Research Blog

Welcome to Robin’s Investigative Research Blog!

Each week,  she posts about true crime cases similar to what you’d see on investigative news shows. Her focus is on crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Most cases have an outcome, few are positive. You decide if the outcomes are just. 

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Disclaimer:  All data and information provided on this site is for information and research purposes only and not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, or individual. Criminal cases may have been appealed or verdicts overturned since a case was researched.  All information is provided on an as-is basis. The opinions expressed by individuals providing comments are theirs alone, and do not reflect the opinions of Robin Lyons.

The Teacher On A Downward Spiral Of Addiction

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #109

When a school employee or other public service employee is arrested for illegal activities most people are disappointed and shocked. I know I continue to be saddened by the cases I research. If only there were a way to vet applicants so as to hire the very best.

Thank you for taking time from your busy life to read and learn about school news that often doesn’t make ‘the news.’

BLOG POST #112: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school special education teacher.

I’ve never known a heroin addict. After researching this case, I wondered…Was his drug use not noticeable?

And Then There Was One

A student found a syringe on the restroom floor. He gave the syringe to a teacher’s aide. The school notified local authorities and a criminal investigation ensued.

At the beginning of the investigation, there were three teachers under suspicion. It was when the  K-9 narcotics officer began searching the school and detected drugs in the teacher’s backpack that he became the single suspect.

He was in his mid-30s and taught special education at the high school level.

The Dog Knows

His backpack which was in the classroom, on the floor next to his desk.

Officers found in the backpack, 125 packets of heroin, syringes, pills, and other paraphernalia.

Under arrest and charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, he never returned to the classroom.

The judge didn’t believe the personal use admission and said to the teacher, “That’s a tremendous amount of narcotics in your possession, in your classroom, in your bag, right by your desk.”

He denied selling narcotics but admitted to being a heroin addict and claimed all the heroin in his possession was for personal use.

Was The Sentence Appropriate?

There wasn’t enough evidence to prove distribution. The ex-teacher accepted a plea agreement and pleaded guilty to third-degree possession of a controlled and dangerous substance.

The court sentenced no jail time; instead, he’ll serve four years of probation, 100 hours of community service and undergo regular drug testing.

Eight years after issuance, he relinquished his teaching certificates and began working in a hotel restaurant.

The judge commended the student who found the syringe as, “Bright and responsible.”

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read a similar case: Chasing the Dragon

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

A Sexual Predator At The High School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #108Greetings and thank you for reading my blog post. You care about children, or you wouldn’t continue to read my research. I believe understanding more about the dangers lurking online and offline helps us make the world a safer place for kids.

There are so many websites on the internet where teenagers can connect with other teens. Unfortunately, pedophiles and sexual predators are also on those sites. If you haven’t talked openly with your children about cyber predators, perhaps it’s time you did.

BLOG POST #111: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school teacher and a teenage girl (not one of his students).

How Much Freedom Should Teenagers Have?

If you have children, I’m sure you’ve had moments when you wanted to snoop on your child’s electronic device to see what websites they visit. Keeping an eye on who they communicate with on social media is a challenge. You might question if they deserve some freedom, or if they know better than to get involved in anything inappropriate. I say, kick those thoughts to the curb and snoop.

On this Mother’s Day weekend I’d like to salute the mother in this case for her decision to check-up on her daughter. If it hadn’t been for her, there’s no telling how this story may have ended.

Kids Are Easy To Persuade: Puppies. Candy. Money.

The teacher had met the teenage girl on a website called ‘deviantart.’ After some time, the two moved their communication to emails.

He started grooming her slowly by talking about photography and problems in life. He lavished her with compliments about her beauty. Then he transitioned into a business proposition. If she sent him nude photos, he’d send money and gifts. She started sending him nude photos. In return, he sent her money, books, candy, clothes, panties, and makeup.

When the mother questioned her daughter about the packages she was receiving, the daughter explained they were from a high school friend who had moved to another state.

To Snoop Or Not To Snoop – That Is The Question

Before the mother found out about the teacher’s inappropriate and illegal conduct, the teacher wanted more than photos. He and the teenager began using Skype to converse and masturbate together.

And then one day the teenage girl’s mother saw her daughter’s email account open on her computer, so she snooped to see what her daughter was doing and with whom she had been exchanging emails.

She was taken aback to find sexually explicit emails containing nude photos of her daughter and nude photos of a much older man. She immediately notified her local law enforcement agency.

Investigators Have Heard It All

The teacher told the law enforcement office who was questioning him, he taught high school advanced placement psychology and believed everything he was doing was helping the young girl feel good about her individuality. In reality, he taught social studies.

He admitted to participating in sexual role-play through emails with the young girl. Explaining his behavior as part of the ‘therapy’ he was using to help her feel good about herself.

When the investigator asked the teacher about sending nude photos of himself and specifically of his penis, he denied sending any. Later he admitted to sending the photos but failed to have a reasonable explanation as to why he sent them.

He’s Right Where He Should Be

After searching his electronic devices, FBI agents discovered another teenager he was grooming and had enticed into producing and sending him pornographic photos. And there was more child pornography recovered from his computer.

He pleaded guilty to child pornography charges. A federal judge sentenced him to 27 years in prison for enticement of a minor and production of child pornography plus a 20-year concurrent sentence for receiving child pornography. Upon release (at age of 86) he will serve a lifetime of supervised release and register as a sex offender.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT, an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

A Plan To Murder Bullies

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #110Whether it’s a case of school violence or about bullying, the two crimes are often connected. When bullying goes unreported it becomes he said/she said and too often the victim becomes the criminal.

In my opinion, parents and grandparents should continuously talk about bullying with children and stress it’s okay to speak up, in fact, it’s imperative.

BLOG POST #110: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two high school boys and their plan to kill.

Two boys, a 14 and a 15-year-old made a plan to kill faculty and students at their high school.

Loose Lips Foil Plans

Thankfully, kids talk. The two boys had to have said something to someone who took their intentions seriously and told the school administration. The school administration detained the two boys and searched their backpacks.

Found in the backpacks were detailed plans and evidence showing the two had conducted surveillance of specific staff members to know where they would be at the time of the event.

Vigilance Required In The Lunchroom

Both boys’ homes were searched. The boys had gathered fireworks, gunpowder, and fuses to make pipe bombs. They had planned to hide a duffel bag at the school filled with guns, ammo, bombs, gas masks, and chloride gas to be readily available. The attack was to take place during lunch time.

It was a plan of revenge for being bullied by staff members and classmates.

From my research, attacks are often planned to take place at lunch. It’s my assumption the targeted kids are expected to be together at that time. Whereas at any other time of the school day, the kids would be in classes.

Upon entering the lunch hall, the first victim would have been the resource officer (campus security). The principal was on the list as well. Knowing the school would go into lockdown mode, they planned to bring an ax to bust into locked classrooms.

Formative Years Lost

While being transported to the law enforcement center, the older boy told an officer he was glad they were stopped before anything happened.

Both teens pleaded no contest to the charge of conspiracy to commit capital murder. No contest in juvenile court is the same as guilty in adult court.

At the sentencing hearing, the principal asked for a “very severe penalty,” contending the teen’s actions “created fear, anxiety, and disruptions for thousands of students and staff.”

The judge sentenced both boys to serve three years and nine months in juvenile custody, followed by three years of aftercare.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read, Planned Attack at the Middle School, where a 12-year-old had a similar plan.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

This School Teacher Sexually Abused More Than 50 Children

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #109

First, I want to apologize for the length of this post. To respect your time, I try to keep posts short. There was a lot of information on this case; I didn’t want to leave out any pertinent details. With that said, thank you for reading and caring about children.

BLOG POST #109: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving an American teacher, born and raised in New York, working at international schools which cater to the rich and super-rich.

The case referenced in this post deviates from my usual research of crimes taking place at or involving schools in the United States. Nonetheless, this case demonstrates how wily a pedophile can be.

Once A Pedophile Always A Pedophile?

When he was 19, he worked as a teacher’s aide in California. He was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious behavior for fondling the penises of boys as young as seven while teaching them to swim. He pleaded guilty. Released after serving 90 days in jail, he was placed on the sex offenders register and required to tell authorities when he moved.

Ten years later, without notifying the authorities, he left the country and began teaching children of U.S. workers in Saudi Arabia.

There are close to two hundred schools around the globe supported by the U.S. government to promote a U.S.-style education.

Every Child Is At Risk

Even when parents are rich and super-rich, their children can still become victims of child sexual abuse without the parents knowing what was happening. The pedophile, in this case, was that smooth.

He was said to be charming and popular. And married with two sons.

Following his wife, as she climbed the corporate ladder, he taught in several countries.

Don’t Drink The Kool-Aid

He taught English, world history, and coached boys’ basketball at the middle school level. When newly hired, the first thing he did was set up a travel club, whereby he took students on overnight hiking and camping trips.

For the children he’d chosen to abuse, he served them drug-laced Double Stuff Oreo cookies and water. To be certain the boys ate the entire cookie; he proposed a competition, the one who ate the cookies the fastest would be the first to pick a bed. What kid doesn’t love a cookie eating competition?

So as not to be caught, he also drugged the other chaperoning teacher. One teacher said in an interview, he brought her a beverage in a mug and insisted she drink it all. With the first sip, she tasted something odd. Still, she drank the beverage and remembered nothing until morning.

One student, who went on an overnight trip and ate the cookies, reported he woke the next morning feeling dazed. He noticed he had on different shorts and a friend was wearing his shorts.

Somebody Dropped The Ball

Occasionally, colleagues and parents mentioned concerns to principals. Rather than investigate, school administrators avoided the issue partly because his wife held a prominent role in the international school system and partly because school principals typically aren’t good people managers.

Without consequence, he sexually abused more than 50 children over a span of 40 years.

A Special Agent with the FBI said, “I have never seen another case where an individual may have molested this many children over such a long period of time.”

This criminal’s story may have ended differently had it not been for his housekeeper in Nicaragua who’d stolen his flash drives and turned them into the school. After seeing what was on the flash drives, the principal fired the teacher and alerted the authorities.

Before the FBI could issue a search warrant, the American teacher committed suicide.

Hear No Evil; See No Evil; Speak No Evil

When the FBI notified parents of their boys’ photos on the flash drives and of the probable molestation, many decided they didn’t want to know more or see the photos. They didn’t want their children to know what had happened, they just wanted ‘it’ to go away.

During the investigation it was determined if any of the international schools had done a criminal records check from the U.S., it would have been disclosed that he was a convicted child molester.

It is unknown if his wife knew he was a prolific pedophile or if he’d abused his sons.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel

Available at Amazon

 

 

Fleecing of America

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #108Hello! You may or may not know I worked as a payroll accountant for a school district before I retired. I’m telling you this because one of the two people in this blog post was an accountant, whose business provided budgeting and bookkeeping services for the school district.

I semi-seriously used to say to a co-worker, the way the district spent the public’s money was a fleecing of America.

At my level, I saw areas where thievery was possible. Apparently, the two women in this post found weak places as well. And they took advantage of those weaknesses.

Thanks for taking the time to read my research and for becoming more aware of possible wrongdoing in schools.

BLOG POST #108: This week, I’m sharing research on two specific criminal cases involving an accountant and a school teacher.

It didn’t seem like a conflict of interest.

Mother was a contract accountant. Typically, contract accountants are responsible for everything from requests for proposals to payment. Not typical is an accountant who processes her check requests.

The daughter was a teacher in the same district where the mother’s business handled the accounting.

Like Minds Think Alike

After extravagantly spending school district money on travel, catered events, meetings in local hotels and artwork, the district was under state-controlled leadership at the same time the mother-daughter team bilked the district for more than $525,000.

A few years before the scam, the daughter set up a shell business for supplies such as writing activity kits, maps and globes, and booklets on multiplication, division, and active algebra.

For four years the mother paid invoices to the shell business. The schools received nothing; mother and daughter received money.

Their crime spree may have lasted a few more budget cycles had it not been for an accounts payable audit.

Criminal Minds: Where Are They Now?

Mother and daughter went to trial and were found guilty of program fraud conspiracy, money laundering conspiracy, and tax charges.

U.S. Attorney said, “Anyone who considers defrauding our schools should take note that we are scrutinizing records and conduct, and will prosecute those who steal funds intended to educate our children.”

Mother was sentenced to 70 months in federal prison and ordered to pay restitution of more than $530,000. The daughter was sentenced to 36 months.

Mother is scheduled to be released from prison in March 2018. The daughter was released June 2016.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read (and it’s a quick read) this similar case: School Bookkeeper Sentenced to 14-Months in Prison

 

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonFind out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel

Available at Amazon