Interview with artist Merja Pöyhönen, writer and performer of “Missing Amelia Earhart”.

On Sunday I had the honor and pleasure of seeing Missing Amelia Earhart, a solo puppet play performed by Finnish artist Merja Pöyhönen.

The play tells the story of the famous disappearance of Earhart, an aviator who went missing on her flight around the world, and has never been found. As a result of her mysterious vanishing, her story has become the stuff of legend.

I had an opportunity to interview Ms. Pöyhönen after the performance. We discuss the famous disappearance, but also touch on the role heroes play in human history, the importance of dreams, and the human faces behind historical events. We also hear Merja’s thoughts on what really happened to Amelia.

INTERVIEW IS IN ENGLISH. Just press “Play”.


amelia-10

Link to Merja’s site: http://auraofpuppets.com/services/merja-poyhonen/?lang=en

Link to Tehdas Teatteri, the wonderful theater where I saw the play: http://www.tehdasteatteri.fi

 

 

The book and film favorites of Rea Haverinen, presenter at Radio SuomiRock.

Rea Haverinen hosts her own show at Radio SuomiRock, one of the most popular radio channels in Finland.

Though we here at Books, Bullets and Bad Omens usually can’t get women as good-looking and talented as her to tell us the time of day, Rea was kind enough to share her top 3 books and films with us.


Screenshot-2018-4-22 Rea Haverinen on Instagram “📷 senjarapila”

Books

Avioliittosimulaattori, by Veera Nieminen (2013)

I usually avoid books that claim to be funny because I often don’t find them particularly hilarious. This book is an exception! I laughed so much that I cried! I have also passed the book on to many friends and gotten the same feedback from them.

BUY

What Alice Forgot, by Liane Moriarty (2009)

Before buying a book I always read the first page. If it doesn’t catch my interest, the book will stay at the shelves of the bookstore. This one did though, and it turned out to be one of the funniest I have ever read. A woman who suffers from memory loss, a well-kept secret and a grandmother who has decided to die – this book gets funnier and weirder by the minute. Made me laugh out loud and also cry.

BUY

The Rice Mother, by Rani Manicka (2003)

This book sank deep in my mind and although it’s so upsetting I still haven’t been able to read it again, I remember the names of the main characters and the profoundly shaking turns the book took. A vivid story of a family trying to survive in horrible circumstances.

BUY

 

Films

Boys Don’t Cry, dir. Kimberly Peirce (1999)

Like many books that really touch me, this is a movie I will always remember and always mention when asked about the best movies I have seen – yet I haven’t been able to watch it again because I find it so upsetting. Hilary Swank won an Oscar for her role in the movie and it was certainly well earned!

imdb

UP, dir. Pete Docter and Bob Peterson (2009)

I loooove animations and this one had me crying within the first five minutes. The story gets funnier, deeper and more touching by a minute. One of my all time favorites, no doubt about it.

imdb

Pride, dir. Matthew Warchus (2014)

So it would appear I am a cry baby but let’s not make a problem of it! I went to see this movie in the cinema and it turned out to be a big mistake – I cried so much that eventually I couldn’t control it and also weeped openly the whole way back home! A touching yet funny film about sexual minorities – and the beauty of finally accepting difference.

imdb

 

Interview with Mauri Karvonen, researcher of Finnish ghost stories. (Suomeksi alempana)

Mauri Karvonen is a Finnish researcher and historian who specialuzes in stories of ghosts and haunted houses. He has released a book entitled Aavetaloja ja ihmiskohtaloita (“Haunted Houses and Human Fates”). A sequel to the book will be released next month.

Thank you Mauri for taking the time to talk to Books, Bullets and Bad Omens!


 

DSC01726

1.) Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!

My name is Mauri Karvonen and I live in Jyväskylä, Finland at the moment. I have a Master’s degree in Finnish history. I work as a historian, writer and researcher of paranormal topics. Of course, my work entails lots of other things as well, like lecturing and doing readings as an author.

My hobbies are cycling, swimming, exploring the outdoors, reading, history, culture and traveling, mostly within Finland.

2) How did you end up writing about haunted houses?

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve been interested in old buildings, their history and the people who lived in them. Ghost stories have been an elemental part of this wider interest. That’s how it all got started for me. Over the years I’ve visited hundreds, if not thousands of houses that are said to be haunted.

Before graduating from university in 2014 I started thinking about what I should write about. That’s when I got the idea of combining my hobby with my profession, and ended up writing about haunted houses.

3) Are you interested in paranormal topics in general, or just ghosts?

Ghosts and haunted houses are my number 1 interest, but I’m interested in all kinds of mysteries, as well as UFOs.

4) Tell us about the process of researching and writing your book! Is it hard to find people who will open up about this subject to you?

The process begins with generating an interesting idea and establishing a contact with it. Each of my books has 12 houses. Then I start a process of light background research that entails looking into the history of a location, it’s people and ghost stories. Next, I visit the location myself to look for sources of information and take photographs. I take both daytime and night time photos. I also try to spend a night at the location I plan to write about.

While at a location, I also try to interview people. Finding people who will talk to you is usually fairly easy, since a particular story can’t really be connected with a particular source, so informants are able to maintain their anonymity. They usually speak very openly once they’ve warmed up. I’ve noticed that people have become more and more open about these [paranormal] topics, at least when they talk to us professionals.

5) What is the history of Finnish ghost stories like? Is there something different about them compared to ghost stories from other countries?

Ghost stories have been told in Finland for hundreds of years; they used to be a popular form of entertainment. The oldest story featured in my books is from the 1200s, I think.

The tradition of ghost stories is fairly uniform across the globe, and the stories are fairly similar everywhere, though I want to stress that each story is unique in itself.

6) What types of houses does the haunting lore attach itself to? Old mansions, that sort of a thing?

Yes, mostly old historical places like castles, theaters, mansions etc., but stories are told about new buildings, too. I myself research only historical buildings and their stories.

7) The term “ihmiskohtaloita” (“human fates”) is included in the title of your book. What types of “human fates” does one find behind ghost stories and stories of haunted houses?

There is usually a sad human story behind a ghost tale, but there are also happy incidents and fates. There doesn’t always have to be a murder or an accident or anything like that for a story to live on. Take, for example, the story of Märtha Rosenlaw and the Vanajanlinna Castle, from my first book.

My main interest is, indeed, the people behind the stories of haunted houses and ghosts. I sometimes jokingly say that my job is private detective work in the world of history and ghost stories.

aavetaloja

8) Do you have a favorite ghost story?

I’m interested in all different kinds of stories. I know hundreds of them, so I don’t really have any one favorite. I’d say I’m most affected by stories related to children and child ghosts.

9) How does the haunting phenomenon “work”, in your opinion? Do you believe there is a genuine supernatural force behind it, or something else?

Because I only research stories, I have not really researched the phenomenon itself. To put it bluntly, I would say that perhaps ghosts have some sort of unfinished business on Earth, making them return to the world of the living, if they ever left it in the first place.

There are some views according to which ghosts consists of different kinds of energies. It’s also said that ghosts are humans who never realized they died, and think they are still alive. Other ghosts, on the other hand, may have gotten “stuck” here on Earth, unable to live after their death, while still others cross the border between life and death every now and then, and come back to visit the living.

10) Have you yourself ever experienced anything paranormal?

I have seen so many of these haunted houses during my life that it’s inevitable that I’ve come across paranormal incidents myself as well. 95 percent of such incidents have a natural explanation, but then there’s the remaining 5 percent that is left without a rational basis. So I’m “skeptically curious” *smile*

11) You will soon release a sequel to your book. Tell us about it!

“Aavetaloja ja ihmiskohtaloita 2 – Hyytävä matka Suomen historiaan jatkuu” (“Haunted Houses and Human Fates 2- the creepy journey to the history of Finland continues”) will come out in May. Compared to the first book, the stories in this sequel are collected from a wider geographical spectrum. The sequel also makes more of a use of archives, interviews and other source materials. In keeping with the spirit of my books, I’ve placed great emphasis on versatility.

Because this year marks the 100th anniversary of Finland’s civil war, I’ve also researched stories related to it. War in general features more heavily in the stories in this sequel.

12) Where can people keep up with your work and buy your books?

The best way to follow my work is through my Facebook page:

http://www.facebook.com/aavetalojajaihmiskohtaloita

So go ahead and take a peek at my work, and leave a “Like”!

My books are available in all kinds of bookstores, both physical and web stores. If you want a copy with my signature, you can order directly through my site. You can also follow my work in the media, and I am available for lectures if you’re interested in holding your own event.

13) Is there anything you’d like to add that I forgot to ask about?

All is well 🙂

And finally, my regular questions.

14) Your top 3 films?

1) Downfall (2004)

2) Braveheart (1995)

3) Käsky (2008, English title “Tears of April”)

15) Your top 3 books?

1) Suomen kartanoita (“Finland’s Mansions”) by Dahl & Gardberg

2) Ammattina vankikarkuri (“Profession: Prison Escapee”) by Jan Jalutsi

3) Hävittäkää Helsinki! (“Destroy Helsinki!”) by Antero Raevuori

16) What model phone do you use?

Some very old piece of junk by Huawei.


1) Kuka olet? Kerro hieman itsestäsi!

Nimeni on Mauri Karvonen ja asun Jyväskylässä tällä hetkellä. Koulutukseltani on FM, Suomen historian asiantuntija. Työskentelen historian- ja rajatiedontutkijana sekä kirjailijana. Työhöni kuuluu toki paljon muutakin kuten esim. Luennot ja kirjailijavierailut. Harrastan pyöräilyä, uintia, ulkoilua, lukemista, historiaa, kulttuuria ja matkustelua lähinnä kotimaassa. 

2) Kuinka päädyit kirjoittamaan aavetaloista?

Olen ollut lapsesta asti kiinnostunut vanhoista rakennuksista, niiden historiasta ja siellä eläneistä ihmisistä. Niitä olellinen osa on ollut kummitustarinat. Siitä kaikki on lähtenyt liikkeelle. Vuosien saatossa olen kiertänyt satoja ellen tuhansia paikkoja joissa väitetään kummittelevan. Ennen valmistumistani yliopistosta (2014) aloin miettimään mitä alkaisin kirjoittamaan kun se eniten kiinnosti. Sitten sain idean yhdistää ammatti ja harrastus ja näin päädyin kirjoittamaan aavetaloista.

3) Oletko kiinnostunut yliluonnollisista ilmiöistä ylipäätään, vai ainoastaan aaveista?

Kyllä ykkösenä tulee aaveet ja ennenkaikkea aavetarinat. Toki olen aina ollut kiinnostunut kaikenlaisista mysteereistä ja ufoista. 

4) Kerro kirjan kirjoitusprosessista. Millaista sitä oli tutkia ja kirjoittaa? Oliko haastateltavia helppoa löytää? Puhuivatko ihmiset yleisesti ottaen teemasta avoimesti, vai välttelivätkö aave-aihetta jonkinlaisen leimaantumisen pelossa?

Prosessi lähtee liikenteeseen mielenkiintoisen kohteen löytämisellä ja sen kontaktoimisella. Jokaisessa kirjassa on 12 kohdetta. Sitten aloitan kevyen taustatutkimuksen liittyen paikan historiaan, ihmisiin joita siellä on elänyt ja aavetarinoihin. Seuraavaksi menen paikan päälle tutustumaan paikkaan, etsimään lähteitä ja kuvaamaan. Kuvaan sekä yöllä, että päivällä. Pyrin myös yöpymään paikan päällä. Samalle kertaa yleensä haastattelen ihmisiä suunnitelman mukaan. Kyllä haastateltavat on yleensä helppo löytää. Tiettyä tarinaa kun ei pysty yhdistämään tietyn henkilön kertomaksi. Kyllä puhuvat aiheesta avoimesti kunhan ollaan päästy alkuun. Olen huomannut, että aiheesta jutellaan entistä avoimemmin, ainakin meille ammattilaisille.

5) Millainen on suomalaisten kummitustarinoiden historia? Onko niissä jotakin erityistä/erilaista verrattuna vaikkapa ulkomaiden kertomusperinteeseen?

Kummitustarinoita on kerrottu Suomessa satoja vuosia, olihan ne muinaisten aikojen viihdykettäkin. Kirjasarjani kakkososassa vanhin tarina taisi olla 1200-luvulta. Kertomusperinne on aika samanlainen ympäri maailman ja tarinat ovat samankaltaisia, mutta kuitenkin painotan, että jokainen tarina on kuitenkin uniikki.

6) Millaisiin taloihin kummitteluiden/aaveiden folklore kiinnittyy? Vanhat kartanot tms?

Kyllä kärkipäässä on ns. historialliset paikat kuten linnat, teatterit, kartanot jne, mutta kyllä tarinoita kerrotaan ihan uusistakin rakennuksista. Itse toki tutkin vain historiallisia kohteita ja niiden tarinoita. 

7) Kirjasi nimessä esiintyy termi “ihmiskohtaloita”. Millaisia ihmiskohtaloita kummittelujen taustalta löytyy?

Kyllä tarinan taakse usein kätkeytyy, joku surullinen ihmiskohtalo, mutta myös iloisia tapahtumia ja kohtaloita. Aina ei siis tarvi olla murha, onnettomuus tms, että tarina on jäänyt elämään. Tästä esimerkkinä vaikkapa Märtha Rosenlewin tarina Vanajanlinnasta, joka on ykkösosassa. Tutkin nimenomaan oikeita ihmisiä tarinoiden taustalta ja onko niitä. Olen leikilläni sanonut, että tämä on salapoliisityötä historian ja aavetarinoiden maailmassa.

8) Onko sinulla suosikkitarinaa kummitustarinoiden alueelta?

Itseäni kiinnostaa kaikki mahdolliset tarinat. Tiedän satoja tarinoita, joten ei ole yksittäistä suosikkia. Itseäni ehkä eniten koskettaa lapsiin tai lapsihaamuihin liittyvät tarinat ja kohtalot.

9) Miten kummitteluilmiö syntyy? Uskotko että sen takana on aito yliluonnollinen voima, vai jotakin muuta?

Koska tutkin vain tarinoita niin en ole itse ilmiötä niinkään tutkinut. Lyhyesti ja ytimekkäästi itse ilmiöstä sanoisin, että kenties aaveella on jäänyt täällä jokin asia kesken, että pitää palata elävien maailmaan tai sitten ei malta lähteä kuotuaankaan. On olemassa yleisiä käsityksiä kuten, että aaveet ovat erilaisia energioita. Kerrotaan myös, että aaveet eivät tajuaisi itse olevansa kuolleita vaan elävänsä edelleen. Toiset taas on jääneet tänne puolelle “jumiin” ja toiset palaa rajan takaa takaisin silloin tällöin.

10) Oletko itse koskaan kokenut mitään yliluonnollista?

Olen niin monta paikkaa elämäni aikana, että kyllä väkisin on vastaan tullut jotain yliluonnollista. 95% ilmiöille löytyy luonnollinen selitys, mutta sitten onkin jäljellä se 5% mille ei löydy selitystä. Olen siis skeptisen utelias.:D 

11) Julkaiset pian jatkoa kirjallesi. Kerro hieman mitä on odotettavissa?

Kirjasarjani saa jatkoa tosiaan pian. Aavetaloja ja ihmiskohtaloita osa 2. – Hyytävä matka Suomen historiaan jatkuu- ilmestyy toukokuussa. Ensimmäiseen osaan verrattuna on kohteet enemmän ympäri Suomea. Kirjassa on myös enemmän hyödynnetty lähdemateriaalia, arkistoja ja haastateltavia. Olen panostanut kirjasarjan perinteitä silmällä pitäen myös monipuolisuuteen. Koska tänä vuonna tulee kuluneeksi Suomen sisällissodasta 100 vuotta olen tutkinut ja kirjoittanut aiheesta kohteiden ympärillä. Muutenkin nostin enemmän esille myös sotahistoriaa enemmän verrattuna ekaan osaan. 

12) Missä ihmiset voivat seurata työtäsi ja ostaa kirjojasi?

Parhaiten työtäni voi seurata kirjasarjani facebook-sivuila: http://www.facebook.com/ aavetalojajaihmiskohtaloita  Joten käykäähän kurkkaamassa ja tykkäämässä sivusta. Kirjojani voi ostaa kirjakaupoista, verkkokaupoista ja jos vaikka omistuskirjoituksen haluaa niin suoraan minulta sivujen kautta. Työtäni voi myös seurata mediassa ja luennoilla. Ps. Minut saa myös tilata luentokeikalla minne vain.;)

13) Unohdinko kysyä jotakin oleellista? Kerro siitä tässä!

Kaikki hyvin.:)

Ja loppuun vakiokysymykset, jotka esitän kaikille haastateltaville:

14) Top 3 elokuvasi?

Perikato
Braveheart
Käsky

15) Top 3 kirjasi?

Suomen kartanoita-Dahl Kaj/Gardberg C.J
Ammattina vankikarkuri-Jalutsi Jan
Hävittäkää Helsinki!-Raevuori Antero

16) Minkä mallin puhelinta käytät? (Olen puhelimia keräilevä tekniikkanörtti :))

Joku erittäin vanha Huawein romu.

Interview with Mark Marek, creator and administrator of Best Gore.

Mark Marek is the man behind the (in)famous bestgore.com, a website that gives you a peek behind the curtains of such battlegrounds as the drug war in Mexico, the various wars in the Middle East, gang wars in Latin America, and so on. Over the years, the site has also published videos featuring police brutality and racism, videos other sites have refused to feature.

In addition to this, it also publishes simply gory, bloody and otherwise disturbing content.

Below is my interview Mr. Marek.

Thanks, Mark, for taking the time!


marek

1) Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!

I’m that guy on the street you wouldn’t give a second thought about if he passed by you.

2) What did you do before BestGore?

I worked for the provincial government in Alberta, Canada.

3) How did the site come to be? Who established it and how?

I established it just as I was preparing to escape the rat wheel of the corporate world and quit my job to pursue self-discovery. It all came together in my mind in just the right sequence to make sense of it and pursue it.

4) What were the early days of BG like?

Nothing too spectacular. The beginnings were humble with a lot of discouragement as I was being told over and over that it will never be successful due to the fact that there were too many similar websites out there already and the niche was dominated by websites so well established, a new one could never get ahead of them. I persevered nevertheless and added to my site what all other ones were lacking – descriptive titles and the accompanying articles containing considerable background research. It was a lot of extra work, but in the end it paid off as the readers came in ever increasing numbers, expressing appreciation for making the site about more than just graphic content.

5) How has the site changed over the years? I would imagine visitor numbers have gone up considerably.

The growth has never stopped and it is currently the most popular it’s ever been, with record user participation and interest from newcomers. Needless to say, whereas the website celebrates its 10th anniversary this month of this year, it’s gone through many changes over the decade. I myself have grown with her. I may be the founder, but I’m not a know it all. To the contrary, all I know is that I know nothing, to paraphrase Socrates. I may be the founder of Best Gore, but I learn by observing what goes on around the world the same other readers of the website do. And it’s been an ongoing learning process, which has only shown that there is so much more to learn, the process will never stop.

puppy

(from the disclaimer page of the website)

6) How is a BestGore post put together?

Best Gore has a very active user base, so a lot of the published content is submitted by the users. Of all the similar websites out there, we have and have always had the highest amount of exclusive content. I also have my own avenues for obtaining content so after the end of each day, I have more content in my hands than I could possibly publish. The rest is a matter of researching the background story and penning it all together for the use on the internet. I have my own way of putting posts together and styling them which seems to be broadly appreciated, so I have stuck with it for the decade.

7) Is there a deeper philosophy (freedom of speech, libertarian values, anti-censorship etc) behind what you do, or do you just enjoy posting the materials?

I think it’s a little bit of everything. I do enjoy posting the content as it affords me the ability to keep informed and educated on what goes on around the world. And whereas the feedback I have been receiving demonstrated without a shadow of the doubt that the material shared saves lives and contributes in countless ways to a better and safer world, the added incentive only propels me further. The philosophy of the right to freedom of expression would be meaningless without its “sister”, the right of the public to have access to information, and in particular the information of their own choosing and interest. When I was prosecuted for informing the public on what really goes on around the world, the authorities tried to take the former away from me, and the latter away from the world.

8) You have posted several videos and photos that other sites or news outlets sometimes won’t release, such as videos of police brutality and racism, etc. Do you get thanks for doing this?

I get both thanks and death threats. There are powerful people and institutions that feel threatened by me showing their true colors to such a large audience.

9) Your site famously features, among other things, beheading videos by Mexican cartels. Where do you get these videos? From the cartels themselves?

Submissions from users are anonymous. I have 10 years of unbroken record of respecting people’s privacy and anonymity. The videos are submitted and I do not ask who the person submitting them is, or what their affiliation with the participants in the video may be. I’m just a medium to deliver the message to the masses, as I respect their right to have access to information of their own choosing. I do not seek to go beyond that.

10) Having worked on BG for so many years, are you still shocked by some videos? What’s the most gruesome/otherwise memorable video you’ve ever seen?

What operating Best Gore has thought me is that there will never any lack of content to post, as there is so much violence in the world. After running for 10 years, the content shared on Best Gore so far in 2018 has been the most graphic in the website’s history. I have seen so much, there is little to still shock me, yet it still happens. I think the two recent videos of flaying in Mexico have taken their solid place among the most memorable videos so far.

11) You’ve been in trouble with the law over your site. What’s the situation with that at the moment?

After more than 3 years of persecution, I escaped Canada but was threatened with assassination by the Canadian police so am presently seeking political asylum in a neutral country.

12) Do you have any future plans for BG? (personal question: ever thought of writing a book?)

I’m far too dangerous and inconvenient for the powers that be for any mainstream publisher to consider publishing my books. That being said, don’t let the books by other seemingly dangerous and inconvenient people trick you. Those were written by controlled opposition as part of what’s known as “Limited Hangout”. Other than that, I do not have any long term plans, whether with websites or my personal life. I choose to live in the moment.

13) Is there anything you would like to add that I perhaps forgot to ask you about?

Thanks for your interest in speaking with me.

And finally, my regular questions:

14) Your top 3 books?

Lord of the Rings
Think and Grow Rick by Napoleon Hill
Body by Science by Dr. Doug McGuff

15) your top 3 films?

Lord of the Rings trilogy

16) what model phone do you use? (I’m a collector, so I always ask interesting people this question)

I have a Samsung S5 without a sim card. I use it because I have offline maps and translators on it, and it’s also became the replacement for a camera I used to always have in my pocket to take pictures with. For phone calls I have an old (nigh indestructible) pre-smart-phones Nokia, but hardly ever buy a sim card for it. Unless absolutely necessary, I restrict my communications to emails.

Interview with Kendall Carver, founder of International Cruise Victims and father of a missing woman.

Mr Kendall Carver is the founder and chairman of International Cruise Victims (ICV), an organization established in 2006 that addresses the issue of crimes and disappearances at sea. His own daughter Merrian disappeared from a cruise ship under bizarre circumstances in 2004.

He has testified before House and Senate Committees five times, giving testimony on injustices suffered by people at the hands of cruise line corporations.  He also consults on the issue around the world.

In 2017 Mr Carver received the Ronald Wilson Reagan Public Policy Award. The award is given to people whose work has led to major changes in public policy, and improvements in practices that serve victims of crime.

Below is my interview with Mr. Carver.


kendall

(Kendall Carver)

1) What is the “International Cruise Victims” organization? What does it do?

ICV was formed on January 1, 2018 by four families who had lost family members on Cruise Ships. The organization was formed to give victim and their families a united voice. The group offers support to new victims of crimes on cruise ships plus work towards passing legislation to give victims rights on cruise ships and improve safety of cruise ships.

2) Your involvement with this issue began with your own daughter going missing. Can you tell us the full story of how your daughter disappeared?

I could probably write a book to cover the full story of her going missing. The following link is a detailed summary from our web page:

http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/LatestMemberStories/Merrian_Carver.html

merrian

(Merrian Carver)

3) I hope you don’t get offended by my asking, but was she suicidal? How likely do you think it is that she jumped off the ship?

After three years, the cruise line admitted there was a video which they review and kept for several months. They had indicated when we first contacted them three weeks after she went missing, that there was no video. If they had a video, why did they indicate that there was no video which only after three years they admitted there was a video. If there was a video of Merrian going overboard, that would have been the end of the story.

In fact, they had lied to us. Crew members later contacted us to say that some crew members were involved in her disappearance. In fact, we will never know what happened.

4) What happened next, after your daughter had gone missing? Who did you contact? What did they do to help you?

We first contacted the cruise ship then turned the investigation over to private detectives and two law firms. Our only initial goal was to speak to the steward who had taken care of her room. It took four months, court action in two states at a cost of $75,000 to finally get a deposition from the steward. He then indicated that he had advised his superior two days into the trip that her room was not being used. He was advised to forget it and just do his job. At the end of the trip, he was advised to put her items in the room in a bag and give them to his boss. The cruise line them disposed of her belongings, and told no one.

merriankendall

(Merrian and Kendall Carver)

5) There was a massive problem with getting CCTV security camera footage in the investigation. Can you tell us more about this?

Frankly, it was a cover-up. When we asked for it, they actually had the video and then lied to us that is was erased. It took three years for them to admit that they actually had it. See the Exhibit 2 on the link below in the answer 6.

6) You have mentioned many times that you believe there was a cover-up following your daughter’s disappearance. What do you think the cruise line were covering up?

In the book “Devil in the Deep Blue Seas” that came out in 2005, it was indicated that cover up was the standard procedure. Those pages are shown in my congressional testimony to the Senate under Exhibit 2.

http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/files/Total-testimoney1a-1-with_titles.pdf

7) What is your own belief/theory as to what happened to your daughter?

While I will never know for sure, the reports from the cruise members that one of them was involved in her disappearance is probably the conclusion I would come to. This was also confirmed by two separate psychics from different parts of the country.

8) Your daughter’s case is eerily similar to the disappearance of Amy Lynn Bradley, a young lady who went missing from a cruise in 1998. What do you think about the Bradley disappearance? Have you been in contact/shared experiences with the Bradley family?

The Bradley family and I have been in contact since the beginning of ICV. Their daughter disappeared with no answers and our daughter disappeared with no answers. This is the 20-year anniversary of losing their daughter, and Amy Bradley’s case is receiving much press, as per the following link.

https://www.fbi.gov/video-repository/wanted-vodcast-amy-bradley-20th-anniversary-032318.mp4/view

9) A popular weekend pastime in my country (Finland) is taking a cruise from Helsinki or Turku to Stockholm (Sweden) or Tallinn (Estonia). We have several cases of people going missing from cruises, and these cases are usually quickly written off as “spontaneous drunken suicides”. While this is probably true in many cases, I’ve always felt like this “one-size-fits-all”-explanation doesn’t apply in all cases. (After all, people drinking in bars and pubs aren’t constantly jumping from rooftops or shooting themselves.) Have you come across this same mentality in the U.S.?

Interesting question.

In the legislation that ICV passed in 2010, it was required that ships improve the video detections and add MOB systems. The cruise lines have failed to add these systems and the following just came out which should force the cruise lines to add these systems. With them, you could start of answer your question.

https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20180219005540/en/International-Cruise-Victims-Association-ICV-Pleased-Announce

10) When one investigates these disappearances, sooner or later one comes across the issues of human trafficking and kidnappings. Have you looked into the world of human trafficking? What do you think about a potential connection between that ugly trade and disappearances?

We know the that crew members are involved in many of these disappearances, and clearly these crew members could be involved in human trafficking crimes. As an example, they have been found to be moving drugs on these ships, and we have to assume they might be involved in other crimes as well.

11) In trying to get cruise lines to be more open and cooperative in disappearance cases, you’re fighting a battle against huge, rich corporations. How do you wage this battle?

Just as the voice of the students in Florida has been very effective, the voice of victims that are organized with a cause, such as ICV, have been able to make a difference. A passionate victim is a very effective voice for change.

12) How can people going on cruises increase their safety?

First of all, Senate hearings have determined that 1/3 of all sexual crimes aboard American cruise ships are committed on minors. You can’t assume your children are safe when on a cruise. People need to stay together with friends, and realize that there are no police on cruise ships, where unlimited drunken crimes will occur.

13) In case something bad DOES happen, how can families increase their chances of getting answers?

Legislation, like what was passed to give victims’ rights on cruise ships in the United States, needs to be passed in all countries. There is little chance of getting answers from the countries where ships are flagged.

14) I say this only half-jokingly: do you think everyone going on a cruise should leave behind a signed letter saying “I am not suicidal, and do not plan on killing myself on this trip” to ensure their potential disappearance is investigated properly?

I have to say that regardless of what you leave behind, you can’t assume that crimes will be investigated by the country where the ship is flagged.

15) How have you coped with the sorrow of losing a daughter under such sad circumstances? Does the heart ever heal, or does the pain just subside enough to let you get on with your life?

Really, the hurt never heals. I have moved forward with passion against the industry that allows various crimes to occur knowing that little action will be taken.

16) What’s in your future? What are your plans?

Clearly, I will not live forever so my goal is to build an organization that carries on. We are so fortunate to have so many members playing a significant role in ICV every day and am sure this will happen as long as victims and their families continue to come to ICV.

17) If people reading this want to help you and your organization somehow, how can they do it?

Membership is free and people can join to support ICV both in our mission and with donations. They can join at the following link:

http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/Contact_us.html

Since we are an all-volunteer group, donations can also be make at:

http://www.internationalcruisevictims.org/Donations.html

Interview with Mr. Scott Taylor, Canadian journalist who survived a kidnapping in Iraq in 2004.

Mr. Scott Taylor is a former soldier in the Canadian armed forces, and a current journalist and publisher. He runs the Canadian military magazine Esprit de Corps. Buy Scott’s books here.

In 2004 he was reporting on the war in Iraq when he and his Turkish colleague were kidnapped by a group of radical guerrillas. His story has been told in the hit TV series Locked Up Abroad (also known in Britain as Banged Up Abroad).

Below is my interview with Mr. Taylor about his harrowing experience and survival in the face of great danger. Speaking of “books, bullets and bad omens”, Scott is a man who has experience with all three…

Thank you Scott for your time!


Scott-Taylor-2010

1.) Who are you? Tell us a bit about yourself!

I am an illustrator by training, a graduate of the Ontario College of Art & design. I enlisted in the Canadian Army for a four year basic engagement in 1982 and took my Commando training in 1984. After ‘retiring’ at the age of 25, I soon combined my art training with my military experience when I founded the magazine Esprit de Corps in August 1988. As a war correspondent my first reporting venture was the Persian Gulf war in 1991.

2) You served in the Canadian Military. Was the military in your “blood” through your family, or how did you end up making that career choice?

My father is a fantastic painter and illustrator and my childhood goal was to follow in his footsteps. However my father was also a military history buff and we shared a passion for studying conflicts. It was this interest which led to my post-graduation decision to become a soldier. I wanted to test my mettle as it were, and experience what I had so intently read about as a young man.

3) Did you see any action?

I did not see action as a soldier. My battalion was based in west Germany and we were prepared to wage WW3 should the Soviet Union invade. However, as a correspondent I have witnessed the horrors of frontline battlefields all around the globe. And I have had occasion to be caught up in combat situations.

4) After your service to your country, you became a writer and journalist. How did that transformation happen?

I had never envisioned myself as a writer, but once I started Esprit de Corps I realized that it was a wonderful ticket to numerous adventures and travel. I could now head up into the arctic with the infantry, sail aboard Canadian warships and submarines and fly off to wherever our troops were deployed internationally. I was not about to concede all that adventure to others while I stayed in my publisher’s office selling advertising!

5) You specialize in war journalism. Why? Is it the danger and adventure, or something deeper that draws you to the battlefields of the globe?

Having always studied war and warfare, and having trained as an elite soldier, my initial interest was probably a little bit of a rah, rah military cheerleader. However seeing the massive carnage created by the Allied air force against the primitively equipped Iraqi army in the desert of Kuwait, I became firmly committed to countering the pro-war propaganda.

6) Your Wikipedia page describes your writing as having a “strongly polemical slant”. What do you think they mean by that?

It means that I am prepared to swim upstream in my reporting. I challenge the de-humanization of our so-called enemies because I firmly believe that there are bad ‘persons’ but no such thing as a bad ‘people’ in this world.

7) In 2004, you and a Turkish colleague, Zeynep Tugrul, were in Iraq covering the American operations in the country. Can you give us some background on this assignment of yours? Who were you writing for? How did you prepare for this dangerous trip?

By September 2004, I had made a total of 20 trips into Iraq, before, during and after the US led invasion in 2003. As such I had established a vast network of contacts from all the various factions; Sunni Arab, Shiite Arab, Kurds, Turkmen etc. I was able to operate on an unembedded basis on all of those trips. I had a few major news agencies that were buying my syndicated reports (Aljazeera, Post media and some European newspapers). The key element to protecting myself was my trust in the friendships which I had made. Canada was not America and we were not involved in the occupation.

zeynep

(Zeynep Tugrul. Photo: Free Republic)

8) While on that assignment, you and your colleague were kidnapped. How and where did the kidnap happen?

My Turkish colleague Zeynep Tugrul and I had been tipped off by an associate in Mosul that the Americans were about to make a major operation against insurgents in the city of Talafar. His reason for confiding in me was to deter me from heading into the danger zone. His words had the opposite effect and Zeynep and I hired a driver to take us to Talafar. I had been there earlier in the summer and I knew Doctor Bashar who was an influential Turkmen leader. U.S. paid police were still guarding the main entrance to Talafar and they insisted that if we were to proceed to Doctor Bashar’s house we need to be escorted by several masked gunmen sitting in a nearby car. I wrongly presumed this was a special forces unit of the police. It turned out to be the insurgent commander, Emir, the leader of the extremist group Ansar al-Islam and he was in full cooperation with the US paid police!

tal afar

(Tal Afar, Iraq)

9) How did the first few days of the kidnapping transpire? The kidnappers almost executed you right away, am I right?

Within hours of us being detained, right after dusk, a roving execution squad from a rival group arrived where Zeynep and I were being detained. They came straight for me and had me against a wall to be shot before I could even fully grasp the enormity of what was happening. Zeynep stated them by yelling out “Don’t shoot him…He has a son!” Fortunately for me the Emir returned at that moment and ordered the execution halted.

10) Most people (myself included) would be paralyzed by fear in such a situation. What kinds of coping mechanisms did you employ to maintain your sanity?

The first execution scenario passed too quickly for me to fully react, but as I became resigned to my fate I found it easier. Once I knew I was going to die, it was easier than fearing that I might be killed.

11) The kidnappers once left a loaded rifle in your cell. Do you think they did this on purpose? What did you ultimately decide to do with the weapon?

The loaded gun was a complete goof up on the part of my guards. These were not professional soldiers and this was probably their first experience ever handling a prisoner. They were so concerned with strip searching me and thoroughly examining my clothing items that they forgot they had put down the rifle. I am very familiar with that type of rifle (Fabrique National SLR) and I checked to make sure the ammo and firing pin were not tampered with. However, as I did not know where they were keeping Zeynep and the fact that we were in the middle of an insurgent held town meant I decided not to try and shoot my way out with just 20 bullets. I attracted the negligent guard’s attention and quietly handed him back the weapon. This earned me his gratitude and trust.

12) How did the fact that your colleague was kidnapped with you affect you psychologically? Did it make matter better or worse?

To not be alone was a huge help, particularly at the beginning when we were held by turkmen extremists. She could easily communicate with them. Once we were transferred to an Arab group this was not the case. It was that group which extensively tortured both Zeynep and I. Following that, Zeynep was released (believing me to be dead from the torture) and I was sentenced to be beheaded.

13) Your kidnapping took place right around the beginning of the Iraq conflict. In other words: when we see the famous images of bombs going off and flames going up in the first days of the war, you are locked up somewhere in the general area, listening to the mayhem unfolding?

We were taken at the height of the insurgency in September 2004, well after the original invasion. However this was a major US offensive to force the insurgents out of Talafar. Therefore we were in the midst of the insurgents as the US pounded them with helicopter gunships and fighter jets. We were in at least as much danger from the US forces as we were from our captor during the battle. Hundreds of insurgents were killed or wounded that first night.

14) A leader of the insurgency had promised to consider releasing you, but he died in the nocturnal battles. How did this affect you two?

The Emir was literally the first insurgent killed in the battle. The US had been tracking his vehicle with drones in the days leading up to the attack. They used a Hellfire missile to execute him as the battle got underway. His death meant that what had been a ‘Muslim promise” to set us free(Emir to Zeynep) was now a ‘Martyr’s promise as he was killed in battle. That was why they had to hand us over to the second group in Mosul, because they had to obey this Martyr’s promise. At the same time Ansar al-Islam had never before released a western hostage. So they came to a compromise solution. They did not simply release me, but they did not kill me themselves.

15) Isolation sometimes has the effect of inviting spiritual reflection. Would you say this was the case with you?

I had some long talks with God asking not to spare my life (I felt it was too late for that) but to take care of my wife and son. And I am not a religious man in the traditional sense.

16) You witnessed a suicide bomb car assembled. Can you describe this to us?

When our convoy left Talafar there were about a dozen cars crammed to the brim with heavily armed fighters and ammunition of all calibers. At a specified rendezvous spot in the desert we all halted for them to pray towards Mecca. Then they gathered all the spare artillery shells etc and piled them into two pick-up trucks. Those vehicles were made into massive suicide bombs and the drivers were hailed by the remaining fighters as they drove back into the embattled Talafar.

17) How did the situation begin to de-escalate? When and how did the process that ultimately led to you two being freed begin?

Zeynep was released and I was tied to a bed in a safe house to await my beheading. It was to be the next morning at 7 am but at some point additional captors arrived to say the execution was being moved forward to 10 pm that night. I was actually relieved because I was in such pain from the positional torture. They put a knifee to my throat for what they said was a final game of ‘Knife or Life”. I was to answer each question knowing that a wrong answer would result in my death. When they said I was to be transported and released I still thought this was simply to prevent me from struggling until I was at my place of execution. Even when a new car arrived and my blindfold was removed I still felt it could be a trick.

18) What was it like to finally walk out of this?

Once I realized that the new driver had been drinking beer and was drunk, I actually began to let myself think I might actually live. That is when I realized that in preparing for death I had shut down my emotional responses. I liken the relief as turning the pilot light back on in my soul.

scott released

(Scott being interviewed immediately after his release)

19) How did you cope with this experience? Did you ever seek the help of a professional psychologist/therapist?

I did not seek any professional help. Being a journalist I could and did have my story published in great detail and I was able to ‘let go of the baggage’ in this manner by having the story retold. I also had the wonderful realization that I could once again see all of those people and things that I had mentally said farewell to while awaiting execution.

20) What would you say to other people who have gone through terrifying, possibly even traumatizing events?

Do not keep it bottled up inside. Re-visit the darker moments (with professional help if necessary) and look at the positive…I.e. You survived. Life is a wonderful thing.

21) What is your life like nowadays?

In the fourteen years since the incident I have continued to report from war zones and to write books and host documentaries. Iraq is now a no-go zone but I have covered Afghanistan extensively as well as Libya in 2011 and the frozen conflicts in the Caucasus.

22) Where can people keep up with your work?

Most of my work will end up on www espritdecorps.ca even if published first elsewhere.

23) Is there anything I forgot to ask about that you would like to say?

I cannot salute my colleague Zeynep enough for her bravery. It ended up being a bit of a role reversal in that the ex-Commando owes his life to the intervention of an intrepid young Turkish reporter.

And finally, my regular questions.

Your top 3 films?

Idiocracy (Mike Judge)
Das Boot
Zulu

Your top 3 books?

The Last Battle (Cornelious Ryan)
The Second World War (Anthony Beevor)
Stalingrad (Anthony Beevor)

What model phone do you use?

Samsung

Interview with Luka Magnotta

magnotta1

1) Who is Luka Magnotta? How would you describe yourself to someone who has never heard of you?

First of all, you contacted me a while ago, but I was reluctant to answer you since I’ve avoided the lying media at all costs. When I realized you were not associated with the professional media, and I did some research [on you], I decided to set the record straight on a few things.

There is an old saying: “Tell your own story, or someone else will tell it for you”, and that is precisely what has been done. Almost everything is complete lies, exaggerations and sensationalism. I am bombarded by requests to work with mainstream media and I always refuse their requests due to the simple fact that I just don’t trust them. They are master manipulators who have fooled the public. People need to stop relying on the failing news media and get their facts directly from the source. Times have changed and people are completely fed up with their lies.

I am frequently being portrayed as someone “consumed by seeking attention” or “unstable”. This inaccurate spin could not be further from the truth. In fact, it is fake news designed by the media to sell papers and gain viewers. Utterly pathetic and this label is getting old LOL! The truth is I, nor anyone I associate with have ever requested or participated in  an interview with any media outlet in the past seven years. My family, friends and acquaintances ignore completely the failing media and their exploitive manipulation. Hardly the acts of someone “addicted to attention”. In fact, the failing media are hypocrites and they are the ones constantly dying to be in the spotlight.

People have claimed incredible lies about me. It’s unfathomable how any credible news outlet would publish such false stories; it’s atrocious. For example: I am told a lot of irrelevant weirdos have claimed to have been in relationships with me, or to have befriended me, or to have had some sort of a connection with me, etc. I am completely bewildered, since I don’t know any of them, nor have I ever even heard of them. I don’t even know what any of them look like! Lol. Incredible. Individuals frequently alter photos to advance their agendas, or they’ve taken a quick photo with me, then spin it into wildly false and incredible stories. I have a special filter in my brain that deletes all the nonsense. As I”ve said, not one person close to me has ever given any interview and anyone claiming otherwise are morons. When someone mentions any of this nonsense, I continue to laugh. Pathetic attention seekers. People are entitled to their opinions, but not the facts – only I can provide the facts.

2) Is there a difference between Luka Magnotta and Eric Newman?

This is an interesting question, so let me say this. As I’ve gotten older I have become extremely skilled at navigating the world. Also, I have studied psychology thoroughly, it has become invaluable. I am able to analyze situations very effectively and respond accordingly.

As was widely reported but extremely inaccurate, I have no mental disorders, never have. I also take absolutely no medications. That was all fake news. In my early years I was misdiagnosed by an unqualified doctor, and this wrong diagnosis has followed me, and was exploited by my legal team. I have explained this to many doctors and they absolutely agree with me. At the time of my trial, I wished strongly to defend myself  and testify. At the advice of my sanctimonious counsel, I reluctantly declined. The “professional” with “all the experience” insisted that the “insanity defense was the only way”. I wanted absolutely nothing to do with this defense. I thought it was completely irresponsible to force this on me. It was the wrong direction in my eyes. The pontificators argued and many lawyers left out team. Instead, I was urged to meet with psychiatrists and psychologists. I continued to proclaim I wanted no part of the “NCR Defense”. These doctors presented me with absurd theories and would rummage through medical files in a frenzied attempt to find evidence for their tunnel-visioned theories.

When confronted and questioned, I denied emphatically to ever have had any mental disorder. My legal team insisted and pushed the doctors. Counsel nefariously interfered with the sessions and told me to admit and agree to the most bizarre and craziest claims thrown at me in order to be successful with their insanity defense strategy. Every time a weird claim was presented I was told to “admit and agree to it” because it would help my defense. I was extremely distressed and very reluctant, but they coveted this response. So every report these doctors made are completely false and, in my opinion, self-serving. They wanted to be a part of my trial and orchestrated opinions to accomplish their goal. A certain doctor was constantly asking me if he would be “chosen” to testify. I reassured him countless times “Yes”. This doctor was obsessed with making a name for himself – even if it meant creating misleading reports. He actually guided me every step of the way in the direction he wanted, to obtain the diagnosis he wanted. Even when I told him “I’m not schizophrenic” and I burst out laughing at this idiocy, I told me his report would help my case, and to let it happen “organically”.

Friends of mine were insistent I contact the college of physicians and the bar association to report all this insidious yet blatant pressure, I gave them the benefit of the doubt. He pushed his report just like he pushed to come onto the plane, just like he does to get onto television and write his books. The attention seeking is so hypocritical and unprofessional. He was to nice tom, but I must set the record straight with the truth so that the wild stories don’t continue to manifest. He has made such false claims that it boggles one’s mind. For instance, my personal hygiene has always been impeccable, and this was just another sad attempt by him to gain his reputation back by adding fuel to his “insanity defense” fire. Once and for all, I am NOT schizophrenic, nor is anyone related to me. We all went along with this renegade defense because of severe pressure tactics. The defense team and doctors would not allow us to tell the truth.

Luka 4 (2)

(photo sent to me by Mr. Magnotta’s associate on the outside, to be used in this interview. Copyright: Luka Magnotta)

3) What did you want to be when you were growing up?

Well, like many people, I chose not to finish high school. One day I might; however, I believe people get degrees predominantly to prove to others their accomplishments. That’s great, but I don’t have that need. You asked so I’m telling.

I study constantly and read a vast amount of law books. I also have dozens of psychology books that have armed me with invaluable tools. It’s important to never stop learning as much as possible. So yes – I’ve always wanted to be a lawyer or a psychologist, Teemu. As a teen, I did work part-time at a funeral home. I found the make-up aspect enjoyable. Also, contrary to reports, my mother was and is phenomenal. Any reports saying otherwise are completely fabricated and twisted. Also, I never had any sexual relationship with any member of my family. Complete fake news published to sell failing newspapers. These idiotic “journalists” have proven time after time that they can’t be trusted and many will have no jobs in the near future, I predict. LOL!

4 Would you describe yourself as more of a loner or a gregarious person?

I would say this. I love my alone time. However, I have a lot of friends and hardly no alone time, LOL! I lived in many cities over the years, and have made many friends and acquaintances.

You asked about which cities I like living in. Miami was phenomenal when I lived there in 2009. Los Angeles was fantastic in 2010. I also lived in northern Italy briefly. A decade ago I lived in Portugal and Spain, which were terrific. I made a lot of great relationships who come to visit me still to this day. I am very gregarious and active. I play volleyball daily. We have tennis courts and a big gym with exercise machines. I love doing yoga. Sometimes I work part time helping people prepare their legal cases. I attend school sometimes t help the unfortunate waifs who can’t read or write learn English. I also teach French.

I go jogging at night listening to my music or just relax and read in the garden. My friends keep me laughing all the time. Life is great.

5) Do you feel different than everyone else in society?

As I’ve said, there’s nothing wrong with me in any clinical sense or psychological sense. My doctors who currently meet with me completely agree. They have made report after report showing how stable and healthy I am. Briefly at my trial my treating doctor suggested I take sleeping pills and relaxers, but now I take absolutely nothing. For years I’ve been 100 % medication free. My entire life I never took any medication. I never touched drugs and don’t believe in them. The fake news is disturbing. The people claiming to have intimate knowledge about me is bewildering and the failing media who recycle lies and peddle rumors are sickening. But I suppose since no one I’ve ever known has spoken to the failing media, they must make up sources and stories and interview people I’ve never heard of. I actually think society is extremely sick.

People’s lies make feel different from the rest of society. Our culture casts people in roles and we are typecast, bound to life as characters. Any deviation from the script makes people feel uncomfortable.

Luka 1

(photo sent to me by Mr Magnotta’s friend on the outside, to be used in this interview. Copyright: Luka Magnotta)

6) Why did you want to appear in reality television shows?

I was doing modeling work and my manager suggested I try that for fun. I was not really into it, but like millions of other people, I tried it for fun. Once again, to suggest that these very few auditions are evidence of narcissism is ludicrous. Also, for my JOB I had to have photos taken; it was a requirement – not for fun. Cyber-stalking is a very real problem in our society. If these idiots copied photos of me and impersonated me online, that’s on them – that’s their problem.

I’m told people posing as me is an epidemic online. I find it so pathetic and have always ignored it. I had my personal photos on my social media accounts. I never, I repeat NEVER had any fake accounts, nor did I ever pose as anyone other than myself. This is completely fake news to the extreme. The only way anyone can prove who posted what on the other side of the internet is if they see the person posting it with their own eyes – everything else is speculation and pure assumptions. These lies were spread by lonely internet dwellers whose lives are consumed with mischief. I had 2 social medial accounts – that’s it, that’s all. They are now closed and and any you see online are complete idiots impersonating me. Someone told me the police claimed I had 80 social media accounts?? That’s interesting, since it was never presented at trial, nor was any evidence ever recovered from my laptop to suggest that. It is complete fake news. As usual, very bad sources. Poor journalism. Shameful.

I was also approached by some weird journalist in 2007 who wished to help me with online rumors. I forgot his name. But the story is as follows. Sometime in 2007 my name was connected online to Karla Homolka. I am positive this was done by a former friend and perpetuated by a former manager of mine. I was competition and they were losing money, so they attempted, unsuccessfully, to ruin my career. They wanted all the escort/sex trade work in Toronto for themselves. So pathetic. Unstable groupies and stalker began harassing me – criminal harassment. The imbeciles who work at the Toronto Police continue to bungle the majority of their cases and calls, and they mishandled all my formal complaints. My attorney fought to obtain all these complaints I made, but Toronto Police refused to release them. We were frequently told they didn’t exist or they “couldn’t find them”. Pure corruption. This was done deliberately to impede my trial. Any evidence favoring me was seen as a threat to them. So this predatory reporter told me they would expose this rumor and assist me in setting the record straight. For the last time, as I told this reporter in 2007, I do not know this woman [Homolka].  Unstable people created online rumors without my knowledge. This was all very bizarre to me. My legal team were in the process of helping me sue for defamation, but instead saw an opportunity to push further the insanity defense.

So, without my knowledge, they “leaked” that I “admitted” to creating this bizarre rumor. I immediately threatened to fire Luc Leclair, but he assured me it would help the “not criminally insane” defense. I was adamant and still am, I had absolutely nothing to do with this woman or any rumor. My attorney had it snuck into the report and I was livid. I was told “it will make you look more ill”. I even fired the other lawyer for this insubordination.

I also never wrote the government of Canada, my fingerprints were not on anything. It was established it was not my handwriting. I insist to this day I never wrote any notes, sent any packages or wrote anyone’s addresses on any boxes. There is a lot more to this story than was made public and a lot of people responsible.

7) Why did you create and post violent photos online?

Actually, I never testified at my trial, so everyone else has had their chance to speak. So now, it is my turn.

I never in my life harmed any animals – I actually adore them. I take care of animals nowadays. I was falsely accused of willingly participating in some bizarre animal videos. I’m completely bewildered, and all I can say is the following: I lived in Long Island, New York, and also New York City for years. Unfortunately I was battered and violently assaulted by daily by my fiancé, Manny Lopez. This psychopathic individual whom abused me severely needs to be looked at for his actions, and those he associates with. I hired a lawyer, Romeo Salta, in New York City to assist me. Photos of my abuse and the black eyes and bruises all over my body prove what I’m saying. The reports filed with NYPD confirm what I’m saying, and so do the accompanying witness statements from my friends.

The NYPD and later the Miami Beach Police did absolutely nothing. As most police have reputations for doing nothing. Police, in my opinion, are useless the majority of time. One does not have to be physically isolated in order to be emotionally isolated. I was an abused victim of this man and his associates. I also am completely bewildered as to why anyone is connecting me to any of this. Photoshopped pictures cries from pathetic animal lovers mean nothing and are not admissible.

I also lived in London, England. Predatory “reporters” there harassed me at my hotel. I refused to speak with them, as usual, since I don’t associate with scumbags. They secretly recorded me and edited this tape. Later they sent many public messages to me on my social media. They claim an anonymous email was sent to them around this time threatening them. They attributed this to me and I always denied it. In fact, London Police came to my hotel, and they told me anyone could have sent that email since these idiot reporters posted publically everywhere at that time, and they “just met with me”.

It’s my belief some mischievous animal fanatics sent this email. It’s widely reported Scotland Yard did an investigation and determined it was not me, there was no proof it was me and it came from, according to them, the Netherlands. So more fake news. From desperate tabloids hellbent on selling their failing papers. Very irresponsible. SAD, actually. Makes me laugh. Before he died, my friend Urs Hans von Aesch, was actually teaching me a lot about internet security when I lived in Europe.

8) People call you a psychopath. Are you?

*chuckle* LOL! Absolutely not. Every doctor who has ever diagnosed me has said I’m not. I have seen over 20 “experts” and not one has made that diagnosis. Any doctor who has not met me and believes they can make a diagnosis should have their medical license revoked. This label is thrown around lightly, and it’s irresponsible. It’s not true.

I just had my IQ tested and it is 132. The failing media peddles fake news again. It’s all fiction, folks! I will say this: I had 2 residences in Montreal, one for work and one that was private. I usually did this in every city I’ve lived in. Police make claims they “traced” me to cities at certain times. Not true, this is done the majority of the time through cell records or credit cards. If I didn’t want to be bothered, it’s easy to allow a friend to use these things to leave a “footprint” in one place when I was in fact in another. The police, as I’ve said, are imbeciles. Also, facial recognition and RFID fail a lot of the time. So, I only brought dates to the [other] apartment in Montreal – I did not live there!

A lot of shady people lived there and I spoke to none of them. Not one of them. People have forced me into situations, threatening my life. I was the victim of abuse and harassment. The people involved in my case were never sought out by the corrupt Montreal Police. Yes, folks – they are among the most corrupt in Canada. It’s widely reported the Toronto Police are also extremely corrupt. Look it up. These cops were too focused on their notoriety and had tunnel vision on me. I was framed many times. Society is force fed media propaganda. My trial was flawed and the judge errored in law many times, entitling me to a new trial. The jury room was broken into and evidence was stolen. The judge commented on this. Conveniently, the security cameras were not functioning. The jurors were idiots and misconducted themselves. One juror, she bragged at a party she “thought I was guilty beforehand”. Idiot. Another, she actually worked for Detective Claudette Hamlin’s husband’s grocery store!

So who better to say this than people with firsthand knowledge!

10) What TV shows do you watch? What books are you reading? What films are you watching?

I watch historical documentaries and biographies. I also enjoy The X-Files. I just watched a Lana Turner bio. I finished reading The Big Bad Wolf by James Patterson. It was phenomenal, and mirrored my life in so many ways. I also enjoyed “How to Win Friends and Influence People” and Cradle and All by Patterson. We have all the new movie channels, so movie nights are regular.

11) In closing, what would you like people to take with them from this interview?

Well, people can think what they want, I’m not here to change people’s opinions of me. I could care less. You asked me questions, the lies told about me are unbelievable. So I set the record straight. I’m absolutely nothing like what I’ve been portrayed as. Yes, I have considered doing an on-camera interview, I am legally entitled, but for 2 reasons I don’t.

First, CSC bribes inmates so they don’t do the interview, and second I haven’t found any trustworthy, fair or credible outlet. I simply have no desire to work with any of these assholes. I want nothing to do with any of the unstable, idiotic, lonely women who write me at Port Cartier prison. In fact, I won’t be here. Because I’ve put in a transfer. I want nothing to do with any of the idiots who write me in hopes of gaining God knows what. So stupid people are. That’s all.