Monday, March 29, 2010

Dalzell Sentenced

From Asheville Citizen Times
Man gets 27 years in Buncombe Internet child sex sting
This time, they got their man.

A suspect cleared in the disappearance of a woman 12 years ago was sentenced Friday to nearly 27 years in federal prison for using the Internet to entice someone he thought was a Buncombe County girl to meet him for sex.

Andrew Douglas Dalzell, 33, pleaded guilty to the crime in U.S. District Court in Asheville.

Judge Martin Reidinger ruled he had to take Dalzell's confession to the 1997 slaying of Deborah Key into account in the sentencing even though a murder charge was thrown out when a state court judge ruled the confession was inadmissible.

Buncombe County sheriff's deputies charged Dalzell in February 2007 with solicitation of a child by computer after he initiated explicit chats with an undercover officer posing as an 11-year-old girl. Dalzell was arrested after he drove from Gastonia to the Asheville area to meet the girl.

Reidinger said he hoped the stiff sentence would serve as a deterrent to other potential child sex offenders.

“That's the sort of behavior that this society cannot tolerate,” he said.

Dalzell sobbed as he apologized for this crime.

“I made an extraordinarily bad judgment,” he said. “I am not a bad person. I love my mother, I love my wife, I love my baby. Being away from them hurts.”

A judge in Orange County threw out a 2004 murder charge against Dalzell after finding police fabricated an arrest warrant to pressure him into a confession.

Police said Dalzell was last seen with Key at a Carrboro pool hall just before her disappearance. Investigators in Carrboro never found a body or other physical evidence linking Dalzell to Key's disappearance, but in 2004 they saw a chance at a confession, Carrboro police Lt. John Lau said.

The opportunity arose after Dalzell asked officers for protection as he moved out of his Carrboro residence because he was afraid of being attacked by a local drug dealer, Lau said.

Officers spotted stolen property during the move, and detectives had also obtained what they said was evidence of him trying to solicit a minor girl to come live with him and his girlfriend, Lau said.

When Dalzell was arrested on larceny and solicitation charges, he was shown a fake arrest warrant charging him with murder, which prompted a confession.

“One and a half minutes into interview, he gave it up and admitted he strangled her,” Lau said.

In 2005, Orange County Superior Court Judge Wade Barber threw out the murder charge. Barber said officers “fabricated official court documents,” used deception and should have immediately informed Dalzell why he was being arrested.
Joy and I have been interviewed today by Beth Velliquette with the Chapel Hill Herald about this, who has written several news articles before about Debbie Key.
CORRECTION - It was February 2009 (not 2007) when Dalzell was arrested in Buncombe County.
UPDATE - March 30
UPDATE - April 3
This story in 'Who Killed Theresa?'

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Jessie Foster Anniversary

The 4-year anniversary of Jessica Edith Louise Foster, better known as Jessie, will be observed on March 29. Some sources say she went missing on March 28, 2006. Her family website claims she went missing between March 28 and April 3, 2006.

Jessie Foster was born in Calgary and moved to North Las Vegas, NV, 4 months before she disappeared. It is suspected she had become a victim of human trafficking. She was 21 years old at her disappearance, and her birthday is May 27, 1984.

Jessie is being remembered by the CUE Center for Missing Persons,

The Charley Project,

Chris's Crime Forum,

Help Find the Missing,

and on FaceBook.!/event.php?eid=330536888730&ref=ss

Jessie Foster's Family Website is

Sharing an anniversary date is Sharron Prior, who went missing on March 29, 1975, and found murdered shortly afterward. Sharron's sister, Doreen Prior, is a very good friend of mine. Sharron was painting Easter eggs on her last day at home. I regret that Easter has not been a happy holiday since then for the Prior family.
Sharron Prior Website is

Unlike Sharron, Jessie Foster is still missing. Her mother, Glendene Grant, has never given up hope.
UPDATE - Saturday March 27
This morning I got a message from 'Anon,' a loyal reader and friend, with a couple of more links to include. Here we have, in two parts, where Glendene Grant is being interviewed with my hero, Todd Matthews, in Missing Pieces. I have only a small handful of the many stories on the 'Net about Jessie, and cannot include all of them, but I have to agree this is worth including also.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Kiss Me I'm Irish

Back by popular demand.

Sorry about the play button covering the mouth of this pretty lass, but at least we can see her smiling eyes.

Once again may I present Gaelic Storm performing our favorite song for St. Patrick's Day. Let us always remember the old songs and old stories that define who we are, the enchantment of the Emerald Isle, the wisdom of the ancients, and the love that will always be.
Raise your glasses and sing!

This song is lovingly dedicated to 'Anon,' a true friend to us all.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Chelsea King and Amber Dubois

Chelsea King went missing on Thursday February 25, 2010. Her remains were found on Tuesday March 2. She had been missing a total of 5 days. Many of us did not even know she was missing until after she was found. A suspect in her murder had already been arrested on February 28, before the body was found

Here is the first thing that went wrong.
The suspect arrested in connection with Chelsea's murder was arrested before in 2000 for sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl, and was given a light sentence, against the advice of a psychiatrist. John Albert Gardner was also identified by a jogger he assaulted in the same park on December 27. It seems they were under the delusion that violent offenders have rights, as many are today, and gave him the lightest possible sentence they could get away with.
Here is the tragic result of this poor decision.

On Saturday March 6, four days after the discovery of Chelsea's remains, the remains of another teenage girl, Amber Dubois, were discovered about 10 miles from where Chelsea was last seen. Amber went missing on February 13 of last year.

There has got to be a connection between these two cases. For the remains of two teenage girls who went missing a year apart to be found in the same week and the same general area is not something I can accept as coincidence. There are those who say that both girls were killed by the same man, and those who debate this. I have to ask why did they continue to search for a body after they had already found the one they were looking for. Police say Gardner was not co-operating with them, but the information had to have come from somewhere.

As long as we continue to cling to the delusion that violent offenders have rights, and that these rights are somehow more important than the lives of our children, we will continue to experience tragedies such as these, which can never be fully healed. Let us hope that we may someday evolve into a society intelligent enough to understand why we should not allow dangerous people like this to run loose.

And let us hope it is soon.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

In the Garden of Eve

March 5, 2008, is a date that has been embedded in my brain. It has now been two years. Her killers have still not been to trial yet.

Writing about Eve Carson has always been difficult for me, whenever I try to be objective about it. Having been a Chapel Hill person for a long time, I tend to think of her as one of us. I may not have known her personally, but I knew who she was. She was the student body president of UNC. It was hard to pick up a copy of the Daily Tar Heel without being reminded of that.

But it wasn't until two years ago that I realized how much she was loved by just about everyone around here. I was walking across the UNC campus and saw so many faces in tears. I noticed everyone was moving towards The Pit. That was when the impact of what has happened really hit me for the first time, and I haven't completely recovered from it yet.

To this day I can not look at a picture of her smiling face without thinking about what has been taken from us, how much we have lost. I can still feel moisture forming in the corners of my eyes whenever I read about her. When I tried to write about her before I'd get too angry, or too bummed out to continue.

I got upset when I read some statement someone made about how it is always the pretty white female blonde victims that get all the media attention, and how unfair that is. People get murdered in Durham and Raleigh all the time, who don't get nearly as much attention. I say, hold on there, you're comparing a person who was well known and loved with people we never heard of before. It's not just looks we're talking about.

I don't think anyone would dare argue with me when I claim that Eve didn't get elected student body president on her looks. She may have turned quite a few heads, but what really made her popular was that she cared about people, and it showed. She didn't just give lip service to how much she cared, but demonstrated it in action. Her work speaks for itself.

Eve was the kind of person who would have forgiven the people who killed her a lot quicker than I ever will.

I was very surprised to read that the parents of Eve Carson are against the death penalty, considering what happened to their daughter. There was at least one survey that I know of that claimed more people in NC are in favor of the death penalty since her murder, and that people who used to be against it have changed their minds. I personally would gladly volunteer to assist in the executions if I were asked.

But when you think about the loving heart that Eve was well known for, it hardly seems fitting that we should honor her memory with such feelings of hatred.

There is now a memorial garden on the UNC campus in Chapel Hill, which was dedicated in Eve's memory today with a very nice turnout.

This does my heart good to know she will be remembered for a long time to come.