Monday, May 29, 2017

Beth Bentley - missing 7 years

In May 2010 Benedetta (Beth) Bentley, Woodstock mother, wife, neighbor, employee, friend of many, took a road trip with a girlfriend to Mount Vernon, Illinois. And vanished.

She left on a Thursday night with her friend. They reportedly drove overnight to Mount Vernon. Her friend returned on Monday without her. Beth was reported missing on Monday night to the Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department, and that department claimed the lead in the investigation, in spite of being more than 300 miles from where Beth was last seen.

There was much speculation at the time. Did she just run away? Did she run off with someone? Was there a "party" at the house outside the city limits in Mount Vernon that resulted in an incident that precluded her return to Woodstock? Was she dropped off at the Centralia Amtrak Station on that Sunday?

Her body was never found and so there is no "proof" that a crime was ever committed. It is, of course, impossible to search every cave, mine shaft and well in southern Illinois.

Is Beth dead or alive? Did she die near (or in) Mount Vernon that week-end?

Nothing has persuaded me that she didn't die that week-end in southern Illinois. I believe that a number of her "friends" know exactly what happened to her.

There is a Presumption of Death statute in Illinois. See 755 ILCS 5/6-20. Presumably, Beth had a Will. After all, her husband was a lawyer and she worked in his office. She had minor children. Why wouldn't she have a Will? Will a Will be filed soon in McHenry Circuit Court?

There were rumors of substantial life insurance on Beth. As a former life insurance agent, I know that there are some companies that will issue extremely high amounts of insurance popularly known as Wife Insurance. Insurance death benefits pass by beneficiary designation, not under a Will. But an insurance company will expect a death certificate. If a claim for insurance benefits is made, will the insurance company undertake an investigation?

Were Social Security benefits applied for, for the minor child at home?

What will it take to uncover/discover exactly what happened to Beth? Are Woodstock Police still investigating? What about Mount Vernon Police and the Jefferson County (Ill.) Sheriff's Department? Did the Illinois State Police (Investigations) ever really get involved?

If you vanished, would you want people to just forget you? I don't think so.

On this blog you can search for "Bentley" and find many articles.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Email POTUS? Yeah, sure...

Have you tried to email President Trump?

The website at which to do is: https://www.whitehouse.gov/contact

But you can't do it, because the webpage offers only a choice of recipient (POTUS or Help with a Federal Agency) and a dropdown box for Prefix (ex., Mr.).

You're out of luck if you want to write a message!

I guess that fits the current situation, though. Trump wants us to listen to him, but he doesn't want to hear from us.

You can call, if you are patient. Call 202/456-1111. Make a pot of coffee, before you dial. Then put your phone on Speaker and sit back. Try not to forget why you are calling. A recording will tell you that "All comment line volunteer operators are currently assisting other callers. Please continue to hold."

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Impeach Trump?

Much as I hate to say it, now is the time to impeach Donald Trump.

I voted for Trump but, as I have said before, I would have voted for Mickey Mouse before I would have voted for Hillary Clinton.

Trump is acting like a loose cannon, and I believe he cannot be trusted as President. Some of his other shenanigans were bad, but the way he fired James Comey was rotten. Did he have a flashback to his TV show? He didn't even have the guts to fire Comey face-to-face.

Then Trump believes he can "share" classified information with Russia.

I. Don't. Think. So.

And National Security Advisor H. R. McMaster rushes to his defense. What else is he going to say? Let's see; who appointed McMaster? Where does he want to work next?

Now some Fox News mouthpiece is saying that she is "in talks" to replace Sean Spicer. Imagine you are Spicer and you hear that on the news. If I were Spicer, I'd walk out - now. Are you working on your book, Sean?

Just to keep the record clear, I am not in talks with the White House to replace Sean Spicer! And I confirm this.

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Did Trump ever call me?

I refuse to confirm or deny that Donald Trump contacted me before firing FBI Diretor James Comey. It would be inappropriate for me to make any statement about whether I have any recorded conversations between Trump and me or whether Russia was ever mentioned or discussed between us. While I'm certain that Trump records everything said in the Oval Office or on most of his phones, I shall make no similar statement about anything said in my office or on my phone(s).

However, having said that, Donald Trump "better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press..."

I have never been informed that he might record any of our conversations, surreptitiously or otherwise. I have never given my consent to him to 'tape' anything said between us. Further, I refuse to confirm whether there has ever been even one conversation between us.

I rather suspect that Trump, if questioned by the press about any direct communication with The Woodstock Advocate or me, might just resort to saying, "Gus who?"

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Will Comey suffer VFS?

Will James Comey suffer V.F.S.? You know - Vince Foster Syndrome ...

His sudden ouster on Tuesday is, to me, suspicious. Trump just threw him under the bus. Imagine your surprise when you doing your job on the West Coast, and your boss sends the goons to your office on the East Coast to deliver your boss' message, "You're Fired!"

And you hear about it on the news...

I am very disappointed with Trump. Yes, I voted for him. I would have voted for Mickey Mouse to keep Hillary out of the White House.  But Trump is acting like a spoiled brat.

I didn't vote for Jared and Ivanka and the Trump tribe. I didn't vote for Kellyanne Conway. Now there is somebody Trump ought to fire.

If I were Comey, I'll tell any Congressional Committee to take their job and shove it. If they wanted me to appear, it would be $100,000/hour, with a five-hour minimum, plus expenses and bodyguards. And I'd be increasing my life insurance - fast!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chicago could learn...

The City of Chicago could take a lesson from Lawrence, Massachusetts (pop. 77,657 (2013)), which is worried about gun violence.

Lawrence has had six homicides this year, including two fatal shootings last week-end.

What is it doing?

Lawrence, Mass. is asking for a special prosecutor for Federal court and for help from the Massachusetts State Police and the Federal ATFE.

Will somebody please call Rahm Emanuel and wake him up early today?

Source: www.thestate.com/news/politics-government/national-politics/article145164759.html

Friday, April 14, 2017

College campuses, diverse. - Oh, really?


Charlie Kirk, president of Turning Point USA, hits the nail on the head. Just listen to what he has to say about diversity on U.S. college campuses!

Teenager's negligent death - not accident

A 13-year-old boy killed himself on Monday, April 10, in the southeast Atlanta, Georgia suburb of Forest Park.

He was in his bedroom, playing with a 9mm handgun and live-streaming his "fun" on Instagram. Apparently, the magazine was out and one of his friends in the livestream audience told him to insert the magazine.

News stories are incomplete, and some are just plain erroneous.

The gun didn't (just) go off. It wasn't an accident. He was negligent. He was ignorant about the operation of that gun.

Some semi-automatic pistols are designed not to fire when the magazine is removed, even if there is a bullet in the barrel. Or he racked the slide after he inserted the magazine, thereby loading a round into the barrel.

From news articles, it appears the gun was from outside the family home. Where does a 13-year-old get a gun?

This is a tragedy, but one that was totally avoidable. This is a solid example of why firearms safety should be taught in schools, as early as elementary school.

Instead, the liberals in this country generate fear of guns and do everything they can to prevent exposure of gun to youth.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Finger off that trigger!

Oh, yeah?

Gun etiquette (training) teaches a person to keep his finger off the trigger until he is ready to pull the trigger. So you see training films, videos on YouTube and movies with everyone running around his his fore-finger "indexed" (straight) along the frame or barrel of the pistol. (Where did that term come from, anyway?)

But what's stupid in movies? I watched a movie over the week-end, in which the villain was sneaking through a house with - of course - his trigger finger "indexed" on his semi-auto pistol. Is this stupid or what?

What criminal is going to follow such a "rule" to keep his finger off the trigger? If he has a gun out and ready, then he's ready to pull the trigger.

If you hear someone sneaking through your home and you realize you need to defend yourself and be ready to shoot, where will your trigger finger be? Is the safety Off? Do you train for this? How long will it take you to move your trigger finger from the frame to the trigger?

Practice, practice, practice.

2017 Tax Filing Date

When is your IRS income tax return due this year (this month; this week)?

How about Tuesday, April 18? Why?

Tax returns are normally due on April 15, or on the first business day after, if April 15 falls on a week-end.

When is your IRS income tax return due this year (this month; this week)?

How about Tuesday, April 18? Why?

Tax returns are normally due on April 15, or on the first business day after, if April 15 falls on a week-end.

But read this:

The tax deadline of April 18 is later this year due to several factors. The usual April 15 deadline falls on Saturday, which would give taxpayers until the following Monday to file. However, Emancipation Day, a holiday in the District of Columbia, is observed on April 17, giving taxpayers nationwide an additional day to file. By law, District of Columbia holidays impact tax deadlines for everyone in the same way federal holidays do. Taxpayers requesting an automatic six-month extension will have until Oct. 16 to file.

Source: www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2017/04/09/unusual-tax-return-filing-deadline-irs-extends-phone-hours/#.WO4mK9TyvIU

What the heck is Emancipation Day? It's a legal (state) holiday in Washington, DC. And because it is, then the tax-filing day for all is extended one day.

Is this stupid, or is this stupid? The idiots in the District of Columbia are responsible for this. Not Congress, but the idiots who run the city (District). It has been a "holiday" since 2005. Imagine that!

Monday, March 20, 2017

What really happened to Beth Bentley?

What happened on May 20, 2010?

Woodstock resident Beth Bentley, then 41, left Woodstock for the last time. Beth and her friend, Jen Wyatt, drove to Mt. Vernon, Ill. And she never returned.

Speculation continues on what happened to Beth. Somebody knows. More than "one" somebody quite likely know. Some of those "sombodies" might still be right in Woodstock or in McHenry County. The list could number 12 or more.

So far, nobody has cracked. But they will. One of these days...

A new investigative effort is occurring and can be following on Vanished in Illinois. Visit its website at www.VanishedinIllinois.com

There are many articles on this blog about Beth Bentley. I wrote weekly about this case for an extended period of time. She should not be forgotten. It is just not okay for this case to linger in the cold-case files at the Woodstock Police Department.

Woodstock PD claimed leadership in this case after her missing person report was filed with it by family members on Monday, May 24, 2010. But it probably should not have the lead police agency , because Beth was reportedly (although not necessarily reliably) last seen in Centralia, Ill. The house that was the destination that Thursday night was in Jefferson County, Ill., outside the limits of Mt. Vernon. Since Woodstock is 300+ miles from Mt. Vernon, it would quickly become too time-consuming and too expensive for Woodstock to conduct a thorough investigation.

Why is this time, now, important in this case? Beth's disappearance will hit the seven-year mark this year, and this is often when a missing person can be presumed dead. There were rumors in 2010 of a large insurance policy insuring Beth. Once she is legally dead, then a claim can be made on that policy.

Whether an insurance company will pay to a beneficiary could be up in the air. If an insurance company believes that it should not, then it might, instead, pay the policy proceeds to the State of Illinois (to demonstrate its willingness to meet the terms of the policy) and then throw the responsibility onto the State of Illinois to determine whether the named beneficiary is entitled to the proceeds.

Such a contest might then become public record, whereas direct payment by an insurance is usually confidential. Public record would then reveal whether or not there was a large policy, who bought it, who sold it and, importantly, when it was issued.

All of this leads to more questions.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Depressed? Read this

Are you depressed? Have you ever been depressed? (Are you getting depressed, just reading this?)

Or do you know anyone who is (or has been) depressed?

Pick up a copy of a new book by Leah Oviedo titled D.I.Y. Therapy: Healing Depression. This will set you back $0.99. That's right; less than a dollar for this e-book, delivered instantly from Amazon.com. Just click on the title.

The author writes from her personal experience and offers valuable information. Your job? Read the book and follow her suggestions. Pretty simple, eh?

Don't speed-read through her book. Read a page and do what she recommends; i.e., write down your answers, feeling, emotions, intuition, thoughts, memories. Actually do it. Don't just read about the exercise or think about it for three seconds before reading on.

You can also give away her book. Just imagine. For only $0.99, you can give this book to all your friends who are depressed. After you do, be sure to bug them to claim the gift and to begin reading the book. Get your 99¢ worth!

e-Books can be read on tablet, smartphones and even right on your computer.

Do you know anyone who doesn't have one of those?

After you read it, please post a review on Amazon. Reviews always help authors.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Scammers becoming more "creative"

Does it seem to you that scammers are becoming more aggressive and more creative?

A friend recently received a phone call that purportedly was from McAfee. The caller wanted remote access to her computer so that she could "refund" $300.00 from McAfee. The person who received the call was smart enough to hang up, but seconds later another caller followed up with the same scam. Quite likely her phone number will be passed around now as a "good" phone number; i.e., one that is answered.

Now I know that you are smart enough to avoid becoming their next sucker, but what about someone you know? Perhaps someone who is not quite so computer savvy as you?

It's a fact of life now (not an "alternative fact") that scammers are getting more aggressive and more creative in their attempts by email and telephone to get your money out of your pocket and into theirs.

Carefully guard ALL confidential and privacy information. Do not give out any personal information to anyone who calls you. Even if you know who they are, call them back at a known and proven customer service number (not the number they give you). Get that number off the back of your credit card or bank statement.

Caveat emptor. If it's too good to be true, it probably is.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

WisconsinCarry wins again

Would you like to be able to "carry" on the "L", CTA buses, Pace, Metra and other mass-transit systems in Illinois?

Is the Illinois State Rifle Association winning like WisconsinCarry? Does ISRA face off in court like WisconsinCarry does? It's worth your $15.00, even if you live in Illinois. They are working hard for gun owners.

Check out its recent press release:

This email is being transmitted to Wisconsin Carry members, former members, and those on our opt-in email list.

In the fall of 2014 it was brought to Wisconsin Carry's attention Madison Metro Transit prohibited law-abiding citizens from carrying while on city buses. Notwithstanding it is shameful for a government entity to discriminate against individuals who rely on mass transit. (citizens who use mass transit should be able to exercise their 2nd Amendment right to carry just like those who have their own transportation). WCI believed this ban was illegal. Wisconsin Carry contacted the city of Madison and Madison Metro Transit by phone and certified letter to request they end their illegal gun ban. Our requests were denied. This is not just about carrying ON the bus, but rather, if your day/errands, etc start, and end with a ride on a Madison bus, you are effectively denied your right to carry throughout your entire day.

In January of 2014, Wisconsin Carry Inc. filed a lawsuit against the City of Madison, WI. In that lawsuit, WCI maintains, in addition to its discriminatory nature, Madison Metro Transit's ban of guns on city buses violates the state's preemption statute (66.0409) which, in order to maintain uniform gun laws across the state, prohibits political subdivisions of the state (municipalities, counties, towns, villages, cites, etc) from passing gun laws stricter than state laws.

The original lawsuit was filed in Dane County Circuit court. After a questionable ruling, and subsequent appeal which concurred with the lower court, Wisconsin Carry appealed to the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The court agreed to hear our case. Oral arguments, including an amicus brief *supporting* WCI's position filed by the Wisconsin Department of Justice under pro-freedom Attorney General Brad Schimel, were heard in September of 2016.

Wisconsin Carry is pleased to announce that yesterday the Wisconsin Supreme Court rendered its decision in this case. By a 5-2 majority, the Wis. Supreme Court Justices agreed that Madison Metro Transit did not have lawful authority to ban guns on city buses and reversed the lower courts rulings.

A copy of the decision can be read here: http://www.wisconsincarry.org/media/15370/SCOW_Opinion____WCI_v_Madison.pdf

Additional information on this case is available from a news release on the WCI website:

http://www.wisconsincarry.org/news/wi-supreme-court-victory.aspx

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Buy the right coffee

If you saw the news recently that Starbucks is gearing up to hire 10,000 refugees in the next five years, you'll want to read the news about Black Rifle Coffee Company (BRCC).

Black Rifle Coffee intends to hire 10,000 veterans in the next five years! How about them apples???

I'd never heard of the Black Rifle Coffee Company. Check out www.blackriflecoffee.com

You'll like their flavors: AK-47 Expresso Blend, Silencer Smooth Coffee Blend, Just Black Coffee Blend, and others.

And they offer a unique coffee can in the shape of a G.I. ammo box. Only $14.99 + shipping. The coffee can is multi-purpose, According to the website, you can use it "to store your coffee, your bullets, your whiskey or even your pistol when you fly."

BRCC also has a special blend that they call The Thin Blue Line. All sales of that product are donated to the families of wounded police officers through Blue Lives Matter and the F.O.P.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Dashcams - catching on in U.S.?

I've been wondering how many readers have installed a dashcam in their cars? Have you?

I spoke with a fellow Kia Soul owner last week, after I noticed one installed in his car. He said it has front- and rear-facing cameras and that it saved his bacon after his car was rear-ended. He has installed one in each family member's car.

Have you watched any of the dashcam videos on YouTube.com? I don't mean the police chases; I mean the recordings from private vehicles.

Does anyone have a recommend for a brand and model of dashcam that works particularly well for you?

Or one to definitely avoid?

What's an appropriate price-range for a reliable dashcam?

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Blowhard Rahm risks millions

FoxNews.com reports that Mayor Rahm is going to continue to protect illegals and criminals. Rahm is willing to risk millions of dollars in Federal funding (and only pennies of his own money) in giving the finger to President Trump.

"Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel also vowed to protect illegal immigrants, including ones suspected or convicted of crimes, from the feds.
“ 'I want to be clear: We’re going to stay a sanctuary city,' Emanuel said. 'There is no stranger among us… you are welcome in Chicago as you pursue the American dream.' ” (Source: FoxNews.com)
What does "pursue the American dream" mean to a few (some? many?) illegals? Sucking on the welfare teat? Driving without a license or insurance? Getting free hospital care and education? Getting paid in cash for "contract" work (most of which is actually employee-status work) "under the tax", in order to avoid the system?

How many illegals live in Rahm's neighborhood? Visit his office regularly? Go to school with his kids?

What do the People of Chicago want? Do they want their taxes increased to replace lost Federal funding? Will they put up with cuts in benefits that are funded by the Federal dollars that will be lost?

It's easy (and foolish) for him to side with the illegals. Voters should toss him in Lake Michigan when his term is up. Or maybe sooner.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Local attorney arrested

Thanks to a tip, I checked the Circuit Clerk's online record today and found information about the arrest of a local attorney on multiple, serious charges.

So far there appears to be nothing in the Northwest Herald. Nothing recent is found, using its search engine.

On Thursday, January 19, Crystal Lake attorney Don Franz was charged with numerous charges, and on Friday more charges were filed. Crystal Lake Police filed charges including driving on possible canceled/suspended/revoke driver's license, aggravated DUI, resist/obstruct officer including injury, aggravated battery on a police officer, carrying concealed firearm under the influence, revoked FOID card.

This is not the beginning of problems for Franz. There is some interesting reading on the Legal Profession Blog.

Presumably, Northwest Herald reporters will eventually get the word and file a story with more detail.

A little over a year ago, it appears that Franz and a client were having a dispute about a fee. Check out this posting on the blog, Above the Law.

I met Don several years ago at the McHenry County courthouse. I recall one day when it appeared he had fallen down some steps. I didn't injure into the cause of his facial injury at the time.