Chronicling crime in the heart of New Orleans--the French Quarter and its surrounding neighborhoods. We believe if citizens have information about threats to their safety they will be able to take precautions against becoming victims.
The NOPD is still seekingFrancisco "Chico" Amaral, 57, whom police say is a suspect in the murder of Ryan Trosclair(left), 35, on July 22, 2010. The NOPD, which developed Amaral as a suspect in October, 2010, will not say why they think Amaral committed the crime, but they think he has shed his scruffy appearance (below right) by shaving his beard and head (top right), and is now located somewhere in the San Francisco Bay area.
* * * CrimeStoppers tripled its reward to $7,500 for finding Trosclair's killer. Call CrimeStoppers anonymously at 822-1111 if you have information on Amaral's whereabouts * * *
A former investigative reporter and editor for several daily newspapers. Covered crime and corruption in Maryland during the Agnew/Watergate scandal. OUR MISSION: Ferret out information about crime in the French Quarter so citizens can take precautions against becoming victims -- and pressure the NOPD to provide protection for the heart of New Orleans so this will become the safest neighborhood in the city.
The COMSTAT meetings, where the NOPD brass map out their anti-crime strategies, meet weekly and citizens are encouraged to attend to see how their police department works:
8th DISTRICT: Meets at 1 p.m. on Thursdays at the Royal Sonesta Hotel, 300 Bourbon St., in the Regal Suite (use Conti Street entrance).
CITYWIDE: Meets 8:30-11:30 a.m. on Fridays at NOPD Headquarters, 715 S. Board St., 5th floor large conference room.
The monthly meeting of NONPAC (New Orleans Neighborhood Policing Anti-Crime Council) is held the second Thursday of each month at 6 p.m. at the Maison Dupuy Hotel, 1001 Toulouse St. (at Burgundy Street).
For help solving problems such as noise, streetlights, traffic, etc., contact one of the 8th District's Quality-of-Life officers: Shereese Harper at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 218-6117, or Dave Liang at email@example.com or call 376-6637
GET a concealed weapons permit
Think it's about time to arm yourself against crime? The Louisiana State Police's website gives you all the information you need to carry a concealed weapon.
INFO on openly carrying a weapon
If you want more information on the legality of openly carrying a firearm in public in Louisiana, go to this website sponsored by OpenCarry.org, which attempts to clarify the issue for Louisiana.
MURDER MYSTERIES...cold cases from in and around the French Quarter
The NOPD's Cold Case Squad--headed by Sgt. Daniel McMullen--reviews cases based on numerous different factors and explores how new technology and resources (i.e. DNA, fingerprint and informational databases, etc.) might impact a renewed investigation. If the inquiry identifies new suspects, or strengthens the case against known subjects, the case is reopened. There are currently about 2,000 cold cases that remain unsolved. If anyone has any information, contact Sgt. McMullen at (504) 658-5318 (office) or (504) 658-5318 (cellphone), or email at firstname.lastname@example.org .
The cold case file of the NOPD holds records of the murders of at least 5 people with connections to the French Quarter whose killers are still walking around:
DR. RALPH EDWARD NEWSOME--Oct. 31, 2009: One can only speculate on the motive in the murder of Dr. Ralph Edward Newsome, 45, inside his 3-story townhouse at 926 Toulouse St. early on Oct. 31, 2009.
His body was discovered after 68 firemen extinguished a 2-alarm fire seen shooting from the second floor around 3 a.m. He had been stabbed multiple times, but had not been burned. Fire fighters found him unconscious and brought him out of the building to EMTs. They took him to LSU Interim Public Hospital where he was pronounced dead. Investigators speculate the murderer had tried to cover up the crime with arson.
He was assistant dean of medical education and was the chief of plastic surgery at Tulane's School of Medicine. He bought his Toulouse Street residence in 2003 and had extensively renovated it, particularly its gardens.
His murder fits a pattern seen in police reports many times before: A gay man is murdered/beaten/robbed by someone he invited in. It's sad but reflects the dangers of what are often casual encounters by men and women who hook up in bars and clubs. But there is something more powerful and dangerous in the all-male dynamic that often results in tragedy.
A reward of $8,000 is offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to the arrest of his murder. JESSICA HAWK--Aug. 11, 2008:Jessica Hawk, 32, was found dead the morning of Aug. 11, 2008 in her home at 3013 Chartres St. in the Bywater, where she lived alone. Her nude body was propped up against a chair and had been stabbed multiple times. It is believed she may have been dead for a couple of days before her corpse was found.
About a month after her death, NOPD homicide detectives released an artist's sketch of a possible suspect in her slaying. They described him as a clean-cut white man, 25 to 35 years old, 6' tall, weighing 170 pounds. He was wearing a black crewneck jersey with elbow-length sleeves over a white shirt with 3" white cuffs. No one has been able to put a name on anyone based on that sketch.
A reward of $25,000 is being offered by CrimeStoppers. CHRIS ROBERTS--June 17, 2007: The trail has gone cold for the killer who gunned down Chris Roberts, 33, in the doorway of his apartment building at Esplanade Avenue and N. Prieur Street in Esplanade Ridge around 8 p.m. on June 6, 2007 and stole his prized motorcycle.
Roberts hadn't been back long from his refuge from the storm in Huntsville, AL with his wife and infant daughter. Working at Fiorella's restaurant in the 1100 block of Decatur Street instead of his beloved occupation as a motorcycle designer/mechanic, he resumed the friendships he had in the Quarter before Katrina.
A reward of $3,000 is offered by CrimeStoppers.
HELEN HILL--Jan. 4, 2007: A pre-dawn home invasion on Jan. 4, 2007 at their home on the corner of N. Rampart and Spain streets in the Faubourg Marigny--about 10 blocks from where Jessica Hawk was murdered--left Hill dead with a bullet in her neck, her husband wounded 3 times, and their toddler son unharmed.
The murder of Hill, 36, a well-liked independent film maker, practically created a cottage industry of protesting the city's soaring murder rate. Hill was one of 6 people murdered in the city that same day, and followed by one week the slaying of well-known musician Dinerral Shavers. It was too much for the citizens of the city--anti-crime groups formed and thousands marched on City Hall on Jan. 11, 2007, demanding action. They got hollow promises but no action.
A reward of $15,000 is offered by CrimeStoppers. MICHAEL FREY--March 19, 2006: The murder of Michael Frey on March 19, 2006 is believed to be the first in the NOPD's 8th District since the storm. But now, most of the news articles about him--and even tributes to him--have disappeared from the archives of the Times-Picayune and Gambit.
Frey, 28, was reportedly heading home to the Fabourg Marigny after leaving Molly's At The Market, 1107 Decatur St., when he was held up in the early morning hours of 3.19.2006 in the 2100 block of Chartres Street. Though Frey handed over his wallet as the robber demanded, the thug blasted him in the chest with a shotgun, killing him almost instantly.
CrimeStoppers lists no reward for his murderer.
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If you have any information on any of these crimes, you can call CrimeStoppers anonymously at 822-1111 to be eligible for the reward