PLANET VALENTI News and Commentary

(FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE, WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14, 2011) — Sources within a local law enforcement agency have told THE PLANET that prior to his murder, David Glasser, who was to be the prosecution’s star witness in the trial of Hell’s Angels’ member Adam “Leo” Hall, made multiple requests for protection from Berkshire County District Attorney David Capeless’ office.

Were those requests heeded? Yes, says Capeless.

“We helped him,” said Capeless this morning in an exclusive interview with THE PLANET. “We did. I’m not going to get into [the details] right now. At times, I can be reluctant to talk about that, but we have helped people in this case, a number of witnesses in this [Hall’s] case, and responded to every reasonable request to ensure their safety.”

DA: When Hall Made Bail, His Office Reached Out for Witness Protection

Capeless said his office took the initiative not just with Glasser’s protection but also that of other potential witnesses against Hall. His office began contacting witnesses in connection with the many charges faced by Hall as soon as Hall made bail, (obviously, prior to the most recent murder charges lodged against him). Capeless would not say how many witnesses his office has assisted with protection from Hall.

In addition to the drug and assault charges, Hall faces trial on charges of kidnapping, extortion, child pornography, and witness intimidation. Hall, Roy Gutfinski, and David Chalue were arraigned on murder charges in Central Berkshire District Court. They are accused of murdering Glasser, Robert Chadwell, and Edward Frampton. All three entered pleas of not guilty.

Is the DA Looking into Other Suspects in Connection with the Murders? Yes

THE PLANET asked Capeless if he was looking into the operations of Hell’s Angels and other Hell’s Angels members in connection with the murders. Choosing his word carefully, Capeless said, “We are continuing to investigate. We are looking to see if there are any other people who haven’t been charged in connection to these crimes [the murders].”

From that statement and those more informally made by other law enforcement officials, it appears that there are others who are being investigated in connection with the murders.

Glasser Was Relocated but Decided to Return to Pittsfield

THE PLANET shared with Capeless a source’s claim that at least on one occasion, Glasser came physically into the DA’s office to discuss protection. Capeless would not comment on that.

Capeless said that at one point, the DA’s office relocated Glasser to a new location. Capeless would not say where but added that Glasser returned to Pittsfield “at his decision.” Thus, we have learned from DA: (1) The DA’s office paid for Glasser’s relocation and (2) Glasser returned against the DA’s advice.

Capeless said in such a situation, his office meets with witnesses, discusses the situation, “and tries to assess if it is in their best interest or not” to leave relocation and return. If Glasser did in fact ignore the DA’s advice, it certainly casts a new light on the issue of witness protection. In fairness to the DA, what more could his office do? You can only take people into protective custody or relocated then with their consent.

DA: Glasser Spoke to Office on Multiple Occasions About Protection

Capeless said Glasser spoke about protection on multiple occasions “to people connected with my office. He was in close contact with law enforcement in connection with my office throughout the case [against Hall].  They were checking in on him. The requests [Glasser] made [to the DA’s office] were responded to.”

Capeless then chided THE PLANET for focusing “solely on Glasser,” reminding us that with the multiple charges that Hall faces, many other witnesses against him are involved.

“[The DA’s office] is involved with other people concerned with this case,” Capeless said, “and have assisted others in many different ways. We’ve sat down and talked with people.” He said that on some occasions, his office has helped people get protection while maintaining as normal a life as possible, such as staying with friends at locations known only to his office.

Capeless said his office has relocated at the DA’s expense other witnesses against Hall. In fact, he said the Hall case has forced his office for the first time ever to tap into the state’s witness protection fund: “We’ve requested this for the first time, tapped into this, and are starting to make requests that way.” He said the Hall case has strained his local witness protection budget.

Capeless Dispels ‘Rumors’ About Laxity in Witness Protection

Asked if he wanted to add anything, Capeless said he wanted to counter “the rumors” that his office did not properly respond to Glasser’s requests or those of other witnesses against Hall: “We have never not responded to a reasonable request to provide protection or to work with people to help them find their own protection. We have always been available, and we stay in touch with people.”

He said “it can be difficult in trying to work with [a witness]” to balance their need for safety with their desire to “go on with their lives. We ourselves have reached out to people in this case, to try to ensure their safety. These conversations occurred when Hall made bail, and as soon as Glasser and the others were found missing. Some people jumped to the conclusion that we hadn’t protected these people. To the contrary. We had.”

What Constitutes a ‘Request’ for Help?

It’s more than semantics to consider what requests for help indicate. Capeless says his office was in regular contact with Glasser about his safety. So when sources say Glasser made three “requests” for help, does that imply more than routine? Or is it just imprecise wording?

Though sources said the exact timeline isn’t clear, they believe Glasser’s first “request for help” came shortly after Hall allegedly lured Glasser to his home in Peru, Mass., and beat him with a baseball bat, accusing Glasser of stealing a car from him. Sources believe Glasser made a second request following Hall’s frame-up attempt on Glasser to prevent him from testifying against the reputed Hell’s Angels sergeant at arms. A third request, against according to sources, occurred after Hall got out on bail in connection with earlier charges related to drugs and assault.

Capeless again insisted that his office met every reasonable request for help while proactively reaching out to help Glasser and others involved in the Hall cases.

How, When, and Where Were the Three Killed?

Meanwhile, rumors continue to abound about where the three men were killed and how. Sources told THE PLANET the bodies of the three men, in “hacked up” condition, were found in a makeshift grave in a remote area of the Pittsfield State Forest. From the sketchy accounts thus far made, it appears they were killed first then transported by car to the state forest. It appears they were bludgeoned to death. Again, we repeat, none of this has been officially confirmed.

These stories would seem to line up with information reported by The website witnesses seeing an area off Potter Mountain Road blocked off and a car being towed out of the state forest on Sunday, when police were searching there.

A witness described the car as a “Ford Festiva, maybe around 1997 or 1998, green and black.” The witness said the car had no plates on it.

The iBerkshires web site also reported in an unsigned news story that “Some relatives of victim Robert T. Chadwell expressed frustration after the arraignment with what some of them perceived as a failure on the part of authorities to protect Glasser as a witness against Hall, despite stated fears of retaliation.

One family member, who identified herself as Yvette, said she felt that fears of retaliation by Hall or associates of his were not taken seriously by police. “Pittsfield is just not equipped for this. Pittsfield failed these men.”

During a tight-lipped press conference on Sunday, Capeless, according to iBerkshires,  “said precautions were made to keep Glasser safe that were in line with witness’s wishes.”

Capeless didn’t spell out what he meant by the cryptic phrase, “in line with the witness’s wishes.” The phrase shifts the onus of responsibility on the victim and implies that his office took precautions requested by Glasser, which Capeless strongly repeated to THE PLANET today in defense of his office’s actions.

And the BB’s Focus? Of the Smoking Gun Mugshot

Meanwhile, the largest newspaper in the county, the one that could put the most resources into this investigation, apparently cares about The Mug Shot.  The Boring Broadsheet would rather fixate on the worldwide attention given to the male model Gutfinski, who’s intentionally deformed face flashed around the world via the web, where it’s now viral. THE PLANET, in fact, discovered coverage of the triple murders on London’s Daily Mirror, by accident.

The face that launched a thousand quips

To the contrary of what a couple of posters were saying yesterday at this site, THE PLANET is not happy that the city of Pittsfield is receiving exposure as the home of Gutfinski, triple murders, and lawlessness that authorities apparently cannot control. We take no pleasure in Pittsfield’s global ridicule as the locale of this story. We will not add to the misery, but we will include what is now being called the “smoking gun” mug shot of Gutfinski, who goes by a ridiculous alias that comes out of a Dungeons and Dragons cutting-room floor.

It certainly is captivating, and it does lead one to wonder could this man ever received a fair trial. Judging by appearances, never a wise thing to do, THE PLANET would guess such a concern wouldn’t matter to him.

Capeless said that while he has not been contacted by any foreign press, he has spoken to media throughout the country, drawn to the sensationalism.

As a final note, we will give credit to DA Capeless for taking our call, responding as he saw fit to all our questions, and for sharing his defense of his office’s actions in what has to be a stressful case whose details impose restriction on being able to tell all.






  1. beezer
    September 14, 2011 at 10:04 am #

    Maybe the guys a bowler and didn’t pick up the spares on those 6’s.

  2. Ray Ovac
    September 14, 2011 at 10:07 am #

DV, would “family member” Yvette claim that murder victim Glasser’s fears of retaliation were not being taken seriously by police if Glasser himself were really and truly being that cavalier about the threat he believed was posed to his life (especially after already sustaining a baseball bat beating from Mr. Hall and being threatened with getting two bullets to the brain? If Glasser was so unconcerned as to return to town as alleged by DA Capeless, why make at least three calls concerning protection? This whole thing stinks and it appears more likely that DA Capeless is in CYA mode, the result of a catastrophic failure to protect a witness. There may be serious liability issues in that failure. It might pay to make a FOIA request to the DA’s office for all communications between victim Glasser and the DA’s office including all logs of phone calls to and from the murder victim.

  3. Andy McKeever
    September 14, 2011 at 10:57 am #

    FYI: The stories on iBerkshires do have bylines – they’re underneath the headline.

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2011 at 12:00 pm #

      Sorry. I missed this. I shall get back in to fix. Thanks. Good job on the story, by the way. Far superior to the the BB has done to date.

  4. Payroll Patriot
    September 14, 2011 at 11:04 am #

    Palookaville top 9 Facts & Fun

    Dan, on your mug shot:

    9. Mug Shot of the year award.

    8. Cannot be confused with Kerwood for the “Little Eddie” award

    7. Will he be the main float in the Halloween parade?

    6. A good reason for the helmet law.

    5. Would the City Council President and the School Committee
    Chairman tell him he has only 3 minutes?

    4. He has more “balls “ than any of the 3 democrats running for
    state rep.

    3. How many prisoners at the jail want to do community service
    while he is being held there?

    2. Mom & Dad, meet my new boy friend.

    1. Is this a face that only a mother can love?

  5. Steve Wade
    September 14, 2011 at 11:17 am #

    Ray Ovac Your blogg is typical of the type of YaHoos that write on this blogg. The DA responded to Dans questions as best as he can and yet you think he is a liar.. I suppose you think the Twin Towers was a inside job also. ?

    • danvalenti
      September 14, 2011 at 11:58 am #

      I agree. I think the DA responded as best as he could under the circumstances. As I said at the end, he could have easily ducked the call. He didn’t.

  6. Ray Ovac
    September 14, 2011 at 11:46 am #

    Wade, so you automatically take the DA’s word over family member Yvette’s word? Glasser is already dead so there’s not much more for him and his family to lose, but who now has the most to lose if it turns out the DA’s office (or whoever was supposed to provide witness protection) was negligent? Further, how did a guy who was considered even by FBI standards to be too dangerous and uncontrollable manage to persuade a judge to give him bail in the first place? Who was the judge who allowed this bat-wielding thug out on bail? Wouldn’t you think the Eagle would ask that question? Regarding 9/11: UBL and his Muslim extremists planned and carried out the whole thing and lefty paranoiacs who believe otherwise are the same crowd who idolize Al Gore’s wacky climate theories.

  7. Steve Wade
    September 14, 2011 at 11:54 am #

    Battery Boy Yes I do take the DA’s word over Glassers family. Not that Im glad he was killed but my guess this clown was as simple minded as Hall. They did use to hang together didn’t they so my guess Glasser should have known not to hang with Hell’s Angels. Im pretty sure were noy dealing with Rohde Scholars..

    • Steve Wade
      September 14, 2011 at 11:54 am #


    • Ray Ovac
      September 14, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Wade, this is the same DA who can’t see his way clear to enforce state laws on members of PPD who’ve dealt and used steroids, never bothered to find out whether banker Stracuzzi actually fulfilled the terms of his probation, so why would you take a political DA’s word for anything?

  8. danvalenti
    September 14, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    That’s another HUGE question: Why did Hall get bail? There are many other questions. You’d think the BB would assign every person in the newsroom to this case, which has made headlines around the world. Nope. It’s main story is on the mug shot.

    • Ray Ovac
      September 14, 2011 at 1:27 pm #

      Another aspect not yet fully reported is the $250K in bail money that was forfeited by Mr. Hall. From what’s been written so far, that money looks to be the proceeds from mortgaging the HAMC clubhouse. So who’s on the hook now for paying off that mortgage so the clubhouse does not get foreclosed?

    • rick
      September 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      and who put up the bail to get him out/?

  9. Shakes His Head
    September 14, 2011 at 12:57 pm #

    Minor League Baseball™ today announced that its 15 leagues and 174 clubs drew 41,252,053 fans in 10,238 openings this regular season. The average crowd of 4,029 represents a 0.9% increase over last year. Sixteen clubs and the Florida State League set regular season attendance records.

    “Minor League Baseball faced many challenges in 2011,” Minor League Baseball President Pat O’Conner said. “Inclement weather plagued our leagues throughout the season. The increased number of lost dates compromised our total attendance, but the key indicator of average attendance remained strong with an increase over a year ago.

    “Our teams remain committed to our communities across this country and thank all fans of Minor League Baseball for their continued support and enthusiasm.”

    The Triple-A Lehigh Valley IronPigs led all clubs in total attendance (628,925) and average crowd (9,249). Other classification leaders include the Double-A Frisco RoughRiders (509,331/7,276); Class A Dayton Dragons (571,886/8,288); and the Brooklyn Cyclones (245,087/7,002) among Short Season/Rookie clubs.

    This season’s total attendance is only 176,090 fans or four-tenths of one percent (0.4%) less than 2010 when 176 clubs attracted 41,428,143 fans in 140 more openings. The Mexican League had two fewer clubs this season, as Chihuahua and Laredo are dormant until suitable playing facilities can be found for them. These two clubs attracted over 209,000 fans in 2010.

    2011 Attendance by League:
    Pacific Coast 6,925,290
    International 6,664,206
    Midwest 3,983,282
    Eastern 3,923,381
    Mexican 3,322,029
    South Atlantic 3,125,934
    Texas 2,822,109
    Southern 2,175,505
    Carolina 1,789,631
    New York-Penn 1,749,891
    California 1,593,398
    Florida State 1,296,962
    Northwest 913,986
    Pioneer 670,886
    Appalachian 295,563

    Total 41,252,053

    Now, I’m aware that the CanAm league is independent, however, I think the MiLB numbers could provide context:
    1. Pittsfield’s attendance increase of 20% is significant and offers promise if the off-field product could be maintained over an entire season.
    2. Detractors say Pittsfield is not a baseball town. Is Dayton, OH? Although a bigger metropolitan area, they led attendance at the A level (with more than the AA leader). I am not aware of any place in Ohio that people are devoted to baseball, let alone Cleveland.
    3. It’s not the economy, stupid! Although static, attendance reveals that minor league ball is supported widely by communities, even during a depression. I think this thing could break even, maybe turn a profit. I don’t believe that Pittsfield can only have a team if an owner wants it to be a trophy, not a financially viable enterprise.

  10. Concern
    September 14, 2011 at 1:32 pm #

    I believe Mr. Cape less . Also these three that were murder I certainly feels sorry for them and their family. However all three had serious drug/alcohol programs. The only reason I mention this is because if you are dependent on an illegal substance do you want to be control by law enforcement, told where to live check on by them etc. Etc. Hope see my point. Stop blaming law enforcement and let then do their job to put these vicious people away for good.

    Also from good source, they were found buried on a farm in Becket not State Forest .

    • Ray Ovac
      September 14, 2011 at 2:12 pm #

      Concern, had this occurred in Boston or Springfield, the press and public would have been calling for the ouster of those who had screwed-up and not given the witness any form of protection from a person known to be extremely dangerous (hence $250K bail in the earlier case).
      But here we are in Berkshire County and there’s not a peep from either press or public that law enforcement screwed up BIG TIME in its responsibility to protect.
      All the public is getting from those with responsibility in this case are lame excuses and few if any answers to important questions.
      Law enforcement officials and the Eagle too are playing CYA so no public official, no DA, and no judge is made to look incompetent or made to appear as if he/she had any responsibility for three unnecessary killings in a matter where it was known long in advance that there was a witness at grave risk. This looking the other way is typical of the GOB machine in Palookaville and Berkshire County.

      • Concern
        September 14, 2011 at 2:24 pm #

        Sorry Ray you have no idea what you are talking about. You are entitled to your opinion however.

  11. Joe Pinhead
    September 14, 2011 at 5:58 pm #

    I wish I had full faith and confidence in the system as it is here in Berkshire County. Say what you will but there are way more questions than answers and way to seedy a past here where the legal system was used and abused by the power elite to further their cause with blatant disrespect for the lives of others.
    How was Mr. Hall allowed out on bail?
    How is it the FBI says he’s “too Dangerous and uncontrollable” yet he remains out on the streets?
    It is reported that there was a number of witness’s that were involved in the case, is it plausible to protect them all via the witness protection program? Or is it wiser to put Mr. Hall in the hoosegow until the trial?
    The DA might be telling us the entire truth, it is our obligation to dig and to think and to reason this story out. Each of us will be asked at the ballot box at sometime if we think the whole case was or has been handled correctly. After all the perps will be tried and punished in the name of “We the People” and more importantly the victims while not perfect were no more or no less part of “We the People”

    September 14, 2011 at 7:41 pm #

    This is a first, but I must give credit to Valenti for his reporting and interview with the DA. This story confirms what we should all believe and that I know to be true: David Capeless is an honorable man, a good man, he is telling the truth here. His office did all that could be reasonably done in protecting witneses. The DA has worked hard in this case to see justice as best as could be done, in a most difficult set of circumstances for him.

      September 14, 2011 at 7:52 pm #

      PB I agree with you

  13. Shakes His Head
    September 14, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    sorry I threw baseball in the mix, everyone stayed on topic rather than bouncing all over the place like the other threads.

  14. p.e. dietrich
    September 15, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    this is so far from journalism as to be laughable

  15. Joe Durwin
    September 15, 2011 at 7:40 am #

    Andy, I’m sure Dan, with his degrees in journalism, is quite capable of locating a byline. He probably just didn’t want to mention my name. 😉

    • danvalenti
      September 15, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      Not so. An honest oversight.

  16. Sally Jones
    September 15, 2011 at 12:30 pm #

    Forgive if I am mistaken, but won’t the Hell’s Angel’s clubhouse get back the $250K they posted for bail?

    I thought bail was just to ensure that a defendant would show up in court to face his charges. Seeing how Hall was denied bail on these new charges, and therefore permanately incarcerated at this time, he should technically be showing up for future court appearances. Therefore, they would get their money back, no?

    • danvalenti
      September 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

      Not 100% sure, but I think you are correct. Since there will be no way, barring some extremely unlikely event, that Hall will miss his trial on the previous charges, the house will be returned to the club. However, much depends on when that trial happens. Will his murder trial trump the previous trials facing Hall? The clubhouse could be tied up for some time. Additionally, it would probably give authorities control over access and egress, since they, in effect, “hold the mortgage.”