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Three years to the day since unsolved killing, York family holds vigil for Erik Miranda


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Three years after Erik Miranda was shot and killed early on a Sunday morning, the crime that remains unsolved, denying his family what they want most: closure.

Family members held a lantern vigil Thursday, Sept. 20 — the anniversary of the 24-year-old's death — at Kiwanis Lake.

York City Police officers responding to reports of shots fired just before 6 a.m. on Sept. 20, 2015, found Miranda's body in an alleyway in the 200 block of Jefferson Avenue, where he lived with his mother. 

Family members described him as a kind, caring man who was a devoted Jehovah's Witness. They said he had no enemies, which makes the homicide even more difficult to understand.

On Thursday, the family prayed together and released a handful of biodegradable lanterns into the sky above the lake to show they won't forget Miranda — or the unknown killer who remains free.

Olga Davis, Miranda's cousin, said his mother, Maria Miranda, moved to Florida shortly after his death because she "couldn't stand it to live here anymore" after the pain of losing her son.

She hasn't returned since, and she wasn't present at the vigil Thursday night.

"I'm a mother, and if something happened to one of my babies like that, I don't know how I'd push on," Davis said. "It's a kick in the stomach; I can't breathe. I can't rest at night knowing his killers are still out there, breathing and walking around, not paying for the injustice that's been done to us."

Jack Padro, Miranda's brother, said he wishes he could thank him for all that he did for him. He said he still struggles to suppress anger and negative frustration.

"I was always with him," Padro said. "He was a good person and helped me through the hard times. But now I can't even say thank you to him anymore."

The family still lives around the corner from where the shooting happened. Every year, the they meet at the scene to celebrate Miranda's life.

Davis praised York City Police for making arrests in recent shootings, but notes the status of her cousin's case.

"The police have been doing a great job tracking the current shooters doing all these terrible things in York, but Erik's case is still cold," she said.

Davis also praised local community organizations for their efforts to stop gun violence, but added the community is doing less to help grieving families such as hers.

Raul Miranda, left, and Olga Davis watch lanterns float over Kiwanis Lake in memory of Erick Miranda, Thursday, Sept. 20, 2018. Miranda was murdered Sept. 20, 2015 in a drive-by shooting. His case is one of only a few cold cases in York City. John A. Pavoncello photo (Photo: The York Dispatch)

"I don't know what can be done to stop it, and I don't know how they're going to stop it," Davis said. "York is just tired. We're sick of shootings; we're afraid to walk to the store."

Although Davis said knowing who the killer is won't take all of the pain away, it is the closest thing to closure the family can hope for.

York City Police Chief Troy Bankert explained in an email the process of handling unsolved homicide case.

"Homicides do not have statute of limitations, therefore they remain open," the chief said. "When a homicide is unsolved, we review the case as needed. However, typically, new evidence is presented which is then immediately followed up on. We do the initial investigation until all evidence is reviewed and all witnesses are questioned."

Anyone with information is asked to call police at 717-846-1234 or text "yorktips" and then the message to 847411.

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      I hope every JW here reads this article.  Please!

      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. Pennsylvania Opens Grand Jury Criminal Investigation Into Jehovah’s Witnesses; JW Survey Editor Subpoenaed
      In 1884, the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  was incorporated in the Court of Common Pleas in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. The movement of Charles Taze Russell became an established religious business, a tax-exempt corporation that would go on to control the lives of more than 8 million devoted followers, One hundred years later and four hours southeast of Allegheny, I was baptized as one of Jehovah’s Witnesses in a tiled, heated baptismal pool in Crownsville Maryland. I was 16.
      Thirty-five years after that, the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  served me with a subpoena to testify in a Grand Jury investigation into alleged criminal activity by the very same religious organization to which I devoted the formative and working years of my life. Let me explain why this happened. Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. I grew up in Baltimore, Maryland, the only child of devoted Jehovah’s Witness parents who had embraced the religion following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the escalation of the Vietnam war. Jehovah’s Witnesses pounded the pavements of Baltimore, preaching the imminence of Armageddon.
      Watchtower vice-president and oracle 
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      “What?” I exclaimed as I shot a piercing gaze across the South Carolina beach resort, expecting to hear this was some kind of joke. But it wasn’t. As it turns out, it was an open secret among dozens of families and nearly all of the elders in the congregation circuits I grew up in.
      I was horrified. At that moment I could instantly recall sitting in the rear of a Kingdom Hall after a meeting, watching Charlie approach me with my father nearby. “Mark is so polite when he answers the phone, I am very impressed He speaks to clearly and with such maturity.”
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      Louis Ongsingco Louis was a jet-setting flight attendant who frequently returned from Paris or London with expensive chocolates and other gifts for the kids he liked the most. He was also a massage therapist.
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      After a brief investigation, I discovered that Louis Ongsingco went on to sexually assault multiple women, both Jehovah’s Witnesses, and non-Witnesses. By 2001 at least seven different women filed two lawsuits against Ongsingco.
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      One of those women came forward to the Atlantic in 2019 and was interviewed by journalist Doug Quenqua, who investigated Jehovah’s Witnesses in his article 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. The Atlantic Article
      In 2018 I was introduced to journalist Douglas Quenqua, a respected writer whose work has appeared in the New York Times, CNBC, Buzzfeed, and other periodicals. Doug had learned that I had received hundreds of pages of child abuse case documents from several Jehovah’s Witness congregations, and he wanted to learn more.
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      On March 22nd, 2019, the Atlantic released Doug’s article. 24 Hours later, two elders rang our doorbell before 10 AM. We did not answer. When we checked our security camera later, it was apparent who these men were. They were church elders from the Perry Hall Congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses in Maryland.
      One of the two elders is the father of a woman who was sexually assaulted by not one, but two Jehovah’s Witness men. The men were Brineshults and Ongsingco.
       
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      On April 14th, 2019, Watchtower representative and local church elder Joel Raniolo mailed two certified letters to my home, demanding that we attend a judicial hearing at the Perry Hall church. When reached, Raniolo refused to divulge why he had sent the letters, and how he had obtained our personal information.
      On May 14th, 2019, another Church elder announced to the Perry Hall congregation that Mark and Kimberly O’Donnell are no longer Jehovah’s Witnesses. It had been 35 years since my indoctrination and baptism back in February 1984.
      The Pennsylvania Grand Jury
      In the weeks following the release of the Atlantic article, national and global attention became focused on the Jehovah’s Witness religion. In particular, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General took notice of the allegations of corruption within the Witness Organization.
      The State of Pennsylvania is no stranger to the cover-up of abuse within religious organizations. In 2018, the Attorney General’s office released the 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , following multiple substantiated reports of child sexual abuse and corresponding cover-ups. On July 2nd, 2019 I was interviewed in my home by the Deputy Assistant Attorney General of Pennsylvania, along with a Special Investigator for the State. For more than three hours I provided documentation and details concerning the policies and practices of Jehovah’s Witnesses, especially in connection with child abuse.
      On July 29th a Special Investigator arrived at my Baltimore home and served a subpoena for me to appear before the 45th Investigative Grand Jury of the State of Pennsylvania.
      Finally, on August 22nd, 2019, I arrived at the State Capitol before 7.30 AM and was sworn in by 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  in his chambers. Moments later I entered the large Grand Jury room, where 23 grand jurors and approximately 12-15 alternates were stationed at their desks, positioned to take notes and record their questions on paper. A Grand Jury is a special tool used by state and federal governments to investigate criminal allegations against persons or institutions. The powers of grand juries are wide-ranging and potent. They include the ability to subpoena and compel witnesses to testify, and those witnesses are encouraged to speak freely and without fear of reprisal.
      Any form of retaliation is taken seriously by the office of the Attorney General and the presiding judge. Of course, Jehovah’s Witnesses had already executed retaliation on my wife and me in response to our efforts to shed light on the epidemic child abuse problem within the religion.
      My testimony lasted more than two straight hours as I sat facing the Grand Jury and the Deputy Attorney General, together with several State Attorneys and Special Investigators.

      Grand Juries can be cathartic experiences for cooperative witnesses who testify on the side of civil justice. That was my experience.
      For the first half of my initial testimony, I recounted my personal history within the Jehovah’s Witness religion, beginning with my religiously isolated childhood. It was an opportunity to share my experiences with a large group of citizens who will ultimately make important decisions when they vote on the choices presented to them.
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      Branch Committees, Corporations, Circuit Overseers, Congregations, Elders, Ministerial Servants, Pioneers, Publishers- all of these found their way to the diagram of the Witness organization. Lines were drawn connecting all of the organizational machinery which comprises the Jehovah’s Witness religion. In the end, all roads terminated at the Governing Body.
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      On March 14, 1997, Watchtower released 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. , and this time they asked for documentation of known child abusers serving in any congregation. It was, in effect, an official announcement of Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. On Page two, the letter stated:
      This single sentence has formed the basis for a series of civil lawsuits in California in which 
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content.  and his team have worked many years to expose, knowing that Watchtower is harboring the names of thousands of child abusers in its database. Many of the abusers are still at large and serving in positions of authority among Jehovah’s Witnesses. These were just a few of the many letters I reviewed and certified as authentic for the Pennsylvania Grand Jury.
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    • By Jack Ryan
      For proof, you can view the newspaper clipping about it directly
      Hello guest! Please register or sign in (it's free) to view the hidden content. (May 3, 1909). ============
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      By Guest Nicole
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      David Shields 
      His defence counsel John Scullion QC earlier said: "He has asked me to apologise to Mrs Blackman's family and is ashamed of his actions that day."
      The crash happened after Ms Blackman was caught in heavy traffic on the A75 Gretna to Stranraer road around 8.30am on February 8, 2017.
      Shields was driving a truck for 911 Rescue Recovery from Stoke to Kilmarnock when he ploughed into the back of her Toyota Yaris.
      Prosecutor Liam Ewing said: "Witnesses noted that the lorry did not appear to brake until a short distance before the collision, at which time it skidded or snaked."
      The Toyota car hit a BMW in front before spinning to a halt.
      Ms Blackman died in hospital on February 23 from chest and spinal injuries caused in the crash.
      Shields told police he only noticed "at the last second" that the "traffic was not moving", and added: "I slammed the brakes on, slid and collided."
      Analysis of the seven cameras in his truck's cab showed his "attention had been on a dash-mounted mobile telephone".
      Mr Ewing said: "An analysis established he had been focusing on the phone ... therefore failing to maintain proper observations of the road ahead.
      "(This was) for a period of 18 seconds prior to reacting to the presence of the car."
      He is seen driving while checking the phone before his cab shudders as it hits Yvonne's car. It is not known what he was doing on the mobile at the time.
      Part of the charge Shields pleaded guilty to stated he did "repeatedly interact with and focus your attention" on a phone.
      David Shields' dangerous driving has irrevocably damaged many lives and our thoughts go to the family of Yvonne Blackman.
      Driving while handling a mobile phone, in any context, is illegal and dangerous and can have the most serious of consequences."
      – DAVID GREEN, HEAD OF SCOTTISH FATALITIES INVESTIGATIONS UNIT

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    • Guest Nicole
      By Guest Nicole
      Robin Freitag, a loved mom and grandmother, had been missing for over a month Her family were 'suspicious' about her boyfriend, 52-year-old David A. Callaghan While searching around Freitag's property, they found her remains in a fire pit  Callaghan has now been charged with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse The remains of a ‘loving mom, grandma and friendÂ’ have tragically been discovered in a fire pit by members of the murdered womanÂ’s family, who became suspicious after finding her burnt Bible.
      Robin Freitag, who would have celebrated her 54th birthday last Saturday, had been missing for more than a month from her Akron home in Ohio.
      As a result of her relatives' gruesome discovery, Akron police have charged her live-in-boyfriend, David A. Callaghan, 52, with murder, tampering with evidence and abuse of a corpse.
      FreitagÂ’s relatives had regarded him as a suspect in relation to her disappearance, as she had not been in contact with her daughter, Kim, since July 31.
      According to the Akron Beacon Journal, Freitag’s family were searching around her property last Thursday when her cousin, Angela Nottingham, spotted burnt paper, including a piece bearing the word ‘Jahovah’.
      She posted on Facebook: ‘Not everyone would think that much of that. But I knew if Robin was alive and well, that she would never allow anyone to burn her Bible.’

      Read more: 
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    • By Jack Ryan
      Whelp, it “only” took two years, but they finally had closing on the Halifax, PA KH that they stole from the folks that paid for it Because of expansion in the area, it was built in 1985, had a mortgage of about 80k, and then a renovation / pavement mortgage of about 50k. Also the land was purchased outright by a widow, and donated, which was about $26,400. Shuttered the place in 2016. Closed on it last week.
      Started with approx 100 pubs.
      Closed with approx 70 pubs.
      And now that money goes to those sons of bitches.
      Awesome.

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    • By Bible Speaks
      AUSTRALIA
      ASSASSINATION OF A COMPLETE WITNESS FAMILY.
      A disgruntled Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre has spoken of his children going to a "new system" after his tragic death.
      The bodies of the four autistic children of Aaron Cockman, Taye, 13, Rylan, 12, Arye, 10 and Kadyn Cockman, eight, were found on Friday at the family farm in Osmington, in rural western Australia.
      The youngsters, as well as Katrina, a separated couple of Mr Cockman, 35, and his mother Cynda, 58, are believed to have been shot dead by the children's grandfather, Peter Miles, 61.
      "My whole family has remained strong, we were all seated last night and it was not tears or tears ... it all smiled, laughed and joked," said Mr. Cockman, according to The West.
      Aaron Cockman, a Jehovah's Witness whose family was killed in the Margaret River massacre, spoke of his children going to a "new system" after their tragic deaths.

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    • By The Librarian
      A man who is accused of murdering an electrician as he was working at a Jehovah's Witness hall is to be moved to hospital for a psychiatric assessment.
      Keith Beviss, aged 54, of Woodhayes Drive, Honiton, is currently on remand at Long Lartin Prison but is likely to be transferred shortly.
      He is due to be tried at Exeter Crown Court on November 27 for the murder of 55-year-old Philip Ryan at the Jehovah Witness Kingdom Hall in Dowell Street, Honiton, on Tuesday June 6.

      Mr Ryan, a married electrician from Westward Ho!, North Devon, was found with fatal stab wounds. He had run Ryan Alarms and Electrical Services with friend Chris Ley for 30 years after moving to Devon from Henley on Thames.
      Beviss appeared at Exeter Crown Court by video link from Long Lartin and spoke only to confirm his name.
      Mr Simon Laws, QC, prosecuting, said a report has been received from consultant psychiatrist Dr John Sandford, who examined Beviss on behalf of the defence.
      He said the Crown hope to obtain their own report from a second consultant psychiatrist, Dr Philip Joseph, who hopes to interview the defendant after he has been transferred from jail to a psychiatric hospital.
      Judge Geoffrey Mercer, QC, adjourned the case for a further hearing on November 3, when the arrangements for the trial will be finalised. He remanded Beviss into custody.

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