Monday, January 19, 2015

Phelan Predicts Prosecutable Holiday Inn Case


From the NY Times:

“We feel we are close to finishing a prosecutable case that we would like to bring to the D.A.’s office with the hope they would bring it to a grand jury. This is the most horrific crime we have ever experienced. It is the murder of 10 people, in one night, in one location. It is like a cloud that hangs over the town. It is there and unsolved, and everybody feels that.” ~~ Police Chief Patrick Phelan
     

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

When will they ask him to step down? At least take a leave of absence until his name is cleared or he's exonerated. This man's arrogance and disregard for the legal process is disgraceful for a public official. Have some class and talk to the police. He said he'd cooperate with police last year. What happened? Of course, he also said he'd agree to it being arson, as long as they didn't accuse him. Something isn't right here.

Anonymous said...

Gee Patric MeChief, I'm so glad to hear you FEEL.

Fortunately you have a fine DA to work with who FEELS too.

Perhaps you should get together with Sandy Baby and discuss something you both know about, Irish Dance. Don't forget to mention at least 7 times how adorable her daughters look dancing.

Anonymous said...

Didn't he say something last november about a couple of months?

Anonymous said...

19 January, perfect day for the announcement.
Didn't M. L. King have a dream too?

Anonymous said...

The New Tork Times and possibly the Town of Greece if they screw up like that rag NYTimes, are about to make Bud Phillips a very rich man,
The paper called him the SUSPECT, something that has never been applied to him in official police department records and for good reason. They didn't have the evidence 36 years ago and no doubt do not have it now or this case would have resulted in an arrest long ago.
If the GPD makes an arrest on circumstantial evidence without hard evidence of what elements of the crime exist and they now have, Doorley will never present it to a grand jury if she feels there is not enough evidence to sustain a successful prosecution which would result in a civil lawsuit contending Malicious Prosecution. The same would apply to the Town of Greece if they arrest Phillips and the DA declines to prosecute due to lack of evidence other than circumstantial, innuendos and speculative evidence.
In my opinion, that's all they have.

SCATS said...

To 6:09PM ~~ You are REALLY behind on local news! He was called a SUSPECT by the cops back in NOVEMBER ... old news ;)

Anonymous said...

What makes 'death of 10' rise to 'murder of 10'?

SCATS said...

To 9:04PM ~~ When the fire changes from being considered an accident to being called an arson.

Anonymous said...

I don't think "Torch" will ever be arrested for the murders of thsee poor people. Phelen Sr. is still alive and would be implicated in the cover up. Phelen Jr. is the Police Chief and he will never allow his father to be dragged into court to answer for his role in this deadly fire.

We would need the State Attorney General's office to get involved to get the arrest warrents but I don't see this happening either. The democrats do not have enough pull in this town to make it happen.

Anonymous said...

"OFFICIALLY. THE THE POLICE HAVE SAID THAT CHIEF PHILLIPS IS A PERSON OF INTEREST.."
THis taken from the text of the Times article.Accordingly , scats, show me where I can find your assertion that Philipps was named a suspect last November as I have no recollection of that disclosure relating to the change of status from PI to Suspect as this would change everything that takes place after being designated a suspect with regard to possible Civil Liability of the town. The rest of the article concerning Phelan's refusal to discuss Phillips during the interview seems to support my contention that the suspect label has yet to be attached to him.
I find this hard to believe unless they have enough evidence to support this charge. I find it hard to believe they could be that stupid without evidence to cover their behinds both criminally or civil liability..
If I'm wrong here, point me to the method in which the Department officially changed his status so I could stand corrected.

SCATS said...

To 6:16AM ~~ I beg to disagree! ALL we really need is a public outcry for justice!! Isn't it time??

To 10:21AM ~~ Just because YOU have no recollection means I'm supposed to school you??? LMAO! As I said, it was COVERED BY THE MEDIA AND THIS BLOG. Feel free to look it up.

Anonymous said...

Absolutely, positively another fine example of Greece Police Investigative work.

They are at long last publishing that they know the exact starting point of the fire. Oddly they still choose to ignore the unlawful storage in that stairwell at the time of the fire, could that be because the Building Department ignored it too?

There's a lot more they are ignoring, but I'll not compromise their intense investigation.

Anonymous said...

The Channel 10 story says Phelan did not name a particular suspect, just that the police are saying in public (what everybody already knew) that they have a suspect. http://www.whec.com/article/stories/s3632298.shtml

SCATS said...

To 11:48PM ~~ OMG LMAO!!

One legal definition of "suspect" is "an individual under suspicion" whether or not they are formally announced as such, according to a legal dictionary. In comparison, "person of interest" has NO legal definition and appears to be a term created by the cops to satisfy media/reporters!! No one knows what it really means!!

The title of the Ch. 10 story is: "Police have suspect in deadly 1978 Holiday Inn fire in Greece"

The article states:

1 - "The fire was ruled an arson and today, for the first time, police are telling News10NBC they have a suspect."

2 - "Chief Patrick Phelan tells our Brett Davidsen they hope to hand over their evidence to the District Attorney’s office in the next couple of months. Asked if that meant police have a suspect, Phelan said, “Yes. That would be correct.”

3 - It goes on to point out that Bud Phillips previously pledged his cooperation with the police investigation, but NOW won't respond to requests to have a chat, except through his lawyer.

BP is the one and only SUSPECT ever named as being under SUSPICION in this lengthy investigation.

Anonymous said...

That fire was NEVER an arson fire!
A Rochester fire official ruled it accidential. There is no question it started under a stair well. The facility was inspected 2 weeks prior and approved by the Town of Greece Building Dept. with the flameable liquids in storage under the stairwell.
Riley and Phelan paid BIG BUCKS to a NYC fire official to rule the fire arson.
If you pay a lady enough money she will do whatever you want.
In this way Riley protected the Town of Greece from libility suits from the families of the dead 10 indiviuals in the fire. So the families got NOTHING from the negilence of the Town of Greece covered up by Riley and Phelan

Anonymous said...

Scats, I was right, Phillips was never officially named a suspect by Phelan. I remembered his statement back in November when the memorial was held and still has not.
Your ASSUMPTION that Bud is the suspect is just that and not grounded in fact. What this shell game tells me is they still lack the HARD evidence to make that leap. Wisely so for so doing without legal standing in Civil Court
where the burden of defensive proof falls to the town.
As a Person with knowledge or PK, based on the facts that existed that November morning 36 yrs ago here' s what they got and don't got as of now.
As is the case in any major criminal investigation, the first 24 hours are the only 24 hours. Any experienced investigator knows this because after that, thing cool off in a hurry.
As I recall that night and consistant with my notes, Bud was interrogated for nearly ten hours straight by 4 detectives working in teams of two.Why? Because he was first on the scene and reported the fire. Because of who he was and other considerations, the chief zeroed in on him and ordered the interrogation. After 10 hours, they came away empty. Ten of those preciuos 24 hrs were wasted. In this regard, it is important to remember that this was done after the City arson squad, called in to determine the cause, had already declared the fire a natural occurring fire originating in a basement storage room containing highly flammable chemicals that should never be stored in close proximity to each other due the low flash point of their highly combustible fumes that could explode due to spark or static electricity. Their findings were quickly rejected by the chief who still insisted the fire rwas man made
The following day, the entire department was mobilized with 20 officers assigned to the investigation on 24/7 basis for 10 days.This effort again failed to develop evidence of a crime as well as a SUSPECT.
It's hard to not feel a little sorry for those officers currently involved in this case, some whom were not conceived at this time.
This is my theory of what I think they are attempting to do. Make as strong as possible circumstantial case against their PI. based on some facts in hand supporting , with a real stretch, the element necessary to make a case, oppotunity, means, and motive.
Opportunity . Based on Phillips being present at the scene. However, evidence that he was in the building prior to the fire, non existant.
MEANS, based on his experience with hazardous materials and a trained Hazmat expert with Greece Ridge who at the time , handled all of Kodak's chemical fires. Again no evidence that he had access to these substances. Remember the search warrant?
MOTIVE. a real stretch here with the theory of the hero complex as the bases.
In conclusion , it was the belief by all officers assigned to the original investigation , that no crime existed. A fact many of them still around expressed to the special investgator from Canada hired by relatives of the deceased not too long ago.
A crime is not a crime simply by placing that label on it.
That's why this case will never be solved.

Anonymous said...

Well, yes. Of course. I don't know what you're arguing about, but it's not against the point I'm making. I'm just noting that the police department split the very fine hair of not specifically naming a suspect. We all know and have known for a very long time who they were interested in for this. But to say that the police named any particular person as a suspect in the news story isn't exactly accurate. WHEC draws an inference, but the words "XYX is our suspect" never come out of Phelan's mouth. It's legally significant to name a suspect, not just to say you have one that you don't name.

SCATS said...

To 9:07AM ~~ Keep screaming it, but I'll NEVER buy it. BTW, Baxter told us there was evidence of an accelerant used. Explain THAT lil detail away ;)

To 10:45AM ~~ You can call yourself "right" all you want to BUT it doesn't change the FACT that calling someone a "person of interest" vs. calling them a "suspect" makes NOT ONE IOTA OF DIFFERENCE! You want us to rely on your 35+ years of "recollection" and your claim to possess notes. Guess what? That and $2 will buy you a nice cup of joe most places, despite ... or maybe inspite of ... your theories. There is NOTHING in your continued lengthy comments that you've written that is any different than before, so please save yourself the effort ... unless you come upon some notes you misplaced for 35+ years. TY.

To 11:05AM ~~ If we are standing in a small crowd, say 20 people and are talking about this case ... if a cop tells a reporter they have a suspect and don't say the name but point to you as they're talking, will YOU start to squirm?? WHY??? They didn't "name" a suspect!!

For the record, there is not one iota of difference legally in calling someone a suspect vs. calling them a person of interest. As my research shows, the term "person of interest" was fabricated by law enforcement to get reporters off their backs. It has NO LEGAL DEFINITION. It is meaningless. In this case there is and always was just ONE SUSPECT. Everyone knows who that is and I'm not going to argue the point any longer unless/until something new comes up.

Anonymous said...

SCATS
Where were YOU on the night of the Holiday Inn fire?

Where were you when the Sun came up and the camper was sitting in the corner of the parking lot with the rented generator keeping the Chief warm and happy as he directed his detectives?

You ask where the trace evidence came from. How about the solvents that were improperly stored in a stairwell full of new hotel mattresses, foam rubber mattresses. Ya think maybe one of those two items might leave behind traces?

ACCIDENTAL FIRE
Possibly caused by one of the teenage hotel staff sneaking a smoke in the stairwell as they were known to do. Thoughtless tossed or dropped butt not fully extinguished is a possibility.

WHY have teen employees known to have been working not been interviewed to this date SCATS?

Anonymous said...

Scats, It puzzles me as to why you reject my first hand accounts of this incident. It seems that you would rather rely on media accounts of the incident rather than accept facts from a participant in the original investigation 36 yrs ago. Rest assured, there is nothing wrong with my memory of that tragic event. I don't know where you got the idea that I misplaced my notes as I'm looking at the folder right now containing a record of the day to account of the progress of the initial investigation that support my comments on this subject all dated and accurate.
That being said, if it makes you feel better believing as you do,,who am I to ruin your day.

Anonymous said...

For the record scats,your use of BP now is laughable.the damage is done and your on the hook See you in court.

SCATS said...

To 1:47PM ~~ Why don't you ask the cops THAT question, if you believe they haven't been asked?

To 2:19PM ~~ It's not that I reject your account so much as it is that you seem to ignore that with time technological advances make certain things knowable now that couldn't be shown back then.

To 3:45PM ~~ I will consider your comment a THREAT. Like all of them, I keep records, copies and report them.

For the record, I've often used initials instead of spelling things out.

If he weren't a suspect, the Canadian reporters wouldn't have been chasing him through a parking lot a couple years ago, the cops wouldn't be wanting to interview him now AND last, but certainly NOT least, his lawyer wouldn't have told him NOT to cooperate!

Anonymous said...

1/21 10:45
As I RECALL, accelerant undetermined. If so then, comparison to chemicals stored would have either ruled in or out those substances by elimination. Therefore if undetermined, the accelerant used was not matched to those stored... Dispute to my science, facts, and logic?

Anonymous said...

This case will never be closed. It's unfortunate these poor families will never get justice. Too many dirty hands in this dirty little town are involved in this. Instead of doing the right thing, politics as usual in this sleazy town of Greece. Everyone covers their own behinds. It's so pathetic and the excuses continue.

SCATS said...

To 8:17PM ~~ Sadly, I think you might be correct. Worse yet, some of them write into this BLOG :(

SCATS said...

To 1/21/2015 10:45 AM ~~ I've been contacted and asked to set YOU and the record of what you wrote straight. Re: " A fact many of them still around expressed to the special investgator from Canada hired by relatives of the deceased not too long ago."

I'm told by those who should know that no such "special investigator" was ever hired by relatives of the deceased.

So much for your recall ...

Anonymous said...

Who ever contacted you, if it ever happened, is wrong. This person probably is unaware that several investigators who worked the case back in '78 were contacted and volunteered to talk with this investigator from Canada.this took place shortly after the story broke in the Canadian media.

Anonymous said...

Vehicle backed into parking space, at the BACK of the building. Same vehicle later moved during this fire. Pictures exist!!!!

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to dispute the cause of the fire please first post your PhD in Thermodynamics, or Chemistry, and show that you have an expertise in fire investigation. Physical evidence was sent to the ATF laboratory in Virginia back in 2011 for analysis. Therefore, you are giving a descending opinion on their conclusion. Not saying I will not listen to you but you better have the credentials to back up your opinions!! I am so sick and tired of "Greece Experts" who think so with this case and everything else. Fire investigation is science and much better handled by scientists than fireman!!!

SCATS said...

To 6:44AM ~~ I assure you they are NOT wrong. YOU stated the person was hired by family members of the deceased and that is WHO contacted me asking me to set YOU straight! :)

To 9:46AM ~~ WHO has the photos??

To 10AM ~~ I tend to agree and want to remind folks that in Nov. of 2012, Todd Baxter stated: "Now there's some additional testing that we wanted to do and is currently being done by the ATF off-site that's being done down south where they're doing a series of controlled burns for example, just to eliminate all possible other reasons. But the experts have told us and they're willing to testify in court that this is an arson fire."

He also indicated at that time that ONE MORE TEST was needed before things would be sent to the DA's office. We never heard anything more about the "test" but Phillip's & the RRFD's offices were raided by cops about a year afterwards.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with the comment about a private investigator from Canada coming to Greece. The story was covered by the D&C at the time. I remember reading it and believe it took place about five years ago.
To satisfy my curiosity, I will attempt to contact the reporter that wrote the story to verify this ASAP.
If successful , I will post the results.

Anonymous said...

To 147. I can tell you from personal knowledge that every one working or employed by the Hotel at the time of the fire was interviewed. Even several former employees who where fired or quit who might have a grudge were talked to regarding motive and their whereabouts that night.
I can assure you that along with help from other agencies,this incident was thorough and meticulously conducted with a large magnitude of man hours expended during the time of the initial investigation.

SCATS said...

To 1:23PM ~~ You've changed the issue from the original statement which contended the investigator was hired by FAMILIES OF THE DECEASED. That's a lot different than saying SOMEONE hired an investigator. Capisce??

To 1:45PM ~~ That is my understanding as well. Let's face it, the person sitting on the hot seat and his family members are certainly motivated to attempt to lead us astray.

Anonymous said...

10:00 AM let's see if I got this right.the Fire took place in 1978 evidence sent to VA in 2011. If so, what took so long.? Even the guy from New York didn't find the substance used as the accelerant and that was several days after the fire.He said he found burn patterns on the floors and concluded that MEK which leaves no detectable foot print was used. I found that amusing because one of chemicals in the storage area where the fire started contained a commercial size container of MEK as well as acetone and other floor cleaning solvents which were consumed in the resulting fire. You wouldn't happen to know who found the material and when?

SCATS said...

To 4:10PM ~~ As I recall it was stated that there are tests available using new technology that can detect MEK, thus the evidence sent when Baxter was here.

Anonymous said...

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gas_chromatography%E2%80%93mass_spectrometry

All I have to say!!!

SCATS said...

To 5:24PM ~~ Anyone who resorts to Wikipedia for this kind of specific, highly technical discussion is a gambler. Wiki is widely known for its errors. That's all I have to say!

Anonymous said...

OK, so now we got a statement that pictures showing a car backed in and then gone at the time of the fire exist. Gee, were they taken by some guy named Leroy with a Kodak Disk camera? There sure as hell wasn't any video at the Holiday inn back in 78. In 78 banks had film holdup cameras, and damn few of them too.

The`1n we have BATF analysis of 30+ year old evidence supposedly supporting a finding of MEK or Acetone accelerant that came from a fireground which had been drowned by how many tens of millions of water, and a sample couldn't have been taken for at least 20 hours post burn. Oddly. both of those flash off fast, and leave little residue. Oh wait, there were cans and barrels of solvents containing both, stored unlawfully in the stairwell. Could the MEK and Acetone be barrel residue? If possible they are, they pretty much fall out of the "evidence" pile.

Then we have the tandem tag team long duration interrogation of PB by GPD Detectives. Oddly, Miranda, Ryan and Escobedo come to mind. GPD screwed the poodle there.

Maybe it was the difficult working conditions over at Poplar Garden Motel, where so many experienced Detectives sans fire portfolio gathered to mass their lack of knowledge while people with fire credentials refused to play motel.

Oh, 1:45, if you were at the motel, I know who you are, and I damn well know your team did NOT talk to every employee or former employee.

It's pure hell to make evidence support an Arson announcement made while fire hoses are still being rolled. Holiday Inn was an accidental fire caused by failure of the Town to sufficiently enforce Town Code. The conditions in the stairwell point of origin should have prevented the motel from being occupied.

I'd damn sure like to look at an Audit of the fire fighting at that fire, because there is no way in hell people should have died when windows could have been laddered for rescue. There was no shortage of water or manpower either. Why the hell were firemen crawling down an inside corridor (OVEN) to access rooms with windows?

Anonymous said...

The presence of MEK And acetone was never in dispute on the day of the fire . The city arson guys concluded the it was the spontaneous combustion of their highly flammable fumes by as little as a static charge in the area, would have ignited that combination.
Since water alone, will not extinguish these types of chemical fires , it would follow that water from the fire hoses would serve to spread the substance some distance from the ignition point.
Unless some other substance not used by the hotel is the substance in question other than those above, that would be somewhat significant. Now try and place that substance in the possession of a suspect and you have the beginnings of a provable case for a murder by arson if this fact can be proven. If so, more than evough to make an arrest for probable cause.

Anonymous said...

Was Chase Pitken, Two fires at Ridge Crest Plaza, Carols Restaurant, all the dumpster fires at the old Wegmans, the fire at Stutson street all accidents too?

Anonymous said...

The pavilion next to the community center will be great this year for concerts and picnic's.

SCATS said...

To 9:58AM ~~ And THAT'S the short list!

I think it's way beyond time that people stop arguing the details of this case and join forces to get this homicide resolved. Your energy & time would be MUCH better spent, regardless which side you are on. As I see it, unless you are feeling like you are under suspicion, you've got NOTHING to lose supporting the position that this crime needs to be thoroughly & properly investigated and presented to the grand jury. Let them decide.

SCATS said...

To 2:47PM ~~ At what price?? Please don't tell me it's "free"!!

Greece's Sheeple need to wake up & smell the coffee! Building anything COSTS $$$!!! And in this town of shrinking school enrollments we are building MORE facilities, especially aimed at children. How much can we keep raising taxes before people flee this town?

A New Spray Park??
A New Pavilion??
A New Police Station??
A New Stadium & Turf Field With Lights??
A Bus Washing Facility??

Increased Assessments!!
Rising School Budgets/Taxes!
BOCES Construction!

SERIOUSLY!! SHOW ME HOW WE CAN AFFORD ALL OF THIS!

Anonymous said...

"SERIOUSLY!! SHOW ME HOW WE CAN AFFORD ALL OF THIS!"

Quite simple KittyCat.

Since Greece has now discovered income can be had from sewer districts that were never paid for, at the personal direction of Stupidvisor Rilich new service charges will be placed on felines.

All litterboxes will now be required to have plumbing permits and all used litter must be bagged and tagged with a SuperBill crap tag. Tags will be sold at Town Hall by Tax collector Antelli who does very little work for his pay now.

SuperBill is also considering a string of coffee shops in Town Owned buldings beyond the Library. The DPW will be equipped with a 20 stool coffee bar to serve BillBux Coffee. The park lodges will come next, and the pickle ball court.

No coffee bar in the Senile Citizens Building though, don't want the old farts getting wired, they might hurt themselves.

Superbill is also looking at raising taxes on homes with litter boxes. Your catpan will be assessed, and additional charges may apply for lack of neatness.

Do you miss Hairburger yet?

SCATS said...

To 2:05AM ~~ Nobody can afford to rent a town (or county) lodge any more!

Anonymous said...

Tthis subject has been discussed on this site from it's inception. Many differing opinions, theories and speculations have been expressed. But the truth of the matter lies in the fact that your present personal of your Police Department were represented with the daughting task to solve a case that took place some time ago.
Given this fact, they no doubt have to rely on information in the form of reports and other information, generated by those involved in the original investigation done at that time. Also by trying to discover new leads and information supporting and expansion of those earlier investigative accounts of the fire.
There are several important steps necessary to put together a creditable case against a potential suspect that will result in an indictment and conviction of that suspect.
First and foremost; IT's NOT WHAT YOU KNOW THAT COUNTS, IT'S WHAT YOU CAN PROVE.
BE ABLE TO PROVE BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT, THAT A CRIME HAS BEEN COMMITED.
THAT THEY ACCUSSED HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO COMMIT THE CRIME BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.POSSESSED THE MEANS OR IN THIS CASE THE MATERIAL USED TO COMMIT THE CRIME BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT. THE ACCUSSED POSSESSED A MOTIVE TO COMMIT THE CRIME BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT.
It is in my opinion, these are the very things that are confronting the investigators now involved in this case are confronted with.

SCATS said...

To 9:46AM ~~ While I get your point in theory, in reality it is NOT their job to come up with everything as neat & tidy as you suggest. If it were, no one would ever go to trial without knowing they were going to be convicted! It's up to the jurors to decide "reasonable doubt."

Anonymous said...

True, many cases are prosecuted with less than concrete proof of the standards I referred to . However, it is incumbent on the prosecution to present at minimum a
PRIMA FACIE CASE to the Grand Jury and the trial judge,Many cases have been thrown out by the trial judge because it was felt that the prosecution did not meet the burden of proof required to go forward. This is a fact that your District Attorney will look at before considering to prosecute the case.

SCATS said...

To 1:54PM ~~ It's time to take this case forward! Let the Grand Jury do their job. The DA will look at politics first, sadly.

Anonymous said...

lex autem non te putas scire. If you really know the law you will know latin.

SCATS said...

To 4:33PM ~~ " ... the law does not make you think you know ..."

And so your point is?