A common sense public policy overview from David in South Florida, offering a critical perspective on the current events, politics, govt./public policy, sports and pop culture of the U.S., #SoFL and Europe, esp. the #UK, #Sweden and #France, via my life in #Texas, #Memphis, #Miami, #IU, #Chicago, #WashingtonDC & #SoFL. In particular, #Broward & #MiamiDade County, and the cities of #HallandaleBeach, #HollywoodFL & #Aventura. Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln.

Photo in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A, September 2008; March 2018 photo below of HB's North Beach and southern Hollywood Beach, looking left-to-right, looking north, HYDE Condominium, Etaru Japanese Robatayaki restaurant, and Hollywood Beach in the distance, with umbrellas. All photos by me, © Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Reminder: There's a killer still at large four years later in #HallandaleBeach. What's new in the 2013 Double Murder of Toronto couple, Rochelle Wise and David Pichosky?

Above, one of the alternating empty Hallandale Beach Police Dept. vehicles that play the role of Scarecrow on Three Islands Drive in northeast Hallandale Beach. Police vehicles that rarely if ever move, which even the dumbest of area criminals know as well as local residents do. The empty police cars are right near the Three Islands Safe Neighborhood District security guard stand that isn't manned, right near the security cameras that didn't/don't work.  
They're just props! Some protection!
February 10, 2013 photo by South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved

Reminder: There's a killer still at large four years later in Hallandale Beach. So what's new?
Precious little judging by what the Hallandale Beach Police Dept. says and shares with the public they are supposed to work for, a longstanding problem for this dept. as I've detailed here in the past many times.

So the reality is that the Double Murder of a Toronto couple in Hallandale Beach four years ago this week, with the usual Hallandale Beach flourishes of incompetency and counter-intuitive foul-ups, is STILL unsolved.

Four years ago today, most of us in South Forida woke up to the shocking news that a hard-working, civic-minded and apparently quite beloved Toronto couple were viciously murdered in their winter-time Hallandale Beach home, in one of the quietest areas of the city, Venetian Park.

Then as now, the evidence is clear that the initial failure of the Hallandale Beach Police, the Broward Sheriff's Office and Broward Crime Stopper's to share relevant information with the local community in a timely enough manner, has had very real consequences.
Unfortunately for the public and the family of the victims, they are bad consequences.

This baffling and counter-intuitive approach by all involved likely prevented possible leads from emerging then that may well have made a tangible difference in actually connecting some fragmentary clues, and helping to solve the entirely senseless murder of Donny Pichosky and Rochelle Wise.

A few of you may even recall receiving an email from me four years ago today with the news about a double-murder taking place in a city that, while full of corruption and incompetency, had been, mercifully, low on senseless murder. 
I sent that email of mine on my first full day of a two-week trip to Stockholm, after I'd read the details about it online that morning in my hotel room, almost not believing what I was reading. 
But there was no mistake, was there?

In that email, I asked what-if-anything you'd heard that thus far had not yet been mentioned in published media accounts, as well as whether you were personally aware of any attempt by HBPD or other LEOs of at a rapid public information outreach campaign taking place in the general area.

My fear, quickly confirmed by so many of you, was that it was the usual HBPD routine of chasing-its-tail after-the-fact.
Just as had been the case in 2010 with the Lynda Meier disappearance following her visit to the Bank of America on Hallandale Beach Blvd. one morning, after which, she was never seen alive again. 
Just her car driving west on Hallandale Beach Blvd. and US-1, via FDOT camera footage

My fear that morning while in Sweden was the same as it would have been if I'd been bak here: that HBPD would put on a good Dog-and-Pony show for the local news media but NOT communicate effectively with the very people who might've seen something at the time, without knowing it at the time.
And despite the fact that HBPD had to get to those people right away and had no time to waste.
But waste time is exactly what they did.

That same mentality by HBPD is what had caused me to get so angry in 2010 with the Meier case because HBPD and HB Crime Watch -the latter then led by Alexander Lewy before he was elected a HB City Commissioner months later- did NOT do the bare minimum you'd expect from such a group, esp. in such a time-sensitive case.
The sort of thing that we have all routinely seen done in a TV newscasts, a fictional drama or in motion pictures. Why?

Because it's common sense.
Because we know that people have a short memory and attention span for what seems like inconsequential things/facts that don't fit their daily lives.
So you have to get that information from those people before it completely evaporates.
But those efforts, the sort of thing we all have a reasonable right to expect in case of such an emergency, sadly and rather predictably, didn't take place.

Specifically, some of you will recall that I was calling out HBPD's handling of this double-murder case almost from the very beginning, most egregiously, their choosing NOT to pass out fliers
themselves in the immediate area of the crime in Venetian Park, or to use trained volunteers from the Crime Watch group.

They compounded this by also refusing to post fliers in nearby popular stores or restaurants until long past the point that any possible witness had long since forgotten what they might've seen or heard many weeks and months before for a fleeting second.
There was not a single police flier about this double murder posted on the bulletin board at Panera Bread until July! Five months later!

I know this because I have a photo of the flier there shortly after it went up -too late.
Many of you received a copy of it from me in an email that July bemoaning HBPD's inability to get out of their own way.

And in case you might've forgotten, Michele Lazarow, the HB City Commissioner who lives closest to where this crime too place, someone who actually lives not so far away, and who'd just been elected weeks before, was NOT allowed to attend HBPD's meeting with the neighborhood.
A meeting that Mayor Joy Cooper was allowed to attend.
What does that tell you?
What sort of image does that convey?

There's so many aspects of this particular case that stink to high heaven and still cause me to grieve for this family and their inability to get the closure they need and deserve.
to say nothing of the enormous amount of time it took for HBPD to finally release a photo of a person of interest, and then, made that photo hard to near-impossible to find on the city's own website!

But rather than repeat them all here, in case you want to have your memory jarred in a profound way, here are my last two blog post about this double-homicide, though there have been MANY more emails detailing the numerous policy and procedural failings of all the relevant parties and the failure of the South Florida news media to publicly question and criticize what in any other part of the country would be coming under justified criticism.

(If you want to know more, contact me and we can always meet at Panera Bread and detail and dissect the HBPD blunders all over again.)

FEBRUARY 11, 2013 
Still no new news or facts in Hallandale Beach re January's double-murder of Toronto couple in Venetian Park neighborhood; Important Three Islands neighborhood public meeting tonight at 7 p.m.

SEPTEMBER 6, 2013 
Crime and (No) Punishment in Hallandale Beach: Observations on Rachel Mendleson's spot-on Toronto Star article on January's double-homicide of a Toronto-area couple in the Three Islands neighborhood of Hallandale Beach, which remains unsolved 8 months later. I still believe the Hallandale Beach Police Dept. has done a very poor job of engaging in outreach and making it as easy as possible for the community to access relevant info about the case that could prove helpful, just as HBPD and HB Crime Watch completely botched public outreach in 2010 following the disappearance of HB resident Lynda Robin Meier, who has never been found. Just like others at HB City Hall, HBPD continues to never learn from experience

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