‘I can’t describe the savagery’: Lesbian couple, 2 children found slain day after Christmas

Published: Thursday, December 28, 2017 @ 3:24 PM

Two Children, Lesbian Couple Found Slain Day After Christmas

Police in upstate New York are investigating a quadruple homicide that one police chief is calling the most savage slayings he’s seen in more than 40 years on the job.

A property manager found the bodies of a lesbian couple and the older woman’s two children the day after Christmas when he was asked to perform a welfare check at the family’s Troy basement apartment. The Troy Record identified the dead as Shanta Myers, 36; her son, Jeremiah, 11; her daughter, Shanise, 5; and Brandi Mells, Myers’ 22-year-old live-in girlfriend. 

The New York Daily News reported Thursday that all four victims were bound and had their throats slit. 

In a news conference held Wednesday, Troy Police Chief John Tedesco spoke carefully to avoid revealing information that could compromise the criminal investigation. He acknowledged that investigators believe the crime was not a random act and that the community at large is not thought to be in “imminent danger.”

He said, however, that the person or persons responsible are considered dangerous and potentially capable of anything.

“After being in this business for almost 42 years, I can’t describe the savagery of a person like this,” Tedesco said. “I don’t know the word that it takes.”

The chief declined to go into detail about the crime scene. 

“I’m not describing the crime scene or anything else, but to me, only a person of savagery would do something like this.”

The chief appealed to members of the public to report any information they might have relating to the crime or the week or so leading up to it.

“I can only ask that if you know anything at all, even if you think it’s insignificant but you feel it is something out of the ordinary, please call us,” Tedesco said. 

The chief said that, thus far, investigators have been dealing with a “mass of information” and that no one has been labeled a “person of interest” in the case. He said investigators were still piecing together a time frame and that they were hopeful that the autopsies, performed on Wednesday, would help shed light on when the family was killed. 

Myers’ cousin, Tracy Coleman, grieved for the family on social media and asked that reporters respect the family’s privacy and allow them to mourn. 

Both children were students in the Troy City School District, where grief counselors were being brought in Friday to help their classmates cope with the loss, the Daily News reported. 

“Our hearts are broken and our thoughts and deepest condolences are with their family and loved ones during this terribly troubling time," John Carmello, Troy school superintendent, said in a statement Thursday. 

Tedesco said pastors have also been called in to counsel the families of the dead, as well as police officers who witnessed the carnage at the scene. The department’s peer counseling team was also called in to assist.

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The New York State Police is assisting in the investigation, both with its major crime unit and its forensics team. Troy, a city of about 50,000 people on the east bank of the Hudson River, just north of Albany, had just one other homicide in 2017. 

Tedesco said there is no resource that his department will not utilize to solve the crime. 

“This will be a full-court press, if you will, until we bring someone to justice,” the chief said.

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'Mini-Me' actor Verne Troyer dead at 49

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:21 PM

Verne Troyer, famous for his role as
Verne Troyer, famous for his role as "Mini-Me" in the Austin Powers comedies, died Saturday. He was 49. (Photo: Verne Troyer/Facebook)

Verne Troyer, famous for his role as Mini-Me in the "Austin Powers" comedies, died Saturday. He was 49. 

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‘Full Metal Jacket’ actor R. Lee Ermey dead at 74

Published: Sunday, April 15, 2018 @ 7:09 PM

Remembering R. Lee Ermey

Actor R. Lee Ermey, famous for his role as Gunnery Sgt. Hartman in “Full Metal Jacket” died Sunday. He was 74. 

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Former male stripper makes another run for Ohio governor

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 5:52 PM

Larry Ealy. (Photo: daytondailynews.com)
Larry Ealy. (Photo: daytondailynews.com)

Dayton Democrat Larry Ealy, who once worked as an exotic dancer, is making a second run for Ohio governor.

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“Why make another run at it? I’ve got some unfinished business,” said Ealy, a 55-year-old father of 10.

He said he believes that minorities, particularly African-Americans, have been denied due process and equal rights

"I believe the Jewish Democratic Party is behind the deprivation and the conspiracy to keep black people deprived of all civil rights," Ealy said in interview before the 2014 Democratic primary for governor.

In that race, Ealy won 17 percent of the vote against former FBI agent and Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. He decided to make his 2014 run while sitting in a jail cell, he said at the time.

Ealy said he hasn’t worked as a male dancer for years. “After your story, now everybody thinks I’m still stripping. Everybody called me about it,” he said. He said he was a stripper in 1988 at Spunky’s Night Club on Germantown Pike in Dayton.

Ealy and three others were investigated for alleged irregularities in voter signatures on Ealy’s nominating petitions in 2014. A grand jury examined all four cases but did not return indictments on Ealy or a second man, Keith Belluardo, of Dayton.

Two others were indicted. Bruce Black, of Dayton, pleaded guilty to two counts of prohibitions related to petitions, a fifth degree felony, and was sentenced to probation on Oct. 26, 2017, said Greg Flannagan, spokesman for Montgomery County Prosecutor Mathias Heck Jr. Jody Lane, of Dayton, was indicted on the same charges and a warrant for his arrest was issued on June 29, 2017, according to documents on file at the Montgomery County Common Pleas Clerk of Court.

Ealy’s son Lance Ealy was sentenced to 124 months in prison in 2015 after being convicted of federal fraud charges. He is serving his sentence in Kentucky.

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Family, friends provide loving tributes to Barbara Bush at funeral service

Published: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 10:20 AM
Updated: Saturday, April 21, 2018 @ 4:01 PM

VIDEO: Barbara Bush’s Funeral

Approximately 1,500 guests attended former first lady Barbara Bush's private funeral ceremony in Houston Saturday.

Barbara Bush, the wife of the nation’s 41st president and mother of the nation’s 43rd, died Tuesday at her Houston home. She was 92.

About 2,500 mourners paid their respect at a public viewing held Friday in Houston, The Associated Press reported.

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The service took place at St. Martin’s Episcopal Church in Houston. Jeb Bush delivered a eulogy for his mother. Longtime friend Susan Baker and historian Jon Meacham also gave remarks during the 90-minute service. Multiple musical selections were performed.

A procession followed, with burial at the Bush Library at Texas A&M University in College Station. Barbara Bush will be buried next to her daughter, Robin, who was 3 years old when she died of leukemia in 1953, The AP reported.

Notable guests included first lady Melania Trump, former President Bill Clinton, former first lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama, The AP reported.

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