'Santa' killer had planned to flee after shootings
COVINA, Calif. - A man who carried out a Christmas Eve massacre and arson dressed as Santa at the home of his former in-laws apparently intended to flee the U.S., but his plans were dashed after the inferno he created severely burned his arms and melted his red costume onto his body, police said Friday.
Bruce Jeffrey Pardo, a laid-off aerospace worker, apparently shot some of his nine victims execution-style in a plot to destroy his ex-wife's family after a costly divorce that was finalized last week. He had airline tickets to Canada and $17,000 in cash on his body, some attached to his legs with plastic wrap and some in a girdle, Covina police Chief Kim Raney said.
Armed with four guns, wearing the Santa suit and carrying a fuel-spraying device wrapped like a present, Pardo showed up at the home at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday as a party of about 25 people was under way.
Raney said Pardo, 45, fired a shot into the face of an 8-year-old girl who answered the door and at first fired indiscriminately, then apparently targeted relatives of his ex-wife as other guests fled.
Cruise passenger reported missing near Cancun
MIAMI - The U.S. Coast Guard and Mexican authorities are searching for a missing cruise ship passenger who may have gone overboard near Cancun, Mexico.
Authorities say 36-year-old Jennifer Feitz's husband reported her missing from the Norwegian Pearl just before 5 a.m. Friday.
A Coast Guard search and rescue crew aboard a Falcon jet joined a helicopter and three crews from Mexico to scan the Gulf of Mexico.
Norwegian Cruise Line says the ship left Sunday from Miami for a seven-day western Caribbean cruise.
Boys beaten severely in Phoenix park die
PHOENIX - Both of the young boys who were repeatedly bludgeoned by someone who apparently followed them to a playground died Friday, police said.
Phoenix police Sgt. Tommy Thompson says 10-year-old Edwin Pellecier died Friday afternoon. His 7-year-old cousin, Jesse Ramirez, died early Friday.
Police arrested 36-year-old Joe Sauceda Gallegos within hours of the attack on Tuesday.
A first-degree murder charge was added after Jesse's death and a second was planned after Edwin died, Thompson said. He was charged earlier with two counts of child abuse and dangerous crimes against children. Bail was set at $1 million.
Doctors believe the boys were bludgeoned repeatedly with a baseball bat or similar object. Police say they found a bat in Gallegos' home along with clothing that appeared to be bloodstained.
Father, son plead not guilty in Ore. bank bombing
SALEM, Ore. - A father and son accused of killing two Oregon law enforcement officers in a bank bombing have pleaded not guilty.
Bruce and Joshua Turnidge appeared in back-to-back hearings Friday.
The grand jury indictment made public at the hearings accused 57-year-old Bruce Turnidge and his 32-year-old son, Joshua, of multiple counts of aggravated murder in the course of committing first-degree robbery.
If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Two weeks ago, an explosion rocked the West Coast Bank branch in Woodburn, killing an Oregon State Police bomb technician and a Woodburn officer. Woodburn's police chief was also critically injured.
The Turnidges are being held without bail.
New prosecutor to take a look at JonBenet case
BOULDER, Colo. - A new prosecutor in Colorado says he plans to take a fresh look at one of the country's most high-profile cold cases - the slaying a dozen years ago of JonBenet Ramsey.
Incoming Boulder County District Attorney Stan Garnett said he'll decide what to do with the investigation in his first 30 days on the job, which he starts Jan. 13. His predecessor, Mary Lacy, publicly exonerated the Ramsey family this year in the Dec. 26, 1996, murder.
Garnett said he might send the case back to the police. The DA's office took over the investigation in 2002 because of criticism of the police department's handling of it.
JonBenet, a 6-year-old beauty pageant contestant, was found bludgeoned and strangled in the basement of her parents' home.