Murderer Resurfaced As Teacher’s Aide

Untitled by Flickr user feifeilee, licensed by Creative Commons

I had that same chair

As Halloween approaches children become frightened of urban legends and old murder stories.  Kids could never imagine that an old murder story could have involved their teacher’s aide, but in a school in Conrad, Iowa, that is exactly the case.  Paula Pace, formerly known as Paula Baniszewski, has been fired from her teacher’s aide position after the school discovered she was directly involved in the beating and killing of Sylvia Likens, 47 years ago.  The death of Sylvia Likens is recognized as, “the most terrible crime committed in the state of Indiana,” and her story was also made a movie in 2007, “An American Crime.” Paula, her mother, her brother, and neighborhood children had beaten and tortured Sylvia, taking turns burning her and throwing her down the stairs.  Even going so far as to stick Coke bottles in her privates.  She was found dead in the basement of the Baniszewski home.  Paula was arrested alongside her mother, brother, and neighbor.  She was sentenced to only 7 years in prison and was released in 1972.  She eventually moved to Iowa and changed her last name to Pace where she started a new life working in a school.

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$1.5 Million to Family of Biker Slain by Drunk Policeman

Motorcycle, by Flickr user "drocpsu", licensed via Creative Commons.In Indianapolis’s second-largest legal settlement to date, the family of Eric Wells, a motorcyclist killed by a speeding police car two years ago, has received $1.5 million from the municipal government.  While stopped at a red light with some other motorcycle enthusiasts, Wells was struck from behind and killed by a policeman driving a city police vehicle.  Officer David Bisard’s actions at the time of the crash are a triumvirate of dangerous driving practices: he was drunk (technically only allegedly — see suspicious circumstances below), he was speeding towards a non-emergency he was not dispatched to, and to top it all off, he was using his in-car police computer for non-police purposes while driving.  Any one of those details on their own would be enough for a hefty civil case.  Combined, it seems to any observer that the man is justly doomed to a life in jail.  In fact, a criminal trial for reckless homicide and criminal recklessness are still pending, along with two more civil cases for the two motorcyclists he only injured.  So what’s the hold up?

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“Transformers 3″ Extra Awarded $18.5 Million for On-Set Accident

X Ray, by Flickr user "owen.iverson", licensed via Creative Commons.A young aspiring actress who was disabled permanently in an on-set accident for the movie “Transformers 3″ has been awarded $18.5 million in tort.  In 2010, Gabriela Cedillo was acting as an extra in the movie and her particular part was during a stunt scene set on a freeway.  The producers had about 80 extras driving cars (their own cars, actually), with the main filmed action being an elaborate explosion and flinging of props/characters in whatever happens at that moment in the movie.  If you’ve never seen any of the Transformers series, know that explosions and stunts and general shock-and-awe forms the bulk of the plot.  The day before the accident, the filmmakers had tried and failed at the same stunt.  Cedillo’s lawsuit claimed that the day of, shoddy welding had caused a bracket to snap and an extremely taut cable to whip Cedillo’s blue Toyota Scion, pierce right through the frame, and strike Cedillo’s skull.  The accident caused Cedillo to lose a third of her skull and part of the right side of her brain.  She has limited cognitive ability and has lost all movement on the left side of her body.

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