21 Year Old American Bates College Student John Durkin from Rye Beach, NH Studying Abroad Missing Since 2/19/14 in Rome, Italy (Update: Found Dead in Italy Railroad Tunnel)

21 year old John Durkin of  Rye Beach, NH, an American student from Bates College in Lewiston, Maine has gone missing while studying abroad in Rome, Italy. Friends traveling with the group said Durkin has not been seen since February 19., 2014. They said he went out to a bar and never returned.  The students left for Rome in January through a program at Trinity College, which has a campus in Rome. John Durkin went missing from Sloppy Sam’s. This was the last place that John Durkin was seen.

John Durkin_missing

John Durkin … Missing in Rome, Italy

An American student studying abroad in Italy is missing, his college said.

John Durkin is an economics major from Rye Beach, New Hampshire. He attends Bates College in Maine, but was taking part in a study abroad program in Rome through Trinity College in Connecticut.

He’s been in Rome for a little more than a month as part of a semester-long program, according to Tom Durkin, a family spokesman.

Two days ago, he went to a bar with a group of friends and never returned, according to the spokesman, who said he left the bar alone.

John Durkin_missing2

via Twitter

Statement from Bates College:

Staff from Trinity College are working with the Italian authorities to determine the circumstances surrounding his disappearance.

This situation is deeply distressing for John’s family, his fellow students and the entire Bates community. We are working actively with Trinity College to monitor events as they evolve, and we will share information as it becomes available.

John Durkin_missing3

The family is asking anyone around the world with information to contact them via Twitter via their newly-established account @JDurkinMissing.

UPDATE I: Missing 21 Year Old John Durkin Found Dead Saturday in Railroad Tunnel in Rome, Italy.

21 year old John Durkin was was deceased in Rome, Italy Saturday.  His body was found dead inside a railroad tunnel in central Rome. According to accounts, John Durkin had been hit by a train; however, investigators are still looking into the death of the Bates college student.

A Bates College student who went missing two days ago while traveling in Italy has been found dead, authorities said Saturday.

The body of 21-year-old John Durkin, of Rye Beach, N.H., was discovered in a railroad tunnel in Rome, authorities said. CNN reported that Rome railroad police said he had been hit by a train.

The State Department confirmed the find but did not release details about the circumstances of the death, citing “respect for the family at this difficult time.”

VIDEO – CNN

Statement from Family:

“It is with much sadness that the Durkin family informs you of the loss of John Nolen Durkin and thanks everyone for their support during the past few days.”

Statement from Bates said President Clayton Spencer:

“This is a time of deep sadness for our community and for so many people who knew and loved John.  We are profoundly sad and share the tremendous grief of his family.”

Olympic Teams From Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia Get Terror Threat Ahead of Sochi Winter Games

Will the Sochi Winter Olympics be terror free or are wee about to see terrorism on a world state in real time with social media 24/7?

Ahead of the Sochi Winter Olympics and with previous video threats of terror acts promised to take place and with Russian authorities on high alert, it is now being reported that teams from Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia have received terror threats not to send their athletes to the games. Authorities are already on the look out for “Black Widow’s” and other terrorists ahead of the games. Needless to say, talk about a dicey situation.

The Olympic teams of at least five countries said Wednesday that they had received emails threatening attacks at the Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, adding to mounting security fears two weeks before competition begins.

The International Olympic Committee told NBC News that it did not consider the threats credible and said that it appeared to be “a random message from a member of the public.”

The Olympic organizing committees of Germany, Hungary, Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia reported getting threats.

According to Zsigmond Nagy, an official of the Hungarian Olympic Committee, he stated the following“I am very pleased to inform everyone that both the IOC and the Sochi organizing committee … declared after the analysis of the letter that this threat is not real,”  “This person has been sending all kinds of messages to many members of the Olympic family.” Hmm, not sure how this individual is so sure.

UPDATE I: The International Olympic Committee said Wednesday that the letter sent to the HOC did not represent any threat to athletes. I guess it all depends on how one defines a threat to athletes. However, the German team described the email as a “terror warning” with words to the effect of “be careful out there in Sochi” and the Italian Olympic Committee described the email as containing “terrorist threats.” That sounds much different that the IOC looking to present a positive front.

“The IOC treats security issues very seriously and forwards any reliable information to the security services. However, it appears that in this case, the letter sent to the HOC does not contain any threat,” an IOC spokesperson told R-Sport.

The Sochi organizing committee also assessed the letter and said there is no real threat, and that the author has also been sending messages to other countries competing in the Olympics, HOC international relations director Zsigmond Nagy told Reuters.

New Trail Ordered for Amanda Knox … Italy’s High Court Overturns Amanda Knox Acquittal in Murder of British Roommate Meredith Kercher

Breaking News out of Italy … Italy’s Highest Court has overturned the Amanda Knox Murder Acquittal.

Italy’s highest court has overturned the Amanda Knox murder acquittal of her British roommate Meredith Kercher and has ordered a retrial. After six hours of appeals deliberations yesterday, this morning the Court of Cassation in Rome ruled that an appeals court in Florence must re-hear the case against the American Amanda Know and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. It is uncertain as to what the court considered appealable in their decision. The exact issues that have to be reconsidered won’t be known until the court releases its full ruling within 90 days.

Italy’s highest court has ruled that Amanda Knox should be retried over the 2007 killing of her British flatmate Meredith Kercher  in Perugia.

Knox, 25, and her ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito, 29, spent four years in jail, but were freed on appeal in 2011 largely on the grounds DNA evidence was flawed.

On hearing the news today Knox admitted it was ‘painful’ to receive the decision, but said she was ‘confident in the truth.’

 Statement from Amanda Knox following the ruling:

“It was painful to receive the news that the Italian Supreme Court decided to send my case back for revision when the prosecution’s theory of my involvement in Meredith’s murder has been repeatedly revealed to be completely unfounded and unfair,” the statement said.

Knox said the matter must now be examined by “an objective investigation and a capable prosecution.”

“No matter what happens, my family and I will face this continuing legal battle as we always have, confident in the truth and with our heads held high in the face of wrongful accusations and unreasonable adversity.” 

It is unimaginable that Knox would return to Italy for the trial. There is nothing that would compel her to do so and no attorney worth their salt would recommend it after the roller-coaster legal ride of this murder case. There is much public pressure in Italy for a guilty verdict. Amanda Knox could be tried in absentia. What makes all this even more bizarre is that Amanda Knox’s book is scheduled to be released in the very new future.

Amanda Knox and her Italian boyfriend were originally found guilty in 2009 of sexual assault and murder of the British student Meredith Kercher in 2007. They were sentenced to 26 and 25 years respectively. An Ivory Coast man, Rudy Guede, was convicted of the slaying in a separate proceeding and is serving a 16 year sentence. However, they were then acquitted in a retrial in 2011 on the grounds that the DNA evidence produced at the first trial was flawed. Prosecution lawyers then appealed to the Court of Cassation to overturn the 2011 verdict on procedural grounds. Now we find ourselves at present day.

Amanda Knox Awaits the Ruling as Italy’s High Court Considers Her Acquittal of the Murder Charges in the Death of 21 Year Old British Student Meredith Kercher

Will Amanda Knox finally be considered free of murder charges?

Amanda Knox awaits the next step in the judicial process to see whether she will be retried  following her acquittal of the murder in the death of 21 year old British student Meredith Kercher.  Prosecutors are asking the Italian high court to throw out the acquittals of American Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito. Knox and Sollecito were initially arrested in 2007, then convicted and given prison sentences: 26 years for Knox, 25 for Sollecito. However,  in 2011 the appeals court acquitted them, criticizing the prosecutors case  in the first trial.  The proceedings today are the second and final level of appeal, prosecutors are now seeking to overturn the acquittals, while defense attorneys say they should stand. If the acquittal stands, the case is over. If it is reversed, the saga continues …

 

VIDEO: CNN

Amanda Knox was “very anxious” as Italy’s top criminal court heard arguments Monday from prosecutors appealing her acquittal in the murder of her roommate, her lawyer said.

“She’s carefully paying attention to what will come out,” attorney Luciano Ghirga said as he arrived at Italy’s Court of Cassation. “This is a fundamental stage. The trial is very complex.”

Prosecutors are asking the high court to throw out the acquittals of American Knox and her Italian ex-boyfriend in the murder of 21-year-old British student Meredith Kercher, and order a new trial.

A verdict could come later today.

Lonnie Kocontes Arrested for Murder of ex-wife Micki Kanesaki Who Went Overboard an Italian Cruise Ship into the Mediterranean on May 26, 2006 off the Island Escape

With murder, it’s never over, until it’s over …

55 year old Lonnie Kocontes was arrested Friday night on an outstanding warrant in Southwest Florida for the murder of his ex-wife Micki Kanesaki.  Kocontes was charged with special circumstances murder for financial gain in the death of his ex-wife who went overboard aboard an Italian cruise ship on  May 26, 2006 off the Island Escape in the Mediterranean. Her body was found by the Italian Coast Guard the next day, floating in the sea near Naples.

This sounds a little bit like the Gary Giordano – Robyn Gardner missing persons for profit case in Aruba. Prosecutors believe that Kocontes strangled Kaneski to death on board the ship and then threw her overboard. The arrest finally ended an investigation that started in 2008, when Kocontes began transferring more than $1 million from Kaneski’s bank accounts into joint accounts he held with his new wife. If convicted, Lonnie Kocontes faces life in state prison without the possibility of parole and is eligible for the death penalty.

He was charged with one count of special circumstances murder for financial gain, according to Farrah Emami, a spokeswoman for the Orange County District Attorney’s office.

Kocontes’ ex-wife, Micki Kanesaki, plunged into the Mediterranean on May 26, 2006, off the Island Escape, which was sailing between Sicily and Naples, according to the FBI. Her body washed ashore the next day in Calabria in southwest Italy.

Posted February 17, 2013 by
Arrest, Crime, Cruise Ship, Italy, Murder | no comments

US Beach Volleyballers Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Defeat the Italians and Bring them to Tears … Ruthless Americans?

Some one forgot to tell the female Italian Olympic beach volley ball team that there is no crying in beach volleyball …

Two time Olympic gold medal champions Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh of the United States advanced to the semi-finals on the 2012 London Summer Olympic games after defeating the Italian two sets to none. However, the pursuit of a three-peat for Walsh and Trainer was not the story of the match, it was the fact that they brought one of their competitors to tears. Actually, that was not even the story, it was the anti-American reporting of the story calling Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh ruthless Americans. Hey Reuters, with all due respect, go pound beach sand. Ruthless? This is not socialism folks, its sports. You never give a lesser opponent life and the feeling like they can beat you. Guess what happens when you do, you lose!

Italy’s Greta Cicolari and Marta Menegatti had beaten May-Treanor and Walsh this year and were considered the strongest European team at the Olympics. But the ruthless Americans gave them such a pounding that Menegatti was in tears on court.

“I didn’t know that, but that’s what you want,” said May-Treanor when a reporter told her what had happened.

“Well, it’s not what you want to do, but that’s (because of) us being aggressive, she was probably like ‘I don’t know what to do’, and that’s how you get teams in trouble,” said May-Treanor.

Shameful, just shameful that the media were refer to Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh as ruthless Americans. Hey Reuters, they are not ruthless Americans, the are the greatest female beach volleyball team in history an competitors.

The Americans won two sets to none (21-13, 21-13) in 33 minutes. That caused you to cry, seriously? It’s a good thing you did not play tennis and playing Serena Williams who dismantled Maria Sharapova in straight sets, 6-0, 6-1. You can really thank your lucky stars that you were not a part of the Nigerian basketball team that lost to the USA, 156 – 73.

Hey Italy, this is not elementary school whiffle ball. It’s time to put your big girl pants on and play. What exactly were you expecting from the two time Olympic gold medal champions and greatest female beach volleyball team in history, a free pass? The team of Walsh and Treanor have been trying to get back to the form that saw them win gold in the last two Olympics. Tonight’s performance was their best of the London Games and as close to perfect as they have played in a long time.

May-Treanor and Walsh are friendly and charming in conversation, but on court they have no mercy. After Sunday’s match they gave some insight into the steely mindset that has made them the most successful pair in their sport’s history.

“I don’t want to let our opponents breathe. I don’t want to give them an edge. I don’t want them to feel comfortable for one second out there,” said Walsh.

UPDATE I: Oh yea Reuters, Misty May-Treanor is such a ruthless American that after the Americans destroyed the Italians, Treanor went over to Marta Menegatti, the Italian player who had broken into tears during the match, and gave her words of encouragement. Because that is the sign of a ruthless American.

Oh and this comment is hardly one of a ruthless American from Kerri Walsh.

“I definitely knew she was emotional,” Walsh Jennings said. “I could feel it and I could see it. But to me that’s not a sign of weakness. She wants it that bad and she puts her whole heart into it… She had really high expectations, and that’s why she’s so good. She just had a bad game.”

Reuters, there is a big difference between ruthless and winning.

29 People Still Missing Following Italian Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Running Aground

The search goes on by rescuers for missing survivors following the cruise ship Costa Concordia running aground off the Italian coast. Italian coastguard official stated that the number of people missing had been revised up to 29 – 25 passengers.  Amazing pics can be seen of the rescue attempts at the UK Daily Mail.  It looks like a cross between Titanic and the Poseiden Adventure. Say a prayer.

A stricken Italian cruise liner shifted on its rocky resting place on Monday as worsening weather disrupted an increasingly despairing hunt for survivors and authorities raised their estimate of the number missing to 29 people.

As the Costa Concordia’s owners blamed their captain for veering shorewards on Friday in a bravura “salute” to residents of a Tuscan island, the giant ship slid a little, threatening to plunge its whole gigantic carcass and 2,300 tonnes of fuel below the Mediterranean waters of the surrounding nature reserve.

The slippage forced rescuers to suspend for a few hours their efforts to find anyone still alive after three days in the capsized hull, resting on a jagged slope outside the picturesque harbor on the island of Giglio. Six bodies have been found. Most of the 4,200 passengers and crew survived, despite hours of chaos.

Fears grow as time goes by in the search for those still missing. The ship’s owners have blamed the captain for Friday’s crash, saying he changed course towards an island. According to accounts, the ship’s captain, Capt Schettino, has been accused of abandoning his vessel before all the passengers had been evacuated. So much for the captain going down with the ship. Capt Schettino was arrested on suspicion of manslaughter.

American Student Amanda Knox Makes Tearful Plea for Acquittal of Murdering her British Roommate in Italy (UPDATE: Knox Freed, Appeals Court Jury Acquitts)

American student Amanda Knox made a tearful plea for acquittal today in an Italian court in the murder of her British roommate. Fighting back the tear, Amanda Knox made her final pleas of innocence  to  influence the appeals panel. The appeals verdict is expected later today, Monday evening.

American student Amanda Knox made a tearful plea on Monday to be acquitted of murdering her British roommate during a brutal erotic game, saying she was paying with her life for a crime she did not commit.

“I am the same person I was four years ago,” said Knox, visibly shaking and fighting to hold back tears. “I am not what they say I am,” she said, seeking to rebut prosecution suggestions that she was a manipulative, sex-mad “she-devil.”

“I lost a friend, in the most brutal and inexplicable way possible. My absolute faith in the police authorities was betrayed, I’ve had to face absolutely unfair … and baseless accusations. I am paying with my life for things I did not commit.”

Stay tune later for updates on the verdict …

UPDATE I: Its official … Amanda Knox freed by Appeals Court Jury.

24 year old Amanda Knox is a free woman as she was acquitted by an appeals court jury today. American student Amanda Knox had been convicted by an Italian court for the 2007 murder of her roommate Meredith Kercher.  Knox collapsed in tears following ther verdict. Knox’s ex-boyfriend Raffaele Sollecito was also acquitted of murder charges.


The jury had two options to acquit: determining there wasn’t enough evidence to uphold the conviction or that the pair simply didn’t commit the crime. The jury determined the latter, clearing Knox and Sollecito completely.

After briefly returning to prison for a formal discharge, Knox was seen being driven away in a convoy. Rocco Girlanda, an Italian lawmaker who is close to the Knox family, said she planned to leave Italy on Tuesday.

In court, the Kercher family looked on grimly as the verdict was read out by the judge after 11 hours of deliberations by the eight-member jury.

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