Tapper’s wire query, cont’
//<—-my comments are denoted as you’d see them in C/C++/Java source code
//<—-notes, questions, clarification, opinion
####<——most clips are delineated with hashes pending review, editing, organization, etc.
SUSPECT CAN’T HIDE FROM ACCUSERS
Sacramento Bee, The (CA) (Published as The Sacramento Bee) – January 3, 1998Browse Issues
Author: Peter Hecht Bee Staff Writer
Readability: 10-12 grade level (Lexile: 1190)
Each time the young man suspected in Kristin Smart’s disappearance – and apparent killing – gets a new job, he is followed by more batches of cards, letters and phone calls.
Scores of Smart family supporters send his employers news clippings, in which San Luis Obispo County authorities identify former student Paul Flores as the only suspect in the tragic mystery of the Stockton girl who vanished May 25, 1996, from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
He once tried to join the Navy, but after a flurry of calls the Navy said never mind. He moved to Southern California, went to work for a video store, a restaurant and a fast-food joint – only to be dismissed each time when word of the unsolved saga chased him down.
This is the life of the young man last seen with Kristin – a tall, sandy-haired woman of 19 who competed in soccer and swimming, who romanticized over world travels and someday dressing in peach for her wedding. Despite numerous searches, Kristin’s body was never found.
In a search warrant affidavit, San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Detective Henry Stewart said he believes Flores “is responsible for or has direct knowledge of her disappearance.” He added: “I also believe Kristin Smart is deceased and either died in Paul Flores’ dormitory room or was placed there for an unknown period of time.”
Flores, who was also 19 and a fellow Cal Poly freshman when she vanished, has never been charged. Authorities say they lack sufficient evidence.
Greg Coates, an attorney representing Flores, denies his client is responsible and said last year that Flores “had nothing to do with the disappearance of Kristin Smart.” Yet Flores is unable to hide from his accusers.
This is also the continuing torment for her parents, Stan and Denise Smart, and a legion of friends and supporters who have taken a quest for justice into their own hands. They’re convinced Flores killed Kristin, buried her body and hid the truth.
Last November, Flores, who had shown up with a black eye the day after promising to walk Kristin to her dorm following a campus-area party, repeatedly invoked the Fifth Amendment in a deposition for a lawsuit filed by the Smart family.
Watching the deposition “was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do,” said Denise Smart, a coordinator for an English as a second language program in Stockton. Both Denise and Stan, a Napa High School principal, earlier confronted Flores at a gas station where he used to work. They say he retreated inside without answering their questions.
The Smarts have raided college funds for their other children, Matt and Lindsey, spending $50,000 on attorneys, private investigators and other resources in a quest to find Kristin, justice and peace.
After the recent deposition, Denise wept bitterly. A few days later, she said determinedly: “You’d think people would get a clue – we’re not going to go away.”
The unsolved Kristin Smart case – which spurred a $50,000 reward fund by Gov. Pete Wilson and national coverage on programs from “Geraldo” to “Unsolved Mysteries” – continues to stir calls for greater safety on California campuses.
Kristin’s case was a centerpiece topic in a recent Capitol hearing on campus safety. Allegations that Cal Poly police failed to take her disappearance seriously and bungled the case in the crucial early days are prompting calls for new laws governing investigations of crimes on campus.
“There’s no question about it. There were errors made in the beginning,” said state Sen. Mike Thompson, D-St. Helena, who said he wants stronger policies enabling outside agencies to intervene in cases of missing students or serious crimes on campus.
Thompson hopes to introduce legislation mapping out new cooperation guidelines for campus police and outside law enforcement agencies.
“I’ve been a believer all along that we needed to do something after I saw what happened,” he said.
Kristin’s roommate called Cal Poly police and attempted to file a missing-persons report after she didn’t return following the party. But the campus police didn’t act until a few days later. They told the Smart family she had probably run off for the long Memorial Day weekend.
Nearly five weeks passed before the 14-officer Cal Poly force agreed to let the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Department join in the investigation of a suspected homicide. By then, Stan and Denise Smart – whose persistent pleas for outside intervention included calls to the Governor’s Office and the university president – complained that key time and evidence had been lost.
According to campus police interviews, witnesses said Kristin and Flores were at the same party and that Kristin – a freshman communications major – had appeared intoxicated and was having difficulty walking as she headed back to her dorm at 2 a.m. May 25, 1996.
A witness said Flores volunteered to walk Kristin and another young woman back to their room, according to a campus police report. The other woman told police that as she parted company with the two, Flores asked her for a kiss and a hug. The other woman refused the overture.
She said Flores and Kristin then continued walking toward Cal Poly’s Sequoia Hall. It was the last time Kristin was seen.
Five days after the party, two Cal Poly police investigators asked Flores during a tape-recorded interview why he had a black eye. He told them he got elbowed during a basketball game on Memorial Day. When authorities interviewed other participants in the game, they said Flores showed up with the injury.
According to documents obtained by The Bee, a close friend of Flores later told San Luis Obispo County district attorney’s investigators that Flores told him, “I don’t know how I got the black eye – I just woke up with it.” Asked by his friend why he made up the story about the basketball game, Flores answered: “It would have sounded stupid if I didn’t know how it happened.”
Flores then later told district attorney’s investigators that he injured his eye while working on his truck, according to the investigative report.
Ten days after Kristin was last seen, campus police secured her dorm room. Five days after that, they secured Paul Flores’ room. He already had moved out, clearing out his belongings.
On June 29, more than one month after Kristin vanished, a team of search dogs trained to detect human remains was dispatched by the Sheriff’s Department. The dogs suddenly reacted to a mattress in the third dorm they checked in Cal Poly’s Santa Lucia Hall. It was Paul Flores’ room.
“It was very significant,” said San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ed Williams. “I’ve been told by experts that these dogs are extremely accurate. But I’d hate for my future to be determined by the nose of a dog.”
Attorney Coates is representing Flores and his parents in the Smart’s civil case – a $40 million suit that also named Cal Poly San Luis Obispo as a defendant. He said Flores “was interviewed at length” by authorities in 1996 and was under no obligation to come forward again. He declined further comment about the case.
It has been an emotional thorn for the Smart family that Coates is being paid by Farmers Insurance under the homeowner’s policy on the Flores family’s house in the San Luis Obispo suburb of Arroyo Grande. Farmers spokeswoman Diane Tasaka in Los Angeles said that unless Flores “is found criminally responsible, the company has a duty to defend him” in the civil case.
In both Arroyo Grande and Stockton, friends and strangers have held fund-raisers for the Smart family’s quest to find Kristin and the truth. A fund in her name is set up at the Union Safe Deposit Bank in Stockton.
Meanwhile, Debbi Schmidt, an airline customer relations manager in Texas, picks up the phone whenever she hears the suspect has a new job. “I will call until I’m blue in the face every person whom I find out he’s working for,” she says.
Schmidt met Denise Smart after Smart called the airline, asking if it could reschedule a prepaid flight to the Atlanta Olympics for her husband and son because they had been out searching for Kristin.
It was an emotionally wrenching union: Schmidt’s son Richard, who had stopped to help a motorist in Colorado, was missing for 153 days before they found his body. A suspect was later tried and convicted.
“I was blessed that they found my son’s body,” she says. “Denise is stuck in a time warp. Her child is missing. She can’t move. And no one can share what she’s feeling.”
Meanwhile, the Flores family is being bombarded with mail. “The Smarts are good, kind people,” read one letter that was returned unopened. “End their trauma. Let the healing begin. Please urge Paul to cooperate.”
The letter, written by someone the Smart family doesn’t know, was part of a foot-high stack of mail sent to the Flores household. The mail was put in a hefty envelope and forwarded to the Smarts. Someone inserted a handwritten note: “Thanks for all your time. The post office likes it.”
Included in the returned items was a photo collage of Kristin that Denise sent, along with a personal appeal: “It is our hope that we will have a resolution to our nightmare soon.”
Denise Smart believes her daughter was murdered, and then defamed by the investigation that followed. She believes police punished Kristin – blaming her for her disappearance much like blaming a rape victim for the actions of her attacker.
Six days after Kristin vanished, one Cal Poly officer’s report noted Kristin had “appeared under the influence of alcohol” and “was not conforming to typical teenage behavior.” He added: “These observations in no way imply that her behavior caused her disappearance.”
Denise Smart responds somberly: “I think the bottom line is that it’s just not in their best interest to find her. . . . In their crime reports, there’s nothing listed on her, no statistical data. It’s just a non-crime, as if nothing happened.”
Cal Poly Police Chief Tom Mitchell defends his department’s handling of the investigation. Otherwise, Cal Poly police refer questions to the Sheriff’s Department. Sheriff Williams said his department has conducted hundreds of interviews – and received help from FBI profilers – but that officially it is only assisting the campus police.
“Kristin deserves what every other child, what every person on this planet deserves,” says her mother, who wonders if anyone is taking responsibility for finding her. “She deserves to be put to rest – and honored – before those who love her. There is no opportunity to do this. You can’t move on. Time is not a healer.”
Caption: Bee photograph / Chris Crewell The Smart family, from left, Stan, Lindsey and Denise, look over a scrapbook of Kristin, whose photo is in foreground.
Murder suspect enters plea – police dodge criticism
//Headline above and story below are correct in hindsight but a threat to justice at the time it was printed. The Register is not known for its Journalism Ethics.
Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) (Published as The Orange County Register) – May 20, 1999 Browse Issues
Author: BRUCE MURRAY; The Irvine Citizen
Readability: 7-9 grade level (Lexile: 1070)
The man accused of kidnapping and killing former Irvine resident RachelNewhouse and Fresno native Aundria Crawford pleaded not guilty at his arraignment last week.
Rex Allen Krebs, 33, a convicted rapist, sat hunched over, silent and expressionless during his court appearance. Krebs’ attorney, public defender James B. Maguire III, entered the plea for Krebs as a half-full courtroom of local college students, residents and the boyfriend of one of the victims watched.
Meanwhile in Irvine, the family and friends of Newhouse attended a private ceremony for the Irvine High School graduate and former CalPoly student.
Stephanie Morreale, Rachel’s aunt, said more than 250 people turned out for the event, which took place at a U.C. Irvine auditorium.
“The place was maxed out. It was very nice. A lot of her friends talked. We got a chance to say goodbye,” Morreale said.
Morreale said Rachel’s parents have not taken a stance on whether or not they believe Krebs should get the death penalty.
//Was it ethical of this writer to ask the family of a murder-victim about about capital punishment? while the accused was ON TRIAL? This violates SPJ code, that’s //for sure. Insensitive. Irrelevant. Exploitative, Agenda-driven. Sensationalism.
//As stated, EVERYONE KNEW Krebs was guilty. the investigation got fucked up in typical fashion. Incompetency. Corruption.
// How much is still an open question
//Backup to the abstract: The theory is that my rights end where your rights begin. I have a right to free speech. I also have a right to a fair trial (and all that goes w/ //that – voir dire especially). Presumption of innocence.
//So if you are on trial, my right to free speech ends where your right to a fair trial begins. Even if your name is Rex Allen Krebs. Note that the victim’s family //member is fully aware of this in her answer:
“My brother is going to let it (the justice system) run its course,” she said.
//this is the best answer. Trial and SENTENCING are completely separate. Keeping them separate ensures a higher probability of justice being served.
Krebs is a registered sex offender who moved to a rural canyon community near San Luis Obispo eight months ago after serving 10 years in a state prison for rape, sodomy, assault with intent to commit rape and three burglaries.
Newhouse disappeared Nov. 12, 1998; Crawford was abducted from her home March 12, and Krebs was named as a suspect April 23.
The time span between Newhouses’s abduction and Krebs’ arrest has drawn criticism of the San Luis Obispo Police Department from some local residents. In one letter to the San Luis Obispo Tribune, the writer asks why Krebs, a known sex offender on parole for rape, was not developed as a suspect earlier.
Capt. Bart Topham of San Luis Obispo Police Department would not comment on the issue.
“That letter was speculation,” Topham told The Citizen. “Until the trial is over, the less speculation, the better.”
Morreale said the family has no complaints.
“My brother was very happy with the way the police department handled the case,” she said.
Orange County Register, The (Santa Ana, CA) (Published as The Orange County Register) – May 13, 1999Browse Issues
Author: The Irvine Citizen
Readability: 11-12 grade level (Lexile: 1210)
Murder suspect enters no plea
Convicted rapist Rex Allan Krebs entered no plea at his arraignment last week on charges that he murdered Irvine High School graduate RachelNewhouse and 20-year-old Aundria Crawford of Fresno.
Another arraignment date has been set for May 13.
Krebs, 33, of Idaho, all but confessed to the murders in an interview with the Fresno Bee. Krebs said he was a “monster” who deserved the death penalty.
San Luis Obispo District Attorney Gerald Shea has charged Krebs with murder with the special circumstances of kidnapping, rape and laying in wait.
Newhouse, 20, a former CalPoly student, disappeared Nov. 12, 1998, after she was last seen at a college party at a local restaurant. April 23, police discovered her remains on the property where Krebs lived.
Romantic photo contest underway
Think of the most romantic moment you had in Irvine and capture it in a snapshot.
Mayor Christina Shea’s Romance Task Force is conducting a photo contest to find the pictures that best depict the romance of Irvine. Winning photographs will be chosen among six categories: scenic, people, glamour, “candid” humor, creative and photojournalism that depicts romance.
There is no entry fee, and entrants may submit up to six images per household. The competition is being managed by 30 Minute Photos Etc., which will award $2,000 in prizes, including six separate certificates for a full year’s worth of free film processing.
The contest runs through July 30, and winners will be announced Sept. 10. Winning photos will be placed on the internet.
For more information, contact Mitchell Goldstone, 30 Minute Photos president at (949) 474-7654 or e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hundreds mourn college students – SEPARATE SERVICES: Students discuss safety at memorials for two women.
Ventura County Star (CA) – April 30, 1999Browse Issues
Author: The Associated Press
Readability: 9-12 grade level (Lexile: 1150)
SAN LUIS OBISPO (AP) — Hundreds gathered at a separate ceremonies for slain college students Aundria Crawford and RachelNewhouse to remember their classmates and discuss ways to stay safe in their carefree college lives.
About 300 people attended Tuesday’s tearful ceremony at Cuesta College held near a pink rose bush placed near the campus’ main fountain.
“Like this rose which will grow in this courtyard in her memory Aundria was beautiful and gave pleasure to those who knew her” college president Grace Mitchell said. “Her grandfather tells me that her favorite colors were pale pink green and metallic silver. This rose will serve to remind us all of the energy verve and color which she brought to our lives here at Cuesta.”
Crawford 20 a Cuesta College sophomore in interior design from Clovis was abducted in March from her duplex. Authorities believe she was kidnapped and killed by a registered sex offender.
“She was happy here and working very hard to accomplish her goals” said Mitchell. “As a parent and grandparent I can only imagine the pain her family and friends are enduring. I am sad and angry that they will no longer have her in their lives.”
Fellow classmate Linda Lujan recalled the first time she met Crawford. Lujan was on crutches and having trouble handling her books at the same time.
“No one else stopped to help me but she did. E She left an impression on my heart that will forever remain” Lujan said through her tears.
The remains of Crawford and Newhouse a California Polytechnic State University San Luis Obispo junior from Irvine were found Friday on the property of Rex Allen Krebs. Newhouse also 20 vanished Nov. 12 as she walked home from a bar.
Krebs 33 who has been in custody at the San Luis Obispo County jail since March 20 for an unrelated parole violation has yet to be charged for the women’s deaths.
However he told the Fresno Bee: “The two girls are dead. If I’m not a monster then what am I?”
Cuesta College officials and students placed other flowers and notes next to the rose bush with light pink blooms that was placed near a fountain. The rose bush will be planted next week in the courtyard. Flags will fly at half staff on campus for the remainder of the week.
At CalPoly about 125 students gathered to remember Newhouse and another missing classmate Kristen Smart who was reported missing May 25 1996 after she was last seen outside her campus dormitory. Krebs was not being investigated for Smart’s disappearance.
The CalPoly students also discussed ways to stay safe. Student Amy Luker advised classmates to keep in contact with friends and relatives.
“Let somebody know where you are even if it means calling your mom. Don’t just take off and study all night” Luker said.
Caption: Photos by The Associated Press CAL POLY MEMORIAL: People hug during a memorial service for RachelNewhouse at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, on Thursday. The woman’s remains were discovered buried in a remote canyon. The CalPoly students also recalled another missing student, Kristen Smart, whose disappearance has not been linked to those of Newhouse and Aundria Crawford, a Cuesta College student. EMOTIONAL MOMENT: Friends of RachelNewhouse show their emotions during a memorial at CalPoly for their fellow student, whose body was found buried in a rural area near San Luis Obispo. Rex Allen Krebs, who owns the property, is the primary suspect in the deaths of both women but has not been charged, although he is in jail on an unrelated parole violation.
KILLING SUSPECT: I’M A MONSTER
Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA) – April 26, 1999Browse Issues
Author: Michael Krikorian
Readability: 9-12 grade level (Lexile: 1150)
SAN LUIS OBISPO – In a chilling jailhouse interview, the man suspected of killing two San Luis Obispo college students referred to himself as a monster and said he hopes he receives the death penalty.
Eight hours later, San Luis Obispo police announced that two bodies discovered on the remote canyon property where Rex Allan Krebs lived had been identified as those of Aundria Crawford of Clovis and RachelNewhouse of Irvine.
Both bodies were discovered Friday first Newhouse’s, then Crawford’s in a hilly area between Avila Beach and downtown San Luis Obispo.
Police Capt. Bart Topham refused to discuss the cause of death of the two young women, whose disappearance had cast a gloom over this peaceful college town.
Crawford, 20, a student at Cuesta College, was abducted from her apartment March 12. Newhouse, 21, a student at CalPoly San Luis Obispo, vanished Nov. 12. The bodies were identified by dental records.
Krebs, 33, who was arrested on a parole violation March 20, has not been charged in the slayings. However, Topham repeated that he remains “the sole suspect” in the case.
Earlier Saturday at San Luis Obispo County Jail, Krebs his voice raspy, his eyes flat expressed disgust with himself and sympathy for the victims’ families.
“The two girls are dead,” he said. “If I’m not a monster, then what am I?”
Krebs, who has spent nearly half of his life locked up in prisons and juvenile halls, said he was not worried about being sentenced to death.
“I hope they give it to me,” said the Idaho native, who had served 10 years for two rapes in 1987. He was paroled in September 1997.
“God, oh, sorry,” Krebs replied when asked what would he say to the parents of Crawford and Newhouse. His face twisted in torment as he put down the phone in the jail’s visitation room Saturday. A few seconds later, he picked up the phone again.
Krebs also expressed a strong desire to protect the identity of his girlfriend of 20 months, who police believe didn’t know the man she loved might have killed two women. The 23-year-old is five months pregnant with his child.
“Leave her out of this,” he said. “She doesn’t know anything. If you beat me all over this room all day, I still wouldn’t tell you anything about her other than she is so sweet, so nice.”
Krebs had lived in Davis Canyon for at least eight months and worked at a local lumber store.
A registered sex offender, he was arrested for having a simulated weapon and alcohol at his home both parole violations.
Friday, Krebs’ mother, Connie Ridley of Sand Point, Idaho, said she was stunned by news that her son was the prime suspect in the two students’ deaths.
“I knew he’s been in trouble,” Ridley said, “but I never figured he’d ever do this.”
Caption: Scripps-McClatchy News Service
HUMAN REMAINS FOUND IS THE BODY FOUND NEAR AVILA BEACH THAT OF AUNDRIA CRAWFORD OF CLOVIS?; Fresno Bee, The (CA); April 24, 1999
STUDENT STILL MISSING A MONTH LATER; Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, CA); December 12, 1998
SLO WOMAN: ‘I KILLED MY HUSBAND’ – SHE PLEADS NOT GUILTY SHOOTING UNPLANNED, SHE SAYS
Tribune, The (San Luis Obispo, CA) – March 3, 2004Browse Issues
Author: Ryan Huff
Readability: 11-12 grade level (Lexile: 1260)
Blythe Coulter-Montanaro killed her husband on Friday to thwart his plan to fly to Oregon and slay a man she reportedly had an affair with some two decades ago, according to court records released Tuesday.
The husband, 48-year-old Richard Montanaro, made his wife load a pistol — which he would use in the killing — last Wednesday or Thursday at their posh San Luis Obispo home, records said. But she hid the gun from him in a bathroom, retrieving it Friday morning after he punched a clock and threw it at her, according to the records.
At that time, she held the gun underneath a coat as the two yelled back-and-forth, fearing that he’d kill her, she told police. Coulter-Montanaro then allegedly shot her husband in the neck, left arm, chest, abdomen and back.
When police arrived, according to the records, Coulter-Montanaro tearfully said, “I killed my husband,” but said she didn’t mean to and that he kept coming at her.
Coulter-Montanaro, 48, pleaded not guilty to a murder charge at an arraignment Tuesday. Judge Barry LaBarbera set her bail at $1 million. She’s expected to post bail this morning with funds from the victim’s mother, said Gregory Jacobson, one of a pair of defense attorneys.
LaBarbera set the next court date for March 23, with a preliminary hearing likely in April.
The slaying happened shortly after 10:35 a.m. Friday at 109 Anacapa Circle — a cul-de-sac of million-dollar homes that back up to Bishop Peak and boast breathtaking views of CalPoly and San Luis Obispo.
Ryan Huff covers courts and county issues for The Tribune. He can be reached at 781-7909 or email@example.com.
Caption: – Blythe Coulter-Montanaro is expected to be freed on bail today.
BILLBOARD OF MISSING WOMAN RE-EMERGES – 2ND CAL POLY CASE SPARKS NEW INTEREST
Sacramento Bee, The (CA) (Published as The Sacramento Bee) – December 28, 1998Browse Issues
Author: Peter Hecht Bee Staff Writer
The sign had been down for more than a year. But the face of Kristin Smart, missing since 1996, can be seen once again on a billboard near the campus of California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
For the Stockton woman’s father, Stan Smart, a billboard company’s recent decision to erect the sign affirmed that his 19-year-old daughter – a sandy-haired CalPoly freshman who played soccer and dreamed of world travels – won’t be forgotten.
But the renewed attention on Kristin Smart has come for the worst of reasons: Now there are two CalPoly women – Smart and Rachel Newhouse, a 20-year-old nutrition major from Irvine – who have vanished under suspicious circumstances.
Smart’s family and authorities long ago concluded that the freshman communications major was murdered sometime after a fellow student walked her toward her dorm after a campus-area party May 25, 1996.
Smart’s body has not been found. And now Newhouse, a slender woman with light brown hair, is missing – the only clue some traces of blood found near a downtown San Luis Obispo restaurant where she was last seen Nov. 12.
The Smart family has reached out to the Newhouse family, sending messages offering emotional support and volunteering assistance. But so far the Newhouses, locked in their own torment, haven’t responded.
“It’s real difficult,” said Stan Smart, a Napa high school principal. “We would offer them our hugs and concerns and prayers. They’re already doing a lot of things they should be doing. They’re getting fliers out, and they have an Internet Web page set up. But we’re very saddened by the disappearance of Rachel, and feel for her parents.”
Earlier this year, Gov. Pete Wilson signed into law the Kristin Smart Campus Safety Act of 1998, requiring universities and colleges in California to call in local law enforcement agencies immediately in cases of suspected homicides or other violent crimes on campus.
The legislation came after persistent pleas from the Smart family, who charged that CalPoly campus police had badly bungled Smart’s case by failing to treat her disappearance seriously and allowing the only suspect – a fellow student named Paul Flores – to clean out his dorm room and leave campus.
Dogs trained to detect human remains later led San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s deputies to a mattress in the empty room.
Authorities say they lack sufficient evidence to bring charges, and a Flores family attorney has said his client “had nothing to do with the disappearance of Kristin Smart.”
But a sheriff’s detective declared in a search warrant affidavit that Flores “is responsible for or has direct knowledge” of Smart’s disappearance. He said Smart “is deceased and either died in Paul Flores’ dormitory room or was placed there.”
Her mother, Denise Smart, a Stockton bilingual education coordinator, said she got chills when she heard the second missing woman was from Irvine – where Flores has been living. He has been fired from restaurant and fast-food jobs as news of the unsolved case has followed him.
Recently, saying it was responding “to many inquiries by members of the media,” the San Luis Obispo Police Department issued a statement: “Paul Flores, who has been the subject of much attention during the investigation into the disappearance of Kristin Smart, has been eliminated as a suspect in the disappearance of Rachel Newhouse.”
Stan Smart nonetheless has found himself hoping the new case could help find the truth in his daughter’s disappearance. He said it appears as if authorities were responding much more aggressively to the recent case, pointing out that the FBI was called into Newhouse’s case almost immediately after she was reported missing.
In Smart’s case, campus police waited several days to respond, believing she merely wandered off over a Memorial Day weekend.
“It appears to me that they’ve done a lot of right things this time around that they didn’t do with our daughter,” he said.
The Smart family recently dropped wrongful-death lawsuits against Flores and the university.
Stan Smart said the family decided to drop the claim against Flores with the intention of refiling if there are developments.
The family gave up on its claim against the university after negotiations broke down over a settlement that would have involved building a lighted memorial for Smart at the campus street corner where she was last seen.
As another haunting case put Smart’s name back in the news, Denise Smart and Kristin’s sister Lindsey, 16, flew to New York recently to appear on Maury Povich’s show and appeal for a resolution in the case.
Stan Smart and Kristin’s brother, Matt, 19, plan to return to San Luis Obispo in January to again comb the area’s wild lands looking for her body.
“We’re still going to search,” he said. “We’re in it for the duration – until we see some justice.”
Caption: Kristin Smart: The Stockton woman disappeared in 1996 after leaving a San Luis Obispo party. Rachel Newhouse: The 20-year-old was last seen Nov. 12 near a San Luis Obispo eatery.
Edition: METRO FINAL
Page number: B1
Copyright: Copyright 1998, 1999 The Sacramento Bee
COMPANY ORDERS KRISTIN SMART SITE MODIFIED – PRIVACY CONCERNS PROMPT PRESSURE ON SELF-APPOINTED INVESTIGATOR
Tribune, The (San Luis Obispo, CA) – June 21, 2002Browse Issues
Author: Patrick S. Pemberton
Readability: 11-12 grade level (Lexile: 1280)
An amateur private detective trying to find missing Cal Poly student Kristin Smart has been ordered to tone down his Web site.
Dennis Mahon received an e-mail from Homestead Technologies Inc. earlier this week, saying his Web site, www.sonofsusan.com, had to be modified.
“Some of the things that he had on the Web site violated the things he agreed to on the member agreement when he signed up for it,” said Joshua Weinberg, a spokesman for the Menlo Park company.
Mahon’s site includes background information on Kristin Smart, a 19-year-old who disappeared from the Cal Poly campus six years ago. The site also includes information about the main suspect in that case, Paul Flores, and his family, along with theories of what might have happened.
His Web site has garnered several e-mails from people offering tips — tips that are often relayed on the site.
Weinberg said Homestead was particularly concerned with photos and addresses that have been posted without consent of the people involved.
He wouldn’t say if Homestead was concerned about the threat of a lawsuit, but he did say the company was concerned about Web sites that might violate privacy.
For a monthly fee, Homestead provides software that allows clients to easily build and maintain their own Web sites. Mahon said the site has been a valuable tool in keeping the case alive and seeking clues to the unsolved mystery.
“It’s been really, really helpful,” said Mahon, whose site has generated more than 17,000 hits in three months. “Basically, I’m putting a new coat of paint on the case.”
Mahon, from North Carolina, has volunteered to investigate the case, posting updates daily on his Web site. To support himself while he’s in San Luis Obispo, he delivers pizzas at night. He is also investigating the disappearance of Kristen Modaferri, an 18-year-old North Carolina woman who vanished during a trip to San Francisco in 1997.
Homestead received a complaint about the site, Mahon said, but he would not say who made the complaint or if the complaint came from the Flores family.
Susan Flores has declined to speak to The Tribune. Paul Flores is currently serving a jail sentence for drunken driving in Santa Barbara County, and his father, Reuben, could not be reached for comment.
Denise Smart, the missing woman’s mother, said she was disappointed by Homestead’s actions.
“It seems to me to be a First Amendment violation,” Smart said from her home in Stockton.
After leads in her daughter’s disappearance had diminished over the years, Smart said, the Web site was generating tips again, offering hope that the 19-year-old freshman might be found.
“It has brought people out of the woodwork,” she said.
Mahon said he is considering legal action to keep his site running. Meanwhile, he has temporarily removed most of the information on the Homestead site, and another host has temporarily posted the former Web site at www.cwwebdesigns. com/sos/.
Page number: B1
Copyright: Copyright (c) 2002 The Tribune
LUNGREN’S OFFICE UNLIKELY TO TAKE OVER MISSING-STUDENT PROBE
Sacramento Bee, The (CA) (Published as The Sacramento Bee) – July 2, 1998Browse Issues
Author: Peter Hecht Bee Staff Writer
Readability: >12 grade level (Lexile: 1500)
The family of Kristin Smart, the 19-year-old Stockton woman who vanished two years ago from California Polytechnic University, San Luis Obispo, and is presumed murdered, is asking the state attorney general’s office to take over the case from local authorities.
But after Smart’s parents, Denise and Stan Smart, met this week with the chief of staff for At torney General Dan Lungren, a Lungren spokesman said it is unlikely state officials will intervene.
Lungren’s spokesman Rob Stutzman, who said state justice officials have lent assistance to the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department with criminal profiling and evidence testing, said they take over cases from local authorities only “in the most extraordinary circumstances.”
Since Smart vanished from the Cal Poly campus May 25, 1996, her family has become bitterly frustrated with the police investigation into her disappearance.
The family has complained that Cal Poly campus police failed to treat Smart’s disappearance seriously until several days after she was reported missing.
The campus police, which eventually requested assistance from the San Luis Obispo Sheriff’s Department five weeks after her disappearance, also allowed the suspect in the case to clean out his dorm room and leave campus. Search dogs trained to detect human remains later led investigators to a mattress in the empty room.
Although San Luis Obispo County Sheriff Ed Williams has identified a fellow student, Paul Flores, as the only suspect in Smart’s disappearance, the sheriff has infuriated her family by saying the investigation is stymied because Flores won’t cooperate with authorities.
Greg Coates, an attorney for Flores, has said his client “had nothing to do with the disappearance of Kristin Smart.”
“They (the sheriff’s department) have had the case for over two years and their position is that there is nothing they can do,” said Denise Smart. “. .
What kind of message is that?”
Stutzman said the attorney general’s office has taken over some cases where there was a potential conflict of interest for local authorities. For example, he said, state justice officials are handling an embezzlement investigation of a former Modesto police officer and a drunken driving case involving a Ventura County judge.
Smart’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Flores, accusing him of her murder. Her parents have also sued Cal Poly over the university’s handling of the case. The attorney general’s office is defending the university in the civil claim.
“The attorney general is using state resources to defend the college,” Denise Smart said. “Why aren’t they using state resources to investigate the disappearance of someone who vanished off of their campus?”
Edition: METRO FINAL
Section: MAIN NEWS
Page number: A5
Copyright: Copyright 1998 The Sacramento Bee
Denise Smart and her husband, Stan — a director of secondary education in Napa — assume their daughter is dead.
But they still hold out hope that someone will come forward and tell them what happened to her body.
“We’d never have her life back,” Denise Smart said, “but we would have her.”
Her mother has put together a video of Kristin’s life to show May 19.
“I put it off for a long time because I knew it would be hard,” she said. “Yet after I finished it, I realize what a good experience it was and how much Kristin did in such a short amount of time. A lot of really good memories came back to me.”
San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Bolts said that department has accepted the Smarts’ invitation to attend the memorial service. The case continues to be open and is actively being investigated, he said.
“We’re working closely with a number of agencies, including the FBI, Cal Poly Police and the state Department of Justice,” Bolts said.
Kristin Smart also will be remembered, along with murder victims Aundria Crawford and Rachel Newhouse, during a run and walk May 19 at Laguna Lake Park.
The money raised through registration fees will benefit the Rachel Newhouse Endowment Fund and the Cal Poly “ReMEmber Me” group that also memorializes Smart and Crawford. The group works to prevent sexual assault and violence against women and sponsors programs such as “Take Back the Night” and an annual candlelight vigil at Farmers’ Market in San Luis Obispo.
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San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s Lt. Steve Bolts said that department has accepted the Smarts’ invitation to attend the memorial service. The case continues to be open and is actively being investigated, he said.