Discussion in 'Recently Sentenced and Beyond' started by passionflower, Dec 2, 2010.
Fla. town that Disney built 14 years ago rocked by first murder - CNN http://bit.ly/fdIX86
It is the first murder in the picture-perfect town's 14-year history. Celebration's manicured lawns and classic movie theaters have drawn comparisons to the 1998 fictional drama, "Pleasantville," in which two teens find themselves trapped in a 1950s-style television show.
Fantasy and perceived perfection are just that--a chimera. The reality is that human beings can be both good and evil and downright "human". Look at the number of men arrested for child pornography who have worked at Disneyland and Disney World.
I live in a town which is similar to this type of bucolic and almost magical fantasy, Ashland, OR. When evil occurs here, people are totally unhinged. We just don't expect it as it's outside our typical experience. Remember what the Somalian terrorist just said about our state? "It's Oregon. It's Portland. People don't think about these kind of things." He's right. I'm sure the same could be said for Celebration.
This is very very sad. My heart goes out to the families touched by this tragedy.
Matteo Giovanditto: Celebration's first homicide victim identified
The Sheriff's Office today confirmed the identity of Celebration's first homicide victim as Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, 58, a Massachusetts native and former teacher.
A cousin who lives in Massachusetts told the Orlando Sentinel that Giovanditto moved to Florida to teach. He had a teaching certificate from 1983 until 2004, the state Department of Education said. Public records show he moved to Celebration from South Florida in 2004. A neighbor said Giovanditto had been working with troubled youths as a psychologist, but that could not be confirmed.
Anyone with information can call Crimeline at 1-800-423-8477. A reward of up to $5,000 is available.
<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<<full article at link>>>>>>>>>>>
Authorities were investigating another death Friday in the town Disney built just days after reporting its first homicide in its 14-year existence. This time it was a man who apparently killed himself after shooting at deputies.
Craig Foushee, 52, barricaded himself in a home Thursday for more than 14 hours, according to an Osceola County Sheriff's Office report. He shot at deputies several times, but deputies never returned fire because they were unable to acquire a target and no deputies were injured, authorities said.
Deputies entered the home early Friday and found him dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Sheriff's spokeswoman Twis Lizasuain said there was no connection between Foushee and Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, who was found slain in a condominium Tuesday. That homicide was the first for Disney's master-planned, picture-perfect central Florida community with 11,000 residents.
So sad. If you read the articles carefully, there has been a recent uptick in crime in Celebration--even a lockdown of their elementary school last week. I really think it is indicative of the stressors the entire nation is facing. Trouble happens in paradise too.
The men who commit suicide due to failed business dealings and foreclosed homes hits me hard. We've survived these things and life can go on. Life is about so much more than money and houses. My prayers go out to this man's family and friends. I'm sure Celebration is reeling this week.
Celebration Deaths: Disney Town Sees Second Death This Week
"The owner of a failed security business barricaded himself in his soon-to-be foreclosed home, shot at deputies and then killed himself in this well-groomed Central Florida town built by Disney.
The 14-hour standoff came just days after the town's first-ever homicide, unsettling residents who moved to the community for its safety and small-town values even though authorities said the two were not connected.
Craig Foushee, 52, barricaded himself in his home Thursday for more than 14 hours....."
more at link
Arrest Made in Disney Town's First Homicide
"A transient was arrested today in the first reported slaying in Celebration, a Florida town that was conceived and built by the Walt Disney Co.
David-Israel Zenon Murillo, 28, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of 58-year-old Matteo Giovanditto, a Celebration resident who was killed over Thanksgiving weekend, the Osceola County Sheriff's Office said. David-Israel Zenon Murillo was charged Monday with first-degree murder in the first homicide in the Disney town of Celebration, Fla.
"[Murillo] was identified early on by detectives as a person of interest because his photo was located on the victim's computer, his fingerprints were found in the victim's condo and phone calls from a gas station close to where the victim's car was located were made by Murillo several hours after......"
".....At least one neighbor told WFTV News that Giovanditto lived a high-risk lifestyle but declined to elaborate...."
more at link
That last statement which I quoted concerns me as Mr. Giovanditto was known for working with troubled youth. Hopefully, all the troubled youth were above the age of consent and Mr. Giovanditto did NOT exert any sort of authority--ie. a client/therapist relationship over them.
FWIW, it was reported right after the murder was announced that Mr. Giovanditto's black Corvette was found parked at an apartment complex in Kissimmee.
"......David-Israel Zenon Murillo, 28, who had been living at a campsite near Kissimmee, said the victim, Matteo Patrick Giovanditto, 58, tried to put something in his drink in an attempt to sexually assault him.
Osceola County investigators say Murillo struck Giovanditto with a hatchet he found in a closet and slammed Giovanditto's head into the kitchen floor until the victim lost consciousness.
Giovanditto "was a sick man and he got what he deserved," Murillo said while being escorted to a sheriff's car for a trip to the Osceola County Jail.
"Something came over me," Murillo added. "I don't know what happened, you know. I felt so mad that he did that...."
More at link
For some reason, this young man does not strike me as a person who camps out. Maybe things are different in Florida than in Oregon but he looks mighty well-groomed to be living in the outdoors.
If there were "date-rape" drugs in the house, I hope LE found them.
From the link above:
"....Giovanditto worked as a counselor, possibly with transients, but investigators wouldn't say whether that is how the men met. Originally from Saugus, Mass., where he was known as "Patrick," Giovanditto was a teacher and counselor in South Florida before moving to Celebration in 2004, friends and family said. Previously, he was a teacher and administrator at a boarding school for troubled youth in Arizona....."
And now this:
Man confessed in Disney town murder
"....The medical examiner confirmed Giovanditto died of blunt force trauma and strangulation. Police have discovered “significant evidence that corroborated what the suspect told the detectives.....”
“Murillo is fully cooperating with the detectives,” said Lizasuain [LE spokeswoman]. “We have a great deal of information (because of) what he has provided to them.....”
more at links
Mr. Giovanditto's murder was brutal but I don't think we've heard the entire story yet. I'm extremely concerned about the number of troubled youths he worked with. I found him using the name Patrick in several locations. That is his middle name. I'm wondering if there isn't also a younger extended family member with that identical name or if Giovanditto used a younger photo of himself on some social sites.
Homeless man accused of hatchet killing in Celebration
"....RH, who worked with Giovanditto in Arizona in the late 1970s and early 1980s, remembered him as an introverted loner who wore rumpled suits and immersed himself in his work. He loved taking the boys on trips to Disneyland, the planetarium and museums. Giovanditto got most involved in helping very troubled kids who also were smart and articulate....."
"He was incredibly well-read and intelligent," she said. "Patrick was one of the most intriguing people I've ever met....."
more at link
He took boys to Disneyland....from a boarding school in Arizona? This is NOT looking good to me.
What a nightmare!
PLENTY to infer here, and that's ALL I'm sayin...:twocents:
It is entirely possible that Mr. Giovanditto was an engaging and caring teacher. I have no doubt that many students had a positive experience with him. I surely do not want to be disrespectful of a murder victim. However, I continue to see red flags in this man's past. It would be great if any of his former students stumble upon this thread and weigh in. I especially would like to read about the different schools Mr. Giovanditto taught at and whether there are any reviews of his work with youth.
This case bothers me very much and I realize that the media can certainly put a spin on things. However, the statements that he worked with troubled youth, traveled with youth (alone or with others?), seemed to move around quite a bit, was drawn to a certain profile of teen, and that his neighbors reported that he lived a "high risk" lifestyle still gives me pause.
Yes, I am guilty of making inferences. Time will tell.
It would be really interesting and helpful if we heard from any of Mr. Matteo Giovanditto's former students over his career. Insights from any previous school associates, parents, teachers, aids, clerical, etc. or neighbors would be appreciated.
Mr Giovanditto,or as students at the Villa-Oasis school refered to him as Mr G was for the most part a pretty cool man. He could be your best friend or your worst nightmare. Meaning that if you did good with your studies and followed the rules he would pretty much leave you alone. If you were having trouble he would help you without question,but if you dissed him or the school he could be rude,curt,unflinching.
I myself experienced both sides of him.
When I did good he would praise me in his own way.....usually with a job well done type compliment.
When I broke some school rules,he called me to his office,gave me a good verbal scolding,told me what the consequences were and that was that.
I think he did really care about some of the students there,some maybe not.
He was the smartest man I knew at the time,that's for sure. It wasn't that easy to pull a fast one on him......believe me I tried!
But now he is gone. He shall be missed.
Welcome Jokestre & Thank you for your insights.
Regarding the picture-perfect world of Disney, I can imagine that the Disney executives are none too happy about their company's "connection" to this murder.
A number of years ago I worked in the advertising department of a major retail department store. We were photographing a catalogue at Disney World and I was sent there to tour the locations for the photo shoot so I could write corresponding copy.
While there, I spent time with some of the Disney executives. They told me that Disney was very proud of the fact that, at that time, no one had ever died at Disney World. Of course, they said that this was not quite accurate, but that Disney would have people taken by ambulance to hospitals and have them declared dead at the hospital even though they had technically died at the theme park. They also created a town adjacent to the park (and I am not sure if this community is Celebration or another one) where they had their employees live. The theme park was technically part of the town so that the local town government (made up of a majority of Disney employees) could make up regulations and local laws to benefit Disney and its theme park.
I was made to understand that the Disney Corporation liked to have control over everything their name is on.
Welcome Jokestre!! It's great to hear from someone who knew Mr. G, as you call him. He sounds like a complex man dedicated to teens. I'm pleased that you were fortunate to have such a positive experience with him. Sounds like he kept you on your toes.
So, I'm assuming you are referring to the school in Eloy, AZ. I read that he had been an administrator of a school at some point. Was it this school? Do you have any info about him counseling troubled youth or working as a clergyman, as has been reported? I'm just so curious as to why his neighbors commented that he not only worked with youth but lived a high risk lifestyle. What's your take on that comment?
I looked and Eloy is over 400 miles from Disneyland. Did he take your class there? I find it very interesting that there seems to be a theme of Disney running through this man's life. He seemed to like to take students to Disneyland. He took his old friend and co-worker, RH, to Disney World and then he moved to Celebration. Maybe it's just a coincidence but it seems unusual to me to find such an erudite man connected to all things Disney.
Welcome. I am so pleased you've joined. I look forward to your insight as this trial plays out.
Mr. G, as he was known to everyone, taught at Crossroads School in Davie, Florida, in the early 90s. Left under mysterious circumstances. He also taught at Lehrman Day School in the 80s, similarly left under a cloud. His stepfather was notorious Boston mobster Frederick Champa.
Separate names with a comma.