Tuesday, July 31, 2007

And Lie They Did...

From the Penthouse... to the Million Dollar house in Norfolk... Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes spread plenty of lies:

Lie #1: Harlow stating he was 19 from 2002-2007.

Lie #2: Joe ( aka Mark/Trent ) stating he was 24 from 2002-2007.

Lie #3: Penthouse accommodations at Hague Towers in Norfolk, when in fact it was a regular apartment on floor 20. ( the penthouses are on floor 21 - 4 of them ).

Lie #4: Million Dollar house in Norfolk... even though it was actually in Virginia Beach, and worth less than $500,000.00.

Lie #5: Harlow about his size... it magically grows from 8" to 9+"

... and this is just a small sample of lies made before the murder... now they expect everyone to believe their 'truth' after the murder? Even if they do take the stand, Harlow and Joe's credibility at telling the truth is pretty-much shot.

- PC

Defense Strategy #1: We Lied

Assuming a trial does come in this case, there is going to be a point where counsel for Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes will admit that their clients lied. In court, the need for that admission is going to be ineluctable.

Right now, the defense’s story has too many contradictions to hang together, and as we go along it’s not likely to get much more coherent. The only way around the inconsistencies is the eventual confession: You got us. We lied.

The question is: which bits were the lies?

Let’s assume that Joe Kerekes told the truth to the Times Leader in his jailhouse interview. That sets off a chain-reaction of problems (as previously discussed... twice.) In that instance, lawyers for him and for Mr. Cuadra will have to admit at trial that the pair lied to Mr. Lockhart right after the killing, saying “I guess my guy went overboard.” They’ll also have to confess that the two conversations on the San Diego beaches were complete hooey. Can you forgive us, Sean and Grant? We were just trying to sound cool.

The press interviews that Mr. Cuadra gave in early February—the ones where we said he had no connection to Kocis? Well, they’ll have to admit that those contained that teensy little fib, too. Media dudes, you got played. Sorry. My bad. Maybe talk to Joe next time.

But, hark, perhaps that’s the key. I mean, maybe Mr. Kerekes didn’t lie to that TL reporter, after all.

Of course, that’s no comfort to the media dudes who got played back in February: Standing on a guy’s stoop and looking at his freshly murder corpse... you sorta gotta feel a ‘connection’ there, eh? You news guys are used to being lied to, though, right?

And regardless of whether or not Mr. Kerekes told the truth in the jail cell, does the defense really want to go with the notion that these are two honest lads... and that they told the truth to Lockhart and Roy on the beach in La Jolla?

Or is it going to be: No, we lied when we lied but not when we didn’t, so you jurors just have to trust that we’re not lying when we say we didn’t kill that guy. And, right now, we're not lying. I swear. Really. Cuz... why would we lie?

That’s some defense.


Monday, July 30, 2007

Fire & Water & Rubber Boots: The Case For Trace Evidence

It is a commonplace by now that the investigation into Bryan Kocis’ murder did not stop on 15 May (when the affidavit of probable cause was filed.) And something else we can pretty safely count on is that the affidavit does not contain every last shred of evidence the police thought the had against Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes.

The affidavit was written to get two guys arrested, not to convict them.

It’s not an undue presumptive jump, then, to the conclusion that right now there’s more evidence kicking around than we know about. Granted, much of it is peculiar to the case at hand, and will be news to us once we hear it (if we hear it.)

But there are classes of evidence that are routine: the stuff that the police almost certainly have—or tried like hell to get. Perhaps then, we can speculate about that evidence with reasonable propriety.

The foremost class of such thingies about which we have heard nary a peep about (thus far) goes by the overall name ‘trace evidence.’

Crime writer Katherine Ramsland: “No matter how much someone tries to clean up a crime scene, something is generally left behind. It may not always be detected, but it's difficult to take any kind of violent action without shedding something.”

Trace evidence includes fibers, hairs, fluids, shoe prints, palm and/or fingerprints, natural materials like plant matter and/or rocks, tire tracks... all of it.

And not a bit of it was mentioned in that affidavit.

Of course not, I hear you saying, that’s because there isn’t any. Surely, you continue, the fire and the subsequent Stampede of the Volunteer Firemen destroyed it all.

Granted, maybe that’s true; fires and fire-hoses and firemen all play havoc with fragile evidence. But we do know that the fire was only started in one place—“the rear of a living room couch/loveseat in very close proximity to the couch on which the victim was found deceased.”

Plus, the number and variety of items missing from the house informs us that the killer(s) roamed all over that house.

The farther the bad guys strayed from what was to become the hottest part of that fire, the more likely that some manner of trace evidence was recovered.

It also seems axiomatic that the more hurried the burglary (after Mr. Kocis’ quick demise), the more likely that something was shed. And there, the tight timeline likewise points toward the prospect of a less-than-antiseptic heist.

So then, if they indeed did this thing, should Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes be certain that they left behind no sign?

You can be sure that their lawyers share no such surety. They know better.

As forensic-science pioneer Edmond Locard put it, "[t]his is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong, it cannot perjure itself, it cannot be wholly absent."


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Interview, Surveillance & "I'm Not Afraid"

During his jailhouse interview with Ed Lewis, Joe Kerekes says “I’m not afraid of what they heard”, regarding the infamous recordings at Black's Beach ... which he accuses Lockhart of wearing ' bugged sun glasses '.

So let's review what's in the affidavit about the recordings, and see how afraid Joe should be:

The affidavit reads that while on the beach, Grant asked Cuadra and Kerekes if Kocis "felt any pain" and at that, the pair fell silent. Finally, Cuadra apparently leaned in to whisper to Lockhart, "don't worry he went quick."

Yet according to Joe's interview... Harlow stopped at the front door, looked inside and saw a body on the coach or chair. So did Harlow witness the murder as soon as he got to the front door? If so, why didn't he call the police? And how did he know 'he went quick'?

The next day at Black's Beach, according to the affidavit, Cuadra talks about being present when the victim was murdered. Cuadra and Kerekes continue to talk about the records being taken, viewing master tapes, and destroying evidence as they would be considered "proof". Cuadra also describes the victim's Rolex and the initials on the back. The conversation continues with both Cuadra and Kerekes mentioning that they also took and destroyed several computers from the victim's residence.

If Cuadra never went inside the house, only stopping at the front door... how could he and Kerekes have possession of this property, or know about the initials on the back of Kocis' Rolex? Did the 'real' killer leave it all at the front door and go upstairs, while Harlow shows up and just decides to pack it all in the SUV, then flee after smelling smoke and hearing a noise?

The affidavit continues with how Cuadra and another "did some recon work" at Kocis' house... describing how the victim's door did not have a peephole, and how it had some square windows at the top but Kocis was not tall enough to see through them. Cuadra continued; "It was quick," he said. "He never saw it coming."

Doesn't everybody do 'recon work' on someones house you plan to visit for a simple business meeting? And there's Harlow assuming again about the death of Kocis since he never actually entered the house according to Joe's interview.

According to the affidavit, Kerekes mentions Kocis having a contract prepared, and continuing the meeting even though they thought Kocis knew Cuadra's real identity. Cuadra described himself inside Kocis house, sharing wine with Kocis, to which Kerekes said he thought Cuadra "slipped something" in Kocis' drink, and then at some point, the doorbell rang, "and that was it".

Kerekes sure seems to have a lot of input for someone that says he was never at Kocis' house. There's also mention in the affidavit of Kocis stumbling around... did he stumble to the door and open it up, or did Cuadra ( letting Joe in )?

It's also observed from the affidavit that at some point, Kocis picked up the phone and Cuadra's "dude" "came around", and "it was crazy". And Cuadra talked about watching Kocis die. "Actually, it's sick, but it made me feel better inside," Cuadra said. "It almost felt like I got revenge."

Well if Joe was actually at the Inn checking his emails, who's "dude"? Did Harlow pick someone up on his way over to Kocis?

Cuadra and Kerekes also describe the interior of the residence, specifically a high-end home entertainment center. Both also indicated that Kocis wanted Cuadra to "move in", and described an upstairs bedroom within the residence.

Since Joe denies being at the house, and states Cuadra stopped at the front door... perhaps Cuadra asked the person he heard upstairs to shout down a description?

In the same interview with Ed Lewis, Joe says "Cuadra arrived at the motel room and they quickly checked out. They drove onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike when Kerekes said Cuadra told him what he saw at Kocis’ home."

So after traveling for more than 6 hours to get there, a paid motel room, and a bottle of Dom PĂ©rignon... you're going to pack up and leave immediately only to wait until you're on the Turnpike to find out why?

If I where Joe, or Harlow for that matter... I'd be very afraid. Now it is entirely possible that the surveillance data will not be allowed as evidence during the trial... the defense better hope so.

- PC

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Correction

Newspapers usually bury their corrections on an inside page, hoping no one will notice. This blog is not a newspaper.

Due to an editorial error, we referred to the person known as 'Renee' or 'Ree,' who has been blogging at HarlowCuadraOnline.com, as Mr. Cuadra's mother in a story published here on 25 July 2007. We can no longer properly make that claim, as the inferential evidence that supported it has now been withdrawn.

We regret the error.

PC & I also wish to reiterate our confidence in all other facts contained in the 25 July story. The sources for those assertions have not wavered, even under the broad-based criticism leveled at them since we published those facts.

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Point of Detail

Throughout this controversy-turned-killing, the exact status of Mr. Lockhart’s business relationship to Bryan Kocis (and Brent Corrigan’s relationship to Cobra Video LLC) has driven errant speculation from all sides. And one matter of particular interest is whether or not Cobra Video’s position that it owned the name ‘Brent Corrigan’ is or was a viable one.

Short answer: Federal Trademark records indicate that Cobra does not own that name, at least not yet.

We can all agree that gay porn is a global business, but Mr. Kocis’ legal quest to own the name that had made him so much cash was just a little more parochial: he sought to get a Federal Trademark on it, filing the paperwork with the US government in August, 2005.

Kocis didn’t live to see the birth of a creature with the monicker Brent Corrigan®.

In the above screen-capture (from the Fed. Trademark database), note line #79: The number is the serial number. If the trademark had been approved, there would also be a second number (the Registration number) beside it (like on lines #80, 81, and 83.)

The next screen-cap shows the details of the application. As you can see, there’s no Registration Number there either. While the application is still ‘Live,’ it appears that the Federal Trademark has not been granted, as of 27 July 2007.

So, now we know.


Thursday, July 26, 2007

So what is the true value of Harlow & Joe's House...

There's been several statements made in the blogsphere that the 1028 Stratem Court residence could be valued at $750,000.00

Let's take a look at reality...

Harlow and Joe's real estate assessment on the home they bought 12/2005. It's been stated by others that the assessed value is $578,000.00... that is incorrect:

The official Virginia Beach assessment clearly shows that not only is the house assessed at $542,683.00, but that it actually lost value from the year before.

"It's appraised at $750,000.00" some claim. Guess it must be the leather swing in the living room, because the builder is selling the last 2 homes ( that were built this year ) for $489,900.00, not to mention the somewhat recent sale at 1021 Stratem Court for $480,000.00 on 01/26/2007:

'New' Home listing:

Even though Harlow and Joe did take out a Home Equity Loan for around $50,000.00 ... I seriously doubt the improvements would justify an extra $250,000-$300,000.00 increase in price over other homes sold, or currently for sale in this small 16 home community. It's already well known that the real estate market in this area has pretty much grinded to a halt.

This does appear to be a blessing in disguise... would you pay $750,000.00? If so... Renee has a house for you.

- PC

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

New Info: No Blessing In Sight

Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes are not going to lose their half-million-dollar house in Virginia Beach after all—or at least, not to the Commonwealth.

In a remarkable reversal, Virginia state prosecutors are poised to back away from plans to seize the home on Stratem Court, according to a law enforcement source close to the Virginia state RICO investigation. The Commonwealth has been looking into what they say was a prostitution and money-laundering operation that Cuadra and Kerekes ran for several years and has been busily freezing all of their assets.

But it seems that due to Cuadra’s and Kerekes’ other debts (including a second mortgage on the home in question) the house holds “little to no equity” to be seized. In short, the home where the accused killers lived before their May arrests is just not worth the Commonwealth’s time to take away.

As posted previously on this blog, credit records show that the jailed pair owes nearly a million dollars in mortgages, auto loans and credit-card bills. But that didn’t keep Virginia authorities from entering the Stratem Court house and carting away everything from plasma TVs to a necklace that dangles a tiny golden cross—all of it taken when Cuadra and Kerekes were arrested on murder charges earlier this year.

Authorities had originally planned to take everything else of value, as well: the bling, the computers, “the hot tub and everything attached to it.” But they're passing on the house.

The lack of equity in the house casts gloom on the defense funds that both men's families have been loudly touting online. In fact, Harlow’s 'bloggist' Renee wrote online about a coming ‘blessing’ just this week. If news of the return of the house is what she’s been awaiting, she will find it to be a blessing that’s terribly well-disguised.

So perhaps Harlow and Joe and Renee and the rest can celebrate... but only for a little while. Word is, the house that Boybatter built is going back to the bank anyway, and if convicted, the young men who lived in it still face life in prison.

Update: This story was edited on 28 July to correct an error of fact.

-- Both PC & KM contributed to this story.

What Happens on Friday*

*Update (17:21 EDT): Media people in Wilkes-Barre expect the preliminary hearing scheduled for Friday to be continued to a later date yet to be decided.

In a couple of days, on 27 July, Harlow Cuadra and Joe Kerekes are scheduled to be in court for their preliminary hearing. There, the prosecution will seek to verify that there is sufficient probable cause to take the case to trial and (an ancillary point in this case) that the court has jurisdiction over said case.

The local magistrate presides over the prelim, not the eventual trial judge. Some witnesses will likely be called-- usually it's policemen-- and they will surely be cross-examined by the defense.

As such, this will be the first peek into what police have come up with since filing the criminal complaint and affidavit of probable cause last May. It also will very probably be one of the few times (before trial) that the defense will get to ask direct questions of the police: other communications about the cops' investigative activities coming thereafter indirectly through discovery, or through limited testimony at subsequent evidentiary hearings.

While the prelim looks and sounds a bit like a 'mini-trial,' there is no clear winning or losing other than the court's decision on whether to allow the prosecution to proceed... and that happens just about every time in cases like this one.

Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes will not testify on Friday.

The hearing will not judge guilt or its lack. It just declares 'yea' or 'nay' on continuation of the process.

Now, sometimes defendants waive the preliminary hearing. Cuadra and Kerekes are unlikely to do that, but it happens. Among other reasons, it happens when defendants are trying to curry favor with the magistrate in hopes of a reduction in bail (obviously not applicable here), or in an oblique attempt to cooperate with the prosecution in the early stages of plea negotiations.

In this case, we can be fairly certain that prosecutors have already made their first approaches, fishing for pleas. It's definitely not unheard-of for a defendant to demonstrate a desire to seek to keep that channel open by waiving the prelim, choosing to depend on discovery hearings and assorted pre-trial hearings to flesh out the prosecution's case.

But the complexities of overall trial strategy are for another post.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The Defense: Contracts, Killings & Theories

A perceptive law student from Michigan has taken a look at the Corrigan contract situation, and while he’s focused on studying for the Florida law exam, his conclusions about contract law are broadly applicable.

To wit:

"It’s not clear whether the death of Kocis would relieve Corrigan of his contractual obligations. Cobra Video is an LLC (limited liability [C]ompany), which is a form of corporation. Assuming the contract was between Corrigan and Cobra (with Kocis signing as president, not as an individual–but even if as an individual, there’d be lots of equity problems if Corrigan believed he was doing business with Cobra and not Kocis personally), then the contractual obligation would not disappear on Kocis’s death. Instead, the obligation would continue until the LLC was dissolved, which might happen automatically if the LLC had no members. Based on Kocis’s hermitage, this is likely. Any remaining members would have 90 days to agree in writing to continue the LLC.

“The contract probably require[d] Brent to do a certain number of films for a certain amount of money. [It does. –km] That’s a service contract. If Brent declines to do the films, the court will not order him to perform because that amounts to involuntary servitude and you can only imagine that it would be the worst porn ever (or at least no better than most porns where the actors are just doing it because they have to). The court will, however, forbid a party breaching a service contract from doing any other similar work (especially in direct competition, even if it’s not explicitly in the contract that he can’t work for anyone else, which I’m sure it is) until he does the work for Cobra."

It all goes to motive: whether or not Corrigan and Roy had a financial motive see Mr. Kocis killed.

It’s relevant because, if this thing actually goes to trial, you can bet your left testicle that the defense is going to offer an alternative theory of the crime. And one that would seek to implicate Corrigan and Roy is as likely as not.


Monday, July 23, 2007

IP Evidence and Unfortunate Grandmas

The viability of a great deal of the information contained in the by-now-notorious affidavit of probable cause depends upon law enforcement's ability (or lack of ability) to trace who did what on the Internet and from where. And that gives rise to a couple of concerns for both the prosecution and the defense in this case.

Just how reliable is this kind of Internet evidence?

There have been any number of horror stories of mistaken online identity-- the kind of misunderstandings that send SWAT teams crashing into Grandma's house, convinced that there's child porn on the computer that she uses to email Lemon Square recipes to her sister Flo at the retirement home in Gainesville.

Poor Grandma.

After spinning a few cautionary tales like that, surely a defense attorney can convince a Wilkes-Barre jury that the pile of IP addys that seems to bury Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes really doesn't add up to a hill of cyber beans, right?

Fair enough. The jurors' eyes probably will glaze over a bit when the prosecution hits that part of their case. One imagines that the Commonwealth will use as little of that information as they can get away with.

However, we might properly recall that as recently as a decade ago, much the same was said by court-watchers about DNA evidence: it's too technical; it's too complex; the jury doesn't have that kind of patience; it will never fly, Wilbur.

They were wrong.

But our efforts here are to get at the truth, not just guess a verdict. So, how likely is it that the police are just plain wrong about some of these damning Internet tidbits?

In general, the actual cases of mistaken online identity come from mistakes in reporting from ISPs in answer to the courts' warrants. That is, the police aren't concocting bad evidence-- nor are they seeking after unfounded data-- no, the ISPs are handing out incorrect information that doesn't match what the warrant outlines.

In other words, in a cyber landscape of dynamic IP addresses and 'ghosting', clerical errors at the ISPs really can incorrectly indicate to police that Grandma was indeed downloading naughty .wmvs.

Grab Grandma's heart pills and cue the SWAT team. Poor Grandma.

But how many times in a row is Grandma's door likely to get knocked down? Clercial errors happen at ISP companies just as often as anywhere else. What tends not to happen is a string of clerical errors at different ISP companies in answer to separate warrants served on separate days. Nor does such a multitude of errors (if errors they be) incorrectly resolve itself in such a way as to point at two people, and only two people: in this instance, Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes.

The likelihood of such a massive, utter, simultaneous and concomitant failure of all those ISP companies to properly comply with all those different search warrants... well, it's just a tad far-fetched.


Saturday, July 21, 2007

Joseph Kerekes' email alibi doesn't add up...

In the jailhouse interview Joseph Kerekes did with the Times Leader that was published on Thursday:

"Kerekes said Cuadra left the motel room at 6:30 p.m. to meet with Kocis. Kerekes stayed at the motel using his laptop computer to access his Yahoo e-mail.“That will show I was at the inn,” Kerekes said."

However, after reviewing the affidavit it clearly shows that the last time the Yahoo e-mail account was accessed on the 24th before the murder was at 17:44 ( 5:44 PM ). This is obviously well before Harlow Cuadra supposedly left on his own to meet with Kocis:

Affidavit ( Page 13/Paragraph 4 ):

"On January 24th, 2007 at 17:03:20 EST -500 or 22:03:20 GMT an email was sent from harlowcuadra@excite.com to wade***@hotmail.com. This email was assigned IP adress Twenty three minutes later, 22:26:22 GMT a user logged into the dmbottompa@yahoo.com account fro the same IP adress. Eighteen minutes later, 22:44:38 GMT a user logged into the stareyes23510@yahoo.com account from the same IP address. This IP address was assigned by Sprint Nextel to Harlow Cuadra during this time."

The next documented time the Yahoo email account was accessed was January 24th, 2007 at 20:36:36 EST, this was 2 minutes after the fire department was dispatched to Kocis house, which was at 20:34:00 EST. :

Affidavit ( Page 10/Paragraph 2 ):

"The email archive that was previously listed and located on Item #51 shows the email contact on January 25, 2007 at 01:36:36 GMT or January 24th, 2007 at 20:36:36 EST -0500, an email was sent from party757@yahoo.com to Wade***@hotmail.com. This email was sent from a user assigned IP address The body of this email starts "hi there matt its Harlow...:-) thanks for letting me contact you, don't mean to bother" The message body continues by saying "I am raising 4 K for webmaster school which will send me to ODU and I will get the very best training for where Boybatter is headed", Sprint assigned this IP address to Cuadra's account during these time frames"

The approx. driving time from Kocis house back to the Fox Ridge Inn is stated as 16 minutes... naturally that's assuming you do the speed limit ( KM has stated it's more like 25-30 mins - I'd rather trust him ):

Without knowing the exact time the first call was placed to the Fire Department/911... it's hard to know how long it actually took for the fire department to arrive, and how much time transpired from when the vehicle was seen leaving the scene.

Now if Harlow did write this email... he sure didn't seem to shaken up about seeing a body, smelling smoke, and hearing a noise upstairs at someones house he was supposed to meet a little less than 2 hours earlier. I'm wondering if this email was actually drafted earlier, and then sent at 8:36 PM to make it 'appear' as if they weren't at the scene... the sheer timing seems to coincidental.

This alibi is almost as bad as the one Harlow used about being with a client in Virginia Beach at the time of the murder. Are these guys drawing these things from a hat?

One would assume Joe has read a copy of the affidavit?


Update: km has informed me that the Dallas, PA area would likely be a place where emails could be sent wirelessly... if so... this could be an answer for the time line. Based on the coverage map below, the 20:36:36 email could have easily been sent via laptop while in a vehicle:

Friday, July 20, 2007

What About DNA, Anyway?

Lots of folks are now inquiring about the seeming paucity of DNA evidence in the Kocis murder case. That evidence works so well on Law & Order and CSI, it simply must help us here, right?

So where is the DNA evidence? It's not in the affidavit, that's for sure. There are, however, a couple of things to remember:

1. To keep up with this stuff, we must guard against the mind-set that the investigation stopped the moment police garnered sufficient probable cause for arrests. The Affidavit of Probable Cause is just a snapshot of what reasonably solid evidence police had gathered up until 5-15-07 when the affidavit was filed. Police continued to investigate, and are investigating as you read this.

2. Unlike on TV, DNA evidence takes an incredible amount of time to complete. Twelve weeks or more is typical. Twelve weeks in a state lab with no result, then another 12 weeks at the FBI lab is common. No useful results at all, from either lab, is not unheard of. It's a far more hit-and-miss science than it's portrayed as on TV.

Summed up, it seems clear that the DNA studies are not finished. There's no telling what they will indicate, if anything.

But what about the prospect of blood in the SUV? That doesn't take 12 weeks to find," the multitudes cry.

If Mr. Cuadra and/or Mr. Kerkes did this thing, it would be a big surprise if no blood was found in that SUV. Right now, however, all we can properly presume is that no one's blood was found in the SUV by 5-15-07. And that should come as no shock: PA authorities didn't even know where the SUV came from until they were well into their investigation. They then have had to locate it, search it, plus perform Luminol and fiber tests. To do all that by the time of the arrests is a pretty tall order.

It's safe to say that those tests have been done by now, but we wouldn't know, would we? Rest assured, whatever came of the SUV search will be presented in court by one side or the other.

Overall, the thing to recall is that we're working with a 3-month-old idea of what evidence exists.

Correction: The initial version of this story postulated that no DNA samples had been collected from Cuadra and Kerekes. A media report from 15 March 2007 contradicts that assertion:


I regret the error.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

km decides to join the madness...

I'd like to personally welcome km as an official contributor to this blog. Km brings with him a long history of reputable reporting/news experience ( after all... km is a well respected, retired TV news producer ), and will be a very beneficial partner to the unbiased news, facts, and commentary that this blog is known for.

Welcome km!

... now back to the news ;)


The Questions Kerekes Poses

Joe Kerekes' jailhouse interview provides more questions than answers.

Yesterday, Kerekes told Times Leader reporter Ed Lewis that 'Cuadra set up a meeting with Kocis using a fictitious name in hopes of "winning him over" to their business proposal with Lockhart....'

But why would a fictitious name be helpful in winning Kocis over? Harlow Cuadra already had a small, loyal following of fans from his porn work at Boybatter. Those die-hard fans to be found on Cuadra's blog even now, their ardor undeterred by the host of charges against Mr. Cuadra. Surely providing your own fan-base is more likely to sway a businessman like Mr. Kocis more readily than pretending to be an unknown and batting your lashes over those lovely baby-browns.

Ah, wait. Joe explains: 'they feared Kocis would have rejected their plan because Kocis mainly worked with young men between 18 and 21 years old, and would see Cuadra, 25, as too old for Cobra Video’s target audience.'

Really? Did the plan also call for Mr. Cuadra to present fake ID showing him to be younger than 25 when it came time to pony up proof for the 2257 data? If so, where is this unusual fake ID now? That would be an important bit of evidence to prove these claims.

Pity Mr. Kocis: it seems that when his models aren't lying about being of age, they're lying about being younger than they really are. Or is it more likely that Mr. Cuadra and Mr. Kerekes knew that the meeting with Kocis would never progress to the point that fake ID was required? Isn't it more likely that they were aware that Mr. Kocis would be dead (and on fire) before the charade ever got so far as whipping out IDs? You know... the pair of them having purchased a gun and a knife (for some reason) before they left on their 'tourist' trip to Wilkes-Barre?

From the TL story: Kerekes said Cuadra called him [Kerekes] when he [Cuadra] arrived at Kocis’ home at about 7 p.m. He said he was surprised when Cuadra immediately called him after a few minutes saying... something was wrong and that he was leaving.

According to Kerekes, Cuadra later said he'd smelled smoke and 'heard a noise.'

So, the fire had already started by a few minutes after 7:00 pm? That's odd. In the affidavit, Kocis' attorney, Sean Macias, gave evidence that he spoke with Mr. Kocis on the phone as late as 7:50 pm. Was Mr. Kocis standing in the middle of a raging blaze at the time? Or was he already dead on the couch with 'someone' making noises on the second floor of his house? Or does Mr. Kerekes need a timeline scribbled on his palm the next time he decides to talk to a reporter?

Then, of course, is the matter of that pesky 'light-colored SUV' seen fleeing the scene of the murder at approx. 8:20 pm-- fully an hour later than Kerekes has Cuadra departing.

The story: Kerekes said Cuadra arrived at the motel room and they quickly checked out.

Why the sudden rush to escape? Kerekes says that Cuadra saw an open door and heard a noise. Why would that prompt loading up the SUV, leaving a motel room that was already paid-for, to scuttle back to Virginia Beach in fear? Roughly six hours of scuttling, to be accurate.

We come then to the aftermath. Why didn't Cuadra send any more emails to Mr. Kocis ater that? Why didn't he try to call Mr. Kocis after that? Why was a little smoke and a noise enough to totally derail a purported 'plan to work with Mr. Kocis' into which Kerekes and Cuadra had already sunk a fair amount of time, obfuscatory efforts, not to mention money? Smelled some smoke... whoops, guy must be dead-- abort, abort.

Mr. Kerekes is digging a hole big enough for himself and Mr. Cuadra.


Kerekes: Sunglasses hid ‘bug’

Gay porn star Sean Lockhart never removed his sunglasses while visiting Black’s Beach outside San Diego, Calif., despite the cloudy weather on April 28.

Joseph Kerekes, one of two men accused in the slaying of local gay film producer Bryan Kocis, believes investigators hid a tiny microphone in Lockhart’s sunglasses recording alleged incriminating statements about the murder.

“I’m not afraid of what they heard,” Kerekes, 33, said during a jailhouse interview at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility on Wednesday.

Kerekes openly talked about the case against him and his partner, Harlow Cuadra, and touched upon his homosexuality that has made him money as an escort and producer of gay pornographic movies.

The investigation of Kocis’ death on Jan. 24 took a dramatic turn when investigators secretly recorded conversations Kerekes and Cuadra had with Lockhart, also known as Brent Corrigan, and his partner, Grant Roy, at Black’s Beach.

Cuadra told Lockhart that he was inside Kocis’ Dallas Township home the night Kocis was killed, according to arrest papers.

Less than three weeks after the visit to the beach, investigators filed criminal homicide and related charges against Kerekes and Cuadra.

“The speaker was in sunglasses Brent wore at the beach. It was cloudy out and he never took those glasses off,” Kerekes said.

Kerekes and Cuadra had traveled to San Diego to discuss a business partnership with Lockhart and Roy in filming gay pornographic movies, a topic they previously had discussed at an adult video news convention, known as an AVN, in Las Vegas, Nev., in mid-January.

Lockhart was under contract with Kocis’ company, Cobra Video, using the stage name Brent Corrigan. The contract prevented him from using the Corrigan name or filming for another production company.

After the Las Vegas meeting, Kerekes said Cuadra set up a meeting with Kocis using a fictitious name in hopes of “winning him over” to their business proposal with Lockhart, Kerekes said.
Kerekes said they feared Kocis would have rejected their plan because Kocis mainly worked with young men between 18 and 21 years old, and would see Cuadra, 25, as too old for Cobra Video’s target audience.

In addition, Kerekes said male escorts – Kerekes and Cuadra owned Norfolk Male Escorts – are considered “taint” in the gay porn business.

“We got back from the AVN and we were in our office. We have a large office with 40 computers and I was updating advertising for our (Web site) and Harlow was on the other side and did his thing,” Kerekes said. “He set up an account using the name Danny Moilin and e-mailed Bryan with a picture.

“Bryan instantly e-mailed back asking to send more pictures and pictures in different positions. So Harlow did all that,” Kerekes said.

Investigators say in arrest papers that Kocis received an application and pictures from Danny Moilin on Jan. 22, a week after the Las Vegas adult video news convention.

For the next few days, investigators claim that Cuadra and Kocis exchanged e-mails and arranged to meet at Kocis’ home at 7 p.m. Jan. 24.

Kerekes doesn’t deny that they were in the area when Kocis was killed. He claims they arrived in the area checking into the Fox Ridge Inn on state Route 315 in Plains Township on Jan. 23, grabbing a bite to eat at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

On Jan. 24, Kerekes said they ate at Friendly’s, visited a gym near their motel, went to Wal-Mart, where they purchased supplies to go camping, and bought a bottle of Dom Perignon champagne that they drank inside their motel room, Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra left the motel room at 6:30 p.m. to meet with Kocis. Kerekes stayed at the motel using his laptop computer to access his Yahoo e-mail.

“That will show I was at the inn,” Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra called him when he arrived at Kocis’ home at about 7 p.m. He said he was surprised when Cuadra immediately called him after a few minutes saying he was leaving.
“Harlow called and said something was wrong and that he was leaving. He said, ‘I can’t talk about it on the phone, I’ll be there in a few minutes,’ ” Kerekes said.

Kerekes said Cuadra arrived at the motel room and they quickly checked out. They drove onto the Pennsylvania Turnpike when Kerekes said Cuadra told him what he saw at Kocis’ home.

“Harlow said he got there the door was partially open. He looked inside and saw an overturned table and smelled smoke. He said he saw someone on a couch or chair, and heard a noise upstairs, like someone was about to come down,” Kerekes said.

Dallas Township firefighters responded to Kocis’ home at about 8:30 p.m., about 90 minutes after Kerekes said Cuadra arrived and quickly left the home.

Firefighters found Kocis’ body on a couch in the front living room.

Investigators suspect the fire was started to cover up the murder.

An autopsy showed Kocis was stabbed 28 times and suffered a slashed throat. Investigators surmised that Kocis had invited someone inside his home because he had no defensive wounds on his hands or arms, according to court records.

Kerekes said their plans were only to form a business relationship with Kocis. They used their driver’s licenses to check into the motel and the gym.

“We weren’t afraid to use our driver’s license because we didn’t kill that poor man,” Kerekes said.

Kocis’ e-mails recovered from computers inside his home produced a photograph of a man who was later identified as Cuadra.

Kerekes said he and Cuadra became concerned when the investigation centered on them. They leased a condo for a year in South Beach, Miami, Fla., where they stayed for much of February, March and April. They were at a Virginia Beach hotel when investigators searched their Virginia Beach home on Feb. 10.

The two men were arrested by Virginia Beach authorities as fugitives from justice on May 15, the same day investigators filed criminal homicide and related charges against them with District Judge James E. Tupper in Trucksville. They fought extradition for more than a month until they gave up their right to challenge a warrant by Virginia Gov. Tim Raines on June 27.
Kerekes said the jail at Luzerne County Correctional Facility is more accommodating and open than the jail in Virginia Beach, where he was held in solitary confinement and shackled whenever he was moved.

“At least here I’m in the general inmate population,” he said.

Kerekes said he has been escorting since he was 21, and met Cuadra in a Yahoo Internet chat room in 2000. They began escorting together, earning $200 to $300 a client for three hours, and began producing their Web-based gay pornography site in December 2004. He claimed their Web site earned money, but once the business proposal with Lockhart was made known in January, the number of hits and sales skyrocketed.

Cuadra is being held at the Lackawanna County Jail. Both are being held without bail.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

"I'm innocent," Joseph Kerekes claims in the slaying of local gay porn film producer.

Joseph Kerekes

"Eating at restaurants, buying camping supplies at a local department store and lifting weights at a local gym were some of the activities Joseph Kerekes and Harlow Cuadra enjoyed while in the area on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24.

Kerekes, 33, and Cuadra, 25, were arraigned Tuesday in connection to the Jan. 24 homicide of Bryan Kocis inside Kocis' Dallas Township home.

In a jailhouse interview at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility Wednesday morning, Kerekes admitted that they were in the area staying at the Fox Ridge Inn in Plains Township. Kerekes says that Cuadra was at Kocis' home, but never fully entered because he smelled smoke and heard a noise on the second floor.

Kerekes denied he had any involvement in the murder. When the investigation centered on them, Kerekes said they stayed for several months at a condo in South Beach, Miami"


One minute they claim to have never traveled to Luzerne County... and now the story starts to change... hmm...

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Arraignment Scheduled for Today... Preliminary Hearing Scheduled for 07/27/2007. They are in PA.

Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes are expected to be arraigned today before PA District Magisterial Judge James E. Tupper. A Preliminary Hearing is scheduled for 07/27/2007.

Joseph Kerekes' arrival to PA ( photo by Bob Kalinowski / The Citizens' Voice ):

Harlow and Joe being returned to PA ( photo by WNEP-TV 16 ):

Breaking 5:47 PM...
Joseph Kerekes, 33, and Harlow Cuadra, 25, were arraigned separately by District Judge James Tupper in Trucksville at 5 p.m. Kerekes was jailed at the Luzerne County Correctional Facility without bail, and Cuadra was jailed at the Lackawanna County Jail without bail.

"To answer your question, no I didn't do it," Kerekes said

Cuadra said he's "not guilty" before he was taken to jail.


Harlow and Joe are officially on their way to Pennsylvania.

According to Harlow's blog, Pennsylvania authorities picked-up Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes at 7:59 AM to take them back to PA to face murder charges, and a slew of other charges in relation to the death of Bryan Kocis.

Citizens Voice breaking news article confirming: http://www.citizensvoice.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=18595373&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=6

Times Leader breaking news: http://www.timesleader.com/news/breakingnews/Two_Virginia_Beach_men_extradicted_to_Luzerne_County_on_homicide_charges_.html

Harlow Cuadra's charges:

Joseph Kerekes' charges:

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Let's start taking an honest look at the affidavit... Part 3

Let's buy a knife and gun... right after renting the SUV... ( Page 18/Paragraph 1 ):

"Further investigation by the Pennsylvania State Police in conjunction with the Virginia Beach Police Department revealed that on 01/23/07 at approx 0944 hrs., accused Cuadra along with accused Kerekes entered the "Superior Pawn and Gun Shop", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va., and purchased a "Sigarms" model # FX1SG, lock blade folding knife with 30% serrated edge. Cuadra additionally purchased a Smith and Wesson .38 caliber revolver and ammunition, utilizing a Visa credit card issued to Harlow Cuadra. Both Cuadra and Kerekes were observed on surveillance video at said location purchasing the knife as well as ammunition for the firearm. Kerekes was observed exiting said location carrying a handgun case containing aforementioned firearm. Subsequent to that observation, a similar knife was purchased by Cpl. Hannon with the identical model number for the identical price. Said knife was shown to Forensic Pathologist Doctor Gary Ross, who was consulted regarding this investigation and the injuries suffered"

Here's a map from the rental car location to the pawn shop with approx driving time ( trust me, I live in the area, and even on a good day you wouldn't be able to go from one to the other in less than 5 minutes ):

A few observations of note:

* The driving time would conflict with the time Cuadra was renting the SUV, to when Cuadra and Kerekes were at the pawn/gun shop. Harlow rented the SUV at approx 0945 hrs... yet he was at the pawn/gun shop at 0944 hrs. Something doesn't make sense... as both locations are an easy 5-10 minute drive apart from each other.
* Times listed within the affidavit are approx. - so guess we'll have to see if a real time can be had.
* There is proof of Harlow being at both locations on the same day. Perhaps this is another timing blunder? It's also not unusual for different businesses to have different times. ( I have 7 clocks in my house and I don't think any of them are accurate to the exact minute ).
* Is the knife found at the scene of the crime the same make and model? If so... that would be interesting... though again circumstantial, unless they're able to pull DNA, which I doubt due to the fire, but then again you never know as forensics has come a long way.

Let's take a break from working-out ( Page 18/Paragraph 2 ):

"On 02/23/07, investigators traveled to the "Big House Gym" Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va., and interviewed the owner, one Lance Paul Treadway. Treadway stated that he purchased said gym in March of 2006. Both Cuadra and Kerekes had been members prior to the purchase. Treadway added that both Cuadra and Kerekes always worked out together, to which both possess a "swipe card" which allows entry to the facility. Swipe card read outs were requested for both January and February. The most dated reading available was 01/23/07, as there is a thrity day rentention period only. Both Cuadra and Kerekes were absent, which was unusual to Treadway, on 01/23/24,25/07, however were present every day the remainder of the month, along with every day from 02/01 through 02/09/07. There were no accesses following 02/09/07. It should be noted that the date of search warrant at the residence of both Cuadra and Kerekes was 02/10/07"

Observation of note:

* Though the timing is odd... in itself it's nothing but circumstantial evidence at most... though it is rather suspect if you add it to the rest thus far.

Let the hate mail begin ( Page 18 continued to 19/Paragraphs 3-8 ):

"Subsequent to further investigation, the following email exchanges were obtained by investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police;
On 03/03/07, at a time registered at 1014 am, the following message was forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra" to Grant Roy; "hey grant its harlow so when we gonna start filming? U know we had an agreement Joe"
On 03/03/07 at a time registered at 1015 am, the following message was also forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra" to Grant Roy; "you need to make some kind of contact with us before I tell them you hired us joe"
On 03/03/07 at a time registered at 1017 am, the following message was also forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra" to Grant Roy; "and we all know what u said to us at the avn in vegas and we have it on tape recorder and out conversation a le Cirque is recorded as well dont fuck with us"
"On 03/03/07 at a time registered at 1043 am, the following message was also forwarded via "myspace.com/harlowcuadra" to Grant Roy; "we are going to visit san diego this week or next and we need to meet we hope to see u soon"

A few observations of note:

* Why are there no IP addresses listed for these posts?
* Why would the first message start out saying it's Harlow... only to be signed by Joe?
* These emails could 'sound like' another possible admission of association, as there's an obvious strong-arm tone to it. I'm also willing to bet that there is no recording by Joe/Harlow in regards to the AVN/Le Cirque get-togethers. Sounds more like a strong-arm tactic from Joe to get the other party to comply with his wishes.

Informant #2 ( Page 19/Paragraph 2 ):

"On 03/21/07, investigators from the Pennsylvania State Police and Virginia Beach Police Department interviewed Confidential Informant #2. Said informant has been proven reliable in that information relayed to Cpl. Hannon has been independently corroborated through means not associated with said informant. Said informant has been associated with both Cuadra and Kerekes since approx April of 2005. Informant #2 illustrated, as did informant #1, the male escort and homosexual pornography business of both Cuadra and Kerekes. Additionally, informant #2 advised that both Cuadra and Kerekes were at "the avn" awards within the past several months, and returned to advise that they planned a collaboration with "Brent Corrigan", which could potentially make a very large sum of money. Both additionally stated that there was some type of contractual problem with Corrigan, however a "verbal agreement" was made pursuant to the meeting."

A few observation of importance:

* Once again this will be considered as heresay... though it will likely be heard by the jury. If informant #1 & #2 testify at trial, I can assure you the defense will try to make them look as unreliable as possible. Guess it will be up to the jury to decide.
* Second mention of 'striking it rich'... going back to the money issue as being a possible motive.

... more tomorrow...

Friday, July 13, 2007

Let's start taking an honest look at the affidavit... Part 2 (updated 7-14-07)

Confidential Informant #1 (Page 16/Paragraph 4 - continues to Page 17):

"On 02/10/07, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Virginia Beach Police Department interviewed Confidential Informant #1. Said informant has been associated with accused Cuadra as well as Kerekes for approx eight months. Said informant has worked with the Virginia Beach Police Department in the past, and has proven to be a reliable source of information. Additionally, said informant provided known factual information to Cpl. Hannon which was independently corroborated by sources not associated with said informant. Said informant advised that the day prior to the "Las Vegas trip" of Cuadra/Kerekes, or approx the middle of January, 2007, Cuadra/Kerekes advised that they "planning something big" and were attempting to hire "Brent Corrigan" for a movie. Both Cuadra and Kerekes were expecting to make "a ton of money" pursuant to said agreement, somewhere around "six to seven figures". They were planning to pay Corrigan around fifty thousand dollars for four scenes. Cuadra and Kerekes both stated that Corrigan was somehow contractually obligated to Cobra Video/Bryan Kocis, to which Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they were attempting to make a deal with Corrigan without it costing any money to Kocis. Cuadra and Kerekes were additionally in direct competition with Cobra Video/Bryan Kocis, although both stated that they had never met Kocis before. Informant also stated that Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they were planning on traveling to Pennsylvania at some point around the time of the Las Vegas trip, although the informant could not recall if it was prior to or after the trip. The informant also added that both Cuadra and Kerekes have been acting "very suspicious and unusual" since their return from Las Vegas. Both are normally rather "flashy" and flamboyant, enjoying exotic vehicles, extravagant dinners, and making contacts for their escort business and pornographic video business."

"Both Cuadra and Kerekes collect expensive Rolex watches as well, and own approx five or six. It should be noted that none were found within the residence subsequent to the search same date."

Photo of Cuadra & Kerekes wearing a Rolex:

"Informant added that recently both Cuadra and Kerekes have been reclusive, with limited contact with anyone. Additionally, accused Cuadra has recently changed his phone number, and made his "myspace" account "private". Said actions significantly hurt the business of Cuadra/Kerekes, and is "highly suspicious" behavior."

A few observations of note:

* Just because this "informant" says what he said, doesn't make it true, but it could be as well.
* Cuadra/Kerekes state that they're planning to hire Brent Corrigan, yet Grant Roy states ( Page 14/Paragraph 5 ) that Cuadra informed Lockhart that Cuadra would like to work with LSG Media, specifically Sean Lockhart. Who's hiring who? Or was this to be a joint business venture?
* Informant stated that Caudra/Kerekes thought they could make a "ton of money"... after reviewing their credit records ( which I legally can't post )... they could have used it. They owed almost $1,000,000.00 in debt, yet when their assets were seized by Virginia, they only had $25,000.00 - could this be a motive... possibly.
* Cuadra changing his number is nothing earth shattering... likely to stop a barrage of media/unwanted calls.
* Cuadra and Kerekes stated that they were attempting to make a deal with Corrigan without it costing any money to Kocis... interesting statement if true.

Police visit with Kerekes' parents... ( Page 17/Paragraph 1 ):

"On 02/12/07, investigators interviewed the parents of accused Kerekes at their residence located on Dandelion Crescent, Virginia Beach, Va.. While compiling biographical and investigatory information relating to this incident, accused Joseph Kerekes phoned said residence a minimum of three times. On each occasion, it was requested that Kerekes speak with investigators and/or provide a location where he could be reached so that an interview could be conducted. On each occassion, Kerekes refused. Kerekes additionally related to his parents that he did not want them to speak with investigators, and abruptly terminated the conversations. Contact information for investigators was left with Kerekes' parents, to which Joseph Kerekes did not attempt to contact same. "

Observation of note:

* Joe Kerekes had no legal obligation to speak with investigators... yet it probably would have been wise to refer them to his attorney, which was Barry Taylor at the time. Not wanting to speak with investigators doesn't admit guilt or association.

Let's rent an SUV and take a road trip... ( Page 17 & 18/Paragraph 2,3 & 4 ):

"While working with the Virginia Beach Police Department, investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police learned that on the morning of 01/25/07, Officer Brent Riddick, Virginia Beach Police, obtained the registration number for a silver/grey Nissan Xterra sport utility vehicle with dark trim and three brake lights. Said registration came back to "Enterprise Leasing Company", Virginia Beach Blvd., Virginia Beach, Va.. Further investigation revealed that said vehicle was rented by accused Cuadra on 01/23/07 at approx 0945 hrs.. The vehicle was returned on 01/25/07 at approx 1245 hrs.. Mileage out on the vehicle was recorded as 21357. Mileage in on the vehicle was recorded as 22409. The vehicle was rented in the name of Harlow R. Cuadra, to which Cuadra's driver's license was afforded subsequent to the rental agreement, as was Cuadra's signature. Rental vehicle was paid for by Discover Card issued to Harlow R. Cuadra, Norfolk Male Escorts, Inc.."

Here's a map showing the location of the rental car company in relation to Harlow & Joe's house... it's approx 10-12 miles away:

"It should be noted that from the accused's residence to the victim's residence is approximately 385 miles, as clocked by Pennsylvania State Police affiant Cpl. Leo D. Hannon, Jr. utilizing Pennsylvania State Police Wyoming vehicle #24. As such, total mileage, direct route and round trip is approx 770 miles without deviation. Total mileage registered on rental vehicle registered to Caudra was approx 1052 miles."

"Investigators also traveled to the "Fox Ridge Inn", located within Plains Township, Luzerne County, PA., and observed that on 01/23/07, an individual identified a Joseph Kerekes, who provided Virginia Driver License #########, checked in at said motel.

Map of hotel location in regards to Kocis' house:

Check in was for two occupants for the evenings of 01/23/07 and 01/24/07. Room rented was #211, and vehicle listed was a grey vehicle with Virginia registration. Said individual did not "check out" of the room, as both night were pre-paid in cash. It should also be noted that the 570-579-4437 mobile phone tower registrations are commensurate with that location as well as other locations within the immediate area of both the "Fox Ridge Inn" as well as the victim's residence on the dates of 01/23/07 and 01/24/07."

Cell tower locations near the Fox Ridge Inn:

A few observations of note:

* It's quite apparent that Harlow rented the SUV... I've rented many vehicles and know that showing a drivers licence is a requirement, plus they have a copy of his signature - which I'm sure they've matched.
* Check in at the motel was the same date as the vehicle rental... and the vehicle listed at check in was the same color. Unless there's an actual description as to the type of vehicle... this will be hard to prove as evidence... though I would think that the check in time would coincide with the travel time taken to go from Virginia Beach to said location. The affidavit also mentions Virginia registration... if they have the licence plate number, and they match... then it was obviously the same SUV rented in Virginia Beach.
* Joe Kerekes using his own driver's licence to check-in will pose some problems for the defense... unless his identity was stolen, and he can prove that such was reported before this date. Even though he paid cash, I'm sure they have his signature on file, as all hotels/inns/motels require it in the event of damages/additional charges.
* I wouldn't focus much on the mileage... the rental car company was some 10-12 miles from their house, the motel they stayed at was some 13-15 miles from Kocis' house... the little extra's can add up.
* There's that 570-579-4437 number that is from a pre-paid cellular phone that made it's original call from Virginia Beach.

Part 3 Sunday...

Harlow Cuadra & Joseph Kerekes Forfeiture hearing update...

The next scheduled date for the forfeiture hearing is August 29, 2007 @ 9:30 AM.

Guess I won't have to post more updates on this subject for a while, that is unless a settlement is reached.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Let's start taking an honest review of the affidavit... Part 1

Pre-paid Cellular Phone ( Page 14/Paragraph 3):

"The telephone number of 570-579-4437 was observed to have phoned the victim a number of times during the time span of 01/22/07 through 01/24/07. It should be noted that the only interaction with said number ( besides law enforcement inquiry ) was activation, extrapolation of voice mail and contact with victim Kocis. It should also be noted that said phone number registered calls to the victim at times when "Danny Moilin", later found to be Cuadra, was scheduled to either call or receive calls from the victim. The initial phone call was placed on 01/22/07 at approx. 19:26 hrs, and was relayed from a cellular tower located on Bells Road, Virginia Beach, VA... said location is several hundred yards from the residence of Harlow Cuadra and Joseph Kerekes:"

"The final call placed from said phone was 01/25/07 at approx. 18:35 hrs., and was relayed from a cellular tower located on Country Club Road, Dallas, PA. Said location is several hundred yards from the victim's residence: "

Observation of note:

Not too much to learn from this one, but the locations of activation, and the last call placed are quite a coincidence... and are obviously close to both the victim and the accused. The timing of the activation and last call is also interesting.

The Background Check ( Page 14/Paragraph 3 ):

"An investigator with the Pennsylvania State Police reviewed financial and credit card activity related to Cuadra pursuant to this investigation. A check of Cuadra's Discover credit card activity showed a charge of $39.95 from the company USA People Search: "

"The company indicated that on January 20th, 2007 a background check report was purchased for information related to the victim, Bryan C. Kocis. The order for this information was made via the internet from IP address The associated customer information is Harlow Cuadra of 4221 Link Court, 23451, email address of harlowrcuadrda@excite.com, PH: 757-567-0055. This report provides detailed information about the victim, his residence of 60 Midland Dr, Dallas, PA, as well as information relating to his relatives and neighbors. "

A few observations of note:

*The email address name appears to be mis-spelled. Was this a mis-spelling on the writer of the affidavit, or a deliberate mis-spelling by Cuadra.
*The address listed is the Link Court address, which was a valid address for Harlow & Joe... yet he was living at the Stratem Ct. address at the time of purchase.
* Why would someone pay $39.95 to find out information on someone they didn't know, unless there was a valid reason. Unfortunately, what that reason was is unknown for now.

The media blitz begins ( Page 14/Paragraph 4):

"On or about 02/09/07, it was reported within various northeastern Pennsylvania news media that Cuadra was interviewed by reporters regarding this investigation. Within said published reports, Cuadra "denied any connection" with the victim, stated that he had never met the victim, and further denied any involvment in the victim's death. "

Here's one of the articles: http://citizensvoice.com/site/index.cfm?newsid=17831124&BRD=2259&PAG=461&dept_id=455154&rfi=8

An observation of note:

* In one of the interviews, Cuadra says he does not own nor is he an officer of Norfolk Companions, Inc.

Well we obviously know now that Cuadra was part owner, and at different times listed himself as vice-president, or president of the company:

The mysterious video camera's ( Page 15/Paragraph 4-5 & Page 16/Paragrapgh 1-2):

"On 02/10/07, the Virginia Beach Police Department, in conjunction with investigators from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, executed a search warrant at the residence of Cuadra and Kerekes, that being 1028 Stratem Court, Virginia Beach, Virginia, in the pursuit of the furtherance of this investigation. As a result of said search, numerous items of evidence were seized, inclusive of items presviously illistrated herein. Additionally, two Sony digital video cameras, model numbers DCR-VX2000 and HDR-FX1, respectfully, were seized it was observed that both cameras had serial numbers forcibly removed and obliterated. Based upon the observance of said items, investigators with Pennsylvania State Police contacted the victim's associate Robert Wagner, who had in the past assisted the victim with video production. Wagner stated that he had, within the six months prior to the victim's death, observed said cameras within the victim's residence. It should be noted that both cameras were conspicuously absent during the intensive search of the victim's residence. Additionally, investigators contacted J&R electronics store, located in New York, NY., which is a location where the victim regularly purchased electronic items. According to a sales manager at that location, the victim did purchase a Sony HDR-FX1 camera on 12/23/05."

"Investigators conducting intelligence research relative to this investigation located a message board area titled; "The Digital Video Information Network", with an associated web address of; http://www.dvinfo.net/. Said website is designed for individuals to read and post questions/solutions to various types of digital video inquiries. Anyone may read posts at said site however in order to post a message a user must have an account already created."

"On 01/29/07, user Harlow Cuadra posted and inquiry related to the use of video camera HVR-ZI/DHR-FX1. Said camera is the same model which was found to be removed from the victim's residence at or around the same time of his death. It is also the same model camera which was seized from the accuseds' residence pursuant to the search warrant on 02/10/07. Said camera had all serial numbers forcibly obliterated from same."

Here's the post: http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=85094

"Investigators contacted the Administrative contact for DV Info Net and requested subscriber information related to those postings. The subscriber DV Info has registered is Harlow Cuadra of Norfolk, VA, with an email account of harlowcuadra@excite.com with the signature of "boys do what they can... men do what they want". Eleven posting IP addresses were also provided, one being which is a static IP address assigned to Cox Communications Inc., to Cuadra of 1028 Stratem Ct., Virginia Beach, Va."

A few observations of note:

* Harlow also posted quite a few other times on this message board: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=+site:dvinfo.net+cuadra+dvinfo.net
* Who buys something and removes the serial number... or who would buy something with a removed serial number? Sounds a little odd.
* There's that Cox IP address again... the same one used to do the background check on Kocis
* The e-mail address used this time is spelled correctly, was the previous simply a mis-spelling by the author of the affidavit, or did Harlow use several different variations?

Joe's parents do some spring cleaning ( Page 16/Paragraph 3 ):

"Subsequent to the search conducted at the accuseds' residence, it is noted that neither Cuadra nor Kerekes have been observed at same. It has been observed that the parents of Kerekes have been at the residence on multiple occassions, and have been observed removing multiple items from therein."

An observation of note:

* Other than just being odd... I don't know what to speculate. I would assume if any of these items is of importance, they've been retreived by PA or VA authorities.

Part 2 tomorrow... my fingers are numb.