Sunday, August 30, 2015

The power of social media to solve a mystery case

A nameless man brought garbage bags full of photos and priceless documents into 2News studios one morning and asked that they be given to the rightful owner. He only said he found them in a car wash trash can in downtown Salt Lake City. Then he was gone.

As the social media lead at KUTV2News, I posted some photos on our Facebook page and a story on our website asking for help from the public to identify anyone in these photos. Some photos were a dated back to the mid 1900s, while others were birthday cards from the '90s, or Catholic baptismal records. Within a few hours we found the owners. We were able to help find the owner of hundreds of lost photos and get them back to their rightful owners.

2News reporter Dan Rascon tells the rest of the story about how they got lost in the first place in his "Inside The Story."

Monday, February 16, 2015

John Brickman Wall Murder trial: From 2011 to now news stories

If you are just now hearing about the story of Uta von Schwedler and John Brickman Wall for the first time and need a recap. Go here:

World News Videos | ABC World News
48 Hours did a in-depth piece on the whole story.

In Sept. of 2011 Uta von Schwedler was discovered dead in her bathtub in her Sugarhouse home. I had several tips that her death was anything but a suicide.

After weeks of canvassing the Salt Lake City neighborhood and trying to get authorities to go on the record about von Schwedler's death being something more, there was finally a breakthrough.

I was able to get enough to publish a story on Feb 16, 2012 where Salt Lake City police said the death was now being considered "suspicious." Police said nearly four months after the death that they still had "no suspects or persons of interest, but they (weren't) ruling anything out."

Several stories later and almost exactly three years to the date from the publishing of my initial story, John Brickman Wall, Uta von Schwedler's ex-husband will be on trial for her murder. Court and police records showed John Brickman Wall was initially one of the first people police interviewed and interrogated within 24 hours of the reported death.

It took more than 18 months from when he was first interviewed by police to actually be charged with murder.

This story I wrote in July of 2013 as a freelance reporter for City Weekly encapsulates the entirely of a son suspecting his own father of killing his mother.

Arguably, the most instrumental part in the case moving forward was when the oldest son, Pelle Wall von Schwedler put a petition in court accusing his father of killing his mother and asking the courts to take his younger siblings away from his father.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

10 month wait for FOIA request. Persistence pays off for results of Union Pacific train accident in Utah

It took 10 months. In fact, since my first day working at the Standard-Examiner I reported on a Union Pacific train derailment in Weber Canyon. After coming back to the office, I promptly put in a (Freedom of Information Act) FOIA request for the details of what happened in the accident.
In June, I got a response letter telling me it could take 6-9 months for the investigation to be complete.
10 months later, I finally got the report.

Here is the follow up story.  along with the original video from the first story I did.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Judge orders John Brickman Wall to stand trial in murder case of U of U biologist.

Utah 3rd District Court Judge Robin Reese found probable cause to move forward a murder case to go to trial. The case, involving the death of a U of U biologist from the Sugar House area who was found dead in her bathtub. Uta Von Schwedler's ex-husband, a former pediatrician for Wasatch Pediatrics in Murray is accused by prosecutors of killing Von Schwedler. On Oct 21, a judge will arraign John Brickman Wall, 49, on his charges of murder, and aggravated burglary, both 1st degree felonies that could put him behind bars for life. During the final minutes of the hearing Judge Reese explained why the case would be bound over and says it's believed Johnny Wall murdered Uta — Wall slightly shakes his head no. He chained up by the guard and taken out of the court room. No trial date has yet been set. Stay tuned for more updates!