Saturday, July 29, 2017

Mob Talk Sitdown Video Looks At The Case Against Joey Merlino

They're Back
By George Anastasia
For BigTrial.net

He's beaten the feds in court more often than they've beaten him.

Still he's spent close to half his adult life either in jail or on supervised release.

Today, Joseph "Skinny Joey" Merlino, 55, is prepping for another battle. Mob Talk, the one-time weekly feature on Fox 29 in Philadelphia, has a new life as Mob Talk Sitdown. Our first video report takes a look at how the case against Skinny Joey is shaping up.

Click below for the full report:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qTCt4C7I3-M

Thursday, July 27, 2017

The Dangerously Misleading Narrative Of "The Keepers"

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Science writer Mark Pendergrast should be familiar by now to readers of BigTrial.net.  We have published several excerpts from The Most Hated Man in America, his forthcoming book about Jerry Sandusky.  This article on The Keepers is adapted from Memory Warp, his book about the repressed memory epidemic that will be published later this year. 

By Mark Pendergrast

The Keepers, a wildly popular seven-part documentary series aired by Netflix in May 2017, promotes the theory of repressed memories by resurrecting and validating a previously dismissed Baltimore case from the early 1990s. 

The show relies heavily on recovered memories of abuse to convince viewers that a now-deceased Catholic priest, Joseph Maskell, or another priest known only as “Brother Bob,” murdered a young nun named Cathy Cesnik in 1969, in order to prevent the nun, an English teacher, from reporting sexual abuse of high school students at Keough High School in Baltimore, Maryland.  

The series is dramatic, artfully constructed, and based on real events, but it is extremely misleading, especially in accepting without question the validity of repressed memories.

The Keepers purveys all the old stereotypes, including a psychologist who explains confidently:  "Some things we experience are so unbearable and so painful that we shut them out.”  This popular series could undo years of good memory science in the public arena.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Big Trial On With State College's Morning Guys

He's Moved On From Dealing Cocaine To Pay-To-Play
Scandal-plagued Penn State University has just elected scandal-plagued Mark Dambly as chairman of its board of trustees.

Isn't that great? The July 19th radio interview about Dambly can be heard here. The July 20th radio interview can be heard here.

 “When I was young, I made some mistakes. I deeply regret those actions," Dambly said. "I’ve learned from those mistakes, and I’ve moved on to live a productive life, both personally and professionally."




Read more here: http://www.centredaily.com/news/local/education/penn-state/board-of-trustees/article162976
988.html#storylink=cpy

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Is Mark Dambly Wearing A Wire?

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

If you're a Penn State trustee, and you're going to talk to Mark Dambly about his impending election tomorrow as chairman of the board, should you pat him down first?

Yes, say two former investigators.

"My first question [for Dambly] would be, 'Hey, you still wearing a wire?' " said John Snedden, a former NCIS and FIS special agent who's a Penn State alum.

"Once a snitch, always a snitch," said another former investigator who worked the infamous "Dr. Snow" cocaine ring of the 1980s and said that Dambly wore a wire to get himself out of trouble with the feds.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Penn State Candidate For Chairman Carries Plenty Of Baggage

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

As a Penn State student, Mark Dambly wound up in jail for five days in 1979 after he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct. Then he got mixed up in an infamous multimillion dollar cocaine ring, a retired investigator says, but beat the rap by wearing a wire and cooperating with the government.

These days, Dambly is campaigning to become chairman of the Penn State Board of Trustees, an election scheduled for Friday.

But Dambly's most recent legal problems include getting hit with a subpoena last year in the federal probe of Allentown Mayor Ed Pawloski. Pawloski's being investigated for bribery and kickbacks; Dambly's connection is he's the Allentown mayor's top financial contributor.

With all the problems at Penn State, the question is, do they really need a guy with as much baggage as Mark Dambly as board chairman?

Friday, July 14, 2017

Bob Costas And Sara Ganim Star In Jerry Sandusky Appeal

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

Fifteen minutes.

That's how much advance notice Jerry Sandusky got from his lawyer, Joseph Amendola, before he engaged in a disastrous nationally televised interview with Bob Costas.

Amendola also did nothing to prep Sandusky for talking with Costas, Sandusky's appeal lawyers say. That 2011 interview was replayed in court by the prosecutors, who proceeded to rip Sandusky for talking to Costas, but not the jury. Sandusky was subsequently convicted and sentenced to 30 to 60 years in prison.

The idiocy of the Costas interview was recounted in a 257-page post-hearing brief filed Thursday in Centre County Common Pleas Court by Sandusky's appeal lawyers, Alexander H. Lindsay Jr. and J. Andrew Salemme, of Butler, PA.

Lindsay and Salemme argue that Sandusky deserves a new trial because Amendola foolishly chose to go on national TV and give up his client's right to remain silent and not convict himself. Amendola went on Costas's TV show in a misguided campaign to cultivate "friends" in the media, Sandusky's appeal lawyers write.  Amendola told a judge he embarked on his campaign because at the time the media was saying that his client was "worse than Adolph Hitler."

Monday, July 10, 2017

Penn State Confidential: U.S. Attorney, FBI Investigated Second Mile Charity And Came Up With A Big "Nothing Burger"

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

For years, Penn State alumni have clamored for a federal investigation of The Second Mile charity founded by convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky.

It turns out that the U.S. Attorney's office and the FBI have already conducted a federal investigation of The Second Mile. It's an investigation that's apparently been closed since at least 2014, with the result that no charges were ever filed.

In response to FOI requests filed by Ryan Bagwell, a former newspaper reporter and unsuccessful candidate for Penn State trustee, the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, D.C. released some 1,000 pages of documents from the closed files of The Second Mile probe.

What's the bottom line?

"It's a big nothing burger," said John Snedden, a former NCIS and FIS special agent who just got through reviewing the documents. "There was an investigation and there was nothing to pursue, and no charges were filed."

Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Man-Child In The Men's Room

By Ralph Cipriano
for BigTrial.net

When you cover a trial, you run into everybody in the men's room.

The prosecutors, the defense lawyers. Even the defendant, Rufus Seth Williams.

Talk about an uncomfortable situation. There I was face to face at the sink with the guy I've been ripping for the past five years.

 But to my surprise, he actually wanted to talk.

 

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