Myspace Doesn't End At Death


Katie Knudson’s friends and family were uneasy with her relationship with a 26-year-old Massachusetts native, but no one quite knew why.

It was unclear how Knudson, 24, met Paul Ellslager, with whom she fell in love and shared an apartment.

Authorities now are trying to figure out why she was found slain early Thursday morning, with Ellslager critically injured nearby.

Lee County sheriff’s detectives are investigating the incident, which began with Ellslager calling 911 needing medical help about 2 a.m.

Deputies arrived to find Knudson behind the wheel of a crashed 1993 Ford Crown Victoria sitting in a ditch off Metro Parkway near Page Field.

Friends painted a positive picture of the 24-year-old south Fort Myers woman, whom they described as always smiling and full of life.

They described Ellslager — who has an extensive criminal record in his native Massachusetts — as friendly, but maybe not the best person for Knudson.

“She’s not the type of girl to be involved in that type of situation,” said her roommate, April Odegard, 22. “I think she just fell in love with the wrong guy.”

Odegard and Knudson moved in together last July, at an apartment at 7811 Reflections Cove Drive.

Odegard’s cousin, a friend of Knudson’s through a church group, introduced the pair.

They were both looking for an apartment and decided to move in together.

But Odegard said she wasn’t expecting a third roommate at their apartment.

She said Ellslager moved in almost immediately, and he and Knudson spent all their time together, much of it at the apartment.

Odegard said she spent most of her time in her room — partially to give the couple space, but also because she said Ellslager rubbed her the wrong way.

“She’s a very sweet girl,” Odegard said of her roommate. “I had a bad feeling about him. It was just an uncomfortable feeling to be (home) when he’s here.”

Ellslager was friendly — often more so than she expected — but something still seemed amiss, Odegard said.

When she suggested he pay rent, Knudson became upset.

“That didn’t go over well — she wouldn’t have him pay for anything,” she said.”

Phillip Gonzales of Fort Myers, a friend of the couple, said they got along well.

“Paul adored her and doted on her,” he said. “Nobody I know ever saw anything bad between them.”

But still, Gonzales and other friends wondered whether Knudson should be with him.

Just weeks before she was killed, Knudson, 24, considered moving to North Carolina, where her family had relocated.

Gonzales said Ellslager was not part of those plans.

“She at some point realized that a future with him was not the future she thought was best,” Gonzales said.

Knudson decided to stay in Lee County, he said, because of misunderstandings with her family.

Odegard said Knudson discussed a potential move to North Carolina, but that she decided otherwise.

After that, Knudson, a beautician, found a new job at Beverly’s Hair Affair in south Fort Myers.

Ellslager also began working as a mechanic with the Blue Bird Taxi company.

Calls to both businesses were not returned Friday night.

Ellslager remained in critical condition Friday night, said sheriff’s spokeswoman Ileana LiMarzi.

Deputies have not revealed how Knudson died, except to say the crash did not kill her or injure Ellslager.

Sheriff’s spokesmen initially indicated a shooting but later declined to discuss the cause.

The Crown Victoria appeared to have bullet holes in the front-passenger door and rear-passenger window.

It was not known whether anyone else was in the car at the time of the slaying.

LiMarzi said detectives were following up on leads Friday and did not have any suspects.


CATHLAMET, Wash. - A Cathlamet teenager faces a charge of vehicular homicide in a one-vehicle rollover that left one of his passengers dead and another injured.

The Washington State Patrol said that speed and alcohol were factors in the accident, which took place shortly before 4 a.m. Monday at milepost 42 on State Route 4 in the Cape Horn area of Wahkiakum County.

River J. Most, 17, of Cathlamet died at the scene, the state patrol said.

Erin Michelle Parker, 17, of Cathlamet was partially ejected in the crash. She was airlifted to Oregon Health & Science University, Portland, with head and chest injuries. She was listed in critical condition Monday afternoon.

The driver, Andrue Verl Riley, 17, was not injured. According to the state patrol, Riley was traveling west at high speeds in a 1996 GMC Suburban.

The vehicle left the road to the right, struck a dirt embankment and rolled over, landing on its wheels, the state patrol said. All three occupants were wearing seat belts. He loved playing guitar and piano and played in a rock band in Cathlamet. "River was the nicest one of all," his brother said tearfully. "I want everybody to know that."

Daily News archives show that Riley, a senior at Wahkiakum High School, is an honor student and a standout athlete in cross-country and track.

His father, Mike Riley, is head coach of the Wahkiakum track team. Parker graduated in 2005 from Wahkiakum, where she also was an honor student.

The wreck closed the highway for about three hours Monday.


A family is in mourning after a 19-year-old man died diving head-first into a swimming pool. Police say he jumped from the second story of a house this weekend. There are hundreds of spinal cord injuries, several cases of paralysis and some deaths nationwide each year from diving into pools and the ocean. A very small fraction of those jumps are off of boards or from places designated for diving.

Justin Truong was by all accounts an amazing young man.

"Very, very gentle young boy, nice, polite," said his uncle, Chieu Truong. "Justin is a very smart boy."

He graduated from Maryknoll at 16, was attending University of Hawaii, and maintained a strong Catholic faith.

He was a kid who did so much right, yet something went terribly wrong. At a Kaneohe party this weekend, he jumped into the pool from the second story of the home.

"Very, very, very, very sad. Suffering," is how his uncle describes his family's grief.

His mother returned here from California today, crushed by another loss. Justin was an only child and lost his father last year to cancer. Dozens of messages flood his MySpace web page from friends in mourning.

Yet this tragedy isn't uncommon. There are hundreds of diving injuries each year -- most from areas not meant for jumping.

"You've been a teen-ager. I've been a teen-ager. You want to try new and daring things," said Curtis Hawkins, owner Rainbow Pool Company pool maintenance and president of the Swimming Pool Association of Hawaii. "And we think for the most part that we're doing something safe."

But about 700 times a year nationwide, diving into shallow pool or ocean areas causes spinal cord injuries -- many serious enough to cause paralysis. In several instances it's deadly.

"I just try to stress being safe," Hawkins said. "If I see horseplay or something like that where I see where it presents a dangerous situation, I'm going to say something."

He says pool owners have to be tough about safety, not just for health, but for liability.

"If you're found at fault you can lose everything you've got -- your home, your dreams, everything," Hawkins said. "You have to treat it with respect, just like the ocean. You have to be water akamai."


LOS ANGELES - Hip-hop producer J Dilla, whose soulful beats formed the backdrop to songs by artists like Common and A Tribe Called Quest, died Friday of complications from lupus, his manager said. He was 32.

J Dilla or Jay Dee (real name: James Yancey) was born and raised in Detroit.

He had been living with his mother in Los Angeles since being diagnosed with the immune system disease about three years ago, said his manager, Timothy Maynor.

Yancey had formed the trio Slum Village in the late 1990s but left after its successful first album to pursue a solo career. In 2003, he teamed with fellow rapper-producer Madlib for the critically acclaimed "Champion Sound" in which each rapped over the other's beats.

Detroit rapper Phat Kat (real name: Ron Watts) said Yancey's unique style blending claps, drum machines and samples helped change the sound of modern hip-hop.

"That's really where all the other cats are getting that style," Watts said. "It came from the soul. Old Detroit soul music."

Yancey contributed tracks to The Pharcyde's second album, 1995's "Labcabincalifornia," produced much of A Tribe Called Quest's "The Love Movement" in 1998, and worked with Common on several albums.

His most recent CD, the instrumental "Donuts," was released Tuesday. He had also finished recording a compilation album called "Welcome To Detroit, Vol. 2" that Watts said will be released.

Although his joints hurt, his kidneys had been weakened and he had appeared sickly recently, Maynor said Yancy remained in good spirits. He had been on dialysis for about two years when his mother found him unresponsive in his room Friday morning.

"He was optimistic about working on future projects and doing future shows," Maynor told The Associated Press. "We went over to Europe in December (to tour). He was sickly but at the same time, he wanted to be there. I told him, I'm prepared to carry you, if I have to carry you down stairs and put you on stage."

Lupus is a disease in which a person's immune system goes into overdrive and attacks the body's normal, healthy cells.


Seldon Hazelo, a 17-year-old Oak Harbor High School junior, was killed Saturday afternoon in an accident on Highway 20 near the intersection of Monkey Hill Road.

The State Patrol reported that Seldon was driving a 1993 Nissan Sentra south on the highway when he struck a guard rail on the right side. His car veered across the center line and struck an oncoming 2004 Dodge Neon, driven by 52-year-old Kurt Bauch of Oak Harbor.

Seldon died at the scene of the accident. An ambulance brought Bauch and his 14-year-old passenger to Whidbey General Hospital.

Seldon’s parents, Tim and Maria Hazelo, said their son loved being on the high school football team and was a big supporter of the successful Memorial Stadium bond election. They hope to raise enough money that some kind of memorial to their son can be incorporated into the stadium. Like a plaque or a photo of him.

“I would just like to see his name at the stadium someday,” Tim Hazelo said.

Seldon had a special relationship with his father, and unlike most teenagers, he wasn’t embarrassed to tell others. On the teenager’s Web site at, he wrote that he had two heroes in his life: NFL great Barry Sanders and his dad.

“He was my best friend,” Tim Hazelo said. “We were so close, more than anyone else.”

Seldon was on the track and wrestling teams, but he especially loved football. He was a running back on the Wildcats team. As a Seahawks fan, he was looking forward to having a Super Bowl party at his home with his family and friends.


NEW MILFORD - Even in nursery school, Kaitlyn Druckreier knew that something was wrong with her. "Poppie, I have got a broken heart," the little girl told her grandfather.

He asked her who broke it.

"I was born with it," Kaitlyn said.

Indeed she was. And that bad heart finally gave out last week, after 18 years.

But it lasted long enough for Kaitlyn to gaze at the stars, to graduate from New Milford High School, to spend happy hours watching NASCAR races with a doting dad.

It lasted long enough for her to work as a nursing assistant, to study to be an emergency medical technician, to dream of a career in medicine.

"She was a very compassionate person," said Kaitlyn's mother, Alice Druckreier.

It is a sad ending. But to listen to Kaitlyn's family and friends, it is not a sad story. She believed in living life to the fullest. She was loving, hard-working, and always looking ahead.

Her aunt, Nancy Doyle, said Kaitlyn was determined to not let her condition limit her. "She was, like, 'This is me. This is who I am. Accept it and move on.'Ÿ"

Kaitlyn died Friday at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She had been taken there because her heart began to race. Doctors got it under control, but just as her parents arrived to pick her up to go home, a blood clot broke loose in her lung.

"They worked on her for an hour trying to revive her," said her mother. "We talked to her, laughed with her, and just like that she was gone."

Just like that.

When you're young and think life will go on forever, just like that is hard to take.


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