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  1. #1
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    CA - Japhia Huhndorf, Teacher, gave students chloroform/made explosives??

    What on earth was this woman doing? Thank God those boys are OK. First we had Filly's thread about a RSO who wanted to buy chloroform. Now we have to worry about a high school teacher knocking out her male students.


    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43174748/ns/us_news/

    Calif. cops probe if teacher was making explosives

    "LIVINGSTON, Calif. — A high school was evacuated Wednesday as authorities investigated reports that a chemistry teacher, already under arrest for allegedly helping students ingest chloroform, may have been making explosives. Japhia Huhndorf, 34, was arrested Monday on suspicion of child endangerment after authorities accused her of helping three students at Livingston High School inhale chloroform during after-school study hall sessions...."

    and

    "...Investigators began looking into whether Huhndorf was storing explosives-making materials based on interviews with the teacher and her students, and documents found in her classroom...."

    and

    "...three male students — ages 16, 17 and 18 — told investigators that they fell asleep or passed out after ingesting the chemical, an anesthetic that can cause feelings of euphoria but in high levels can cause unconsciousness or even death. Investigators believe Huhndorf first ordered the chloroform this year but did not use it in her curriculum..."

    more at link

  2. #2
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    Huhndorf's FB page:

    http://www.facebook.com/people/Japhi...dorf/690600141

    She lives in Atwater, which is 7 miles from Livingston. Everything looks totally "normal". What could be the motivation here?


    And more info, video and a mug shot here:

    http://abclocal.go.com/kfsn/story?se...cal&id=8153063

    Nitroglycerine found in Livingston teacher's classroom

    "A bomb squad has detonated explosives found at Livingston High School. Officers have also re-arrested Japhia Huhndorf on explosives possession charges. She was initially arrested Monday on child endangerment charges. Authorities evacuated this school and called in the Merced Police Bomb Squad Wednesday morning. Then late afternoon, they detonated explosives they found in Japhia Huhndorf's classroom....."

    more at link

    IMO, the woman looks either high on something or totally blank.



    ETA: I think that's because she HAS been using chloroform:

    http://www.foxnews.com/us/2011/05/25...students-high/

    "A ‘cool’ California high school teacher was taken into custody after she allegedly helped her students get high..."

    and

    "....Police allege that Huhndorf took three students, ages 16 to 18, and ‘either showed them how to do it or she poured it on a cloth for them to inhale,’ the station reported, citing Ray Fong, a police sergeant. She didn’t encourage the students to get high, a teenage victim told the station. It was “just to ease the stress.” One student apparently passed out after using chloroform with the teacher. The alleged abuse spanned for two months during what should have been after-school tutoring sessions..."


    More at link


    Looks like Ms. Huhndorf has quite a problem there.
    Last edited by Missizzy; 05-26-2011 at 03:30 AM.

  3. #3
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    Hmmm....only 3-4 years ago, Huhndorf was participating in triathlons. And she married a few years ago:

    (Flicker photos of wedding for Japhia Smith and M. Huhndorf can be found--I don't want to imbed)

    She did quite well for herself, academically, at Illinois State in the school for biological sciences. Looks like her husband attended with her. I wonder what brought them to Atwater? A teaching job? Atwater is a not so big town in the Central Valley. She had a bright mind, athletic prowess, great education, lovely wedding and intelligent husband and she throws it all away for chloroform.

    What am I missing?

  4. #4
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    I can't figure out if she merely wanted "company" while she got high or if she planned to sexually assault the boys. From the Wiki link on Chloroform abuse:

    "....Chloroform has been used by criminals to knock-out, daze or even murder their victims. Joseph Harris was charged with using Chloroform in 1894 to rob people. Chloroform was used to murder a woman in 1991 as a toxic dose was delivered while she was sleeping. In 2007 a man was convicted of using chloroform to sexually assault minors.


    Fatal oral dose of chloroform may be as low as 10 mL (14.8 g), with death due to respiratory or cardiac arrest. As might be expected for an anesthetic, chloroform vapors depress the central nervous system. It is immediately dangerous to life and health at approximately 500 ppm, according to the U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. Breathing about 900 ppm for a short time can cause dizziness, fatigue, and headache. Chronic chloroform exposure can damage the liver (where chloroform is metabolized to phosgene) and to the kidneys, and some people develop sores when the skin is immersed in chloroform...."

    more at link

    That would explain the difference in her skin when comparing her wedding photos to her mug shot. She does NOT look healthy. But what's the deal with the nitroglycerin?



    Chloroform has come up before on WS, in reference to Caylee's death:

    Chloroform Parties - Inhalent Abuse - Websleuths Crime Sleuthing Community
    Last edited by KateB; 06-01-2015 at 10:18 PM. Reason: repair url tag.

  5. #5
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    I see absolutely nothing about the illicit use of nitroglycerin. I wonder if it can be a component in other drugs or if she was actually planning an explosion?

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missizzy View Post
    I see absolutely nothing about the illicit use of nitroglycerin. I wonder if it can be a component in other drugs or if she was actually planning an explosion?
    Don't quote me here and please know I am so dating my old self.

    Isn't nitroglycerin a vasodialator? I think it has something in common with "poppers" which is amyl nitrate. Poppers were a thing waaaaaay back in mostly gay clubs I went to. Filly is no pharmacologist, and I am just guessing maybe this crazed lady was messing with that? Again I may be wrong about the nitroglycerin/poppers connection.

    Uh-ummmmm meanwhile yeah ummmmmmmmm I need to destress. Anybody got any chloroform around? Are ya kidding me?

    Seriously this entire world anymore I swear is just plain nuts.

  7. #7
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    I cannot overemphasize how happy I am now that I married at 18 and started a family almost two years later in a tiny and isolated Texas town. My husband and I had no TV, heat, A/C, fridge, or phone. There was no one in town near our age, who would have anything to do with two crazy kids from California. We had to cleave together to survive. There was no partying, no fooling around; unless dinner on the grounds of the Baptist Church counts. That's why we had kids. We wanted something fun to do (oh, how fun it all was, LOL). My point is that I totally missed out on the dating, bar, club, drug scene. I thought I lived the most peaceful life in the world as a Head Start teacher and mom. Little did I know what was coming. Those years set me up. I craved something exciting to do with my life. Watch what you wish for.

    But I'm forever thankful that backgammon and an occasional Tecaté was about as wild as it got over at our house. Oh, and hot-tubbing across the street at my parents' (with all the babies in the tub with us). We were so young and innocent. Point being, "poppers" were not part of my lexicon. Heck, it was a dry county.

    From Wiki:

    "....amyl nitrite is bioactive in mammals, being a vasodilator, which is the basis of its use as a prescription medicine. As an inhalant, it also has a psychoactive effect, which has led to its recreational use....

    and

    "....It is also used as an inhalant drug that induces a brief euphoric state, and when combined with other intoxicatant stimulant drugs such as cocaine or ecstasy (see MDMA), the euphoric state intensifies and is prolonged. Once some stimulative drugs wear off, a common side effect is a period of depression or anxiety, colloquially called a "come down"; amyl nitrite is sometimes used to combat these negative after-effects. This effect, combined with its dissociative effects, makes it an attractive but risky recreational drug (see poppers)...."

    Nitroglycerin is listed as a "related compound".



    Is there any possibility that Huhndorf was encouraging the chloroform use and also attempting to "cook" amyl nitrate from nitroglycerin? I'm way out of my league here but very curious.


    ETA:

    http://www.erowid.org/chemicals/inha...ts_info5.shtml

    "...Both of these chemicals act similarly, relaxing muscles and reducing blood pressure. According to several sources, Amyl-Nitrite was first discovered in 1844 and its blood-vessel relaxing properties were discovered quickly thereafter. Later, Nitroglycerin was discovered to have similar effects and became one of the most common heart medication prescribed in the 20th Century, replacing Amyl-Nitrite because it had fewer side effects and was easier to administer...."


    So if the drugs are similar, does this mean that nitroglycerin can also be used recreationally as is amyl-nitrate?

  8. #8
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    $500,000 bail for Ms. Huhndorf:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/0..._n_867776.html

    "....During the investigation of that case, police say they discovered that Huhndorf was storing 4 milliliters of nitroglycerine, an active ingredient for making explosives. She did not tell investigators why she had it in her classroom...."


    Is that a large amount of nitroglycerin?

    Being that I don't see her husband on her FB friend list and she uses a photograph of herself with another woman (maybe a relative?), I wonder if this young woman's drug use hasn't taken over her and drastically changed her life. She looks to be suffering the effects in her mug shot, that's for sure. I actually wonder if she might have procured the explosive for a student--after all, she wanted to be the "cool" teacher. I'm guessing that "cool" meant that she let a lot of stuff slide. Shame on her.

    She should not have been in the classroom.

  9. #9
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    A small amount, I guess:

    http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/05...gh-school.html

    "....Police said they found about 4 milliliters of the explosive compound during an investigation, which sparked a schoolwide evacuation Wednesday. The 34-year-old chemistry teacher was arrested at her Atwater home the same day. "We brought her here to the high school, and with her cooperation we were able to locate a small amount of nitroglycerin explosives..."

    and

    ".... Police learned about the items during interviews with the students suspected of inhaling chloroform. [Sgt. Ray] Fong also said there were documents that led them to believe the room contained explosive materials...."

    more at link


    Sounds like she planned to make or help someone make explosives.

  10. #10
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    This article explains that it was actually the explosives kind of nitroglycerin:
    http://www.modbee.com/2011/05/26/170...s-teacher.html

    Google can convert anything, type in "4 milliliters to teaspoons" and it says "4 milliliters = 0.811536545 US teaspoons".

    So the amount of nitroglycerin she had was basically... 1 teaspoon.

    The explosion (from the bomb squad detonating it) was probably (just making a wild guess here) 90% from whatever explosive they put next to it to detonate it. Just guessing!

    It's incredibly dangerous to make your own explosives (like she did) and especially with "instructions from the internet" (like she did). And completely irresponsible to do that in a high school full of kids.

    But I just wanted to point out the tiny amount involved.


  11. #11
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    Thank you, Paul. That is a small amount. After raising nine sons, I'm well aware of the fascination for explosives (not one of my five girls were interested in the least). I'm lucky I didn't have heart failure over the years. I've lived through bottle rockets exploding out of the basement window and the ever-popular potato launcher. I've secretly disposed of more than one copy of the Anarchist's Cookbook (where did they get those in the early 90s??).

    I'm just guessing here, but if Huhndorf wanted to be seen as "cool" by her male students, a few experiments with explosives would do the trick. All the articles I've read state that she only encouraged boys to try the chloroform so I have to believe her unbelievably stupid behavior has a sexual component. She's darned lucky that none of those boys have suffered long term effects.

    When you think about it, a HS teacher can't even give a student a Tylenol for a headache any more. And here she was getting them high and knocking them out. If she were a male teacher, the assumption would be that she was also sexually assaulting them. One has to wonder......

  12. #12
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    I guess I'm not the only one who's wondering:

    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2011/...20068155.shtml

    Teacher pleads not guilty in chloroform abuse case
    June 1, 2011

    ".....Livingston police are unclear about Huhndorf's motive, but a spokesman said investigators are looking into all angles, including sex. "That's where our minds went and that's what we are looking deeply into...."

    more at link (the commenters, however, think that this is much ado about nothing)

  13. #13
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    An update:

    http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/06...her-faces.html

    Accused Livingston teacher faces judge
    June 23, 2011


    "....The 34-year-old Atwater resident is accused of six felony counts, including child endangerment and possession of explosives in a school or public setting. She has pleaded not guilty to all of the charges...."

    and

    "...Huhndorf was arrested in late May after Livingston police reported finding a vial of nitroglycerin in her chemistry lab. That happened after she'd already been arrested on suspicion of helping three students inhale chloroform.'''

    and

    "...Investigators say Huhndorf told police she had allowed Advanced Placement chemistry students to choose subjects for a class project — and one of her students chose to focus on explosives. She found directions for making nitroglycerin on the Internet and made a small amount for the student's experiment, authorities say.
    Chloroform is an organic compound that's been used as an anesthetic to depress the central nervous system, according to court documents. Anyone who inhales its fumes can pass out. Nitroglycerin is used medicinally by people with certain heart conditions, but the size of the dose can turn it from therapeutic to toxic...."

    more at link and 27 comments--a couple from people who know her


    Bail is still at a half million.

  14. #14
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    Huhndorf is still being held on $500,000 bail. That in itself if quite shocking. Is she seen as a threat to the community or a flight risk? This case really perplexes me. Some very profound comments from students here. I simply don't know enough about science to grasp what level of danger she put these teens in.

    http://www.mercedsunstar.com/2011/09...-teachers.html



    I'm actually surprised that a physics class exists. Ours was cut from our school. Shocking but true, when my husband and I attended Huntington Beach High (CA) in the early 70s, the budget had tanked to such a degree that we were allowed to opt out of any classes we didn't want. I took NO math or science at all. Zip. Instead, I took 4 years each of Latin, Library Science, AP English, Dramaturgy, Mythology, Cultural Anthropology, Psych 1 and 2. My husband opted out of all English and writing classes and heaped on the math, science and shop classes. Good thing we got married as we fill in the blanks for each other.

  15. #15
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    Just happened to notice that this case came to trial last month. I don't envy the judge in this one. I doubt anybody walked away with closure.

    http://www.modbee.com/2011/12/16/199...y-teacher.html

    Ex-Livingston chemistry teacher gets probation
    December 17, 2011

    "A plea agreement was reached in the seven-month case of a Livingston High School chemistry teacher, Japhia Smith Huhndorf, who was placed on four years of felony probation Friday in Merced County Superior Court. The deal led to expressions of grief, regret and anger from students and parents. Judge Brian McCabe presided as Huhndorf, 34, pleaded no contest to felony child abuse. Five felony counts were dropped. Besides probation, she was ordered not to contact and to stay at least 100 yards away from one of the minors in the case.

    Huhndorf lost her teaching credential. Whether she would be able to regain it would be up to the state, McCabe said...."

    more at link (including snippets of students' and parents' court statements)



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