addresses to follow up on. Those leads are being actively worked this week.
In the case of Thomas Gleason, I thought we were going to catch him. There were more than five leads that came out of one little town in Idaho, where townspeople were even filing into the local sheriff's office because they said that a guy in their hometown was Gleason. The Marshals and the locals worked it out, and confirmed that the man living in the town was not Gleason (but it did look an awful lot like him).
An NYPD detective was in-house working on the hunt for Amet Gashi, and left with promising leads as well. There was one international tip that sparked our attention, and another out of the Lone Star State. A woman claims she may have dated a relative of Gashi and can give us more of an inside as to who he is. One other caller claims to have seen him Saturday night at a boxing event. Stay tuned for an update on that heartbreaking story.
Well, I'm on a plane later this week, off to another exciting state to round up capture #981, Bobby Weatherton. Stay tuned, and a week from Saturday we'll air the story of that capture. Take care, and have a safe week!
AMW DOES IT AGAIN!
Posted: 2/24/08 @ 3:38 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
Enter capture 981! The pressure of the show made accused rapist Bobby Weatherton turn himself in. Apparently, there was security guard who was standing outside a federal building in Memphis, Tenn. yesterday afternoon when Weatherton approached him. He told the guard, "My name is Bobby Jo Weatherton. I was on America's Most Wanted last night, and I want to turn myself in." Now, Weatherton is behind bars, where he belongs. The victim in this case was extremely brave, and an inspiration, and I know she is going to sleep better at night.
Edumndo Cerda-Anima has been another popular case this week. This past Saturday was the sixth time we've aired the case, and we generated some pretty good leads. Solid information has come in on his whereabouts, and our team is working closely with investigators on this case to close in on him once and for all. If you remember, Cerda-Anima was John Walsh's #1 fugitive of 2006. Getting justice for this family is a major priority for us.
It's hard to believe we are less than 20 fugitives away from reaching our goal of 1,000. It's hard not to wonder who the 1,000th capture will be... and it could be your tip that gets us there!
Have a great week!
Posted: 2/18/08 @ 1:48 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
When we showed you Jacob Corey Gordon's mug shot for a mere 15 Seconds of Shame on Saturday night, you responded, and it took less than five hours to get him in handcuffs.
The tip came from Tampa, Fla., and the caller said he worked with Gordon at a tent company. The tipster also gave the address of where they believed Gordon was living. Our in-house U.S. Marshals quickly coordinated with authorities on the ground in Tampa and assembled a task force. The task force went to the location with photos of Gordon, and there were witnesses on the ground who could positively ID him. That's when we knew it would be only a matter of time before this bad guy was behind bars.
The Marshals in Tampa got word on which apartment in which Gordon was hiding, and they made their move. Investigators knew it was him right away, because of the large tattoo on his neck. Gordon didn't have much to say, and was whisked away in the back of a squad car, becoming AMW's Direct Result Capture #977.
Great work done again by our tipsters!
Posted: 2/6/08 @ 4:14 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
January was another great month for leads -- to say the least! We've had many fantastic stories on the air, and your tips have led to some amazing captures.
From Frank Regalado and Jimmy Trindade, to the Unknown Bochicchio killer and the mystery of Boots, your leads have been tremendous.
In fact, you have helped us to identify who "Boots" really is, and this information has helped to put new life into one of New Mexico's most mysterious unsolved Jane Doe cases.
Her name is Sandra Jean Brady and this week, we are on the ground in Ohio to figure out more about this woman. Most importantly, we need to find out just who would want her dead. I know I've personally been on the road a lot recently to follow up with some dangerous fugitives that your tips have helped us track, and I'm working on some new stories which will air very soon.
Don't forget, it's your response that keeps these cases going. Remember, we don't have a show this Saturday for NASCAR, but we will be back on the air Feb. 16.
Posted: 12/18/07 @ 1:58 p.m. EST
by Michelle Sigona
Here are some case highlights of some of the busiest cases over the last few Saturday nights:
Many tipsters -- specifically on the west coast -- were calling in possible aliases used by Robert Bowman, and some specific addresses to track him down. Cops are still working on all of the leads AMW tipster's phoned in.
The FBI named Jason Derek Brown to their famous top ten list on our show! Fun Fact: Did you know AMW has helped to nab 16 fugitives from the FBI's 10 Most Wanted list? As a result, we received more than 100 leads on Brown. Investigators in some parts of the country even went out immediately after tips were called in to check out some locations in the hunt for the suspected killer. So far, no Jason, but keep the information coming into our call center at 1-800-CRIME-TV. We've got to get justice for the victim's family.
Lonnie Crabtree is a former 15 Seconds of Shame fugitive, and one tipster placed Crabtree and his family in a very specific location that investigators believe to be true. If they arrest him soon, he could be our next capture! Keep checking our site for updates.
The case of the Unknown Ronald Bridges Killeris such a sad case, but it was good to see the tips pouring in. The investigator in Texas is currently working the U.S. Marshals to weed out the great leads. She's going out on those this week, and hopefully there will be a break through in this case. Check out his story to see if you can identify the two men in the sketches cops released.
The Atlantic City Quadruple Killer case is still wide open. I just got back from Atlantic City, and Peter Gillespie -- the producer on the story -- and I dug up some pretty interesting information. We are working on a big update now that will air in January or February. We re-aired the case this past weekend, and got in a few good leads to go out and track down. It would be great to get justice for these women.
Thanks for all of your help, and a great few weeks on the hotline! Can't wait to see what happens this weekend.
Posted: November 1, 2007
by Michelle Sigona
Although baseball is an exciting sport, it's nice to see the World Series end. Now, it's back to regular Saturday night programming on FOX! Back in October, we were off for a couple of weeks, but that did not mean slowing down for any of us. I know I personally spent time following cases in Kentucky, Los Angeles, and Canada. Other AMW staffers were sent off to Portgual and England, so we do have an exciting month of stories!
The last two Saturdays on the hotline have been exciting as well. We are following up on those leads. So far, no captures yet, but hopefully it won't take long. After all, the landmark 1,000th capture is in the very near future. It's going to be a great milestone, and there's a lot of tension in our newsroom guessing who the 1,000th capture will be.
Posted: September 17, 2007
@ 10:48 a.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
I write to you from the heart of NYC where I am this week for publicity for Fox News Channel. So sorry it's been a bit since I've updated this post, it's been extremely busy to say the least.
It's also been hopping on the hotline. We've aired some interesting cases over the last few weeks, and detailed leads have been pouring in. Just last weekend, we thought we had William Greer. A tipster called in to say he was staying at a hotel in Colorado Springs, Colorado. We assembled a task force and everything in Colorado, within two hours of the show airing, we figured out it was a Greer look-a-like.
I'm doing an update on this story this week, so tune in on Saturday night at 9:00 p.m. to see how much this guy really does look like Greer.
I also worked on a feature for college campus safety, and put a bullet proof bookbag to the test. Along with this, I visited a college campus, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore where just last April, a student allegedly shot two students, and stabbed another.
His name is Shaun Warrick, and he's on the run. I'll run an update on his story this week as well. Tune in to find out where your leads took our cameras.
A couple of shows ago, Paulie Perrette from the show NCIS was in studio, along with 19 other investigators. I don't think I've ever seen that many investigators in on a Saturday night. Paulie was busy with the Shannon Paulk story. Investigators are still following up on those leads.
Well, that's it for now. Have a safe week, and keep your leads coming in.
Posted: August 20, 2007
@ 12:02 p.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
It's been a busy couple of weeks! I've been on the road a lot, pounding the pavement from New York City, to Louisiana, to Boston, and plenty of places in between. It's been busy here at AMW HQ, and although I've been traveling a lot, I still make it back in time for our Saturday night shows in Washington, D.C.
Over the last couple of weeks, we've aired some high-profile cases, like the execution-style killings of three students in Newark, N.J. Just before the show this past Saturday, we learned that investigators had rounded up the last few suspects � six are being charged so far. It's a sick and heinous crime, very upsetting and very sad. One of the students lived, and we have been in touch with her mom often, but the victim's brother was one of the men who died at the scene.
What makes me the most angry about this crime is that one of the suspects, 28-year-old Jose Carranza, is an illegal immigrant to our country who was released on bond not once, but twice: according to an indictment that came down in early July, Carranza faces charges of repeatedly raping a 5-year-old girl over a two-year period.
This weekend, two great leads came in on Roy "Bubba" Massey from the same town: investigators are still checking it out. Richard McNair was my case that aired the week before, and I traveled to Louisiana to recreate the escape pod McNair built from scratch. It was so hot outside, and I wrapped myself in a pallet full of mailbags to try to understand what McNair went through when he broke out of prison more than a year ago. I'll post some photos, and you'll have to check them out. It's very interesting that a man could build something so crazy, and then be fork-lifted out of a federal penitentiary. The last time someone escaped from a federal pen was 13 years ago.
McNair always proves to be a hot case for the hotline, and our phone lines lit up with leads. One especially interesting lead came from the state of Georgia, so the U.S. Marshals in our Crime Center assembled a task force the night of our show to hit a home where our tipster thought McNair was sleeping. The caller claimed McNair was dating her roommate, and that her roommate was working an overnight shift, and that McNair was resting inside her home.
I'm sure it was a rude awakening to have a crew of Deputy United States Marshals bust up in your house -- especially since it turned it wasn't McNair sleeping, but he turned out to be another wanted fugitive! This is the seventh time a McNair tip has led to the arrest of another wanted fugitive... at least McNair's finally good for something. He should know our leads are taking other bad guys off the streets, and if AMW has anything to do with it, he won't be far behind.
This was the ninth time we've aired McNair's story, and Deputy U.S. Marshal Glenn Belgard was finally able to come to our hotline in person. (He's usually being dispatched on the leads!)
He does a great job with the tips, and when I was in Louisiana, I saw his amazing color-coordinated file cabinet of at least a thousand leads AMW has sent him on McNair. He follows up with each and every one.
I also had an exclusive interview with Carl Bordelon, the cop who stopped McNair just after the escape and let him go (check out the famous dashcam video we have AMW.com). I feel bad for Carl because he feels he did everything he could with the information he was given. Carl was issued a very hard-to-read fax of a possible escapee, and he tried to compare that information to McNair, but he felt he didn't have any reason to hold him.
Stay tuned for updates on that. Take care, and have a safe week.
Posted July 31, 2007
@ 11:42 a.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
Saturday night was all about quality. Juan Ramirez, Jean-Marie Jean-Francois, the Unknown Robin Cornell and Lisa Story cases generated tips with specific information. Callers were phoning in names, address, phone numbers, neighbors, information about friends, etc. It was fantastic.
I've told you guys before, as specific as you can be with your information, the faster and easier it is to follow up. Again, this does not mean if you only have a small nugget, and not specifics, that's ok � please call in with your information, no matter what.
Saturday night was filled with specifics. A great lead for the Ramirez case actually surprised the investigator in-house at our studios. A person called from a state that investigators didn't think even think he could be hiding out in. That investigator is doing major digging this week; hopefully the lead will turn up Ramirez. I went on Fox News yesterday on the Martha MacCallum show to talk about this case on air. I still cannot believe that Ramirez still calls to harass April's family. I don't think I've ever heard of a murder calling the alleged victims' family while he's on the run � crazy!
This week I'm off to Louisiana to track a fugitive you all may remember � Richard McNair. I've been on the hunt to find this man for a year and a half now. I'll have an update airing in another week. For now, have a safe week, and remember to keep checking AMW.COM for updates.
Posted: July 22, 2007
@ 1:44 p.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
Ready to leave for NYC to appear on Fox News tomorrow � Martha McCallum's show @ 1 p.m. Before I go, I want to update the action from last night at the hotline.
We actually thought for a minute we had James Malave. We sent investigators on the ground in New York to check out a hot tip around 11:00 p.m. We received a very informative tip from a caller who gave us a name, and address of someone who she believed was Malave. We had a New York and Pennsylvania investigator in the hotline, and they coordinated with their team in New York. The team went out to the address, and when they knocked on the door, someone inside shut off all of the lights and ran downstairs. The investigators were able to enter and they were surprised what they found. Unfortunately, it wasn't Malave, but it was a sex offender (he wasn't wanted for anything). But he told cops he got scared and thought they were after him for something else. I'm sure it scared the crap right out of him. Although it wasn't Malave, investigators are working on a pile of other tips that you guys called in. Great work! He's been on the run for eight years now, and we really need to catch up with him.
We received information before our show that Jean Searphin was definitely hiding out in a particular state. I can't tell you which state in case Searphin is reading this blog, and decides he wants to beat feet. The good news is from that particular state we received more than a dozen tips. Cops in New York are happily working on those leads today.
Marjan Rroku was the busiest case of the night with more tips than any other case. U.S. Marshals are working on those leads today and tomorrow. Hopefully, the golden nugget will be in their large stack of leads.
Alfredo Martinez is the guy who allegedly ran over an innocent man named Dario while riding his motorcycle. If you remember from the story, cops say Martinez dragged Dario down the street and sadly, Dario died. The only good part about this story is that the tag fell off his truck, and that's how cops were able to identify the person wanted for this horrendous act. He could still be in Texas, but after our show, he may have taken off. Check out his profile on our site.
The unknown Samantha Guzman killer was such a sad story. This was a young girl from the Bronx who was gunned down (for no reason) on Mother's Day 2006. She was two weeks away from graduation, and one week away from her prom. There was a street full of people when this happened around 1 a.m., but no one seems to know anything. I find this hard to believe. I hope that if someone is reading this, and they were out there that night, or they know of someone who was out there, that you they will have the courage to call our hotline. Did you see the segment? It will simply bring tears to your eyes. It was very sad. What makes me the most mad about this case is that there were so many eyes and ears out that night, and no one has the nerve to come forward. If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times, we don't trace your calls, as a matter of fact, we don't even have caller ID. It's been this way for 20 years folks. Please, please, please send us information.
We received an unregistered sex offender tip from a woman who claims that her husband failed to register. U.S. Marshals handle this too, and Steven from the Marshals service (he was filling in for Mark and Julie Shealey) is handing it off to the town that the tip came from. The woman claims that her husband just got out of prison and he failed to register.
A solid lead came in on David Green too. Investigators went out at 4:30 a.m. this morning to a particular hang out that one caller said David goes to every morning. I'm following up with those cops today.
Have a safe week, please call us if you have any information on these cases or any others. You can even call our hotline if you have information on a case that we have not covered, or do not have on our website. Our staff will get that information out to investigators ASAP. Remember, you can remain anonymous.
Posted July 16, 2007
@ 5:00 p.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
William Greer is an interesting character. You may remember from this past Saturday night: he's the guy with no clothes on (except for his shirt) in the freezing cold confessing to cops in a field in Texas that he killed his girlfriend. Cops didn't have a body or any evidence, so they had to let Greer go.
This Saturday at our hotline, two different tipsters placed Greer in the same city, and through one of the tipster's the investigator in the hotline was able to contact a woman who may have been dating Greer for a week or so last month. What's even more interesting is someone else who thinks they know Greer, from the same town, contacted the FBI to give them information about Greer possibly living in their city. Very interesting. The investigator at out hotline Saturday night will be heading out to this city to conduct an in person investigation. Producers covering this case are all over it, and will keep you up-to-date.
The Unknown Jennifer Nielsen killer case provided solid leads for investigators, too. We aired this case last week, and did a follow up this past Saturday. Dozens of tips poured into the command center with information to help investigators find out who would commit such a horrific act. Jennifer was working overnight delivering papers for USA Today so she could spend her daytime hours with her other two boys. She was eight months pregnant when she was brutally murdered.
Have a safe week.
Starting the night off with a bang!
Posted July 8, 2007
@ 11:54 p.m. EDT
by Michelle Sigona
Just hours before AMW hit the big screen on Saturday night, Colorado cops closed in on a sexual predator we were getting ready to profile on our show. One of our producers got word that a case she's been tracking since 2006 is finally closed, and the bad guy is in handcuffs. His name is Mark Petersimes, and he made his fourth and final apperance on AMW last night. According to police, Petersimes was allegedly busted for the very thing that got him in hot water in the first place, making lewd gestures at a young child. Instead of going back to a halfway house, where cops say he escaped from in 2006, I personally hope the judge is able to lock this man up for good and throw away the key. It would be horrible if he got the chance to hurt another innocent child.
Onto other show stuff -- it was a night of steady tips into the hotline. Dozens of tipsters called in to say that a man who was arrested in Mississippi for alleged attacks on two women is similar to the sketch we aired on the Jennifer Nielsen case. Investigators aren't too sure yet if it's a match or not, but we'll update the story if it turns out to be the man. Speaking of the Jennifer Neilson case, it's another crime that just breaks my heart. Here's a mom, eight months pregnant with her third child, working overnight delivering papers to support her family. Cops say she did this so she could spend her daytime hours with her other children. I don't even know how Jennifer had the energy to get out of bed in the morning. I commend her for doing so much to help her family, and it's completely outrageous and disgusting that someone would murder this innocent woman while she worked her paper route. Jennifer was delivering papers for USA today, and Saturday night we were joined by a USAToday.com reporter.
The Riyad Hamden had a good amount of tips too. Two tipsters placed him in the same exact place. Investigators have this information and are following up this week. We also featured the Rev. Al Sharpton in the Chanel Petro-Nixon segment on Saturday. Sharpton made a plea to anyone who knows anything about this horrendous murder to come forward, and he wants you to know that if you call into our hotline with sensitive information about this case, that we can pass along your contact information right to him, and he will call you back. Chanel was a beautiful teen living in New York, and she didn't deserve to die the way she did. Let's try to help him close this case, and bring Chanel and her family justice.
Have a safe week, and remember, we need your tips to bring these criminals to justice. Before you know it, we'll be at 1,000 captures!
Posted: July 1, 2007
@ 9:30 a.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
Only 50 captures away from 1,000! Each day we get a little closer.
Saturday night was interesting; we had investigators in two different states going out on the Jason Brown case, and the Duane Bedford case. Before we left the studio, we found out the Brown didn't pan out, but the Bedford tip is still currently working. We should know more about the Bedford case later this week. Keep checking our website for the latest.
The busiest case of the night was the NY / FL Serial Rapist story. Many of you wanted to reach out to help the elderly woman who was raped, and others just gave us really good tips, identifying names of possible suspects who resemble the sketch.
We had an investigator in-house for the Stepha Henry case from the Miami Dade police department. He went home with some leads that he will be working throughout this week. Stepha has been missing for more than 30 days now, and along with helping to find her, investigators are looking for a dark 4-door Acura Integra that has never been located. Check out her case for the latest details. I went live on FOX News nationally, on The Line Up, for the Madeleine McCann case. There were some developments this week where two people were arrested in Spain. It's been more than 50 days since little Madeleine disappeared.
Sometimes on Saturday nights, we not only get in tips on the cases we profile, but we get in good tips on old cases too. Last night, before the show aired, a tipster called in a great tip on the Ruben Lopez case. The United States Marshal service is working that lead also, and we should know more this week if it's Lopez or not.
If any of these leads pan out, and direct investigators to any of these fugitives, you know AMW will be all over it. We hire cameramen from across the nation to go out to get the "grab shot." This is an old TV term that means we get video of the suspect in handcuffs. The "grab shot" is extremely important to AMW because it helps to bring our fugitive and missing person stories full circle for our viewers.
That's all for now, but keep checking in this week. Please have a safe and happy July 4th with your family and friends, and don't forget to call or write if you have a tip � we'll still be working.
Posted: June 27, 2007
@ 12:15 p.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
For the last two Saturdays, the hotline has been rocking! Your tips have led us to four more direct result captures, one within 48 hours of our show airing. I'm amazed at the tips you are providing us, and the hard work the operators are doing taking in those detailed leads. Everyone is doing fantastic work!
Before I dive into this past Saturday's tips, I want to talk briefly about the amazing captures we had last week. Charles Walton, featured on AMW's 15 Seconds of Shame, was in handcuffs by last Tuesday morning. Walton's girlfriend called our hotline, along with another tipster to confirm he was hiding out in a trailer in Virginia. Well, Walton must have gotten wind he was on AMW, because he "tried" to run, but thanks to fast-moving investigators it didn't work out too well for him.
Thanks to the great help of our dynamic duo, Mark and Julie Shealey with the U.S. Marshals Service, the team was able to get law enforcement from five different jursidictions swarming Walton's new home. By the time this guy was taken into custody he was a "staggering, muddy, bloody mess." The funny part is that his mother's own dogs led investigators on the ground to Walton's hide out in the woods.
Did you see his mug shot? Deonte Davis was also taken down this week; he's AMW capture #948. A couple of folks logged onto AMW.com and submitted the BIG tip to take him down. Great work!
The suspected Las Vegas bank robber was finally identified, too! Charles Lucas was pinned down by another AMW tipster. He was on the run through states when the California Highway Patrol spotted him just minutes before Lucas took his own life. Case closed, capture counted: #949.
Late breaking details on the Jessie Davis case really changed things in our hotline last Saturday night, especially for the two investigators we had in-house from Ohio. Sadly, we learned just a few hours before our show aired that Jessie's body was in fact found, and AMW sources tell us that Bobby Cutts, Jessie's boyfriend, led investigators to the body.
Cutts has been charged with two counts of murder, one count for Jessie, and one for her unborn child. Jessie was due to give birth in a couple of weeks to baby Chloe, who is said to be the fourth child of Cutts. The case is simply heartbreaking, and it makes me sick to think that Jessie and Cutts' 2-year-old son may have witnessed the murder. We are still seeking tips on this case to help investigators close in the timeline on the murder. Just think in the matter of one week, little Blake lost his mom, his newborn sister, and his father, to potentially a life behind bars if he's found guilty. Stay tuned to our website for all of the late breaking information on this case. AMW has had a few exclusive details.
Craig Oliver was the busiest case of last Saturday night. A lot of tipsters called in to say they've been victimized by a contractor, and they were seeking our help on what to do. Other tipster's pointed investigators in specific directions on where Oliver may be hiding out. We had two investigators in house on Saturday, and I can say they were really happy with the big pile of tips they went home with.
Have a safe week, and I'll be updating this weekend. Thanks again for ALL of your tips!
Posted: June 17, 2007
@ 3:08 a.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
Ronald "Shorty" Rodriquez is tonight's busiest case. We had two investigators fly in from Nassau County, N.Y., and at around 10:15 p.m. -- right before I went live for the FOX New York station (WNYW) -- the cops told me they were making calls, and working leads on many of the specific tips you called in. It was interesting because we got great information from across America. Investigators think "Shorty" could be hiding out in N.Y., but they aren't ruling anything out. Based on my experience with higher profile fugitives, word usually gets out on the street to the suspect that they will be on our show, and somehow the suspects (no matter where they are hiding out) always find their way to a TV.
Usually, right after the airing, fugitives find their way to a computer also to check out their profile on our site. No matter what information fugitive's find out about themselves, they can run, but they cannot change their bad habits. One thing "Shorty" definitely will never be able to change, and that's his height. He's only 5'1." Personally, I'm on the shorter side (except when I wear very high heels), but this guy is tiny. From what I understand, he's got a cocky attitude too. A "Shorty" guy with an attitude is sure to stand out in any town.
Onto other cases, cops say Charles Walton is wanted for raping his own relative. We gave this guy his 15 seconds of fame tonight on our famous "15 Seconds of Shame" segment. If I'm not mistaken, we capture more fugitives on this segment than any other. What's even more interesting is that 25% of our captures happen within the first 24 hours of our show airing.
I personally think we'll get Walton very soon. It may not be be by tomorrow night, but within a short time, I have faith that he'll be an easy grab. From what Walton's family members tell us is that he's extremely lazy, and just doesn't want to do anything. It's surprising he even took the time to go on the run. I've interviewed fugitives in the past who tell me being on the run is the hardest thing they've ever had to do, it's very difficult looking over your shoulder all the time. Tonight, we got in two tips from the same city on Walton's case. Mark Shealey, and his wife Julie are currently following up on these leads and helping the lead investigator on this case who is located in Lancaster, Pa.
The Silver Nugget casino shooting was another hot case tonight. Tipster's called in, and identified people in the shooting. I was working on those leads with Mark Shelaey, and I contacted the investigators in Las Vegas (they couldn't make it in tonight). We'll keep you posted.
MAD HATTER UPDATE (from last week): It was another action packed week in the AMW newsroom because of YOUR leads! Last Saturday night, I told you a tipster called in specific information on the Mad Hatter. Bob Mason (lead investigator) was at our hotline taking in the tips. I called Bob early Monday morning to see how the follow up was going. He told me he would give us a call back by lunchtime (and he did). When Bob made the call, it was time for us to bolt. Bob told Olivia and I that he was following the Mad Hatter as he spoke, and that he and his partner were waiting for the local police to arrive to take the man down for questioning. At that point, Olivia and I knew we needed to get to New Jersey as soon as possible, so we jumped on the road from D.C. to New Jersey.
That's the most exciting part about this job: you never know when you will have to stop everything you are doing and race to another city. Olivia and I rushed to our homes, packed a bag, and off to New Jersey we went. We hired two camera crews that were already there getting video in case this turns out to the the real Mad Hatter. After hours, and hours, cops ended up releasing the man because they didn't have enough evidence to hold him, but they were able to get his fingerprints, and they know where he lives. Cops tell us the man who was questioned was extremely kind, and did everything they needed him to do. The fingerprints should be back within the next couple of weeks. Those prints will rule in or out the possible suspect. We had a chance to meet up with the man, so stay tuned to AMW to find out what the guy has to say (he's quite candid), and you be the judge if you think he looks like the Mad Hatter.
For now, have a safe week, and please remember to call or write to us with information on any fugitive or missing person.
Posted: June 8, 2007
@ 2:45 a.m. EDT
by Michelle Sigona
The hotline was as hot tonight as the muggy weather here in D.C. I have to say it's always an interesting show when Investigator Bob Mason is at our studio. He has so much energy, and desire to solve the Mad Hatter case, and he makes our time here on the hotline riveting. Bob is a great guy, and please know he gets REALLY excited when you call in good tips! I've seen him jump up and down with excitement, and at times bark out orders to other investigators (including his own son) to get moving on tips. We love it when Bob (and all investigators) aggressively tackles leads. Sgt. Dave Irizarry from the Metuchen Police department joined Bob tonight to help track down tips. Sgt. Irizarry is the investigator for one of the more recent robberies at a Commerce Bank in Metuchen.
For those of you who have been counting, or for those who haven't, this is the third time we've aired this case. The Mad Hatter has hit 17 banks to date since last September. Olivia, a producer with our show, and I have been to New Jersey twice so far hunting for this bandit.
The video we aired tonight of the dye pack blowing up in the Mad Hatter's face is fantastic, and I'm sure he'll be seeing "red" for about a week. I've been told that's how long it takes to get the ink completely off someone's skin, even with a lot of scrubbing and washing. Bob says the bandit has probably been keeping a low profile because of the ink; that's why it's been more than a week since he's struck. I wonder if the Mad Hatter communicates with his family, or if he has a wife and children. I would imagine that it would be hard to explain to anyone why red ink is stained to his face, but that's for him to figure out.
The new video also shows the Mad Hatter's face! Looks like the bank installed a new security camera behind the desk. There was a very good tip that came in tonight with specific information for Bob to follow up on. He'll be working that lead first thing in the morning.
Quick side note: we received more tips this week on the Unknown Chris Mader killer. I hope someone can identify the person who made the 9-1-1 call. I think that may be the big key to help solve this case.
Usha Taneja killer was a very busy case tonight too. Tipsters were phoning in information about the white van that Usha's killer may be driving. On the side of the van, there's a mystery logo that investigator have wanted to identify. I noticed in the tips tonight, a few new business names have been called in. I know the investigators in this case will be estatic to get the new information. Other callers were also providing names and addresses of people who they think look like the sketch. Tipsters were also giving their theories on the person who did it. If you remember in the segment tonight, John Walsh mentions that Usha was carrying $3,000 on her. This waws money she had saved for her son's wedding to tip the vendors. This is an important Indian tradition for the groom's parents to give this money to the vendors. Usha was a very hardworking woman, she went above and beoyond to earn this money. Family members tell us Usha even went back to get more schooling to help make money for her son's wedding. This was going to be a very special day for her, but instead of having a wedding, everyone had to attend her funeral. Let's get this guy!
Did I mention that Mark Shealey with the United States Marshals Service is back at the hotline tonight? I don't think I told you he was gone last week, but he was absent attending his niece's graduation in Illinois. His wife has been out of pocket for a few weeks too, we can't wait to have Julie back. They do great work for us!
Jason Howard was another hot case tonight. The investigator in house left with a large stack of tips to follow. The best two came from the same town, just three miles away from each other at two different locations.
Have a safe week, and check back next weekend for a full update.
Posted: June 2, 2007
@ 3:45 a.m. EDT by Michelle Sigona
I've been waiting for that one tip to nail Alexis Flores tonight, but sadly it hasn't come in yet. I'm holding out hope for this week. I personally worked on this case last week up in Philadelphia.
Olivia, a producer with our show, and I were out of town, in New Jersey, working on the Mad Hatter case when our boss called, and had us report to Philadelphia to cover the Alexis Flores case. The FBI came to us, and asked us to announce their next Top Ten fugitive on our show! It's not the first time this has happened, but I always think it's pretty cool when the FBI comes to us with the exclusive on the one of the most important, well-known fugitive lists. Over the years, we've helped to directly nab 15 of the FBI's top ten.
Alexis Flores is a man we have got to get. In March 2007, D.N.A. linked Alexis Flores to the murder of little 5-year-old Iriana DeJesus. For nearly seven years, there was only a sketch of the suspect, but now Mota DeJesus, Iriana's mom, finally has a face for her daughter's killer. I have a lot of passion to get this case solved and closed for good. After spending a lot of time with Mota, and the investiagtors on this case, and getting an inside to this investigation -- I pray that we can help catch this violent fugitive.
Many tipsters were calling in information on the Midtown Jane Doe case. I think it's helpfull when callers give names for investigators to follow up on. Also, tipsters were giving helpful information about the ring Jane Doe was wearing, where the ring could have been made, and what the letters mean. This is one of those cases -- like the Mamaroneck Butcher case that aired last week -- that's going to take some time to go through tips, and track down people and information. It's not going to be an immediate Saturday night capture like on other cases we've had. We'll keep you posted on the progress on this case.
Jose Garcia's case was a hot one. Tipsters called in with specific information on where they think Garcia is working, the names he may be using, and who he's hanging out with. Cops on this case are going to be really busy over the next couple of days. One state alone had a couple of dozen tips.
The Unknown Chris Mader Killer is another case I've been working on for a couple of years. Detective Sgt. Keith Moody was in-house tonight taking the tips directly. He did receive some new names, and new information to follow up on. I think we are both hoping that now, since a few years have passed, that whomever did this has confided in someone. Hopefully, that someone will phone a tip into us.
I know Chris' parents personally, and I know the daily pain they suffer, it would be fantastic if we could bring his family justice. Chris was such a hard worker, and he did so much. He was even an intern in the sports department for Fox 5, WTTG when I worked in the newsroom there. Chris had a passion for broadcasting, and his ultimate dream was to be an on-air sports reporter. It's horrible that someone out there cut that dream short.
Olivia and I are working on an update for the Mad Hatter this week, it may run in next weekend's or the one after. There's a BIG update in the case, and with the new clues we are presenting, along with the new pictures, someone may be able to identify him. Check the blog again next week after the show for an update on that case, and many others from this weekend.
For now, thanks for watching this week, we are graeful that you take the time out to help find fugitives! Have a safe week.
Holiday Weekend Tips Keep Coming...
Posted: May 27, 2007 @ 1:39 a.m. EDT
by Michelle Sigona
The Butcher of Mamaroneck was the busiest case of the night at the AMW Crime Center. Many tipsters wanted to report other bodies found, missing women, or information about that mysterious tattoo. Speaking of the tattoo, investigators really need to figure out where the unknown woman got the body ink. At AMW, this is the kind of case that doesn't get closure right away: a tip may come in with great information, but there's still a long process to follow up with the DNA, possible suspects, or other victims. The tips are something that investigators will sift through very carefully over the next couple of weeks, and keep in mind, cops say the dismemberment of the victims body was done very carefully before the victim's torso was stuffed into a suitcase.
David Green, wanted out of Ohio, wasn't on our air tonight, but I did go live from our Crime Center with WJW FOX 8 Cleveland on this case during their 10 o'clock news. Green is wanted for Escape out of Elkton, Ohio. Cops say he was a known major narcotics kingpin who has used his own children in the past to transport drugs (he used to hide the drugs in cereal boxes on long drug trips). The U.S. Marshal who is assigned to this fugitive was really excited to get exposure in Cleveland because David Green may still have ties there. In February 2007, we installed an AMW billboard in Cleveland, and it generated some great information! Someone actually called into AMW, and gave us new pictures of Green. If you take a look under his profile, you can see a large four inch scar across his forehead from where Green got botched plastic surgery to try and alter his look. Hope we can catch him. He was originally serving almost 20 years: maybe he can finish out that sentence, and many more years.
Jose Hernandez generated some good leads as well. As a matter of fact, investigators are out right this minute checking out a lead in a city. A tipster called into our hotline, and gave very specific information from her hometown. We contacted the authorities and hopefully, by tomorrow, we will know if he's capture #842.
The other cases we aired were busy, but no immediate captures. We did however have two great captures this week; including a case I've been working on for a couple of years. His name is Brandon Theodore James. We're still working out all the details, so keep checking AMW.COM. For now, have a safe holiday weekend.
Great to be back!
May 21, 2007
From every direction, it seems like we were getting in not just good, but great tips into our hotline on Saturday night. Usually, just one or two cases stand out for great tips to work right away, but Saturday, just about all the cases had solid substantial information for our hotline team. A few leads even put investigators in other areas to work right away.
Jeffery Holder aired as a 15 Seconds of Shame case, and you responded! He's wanted in Florida for allegedly shooting a man, and almost killing him. Cops say Holder thought the victim raped his girlfriend. We told you Holder is a long-distance truck driver, and as a result we received a lot of tips stemming from truck stops, and people reporting seeing Holder as a trucker. Another kind of tip on this case brought just about everyone from the hotline past a comptuer screen to do a little comparison. The tip even had investigators on other cases chiming in with their thoughts.
The tip said Holder had a profile on a swingers website. So, we pulled up the picture from the site, and the picture from AMW.COM and put them side by side on a computer screen. I wish I could show you the picture on the site, because it looks like Holder's twin brother, but I don't want to jeopardize the man's identity. As soon as the tip came in, our hotline team including U.S. Marshal Mark Shealey ran with it. Within an hour we were able to find out exclusive information about the man on the swingers site, along with getting other pictures of him. With this information, we were able to rule the man out. Sadly, it wasn't Holder.
Another tip came in right after that one with a picture attached. That picture looks like Holder too, but with information we were able to rule that lead out too. I have to tell you that it really helps when you send in pictures along with your tips (if it's possible). Remember you can always send those photos through our website at www.amw.com or if you call our hotline with your information, just tell the operator where we can find the photo online. You're doing an awesome job!
Paul Jackson is another guy we're trying to hunt down. Jackson is a man wanted for a laundry list of charges including Kidnapping and Sodomy. Allegedly he and his brother would kidnap troubled women off the streets in Portland, Ore. and use them as sex slaves. Police say they kept bars on the windows, held the women in sound proof rooms, gave the victims kitty litter boxes to use the bathroom, and raped them. Paul's brother, Vance Robert's turned himself into authorities last September 2006, he had been on the run for 15 years, but his brot