This isn’t just in Chicago. It’s not just in Illinois. It’s not just in the US. It’s everywhere.

A violent crime problem has been “overlooked” for the last 45 years by city, state and Federal government, not just in the US, but around the world. Repeated efforts to bring it out into the open have been continually sidetracked in the General Assembly and in the Chicago City Council. Every so often, someone is taken hostage, driven to an ATM, forced to make a withdrawal, executed and the body hidden so the killer can clean out the bank account with the card. Every once in a while, a murder provokes political action, a committee is formed and the police recommend tracking forced withdrawals. Every time, that recommendation fails. That makes it easier for the criminal to get away with his next murder.

The families of the victims almost always withdraw so that they can grieve in private, so they don’t make a fuss. After a few days, everyone forgets the problem. So the problem never gets exposed. Having integrated the murders and the wrongful death lawsuits into the business model, the banks continue with business as usual and just deduct the litigation cost from overhead.

In Illinois, the police have been recommending tracking this crime pattern for decades, but the General Assembly has blocked every attempt to fix the problem. Normally, crime patterns are tracked by the numbers used in the crime statutes. Forced ATM withdrawals get lumped in with robbery because there is no crime code section for “forced-ATM-withdrawal.” House Bill 3914 (2011), would have solved this problem. It passed the General Assembly unanimously but was killed in a Senate subcommittee on the spurious grounds that it was not CLEAR compliant and the punishment was too harsh, (a class 1 felony vs a class 2 felony). So police still can’t connect Crime A in City A to Crime B in City B, compare evidence, solve the case and make an arrest before Crime C in City C. In short, the General Assembly has been looking the other way while people are murdered. The lack of a crime code section also keeps the public blind about the extent of the problem. This blind spot isn’t just in Illinois, not just in the US, but in every country around the world as well. If you’re the head of marketing at Chase Bank, how many of these murders each year is good news?

A backdoor method of researching the body count is possible though. A Freedom of Information Act Request to the Rockford PD showed that over 5 years, there were 3 murders out of 102 that involved the suspect using the victim’s ATM card. Statewide, that’s roughly 21 murders in 2013. The Chicago PD and the Illinois State Police refused to comply with similar requests.

There’ve been efforts in the past to solve this problem by mandating a reverse emergency PIN system for ATM users. In January 2004, the system was made mandatory. In August, without notifying the original witnesses, a follow on bill, HB4652, was passed that gutted the original bill. The official justification for the follow on bill was that it would give tort immunity to banks for using the system. In fact, what the law did was grant tort immunity to banks that don’t use the system. That’s not a typo. The law discourages even the voluntary use of the system. In other words, the State of Illinois gave Doyle Parker, Robert Armfield, Lyn Weis, Mark Evans, James Keniski, Carol Andrews, Wilber Harden, Natasha Cleary and her two young children a chance to call for help, then snatched it out of their hands. God only knows how many others could have been saved. If it had been available, serial killers like Gary Michael Hilton; John “The Grim Sleeper Ewell; and Illinois’ favorite son, Bruce Mendenhall would probably have been caught sooner.


This ad should raise a lot of questions. For answers, go to http://www.atmsafetypin.com
This ad was paid for by Joe Zingher.

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The murders of Joseph Morrisey in Plantation; Carol and Reggie Sumner in Jacksonville; Nancy and Joey Bochicchio in Boca; Randi Gorenberg in Boca and Cheryl Dunlap in Tallahassee are examples of a consistent crime pattern called the “express kidnapping” which has plagued the public ever since the ATM was introduced in the US. The victim is taken hostage, usually in a carjacking or a home invasion, driven to an ATM, forced to make a withdrawal and, if there is enough money in the account, murdered and the body hidden to delay the card being cancelled. (It almost never starts right at an ATM.) Gathering data about the pattern is very difficult. Normally, the police track crime patterns by the state crime code which serves as an index number for the crime analyst. This allows the police to solve crimes much more quickly because it allows them to connect Murder A in City A to Murder B in City B, compare the evidence and make an arrest before Murder C occurs. This makes it easier for stone cold killers like Gary Michael Hilton and the “Town Center Mall Killer” to avoid arrest. Police have complained about their inability to track the pattern at least going back to the 1980’s, yet the politicians never gave them the statute they needed to fix this problem. This is true of Florida and every other state in the country.
Thanks to software improvements, it’s now possible to do a “metasearch” of some police databases for ATM connected crimes. By searching first for all murders, then overlaying the keywords “ATM”; “automatic teller”; “bank machine” against the search results, it is possible to find the data. A metasearch won’t solve the multiple jurisdiction problem, but it gives a minimal number in a given community. And that body count is important.
A FOIA request to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is reproduced in part on the opposite page. Over 67 months, there were 123 robberies and 8 murders in that community where a forced ATM withdrawal was involved. That means if a forced withdrawal is involved, the odds are about 1 in 15 that the robbery will result in a murder. By comparison the FBI data for 2012 shows that 1 robbery in 540 will result in a homicide. (A similar FOIA request to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement was rejected.) There were 499 murders in Jacksonville over that 67 month period. There were 970 murders in Florida in 2013. If that ratio holds up, and it should, that’s just about 15 murders per year in Florida. But that doesn’t include victims like Joey Bochicchio, who did not have an ATM card herself, but was brutally murdered by the “Town Center Mall Killer” because her mother did. No criminal begins this crime by politely inquiring, “Pardon me, have you an ATM card perchance?” so no one knows how many other murders there are where someone was attacked in the mere hope they had an ATM card but didn’t. The numbers could be much higher. The fault for the inability to track this problem rests with the politicians who have known all about this problem for years.
Because the crime pattern is foreseeable, that means that these cases are intentional on the part of the banks. ATMs are business premises that the banks control. They control location, hours of operation, method of operation and derive profits from them. Every bank that issues an ATM card is in privity of contract with every ATM owner and every other bank. ATMs were introduced in the US in 1968. Yet, there has never been an appellate opinion on bank responsibility for these crimes. The only way that seems possible is if the banks have integrated these murders into the business model by paying off every lawsuit before an appellate record could be published. A single negative appellate court ruling would kill the entire ATM industry. Even a decision in the defendant bank’s favor would be so strained that it would be more of an embarrassment to the court and the banks than a victory for the banks. Most likely, these suits are being settled for a tiny fraction of what they are actually worth.
Does the bank method of doing business encourage these crimes? Obviously. The more harm to the victim, the more money for the criminal. The first level of harm is the abduction, for which the criminal gets a cash withdrawal. The second level of harm is holding the victim until after midnight when the withdrawal amount recycles yielding a second withdrawal for the criminal. Finally, if there’s enough money in the account, the victim is murdered and the body hidden so that the criminal can continue making withdrawals until the account is cleaned out. More Harm = More Money. Persons who don’t even carry ATM cards are a second class of victim. At the very least, they are taken hostage before the criminal learns they have no ATM cards. This doesn’t guarantee they won’t be killed though. Just that no ATM withdrawal will occur. They don’t assume the risk, but they suffer the consequences for the business model. Both groups constitute plaintiff classes and the banking industry as a whole constitutes a defendant class.
This ad should raise a lot of questions, because it is so complex. For more information and a copy of the Jacksonville data, see http://atmsafetypin.com or contact Joe Zingher at jpzingher@atmsafetypin.com

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Boston Herald Readers

If you’re coming to this site from the Boston Herald site, here’s what’s going on in Massachusetts to hide the problem. Click here: SP37009845-ATM

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Some stories

I’m told some stories are needed to make people grasp the importance of this issue.  Here are two.  The first is about the “Town Center Mall Killer” who is still on the loose.  His victims were Nancy and Joey Bochicchio, amongst others, in Boca Raton Florida. Nancy Bochicchio and her 7 year old daughter Joey were carjacked from the Town Center Mall parking garage.  They were bound with duct tape and taken to an ATM where the first withdrawal occurred. Somehow, Nancy got her blindfold off and started to undo Joey’s restraints.   According to the forensics experts, he shot Nancy in the face, splattering her blood on Joey’s face, who saw the killer fire the shot killing her mother then turn the gun on her. http://miami.cbslocal.com/2012/12/12/5-years-after-bochicchio-murders-still-no-leads/ The case remains unsolved 7 years later.  Then there’s Gary Michael Hilton who specialized in attacking victims in state and national parks.  After subduing them, it varied depending on the victim’s age and gender.  Younger women were tortured, raped and eventually murdered, older women and men were just tortured and murdered. He’s been convicted in the murders of 4 people and is listed as a person of interest in 50 more. The highest profile case was probably Meredith Emerson, a recent graduate of the University of Georgia.  He kept her alive for several days of rape and torture before cleaning out her bank account and dumping her body in the woods. http://www.newser.com/tag/20185/1/meredith-emerson.html  

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The Politics behind Amy Lord’s murder….

Make sure you read the everything on this blog as it is not a simple matter to explain and I am an overly wordy individual…..SP37009588-atmsafety

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Amy Lord and Senate Bill 1912


A WORD OF CAUTION, this is a very complex topic. You have to have a detailed, working knowledge of how the ATM industry functions technically, how bank policies are made, how law and the litigation process work, how crime intelligence and statistics are gathered by police and why they are gathered, why reporters rarely report these crimes, (they simply aren’t told by the police) and how truly corrupting the lobbying industry is in order understand what your elected officials and the bankers have been doing all these years. For example, when hearings are held on Senate Bill 1912, there SHOULD be a stenographer there taking down every word that is uttered by every witness and every witness should be speaking under oath. If that’s not happening, you’re watching a dog and pony show put on for your personal benefit. (One bright spot in all this, IF you bother to research it properly, you can find out who was doing what, but then that would also require you to know how to do legislative research. All I can give you is this road map. What’s so bright about that? A lot of these people are still in power. This can lead to cleaning them out. Let’s do some laundry….)

*It would probably be best to read through the explanation posted below, “The Banking Industry’s Dirtiest Secret is a Bloody One” then come back and read about what is happening in Massachusetts.

To the people of Boston and Massachusetts: It took a lot of lying by a lot of people all over the country to keep violent crime involving ATM withdrawals out of sight and out of mind. It includes politicians lying to the public and bankers lying directly, in person, to their customers.
And many of those people are still in office and pretend to be working to fix it. HINT: When you see educated, powerful people with high social standing behaving like common white trash, you know you got a problem.

First some background about Senate Bill 1912. This law is supposedly to improve customer safety and public safety generally:
An amendment was filed to the original Senate Bill 1912. (https://malegislature.gov/Bills/188/Senate/S1912) The first version of S.1912 had the BANKS reporting crimes at their ATMs. The problem was, banks don’t have 24 hour monitoring of their ATMs, so they don’t know if a crime occurred or not. They would have to go to the police to get that data. Worse yet, the law doesn’t punish banks for not complying, so it’s really a “nonlaw.” This kind of legislative trickery was used in Chicago in the 1990’s to keep the public in the dark about the problem while at the same time making the public think that the city council was actually trying to do something constructive about it. Laymen did not understand what they were reading. To put it another way, about 400 murders ago, the Chicago City Council did the exact same thing as the S.1912 amendment did and told the public, “Don’t worry, we’re on top of it.” But, the danger is still hidden from the public.
Here, proposed Section 25 of the law applies only to ATMs owned by banks, which comprise a tiny percentage of the over-all number of ATMs. That means the data would be a serious undercount because only a tiny percentage of ATMs are directly owned by banks. It would also not apply to cases where the victim was forced to use the card to make a withdrawal, but only those cases where the victim “surrendered” the ATM card and PIN. Senator Joyce SHOULD have realized this about his own law. The new crime statute in S.1912 lumps forced ATM withdrawals in with other crimes, that makes it “immune” to the Freedom of Information Act. The proposed crime statute found in Section 28 of the law would amend Chap 265, Section 21 of the Massachusetts’ crime code. Section 21, makes it a felony punishable from a “term of years to life”, to force someone to open a safe. That hides the forced withdrawal amongst grocery store robberies, convenience store robberies, jewelry store robberies, etc. And the Massachusetts FOIA law does not allow the public to make the police tell them which is which.

The smartest, cheapest thing to do would be to track forced ATM withdrawals by the ESTABLISHED method. That is, give forced withdrawals a SPECIFIC state crime code section to use as an index number. That way, the software does all the work. This has been tried in California, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Ohio and in Illinois three times. Each time, bank opposition to the bill killed it.
If the banks wanted to protect their customers and the public, they would want such a crime code statute. That would improve police efforts to solve cases and arrest the criminals who prey on their customers. Yet, they oppose all efforts to help the police. The only plausible explanation that comes to mind is that they prefer to keep the public in the dark about the extent of the problem because that protects the business model.

This problem has been going on ever since the ATM was introduced in the 1960’s and every time anyone tried to collect the data, they were blocked. READ MORE BELOW ABOUT THE BANKING INDUSTRY’S DIRTIEST SECRET.

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The Banking Industry’s Dirtiest Secret is a Bloody One.


Since the introduction of ATMs in the United States in the late 1960s, ATM-related crime has festered beneath the surface, buried by an aggressive banking industry determined to conceal from the public just how dangerous and deadly possessing an ATM card can be. At a minimum, there are between 500 and 1,000 ATM-related murders a year and tens of thousands of other violent crimes stemming from ATM cards such as carjackings, kidnappings, and home-invasions. This article is meant to explain the politics of the banking industry’s dirtiest secret and why everyone is pretending they don’t know what’s going on. Every major newspaper and TV station in the country has at least one banker on its board of directors, and people who offend board members find their careers cut short. There’s a paper trail leading to those responsible and the author can only show a small part of it. In Congress, the paper trail leads to Diane Feinstein and Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk. In Illinois, it leads Mayor Richard Daley, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, US Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, and Governor Pat Quinn; In California, to Governor Jerry Brown; in Florida to Rick Scott. To research it in your own state takes someone who knows how to do legislative research. By reviewing the history of state legislature banking committee hearings, you can piece together who did what. I hope that those of you who have been victims, or lost loved ones in these crimes will dig into what happened in your state. There are a lot of these people still in office who should not be. They traded campaign cash for human lives.


Investigating Crime 101, the more information you have, the better

The entire ATM industry hinges on one thing: No one knows how many times a year people are murdered for their ATM cards and PINs. The best evidence is that there are 500 to 1,000 murders per year where the killer is known to have used the victim’s ATM card after the known time of death. The actual numbers may be several times larger than that though because of “hidden” murders. No criminal begins his crime by tipping his hat and politely inquiring, “Pardon me, have you an ATM card perchance and are there adequate funds for a withdrawal?” That means that some of the people who are attacked don’t even have ATM cards in the first place.

A Google News search for “ATM” and “murder” shows that every so often someone is murdered so that the killer can make a withdrawal or two with the victim’s ATM card. The crimes almost never start right at an ATM. They usually begin as carjacking or a home invasion. The victim is driven to an ATM and forced to make a withdrawal. If there’s enough money in the account, they’re killed, the body is hidden, and the killer keeps making withdrawals until the account is closed or cleaned out. Unless and until the body is found, the victim at best is listed as a missing person.

The problem with doing a Google News search to get this information is that it barely scratches the surface. It doesn’t provide access to actual police records. Even though it is an undercount, there are still four confirmed murders per week in the United States where this pattern is reported in the news. A murder case may get reported, but the police withhold the ATM connection many times because it is a crime-scene detail that could compromise the integrity of the case. If someone makes a confession, and he or she knows the details of the ATM transaction, then the police know that person was involved in the killing. 2

Police departments track crime patterns because it makes them more efficient. If investigators can connect Crime A to Crime B they can compare the evidence in both cases and that makes it more likely they will make an arrest before Crime C occurs. And since most of the murder cases found in the news are stranger-on-stranger crimes, that makes forced-withdrawal cases the most difficult to solve.

Since at least 1986, police have been recommending that forced-ATM withdrawals be tracked. i The most important tool in the crime analyst’s kit is the crime code section. Without a crime code section to identify a particular crime pattern, the crime does not exist. It gets lumped in with something else. This is why “bank robbery” is tracked by its own crime code section instead of just being lumped in with robbery. It enables the police to look for criminals who specialize in robbing banks; this in turn makes banks safer.

An Incentive to Kill

Forced-ATM withdrawals are unique in one very important way from any other form of robbery: It is the only crime where the criminal gets a greater financial reward by committing greater harm to his victim. A regular street robbery can be over before the victim even knows what happened. But at a minimum, a forced withdrawal always requires the victim be held hostage for at least as long as the transaction occurs, about 1.5 minutes. That’s a terrifying amount of time to have a gun at your head or knife at your throat. Being taken hostage is one level of harm. Being held until after midnight when the withdrawal amount recycles is another. And finally, execution gets the entire bank account. In essence, banks incent criminals to kill their customers.

This is an enormous motivating factor to the most aggressive criminals. Gary Michael Hilton, a drifter, was convicted in the murders of four people. They were Jack and Irene Bryant, an elderly couple in North Carolina; Meredith Emerson, a young woman in Georgia; and Cheryl Dunlap, a young woman in Florida. He’s also a person of interest in about 50 other unsolved homicides. It appears he was living for almost a decade off of his victims’ bank accounts. He lived in one campground after another up and down the East Coast and found his victims on the trails there.ii

Florida was also the hunting ground of the Town Center Mall Killer, (TCMK). TCMK came to light after the murders of Nancy Bochicchio and her 7-year-old daughter Joey. He targeted women in SUVs, with children in the Town Center Mall parking garage in Boca Raton. His MO was to carjack the women and children, bind and blindfold them with duct tape and then drive them to the ATM in their SUV. Because the pattern was not tracked, it was not identified and the public was not warned of the danger.iii The exact same pattern occurred in a double homicide in Georgia two years later. TCMK has not been identified five years later. TCMK is also the lead suspect in the murder of Randi Gorenberg. Like Nancy Bochicchio, she was abducted at the mall, but no ATM withdrawal was involved. Randi Gorenberg did not have an ATM card in the first place. The FBI speculated that TCMK was angered about her not having an ATM card. Only about 50 percent of the potential ATM card market has been achieved. That means that about half the time, the victim doesn’t even have an ATM card to begin with, but was attacked because of the way that the banks choose to do business. 3

Surprisingly, not all sociopaths in Illinois get elected governor or even seek a career in politics. Illinois’ most prolific living serial killer is Bruce Mendenhall, a cross-country trucker from a small town east of St. Louis called Albion. Also known as the “Prosti-Shooter,” the “Rest Stop Killer” and the “Truck Stop Killer,” he targeted women in truck stops and those he met on the road. His earliest suspected victim is Tammy Jo Zywicki in Iowa in 1992. He was eventually caught by the FBI’s Highway Serial Killer team in Tennessee. His last murder victim was Sarah Nicole Hulbert. Mendenhall was caught in possession of her ATM card and a receipt. When the cab of his truck was searched, investigators found a collection of women’s drivers’ licenses, ATM cards, sex toys and the blood of at least 10 different victims smeared around the cab. He has been charged with the murders of three other women at truck stops in Alabama, Indiana and Tennessee. He is still under investigation for murders in Georgia, Illinois, New Mexico, Oklahoma, and Texas. iv

Illinois is also the home of the “Honey Trap Killers.” Tameka Newson, Martha Jean and their boyfriends. The women would contact men through a telephone chat line and arrange a “party” at a local motel. When the men arrived, the women would get them undressed, just to be sure they weren’t armed, then the armed boyfriends would rush in, tie up the men and torture them to get their PINs. They would then execute the men and hide the bodies. They were finally caught when one of the men got loose, dove naked through a plate glass window and ran down the street. He had seen what happened to the other victim and fled for his life. The boyfriends followed. They were all spotted by an off-duty police officer who engaged the two men in a shoot-out in which they were both killed. Newson and Jean acknowledged that they had committed this crime before, but would not divulge how many times. v

In each of these states, the police were unaware of the connection between the crimes, because there was no crime code section for forced-ATM withdrawal. The question is, why isn’t there?

Politics, Banking and the Media 101: If no one finds out, it ain’t a crime

So why is there no dedicated crime statute for forced-ATM withdrawals? How could such an easy, obvious and free solution to such a bloody problem be overlooked by so many politicians and bankers for so many years? Especially when a similar solution was already being used to protect the banking industry? (The bank robbery statute, above.) It wasn’t overlooked at all. It was simply blocked in committee every time anyone proposed it. Police and crime victims told their legislators in all of the above states that something needed to be done. Florida Governor Rick Scott’s office was informed of the problem but has decided to withhold the data. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn’s office was also informed of the problem, but has also decided to withhold the data. The author also told the banking committees of every state and the banking committees in the U.S. House and Senate. They all looked the other way. Some went further though and actually deceived the public.vi More on that later.

So what’s really going on here? What is said publicly doesn’t jibe with the known facts, if everyone is motivated to protect the public. There have been criminal statutes formally proposed in Illinois and Kansas that would have solved the tracking problem.vii All were blocked in committee by the banking lobby. California did manage to pass Penal Code Section 212.5.b, which sort of addresses violent ATM crime. Unfortunately, Sec 212.5.b’s definition is not even 4

useful as it defines a robbery “at or near” an ATM as its guideline. How many feet is “at or near” is not given. This ambiguity in the law makes it useless as a crime tracking tool. It’s not even clear why it was passed at all unless the purpose was to fool the public into thinking something was being done when it actually wasn’t. One possible explanation: “How many murdered ATM customers are good for business if you’re the head of Chase Bank’s marketing department?”

The murder of Dana Feitler in 1989 in Chicago provides an excellent illustration of political sleight of hand.viii Ms. Feitler’s murder became a political cause and came before the Chicago City Council. The Council set up a committee to examine the problem and directed the police to do a study. The report indicated 47 “ATM Crimes” in Chicago in a single year, 1990. No body count was released though unless they meant that there were 47 murders that fit the Feitler pattern. The NYPD did a study that same year. It came up with 743 ATM crimes in the same time period, but again, no murders were given. After much foot dragging, the Chicago City Council passed what it called an “ATM crime reporting ordinance” Title 4, Chapter 4, Section 305.ix Subsection 60 (a) (ii) of the code states that the owner of a “remote service terminal” shall keep a record for each terminal of

Information on any criminal or threatening activity occurring at the remote terminal site, such information obtained either through actual knowledge or through police reports.

Subsection b of the code requires the terminal owner to provide copies of these records to the city clerk who keeps the records. The head of the committee who drafted the legislation was Ed Burke.

What was never explained to the public is that there is no penalty for failure to keep track of these crimes and report them; no one is assigned to enforce the statute in the first place; the city clerk’s office has no ability to share the data with the police department since the data being provided is not kept in an electronic format. (Weak as the statute is, there was still voluntary compliance on the part of some ATM owners. The data that were gathered by this method showed far higher numbers than that gathered by the Chicago PD.) So what was the purpose of the statute in the first place other than to fool the public into believing the city was taking care of it?

In 1996, the Illinois General Assembly passed the Automated Teller Machine Security Act.x The act supersedes all home rule ordinances on ATM safety and sets standards for lighting, landscaping and location – it also cut the complying banks a major gift by exempting them from being sued when harm does come to their ATM customers. However, the act did not mandate those standards be adopted on any ATM in the state. And, so long as any ATM owner is in “substantial compliance” with the standards, the owner has tort immunity, so there is no reason to ever try to improve customer safety. Prior to this, ATM owners were treated like everyone else who operated a business. Prior to the passage of the Automated Teller Machine Security Act, banks were under the same general obligation to make their premises reasonably safe against foreseeable injuries to their customers.

People don’t truly understand, in detail, how lobbying works in the banking industry. Let’s say that “Senator Strange Bedfellow” proposes a bill that is opposed by the banking industry. The good senator receives an invitation to dinner and things are explained to the senator thusly: 5

“Senator, you can push that bill if you want, but you will find yourself being challenged in your next primary by a very well funded opponent, you’ll also face a well funded challenger in the general election. While your constituents may not want to switch parties in the general election, they could easily decide to elect someone else in your primary. Further, we’ll do the exact same thing to your ten closest allies in the legislature and we will make sure they know you are the reason we are doing it. You can either play ball with us, or there won’t be any reason for you to bother remaining in office anyway. You may now signify you understand this by paying for my dinner.” xi

Crime Deterrence 101: Are you better off with it or without it?

Emergency PINs have been used for a long time. They are used in home alarm systems, government buildings, and commercial settings of all sorts and in the military. Even the guy who loads cash into the ATM has an emergency PIN system to call for help. Are you better off with a chance to call for help or, as is the case now, no chance whatsoever to call for help? To be worse off, there would have to be more people murdered because of the presence of the system than are saved by it. It’s certainly true that if your PIN is ABCD and your emergency PIN is EFGH, then you might forget your emergency PIN years later when it is needed. But, if a person has a way to remember something, even years later, the odds of them using it when needed radically improve.

Anyone who took 5th grade music should remember “Every Good Boy Deserves Favor.” It’s a mnemonic for the five major chords, E, G, B, D and F. Every 4th grade art student should remember “Roy G. Biv” the seven primary colors, Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, Blue, Indigo and Violet. Since most of these crimes begin as carjackings or home invasions, the criminal has to drive to the ATM. A lot of time passes between the shock of the initial assault and the point when the victim has to give up the PIN. This gives victims the time to get their wits about them. The criminal cannot kill the victim before the cash comes out of the ATM without losing the cash. And once the cash has come out of the ATM, no matter what threats were made, the police might be on their way. This makes it a “grab the money and run” situation instead of a murder. Even if one victim does not use the system when needed, another will, and eventually, the criminal who continues this crime pattern will be caught. That saves future victims.

There are a lot of false and unfair claims being made about the reverse emergency PIN system and why it hasn’t been adopted. Here’s a list of them and their sources that illustrate how subtle and not so subtle they can be:

1) The Illinois Office of Banks and Real Estatexii did an official report on the reverse PIN system. It claims that the reverse emergency PIN system would be expensive. In the section titled “Computer Interface Barriers” it says: “The physical reconfigurations needed to make changes to machines have been estimated at $1,500 each.“ xiii This was a totally bogus claim because adding the reverse emergency PIN system is actually a pure software upgrade. This is why there is no mention of what the “physical reconfigurations” are. Industries regularly complain about high cost for safety improvements of any kind when government mandates safety changes. Unlike other states, Illinois does not make it a felony or even a misdemeanor for a government official


to lie in an official report. This was done without my input and since I am the inventor that seems unfair. Two other government sources, the Federal Trade Commission and the Georgia Senate, both describe the reverse emergency PIN system as pure software.xiv Diebold, according to the FTC report, says that the system is a software upgrade installed on the Host Security Module. That software is on a computer that runs thousands of other ATMs, not part of an ATM.

2) Unlike Illinois, the U.S. government does make it a felony to lie in an official report. The FTC report (which was supposed to be written with the assistance of the Secret Service and the US Attorney General’s Office) cites the Illinois numbers as to cost, but does not claim they are valid. That way, responsibility for that claim remains with Illinois. This does not prevent the FTC report from expressing negative and unjustified opinions. The report makes much of long response time being a drawback, but does not mention that the average response time to a crime in progress is four minutes. The average ATM transaction takes 1.5 minutes. That leaves the criminal 2.5 minutes, on average, to get as far from the victim as he can. Further, since the entire patrol area would be alerted to a call of this nature, even if he gets away from the ATM before the police arrive, he still has to get past any other police patrols he passes. This is the kind of thing that the Attorney General’s office should have raised in the report. Section 508 of the Credit Card Act directs the FTC to give an estimate as to cost of installing the reverse emergency PIN system, but none is given. The FTC simply ignored the law.

3) A Forbes Magazine article from 2004 claims that “…Zingher may soon find himself wrestling with the Big Blue [IBM], rather than counting greenbacks.” xv In the original version of this article, Forbes had a link to IBM’s U.S. patent 6,679,422. When it was pointed out that the patent was only for a secondary cash box to be filled with marked bills, they changed the link to IBM’s homepage. They’ve now removed even that link. They’ve never corrected the claims made in this article.

4) Snopes.com xvi , a web site that claims to debunk urban myths, has faithfully reported every negative claim made about the reverse emergency PIN system, but never interviewed me, the inventor of the system, though given the opportunity and does not cite any claims made about the possible benefits. Their position, like the banks’, seems to be “We don’t know how many could or couldn’t use the system when needed therefore no one should have it.”

Bad things keep happening to legislators who propose tracking ATM connected crimes or adopting emergency PINs for ATM users.

In 1987, U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi, (D-Brooklyn), an honoree in the Policeman’s Hall of Fame, proposed House Resolution785, which would have required the FBI to evaluate alternative emergency PIN systems for ATM users and have them keep track of forced withdrawals. The bill was up before the House Urban Affairs, Judiciary and Banking committees. It died in committee without ever being called for hearings. This is surprising since Biaggi was in the majority party at the time. It was routed off to an ad hoc committee on constitutional rights, though what constitutional rights would be involved with tracking crime patterns and studying emergency 7

PIN systems is hard to explain. Six months later, Biaggi was indicted on a RICO charge in the Wedtech Scandal and lost his primary. The Wedtech Scandal was a fraud committed upon the Small Business Administration by Jon Neuberger, who owned a majority of the Wedtech stock. The contracts Wedtech received were intended for minority-owned businesses. Neuberger was not a member of any minority. xvii Biaggi was convicted on the strength of just one witness against him, Anthony Guariglia, the CEO of Wedtech, who was himself under indictment. Guariglia was later convicted of perjury for his testimony in the Wedtech case.xviii Biaggi still maintains his innocence.

Illinois State Representative Connie Howard proposed HB 1963 in 2009 and a similar bill, HB3914, in 2011. If enacted, these laws would have made forced-ATM withdrawals a distinct felony and the state would have automatically started tracking the problem. Within six months of proposing HB1963, the U.S. Attorney’s Office began an investigation of her and her AIDS awareness program, “Let’s Talk, Let’s Test.” Within six months of proposing HB3914, she was under subpoena for her use of educational grant money.xix

Phil Journey, the proponent of the Kansas crime statute SB438, found himself facing a well-funded challenger in his primary and was out in the next election.

Following the murder of Lily Burk, Greig Smith of the Los Angeles City Council and an LA Reserve Policeman, proposed making an emergency PIN system mandatory on all ATMs in the city, an act that the city had the right to do under its home rule powers. Smith was then challenged and replaced in his next primary by another Republican who won the seat. (True, this wouldn’t have tracked the problem, but it would have drawn public attention to the overall question. xx)

Law School 101: You can always buy your way out

All of the above makes no sense if one accepts the banking industry’s claim that it wants to protect its customers – which most corporations really want to do. In first year law school, professors warn you about the one time when this isn’t true – when the business has integrated the cost of litigation as part of its overhead.xxi ATM owners get sued all the time. Attorneys even advertise it.xxii This is because the ATM is a business premise, like a grocery store. The banks control location, hours of operation, method of operation and they make very large profits from them. Because of this, they are obliged to make their place of business as safe as reasonably possible.xxiii The problem is that the business model encourages violent crime, not just against the ATM customer, but against the general public as well. Even people who are not willing to carry ATM cards end up being attacked in the mere hope that they have one, such as Lily Burk.

This is a good place for a law school hypothetical the “Empty Building Problem” used to illustrate intentional – malicious harm on the part of a property owner. xxiv It goes like this. Say there’s an empty building with no lock on the door, no lights and no fence around it. One day, a woman’s body is found in the building. The police investigate and conclude she had been abducted off the street, taken to the building, robbed, raped and murdered. They advise the owner to put a lock on the door and to put up some lights and a fence. He ignores their advice. The first time it happens is the first time it happened, so it was a surprise to everyone and the 8

owner is blameless. But then it happens again. And again. And it keeps happening. Eventually, not only is the owner sued, the building is condemned and the owner ends up being indicted. When the Empty Building problem occurs in real life, it stops quickly because the police track the murders that have happened there, so the owner or the police will take steps to fix the problem. But, with the ATM, no one has been keeping track. Each time it happens is the first time it ever happened as far as police records go.

Data mining 101: Dawn of the Dead

“Data mining” was unheard of at the time the ATM was introduced, but great strides have been made in the last 30 years to digitize police records. The computerization of police records has opened the door to two methods of data mining. It is now possible to go back through files and find these cases. The easiest method is a meta-search. By searching the files for “ATM” and then overlaying the crime codes for murder, abduction, rape, carjacking, home invasion and missing persons-involuntary, the crime analyst can capture data going back as far as the records allow. One such search by the Rockford Illinois Police Department showed three murders out of 102 covering a five-year period, where the suspect was known to have used the victim’s ATM card.xxv That extrapolates to at least 22 murders per year in Illinois and 500 per year nationwide. That number could be much higher though.xxvi Assuming that the Rockford data is normal for the country as a whole, then, the lowest possible number for the national U.S. murder rate would be 500 victims per year. xxviiMeasured from Sept 11th, 2001, that would be 6,000 murders. America went to war over 3,000 murders, but for some reason, doesn’t even bother to count these murders. Rockford is not the only place such data are available though.

The second method is geographic coding. Geographic coding is nothing more than taking an address or list of addresses and overlaying crime codes against it to see what crimes occurred and where. What has held that back is that most crime analysts simply don’t realize how easy it is to get a master list of ATM addresses in the state or the entire country for that matter. The entire ATM industry is essentially one vast undertaking by thousands of partners; banks, ATM owners and ATM data processing companies. Mere possession of that list gives the analyst all crimes connected to ATMs, at no cost. Getting that list is as easy as asking for it from any victim’s bank. The entire ATM industry must share all ATM locations with all partners in order to approve any ATM transaction.


Don’t expect to see any action being taken by Congress or any of the states. If there were a comprehensive study done of any major state, the data would lead to more and more questions being asked about why it went undisclosed for so long. The mindset of the politician is to just hold tight and let it blow over as it has in the past. If the families of these victims understood what had been going on, they would certainly blame their elected officials for letting their loved ones be murdered and helping the banks hide the body count. What these victims don’t realize is that they are not alone. Tens of thousands of others have been abused just as they were. In a very real sense, the exposure of the data amounts to “Dawn of the Dead” for the ATM industry, with all the victims coming up out of the ground and all of them pointing an accusing finger at 9

individual politicians who are still in office. The data in this article are the best data now publicly available only because of politics.

In Memoriam

Nancy Bochicchio and daughter Joey, age 7 Dec 2007 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/23759073/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/t/police-hunt-boca-raton-killer-moms-child/

Kevin Thompson, in April 2011Anniston Star – Defense lawyer worried about trial date for man charged with murder

Joshua Deas and Kenneth Simmons March 2013 http://www.abcactionnews.com/dpp/news/region_east_hillsborough/seffner/arrest-made-in-seffner-double-murder

James Brotherton Nov 2011 http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20111129/ARTICLE/111129550

Carol & Reggie Sumner 2005 http://staugustine.com/stories/050407/news_4575213.shtml

Michael Sawyer (perpetrators were Duffield and Turner) June 1999 http://qphox4.com/mike/txtfilee.html

Ethalya Faye Jones March 2013 http://www.cfnews13.com/content/news/cfnews13/news/article.html/content/news/articles/cfn/2013/3/19/cocoa_murder_surrend.html

Robert L Dockens (Oct. 26, 2012) – http://www.wcjb.com/local-news/2012/10/murder-suspect-arrested-victim-identified

Joseph Morrissey April 2010 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Dateline-NBC-Reports-on-Local-Case-of-Joe-Morrissey-the-Nova-Southeastern-University-Professor-Murdered-in-Plantation-202378571.html

Janet Acosta May 2000 http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/050200/met_2959628.html

Salvador Machado December 2007 http://www.wsvn.com/news/articles/local/MI71828/

Cheryl Dunlap Dec 2007 http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=4010778&page=1

Diane Miller 2006 http://www.ocala.com/article/20080120/NEWS/801200341

Linda Volum 2005 http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/case_updates/Htm/J29603.htm

Lorraine Pezza 1991 http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/case_updates/Htm/941687.htm

Michele O’Dowd Dec 2011 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/Murdered-Florida-Womans-Body-Found-Under-Christmas-Gifts-135096168.html

Jason Erichowsky and Janice Bianchi 2009 http://www.naplesnews.com/news/2011/oct/30/man-accused-of-killing-burying-couple-in-san-to/?print=1

Elizabeth Kenna, 24, and her unborn child 2006 http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2006-05-18/news/0605171493_1_seat-belt-atm-card-body

Dr. William Norman July 2012 http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-07-12/news/fl-william-norman-mourning-20120712_1_andarly-desir-murder-victim-davie-canal

Police Officer Al Gordon June 2009 http://blogs.orlandosentinel.com/news_homicide/2009/07/accused-copkiller-found-guilty-of-firstdegree-murder.html

Randi Gorenberg Mar 2007 http://www.nbcnews.com/id/24920708/ns/dateline_nbc-crime_reports/t/terror-mall/

Traci Burchette 2001 http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/case_updates/htm/121605.htm 10

i Congressional Record of July 30, 1986, pp 18232, Statement of U.S. Rep. Mario Biaggi; New York City and Chicago both issued reports in 1990 in response to high profile murder cases. (not online) Other reports have been done by Georgia, http://www.senate.ga.gov/sro/Documents/StudyCommRpts/06AtmSafetyRpt.pdf and Illinois http://www.obre.state.il.us/agency/news/atmrpt.htm all recommending that forced withdrawals be tracked. The one exception to this was a report done by the Federal Trade Commission, which was supposed to be getting the assistance of the Attorney General and the U.S. Secret Service. The study was done pursuant to “THE CREDIT CARD ACCOUNTABILITY RESPONSIBILITY AND DISCLOSURE ACT OF 2009 REPORT ON EMERGENCY TECHNOLOGY FOR USE WITH ATMs” http://ftc.gov/os/2010/05/100504creditcardreport.pdf Section 508 of the act directs the Federal Trade Commission to do the report, “in consultation with” the Attorney General and the U.S. Secret Service, http://www.govtrack.us/congress/bills/111/hr627/text. In spite of all the assets available to the Attorney General, the report asserts that the data are “unavailable” yet makes no recommendation that it be tracked. Contrary to the directions of the act, it does not analyze the cost of installing an emergency PIN system. Instead it does a summary of trade journal articles. It is difficult to see how the Attorney General’s Office could miss that. http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2010/05/07/ftc-atm-emergency-pin-study-takes-year-says-little/

ii http://www.ajc.com/news/news/local/gary-michael-hilton-gets-4-life-sentences/nXYP8/

iii http://www.nbcnews.com/id/24920708/

iv http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruce_Mendenhall

Elizabeth Uptagrafft Jan 2007 http://www.wftv.com/news/news/police-chief-calls-daytona-beach-murder-suspects-s/nJp5Z/

Lori McRae 1995 http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/inmate-details.cfm?id=236

Leonard & Esther Wayne 1986 http://www.floridacapitalcases.state.fl.us/case_updates/Htm/021641.htm

Randy Kidd 1991 http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/1991-08-16/news/9101310312_1_death-penalty-anthony-davis-davis-didn-t

Johnny Lester Cole 2010 http://jacksonville.com/news/crime/2010-11-01/story/jacksonville-police-arrest-14-year-old-slaying-separate-homicide-arrest

Willie James Davis 2005 http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/062805/met_19106975.shtml

Liz Reed, Glenn Pafford & Courtney Smith 2005 http://jacksonville.com/tu-online/stories/092705/met_19879016.shtml

Virginia Harritt 2011 http://www.news4jax.com/news/Police-Woman-Possibly-Witnessed-Slaying/-/475880/2100790/-/a3kdx/-/index.html

Blake and Mary Jo Hadley Aug 2011 http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2012/jun/29/newly-released-evidence-hadley-planned-a-second/

Josiah Saintil, 2012 (2 months old, mother escaped) http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-06-02/news/fl-baby-josiah-folo-20120602_1_car-seat-josiah-friend

Chung Kim Nov 2011 http://www.tcpalm.com/news/2011/dec/14/grand-jury-indicts-vero-beach-man-in-stabbing-of/

Vincent Binder Feb 2013 http://www.wctv.tv/news/headlines/93422719.html

Peggy Mehrman 2009 http://www.theledger.com/article/20090925/news/909259962

Dontavious James Griffin, 2008 http://www.theledger.com/article/20120118/news/120119301

Ana Maria Angel 2002 http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2012-09-21/news/fl-ana-maria-angel-trial-restarts-20120921_1_circuit-judge-william-thomas-victor-caraballo-cesar-mena

Irene Kertesz 2011 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local/Son-Accused-of-Killing-Mom-Just-Snapped-Report-127534243.html

Goldie Robinson July 2011 http://articles.orlandosentinel.com/2010-09-07/news/os-goldie-robinson-autopsy-20100907_1_underbrush-and-palmettos-murder-case-hinges-suspicious-death 11

v http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2005-03-28/news/0503280256_1_kidnappers-off-duty-kidnapping-plot

vi http://ftc.gov/os/2010/05/100504creditcardreport.pdf and http://www.obre.state.il.us/agency/news/atmrpt.htm

vii http://www.kansas.gov/government/legislative/bills/2004/438.pdf and http://ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=3914&GAID=11&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=62721&SessionID=84&GA=97 and http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/BillStatus.asp?DocNum=4155&GAID=8&DocTypeID=HB&LegId=22077&SessionID=50&GA=94 and http://ilga.gov/legislation/fulltext.asp?DocName=09600HB1963ham001&GA=96&SessionId=76&DocTypeId=HB&LegID=43869&DocNum=1963&GAID=10&Session=

viii http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1989-10-29/news/8901260525_1_lee-harris-police-charges


x http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=1209&ChapterID=20

xi To understand how concentrated and far reaching the power of the banking industry is, you have to have context. There are roughly 6,000 FDIC insured institutions in the United States. http://seekingalpha.com/article/271658-number-of-u-s-banks-drop-by-77-in-first-quarter

This is a list of the top 25 largest banks in the United States. http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0763206.html The top four banks in the United States each has between $2.3 trillion and $1.4 trillion in assets. The 25th largest bank on that list has $98 billion. To put that in perspective, if the American banking industry were an aquarium, it would be four blue whales, 21 dolphins and 5,975 gold fish. After the Carr Brothers series in Wichita, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wichita_Massacre I visited banks in Wichita and spoke to them about using the reverse emergency PIN system to deter such crimes in the future. It was explained to me, in the most sympathetic terms, that the banking industry is run from the top down and is better regimented than the U.S. Army could hope to be. No one can afford to offend the top banks in the industry. Any bank that adopts the system without the approval of the top banks will be excommunicated from the ATM network. Their service providers will not cooperate and even if they go in-house with their data processing, the rest of the ATM industry will cut them off. They don’t even have to explain it. All ATM contracts have a 30-day notice of withdrawal clause. This allows the bank or the ATM processor to end its contracts just by giving notice. If pressured to explain, no law requires them to explain truthfully. They can just say “We found their account security procedures inadequate” and that’s it. (The same holds true when customers ask at their local bank about getting the reverse PIN service. Some have been claiming it’s impossible to make it work. As deceptive as the FTC report was, even it acknowledged that it’s just a software change on the Host Security Module.) In short, the renegade bank’s ATM cards will be useless and no bank can survive without an ATM card for its customers. ALL of this power is concentrated in the hands of the board of directors of each the top four banks. This is why there have been so many catastrophes in the banking industry over the last 20 years. Everyone is marching to the same tune and when one slips, they all do. “It’s da Chicago Way!”

xii Now the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

xiii http://www.popcenter.org/problems/robbery_atms/PDFs/OBRE.htm The original has been taken offline by the State of Illinois after complaints about its accuracy. http://www.obre.state.il.us/agency/news/atmrpt.htm.

xiv http://ftc.gov/os/2010/05/100504creditcardreport.pdf and http://www.senate.ga.gov/sro/Documents/StudyCommRpts/06AtmSafetyRpt.pdf

xv http://www.forbes.com/2004/01/28/cz_tk_0128pin.html

xvi http://www.snopes.com/business/bank/pinalert.asp

xvii http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wedtech 12

xviii http://www.nytimes.com/1991/06/01/nyregion/court-overturns-convictions-of-3-in-wedtech-case.html

xix http://chicagoist.com/2012/07/25/state_rep_connie_howard_resigns_ami.php and http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2012-07-24/news/ct-met-state-lawmaker-grants-20120725_1_state-grants-grant-payments-million-grant

xx http://articles.latimes.com/2009/sep/02/local/me-lily-burk2

xxi http://www.atmmarketplace.com/article/138090/Consultants-Call-for-Increased-ATM-Security-Measures

What gives it away as a business integration issue is the complete lack of any appellate court opinions in any state concerning the bank’s responsibility for injuries in forced-withdrawal cases. ATMs have now been around for over 45 years. The only way this could happen is if the banks follow standard business procedure and settle the case before an appeals court issues an opinion that would expose the issue to personal injury attorneys. Banks always include a confidentiality agreement so that if the victims or the victims’ families ever talk about the case again, they have to give back the money. In essence, after grinding down the family through years of litigation at the trial stage, they finally make a reasonable offer to settle a wrongful death case. But, the plaintiff’s attorney does not recognize that this is the bank’s weakest point also. For 45 years, every case that made it through the trial court phase has been settled because it had to be settled. Even a ruling in favor of the bank would be so riddled with error that it would be more of an embarrassment than a victory.

xxiii http://www.isenberg-hewitt.com/Attorneys/Melvin-L-Hewitt-Jr.shtml ; http://www.victimaid.com/lawyer-attorney-1855779.html ; http://www.hannonboyers.com/lawyer-attorney-1873269.html

xxiv http://tortssymposium.law.wfu.edu/papers/owen.pdf

xxv Natasha Cleary and her two children. Five years is considered the “gold standard” for academic studies of crime. http://www.rrstar.com/news/x132152482/Rockford-police-Someone-used-shooting-victim-s-debit-card#axzz2V4n4NtMJ

xxvii The actual Rockford number could have been twice that though as there were eight total cases that involved ATMs and only four were closed out. The remaining four cases were still open and therefore not subject to a Freedom of Information Act request. This method would also not find cases where the killer’s intention was to force an ATM withdrawal, but no withdrawal occurred either because there was no cash in the account or the victim did not carry an ATM card in the first place. Only about 50 percent of the potential ATM card market has been achieved nationwide, so that means that about half the time when an attempt is made, the victim didn’t even have a card. That doesn’t mean the victim won’t be killed though.

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