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Investigators in two states were reviewing
unsolved murders and missing person
reports after the arrest of an Indiana man
who confessed to strangling one woman,
told police where to find six more bodies
and hinted at a serial killing spree over two
But determining whether others have fallen
prey to Darren Vann, 43, a former Marine
convicted of sexual assault in Texas in 2009,
could take years, a former high-ranking agent
at the FBI’s Chicago office said.
That some of his alleged victims may
have been prostitutes or had fallen through
society’s cracks could also complicate the
“It does make it difficult. It indicates he
preyed on individuals that might be less
likely to be reported missing,” Gary Mayor
Karen Freeman-Wilson said.
Vann was charged yesterday in the
strangulation death of 19-year-old Afrikka
Hardy, whose body was found on Saturday
in a bathtub at a motel, 30km south-east of
He also was charged with murder in
commission of a robbery and robbery causing
great bodily injury. He is scheduled to make
his first court appearance today.
A probable cause affidavit said police
identified Vann from sur veillance video
outside the motel.
Hammond police chief John Doughty
said Vann confessed to Hardy’s slaying and
directed police to six bodies in abandoned
homes in nearby Gary. Charges in those
cases are expected this week.
Police in Gary and Austin, Texas, said
they are reviewing missing person reports
and unsolved cases to determine whether
any might be connected to Vann after he
indicated during inter views that he had
Former FBI agent Joseph Ways senior, now
executive director of the Chicago Crime
Commission, a non-governmental watchdog
group, said that such investigations can
stretch into years. Investigators will trace
Vann’s footsteps, down to examining gas
receipts and toll both records, to learn where
Ways said teenagers or adults who
maintain close contact with their families are
typically reported missing quickly, but that
is not always the case for those engaged in
prostitution, he said.
Doughty said Hardy was involved in
prostitution and had arranged to meet
Vann at the motel through a Chicago-area
website. Police were called by someone who
attempted to reach Hardy but received text
message responses that made no sense and
that she believed came from the suspect.
Police took Vann into custody on Sunday,
and during inter views the suspect confessed
to Hardy’s killing, told investigators where
the Gary bodies could be found and hinted at
other victims since the 1990s, Doughty said.
“It could go back as far as 20 years based
on some statements we have, but that has yet
to be corroborated,” Doughty said. The Gary
slayings appeared to have happened recently,
Vann is registered as a sex offender in Texas,
where the Department of Public Safety listed
his risk of attacking someone again as “ low. ”
Court records in Travis County, Texas,
show Vann ser ved a five-year prison
sentence, with credit for the 15 months he
was in jail awaiting trial, after pleading guilty
in 2009 to sexually assaulting a woman
at an Austin apartment two years earlier.
Suspected serial killer
directs police to six bodies
A Canadian man who rammed two
soldiers in Quebec with his car, killing
one of them, converted to Islam last year
and was among 90 people being tracked
by Canadian police on suspicion of taking
part in militant activities overseas or
planning to do so.
The incident overnight, the first
fatal attack on Canadian soil tied to
Islamic militants, occurred after Canada
announced this month it was joining the
battle against Islamic State fighters who
have taken over parts of Iraq and Syria.
Royal Canadian Mounted Police
(RCMP) Commissioner Bob Paulson said
that the attacker was one of 90 individuals
the force had been investigating. The
RCMP had previously seized his passport
because it feared he might try to go
abroad, Paulson said.
Police killed the attacker shortly after he
ran down the two soldiers in the Q uebec
town of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, about
40km south-east of Montreal.
Police said the man, identified in the
media as 25-year-old Martin Rouleau,
had waited in a parking lot outside a
government services centre for veterans
for more than two hours before initiating
his attack. One of the soldiers hit was in
military uniform, police said.
The dead soldier was a 53-year-old
The other soldier is hospitalised.
“ What took place yesterday is clearly
linked to terrorist ideology,” Public Safety
Minister Steven Blaney said.
The attacker fled in his car, was chased
by police and shot dead after he emerged
from his vehicle when it flipped over into a
ditch, police said. They said he had a knife.
The Canadian Security Intelligence
Ser vice (CSIS) says it is aware of at least
50 Canadians involved in terrorist-related
activities with Islamic State and other
militant groups in the Middle East.
The government has said it plans to boost
the powers of CSIS to track potential
militants when they travel abroad.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s
office said the man was known to federal
authorities, and that there were clear
indications he had become “radicalised,” a
term the government has used to refer to
those who support militant Islam.
Islam conver t kills Canadian soldier with car
Canadian police officers inspect the scene of a crash where a man was shot dead after he ran down two soldiers in his car.
A woman has been found dead beneath
a fallen tree in London as the tail end of
Hurricane Gonzalo brought high winds and
travel disruption to Britain.
Police said they were called out to reports
of a falling tree in the plush Kensington
district overnight and found a woman
trapped underneath it.
“S he was pronounced dead at the scene,”
Scotland Yard said in a statement.
“Inquiries continue to identify the
Wind and rain led to 110 flights being
cancelled at London Heathrow Airport, the
world’s busiest international passenger air
British Airways said it had scrapped a
number of flights and advised passengers to
check their bookings on-line.
Hurricane Gonzalo caused widespread
damage and a power blackout in Bermuda,
the British Overseas Territory on the other
side of the Atlantic Ocean.
Its remnants brought gusts of up to 105kph
in coastal areas of Britain, with some of the
worst conditions hitting Scotland.
Major roads were blocked due to
overturned trucks, while several rail ser vices
were subject to delays or cancellations.
The Met Office national weather service
issued a low level “yellow ” warning of high
winds for the whole of Britain.
“A deep depression is affecting the
UK with strong winds in its circulation,
and there remains the potential for
disruption to travel, especially as heavy
showers run through, increasing the
gust strength,” the chief forecaster said.
Woman killed by falling tree
during London storms
An experimental Japanese flu drug that has
hit the headlines because of its potential to
fight Ebola may also work against norovirus,
the winter vomiting bug, British researchers
As with Ebola, the research is still at an
early stage but a study in mice found that
Fujifilm’s Avigan, or favipiravir, was effective
at reducing — and in some cases eliminating
— n orovirus infection.
The drug works by causing the virus to
self-destruct in a process known as “ lethal
mutagenesis”, which causes errors in its
genetic information. In effect, the virus
mutates itself to death.
Clinical trials of Avigan, developed by
Fujifilm group company Toyama Chemical,
as a treatment for Ebola are set to start in
Guinea in mid-November and the Japanese
company said it was stepping up production
of the medicine.
The findings from the norovirus study in
mice were published by a team of researchers
at the University of Cambridge in the journal
eLife. — Reuters
Ebola drug could
Rescuers today pulled out three bodies of
Nepali citizens killed in last week’s freak
blizzards and avalanches, taking the toll
in the Himalayan nation’s worst trekking
disaster to 43.
The blizzards struck the Annapurna Circuit,
a trail popular among western hikers who
walk around Mount Annapurna, the 10th
highest mountain in the world and caught
the tourists during the peak hiking season.
“Three new bodies were taken out from
snow near Thorongla pass on Tuesday,”
Baburam Bhandari, chief of Mustang district,
Officials said 518 people, including 304
foreign trekkers, were rescued in the operation
in which more than 70 sorties were made by
army and civilian helicopters. — Reuters
A man has died after being trapped for
several hours under a shipping container
he had been trying to move on his property
south-west of Sydney.
Police said the 78-year-old man had
been working in his yard on Barry Road at
Catherine Fields near Camden yesterday
when he got into trouble.
At about 1pm his wife returned home and
heard him calling for help. She found him
with his leg pinned under the container.
Emergency ser vices arrived and took him
to Liverpool Hospital but he died just after
3.30pm. — A AP
Man trapped under
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