Varun Manish Chheda, a senior at Purdue University, was killed in his dorm just after midnight yesterday morning. His roommate has been accused of his murder.
Gji Min “Jimmy” Sha, 22, called police at 12:44 a.m. Wednesday morning to report Chheda’s death. Minutes later, members of the Purdue University Police Department arrived at the first-floor dorm room the students shared in McCutcheon Hall, where they found Chheda’s bloody body. A subsequent autopsy by Tippecanoe County Coroner Carrie Costello determined the 20-year-old died of “multiple sharp-force traumatic injuries.”
Sha, an international student from Korea, was taken into custody on a preliminary charge of murder. No motive for the homicide has been released.
Chheda was just ten days away from his 21st birthday when he died.
Video of the 2019 brawl involving three Indiana judges was released this week, once again reminding everyone once that nothing positive can come from being at a White Castle after 3 AM.
According to court testimony, Clark County Circuit Court judges Andrew Adams and Brad Jacobs, as well as Crawford County Circuit Court Judge Sabrina Bell, were visiting Indianapolis in May of that year for a judicial conference. The night before the conference, they decided to have some drinks and to see the sites – namely, the Red Garter strip club. Unfortunately, the booty bar was already closed when they arrived…which is how they wound up at an adjacent White Castle instead.
While a fourth member of their group, Clark County Magistrate William Dawkins, went inside for a sack of sliders, the others waited out on the sidewalk. Security cameras caught the intoxicated trio’s antics as Adams and Jacobs then proceeded to mimic an exotic dance for Bell. Judge Adams even went so far as to flash his Honor’s manboobs. Twice.
Things only went downhill from there.
Alfredo Vazquez (23) and his uncle Brandon Kaiser (41) drove into the White Castle parking lot a moment later. As they passed the judges, one of the men yelled something out the window, which motivated Bell to give them the finger.
Vazquez parked the SUV, and both he and Kaiser exited the vehicle. Words were exchanged. The confrontation abruptly turned physical when, the Indiana Commission on Judicial Qualifications later determined, Judge Adams and Judge Jacobs rushed Kaiser and Vazquez, setting off a 2v2 brawl. The very public fight ended with Kaiser shooting Jacobs two times in the chest and Adams once in the abdomen.
Fortunately, both judges recovered from their extensive injuries. Multiple criminal charges were filed in connection with the melee.
Andrew Adams, the only judge charged and whose blood alcohol content was 0.157 upon his admission to the hospital, pleaded guilty to one count of misdemeanor battery. He was sentenced to 365 days, with two days credited for jail time served and 363 days suspended. In addition, the Indiana Supreme Court decided he should be suspended without pay for judicial misconduct. He later lost his bid for reelection.
As part of a plea agreement, Alfredo Vazquez pleaded guilty to a single charge of battery. He received 180 days of home detention plus another year on probation for violating his already-existing probation.
Sabrina Bell did not face any criminal repercussions, although she was also suspended without pay. Then, earlier this year in a completely separate event, she was arrested and charged with domestic battery in the presence of a child, a Level 6 felony. The high court suspended her again. Rather than face another ethics probe, Bell agreed to resign, forfeit her law license for 150 days, and to not “seek or accept judicial office in Indiana state courts in the future.”
Gunman Brandon Kaiser was recently found guilty of four counts of aggravated battery, two counts of battery, battery, and carrying a handgun without a license. He is expected to be sentenced in October.
Why is it whenever the phrase “Indiana man” appears in the news, it’s never about anything good?
44-year-old Indiana man Shaun Ray Deaton, of Bloomington, was arrested Tuesday evening after allegedly vandalizing the Washington Monument. According to details in the affidavit filed by the United States Park Police, Deaton is accused of defacing our nation’s most phallic public memorial by using red paint to scrawl “Have you been f**ked by this” (with an arrow pointing up) and “Gov says tough shit” on its marble base. Perhaps not coincidentally, he reportedly had a paint brush in his possession and red paint on his clothes when apprehended at the scene.
After pleading not guilty to initial charges of trespassing, tampering and vandalism, the suspect was released and ordered to return for an October 11th hearing.
Although no official motive has been given, Deaton’s brother said he was recently laid off and denied disability.
Historians refer to the years 1905 – 1915 as the “Golden Age of Postcards” in America. Advances in printing and photography, as well as the expansion of Rural Free Delivery mail, were just a few of the factors which led to the widespread popularity of postcards during this period.
Back then, cars and telephones were distant dreams for most people, and they relied on the postal service to stay in touch with distant friends and relatives. It was quite common to send “news from home” via postcard – and there was no bigger news story at the time than that of Belle Gunness.
Gunness, born Brynhild Paulsdatter Størset in Norway, was a serial killer whose grisly crimes were revealed after her LaPorte farmhouse was destroyed by fire. A subsequent investigation found four bodies believed to be Belle and her children inside the charred ruins, plus the dismembered remains of at least eleven others buried in the yard and pig pen. It was discovered that the Widow Gunness had been luring lonely men to her farm, robbing, and murdering them for years, all without arousing suspicion. Her luck had recently run out, however, when the brother of one of her victims was able to trace the missing man to her.
Ray Lamphere, Belle’s handyman/side piece, was convicted of arson but claimed he’d acted at the behest of the murderess: burning down the house with her children inside had been her desperate attempt to mislead investigators. Despite the fact her dentist had identified dental work on a jawbone found in the fire as belonging to Belle, Lamphere insisted the remains were that of yet another victim. According to him, Belle had murdered a housekeeper for the express purpose of faking her own death before disappearing into the dark LaPorte night, probably to kill again.
Lamphere died in prison soon after his conviction, but Belle Gunness lived on in the public consciousness. There were sightings of the Lady Bluebeard all over the United States for more than twenty years after her official death.
The full extent of Belle Gunness’s crimes may never be known. She is believed to have killed as few as 14 and as many as 4o people, including both her husbands and the step-children from her first marriage. Some of her victims still remain identified.
Forty-four years after Tracy Sue Walker disappeared, her family is one step closer to learning the reason why.
One day in 1978, the pretty 15-year-old went to the Tippecanoe Mall, where she was seen talking to a friend. She never came home again.
Although details are scare due to the events occuring pre-digitization, investigators say Tracy’s mother reported her as a runaway to local police – twice. Then the trail ran cold.
Nearly four hundred miles and seven years later, skeletal remains were found in the Big Wheel Gap area of Elk Valley, an unincorporated area north of Knoxville, Tennessee. An autopsy determined the body found April 3, 1985 belonged to a white female, probably between the ages of 10 and 15. When the subsequent investigation could not uncover anything else about the deceased girl, authorities affectionately nicknamed her “Baby Girl.”
Special agents with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation never forgot “Baby Girl.” Over the years they continued to work the few leads at their disposal, submitting her DNA profile to various databases such as the Combined DNA Index System and the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. It wasn’t until earlier this year, however, that they received a break in the case.
In June, a private lab specializing in forensic genealogy testing was able to locate a possible genetic link between and current citizens of Indiana. A TBI agent contacted the Lafayette-area residents, who confirmed they had a sister who went missing in 1978. DNA samples submitted to CODIS verified the match: “Baby Girl” Doe was Tracy Sue Walker.
Police now hope to find out what led to the pretty high school sophomore’s death and how she ended up so far from home. The Tennessee Bureau of Investigations and the Tippecanoe County Sheriff would like to speak with anyone who has information about Tracy’s last known whereabouts or individuals she was in contact with prior to her disappearance.
A statement has not been released concerning whether or not police suspect foul play.
If you have information about Tracy Sue Walker, please call the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations (1-800-TBI-FIND) or the Tippecanoe Sheriff’s office (765-423-9321).
An Indianapolis man has been arrested for the shooting of three Dutch soldiers.
According to a news release from the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Shamar Duncan, 22, is the man suspected of killing one Royal Netherlands Army soldier and wounding two others last weekend.
At approximately three-thirty Saturday morning, officers were called to the scene of a shooting outside the downtown Hampton Inn, two blocks south of Monument Circle. The gunshot victims were rushed to a local hospital where one of them, Simmie Poetsema, 26, later died. The other two soldiers were treated for non-life threatening wounds. Although the shooting occurred at the hotel where the victims were staying, detectives believe the men were deliberately targeted because of an earlier altercation at a separate location.
Members of the Royal Netherlands Army’s Commando Corps were in town for a combat exercise at the Muscatatuck Urban Training Center, a 1,000-acre military complex outside of Indianapolis. The Indiana National Guard reportedly stated the facility is used for training by the Department of Defense “as well as other allies.”
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact IMPD Homicide Detective Michael Wright at 317-327-3475 or email Michael.Wright@indy.gov .
A Cumberland man was sentenced yesterday in connection with the death of his girlfriend’s daughter.
On the afternoon of April 6, 2020, Cumberland Police were called to a residence in the 11000 block of Kirkwood Drive after first responders reported a child in cardiac arrest. Brooklyn Mendheim, 8, was rushed to the hospital, where she later died. One of the nurses who treated her told police she had “extensive, fresh injuries” of the type usually seen in victims of physical and sexual abuse.
The child’s mother, Kimberly Grosklos, and Derrick Duane Dale, Grosklos’s boyfriend, initially tried to convince police the child had intentionally drowned herself in the bathtub. However, one of the other three kids – ages 11, 9 and 4- who were removed from the home broke down in tears and told authorities Brooklyn had been beaten with jumper cables shortly before her death.
An autopsy determined there was no water in the girl’s lungs. Her cause of death was ruled to be caused by nonaccidental trauma and suffocation.
Kimberly Grosklos, 34, received a 20-year sentence earlier this month after pleading guilty to neglect of a dependent resulting in death.
Last month, a jury found 31-year-old Dale, guilty of aggravated battery resulting in death, neglect of a dependent resulting in a death, and battery resulting in serious bodily injury to a person less than 14 years old. He was sentenced on Friday to 35 years.
An Hagerstown man has been sentenced for gunning down his neighbor.
Billy Wilson Sr., 78, was found guilty last May of killing his neighbor, KC Simpson, 32, during an argument stemming from a property line dispute.
According to court documents, the two men had an extremely contentious history prior to the November 2020 argument. Witnesses stated Wilson had shot Simpson’s dog, Zeus, and killed his chickens in the past. He had also threatened Simpson family members when they rode their dirt bikes.
The incident that claimed KC Simpson’s life began when he discovered a stranger on his property in the 4700 block of North Brick Church Road. He stepped outside to speak to the man and was instead confronted by Billy Wilson Sr., his neighbor to the south. Wilson explained that the man was a surveyor he’d hired to locate the precise placement of the line separating their properties. Simpson then offered to pay half of the survey’s cost because he wanted to put up a fence, but Wilson insisted Simpson was responsible for the entire bill.
The two men argued. Wilson yelled, “I’m done with you guys, you guys are too much over there” and “I’m not messing with you, you better get to running” before he pulled out a gun and shot Simpson three times. Simpson fell to the ground, and Wilson walked over to him and fired three more shots, each of them to Simpson’s head.
Wilson surrendered to police without incident after the shooting. KC Simpson was airlifted to an Indianapolis hospital, where he later died.
Wilson was found guilty of Simpson’s murder in May. Last week, Judge Charles Todd Jr. sentenced him to 48 years, citing the 78-year-old’s lack of remorse as an aggravating circumstance. With the 1½ years Wilson served prior to trial and sentencing, plus maximum good time credit, he would be age 113 before his release.
Wilson has announced plans to appeal his conviction.
A southern Indiana man is in jail after authorities say he impersonated a police officer over the weekend.
Jim Zink, 63, is accused of identifying himself as a policeman at a Jasper McDonald’s and demanding a juvenile employee be released into his custody. The restaurant’s security footage shows Zink flashing a badge before the teen eventually left with him.
Dubois County Sheriff Tom Kleinhelter confirmed the suspect had worked as a county jail employee from October 2017 until September 2018. Details of how he knew the juvenile have not been released.
Zink is charged with impersonation of a public servant, a Level 6 felony.