Topic category: Other/General
Atlanta Source: Brittney Watts’ Alleged Killer was a High-Tech Stalker; Defendant’s Employer, Allied Barton Security, Sandbags Journalist
Brittney Watts’ accused killer, Nkosi Thandiwe, was working as a security guard when he encountered the young advertising woman. Thandiwe manned a security console in the building in which Watts worked at the firm 22squared, at 1170 Peachtree St. NE, as a digital media supervisor. That allowed him to observe and communicate with elevator riders through a closed circuit TV (CCTV) camera and speaker system, which he used to stalk and eventually murder Watts.
That’s the story an Atlanta source, speaking on condition of anonymity, told this writer. The source had contacted me after reading the first three blog items I’d posted on the Watts murder. The source said that after the murder, Thandiwe’s employer, Allied Barton Security Services, reviewed the building’s security tapes, and discovered that Thandiwe had used the security system to surveil Watts when she rode the elevator. He had spoken to her at least once while she was riding alone in the elevator, and the day he murdered her, he had seen her coming down in the elevator on the CCTV, and left his station at the console, in order to hunt her down and kill her in the parking garage across the street.
I tried to get Allied Barton to confirm or deny the source’s story, but instead, as so often happens when dealing with flacks, I got sandbagged.
I spoke on the telephone with Alan Stein, an Allied Barton VP, at the company’s main office near Pittsburgh, but Stein wanted me to apply for an interview, writing him, with my journalistic background. I told him over the telephone that I’d been published by the (New York) Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, and dozens of other publications, which is true. He asked who I was writing this story for, and I said that I might run the story at my blog.
He said he’d be away the next day (Friday), but that I should write him with my background.
Well, I’d already given him my background.
Only twice in 28 years has a potential interview subject demanded that I apply for an interview. The other case was that of a pollster, following the 2004 presidential election, when several networks had considered throwing the election for socialist Democratic candidate, John Kerry.
At the time, I actually started writing a long list of credits and a cover letter, before thinking: This is ridiculous. If the guy were serious about speaking to me, he would have done so, right then.
Returning to the present, I’m running late one day, and Stein wanted a note, so I e-mailed him, as preparation for calling him the next day, repeating what I’d already told him, while adding another prestige credit, the weekly standard.
He immediately wrote back:
Please forward a sample of your published pieces from these publications Daily News, New York Post, NYPress, Weekly Standard, Newsday [sic]
Additionally, please forward the credentials for the publication you are writing this piece as well as a contact email for someone from the publication so I can validate that your [sic] writing for a credentialed source.
We receive a number of media requests and this is standard proceed [sic].
Alan L. Stein Vice President, Marketing & Sales Services AlliedBarton Security Services
“A credentialed source”? What the heck is that? I've never heard of such a thing. Does it refer to the publisher’s college transcripts? No. It’s just a snow job.
A typical interview with a flack only lasts a couple of minutes, and if the flack isn’t commenting, seconds. Even when the voice on the other end is cooperative, he usually only has a modest amount of information to give me. We’re not in Deep Throat territory.
By the time I first spoke to Stein, he already knew what Allied Barton knew about Thandiwe and the crime, and knew the firm’s crisis PR strategy, because he would have helped formulate it.
If one checks out Allied Barton’s Web site, one finds … almost nothing. It is one of those contemporary, corporate Web sites that is designed to look nice, while providing almost no information, not even a flow chart or list of executives.
And after all, discretion is a byword in the security field, whether regarding one’s clients or one’s own corporate business.
Otherwise, the Brittney Watts case has gone under the radar, with no new developments in three weeks.
On July 25, Thandiwe’s lawyer, Rickey Richardson, revealed that he is playing the crazy card, by requesting a psychological evaluation of his client. When an attorney plays the “crazy card,” he is admitting that his client committed the crime in question, because otherwise he simply pleads not guilty, straight up.
Maybe Stein will comment after reading this story. He’s got my telephone number and email.
Of Thandiwe’s two other young shooting victims, Tiffany Ferenczy, 24, has recovered from her ankle wound and returned to work while, barring a medical miracle or divine intervention, Lauren Garcia, 23, faces life in a wheelchair.
Previously, at WEJB/NSU:
“What Was the Motive in the Atlanta Murder of Brittney Watts? APD Bigwig Calls Craven Killer ‘Bold’”;
“Brittney Watts Murder Update: After Triple Shooting, CBS News Reporter Asks, Is Midtown Atlanta Safe?”; and
The Brittney Watts Murder: Fellow Victim Lauren Garcia, 23, May be Paralyzed for Life.
Nicholas Stix, Uncensored
Biography - Nicholas Stix
Award-winning, New York-based freelancer Nicholas Stix founded A Different Drummer magazine (1989-93). Stix has written for Die Suedwest Presse, New York Daily News, New York Post, Newsday, Middle American News, Toogood Reports, Insight, Chronicles, the American Enterprise, Campus Reports, VDARE, the Weekly Standard, Front Page Magazine, Ideas on Liberty, National Review Online and the Illinois Leader. His column also appears at Men's News Daily, MichNews, Intellectual Conservative, Enter Stage Right and OpinioNet. Stix has studied at colleges and universities on two continents, and earned a couple of sheepskins, but he asks that the reader not hold that against him. His day jobs have included washing pots, building Daimler-Benzes on the assembly-line, tackling shoplifters and teaching college, but his favorite job was changing his son's diapers.