Monday, December 25, 2017

Dangerous Decision by Sheriff Prim?

Has McHenry County Sheriff Bill Prim made a dangerous decision regarding the safety of drivers and pedestrians in McHenry County, as well as that of deputies?

Rooftop emergency lights have been replaced on some squad cars with inside, behind-the-windshield emergency lights. Taking them off the roof of the squad car lowers them and reduces their visibility. While a driver immediately in front of a squad car won't miss the lights in his rearview mirror, other drivers may not see them quickly enough, especially at intersections.

On Thursday, Dec. 7*, a female deputy was involved in a crash. The deputy and others were conveyed to Centegra Hospital-McHenry by ambulances. Was the squad car one of those with the "new" emergency-light configuration?

And just a few months ago two deputies were involved in crashes while responding to the same call. One was a supervisor. Did either squad car have the new, inside lights? As I recall, one of the crashes was at Hwy. 47 & McHenry Ave., and the other was at Hwy. 14 and Lake Ave. Were the deputy drivers at fault in one or both of those accidents? Were they cited? (OK, you can stop laughing now.)

What do deputies think about the new deal? Do they like it? Do the squad cars now look "cooler" with no emergency lights on the roof? Can deputies follow a driver without being immediately identified as being in a squad car? Most deputies don't work traffic, where hidden emergency lights might be a benefit.

Most deputies respond to calls and use emergency lights to pass slower traffic and pass legally through red lights and stop signs. State law allows that, but the burden is on the deputy to do so in a manner that avoids crashes.

There is a time and place for squad cars without rooftop lights. Drivers of those cars should receive special and advanced training regarding reduced visibility.

This past week I passed three marked squad cars on a two-lane road. The officers were parked at 1/4-mile intervals with their overheads on. The lights on those particular cars, belonging to Forest Acres (S.C.) PD, were so bright that it was almost impossible to see around them. This caused traffic in both directions to slow almost to a crawl. There was no doubt about safety (unless, of course, an officer had stepped into the path of a passing vehicle, not realizing that a passing driver would not see him in time).

I invite MCSO deputies to email me at and let me know what you think of the new lights. Like them? Dislike them? Why? You can rest assured that your identity will not be revealed. Or post your comment below this article.

Readers may remember when former Sheriff Nygren tried to force me to reveal the names of all former and present (in 2010) employees of the Sheriff's Department who were feeding information to me, as part of Zane Seipler's lawsuit in Federal Court to get his job back. A subpoena was mailed to me, and I filed a Motion to Quash pro se. When I appeared in court, the judge asked me one or two questions and then turned on the sheriff's attorney, telling her that she was just on a "fishing expedition" (his words) and that the subpoena had nothing to do with Seipler's case. Sweeter words were never heard by me in a courtroom: "Mr. Philpott, you have won your Motion."

* The original article incorrectly reported that this crash happened on December 23. Clarification was added about the subpoena from Nygren's attorney, which I considered an attempt to bully me.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Beth Bentley - Missing 396 Weeks (7 yrs. 7 mos.)

There was a lot of activity in Judge Chmiel's courtroom on Thursday, December 21, in the case related to the probate of Beth Bentley's Estate. Did anyone (besides lawyers) go?

The probate case is No. 17PR000295. You can follow it at

The entries in court records for December 21, 2017 are:


These documents are all public record. Anyone can go to the McHenry County Courthouse, 3rd floor, and read them on the Court's computer system, without charge. If you want to buy printed copies, the cost will be $2.00/page.

On August 28, 2017, there was filed a PETITION-TESTAMENTARY.

Somewhere in the process Beth is going to have to be declared dead. She hasn't been seen or heard of for more than seven years. It seems to me that a Petition should have been filed for a Presumption of Death Order before the Estate was ever opened for probate, but the court must have accepted it among other papers.

If she had a Will, the Will can be read at the courthouse. I thought I had read a newspaper article that she did not have a Will. If not, then she will have died intestate. But since the August 28 filing reads TESTAMENTARY, I wonder whether there was a Will. If there was a Will, it can be read as filed.

The name of her husband at the time of her disappearance, Scott Bentley, appears in online court records as Independent Administrator of her Estate.

The lawyer for the estate is Guy Youman, of Rupp & Youman.

The Illinois Attorney General is listed as ATTORNEY - INTEREST OF. Is this normal in cases of Petitions for Presumption of Death? Or is the State interested for another reason?

The ORDER-IMPOUND may be related to any records from law enforcement agencies that police want withheld from the public view while they continue their investigation.

On December 1 Judge Chmiel issued a HIPAA QUALIFIED PROTECTIVE ORDER. There were rumors in 2010 of a health condition of Beth that, if true, would have interested police investigators. Could this Order impede a police investigation that could proceed after a Presumption of Death Petition is granted?

The Illinois State Police have assigned FOIA Response No. 17-2930 to my FOIA request, filed December 18, for the location at which suspected human remains were found in Jefferson County by the Illinois State Police. Several people from southern Illinois have told me where police activity was on December 4, but I'm waiting for official response.

The address of the property visited by Jenn Wyatt and Beth Bentley on that May 21-23, 2010 week-end is 17974 N. Miller Lake Road. It's a Mt. Vernon (Ill.) mailing address, but the house is in Jefferson County, outside the city limits of Mt. Vernon. According to the house was on and off the market. The listing and sales activity from shows
December 2010
6/13/10 Listed by Century 21 $126,000
7/31/10 Listing removed
8/5/14 Listed by owner $156,900
5/28/15 Listed by Century 21 $156,900
6/26/15 Pending sale $156,900
8/7/15 Back on market $156.900
9/9/15 Price change (-5.4%)
1/19/16 Pending sale $148,500
3/4/16 Sold $142,500

The Zillow information may or may not be complete.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Court Should Delay Issuing Death Certificate

A Petition for Presumption of Death in the disappearance of Benedetta (Beth) Bentley has apparently been filed in the McHenry County Circuit Court. It seems to be part of the probate filing on August 28 in Case No. 17PR000295.

Burned human remains were found on December 4th in Jefferson County, Ill. by the Illinois State Police, and the Woodstock (Ill.) Police Department has referred to the Beth Bentley in a press release about the ISP finding. In my opinion, it is unusual for police to refer to any particular missing-person case after remains are found, in the absence of positive identification.

The location at which the burned human remains were found may have something to do with the decision at the Woodstock Police Department to report a possible connection to Beth Bentley, who reportedly failed to return to Woodstock on May 24, 2010 from a week-end jaunt to the Mt. Vernon, Ill. area.

It may be possible to determine whose remains have been found through DNA testing.

The next court date for the probate filing is this Thursday, December 21, 9:30AM, in Judge Chmiel's courtroom, Room 202, 2200 N. Seminary, Woodstock. The hearing should be open to the public. Hopefully, reporters will be there.

If Judge Chmiel has not already granted the Petition, he should delay it until the remains have been identified. If they turn out to be those of Beth Bentley, then an investigation into the cause and manner of her death must be intensified.

Finding these remains seven-and-one-half years after her disappearance cannot be the result of coincidence. The State Police didn't just "happen" upon them. Once the location is disclosed, one big question may be "Why wasn't that location searched then?"

If the remains were found on December 4 as a result of new information or a tip, the source of the information should be protected. It has been my opinion for more than seven years that a number of people know exactly what happened to Beth. If one of them is talking now, the others won't be happy about it.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Is your OneDrive out?

Do you use

How's it working for you today? I haven't been to access it since early this morning. At first, I thought it might be computer, so I re-started it and then turned off and back on. Still nothing. Tried a second computer. Same problem.

Then I found and found that there seems to be a very wide outage for OneDrive in different parts of the world.

You can see a world outage map here and then click on the button at the upper right to view an outage chart.

Have the hackers been at work? China? North Korea? Oh, I know. The Russians.

Remains - where found?

The press release that appeared on the Facebook page of the Illinois State Police (ISP) District 13/DuQuoin about the burned human remains found in Jefferson County, Ill. and published later the same day in the Northwest Herald doesn't reveal where the remains were found. It says only "rural Jefferson County (Ill.)".

It seems to me that the location could be disclosed without harming any investigation. And so today I emailed a Freedom of Information Act Request to the Illinois State Police headquarters in Springfield. Why there?

Back in about 2013, when I tried to get information from the DuQuoin district office, I was informed that all FOIA requests must go to Springfield headquarters.

Filing the request starts the clock ticking. ISP will have a certain number of days to reply. And reply it must, even if only to deny the request. Then a Request for Review can be submitted to the Illinois Secretary of State's Public Access Counselor. All this takes time; perhaps in the meantime the Woodstock Police or the ISP will disclose the location.

As I wrote recently, it is very unusual for police to associate the finding of human remains with any missing person case, until a positive identification has been made. There must be solid grounds for doing so in this case.

Were the remains found on the property outside of Mt. Vernon owned by a Woodstock resident and in the possession of his sons? At this property?

Or were the remains found nearby, in the vicinity of Miller Lake?

And what happened to the $5,000 Reward that was offered in June 2010?

Was any of it ever paid out? Where is the $5,000 today?

Friday, December 15, 2017

If it's Beth ...

If the Illinois State Police are able to confirm that the remains found on a rural property in Jefferson County, Ill. are those of Beth Bentley, it certainly will create an interesting situation for Jennifer Wyatt-Paplham.

As you may recall, Jenn told police that she drove Beth to the Centralia (Ill.) Amtrak Station on Sunday afternoon, May 23, 2010. Police charged Jenn with Obstruction of Justice after they believed she had spoken with Beth on May 25. Those charged were dropped.

While speculation is rampant that the remains could be Beth's, one needs to remember that the police usually do not associate the finding of remains with any particular missing person, until a positive identification has been made.

How long can it take to identify the remains?

Hopefully, the Illinois State Police will soon release the rural location. That will go a long way in raising or lowering hopes.

Beth Bentley Probate filed in August

When I posted yesterday about the news release pertaining to suspected human remains in Jefferson County, Illinois, which includes the Mount Vernon area, I made an assumption that the Illinois State Police had made the news release. I first found it on the Facebook page for Illinois State Police District 13 (DuQuoin), after a southern Illinois follower of this blog emailed me.

Upon reflection I paid closer attention to the Woodstock, Ill. source line, and then the Northwest Herald published the release at 4:37PM yesterday.

The remains were found, according to the article, on December 4 at an as-yet undisclosed rural location in Jefferson County. At this time it is unknown to me whether the remains were found on the property visited by Beth and Jenn Wyatt during their get-away week-end in May 2010.

In the past, when remains have been found in southern Illinois, law enforcement officials were careful not to associate them with a name of a missing person until a positive identification could be made.

The news release repeats the "Amtrak story" that many quickly felt was "fake news". I think there is only one person on the planet who thinks that Beth went to Centralia to take a train to Chicago, and I wonder whether she really believes it. That story would be a good subject for a polygraph.

Several years ago pieces of a burned brassiere were found in a burn pit by a downstate woman who was searching for Beth. I never learned at the time if the pieces were turned over to law enforcement authorities.

On August 22 I wrote a long article on this blog about Beth and mentioned the seven-year statute for filing a Presumption of Death Petition. At that time there was no record in the McHenry County Circuit Court online records of any legal activity beyond attempts in 2012 and 2014 by two apparent creditors to collect monies owed by Beth.

On August 28 a court filing (17PR000295) was made to open Beth's Probate Estate. Reading of this filing yesterday caused me to wonder when, or if, a Petition for a Presumption of Death Determination had been filed, heard or granted. You can follow this case on

On October 24 a Motion of some type was filed in this case.

On December 1 a Motion was filed and granted for a Protective Order. I've been watching court cases for years and this is the first time I've seen a Protective Order in an estate matter.

On December 5 a Hearing was conducted by Judge Chmiel on a Petition pertaining to Administration of the Estate. Could this be the Presumption of Death Petition?

On December 21 at 9:30AM Judge Chmiel will hear more on a/the Petition pertaining to Administration.

On October 16, 2018 Judge Chmiel will conduct a conference in the Estate matter. This is probably scheduled as a routine court date six weeks before a normal Estate closing hearing.

If there is a local reader who would like to go to the courthouse and read the October 24, December 1 and December 5 Motions, I would appreciate your assistance. If I were in McHenry County, I would go. I don't need copies of the Motions, unless they warrant close inspection. They are available online through a paid-for subscription that attorneys maintain.

Please contact me for authorization regarding a purchase of any court documents. Confidentiality assured. Email or call 847/971-7083.

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Possible news - Beth Bentley Disappearance in 2010

The following new item appears on the Facebook page for the Illinois State Police District 13 DuQuoin. It seems to me that they must have a pretty strong feeling that the remains could be Beth's, or they would not mention a name at all. Click on the link to go directly to the original ISP Facebook posting. If you are not reading this on December 14, scroll to the December 14th postings.

There are many articles on this blog about Beth, who went missing in May 2010. Rather than re-hash them at this time, you can search on this blog for "Bentley" and read them, if you wish to do so.

It has been my contention for seven years that there are more than a few people in Woodstock and in McHenry County who know exactly what happened to Beth.

27 mins · 
Woodstock, Illinois – The Illinois State Police (ISP) and Woodstock Police Department (WPD) are seeking additional information related to the 2010 disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley.
On May 23, 2010, a friend reportedly dropped off Beth Bentley at an Amtrak Station in Centralia, Illinois. Bentley was reportedly taking a train back to her home located in Woodstock, Illinois. Bentley did not return home and was reported missing. Information was developed which led the ISP to a rural location in Jefferson County. On December 4, 2017, suspected human remains were recovered at the location. Investigators are working to positively identify the remains which were badly burned. The ISP and Woodstock PD are actively investigating Bentley’s disappearance.
Anyone with information about the disappearance of Benedetta “Beth” Bentley is encouraged to contact the ISP at 618-542-2171 or the WPD at 815-338-2131.
This is still an open and ongoing investigation. No further information is available
Jefferson County is where the house was that Beth and Jenn Wyatt supposedly spent the week-end with two brothers with Woodstock family relatives. This may turn out to be another false alarm. Expect more information on the ISP page.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Boycott Progressive Insurance?

Are you insured by Progressive Insurance?

If so, you'll want to read what Dennis Prager has to say about George Soros and Peter Lewis, who is the chairman of Progressive Insurance.

Read it here:

How do you feel about these efforts to destroy America?


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Best police recruiting video

You have to go to New Zealand to find the world's best police recruiting video. American cities have tried their own, but they won't top this one. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

More comments on Beth Bentley Disappearance

If you are following the saga of Beth Bentley, please visit this earlier posting on March 20, 2017 and the comments being added to this article.

Beth Bentley - 7+ years

A reader just submitted this comment to a March article here about Beth Bentley, who vanished under suspicious circumstances in May, 2010.

Fourever has left a new comment on your post "What reatully happened to Beth Bentley?": 

I wrote this in 2012, but I don't think anyone read/seen it. : Hi, I am just hearing about this now, so I haven't been following the news for this whole time. First, let me say I am very sorry, and second, I hope that something is found out VERY soon! enough is enough! I do have a question about something that I read in one of the articles (been reading them for the last few hours). OK, so it was said that Jenn and Beth took a rental car to Mt. Vernon. If that is true, there would be records of it. It would HAVE to have been reserved using a drivers liscense and I think a credit card. Now I do believe, the milage is documented when the cars are released and when they are returned. I do believe that it is even if you have unlimited milage. So with that being said, you would be able to see if the milage added up with a round trip and other driving (like out to dinner/pub and the train station) from the time she picked up the car til she dropped it back off. Also, did I read correctly that just a few months after she has been missing, the husband threw away her stuff?? WHY? I can maybe understand putting some things away (although, I have a hard time with that too). There are families that keep things as they were for years, look at the true story about the girl that was taken from her family for (I think) 18 years. I have so many questions, why doesn't her close friend Jenn? and what about the 2 guys they spent the weekend with... why aren't they wondering where she is... nevermind her husband... OK, so he is hurt that she lied about going to Wisc., but she is gone?? why don't you move heaven and earth to find her? you have a child together!! What about that poor boy! he doesn't deserve answers? Sorry...didn't mean to get going on a rant. Like I said, I have many questions. And again, I apologize for not knowing about this sooner. Oh, and WHY would she be in California? Why would she leave EVERYTHING behind and never look back? AND, who is this guy she was taking the train to go see? why isn't there ANY info on him? she would have had to be talking to him one way or another, texting, facebook, emails... dating sites...I mean come on...we are in the technology can't get away with anything anymore. and her husband is a lawyer and has lawyer friends...they can certainly find out a lot of things their 'own' way. I know I am not the first person to come up with these questions, I would just like to know the answers to them. Are they out there? the answers? I don't know if you reply to these messages, but I hope you do. 
Thanks for taking the time to read all of this. 

All are good questions and, so far, all are unanswered. Did the Woodstock Police carefully investigate the rental car? Were they able to retrieve access to it quickly enough after it was returned? Probably not. I suspect Beth's disappearance wasn't classified as a possible crime until some time later, if ever. Why would Beth park her car in Jenn's garage and then rent a car for the roadtrip. Either they planned to enjoy a newer car or wanted to hide the actual mileage for the week-end.

Beth had a driver's license. Jenn did not have a valid license, so the car must have been rented in Beth's name.

Seven years have passed. Is a court being petitioned to have her declared dead? This would allow filing for Social Security benefits for their son and a claim for life insurance proceeds. Does such a petition have to be filed in the court of last residence (McHenry County) or can it be filed in any Illinois county?

So many questions. So few answers.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Las Vegas - Trump bait?

It is a mistake for Donald Trump to go to Las Vegas. At least one news report today cited ISIS as claiming responsibility for the killings there.

Of course, ISIS will leap to the front of the line with a claim of responsibility, whether or not it had anything to do with it.

But could the killings in Las Vegas be a lure that brings Trump into a situation on short notice that could make him a target for a follow-up shooting? The Secret Service usually has weeks to plan a trip by the POTUS, and other killers could take advantage of rushed planning in this case.

Trump should stay in Washington and avoid Puerto Rico, too.

And get rid of the damned Twitter account.

 I object also to the lowering of the United States Flag for any reason. Trump has ordered the lowering of the Flag until sunset Friday.

The United States Flag should fly high every day. No act of terrorism, foreign or domestic, should result in lowering of the U.S. Flag. The Flag Code should be re-written also to remove the days of mourning clause.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Beth Bentley - where is she?

Beth Bentley, Woodstock mother, wife, employee, friend of many, disappeared in May 2010 at age 41 during a trip from Woodstock to Mt. Vernon, Ill., which is 330 miles south of Woodstock.

Her disappearance has been hashed and re-hashed here. Previous articles can be found on this site by searching for "Bentley".

Just this week an out-of-state reader wrote to me and sent me a possible lead. I've been thinking of Beth over the past few months, as May 2017 came and went. The significance of May 2017 is that it is the seven-year anniversary of her disappearance.

In Illinois there is a Presumption of Death law, under which a petition can be filed in court to have a person declared dead. If such a petition were filed and granted, this would open the way to file for death benefits under any life insurance policies (individual or group) and Social Security benefits for any minor children. Seven years' worth of Social Security ought to be worth somewhere around $25,000.

There were rumors in 2010 of a large life insurance policy. Having been in the life insurance business, I knew there were companies that would issue unreasonably (in my opinion) large policies on wives and mothers. Such insurance was popularly called Wife Insurance. It wasn't unusual to see amounts of $50,-100,000, which would cover child care and household duties for a minor child, while a surviving husband worked. But some companies would routinely approve policies for $500,000-$1,000,000. The companies I was associated with (Penn Mutual, Connecticut General, Northwestern Mutual Life) would not have considered such face amounts for two seconds.

There are many suspicious factors surrounding Beth's disappearance. Among them are

1. Why was Beth's car parked in Jenn's garage when they left for Mt. Vernon?
2. Why did they rent a car for the week-end?
3. Did investigators ever check Illinois Tollway cameras to determine who was in the car, if and when it passed through toll plazas?
4. What time did they get to Mt. Vernon?
5. Did Beth really spend Saturday on a boat on Rend Lake?
6. Did Jenn really drive Beth to Centralia and leave her at the Amtrak station? Without learning from her "best friend" what Beth was up to?
7. What really happened to the Pogue's Pizza order that was reportedly ordered from Beth's phone at about the time she was to be dropped off in Centralia?
8. Why would Beth leave the rental car with Jenn, who did not have a valid driver's license?
9. What did Beth do earlier that month on Mother's Day? Was she really in St. Louis to meet a "mystery" man? Again, why wouldn't Beth share that information with her "best friend", Jenn?
10. Why wasn't the Woodstock Police Dept. notified earlier than 10:00PM on Monday?

What was the real coordination between Woodstock PD, Mt. Vernon PD and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Dept.? Did the Zone 7 detectives at the Illinois State Police ever really get involved, as the former chief of the Woodstock PD said they would be? (N.B., how interesting to search this morning for the ISP Investigations Division for Jefferson County (Ill.) and find that one county missing from the dropdown menu on the ISP homepage?)

Three-hundred thirty miles separate Woodstock and Mt. Vernon, which made it difficult location-wise and expensive for the Woodstock PD to pursue this case. The house that Beth and Jenn visited was in Jefferson County, not in the City of Mt. Vernon, but Beth and friends supposedly had dinner on Friday night at the Frosty Mug, which would have been the only reason for Mt. Vernon P.D. to be involved.

There was a fundraiser in Woodstock for search funds for Beth. Apparently, those funds were expended on a "search" in Las Vegas shortly after the fundraiser.

Many women in southern Illinois devoted considerable time to searching for Beth in 2010 and in 2011.

Do I have a guess as to what happened? And to who knows what happened? You bet.

On Friday I'm meeting with a retired detective in southern Illinois, and I'm hoping for some fresh ideas as to how to help an interested public bring closure to this case.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Love those spam calls

Here's your chance at some free money.

Did you get any robocalls between 2009-2014 congratulating you on winning a free cruise?

Even if you don't remember, check your phone number (and don't forget my special, reduced agent's cut if you collect).

Read this article:

To find the page for looking up your phone number, go to

Go to the FAQs;
Click on 7;
Click on "here" in first line;
Tic the 3rd or 4th box and click Continue;
Enter your phone number and hit Continue.

Good luck!!!

Friday, July 28, 2017

Anthony Scaramucci - how dangerous is he?

Just how dangerous is Anthony Scaramucci, President Trump's new White House Communications Director?

In my book, he is damned dangerous.

Did Trump hire him as a hatchet man?

It'll be a good idea for Scaramucci to stay out of my face, because he doesn't scare me for a minute!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Trump - out of control

What a sleaze Donald Trump is for converting a speech before the Boy Scout Jamboree into a political speech about Obamacare and Tom Price's need to get the votes (or get fired).

Trump is out of control.

And the more he protests the whole Russia thing, the more I think he is culpable and that his buddies, including family, are guilty of misdeeds. He instantly defends them with personal outrage and attempts to deflect national attention by still pointing the finger at Hillary.

Jared Kushner smells, because he has only slowly admitted his participation in meeting with Russians. The problem seems to be more that he didn't admit to these meetings and their content than his actually being in the meetings.

I've written before that I voted for Trump and that I wouldn't have voted for Hillary for any office, even dogcatcher.

But Donald J. Trump is an embarrassment to the U.S.A. (except in his own mind).

For Trump to malign and sandbag AG Jeff Sessions is wrong. If he doesn't want him in the position, call him in and dismiss him. That's what an honest, ethical boss would do. But those are two traits missing from this president's description.

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Get National Parks Senior Pass before 8/28/17

If you are 62 and don't yet have a U.S. National Parks lifetime pass, you'll want to get it before August 28, 2017. On that date the cost of a lifetime pass increases from $10.00 to $80.00.  Yes, you read that correctly. The new fee for a lifetime pass will be $80.00.

You can buy your lifetime pass for $10.00 in-person, by mail or online. There is a $10.00 surcharge for online orders.

For information, visit and scroll down to Senior Pass.

If you have the Golden Age Passport, see information on the NPS website about its continued validity.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Sheriff Speaks Out

How would you like to be represented by this sheriff?

Sheriff Jim Matthews of Kershaw County, South Carolina (northeast of Columbia) tore a new one for Circuit Judge Alison R. Lee (South Carolina 5th Judicial District, Columbia) this week, after she got played by a defense attorney representing a criminal in her court.

Sheriff Matthews labeled the judge as a "bleeding heart judge".

You can read the story here:

The prosecution and defense attorneys had agreed to a deal of 4-8 years in prison for the defendant. But in court the defense attorney pulled out his violin and played a tune for the judge that made her cry, and she sentenced the defendant to three years' probation. The punk walked out of court. Read the story for a history of his crimes.

I wasn't in the courtroom, but it appears that the Assistant Prosecutor got sandbagged when the defense attorney flipflopped. The prosecutor should have done his homework on that attorney. I'll bet it's not the first time that defense attorney has done that.

What do you notice about the physical appearance of this sheriff? And if you saw a photo of the Richland County Sheriff, Leon Lott, you'd notice that he too is professional appearing and slim. As is Milwaukee County's David Clarke.

Then recall McHenry County's good ol' boy former sheriff. I hear he is headed back to McHenry County. Guess the Florida heat did not agree with him. Will he stay retired? Or will his cronies ante up and find a job for him near Krispy Kreme? Or maybe Bill Prim will hire him for security at the courthouse?

Friday, June 30, 2017

Customer (Dis)service at Sears

NOTE (7/7/17): The cover of this book has been changed and the text has been re-formatted. What can I say? Lesson learned.

When I worked at the Sears, Roebuck and Co. headquarters in Hoffman Estates, one of my favorite jobs was handling complaints. Actually, I wasn't supposed to handle them personally; I was supposed to farm them out to one of the four call centers. But some of the senior executives found out that I liked handling complaints. If a complaint got through all the filters and was headed to B-6, I got it - with directions not to pass it on.

I was lucky. I didn't have a supervisor standing behind me with a clipboard and a stopwatch. When the complaint got to me, I called the customer right away.

Read about the woman who was sold a used wedding band. The store wouldn't take it back or exchange it.

Read about the man who was a customer for 48 years and whose drill bit broke the first time he used it. He got roughed up so badly that he custom-made a wooden casket for that broken drill bit and sent it back to the home office.

And then there was the customer who bought $6,000 worth of home appliances and had them shipped to his home in the Bahamas. He couldn't get them out of Customs, and the store in Miami wouldn't return his phone calls or fax him the right paperwork, because calls to him were international calls!

You'll find this book (Kindle version) on for $1.99. I hope you'll pick up a copy for yourself and also gift copies to anyone you know who worked at Sears or who has their own Sears customer service story.

After you read it, please leave reviews on and


OK, I'm heading out to my mailbox now to wait for the royalties to roll in!

Freedom's Safety Place - NRA ad

This is last year's NRA Freedom's Safest Place. Gabby Franco from Venezuela speaks about the importance of guns in a free society.

The NRA has released a new Freedom's Safest Place one-minute ad featuring Dana Loesch. As soon as it's up on YouTube, I'll provide it here.

In the meantime, listen to what Gabby has to say.

There are numerous similar videos on YouTube. Just go there and search for Freedom's Safest Place. I spotted one by Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke and I'll listen to it today.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Fake news - trust it?

Be sure to view this week's offering from Prager University, called Fake News.

After you view it, please post your comments below.

And be sure to sign up for Prager U's free emails with new videos.

Donald Trump - off his rocker?

Is Donald Trump nuts?

What do you think an accurate mental health diagnosis would be of Donald Trump?

Whoever heard of a President of the United States acting the way he is? He is acting like a little spoiled brat with his Twitter account. Obviously, there is no one around him with enough influence to persuade him to stop using it.

If he doesn't like the Morning Joe show, then don't watch it.

Maybe The Donald should check into Walter Reed's psych ward for two weeks. Let Mike Pence steer the ship. Give Donald a few days of ECT and bring him back out.

If he has come to his senses (whatever those are), then maybe he'll be fit to be POTUS.

Y'all know that I voted for Trump. Anybody - even Mickey Mouse - would have been a better choice than Hillary Clinton. And we only had two choices.

But does he have a screw loose? Maybe more than one? We'd better find out sooner than later.

Added at 1:45PM CDT.

According to the Washington Post, "And just Tuesday (June 27, 2017), White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Trump’s tweets are “considered official statements by the president of the United States.” 

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:

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?


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.


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

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 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:

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

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

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 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 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:
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.