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Daughter of 911 Pilot Found Dead After 'Suspicious' Fire

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PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 8:58 am    Post subject: Daughter of 911 Pilot Found Dead After 'Suspicious' Fire Reply with quote

Daughter of 9/11 Flight Pilot Is Found Dead After a Fire

Published: December 6, 2006

Five years after her father’s plane crashed into the Pentagon in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a woman was found dead yesterday in a fire at the Galaxy Towers apartment complex in Guttenberg, N.J.

The woman, Wendy Burlingame, 32, was discovered by firefighters in a short hallway between the kitchen and the bedroom of her 10th-floor apartment where the four-alarm fire began, said Edward DeFazio, the Hudson County prosecutor. Mr. DeFazio said the fire, which law enforcement officials are calling suspicious, began shortly after midnight in the apartment Ms. Burlingame shared with her companion and was still under investigation, as was the cause of Ms. Burlingame’s death. No one else was injured in the fire, Mr. DeFazio said.

Ms. Burlingame was the daughter of Charles F. Burlingame III, a 25-year Navy veteran who was the captain of American Airlines Flight 77, which slammed into the Pentagon on Sept. 11., 2001, killing 189 people.

Mr. DeFazio said her companion of three years was among several people being interviewed in connection with her death. He would not identify the companion, but tenants in the complex identified him as Kevin Roderick.

Sebastian Rojas, 27, lives downstairs from Mr. Roderick. He said that while he did not know Mr. Roderick and Ms. Burlingame well, they were “real late-night people” whose footsteps, and two dogs, he heard constantly above his head.

The two dogs were also found dead in the home, Mr. DeFazio said.

Shortly before the fire erupted, Mr. Rojas said, there were “louder noises than usual” coming from the apartment upstairs, “like somebody running around up there, like somebody doing something up there in a rush.”

Then he said he heard a thud — “like somebody dropped something”— and three or four minutes later the building’s fire alarm sounded. Mr. Rojas said that within minutes his apartment filled with smoke. He then safely left the building.

Lucy Gell, who works at the building’s front desk, said that Ms. Burlingame was a kind, generous woman with “model good looks.” She added that Ms. Burlingame had brought her down a plate of turkey and mashed potatoes on Thanksgiving, saying that Mr. Roderick was out.

Debra A. Burlingame, Ms. Burlingame’s aunt, was reached at home last night before she even knew of her niece’s death. She burst into tears on the phone and would not comment further. Ms. Burlingame’s mother, Nancy Perfect, was also reached at home last night. She, too, declined to discuss her daughter’s death.


"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets." ~Travis Bickle
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Hocus Locus

Joined: 22 Sep 2006
Posts: 850
Location: Lost in anamnesis, cannot forget my way out

PostPosted: Wed Dec 06, 2006 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A re-post from here to keep this one-on-one post-9/11 murder stuff from sinking into the well.


In general I do not spend much time these days on the "dancing Israelis" (except for one: did I mention Mata Hari?) and even the "official" hijacker gig, since I side with Fintan and Co. that just about everything we've heard about the hijackers was a outer level of onion.

BUT ONE NEWS THREAD keeps my attention. Why? Because someone actually died after 9/11 under suspicious circumstances. This is real post-9/11 murder; therefore it is worth more than ten thousand "dancing Israelis".
  • Katherine Smith dies 10 Feb 2002, foul play pretty well obvious, a day before she was due to appear in court
  • She was a Tennessee DMV employee, state witness, who helped several 9/11 POI to obtain drivers' licenses
  • The car she had been driving, registered to Khaled Odtllah, who had been her 'partner in the scheme'
  • One of the licensees, a man who had shared an address with Odtllah: Sakher Hammad
  • Sakher Hammad employed 'Sergei Davidenko of Denko Mechanical Ltd' (a Canadian Co. happens to have same name)
  • Sakher Hammad arrested for questioning in Tenn. ID case on 5 Feb 2002; overstayed visa, 'nationality not given'
  • Showed them his trade business card, 'Magic Plumbing and Heating'
  • Also found on his person: 5-6 September 2001 Port Authority visitor's pass for WTC North Tower, basement B1-B6
  • Hammad told authorities he was "a plumber who worked on the center's sprinkler system."
  • * Alan Hicks, PA spokesman on 15 Feb 2002: "Which tenant hired Hammad to work on its sprinklers is lost."

But Hicks said the Port Authority, which owned the building, did its own sprinkler work, and that any other work involving sprinklers would have been arranged by an individual tenant. "We don't know (which one) because all our records were destroyed in the World Trade Center, as were some of the people who know that," Hicks said.

Hicks evidently not too eager to directly volunteer any direct opinion on the plausibility, possibility or even legality of a tenant hiring a residential plumber to make its own modifications to the 'sprinkler system'. Hicks apparently not pressed for such an opinion by the press, either. Elephants in the living room.

Fact is, above basement level, the water plumbing of the WTC was NOT IN ANY WAY partitioned by 'tenant' or 'floor' -- in fact, obviously aside from tenants actually in the basement...

EITHER: Hammad was a journeyman actually hired by a basement tenant to do something,

OR: Hammad took advantage of his basement access to 'plant something' or 'do something' to the effect of hampering fire-fighting efforts... ?

OR: The pass was planted and the 'working on the sprinklers' was pure fiction

OR: Even the existence of Hammad is fiction.

But which? Considering the sprinkler angle, and what it would imply regarding preparation and/or possible complicity.

Fiery death raises fears of terror link

A Tennessee woman accused of helping five Middle Eastern men get fraudulent drivers' licenses is found dead in her car.

By ALLEN G. BREED and BILL POOVEY, The Associated Press // February 17, 2002

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Shortly before 1 a.m. last Sunday, witnesses saw flames erupt from the back seat of a 1992 Acura Legend as it crawled along a two-lane road skirting farm fields in the little Tennessee town of Piperton.

The driver breathed in the flames, her lungs searing, as the car veered off the road and came to rest against a utility pole near the Mississippi state line. There were no skid marks or furrows in the grass to indicate the driver had hit the brakes.

A witness rushed up and pulled open the car door, but the driver was not moving. She appeared to be already dead. When the first volunteer firefighters arrived, the car was engulfed in flames.

From the very beginning, it didn't look right, said Steve Kellett, chief of the Piperton Volunteer Fire Department.

The car had been moving too slowly for the accident to cause much damage. The wooden pole was barely dented. The radiator was pushed in a few inches, but the engine block was undamaged. Most important, the gas tank had not ruptured. The cardboard packaging for a replacement headlamp in the trunk was barely scorched.

What could have caused a fire so severe that it cooked the passenger compartment of the sedan down to the frame and burned the driver beyond recognition? If someone had been trying to make this death look like an accident, they had done a lousy job.

Police began investigating the death as a homicide, though they have not ruled out suicide. The mystery deepened the next day when dental records identified the victim as Katherine Smith, 49, a state driver's license examiner.

Smith had been scheduled to be arraigned last Monday on federal charges of helping five Middle Eastern men from New York obtain fraudulent Tennessee drivers' licenses.

One of the men, authorities say, drove from New York to Memphis on Sept. 11 -- the day of the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. And one of them, at the time of his arrest, was carrying in his wallet a pass to the trade center dated Sept. 5.

Was this a series of bizarre coincidences?

"The possibility of a really interesting story exists here," FBI Agent George W. Bolds said last week, brushing soot from his hands as he walked away from the charred vehicle impounded in a garage. Then again, he said, "it could turn out to be a whole lot less than people expect."

On the morning of Feb. 5, authorities say, a gray Dodge Durango and a white Toyota Avalon arrived in Memphis from New York and parked outside the motor vehicles office. Inside the cars sat six Middle Eastern men.

Tennessee is one of four states not requiring a Social Security number to get a license, and many people carry utility bills as proof of residence.

Shortly after Smith showed up for work, a man from the Toyota, Khaled Odtllah, a native of Jerusalem, joined the morning rush into the building. According to an FBI affidavit, he was clutching four signed driver's license applications.

Katherine Smith was a woman of modest means. She had a couple hundred dollars in a credit union account, a couple hundred more than that in checking, according to court records. She had a 1999 Ford Escort with a $10,000 lien and the Acura.

She and her daughter shared a one-story home in a rough-and-tumble neighborhood in the shadow of Memphis' Liberty Bowl stadium. The neat little house is worth $65,000; Smith owed $55,000 on it.

She had worked for mental health agencies before joining the motor vehicle division in 1992. She was earning just over $23,000 a year.

Neighbors say they hardly saw the woman because she was working all the time. After hours, she worked taking care of an elderly woman.

"She worked day and night," says Peola Wright, who lives two doors down. She called Smith a nice lady who sang in the church choir and tried to get neighbors to attend services.

The neighborhood is a few miles from where Khaled Odtllah lived, but it seems a world away.

According to records, Odtllah's last address was the Grove, a gated community in the Memphis suburb of Cordova, with swimming pools, tennis courts and spas.

Police say Odtllah came to the United States about 13 years ago from Jerusalem and had been in Tennessee for about 2 1/2 years.

Smith later told officials she met Odtllah at his gas station. He sold her the Acura, which was still in Odtllah's name when Smith died. Somewhere along the line, police say, Smith and Odtllah became business partners.

As an examiner in an office processing 300 to 400 driver's license applicants each day, Smith screened applicants at a front counter and gave written and road tests.

On the applications Odtllah was carrying on Feb. 5, each man listed as his address 2840 Morning Lake Drive, in another gated community just outside Memphis.

At motor vehicles, the applications were approved and entered into the computer system. When Odtllah walked outside, the FBI was waiting for him.

Agents in New York had received a tip that the men would be traveling to Memphis that day, and the bureau's agents in Tennessee had staked out Smith's home and the motor vehicle office. When Odtllah and the others pulled out of the parking lot, agents flashed blue lights and pulled them over.

With Odtllah, police found Mostafa Said Abou-Shahin, Mohammed Fares and Sakher Hammad and his cousin Abdelmuhsen Mahmid Hammad. An unnamed juvenile also was arrested.

A few months ago, the contents of Sakher Hammad's wallet would have seemed innocuous: two video rental cards; two major credit cards; a card designating him a "charter member" of Team Ford Racing; a New York plumber's business card.

And a pass, dated 09/05/01 that gave him access to the lower basement of One World Trade Center.

Shown a photocopy, New York City Port Authority officials said the pass looked authentic, but they couldn't be certain without seeing the original.

Authorities say Sakher Hammad told them that he is plumber and that he and his cousin were in the tower to work on the sprinkler system. New York authorities have no record of a plumber's license for either cousin.

A business card in Sakher Hammad's wallet was for a Magic Plumbing & Heating in Brooklyn. It advertises "custom kitchens, bathrooms, water heaters, boilers, repiping" -- generally residential in nature.

A call to the business produced only a full voice-mailbox for someone named "Rocky." Using a reverse telephone directory, the AP found a list of phone numbers at the company's street address, all of them for individuals, among them Sakher Hammad.

Hammad's wallet also held courtesy cards from the New York City Patrolmen's Benevolent Association and the Detectives' Endowment Association of New York. The latter bears the inscription, "In memory of those who lost their lives on 9-11-01."

It is adorned with a fluttering American flag, a police badge and a picture of the twin towers.

When Smith was arrested, authorities say she admitted helping Odtllah obtain licenses for "cousins" on a half-dozen occasions in the past year. An FBI agent later testified that Odtllah was charging up to $1,200 each to help people get their new identities.

Authorities say the men arrested with Odtllah admitted being in the country illegally.

The day Smith was to appear in court, her car sat in an FBI garage in Memphis, the champagne finish bubbled and streaked with trails of melted rubber window stripping. The upholstery was burned away. Police couldn't even tell if Smith had been wearing a seat belt.

However, they had found a residue of gasoline on her body. The fire, the FBI determined, was intentionally set.

Bolds, the FBI agent, wondered how someone who was conscious could have stayed in the burning car. "If the car is on fire, you're going to stop in the middle of the highway if you have to, to get out," he said.

An autopsy is not yet finished.

On Wednesday, Abou-Shahin, Fares and Abdelmuhsen Hammad appeared in court wearing blue windbreakers provided by the court. They face charges of conspiring to obtain licenses with false information. Odtllah and Sakher Hammad had appeared in court Monday.

Court records indicate that another man, Omar Khayata, 20, had also applied for a license Feb. 5, using the same address. But he was not charged, and officials would not say whether he was the juvenile mentioned in the affidavit.

Lawyers for the defendants argued that their clients were being held only because of their ethnicity. "They seem to be trying to tie this to Sept. 11," said Clifton Harviel Jr., who represented Abou-Shahin.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Tim DiScenza replied that each man had participated in a conspiracy intended to acquire a "completely false and untraceable identity." Their motivation, he said, could be "further criminal activity."

In the wake of Sept. 11, there have been crackdowns on illegally obtained drivers' licenses elsewhere. Several of the Sept. 11 hijackers had illegally obtained licenses in Virginia.

In denying bail for the five, federal magistrates cited the men's tenuous connections to the community and strong ties to other countries.

Court papers show Odtllah has a wife, a 2-year-old son, a mother and 10 siblings, all living in Jerusalem. Officials say he has "traveled extensively across the U.S. in the last few years."

Sakher Hammad "has no ties whatsoever to this community," a magistrate noted. "He has substantial ties to Jordan or Gaza, where his mother lives. He has had less than stable employment . . . and a cooperating witness has disappeared under suspicious circumstances."

Of the local telephone numbers listed on the license applications, three were out of service, and one was a fax.

When bail was denied, Fares put his head in his hands and wiped his eyes. The others showed no reaction.

Outside Smith's home, a row of red artificial flowers seems to wilt in the winter chill.

Family members have refused to talk.

The answering machine message on Smith's phone was changed to provide information about her funeral Saturday. There was no wake, the message said, because wakes are for sadness.

"Please wear lively attire," said a young woman's voice. "Because this is a joyous occasion -- because she's going home to be with the Lord."

If the existence of I myself is a fiction, please disregard this message.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 07, 2006 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hocus Locus wrote:
A re-post from here to keep this one-on-one post-9/11 murder stuff from sinking into the well.

Thanks for posting it here. I hadn't seen this report before.

"Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets." ~Travis Bickle
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PostPosted: Wed May 28, 2008 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a thread that deserves a "bump" to keep it from sinking. Anyone know of any follow-up to either deaths?
There are souls in the boots
Of the soldiers America
Fuck your yellow ribbon
If you want to
Support your troops
Bring them home
And hold them tight
When they get here
-Andrea Gibson - For Eli
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Ron Hughes

Joined: 30 May 2008
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PostPosted: Fri May 30, 2008 6:41 pm    Post subject: Who is on our side? Reply with quote

People, idured with religious ideas, are most unlikely to demure from doing their duty!

Ron Crying or Very sad

Love history!
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