The Other Side of Investigating “Mr. X”

GREENVILLE, S.C. (BFMG) — 

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Court Report:

Surrogate Court Judge Anthony Scarpino, In His

Stated “There Is Substantial Evidence Indicating

Over the past 32 years, nearly 30 of them in retirement, former Major Crime Detective with the White Plains Police Department, Austin Avery, has been involved in the investigation of the murder of Oscar Nedd, a resident of White Plains, in early January of 1975. Originally assigned with his partner, John Markey, “to investigate the disappearance of a 24-year-old black male who resided at 59 North Broadway in the City of White Plains, New York,” Avery quickly recognized that there had been foul play and possibly a homicide. The Guardian recently spent nearly four hourswith retired Detective Avery at his home in Connecticut. The following information is the product of that interview.

“On or about January 15, 1975, my partner and I were assigned to investigate the report of a missing person, Oscar Ray Nedd, age 24, a male black, who resided in a rooming house located at the intersection of Rockledge Ave. and North Broadway in the City of White Plains. Oscar Nedd had been reported missing on January 8, 1975 by the husband of his half-sister, who lived in New York City. He indicated that attempts to speak with Nedd by telephone had met with negative results, so he went to the rooming house where Nedd lived, and a check of his room by him and the manager revealed all of Nedd’s belongings were gone, as well as Ned and Ned’s cousin, Joseph Fluellen. Also missing was Nedd’s car.

The informant said, ‘While checking the room he saw what appeared to be traces

of blood on the woodwork. He also said that the last time he had seen Nedd was in

the company of his cousin, Joe Fluellen, when Nedd came to visit him and his wife in New York City.

My partner and I went to the rooming house and spoke with the manager, who

opened the locked door to Nedd’s room. At first sight, the room appeared to be in normal condition, until we looked closer at the woodwork, and found numerous blood spots, including, on the side of the lampshade. Under the bed we found bloody items of clothing.

At this point we turned over the mattress and found a huge puddle of dried blood.

My partner, John Markey, immediately called headquarters, requesting a photographer and a forensic technician. Once these persons came to the scene, my partner and I interviewed the manager and those tenants who were home at the time. It should be noted that during this time period we received a message from the Warner Robbins, Georgia Police Department stating that Joseph Fluellen had escaped from prison in that city where he was being held on an armed robbery charge. e message indicated the Fluellen was believed to have stolen a  car in Georgia which was later recovered in New Jersey, where he was believed to have friends. It also indicated that Fluellen had relatives in the White Plains area.

After receiving this information on Oscar Nedd’s cousin, an “All Points Bulletin” was sent out on the car owned by Nedd, and we began a search of the area and the entire City of White Plains for Oscar Nedd, his cousin Joe Fluellen, and Nedd’s car. We continued our interviews with the manager, tenants and friends of Oscar Nedd.

Our contacts revealed that Oscar Nedd was well-liked, was engaged to be married to a young woman, Paulette Reid who, at the time resided at 23 Old Mamaroneck Road, White Plains. Contacting Miss Reid, we discovered that she and Oscar Nedd were in love and were planning to be married. She stated that he called her every day, and she also indicated that Oscar worked two jobs, and had saved close to $2,000 which was for their wedding, planned in the near future.

Paulette said that on or about December 18, 1974, Oscar told her he had received

a phone call from Joe Fluellen, and that he was at the White Plains Train Station, and had asked if Oscar could pick him up. She said, when he did, Fluellen told him he had shoplifted in Georgia and was out on bail, and that as soon as he could, he was going to return to Georgia, but needed a place to stay for the time being. Oscar told her that he knew Fluellen was not a good person, and that he had once shot a relative in Florida that was never reported to the police. He said he didn’t want his family to think he would turn his back on a relative who needed help so he agreed to allow Fluellen to stay with him.

Decision Declaring Oscar Nedd ‘Legally Dead’,

Oscar Nedd Was The Victim Of Foul Play”

Paulette also said that about a week later Oscar told her, while he was at work,

that Fluellen was going through his things in the room. On January 1, 1975, Oscar

and Fluellen stopped by Paulette’s apartment on their way to visit Oscar’s sister in

New York City, and then stopped at her place again on their way back. This was the last time she ever saw Oscar. Paulette added that before going to New York, Oscar told her that he was going but did not want her to go with them as he was upset over something he had learned about Fluellen.

In our interview with Nedd’s sister and her husband we were informed that, while

at their apartment, Nedd told them he had something to tell them about Fluellen that he had just learned. But, because Fluellen was there, he could not speak about it at the time. We were also advised that Nedd had a doctor’s appointment for January 6, 1975 which he never kept. We continued our search for Nedd’s body and interviewed friends and neighbors.

Some time in February of 1975 we received a bulletin that two male blacks, using

a car registered to Oscar Nedd, had been involved in a holdup in Arizona, but the

subject had gotten away. A week or two later we then received a call that two subjects, Oscar Nedd and Willy Marshall, were arrested in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in Nedd’s car for armed robbery. I called Las Cruces authorities and advised them that I did not believe the subject who identified himself as Oscar Nedd was Oscar but was, in fact, Joe Fluellen. As for the other subject who identified himself as Willy Marshall, I had no idea who he was. Further interviews revealed that the subject, claiming to be Nedd, admitted he was Joe Fluellen.

My partner and I requested permission to go to New Mexico and speak with

Fluellen, but we were denied. I could not believe the total lack of interest by DA Carl Vergari and White Plains Police Commissioner John Dolce. They each reasoned to me that the New Mexico Police would ‘handle the rest of the case.’ I replied, ‘How can they handle it when they do not know the facts in this case?’ Again I was denied. I later was advised that both subjects were convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to 15 years in jail but had been released after serving only two and a half years.

I continued to work on the case with a new partner and, in 1977, we re-interviewed

a tenant in the rooming house whom I always felt knew more than he had said when first interviewed. This resulted in his signed, notarized statement in which he said that on January 1, 1975 he did, in fact, see Fluellen carrying what he believed to be a body rolled up inside of a rug, place it in Nedd’s car, and drive off. Again, this information was totally ignored by DA Vergari and the White Plains Police Department.

We continued to work the case. And, then, in June of 1978, I walked into the of-

fice of the Chief of Detectives Bernard Seit and saw a report in a folder marked Las

Cruces, New Mexico. I asked for permission to review the report, but was denied. At

this point I indicated now that I had 24 years of service, I was going to retire, knowing

this was the only way I could follow up on the case. Commissioner John Dolce called

me into his office and asked me to reconsider. I did, for the next several months, and

then put in my retirement papers in October, 1978. The following week I began to

investigate on my own, an investigation which has taken me all over the country. The

first place I went to was Marshallville, Georgia, where I spoke with Iris Rumph, Oscar

Nedd’s sister. She told me that Oscar was a good student, and also a good athlete, who

had never been in any trouble with the law. His goal in life was to further his education

and become a journalist, but their family was very poor and so he left and went to

live in Florida with an aunt, after which he went to New York, settling in White Plains.

He kept in constant touch with his family. Iris further added that when she learned

that Joe Fluellen had escaped prison and was with Oscar in New York, she had called

her brother December 31, 1974 advising him to tell Fluellen to leave. I believe this accounted

for what Oscar said he had to tell his sister in New York, but was hesitant to

do so in Fluellen’s company.

Over the past 31 years, I have been to Georgia eight times, speaking with relatives and

friends of Oscar. The next stop for me was the  .

There I discovered Joe Fluellen’s lengthy record of numerous crimes, ranging from armed

robbery and burglary to rape, and that this particular department had outstanding warrants

for his arrest. I continued my interviews with friends and relatives, discovering in

1993 that Joe Fluellen was wanted in armed robberies all over the South.

All this time I kept thinking of the report I was denied access to, and then I

requested permission to review the case again. When I was allowed to do this, I discovered

the report which had been directed to Captain Seit was from a former NYS

Police Lieutenant who was now assigned to the crime commission in New Mexico.

While reading the report I was shocked to learn that Fluellen had stated, in interviews

with FBI agents, that on or about December 15, 1974 he and Oscar Nedd decided to

go to California where Nedd met a girl in San Francisco. Fluellen said that Nedd failed

to show up at a pool hall one night and that he decided to drive back to Georgia by

himself, leaving Oscar Nedd in California.

Fluellen further stated that on January 8, 1975, another friend, Willy Marshall,

who had just gotten out of prison, decided to return to California with Fluellen. Fluellen

admitted that on their way back to California they did the holdups in Arizona and

New Mexico. The report also indicated an interview with Willy Marshall stated that

Marshall first met Fluellen while doing time in prison in Georgia. Fluellen escaped

this prison, and the next time Marshall saw him, was on January 8, 1975 when he was

released. At that time Fluellen asked him if he wanted to go with him to California,

and he agreed. Marshall indicated that while in the car he had asked Fluellen where

he had got it, and Fluellen responded that his aunt in New York gave him the car.

Marshall also revealed that Joe Fluellen had about $2,000 on him and that whenever

they stopped, he used Oscar Nedd’s name as identification for hotels, etc. He stated

that he saw what he believed to be blood in the car. He did not know who Oscar Nedd

was, nor did he ever see him.

On further investigation, I learned that both men had been given polygraph tests

and that Marshall had passed, and Fluellen had not. The same report included a statement

from the writer who said the car was released to an insurance company and that,

in his opinion, Fluellen was a hardened criminal who would continue a life of crime.

Fluellen had committed over 20 armed robberies and five armed bank robberies in Florida

where he was arrested in 1995, convicted, and sent to Federal prison in Georgia.

After gathering all this information, I met with Commissioner John Dolce to discuss

  1. His response to me was, ‘this is an embarrassment to the Department.’ He

repeated this again, leading me to the conclusion that in his way he was asking me to

back off. I indicated that I wanted the District Attorney advised. Approximately two

weeks later I met with Commissioner Dolce, a top assistant district attorney, a captain,

two lieutenants and detective who worked out of Commissioner Dolce’s office. I gave a

verbal account of what I had discovered and placed the report in front of the assistant

DA, who refused to read it, stating that without a body the district attorney would not

consider the case. I responded to all present, ‘I want to make this perfectly clear. The

evidence in this case is overwhelming that Joe Fluellen murdered Oscar Nedd, and I

will do whatever it takes to bring this case before a grand jury.’ I continued my investigation

for the next two years and learned that Fluellen had been arrested in Miami,

Florida for five armed bank robberies. I went to Miami and received permission to

speak with him. I believe the only reason he agreed to speak with me was because he

didn’t know what I had discovered thus far. During our conversation he never denied

killing Oscar Nedd, but only repeated, ‘You can’t prove it.’

I met with DA Jeanine Pirro, who succeeded Carl Vergari, who had been the

DA when this case occurred. Those present at the meeting, besides Pirro and myself,

included her First Assistant and the chief of her Homicide Division. After giving her

all the information to date, her exact words to me were, ‘With all that evidence, why

didn’t you arrest Fluellen?’ She indicated that she would assign her investigators to assist

the White Plains Police Department with this case. I had made plans to go to California

to check out a gas station in San Francisco where Fluellen had taken Nedd’s car

for repairs. The receipt for this work was still in his possession when he was arrested

in New Mexico. When I returned back east, I set up a meeting with two detectives assigned

by Commissioner Dolce to reinvestigate this case. And, at that meeting, I was

asked if I had a copy of the case file, which I did not, but at the time I wondered why I

was asked. I was also asked by the detective who was at the meeting with the assistant

DA if I had copies of the negatives of the photos taken at the crime scene, which I did

not. Again, I wondered about these inquiries and was frustrated that the only thing

done by these detectives since reinvestigating the case was to ascertain that Oscar

Nedd’s social security number had not been used since his disappearance.

I realize that since this case was getting old, and a body was never discovered, those

new to the investigation did not consider it a priority. I decided to investigate by retracing

Joe Fluellen’s whereabouts after Nedd’s disappearance. I surmised that he may

have traveled straight to Georgia to see Willy Marshall, and that he was familiar with

areas in New Jersey as stated in his past interviews. I contacted the New Jersey State

Police and, with their help, I checked for any unidentified bodies found between 1975

and 1980. I discovered the records of an unidentified black male, age approximately

24, same height, same weight, whose remains were discovered on Route 80 in the area

of the Delaware Water Gap. The medical examiner’s report indicated that the remains

were found in 1976 and were believed to have been there for a year. I felt that because of

Fluellen’s ties in New Jersey and his familiarity with this area, that this could be the remains

of Oscar Nedd. Two weeks later the medical examiner said he had made an error,

and changed the sex of these remains from male to female. Since late 1990 I was aware

of new advancements in DNA testing and felt the New Jersey medical examiner was

unsure of the gender of those remains found in 1976. Once again contacting the New

Jersey Police, I discovered that since the first change, a pathologist changed the findings

back, the gender being male. With this new discovery, I traveled to Georgia, and asked if

I might speak with Oscar Nedd’s mother. I learned that his father had passed away, still

grieving over his son, Oscar. His mother was at the doctor’s office, where I visited and

spoke with her and her doctor in the presence of her daughter, Ms. Rumph, regarding

getting a blood sample for a DNA match test to the remains found in New Jersey. Both

agreed and, after the doctor had taken the sample and placed it in ice for my trip back

North, I assured Oscar Nedd’s mother that I would not give up on solving the disappearance

of her son whom she still grieved for every day.

Once I returned to White Plains, I went directly to Commissioner Dolce’s of-

fice with the new information and the sample, but he refused to accept the sample. I

left his office and went directly to New Jersey to give the sample to the State Police.

After a few weeks had passed, I was told the New Jersey Police could not locate the

remains found in 1976. However, after repeated calls and letters, it was approximately

six months later they were located and sent to the FBI Crime Lab.

I waited three years, with many phone calls in between, and finally decided to

go to the Warren County prosecutor’s office directly. On my way there, I stopped at

the New Jersey State Police substation in Totowa and spoke to Lt. Smeltz. I started to

tell him why I was in New Jersey, and where I was headed, and he started shaking his

head back and forth and told me he knew of me. Asked how he had heard of me, he

stated that he was notified of the remains being misplaced, and that those remains

were signed out in 1985 and were never signed back in until my repeated calls to the

Warren County Prosecutor’s Office. I received a call from Frank Murphy who said he

was a former police officer in Paterson, NJ and a former Secret Service agent. He indicated

he was currently a forensic science teacher at Seton Hall University and Ramapo

College. He asked for a meeting, which I agreed to. I told him all of the facts and he

responded with his desire to assist in getting the case prosecuted. Murphy asked if I

would be willing to discuss the case with his class at Ramapo College, which I did.

After my discussion, the class of thirty would-be ‘forensic scientists and lawyers’ voted

on whether they would indict if on a grand jury, and everyone said they would. In

one of our numerous discussions Murphy said we needed to get Oscar Nedd declared

legally dead, and together we began this next step.

During this time Frank Murphy sent a letter to the Westchester County DA’s of-

fice and Commissioner Dolce indicating who he was and that he believed an injustice

had occurred regarding this case. He suggested that the case be turned over to the

New York State Police. Jeanine Pirro’s office called the White Plains Chief of Police,

William Bradley, and asked him to contact Frank Murphy to see what was going on.

When Bradley called Murphy, he said there was absolutely no forensic evidence in the

case or photos of the scene. Frank’s response was, ‘if that is true, Chief, why did you or

one of your detectives tell a reporter with the Newark Star Ledger that the very small

amount of blood found in Nedd’s room was animal blood?’ The chief had no answer

for this and, although he said he would get back to Frank, he never did. I reminded

Frank that Bradley was not at the scene in 1975, but I was, and I know what I saw.

The very next day I went to the office of the Westchester Forensic Lab, and the head

of the department, Frank Drummond, happened to be in the building. He agreed to

see me. When we reviewed the report of the Oscar Nedd case, he said he was familiar

with this one in particular, saying, ‘Oscar Nedd case, right? There was a lot of blood in

that room. Without a transfusion, no one could survive that amount of blood loss. 59

North Broadway, right? It was in 1975, I’ll never forget it, my first big case.’ He said he

started in forensics in 1973 and got that case in 1975. He agreed to give me copies of

his reports if I would give him a foil letter. I arrived the next day with the letter, and he

gave me over 15 pages of reports and notes on the case. He then said, ‘We take photos,

but when a department like White Plains calls, they have their own, so we did not take

any that day.’ Frank Murphy called Frank Drummond to verify what he had said, and

Drummond repeated to Murphy what he told me the day before.

Efforts to declare Oscar Nedd legally dead were started. I went to the Surrogate

Court in White Plains and spoke with the chief clerk and advised her of my reason for

being there. The head clerk for Judge Scarpino instructed her to give me the forms and

procedure requirements. This took about six months.

I made several attempts to meet with the new White Plains Commissioner of

Public Safety, Frank Straub, who finally returned my call and agreed to meet with me.

The next day an Inspector Jackson called me and said he and Commissioner Straub

would meet with me at a diner in North Castle, outside the city limits. I knew this was

being done for one reason only, and that was to show interest in the case, but not in

Police Headquarters with Chief Bradley present. I met with them, and was told that

instead of going to the DA, Straub was going to assign a detective named Tim Byrne,

who worked out of the White Plains office but did not report to Police Headquarters.

Three weeks later I received a call from Detective Byrne, who said he could not locate

the case file and asked if I would meet with him at the same diner. He asked me for

details in the case, which I gave him entirely.

In November 2005 I was notified by the Surrogate Court that a hearing would be

held on December 8. At that hearing, a judge assigned a lawyer to the case. When he

did, I served a subpoena on the Records Division of the White Plains Police Department

for the case file, which was never produced to the Court. Instead, I got a call

that Investigator Byrne was very upset over the subpoena, and did not produce any

records and further indicated photos could not be located. I knew then why the two

detectives asked me if I had any copies on this case, and why Detective Byrne could

not locate the file. It was clear that someone had removed this file from the case folder.

Byrne also told me he could not locate any of the witnesses I had told him about.

All are unaware of this. I have spoken recently with the number one witness in

this case, in the presence of another witness who will verify this, and she reiterated

to me what took place on January 1, 1975. When I asked her if she would speak to a

reporter with Eyewitness News she refused, saying, ‘I know if I am subpoenaed I will

have to testify under oath, and I will, but I will not speak before any camera. I have not

slept well in 31 years for fear of Joe Fluellen, who will have me killed if I do.’ It should

be noted that I met with the New York State Police Investigative Unit which informs

me that the evidence is very strong proof that Fluellen did murder Oscar Nedd. But,

because of political reasons, they will not take over this case.

After reading what took place in this case one must consider the following facts.

It will clearly prove what occurred to cover up what was done and not done in the

murder of Oscar Nedd.

  1. In an investigation of a murder, the family is always interviewed not only for

the possibility of being involved, but for information that could help in the case. No

one other person other than myself ever spoke to any of Oscar Nedd’s family.

  1. When Fluellen was arrested in Las Cruces and interviewed, he was in possession

of Nedd’s car, which was used to transport his body across state lines. This car

should have been brought back to White Plains and held as evidence. Instead it was

turned over to an insurance company according to the Las Cruces report and the family

was never notified.

  1. Photos of the blood in Nedd’s room are missing from the case file.
  1. When I served the subpoena on the Records Division of the White Plains Police

Department for the case file to be given to the Surrogate Court, it was never done.

  1. Detective Tim Byrne, who was assigned to the case by Commissioner Frank

Straub, told me he could not locate the case file for several weeks, and then said there

were no photos. He was also upset over the fact that I had subpoenaed the case file.

Why would this bother him other than he knew things were missing?

  1. Detective Byrne also said he could not locate any witnesses and yet the star witness

in the case, Paulette Reid, lives right in the heart of White Plains.

  1. Joe Fluellen told the FBI that he left Oscar Nedd in California in the middle of

December 1974 when in fact he and Oscar Nedd were visiting Nedd’s sister in New

York on January 1, 1975. There are six eyewitnesses to this.

  1. There were three DAs in White Plains who failed to listen to the evidence in

this case as follows:

  • Carl Vergari did not think it was worth the time, effort or money to send

investigators to New Mexico to speak with Joe Fluellen simply because he was arrested

for armed robbery and that was justice (Fluellen got out in two and half

years and went on with his life of crime).

  • In my interview with Jeanine Pirro and two of her top aides after hearing

the evidence back in 1995, she said, ‘With all that evidence, Detective Avery, why

didn’t you arrest Joe Fluellen?’ When she learned that Vergari refused to pursue

the case, she backed off and refused to proceed with the case.

  • Janet DiFiore has refused to meet with me simply because she does not want

to become involved and, like Pirro, refuses to listen to the overwhelming evidence,

which she knows would reveal what her predecessors did.

  1. The commissioner at the time of this case was John Dolce. When I discovered

the Las Cruces report and what it contained, I went to speak with Dolce who, upon

hearing what I discovered, said, ‘This is an embarrassment to the department.’ I could

not agree more. It is and should be an embarrassment to allow a criminal like Joe

Fluellen to get away with murder. It is not only an embarrassment; it is a miscarriage

of justice. Commissioner Dolce also said, ‘Austin, you’re not making any friends here.’

My answer to that was, ‘I’m not looking to make friends. I’m looking for justice for a

poor Black family who lost a son and a brother.’

  1. One must ask oneself: Why would Joe Fluellen take the rug from the room

other than to hide the body?

  1. When the new Commissioner of Public Safety, Frank Straub, finally agreed

to meet with me, it was not in police headquarters or in his office. It was in a diner

outside the city limits. Also present was Inspector Jackson. I knew that he was only

meeting with me to establish the fact that he did, but I agreed to this because I wanted

to hear what he had to say. When I advised him and Inspector Jackson of the facts, he

listened and said nothing. I then asked him if he was going to request the DA to put

this before a Grand Jury and his response was, ‘Oh no. I will assign a detective to the

case for further investigation.’ I knew then that I was right and he was only meeting

with me to keep me quiet, but this will never happen.

  1. When I spoke with an investigator with the State Police, his response was,

‘Detective Avery, you have the case solved and I would like to take this case.’ Two

weeks later he said, ‘I’m sorry but my superiors will not take over the case because

of political reasons.’ In other words, they didn’t want to offend the DA or the Police

Commissioner. How do I tell the Nedd family this?

This case is not only a failure to prosecute Joe Fluellen who killed Oscar Nedd, but

it is a clear picture of what those in power did to cover up what took place. There is no

doubt whatsoever that it was done because Oscar Nedd was Black and was perceived

as no one of any particular importance. This case was a very easy case to solve. It did

not take a Sherlock Holmes to solve it. Like DA Pirro said, ‘With all the evidence, why

didn’t you arrest Joe Fluellen?”

Analysis:

Joseph Fluellen, who has been incarcerated in Federal Prison for several years,

having been convicted of Armed Bank Robbery, is scheduled to be released, possibly

as early as next year. Retired Detective Avery’s concern is shared by The Westchester

Guardian. We believe that there is a very real possibility that Fluellen, upon his

release, may seek to silence those in Westchester capable of testifying and pointing a

finger in his direction for the murder of Oscar Nedd. We further believe it is incumbent

upon the District Attorney’s Office to avail itself of the evidence amassed over

more than 30 years by a dedicated, right-thinking detective who has lived by his

personal credo, “Quitters never win; winners never quit,” in his search for truth and

justice for Oscar Nedd’s loved ones.

Posted by The Westchester Guardian Newspaper at 7:35 PM No comments:

Labels: Court Report, Oscar Nedd, Richard Blassberg, Westchester Guardian Article

Thursday, November 15, 2007

“Misdemeanor Homicide” Revisited

Editor’s Note: Retired former White Plains Police Detective, Austin Avery, first featured in our May 3, 2007 edition, has been struggling to get the Westchester District Attorney’s Office to bring before a Grand Jury evidence regarding the murder of Oscar Nedd, on January 1, 1975.

For 32 years, nearly 30 of them in retirement, Avery, a former Major Crime Detective, has been involved in the investigation. Originally assigned with his former partner, John Markey, “to investigate the disappearance of a 24-year-old Black male who resided at 59 North Broadway in the City of White Plains,” Avery quickly recognized that there had been foul play and possibly a homicide. As a result of the article in May, Avery was eventually granted an audience with a Westchester Assistant DA and officers from the White Plains Police Department. However, despite an abundance of evidence gathered over more than three decades, he has been unable to convince the Westchester District Attorney to present it to a Grand Jury. His letter to Governor Spitzer, below, reveals some of the frustration and apparent intentional roadblocks which he has had to deal with in his valiant and dedicated effort to bring justice to a family so long denied.

Governor Eliot Spitzer

State Capitol

Albany, New York 12224

Dear Governor Spitzer,

After repeated letters to your office, you directed the State Police to assign an investigator to this case. The State Director did this, and an investigator from the Westchester Office of the State Police was assigned. I met with him at my home in Connecticut and spent several hours going over what took place in this case. After hearing the details he said he would look into it and get back to me.

Two weeks later he called me and said the witness who saw Joe Fluellen carrying a body rolled up inside of a rug had died, therefore his statement could not be used in court. I said I took a notorized statement

from that witness and I am aware that it could not be used at a trial, but it can be used in seeking an indictment.

At this point in our conversation I said to him, “I want to ask you a question. But before I do, I want you to know I will use what you say in my search for justice.” He said he understood and then asked me what is the question. I said, “even without this statement do you believe there is enough evidence to bring this case before a Grand Jury?” And his answer was, “Yes, I do.” I also want to bring to your attention that the photos and blood samples are missing from the case file. These blood samples were taken at the scene by the director of the Westchester Forensic Lab. I have in my possession 17 pages of his reports and a signed receipt for these

reports from Detective Ambrose of the White Plains Police. It should be noted the Chief of Police in White Plains said there was no blood found in the room. It also should be noted the Judge in Surrogate Court, His Honor Scarpino in declaring Oscar Nedd legally dead said in his report there is strong evidence to indicate Oscar Nedd was murdered. The victim in this case, Oscar Nedd’s mother’s blood is on file with the National Data Base.

I called Lieutenant Eric W. Fischer, Executive Officer with the White Plains Police Department. Lt. Fischer was at the meeting I attended at the District Attorney’s of- fice four ….. ago. I asked Lt. Fischer if the blood samples found at the scene were sent to the National Data Base for comparison with Oscar Nedd’s mother’s blood. At this time he said they could not be located.

Since this conversation with him I have made repeated calls to his office which have gone unanswered. I believe this is because they have been destroyed. This is a very serious development in this case. And you, as Governor of New York, need to take some action.

I will continue with my efforts to seek justice in this case. I will also do whatever I can to make the People of this State aware of the facts.

Austin Avery, New Fairfield, Connecticut

Posted by The Westchester Guardian Newspaper at 7:21 PM No comments:

Labels: Westchester Guardian Article

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Our Readers Respond…

Dear Editor:

As a result of the failure of her office to respond to my repeated requests for a meeting, I have sent the following open letter to Westchester District Attorney Janet DiFiore:

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore

Westchester County Courthouse

111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd

White Plains, New York 10601

May 16, 2007

An Open Letter to District Attorney Janet DiFiore

In the past four months, I have called your office 15 times in an effort to arrange a meeting with you to discuss the Oscar Nedd murder case. All these calls were met with your staff indicating they would get back to me, which they never did. Do these people think this is a game or are they instructed to do this?

Oscar Nedd was a human being who was murdered in White Plains in 1975. His family grieves every day and asks what your office is doing to bring his killer, Joe Fluellen, to justice by putting this case before a Grand Jury. This case cannot be shoved under the rug like the one his killer Joe Fluellen used to carry his body in. Your office is bound by law to see that justice is carried out and, to date, you have failed to do so.

I know that Peter Vivano, the former head of the White Plains Police Detective Division, worked for your office for a brief time. I also know that he poisoned your mind on the facts in this case.

The same Peter Vivano who told the reporter with the Star Ledger that the tiny bit of blood found in Nedd’s room was animal blood when, in fact, there was so much blood in that room the head of Westchester County Forensics said no one could survive with the loss of that amount of blood without a transfusion. He also said it

was human blood, Type AB.

I think you are a step above the former DA, Jeanine Pirro, who should be in jail for what she has done while in office. Just because Oscar Nedd is Black, and the White Plains Police have lost or destroyed evidence is no reason to turn your back on this case. The Nedd family deserves the same justice you would give to a White family who lived in Westchester who lost a loved one to a vicious killer.

Joe Fluellen, who has a 393-page criminal file with the Warner Robbins Police Dept. is due to be released in 2011 or sooner. As indicated in the Las Crucas report he is a hardened criminal and will continue with his life of crime once released.

I ask that you put this case before a Grand Jury and give the Nedd family the justice they deserve

Yours Truly,

Austin Avery

Cc:

The Westchester Guardian

The Journal News

News 12, Cablevision

More on Judges Demand For Enhanced Pay

Dear Editor:

Katherine Wilson’s intrepid May 10 letter in response, The Truth About Most Judges, sums up judicial accountability with interesting, in fact, alarming, mathematical equations. Delineated perks of one hundred thousand dollars and counting, underscore the missing items behind this ‘dire digit need’ of Judith Kaye and fellow robed members. But Ms. Wilson’s letter teaches a far greater lesson and exposes a much plainer truth than this hidden index of judicial benefits, or its unsuspected costs to taxpayers. The numbers just don’t add up.

Judges who want pay for a job they don’t do rob the public of priceless con-fidence and trust in a system of justice.

No matter how you figure it, disuse of due process and case law does not meet the bottom line. According to Webster’s Third New International Unabridged Dictionary, the obscure meaning of Bank is “the bench or seat on which the judges of a court of law sit.” Strange isn’t it? To bank on the public confidence in the judiciary, the judges would have to do an honest day’s work; listen to the litigants’ testimony, read the motion papers, know the rules and the laws, and most especially, apply them. Ms. Wilson’s intimations of the behind the-scenes work desks of Westchester’s judiciary can well explain the large number of appeals crowding the Appellate calendar.

The findings of fact, and conclusions of law, rarely comport with courtroom testimony, the expert reports, even oftentimes, the causes of action. How could they? If the writers of the decisions, orders and judgments are

not present in the courtroom, are not in full view and earshot, how can the writers discern what circumstances and facts particular to a case to consider?

Matrimonial attorneys, Marilyn S. Faust and Charna L. Fuchs, decried in their January 1999 article in Women’s

News, the war that is the matrimonial court where “the laws are not applied consistently and the results vary widely from county to county, within the same courthouse and even in different matters before the same judge.”

Should they, the law clerks, do this task anyway? And, if so, for what, then, are the many judges asking the desired enhanced pay?

One year before Judith Kaye was sworn into the office of Chief Judge, in 1993, the Milonas Commission studied

attorney practice after New York State’s Better Business Bureau received many complaints about attorneys’ abusive practices in matrimonial matters.

The result was a report filed by the Committee which established standards for attorney matrimonial practice, especially with regard to retainers. The retainers had to spell out the terms of the exchange and be agreed upon, signed by both parties, sealed, and delivered to the court clerk for filing. This was to protect the public from attorneys who bilk clients of fair representation and fees.

Judith Kaye, as Chief Judge, appointed Sondra Miller, Associate Justice, Appellate Division, 2nd Department, in July 2005, to head a thirty two-member Commission, composed of eight lawyers, thirteen judges, one doctor, and one Certified Public Accountant, to again access the Matrimonial Parts in New York State.

The Commission issued a report recommending sweeping changes: The selection and education of justices that sit on this Part; the rules and laws applicable to Matrimonial litigation; the regulation of law guardians, and the administration of the legal process.

To quote the Commission: “The issues presented in matrimonial and related matters are numerous and diverse,

requiring the Judge to be knowledgeable about statutory and case law relevant to matrimonial proceedings,

as well as areas of tax, bankruptcy law, the appraisal of commercial assets, realty, enhanced earnings and professional license valuations, among other things. Therefore, the timely, accurate, and just disposition of these

cases depends, to a large degree, on the knowledge, character, temperament, professional aptitude and experience of the judge before whom the matter is presented. The public’s confidence in and respect for the court hinges on the proper selection and retention of judges for these Parts.”

If judges do indeed surrender their stipulated obligations to law clerks, fail to meet their contract with the

public, depart from the accepted, promulgated practice of the Bench, should they be rewarded and receive a raise?

A Pro Se Litigant Who Is Still

Dealing With The System

Erosion of Civil Liberties in America

Dear Editor:

I had to respond after reading the letter of May 17th by an anonymous civil servant whose calls to the federal

corruption hot line went unanswered.

A multi-year civil service employee, I also called the hot line, left a message for a call-back, including my

name, address, phone number. No one returned the call.

In the past, I have reported government corruption to the New York State Commission of Investigation (no response), The New York State Attorney General’s White Plains office -Deborah Scalise, Deputy Attorney General for Public Advocacy returned my substantial packet of documentation stating in effect that I should file my complaint with public officials, the very ones I was accusing of corruption. Westchester County District Attorney Jeanine Pirro – Michael Hughes-Assistant District Attorney, Public Integrity Bureau suggested

I contact the Westchester County attorney’s office with my concerns-the same attorneys would be defending the

county officials being charged.

Three weeks ago I traveled to Alexandria, Virginia to meet with attorneys at The Institute for Justice, a nationwide public interest law firm that pursues cutting-edge litigation in the courts of law and in the court of public opinion on behalf of individuals whose most basic rights are denied by government.

They recently defended Brody v. Village of Port Chester to stop abuse of eminent domain. This trip was to discuss the many county projects that run afoul of a “public benefits doctrine” in the law, which raises questions about whether residents of one part of the county can legally be made to pay for a piece of equipment, service or other investment that will only serve taxpayers in a different area.

The Institute for Justice was most accommodating and helpful, but a very interesting comment by one of the attorneys was, “That the New York State Court System is the worst in which to receive justice or fair trials.”

Unfortunately we no longer have government by and for the People or a separation of powers. For an eye-opening view of how we are being deceived by our government, watch the award-winning Aaron Russo film at http://www.freedomtofascism.com/, a startling examination exposing the systemic erosion of civil liberties in America.

Anthony Futia

North White Plains

The Truth About Mt. Vernon City Gov’t

Dear Editor:

As a Mount Vernon resident and a former City employee, I want to thank you for bringing to light the truth about

the corrupt Ernie Davis Administration.

The Mayor is corrupt but he is protected from being indicted because of political connections with the likes of Hillary Clinton, Chuck Schumer and Elliot Engle who are more interested in him fooling Mount Vernon residents into voting for them than in the good and welfare of Mount Vernonites. It is a shame and a disgrace! Politicians like Eliot Spitzer, when he was Attorney General and now under the new Westchester DA Janet DiFiore would not investigate Davis even though he is stealing the city blind and passing money through insiders and friends. He is crooked! I read in the papers that money is missing from the urban renewal agency and the federal government does not seem to be investigating this. Ask yourself, “Why not?”

I used to work for the City. The corruption is so thick it is unbelievable. Serapher Conn Helevi is the Democratic

Party chairwoman in Mount Vernon. She endorsed the Mayor for reelection because he made her the City Marshall – she gets a payoff. She and her family also run a moving business where she charges tenants for moving them after she evicts them from their apartments as City Marshall – she gets another payoff. The Mayor gave her a no-bid contract to boot cars when people don’t pay parking tickets – she gets another payoff. Her daughter works for the Mount Vernon Recreation Department – she gets another payoff. Her son, who is Deputy City Marshall and also has a no-show job with the county planning department in the Section 8

program – she gets two more payoffs.

As the Mount Vernon Democratic Party Chairwoman she gave herself the nomination for the seat as county legislator to replace Clinton Young – she gets still another payoff. She plans on holding onto all these positions because the words ‘conflict of interest’ and ‘integrity’ don’t mean anything to her.

A Concerned resident

Posted by The Westchester Guardian Newspaper at 4:35 PM No comments:

Labels: Our Readers Respond, Westchester Guardian Article

Thursday, May 17, 2007

In Our Opinion…

FBI Must Step Into Perez Case

It doesn’t require the wisdom of Solomon to recognize that neither the Mount Kisco Village Police, nor the Bedford Town Police Department, should be actively engaged in the investigation of the “death by homicide,” as determined by the Westchester Medical Examiner’s Office, of Rene Perez, in the early morning hours of April 29th. Given that officers from each department are acknowledged to have had contact with Mr. Perez, a well-known, homeless, alcoholic individual, between approximately 8:30 and 11:00pm on the evening of April 28th,

reasonableness, and professional investigative ethics, demand that a third-party agency investigation be conducted.

We believe the agency most appropriate, and best equipped to conduct the investigation into the circumstances of Rene Perez’ death is the Federal Bureau Of Investigation. Clearly, the information that has been forthcoming, from both the Mount Kisco and Bedford Departments, regarding a man with a long record of arrests, mostly for “quality of life offenses,” a man essentially viewed as a homeless vagrant, strongly suggests that a fresh, and unbiased perspective must be employed if every stone is to be turned, and the development of evidence is to go forward seriously. In fact, because it is strongly suspected that the injuries sustained by Perez which led to his death only hours later, might very well have been inflicted by police officers acting under Color of Law; and given the civil rights implications of such suspicions, it is imperative that the FBI get involved and conduct the investigation as early as possible.

Described by social workers and others who knew him, and who attempted to assist him, as a “reasonable and intelligent individual, when sober,” Rene Perez, was, nevertheless, arrested fifty-nine times over some twelve years in the Mount Kisco community, hardly a reputation that might compel a vigorous investigation, by local authorities, or the Westchester District Attorney’s Office.

We have recently, within the last two weeks, brought to the awareness of our readers the death of another man of color, like Perez, without roots in the Westchester Community. Oscar Nedd, the victim of a homicide more than thirty-two years ago, whose demise has been virtually treated by White Plains Police and the Westchester District Attorney’s Office as though it were a misdemeanor, hopefully, will finally receive the attention he has too long been denied.

Save for the dedicated work, over three decades, in retirement, by former White Plains Detective Austin Avery, the brutal killing of Mr. Nedd, a hardworking, young Black man of modest means from rural Georgia, living in White Plains, would never be brought before the Bar of Justice.

In light of all of the above, and given the unsolved deaths by strangulation of two other Guatemalan immigrants in Mount Kisco in 2003 and 2004, the death of Rene Perez demands immediate and deliberate intervention, and investigation, by the FBI.

Posted by The Westchester Guardian Newspaper at 1:44 PM No comments:

Labels: In Our Opinion, Rene Perez, Westchester Guardian Article

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THE WESTCHESTER GUARDIAN NEWSPAPERWHITE PLAINS, NEW YORK, UNITED STATESView my complete profile

June 10, 2024 08:00 – Greenville, South Carolina — In order and great announce. good morning. Certainly want to thank everybody for being here this morning. We are proud to announce a significant breakthrough in a decades old cold case in northern Greenville County and what’s called a Potters grave. There is an unmarked body simply marked with the sign made by county staff years ago as Mr X and we are here to discuss that case today.

Our amazing team of investigators have identified Mr X, whose identity has remained unknown.

This is body was discovered in 1975. Mr X was the subject of a death investigation initiated on January the fourth 1975 a hunter discovered his body off property near highway twenty near Blakely Road around 11 a. M. That morning when the body was found it was smoldering to indicate the body had been set on fire Law enforcement was called homicide investigator again their investigation many years ago

Obviously his death was ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma to the head and strangulation in 1976 a man named Jackie Anderson was arrested and charged with murder. However, due to insufficient evidence the case was dismissed reflecting on the case. Now we do not believe Mr Anderson was involved and Mr X’s murder. Mr Anderson has since passed away since the discovery Mr X’s identity has remained unknown. and the cases went cold upon my election to share from taking office on March 16th of 2020 I assembled the dedicated team to tackle every cold homicide case we have. You’re standing behind me this morning, man. putting a new set of eyes on these cases following old leads re interviewing witnesses dotting every eye and crossing every teeth with the goal of bringing justice for this. since the official effect of the cold case unit and August 2020 are hardworking investigators have solved 11 homicides that are cold cases. Today we’re pleased to announce that we have identified Mr X.

His name is Oscar James Ned of White Plains, New York Oscar was born on April 19th. 1951. He grew up in Georgia before moving to New York to pursue a college education with hopes of becoming a journalist. I became interested in the Mr escape murder itself. Happy to have Brad and Andy here today. We’ll talk about them in just a minute, but they’re standing behind me this morning. inspired by Mr Willis’s podcast. We decided to re-examine the case when new advancements and technology and investigators assigned to our cold case unit on July the 17th. 2020. We partnered with Greenville County Corners Office and exhumed the body of Mr X again from a Potters field in northern Rainbow County. skeletal remains were sent to Namas, which is the national unidentified missing person system which uses various university labs to test D. N. A. Parallel to the D. N. A. Testing a profile of Mr X was created by Greenville County Deputy Corner Jen Cason and uploaded on names that. does allows investigators from all over the country to review profiles on missing person cases to see if they have any matches and for almost four years it was left at that this past February, our investigators received a call from Lieutenant August Gus Fazino with White Plains Police Department in New York. Their detectives were investigating a missing person case in January 1975 saw a possible match on Namas. The name identified was Oscar James Ned. We began comparing notes viewing case files. The comparisons between the missing person in order discovered body were strikingly similar to that point. to that point, we learned Oscar work for a company called Gemco when his body was found. He was wearing a shirt with that logo on it. If we began researching surviving family members and were ultimately able to confirm Oscar’s identity while incredibly thankful to now have a name for Oscar, there will be an active death investigation being conducted by officials in New York and we will not be able to discuss the board certain bits and pieces of information related to that case at this time is. believed that Oscar was killed in New York and ultimately brought to South Carolina for reasons we do not know. Certainly cannot speculate  Dedication by our team of investigators and a testimony to our commitment for justice This all again would not be possible without the intense work many years ago. Brad Willis and Andy Evans, who was standing behind me, who have made sure future generations know about these type of cases. We certainly commend them for that. We do ask anybody to flist it, or maybe watch it. If you know something about a prior case, this is the help we need to get the get these soft and it takes the community effort to get that done. So we’re using the media to get that information out. And we can’t thank the hard work of these professionals with the sheriff’s office behind us who have 100 percent buy in when it comes down to trying to bring some closure for these families. And certainly justice for the victims of these type crimes and this case, you know, is is an old for sure. I mean, you tell my decades old cold case. So, you know, whoever was involved in this particular case, the folks that are alive, that may be evolved in this case, just know we’ve identified. Mr Nand and we’re not stopping there. We look forward to making charges for anybody that was involved in this case. Is there any questions about this case? What we talked about this morning? All right, well, y’all have a good day. We appreciate it. Thank you for coming out. Thank you.

 Anything you want to say, Brad?

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