Crimes & Criminals

Getting Over the Horror of the Crossbow Slaying

Following up on our earlier story about the crossbow murder at Toronto's Main Street Branch Library, library staff and patrons are spending the weekend in counselling and the library remains closed.

Toronto Star reports: It was the busiest time of day on the busiest day of the week — as toddlers learned new words, students surfed the web, librarians checked-out books — when a crossbow fired a bolt through Si Cheng’s back.

The 52-year-old died, right there, the Main St. public library on Thursday, just after 4 p.m. His 24-year-old son, Zhou Fang is charged with pulling the trigger.

“This is a very unusual incident,” said Anne Marie Aikins, communications manager for Toronto Public Library. “So we’re trying to make sure anyone affected by it gets their needs met.”

Several after-school programs were underway when Cheng was murdered, including Ready for Reading — a program for kids 5 and under. Teenagers were arriving post class. Librarians were switching shifts.

“It was a bustling place at the time,” said Aikins.

In their panic, many people left knapsacks and books behind. Many are still logged into computers. And the library has a record of members signed up for the several programs going on at the time.

Crossbow Killing InToronto Library

From the Toronto Sun: The city’s first ever crossbow killing is an alleged case of patricide. The 52-year-old man who was shot in the back in a crowded library Thursday is the alleged killer’s father, Toronto Police confirmed Friday.

Si Cheng, also known as William, was inside a public library on Main St., just south of Gerrard St. E., when he was hit in the back by a bolt from a crossbow shortly after 4 p.m., police said.

It’s alleged that Zhou Fang, 24, also known as Peter, fired the fatal shot as women and children in the library watched in horror. Police have not said anything about what may have motivated the city’s 59th murder of the year.

However there is a history of violence involving the accused killer’s estranged mother and father. And at least one source, who knew the couple when they were still living together as a family in 2006 on Mintwood Dr. near Steeles Ave. E. and Leslie in 2006, said “Nora” Cheng Mei Fang “lived in fear” of her former spouse.

“I don’t know what the relationship was like between the father and son, but I know she was terrified of her ex-husband,” said the source, who asked not to be named. The mother and son have been living in Ottawa. The father remained in the family home until recently, even though it was owned by his ex-wife. The North York house was sold for $443,000 in mid-November, according to court records.

The closing date was Dec. 1, the day before the killing.

A Critical But Sad Job for a Librarian, Counting the Dead in México Drug War

The drug war in México and the resulting violence in Juárez are among the top international stories of the last two years. But the crisis moves in and out of the headlines, so you have to make a commitment to follow it. Or you can sign up for the Frontera List, which several times a day blasts e-mails containing news articles, links and commentary to its 600 subscribers. Story from El Paso Inc. It also reminds the reader, day after day, of the mounting body count in México. Molly Molloy, the New Mexico State librarian who manages the Frontera list, says it’s important to keep accurate numbers. “It is all we can do for so many people who have died so violently, and with no attention paid to why they are being killed,” Molloy says. It’s not unusual to see the death count rounded down by at least 200 or sometimes 500, she says. “Even though the total for this year in Juárez has passed 2,800, many reports will say ‘more than 2,500’ or something like that.” Here's a video piece from Grit TV on Molloy and the Frontera List:

Check Out Your Employees

This is pretty low.
Dateline: SPARTA, NJ : A Lake Hopatcong woman who served as an assistant librarian at the Sparta Public Library was charged with pocketing $529 of fees collected for overdue books and lost book replacements over the past two years, police said.

Susan Simovich, 56, was charged with one count of third-degree theft of movable property on Saturday, said Sparta Police Sgt. John-Paul Beebe, a department spokesman.

Library officials began noticing discrepancies occurring in the tally sheets of fine money and the actual monies on hand on Oct. 1, 2008, Beebe said.

Sparta Police were notified of the ongoing discrepancies on July 9, 2010, and Simovich was charged after a lengthy investigation, he said. She was released, pending a Municipal Court appearance on Nov. 8, he said.

Simovich, who worked at the library for about three years, was interviewed at headquarters last Tuesday and admitted to taking $529 of the fine money over the two-year period that the discrepancies began, Beebe said.

School Librarian Allegedly Continued Teen Tryst

CALGARY, ALBERTA - An "inappropriate" relationship between a junior high school librarian and a student continued even after court-imposed orders forbade contact, police alleged Thursday.

The librarian, identified by QMI Agency sources as Agnes Kooy, reported to be in her late 40s, was charged this summer following a complaint brought forth by the parents of a 15-year-old boy who police say had entered into the "ongoing" relationship that began earlier in the school year.

Ted Flitton, a spokesman for the Calgary Board of Education, would not reveal the school in question, citing privacy legislation.

"What I can tell you is when Calgary Police Service told us in July that they had laid charges, we took immediate steps to have her removed from the school and all schools, and with a view to her not returning to work," Flitton said.

Police said the alleged relationship, consensual but illegal due to the boy's age, was brought to their attention by the family as well as the school.

"After remedies weren't satisfied through some sort of intervention with the parents and the school, they went to the police," Staff Sgt. Mark Hatchette told CTV.

Help Police Find Perp at Bothell Library

Bothell cops warn about child molester at library.

The Bothell (WA) Police Department has warned the public about two incidents in which a man approached a 7-year-old girl in the children's section of the Bothell Public Library, then fondled the girl.

The man is described as being a while man with brown hair. In each case, the girls' parents were in the library, which is at 18215 98th Ave. N.E., but not in the children's section.

Both incidents occurred in the last two weeks. In one of the incidents, the suspect was apparently accompanied by a blond girl who appears to be the same age as the victims.

Police need the public's help in these cases. If you have seen suspicious activity or persons at the library in the last two weeks, call the tip line at 425-487-5551.

Godin found guilty in shooting death of librarian

The 12 jurors in the first-degree murder trial of a former district librarian returned a verdict of guilty about 3:20 p.m. today.

After deliberating only 3 1/2 hours, the jury returned the verdict on the third day of the trial.

The defendant, Alan Godin, showed no reaction at the verdict, but his attorney John Convery and Northeast Lakeview College Librarian Robert Vaughn, the victim's best friend at work, lowered their heads.
Godin was arrested at the scene of the shooting, the library of Northeast Lakeview, Oct. 13, 2008, after witnesses watched him fire repeatedly at close range at Librarian Donald "Devin" Zimmerman.

Full article

Sierra Leone Deputy Librarian in Corruption Scam

There are so few corrupt librarians, but every so often, you do hear about one...or two. Here's a story from Sierra Leone:

Leaked information connecting the Deputy Chief of Sierra Leone Library said 46,650 books donated to Sierra Leone by Children International was diverted and sold to Guinea.

Investigation by this press exposed Sallieu Turay (in middle of photo above) and people unknown’s sad over-indulgences in the misappropriation of containers of books presented to school going children by ‘Children International’ in the United States. Sources say four containers of books were shipped into Sierra Leone for distributions to 300 schools in Sierra Leone.

The Deputy Chief Librarian, Sallieu Turay, was in charge of the distribution of the books, but unreasonably converted 70% of total number of books to his use or benefit. It could be recalled that Sallieu has a post graduate diploma in library studies and a master’s degree in education and administration. Findings say he was refused pursuing his master’s in library studies because of poor performance after completion of the forenamed diploma.

Two versions of the story from Sierra Express Media, here and here.

Was it the librarian? Was it the education minister?? The plot thickens.

Dayton Librarian Tackles Battering Boyfriend

Here’s a rule to live by: Don’t mess with a librarian.

Police were called Monday afternoon to the Madden Hills Branch of the Dayton Metro Library on a report of a fight in the parking lot. A second call said one of the participants was armed with a handgun.

Upon arrival, police found the back parking lot empty, though a witness told police the direction the armed suspect fled. While crews searched the neighborhood, officers talked with witnesses.

Those witnesses told police a young man was beating a young woman, apparently his girlfriend. At one point, according to witnesses, the man shoved the woman’s head into the glass entry door. Several librarians entered the parking lot, and the 18-year-old squared off with raised fists as if to attack one of the librarians.

The librarian told police he warned the young man he also worked as a bouncer. When that did not dissuade the young man’s advance, a single punch to the face did, sending the 18-year-old to the ground. The librarian told police he asked the young man to stay on the ground, that it was over, and he would not hit him again.

Dayton Daily News has the story.

Alleged Perp On Trial for Rape Outside Bloomingdale (FL) Library

TAMPA FL - Those who came into contact with Kendrick Morris in the hours after a teenage girl was raped and beaten outside a public library said they saw no indications Morris had been involved in a violent confrontation.

Not the woman who served Morris two value meals at McDonald's. Not the taxi driver who picked him up at a Walmart and not the neighbor with whom Morris stayed that night. They all testified today that Morris had no visible injuries, had no blood or other stains on his clothing and was not reeking of sweat from a physical encounter.

They were among the witnesses Morris' lawyers called in his defense. Prosecutors finished their four days of testimony Monday. Closing arguments are scheduled for Wednesday.

Morris, 19, is accused of raping the girl as she dropped off books at the Bloomingdale Regional Public Library in April 2008. He could face up to life in prison if convicted of sexual battery, kidnapping and aggravated battery.

He also faces up to life behind bars after being convicted last month of raping a 62-year-old day care worker in Clair-Mel City in June 2007.
Morris did not testify at either trial. The DNA evidence is not completely conclusive.


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