Blog Posts by Claudine Zap

  • Man who faked his death arrested again

    First, he faked his death. Now that same man has allegedly impersonated a cop. Twice.

    According to the New York Post, Raymond Roth, who was arrested last year for faking his own drowning at a beach off Long Island, is suspected of trying two times to lure women into his van by pretending to be a police officer—in one case, hours after he was sentenced for his other crime.

    The alleged incidents happened days apart, according to the Post. The first time, the woman refused to get in the car and ran. Roth briefly chased her on foot. The second time happened hours after he was sentenced for faking his death.

    Reports the Post:

    Roth pulled up next to another Freeport woman and invited her into his vehicle, cops said. He said he was a police officer. When she refused, he threatened to arrest her, cops said.

    Roth also followed her on foot until the victim entered a check cashing store and asked employees to lock him out, cops said.

    Staffers called 911, but he fled before police arrived.


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  • College sophomore anti-rape video gets attention on the Web

    An anti-rape video posted on the Web with the line, "Real men treat women with respect," has gone viral: So far, it's been viewed over 1.4 million times.

    Filmed by University of Oregon sophomore Samantha Stendal, the 26-second video, "A Needed Response," was made in reaction to the Steubenville rape trial in Ohio, which convicted two high-school football players of raping a drunk and passed out 16-year-old girl.

    The victim was unconscious during the crime, and in addition to the rape itself, had to endure a response on social media that often made light of the situation.

    The online comments, some of which blamed the young woman, outraged Stendal. The 19-year-old told Yahoo News in an email, "I become frustrated with the constant victim blaming and general rape culture that I saw online. I decided to make a video in order to place something more positive on the internet. I wanted to promote the idea of treating one another like decent human beings."

    The short video shows a woman passed

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  • Girl hit by arrow that appeared out of nowhere

    An 8-year-old girl on a field trip to a museum was mysteriously hit in the leg by an arrow.

    According to, police reports stated that the third-grader from the Mary E. Silveira Elementary School in San Rafael, Calif., was playing on a replica of a whale outside the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley when she was hit in the thigh by a crossbow arrow on Tuesday morning.

    The injured girl was taken to Children’s Hospital & Research Center in Oakland with the arrow still lodged in her leg and treated for a non-life threatening injury. She was kept overnight for observation.

    Geoff Vassallo, 51, of Mariposa, who was on a field trip with another school, happened to be standing by the girl when the incident occurred. He told, "She was pretty calm. She was crying a little bit. She said, 'Oh, it hurts.’” He added, "One of the adults was comforting her, waiting for the emergency personnel."

    It's not yet known if the arrow was shot accidentally or on purpose. Police traced

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  • Osama bin Laden’s death: New details surface

    Bin Laden (AP/File)

    There were “the Shooter” and “the Point Man.” Now a third member of SEAL Team 6 offers another account of the raid on Osama bin Laden that led to his death in 2011.

    The report from CNN appears to contradict Esquire’s widely circulated story, "The Man Who Killed Osama bin Laden," by Phil Bronstein.The unnamed source from CNN calls the Esquire account "complete B-S."

    The SEAL team member in the Esquire profile, who was described simply as the Shooter, claimed that he entered the compound and found bin Laden with a gun in reach and shot him.

    “In that second, I shot him, two times in the forehead. Bap! Bap! The second time as he’s going down. He crumpled onto the floor in front of his bed. He was dead. I watched him take his last breaths,” the Shooter told Esquire.

    That account conflicts with the first-person narrative from the bestselling book “No Easy Day,” written by Matt Bissonette under the alias Mark Owen.

    According to a third account from the anonymous Navy SEAL Team 6 member who

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  • Private-sector salary for public employee

    Working for the public good has also worked well for one California county administrator’s bank account.

    According to reports by several newspapers, Alameda County, in the San Francisco Bay Area, is paying its County Administrator Susan Muranishi, north of $400,000—for life. This includes a generous base salary of $301,000, plus taxpayer-funded deferred pension plans paid for by the county.

    The pension accounts are set by a formula that multiplies years of service by 2 to 3 percent of the top salary to calculate the benefit, the San Jose Mercury News reports. With 38 years of service under her belt, the top Alameda official, along with two top county executives, benefit lavishly.

    The publication notes, “Muranishi, for example, was the highest-paid county administrator in the Bay Area, with $422,268 in salary last year. In addition, she received $137,196 toward her pension and another $46,500 dumped into a pair of deferred compensation accounts.” Most pension plans require the employee

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  • Homeless man who returned engagement ring reunites with family

    The happy ending keeps getting happier for Billy Ray Harris. Two months ago, the homeless man who gained notice on the Web when he returned an engagement ring put in his change cup accidentally, now has a home, a part-time job, and his long-lost family.

    The Kansas City, Mo., man was befriended by Sarah Darling, whose engagement ring he returned. Wanting to help, Darling and her husband, Bill, set up a fund for Harris. They hoped to raise the $4,000 he had been offered by a jewelry store on the spot for the diamond ring. Instead of selling, the 55-year-old decided to wait to see if Darling would come back for the ring. A couple of days later, she did.

    As word of the story spread, so did generosity to Harris. The fund now has more than $186,000 from 8,000-plus donors. More than money, Harris has received the priceless gift of reuniting with family he hadn’t seen in 16 years. His sister, Robin Harris Williams, recognized her older brother when the story of the ring in the change cup

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  • Possible twins seek to reunite through Kickstarter campaign

    Two women, both adopted and raised in two different corners of the earth, bear a striking resemblance. Are they twins, separated at birth? The cliffhanger of a question can be answered only if their Kickstarter campaign is funded to cover the cost of a documentary of their reunion.

    The two possible siblings, Samantha Futerman and Anaïs Bordier, found each other through the Web and connected through social media.

    Futerman, a 26-year-old actress in Los Angeles, received a message just last month on Facebook from Bordier, a French design student. Bordier had seen one of Futerman’s YouTube videos, including “How It Feels to be Adopted,” and thought the two looked the same.

    As Futerman wrote, “At first glance, I saw only my own face staring back from ‘her’ profile picture."

    The two did a little research and realized they had both been born on the same day in 1987, in South Korea, and adopted through different agencies shortly afterward. Bordier was raised as an only child in a suburb of

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  • Map shows Web use around the world

    Map of the Internet Census 2012 botnet

    How do you get data on the world’s Internet usage? Very stealthily, that's for sure.

    Still, the project, surfaced by Gawker and called the “Internet Census 2012,” shows how one anonymous researcher basically pinged computers around the globe without passwords.

    Yup, there are a lot of them. The researcher built a botnet of almost half-a-million Linux computers that weren't password protected to provide the project with an idea of where in the world people are using the Internet over a 24-hour period in 2012.

    The result: a color-coded image that basically maps global usage of those unprotected computers. The hacker pinged each one, following its path and gathering data. The resulting colorful map is the result of all that data collection: yellows and reds for high usage, and greens and blues for low.

    The project wanted to “be nice” and not change anyone’s password. As the website explains, “We had no interest to interfere with default device operation so we did not change passwords and

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  • Man in UPS disguise steals $40,000

    A man dressed in brown stole a lot of green. Police say that someone posing as a UPS worker grabbed about $40,000 from an apartment in Harlem.

    According to the New York Post, the fake deliveryman, wearing a brown shirt, vest and knit cap, knocked on the door of an apartment building on 133rd Street in upper Manhattan.

    When the door opened, the special delivery turned out to be a robbery. The man flashed a gun, and he and an accomplice, dressed in a gray tracksuit and carrying a black backpack, pushed their way into the victim’s home.

    According to the Post, police sources said the victims were tied up and the robbers snatched "$28,000 from their safe. They also took $12,000 from a dresser and $500 from one victim's pants pocket."

    The getaway car is reportedly a silver Nissan Quest. The two suspects were spotted on the building's security video, and the police are asking for tips from the public.

    This is not the first time robbers have dressed in disguise. Last summer a couple of crooks

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  • Teen fatally shot when he mistakenly went into wrong house

    A 16-year-old who lived in Loudoun County, Va., was shot and killed when he accidentally entered the wrong house.

    Caleb Gordley, a popular athlete who had been living in a brick house with his parents and sister for about a year, sneaked out of his house to go to a party with friends after he'd been grounded for not cleaning his room.

    When he returned around 2 a.m. he slipped into the house he thought was his. Friends said he had been drinking and mistook his neighbor’s similar house two doors down for his own and climbed in through the back window.

    When the burglar alarm sounded, the homeowner treated Caleb as an intruder, and shot and killed him.

    Caleb’s father, Shawn Gordley, told The Washington Post, “They have the exact same staircase as us, the exact same carpet. Caleb clearly thought he was in his own house.” He added, “He probably stumbled around and was just trying to go to his room.”

    At Sterling Park High school in Sterling, Va., students mourned the loss of a talented

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