Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Death of Susette Werner

Susette G. Werner, a 42-year-old divorced mother of two children was an easy-going person, intelligent and strong-willed. She kept a positive attitude and loved people and life. A friend of hers said she couldn’t get mad at anyone because she could easily be made to laugh. Her family said she stayed with friends but kept in touch; she’d call just to say hello; to hear their voice. Susie’s last night was spent at a local lounge where she was a regular at karaoke and listening to her favorite band. She stopped drinking after midnight but stayed until closing then called a friend for a ride, but he couldn’t come and drive her.

Sunday, Feb 8, 2009 around 1:30 to 3 a.m. Susie left the restaurant and lounge that she often frequented and was hit at the intersection of Cedar and Carlisle in Spokane, Washington. Susie’s body was dragged for a mile. According to evidence gathered she was dragged south on Cedar to Northwest Boulevard, west on Northwest Boulevard to Ash and south on Ash to Maxwell. Regardless of all the evidence and descriptions of two vehicles (the possible dragging vehicle and a witness’ vehicle) they have not solved Susette’s death; she has yet to find justice.
The automobile believed at that time to be suspects’ vehicle is a boxy green, sports utility vehicle or van. Witnesses say the driver was a heavy set, tall male wearing a light-colored mid-length jacket. A person driving a teal or turquoise station wagon may have witnessed the dragging, at the most, he may know the suspect. Witnesses saw both vehicles at Corky’s Radiator Shop on North Ash Street where the driver of the sports utility got out of his vehicle with a flashlight and looked down Ash Street. He then made a phone call, and a few minutes later the person driving the teal or turquoise station wagon drove into the Radiator Shop parking lot. The driver exited his vehicle, faced the suspect driver and then the suspect driver got back in his car and peeled out the lot headed south and turning east onto Sinto Avenue. The driver of the turquoise car backed up into a driveway and headed back toward the way he’d came.

The local police retraced Susie’s steps the morning she died. They believed she left the bar around 1:30 a.m. with two men, but have since talked to those men. The two men say they dropped her off near her home because she couldn’t explain where the apartment was. The police also believe she was lying on the ground when the suspect vehicle hit her. And that the driver was going at a slow speed. The suspect vehicle driver was said to have backed up at Ash and Maxwell where they discovered the body, and they believed that is when the body dislodged.

Sadly, they have declared the above witnesses’ information of the suspect vehicle backing up unreliable, as well as the information on the second vehicle. LE now regrets making the video public. The bartender said Susie left the bar alone and went to a convenience store where she advised the clerk she believed someone was following her. The store clerk told her that he didn’t see anyone suspicious and Susie left the store alone and walking.

Stories surrounding Susie’s last hours are unclear. The autopsy reports, (according to her family) states she had many broken bones, including her legs. According to media articles no broken leg is the reason LE thought she was lying on the ground when the car hit her. But LE states they meant her shins weren’t broken. Susie’s billfold wasn’t found on her person the night she died either, but a couple who was walking in an alley, the day after the discovery of Susie’s body, found it. The alley is near Cedar and Carlisle where it’s believed the vehicle first hit Susie.

I wonder if closure with this case, justice for Susie, will ever happen. Perhaps Susie had her personal demons, her father says she was an alcoholic, but that isn’t cause for someone to kill her. I agree it isn’t just cause. Perhaps her demons were because she had divorced and her children were with their father. Or maybe because she knew she was an alcoholic and couldn’t find the ‘want to’ to stop drinking. Perhaps her demons were because she was lonely and couldn’t find her niche in this world.   None of these perhaps is proof she had personal demons. They are my speculation. I can think of other plausible scenarios that are just as believable as the ones in the articles. One thing I am sure of is that absolutely nothing is cause enough to run over a person and drag her more than thirteen blocks, a mile, and then leave that person’s mangled body lying on the roadside.

Somebody knows something about this murder; someone has to know and they need to come forward. Susie needs peace in her afterlife. Her family needs answers and they have a right to properly grieve knowing justice prevailed for Susie.



Sunday, December 27, 2009

John Robert Kastner's Upcoming Trial

A little background on this upcoming murder trial.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008 John Robert Kastner told a tall tale of waking to discover a man standing at the foot of his bed. The man, according to him, was looking for someone his daughter knew. The 19-year-old daughter wasn’t at home but his other daughter and son were sleeping when the shootings occurred. This intruder proceeded to fight with him and shoot Kastner’s wife twice in the head; during the altercation he was shot in the hand. The evidence did not pan out for law enforcement and on June 27, 2008 they arrested Kastner for the murder of his wife.

Lori Moon Kastner was a judicial assistant with the Oklahoma Supreme Court. She quit her job in May of 2008 to follow Kastner in a fictional world that he’d convinced her was a real world. She’d gone so far as contact a bank about opening an international account for a corporation called ‘713 Corporation’ which would handle millions of dollars. Sadly, Lori’s love covered over her legal training and analytic intelligence.

Since his arrest, John Robert Kastner’s story has changed. Justice for Lori has been fraught with delays due to her husband’s play with the legal system. He pled not guilty, fired his public defender lawyer, wanted to defend himself and then hired a Tulsa high profile lawyer named John Byrd.

More recent news.

Kastner’s attorney John Byrd didn’t show for a couple court hearings this month but before Christmas he did file a motion for yet another delay saying his client was entering an insanity plea.

This motion, if accepted by the court, will likely postpone the Jan 4, 2010 date that was previously set for jury selection to begin. The insanity defense strategy is odd to me since Byrd has mentioned that Kastner stated he did not shoot his wife. Who did then? Surely not the intruder, whose race changed from native American to white, since no such person has ever been found. And too, the alleged shooter must have walked on air since he managed to not leave footprints in the blood during his struggle with Kastner. Then again, maybe that 22-caliber gun Kastner bought a week before the shooting, and allegedly practiced shooting in his backyard, simply jumped in his hand and spoke to him, demanding that he shoot Lori twice.

The probable new trial date is looming large as yet another delay in the cry for Lori’s justice since the Prosecutor, First Assistant District Attorney Doug Drummond, said if Kastner changes his plea to insanity they’d need time to prepare and to have an expert to evaluate Kastner.

I am not saying Kastner is guilty of this murder; it hasn’t gone to court and heard by a jury. But, I do think this man has some mental issues. Is he criminally insane? My personal opinion is no; I think he opted to live in his fantasy world and not in the real world. Unfortunately, he didn’t put his fantasies onto paper as a fictional novel and chose to drag his wife into the fantasy also. Appearances can be deceiving, both physically and mentally, but that choice makes him appear guilty to me.

When this trial does actually go live inside a Tulsa court, it’s possible no cameras will be allowed. The judge has previously stated none would be and they have allowed no recording devices which mean live text updates won’t be available either.



Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Battle Concerning Col. Barfoot's Flagpole


The above article is one that somewhat bothers me. To say Col Barfoot’s battle to fly his flag on his flagpole is about stubbornness is just wrong to me. I appreciate that Mr. Williams gave both sides of the story, the homeowners’ association and Col. Barfoot’s too, but I do disagree with the homeowners’ association and Mr. Williams with this one. If it is indeed an attribute of stubbornness to want the proper height upright pole to properly fly his flag then I, too, say I join and applaud Col. Barfoot in his stubbornness.

Col. Barfoot’s flagpole is not an eyesore, it isn’t something like an overgrown weed-filled lawn, or discarded furniture that trashes the neighborhood and causes the price of homes to drop. What it is, is Honor. That flagpole is part of what America is about. The flag he waves is what America is about. His flag shouldn’t be flown on one of those aluminum poles tilted on the outside wall of his home. That flag should fly on his pole, a proper pole where he can continue to honor it and for what it stands.

I pray Col. Barfoot wins this battle and the extra week he was given to take down his pole becomes more than one week. It should become until death him and his flag and his proper height pole parts.

I think it’s an exhibition of shame for the US and, too, the homeowners’ association of Sussex Square when a decorated war veteran, a veteran of three wars, can’t fly his flag on a proper upright pole. The homeowners’ association should rewrite their rules and regulations to allow this pole to stay as it is, where it is. They should allow other homeowners to honor this country the same way too. The pride the people of that community and town could and should feel knowing a section of their county is filled with American patriotism is tremendous.

More articles on this brave battle of Col. Barfoot and his supporters can be found at the above link site, at face book support sites, and also at: