Francis Mulbarth Murder Revisited 15 Years Later

Francis Mulbarth, author and illustrator of the "Grobbits" comic that has become a major focus of interest in the recent death of Colonel Grimm, was murdered in Riverside fifteen years ago after his first issue of Grobbits was released. The comic was not a success, selling merely thirty copies on release day. Mulbarth didn't even receive a single check from Aias Books (his publisher) because he was killed while walking the River Walk not far from the Military Honor park that was built that year to honor all the Riverside Veterans who've served in the United States Armed Forces. 

He was stabbed in the liver, and although such an act is a particularly messy and risky way to murder someone, no DNA evidence and no witnesses made tracking down his assailant impossible. 

Now that Colonel Grimm's death is rumored to be a homicide, many Riverside citizens are speculating that Mulbarth's murder might have something to do with Colonel Grimm's. After all, Colonel Grimm did have many of Mulbarth's originals and did have one of the copies of the Grobbit comic. 

Mulbarth's case is still open for investigation, and Police Chief Willis has stated that it is possible that a link between the two crimes might exist. "We do not deal in speculation, though," Willis said. "We are looking for evidence and facts. We do not want to alarm anyone or to create some silly uproar over some comic books and an old man's natural death. Show me facts, like the comic books that were found in the industrial park, and I will show you a group of dedicated and highly-trained officers ready to do their jobs."

All of these new developments are taking a lot of attention away from the Zeva Pacariz case, which we still have no new information on. And people are beginning to wonder if we ever will have new information about that case at all.

There is no new information about Mulbarth's case either, but a Mulbarth scholar from Australia (where Grobbits was wildly popular after Mulbarth's murder) has come to town and is verifying and cataloguing what is likely to be almost 100,000 dollars worth of Mulbarth work. Norman Dashgoth has been working on a book about Grobbits titled, "Grobbits: an Illustrated History" and is hoping that his university in Australia will pay the money needed to purchase all the comics and originals that were discovered by a loading dock in the industrial park earlier this week. 

"This is an amazing find for myself and the world, really," Dashgoth said. "Certainly I am sad that Colonel Grimm passed, but in that box of comics is access to one of the greatest comic minds who ever lived. A man whose life was cut short. And with those books, I will have all I need to honor his life and work the way it deserves."

If anyone has information regarding either of the two murders, please contact the Riverside Police Department or The Riverside Tribune. More to come as it develops.

 

 

More Mulbarth Originals Uncovered

Yesterday a Mulbarth expert arrived at the Riverside Police Department to authenticate the Mulbarth comics and original work that was located in a box outside a loading dock in the Industrial Park. The expert, Norman Dashgoth, said "There are at least ten original pieces here, and it is very likely that the #1 issue of Grobbits in the box is an original copy and not a replica. So the collection is worth quite a bit of money to real collectors. I would be surprised if it didn't fetch at least 85,000 dollars once the word gets out.

Original Mulbarth Artwork

Another one of the originals has been reprinted here:

Norman Dashgoth noted that this original piece is extremely odd for Mulbarth because the Grobbits universally have red wings, and this one has green wings. In addition to that, this Grobbit seems a lot more violent than the rest despite there being no violent action in the piece. "He's just standing on a rock, but almost all of the pictures had a Grobbit looking at cheese or smelling cheese or at least the hint of cheese somewhere nearby."

When asked what that might mean, Dashgoth said, "It's hard to say. But I'm guessing this is a piece that gives his a look into Mulbarth's growth. I know that it seems silly; the wings are just a different color. But sometimes a change that minor can mean the difference between art and trash." 

Police Chief Willis still has not commented on the fact that he reported that no comics were found at Colonel Grimm's house on the day his body was discovered, and there is still no word on whether or not Colonel Grimm's death is now being investigated as a homicide. It would seem that since the comics that had belonged to Colonel Grimm were found rifled through in a shady part of Riverside that the case would be reopened. We'll continue to press Chief Willis on that matter in the coming days.

Pages from Missing Comic Book Located

Just a few days after Colonel Grimm was found dead in his home and Police Chief Willis claimed that there were no comic books in Colonel Grimm's home, a box of comic books that were lousy with Colonel Grimm's fingerprints were located in a box outside one of the loading docks in the Industrial Park. The books were discovered and turned over to authorities by an anonymous tipper, and it seems that among the comic books were a few of the originals from Francis Mulbarth's comic book Grobbits which was published by Aias Books before Mulbarth was murdered in Riverside fifteen years ago.

Currently we are only aware of one complete issue (#1 "Bad Cheese") and it is believed that the originals discovered in what is likely Colonel Grimm's collection are originals from that first issue. The originals (and all the comics) are in surprisingly good condition despite having been hauled across town and dumped in a known drug-addict hang-out. 

Some of the comics were destroyed and among the hundreds of sleeved comics, there were a few empty sleeves. This could mean that there were some empty sleeves to begin with, but it is also possible that the thieves had better transport sleeves or they may not have known what they were doing. It's also possible that some children took books they were interested in reading and had no idea what the books were actually worth. All of that is mere speculation, and we will make sure to report on the facts as they are revealed.

The collection is worth an estimated 50,000 dollars, and the police are communicating with Colonel Grimm's estate lawyer to determine what will be done with the books now that they have been located. It is unknown at this time if he had made any plan for the comics in his will.

Supposedly this is an original from the Francis Mulbarth comic Grobbits released just prior to his murder.

Supposedly this is an original from the Francis Mulbarth comic Grobbits released just prior to his murder.

Here is a reproduction of one of the originals that was recovered. We cannot verify it until the book is appraised and authenticated by an expert, but we believe it is, in fact, a Mulbarth original.

It is rumored that the money from the sale of the comics could go toward funding a new VFW that Harold Lattimer might be asked to run. Neither Lattimer nor Police Chief Willis were available to comment on that.

Colonel Grimm's Death Not Being Investigated as a Homicide

Local Residents Raise Homicide Questions in Veteran's Death

Local residents have called into the tribune suggesting that the recent death of Colonel Grimm might not have been from natural causes, and even that the police are covering the murder up. These calls have all been anonymous tips and because of that Police Chief Willis has made it clear that the citizens who believe this death to be a homicide should come forward and be brave enough to make themselves known to the community rather than hiding in the shadows. "We cannot afford to open homicide cases based on speculation and rumors when we are short-handed as it is. There is a lot of actual policing to do in Riverside. So we aren't going to go looking for work where there is no reason to look Show me a crime and I will show you an officer ready to enforce the law."

When pressed for information regarding what the anonymous tippers had indicated as evidence to support their claims about the homicide, Chief Willis stated, "The callers claimed that there was some rare comic book at Colonel Grimm's house, and, supposedly, it was worth a lot of money. None of officers ever saw a comic book in the house. So you can see why we would be skeptical about a claim like that. No comic books, no fire in this case."

If there are any citizens willing to talk to us about the comic or about whatever evident they have to support the claim that Colonel Grimm's death might be a murder, please contact The Tribune and let us know what you think happened so that we can do something. If this was a murder, then we want to get to the bottom of it as bad as the rest of the citizens in our community. If it was death by natural causes, then we want to settle it to let Colonel Grimm rest peacefully.

Police Chief Willis stated that he has an open door policy and that any citizen who wants to speak with him on this matter or any other related to the safety of Riverside need only come by the station and talk to the Desk Officer. 

There is little else to say at this time other than that we at The Tribune are very eager to help solve this case if it is a murder and very eager to settle it as a natural death if that is the case. We want the truth and we want to give the truth to you. 

Colonel Grimm Last Surviving Riverside Korean War Vet Passes Away

The artist who sketched this portrait was fired because The Colonel looked way older than this.  

The artist who sketched this portrait was fired because The Colonel looked way older than this.  

Less than two weeks after Harold's Bar burned to the ground, Riverside's oldest veteran and Harold Bar's oldest regular patron was found dead in his home. 

"It is almost certain that he passed peacefully in his sleep," said Police Chief Willis when asked if there was any possibility of foul play. The reason he was asked about potential homicide was that there have been a rash of violent acts over the past few week, and we felt it was our responsibility to rule out foul play.

"Colonel Grimm was a beloved man and he had no enemies that we know of. But he was 98 years old, and no matter how you look at it, that's a lot of years to be on this planet," said Willis.

Harold's owner, Harold Lattimer was asked about Grimm's death and he said, "I always knew the Colonel would be there when I came by. I talked to him about all kinds of things. Not just his time in Korea either. The man really enjoyed rare comic books. He was passionate about one comic, "Grobbits" or something like that. He loved how bad it was. I never got a chance to check it out, but I was glad to know he had joy in his life. It's always refreshing when you meet an old guy who's been through so much and all he wants to do is laugh."

Colonel Grimm had three sons, but they all died before him in various accidents. His wife, Loretta, also died ten years ago from heart complications. It is unclear what will happen with his estate, but from what the police have stated, "Most of it will be donated to keeping Riverside beautiful. He really loved the River Walk and the Veterans Honor Park."

Colonel Grimm fought in a few battles during his time in Korea. But the most famous battle was The Battle of Old Baldy which consisted of five engagements and occurred over a period of ten months. 

This has been a rough few weeks for our town. Hopefully happier news will come our way before too long. 

RHS Honor Student Talks About O'Duffy

Fiona Lawrence, Valedictorian who is headed to Brown in the fall to pursue a degree Microbiology was a classmate of Jordan O'Duffy. When the story of his arrest was released to the public, she reached out to The Tribune because, as she said, "I felt it was my duty to tell the community what I knew about him."

Sketch of Fiona Lawrence.

Sketch of Fiona Lawrence.

"He was a quiet kid," said Lawrence. "He was always in class with me while we were dissecting fetal pigs, and he seemed nice for the most part. The only thing I ever thought that was odd about him was how much time he spent looking at my fingernails. And, to be honest, most guys that people would call "normal" don't spend much time looking at my fingers."

Lawrence agreed to answer a few specific questions that we thought the public would be interested in having the answers to. Here is that exchange:

Do you think Jordan O'Duffy is a terrorist?

"I think Jordan was pushed around a lot and that people in Riverside blame him for things that he never had anything to do with. We all know about his grandma and what she did before he was born. Maybe other people can't let it go because it affected them more directly, but I don't blame him for that, and I don't blame him for what happened with Zeva either. If she is a terrorist and she was building bombs, I don't think he had anything to do with that."

Do you think that it's possible Zeva Pacariz was taking advantage of Jordan?

"Yes. I think that's possible. I mean, that's almost always the story, right? The kids are vulnerable to suggestion because they're lonely and angry. He was lonely. I don't know that he was angry, though. There were rumors of some horrible stuff that happened to him in the locker room, and I saw some guys picking on Jordan from time to time. I can't say that he wanted revenge or anything. He was just a kid who didn't fit in and, I think, once he gets out of here that he might find someplace where he can live the life he wants to live without paying for the sins of his grandma."

What happened to Jordan in the locker room?

"I don't know that the rumors are true. So I don't want to start something that will be reported in the paper and maybe cause problems for people who shouldn't get dragged into it."

Did you ever meet Zeva when she worked at the school?

"I only saw her pushing trash cans around and doing regular Janitorial work. So I don't have much to say about her."

Was Jordan ever angry?

"I said before that he didn't seem especially angry. And I meant it. I think that Jordan was just a kid in high school like the rest of us. The main difference that I saw was that he didn't talk to anyone much, and when he did talk people were not often kind to him. Kids were pointing and laughing at him. I don't know if I could have done anything differently to make things easier on him, but I do know that I have goals and aspirations. Most people do. And it makes sense to me that Jordan does too. He always had a notebook with him. I never saw what was inside it. But I didn't ever see what was inside. I heard from someone one time that he was drawing and writing poems. That was interesting to me, but we never talked about it in class. And the only time we ever talked was in class. So, you know, I just don't know enough about who he is or who he wants to be to really say something definitive about what he wanted to do with his life. I don't know. I think he's a good kid who didn't have much help. Maybe that's unfair. I don't know what his home life was like. He was never at mass. Maybe if he had gone to church more, none of this wold've happened. Maybe we could've helped him and his mom. I'm not sure why they stopped coming."

Lawrence will attend Brown in the fall on a full scholarship. 

Article by Davis McKiernan

 

Green Tech Company, Sarkar, Looks to make Industrial Park New Home

Despite the recent U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate agreement, many green technology companies have been searching for new places where they can find affordable labor and manufacturing facilities within the United States.

According to Egan Spoor (the owner of a national tech firm Sarkar) "There is no where else in the country where I can get facilities this cheaply or where I have access to so many potential employees. Yes the unemployment rate is high in Riverside, and yes the Industrial park is in bad shape. But I believe if I, or anyone with the means to, comes into town and gives people a reason to wake up in the morning, if we give them something good to work toward, then they will wake up and they will be happy to live in this city again."

Sketch of Egan Spoor.

Sketch of Egan Spoor.

Sarkar has produced a wide range of products from solar-rechargable batteries to solar-powered air conditioning prototypes. "Our next big project," said Spoor, "Is to make a car that will never need to be refueled unless you travel more than a few thousand miles without stopping. I know this is achievable, and we will do it within the next two years. I want to do it right here in Riverside and make this community thrive the way it did half a century ago."

Burke Marker has welcomed Spoor into the community and made it clear that he also wants to invest in Sarkar's success because "If a company like this comes into town, a company that is thinking about the future, then we can be a part of a wave of new products and ideas that will breathe new life into parts of our town that are dying."

When asked about the recent arrest of a suspected terrorist and if such an arrest might deter him from investing in Riverside, Spoor said, "This is the world we live in now. If I decided that I was going to avoid working in communities where terrorists might be, then I would have to stop working altogether. We can all lock our doors and never go outside or we can figure out how to live in the world the way it is. Nowhere is safe unless we make it that way. I believe in God and I believe God gave us the ability to do good. We cannot sit around and wait for the world to fall apart around us and expect God to fix it for us. He wants us to learn and adapt and fix problems; solving problems is one of the most amazing things about being human. I aim to solve problems with science and by building strong communities around industries that will make things better for the world. When we invest in our communities, we invest in the people who live there. We need each other to thrive despite what we've been told by the people in power for the last half century."

Sarkar industries is in talks with many of the owners of the factories and storage depots around town and Spoor believes that they'll begin moving in within the year and that production, on various products, will begin next Spring.

"I believe in Riverside," Sarkar said. 'And I believe in America."

Turkish Doner Kebab Cart Owner Beaten and Hospitalized

Sketch of Altan Dimirci while sitting in hospital room.

Sketch of Altan Dimirci while sitting in hospital room.

Altan Dimirci, the owner of Altan's Awesome Kebab's stand was beaten and hospitalized in the early morning hours of Friday. Although his injuries are not life threatening, he was non-responsive when the Riverside Police arrived on scene.

Dimirci said that his assailants yelled, "Go home, Muslim," to him just before they began beating him.

In an interview inside his hospital room, Dimirci said, "But I'm not Muslim. I am a Christian, and I am a second-generation American. I just want to sell people good food."

Dimirci did not recognize his attackers, but he hopes that the increasing tension in the city of Riverside can somehow be curbed. "This is a beautiful city, and it's a beautiful country. I don't understand where all the hate is coming from."

There are rumors of a growing white-supremacist movement on Riverside's West side, but our editors were hesitant to print that information without being able to verify it in any substantive way. The two recent attacks and the report that Dimirci filed stating that his assailants called him a Muslim before attacking, make it seem likely that hate groups are forming and are becoming emboldened to act.

Altan's Awesome Kebab's has been a staple in the community for fifteen years. "I used to love working late at night and giving food to people who'd spent their night dancing and having fun," said Dimirci. "Now I don't know if I will ever have the courage to work after dark again."

Riverside Police Chief Willis stated that, "We will find these criminals and stop this horrific violence. There is no place for this garbage in our city or in America. It's our job to stop this, and we will do our job. No matter what it takes."

Local Bar Destroyed in Fire: Arson Suspected

On May 29th, Memorial Day, a fire consumed Harold's. The bar was frequented by a large number of Riverside-area veterans and had been since the VFW shut down in 2003. There are no suspects in the arson investigation currently, but Harold's was where Zeva Pacariz was employed and where Sheena O'Duffy (the mother of Jordan O'Duffy) had been employed as well. There is still no word on where or when Pacariz will be tried, and to date Jordan O'Duffy is still free and not charged with anything.

Artist's Sketch of Harold Lattimer.

Artist's Sketch of Harold Lattimer.

Harold Lattimer, Harold's owner, said, "If this was because I had an illegal working at my bar, then I need people to understand that I did not know she was here illegally. But I can also say this. No one else was coming around the bar looking to scrub toilets. So I had to hire someone. Work doesn't just do itself, and all these people sitting around waiting for their lives to get better without doing any work are just as much the problem as illegals are. I might not have said something like that if I still had anything to lose. But my bar's gone now. So there it is."

This suspected arson comes not even ten days following Zeva Pacariz's arrest, and as Burke Marker stated on the phone this afternoon, "We have to do something to get this under control. Our community is consuming itself. For a long time it was just in the Industrial Park, and we were working hard to change that. We were working hard to get folks to come in here and set up shop, to build things in Riverside again. I can only do so much, though. If the people of this town want to be rotten, then they're gonna be. It's not up to one man to make good choices for everyone. Whoever set that fire, if it was arson, needs to own up to it. We need businesses in our community for it to thrive. And we need new businesses if we want our community to grow. Who is going to want to come into a town where you've got terrorists and folks burning down bars? Riverside can be a good place for people to live and work again."

The police had no comment on the arson today. 

What will become of Zeva Pacariz?

There is still no word on what will happen to Zeva Pacariz, but as Police Chief Willis stated in his press conference this morning, “Law enforcement agencies are still working to determine what the best course of action is. We want to do what is best for the community as well as the country.”

"Artist's" sketch of Cathy Day.

"Artist's" sketch of Cathy Day.

One Riverside resident, Cathy Day, who worked with Jordan O’Duffy at the IGA claimed that she talked with Zeva on many occasions. Zeva cashed her paychecks at the IGA and bought groceries there. “She bought an awful lot of matches,” Day said. “I didn’t think anything of it until I heard that you could use them for bombs. Immediately after that I thought about how Jordan had quit working at the store, and I wondered. Is this kid just like his grandma was?”

O’Duffy quit his job at the IGA without notice not long before Zeva was arrested, and despite what many in the community still seem to believe, O’Duffy is no longer a suspect in this case. He was released on the day Zeva was arrested, and according to Police Chief Willis, “No longer being investigated. He was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.”

Although that is true at the moment, citizens like Cathy Day are continuing to speculate as to O’Duffy’s involvement with Zeva. “If he wasn’t working on bombs with her, then what was he doing over there? He was skipping school? He quit his job? Why else would he be spending time at a janitor’s house and not telling anyone?”

The Riverside Muslim community released a statement saying that “We do not condone terrorism or violence of any kind. If Zeva is guilty, then she should be punished according to the law. If she is innocent, then we will welcome her into our community and do everything in our power to fight for her citizenship.

Cathy Day also said of Zeva and O’Duffy, “I’m not sure what it was, but I could tell something was different about her. I knew what was wrong with O'Duffy. But Zeva was a mystery. I guess that the mystery is solved now.”

But the mystery is not solved and we urge citizens to wait to pass judgment. 

Quick Thinking Veteran Thwarts Terror Plot.

"Artist's" rendering of Randall Thompson.

"Artist's" rendering of Randall Thompson.

Local hero and Operation Enduring Freedom veteran Randall Thompson's quick thinking and bravery resulted in the capture of two suspected terrorists: Jordan O'Duffy and Zeva Pacariz (last name and true identity still unverified.)

Thompson suspected something was odd about Zeva when he learned that she'd worked at Riverside High School for such a short time. A few days before her arrest, he tracked her to her apartment and noticed that Jordan O'Duffy entering. A few days later when he heard that O'Duffy had been arrested, Thompson ran to Zeva's apartment and then convinced her to turn herself in, stopping a potential terrorist action.

Thompson refused to comment on the case beyond saying, "She is innocent until proven guilty, and Jordan was just in the wrong place at the wrong time."

But Police Chief Willis has stated that the book Zeva handed the officers on the day of her capture is "Quite a piece of damning evidence" and that "it is safe to say that she won't be free to live in Riverside ever again."

The trial will be where final judgment is passed, and it is set to begin in two weeks barring any delays or outside interference. Local authorities have stated that they are willing to allow federal agencies to "do what they must" in order to prosecute Zeva so that if she is found guilty, then she will be punished harshly and swiftly.

 

 

O'Duffy: Bad Apple or Bad Luck?

Jordan O'Duffy was arrested on Friday, May 19th, after an anonymous tip was called in to the Riverside Police Department. O'Duffy is suspected of having knowingly participated in the planning stages of a terror plot along with an illegal immigrant who recently took up residence in the Riverrun Apartments along the west bank of the St. John River. 

Sketch of Jordan O'Duffy: suspected terrorist. 

Sketch of Jordan O'Duffy: suspected terrorist. 

The main suspect's real name has not been verified, but she is known to many Riverside residents as Zeva and was previously a custodian at Riverside High School before being fired by Howard Cole after he'd learned the truth about her immigration status. She was then hired on at Harold's Bar where O'Duffy's mother, Sheena O'Duffy, also works. Sheena O'Duffy is not a suspect at this time.

Nearly twenty years ago Jordan O'Duffy's maternal grandmother, Lydia O'Duffy, was responsible for the bombing of Riverside's Planned Parenthood Clinic which opened despite the local community's disapproval and a strong condemnation of the project by St. Joseph Parrish's Priest, Father Dermot McCloud who said: "The people in our world who I believe need more help than anyone are the unborn children that these clinics seek to snuff out."

Also not in favor of the clinic was Riverside's Burke Marker (philanthropist and businessman), and he was instrumental in delaying the clinic's opening by hiring a team of lawyers that found various zoning and legal obstacles that the clinic's founder (Chase Lorraine) had to overcome in order to break ground.

After the clinic opened, it only operated for a year and a half before it was destroyed by a pipe bomb. Three people were killed in the blast, including Burke Marker's sister, Annie Lott, who was one of the clinic nurses.

No one we contacted today was willing to comment on the O'Duffy case. The investigation is ongoing, and we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.