The Knucklehead of the Day award
Today's winner is CNN host Nancy Grace. From the Orlando Sentinel.
LEESBURG -- A crime-lab analysis of a cut window screen came back inconclusive, police said Wednesday as national talk-show host Nancy Grace announced she will broadcast her show from Leesburg to keep missing toddler Trenton Duckett's case in the limelight.I've blogged about the Trenton Duckett story considerably. Read my posts here, here and here.
"We're welcoming anybody coming in to keep the spotlight on it," police Maj. Steve Rockefeller said.
With the two-month mark of the 2-year-old's disappearance tomorrow, police still have little evidence that would lead them to the boy, who reportedly was abducted from his mother's Windemere Villas apartment through a bedroom window Aug. 27.
Rockefeller said it is still "undetermined" whether the 10-inch slit made in the screen on the window above Trenton's bed was cut from the inside or outside of the apartment.
Police removed four knives and a box cutter from Melinda Duckett's apartment after her son's disappearance. But Rockefeller said investigators couldn't determine what was used to slice the screen.
Duckett, 21, shot and killed herself at her grandparents' home in The Villages on Sept. 8. She was later named the prime suspect in her son's disappearance.
Despite the dwindling number of tips -- only one or two a day -- coming into the police department, Rockefeller said Trenton's disappearance "remains an active investigation."
In addition to Grace, Rockefeller said investigators have received several offers from "armchair sleuths" -- mostly bloggers -- willing to search across the state.
Grace plans to air her show live Nov. 16 and 17 from a new Leesburg command center that Trenton's father, Josh, opened last week.
In an e-mail to the Orlando Sentinel, Grace wrote, "Although the media spotlight has faded from Trenton's disappearance, Trenton's story has touched my and our staff's hearts."
She added: "There is still a chance Trenton may be alive, waiting to come home. I want Trenton's family to know others have not given up hope."
Melinda Duckett committed suicide one day after doing an interview with Nancy Grace. Some people blamed Grace's demeanor during the interview for the young mother's death. Saying Grace helped push the mother over the edge.
Orlando Sentinel columnist Lauren Ritchie hits the nail right on the head about Grace's latest interest in the Duckett case.
The CNN Headline News host, who has taken this case on as a personal cause, is making her way to Leesburg, where she'll be showing the simple folk how a real investigation is conducted.Its all about Nancy, not about a missing and probably dead boy. I emailed Lauren yesterday and she was kind enough to share the email she got about Grace's show.
"The police want to give Nancy special access to their helicopters" to search for the child, her public-relations agent stated in an e-mail, and then she plans to scuba dive "Lake Ocala" for his body.
Leesburg police "asked Nancy to come down" to find the missing boy, whose 21-year-old mother took her life after Grace badgered her unmercifully while taping a show.
Nancy has brought "some of the most important evidence to light" and is continuing to "uncover new evidence weekly," the young agent wrote in a breathless tone.
I love when New York publicity bunnies send messages to us hicks at the remote end of the continent. When I know one of their communiques is en route, I race out to the windmill and crank for dear life so I can generate enough electricity to fire up the telegraph. Sometimes they use big words, and then I gotta call teacher to help me.
Sigh. OK, you get the point.
Just so the truth is known, Leesburg police did not invite Grace to come here, and when questioned about it, the public-relations firm backed away from that claim. Leesburg Maj. Steve Rockefeller said Grace never contributed the smallest sliver of information to the investigation. There is no Lake Ocala.
As far as Grace's access to Leesburg's fleet of helicopters, that may pose a problem: There are none.
The Lake County Sheriff's Office, which has several, had this reaction:
"C'mon," chided acting Sheriff Gary Borders. "We're not going to put Nancy Grace in our helicopters. Not us. Absolutely not."
The Marion County Sheriff's Office said rides would "be on her dime."
So what is Grace doing here?
She's pursuing the same goal as always: ratings.
For the first 25 days of October, Grace's ratings were abysmal. With the exception of one or two shows, she has ranked fourth of the four cable news shows in the 8 p.m. slot -- far, far behind Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor. Typically, she has half the viewers that Fox attracts.
Her ratings jumped, however, when she got nasty with Melinda Duckett, the missing child's mother.
In mid-September, Grace averaged 689,000 viewers, well above the show's third-quarter average of 534,000 viewers, according to The Associated Press.
The email shows how clueless these people are. Grace somehow thinks she can personally solve this case.
Nancy has already made 2 trips to Florida to investigate the missing child case and assist in the search efforts on her own, and has brought some of the most important evidence to light on her CNN Headline News show. She wants to find Trenton and discover what really happened in this case in order to bring closure to the family. She has the full support of Trenton's distraught father Josh and given thisNancy Grace will personally solve this case because she is smarter than all the local law enforcement. Yes and I know the winning lottery numbers this weekend.
special relationship, Nancy is uncovering more evidence weekly.
For using a child's tragedy for personal glory and television ratings, Nancy Grace is today's Knucklehead of the Day.
Note- A big thank you to Lauren Ritchie for her help. Particularly for sharing the above email with me.
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