Stamford, Conn. – Dead witnesses, “Black bag” consultants promoting Islamofacism, CIA cover ups... here's a story that's sure to go down as one of the more bizarre cases in annals of white collar crime. It has been learned that a Fairfield County grand jury has reopened an investigation into the 2002 slaying of Stamford businessmen Pasquel Valentine and Al Tate. Now being referred to as the "Ultimate Severance Case," it is now alleged that this investigation first went cold as part of an elaborate government cover up.
By way of background, in September 2002, Valentine and Tate, principles of the high-level PR strategy consultancy Valentine-Tate, Inc. of Stamford Connecticut, mysteriously disappeared only to be found two weeks later buried in a sand trap near the 6th-hole green at the Pound Ridge Country Club north of New Canaan. According to the coroner's office, the exact cause of death was not known but they "both appeared to have fallen from a high place." After a year and a half without any further leads the case went cold and was subsequently listed as "unsolved."
Fast forward to Spring 2005, former PR executive James Baar releases the popular novel "Ultimate Severance." Baar's novel coincidentally is a fictional exposé of the murder of two global agency executives, Trotter Pugg Mitchell CEO Marvin Runnymede and TPM Executive Vice President Grant Pinky. The two are killed when they fall 46 floors in a private elevator shaft that had been recently “repaired” by mob enforcers. In the novel, the murders are ordered by the mob to cover up details of the agency’s service offering, the "Corporate Governance Program," where large fee assures permanent removal of executives blocking corporate takeovers.
It has been learned that audio tapes, recently delivered to Connecticut police in an unmarked package, disclose that Valentine-Tate had established a cut-off PR consultancy, the Iman Group whose sole purpose was to build a peace-loving image of Islamofacist organizations in America. According to the tapes, Iman (“faith” in Arabic) originally was funded and supported by Fatah with rogue CIA money and protection. Informed sources say that both money and protection dried up with recent victories of Iran-backed Hamas in Gaza.
Reached for comment, Baar insists that “Ultimate Severance” is a “work of fiction but obviously all fiction has to be based on something.” Baar would not comment further on advice of his attorney. However, his attorney said he'd be releasing a statement in the next few days.
Ken Wolfson is a freelance investigative reporter. Wolfson's career spans more than 25 years. He began his career in the late 1980s at the infamous San Francisco alternative paper, People's Gazette; and in 1986, joined the Financial News Network as director of investigative reporting. In 1993 Ken gained national notoriety for his investigation into the pharma industry which was the subject of the Academy-Award-nominated documentary film "Dr. Feel Good." Wolfson, co-founder of the Stamford Center for Investigative Journalism, is also the recipient of numerous Emmys and other honors, including three Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University silver and golden Baton awards, two Peabodys and a Polk Award.
WARNING: Dramatic mood change. Here we cannot be more serious. This post is for perspective. How often in the daily minutia of manufactured perception do we lose sight of what's real? How 'bout every minute of every day. This, however, is real.
Here we present a photo documentary by one of our more intrepid "Amandas." One of our colleagues here just got back from a Jesuit mission to Africa. There she visited Kenya and Tanzania for the experience of cultural "immersion." And that she did.
Directly below are a series of thumbnails (click on each to see the full view). These shots are from the Kibera slums in Nairobi, one of the largest slums in the world. The approximate size of New York's Central Park, Kibera is inhabited by over a million people... all without running water or electricity. Just try to imagine one day without the Internet. Imagine.
But there unlike our world, among the filth, dirt floors and corrugated tin shacks, are the faces of angels. The shots below are of the boy and girls of St. Secilia Academy. Note: Most, if not all, are orphans; most of their parents have died from AIDS.
SO STOP WHATEVER YOU'RE DOING! We invite you to take a little time with each. Each one has something for us to keep in mind as we otherwise contemplate endless iterations of strategies and tactics for promoting our overwhelming material abundance. See what I'm saying?
On Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:41 AM, Ronn Torossian, President and CEO of 5WPR, emphatically promised that he was going to sue us. No real reason, he was just irritated by our teasing him about getting in bed with pornographer Joe Francis. Anyway, Ronn gave his obscenity-laced word that we'd see the complaint in 72 hours. It's now late by
Kathleen Durazo about A Measly $2.8 Million Goes Missing, Lawsuit Results Fri, Jul 31, 10:58:34 AM Ray Durazo (the founder) sold the company to Dan in 1999. He was not involved in any of this. He (and I) found out about the lawsuit in the LA Times. In addition to embezzling this m [...]