PORTLAND, Maine — A genteel, bowtie-wearing attorney who was appointed special master by the U.S. Supreme Court an unprecedented four times has died. Ralph Lancaster was 88.
He most recently served as a special master overseeing a clash between Florida and Georgia over water rights. In 1988, he was appointed special counsel to investigate President Bill Clinton’s labour secretary. He also represented the United States before the International Court of Justice at The Hague.
Federal Judge William Kayatta tells the Portland Press Herald that “no Maine trial lawyer has ever risen to such heights.”
Lancaster died Tuesday at home and had written an obituary that didn’t mention professional achievements. He said he wanted to emphasize that “material matters pale into insignificance when compared to the love of family and friends.”
The Associated Press
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Accused killer Robert Durst confessed to he wants to testify against the real estate scion at his upcoming trial for murdering pal Susan Berman — and expose the cannibal as America’s wealthiest serial killer!
In “Sex and the Serial Killer: My Bizarre Times with Robert Durst,” jewel thief William Steel claims the mad millionaire frequently hung out in his Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment in the ’80s doing drugs, having S&M sex with prostitutes and bragging about murder!
Steel, who is using a pseudonym because of fears for his safety, once pressed the cocaine-fueled sicko about his first wife Kathleen McCormack Durst, 29, who vanished in Westchester County, N.Y., in 1982.
Steel claims the monster admitted that since they were divorcing, he feared Kathleen would snitch about the 1971 disappearance of college coed Lynne Schulze in Vermont and divulge secrets about the Durst family real estate empire.
“He [Durst] did say that he’d been planning to kill her because she was turning over documents that were incriminating to him,” according to Steel.
Steel said Durst brought a suitcase to his home one day, claiming it held Kathleen’s remains. Durst has never been charged in her disappearance, and her body has never been found. When Steel asked him what became of the prostitute who tried to extort money from him in exchange for her silence in Kathleen’s murder, he claims Durst casually replied: “So I tortured her, strangled her and ate her.”
What’s more, shortly before Susan’s murder, Steel met Durst at the Ritz-Carlton near West Palm Beach, Fla., to discuss an assassination plot to shut her up.
“We got to kill Susan,” a shocked Steel recalled Durst telling him. “I love Susan. But I have no choice. I have to kill her because she knows all about my killing.”
Susan, a writer, was found shot dead execution-style in her Los Angeles home on Dec. 24, 2000.
To cover his tracks, Steel claims Durst, now 75, offered him millions to arrange a “Charles Manson–style” murder spree of A-list stars to fool cops into thinking a serial killer offed Susan!
According to Steel, the evil thug’s hit list included Barbra Streisand, Sharon Stone, Janet Jackson, Celine Dion, Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts!
Steel told Radar he never intended to carry out the plan and was just leading Durst on to get information out of him. But years later, Durst dropped another bombshell when Steel asked about Susan.
“She’s not with us anymore,” Durst ghoulishly replied.
When asked if Susan was dead, Durst boasted: “Yeah, when you want something done right you do it yourself.”
Durst eventually fled to Galveston, Texas, where he disguised himself as a woman to avoid detection. There he allegedly confessed to dismembering elderly neighbor Morris Black in 2001, but beat the murder rap by declaring self-defense.
Durst was eventually arrested in New Orleans in March 2015 and hauled back to L.A. to face murder charges in Susan’s death. The trial begins in September.
Durst’s lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, said his client is innocent.
But in a 2015 docuseries, Durst muttered to himself off camera: “You’re caught! … What the hell did I do? Killed them all, of course.”
Steel hopes his book, available on Amazon, will bury Durst.
“He liked to call himself both the modern-day Jack the Ripper and Caligula, the Roman emperor whose murderous sexual deviancy also knew no bounds,” Steel wrote.
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A 30-year-old woman has been charged with impaired driving after a vehicle transporting a baby and a puppy veered off the road in Georgina and crashed into a tree.
Officers were called to Metro Road near the area of Deer Park Drive around 3 p.m. on Wednesday for reports of a collision.
According to York Regional Police, emergency crews arrived on scene to find a pick-up truck had struck a tree. Dashboard camera footage of first responders arriving at the scene shows the truck partially rolled over at the side of the road.
“There was debris scattered on the roadway, including a stroller,” police said in a news release issued on Thursday. “Officers were advised that the driver of the vehicle, along with her 17-month-old baby and shepherd puppy, were out of the vehicle and luckily uninjured.”
Investigators said that officers smelled alcohol when they spoke with the driver of the vehicle.
The driver was taken into custody and transported to a police station where she blew more than twice the legal limit of alcohol, investigators said.
The baby and the dog were turned over to family members, police said. The Children’s Aid Society was also contacted.
The name of the suspect is not being released in order to protect the identity of the child, police said.
In the news release, police called the collision “another disappointing incident of impaired driving.”
“It continues to frustrate me, and the frontline members of York Regional Police, who respond to these incidents and who witness firsthand the tragedy impaired driving can cause,” said York Regional Police Chief Eric Jolliffe in a statement.
“It is nothing but sheer luck that serious injury or death were avoided in this collision. Despite all our education and enforcement efforts, people continue to choose to consume alcohol and drugs and get behind the wheel of a vehicle. These choices are putting all of our lives at risk.”
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NEW YORK — The wife of Mexican drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzman played a key role in his infamous 2015 escape from prison through a tunnel dug into the shower of his cell, a witness testified Wednesday at the kingpin’s U.S. trial.
Damaso Lopez Nunez, once a loyal lieutenant for Guzman, told the jury that Emma Coronel Aispuro helped her husband communicate with his sons and others who co-ordinated the breakout at Altiplano prison in central Mexico.
Coronel “was giving us his messages,” Lopez told a New York jury, adding that she also was in on meetings about the escape.
After the Sinaloa cartel boss was recaptured and thrown in another Mexican lockup, the orginization paid a US$2-million bribe to a prison official in exchange for getting him moved back to Altiplano, the witness said. Before that could happen, Guzman was sent in 2017 to the U.S., where he’s been kept in solitary confinement while facing drug-trafficking charges he says have been fabricated by co-operators like Lopez.
The testimony cast a harsh spotlight on a spouse who has sat quietly in the courtroom for most a trial that began in mid-November. Most of the attention on her so far has been for her wardrobe and her reaction to waves from the defendant. She didn’t speak to reporters on Wednesday and Guzman’s lawyers declined comment.
As described by Lopez, the escape in 2015 was far more elaborate than one Guzman pulled off in 2001 by hiding in a prison laundry cart. It included smuggling a phone with GPS to Guzman so the plotters could determine where best to tunnel in, he said.
His followers also bought property near the facility as the starting point the mile-long (1.6-kilometre-long) escape route, Lopez said. Work went on for months and was so loud it could be heard behind bars – to the point where inmates were complaining about it, he said.
On the day of the breakout, a motorcycle was used to race Gurman to the exit of the tunnel, where an ATV took him to a warehouse, the witness said. He later was flown to his mountaintop hideaway.
In further questioning, Lopez also touched on the 2017 slaying of journalist Javier Valdez outside his office in outside his office in Culiacan, Sinaloa’s capital city. He claimed that Guzman’s sons – not their father – ordered him shot down because he ignored their threats related to his reporting on drug-trafficking.
The government’s case at the trial in federal court in Brooklyn is expected to conclude this week. The defence has included Guzman on a list of potential witnesses its case, but lawyers have been mum about whether he would chance actually testifying.
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OTTAWA — Liberal MP Nicola Di Iorio has yet to submit his letter of resignation to the Speaker of the House of Commons despite a much-publicized pledge to do so on Jan. 22.
House Speaker Geoff Regan’s office told HuffPost Canada Wednesday that they haven’t received Di Iorio’s resignation letter. Di Iorio did not respond to HuffPost’s emails and phone calls requesting comment before publication.
Di Iorio’s reputation developed some notoriety after his fall attendance — or lack thereof — was noticed by his colleagues in November. At the time, MPs said they had not seen their Liberal colleague on Parliament Hill since the House returned from summer break on Sept. 17.
After returning to the House, Di Iorio stated that pending the permission of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he would tender his resignation on Jan. 22, guaranteeing there could be no byelection to fill his seat because of recent changes Liberals made to Canada’s election laws.
There is no parliamentary rule that requires the prime minister sign off on resignations.
Watch: Prime minister tells Liberal caucus to ‘stay focused’ in election year
Elected in 2015, Di Iorio announced in April that he would be stepping down as MP for the Montreal riding of Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel, citing family reasons.
The mystery intensified around the so-called “missing MP” after the Prime Minister’s Office stated Di Iorio was tasked to work on projects related to road safety before his resignation date.
The labour and employment lawyer announced in a Facebook post Tuesday that he plans to donate $100,000 to support National Impaired Driving Prevention Week. It’s an annual government awareness week created by Di Iorio’s Private Members Motion, M-148, meant to be observed the third week of March.
Di Iorio previously stated that he intended to donate the salary he collected between September and Jan. 22 to fund the campaign to prevent impaired driving.
The cause is personal for Di Iorio, whose then-teenage daughter Claudia was severely injured after she was a passenger in a car that smashed into a tree in 2010, according to the Montreal Gazette. She spent at least seven months hospitalized, recovering from surgeries, brain trauma and temporary complete paralysis.
Laurent Raymond, the impaired driver of the car, was sentenced to three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving causing bodily harm in 2012. He had been racing his then-friend Felix Bérard at the time of the crash.
Bérard received two years’ probation and community service after he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving.
Montreal MP’s fall attendance wrapped in mystery
By the end of the year, a lack of answers prompted NDP ethics critic Nathan Cullen to ask Speaker Geoff Regan to launch an investigation over Di Iorio’s prolonged absence, suggesting expulsion as a possible penalty.
That call prompted Di Iorio to make an appearance in the chamber on Dec. 11, offering the House an explanation for his absence. Commons rules stipulate that one of an MP’s primary responsibilities is to attend sittings in the House unless they are away on official parliamentary business.
During his statement, he mentioned how he was told that his original intended departure date coincided with with marijuana legalization and would have to be changed.
That suggestion of high-level party intervention raised concerns from NDP MPs and Conservative whip Mark Strahl who noted that under the new Elections Act, the prime minister doesn’t have to call a byelection for seats vacated after Jan. 21. “What a coincidence,” he said.
But in Regan’s opinion, Di Iorio didn’t break any parliamentary rules because the Liberal MP didn’t collect his salary during his absence.
More from HuffPost Canada:
“At the core of this matter is the obligation for members of Parliament to fulfill their parliamentary duties in part by attending sittings in the House,” he said on Dec. 11, reminding MPs of the weight of their obligations to Parliament and the public.
“This seemingly simple statement carries with it enormous responsibility, from which even larger expectations emanate.”
Three byelections will be held Feb. 25 in the British Columbia riding of Burnaby South, Ontario’s York–Simcoe, and Quebec’s Outremont.
After Di Iorio’s departure, Saint-Leonard—Saint-Michel will remain vacant until the federal election later this year.
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