Ninth Tacoma Homicide of 2016: Hyson Sabb

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41-year-old Hyson Sabb arrived at a house near the 1500 block of South L Street last Saturday night around 10pm. A female friend of his was arguing with a 50-year-old man. The argument was getting physical. Hyson decided to get involved. The argument between the two men became heated. The older man threatened to kill Hyson and then left saying he would be back. Charging papers say that Hyson had his friend retrieve a gun from Hyson’s trunk. It was unloaded. Hyson allegedly talked with another friend about getting bullets, but then the older man returned. The older man stopped his car in the street, got out of the car and shot at Hyson hitting him at least once. Hyson was taken to a nearby hospital where he later died.

Two weeks earlier, Hyson Sabb had eloped with his fiancé Adreine. They had a child together. Friends say he was looking at turning his life around. Instead Hyson Sabb is the ninth Tacoma homicide victim this year. And the fourth one on Tacoma’s Hilltop in the last twelve months.

At the time of this writing Tacoma Police have issued a warrant for 50-year-old Yancy Ray for Hyson’s murder. Crime Stoppers if offering a $1,000 for the arrest and charges filed against him. Read more about it here.

It’s easy for those who do not know the victim to think of it as just another shooting. If you’re connected to the victim, it’s anything but. Over the last decade that I’ve been writing about Tacoma homicides, I have heard from family and friends of homicide victims months and years after the event. The loss of a loved one echoes through the rest of their lives. In this case a child will grow up never knowing their father. My thoughts are with the friends and family of Hyson Sabb. I am sorry for your loss.

As always, the comments section is moderated. Only comments from friends and family of the victim will be approved.

– Jack Cameron

UFOs and Men In Black in Tacoma

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Being out on the water on Commencement Bay gives one time to think about things. If you are like me, you might think, “What if there were a sea monster under the boat?” or “What if I saw a Sasquatch on the land?” or “What if I saw a UFO?” These fantasies have been with us forever. We are excited by stories of the unknown and the mysterious. And I’m going to tell you just that sort of story.

It was June 21, 1947. Howard Dahl was operating a salvage boat attempting to haul in some logs near Maury Island. He had his 15-year-old son, Charles and his dog with him. He suddenly noticed six gigantic craft in the sky moving at a high rate of speed. They were at least one hundred feet in diameter. They were donut shaped and flying in formation. He watched as one of them ran into another one, damaging it. It started spewing hot slag. The slag hit the boat as the craft crashed onto the beach on Maury Island. Howard’s dog was killed by the slag. His boat was damaged. And his son received burns that had to be treated in the hospital.

Howard detailed what happened to a 27-year-old coworker named Fred Crisman. Fred was an avid fiction reader and a frequent writer of letters to Amazing Tales Magazine run by Ray Palmer. A few weeks after the incident, Fred wrote to Ray Palmer to tell him what happened.

By the time Fred’s letter had reached Palmer, there was quite a bit of excitement about UFOs. On June 22, 1947 Kenneth Arnold, a local pilot encountered nine high speed craft flying near Mr. Rainier. This was what most people knowledgeable about the subject call the very first reported UFO sighting. On July 8, 1947 the Roswell crash was reported in the media. Palmer had an idea. What if he got Kenneth Arnold to write an article about Howard Dahl’s story? He contacted Arnold. Arnold somewhat reluctantly agreed to do it.

Arnold flew out to Tacoma. He contacted Howard Dahl only to find that Dahl didn’t want to talk about it. When pressed, Dahl explained that a man in a black suit with a black hat driving a black 1947 Buick had visited him and told him that he should say nothing of the incident if he wanted him and his family to remain healthy. Arnold also talked to Crisman who was similarly reluctant to share information but eventually told him what happened.

It was at this time that Arnold decided he needed some help. He contacted the Army who sent two investigators to look into these UFO claims. Their names were Captain William Davidson and Lt Frank Brown. Arnold and the Army investigators interviewed Crisman. (Howard Dahl refused to talk to government agents.) At one point during the interview both investigators stood up and announced they were leaving. The others tried to convince them to stay but they refused claiming they had to be at an Air Show the following day.

The intrigue increased when the plane the two investigators boarded crashed and both men were killed. An investigative reporter looking into the crash also died, apparently from natural causes.

Both Crisman and Dahl told Arnold they had photos, but neither was able to produce them. One of them gave him a piece of slag. A close look at the slag showed a square rivet.

Years later after some documents were declassified, it was revealed that Howard Dahl had in fact talked to a government agent about the incident. That person was an FBI agent. During his initial interview with Dahl, Howard’s wife screamed at him to ‘stop making things up’ and threatened him with a knife. The FBI would also fail to find any evidence that Dahl’s son was harmed, that the boat was damaged, or that their dog was killed. In other words, the FBI found that there was absolutely nothing to back up Dahl’s story. What to make of Dahl saying he was threatened? I would be willing to bet that what happened was the agent heard Dahl’s silly story and said something to the effect of, “If I were you I wouldn’t tell people about this.” like one does when someone says something crazy like, “I talk to a monkey on the moon every night.”

Subsequent interviews with Dahl’s son and his sister revealed that neither of them had any recollection of anything remotely like what I have described happening. It was found that the slag likely came from the Asarco copper smelter in Ruston. It is exceptionally clear that this incident which supposedly took place before any other UFO event never happened at all.

It is said that Fred Crisman took off to Alaska after the incident fearing for his life. There were rumors he was working with the CIA and other intelligence agencies. In 1968 Jim Garrison had him come to New Orleans because he thought that Crisman might have been one of the three men on the grassy knoll when John F. Kennedy was shot. In the late 1960s and early 1970s Crisman would reinvent himself in Tacoma as ‘Jon Gold’, a controversial and opinionated local radio host.

This story known as the Maury Island Incident in UFO circles would just be a weird little local historical footnote except for one thing. Howard Dahl’s mention of being visited by the FBI agents was the very first mention I can find of Men In Black investigating UFOs. This is Tacoma’s own little contribution to American pop culture. It’s worth noting that though the story of the UFO was bogus, the FBI guy sent to investigate it was real though likely not nearly as nefarious as Dahl described.

The next time you’re out on the water in Commencement Bay, keep your eyes on the sky and think of the possibilities.
– Jack Cameron

Eighth Tacoma Homicide of 2016: Emmitt Taylor Jr.

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On the evening of July 10th 59-year-old Emmitt Taylor Jr. was drinking at a homeless camp with a woman he knew near the 1100 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Way. They were joined by a 24-year-old man. At some point the man and Emmitt got into an argument. The argument got loud but eventually Emmitt chose to walk away. The other man followed. Emmitt was found a short distance away bleeding from the head. He was dead when paramedics arrived.

The 24-year-old man has been arrested and charged with first degree manslaughter.

This is Tacoma’s eighth homicide this year. And the second one that went virtually unreported by the press until someone was charged with his killing. Unfortunately, I was unable to find out much about Emmitt. This I have found is quite common with the homeless population. They rarely leave a digital footprint, but they are every bit as worthy of remembrance.

Associated Ministries is performing a moment of blessing at Martin Luther King Jr. Way and South 11th Street today, July 20th from 3:30pm -3:45pm

Emmitt’s only daughter contacted  me and provided the photo above. She said he did all he could as a father and grandfather. He will be missed.

As always the comments section is reserved for friends and family who knew him to share any thought or memories they might like to share.

– Jack Cameron

Seventh Tacoma Homicide of 2016: Samuel Cruces Vasquez

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I have operated TacomaStories.com as a one-man website for ten years in one form or another. In that time I have made media, police, and government contacts, but my resources remain limited. This means that sometimes a homicide happens in Tacoma and I don’t find out about it until weeks or months later because it was never in the news. Such is the case with the death of 24-year-old Samuel Cruces Vasquez. His homicide went unreported in the media until a man was charged with his murder two weeks ago.

On April 28th, Samuel ended his shift at a restaurant in Southcenter Mall at around 10:30pm. He made a phone call to a friend saying he was going out for drinks. A little less than an hour later Samuel was found in 7800 block of South Trafton in Tacoma on the ground outside of his car. A butterfly knife was nearby. He had been stabbed multiple times. Paramedics arrived and took him to the hospital where he later died.

A friend of his was later arrested for the stabbing. The friend claimed it was part of a gang initiation. Samuel Cruces Vasquez was the seventh Tacoma homicide this year.

His girlfriend says that he was a very caring person who always put others before himself. He was also the father of two children.

As always the comments section is reserved for friends and family who knew him to share any thought or memories they might like to share.

– Jack Cameron

Sixth Tacoma Homicide of 2016: Marquel Bradley

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In the early morning hours of Saturday April 16th, 23-year-old Marquel Bradley was standing on near East 35th and L Street with a group of other people. At around 3:45am, a couple in a Dodge Avenger showed up. Survelience video shows that someone fired a shot at the car. One of the people in the car got out and shot into the group of people. There were at least 71 shots fired over the course of a minute. When the shooting was over, the couple in the vehicle drove a few blocks before their car with twelve bullet holes, a flat tire, and a steaming engine stopped working. They were soon arrested. Back at the scene of the shooting Marquel Bradley who was unarmed and had fired no shots at all had been shot in the head. He was taken to St. Joseph’s Medical in critical condition.

Marquel Bradley died ten days later. He was a family man with a six-year-old daughter and a fiancé with another child on the way. He would walk his daughter to and from school every day. Friends and family say he was funny. He had a real presence when he walked into the room.

Marquel is the sixth Tacoma homicide this year and the second homicide this year on Tacoma’s East Side. East Side residents have been fighting a battle for their neighborhoods for most of my life. It’s an area full of lower middle class residents who want what’s best for the community.  Recently the community came up with plans for a new East Side Community Center. It will include water slides, a recording studio, a teaching kitchen, and a 300-person social hall. You can find out more about this at   http://www.ImagineEastSide.org

We cannot bring Marquel Bradley back, but we can help make sure his children and our own grow up with a better East Side.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for friends and family of Marquel. Marquel’s mother has put up a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of his funeral and his young family. Here’s the link: https://www.gofundme.com/2fcegmdv

– Jack Cameron

Wanted: JD Ashton For Theft

jd2I had my X-Box 360 for over eight years. For the last three years you had to leave a disc in it or the disc tray would not open. About six months ago it not only had trouble opening but sometimes would not read the disc. It was dying, but it had lasted a long time and served by my son and me well. Two months ago I got the money together to replace the X-Box 360. It wasn’t easy. I’m a full-time student. I don’t have a lot of income. But I managed to get the money together and over the last couple of months I even purchased a few games.

Anyone who has been to my house can tell you that I don’t own much. I have a couple of nice things but most of what I own was given to me secondhand or bought at a thrift shop or yard sale. I can count on one hand the things I own that I spent over $100 on.

Over the weekend my girlfriend and I went on a two-day vacation to celebrate the third anniversary of our first date. This again was something we saved for months to do.

My 18-year-old son had the house to himself and chose to invite three friends over Saturday night. As parents-out-of-town-parties go, that’s pretty low-key. They went to sleep around 4:00am. One of them, a young man who goes by the name of JD Ashton got up, took our X-Box One (Serial #207185552648) , six games, and walked out the door sometime before 7:00am.

A quick check at his ex-girlfriend’s finds that she kicked him out the day before. The Tacoma Police Department was notified of the theft and we were given a case number. My son and I did our best to get the word out about this thief. It turns out this was far from his first theft. Multiple individuals have come forward to say he stole items from them as well. Many of these were people who had previously considered him a friend. It also turns out that when owners of the downtown skate shop Grit City Grindhouse saw the photo, they recognized him as the man who broke into their shop last year and stole over $1,000 worth of equipment.

I rarely post personal things on this page. However, JD Ashton has nont only stolen from me. This young man has been stealing from Tacoma residents for years. He is wanted by the Tacoma Police Department right now. If you recognize him, see him, or have any information to share please contact the Tacoma Police Department at 253-798-4721 and reference Incident Report #1611509007.

I am certain I have not heard from all of his victims. If JD Ashton has stolen from you, please comment below with the details and incident report number if you have it.

– Jack Cameron

Fifth Tacoma Homicide of 2016: Ryan Wilkinson

0Last Friday night three people near the corner of South 48th and Yakima Street were shot. Near midnight they all arrived at the emergency room under their own transportation. One was treated and released. One had more substantial but non-life-threatening injuries and the third, 30-year-old Ryan Wilkinson died the following morning from his injuries.

Ryan was the father of a baby girl born a few months ago and seen in this photo. His friends say he was very loving and friendly and will be dearly missed.

The survivors of the shooting have been entirely uncooperative with authorities and so at this time not much more is known about the events or the circumstances surrounding those events. Authorities say that this was not a random act of violence and that the victims were specifically targeted.

This is the fifth homicide in the city of Tacoma this year making this year’s toll significantly higher than previous years. By this time in 2014 there had only been one homicide.

As always, the comments section is moderated and reserved for those who knew Ryan and might want to share stories or memories about him. Any negative comments will not be tolerated or accepted. Also if any friends or family have a photo they would like to share, you can email it to me at jackcameronis@gmail.com.

– Jack Cameron