Saturday, September 24, 2016

Initial Observations on 20/20: Karena Rosario still won't talk; Marisol Rangel's tears; the DNA image; handwriting side by sides; the rum bottle

The 20/20 broadcast Friday night. Powerful, provocative, poignant, and disturbing, both a re-telling of events, the eloquence of some of the people in pain, and the cold, hard, unforgiving reminder of just what kind of death Faith suffered. 

It is all but impossible to imagine. Then, to know the person who who slammed her skull repeatedly with that rum among us, among people. If he/they think they are close to being caught, what will they do then?

Overall, the 20/20 broadcast underscores a number of important observations I have made here over the last few years. Plus, some significant new areas to focus on, think about, act on.

However, remember this: much of what we saw that was "new" was new only to us. The Chapel Hill Police have had these lines of inquiry for a good, long while, probably. They have not led to an arrest...yet.

                 POINTS OF INTEREST

> Marisol Rangel's demeanor: did she seem believable? Did she not sound almost exactly like Karena Rosario in the 911 call?

> The handwriting comparison between the note at the murder scene and the and lease filled out by a undisclosed man that the two men/"private investigators" singled out (who seemed to arrive "on" the case and in the story out of nowhere). I will concede: the handwriting looks fairly similar. Coincidental? Likely, but perhaps not. The broadcast said CHPD is trying to get the DNA on the man with the similar handwriting: sounds like a judge may have said no to a request to compel a DNA sample. It was unclear. 

I certainly have always thought that note left at the scene did not express a real sentiment tied to the crime - that it was meant to deflect or even confuse.

> Karena's stonewalling posture from the porch wherever she's hiding (and why is she hiding - or being so scarce for so long?) I can see her not talking then, at the time of the crime, but why not later? 

Why not ever? So, 20/20 said the police had questioned her 10 times. Seriously? I have reported previously that (I was told) Karena had been questioned not long after the murder for about 10 hours. I have not confirmed that with authorities, but police don't question people for 10 hours - or ten times or both - if they want to be gentle, and are getting the truth.

>The DNA from the person police believe to be the actual killer, not necessarily an accomplice, on the pen found (where?) in connection with the note. That's interesting. Same DNA found on the male biological substance and on a rum bottle. I still feel there's more than person's handwriting on that note. Some of the letters look as if a female wrote them.

> Speaking of the rum bottle, the smudged stark. Hard for anyone to see because of the cruel, fierce and near-prehistoric violence it represents, but think of Faith's family members: such a gripping, horribly sad reminder that Faith just...went though hell.
Why? What could possibly account for that sort of brutality?

> The extrapolated image of the young, possibly Latino (or Native American?). Many questions and even concerns about that. First, why didn't police release the "Snapshot" image right after it was done? When was it was done? Why wait until 20/20? How long have they had it?

Before the show, CHPD should have held a press conference, answered a range of questions on the process, the company, and why investigators went that route. The department didn't. Yet they saw to it that 20/20 had the info, and, apparently, okayed the company, Parabon NanoLabs, to talk to the show on the record.

Take a look at Parabon's site. Honestly, it looks like a sixth grader did that site, or someone just trying to sell something. Lots of somethings.

Not impressive, I'm sorry. If this phenotyping was considered extremely credible, we'd hear about it on every unsolved case. We don't. I am not saying it won't evolve into something really important in law enforcement, but it's far from being there yet...from what I observe.

I do see why 20/20 highlighted the image though, absolutely. CHPD chose that route investigatively, thinks it was a good idea to have it public, and now we see the young man's image. Theories about who it may be are already flying.

Maybe the image is close to what he looks like. I think that is possible; I just question why this is not done more if it's a potentially telling tool.


I have gotten a few good tips to look into and possibly interact with the police on, and I welcome more., 919-219-0042, Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp.

What an inhuman deed to such a decent human being. Beyond the worst imagination.


Tuesday, September 6, 2016

It happened four years tonight -- 20/20 is on the case now

In about six hours, four years ago on September 7, 2012, Faith Hedgepeth was murdered by a person or by persons...with brutal abandon - as if she weren't a human being but an object to be beaten again and again, probably with a bottle, until the assailant(s) were worn out.

But the 19-year old was living and breathing. Until....
Until the unmitigated attack left Faith dead. Gone. 

She is not gone here. She is not forgotten by her family and friends and the authorities still plowing ahead to try to solve this case.

And they are not alone. ABC's 20/20 is on the case, too.

After four years, Faith's case finally gets some big-time, national TV news coverage. 20/20 has been investigating the murder for months. Their broadcast, which I expect will air within two to three weeks, will break some new ground, ask some very tough questions, focus on the strongest theories.

What happened? How could it have happened? Why?

Who? Who has lacked the conscience, after 1460 days, to step forward and talk? Even step forward and confess. It happens.

It hasn't happened in this perplexingly challenging case.

I was interviewed for the broadcast. I was candid and directed with my thoughts, as I have been here from the beginning of the blog. 

Everyone engaged with this matter must be forthright.

This is the kind of case now 
that only gets solved when someone who knows something speaks about what they know.

Directly below, a link to my column from August 17. Read carefully. The new CHPD lead and investigative division head on the case has some interesting responses to some provocative questions. It is revealing. 

Lt. Celisa Lehew talked to 20/20, too. 

Lehew is on it. She's ready. She's pressing some buttons now. There is less caution, more focus on action/reaction.

Maybe the newsmagazine broadcast, going full bore at the highly publicized, complex, still-unsolved but eminently solvable case, can be the key. The key to finding justice for Faith. At least that.

At last.

It will likely come from a viewer. It could come from you.

The murder of Faith Hedgepeth was not the perfect crime. 

It's just far. 


There is a $40,000 reward potentially available. 

Call Chapel Hill-Carrboro Crimestoppers at 919-942-7515.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


Directly below again is the link to my Durham News (part of the N&O) column on the voice mail that emerged last week.

Also, I re-typed the complete transcript provided me. It is within this post.

The police now have copies of the newly enhanced transcript and actual audio (done by Arlo West of, as I have had. The work is his professional assessment of what was said.

Authorities and some others may wish this transcript was not revealed in its entirety here, but I say why shouldn't it be? Faith Hedgepeth was murdered almost three and a half years ago. If Arlo West can do this kind of enhanced recording, why couldn't the police have had it done long ago?



Female: You want to mess with my boyfriend?

Faith: I said I don't want to Rosie.

Female: Oh right. it's not his fault.

Male: All of this bullshit you're gonna answer to {inaudible}

Female: Fuck you. I'm pissed {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible} good thing {inaudible} Dave's house. It would be broadcast Big Mike?

Female: You mother fucker.

Faith: No.

Male: {Inaudible}

Female: You were just bullshitting {inaudible}.

Male: What kind of person {inaudible} lie?

Faith: {inaudible} even know.

Male: Did you fuck your own {inaudible} obsession?

Faith: I didn't do it.

Male: "This is all {inaudible} fucking her good {inaudible} her description.

Female: Why?

Male: You {inaudible} because it belongs to you. Fucking bullshit story {inaudible} you personaly. {inaudible}

Female: I'm gonna kick your face bitch. I figured out that's bullshit.

Female: Don't ever think that I would have believed you. Lie's {inaudible} at you {inaudible}

Faith: Ow.

Female: Ow {mocking} {inaudible}

Female: Your talk sure ain't funny. You know, he's gonna {inaudible} you and fuck you. I will fuck you bitch.

Faith: {inaudible scream}
Female: Um hm.

Faith. Let me go.

Male {inaudible} her {inaudible}

Faith: Help me.

Female: Don't be a pussy put up a fight.

Male: {inaudible} let's put the fucking {inaudible} to her.

Male: Then you fuck her I'll {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible} I'll fuck her {inaudible}

Faith: {inaudible} ow my head.

Female: {inaudible} do it.

Male: {inaudible} I think she's dying.

Male: Do it anyhow.

Male: {inaudible} get the duct tape next to {inaudible} then they can tie up Faith.

Faith: Please {inaudible} me. My hands are on fire. Help.

Male: Put her hands behind her head.

Male: I'll untie them. Her hands look like they're on fire. {inaudible} I've got to hide them.

Faith: I can't believe that you really did it Rosie.

Female: Really?

Male: To our next victim. {inaudible}

Female: Alright.

Male: Just throw it in the river.

Male {inaudible} fucking stupid people.

Faith: Just wait.

Female: {inaudible} glove.

Male: {rapping} because you don't want to {inaudible} me when the {inaudible}. So I can use the {inaudible} baby {inaudible}

Female: {inaudible} like you too {inaudible} rap.

Male: {rapping} Go with me. Go with me. {inaudible}

Male {rapping} {inaudible} like the way you want to be {inaudible} Cause all this shit you lied about {inaudible} and call you dead.

Female: {inaudible}

Male: {rapping} {inaudible} Rosie {inaudible}I love you please {inaudible} now. {inaudible}

Female: You liar. You intentionally lied.

Male: Hey {inaudible} set that fuck back up, Bitch.

Faith: {inaudible}

Male {rapping} to go. {inaudible} liar.

Male: {inaudible}

Male: No way {inaudible} idiot {inaudible}

Faith: {inaudible} get off of me.

Male: Shut your mouth. {inaudible} fuck {inaudible} Rosie.

Female: {inaudible} to go help Erik

Male: But I'll fuck her {inaudible}

Female: {inaudible} just let {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible} under her hips.

Female: {inaudible}

Faith: {inaudible} fuck you.

Male: {inaudible}

Female: {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible} back up.

Male: {inaudible}

Faith: {inaudible} get off of me.

Male: {inaudible}

Female: {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible} I don't know.

Faith {inaudible} Ow

Female: Sit up and {inaudible}

Male: {inaudible}

Faith scream} Help.

Male: {rapping} Because {inaudible} seems to be the one {inaudible} you.

Female: Fuck you.

Male: {inaudible} Now I'll fuck her.

Female: {inaudible}

Faith {inaudible} no.

Male: {rapping}

Female: What do you think {inaudible} you? I liked you better. Cunt.


Some observations, from the words (which you have now read) and from the audio I have heard.

The sound on the voice mail shows the female, and one or two of the males involved, to be wildly furious, in my view. The reason appears to be that they believe, especially the female, that Faith got involved with a man considered off-limits to her.

There is clearly a struggle going on, with discussion of duct tape, being tied up, putting up a fight. Someone says "under her hips." Then, "Sit up." A person identified as Faith yells, "Get off of me!"

WHO was there? We don't know if these people were among the group harassing or possibly already attacking Faith, but the name "Rosie" is said a number of times. Erik (spelled that way in the transcript) is mentioned once. Is that speaking of Eriq Takoy Jones IV? The names Dave and Big Mike are mentioned.

In released investigative files, the names David and Micah (with last names) are mentioned as being among the group of men Faith was or may have been talking to at the Thrill nightclub before she died. A search of four of the men reveal links to North Carolina Central University. Three appear to have graduated from NCCU's law school since Faith's murder.

On linkedin, one of these men indicates he is employed by a very prominent Durham criminal defense attorney.

WHERE did this altercation, or what almost sounds like a kidnapping, take place? Could it have been at Faith's apartment? Someone mentions duct tape as if it is right there where they are. There is mention of a "glove." That could mean a condom. Or a real glove. In September. 

The voices I have heard sound so loud, so pitched, most of them so angered I can't believe no one in the apartment heard anything suspicious. of course, maybe they did, and police just won't say that. 

At one point, a man is singing. Part of what he says, as he seems to put his own words to a popular song " you dead."

Faith, on numerous occasions, sounds deeply frightened and panicked.

There is a train of thought that says the attack began somewhere else, and finished up at Faith's apartment, the one she shared with Karena Rosario (Rosario went to the club with Faith, and left the apartment in the wee hours of the morning. She also made the 911 call in mid-morning when she says she and a friend first discovered Faith's body...and all the blood).

It seems possible the worst of the beating might have occurred while or after Faith was unconscious at the apartment, thus explaining the blood spatter, but also a lack of sustained screaming or any screaming that someone may have heard. The transcript does say Faith screamed at least once.

It is also certainly possible that this terrible exchange the voice mail captures is indicative of great anger toward Faith – and more, and yet the actual murder a few hours later is somewhat or totally separate and apart. 

Maybe a friend of one of the people involved in the arguing and struggling reflected on the voice mail went back to Faith's apartment later on that night...somehow knowing that Faith's roommate would be gone and the door would be able to be breached.

WHY? It seems clear from the recording that nearly uncontrolled fury over something Faith is accused of doing with a fueling the deeply hostile, ugly and incendiary situation.

It appears one or more of the men talk insistently about sexually assaulting Faith. Using vulgar words. One time, as the transcript shows, a male says: "Now I'll f___ her."

WHEN?  The voice mail is reportedly time stamped at 1:23 a.m. that night/morning, and police say they believe it was the result of a pocket dial from the club. At least they once thought that. Who knows what they think now?

Even if it came from the club or from a stationary car or as part of a car ride, does it not seem highly relevant to what happened to Faith at 4:30 a.m?

Apparently at least one end of the call was time stamped 1:23 a.m. What about the other end of the call? If that is somehow shown as Pacific Coast Time, for example (instead of EST), would both phones show the same mistake?

If it was a bug in the phone that altered the time stamp, wouldn't the other end of the call show a different time – likely the right time? 

Police have not said which record or phones say what.

WHAT does this incredibly distressing voice mail mean? Why has it taken 41 months to have it made discernible?

Why did police wait two years to release the possibly stage-crafted note found at the scene? 

After so long, why hold back anything except a few key facts only the murder or murderers know?

I know I very much want to see the transcripts of the interviews conducted with several key figures in this haunting and horrible case.


For a while now, I have wondered if the CHPD investigators may think they know exactly who could have been involved before, during and/or after the murder, save one person (whomever the DNA came from, if that is a perpetrator of the murder), and just hasn't anywhere near the evidence to prove it. 

Could the biological material of an a person unknown to authorities been planted at the scene? In does not match anyone tested.

The SBI has been involved, too. What do that agency's investigative minds think? Who knows?


It feels as if it's connected to the murder. Feelings don't help much, though. Facts do.

It appears to be a fact that something profane, purely vengeful, physical and painful was going on in the mystery voice mail. Or a lot worse.

And Faith died violently the same night.



Here is the column link, on-line today, and in the Durham News hard copy tomorrow, Wednesday. The recording was very disturbing to hear.

I will add more thoughts on the voice mail and transcript very soon.

I encourage comments on, but because of legal concerns about the context in which certain names are mentioned, I cannot publish some of them.

You can always reach me at or text or call 919-219-0042. I don't necessarily need to know who you are. Mailing address for materials, notes is:

Tom Gasparoli
1818 MLK, Jr Blvd
Ste. 282
Chapel Hill, NC 27514

- Gaspo

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

179 TERRIBLE SECONDS -- -- FIRST THOUGHTS ON THE TV BROADCAST -- A Recording of the Attack on Faith?

                        The Crime Watch Daily (CWD) broadcast

My Initial Thoughts

Was this voice recorded at the club somewhere and accidentally sent from there...or later? Chapel Hill police say they believe it was from the club. Could be. But if it wasn't...

* The recording, as depicted in the show after a forensic audio analyst examined it, certainly sounds like a real event...people interrupting, a woman apparently shrieking in sheer agony. Anger, hate, pain, panic, apparent bursts of profanity, spontaneous language.


* The voice mail went to a friend of Faith's that night, 9-12-2012, time-stamped, reportedly, at 1:23 a.m. This friend is said to be known and trusted. If it's a real recording of events, is there an explanation for the time being off? Faith and her roommate Karena Rosario were out at a club at that hour.

Seems there could be an explanation for the wrong time. We've heard of inaccurate readings, or misread or misinterpreted time stamps, before. Yet Faith was texting (or someone was, using her phone) almost until 4 in the morning.

* Wouldn't the time the message appeared on the friend's phone be "correct?" When she first retrieved it, wouldn't the time be stated? Was it also 1:23 a.m? Or was it closer to 4:30 a.m., when authorities think the fatal attack on Faith occurred. Seems a critical fact the TV show should know about, clarified, and reported.

* If it's "fake" – either not the murder or another real event – it's an incredible fake.

* If the call and voice mail recording came from a "pocket dial," well, how – and when – did that happen? Faith's body was found with no clothes on her torso. Did the recording record only the beginning? 

* "I can't you believe you really did it, Rosie." ---from the enhanced recording transcript, via the expert.

Who is Rosie? Short for Rosario? Karena Rosario, Faith's roommate?

Chapel Hill police reportedly asked for the enhanced recording from the TV show. Had previous experts discerned the name, "Rosie?"

* "Eriq." As discerned by CWD's expert, at least. Takoy Jones' first name. Did police note this...before whatever analysis they had done? If they hear it now, what will they do with it?

* How often did police or the SBI (or whomever they asked to do so) re-examine the apply the latest audio upgrade technologies? Every three months, maybe? We don't know...or why not...if they didn't.

As part of a N&O Durham News column just two weeks ago, I asked for five investigative steps taken since 12-01-15. I got no that question or any question I submitted.

Who are they accountable to? The CHPD, the Durham County D.A? Don't they owe the public answers...better evidence of what they've done and why...even if the case is unsolved?

* If the CWD show could get such discernible audio (at least according the TV show's expert), why could authorities not get the same thing? And if they could, why wouldn't they release some of the audio? Or, tell the media/public about the name Rosie, for example? If they heard the same thing. Did they? Doesn't seem like it.

* I have written here many times that I suspected more than one person was involved. I have on a number of occasions suggested a woman might be involved. The recording, as analyzed, appears to reflect both possibilities.

* The words, possibly from a woman, perhaps saying, "I'm going to kick your ass." It certainly seems that person (if the enhancement is accurate)...knew Faith and knew her well.

* The recording somewhat suggests to me that murder was never the plan, and I have long thought it wasn't, especially if someone once close to Faith, who cared about her, was involved.

The enhanced words as a whole sounded to me as if things went haywire.

Horribly haywire.

Faith possibly saying, "Let me go!" It sounded as if Faith was restrained (her hands?). If someone initially meant to batter Faith to death (her repeated, terrible head wounds), there would be no need for restraint. Especially if two or three people were involved on the scene.

She may been restrained so they could say what they wanted to say to her...hurt her, frighten her. And then?

* Someone says (according to the one expert), "I think she's dying." Then at some point, possibly: "Do it anyway."

If the intent was to kill all along, wouldn't the murderer or murderers just do it and get it over with? Why discuss it? Was the anger so deep he/she/they had to confront Faith, with MAKE HER UNDERSTAND?

* How could no one in that apartment building not hear Faith screaming? If this recording is accurate, did the initial part of this attack take place somewhere else? Yet there was a large amount of blood/blood spatter in the room where she was found the next morning.

Could Faith have been rendered unconscious first...and then beaten to death after the killer(s) carried/brought her back to the apartment? Thus explaining the spatter?

Why do that? Why bring her back there and risk being seen? If that happened, would explain to a large extent why nothing was heard, but taking that risk makes little or no sense.

It seems the attack occurred there in the bedroom, where authorities also found a possible murder weapon...a bottle. Authorities have never suggested the murder may have taken place somewhere else. But authorities haven't said much of anything helpful on this case.

* The DNA from biological evidence, and scores of no matches over the years. Is that because a second or third person is unknown to the police? He has never been tested because police don't know who he is? Or, was that evidence past of a staging effort after Faith was deceased?


* The story talked about Ms. Rosario's call to 911. I wrote extensively about this long ago. Much of the call, frankly, was very suspicious, at least troubling. Including why Rosario never said a friend was with her there when she called 911. Or why she was surprised that someone had been in the apartment or that things we moved.

Here is my 2014 post on this call that serves as an unofficial transcript.


*** The story addressed, as well, the handwritten note on the fast food bag. A handwriting analysis expert felt it was created for the purpose of throwing authorities off. I have written a lot about the note previously and said much the same thing.

Within months, at the latest, the odd (and in my view strategized) note...should have been released, along with parts of whatever audio CHPD had been able to enhance. But no.

A couple of years pass, and the public never had a chance to weigh in on those extraordinary clues/evidence? I don't get it.

As Faith's brother said in the broadcast..."I can't help but think about the Chapel Hill police right now." And what they've been doing.....

The only good explanation all along for being so recalcitrant about releasing raw information on this case in seeking help and tips, is that authorities have long had a theory about who was involved...that the phone call, notes and interrogations pointed to a handful of people, as few as two...or maybe three. And: that they are waiting for one person to break. Or to make a mistake.

That thinking might posit that whomever else knows something valuable, besides the killer or killers, knows it and would or will call whenever they finally decide to. Law enforcement may believe that releasing parts of the note and part of the recordings wouldn't help them identify with certainty who was involved, because they feel they already know.

The problem with that theory, especially as relates to this recording, is that someone who knows something, but is afraid...might be so emotionally moved by the terror on the "tape," that they might resolve to call.

Maybe he or she will do so now. Or maybe a suspect, will, at last, do the right thing...and come forward.

Show some humanity...

...unlike the bestial violence that killed 19-year old Faith Hedgepeth.