Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Fugitive Fund Manager Who Faked Suicide Surrenders; I remember Rachel YOU?

July 3, 2008
Fugitive Fund Manager Who Faked Suicide Surrenders
The fugitive hedge fund swindler Samuel Israel III surrendered to law enforcement officials on Wednesday, ending a manhunt that began shortly after he faked his suicide on the day that he was to report to prison in Ayer, Mass.

Mr. Israel, who disappeared June 9, surrendered in Southwick, Mass., at 9:15 a.m., a spokeswoman for the marshals said.

He was talking to his mother on the phone when he walked into the lobby of the local police station and surrendered to the authorities, a spokeswoman for the Southwick Police Department said. He was kept briefly in a holding cell in the Southwick station and was later by marshals to the federal courthouse in Springfield, Mass.

Marshals from the Great Lakes Regional Fugitive Task Force in Illinois had been in “close contact” with Mr. Israel’s mother, Ann R. Israel, according to Carolyn Gwathmey, a spokeswoman for the marshals.

“They were talking to her right before he surrendered,” Ms. Gwathmey said.

Southwick is along the Massachusetts-Connecticut border, just southwest of Springfield, Mass.

Mr. Israel was scheduled to begin serving his 20-year sentence on June 9, when he was supposed to turn himself into Federal Medical Center Devens in Ayer, which is west of Boston and holds inmates requiring long-term medical or mental health care. Mr. Israel suffers from severe back pain, according to court records, and has had a long battle with an addiction to prescription painkillers. At the time of his disappearance, he was scheduled for the latest in a series of operations on his spine.

On the day that he was to report, Mr. Israel’s abandoned GMC Envoy was found along a shoulder of the Bear Mountain Bridge near the Hudson River with the message “suicide is painless” written in dust on the hood. The keys and a bottle of pills were still in the car.

When Mr. Israel’s body failed to turn up and the message turned out to be the theme song of ”M*A*S*H,” the authorities began to suspect he was on the run.

Two weeks ago, Mr. Israel’s girlfriend, Debra Ryan, was charged with aiding and abetting his flight and was taken into custody in White Plains. She was released later on $75,000 bail.

According to the complaint filed in that case, Ms. Ryan helped Mr. Israel pack up a recreational vehicle, attaching a motor scooter to it, and then accompanying him in her car while he drove the recreational vehicle to a rest area near Interstate 684 early on the morning of June 9.

After leaving the vehicle there, according to a complaint, she drove him back to their home in Armonk, N.Y.

Shortly after noon on June 9, Mr. Israel’s abandoned GMC Envoy was found.

A earlier version of this article misspelled the name of the city where the federal medical center is located. It is Ayer, Mass., not Ayers.


He really was a stupid-ass, wasn't he? I believe the note he scrawled onto his SUV, "Suicide Is Painless", was cribbed right from a M.A.S.H. episode, which dealt with a FAKED SUICIDE.


A previous article:

'Suicide is Painless' message on car baffles FBI

* Story Highlights
* NEW: Police, victims of scam skeptical that Samuel Israel III killed himself
* Message scrawled in dust on hood of car abandoned on bridge
* Car is registered to hedge fund swindler due to report to prison
* There are no signs of a jumper, no witnesses

WHITE PLAINS, New York (AP) -- A hedge-fund swindler who was supposed to be driving himself to prison abandoned his car on a bridge with the phrase "Suicide is Painless" scrawled on its hood, but no body has been found in the river below -- and the victims of his fraud say they doubt he killed himself.

The FBI and state police are skeptical, saying they're still looking for Samuel Israel III.

Israel, 48, a co-founder and chief executive of the now-collapsed Bayou hedge funds, was sentenced in April to 20 years in federal prison for conspiracy and fraud, to begin Monday afternoon. He was also ordered to pay $300 million to his victims.

Prosecutors said he and two other men persuaded investors to put $450 million into the Stamford, Connecticut-based company by announcing nonexistent profits and providing fake audits. Meanwhile, they made millions in commissions on trades that lost money for investors. The fund's collapse prompted calls for stricter oversight.

Ross Intelisano, who represents 20 investors who lost $25 million, said Tuesday his clients are skeptical that Israel committed suicide.

"Their comments to me are, `Show me the body, I'll believe it when I see the body,"' he said. "My gut tells me he's not the type to jump off a bridge."

State police investigator Bruce Cuccia said no one's rushing to conclusions.

"It looks like it could be either a suicide or a staged suicide, a fake suicide," he said. "Without a body, we don't have conclusive evidence either way." He said no one saw a jumper.

The car, a 2006 GMC Envoy, was found at 12:30 p.m. Monday, its key in the ignition, near the middle of the Bear Mountain Bridge, 150 feet above the Hudson River. The 84-year-old span, near West Point and about 40 miles north of New York City, affords a scenic view of the river valley.

On the SUV's hood, etched into the dust and pollen, were the words "Suicide is Painless," the name of the familiar theme song for the classic "MASH" television show. The song was sung during a fake suicide in the original movie.

No other note was found, Cuccia said. Police aircraft and boats searched the river Monday and Tuesday.

"The FBI is actively looking for Sam Israel," agency spokesman Jim Margolin said.

Israel had a 2 p.m. Monday deadline for reporting to the federal prison in Ayer, Mass., Cuccia said. A girlfriend at Israel's home told police he left between 8:30 and 9 a.m., saying he was driving to the prison. Israel is divorced.

Israel's attorney, Lawrence Bader, did not return a call seeking comment. The U.S. attorney's office, which prosecuted Israel, had no comment, spokesman Herb Hadad said.

At his sentencing in Manhattan in April, Israel asked for leniency, saying he had major heart problems and had endured surgery on his back nine times, Intelisano said. But Judge Colleen McMahon called Israel the mastermind of the Bayou fraud and said the prison term was meant to show that "people who commit crimes while wearing a tie do not get a break."

As the search continued beneath the bridge Tuesday afternoon, Cuccia said bodies have been found for all but one of the 25 to 30 suicide jumps from the bridge since 1980.

"If he's down there, he'll come up," he said.


In other news...

Palestinian goes on rampage in Jerusalem; 3 killed
Published: Wednesday, July 02, 2008

(Note: I am reposting not only the article in question, but also the comments made to the article at the time of this comments to follow...)

Israeli security personnel and medics stand around a destroyed car and a bulldozer whose driver carried out an attack in Jerusalem, Wednesday, July 2, 2008. A Palestinian driving a bulldozer went on a deadly rampage on a busy Jerusalem street Wednesday, plowing into a string of cars, buses and pedestrians, killing at least three people and wounding at least 45 before he was shot dead by security officers. The violence, the first major attack in Jerusalem since March, wreaked havoc and left a large swath of damage in the heart of downtown Jerusalem. Traffic was halted, and hundreds of people fled through the streets in panic as medics treated the wounded.

A Palestinian man plowed an enormous construction vehicle into cars, buses and pedestrians on a busy street Wednesday, killing at least three people and wounding at least 45 before he was shot dead by security officers.
Israeli police referred to the man as a "terrorist" acting on his own. He repeatedly smashed vehicle after vehicle with the huge shovel on his machine, throwing cars into the air and overturning a bus.

The first major attack in Jerusalem since March wreaked havoc in the heart of downtown. Hundreds of people fled in panic through the streets as medics treated the wounded.

Three Palestinian militant groups took responsibility for the attack, but the claims could not be independently verified.

The attack took place in front of a building housing the offices of The Associated Press and other media outlets. British Broadcasting Corp. footage captured the huge front loader crushing a vehicle and an off-duty soldier shooting the perpetrator in the head several times at point-blank range as onlookers screamed.

Israel's national rescue service confirmed three deaths, and the bodies lay motionless on the ground covered in plastic.
Hen Shimon, a 19-year-old soldier, said the whole scene was a "nightmare."

"I just got off the bus and I saw the tractor driving and knocking everything down in his path," she said. "Everything he saw he rammed."

Yosef Spielman said the construction vehicle picked up a car "like a toy."

"I was shocked. I saw a guy going crazy," he said. "All the people were running. They had no chance."

Eyal Lang Ben-Hur, 16, was in a bus when the driver yelled "Get out of the vehicle! Everyone out!" People fled in a panic, he said, and the bus was hit an instant later.

Eli Mizrahi, an officer in a special anti-terror unit, said he and his partner sped to the scene on a motorcycle from the nearby Mahane Yehuda market in downtown Jerusalem. An off-duty soldier had just shot the attacker, but not killed him.

"I ran up the stairs (of the vehicle) and, when he was still driving like crazy and trying to harm civilians, I fired at him twice more and, that's it, he was liquidated," Mizrahi told reporters.

The attack occurred in an area where Jerusalem is building a new train system. The project has turned many parts of the city into a big construction zone. Israeli police said the attacker was a bulldozer operator who worked in the area for a construction firm.

During the second Palestinian uprising, which erupted in late 2000, Jerusalem experienced dozens of suicide bombings and other attacks. The city has been largely quiet in the past three years, though sporadic attacks have persisted. In March, a Palestinian gunman entered a Jerusalem seminary and killed eight young students.

Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev called Wednesday's attack a "senseless act of murderous violence."

President Bush called Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to express condolences about the attack and planned to call Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas as well, White House press secretary Dana Perino said.

The three organizations that took responsibility for the attack included the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade, which is affiliated with Abbas. Abbas aide Saeb Erekat condemned the violence.

The other two are the Galilee Freedom Battalion, which is suspected of being affiliated with Lebanon's Hezbollah guerrillas, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a fringe left-wing militant group.

The Hamas militant group, which runs the Gaza Strip and is currently maintaining a fragile cease-fire with Israel, said it did not carry out the attack but nevertheless praised it.

"We consider it as a natural reaction to the daily aggression and crimes committed against our people in the West Bank and all over the occupied lands," said Hamas spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri.

Despite the Palestinian claims of responsibility, Israeli police chief Dudi Cohen said the attacker appeared to be acting alone. "It looks as if it was a spontaneous act," he said.

Major Israeli retaliation appeared unlikely given the police chief's claim that the attacker acted alone and the Jewish state's desire to maintain the Gaza cease-fire and to support Abbas' security forces in the West Bank.

Israeli police said the man, a father of two children, was an Arab in his 30s from east Jerusalem and had a criminal background. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he had worked as a construction worker on the railway project.

Later Wednesday, five military vehicles gathered outside the man's two-story home in east Jerusalem. Police entered the house, took pictures and questioned relatives for an hour before leaving without making arrests.

Friends of the family identified the attacker as Hussam Dwikat. They said the 29-year-old was a devout Muslim, but had no known ties to any militant groups.

"Everybody is in shock. When I was told what happened I started to curse Hussam because this is the first time he has done something like this," said Salayan Weyed, a friend of the attacker's wife.

In contrast to West Bank Palestinians, Arab residents of Jerusalem have full freedom to work and travel throughout Israel. About two-thirds of Jerusalem's 700,000 residents are Jews, and the rest are Palestinians who came under Israeli control when Israel captured their part of the city in 1967.

Israel's national rescue service said at least 45 people were wounded in Wednesday's attack. Wounded people sat dazed on the ground amid piles of broken glass and blood stains on the street. A half-dozen cars were flattened and others were overturned by the Caterpillar vehicle. A bus was overturned and another bus was heavily damaged.

A woman sprinkled water over a baby's bloodied face, a rescue worker stroked the hair of a dazed elderly pedestrian and a loved one raised the bleeding leg of a woman sitting outside the overturned bus.

Esther Valencia, a 52-year-old pedestrian, said she barely escaped the carnage.

"He almost hit me. Someone pushed me out of the way at the last moment. It was a miracle that I got out of there."

Cassia Pereira, office manager for AP's Jerusalem bureau, watched the attack unfold outside her window.

"I saw him but it was too late and there was nothing to do," she said, with tears in her eyes. "I was in panic I couldn't say a word ... I realized something was not normal, something was wrong."

The mayor of Jerusalem, Uri Lupolianski, said his daughter was on one of the buses rammed by the attacker, but she was not injured.

"To our regret the attackers do not cease coming up with new ways to strike at the heart of the Jewish people here in Jerusalem," Lupolianski said.

Post a Comment View All Comments On This Story

Most recent comments posted: (To view all comments click on VIEW ALL link above)


After thousands of Palestinian home have been dozed to make room for "Jewish" settlers? What gall. Remember Rachel Corrie? After you steel their land, Israel wonders why they are hated? Google Khzar/Jewish history and find out who the real anti-semites are.

Posted by: robertsgt40 on Wed Jul 2, 2008, 3:25 PM


One man, who probably lost his home to Amerikan Caterpillar bulldozers.

Posted by: T.T. on Wed Jul 2, 2008, 3:17 PM


Right on, Petr. Anyone who thinks differently needs to Google the name Rachel Corrie to see just what Israel does over there.

Posted by: Firebird7478 on Wed Jul 2, 2008, 2:41 PM


People lost lives in this terrorist attack, its tragedy and those involved shoud be put on trial, but let us remember 60 years of crimes and killing men, women and innocent childern by Nazi zionists and lies where brutal occupairs /with most sofisticated weapons/ became victims? and victims /armed with stones/ became aggresors?
here will not be peace untill zionists occupaing big part of Palestine will return the land to RIGHT owners and stop supporting world terror.
his temporary "province" of Palestina called Israel is worcest thing to happened to whole humanity.

Posted by: petr vojta on Wed Jul 2, 2008, 2:15 PM


Still waiting to see that article on the Israelis bulldozing Palestinian homes, or detaining pregnant Palestinian women at check points for hours on end.

No? Anyone? Guess I'll go read those foreign, anti-semitic newspapers that report what really happens over there.

Posted by: Firebird7478 on Wed Jul 2, 2008, 11:22 AM


Okay...I was heartened to see that Rachel Corrie has not been forgotten...she gave her life to protect someone else's home. I actually viewed a website where some asshole advertised a Rachel Corrie Screaming Urinal.

Can you believe the inhumanity of that individual?

One could say that it was just an attempt at if I were to design and advertise Rudolf Hess' Auschwitz Auf Weidersehen! personal gas masks...would anyone be outraged?

I's just a joke, right?

No comments: