The Anatomy of Public Corruption

Showing posts with label Attorneys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Attorneys. Show all posts

Move the Truth

The current CEO and Chairman plus their billionaire owners should be charged with racketeering, obstruction of Justice

Paul Pelosi

By ASSOCIATED PRESS 08/23/2022 02:15 PM EDT SAN FRANCISCO — The husband of U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pleaded guilty Tuesday to misdemeanor driving under the influence charges related to a May crash in California’s wine country and was sentenced to five days in jail and three years of probation. Paul Pelosi already served two days in jail and received conduct credit for two other days, Napa County Superior Court Judge Joseph Solga said. Paul Pelosi will work eight hours in the court’s work program in lieu of the remaining day, Solga said during Paul Pelosi’s sentencing, which he did not attend.


The Funeral of Nathaniel Greenan and the murder of Alicia Driscoll and daughter


Super Lawyer James Greenan

Surrounded by family with his son Nate Greenan lying in casket.

Super Lawyer James Greenan

Surrounded by family with his son Nate Greenan lying in casket.

Victim: Nathaniel Greenan

  • Sister: Cecilia Greenan Ashcroft
  • Sister: Nancy Greenan Hamil
  • Father: James Greenan
  • Brother in-law: Dax Craven, disbarred represented Bennett who lost his sons to the Mormons
Oracle and 9/11
Profile of Oracle employee Todd Beamer killed during WTC Attacks.
Larry Ellison
Connecting Larry Ellison ownership of Knowledge Universe which owns Kinder Care, Leap Frog and other entities.

Contra Costa Stupid Lawyers

Surrounded by the greedy Alamo 1st Mormon Ward

James S. Greenan
Profile and history of James S. Greenan
Richard Rainey and the Mormons
In the matter of Bennett vs. Southern Pacific a witness murder went down in 1989. The witness was slated to testify on behalf of Pete Bennett. The case fell apart on the courthouse steps. Judge Peter Spinetta should be a hostile witness now living in Darby Montana.

Alicia Driscoll and daughter Jineva

She was murdered sometime between our last conversation about the picinic.

The Unnoticed Lies of the Investigators

Sadly few noticed that Alicia Driscoll brother name was all over the CalFire Pipeline Safety Reports

The Unnoticed Lies of the Investigators

During the court proceedings no one ever mentioned that the sister of Mountain Cascade employee Joe Driscoll had been murdered. Not even the district attorney or her other brother Commander George Driscoll of CalDOJ or Contra Costa DA Inspector. That also suggests they have connections to the Contra Costa Narcotics Taskforce (CNET

Victims and Witnesses
  • Victim 1: Alicia Driscoll
  • Victim 2: Jineva Driscoll (5)
  • Witness 3: Joe Driscoll, brother of Alicia Residence: Norris Road Walnut Creek
  • Witness 4: Joe Driscoll, brother of Alicia Residence
  • Friend 1: Pete Bennett
Norris Road Walnut Creek
Norris Road Walnut Creek
  • Details: Shared house in title and residence.
  • Friend 1: Pete Bennett
  • First Contact: 161 Valle Vista Danville CA, responded to classified ad posted in regards to PLAY STRUCTURE "for sale" Alicia passed but suspect she didn't have funds 
Connecting Events (December 2004)
  • Dec. 2004 ~ Bennett lists backyard play structure on Craigslist ~ Alicia Driscoll responds but declines likely due to lack of funds.
  • Dec. 2004 ~ Bennett sells structures to unknown person in white van. Bennett realizes later unknown person was Nathaniel Greenan son Contra Costa Bar President James S. Greenan
Walnut Creek McDonalds
  • Bennett was stationed at the Walnut Creek McDonalds using Wifi
  • Alicia and daughter were regulars visitors
  • Over a period of month a friendship developed
The Final Call from Alicia
  • During June Alicia called suggesting a picnic with mutual children ;
  • The call was early in the week
  • The plans were set but the date/time would be set via the next call
She never called
What happened next is Pete attempted to reach her via email and phone.
  • Bennett tried to call to get the date and time.
  • Bennett reached out several times with no luck
  • Bennett read part of the article about a mom and daughter murdered but failed to make the connection to his friend as the names withheld pending notification
The Corrupted DA and Attorneys
Pete Bennett in the middle of a caustic divorce which included arson, muggings, tickets and court hearings while his customers vanished. What Bennett didn't know in 2005 the police scandal that spilled out in 2011 was his same adversaries for close to ten years.

Matthew Philip Harrington #76693

Attorney Licensee Profile

Matthew Philip Harrington #76693

License Status: Active
Address: Hughes Gill Cochrane Tinetti, 2820 Shadelands Dr, Ste 160, Walnut Creek, CA 94598-2525
County: Contra Costa County
Phone Number: (925) 926-1200
Fax Number: (925) 926-1202
Law School: UC Hastings COL; San Francisco CA 

License Status, Disciplinary and Administrative History

Below you will find all changes of license status due to both non-disciplinary administrative matters and disciplinary actions.

DateLicense StatusDisciplineAdministrative Action
12/21/1977Admitted to The State Bar of California
CLA Sections:None
California Lawyers Association (CLA) is an independent organization and is not part of The State Bar of California.

The Murder connected to a Nuclear Generating Station and adjacent Camp Pendleton

Murder at the Nuclear Plant

This is personal as Pete Bennett took out a large policy in 1997.  Within a few years the medical started culminating with several severe to almost fatal by 2006. Ignored by the hospital, investigators and police.  Nearly twenty years later-nothing to show. 

A successful wife is declared dead from nicotine poisoning - is her "Jeopardy!"-winning husband smart enough to get away with murder?

Produced by Paul LaRosa, Gayane Keshishyan, Doreen Schechter and Joan Adelman

To this day, friends like Merry Seabold and Bill Sandretto can't understand why Linda Curry never left her husband, Paul.

"She's not gonna make it if she stays with him," Merry Seabold told "48 Hours" correspondent Erin Moriarty. "'Linda, I got to get you out of the house. ... Just get out of that house.'"

"I said, 'You got to get away from him. He's trying to kill you. It's obvious,'" Sandretto said. "I can't believe she wants to stay there.

Orange County Prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh is taking on a case that's been unsolved for nearly two decades, but he believes he'll be the one to prove Paul Curry poisoned Linda with nicotine.

"There's no doubt in my mind that she loved him. She died because she loved him," Baytieh told Moriarty. "Up to the moment she died, that few minutes before midnight on June 9, 1994, in her mind ...'He's the loving husband who's holding my hand who loves me, who plays music for me-- who tells me all the nice stuff.' she wasn't going to believe anything about him."

Merry Seabold was one of Linda's closest friends.

"She said, 'Oh Paul is such a good husband. He wouldn't do that,'" Seabold said of Linda.

Seabold and Linda met in the 1960s, when they both worked at Southern California Edison inside the San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant.

"It was instant bonding," Seabold said of their friendship. "She was tall, I was tall. She loved to eat, I loved to eat and we could eat in those days."

"What's the first thing that comes to mind when you think about Linda?" Moriarty asked.

"Fashionista," Seabold replied. "Always nice new outfits with shoes to match, purse to match, earrings to match, bracelets to match."

The two career women started at entry-level positions but quickly moved up.

"We were go-getters," said Seabold, "and we wanted to get ahead."

As Linda advanced in her career, moving from secretary to management, she divorced two husbands and began dating Bill Sandretto, a life insurance salesman.

"She had a great, personality," Sandretto told Moriarty. "Very loving. We went on trips together. ...We had a great time."

Linda and Sandretto dated on and off for eight years, but he didn't want to get married.

"The only thing that was bothering me was the way she spent money," he explained.

"And she would spend a lot of money?" Moriarty asked.

"She would spend it. Yeah, for every dollar she made, she spent two," Sandretto said. "I used to go crazy."

And Linda kept spending, buying herself a big house in San Clemente.

"I have never seen a more beautiful house in my whole life," said Frankie Thurber, who was a close friend and co-worker. "Linda's house was a dream house. It's where a princess would live."
Paul and Linda Curry /> And Linda thought she had met her prince when she started dating Paul Curry in 1989. He was 32 and she was 45.

"...they would talk their little baby talk ... The little nicknames. It was a little bit sickening," Seabold said with a laugh.

Curry was hired as an engineer to consult at Southern California Edison, teaching the power plant's nuclear engineers about safety issues.

Mike Flower was Curry's boss.

"Paul had a sterling reputation. He was extremely smart," Flower said. "The only real complaint most people had with Paul was that he was too smart."

"But when people would say he's too smart, was that because he's arrogant too or just because he showed everybody else up?" Moriarty asked.

"He let people know, but in a playful way," said Flower.

"I thought that he was very egotistical," said Thurber.

Curry bragged about winning thousands on "Jeopardy!" in the 1980s, and being a member of Mensa, the international society of people with high IQs. But that didn't bother Linda.

"He thought highly of himself, there was no doubt about it," Seabold said. "He liked to take over the conversation and kinda talk over her. And -- and she would sit back and allow it because, again, she liked showing his intelligence off."

Linda had some reservations about Curry, but the two got married on Sept. 12, 1992, three years after they began dating.

Asked if it was a passionate relationship, Seabold told Moriarty, "I don't think passion played into this relationship. ...I think it was a comfort. But it wasn't passion. It wasn't passion."

"It wasn't looks. ...It wasn't money," Baytieh explained. "It was the idea that, 'I am with somebody who is so brilliant.'"

Linda also wondered why her much younger new husband seemed so "uninterested."

"How did you know that they weren't having any sex?" Moriarty asked Sandretto.

"She told me," he replied.

And then there were the money issues. Paul and Linda had combined annual salaries of at least $140,000, but Linda noticed she had less money than ever. The reason soon became clear: Curry was helping to support two ex-wives and three children -- families he'd kept hidden from Linda.

"It was just those little lies that just kept coming up," said Seabold.

 48 Hours Segment Extras
Two sides of Paul Curry

Lies and suspicious behavior, like a $1 million life insurance policy Curry asked Linda to buy making him the beneficiary.

"They had been married maybe a month and she called me one night and says, 'You know Merry, Paul wants to take out a million-dollar life insurance policy on me, what do you think?" Seabold said. "'Are you crazy? Are you kidding me, why would you do that?'"

"He comes into this marriage with practically nothing ... and she's got a beautiful house, beautiful furniture, beautiful clothes, wonderful circle of friends," Seabold continued. "And what is he bringing to the table? And now he wants a life insurance policy on her for a million dollars? Red flag."

Linda never got that extra policy, but it hardly mattered because, as Curry knew, Linda already had several life insurance policies worth almost a million dollars and Curry was named the beneficiary on some of them.

"I said, 'Get him off ... You need to change your life policy right away,'" Sardetto warned Linda. "That's when she told me, she said, 'I'll give it to you.' And I said, 'No, don't give it to me. Give it to your sister.'"

But Linda, who had been married just half a year at that point in 1993, was torn. So she asked Frankie Thurber, who was then looking for an apartment, to temporarily move into the Curry house and spy on Paul.

"...she was afraid that Paul didn't really love her and she said, 'Frankie, would you do me a favor? Would you watch Paul and see if you think he's genuine with me that he really cares about me?'" Thurber explained. "And that's when I started watching every move that he made, basically.'"

Thurber didn't see anything wrong; in fact, quite the opposite.

"And I went back to her and I said, 'Linda, I, I watched everything, I, I don't see it. He dotes over you. He loves you. He can't do enough for you. I don't know why you would be questioning that,'" she said.

Even Merry Seabold, never a big fan of Curry, was impressed by the way he pampered Linda.

"He would prepare these exotic, wonderful new salad dressings as a test and then send her upstairs for a hot bath," she said.

"Every night he would draw her a bubble bath. I mean huge bubbles. I said, 'Linda, I would kill to have somebody draw me a bubble bath. Of course he loves you,'" said Thurber.

In July of 1993, just short of her first wedding anniversary, Linda came down with a mysterious illness.

"She said, 'I just don't feel well. I just don't feel like myself,'" Thurber said. "And she couldn't figure out why all of a sudden she'd get sick."

Linda became so violently ill that she needed to be hospitalized.

"When I saw Linda in that bed, honest to god, she looked like an 80-year-old woman," Seabold said. "Her organs were failing ... they said they didn't even know if she's gonna make it that night."

It was July 1993 when Linda Curry was rushed to Samaritan Medical Center in San Clemente.

"Linda Curry came in with gastrointestinal problems," Registered Nurse Sherry Bundy said. "I was assigned to take care of her that evening ...She was nauseated. She had some vomiting ... I checked her IV."

Bundy says the IV drip was for hydration. While checking it, she noticed something odd.

"There was an overhead light ... and I could see the IV bag was cloudy because of the light shining behind it which I knew was not right," she said.

"How unusual is that?" Moriarty asked.

"It's very unusual," Bundy replied.

Bundy reported the incident to hospital brass and the bag was sent to the lab.

Among Linda's visitors was Bill Sandretto, her former boyfriend.

"'Oh, my God, Linda,'" Sandretto said. "She was just emaciated, you know."

"What was the cause of this?" Moriarty asked.

"They didn't know at the hospital," said Sandretto.

Poisoning was suspected. Linda was hospitalized for 21 days. She had a stroke and nearly died. And then lab workers discovered lidocaine, a numbing agent, in the contaminated IV bag and reported the incident to the police. They began an investigation that focused on one person: her husband, Paul Curry.

"This is what's so fascinating about this case. He was a suspect in poisoning her before she died," said prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh.

Back then, Baytieh was still in law school. But eventually, in 2006, the case landed on his desk at the Orange County District Attorney's Office. He was surprised to find detectives at the time had audiotaped their interviews with Linda.

"These are the old microcassettes that they used back in the early to mid-90s," he said, showing Moriarty the tapes. "Very unusual to have a case where you had investigators ask the victim, who ends up getting killed, about the conduct of the person who killed them."

[Aug. 11, 1993 audiotape interview]

Detective: Paul is your husband?

Linda Curry: Uh huh.

Detective: And how long have you been married?

Linda Curry: Not quite a year.

Police investigators interviewed Linda in her hospital bed in August 1993, and zeroed in on the key question:

[Aug. 11, 1993 audiotape interview]

Detective: If somebody were trying to do something to you, if they were trying to poison you, any idea who would try to do that?

Linda Curry: Well, the only person I could think of that would have a motive to do it would be Paul and the only motive I can think of is money but I don't want to really even believe that or think that.

Linda was candid with detectives, admitting that her new husband was sneaky about money issues and had lied about his past marriages and children. Still, there was one very big "but":

[Aug. 11, 1993 audiotape interview]

Detective: Do you still love Paul?

Linda Curry: Yeah, I love him very much.

Detective: Do you believe he loves you?

Linda Curry: I want to believe that he does. He certainly is convincing.

"Her friends were telling her, 'Run.' Her co-workers were telling her 'run,'" Baytieh said. "You take all that, and she's saying, 'But he loves me and he takes care of me. And I like how I'm feeling because of what he's saying. And I like how I'm feeling because of what he's doing.' And she doesn't run away. She stays."

Linda stayed with Paul Curry and recovered. In the meantime, the police investigation went nowhere. Then, just five months later, in December 1993, she was again hit with the mystery illness. This time, Curry took her to a different hospital, but the story was much the same.

Linda's friend, Merry Seabold, was very concerned.

"She looked like death warmed over, something's happening to her. They don't figure out what it is. I didn't know if she was even going to make it," said Seabold.

"And how is Paul acting through this?" Moriarty asked Seabold.

"Caring and involved," she replied.

But Linda told Seabold that her IV bag had been tampered with yet again. An alarm had gone off soon after a nurse reported seeing Paul Curry leave Linda's room. This time, the hospital staff put a clear sign on Linda's door.

"It would say, Mr. Curry or husband is ... not allowed unaccompanied into the hospital room," Seabold said of the sign.

"What did you think when you saw this sign on the door?" Moriarty asked.

"Well, I knew that other people had a suspicion that perhaps Paul was doing something to his wife," Seabold replied.

In fact, the police were again called and did a second audio-taped interview. Linda told cops that Paul was running up high credit card bills, but she still remained fiercely loyal:

Linda Curry interview: He's a wonderful man. I love him and he's always been good to me.

The next day, detectives interviewed Paul Curry, but he stuck to his story that he had no idea why Linda was getting sick:

Paul Curry interview: I was completely befuddled when doctors couldn't solve the problem, I couldn't solve the problem...

With Linda still in the hospital, Seabold found documents in the Curry house that fueled her suspicions about Paul.

"On the highboy dresser, as I walk into the room, there's a bunch of papers. Well, I just kind of glanced at them, but in big script writing, I saw the word, 'Life insurance' in gold writing. And I went, 'Oh, life insurance.' And then I went, 'Oh, more life insurance policies. Oh, they're all here. They're all out on this highboy dresser, on the top of it.' Now, all the red flags are adding up to crimson. I mean ... it's really red now," she said.

Seabold questioned Linda after she was released from the hospital.

"I'm asking her, 'Did ... you have those things out, Linda? Is this something you're looking at?' Well, she hadn't been home. No, not at all. I said, 'Linda, Linda, put it together. Put it together and let's -- let's talk about what's goin' on there.'"

Seabold warned Linda that she believed Curry was getting ready to cash in by killing Linda.

"She said, 'You're right. There's something going on and I need to get outta here.' The next day it was like the door slammed on me and she said, 'No, Merry, no. No, I -- I can't. I -- I can't leave Paul," said Seabold.

"Did she say the reason why she couldn't leave is because she didn't believe that he would do this?" Moriarty asked.

"You know, she was in such denial," said Seabold.

Six months went by, and then, on June 9, 1994, Seabold received an email from Paul Curry that said Linda was feeling worse than ever.

"I said, 'Linda Curry's gonna die. Paul's gonna finally get to poison her and ... she's gonna die,'" she told Moriarty.

That very evening, sometime around midnight, Curry says he awoke to find Linda barely breathing.

"Linda did not respond. He calls 911, gives her CPR. Paramedics arrive. No heartbeat, no pulse. Take her to the hospital. She dies," said Baytieh.

Nurse Bundy heard the news the next day when she reported to work at Samaritan Hospital.

"My first thought was, 'He finally did it,' and my second thought was somebody really dropped the ball,'" she told Moriarty.

One of the first to hear of Linda Curry's death on that June night in 1994 was Paul Curry's good friend and boss, Mike Flower.

"I received a phone call about 1:00 in the morning on the night of her death," Flower said. "'Can you come to the -- the home of Paul and Linda Curry?' And I said, 'I'll be right there.'"

"What did you think?" Erin Moriarty asked.

"Linda was dead," he replied.

Like everyone who knew the couple, Flower was aware that Linda had been sick. He rushed to the Curry home in San Clemente.

"Paul was very emotional. He cried on my shoulder for hours," said Flower.

"And what did he tell you had happened?" Moriarty asked.

"'I can't believe she's gone,'" he said.

The next day, word spread to Linda's good friends Bill Sandretto and Frankie Thurber.

"Her sister called me," Sandretto said. "I said, 'Oh, my God.'"

"I said WHAT? She was like a sister to me, she just was -- almost even like a mother to me," said Thurber.

Merry Seabold heard the news from her husband.

"I ... knew that ... all my premonitions were true. I knew that it was Paul and I knew that -- no one could save her," she said.

25 Photos
Timeline: Investigating the death of Linda Curry

Linda's friends wondered if Paul had poisoned her by putting something in his special salad dressings and all those bubble baths.

"He knew everyone was looking at him as a suspect. Didn't you, like, think, no way would this guy actually kill her when he knew he'd be the first suspect?" Moriarty asked Seabold.

"You know, he was such a con man and -- and such a narcissist and such a psychopath," she said. "I just think he thought ... 'I am so much smarter than anybody, I can do this.'"

"Paul Curry knew that there is no way he could murder his wife and not be a suspect," Baytieh said. "His objective was not to eliminate himself as a suspect. His objective was to make sure he doesn't get charged with the crime."

During the autopsy, the medical examiner found an unusual mark behind Linda's right ear that could have been left by a syringe. Then, toxicology reports revealed what Linda's friends had long suspected -- she had been poisoned and now they knew the cause: nicotine, a lot of nicotine.

"She died from a massive nicotine poisoning. ...Catastrophic levels of nicotine in her system," Baytieh explained. "People say, 'Well, maybe she's a smoker. ...No, she's not a smoker. She doesn't smoke."

"It's not possible she could've gotten that amount of nicotine over a period of time, building up in her system" Moriarty asked.

"Absolutely not," said Baytieh.

The toxicology reports also revealed the presence of a large amount of the generic form of Ambien, a sleeping medication, in Linda's body. Her death was declared a homicide, but there was no evidence to connect Paul Curry to the nicotine, the sleeping pills or a syringe ... so he could not be charged.

"The fact that he wasn't charged with a crime wasn't because somebody dropped the ball. It's because he was able to cover his tracks," said Baytieh.

Curry was about to get away with murder -- free to start a new life and to claim the money from Linda's estate.

"He's told people he's gonna get a million dollars out of it, that was his plan," said Baytieh.

Not so fast. As it turns out, Linda had drafted a handwritten note giving her sister approximately half her estate. Curry was apoplectic.

"After he found out that things weren't as easy to get all the money and he called me and he said, 'D-- did you know --d - d - did -- did-- did you know anything about -- about Linda changing and -- and her - and -- and-- and her sister, Pat, is gonna get s - her --,' and he was, like, stuttering," said Seabold.

But incredibly, despite all of Linda's suspicions, she remained faithful to Paul even in death. She left him her house and close to half-a-million dollars "so he'll be OK," Linda wrote in the note about her estate.

"If she thought he was killing her, why would she want to leave him money?" Moriarty asked Baytieh.

"Because she never allowed herself to believe what was obvious to anybody and everybody," the prosecutor replied. "And that's the power of the heart."

After Linda died, Paul Curry was transferred from his old job at the nuclear power plant. That's when a routine security check revealed a pack of lies in his resume. He was not an engineer; he didn't even have a college degree. The brilliant Mensa member who trained nuclear engineers was a complete fraud.

"So I called Paul up at the end of the day, and I said, 'Paul, I'm coming in tomorrow morning at 8:00, and I'm gonna fire you unless your resignation is on my fax.' And I came in the next morning and his resignation was on my fax," he said.

But thanks to Linda, Paul Curry collected $419,000 from two of Linda's life insurance policies and her retirement plan. He also began collecting her retirement benefit of $564 every month. But even with all that money, he let Linda's beloved house slip away.

"He let the house go into foreclosure," Thurber said. "And ... he got outta Dodge and went to Vegas. And I understand that he got a job as a used car salesman, which I found quite intriguing because a con artist is a really good car salesman."

But it wasn't long before Curry conned his way into a new job, this time becoming a building inspector. Years went by and the police investigation into Linda Curry's murder came to a complete standstill. The case badly needed a fresh set of eyes.

Sgt. Yvonne Shull of the Orange County Sheriff's Department was working in the cold case unit when she inherited Linda Curry's murder from a retiring detective. She immediately focused on those old audiotaped interviews of Linda:

[Aug. 11, 1993 audiotape interview]

Detective: If somebody were trying to do something to you, if they were trying to poison you, any idea who would try to o that?

Linda Curry: Well the only person I could think of that would have a motive to do it would be Paul.

Sargeant Shull began digging into Paul Curry's background.

"I started with, who is Paul Curry?" Shull said. "Everywhere I looked about Paul Curry, it was false. It was fake."
For four years, Shull re-examined the entire case and re-interviewed witnesses. She enlisted the help of Detective Mike Thompson, who was an expert at following money trails.
Thompson looked carefully at all of Linda's insurance claims and also an insurance claim filed by Curry in the days after Linda died. In that report, Curry claimed someone had stolen Linda's 18-karat gold Ladies Presidential Rolex and some other jewelry. He wound up collecting more than $9,000 on that claim.

 48 Hours Segment Extras
Detective grills murder suspect about dead wife's "stolen" Rolex

The more Thompson looked at the case, the more he was convinced Curry murdered his wife.

"This isn't an accident. This isn't an oops. It's not a suicide. It's a homicide," he told Moriarty. "He's being a loving husband to his wife, 'Oh, honey, I'm sorry you're so sick.' And in the back of his mind, he's gotta be thinking, 'How is she not dead?' How much of this nicotine do I got to give her to kill her for crying out loud?!'"

In 2006, four years after Sgt. Shull picked up the Curry case, she had enough to take it to Baytieh.

"She says, 'You know, I have this cold case that I've been working on," Baytieh said. "So I said, 'Bring me the file.' ... She comes back a few hours later with about 25 binders."

Baytieh plunged in, studying the case for three years until 2009, when he reached out to the nicotine expert who had been hired years before to analyze Linda Curry's blood -- Dr. Neal Benowitz.

"And I said ... 'Do you remember that case?' It didn't take him long to remember, 'Oh yeah, I remember that high level,'" said Baytieh.

And what Dr. Benowitz had to say shocked Baytieh.

"He said all he needed to do is to go into a grocery store and buy a pack of cigarettes," he explained.

Dr. Neal Benowitz, professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, is one of the country's preeminent experts on nicotine.

"How often have you seen nicotine used as a murder weapon?" Erin Moriarty asked.

"Never," he replied with a laugh. "I've read about it but I've never seen it."

"Until now?"

"Until now, yes," Dr. Benowitz said. "This was beyond anything we've ever measured ... levels four or five times higher than anything we'd ever seen before."
Crimesider: Killer poison -- Nicotine as a murder weapon

Even after two decades, Benowitz remembers the Linda Curry case because of the "catastrophic" levels of nicotine discovered in her body back in 1994.

"How do you believe she had to have gotten that nicotine?" Moriarty asked Dr. Benowitz.

"Well, I think most likely it was by an intravenous injection," he replied.

It's the only possible explanation says Dr. Benowitz. And remember, the medical examiner did find a puncture mark behind Linda's right ear.

"Can you say how soon she had to die after she got that dose of nicotine?" Moriarty asked.
"It was my thought that death must have been within 20 or 30 minutes," said Dr. Benowitz.
Dr. Benowitz says he does not remember discussing that time frame with the original investigators 20 years ago. But now, says Prosecutor Ebrahim Baytieh, that one fact turns the entire case.
"The nicotine was introduced into Linda's system during this time frame. And the only other human being who had access to her is Paul Curry," he said.
Curry's story has always been that on the night Linda died, the two of them were home alone for approximately six hours. Baytieh believes Curry injected Linda after knocking her out with a heavy dose of Ambien.
"I think ... she comes home. ...He introduces Ambien into her system, whether it's by way of food or a drink or a salad or one of his fancy dressings. When she's out, when she's sedated, he takes that syringe that he had ready with nicotine," Baytieh explained. "He injects her with the nicotine and he waits until he is sure that she's not gonna survive this one."

But where would Paul Curry get so much nicotine? The answer is frightening -- Curry only needed to buy a pack of cigarettes.
"If you buy a pack of cigarettes ... you can have 300 milligrams ... of nicotine," Dr. Benowitz explained. "And that's way above the lethal dose for a person."
The case was rounding into shape, but Baytieh wanted more. Sgt. Yvonne Shull tracked Curry to Salina, Kansas, where he had a new wife, a new son and a new job working as a building inspector. Finally, Curry would have to answer some tough questioning and Shull was ready to take him on face to face.
"I was afraid that if ... we told him we were from Orange County, that he wouldn't talk to us," Shull told Moriarty.
So Prosecutor Baytieh came up with a plan to trick Paul Curry into believing he was being questioned by two local detectives who had no knowledge of the case. Shull would be playing the part of "Marie."
On Nov. 9, 2010, the Salina police chief tells Curry that Orange County investigators are just trying to "close out a death investigation" and so they requested Salina detectives to ask Curry a few questions.
"The chief of police said, 'Oh, he's a building inspector. He's very smart. He's never gonna talk to you,'" said Shull.
"What was your reaction when he said yes? Were you shocked?" Moriarty asked.
"I couldn't believe it. I thought to myself, 'Well, he's not as smart as he thinks he is,'" she replied.
Det. Furbecks: I guess this involves something with a woman named Linda.
Paul Curry: That's my -- my ex-wife -- I mean my ex-marriage. She passed away.
"We go into that interview and our plan was for the first part of it let him think he is in complete control," Baytieh explained. "So he's thinking, 'I'm gonna absolutely run circles around them because they don't know anything about the case, and they're from Kansas, I am smarter than they are.'"
 48 Hours Segment Extras
"He's very cunning" detective says of Paul Curry

But then, Shull takes over and the meandering interview becomes a targeted interrogation:

Sgt. Shull: The night that Linda passed away, you and Linda were alone, correct?

Paul Curry: Right

Sgt. Shull: Was there anybody else in the house?

Paul Curry: No.

Shull is locking Curry into the story that he's told all these years, leaving him no room to back away from it later:

Sgt. Shull: So nobody snuck into the house?

Paul Curry: No.

Sgt. Shull: there was no burglary in the house?

Paul Curry: No.

Sgt. Shull: There was no robbery at the house, nothing like that?

Paul Curry: No.

Sgt. Shull: It was just you and Linda?

Paul Curry: Yes.

He has now boxed himself in and Shull gives it to him straight:

Sgt. Shull: Paul, I believe that the cause of Linda's illnesses and the cause of Linda's death are at your hands and before I ask you any other questions, I feel like I need to read you your rights. Paul Curry: Are you arresting me?

No arrest yet, but for such a smart guy, Paul Curry does not do the smart thing -- he keeps talking:

Sgt. Shull: Were you slowly poisoning her?

Paul Curry: No. Sgt. Shull: No.

Paul Curry: Of course not.

Sgt. Shull: No.

Despite the grilling, a detached Curry seems to have other things on his mind. And when Shull leaves the room briefly, Curry shows his impatience:

Paul Curry: Should I presume that I'm not going to make my 4 o'clock meeting today?

Det. Furbecks: Yes.

Paul Curry: And why is that?

Det. Furbecks: I don't know how long this is gonna take.

Paul Curry: Well, what is this, that is taking ... does this trump my obligation to my employer? ...This is going to be awfully hard to explain professionally.

That's the least of Curry's worries:

Sgt. Shull: At this point Paul you are not free to leave. I am placing you under arrest for the murder of Linda Curry ... My name is Yvonne Shull, my middle name is Marie.

Finally, 16 years after Linda's death, Paul Curry is called to account for her murder.

"It felt great to pull out my badge and ID and introduce myself to him. And tell him I was from Orange County and I was there to arrest him. It felt great," Shull told Moriarty.

But the arrest is just the beginning. Baytieh still has a case full of holes.

"Even up to today, there's no smoking gun," he said.

"Or a smoking syringe?" Moriarty commented.

"Or a smoking anything!" said Baytieh.

"He's a monster, a monster who picked his prey and it was my best friend Linda," Merry Seabold said of Paul Curry.

"He's a liar. How can you live with yourself taking this beautiful, beautiful woman and setting her up to die?" said Frankie Thurber.

It took 20 years, but in September 2014, Assistant District Attorney Ebrahim Baytieh finally has Paul Curry right where he wants him -- in front of a jury on trial for the murder of his wife, Linda.

"In this courtroom sits a vicious, cold-blooded murderer, make no mistake about that," Baytieh addressed the court. "He thought he was smarter than everybody else ... she died from nicotine poisoning."

Baytieh admits the case is no slam dunk.

"I've had cases where people confess. I've had cases where people say, 'Yep, I shot the victim.' ...Do I have that in this case? Absolutely, not," Baytieh told Moriarty.
"My obligation is to prove it to you beyond a reasonable doubt," Baytieh told jurors.
Defense attorney Lisa Kopelman wastes no time pointing out the lack of direct evidence connecting Paul Curry to the murder of his wife.
"You are never going to hear about how exactly Linda Curry died," Kopelman told the court. "You're never going to hear where the nicotine came from, how it got into her. ...This is a case ... based on suspicion, innuendo, and conjecture."
Curry is charged with first-degree murder for financial gain, which carries a mandatory life sentence with no possibility of parole.
"This defendant is as guilty as sin," Baytieh told jurors.
No surprise, the defense sees things differently.
"He is an innocent man. The prosecutor uses the word murderer, murderer, murderer," Kopelman said in court.

Kopelman belittles the case against Curry, questioning those hospital IV bags that appeared to have been tampered with.
"Come on, this is baloney," she told jurors. "There was no poison ever found in any of those IV bags, there was no fingerprints on it."
Instead, she tells the jury that Linda had a history of stomach problems dating back to the late '60s, long before she met Paul: "Throughout those years, she went to many, many doctors."
"All that history is not going to create nicotine in her system out of nowhere," Baytieh told Moriarty.
The defense argues that Linda was so desperate for a cure that she gave herself an unorthodox remedy - a nicotine enema - and it wound up killing her.
"One way it got in there was this, through her colon from a nicotine enema," Kopelman told jurors.
Baytieh can barely contain himself. "It's the enema defense. It's the enema defense," the prosecutor told the court.

There is no evidence Linda ever gave herself an enema, Baytieh says, and even if there was, it would not explain the undisputed toxic levels of Ambien in Linda's system.
"Where did that Ambien come from? ... I'm gonna show you. Follow my finger. Right there. That murderer sitting right there," Baytieh said as he pointed at Curry.
"Do you have any evidence he obtained Ambien? Did he have a prescription? Did she have a prescription?" Moriarty asked Baytieh.
"The answer to your question is no, no, no, no," he replied. The only pertinent fact, Baytieh says, is that Linda died that June night within 30 minutes of getting that one lethal dose of nicotine and that Paul Curry was the only person who could have administered it.
"Nobody, other than this defendant, had access to Linda in the six hours before her murder, nobody," Baytieh told jurors. "The defendant had all the motive in the world to murder her, all of it, all of it. He had to cash that check. He had to cash that check. She had to die."
Paul Curry never takes the stand to explain himself, but Baytieh has a surprise in store.
"One of the better witnesses that I had is the one that I wasn't able to get to take the stand, Paul Curry, because the day after I signed that piece of paper to get him arrested and he's in custody ... he talks to his current wife then. He's on the phone telling her about what he thinks about our evidence," Baytieh told Moriarty.
The jailhouse phone call was recorded by authorities and Baytieh plays it for the jury:

Paul Curry: Hey. I'm in trouble. I'm under arrest. I'm in jail.
Teresa: Tell me what's going on. I don't understand.
Paul Curry: I'm in big trouble ... I gotta tell you, it looks bad....I mean, other than the fact that there's no physical evidence that I did it and I didn't do it ... they could put me away to prison ... they're serious about this.
With Paul Curry's own words ringing in their ears, jurors get the case.
"For me, when a jury starts deliberating, this is when I realize there is nothing else that I could do," said Baytieh.
The jurors deliberate for a day and a half before reaching a verdict. Sgt. Yvonne Shull, who brought the Curry case back to life in 2002, heads back to the courthouse.
"Either guilty or not guilty, I didn't think it was gonna hang," Shull said. "I watched the jury come in. And they wouldn't look at me, where previously they would look at me and so I was afraid."
"I was holding one of Linda's earrings. And our other good friend ... was next to me. And I gave her one of Linda's earrings, and we just held hands and held her earrings in our hands," Seabold said of awaiting the verdict.
The verdict: Curry is found guilty of murder for financial gain.
"What did you feel?" Moriarty asked Baytieh following the verdict.
"Peace," he said. "I wish it was 20 years earlier 'cause he got to enjoy 16 years of freedom."

48 Hours Segment Extras
Remembering Linda Curry

But even the guilty verdict does not answer the ultimate question: why did Linda stay with Paul?
"She didn't want to admit failure," Thurber said. "...after you've waited that long and you've gone out with that many men, you don't want to admit that you chose the wrong guy."
"They're really hard to look at because they remind me of obviously my best friend," Merry Seabold said, looking at photos of Linda. "I miss her so much. Because you don't just meet friends, you get 'em for 25 years and then lose 'em. ...And so I'll see her again. I'll see her again.
In her will, Linda Curry left $10,000 each to 10 special friends, including Merry Seabold and Frankie Thurber.
© 2015 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

July 1997 3 Employees Killed At D.C. Starbucks Solved

Connecting Success Factors to Bennett

The Dubious Phone Call and Time Wasting Project
The folks at TPG will have to answer to my Whistleblower Complaints on the truly odd collection of RFPs emanating from companies connected to Richard Blum, William McGlashan, CBRE, Regency Centers, Trammel Crow, Lennar, Catellus.

My story is about witness murders, private equity, mergers and acquisitions linked back to the Matter of Bennett v. Southern Pacific lost in 1989.  It was a winnable case as long the witnesses testified.  

3 Employees Killed At D.C. Starbucks
By Steve Vogel and Cheryl W. ThompsonWashington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, July 8, 1997; Page A01
Three employees of a Starbucks coffee store near Georgetown were found brutally slain yesterday morning, sending shock waves through a community generally immune from such violence.
The bodies of night manager Mary Caitrin Mahoney, 25, Emory Allen Evans, 25, and Aaron David Goodrich, 18, were found at 5:15 a.m. in a back room of the store at 1810 Wisconsin Ave. NW, in Burleith, just north of Georgetown, police said. An employee arriving for work found the bodies. All three had been shot several times.
The distraught employee ran from the store and flagged down a passing Metro bus, screaming that people had been shot, according to a police supervisor. The driver of the bus notified police.
Evans started working at the store part time about three weeks ago, and Goodrich had been hired several months ago, friends and relatives said.
No money was taken from the store, police said.
A police source at the scene said detectives were working "a solid lead" and examining whether a former employee might be involved. "We are definitely checking that out," he said.
In response to the slayings, an official for Starbucks announced that security guards have been added to several local stores for an indefinite period.
Police believe the slayings took place about the time the store closed at 8 p.m. Sunday. Several bullet casings were recovered at the scene but no weapon was found, according to a homicide detective.
Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive of Starbucks Coffee Co., the Seattle-based chain, broke off a vacation and flew to Washington on a chartered jet, said Dean Torrenga, Starbucks regional director for the mid-Atlantic region. Schultz met with employees from the Wisconsin Avenue store. He is planning to remain in the area indefinitely.
Starbucks has 62 stores in the Washington area, including 10 in the city, said company spokesman David Schwab. The Wisconsin Avenue store has been open since the summer of 1994.
The slayings were the first for the chain, which has more than 1,200 locations around the world, Torrenga said.
D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2) described the killings as "horrible."
"To have a triple homicide anywhere in the District of Columbia is an unusual event," said Evans, who represents the Georgetown area on the council. "To have a triple homicide in Georgetown is extraordinary. Georgetown has never been a place where crime has been a problem."
Jim Mauro, a resident of the Burleith neighborhood and a daily visitor to Starbucks, said the lights to the store were on when he passed by about 10 p.m. Sunday.
"I remember remarking that they were still open, and I was surprised," he said, adding that the store typically is dark after 8 p.m. on Sundays.
Homicide detectives and crime technicians pored over the scene for hours after the bodies were found, working inside and outside the building adorned with the familiar green-and-black Starbucks logo. They dusted doors for fingerprints, searched the store and talked with residents, hoping to piece together what happened.
A dozen blue-uniformed police recruits were bused to the scene yesterday morning to look for evidence outside the split-level, brown brick store.

Mahoney's silver 1994 Saturn sat alone in the parking lot adjacent to Starbucks, where she had left it the day before. The only possible indication that something had gone awry was a flat tire on the front passenger side of the car. Inside, the car was spotless, save for what looked like signs that Mahoney had recently spent time playing with a pet – a dirty tennis ball, a plastic chew toy, a dog's brush and a red towel.

Mahoney's grandmother had recently bought the car for her so she would be safer in the city.
"She was brave," her mother, Mary Belle Annenberg, said during a telephone interview from the family's home in Baltimore. "She did not want to live [her life] afraid."
As a young girl, Mahoney would check for the "bogyman" to make sure it was safe for her older brother, Patrick, to go upstairs to his bedroom.
While a high school student at McDonogh Preparatory School in Pikesville, Md., she traveled to the Soviet Union as a foreign exchange student.
And when she moved to Washington several years ago, she would jog alone an hour before daybreak, never worrying about being attacked or assaulted.
"Caity was special," her mother said. "She had an enormous heart. She probably would have compassion for the person who killed her."
Mahoney, who lived in Northwest Washington, was the youngest of three children and was looking forward to celebrating her 26th birthday July 22. She adored animals, particularly horses, and even took in Marlu, her sister Molly's toothless black-and-white alley cat.
Mahoney attended Fordham University and Ithaca College in New York before graduating with honors from Towson State University, near Baltimore. A loyal and active Democrat, she interned for President Clinton when he was first elected, arranging tours at the White House, her mother said.
But it was her managerial job at Starbucks that really excited her, her family said. She had been employed by the company for two years and enjoyed being the manager. She was often seen sweeping the sidewalk in front of the store.
What she didn't enjoy, though, was disciplining employees, her mother said, particularly one Mahoney recently dismissed for allegedly stealing several hundred dollars.
"She struggled with the issue before having to fire him," her mother said.
Last month, Mahoney was a bridesmaid at the wedding of her brother, and she spent the Fourth of July watching fireworks with her family in Baltimore.
"I hugged her goodbye," said her stepfather, Barnet Annenberg, who had raised Mahoney since she was 6 years old. "That was the last time I saw her.
"That's a heck of a way for a kid to go out of this world. She wasn't even in the prime of her life yet."
Emory Evans, who lived in Northeast Washington, worked part time at Starbucks. He was hired three weeks ago and had hoped to save enough money to attend Howard University, where he wanted to major in music.
"When he didn't come home from work [Sunday night], I got worried," said his father, David. "And then I heard about the shootings and I knew something was wrong. It turned out to be my son."
The six-foot-tall Evans, an only child, moved to Washington about 18 months ago from New Jersey. He was a graduate of Vineland (N.J.) High School and loved playing the horn.
"He was trying to do the right thing," his father said. "He was a very nice kid who was just trying to make extra money."
Aaron Goodrich, 18, was described as a "nice young man" by the people who worked in the building in Northwest Washington where he shared an apartment with his father, Larry.
"They're very close," said Marge Kelsey, a family friend. "He's just unbelievably proud of his son."
The father and son recently returned from a beach vacation, Kelsey said. And it was the youth's father who helped him get the Starbucks job several months ago, she said.
"His son meant everything to him," Kelsey said.
Two Starbucks employees who arrived at the store yesterday morning wept from across the street as the first body was loaded into the D.C. medical examiner's van.
Jillian Newton worked the noon-to-5 shift Sunday at Starbucks. She said Sunday is usually one of the store's busiest days.
"Throughout the day, there were probably 10 people working, and there are always three people who close the store," Newton said.
Wisconsin Avenue, normally a bustling commuter route, was closed in both directions at R and 34th streets until nearly noon yesterday as police continued their investigation. The Metro bus flagged down by the Starbucks employee sat on the street throughout the morning.
Rebecca Sinderbrand, the advisory neighborhood commissioner for the Burleith neighborhood, said she was a frequent customer at the coffee shop.
"It is a great meeting place," said the 20-year-old Georgetown University student. "Everyone knows Starbucks. I'd meet people there for ANC business or whatever."
The 1800 block of Wisconsin includes a variety of shops, including hair salons and a pottery store. Although there is continual pedestrian and car traffic, the block is fairly quiet on Sunday evenings, neighbors said.
There is normally little crime in the area, although there was a spate of armed robberies last summer, police said.
Several businesses were open when the Starbucks closed Sunday evening, including a Safeway food store and a bagel shop across the street.
The Starbucks store is popular both with residents of upper Georgetown as well as drivers on Wisconsin Avenue.
"They get a big crowd in the morning," Mauro said. "A lot of people commuting stop in. This is very, very sad stuff."
Staff writers Janina de Guzman, Jennifer Ordon~ez and Linda Wheeler contributed to this report.

© Copyright 1997 The Washington Post Company

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