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2Day in the SCV: Monday, April 11, 2010

Posted: April 11, 2010 11:42 p.m.
Updated: April 12, 2010 9:29 a.m.
 

Welcome to The-Signal.com's "2day in the SCV," a compendium of today's events and a quick journey through the past, present and future.

DivorceCare & DivorceCare 4 Kids
What:
A special, weekly support group and seminar conducted by Valencia Hills Church.  Children are welcome.
When: 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Where: Valencia Hills Church Offices, 25060 W. Ave. Stanford, Suite 160
Contact: Angela Romero, (661) 755-1885 or e-mail angie@valenciahills.com

NAMI Family to Family Education Class
What:
Free 12-week education program for families and loved ones of people with serious mental illnesses. 
When: 6:30-9 p.m.
Where: Santa Clarita Senior Center 229 Market St. Newhall, CA 91321
Contact: Zee Dankworth, (661)360-8002 or e-mail cptilylvz@hotmail.com

Game of the Day
What:
Foothill League golf match
When:
12:30 p.m.
Where:
Valencia Country Club

2Day in History
Today is Monday, April 12, the 102nd day of 2010. There are 263 days left in the year.

Today’s Highlight in History:
On April 12, 1945, President Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a cerebral hemorrhage in Warm Springs, Ga., at age 63; he was succeeded by Vice President Harry S. Truman.

Ten years ago:
Attorney General Janet Reno met in Miami with the U.S. relatives of Elian Gonzalez, after which she ordered them to bring the 6-year-old boy to an airport the next day so he could be taken to a reunion with his father in Washington. Elian was seized by federal agents ten days after Reno’s order to turn him over.

Five years ago: Three men with suspected al-Qaida ties, already in British custody, were charged with a yearslong plot to attack the New York Stock Exchange and other East Coast financial institutions.

2Day's Birthdays
Actress Jane Withers is 84. Jazz musician Herbie Hancock is 70. Rock singer John Kay (Steppenwolf) is 66. Actor Ed O’Neill is 64. Author Tom Clancy is 63. Talk show host David Letterman is 63. Singer David Cassidy is 60. Rock singer Art Alexakis (Everclear) is 48. Actress Alicia Coppola is 42. Rock singer Nicholas Hexum (311) is 40. Actor Nicholas Brendon is 39. Actress Shannen Doherty is 39. Actress Marley Shelton is 36. Actress Jordana Spiro is 33. Actress Claire Danes is 31.

AP Odd News
No body? No problem

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Police in New Jersey believe they have solved one of the longest-running murder cases in the state’s history: the disappearance of five Newark teenagers in 1978.

After tracking leads for 32 years, two men were arrested March 22 and charged with herding the teens at gunpoint into an abandoned rowhouse, tying them up and torching the building, setting a blaze so fierce police say the bodies were incinerated, destroying any evidence.

Now, prosecutors have a difficult task: Prove the teens were murdered when their bodies were never found.

Murders without bodies were long considered one of the most complex challenges in the legal profession, but advances in technology have made the once-unthinkable prospect more common.

The absence of the key piece of evidence — the corpse — poses unique problems for both prosecutors and defense attorneys, according to Thomas “Tad” DiBiase, a Washington-based lawyer who runs a Web site chronicling “no body” murders. He said the majority of such cases end in convictions or guilty pleas.

“The body can tell you how the murder occurred,” he said. “It can tell you when the murder occurred, it can tell you where the murder occurred, so by taking away the body you take away all those elements from a case — that makes it enormously difficult.”

The New Jersey case was initially treated as a missing persons case and no connection was made between the fire and the teens’ disappearance, reported two days later. In the decades since, any clues have been all but obliterated: The site of the fire is now a housing complex and additional case files were reportedly lost in a courthouse flood.

Prosecutors have charged Lee Evans, 56, and Philander Hampton, 53, with murder and arson. Prosecutors say Hampton sometimes hired the teens for odd jobs and killed them over some missing marijuana. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The near-total absence of forensic evidence in the case doesn’t necessarily help the defense, according to Michael Robbins, the lawyer representing Evans.

“In the absence of evidence and proof, there’s a real risk that outrage, that anger and emotion, will be substitutes in the courtroom for competent evidence, testimony and proof,” Robbins said. “

Without a body, how can you corroborate what anyone says? Without a crime scene, how can you even begin to attempt to corroborate the version of events that the witness here is putting forth?”

Two of America’s most high-profile murder cases without bodies — the killing of a wealthy Manhattan socialite by a mother-and-son team, and a doctor who killed his wife and tossed her body from an airplane over the Atlantic Ocean— were prosecuted by former Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau.

“These cases are important because it shows you can’t just get rid of the body and get rid of the case,” Morgenthau said.

He recalled how skeptics questioned his decision to pursue New York’s first such murder prosecution based entirely on circumstantial evidence: the death of Irene Silverman, a wealthy Manhattan socialite and former Radio City Music Hall Rockette.

Lottery
Mega Millions

15-18-39-48-53 Mega: 3
Draw date: Friday, April 9
Jackpot: $105 million

SuperLotto
22-25-31-40-42 Mega: 16
Draw date: Saturday, April 10
Jackpot: $8 million

Fantasy 5
3-23-25-31-35
Draw date: Sunday, April 11

Daily 4
8-5-3-3
Draw date: Sunday, April 11

Daily 3
Midday: 6-3-7
Evening: 2-2-7
Draw date: Sunday, April 11

Daily Derby
1st: 09 Winning Spirit
2nd: 12 Lucky Charms
3rd: 08 Gorgeous George
Race time: 1:46.98
Draw date: Sunday, April 11

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