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Bulldog thoughts on Morgan Harrington Investigation

August 6, 2010

Since this seems to be the topic on everyone’s mind, what I began as a response to a blogger’s comment I will move to the forefront as a blog topic:

Seymour,

You have some pretty good deductive reasoning in your posting.  I agree with you in particular on the lack of realism regarding Morgan just showing up on planet earth one day like an angel descending from above.  That being said, and probably to the surprise of some of my detractors I do respect that the victim in question was someone’s daughter, very much loved and sorely missed.  It is partially for those reasons that I’m not going to say too much regarding my discoveries. 

Regarding the 150,00 reward that constantly gets tossed around, truthfully I see that alot like a carrot and stick routine.  Even if someone called up the task force and provided a good tip, whos to say that tip hasnt already been turned in four or five times?  At this point so many tips have been called in, it’s absolutely ludicrious to believe that there is some “tip accountant” to keep track of who called in what.  I can say that initally (perhaps due to the sheer volume of tips) someone was making decisions on what to follow up on and what not to.  Now, that is only a matter of logic and I would do the same thing… but there were tips and rumours floating around that should of been followed up more closely from the get go and  were not.  I can say that, because in three specific instances I personally pursued worthwhile leads only to be told by the tipster in question: “finally, someone calling me and taking my information seriously!”

None of the people I spoke with were what I would label as “kooks.”  In fact, I was surprised at the level of genuine willingness to help. Would those parties have liked to obtain reward money?  I’m sure, but that was not their sole motivation.  None of them or myself were merely “ambulance chasers.”  They wanted, in fact were desperate, to try and assist.   For whatever reason, the public’s heart has really gone out to this girl. 

In terms of the book idea…. no, I can’t predict any such book coming from me.  For one thing as stated earlier, although I don’t agree with the publicity tactics used, (the billboards, unrealistic portrayal, and the like) Morgan was someone’s daughter.   I don’t have alot of warm and fuzzy information to put into a book, and putting out some sort of bitter expose or a book criticizing law enforcement (who should be given credit, they have worked hard on this case)…  no, I wouldnt be able to justify that when I answer to a higher power.

Let me make something clear… I don’t have any really earth shattering information regarding Morgan’s past.   I don’t want to imply she hung out on street corners,  blitzed out of her mind into the wee hours of the morning.  I would say the truth is closer to a wealthy college student’s lifestyle in this day and age.  I’m just not going to get into specifics.  Regardless of what her past was that doesn’t justify the brutal crime she fell victim to.  By the same token, your posting pretty much echos my sentiments… a “let’s get back to reality” sentiment. 

If I knew who murdered Morgan, I assure you I would turn that information in to law enforcement or perhaps pursue the matter further.  Let’s be honest here:  the exposure alone for a PI able to contribute in solving this crime would be worth quite a bit, perhaps even rivaling the $150,000 figure floating around.  Additionally, it would be the right thing to do.

Sometimes one should do the right thing simply because it is in fact the right thing.  When I had desired to assist the Harringtons and requested offical involvement, the goal was not “to fleece them” or even really profit off of their suffering.  I simply couldnt justify making the case my exclusive focus and start turning over rocks in Charlottesville on my dime:  fuel expenses, time, insurance, opportunity costs turning down other assignments, lodging… those all equate to dollars spilling out of my wallet.  One can only afford to volunteer so far. I also had grown concerned that LE may not appreciate a PI poking around as much as I had.   Although my bulldog persistance had kicked in and I was reluctant to drop the matter, I was investing far too much time trying to help the Harringtons pro bono.  Some findmorgan.com forum members started hassling me with comments like “but there’s a $150,000 reward offered… do whatever it takes and claim the reward!”  I guess my blog now gives the opportunity to respond:  “Please people, get real.”

   The case had become very high profile around this time, ala ms. hinky meter as well as The Hook’s Courtney Stuart (which by the way I do have a tremendous amount of respect for).  For me to visit Charlottesville and interview UVA students required additional legitimacy.  The Harringtons however, for whatever reason turned to a publicist rather then a PI, so I dropped out of the picture.
 
I had pursued the matter far enough that I knew the answer lay in Charlottesville, or in it’s vicinity.  I also was confident that other than witnesses who may of spotted her that evening, it was very unlikely that “someone in the know” was going to come forward to law enforcement.   The “sighting on the lawn” was one lead in particular I took very seriously, and felt was prematurely dismissed by law enforcement.  To this day I feel that lead should of been pursued wholeheartedly and with determination early on. 

One of the problems with Blink is that every time one of her minions manages to provide her with a shred of worthwhile information, she yanks out her “hinky meter.” Then, as she waves around a crooked finger she does this little dance, proclaiming all the while:  “See! See! The cheese is in this direction!  Let’s dangle this person over the coals until they squeal!”  If anyone is “Hinky” it’s Blink.  I get this image in my mind of a woman part  Nancy Grace and part wicked witch… ugh… pass the Rolaids.

Blink’s approach  doesn’t exactly strike me as the way to motivate someone with worthwhile information to talk.  In fact, I view her as an interfering nusiance responsible for  more harm then good, but then again I am not a publicist.   I have a lot more respect for Courtney Stuart and The Hook’s approach to the matter.  Courtney is an actual journalist, not a sensationalist. (Blogger’s note to Blink’s minions:  Learn the difference people!)  Perhaps the Harrington’s  publicist has divine insight beyond my understanding, and bringing a national inquirer writer (the Blinkster) into the fold is a good thing.  Frankly, I just don’t see it.

A private investigator doesn’t have the resources that LE has, true… but he or she has the luxury of focusing primarily or exclusively on the case at hand.  In addition, the circles where I think questioning should of been focused were circles where LE inquiries were not particularly welcome.  A tremendous amount of people in the heavy metal/party scene, those dabbling in illicit substances and other activities frowned upon, for understandable reasons are not in a big hurry to talk with LE and put themselves under scrutiny. 

At the same time, that doesn’t mean that murder sits well with them, and that they wouldnt loose sleep at night over the death of Morgan Harrington were they “in the know.”  Those same people might be willing to talk with a hyperfocused bull-dogged investigator.  A PI who is not interested in arresting people for dabbling in drugs or providing alcohol to underage college students… might have more luck in gathering worthwhile information from them.  

At this point do I think the Morgan Harrington murder will be solved? Yes… someday.. but unless an unexpected “lucky break” happens, I think it will be a long, long time… memories fade, people go on with their lives, UVA students graduate… people become harder to locate and so forth. I don’t think that LE has any strong leads other then the “lucky break” they got by a farmer accidentally locating the remains.  No one came forward and said “here she is, you can end the search.”  Locating the remains  allowed LE opportunity to obtain DNA which apparently links up with another suspect on the lamb has been seeking for a number of years.   As far as I know, that’s as much as they’ve got besides whatever her immediate friends may have told them. 

In a sense, this case was an experiment in terms of using the Internet to increase public awareness and try to gather information.  I don’t mean to say that with a calloused tone.   It was perhaps an experiment of necessity.  The findmorgan.com website and facebook group did have some postive and contributing overtones.  On the other hand, pulling  postings even mildly critical which also asked difficult yet worthwhile questions, that was a bad decision.  That choice of action allienated intelligent and insightful people.  People showing good deductive reasoning and offering worthwhile contributions became turned off by the forum.  Many eventually departed.

My goal was not to judge Morgan, but to find her and the likely suspects involved.  If the goal of findmorgan.com was the same there should of been more honesty and frankness in addition to the sympathetic sentiment.

Finally, there’s a reason I was nicknamed “the bulldog.”  I may not be the best or the most insightful in my field, but I daresay I’m about the most determined and persistant PI you would ever meet. Cases that I work tend to become a personal challenge.  I’ve been known to put in alot of non-billed hours while assisting  my clients.

  A line from the movie Terminator comes to mind:
“Listen. And understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever…”

I do feel pity, remorse, and fear from time to time but I still think the general context of the statement holds true. When I latch on to something, I don’t let go easily.

Bulldog

7 Comments
  1. That about sums it up, my only comment would be that if it is not a “lucky brake”, it may very well be another new tragedy that leads to a conviction. Or it was a homicide, not murder.

  2. Kate permalink

    Bulldog, that’s hillarious….

    Apparently there are some people out there who are aware of how much of an idiot Blink is. Had you seen this?

    http://thepocomokepubliceye.blogspot.com/2009/09/post-from-sleuthhound-owner.html

  3. Laughing

    Kate- No, I hadn’t seen that but thanks for sharing. Please point it out to the minions. Maybe some of them will wake up, but I doubt it.

  4. OldBikr permalink

    I have been watching this case for a while now. I am hearing all of the old theories I heard in the Yorktown Parkway Cases being put up. (The “CIA did it” theory comes to mind here, but it is not the only theory I have heard that is the same.)

    I did see something that I found really disturbing and new though, the psychic/dream angle. It seems that you guys have some “psychics” showing up giving descriptions of their “visions” and in at least one of those descriptions I recognized the picture the so-called psychic was describing. It is a picture hanging on my refrigerator, it contains the image of me, my wife, and both of my children in a restaurant together.
    (My wife had posted it online. The description appeared in one of the Morgan H. forums and it perfectly described what I was wearing in the photo, problem is the picture is over 10 years old.)

    So to conclude, watch those self-proclaimed psychics, some of them are using the psychic angle to slander for their own purposes. If you let them, they will try to steer your investigations in directions it maybe shouldn’t go.

  5. OldBikr:
    You are on the mark. I am sure bulldog can defend him self, but these are my observations:
    Seems Bulldog is in the State and any expenses would not have been like say fly in someone from Europe. New York or other places. With the psychic/dream angle, I think I agree with Bulldog To me there is no such thing. But if someone writes as if they are one, then their motives may be to soak some money out of grieving family. If Bulldog sees the statements, I do not think he is taking them a psychic/dream. I know I look at the words, to see if there is real involvement. It is not condoning the psychic/dream angle.
    It is such a shame that not only did Dr Harrington not invest a couple of weeks with Bulldog, but that the forum went after him like a pack of, well dogs. But he is a Bulldog. His skin is thick. Still, the attacks do give relevance to his remarks about PR machines.
    It seems such a shame that the early opportunity passed. I had people reach out to me, on more than one occasion these different people asked if I was bulldog? They wanted me to be, he had gained trust. There was a void. Bulldog is one the mark, that if he was allowed to represent himself as working with Doctor Harrington and with his credentials and preliminary work he would have found many answers.

    My first contact with Bulldog was this week. One of my contacts pointed me here. I see why.

    What we have in my opinion is an investigation by 5 or 6 jurisdictions and some poorly managed early on, that I agree with Bulldog, it is probably too late now.
    I have some much information that I cannot disclose. I can only state that after reading Bulldog’s 2 or 3 articles, he sure seems to be correct! My information is 100% consistent with Bulldog’s assessment.

    • SJones,

      Appreciate the vote of confidence. Yes, a number of forum members went after me after I requested offical involvement from Dr. Harrington. Finances, expenses, and the like were never discussed. I was labelled as an ambulance chaser… and yet I was the one that first took the “lawn sighting” and “Sheetz sighting” seriously. A forum member in Baltimore MD pursued the motel sighting up there, and we communicated regarding it. Until his visit at the motel, no one from law enforcement or anywhere else had contacted that motel establishment. He was a member of the find morgan volunteer group which eventually progressed into what is now “Morgan’s Warriors.”

      I say that that these sightings were not taken seriously by LE during the first few weeks following their submission because that is what I was told during conversations with the individuals involved. Two different individuals were accused, at least verbally, of lying to law enforcement. They may of been mistaken, but I do not believe they were lying (purposefully decieving).

      I believe that the tip line was totally overwhelmed by the sheer number of tips that came in, and judgements were made as to which ones to take the most seriously. Later on when things calmed down some, a number of those tips appeared to be revisited and then added to the “take seriously” list, but that was after several additional weeks had gone past.

      Additionally, over time some posts surfaced on BlinkonCrime, The Hook, Topix, and other locations regarding the Harringtons from people who supposedly have had dealings with them. They were typically removed from those sites (with the exception of Topix), likely for liability reasons.

      I cannot vouch for the validity or motivation of the posters, or have an interest in restating those comments here but I did find some of what was stated on those sites as interesting.

      There is information out there if you know how, and where to dig. PI’s and professional investigative reporters (Courtney Stuart), specialize in digging. The Internet is a good place to start in regards to comments made by others. The key is you scrutinize and question what you read, and don’t accept that information as truthful until you validate it for yourself.

  6. “Until his visit at the motel”

    Bulldog, I know!
    it was put in the drawer so to speak with some things that had nothing to do with what we are speaking of. However I did contact the FBI. I cannot explain how, but only recently did VSP look back into it.

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