Category: Suicide


Wall Street On Parade

Suspicious Deaths of Bankers Are Now Classified as “Trade Secrets” by Federal Regulator

By Pam Martens and Russ Martens: April 28, 2014

It doesn’t get any more Orwellian than this: Wall Street mega banks crash the U.S. financial system in 2008. Hundreds of thousands of financial industry workers lose their jobs. Then, beginning late last year, a rash of suspicious deaths start to occur among current and former bank employees.  Next we learn that four of the Wall Street mega banks likely hold over $680 billion face amount of life insurance on their workers, payable to the banks, not the families. We ask their Federal regulator for the details of this life insurance under a Freedom of Information Act request and we’re told the information constitutes “trade secrets.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the life expectancy of a 25 year old male with a Bachelor’s degree or higher as of 2006 was 81 years of age. But in the past five months, five highly educated JPMorgan male employees in their 30s and one former employee aged 28, have died under suspicious circumstances, including three of whom allegedly leaped off buildings – a statistical rarity even during the height of the financial crisis in 2008.

There is one other major obstacle to brushing away these deaths as random occurrences – they are not happening at JPMorgan’s closest peer bank – Citigroup. Both JPMorgan and Citigroup are global financial institutions with both commercial banking and investment banking operations. Their employee counts are similar – 260,000 employees for JPMorgan versus 251,000 for Citigroup.

Both JPMorgan and Citigroup also own massive amounts of bank-owned life insurance (BOLI), a controversial practice that pays the corporation when a current or former employee dies. (In the case of former employees, the banks conduct regular “death sweeps” of public records using former employees’ Social Security numbers to learn if a former employee has died and then submits a request for payment of the death benefit to the insurance company.)

Wall Street On Parade carefully researched public death announcements over the past 12 months which named the decedent as a current or former employee of Citigroup or its commercial banking unit, Citibank. We found no data suggesting Citigroup was experiencing the same rash of deaths of young men in their 30s as JPMorgan Chase. Nor did we discover any press reports of leaps from buildings among Citigroup’s workers.

Given the above set of facts, on March 21 of this year, we wrote to the regulator of national banks, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), seeking the following information under the Freedom of Information Act (See OCC Response to Wall Street On Parade’s Request for Banker Death Information):

The number of deaths from 2008 through March 21, 2014 on which JPMorgan Chase collected death benefits; the total face amount of BOLI life insurance in force at JPMorgan; the total number of former and current employees of JPMorgan Chase who are insured under these policies; any peer studies showing the same data comparing JPMorgan Chase with Bank of America, Wells Fargo and Citigroup.

The OCC responded politely by letter dated April 18, after first calling a few days earlier to inform us that we would be getting nothing under the sunshine law request. (On Wall Street, sunshine routinely means dark curtain.) The OCC letter advised that documents relevant to our request were being withheld on the basis that they are “privileged or contains trade secrets, or commercial or financial information, furnished in confidence, that relates to the business, personal, or financial affairs of any person,” or  relate to “a record contained in or related to an examination.”

The ironic reality is that the documents do not pertain to the personal financial affairs of individuals who have a privacy right. Individuals are not going to receive the proceeds of this life insurance for the most part. In many cases, they do not even know that multi-million dollar policies that pay upon their death have been taken out by their employer or former employer. Equally important, JPMorgan is a publicly traded company whose shareholders have a right under securities laws to understand the quality of its earnings – are those earnings coming from traditional banking and investment banking operations or is this ghoulish practice of profiting from the death of workers now a major contributor to profits on Wall Street?

As it turns out, one aspect of the information cavalierly denied to us by the OCC is publicly available to those willing to hunt for it. On March 24 of this year, we reported that JPMorgan Chase held $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its insured depository bank as of December 31, 2013.

We reached out to BOLI expert, Michael D. Myers, to understand what JPMorgan’s $10.4 billion in BOLI assets at its commercial bank might represent in terms of face amount of life insurance on its workers. Myers said: “Without knowing the length of the investment or its rate of return, it is difficult to estimate the face amount of the insurance coverage.  However, a cash value of $10.4 billion could easily translate into more than $100 billion in actual insurance coverage and possibly two or three times that amount” said Myers, a partner in the Houston, Texas law firm McClanahan Myers Espey, L.L.P.

 

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Insurance policies pertaining to bankers’ suicides classified as containing ‘trade secrets’

Published time: April 29, 2014 19:09

AFP Photo / John Moore

AFP Photo / John Moore

After a recent rash of mysterious apparent suicides shook the financial world, researchers are scrambling to find answers about what really is the reason behind these multiple deaths. Some observers have now come to a rather shocking conclusion.

Wall Street on Parade bloggers Pam and Russ Martens wrote this week that something seems awry regarding the bank-owned life insurance (BOLI) policies held by JPMorgan Chase. Traditional life insurance policies ensure that the loved ones of the deceased are compensated fairly in the event of a death, but banks are investing billions in policies that let them receive untaxed payment with the passing of each employee. While it’s not unusual for major banks to take out policies that compensate companies in the event of an employee death, the Martens wrote, attempts to find out more about that practice have been peculiarly hard and have raised a red flag among bloggers like those at Wall Street on Parade.

Four of the biggest banks on Wall Street combined hold over $680 billion in BOLI policies, the bloggers reported, but JPMorgan held around $17.9 billion in BOLI assets at the end of last year to Citigroup’s comparably meager $8.8 billion.

Both banks are global financial institutions with commercial and investment banking operations, the Martens wrote, and each employs close to a quarter-of-a-million employees. Nevertheless, they say that JPMorgan has experienced a far greater rate of suicide among employees in recent months, particularly in the midst of a series of news reports documenting unusual leaps off buildings and other bizarre deaths that have taken the lives of JPMorgan staffers.

 

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DISASTER MANAGEMENT

MH370 search to be most costly ever at $100 mln: analysts


by Staff Writers
Sydney (AFP) April 18, 2014


Malaysia warns of ‘huge’ cost in MH370 search
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) April 17, 2014 – Malaysia warned Thursday that the cost of the search for flight MH370’s wreckage in the vast depths of the Indian Ocean will be “huge”, the latest sobering assessment by authorities involved in the challenging effort.
“When we look at salvaging (wreckage) at a depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), no military out there has the capacity to do it,” Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein told reporters in Kuala Lumpur.”We have to look at contractors, and the cost of that will be huge.”

The search in a remote stretch of ocean far off western Australia was enlivened in the past two weeks by the detection of signals believed to be from the Malaysia Airlines plane’s flight data recorders on the seabed.

But the transmissions have gone silent before they could be pinpointed, raising the spectre of a costly and extensive search of a large swathe of ocean floor at extreme depths.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott of Australia, which is leading the multi-national search, had earlier warned in an interview published Thursday that an autonomous US Navy sonar device that began scanning the seabed for wreckage on Monday would be given one more week.

If nothing is found, authorities would reassess how next to proceed in the unprecedented mission to find the plane, Abbott said in the Wall Street Journal.

The Bluefin-21 completed its first full scanning mission early Thursday.

An initial attempt was aborted when the sub hit its maximum depth at 4.5 kilometres. A second was cut short by unspecified “technical” troubles.

Hishammuddin said he agreed with Abbott, saying “there will come a time when we need to regroup and reconsider”.

“But in any event, the search will always continue. It’s just a matter of approach,” said Hishammuddin, who did not specify what any alternative approach would be.

Australia’s search chief Angus Houston said earlier this week that authorities already were looking at possible alternative methods, including undersea devices that can go deeper than the Bluefin-21, but he also gave no specifics.

The Beijing-bound Malaysia Airlines flight with 239 people aboard inexplicably veered off its Kuala Lumpur-Beijing course on March 8, and is believed to have crashed in the Indian Ocean.

 

The search for missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 is set to be the most expensive in aviation history, analysts say, as efforts to find the aircraft deep under the Indian Ocean show no signs of slowing.

The Boeing 777 vanished on March 8 with 239 people on board, after veering dramatically off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing and is believed to have crashed in the sea off Australia.

Australia, which is leading the search in a remote patch of water described as “unknown to man”, has not put a figure on spending, but Malaysia has warned that costs will be “huge”.

“When we look at salvaging (wreckage) at a depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles), no military out there has the capacity to do it,” Transport and Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein said Thursday.

“We have to look at contractors, and the cost of that will be huge.”

Ravikumar Madavaram, an aviation expert at Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific, said Malaysia, Australia and China, which had the most nationals onboard the flight, were the biggest spenders and estimated the total cost up to now at about US$100 million (72 million euros).

“It’s difficult to say how much is the cost of this operation … but, yes, this is definitely the biggest operation ever (in aviation history).

“In terms of costs this would be the highest,” he told AFP.

- Hopes rest on submersible -

In the first month of the search — in which the South China Sea and Malacca Strait were also scoured by the US, Malaysia, Singapore and Vietnam — the Pentagon said the United States military had committed US$7.3 million to efforts to find the plane.

Meanwhile the Indian Ocean search, in which assets have also been deployed by Australia, Britain, China, South Korea, Japan and New Zealand, has failed to find anything conclusive.

Hopes rest on a torpedo-shaped US Navy submersible, which is searching the ocean floor at depths of more than 4,500 metres (15,000 feet) in the vicinity of where four signals believed to have come from black box recorders were detected.

David Gleave, an aviation safety researcher at Britain’s Loughborough University, said the costs “will be of the order of a hundred million dollars by the time we’re finished, if we have found it (the plane) now”.

But he said the longer it took to find any wreckage, the more costs would mount because scanning the vast ocean floor “will take a lot of money because you can only search about 50 square kilometres (19 square miles) a day”.

 

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WATER WORLD

Sub dives deeper in hunt for missing MH370


by Staff Writers
Perth, Australia (AFP) April 18, 2014

The mini-sub searching for missing flight MH370 has reached record depths well beyond its normal operating limits, officials said Friday as it dived on its fifth seabed mission.

With no results to show since the Boeing 777 carrying 239 people disappeared on March 8, Australia’s Prime Minister Tony Abbott has set a one-week deadline to locate the plane which is believed to have crashed in a remote area of the Indian Ocean west of Perth.

Searchers have extended the hunt beyond the normal 4,500 metre (15,000 feet) depth range of the US Navy’s Autonomous Underwater Vehicle (AUV) called Bluefin-21.

“The AUV reached a record depth of 4,695 meters during mission four,” the US Navy said. “This is the first time the Bluefin-21 has descended to this depth.

“Diving to such depths does carry with it some residual risk to the equipment and this is being carefully monitored,” a statement said.

Australia’s Joint Agency Coordination Centre (JACC) announced that the mini-sub had been deployed on a new mission as operations run round the clock.

“Data analysis from the fourth mission did not provide any contacts of interest,” it added.

The unmanned Bluefin-21 which maps the seafloor by sonar, has searched 110 square kilometres (43 square miles) to date, JACC said.

The UAV, which hit a technical snag on Tuesday had also re-surfaced Monday after breaching a pre-programmed maximum depth of 4.5 kilometres (2.8 miles).

JACC said Thursday night that the US manufacturer of the UAV, Phoenix International, had advised the risk was “acceptable”.

“This expansion of the operating parameters allows the Bluefin-21 to search the sea floor within the predicted limits of the current search area,” it said.

The Malaysia Airlines jet is believed to have crashed in the ocean after mysteriously vanishing while en route between Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

Hopes for finding the plane have focused on the Bluefin-21 after signals believed to be from the plane’s flight data recorders on the seabed fell silent in recent days.

The submersible is being deployed from an Australian vessel to scan an uncharted seafloor at extreme depths, but Abbott said the Bluefin-21 would be given about a week as questions are asked about the massive costs.

 

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The Australian

Dismayed families of missing MH370 passengers have vowed to ‘get noisier’

Malaysia to issue death certificates in missing plane

http://cdn.newsapi.com.au/image/v1/external?url=http://content6.video.news.com.au/FxNzJibTpfUWDOML1T4JUliRzjZY81g9/promo222290599&width=650&api_key=kq7wnrk4eun47vz9c5xuj3mc

The Malaysian government prepares to issue death certificates for passengers of missing flight MH370 but some families cling to the hope their loved ones are alive. Mana Rabiee reports.

Shock … relatives of the missing MH370 passengers at the Metro Park Hotel in Beijing on April 21, 2014. Picture: Wang Zhao Source: AFP

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FAMILY members of passengers lost on missing Malaysia Airlines 370 have criticised the Malaysian government for an investigation they say has been mismanaged.

Appearing on US morning television, Sarah Bajc, the girlfriend of Flight 370 American passenger Philip Wood, told Today host Matt Lauer passengers’ loved ones all just “wanted to go back to square one”.

“We just don’t believe they’re using proper evaluative techniques to check the data,” she said. “It’s day 45 and we’re basically on the same position we were on on the first day.”

We don’t know anything for sure,” she said. “We want to go back and start over again, but with new people looking at the information.”

Ms Bajc sent an email to the media, on behalf of “the united families of MH370”, detailing their complaints and concerns.

 

Despair ... Sarah Bajc with her boyfriend Philip Wood, who was a passenger on missing Mal

Despair … Sarah Bajc with her boyfriend Philip Wood, who was a passenger on missing Malaysian flight MH370. Picture: Facebook Source: Supplied

 

Among their grievances is the suggestion by the government it issues death certificates or pay compensation before the plane is found.

“Until they have proof, they have an obligation to make regular prepayments to the families in need, and they have an obligation to exert themselves beyond dozing and snickering in resolving this case,” the email says.

The families say they are gaining strength and prepared to get noisier in their criticisms. The letter signs of “WE ARE IN UTTER OUTRAGE, DESPAIR AND SHOCK!”

The Acting Minister of Transport in Malaysia has posted a comment to Twitter that he hopes to discuss with Angus Houston the status of the remaining third of the search area being combed by the Bluefin-21 unmanned submersible.

 

 

 

DETAILS OF TODAY’S SEARCH

Bluefin-21 is still scouring the ocean depths on its ninth mission trying to locate wreckage from MH370.

So far it has searched about two thirds of the underwater area, with no contacts of interest found to date.

Up to 10 military aircraft and 10 ships will be part of today’s visual search approximately 1500 kilometres north west of Perth.

Scattered showers are predicted to continue with south easterly winds and sea swells of up to three metres.

 

 

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AEROSPACE

 


by Staff Writers
Kuala Lumpur (AFP) April 18, 2014

Malaysia and Australia will sign a deal specifying who handles any wreckage from missing flight MH370 that may be recovered, including the crucial “black box” flight data recorders, local media reported Friday.

Malaysia is drafting the agreement “to safeguard both nations from any legal pitfalls that may surface during that (recovery) phase,” the New Straits Times reported.

The government hopes the deal can be finalised soon and endorsed in a Cabinet meeting next week. Canberra is studying the memorandum of understanding, it said.

“The MoU spells out exactly who does what and the areas of responsibility,” civil aviation chief Azharuddin Abdul Rahman was quoted as saying.

Azharuddin added that Malaysia would lead most of the investigation, with Australia and others helping. Details of the MoU will not be made public, the report said.

Azharuddin and other officials could not immediately be reached by AFP.

The Malaysia Airlines flight carrying 239 people inexplicably veered off course en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8 and is believed to have crashed in the southern Indian Ocean far off western Australia.

But a massive international search has failed to turn up any wreckage so far.

 

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Chinese official ‘kills himself’ in latest Communist party suicide mystery

Chinese communist party flag

A Chinese communist party flag is held by soldiers. Photograph: China Newsphoto/Reuters

A senior Chinese official has killed himself in his Beijing office, according to reports – the latest mysterious suicide of a ruling Communist party cadre.

Xu Ye’an, 58, was deputy chief of China‘s state bureau for letters and calls – the agency that fields grievances from citizens over injustices or disputes.

According to the respected magazine Caixin, Xu was discovered to have killed himself in his office on Tuesday, although the details surrounding his death remain unclear.

“It is learned that Xu was not in good health lately and was suffering from tinnitus over the past few months,” Caixin reported, citing a person close to the bureau for letters and calls. “He was always in a bad mood.”

 

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Protesters descend on Albuquerque City Hall to decry deadly shootings

Published time: April 08, 2014 03:59

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Downtown Albuquerque (Photo from wikipedia.org)

Protesters filled Albuquerque City Hall on Monday evening, forcing the city council to clear its legislative agenda and turn the podium over to citizens furious with police over a spiking number of fatal shootings.

City Council President Ken Sanchez told the Albuquerque Journal that more police officers would be assigned to make sure the meeting was peaceful, and that the meeting would be adjourned if tempers flared, but said the council is mulling legislation that would create more oversight over the department.

We need to make some dramatic changes,” he said. “We’re confronting a crisis situation at this time.”

Tension have been building between police and the public for years. Wynema and Michael Gonzagowski told Cindy Carcamo of the Los Angeles Times that, upon moving to Albuquerque, friends warned them to avoid the police. They did not take those warnings seriously until they watched police fatally shoot their neighbor, Alfred Lionel Redwine on March 25.

I’ve never been scared of crops, but out here, the cops terrify me,” said Michael, age 39. “They treat you like you’re out looking to cause trouble every time they talk to you.”

Chief Eden said in a press conference that Redwine brandished a weapon and shot at police during a standoff at a public housing complex, forcing the officers to return fire. Wynemda Gonzagowski disagreed, telling the Times that Redwine had surrendered to police with his arms out when he was hit.

They didn’t warn him, they didn’t tell him to freeze and get on the ground or to put his hand behind his hand,” she said.

 

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The soldier behind Wednesday’s deadly shooting at Fort Hood was being evaluated for post-traumatic stress disorder, and had seen no combat while deployed in Iraq three years ago.

Also, the shooter bought his gun from the same place the 2009 Fort Hood shooter got his weapon.

Army officials Thursday afternoon identified the killer as Spc. Ivan Lopez, 34, a Puerto Rican father of three who authorities say had no record of misbehavior. Wednesday’s tragedy at the Texas Army base left four people dead, including the gunman, and 16 injured.

“We have very strong evidence that he had a medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric or psychological condition,” Lt. Gen. Mark Milley, head of the Army’s III Corps at Fort Hood, said of Lopez. “There was no indication that he was targeting specific people.”

Milley hinted at a motive for the shooting. “There may have been a verbal altercation with another soldier or soldiers,” he said. “There is a strong possibility that that immediately preceded the shooting.”

MORE: Alleged shooter was not required to register weapon

STORY: Tragedy again touches Fort Hood community

STORY: Military plays catch-up on PTSD

STORY: 4 dead, 16 wounded in Fort Hood attack

MORE: Fort Hood shooting comes less than 5 years after earlier attack

MORE: ’09 shooting led to Pentagon review of base security

Lopez purchased his gun on March 1.

Last year, Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan was convicted and sentenced to death in the Nov. 5, 2009, attack at Fort Hood on his fellow soldiers as they waited inside a crowded building on the base. Thirteen died and more than 30 were wounded, and it remains the deadliest attack on a domestic military installation in U.S. history.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives on Wednesday night traced the gun used in Wednesday’s attack to a local gun shop, said a federal law enforcement official not authorized to comment publicly. The official confirmed that the gun had been purchased at Guns Galore, the same shop that sold a weapon to Hasan.

Lopez enlisted in the Army in June 2008 and served four months in Iraq as a truck driver.

“His records show no wounds, no involvement — direct involvement — in combat,” said Army Secretary John McHugh, the U.S. Army’s top civilian official. “As Gen. Milley said, no record of Purple Heart or any injury that might lead us to further investigate a battle-related TBI (traumatic brain injury) or such.”

Milley said Lopez had “self-diagnosed” a traumatic brain injury. “He was not wounded in action,” Milley said.

On Thursday, McHugh said the suspected shooter had two deployments, including the one in Iraq. Lopez enlisted as an infantryman and later switched his specialty to truck driver.

Lopez, who was on a variety of prescribed drugs including Ambien, had not yet been diagnosed for post-traumatic stress disorder. But he was also undergoing treatment for depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and a variety of other issues, McHugh said.

“He was seen just last month by a psychiatrist,” McHugh said Thursday. “He was fully examined. And as of this morning, we had no indication on the record of that examination that there was any sign of likely violence, either to himself or to others. No suicidal ideation.”

Out of respect for Lopez’s family and the integrity of the investigation, Milley said he would not release any more details about the soldier’s medical status. He did add that it was too early to tell if Lopez received adequate mental health treatment.

 

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Soldier’s ‘Courageous Act’ Remembered as Fort Hood Begins Healing

 

Image: Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, of Florida, who served as a transportation supervisor and had been deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, is pictured in this undated handout Fort Hood Public Affairs Office via Reuters

Sergeant First Class Daniel Ferguson, 39, of Florida, who served as a transportation supervisor and had been deployed to Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan, is pictured in this undated handout from Fort Hood Public Affairs Office. Ferguson was one of three victims killed at the shooting at Fort Hood.

 

In a final heroic act, Sgt. 1st Class Daniel Ferguson threw his body against the entryway of a door as a fellow soldier-turned-gunman blasted away in a terrifying rampage at Fort Hood.

Ferguson, 39, was fatally hit in the moment he became a human shield — a sacrifice remembered in a news conference Saturday.

Ferguson’s “courageous act of blocking the door with his own body prevented further bloodshed,” said Rep. Roger Williams, R-Texas.

Also killed in Wednesday’s shooting were Sgt. Timothy Owens, 37, and Staff Sgt. Carlos Lazaney-Rodriguez, 38. Sixteen others were wounded. Gunman Spc. Ivan Lopez died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, officials said.

Rep. Williams, along with Rep. John Carter, R-Texas, met some of the wounded soldiers Saturday, and commended them on their valor. Among the victims was Maj. Patrick Miller, who was shot in the stomach with Lopez’s .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol.

Miller had called 911 as he tended to his own wounds.

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Slain Fort Hood counselor found his calling in Army

Courtesy of Mary Muntean – Timothy Wayne Owens, with his mother, Mary Muntean, at his wedding in August 2013.

 

Timothy Wayne Owens, a counselor at Fort Hood, was known to friends as a stand-up guy who triumphed over a hardscrabble upbringing to become an empathetic military man, one who helped people and defused conflicts.

So, it was no surprise to residents in his home town of Effingham, Ill., to hear that Owens lost his life trying to calm the shooter in Wednesday’s Fort Hood killings.

“He was a brave man,” said Owens’s mother, Mary Muntean, 77, who said she learned that her son had been killed as he tried to talk with Ivan Lopez, who has been identified as the man who killed three people and injured 16 in the shooting on the Army post.

Muntean said she received a call at her Effingham home from her son’s wife, Billy Owens, on Wednesday evening telling her that he had been shot five times after trying to calm Lopez in a post parking lot. Military officials have not released the names of those killed or injured or confirmed reports of how the violence unfolded. But friends of Owens said the account provided by his family fits the man they knew.

 

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Sgt. Timothy Owens was killed Wednesday night. Credit Courtesy of Glen Welton, via Associated Press

NYT Now

The names of the victims of the shooting in Fort Hood began to come out on Thursday, released by relatives and by officials offering their condolences.

In Effingham, Ill., family members told The Associated Press that Army Sgt. Timothy Owens was one of the three soldiers killed Wednesday in a mass shooting by Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez. Sixteen others were wounded in the shooting. The Army has not released a list of the victims, pending notification of relatives.

The mother of Sergeant Owens, Mary Muntean, 77, of Effingham, told The Associated Press that she had learned of her son’s death in a telephone call with her daughter-in-law.

Unable to reach her son, she called his wife, Billie Owens, who first said he was in the hospital. Before long, Sergeant Owens’s wife called back, and Mrs. Muntean had her worst fears confirmed. “She said, ‘Mom, I want to tell you how sorry I am. Tim’s gone,’ ” Mrs. Muntean said, according to The A.P. “I broke down.”

Sergeant Owens dropped out of high school in 1995. But his mother said he earned his high school equivalency after joining the Army in 2004.

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Maj. Patrick Miller was wounded in the shootings.

A friend and former roommate, Paul Eatherton, said Sergeant Owens, whose family moved back to Effingham from Missouri in the mid-1990s, worked at Pizza Hut and studied tae kwon do at a local gym. Mr. Eatherton, a martial arts instructor at the time, said Sergeant Owens got his black belt and started teaching at a gym in Effingham.

“He was the best student I’d ever seen or known,” Mr. Eatherton said. “We’d go to tournaments, and he’d bring first places home every time.”

He said Sergeant Owens, who was in his mid-30s, had recently signed up for another six years in the Army. “I think he was going to be a lifer,” he said. He said he had not talked to Sergeant Owens for several months, but when he heard news of the shooting, he texted him immediately. He got no reply. “That really worried me,” he said.

The commander of Fort Hood, Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, said in an afternoon news conference, that nine of the 16 people wounded in the attack were taken to Scott & White Memorial Hospital in nearby Temple, Tex., for treatment. Three were upgraded to serious condition on Thursday. Hospital officials said doctors had operated on two patients, a man and a woman, who had been shot in the abdomen and neck. The third person had an abdominal wound. The other victims taken there were discharged.

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Specialist Ivan Lopez served in Iraq but did not see combat.

Specialist Ivan Antonio Lopez had seen a military psychiatrist as recently as last month. He was being treated for depression and anxiety, and had been prescribed Ambien to help him sleep. He had come back from a four-month deployment to Iraq in 2011 and told superiors he had suffered a traumatic head injury there. But military officials said he had never seen combat, and there was no record of any combat-related injury. He was being evaluated for possible post-traumatic stress disorder.

Still, military officials said, they had seen nothing to indicate that Specialist Lopez, 34 — who killed three people and himself and wounded 16 others on Wednesday in a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Tex. — was violent or suicidal.

“He had a clean record,” Secretary of the Army John McHugh said Thursday morning in testimony before a Senate panel in Washington. “No outstanding bad marks for any kinds of major misbehaviors that we’re yet aware of.”

Lt. Gen. Mark A. Milley, the Fort Hood commander, said Thursday at a news conference that there were “very strong indications” that there had been a “verbal altercation” between Specialist Lopez and one or more other soldiers in the minutes before the shooting started, but the authorities were still investigating what role, if any, that played in the attack.

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Before joining the Army, Specialist Lopez was in the Puerto Rico National Guard. Credit Puerto Rico National Guard, via Reuters

“We have very strong evidence looking into his medical history that indicated an unstable psychiatric condition,” General Milley said.

Friends from his hometown in Puerto Rico said that Specialist Lopez was angry with the Army when he returned home for his mother’s funeral in November. Ismael Gonzalez, a former schoolmate who had kept in contact with Specialist Lopez on Facebook, said the soldier was very upset that he had initially been given only 24 hours to attend the funeral.

In addition, Mr. Gonzalez said, Specialist Lopez, who was earning $28,000 a year, told him that he was “in a precarious economic situation” trying to support his family in Texas and two children in Puerto Rico from his first marriage. And he was angry that the Army would not allow him to move his family onto the base at Fort Hood, Mr. Gonzalez said.

None of this had found its way into Specialist Lopez’s official record, though.

“This was an experienced soldier,” said Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, the Army’s chief of staff. “He spent actually nine years in the Puerto Rico National Guard before coming on active duty, so he’s a very experienced soldier.”

Those who knew Specialist Lopez as a young man, obsessed with the high school band, were even more stunned to learn what he was suspected of doing.

“I cannot believe you are speaking about the same guy,” said Sgt. Maj. Nelson Bigas, one of Specialist Lopez’s superiors in the National Guard. “He was the most responsible, obedient, humble person, and one of the most skillful guys on the line.”

For a year beginning in 2006, Specialist Lopez was deployed with his guard unit on the Sinai Peninsula, watching the border between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.

But, the authorities say, it was Specialist Lopez who went into Guns Galore in Killeen, Tex., near Fort Hood on March 1 and bought the .45-caliber Smith & Wesson semiautomatic pistol that was used in the shootings on Wednesday.

It was the same gun store where Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army major, had bought at least one of the weapons used in a 2009 mass shooting on the base.

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Specialist Lopez in an image from Facebook.

So information was emerging slowly on Thursday about Mr. Lopez. He was raised in the small fishing village of Guayanilla on the southern coast of Puerto Rico, about an hour and a half from San Juan. While there, he attended the School of Asunción Rodríguez de Sala, where he was active in the band and an enthusiastic drummer.

In 1999, he joined the National Guard, where he also played in the band. Later, he joined the Puerto Rico Police Department and became a member of its band. Officials said his record with the force was clean, with no disciplinary or behavioral problems.

His main job for the police was visiting schools and hospitals around Puerto Rico to give demonstrations on his percussion instruments. After he finished, other police officers would speak to the students or patients about gun violence, drugs and bullying, said Jeann Correa, the director of the unit for which he worked. His pay was $2,400 a month.

In 2010, getting a special leave from the police force, he shifted into the Army as a private first class and was quickly promoted to specialist and stationed with the First Armored Division at Fort Bliss in El Paso, Tex. He was an infantryman there but his military record shows that in November, because of a medical condition identified as plantar fasciitis, a painful foot ailment, he moved to Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri, where he trained to become a truck driver. In February, he was posted to Fort Hood in that capacity.

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Keep calm and kill a banker
Courtesy of keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

Kenneth Schortgen Jr

February 5, 2014

Within the past few weeks, at least three high level bankers and one financial journalist have either died due to mysterious circumstances that officials have quickly labeled as ‘suicides’, or disappeared without a trace. With little information to go on from most public sources, several outside investigators have questioned the timing and reasons why these individuals have suddenly died, or been killed off, and are continuing to seek answers.

However, on Feb. 5, an insider and former head trader for a top banking firm issued a warning that new information is out which shows that ‘hit squads’ have been made active in the Wall Street area, and that a high level banker tied to recent investigations into Forex manipulation, along with up to three dozen others involved in scandals, are being targeted for potential assassination in light of their viability as witnesses and whistle blowers to federal and financial regulators.

Word on the “street” watch for a top level American bankster to expire. Hit teams are fully operational in Wall Street. (REDACTED) HIGHLY VISIBLE POWER BROKER- co-ordinating. Speak to you soon. Please post this to warn sheep. V-UPDATE 9:24 AM MOUNTAIN-NEXT ON THE HIT LIST CITI EXECUTIVE TIED IN WITH FOREX FRAUD -HIT LIST HAS 3 DOZEN MORE NAMES-DESPERATE TIMES REQUIRE DESPERATE MEASURES IN THE WORLD OF MONETARY CONTROL! JPM can’t hold yellow metal shorts on notional gold. LIBOR and derivative hits continue as bankster suddenly commit “suicide”. 43 are on the knock off list and counting. The shock waves of this and many other scandals are creating turmoil everywhere. – V, Guerrilla Economist, Q Alerts

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Jon Corzine
Courtesy of usapartisan.com/

March 13, 2014

On March 13, the son of Jon Corzine was found dead in Mexico City of an apparent suicide. Jon Corzine was the former CEO of Goldman Sachs, head of MF Global, and Governor of New Jersey, as well as being a long time campaign financier for President Barack Obama.

The son of former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine killed himself in a Mexico City hotel, sources told The Post on Thursday.

Jeffrey Corzine, 31, was the youngest of Corzine’s three children with ex-wife and childhood sweetheart Joanne Corzine.. – NY Post

While little is known about the circumstances behind Jeffrey Corzine’s alleged suicide, his death comes on the heels of at least eight unusual banker deaths, many of which were also labeled as suicides despite the near impossibility of one of them being attributed to suicide by nail gun.

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‘He made the tragic decision to take his own life': Youngest son of former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine commits suicide in Mexico City hotel

  • Jeffrey Corzine took his own life ‘several days ago’ in Mexico City hotel
  • His family traced him through his credit card
  • Had battled addiction through his teens and twenties
  • Jeffrey, 31, was thought to be working as a drug counselor in California
  • He was the youngest of Corzine’s three children with his first wife
  • Corzine’s successor Chris Christie issued a statement of his condolences, calling the death ‘unthinkable’

 

By Meghan Keneally

 

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Former New Jersey Governor Jon Corzine’s 31-year-old son, Jeffrey, – who struggled with drug and alcohol addiction – committed suicide at a Mexico City hotel this week, a person familiar with the matter said on Thursday.

Jeffrey Corzine had been living in Malibu, California, and was an aspiring photographer, said the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity and could not name the hotel.

Corzine family spokesman Steven Goldberg confirmed Jeffrey Corzine’s death in a written statement.

 

Jeffrey Corzine is seen at his father's side (right) when he was elected to be the governor of New Jersey in November 2005. His brother, Josh, is also pictured raising his father's hand in victory (left).

Jeffrey Corzine is seen at his father’s side (right) when he was elected to be the governor of New Jersey in November 2005. His brother, Josh, is also pictured raising his father’s hand in victory (left).

 

Young: Jeffrey, who was known to friend as 'Jeff', was the youngest of three siblings

Young: Jeffrey, who was known to friend as ‘Jeff’, was the youngest of three siblings

Discovered: The US Embassy in Mexico City confirmed that Jeffrey Corzine was found dead in a Mexico City hotel 'several days' ago

Discovered: The US Embassy in Mexico City confirmed that Jeffrey Corzine was found dead in a Mexico City hotel ‘several days’ ago

 

‘The sad fact is that Jeffrey Corzine had been suffering from severe depression for several years and recently had been receiving treatment for what is a very painful and debilitating physical and mental ailment,’ Goldberg said.

‘On Tuesday morning, he succumbed to his disease and made the tragic decision to take his own life.’

The family is planning a small, private memorial for Jeffrey, Goldberg said.

 ‘Among many things, the Corzine family hopes Jeffrey will be remembered for his dedication to helping others overcome their struggles with depression and addiction, something to which he had been devoted for the past 10 years,’ he said.

Corzine, who was described by family friends as a ‘lost’ soul, was discovered dead in Mexico City ‘several days’ ago after failing to reply to messages from loved ones.

His friends and family tracked down his whereabouts to his hotel by following his credit card trail.

 

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Susan Duclos

 

Published on Mar 12, 2014

Article associated with this video at http://b4in.info/hVKo

This brings us to 8 or 9 top level bankers, 20 low level according to sources, then the CEO of a Bitcoin currency exchange First Meta Pte Ltd, and now yet another financial industry death.

Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, jumped in front of an LIRR train at 6 a.m. near the Syosset train station

 

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Trader kills self in finance world’s latest suicide

 

 

 

A Manhattan trader was killed Tuesday morning by a speeding Long Island Rail Road commuter train, marking at least the seventh suicide of a financial professional this year.

 

Edmund (Eddie) Reilly, 47, a trader at Midtown’s Vertical Group, jumped in front of an LIRR train at 6 a.m. near the Syosset train station.

 

He was declared dead at the scene.

 

Reilly’s identity was confirmed by Salvatore Arena, an LIRR spokesperson, who said an investigation into the incident was continuing.

 

Passengers on the west-bound express train told MTA investigators they saw a man standing by the tracks before he jumped in front of the train, Arena said.

 

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Business Insider

REPORT: An NYC-Based Trader Committed Suicide Tuesday Morning

 

 

A New York-based trader committed suicide by jumping in front of a train, the New York Post reports. 

The trader was 47-year-old Edmund “Eddie” Charles Reilly, the report said.

He worked for Midtown-based boutique investment bank The Vertical Group.

 

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