Paragraph five reads: “Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer
said Friday that Liles had been taking medication
for depression and probably took his own life with a gunshot to the
A slow burn suddenly turns deadly in Minkler, Calif.
First there was a series of fires in the small town east of Fresno. Then
came the shootings. On Thursday, a shootout left a sheriff’s deputy dead and two
other law enforcement officers injured.
(Paul Sakuma /
Associated Press / February 26, 2010)
By Diana Marcum
Reporting from Minkler Trouble had been brewing in tiny
Minkler, a Sierra foothills community about 20 miles east of Fresno, for months.
But residents never envisioned that it would end with two people — one a
sheriff’s deputy — dead and two other law enforcement officers
Joel Wahlenmaier, 49, a veteran with the Fresno County Sheriff’s
Department who investigated homicides and other violent crimes, was killed in
Thursday’s gunfire. Deputy Mark Harris, 48, was injured.
Javier Bejar, a
Reedley police officer who responded to the call for backup in the minutes after
Wahlenmaier was shot, is on life support at Community Regional Medical Center in
Fresno and is not expected to survive.
The suspect, Ricky Ray Liles, 51,
died during the gun battle that erupted when authorities attempted to serve him
with a search warrant.
Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer said Friday that
Liles had been taking medication for depression and probably took his own life
with a gunshot to the head.
Liles had told his wife “that he would not go
to prison,” Dyer said at a news conference. “He would take the lives of several
officers before taking his own life.”
On Friday, what there is of Minkler
was cordoned off as a crime scene, helicopters buzzing overhead.
Minkler’s worries began about five months ago with small fires. A bunch of
leaves here, a patch of grass there.
“You’d come out and say, ‘How did
that tractor seat catch on fire?’ ” said rancher Jeff Rodenbeck,
Eventually, a shed and a trailer burned. Then the shootings started.
Someone shot up the Minkler Cash Store six times since January. On Monday,
someone fired four bullets into Sally Minkler’s mobile home.
she bent over to get her cellphone and the bullet went right where her torso had
been,” said Mary Novack, who runs the Minkler Cash Store, the nerve-center and
commercial entirety of Minkler, a town so small it once was listed for sale on
Residents were convinced the culprit was Liles, a former security
guard renting a mobile home on Minkler family property across from the
“He was just your average pasty white guy with a bad back,” said
Jeff Butts, who grows grapes and plums along the Kings River.
you know all your neighbors, you look around and say, ‘Well, I know it’s not
Mary, and it’s not Charlie and it’s not Sally’ . . . and pretty soon everyone
came up with Liles,” Butts said. “He wasn’t friends with anyone. But no one ever
actually saw anything they could prove. Things were getting tense out
On Thursday morning, Novack was relieved when she saw law
enforcement vehicles pull up to Liles’ place. She called Butts and told him cops
were about to knock on Liles’ door.
“Hey, this guy is finally going down,
let’s go to the store and watch,” Butts said he told one of his
A small crowd gathered on the front porch of the general store,
which has held court in Minkler since 1920. They watched as a deputy kicked in
the door, shots were fired, an officer slumped, more law enforcement came and a
prolonged gun battle raged.
“I was stunned. I didn’t even get down,”
Butts said. “I kept thinking, ‘What are they doing? Those can’t be real
bullets.’ The cops are saying hundreds of rounds were fired, but it had to be
He was incredulous when a woman, later identified as Liles’
wife, Diane, and a dog emerged from the trailer. “I don’t see how anyone came
out of that alive,” Butts said.
Half a mile down the road, Rodenbeck
heard the first volley of shots. He loaded a pistol and rifle, and got his wife
and teenage daughter away from the house in case gunmen emerged from the woods
behind their home. Then he went to see what was going on.
When the bigger
gun battle began, he crouched inside his truck’s tire well.
is the country, gunfire is not a big deal, you hear it all the time. Someone’s
shooting at coyotes. Or skeet,” he said. “But this was a war zone. It sounded
like the cops had automatic rifles and they kept shooting. If you’d been here,
you would have hit the ground. It rocked this place. He killed a cop right in
front of them, and they don’t take lightly to that and I can’t say I blame
Rodenbeck moved to Minkler from Huntington Beach to raise his
family away from the city. He likes the beauty — “this is river bottom, green
all the time” — the quiet, and the fact that men such as Charles Minkler, the
great-grandson of Orzo Minkler, who founded the town in 1892, can still load
1,000 bales of hay. Minkler is in his 70s.
“Out here, men don’t get old.
They get beat up and wrinkled, but they don’t use canes,” Rodenbeck said. “They
have chores to do.”
But he was never under any illusion that violence
couldn’t touch this place.
“They say they used to hang people from that
tree over there,” he said. “Charlie can tell you about the bandits that used to
hide out in these hills. Different people have different reasons for wanting to
be out somewhere quiet.”
Novack, 54, recalls drug-dealing motorcycle
gangs in the 1970s. As a teenager, she glimpsed white-robed Ku Klux Klan members
burning crosses at the river’s edge.
“That’s a sight you never forget,”
Novack said. “It’s chilling.”
She looked around at the orchards in bloom,
snow-dusted peaks and sheepdogs trying to make friends with the
“People are saying, ‘In Minkler? It’s so beautiful and quiet
there.’ But good and evil are everywhere,” she said. “Right in front of you.
Right next to each other all the time.”
Marcum is a
special correspondent for The Times.
The Associated Press contributed to
Copyright © 2010, The Los Angeles
Paragraph four reads: “The court heard that Mr Khan had
been seen by a psychiatrist and was taking anti-depressants at the
time of his death. No note was found among his possessions.”
Guard from Bolton hit by train identified by DNA
9:20am Thursday 22nd October 2009
A SECURITY guard hit by a train
on a Bolton railway line was identified by his DNA.
An inquest jury
recorded an open verdict on Mohammed Younis Khan, aged 46, whose remains were
found on April 10, the morning after a train driver reported hitting something
in the dark at Gilnow, half a mile from Bolton Station.
Khan lived alone in View Street, Daubhill, and was one of seven children brought
up in Bolton after his parents moved to Britain.
The court heard that Mr
Khan had been seen by a psychiatrist and was taking anti-depressants at the time
of his death. No note was found among his possessions.
David Baker told the court he had been driving the Transpennine Express train
from Blackpool to Manchester, at 11.30pm, on April 9, and heard a thud. However,
after stopping at the next signal he could find no evidence of an impact.
A search was made of the line, but it was only in daylight that Mr
Paragraph 8 reads: “Mr Hobbs, who had been diabetic for 10 years, died on May 17 from a traumatic head injury, five days after being prescribed anti-depressants.”
Last paragraph reads: “Coroner William Morris recorded verdict of suicide.”
Soham Man Who Was Depressed After Losing His Job Shot Himself At Home
18:21 – 04 August 2009
DISTRAUGHT and depressed after losing his job, JCB driver John Hobbs shot himself in the garden of his Soham home.
Just one day after being made redundant, 63-year-old Mr Hobbs went into a deep depression.
“From that day, the John I knew and loved was gone, and we began to argue,” his loving wife Gwendoline told an inquest at Ely Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday.
“He was anxious and desperate to find a new job,” she said in a statement to the coroner. “He started to worry about bills and money, because he only received Job Seeker’s allowance.”
Mr Hobbs was so desperate to get a new job, that he even approached members of the public in the doctor’s surgery car park, asking for a job, said Mrs Hobbs.
He lost nearly two stone in weight over a 10-week period. “He looked gaunt; he was a shell of himself.
“His behaviour became worse, and he said he wished he was dead.”
Mr Hobbs, who had been diabetic for 10 years, died on May 17 from a traumatic head injury, five days after being prescribed anti-depressants.
Mr and Mrs Hobbs had been married for 43 years, and lived together in Cornmills Road at Soham.
“Sometime in the afternoon I heard a very loud bang from the rear garden, it sounded like a shotgun, I was very worried,” said Mrs Hobbs in her statement.
He started work for Bradford Properties in 1967; he was very proud of his job, and always eager to get work.
After being diagnosed with diabetes, Mr Hobbs struggled with his weight, and found taking his medication a chore.
He was looking forward to retirement, but in December last year was given 12 weeks’ notice, and even offered to work for half pay.
Coroner William Morris recorded verdict of suicide.
Notice from the article below that this fellow had been abruptly discontinued from his antidepressant when incarcerated in November. Then while still in the critical withdrawal stage was re-introduced to the use of an antidepressant – likely a new one since jails and prisons have access to a select few they prescribe. So he likely had three strikes against him leading to his sudden and very determined suicide.
Dr. Ann Blake-Tracy, Executive Director, International Coalition For Drug Awareness
Paragraph four reads: “The jury inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Mr Brown had been at the prison for five weeks and was four days away from being released when he was seen by a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants.”
SSRI Stories note: The most likely time for suicidal behaviors and SSRI antidepressants are: 1. When first starting the drugs: 2. When stopping the drugs. 3. While increasing the dose: 4. While decreasing the dose. 5. When switching from one SSRI to another antidepressant.
Coroner criticises healthcare at Nottingham Prison
Monday, July 27, 2009, 07:00
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A CORONER has criticised health services at Nottingham Prison after an inmate committed suicide hours after his release.
Gary Brown, 39, of Cranwell Road, Strelley, drowned on December 24, 2007.
He was seen jumping off Trent Bridge less than three hours after he was released from the prison.
The jury inquest at Nottingham Coroner’s Court heard Mr Brown had been at the prison for five weeks and was four days away from being released when he was seen by a psychiatrist and given anti-depressants.
Notts coroner Dr Nigel Chapman said there was a “huge gap” between Mr Brown seeing a GP on his arrival at the prison and seeing a psychiatrist.
The inquest heard there was a lack of communication between health workers, and one doctor at the prison called it “an entirely haphazard system”.
Mr Brown arrived at Nottingham Prison on November 15, 2007. He saw a GP, Dr Lloyd, the next day, who said Mr Brown was not showing symptoms of mental health problems.
Mr Brown said he had previously been prescribed anti-depressants but Dr Lloyd did not renew the prescription as he could not obtain any previous medical records.
Other members of the health team said they tried to get hold of Mr Brown’s medical records but were unable to trace them.
Dr Julian Kenneth Henry, who also saw Mr Brown, told the inquest the amount of time between the prisoner arriving and seeing a psychiatrist was “unprecedented”.
He said: “Unfortunately, in a prison setting there are an awful lot of people involved and there are failures of communication on a daily basis.
“It’s an entirely haphazard system. It’s a very disjointed system and there is not an excuse for it.”
Mr Brown saw psychiatrist Dr Trevor Boughton on December 20 and was given a prescription for anti-depressants.
Dr Boughton said Mr Brown seemed anxious but not psychotic or suicidal.
He said: “He seemed very eager to be released from prison. He spoke very fondly of his brother, whom he was hoping to spend Christmas with.”
The inquest heard the medication was not likely to have had any effect on Mr Brown by the time he was released four days later.
Senior prison officer Vince McGonigle said Mr Brown was released between 9am and 9.30am on December 24 and seemed “in an agitated state”.
Less than three hours later, at around 11.45am, a member of the public saw him jump from Trent Bridge into the River Trent.
Kyle Charles told the inquest: “I saw a person in the water and tried shouting at him. I managed to get the orange ring off the wall and threw that into the water but he swam away from it.
“When he saw me taking my jacket off he held his nose and then started to push himself under the water. He went down, came back up, went down and never came back up again.”
Mr Brown’s body was pulled from the water at 2.55pm. There was no evidence of any violence and no alcohol found in his system.
The jury returned a verdict of suicide, with a majority of six to two. They said there had been a “severe breakdown” of communication during Mr Brown’s care.
Coroner Dr Chapman said: “Clearly there have been difficulties here and the prison has taken those on board.”
But he said Mr Brown’s time in prison would have been a good opportunity to put him on medication and monitor him.
He added “a simple phone number” for a crisis team would be beneficial for people leaving prison.