BlogsBlogs Site Meister Tue, 08/30/2016 - 17:20
This is a section of book pages that are blogs created by different individuals of the old site. Some are friends, some are strangers, some may be offensive. However, at the time they were posted, they were pertinent to the times current to their posting. I hope y'all get to enjoy their thoughts…
Beekeeper BlogBeekeeper Blog CatWhisperer Sun, 11/13/2016 - 22:31
This is a blog of the prosecution of Benjamin Gilmore, a local beekeeper whom many believe was wrongfully prosecuted and convicted for the Penny Flats fire that happened in downtown Fort Collins on October 24, 2011. He made the mistake of being associated with the Occupy Fort Collins movement, and had let them borrow a camper for their use. The Occupy Fort Collins demonstration was one block east of the Penny Flats building which was under development at the time. The discrepancies in this prosecution merit note, and it shows some of the drawbacks of prosecutions in the Eight Judicial District of Colorado:
- It's not about justice, it's about getting a conviction.
- It's not about truth, guilt, or innocence, it's about what you can get a jury to believe.
If anybody doesn't believe that, Google up Timothy Masters…
"ARSON FRAUD" in Fort Collins? Please rethink Penny Flats and don't prosecute an innocent man..."ARSON FRAUD" in Fort Collins? Please rethink Penny Flats and don't prosecute an innocent man... CatWhisperer Sat, 05/11/2013 - 06:44
NOTE: Updated 11/13/2016
ARSON FRAUD is when someone setting fire to one's property with fraudulent intent ⇒ such as to collect insurance money. "According to Alfred Manes, the majority of property insurance crimes involve arson. One reason for this is that any evidence that a fire was started by arson is often destroyed by the fire itself." Insurance Fraud - Property Insurance
Last year, I wrote about the Penny Flats fire being a possible case of insurance arson. I'm more convinced of it now, because I worked for the plumbing sub-contractor at Penny Flats after the fire, and spoke to individuals who worked there. The original story was Insurance scapegoat for Brinkman? Why am I writing about it again? I was suspicious a while ago, BTW, (Other Suspects? Follow the money...), so this is nothing new.
What benefit could the Mr. Gilmore possibly have in burning down Penny Flats? The fantasy of making a statement for Occupy Fort Collins? Really? Please! That is a ludicrous proposition. How about we look at who benefited the most by that fire, which was Brinkman Partners and the plumbing sub-contractor (as an aside though, I recall one day waiting on my bike for the light to change on College, and I see one of the McWhinney's looking across the street at Occupy Fort Collins, with this look of absolute hatred, whilst talking on a cell phone. One never knows, when there is a handy scapegoat). Now most people would think that crazy. But why is it crazy?
It is my opinion that because of the watch that was found, the DA here has unreasonably focused on Benjamin Gilmore to the exclusion of other possible suspects or criminal theories. We have precedent for that in this jurisdiction. Tim Masters... So here are some ideas:
- Has anybody looked into the finances of the companies that were working on site at the time of the arson?
- Has anybody looked into the insurance payouts for Penny Flats, who got what and how much?
- Construction site arson fires are rare in Northern Colorado. Has anybody looked into any pattern of criminal activity to find correlations between crimes and contractors.
Looks bad for Mr. GilmoreLooks bad for Mr. Gilmore CatWhisperer Sat, 01/21/2012 - 09:53
But that is what the preliminary hearing is all about, showing that there is enough evidence to bring things to trial. Obviously, there is. Convictions, however, don't occur at preliminary hearings, and those hearings are biased predominantly for the prosecution. There not much defense counsel input into them.
Looking at what was reported on the Coloradoan story quoted below, the most damaging piece of evidence is the watch. How did the watch get to be in the area? I won't get into conjecture on that one point, because that is a crucial piece of evidence. Kind of like homie's broken hand that didn't hit nobody. Some thoughts on everything else though:
- The burns are probably explainable. One possible reason is manufacturing charcoal.
- There's any numerous reasons for having a bandage on the hand.
- Was there clothing with accelerant smell on them or evidence of combustion. Some forensic chemical analysis of clothing similar to what they do when they test for gunshot residue.
- There are thousands of black hoods in the Fort Collins area. The problem I have with this piece of video evidence is resolution. The other problem is contrast. Try the experiment at home. After midnight take a video of your kid or significant other half way down the block in a black hoodie. What do you get? I haven't tried this myself, BTW, but will tonight. I'll post the results when I can.
- Whatever happened to the "homeless individuals"? That theory appears to have slipped quietly under the water like a submarine. Remember what I've said about insurance companies not paying without a suspect/conviction.
- Motive still comes to mind. Or for that matter instability. The sign at the Occupy gathering "Legalize Paragliding" still tweaks me.
Taken in total, though yes, a jury needs to decide. Saying that, I would sincerely ask Mr. Gilmore to look into himself, judge, and be a man. If you did it, spare your wife, family, loved ones, supporters, and the taxpayer a bunch of grief. If you did it own up.
If you can honestly take that look and say “no, I didn't do it”, then fight like an animal. Remember though, it's not about guilt or innocence, but rather about what you can convince a jury to believe.
Coloradoan Story: Investigators say at time of his arrest Penny Flats fire suspect had 'blistering, peeling' wounds
Corresponding story: Evidence linking Fort Collins fire to activist detailed (not quoted)
Author: Robert Allen
Quote (1/21/2012 Updated story):
A judge today bound over for trial all seven charges - including attempted murder and arson - against Benjamin David Gilmore in the case of the Oct. 24 Penny Flats fire.
The lead Fort Collins police detective investigating the fire testified in today's evidentiary hearing that when suspect Benjamin David Gilmore was arrested, he had blistering, peeling wounds on his hand and foot.Gilmore was arrested after investigators found a watch engraved with his name at the downtown Fort Collins fire scene, according to Detective Mike Averch.
After that, police began to watch Gilmore and saw him testify at a Fort Collins City Council meeting wearing black gloves and on another occasion with a bandage on his hand.Gilmore, 30, a local beekeeper and Occupy Fort Collins activist, was arrested Nov. 4 on arson charges.
…Benjamin Gilmore was taken into custody near Picnic Rock, according to police testimony. Following his arrest, authorities searched Gilmore's vehicle and found a black hooded sweatshirt, fire wood, a gas can, start sticks and gauze with bodily secretions on it, according to police testimony.
This month, the Larimer County District Attorney's Office added a second arson count, a second criminal mischief count and two attempted first-degree murder charges to the original arson charge in the case.Earlier during today's preliminary hearing, prosecutors showed a cell phone video of the fire shot by a third-floor Penny Flats resident who reported seeing a man wearing a black hoodie and green pants running from the scene, according to prosecutors.
…Gilmore was an early supporter of Occupy Fort Collins, which had set up camp a block away from where the fire burned. Days before his arrest, he addressed City Council asking the city to be more accommodating to the movement.
Gilmore faces a total of seven counts, all felonies. The attempted murder counts, class 2 felonies, carry sentences on conviction of eight to 24 years in prison. The two arson and two criminal mischief counts are class 3 felonies, each with possible penalties of four to 12 years in prison.…
Observe Eighth Judicial District Modus OperandiObserve Eighth Judicial District Modus Operandi CatWhisperer Tue, 01/17/2012 - 16:33
With respect to the Coloradoan story quoted below, I can honestly say, from very personal experience, that this is the standard modus operandi in this Eighth Judicial District of Colorado. Stop a second, and step back. Look at the forest, instead of the trees in front of your face. What year is this? 2012, duh. What is this year? Umm. An election year. Pray tell, who is term limited this year? Head scratching? Yes, well I want y'all to think, deep and well about this because if you DON'T pay attention, you, dear electorate, will be played like a cheap violin, and might I venture to say, yet again.
What my next question would be is: Has Mr. Gilmore given notice that he is taking it to trial or has he refused a plea. When my incident with the Larimer County employee, related in posts below this one, occurred and I responded to criminal charges with a lawsuit against the county employee, they operated in the same fashion.
What is really going on here? What I mention above is hypothesis trying to explain known data. But please recall a certain individual that was wrongfully convicted that cost to the county probably $14,000,000 (no accounting on that exactly, yet). Watch out we don't repeat the same here to forward somebody's career via the proxy of a sacrificial victim… That's a topic to be covered in the Elections 2012 section though.
Coloradoan Story: Attempted murder added to Occupy activist's charges in Penny Flats fire case
Author: Robert Allen
A Fort Collins beekeeper and Occupy activist, accused of starting a fire causing $10 million in damage to an Old Town building complex, now faces two additional charges of attempted first-degree murder.
Benjamin David Gilmore, 29, an outspoken Occupy Fort Collins activist, remains out on a $250,000 bond after he was arrested Nov. 4.
The Larimer County District Attorney's Office has since added a second arson count, a second criminal mischief count and the two murder charges. Officials have released limited information regarding Gilmore's arrest because all supporting documents have been sealed by court order.
Prosecutors are expected to reveal evidence against Gilmore at a preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday at 9 a.m.
Gilmore is suspected of starting the Oct. 24 fire that destroyed the four-story Mason Street Flats building under construction at 311 Mason St. and damaged the next-door Penny Flats, a residential and mixed-use retail building. He has declined media requests for interviews, and his attorney has said he maintains his innocence.
Gilmore, a registered Republican, was an early supporter of Occupy Fort Collins, which had set up camp a block away from where the fire burned. Days before his arrest, he addressed City Council asking the city to be more accommodating to the movement.
Gilmore faces a total of seven counts, all felonies. The attempted murder counts, class 2 felonies, carry sentences on conviction of eight to 24 years in prison. The two arson and two criminal mischief counts are class 3 felonies, each with possible penalties of four to 12 years in prison.
Insurance scapegoat for Brinkman?Insurance scapegoat for Brinkman? CatWhisperer Thu, 12/22/2011 - 08:37
NOTE: Updated 11/13/2016
An interesting development in the case of Mr. Benjamin Gilmore. First off, if you don't believe he did it, please join the Facebook account supporting him, https://www.facebook.com/beekeeperjustice.
At first I thought he did, due to the sign he held at one of the Coloradoan photo shoots. But then other things came to light that caused me to change my mind:
- There have been allegations of homeless individuals sleeping in the area where the fire was burned.
- One report stated that a construction worker told the homeless individuals that they could sleep there.
- Homeless individuals were reported as acting suspiciously after the incident at the Occupy Fort Collins gathering.
- One report from Denver has a commentator stating that: "It's sexier to blame this guy than to have homeless individuals being accused". That I think came from a Denver Post news reporter.
Then we come to the idea that is bothering me. Brinkman Partners was the general contractor for the project. Occupy Fort Collins was making much noise a block away, on the site of the tire store, which was also slated for redevelopment. Insurance companies don't pay on arson claims unless there is a suspect in custody and a conviction occurs! Think folks... A man, happily married, kid on the way (if I remember correctly) with a thriving business just up and decides one day to become an arsonist and burn down a building under construction. How likely is the scenario? Is this the normal modus operandi of an arsonist?
Here's a second idea. Is anybody interested in the business property of Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore? Has there been any offers to buy up the lot prior to this arson? So my question to you, people of Fort Collins is: Did Benjamin Gilmore really do this crime or is this a massive case of "Arson Fraud", to the tune of $10,000,000?
Burning The Beekeeper - The Conviction of Benjamin Gilmore
Catwhisperer's BlogCatwhisperer's Blog CatWhisperer Tue, 11/22/2016 - 17:37
These are my own personal opinions, concerns, rants, gripes, moans, etc., that didn't fit the story or article format. Where necessary, I've changed them to articles when the story is more about events.
Ever read a book that really pissed you off?Ever read a book that really pissed you off? CatWhisperer Sun, 04/21/2013 - 15:24
Note: Updated 11/25/2016
One of those that gets your blood boiling, your blood pressure and heartbeat up? If you have you know the feeling. I just finished reading through such a book. The name of the book is "Drawn to Injustice", by Timothy Masters with Steve Lehto. It's well worth whatever they charge for it.
Having done my share in removing Judges Blair and Gilmore in 2010, what gets me pissed is that I've personal experience with some of these individuals, and the shell game they play with both justice and truth. How many more perpetrations in Larimer County remain undiscovered? How many more innocents sent from this jurisdiction to DOC on false testimony, malfeasant prosecution, and with the help of the fantasies of statistical phrenologists? Innocents that just didn't have the luck of drawing a Maria Liu… You know, where there is smoke there is fire, and an iceberg only shows 10% of it's volume above the surface.
It irks that as you read, you find out that one of the main individuals who fought TOOTH and NAIL to prevent justice for Tim Masters after Maria Liu became involved was Cliff Riedel, who got 'elected' in our judicial district to District Attorney in 2012. 'Elected' in quotes because he ran unopposed (again unopposed in 2016… What is up with that?). What is wrong with this jurisdiction when many a good lawyer didn't want to have the position? How much money did Mr. Riedel cost the local taxpayer fighting every request that Maria Liu made, to the point where the Larimer County DA's office had to be removed from the case. Interesting that once the question got outside of the control of this jurisdiction, justice was served.
We hope that in the end, justice prevailed for Tim Masters. The money he was awarded may not recover the time lost in prison under a false conviction, but it will help in the future. However, for the People of the State of Colorado, the victim Peggy Hettrick, and her family, there is no justice. In the megalomania chase after Mr. Masters over the years, individuals who's duty it was to effectuate justice wound up perverting that justice, and got away with that perversion. Will the murdered of Peggy Hettrick ever be bought to justice? Probably not, and only the tolling of time will bring final justice to that individual.
The thought comes to mind that maybe there's a lot more swept under the rug in this jurisdiction. Maybe some of the intensity of the fight against Tim Master's release was that there was fear that the rug would eventually be lifted to expose the dirt underneath. We expectantly await the day when the rug gets pulled up so that the vermin and dirt gets cleaned up. Until then, continue to expect the status quo ante…
RIP Nikki HoundRIP Nikki Hound CatWhisperer Sun, 05/22/2011 - 21:23
Go roll in the carcasses wherever thou be, dear friend, you were always a Good Girl... Actually, I didn't much like dogs till I met her!
Murrvalus's BlogMurrvalus's Blog Site Meister Tue, 08/30/2016 - 17:27
These are entries from Valeda Murr's Blog on the old site that I've decided to resurrect for posterity. I knew Valeda for a long time, well over thirty years. So this is a memorial to her. She is missed and I hope to see her in the afterlife so that I can again enjoy her sarcastic humor, constant wit, and loving presence.
Petitioners in front of Ace HardwarePetitioners in front of Ace Hardware murrvalus Mon, 07/18/2011 - 19:42
So, I went for a job interview down by the Ace hardware on East Harmony. Three petitioners (2 men, 1 woman) for the ballot issue of closing the dispensaries were sitting outside. I was early so I sat outside about 10 feet away and listened to the lies they were telling people. I heard them repeatedly telling people that since the dispensaries opened up, possession of marijuana crime has gone up 300%. They are claiming that drug pushers are buying the marijuana at dispensaries and then selling it to teenagers. This is crap, the drug pushers aren't going to do this because it would kill their profit margin. They are claiming that marijuana use among teenagers has risen. I waited until after my interview to walk over and say something to them.
I started by saying they were unthinking, uncaring and unfeeling. They care only for their own views and not for the people who need the marijuana, especially those in chemo. They replied they were not banning dispensaries only within Fort Collins city limits so people would only have to drive 3 or 4 miles farther (that would depend on where you live). I said that obviously they had not had a loved one in the hospital with cancer that needed relief from the chemo. You put in 30 hour days under these circumstances, Driving just a little farther is just not feasible. They also brought up Marinol, which I said doesn't work (and it doesn't). I again called them unfeeling, uncaring and unthinking. The woman especially got madder and madder, saying they were only trying to protect my grandchildren to which I replied that my children didn't need their help in protecting their children.
The conversation went on for a few minutes and the woman got angrier and angrier. Finally the last time I called them unfeeling, unthinking and uncaring, she was furious and her voice was raised. She told me I just didn't understand and she did too care. I figured it was good time to walk off, my good deed of the day was done.
I only saw 1 person sign in the 45 minutes I watched. Most just shook their heads and kept walking, or told them the voters legalized it, leave it be.
They did say that today was the last day, so I suppose we can be grateful for that. I truly hope that the people of Fort Collins can see past these out and out lies and exaggerations.
Is there a reporter on staff?Is there a reporter on staff? murrvalus Tue, 06/21/2011 - 15:39
Has anyone else been following the story of the young man on the Frontier flight from Dallas to Denver that was removed because the pilot thought it was unsafe (not clear to who) to fly with him on board? If you will notice in the many articles on the Internet, he is from Fort Collins. Nice of the Coloradoan to do a story. Ya gotta wonder if there is still one real reporter on staff. I know for sure there is no proofreader, so maybe they did the same with the reporters.
PoliticsPolitics murrvalus Wed, 04/27/2011 - 18:05
I hope that this time the so-called "birthers" will sit down and shut up. But it is probably a vain hope. These fools are a waste of air. And I am sure that now they will simply say it was forged. Or put in the system later or some such dumb ass idea.
Obama is right, it is time for the silliness to end. This country has major issues to be resolved and for the Republican Party to continue to do this is just ludicrous. And it is the Republican Party, when two of their so-called front runners for next year are talking about it, it is a party platform. Of course, if I had to chose between Palin and Trump for president, I would prefer to move to another country.
The Government, i.e., taxes, defense, take from the poor and give to the richThe Government, i.e., taxes, defense, take from the poor and give to the rich murrvalus Sun, 04/24/2011 - 18:59
Once again the US congress boggles my mind. Here is the simple way to view our "two party" system, the Democrats want to cut the defence budget and put the money in humanitarian programs, the Republicans want to cut the humanitarian programs and put most of it in the defence budget. The rest should go in the pockets of the rich in tax cuts.
If you make millions of dollars, you should be paying more taxes. What we really need is to toss the IRS out the window and start from scratch, if you make 25,000 a year and are married with one or more children no taxes. If you make 10 million a year, lots of taxes. We need one system of taxation. A flat percentage, adjusted somewhat those with children. The less you make the less you pay. No more crazy charts and weird deductions. How about 5% of what you make, add a percentage for Social Security we could massively cut the federal budget by getting rid of the IRS. Think of the savings there!
Republicans in my opinion come in one color, green. People with money vote Republican. Tell me how many poor people vote Republican, because I don't know any. Personally one of my heroes in the 60's was a Republican, Barry Goldwater has got to be rolling in his grave if he has the stomach to watch his party now. All they care about is their wallet.
And all both parties care about is getting reelected!
Lack of snow removalLack of snow removal murrvalus Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:31
Aren't businesses and homeowners supposed to remove the snow from their sidewalks within 24 hours after it has snowed? I live in the vicinity of LaPorte and Shields. Apparently the home and business owners in this area are exempt from the ordinance. Because at least half haven't lifted a shovel all winter. I guess if you wait long enough the snow will melt on it's own. There is an apartment complex at the corner of LaPorte and Sheilds and its sidewalks are treacherous. I don't think they have done a thing to remove the snow all winter.
These sidewalks are a hazard. So take some time and clear your walks.
RevolutionRevolution murrvalus Tue, 02/01/2011 - 20:29
As I watch the unfolding of revolutionary change in Tunisia, Jordan and Egypt, I wonder when the dictators around the world will figure out that in the 21st century, keeping the populace living in fear and ignorance is coming to an end. A college professor of mine asked a question during a lecture, "What is the most important element needed by a populace to have democracy?" Answer - an educated populace, and in my opinion, the second most important component is communication. In today's world, planet wide communication is available in all countries. Not perhaps to all people, but in all countries. What began in Tunisia spread to Egypt, and now Jordan. With mass communication, it will be harder and harder for dictators to maintain what is needed most to maintain power, ignorance.
Death to ignorance means a birth of democracy. Democracy is not perfect, no government is, but it remains the best we have.
A heartfelt salute to those protestors in Egypt, may you step forward into a better future!
A new decade beginsA new decade begins murrvalus Fri, 12/31/2010 - 12:40
And so begins a new decade, for me it begins with high hopes. A new start in Ft. Collins, a new job, my son newly married and expecting the end of May. My daughter and her family returned from three years in Germany.
I also lost an uncle this year, one of the penalties of getting older, and a high school friend to cancer.
I am grateful for all the good things in my life and chose to put aside the bad and look forward to a new year and a new decade with a positive outlook. Remember to try and make someone else smile every day, this was something my late husband did, and it does send positive energy back to you. Say please and thank you. Tell those you love, that you love them often. Be kind to the planet, it is the only one we have. Be safe and have a great new year!
Freedom of SpeechFreedom of Speech murrvalus Tue, 12/07/2010 - 08:26
At last an intelligent way to battle censorship. As long as the Coloradoan sees fit to ban those whose viewpoint they don't like, may there always be ways to sail around it.