August 2008

The Patron Saint For Missing Kids

by Diane Dimond on August 30, 2008

When Senator Barack Obama traveled to the Middle East not long ago he had more than presidential politics on his mind.He was also on a secret mission to help an Illinois constituent get back her four kidnapped young daughters. Obama slipped a note to the Palestinian Prime Minister about Colleen Bargouthi whose husband had refused to send their girls home after a visit to his family in Palestine. The Prime Minister said he’d look into it.

Senator Obama should have turned to my pal, Bazzel Baz.

Bazzel Baz moments after rescuing young Lily Snyder from a hut in Costa Rica - circa 2003

Bazzel Baz moments after rescuing young Lily Snyder from a hut in Costa Rica – circa 2003

He’s got an unusual name and an even more unusual vocation. He clandestinely rescues missing children that authorities can’t find or have given up trying to reunite with their custodial parent.

Baz has long operated in the shadows but now he’s allowing me to publicly reveal his name and tell his story.

Bazzel Baz is a former CIA agent who takes on the most impossible cases. And he doesn’t charge the heartsick family of the missing a penny. With volunteer help from other retired intelligence officers, Baz travels all over America and the world, covertly getting in and out of countries some of us can’t even pronounce.

His goal is getting children back to where they belong. So far, Baz and the boys have a 100% success rate. They’ve safely brought home 53 children.

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Today’s Bullies – Tomorrow’s Criminals?

by Diane Dimond on August 23, 2008

A Criminal in the Making?

Have you ever been the victim of a bully? Ever stand silent and let a bully pick on someone?

Most people wouldn’t consider bullying a crime – but it could be creating criminals right before our very eyes. A study from a group called Fight Crime: Invest in Kids concluded that nearly 60 percent of boys whom researchers classified as bullies in grades 6-9 were convicted of at least one crime by the age of 24. And get this, 40 percent of those same boys grew up to have three or more criminal convictions.

In other words, today’s bully could be tomorrow’s criminal. So, what can we do about it?

I’m a big believer in families taking responsibility for the actions of their children. But boys and girls reserve their bullying for when they are away from Mom and Dad. That means other adults have to step up at schools, camps, sporting events and youth activity centers. [click to continue…]

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Eye In The Sky To Protect Us

by Diane Dimond on August 16, 2008

Ever since I saw secret agent Maxwell Smart take off his shoe and use it as a telephone I’ve been fascinated by the array of ‘toys’ available to law enforcement. So, as I was flipping through Tactical Weapons Magazine the other day (hey, no telling where an intrepid columnist gets her information!) there, among ads for special ops shotguns and mini night vision monoculars, was the strangest contraption I’d ever seen. The headline read: Mini Blimp Recon. Huh?

It looked like a cross between a suspended-in-the-sky Michelin Man and a big white, over inflated football with a tail. The technical name is BLN-3 Mini Blimp, its nickname is TopEyeView and to this civilian it could mean a revolution in law enforcement. [click to continue…]

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Getting Away With Murder

by Diane Dimond on August 9, 2008

Cold Cases = Dead End

F

rom time to time I get in my e-mail box a message like this:

“…A friend of mine has made a YouTube video about the murder of my 10 year old brother in Jacksonville, Florida in 1968. Glen’s death was not investigated in 1968 and still today there has been no justice for Glen.”

I diligently go to the website address provided thinking the cold-case story of Glen might make a good subject for one of these columns.

I’m quickly overwhelmed. Its clear reading the impassioned blogs of Glen’s still bereaved sister, Sandy, that the family’s pain is as real today – a full 40 years later – as it was that early February morning in 1968 when little Glen’s body was found beaten and “partially hanging” from a neighborhood rope swing. His death was originally labeled an accident. But the bruises on his tiny body, clearly visible on his face at the open casket funeral, told his family otherwise. Nevertheless, police simply closed the case with no investigation. Two years ago sister Sandy got another Jacksonville detective to declare “foul play” was involved. But since no evidence had been gathered in 1968 there was little authorities could do if they re-opened the case – so they didn’t.

So Sandy’s lonely quest for justice for her little brother continues. Her parents went to their graves never knowing who abducted and killed their little boy – or why.

It’s the WHY that seems to be so important to the survivors of cold case victims. [click to continue…]

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