St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri on September 14, 1991 · Page 7
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch from St. Louis, Missouri · Page 7

St. Louis, Missouri
Issue Date:
Saturday, September 14, 1991
Page 7
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ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 14, 1991 V 13 SEP 14 W9f Mother Arrested In Death Of Sons r 8A ILLINOIS ... ft 7 t f -V . ' r. r. Wayne CrosslinPost-Dispatch ABOVE: Part of the crowd that gathered Friday for the press conference on crack houses. Among the onlookers is Otis Woodard ; (right), a community activist who operates programs for the poor. BELOW: U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Higgins (foreground) and St. ; Louis Mayor Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr. at a press conference called Friday to announce the closing of five reputed crack houses. Seizures j From page one in which city and federal authorities i can "take our neighborhoods back ! from drug dealers." "There is not going to be a sate corner in St. Louis to deal dniP'-, ! Schoemehl said. "St Louis is- ji J it. We're taking our strt 1 City and federal orncials at the ! house, near Fairground Park, ap- , plauded. Most of the 50 or so neighbor- hood residents who had gathered ! there stood quietly. Police Chief Clarence Harmon then stepped up to the microphone and told the crowd: "We're getting tough, folks. "See what's happening." U.S. Attorney Stephen B. Higgins said he planned for such seizures to be , more than a gimmick. He said he had worked on the program for a year and v hoped to persuade the Justice Depart-,' ment to make St. Louis a pilot project in which drug houses seized by the government would become the homes of good citizens. "We hope this is the start of an ongoing program," Higgins said. "If the program ended with the seizure of these five houses, it would be little 1 more than a publicity stunt." Police made no arrests Friday. Hig-1 gins said the effort was to get the - houses away from drug dealers, rath-, er than put people in jail. Suits were filed Friday in U.S. District Court to seize the house on Pleasant and residences at 5854-56 Terry Avenue, 4121 West Penrose Street, 1636 Helen Avenue and 2853 Belt Avenue. In at least two of the houses, police suspect tenants, rather than the owners of the house, of drug dealing. Owners who are not suspected of dealing drugs are protected if they can show that they were unaware of "the drug dealing, said Raymond Meyer, an assistant U.S. attorney. - Authorities said police raided the .-house on Pleasant in March and found (", crack, a potent form of cocaine, hid-' den in video games in the basement. Families Of Homicide Victims Protest Rising Rate By Ann Scales Cobbs " Of the Post-Dispatch Staff Some relatives of murder victims in 'St. Louis have joined together to call attention to the city's rising homicide " toll and the toll it has taken on them. Formation of the group, called FLAME, was announced Friday by the Rev. Larry Rice bf the New Life Evangelistic Center at a news conference there. The acronym stands for Families Launched Against Murder Extensively. Rice, who" was joined by about a dozen relatives of murder victims in St. Louis this year, said the group 2 On Fugitives List Are Apprehended Two men on the list of 10 Most Wanted Fugitives in St. Louis and St. Louis County have been arrested, officials said Friday. Norman Dale Voyles, who is charged with nine counts of selling unregistered securities, was captured Friday at a doughnut shop in Florida, police said. Mike Mcintosh, of the St. Louis County police intelligence unit, and FBI agent Dave Miller got a tip early last month that led to Voyles' arrest. He was being held in the Seminole County Jail in Sanford, Fla., awaiting extradition to St. Louis County. Voyles, 52, who formerly lived in the 1000 block of Darwick Court in St. Louis, is accused of getting more than $78,000 from financial scams. The second fugitive is Donald James Moore, who is wanted for drug violations and a parole violation, police said. His last known address was in the 3700 block of Kossuth Avenue near Fairground Park. St. Louis Intelligence Detective Robert Stewart and Jeff Graue of the U.S. Marshal's office arrested Moore as he got out of a car Thursday afternoon in the 5200 block of Page Boulevard. Moore has eluded authorities since April 1988, police said. r't . ;r::vA iVS -v x-SB&i-r- toy" $ . :ri. y-T IV" M M. layor Vincent C. Schoemehl Jr. called drug dealers and their accomplices human roaches. r, , , j . said police had evidence of 1 9 drug deals in the 4200 block of Pleasant in the last two years. Drug raids were carried out recently at the other residences, authorities said. In a statement, Schoemehl said: "Drug dealers and their accomplices are human roaches. We're going to chase them out of the places they hide, period." Under the city and federal plan, . called Operation Crackdown, drug houses seized through the federal asset forfeiture program could wind up in the hands of the city's ConServ office. That office could make the residences available to neighborhood organizations or individuals. Higgins said the details of the program had yet to be decided. In forfeiture cases now, drug houses typically become the property of the U.S. Marshal, who sells them to the highest bidder. In some cases, the buyers are the drug dealers who lived in the houses previously. Meyer, the assistant U.S. attorney who filed the forfeiture suits Friday, said the residents could stay, for now. But the owners will be on notice that signs of drug dealing will mean immediate evictions. As the officials, police cars and news crews left the neighborhood, Mary Doyle drove up to Eliot School, a block from the house on Pleasant. While waiting to pick up her two granddaughters from school, she said police should "just bust all these houses that are selling drugs." But she said seizing houses could be carried too far. "You shouldn't be able to take the home if the owner is innocent," she said. "A lot of people don't know what's going on in their houses." wulpepper, who is black, questioned how police were able to find suspects within days of the murder of Robert Gremmelsbacher, a white. would meet for lunch every Friday to express their grief. He said some members would participate in demonstrations to call attention to the homicide rate and the city's response to it. Jeanette Culpepper said her son's murder left her with the impression that police officials failed to investi COMPLETE WICKER LINE 40 OFF MFG. LIST LIFETIME FURNITURE WITH ROMANTIC STYLING. COMPLETE LINE OF UPHOLSTERY, BEDROOM. DINING ROOM. OCCASIONAL AND ACCESSORIES. ALL 40 OFF. PENNSYLVANIA HOUSE 15424 MANCHESTER RD. ELLISVILLE 394-3005 rS O? i i, , L - i ? - f c t s: y .''VA'.''V . fill l gate cases involving black murder victims as thoroughly as they did those of white murder victims. Her son, Curtis W. Johnson, 22, was fatally shot in the back on May 31. Culpepper said: "It was three weeks before I saw a detective. The detectives are as nice as they can be, but 1 SOLID ASH DINETTES. ALL WITH MATCHING BUFFETS AND CHINAS. CHOOSE YOUR OWN LEG STYLE IN NATURAL STAIN OR CONTRY COLORS. NOW 30 OFF 4l v 1 - -" " TiniiMriiMii iirinn --nil miri, 1. win?! ii , . Distinctive Furnishings Since 1894 i i 1 HI XVT w,J i t : ' i - m 'A they say they are swamped." No one has been charged, she said. Culpepper, who is black, questioned how police were able to find suspects within days of the murder of Robert Gremmelsbacher, a white, who was shot last Friday on his way to a church fish fry. "I want the same justice for my son," she said. Capt. Robert J. Bauman, commander of the Homicide Unit, responded, "Each murder case is investigated to the hilt. It's the media that decides which are the banner headline cases. We treat all of them equally and fairly." 3 ATHOL CHOOSE FROM 6 STYLES CAMEL BACK SOFAS IN YOUR CHOICE OF HANDSOME FABRICS. PRICED AT 59900 699 89900 GROVER COUNTRY STORE 16966 MANCHESTER RD. GROVER 458-0650 1 x By Bill Bryan Of th Pott-Dispatch Staff (1991, Si Louit Poit-Ditpatch Nearly three years after the mysterious death of David Boehm, 2, and two years after his brother, Sceven, 4, also was found lifeless in his family's apartment, their mother has been charged with murdering both boys. In a third charge, the mother, Ellen Boehm, 31, is accused of trying to electrocute her daughter, then 8, by dropping an electric hair dryer into a bathtub while the girl was bathing. The girl escaped serious Injury. Boehm was charged this week with two counts of first-degree murder and one count of first degree assault in a suppressed indictment issued by the St. Louis Circuit Court grand jury. Boehm was arrested late Friday afternoon as she left Arthur Andersen & Co. consultants, at 1010 Market Street, where she has worked for about five years as a word processor. She was brought to police headquarters to be booked and questioned. Authorities accuse Boehm of smothering Steven and trying to murder her daughter after purchasing a total of $92,000 in life insurance on each of the two children. Three policies were purchased within five weeks before both Steven's death and the bathtub incident. . The police investigation into Boehm ended more than a year ago, but the filing of charges has taken until now because of the difficulty in proving medically that a murder had taken place. "Sometimes the effects of smothering will show up in an autopsy, sometimes it won't," said Dr. Michael Graham, the St. Louis medical examiner. "There are ways that a small child can be killed and the cause not show up in scientific tests." Graham consulted eight leading forensic pathologists across the country Drugs From page one Missouri attorney general's office. "It hasn't even been an issue," Morris said. He said the Missouri attorney general's jurisdiction in criminal cases was limited to dealing with appeals; the office is involved at the trial level only if appointed as a special prosecutor. Before a statewide grand jury could be impaneled in Illinois, it would have to be deemed necessary by a circuit judge appointed by the chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Moreover, Burris said that local state's attorneys must approve before a statewide grand jury could operate within their counties. Burris said he would designate a team of prosecutors in his office to pursue drug cases in cooperation with the State Police and with local prosecutors. Money and property seized by the attorney general's office in the course of drug investigations would be shared with counties to help them offset the cost of prosecutions and to help finance local drug education programs. Those indicted by statewide grand juries would be prosecuted by the attorney general's office, but counties would pick up the tab for the cost of trials. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, which will give Burris time to figure out how to pay for his expanded responsibilities. The attorney general's office recently laid off workers and closed some regional office because of budget shortfalls. Ernie Slottag, a spokesman for Burris, said the office might start saying "no" to counties that requested help with prosecutions of crimes unrelated SOLID OAK - MADE IN AMERICA 5 YR 50,000 MEAL WARRANTY ON TABLES 42 or 48W to 1 1 0L 10 YR. WARRANTY ON CHAIRS EXCLUSIVE SUPER BARTOP FINISH EXCLUSIVE SUPER BARTOP FINISH QDI in pi tfiimL fey .TABLE 5 YEAR WARRANTY 36--104'- 46" TABLE 6 i1 ONY$349 MADE IN AMERICA f OAK ENTERTAINMENT CENTERS STEREO TAPES VHS STORAGE LARGE SELECTION 15 OFF 9 CHAIR SALE! LIGHT OR DARK FROM $72 HUNDREDS IN STOCK NEW ANTIQUES, inc. AFFORDABLE FINE OAK FURNITURE AMPLE FREE PARKING NO INTEREST FINANCING LAYAWAY VISA MC DISC. i rtr 'I 4 Ellen K. Boehm Accused of murder ; , before ruling that the boys' deaths were homicides. The deaths, and the alleged murder attempt, took place between November 1988 and September 1989 while the family lived in the Riverbend Apartments at 4720 South Broadway. Boehm and her daughter, now 10, live in south St. Louis County. Police said Boehm talked about the Paula Sims case with co-workers at Arthur Andersen, suggesting that Sims killed her two daughters for their life insurance benefits. In reality, life insurance was never presented as a motive in the deaths of Sims' daughters. Sims is serving a life sentence for first-degree murder in the death of her 6-week-old daughter, and she also pleaded "no contest" for concealing a homicide in the death of a second daughter, who was 13 days old. to drug trafficking so it can "gear up" for drug investigations. Edgar's signature on the legislation Friday ended nearly two decades of partisan bickering over the expanded power, which was first proposed in the 1970s by then-Attorney General William Scott I . . Since then, attorneys general of both political parties have asked the Legislature to approve statewide grand juries, arguing that they , are essential to a successful anti-crime campaign. But opponents, usually from the party opposite the incumbent attorney general, have claimed that the campaigns that would benefit most from expanded investigations would be those launched by attorneys general who wanted to be governor. ' " Edgar acknowledged Friday that the issue has suffered from partisan overtones. When asked why the Legislature and governor had never agreed in the past, he said: "You want an honest answer? Politics." But he said the version approved this spring struck a palatable balance for all sides by limiting investigations to drug-related crimes and including safeguards for state's attorneys. , "We put the politics aside," Edgar said. "What we're doing here is doing governmental work and, I think, providing a tool. It's not going to be the panacea, it's not going to solve all the problems." Burris said his office intended to use its new authority to "go after some of those kingpins and cut off the flow of drugs in our state." And he said he was determined, after the years of fighting, to show that statewide grand juries could work. "My purpose is to get this and work it and set an example," Burris said. Virginia Young of the Post-Dispatch contributed information for this story. 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