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Notorious 'Torso Killer' Pleads Guilty After Making Disturbing Confession on Camera

A 76-year-old man serving a life sentence in a New Jersey prison for multiple murder convictions admitted to five more killings Monday.

Richard Cottingham, 76, pleaded guilty to a second-degree murder count in connection with the 1968 slaying of Diane Cusick on Long Island. He also admitted to killing four other women on Long Island in the early 1970s — Laverne Moye, Mary Beth Heinz, Sheila Heiman and Maria Emerita Rosado Nieves, according to CNN.

Cottingham, known as the “Torso Killer” made the plea as part of a deal in which he was not charged for the other deaths. Cottingham acquired his nickname due to the mutilated state in which some of his victims were found in a Times Square hotel in 1979, according to the New York Post.

Cottingham participated in the hearing on video from South Woods State Prison in Bridgeton, New Jersey.

“There are no words to describe how purely evil you are. You have stolen time and love from these people,” Nassau County Court Judge Caryn Fink said during Monday’s sentencing.

“The consequences of your murders and the brutality inflicted on those you killed have had a severe and lasting impact on the families of your victims. Make no mistake, Mr. Cottingham. Nobody has any sympathy for you. There is no sentence that I can impose that will truly be enough,” she said.

Material containing the suspected killer’s DNA was obtained from Cusick’s crime scene, but at the time, there was no DNA technology, according to CBS. Cottingham’s DNA was put in a national database in 2016 due to a New Jersey murder, and was matched against DNA from the crime scene in 2021 by Nassau County police.

“It was only through advances in DNA technology that the NCDA and our partners at the Nassau County Police Department, could solve this 54-year-old cold case and identify a suspect in Ms. Cusick’s tragic death. We make a promise to her surviving daughter today: we will bring her mother’s killer to justice, ” Nassau County District Attorney Anne Donnelly had said in June when the results of the test linking Cottingham to the crime were revealed.

CBS reported that Cottingham has claimed he killed more than 100 people.

The Post reported that Cusick, who was 23 at the time of her death, was found murdered in her car.


“I’m sure she tried to fight this animal off but he was so big and she was so small. He punched her face, put tape over her mouth and nose and then raped her,” Cusick’s brother, Jim Martin, said Monday, according to the Post.

“He turned our lives upside down,” he said, according to CNN.

“Like it was nothing he strangled the life out of my beautiful sister.” Martin said, telling Cottingham, “I just wish myself or my brother would have found you in the streets, and we would have torn you apart.”

Darlene Altman, Cusick’s daughter, said she was glad to see some semblance of justice, the Post reported.

“My mom was only 23 years old. She was brutally murdered. She was young, beautiful and a talented ballet and tap and jazz dancer… Her parents, my grandparents, found her in her car that dreadful night and were never the same again,” she said.

Prosecutor Jared Rosenblatt said he hoped it was some comfort for the families to know Cottingham will never be released.

He said the killer will certainly die in prison and “this plea and sentence will never bring back the last 50 years of unanswered questions, but it is my office’s hope that today will bring you some justice. It is our hope today that it will bring you some sense of closure.”

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Piers Morgan Upset Over What Meghan and Harry Did to Him in Their Netflix Trailer: 'I'm Traumatized'

Fox News contributor Piers Morgan is not pleased that his voice showed up in trailer that dropped Monday for the upcoming Netflix docuseries “Harry & Meghan.”

The first volume of three episodes of the program featuring Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, is avaiable Thursday.

“BREAKING: Princess Pinocchio & Prince Hypocrite use my voice to flog their ghastly new series. I’m traumatised by this exploitation,” Morgan tweeted.

In the voice clip used in the series, Morgan says that Markle is “becoming a royal rockstar.”

“To my astonishment, I was being very nice about Meghan Markle” in the voice clip, Morgan said on his Fox Nation program “Piers Morgan Uncensored.”

“I did say Meghan was becoming a royal rockstar. I’m pleased you quote me in there because it shows I was like the rest of the British media very positive about your new bride until your mutual behavior became hypocritical and ridiculous after the wedding,” Morgan said as if addressing the Duke of Sussex directly.

“You claim that you’re the victims of a dirty game is especially brazen given these trailers have been released to deliberately overshadow a visit by the Prince and Princess of Wales in the United States,” he added.

Morgan said of the trailer, “I literally recoiled while watching it: the sanctimony, the fake drama, the hammy ‘Wo is me’ that’s been going on now for years.”

He pointed out that a stock photo of paparazzi used in the video actually was from a Harry Potter movie premier five years before Harry and Meghan met.

“These two wouldn’t know the truth if it slapped them round their latte-encrusted tiaras,” Morgan tweeted.

Morgan particularly did not like the comparisons the trailer made between Meghan and Harry’s mother, Princess Diana.

Appearing on “Fox & Friends” Monday, Morgan said, “She [Princess Diana] had ten times the paparazzi attention that Meghan Markle has ever had, her attempt to put herself on the same pedestal as the most famous and pursued royal in history, I think is frankly disgraceful.”

Morgan pointed out that Meghan and Harry left Great Britain and their royal duties to live in California.

“The idea that they are somehow victims when all they’re doing is making so much money from abusing and attacking their families, both sides, their families, I think, is reprehensible.”

Morgan argued on his “Uncensored” program that “this gruesome twosome only survive by cashing in on what’s left of their royal status.”

“King Charles should strip them of all their remaining titles and cast them out from any connection to the royal family,” he said.

The British royal family took center stage in September with the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Harry’s grandmother, at the age of 96, following a 70-year reign on the throne.

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Top Dem to Boycott WH Congressional Ball, Furious Over Biden's Primary Plan - Report

Is Biden trying to fix the 2024 Democratic primary to his advantage?

Some members of President Joe Biden’s own Democratic Party aren’t happy with his plan to strip Iowa and New Hampshire of their first-to-vote status in the Democratic presidential primary.

Biden has requested that the Democratic National Committee make South Carolina the first state to vote in the party’s 2024 primary, replacing two states that have traditionally voted first in presidential primaries.

In response, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire announced her plans to skip the White House Congressional Ball in a protest of Biden’s treatment of her own state.

A representative for Shaheen confirmed that the Democratic senator was more interested in defending New Hampshire’s primary status than attending the White House event on Monday.

Much of the Democratic antipathy towards the current primary order stems from New Hampshire and Iowa’s racial demographics.

Both states are overwhelmingly white with significant rural populations.

In a letter to the DNC, Biden called for his party to place “more diverse states earlier in the process” and “more diversity in the overall mix of early states.”

Iowa would be entirely booted from the first round of states under Biden’s proposed rule change.

Michigan and Georgia would instead become early primary states — both states which Biden won overwhelmingly in 2020.

The Democratic National Committee’s rule-making arm voted to heed Biden’s imperative in a Friday vote, although rescheduling state primaries to his liking will have to undergo a vote from the full DNC next year, according to PBS.

The vote called for New Hampshire to share its traditional second-in-the-nation status with Nevada.

Nevada traditionally votes third in party nominating contests, with South Carolina fourth.

Biden’s South Carolina win in 2020 resurrected a campaign that was on its last legs, with many pundits writing off the former vice president after he failed to secure a primary victory in any of the first three states of the Democratic primary.

Bernie Sanders won the popular vote in the first three states to vote in the 2020 primary.

Biden’s rule change would have the effect of prioritizing a state that he won, potentially capping future challenges to establishment Democrats from progressives such as Sanders.

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Reporter Asks Hunter Biden About GOP Investigations to His Face

Hunter Biden may be living the good life right now, but a recent encounter with a reporter suggested that the walls may finally be caving in on him.

On Tuesday, Fox News released a video of Biden greeting guests at the White House Kennedy Center celebration when he was asked by a reporter about the upcoming GOP investigation.

The video shows two reporters asking him “Mr. Biden, what are you expecting from the Republican Congress?”

Biden, perhaps thinking discretion is the better part of valor, just smiled at the reporter and walked away.

The reporter is presumably referring to the fact that Biden is now facing a federal investigation for his taxes and the purchase of a firearm while under the influence of crack cocaine.

Another part of the whole fiasco is the infamous “laptop from hell” which reportedly contained videos of him using illegal drugs and cavorting with prostitutes.

This comes only a few days after Elon Musk released the “Twitter Files” on Twitter, a tweet thread from journalist Matt Taibbi, which shows how Twitter worked to suppress the Hunter Biden story leading up to the 2020 election.

In October 2020, the New York Post attempted to run a story on the Hunter Biden scandal, but they were prevented from publishing it on Twitter as Twitter had identified it as “potentially harmful.”

At the time, this was described as an attempt by Big Tech to influence the results of the election by working in hand with the Biden team.

Now, Musk has shown that this is not a conspiracy theory, but a fact: Big Tech did indeed work to try and swing the 2020 election in the Democrats’ favor.

The walls do seem now to be closing in on Hunter Biden.

A recent poll found that 62 percent of likely voters approve of the incoming House Republican majority’s plans to investigate his dealings, and 61 percent believe that the President was consulted about and profited off of Hunter’s business dealings.

Even liberal news outlets such as CBS are beginning to admit that there is credibility in the allegations against Hunter Biden, although they are two years late.

The fact of the matter is that we were told for four years that Donald Trump was engaged in illegal foreign business dealings and that he owed his election victory to Russian interference. None of this was ever proven to be true.

But now we are seeing real evidence that Joe Biden’s son was involved in very illegal and disturbing activities and that the president may have known about them. With this latest bombshell, Elon Musk may have just stripped the last safety net away from the Bidens.

The post Reporter Asks Hunter Biden About GOP Investigations to His Face appeared first on The Western Journal.

Two Fed-Up Pastors Have Brilliant Solution to Drag Queen Story Hour: 'Push Back on Evil'

What a great idea.

Instead of cursing the darkness, Dale Partridge and Michael Foster have shone a light against the lurid drag queen story hours that are becoming depressingly commonplace.

Their alternative — going to the library to have a pastor’s story hour.

Partridge, author of “Jesus and My Gender,” drew 15 to 20 children and their parents to his first library story hour, according to CBN.

“I think the kids loved it and a lot of the parents loved it,” he said.

Foster, pastor of East River Church of Batavia, Ohio, joining with Partridge in the effort, and cited the command for Christians to be “salt and light.”

Author of the book “It’s Good to Be a Man,” and co-director of a ministry of the same name, Foster said the existence of drag queen story hours means men need to speak up more about what’s going on.

You can see Foster and Partridge speaking with CBN below:



 

“All Christian men should be out there leading the way,” according to Foster. “If we don’t fill the vacuum, who’s going to fill the vacuum? Well, some dude in lingerie, you know, twerking in front of our kids.

“People are looking for leadership, people are looking for wholesome stuff. There’s a lot of opportunities out there that we are just passing by. And there’s some low hanging fruit.

“It did not take but 5 minutes for me to walk into my library, fill out a form, you know, request a room and then show up a couple of days later and read to about 35 kids. So it’s an opportunity for us to be out there and lead the way,” Foster said.

Partridge, who has a web site, Relearn.org dedicated to “strengthening biblical and theological literacy in the church,” told CBN that he and Foster wondered why drag queens were more interested in influencing children than pastors and churches.

Foster suggested that contemporary culture is evangelistic in how it means to convert children.

“It means to convert our children,” he said. “You know, if you watch any of these shows on Netflix or Disney Plus – used to be a long time ago you’d have some sort of kind of sexually ambiguous character in Disney — but nowadays it’s not like that anymore.

“It’s like straight out, promoting homosexuality and all sorts of other evil. So they’re going after our children and they’ve convinced us that we can’t do anything about it.

“That’s not true,” Foster stated. “We absolutely can. God is at work in His church. God has given us His Holy Spirit and His Word and it’s effective to get the work of the ministry done.”

Partridge and Foster don’t see their story hours as one-off engagements; rather, they want to do it every month and hope to encourage other pastors around the nation to do the same thing. Partridge hopes thousands of pastors will join in the effort.

While it’s an opportunity to get the gospel to children, “It doesn’t have to be necessarily a Christian book with a gospel message every single time,” Partridge said.

“It can just be an incredible story with a virtuous character that a pastor teaches,” he said.

It’s a way for churches to step outside of their silence, often a result of media influence, according to Partridge.

“Passivity is not working,” he said.

Partridge then went on to push Christians not to let themselves be demoralized by the never-ending waves of leftism within the media.

“There’s been a very effective demoralization campaign through news, where people feel like they’re embattled and they can’t win,” he said. “As Christians, we should believe that the gates of hell will not prevail. Jesus has sent his church with a mission and equipped the church with the Holy Spirit to get that mission done.”

The ultimate weapon, according to Foster, is the Bible.

“And the Word of God’s powerful. It’s …sharper than a double edged sword.”

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FBI Monitored Giuliani's Cloud Account When He Turned Over Hunter Laptop Hard Drive to New York Post - Report

How the FBI used the force of the state to quash the Hunter Biden laptop story on social media platforms is coming into clearer focus thanks to Friday’s “Twitter Files” dump and the reporting of the New York Post’s Miranda Devine.

It was the Post that broke the story in mid-October 2020 that emails obtained from Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop showed the Biden family — allegedly including even Hunter’s father, Joe Biden — involved with shady overseas business deals with companies linked to communist China, and Ukrainian oligarchs.

Devine told Fox News on Saturday that it’s “fantastic” that new Twitter CEO Elon Musk is making his company’s communications regarding censoring the story in 2020 public.

“Unfortunately he left out a crucial element, and that was the involvement of the FBI,” she said.

Devine noted that is a matter of public record that the FBI approached Twitter and Facebook in the days and weeks before the Post’s story came out warning them of a “hack and leak” operation likely involving Hunter Biden.

FBI Agent Elvis Chan “testified by Zoom Tuesday in a lawsuit against the Biden administration that he organized the meetings in San Francisco for as many as seven DC-based FBI agents in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. Chan also organized weekly meetings with Facebook,” Devine wrote in a Post story published Sunday.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg alluded to such a meeting in an interview with podcast host Joe Rogan earlier this year, saying the FBI told members of his team they should be on “high alert” for Russian propaganda because “there’s about to be some kind of dump.”

Devine explained in her Fox News interview on Saturday, “The reason why that’s so important is because the FBI, at that point, was spying on Rudy Giuliani from about a month after he became then-President Donald Trump’s private attorney. They were spying on his cloud so they had access to all his emails and all his iMessages.”



“And included in those emails, in August of 2020, was the initial email from John Paul Mac Isaac, the computer repair shop guy who had in his possession Hunter Biden’s laptop that he had abandoned there eight months earlier, and [Isaac] told Rudy Giuliani exactly what he found on it, particularly to do with [Ukrainian energy company] Burisma,” Devine continued.

“He was worried about national security. He included screenshots. The FBI would have had access to all of that back in August of 2020,” she said.

You’ll recall that the Democrat-controlled House voted to impeach Trump in December 2019 over his phone call in July of that year with Volodymyr Zelenskyy.

Trump had suggested the new Ukrainian president might want to look into Hunter and Joe Biden’s business dealings in his country.

Hunter was paid $1 million a year to be on the Burisma board of directors while his father was U.S. vice president and overseeing American relations with Ukraine, according to the Post.

In January 2018, Joe Biden bragged at a Council on Foreign Relations meeting about an official visit he took to Ukraine in March 2016 during which he demanded then-Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko fire prosecutor Viktor Shokin or lose $1 billion in U.S. loan guarantees.

Shokin was investigating potential Burisma corruption at the time.

Biden recalled telling Poroshenko, “I said, ‘You’re not getting the billion. I’m going to be leaving here in,’ I think it was, ‘about six hours.’ I looked at them and said, ‘I’m leaving in six hours. If the prosecutor is not fired, you’re not getting the money.’”

“Well, son of a b****, he got fired,” Biden recounted.



Isaac turned the laptop detailing some of the Biden business dealings in Ukraine over to the FBI in December 2019. When the bureau appeared to be doing nothing with it, he reached out to Giuliani in August 2020.

Devine noted that in addition to all the information Isaac shared with Giuliani, the FBI also would have had access to her messages with the then-Trump attorney because they were monitoring his iCloud.

“And they also would have access to my text messages with Rudy Giuliani about exactly when the New York Post was going to publish,” she said.

Fox News host Rachel Campos-Duffy responded, “This is so disturbing. This is so big.”

“The FBI should be protecting us from Joe Biden and his son and the national security threat they are to our country, and yet they were involved in suppressing it and altering an election in the process,” she argued.

Do you think the FBI is an arm of the Democratic Party?

Campos-Duffy further contended that because the bureau was doing the opposite of what it was supposed to do, “Joe Biden is the president, and he is probably compromised because of these dirty deals that he did with the Chinese and with Ukraine and with the Russians.”

On Saturday, Musk characterized what the FBI did during the 2020 election as “interference.”

“Clearly, if Twitter is doing one team’s bidding before an election, shutting down dissenting voices on a pivotal election, that is the very definition of election interference. … Frankly, Twitter was acting like an arm of the Democratic National Committee. It was absurd,” he said.

And the FBI apparently teed up Twitter and Facebook to suppress the Hunter Biden story, knowing full well it was about to drop and it was authentic.

A Pew Research poll conducted a few months before the 2020 election found that 86 percent of Americans got at least some of their news from digital platforms.

Further, at that time, nearly 71 percent of American adults were active on Facebook, and of those, 52 percent said they drew at least some news from there.

YouTube (owned by Google) and Twitter were other important sources.

To summarize: The FBI — an arm of the federal government, paid for by taxpayers — in effect stymied First Amendment free speech to help Democrat Joe Biden become the 46th president.

Intolerable.

The post FBI Monitored Giuliani's Cloud Account When He Turned Over Hunter Laptop Hard Drive to New York Post - Report appeared first on The Western Journal.

Trump Didn't Say to Terminate Constitution After Revelation of 'Twitter Files' - Don't Let Media Fool You

Former President Donald Trump did not attack the Constitution of the United States of America — despite what the establishment media is saying.

In the wake of the release of the “Twitter Files” that show that Big Tech conspired with leftists to sway to 2020 election and discredit the Hunter laptop story, critics accused Donald Trump of saying that the U.S. Constitution should be “terminated.”

While Trump’s post was ham-handed and poorly written, in fact he did not come straight out and suggest that the law of the land be thrown in the circular file and forgotten as his critics have charged.

On Friday, Elon Musk released files that prove that the FBI, the Democratic Party and members of the Biden campaign met with members of Facebook, Twitter and other big tech companies to squash the Hunter Biden laptop story because it might hurt Joe Biden’s 2020 campaign for president. And immediately after the release of the first batch of insider files, former President Trump jumped to his Truth Social account to blast the media for this outrage.

On Saturday, he wrote, “So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION in working closely with Big Tech Companies, the DNC, & the Democrat Party, do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION? A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution. Our great ‘Founders’ did not want, and would not condone, False & Fraudulent Elections!”

The ex-president followed that up on Monday, saying that if an election is “irrefutably fraudulent, it should go to the rightful winner” or at least be redone.

“Where open and blatant fraud is involved, there should be no time limit for change,” he concluded.

The fact is, Joe Biden did not win with anything near a landslide. Indeed, in key states he barely eked past Trump’s totals and achieved very narrow wins. Further, some polls suggest that many may have resisted voting for Biden if they had been made fully aware of the Hunter laptop story.

An August poll reported by the New York Post, for instance, found that nearly four in five voters felt that a “truthful” coverage of the laptop story would have changed the outcome of the election.

There has also been much fraud found over the years. So, we know without a doubt it exists, eroding faith in our elections.

Regardless, the left-wing media establishment — and many NeverTrumpers — quickly began wailing that a former U.S. president was advocating for an end to the U.S. Constitution.

To name a few, CNN, called Trump’s post “dangerous” and a “fantasy,” GOP traitor Liz Cheney called Trump the “enemy of the constitution,” and the Associated Press reported that Trump was “rebuked” over his comments.

Trump soon jumped back to his Truth account to blast those claiming he wants to “terminate” the whole Constitution over the 2020 election.

On Monday, he let both barrels loose and wrote, “The Fake News is actually trying to convince the American People that I said I wanted to ‘terminate’ the Constitution. This is simply more DISINFORMATION & LIES, just like RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA, and all of their other HOAXES & SCAMS. What I said was that when there is “MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION,” as has been irrefutably proven in the 2020 Presidential Election, steps must be immediately taken to RIGHT THE WRONG. Only FOOLS would disagree with that and accept STOLEN ELECTIONS. MAGA!”

Indeed, a close look at his original post should inform the reader that Trump was talking about election law, not the entire U.S. Constitution. Context matters, here.

Trump opened his Truth Social post saying specifically, “So, with the revelation of MASSIVE & WIDESPREAD FRAUD & DECEPTION” in the 2020 election “do you throw the Presidential Election Results of 2020 OUT and declare the RIGHTFUL WINNER, or do you have a NEW ELECTION?”

Note that he is talking about the election. He did not add into the equation the entire U.S. government. He was focused only on the election.

Then he wrote, “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.”

Again, you have to look at “even those found in the Constitution.” That is your cue that he was talking about particular rules, not the whole Constitution.

We must realize that there is no specific process laid out in the Constitution that describes how we handle a fraudulent election. And if massive fraud is found, Trump is saying that such a finding “allows” for the rules guiding elections to be set aside and a redress of the fraud to be made.

In fact, the Constitution was violated in the first place by the election fraudsters. But, in the end, Trump was talking about correcting a fraudulent election and citing election law in that pursuit. He did not say “throw out the whole constitution,” like so many leftists are claiming.

Was it the best way of saying this? No. Should he have used the word “terminate”? Probably not. But his sentiment is clear. Whether you believe the 2020 election was fraudulent or not, “terminating” a fraudulent election was his point, not erasing the entirety of our American system of government.

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'Wonderful Story Teller': Twin Peaks Actor Dies at 83

Over the weekend, the world of television entertainment lost a fan favorite of the popular 1990s series “Twin Peaks.”

Al Strobel, who played Phillip Gerard in the hit show, passed away on Friday, according to “Twin Peaks” producer Sabrina Sutherland, who announced the saddening news in a statement on behalf of the actor’s family, TVLine reported.

Strobel, remembered as “The One-Armed Man” in the David Lynch series, was 83.

“Through the darkness of future past and much sadness we say goodbye to Al Strobel,” Sutherland’s statement read. “He is an irreplaceable human being and will always be an important part of our Twin Peaks family.”

“Sad , sad news…love Al. He was the sweetest of men. A wonderful story teller…:)💔 and to watch him roll a one handed cigarette- pure magic:)” tweeted Dana Ashbrook, who played Bobby Biggs on the show.

Ashbrook’s post was in response to “Twin Peaks” co-creator Mark Frost, who expressed his feelings about Strobel, calling him a “warm and wonderful gentleman.”

“Oh no…. Dear Al… as those of you lucky enough to have met him over the years, what a warm and wonderful gentleman he was. RIP, friend,” Frost tweeted.

Another former “Peaks” producer, Harley Peyton, tweeted, “As authentic an actor as I ever met. So precise so real. RIP. Al.”

“Peaks” made its debut on ABC in 1990. While it only ran for 30 episodes across two seasons, it became a cult television classic with a dedicated and passionate following.

Many fans of both the show and Strobel posted tributes to the late actor on Twitter over the weekend.

“Al Strobel’s performance in this scene made it one of the best in Twin Peaks history. RIP” another Twitter user wrote.

Notably, Strobel lost his left arm in a terrible car accident when he was a teenager. But that didn’t stop him from leveraging the situation in Hollywood.

According to Fox News, Strobel’s character in “Twin Peaks” cut off his own arm to block evil spirits from taking over his body.

While Strobel’s primary success and recognition came as a result of his “Peaks” character, he also has several film credits, including roles in “Megaville,” “Ricochet River,” and “Sitting Target.” In television, he also appeared in the 1991 movie “Child of Darkness, Child of Light.”

As of this writing, Strobel’s cause of death has not yet been made public.

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Former Congressman Arrested at Airport - Caught in Middle of Federal Criminal Probe

A former Miami congressman who signed a $50 million consulting contract with Venezuela’s socialist government has been arrested in connection to an ongoing federal criminal investigation, law enforcement officials said.

David Rivera, a Republican who served from 2011 to 2013, was arrested Monday at Atlanta’s airport, said Marlene Rodriguez, spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Miami. She said Rivera was indicted by a Miami grand jury last month, but that document remains sealed and she could not discuss the charges.

She said Rivera had an initial appearance Monday in Atlanta federal court. The U.S. Marshal’s Service said he bailed out of jail Monday afternoon.

An attorney for Rivera, Jeffrey Feldman, declined to comment, telling The Associated Press in a text message that he had “not seen the indictment.”

Pressure has been building on Rivera for more than two years after it emerged he received the massive contract from a U.S. affiliate of Venezuela’s state-owned oil company at the same time President Nicolas Maduro was trying to curry favor with the White House in the early days of the Trump administration.

Rivera’s Interamerican Consulting was sued in 2020 by PDV USA — a Delaware-based affiliate of Venezuelan-owned Citgo — alleging the former congressman performed no work as part of the contract he signed in 2017 for three months of “strategic consulting” meant to build bridges with key U.S. stakeholders.

Rivera, 57, has maintained his innocence and has countersued PDV USA alleging breach of contract and unjust enrichment for its failure to pay $30 million he says he is still owed.

Although Rivera’s contract was with a U.S. entity, any work he performed on behalf of Maduro’s government or Venezuelan business interests would’ve required him to register as a foreign lobbyist, which he did not.

Records that emerged as part of the lawsuit show that Rivera’s consulting work was done in concert with Raul Gorrin — a Venezuelan insider and media tycoon who has been sanctioned and indicted in the U.S. on money laundering charges.

Correspondence introduced in court as part of the lawsuit reference show Rivera and Gorrin attempted to coordinate a meeting between Venezuela’s foreign minister and executives from the U.S. oil company Exxon. As part of that charm offensive, they also roped in Rep. Pete Sessions, whose former Dallas district was home to Exxon.

Rivera and Gorrin also discussed the changing price of concert tickets that attorneys for PDV USA stated were coded references to a bribe.

Before being elected to Congress, Rivera was a high-ranking Florida legislator, serving from 2003 to 2010 in the House. During that time he shared a Tallahassee home with current U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, who eventually became Florida House speaker.

Rivera has been embroiled in several election-related controversies since then, including orchestrating the stealth funding of an unknown Democratic candidate to take on his main rival in a South Florida congressional race and a state investigation into whether he hid a $1 million contract with a gambling company. That probe also involved possible misuse of campaign funds to pay for state House activities already reimbursed by the state.

The Western Journal has reviewed this Associated Press story and may have altered it prior to publication to ensure that it meets our editorial standards.

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Ketanji Brown Jackson Invents Racist 'It's a Wonderful Life' Hypothetical in Middle of SCOTUS Arguments

Associate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson invoked a classic Christmas movie and racism during oral arguments in a First Amendment case out of Colorado at the Supreme Court Monday.

The case, 303 Creative v. Elenis, centers around Lorie Smith, a Colorado web designer who sued Colorado over anti-discrimination laws, claiming that the law compelled her to express support for same-sex marriage. A divided panel on the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit ruled against Smith in 2021.

“I want to do video depictions of ‘It’s a Wonderful Life,’ and knowing that movie very well, I want to be authentic, and so only white children and families can be customers for that particular product. Everybody else… I will sell them anything they want, just not the It’s a Wonderful Life’ depictions,” Brown Jackson said to attorney Kristen Waggoner, CEO, President, and General Counsel of the Alliance Defending Freedom.

“I‘m expressing something, right? … I can say anti-discrimination laws can’t make me sell ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ packages to non-white individuals.”

“I would say first of all … when there is a message and a status and it’s overlapping, the court would say that message wins in that instance,” Waggoner responded.

Jackson pressed the point in further questions to Waggoner.

“I have certain products I will only sell to white individuals because the speech that I‘m trying to depict is the authentic depiction of that scene as I understand it, and that I want to put out there in the world and it has my signature on the bottom of it, so people are seeing my photos and I want my photos of ‘It‘s a Wonderful Life’ to be authentic, meaning no people of color,” Jackson said, continuing the hypothetical.

Jackson further invoked Christmas, citing a photographer who refused to photograph non-white children with Santa Claus.

“Can you give me your thoughts on a photography business in a shopping mall during this holiday season that offers a product called scenes with Santa?” Jackson asked Waggoner.

“This business wants to express its own view of nostalgia about Christmases past by reproducing classic 1940’s and 1950’s Santa scenes they do it in sepia tone and they are customizing each one, it’s not off the rack, they are bringing people and having them interact with Santa as children because they are trying to capture the feelings of a certain era.

“But precisely because they are trying to capture the feelings of a certain era, their policy is that only white children can be photographed in this way because that’s how they view the scenes with Santa that they are trying to depict.”

“The specific objection you are including is not necessarily in that photograph but even if it were, this court has protected vile, awful, reprehensible, violent speech in the past,” Waggoner responded after some back-and-forth.

The Supreme Court decided a similar case in 2018 surrounding Masterpiece Cakeshop, whose proprietor, Jack Phillips, refused to bake a customized cake for a same-sex wedding. Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote that Colorado “was neither tolerant nor respectful” of Phillips’ religious beliefs.

The Supreme Court is expected to decide the case by the end of its session in June 2023.

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The post Ketanji Brown Jackson Invents Racist 'It's a Wonderful Life' Hypothetical in Middle of SCOTUS Arguments appeared first on The Western Journal.