OOC: The News

A chance occurrence in London's Heathrow Airport leads to a desperate search to find answers to terrible lost knowledge.

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OOC: The News

Postby ghill » Wed Sep 14, 2011 9:35 am

In this thread I'll put any readily available news items which players see wether via the TV, Web, Radio or newspapers. I'll also include any research discoveries made by the investigators.
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:13 am

Found by Greg when researching the link between tattoos and murders

Guardian June 30 2006
Second body part in a week discovered in rural Hertfordshire

"Police are trying to establish the identity of a murder victim after two limbs believed to be from the same body were found a week apart in rural Hertfordshire.

A body part, believed to be a forearm, was found by two walkers in Drovers lane, Wheathampstead, yesterday afternoon. It was left unclothed and uncovered on a grass verge with no apparent attempt made to conceal it. A week earlier a foot was discovered half a mile away miles away in Cottered, off the A507. Analysis suggests the leg came from an adult white or Asian woman between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 6ins tall. The foot was found by the remains of a large fire by a local resident.

A full DNA profile obtained from it did not show up a match on the national database, indicating that the woman did not have a criminal record. Police believe the arm may have been moved by a fox or Red Kite. Both arm and foot were heavily tattood in a style which the police described as ethnic or possibley occult. Both forearm and foot were badly burnt.
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Fri Sep 16, 2011 11:19 am

Found by Greg when researching the link between tattoos and murders

The Evening Standard August 15 2006
Body Parts found in Abandoned factory
A double murder inquiry is under way today after the hackedup body parts of two women were found inside a derelict factory.

The upper torso of a teenager and the leg of an older woman were found buried in ash and rubbish. The gruesome discovery of the leg was made by an elderly tramp searching through the rubbish yesterday at the factory near Wandsworth Bridge, South London . When police searched the area they found the torso.

An initial post-mortem examination today revealed the torso was that of a girl as young as 14, while the leg was that of a woman aged about 20. Both victims were white.

The factory is on the edge of a housing estate and police are hopeful-that because of the location of the find, someone in the area will have spotted any suspicious behaviour.

College Bar landlady Rachel Musrati said today: "We heard yesterday morning that a body had been discovered. Now we know it's a double murder hunt. The whole area is crawling with police trying to find the rest of the bodies. It's an awful situation."

Police believe the body parts may have been dumped several months ago. Police are uncertain whether the body parts are those of a mother and daughter, or whether the victims had been working as prostitutes in the area, which is close to Clapham Junction station both body parts were heavily tattood.

The estate was cordoned off today as police carried out house-to-house inquiries, hoping to find anyone who knows of two women who have recently gone missing. Officers were also searching other derelict buildings in the area for any further body parts.
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:28 am

General News about the House Fire

The following information can be gathered from the morning papers, or watching the news on TV:

Edward Thomas also known as Edon Tolka, 50, Rose Thomas also known Roza Tolka along with Elira Nesimi 12 who they were fostering for Hillingdon Social Services, have not been seen since last night’s fire at their home in Longford, near Heathrow.

Fire Officers have been unable to enter the house due to the fire's severity, and are waiting for it to be declared safe.
Superintendent Gary Hobbs, from the Metropolitan Police Service, said:

"A lot of work has been done by the fire service overnight to damp it down and reduce the temperature enough for work to stabilise the structure to begin and make it safe to enter. Until we can enter the property, we do not know whether the family was inside at the time of the fire, which we believe was started deliberately."
Once it has been deemed safe, which we are hoping will be either this evening or tomorrow, specialist search teams and forensic experts will go in."


He added that even when officers had access to the house, the search could potentially take "several days".

The house, in the quiet village of Longdale, was burning fiercely when fire crews arrived.

One neighbour, who wished to remain anonymous, told the BBC:

"They’ve been here four or five years Ed was a nice guy, always polite if he bumped into you. Rose was the same, she loved children, they didn’t have any. I guess that’s why they started fostering… Rose always said it was to give something back.”
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Wed Nov 02, 2011 10:14 pm

Radio/TV impromptu Police statment about the fire.

Ladies and gentlmen to those who don't know me my name is Superintendant Gary Hobbs. I have a short announcement but I will not be answering questions at this time. The bodies of Mr and Mrs Tolka have been identified as the two corpses found tied to chairs in the kitchen, we are treating the deaths as murders. There is no sign of the third occupant; Elira Nesimi, an Albanian girl who they were caring for Hillingdon Social Services.

We believe Mr and Mrs Thomas may have been tortured before they were killed, they had been tied to chairs in the kitchen. Mr Thomas clearly received several blows to the head which fractured his skull. As yet we have no motive for their murder. Our investigation is far from over, and we will not close it until these arsonists and the missing girl are found!"


The inspector then takes a step back while the man in coveralls steps forward. Hi my name is Martin Timmis, of the Fire and Rescue Service, I'm the head of the investigation being carried out to find exactly how the fire was started. At this point all we can say is whoever started the fire was a skilled arsonist, it’s clear that there was more than one ignition point. As yet we have been unable to identify the materials used to start the fire. Considering the heat which our fire crews reported when fighting the fire I suspect that in this case we will find Mr and Mrs Thomas were killed by the fire itself rather than smoke inhalation.”

The inspector then steps forward again. Can I just add, we are at this point looking for the Tolka’s housekeeper, a lady known as Teto. She is not a suspect but we believe she holds valuable information which will assist us with our enquiries. Thankyou.
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Fri Dec 09, 2011 11:55 am

THE TWO PRINCES an Albanian Fairy Tale

There were once two princes they were followers of Leke Dukagjini, the man who wrote the old laws in Albania which we call the “the Kanun”. These two princes were also brothers; one day they were returning from a great victory over the Turks, when they found their path blocked by a beggar. The two brothers told the beggar to get off the road, the beggar told them that while they might be princes among their own kind, he was a Verbetoi and so they should make way for him. The older of the two brothers took the beggars words as an insult to his honor and ran him through with his sword on the spot.

The two brothers went their separate ways each to their own lands, to see their families and prepare for winter, on Christmas Eve there was a knock at the door of the younger brothers house, it was his brother’s youngest daughter. The Verbetoi and come to the lands of the elder prince’s, her father’s land, they had killed all his peasants and burnt their hovels they had besieged his kullë (defensive tower) and set a great fire at the door when the door was but ashes, the Verbetoi killed her mother, her brothers and sisters, the cattle, the horses even their dogs but before they killed her father they sent the youngest daughter to his brother to tell him he would be next.

Though the younger brother was not afraid he sought out the great prince Leke Dukagjini for his advice, and perhaps his aid. But the Leke was not a stupid man he said to the younger brother “te luftoj verbti, te luftoj zjarr me qaj lotoj” which means “to fight the Verbti, is to fight fire with your tears” For though it would be proper for there to be Gjakmarrja (blood feud) between the younger brother and the Verbetoi it was a fruitless thing.

The Leke said the Verbetoi do not know honour as a good Albanian does, they do not know restraint as a good Albanian does. They would not stop with killing the young prince, or his brothers or uncles or cousins which would be right and proper, but they would kill his sisters, his aunts, his wife and his children, his lands and his homes, they would not stop until the princes line were dead and the Verbetois’ fires danced across his families lands and all trace of it was burnt from the world. The Verbetoi are not bound by the Kanun said the Leke and the young prince was not bound to seek Hakmarrja ("revenge") because of it.

So the younger brother sought out the Verbetoi and ended the Gjakmarrja by paying them in gold. But from that day on the younger brothers hearth was always cold even in the deepest winter because the younger brother said he could hear the fires laughter."
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Re: The News

Postby royya » Tue Dec 20, 2011 4:13 pm

Jacob's Rabbi found the following information about the sigil:
The extract describes a similar sigil found in an early Babalonian text ascribed to summoning and binding an Effrit.
"The most merciful thing in the world is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents."
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Re: The News

Postby ImpInTraining » Wed Dec 21, 2011 2:10 am

Professor Adrian C Gosshamm, Chair of Eastern European Studies at Brichester University.

He is a prominent anthropologist, linguist and folklorist whose work has “mined the rich, often overlooked territory of the Balkans” specifically Albania.

Professor Gosshamm states his academic net is cast so wide he does not believe there is a single name for his field of study he has he claims been an linguist, sociologist, anthropologist and an archaeologists.

As a linguist, studying at Miskatonic University Professor Gosshamm started a long-time interest in the Ur-language, the idea of the hypothetical common ancestor of all the world's spoken languages.

Professor Gosshamm is well known for his preference to carry out his studies in the field where the subjects of his studies are flesh and blood.

Born on June 24, 1960, in Winchester by the time he was a young man, he was already deeply interested in the Balkans. He earned a bachelor’s degree in literature and anthropology from Kings College in 1981 and a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Miskatonic University in 1986.

Before joining the Brichester faculty, Professor Gosshamm taught at Harvard; the University of California, Berkeley; and the University of London. He was a past president of the European Anthropological Association.
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Re: The News

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Dec 21, 2011 6:13 am

From the high mountain valleys of the Tropoje region of the Northern Albania Alps, they are one of Europe’s last remaining indigenous people and have been recognised as such by the European Union and given indigenous people status (they get funding for schools and programs which encourage the Verbetoi culture)

Albanian government records indicate an estimated current population size anywhere in the range of 2,000 to 7,000 mainly concentrated around lake Ligeni Komanit. Estimating the Verbti population is complicated both by the remote location of many villages, as well as the Verbtis’ secretive nature and distrust of the Albanian authorities. With the aid of EU cultural grants ([1]) the Albanian government has instituted several programs to encourage the Verbti to abandon their traditional lifestyle, but they continue to cling to their age-old customs and beliefs.

While made painfully difficult by the Verbti's distrust of the outside world the study of Verbtism the religion remains a topic of interest to some theologians, philosophers, and those engaged in comparative religion mainly because they are monotheistic Europe's last true polytheistic religion. The study of the Verbti people largely appeals to anthropologists because their largely self imposed isolation from modern society makes their way of life, diet and cultural practices worthy of study.

The last ten or so years has seen a drastic change in the Verbti, mirroring changes already apparent in Albania’s organised crime. Both Albanian and Verbti organized crime has its roots in traditional family-based clans. But after the collapse of communism in the late 1980s, and the events in the Balkans through the nineties and early twenty-first century both are showing a level of sophistication previously unheard of.

The Verbti’s attitude to the rest of societies morals and laws has always placed them on the wrong side of the authorities; they were little more than bandit gangs who robbed the locals mercilessly. Built around the family unit or ‘fis’ the clans is patriarchal in nature and built upon a tradition of machismo and family loyalty.

The breakdown of Albanian central government in the late 90's, left swathes of north-eastern and southern Albania only nominally under government control, became virtual strongholds for organised crime.

While the Verbti had been heavily involved in smuggling under the communist regime. After the collapse of communism in the late 1980s, the Verbti essentially found their business evaporating over night as border controls were relaxed and otherwise restricted items flooded over the border.

Initially the Verbti turned to the smuggling of Heroin. Traditionally Turkish heroin entered Western Europe via Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia, however as a result of the Kosovo war this route was effectively closed. The Verbti, with their existing smuggling routes and infrastructure found themselves ih the ideal position to guarantee safe routes through the war zone.
As the war progressed however the Verbti found a more lucrative and less risky trade, along with heroin and weapons they started to transport ethnic Albanians out of Kosovo. Over time this element of their business continued to expand such that people trafficking now makes up the vast majoirity of Verbti smuggling activities.
Smuggling

The Verbti like the other Albanian gangs, started to develop into a more sophisticated organisation, in some cases coming to resemble legitimate businesses, in other cases political organisations, the Verbti developed along lines similar to a terrorist organisation with terrorist-style cells or 'crews', each one based around a family group; they also moved out of their traditional brigandage and moved into more lucrative criminal endeavours.

The collapse of Yugoslavia and the struggle of ethnic Albanian 'Kosovars' for independence for the Serbian-controlled Kosovo region initially Albanian gangs the Verbti among them established a lucrative trade running guns to the Kosovo Liberation Army.

The Verbti operation grew in both size and influence as they developed and ran two major smuggling routes into Kosovo while essentially taxing the rest. As the Verbti smuggling operation developed, it attracted the attention of more sophisticated organisations. The collapse of Yugoslavia meant the Turkish drug gangs needed to look for new routes to move their heroin into Europe, the Verbti among others were happy to provide the Turks with both couriers and distributors, in return they learnt tradecraft from the more established Turks.

The influx of money had a profound impact on the Verbti the former bandit operation began to transform into something considerably more sophisticated, with its own heroin processing facilities, in house money laundering and a well-developed distribution system.

The Verbti’s departure from the heroin trade was as rapid as its arrival, while the majority of Verbti bosses remained hidden to the law, the verbti’s participation in the heroin trade was attracting uncalled for attention, the Verbti elders decision to leave the drug trade behind them was almost unanimous.

While fraught with risk smuggling arms and drugs had proved a profitable venture for the Verbti, the desire to make money was still strong they simply had to look for a cargo, which involved less risk; they found it in Kosovo where the violence continued unabated. People increasingly desperate to leave were willing to pay the Verbti to get them out. Using the same network, they had developed for moving drugs, as well as links built with certain Italian gangs the Verbti ran an extremely profitable trade in smuggling refugees across the Adriatic into Italy and Europe.

The end of the conflict in Kosovo saw thousands of Kosovar Albanians returning to their homes, the verbti’s smuggling trade dried up almost overnight. The Verbti’s own skewed outlook on humanity now led them down a darker path. High levels of unemployment and severe rural poverty in Romania and Albania coupled with the traditionally low status of women in the Balkans contributed to an explosion in the trafficking of girls and women from Albania, Rumania and elsewhere in the Balkans through Albania, Bosnia and Italy, to countries such as Belgium, France, Greece, Italy and the UK.

The Verbti’s real arrival in London can be traced back to late 2001, Albanian criminal groups which included several Verbti Fis struck a deal with the Maltese gangsters, who at the time ran the Soho sex industry in London, the deal allowed the Albanians to provide their girls to the existing brothels.

The National Criminal Intelligence Service (NCIS) who had always expected that after the collapse of the Soviet Union the Russian Mafia would make a bid to move into the British sex industry. The arrival of the Albanians watched with a great deal of interest expecting a violent struggle between Russians and Albanians.

But the Russian invasion never came. The Albanians had already admirably demonstrated they were just as ruthless and heavily armed as their Russian counterparts, the dons of the Russian Mafia might be hardened ex-cons from the Russian gulag but they are also extremely practical, fighting for part of London’s sex-tourism £12 million a year turnover simply
wasn’t worth the effort.

This is not to say the arrival of the Albanian gangs has not resulted in violence, blood feuds, which started in Albania, are continued in London. The Verbti however remain aloof from the petty squabbles of the other Albanian gangs, of course when the turf is full then the situation is likely to change especially if as seems likely the Albanians decide to cut out the Maltese and set up their own places.

Whatever happens it is likely the Verbti will remain the toughest of nuts for the British police to crack while the other Albanian gangs have similar rigid internal rules and rigorous punishments for betrayal, the Verbti unlike the other gangs refuse to bring in people from outside the fis even if it means they are slower to expand subsequently they are almost impossible for the police to penetrate. The Fis provide cash to rent or buy flats in Soho, and the profits are returned to Albania.
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Re: The News

Postby ghill » Tue Jan 17, 2012 1:00 am

The Verbti claim they precede the arrival of the ancient Illyrians to the Balkan region. They claim it was their ancestors who passed their knowledge of metal work and the domestication of horses to the Illyrians.

Current theories about the origin of the Verbti differ greatly. This is unsurprising as academics continue to debate the origins of the Albanian people, data drawn from historical texts (Justin, Polybius, Strabo, Ptolemy, etc) as well as linguistic, archaeological, and anthropological studies suggests the Albanians are the descendants of the ancient Illyrians. Most mainstream historians identify the Verbti with the Illyrians. This is certainly an easy theory to agree with as the Illyrians were a broad ill-defined group of peoples who inhabited much of the western Balkans.

In truth the Illyrian theory does little to clarify matters. Some academics point to Pliny’s Natural History in which when speaking of the “Illyri proprie dicti” ("Illyrians properly so-called") Pliny explicitly excludes the Verbti. Adding “they preceded the Illyrians and were like, but not of the Thracian Stock, both wild and uncivilised. Only their horses and metalwork were handsome”. Interesting also, the ancient Greek historian and geographer Strabo documented both the Illyrian and Thracian tribes, but does not include the Verbti among either.

Some pre-historians support the Verbti argument that they predate both Illyrians and Thracians, going so far as to claim the Verbti might be a pre Eneolithic (post Stone Age, pre-Bronze Age) culture. Archaeologists however, are quick to point out the lack of physical evidence to support this theory. Adherents to the Eneolithic argument however point to the Verbti's migration into the area, and claim that the evidence is to be found elsewhere ( - this claim doesn't go so far as to say where the evidence might be).

Some historians observe that the Verbetoi are as notable in their absence as by inclusion in matters of historical import, in Baxter’s “Ancient Tribes of the Balkans (Oxford University Press 1915) he perhaps unkindly notes “no other people have done less to influence history”.
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Re: OOC: The News

Postby ghill » Mon Mar 11, 2013 11:15 pm

Guardian May 4th 2008

Professor Adrian C. Gosshamm, Chair of Eastern European Studies at Brichester University was one of the nations most prominent anthropologist. A linguist and folklorist whose work “mined the rich, often overlooked territory of the Balkans” specifically Albania, was bludgeoned to death in broad daylight on Wednesday.

A gang of men armed with an assortment of meat cleavers, kitchen knives and machetes murdered Professor Gosshamm in broad daylight while he did some lunchtime shopping on Brichester high street. Witnesses say professor Gossham may have known his attackers as he pleaded with them when their two cars pulled up either side of him as he left a local newsagent preventing him from fleeing.

CCTV footage show the attackers surrounding the professor before brutally attacking him with a variety of weapons.
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