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Running of the Bulls . . .

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The Miami Heat should be thankful that the Chicago Bulls ended their winning streak.

Now they can put the focus on where it should have been in the first place and that is in repeating as NBA Champions.

The Heat players seemed to have been caught in the frenzy created by the media’s constant barrage of coverage and comparison to the record of thirty-three consecutive wins set by the 72 Los Angeles Lakers.

Heat’s president Pat Riley, who was a member of that 72 team, avoided commenting on the streak. Perhaps he, like most of us, realized that nothing less than a championship would be considered a wasted season.

The prognosticators got this one right. They predicated that either the Bulls or the San Antonio Spurs had a legitimate shot to end Miami’s streak.

Miami’s coach, Erik Spoelstra, along with members of his staff can now fix glaring weaknesses that have cropped up during the streak. His team’s penchant for falling behind early in games finally caught up to them.

He warned his team of the dogfight they would encounter in Chicago, as the Bulls jumped out to an early lead from the gate. The lead wasn’t  insurmountable when compared to 27 points they were down in Boston,  but the short-handed Bulls simply refused to relinquish it.

“It was never about the streak,” Spoelstra admonished. “It’s about, are we getting better?”

Apparently not, if you take into account that during the streak, Miami played from behind 11 times, entering the fourth quarter. There would be no late game heroics from LeBron James. No mock interviews from Dwayne Wade after the game. No joyful and playful interview interruptions by Chris Bosh.

Losing streaks can be nerve-racking, but winning streaks can have the same effect as well.  Evident by James’ frustration over the officiating and what he considered to be aggressive and unnecessary hard fouls by Bulls’ players.

If the Heat are to hoist another, Larry O’Brien trophy, then they should acknowledge the streak for what it was, just a serendipitous distraction on the way to the ultimate prize.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

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Let The Punishment Fit The Crime . . .

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The outpouring comments calling for a public lynching, to metering out the same cold-blooded execution, in order to save taxpayers the expense of housing two teenagers, who brazenly shot to death a 13-month-old baby, is a very fiery and divisive topic.

One cannot argue that the crime committed by these two teenagers is not heinous, and that the punishment administered should be of equal measure, but our system is one of due process, where an individual is considered innocent until proven guilty.

If we are to subjugate thoughts of retribution, we need to let our justice system, no matter how imperfect we think it to be, run its course, and after all the facts have been presented and examined, whatever verdict and punishment is rendered by the court, is what the accused should have to contend with.

Once we allow ourselves to entertain the notion of dispelling due process and exacting revenge for nefarious acts of violence, are we any better than the perpetrators, when in the guise of being law-abiding citizens, we trample and ignore their rights?

Sherry West was pushing her baby Antonio in his stroller when two teenagers accosted her and demanded money. When she refused and insisted she had no money to give them, the elder of the two, whom she later identified as De’Marquis Elkins, threatened to shoot her, and her baby as well.

West wrestled with her two assailants. Neither could snatch her purse. Miffed by their futile struggle, Elkins allegedly carried out his threat. He shot West in the leg; another bullet grazed her head, and then with depraved indifference shot her baby between the eyes.

Would the outcome have been different if West had just given Elkins and his 15-year-old accomplice, Dominique Lane, her purse?

The coastal city of Brunswick, Georgia is appalled that such a ghastly incident could have occurred in their small close-knit community. Witnesses tipped police that Lane was seen in the backseat of a car driving away from the scene of the shooting.

Police using West’s description that her attackers were African-American teenagers, concentrated their investigation on the surrounding schools’ absentee records, and by going door to door. West identified a mug shot of Elkins out of the twenty-four she looked at, unbeknownst that the police already had him in custody.

Although his aunt, Katrina Elkins, stated that he dined with her at breakfast, which was an hour before the shooting occurred, Brunswick police spokesman, Todd Rhodes, says authorities have sufficient reasons to charge Elkins.

Verdell Hunter characterized her grandson, Lane, as a baby himself, not a baby killer.

West’s mournful depiction of what happened to her and Antonio will no doubt sway public sentiment that our judicial system should be abolished in this particular case.

Derisive comments querying if President Barack Obama had a son, would he likely to be of the same temperament as Elkins, only serves to fuel hatred and propagate racial discord.

There will be no winners in this case.

The parents of Antonio Santiago demand justice. West’s says she can never forgive her baby’s killer. “I hope the shooter dies,” she cried. “A life for a life.”

One can only hope that justice will truly be served.

A long drawn out battle is brewing, with Elkins’ lawyer proclaiming his client’s innocence. Lane’s mother, Brenda Moses, claims that her son is a victim and doesn’t know Elkins.

In the end we should not rush to judgment, but ensure that these are the individuals, who tried to rob a mother and ended up killing her 13-month-old son.

When these allegations are proven in the court of law, and not by the court of public opinion, then by all means let the punishment fit the crime.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Affairs of the Heart . . .

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Affairs of the heart, which leads to uncontrollable crimes of passion, can happen anywhere and at anytime.

The insatiable desire to exact a measure of revenge when another suitor has captured your lover’s affections is a testament to the destructive force that drives relatively sane individuals to commit murder.

Although Marine officials have not released an official statement, one can only surmise that when their investigation has concluded, the facts will reveal that there had been a romantic entanglement that destroyed the careers and lives of three promising young Marines.

Why else would Marine Sgt. Eusebio Lopez, 25, of Pacifica, California, throw away such a promising military career by murdering two of his comrades and then killing himself?

The bodies of Lance Cpl. Sara Castromata, 19, of Oakley, California, and Cpl. Jacob Wooley, 23, of Guntown, Mississippi, were discovered together on Thursday night, in a room at the Taylor Halls barracks at Marine Corps base in Quantico, Virginia.

Sgt. Lopez body was discovered in the same hall, but in a different location than those of his two colleagues.

What drove him to commit such a horrific act?

The Marine Corps will no doubt keep claiming that the investigation is ongoing and they do not know the motive for the double murders/suicide. Everyone else will speculate and arrive at the same conclusion.

A love triangle ensnared them all, and Sgt. Lopez, perhaps not knowing how to control his emotions and no one to confide in, took matters into his own hands.

Quantico Base is known as the crossroads of the Marine Corps, where officers receive their basic training, but in the case of these three decorated Marines, perhaps another lesson would have been more suitable.

Affairs of the heart that goes awry ultimately have a very disastrous ending.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Have You Seen Her?

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Toni Enclade cannot bring herself to think that her daughter is dead.

Although almost three weeks have passed since Terrilynn Monette disappeared in New Orleans, her despondent mother still clings to hope that somehow her daughter is still alive.

The 26-year-old elementary teacher was last seen leaving a parking lot near the Lakeview neighborhood bar, Parlay’s, where she had been celebrating her nomination for teacher of the year with a group of friends.

If the accounts of what happened on that ill-fated night are true, then Monette should have never been allowed to get behind the wheel.

Monette allegedly was so inebriated that the bartender felt compelled to cut off her alcohol consumption. Furthermore she told friends that she was going to sleep in her car because she knew she was too intoxicated to drive home.

This is where I am completely baffled.

If I am in the company of friends, and I see that one of them has drunk themselves into stupor, would it not be incumbent on me to make sure they get home safely?

Yet in the case of Monette, no one offered. Not the bartender, who clearly could have called her a cab, and not her friends, who readily accepted the fact that she would try to sleep it off in her car.

This act of concern for Monette’s well-being would have surely made the outcome of that night on March 2nd entirely different.  What their inactions have caused is a mother’s mournful plea that someone would come forth with any information that could shed a modicum of light on her daughter’s whereabouts.

Although the investigation is still ongoing, as each day passes, the prospect of finding the Long Beach, California native grows dim.

Equusearch, the rescue organization headquartered in Dickinson Texas, have suspended their efforts after an intensive and exhaustive search of the bayous failed to produce Monette or the 2012 black Honda Accord she was driving.

Enclade does not believe the accounts of what happened that night. She claims her daughter would never sleep in her car. She steadfastly believes that her daughter was abducted, although surveillance cameras show her driving out of the parking lot alone.

“Where is my daughter,” she cries. “Where is her car?”

Police have questioned a man last seen talking to Monette in the parking lot, but for now he is not a suspect.

What has happened to Monette? Have you seen her?

Terrilynn Monette

If so please reach out to the New Orleans Police Dept at  (504) 821-2222 or to Texas EquuSearch at (281) 309-9500.

Whatever information you have, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, may help solve the mystery of this beloved teacher’s disappearance.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Why You Should Dig Two Graves Before Embarking On A Quest For Revenge . . .

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Enraged with the judge’s decision to award temporary custody of their 4-year-old daughter to her husband, Mazoltuv Borukhova decided to take matters into her own hands.

Daniel Malakov, 34, was gunned down at a playground in Forest Hills, Queens as he took his daughter, Michelle, to meet his estranged wife. Dr. Malakov had won custody of Michelle in a bitter court dispute with his wife, and this was supposed to have been a supervised visit.

Dr. Borukhova, 35, an internist, had done everything possible to poison Michelle against her husband, but the child still seemed happier with him. This coupled with her lack of faith in the court system, may have led her, to have him murdered.

Mikhail Mallayev, 51, (Borukhova’s distant relative), pumped three bullets, at close range, into Malakov as the dentist’s horrified daughter looked on.

The price to settle the caustic custody battle between her and her estranged husband, $20,000. Both Borukhova and her hired gunman have denied any involvement in the October 2007 killing. Yet police didn’t have far to look in determining a motive for Malakov’s murder.

Three days before the shooting, Borukhova had lost custody of Michelle during a court-ordered transfer. Distraught over losing her daughter, Borukhova threatened members of Malakov’s family. When her husband’s uncle, Erza Malakov’s, stated that he would help, and that his nephew, would allow her to see Michelle as part of the visitation agreement.

“I don’t need any help anymore. His days are numbered,” the uncle testified, Borukhova shouted. Everything is decided about him.”

Borukhova’s staunch denial about Malakov’s death began to unravel as she was being questioned by police. Detectives were shocked that although her husband was killed 10-15 feet from her, Borukhova claimed not to have heard the shots or seen the killer.

The EMT who had tried to save Dr. Malakov’s life painted an entirely different picture.

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A Reunion for Murder!

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In what would seem almost incomprehensible to fathom, a man drove from Garden City, LI to Towson, MA, with his wife and 11-year-old daughter, to visit their 19-year-old, to commit murder.

Police are baffled and neighbors aghast as to what would have led the NY lawyer to kill himself and his entire family.

William and Betty Parente were your typical affluent suburbanite family.  He was a tax and estate planning attorney, and she a stay-at-home-mom, raising two lovely daughters. Stephanie  the eldest, a sophomore at Loyola College in Baltimore, while Catherine was a six-grader at Garden City Middle School.

Police officials hypothesized based on the evidence in the family’s hotel room that it was a murder-suicide. They have been evasive however as to which parent was the perpetrator, only supplying the media with information that none of the apparent victims were shot or stabbed.

What they know so far is that Stephanie had breakfast with her family at the hotel on Sunday morning, return to her dorm room, where she was seen by friends and never returned. Her friends became worried when Stephanie did not return to study for an important exam on Monday, and called the family’s hotel when they couldn’t reach her by cell phone.

Perhaps the only chance to save her and prevent the father from carrying out this dreadful deed was lost, when Parente indicated to the concerned friends that Stephanie was staying with the family.

What went through Parente’s mind as he drove to reunite the family for death?

Family, friends, neighbors, and police officials are left with puzzling questions and seemingly no answers.

As the community of Garden City, LI and the students of Baltimore’s Loyola College try to cope with this senseless tragedy, they would like the answer to only one question . . .why?

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

Is There a Cover-Up in the Death of Khan?

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11-year-old Shanno Khan has died, after allegedly being made to stand in the hot sun for more than two hours with a brick on each shoulder.

Although there are conflicting versions as to what led to the corporal punishment of Khan, at the ND Primary School in Narela, North Delhi, one thing is abundantly clear . . . the world’s outrage over this inhumane and barbaric form of discipline and the Delhi Government reluctance to act.

The alleged incident occurred on April 16, when Shanno failed to recite the English alphabet in class. The irate teacher allegedly slammed Shanno’s head against a table and made her stand in the sun for over two hours. She eventually fainted and was found unconscious by her younger sister, who attends the same school.

After being told of the incident by their younger daughter, Khan’s parents rushed Shanno to Maharshi Valmiki Hospital. Shanno’s condition started deteriorating on Thursday afternoon, and she was transferred to the Pediatric ICU of the Lok Nayak Hospital.

Although Renuka Chowdhury, the Union Minister for Women and Child Welfare promised justice would be done, the response of the Delhi Police has been anything but swift. They claimed that they have not received Khan’s autopsy report.

Atul Katiyar, (Outer Delhi) Deputy Police Commissioner stated that police still have not received the report, although senior doctors at Maulana Azad Medical College are emphatic that they conducted the postmortem examination and submitted the report to police on Sunday.

What was the real cause of Khan’s death?

Khan’s parents and New Delhi officials differed on what cause the 11-year-old girl’s death.

The postmortem examination suggest that Khan, who had a history of respiratory illness, developed complications after she was allegedly forced to “sit like a hen” with two bricks atop her shoulders in the hot sun.

The report also intimates that the delay caused by her mother’s attempt, to first ward off evil spirits, which leads senior police officials to believe that may have contributed to Khan’s death.

Khan’s parents however are enraged that no charges have been brought against the teacher, who punished their daughter by having her stand out in the sun.

Why no one intervened as the child’s nose bled, when she vomited, and finally lost consciousness under the weight of bricks on each shoulder in the sweltering heat, is what Khan’s parents would like to know.

Who are we to believe?

“The child was admitted in with severe seizure and her condition further deteriorated before she slipped into a coma. She was shifted in critical condition,” said Dr. KK Deuri, medical superintendent of Maharshi Valmiki Hospital.

Although doctors stated that the cause of death was due to an epileptic attack, which was triggered by the corporal punishment inflicted on Khan by her teacher, no official charges have been brought against Manju (26).

As the events surrounding her death unfold . . . has Shanno Khan’s fate already been decided by New Delhi officials, who would rather let this incident slip quietly out of the public’s consciousness as opposed to excavating the truth, and risks exposing for the world to see, that the barbaric and inhumane tactics used by teachers to discipline their students, is just part of a normal school day.

Bradley Booth/Freelance Commercial Writer/Author

 

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