Crime: California court OKs death penalty in '80s sex slave murders

S.C. Teen Died Mysteriously in 2015. His Case Was Reopened When Investigators Looked into Murdaugh Murders

  S.C. Teen Died Mysteriously in 2015. His Case Was Reopened When Investigators Looked into Murdaugh Murders Stephen Smith was found dead in the middle of a dark Hampton County road, and his mother believes he was murderedLast Sunday afternoon, family and friends of Stephen Smith, a South Carolina teen who died under mysterious circumstances in 2015, traveled to the Gooding Cemetery in Hampton County, S.C.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — The California Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the conviction and death penalty for one of two men implicated in at least 11 notorious horrific torture-slayings in the mid-1980s in which the duo kept their victims hidden in a secret bunker in the Northern California woods.

This Aug. 24, 2018, photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Charles Ng. Ng was sentenced to death in 1999 for his part in nearly a dozen torture-murder cases from 1984-85. The California Supreme Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence, Thursday, July 28, 2022. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP) © Provided by Associated Press This Aug. 24, 2018, photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Charles Ng. Ng was sentenced to death in 1999 for his part in nearly a dozen torture-murder cases from 1984-85. The California Supreme Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence, Thursday, July 28, 2022. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation via AP)

Thirty-seven years later, authorities are still trying to identify the remains of some of their victims.

Same-sex marriage debate poses problems for Republicans

  Same-sex marriage debate poses problems for Republicans A proposal to protect same-sex marriages through federal law is turning into a political liability for Senate Republicans who would rather talk about inflation and gas prices than a hot-button social issue that could provoke a backlash from their party’s base. Making matters worse for Senate Republicans, a bill to repeal the Defense of…Making matters worse for Senate Republicans, a bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and require states to recognize same-sex marriages passed the House with 47 GOP votes, giving it strong bipartisan momentum.

Charles Ng, now 61, was convicted in 1999 of killing six men, three women and two baby boys in 1984 and 1985. He was initially accused of 13 slayings — 12 in Calaveras County and one in San Francisco.

He and his criminal partner, Leonard Lake, committed a series of kidnappings in which they engaged in bondage and sadism ending in murder. They were initially suspected of killing up to 25 people.

“This is one of those stories that's been passed down through time in this community,” said Calaveras County Lt. Greg Stark, whose father worked for the department at the time of the slayings. “There's been wild estimates and there's been conservative estimates, and honestly I don't think anybody will ever know, due to how they were disposing of the bodies.”

GOP Sen. Mike Lee is in a tight contest with independent Evan McMullin in the Utah Senate race: poll

  GOP Sen. Mike Lee is in a tight contest with independent Evan McMullin in the Utah Senate race: poll Jason Perry, the director of the Hinckley Institute of Politics, told Deseret News that Utah "has not seen a Senate race this competitive in decades."Biden is expected to make a final decision by the end of February to replace Breyer and has already begun to reach out to potential candidates, according to CNN.

FILE— Serial killer Charles Ng sits in a Santa Ana, Calif., Superior Courtroom Wednesday, June 30, 1999, after being sentenced to die for 11 murders that took place in rural California in the mid-1980s. The California Supreme Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence, Thursday, July 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File) © Provided by Associated Press FILE— Serial killer Charles Ng sits in a Santa Ana, Calif., Superior Courtroom Wednesday, June 30, 1999, after being sentenced to die for 11 murders that took place in rural California in the mid-1980s. The California Supreme Court has upheld his conviction and death sentence, Thursday, July 28, 2022. (AP Photo/Nick Ut, File)

Ng and Lake held their victims in a remote 2 1/2-acre Sierra Nevada fenced compound about 150 miles (241 kilometers) east of San Francisco. It included a bunker with three rooms, two of them behind a hidden doorway. One hidden, locked room was furnished like a cell with a bed covered with a foam pad, a plastic bucket and a roll of toilet paper.

Lake killed himself with a cyanide capsule after police arrested him for shoplifting in San Francisco in 1985 and were questioning him before any bodies were found.

The justices said in a detailed 181-page analysis of the case that Ng received a fair trial, including a change of venue from Calaveras County to Orange County because of pre-trial publicity.

A speech Republicans can give at their children's same-sex weddings: 'I was never here'

  A speech Republicans can give at their children's same-sex weddings: 'I was never here' A Republican lawmaker voted against protecting same-sex marriages then attended his son's same-sex marriage. Here's the speech he should've delivered.Thompson even spoke at the wedding and, according to audio obtained by BuzzFeed News, said parents “hope and pray” their children will “find that one true love so that they have the opportunity to experience that someone to grow old with. … We love it when they find their one true love, especially when they become a part of our families then.

It was one of California’s longest and most expensive trials at the time, costing millions of dollars, partly because the court said Ng repeatedly attempted to delay and disrupt his own trial. That included extended debates over whether he could represent himself and who would be his attorneys.

The justices unanimously also concluded that Ng was properly extradited after he fled to Canada, where he was arrested in Calgary, Alberta, in 1985 for shoplifting and wounding a store guard. He fought extradition for six years before the Supreme Court of Canada ordered him returned.

The men incriminated themselves with videotapes of them tormenting bound, terrified women they used as sex slaves before their murders.

Jurors were shown a tape of one woman pleading in vain for the men to spare her husband and baby as Ng cut off her shirt and bra with a knife in front of the camera.

Investigators also discovered piles of charred bones, blood-stained tools, shallow graves and a 250-page diary kept by Lake.

Four law enforcement agencies spent five weeks scouring the property, according to the court's detailed description.

Is Same-Sex Marriage Vulnerable? Yes, and Ignore Those Who Say Otherwise

  Is Same-Sex Marriage Vulnerable? Yes, and Ignore Those Who Say Otherwise If the fall of Roe taught Americans anything, it is this: assuming something dating back a half century is durable is a sucker’s bet. Even basic human rights are negotiable with the appropriate mix of ideology and imagination. In the hands of this Supreme Court and its lifetime appointees, very little is permanent if confronted with a novel-enough argument. These Justices are ruling based on their beliefs, and polling provides no protections. There will, in fact, be few consequences for the conservative Justices. The three liberals on the Court understood that and are warning about what comes next.

They found thousands of buried teeth and bone fragments throughout the property, with at least four of the dental specimens belonging to a child under age 3. “Many hundreds” of the bone fragments had been burned.

Two forensic anthropologists eventually concluded that the remains belonged to at least four adults, one child, and one infant. Two men were found in a shallow grave not far from the property. They had been bound, gagged and fatally shot.

Officials in Calaveras County last year exhumed additional bones and other human remains from a crypt in a cemetery where they had been kept since Ng's conviction, in hopes that modern DNA tracing could reveal their identities.

A sheriff's chaplain read a brief invocation, and soon California Department of Justice criminalists and two forensic anthropologists began sorting and analyzing the remains.

They are initially hopeful that enough viable DNA is left for a comparison, said Stark, but the Department of Justice hasn't yet been able to run the comparisons in part because of more urgent active cases.

Investigators plan to compare the DNA to that from cooperating next of kin of the known victims, and run it through DNA databases in hopes of a comparison.

“Regardless if there are 11 (slayings) or more than 11, we're hoping to categorize the remains and if possible return them to the families to give them their due respect and internment,” Stark said. “If we find additional identifications, we'll definitely look into them and their connection to the case.”

Ng joined the Marine Corps after he came to the United States from Hong Kong. He earlier was imprisoned at Leavenworth, Kansas, for weapons theft while serving in the Marine Corps.

He and his defense attorneys argued that he was under the influence of Lake, an older man and survivalist who they said engineered the serial slayings. Ng denied participating in many of the crimes.

His attorneys argued at the time that Ng was shaped as a child, when he was beaten by his father.

Gov. Gavin Newsom has imposed a moratorium on the death penalty so long as he is governor, and Ng still has the possibility of other federal appeals.

Did Mabel Kill Bunny in 'Only Murders in the Building'? Episode 7 Clues .
In "Only Murders in the Building" Season 2, Episode 7, it's pretty hard to rule Mabel out as a suspect in Bunny Folger's death.The most recent episode picks up from the huge cliffhanger of Episode 6, which saw Mabel stab the mysterious person dressed in black who has been seen in numerous flashbacks throughout Season 2, haunting the Arconia and worse, attacking Bunny (Jayne Houdyshell) before she was found stabbed in Mabel's apartment.

See also