Thursday, September 17, 2009

Update: Scott Malmstrom (July Dead Body Story)

Yesterday's Appeal Democrat had a "Breaking News" story about the murder of Scott Malmstrom. I mentioned him in two posts a couple months ago. Look here and here for the original posts.

So, yesterday afternoon, the Yuba County Sheriff's Department reported that they have arrested a Marysville man on suspicion of homicide in the case of Scott Malmstrom. If you saw/read my previous posts about the dead man, you'll know that he was a registered sex offender. His body was found in a Linda, CA apartment complex after neighbors reported a foul odor coming from Malmstrom's apartment. Anyway, the fellow they arrested is Todd Allen Cole, a 25 year old man who was already in custody at the Yuba County Jail on an unrelated parole hold.

The Appeal Democrat did a little research and found out that this guy, Cole, was arrested by the Yuba City Police Department back in April on suspicion of violating parole, possessing false identification and vandalism, and was booked into Sutter County Jail. He was listed as a Yuba City resident in that arrest. I haven't seen any mention by the paper nor anyone else that states what the original crime was that he was on parole for. The guy is supposed to be arraigned either sometime today or on Monday. Whenever it is, I hope the paper sends a reporter so they can put more info in their story about the crime and about Cole's history.

What I would like answered is;
  • What was the original crime he was on parole for?
  • What was the parole violation he was picked up for in April?
  • When was he released from the Sutter County Jail?
  • When was he re-arrested for parole violations by the Yuba County law enforcement agencies?
  • What was the parole violation he was picked up for by Yuba County law enforcement agencies?
And those questions are just for starters!

Malmstrom's sister, Jennifer, has posted comments here a couple times on the story I did on July 29th. The first time, she was asking for anyone with information to come forward and give the info to the investigators. The second time was to tell me and my readers that Cole had been arrested. Jennifer, you may not believe it, but I had just read the story in the paper and copy/pasted it off to a separate document so I could use the information in it to write this post. I apologize to you for not getting this written yesterday. I also saw your comment at the bottom of the Appeal Democrat article. I wasn't aware until reading your comments how many times Cole allegedly stabbed your brother. 17 stab wounds equals a lot of anger in my opinion. It will be interesting to see how this case proceeds and to find out what kind of evidence they have against Cole.

I have to admit that I don't have much sympathy for the victim in this case. He was a sex offender and had his own victims. I do have sympathy for his family, though. The trial is going to be hard on them and I hope they have the strength to make it through the ordeal.

Source: UPDATE: Man arrested for July slaying in Linda

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More Fire Images (Updated)

I'm still watching the news about the fires still burning around the state, especially the huge fire in Southern California, the one named "Station Fire". One of the things I'm watching is it's approach to Mount Wilson and the century old observatory there. Mount Wilson also hosts the communication towers for most of the radio and television stations in the Los Angeles basin. I can remember visiting the observatory up on that peak years ago. It has always amazed me that an observatory so near to the smoggy LA basin could get clear views of space. I've felt the same about the Griffith Observatory... Anyway, a really good way to keep track of what is happening up on Mount Wilson is to check in with the web cam that sits on top of the Solar Tower.

Here's some screen captures from last night and this morning:


This one was taken a little while after sunset. I wish I had thought to capture one the sunset views. Maybe I'll try tonight.


This one was just before I went to bed last night...


And this one is from this morning... So far so good. The fire is close, and unfortunately it's getting closer. I just hope that the observatory survives. It's a piece of history and it's an important facility for the scientists who watch the skies.

Another image I want to share is one that I "borrowed" from twitter. A fellow posted a link to it and said that it was an image that had been uploaded to a local media site. I don't know which site, nor do I know who took it, but it's such a striking photo... When I first saw the image I almost thought it was a CGI (Computer Generated Image) or a painting... What do you think? CGI? Painting? Nope.. It's an honest to goodness photo... Kudos to the photographer, whoever you might be...



Just a little note here, I haven't stopped watching the news about crimes. Still watching things locally and still watching the national news. I've been keeping up on the Anthony's and what they're all up to, and I still have an alert in google for anything that Phil Spector and his wife do. And lately, I've been watching the news about Jaycee Dugard and her kidnappers, Phillip and Nancy Garrido. I don't know when I'll post about them, but I'm sure I will eventually.


Just a quick update about the link to the Mount Wilson Observatory web cam that's in the post above; Unfortunately the web server is down now. All the smoke that had been building up close to the web cam on the Solar Tower was from backfires set by firefighters trying to protect the main structures and communication towers. So far, so good. They are burning off the undergrowth and dead pine needles on the ground and keeping the flames out of the trees themselves.

Here are the last three entries from the blog (which is temporarily being hosted elsewhere), the second entry explains why the web cam is down:
1 Sep 09, 2:04 pm PDT - CHARA Site Manager Larry Webster, who left the mountain yesterday morning, has told me that what we see on the TV feeds is exactly what the fire fighters told him they would do to deplete flammables on the ground. Their plan, which they would have implemented earlier had they not been withdrawn, was to start these groundlevel fire and literally walk along with them to keep them controlled. This is why we see no flames. The fires will consume the accumulation of needles from the many pine and fir trees as well as other scrub growth that could flame up and ignite lower limbs that would them permit the blossoming of the entire tree into flames. All the smoke we see is entirely consistent with this procedure. Larry and Dave are both delighted to see what's going on, but I've got to say that seeing smoke next to those domes is very unsettling to me. Still, I know what the fire fighters are now doing is necessary to save the Observatory.

1 Sep 09, 2:15 pm PDT - The Mount Wilson webserver went down moments ago, most likely due to a backfire infiltration of a pull box containing telephone lines that bring us our T1 internet service. All future updates will be posted here.

- The Battalion fire chief on Mount Wilson has just called both Larry and Dave to ask how to turn off the fire alarm up there! His name is Cam Todd and he's a Cal Fire chief with crews from Calaveras County. These are the same fire crews who did such a fantastic job prepping the place over the weekend before they were withdrawn yesterday morning. Chief Todd confirmed that these are indeed backfires and he said his guys are doing a heck of a job and their efforts are going just great!