!!PLANET EXCLUSIVE!! DA DAVID CAPELESS GOES ON RECORD ABOUT NEW DETAILS IN NOW INFAMOUS TRIPLE MURDER … DA DEFENDS ACTIONS IN WITNESS PROTECTION … plus … HOW, WHERE, and WHEN THE THREE WERE KILLED
By DAN VALENTI
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 iBerkshires.com. 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.
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.
WITH ALL THAT, WE WILL TAKE A SHOWER.
“OPEN THE WINDOW, AUNT MILLIE.”
LOVE TO ALL.