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Tiffany Papesh

 
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:26 pm    Post subject: Tiffany Papesh Reply with quote



Tiffany was last seen inside the Convenient Food Mart in her hometown of Maple Heights, Ohio, a suburb of Cleveland, on June 13, 1980. She purchased hamburger buns at the store and left at approximately 2:45 p.m. that afternoon. She disappeared while en route to her family's residence which was half a block away. Tiffany has never been heard from again. The search for her began at 3:00 p.m., when she had not returned home.

Tiffany's father was at work at the time of her disappearance; he was cleared as a suspect in her case early in the investigation. Her stepmother, who had raised her since she was four years old, passed a polygraph and was also cleared.

Brandon Lee Flagner, who changed his name from Chico Virgilio Tenorio, confessed to Tiffany's rape, murder and dismemberment in a 1983 letter sent from where he was imprisoned in Texas to the Federal Bureau Of Investigation (FBI), three years after her disappearance. He also told at least two other people, both ministers, about the alleged murder. He mentioned the scar on Papesh's knee, which was not generally known to the public at the time.

Flagner gave several conflicting statements about how he killed Tiffany. He later retracted his confessions, claiming he only wrote the letters because he was about to be released from prison and wanted to stay for treatment. He was nonetheless convicted of two counts of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping in June 1985. Flagner was sentenced to life in prison for Tiffany's murder and twenty-five years for the kidnapping.

Flagner became actively involved in the search for Tiffany very shortly after she became missing. He offered to sell t-shirts with Tiffany's picture on them to raise awareness of her case. After her disappearance, he asked his wife and brother to destroy a metal box which was in the trunk of his car. The box contained, among other things, some children's clothing.

It is worth noting that many people believe Flagner to be innocent of involvement in Tiffany's case. His time card shows that he was at work at Sta-Co 55 miles away from Maple Heights, up until half an hour before Tiffany's disappearance on June 13. Some have suggested that one of Flagner's co-workers stamped his time-card for him, but all of his fellow employees denied doing so. His employer says that while no one remembered seeing Flagner at work that day, the production line needed five people, Flagner included, to function properly.

Flagner, who converted to Orthodox Judaism while in prison, was convicted in Tiffany's case largely because of his confession and because he has a criminal record for child molestation; he says he has molested over 400 young girls, a claim most investigators believe is exaggerated. He remains in prison, but investigators in Tiffany's case and many members of her own family do not believe Flagner was the responsible party. Tiffany's remains have never been located.

Source: http://www.websleuths.com
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:27 pm    Post subject: CHILD-MURDER SUSPECT ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL Reply with quote

CHILD-MURDER SUSPECT ORDERED TO STAND TRIAL

Akron Beacon Journal
April 5, 1985


Brandon Flagner on Thursday, was found competent to stand trial in the 1980 kidnapping and death of 8-year-old Tiffany Papesh.

Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Norman Fuerst made the ruling during a hearing.

Tiffany disappeared on June 13, 1980, after buying hamburger buns at a convenience store near her Maple Heights home.

No trace of the girl has been found.

Flagner, 32, confessed to killing Tiffany in a 1983 letter to the FBI.

Authorities at first were skeptical of the confession, but prosecutors later said there was enough evidence to bring the case to trial.

Flagner was indicted in June on two counts of aggravated murder and one count of kidnapping. Until he was brought to Cleveland, Flagner had been imprisoned in Texas since 1981 on a child-molestation conviction.

At the time of Tiffany's disappearance, Flagner was a factory worker in Wayne County.

Flagner has said he expects to be cleared of the crime because authorities never found the girl's body.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:28 pm    Post subject: COURT WILL ACCEPT LETTERS OF CONFESSION Reply with quote

COURT WILL ACCEPT LETTERS OF CONFESSION

Akron Beacon Journal
May 19, 1985


A Cuyahoga County judge says letters in which Brandon Lee Flagner told a Wooster minister about the killing of 8-year-old Tiffany J. Papesh can be used in court when Flagner stands trial on aggravated murder charges.

Common Pleas Judge Norman A. Fuerst ruled Friday, that the 50 letters Flagner wrote to the Mennonite minister did not fall within the client-penitent privilege and could be used as evidence. Flagner's attorneys had argued that the letters should not be allowed as evidence.

"It is evident that the defendant, over a period of a year and a half, made no effort to keep secret any penitential statements to the minister," the judge said.

He said the letters to the Rev. Glen A. Horner revealed that Flagner talked to the FBI, Maple Heights police, the father of the missing girl, reporters and others.

Tiffany disappeared on June 13, 1980, after she left a convenience store near her Maple Heights home. She has not been found.

Flagner, 32, has said since 1983 that he killed Tiffany but has refused to lead investigators to any solid evidence. He was charged with her kidnapping and murder last August.

Flagner said he confided in Horner because he (Flagner) had molested one of the ministerís parishioners.

Flagner is serving a prison sentence for child molesting in Texas.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:30 pm    Post subject: WITNESSES SAY SUSPECT ADMITTED KILLING GIRL Reply with quote

WITNESSES SAY SUSPECT ADMITTED KILLING GIRL

Akron Beacon Journal
July 17, 1985


Brandon Lee Flagner has admitted to at least two people that he killed and dismembered 8year-old Tiffany Papesh, according to testimony in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Tuesday.

But Tuesday's testimony also revealed that Flagner has given more than one version of how he killed the girl, leaving authorities to guess which one, if any, is true.

FBI agent Lloyd Harrell said he interviewed Flagner three times in 1983 in the Texas prison where Flagner was serving time for indecent exposure and sexual abuse of a child.

Flagner, according to Harrell's testimony, "initially said he had dismembered the body and scattered its parts."

In his cross-examination, defense attorney Robert Tobik cited inconsistencies in Flagner's statements. He pointed out, for example, that once Flagner had told the FBI agent he did not dismember the body, and then later told him parts of it were in three counties.

The Rev. Glen Horner, a Mennonite minister in Wooster, said Flagner also said in a letter that he had cut up the body of the child, who was last seen on June 13, 1980, in her suburban Maple Heights neighborhood.

The body has never been recovered, and the prosecution was begun after Flagner told the media and other people he had committed the crime.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:31 pm    Post subject: FLAGNER GETS LIFE IN KILLING TIFFANY'S BODY NEVER FOUND Reply with quote

FLAGNER GETS LIFE IN KILLING TIFFANY'S BODY NEVER FOUND

Akron Beacon Journal
July 23, 1985


A man who confessed in letters to kidnapping and killing an 8year-old Maple Heights girl faces life in prison for her death.

Brandon Lee Flagner, 33, was sentenced Monday, after a jury convicted him of the aggravated murder of Tiffany Papesh. Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Judge Norman Fuerst also sentenced him to seven to 25 years in prison for kidnapping Tiffany.

Tiffany vanished June 13, 1980, while running an errand to a convenience store in the Cleveland suburb. Her body was never found.

"Hopefully, society and the members of this jury are not going to sit back and let people get away with child molesting," said Tiffany's father, Frank, who was in the courtroom when the verdicts were announced.

Although he had confessed to the crime in letters written from a Texas prison, Flagner refused to enter a plea to the charges when brought to Ohio last year to stand trial. A judge entered an innocent plea on his behalf.

Defense attorneys argued that Flagner had fantasized the crimes. They said Flagner was at work in Creston in Wayne County up until about a half-hour before the disappearance and could not have been in Maple Heights, some 55 miles away, when Tiffany disappeared.

Before he sentenced Flagner, the judge asked him about published reports in which Flagner said he would tell where Tiffany's body is buried, if he were found innocent. Flagner denied making the statement.

Defense attorney Robert Tobik said an appeal is planned. He said he knew it would be difficult to get an acquittal if the case went to the jury.

"The case matched my expectations on how difficult it was going to be," said Tobik.

Carmen Marino, an assistant county prosecutor, built a case of circumstantial evidence against Flagner, including testimony showing that the defendant had a history of pursuing young girls.

Marino said Flagner showed a high interest in the Papesh case and had offered to help in the search.

There was no testimony placing Flagner in the area where Tiffany disappeared, and defense attorneys argued there was no evidence that a crime even occurred.

Flagner was an inmate at a Palestine, Texas, prison, when he wrote the confession letters. In 1981, he was charged with four counts of sex crimes involving children in Arlington and Hurst, Texas.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:33 pm    Post subject: FRANK PAPESH, WHO MOBILIZED HUNDREDS, PASSES AWAY Reply with quote

FRANK PAPESH, WHO MOBILIZED HUNDREDS, PASSES AWAY

Zina Vishnevsky
The Plain Dealer
January 30, 1993


Frank Papesh, who mobilized hundreds of volunteers to look for his daughter Tiffany after her 1980 abduction, died Thursday at Cleveland Clinic Hospital after heart surgery.

He was 51.

In 1985, a Cuyahoga County jury convicted former Elyria resident Brandon Lee Flagner of murder in the case, although Tiffany's body was never found.

Mr. Papesh said then he did not believe the case had been solved.

"When society and the courts or this sleazebag, Flagner, can hand me something to bury, maybe I'll be able to close the case," Papesh said. "Unfortunately, we don't have the death penalty."

Ohio did not have capital punishment when Tiffany, 8, disappeared.

Mr. Papesh waged a campaign to restore the death penalty to abductors who harm or kill children. Three months after his daughter disappeared, Mr. Papesh went to Columbus to enlist the help of Gov. James Rhodes in passing such a law.

"What I wanted to do was declare war on these animals in our society who prey on our most precious asset - children," he said after meeting with the governor.

Tiffany disappeared when she went to a convenience store within sight of the family's Maple Heights home. At the time, Mr. Papesh was manager of Granger Garage Sales & Equipment in Maple Heights.

Since then, Mr. Papesh had worked as an ironworker on various projects in Cleveland. He retired from that job when high blood pressure made the work too dangerous for him.

Recently he had been a maintenance superintendent at several Bedford Heights apartment complexes.

The Papeshes lost a Bedford Heights home to fire in 1989 while on a shopping trip.

Papesh is survived by his wife, Debra, and their children, Frank Edward, Paul Joseph and Katherine Marie, all at home; and three children, Tiffany's brothers and sisters, by a previous marriage: Gina of Streetsboro, Mary Lynn of Mountville, and Richard of Cleveland; four grandchildren; and eight brothers and sisters.


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: GROOMING RULES EASED FOR JEWISH INMATE Reply with quote

GROOMING RULES EASED FOR JEWISH INMATE

Bill Sloat
The Plain Dealer
February 15, 1997


A federal magistrate says Brandon Lee Flagner has become a Hasidic Jew while serving a life sentence for the 1980 kidnapping and murder of 8-year-old Tiffany Papesh.

Because of Flagner's beliefs, said Magistrate Jack Sherman, Ohio prison officials should no longer be allowed to cut the inmate's sidelocks and whiskers.

Sherman said the prison system's grooming regulations would "substantially burden" Flagner's religious beliefs.

Flagner, the only Hasidic Jew among the state's 46,000 inmates, has contended that shaving his beard and cutting his sidelocks would be a sin. Prison officials forcibly cut his hair last July.

The Ohio attorney general's office is appealing. It asserts that sidelocks and beards are not necessary under Jewish law.

Flagner, 45, keeps the hair on his head short but had grown a full beard and traditional long strands that originate where the skull and jawbone meet.

Flagner was convicted in 1985 of killing Tiffany, who vanished from a Maple Heights convenience store near her home. Her body has never been found.

Flagner grew up in Elyria under the name Chico Virgilio Tenorio. He legally changed it to Flagner in 1977.

He confessed to the kidnapping, then recanted, while serving time in a Texas prison. Maple Heights police dismissed the confession in 1983 as a "big hullaballoo over nothing."

Cuyahoga County Assistant Prosecutor Carmen Marino got an indictment.

Under prison security rules, male inmates must keep their hair cut to three inches from the scalp. Beards have to be neatly trimmed and cannot exceed a half-inch in length.

After four years of studying the religion, Flagner converted to Judaism in 1991 at Mansfield Correctional Institution.

Several rabbis who work as prison chaplains are satisfied he is practicing his faith.

Menachem M. Kalmanson, the contract rabbi at Lebanon Correctional Institution, wrote three months ago that Flagner "has been a regular member of the local Jewish community" and that he should be recognized "as an Orthodox Jew."

Two years ago, a prison chaplain wrote in Flagner's inmate records that he had "fully verified" Flagner was Jewish "and must be supplied with a strict kosher diet."

Sherman, the federal magistrate, said prison officials for years allowed Flagner to practice his religious beliefs without incident, and his sidelocks and beard were not cut until July 1996. He said the delay "weakens the argument that prison officials had a compelling security interest in cutting his hair."


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PostPosted: Sun Feb 04, 2007 5:36 pm    Post subject: CONVICTED KILLER IN RELIGIOUS DISPUTE Reply with quote

CONVICTED KILLER IN RELIGIOUS DISPUTE -
INMATE WHO CONFESSED TO RAPE AND MURDER OF GIRL CAN SUE OHIO OVER RIGHT TO LONG BEARD, SIDEBURNS


Colette M Jenkins
Akron Beacon Journal
December 11, 2001


Frank Papesh went to his grave not knowing what happened to his 8-year-old daughter, Tiffany.

"My brother could never accept the fact that she was dead. It tore him up," said Edward L. Papesh of Bedford Heights. "To have her disappear, without really knowing what happened to her, was something he could never deal with."

Tiffany Papesh vanished on June 13, 1980, while running an errand to a convenience store in her Maple Heights neighborhood. Her body was never found.

Five years later, Brandon Lee Flagner, who had confessed to kidnapping and killing the girl, was convicted of aggravated murder in the case and sentenced to life in prison by a Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court judge.

Today, Flagner is in the news again, at the center of a dispute involving the religious rights of prison inmates.

In 1991, he became a Hasidic Jew and changed his name to Hbrandon Lee Flagner. He is now suing the state of Ohio for forcing him twice to cut his beard and sideburns.

In an attempt to block a trial on the issue, Ohio filed an appeal, saying the prison grooming rule requires inmates to have neatly groomed mustaches, beards and sideburns, cut within a half inch of the skin to keep inmates from hiding weapons or drugs.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused on Monday to intervene in a suit in which an Ohio prison inmate claims his religious rights were violated because he was forced to cut his beard. The story below incorretly characterized the court's action.

"I don't see how someone in prison - a convicted, self-admitted rapist and child murderer - has the right to object to a prison rule," said John Papesh, who also lives in Bedford Heights. "Military people who have served this country - our heroes don't have a right to object to a haircut, but this creep can? Where is the justice in that?"

Edward and John Papesh said their younger brother Frank died about four years ago of a heart condition. It was an ailment he never had until his daughter disappeared.

"It was a heck of a burden and it put a lot of stress on him," John Papesh said. "He could never forget and he could never stop wondering what really happened to Tiffany. It drove him crazy not to be able to put a closure to his daughter's death."

Flagner, who claimed to have molested hundreds of girls, contends in his suit against the state that he is not a security risk and has a First Amendment right to follow his religious beliefs and traditions, which include letting his facial hair grow. He says he was at times exempted from the prison's grooming regulations, but that his beard and sideburns were cut against his will in 1996 and 1998.

A divided three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided that an essential facet of Flagner's religion involves his facial hair and "enforcement of the grooming regulation would require the plaintiff to violate this very tenet." The court said Flagner cannot try to collect damages from prison officials who have immunity.

Twenty states had joined Ohio in the case before the U.S. Supreme Court, saying that if exemptions are allowed, "the ability of prison officials to maintain security will inevitably falter, thereby placing the safety and welfare of prison staff, inmates, and the general public at risk."

Ohio Attorney General Betty Montgomery said if Flagner wins, it will open the door for other inmate challenges of rules dealing with issues like library access, visiting procedures, drug testing, job assignments and housing.

Courts have generally sided with authorities in fights over rules. For example, in 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld federal prison restrictions on books and packages for inmates, finding prison officials must ensure safety. Ohio has argued that this case is similar.

Although Flagner had confessed to killing Tiffany Papesh in letters written from a Texas prison, he refused to enter a plea to the charges when brought to Ohio to stand trial. A judge entered an innocent plea on his behalf.

During his trial, defense attorneys argued that Flagner had fantasized the crimes. They said Flagner was at work in the village of Creston in Wayne County up until about a half-hour before the disappearance and could not have been in Maple Heights, some 55 miles away, when Tiffany disappeared.

Flagner was an inmate at a prison in Palestine, Texas, when he wrote the confession letters to a Mennonite minister in Wooster. In 1981, he had been charged with four counts of sex crimes involving children in Arlington and Hurst, Texas.

"Burying a child is one of the hardest things a person can do," John Papesh said yesterday. "And Frank never even got a chance to do that. I have nothing but bitterness, nothing but hatred in my heart for (Flagner). I'll go to my grave hating him. He's lucky I'm not cutting his beard."
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