Friday, May 22, 2015

Mansion Murder Mystery Solved


"Four found slain in D.C. house set afire" Associated Press  May 16, 2015

WASHINGTON — A corporate executive, his wife, their 10-year-old son, and a housekeeper were slain inside a multimillion-dollar northwest Washington home that was set on fire, District of Columbia police said Friday while offering no details about who might have killed them or why.

There was no sign of forced entry at the house. Savvas Savopolous was the president of American Iron Works, a building materials manufacturer based in Hyattsville, Md. A person who answered the phone at the company’s headquarters declined to comment earlier Friday, and a message left after Savopolous was identified was not immediately returned.

The family home, valued at $4.5 million, is located blocks away from Vice President Joe Biden’s official residence....

Gee, that makes you wonder if someone is sending a message to Joe!


Kind of a mystery, huh?

"Suspect arrested in D.C. mansion murders" by Ben Nuckols Associated Press   May 22, 2015 

That's so odd because my printed Globe carried the Sheryl Gay Stolberg piece from the NYT.

WASHINGTON — Authorities on Thursday arrested an ex-convict who was accused in the killings of a wealthy Washington family and their housekeeper.

Members of a fugitive task force arrested Daron Dylon Wint, 34, on Thursday around 11 p.m., about a week after authorities said the family was killed and their mansion set on fire. Wint has been charged with first-degree murder while armed, D.C. police and the US Marshals Service said.

Investigators tracked Wint to New York City, where they barely missed him Wednesday night, Robert Fernandez, commander of the US Marshal Service’s Capital Area Regional Fugitive Task Force, told multiple news outlets.

Wint was tracked to the Howard Johnson Express Inn in College Park, Md., on Thursday, and when officers approached, they discovered Wint in a Chevrolet Cruze in the parking lot, Fernandez said. They tailed the car, which was following a box truck, to northeast Washington, where Wint and several others were taken into custody during a traffic stop, he said.

Police have not detailed why Wint would want to kill 46-year-old Savvas Savopoulos; his 47-year-old wife, Amy; their son, Philip; and housekeeper Veralicia Figueroa. Three of the four victims had been stabbed or bludgeoned before the fire.

Police said Thursday that Wint, a certified welder, worked for Savopoulos’ company, American Iron Works, in the past. Savopoulos was chief executive of American Iron Works, a construction-materials supplier based in Hyattsville, Md., that has been involved in major projects in downtown Washington.

Police said Thursday that they haven’t ruled out the possibility that other people were involved in the slayings, but no other suspects have been identified.

Wint was born and raised in Guyana and moved to the United States in 2000, when he was almost 20 years old, according to court records filed in Maryland. He joined the US Marine Corps that same year and was discharged for medical reasons, the records show. Wint was at Parris Island for boot camp from July 24, 2001, to Sept 28, 2001, but never graduated from recruit training, Marine Corps spokesman Captain Eric Flanagan said. Following his discharge, he worked as a certified welder, court records show.

The Savopouloses lived in a $4.5 million home in Woodley Park, a neighborhood where mansions are protected by fences and elaborate security systems and local and federal law enforcement officers are a constant presence, in part because Vice President Biden’s official residence is nearby.

Text messages and voicemails from the Savopouloses to their confused and frightened household staff suggest something was amiss in the house many hours before the bodies were found. Their blue Porsche turned up in suburban Maryland hours after the slayings. It too had been set on fire.

DNA analysis at a Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms lab linked Wint to the crime, a law enforcement official involved in the investigation told the Associated Press on condition of anonymity for lack of authorization to discuss the investigation publicly.

During the family’s final hours, someone called Domino’s from their house and ordered pizza. The Washington Post reported that the DNA was found on a pizza crust. At a Domino’s about 2 miles away, a worker told AP that a pizza was delivered from there to the mansion that day. 

Are you swallowing this? I don't what happened. Is it all truth, another false flag, another staged and scripted production, or is it a cover story for something else? 

What I do know is I don't believe the version provided by my propaganda pre$$. Maybe it's off a little, maybe it's off a lot.

Wint was convicted of assaulting one girlfriend in Maryland in 2009, and he pleaded guilty the next year to malicious destruction of property after he allegedly threatened to kill a woman and her infant daughter, breaking into her apartment, stealing a television and vandalizing her car.

‘‘I'm going to come over there and kill you, your daughter and friends,’’ Wint told that woman, according to the records. ‘‘The defendant advised he was good with a knife and could kill them easily and was not afraid of the police,’’ a detective wrote.

Also in 2010, Wint was arrested carrying a 2-foot-long machete and a BB pistol outside the American Iron Works headquarters, but weapons charges were dropped after he pleaded guilty to possessing an open container of alcohol.

Attorney Robin Ficker said Wint didn’t seem violent when he defended him in earlier cases.

‘‘My impression of him — I remember him rather well — is that he wouldn’t hurt a fly. He’s a very nice person,’’ Ficker said.

A housekeeper who worked for the Savopoulos family for 20 years, Nelitza Gutierrez, told AP that she believes the family and Figueroa were held captive for nearly a day before they were killed, citing an unusual voice mail she got from Savopoulos and a text message sent from the phone of his wife, telling her not to come to the house.

Gutierrez said she and Savopoulos spent May 13 cleaning up a martial arts studio he was opening in northern Virginia before his wife called around 5:30 p.m. She could hear his half of the conversation. He later said his wife told him to come home to watch their son because she was going out, Gutierrez said.

Later that night, sounding flustered, he left Gutierrez a voice mail saying Figueroa would stay with his sick wife overnight, that she shouldn’t come the next day, and that Figueroa’s phone was dead.

‘‘It doesn’t make any sense. How come you don’t have another phone — iPhones are all over,’’ Gutierrez said. ‘‘He was kind of building stories.’’ 

I feel the same way every morning flipping through a Globe.

The next morning, Gutierrez received a text message from Amy Savopoulos that read, in part, ‘‘I am making sure you are not coming today.’’ She called and texted back and got no response.

The Savopouloses had two teenage daughters who were away at boarding school at the time of the killings. Relatives of the victims have made few public statements and have not returned calls from AP. Representatives of American Iron Works have repeatedly declined to comment.



"Multiple attackers in deaths of D.C. family, police say; Suspect held in D.C. killings of 4" by Peter Hermann and Keith L. Alexander Washington Post  May 23, 2015

My printed copy was by Pérez-peña of the NYT.

"Multiple attackers were involved in taking four people captive in a Washington mansion, making them produce $40,000 in cash and then killing them, an investigator said in court papers filed on Friday, hours after the only person publicly identified as a suspect was arrested. “The crimes described in this affidavit required the presence and assistance of more than one person,” Detective Jeffrey Owens of the Metropolitan Police wrote in a statement in support of a first-degree murder charge while armed, filed against Darron Wint. Neither the court papers nor law enforcement officials would name one or more accomplices, or say if they were among the people arrested with Mr. Wint on Thursday night after a search that spanned several states. Wint, who lives with family members in Largo, Md., was identified through a DNA match to pizza crusts found in the house, the police said. They contend that the captors had Mrs. Savopoulos order the pizza on May 13, and told the delivery person to leave it on the porch, making sure to have no visual contact. A day later, investigators found him at a Howard Johnson Express Inn, in College Park, Md., sitting in a white Chevrolet Cruze sedan in the parking lot, and saw that he had company. Two women got into the car, one of them driving, investigators said, and two men apparently linked to them got into a box truck. “They’ve got the wrong guy,” said Robin Ficker, a lawyer who has represented Mr. Wint in the past and said he may again in this case. “It’s not in his nature. The police were under pressure to make an arrest, and they’re really straining here, overreaching.”

WASHINGTON — Authorities said Friday that the brutal killings of a family in northwest Washington probably involved a conspiracy of more than one person taking the victims captive and waiting more than 19 hours for a $40,000 ransom before killing them and setting fire to their multimillion-dollar home.

The new details came as the first suspect identified in the slayings made his initial appearance in District of Columbia Superior Court.  Police said the elaborate crime probably ‘‘required the presence and assistance of more than one person.’’ The affidavit also says police think ‘‘all four decedents were held captive by Mr. Wint and others.’’ Police did not elaborate, but they have said other suspects have not been ruled out....

Wint appeared in court with his wrists and ankles shackled, escorted by three marshals. He said only his name at the hearing. At times, he shook his shoulder-length dreads out of his eyes.

His attorney, Natalie Lawson of the Public Defender Service, said in court that the case was ‘‘based on speculation and guesswork.’’ She added: ‘‘He is innocent. There is no link to the killings or the death of the decedent. There is nothing linking him to these deaths.’’

The Savopoulos family on Friday thanked law enforcement for the arrest. ‘‘While it does not abate our pain, we hope that it begins to restore a sense of calm and security to our neighborhood and to our city,’’ they said in a statement issued by a family spokeswoman.

Assistant US Attorney Emily Miller said Wint’s DNA was found on a discarded crust of pizza left in the room where the three adults were found dead.

She said police found a fingerprint on a water bottle at the house, and that prosecutors were seeking to compare it with Wint’s fingerprints.


Sure looks like the villain, right?