Horrific Crime, Tough Victim

     This is going to be a tough story to report, and an even tougher one to read, but the victim wants it told, and thinks it’s important.  If you have a weak stomach, you may want to skip this one.

     It’s about Fort Lauderdalian Kathy Young, a victim of a crime so vicious, so terrible, that it might haunt you. 

     Kathy’s torture happened in 1993, but this week’s arrest of homeless child – murderer Gary
Kerpan got Kathy reengaged in her anti-crime activism that she started after that horrific night.

                                                              
                                                             child murderer Kerpan

     When Kathy read about the Fort Lauderdale City Commission’s plans to move the homeless feeding out of Stranahan Park and into the Downtown fringe, she decided to tell the City not to make the same mistakes that contributed to her vicious attack in 1993.

                                                         
                                                                   Kathy before the attack
 
      It was in the early 1990’s, and Kathy lived in a modest bungalow a few blocks from the infamous Tent City. 

     Tent City was one of Fort Lauderdale’s most failed experiments. The problem of large populations of homeless filling the Downtown were escalating every winter, and the citizens wanted action. The City decided an open air, tented parking lot across from City Hall was the solution. It was a wild place, few rules, little control. People were found dead under the tent, crime reports were an everyday occurence, and it was far too scary for many of the homeless to stay there.

     Bad as Tent City was, it was just the ticket for Rodney Wayne Jones. It was July 1993, and Jones had just been released from a Washington State Prison, where he had served 7 years of a 13 year sentence for abducting and raping a nurse from a city bus stop. He hopped another bus bound for Tent City, Fort Lauderdale, a place that had gained national notoriety among the country’s chronically homeless population. . He settled in, no questions asked.
 
     A few weeks into his stay in Fort Lauderdale, Jones found an odd job repairing the rentals where Kathy lived. 

     Kathy says Jones was a ” deaf and dumb crackhead” who creeped her out from the moment he began working around her little cottage. ” He was looking in my window, and I told the landlord about it and made plans to move, but it wasn’t soon enough”.

     Kathy says on that fateful night, “she heard her front deadbolt turn”, and knew she was in trouble. Jones had a key he had gotten from the landlord. He attacked her with such viciousness, that she says the crime scene photos clearly showed “human tissue on the wall”. The crime was defined as “sexual torture”, because she wasn’t raped. Kathy says his crack addiction kept him from performing, and that frustration led to a more vicious attack. 

     Seventeen years later, Kathy is able to describe the shocking crime without emotion. She says he “stabbed me in the vagina 14 times”, which also ruptured her intestines. He “smashed my face with the butt of a rifle he brought along with the knife”. He then sodomized her with the barrel of the rifle as Kathy screamed and fought with all she had. Her neighbor, unable to get in to help, smashed the window with his fist, and that helped scare the attacker off.

     Kathy says the original call to 911 classified it as a homicide, no one thought she could survive.

                                                       
                                                              an hour after the attack


     Kathy says the aftermath was nearly as bad as the crime. Much of the evidence was thrown out due to a lack of warrants, and Jones’s original confession was thrown out, as his Miranda rights were violated due to his deafness. 

     Eventually, Jones accepted a plea agreement that offered him a 23 year sentence. Though he qualified for release March 1 2008 (Kathy says that date is burned into her memory), the Jimmy Ryce Act has him still civilly committed.

     Kathy seems OK now. She embroiled herself in anti-crime activities when she had recovered enough, trying to make some sense of the brutality she endured. She joined the City’s Volunteer Police Academy, the Homeless Task Force, the Broward Sheriff’s Victim Advocate Program, and the Citizens Crime Alert, and bought her first home in a new area she says ” doesn’t have any crackheads”. 

     Kathy says she hasn’t been active lately, but that she decided to  “step back into the ring” to try and contribute to the City’s plans for the homeless feeding programs. If it has to be done, she says she “wants it done right this time”.

     Expect to hear more from Kathy. She can be reached at 954-689-7571.

    




Smith’s Sixth Theorem

     Proving that it is entirely possible to push a very heavy object up a very steep hill……..
 
     ……former Fort Lauderdale Commissioner Tim Smith (that’s me), finished his sixth half-marathon Sunday at the Fort Lauderdale A1A Marathon.

     

                                                                                                  
                                                         Smith rounding the turn to the finish line

     After the race, Smith said that the effort was a “walk in the park”, but then quickly added that he was lying through his teeth!

     Smith also said that he finally figured out, after finishing 6 half-marathons and 2 full marathons, why his wife always prepared a T-Shirt for him to wear during the runs with POPS
emblazoned across the front.

     The onlookers, whenever Smith began to slow down or even think about walking, kept yelling out 

                                           “GO POPS”
    
       and Smith would pick up the pace. Smith said that as soon as he can walk again and chase his wife down, he was going to  “have a chat with her about that”!

Operation Smoking Gun

     Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Frank Adderley has had a tough year.

     Today, he had an exceptionally good day.


                                                 
                                                                                    the Chief

     Adderley’s Department jointly announced today the culmination of a successful year-long undercover operation it conducted with Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, the Drug Enforcement Agency, the US Marshal’s Service, and the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.

    
The operation, named “Operation Smoking Gun“, was aimed at  “crime and violence associated with gang activity”.

     Here’s just a snapshot of some of the results:

    
……  320 guns seized, including a machine gun and 3 sawed- off shotguns

    ……  2956 Oxycodone pills seized
 
    ……  1616 Percocet

    ……   7762 Ectasy pills

    ……   stolen personal I.D.’s of 300 theft victims

    ……   1.5 kilos of crack cocaine

    ……    100 violent gang criminals arrested

    
Adderley celebrated the good news tonight by going out on Patrol. Adderley is known to patrol the city after dark, (usually on Fridays) after a full week of Police administration and mind-numbing city politics.
 
     He says he has fond memories of his work “on the streets as a Patrolman and Raider ” ( the Police street crimes unit), and enjoys these night patrols.

     Tonight, I rode with Adderley and clicked a few pictures of him checking out the streets.

                                                 
                                                      Adderley checking on his house off Sistrunk Boulevard

                                                  
                                                               Chief checking in on a recent crime victim


                                              
                                                   Adderley yucking it up at the local Haitian barbershop



Can You See It?


                                                                          
                                                                          the future of Fort Lauderdale

     The City Fathers (and Mothers) hope you can see it. As a matter of fact, there are counting on YOU to tell them what the future of Fort Lauderdale should look like, act like, be like!

                                                  
                                                           key city fathers and mother!             

   The Fort Lauderdale City Commission has appointed a group of citizens to ……………………………….

          ” develop and recommend to the City Commission an initial model plan that outlines a process to seek the perspectives of under-represented individuals so that a citywide vision will reflect the hopes and viewpoints of all residents in the City of Fort Lauderdale; and to organize a broad-based, community focused process and produce a vision plan for the next century that will guide the City Commission in their policy and decision making.” 

  
   That’s government speak for …… figure out how to get input from all the Citizens, to produce a Vision for the Future, so the Commission can have an idea of what the peeps really think! ( and then make it happen!) 
     
    
The Visioning Committee, ( which some are now calling VisCom!) is clearly a capable group. It is made up of well known local figures, leaders in their fields. Included in the group are some notables, a pillar, a business baron, a couple of big shots, a bigwig, and a nabob.


     Not to mention a charming and capable Chairperson! (see pictured below)

              Chairperson Smith
   ( Jeez, I wish I still looked like that!)

     
The panel has held their first meeting and planned their second.

     The second meeting will feature experts in the field of Visioning, and then the Committee will hear from local experts that will give them the current conditions in the City on major topics  like Public Safety, Economic Development, Waterways and Beaches, Neighborhoods, Green Initiatives, and the like.

     You should attend. The public is welcome, meeting to be held on the 8th floor of City Hall on Tuesday March 9th at 4 p.m. You can always call me if you have questions at 954-822-4727

                                 See you there  ……   Tim 
    

“No Crap Jack”

     Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler has had about enough of some of Fort Lauderdale’s zaniest citizens.

 
                                                                
                                                                                       Mayor Seiler

    Local politics can be difficult, and stepping in as Mayor of Fort Lauderdale after 25 years of Jim Naugle must make it that much harder.

     Naugle did little, but he did suffer his citizenry, regardless of their insane rantings. Naugle would smile,  thank them for their input, and shake their hand (unless they were gay, then he’d do the above, but wash well afterwards!)

     Seiler just can’t do it. 

     The Sun-Sentinel reported today about a terse back and forth with beach Hi-Rise resident and anti-Hi-Rise activist Mel Rubenstein. To see that, read Brittany Wallman’s blog at http://weblogs.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/broward/blog/2010/02/mayor_seiler_to_beach_resident.html .

     Now, Seiler has had about enough of Earl Rynerson, who unsuccessfully ran for Mayor against Seiler, and has made it his business to jab at Seiler at every turn. Here’s what Jack wrote back to Rynerson supporter Ray Dettman this week.
                                                      ………………………………
     “Earl’s political website is always spreading false information about our City and our Commission, and you (along with 3 or 4 others) always forward his fiction to me.  Quite simply, your friend is a frustrated former candidate for public office (losing and receiving 15% of the vote after spending a hundred thousand dollars of your own money will cause that frustration) and he has a bad habit of publishing incorrect, inaccurate, and misleading stories about our City.  Most people know Earl’s history and thus ignore his emails and website, but it seems there are still 4 or 5 of you who continue to follow him despite the facts.   

Best wishes, and have a Super Sunday!”

                                                      ……………………………….  

     By my count, Fort Lauderdale has at least 100 or so more wingnuts – could be a long three – term run for Seiler!

    


Chief Adderley Cleared

     Fort Lauderdale’s Office of Professional Standards has cleared Fort Lauderdale’s Police Chief Frank Adderley of wrong doing, in relation to the accident involving Scott Rothstein friend Moe Sohail.

                                                            
                                                              Chief Adderley

    
An investigation was started after a picture emerged showing Adderley standing with convicted swindler Rothstein on the sidelines of the violent August crash.  


                                                                   
                                                Adderley in background with Rothstein 

     
    
The investigation concluded that there was ” no evidence of misconduct on the part of Chief Adderley” in relation to the accident scene.

     Adderley admits he got a call from Rothstein informing him that their mutual friend, cigar shop         owner Moe Sohail had been involved in a crash on NE 3rd Ave. in Fort Lauderdale. Adderley testified that he had been just blocks away and arrived at the scene quickly, concerned about his friend.

     Thirty three witnesses were questioned including 15 Public Safety personnel and other bystanders and none testified that Adderley “interfered or directed” the accident investigation.

      One unsolved question is the report from Fire Lt. Connor that testified seeing “upwards of a half dozen stacks of cash  on the passenger floor of the crashed Bentley. Conner reported seeing Sohail pick up the cash and put it in a white bag. No other witness reported seeing the cash, though reports verified that the Bentley had left a bank prior to the crash.

     Adderley says he was “confident” that he would be cleared in the crash investigation, as he had “done nothing wrong“.