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Police: Principal Brian Betts met alleged killers on sex chat line

Update: Two men have been charged with murder and a third man is in custody in the slaying of D.C. principal Brian Betts, Montgomery County police said Monday evening.

Police Chief Thomas Manger said Betts met one or more of the suspects on a telephone chat line he described as a "sex chat line" or a "social networking chat line."

Sharif Tau Lancaster, 18, of Northwest Washington, and Alante Saunders, also 18, of no fixed address, have been charged with murder, Manger said. The third man has not yet been charged and Manger did not release his name.

The murder arrests came after authorities on Monday morning charged a 46-year-old District woman with using Betts's credit card. Lancaster is that woman's son, the source said.

Artura Otey Williams, of the 5300 block of 5th Street NW is charged with two counts of knowingly receiving a stolen credit card with the intent to use it, attempted theft less than $1,000 in value, and attempted fraudulent credit card use, police said. She is currently being held in Washington, D.C. awaiting extradition to Montgomery County.


Detectives carry evidence from the 5th St. NW home of a woman arrested in connection with the slaying of Brian Betts slaying. (Linda Davidson/Post)

The two men charged with murder are being held in Montgomery County.

Betts was found shot to death in his home in Silver Spring on April 15. He was the principal of Shaw Middle School at Garnet-Patterson in the District.


Manger and others said the use of Betts's credit card at the Silver Spring Giant --where a charge of a little over $100 was made only a day after Betts was found slain - provided a key clue in the investigation.

The supermarket, police said, is less than two miles from Betts's home. Starks said investigators pulled surveillance video which showed a woman making the transaction.

Police said he has no indication that Betts and Williams knew each other.

Surveillance video at a Giant food store on East West Highway in Silver Spring shows Williams using one of Betts's credit cards on April 16, police said. Sources said she charged $111 at the Giant.

Search warrants were served Monday morning at her residence in the 5300 block of 5th Street Northwest, police spokeswoman Lucille Baur said, and in the 4300 block of 3rd Street Southeast. Warrants also were served in Oxon Hill in Prince George's County, Manger said.

The woman was arrested during the search of the 5th Street residence, Baur said.

"This is still a fluid situation," Baur said, "and the investigation is continuing."


Police arrested the 46-year-old woman early this morning. (Linda Davidson/Post)

A woman who answered the phone at a home in Southeast Washington that was a former address of Artura Williams identified herself as Wiliams's mother, but would not give her name.

"She was a hard-working lady. She worked two jobs. Whatever they're trying to say she did she didn't do. She's a good mother and a good child," the woman said.

"When she wasn't at work, she was home, asleep."

Neighbors living in the 5300 block of 5th St NW described seeing SWAT teams clad in all black moving up the block of their leafy residential street around 7 a.m.


Frances Howard, 77, had opened her front door to get the newspaper when she saw the phalanx of police cars on the street. The officers waved her back into the house. She watched from inside as they entered the house next to hers, a similar brick two-story rowhouse.

Howard said she saw her neighbor walking up the street carrying a large pocketbook. As she got closer to her home, police stopped her, searched her and her pocketbook, and put her in handcuffs.

"She didn't seem to be that kind of person," Howard said, describing her neighbor as friendly and courteous as they passed each other over the past two or three years. "I can't believe she might be involved in this," Howard said.

Terrence Hughes, 49, who lives a few doors down from the house, said he was awakened by a large boom and rushed outside, and saw police cars on 5th Street. "There were at least 15 to 20 cars out here, Montgomery police, D.C. police."

Hughes, who works as a plumber at the U.S. Capitol, said police were on the scene for more than two hours. He said he watched from his doorway as a man, whom he estimated to be in his 40s, was escorted out of the house by officers but not handcuffed.

Hughes said he had also seen a young girl at the house, who he believed was the woman's daughter.

"It's a quiet house," Hughes said. "I have no complaints about her...I'm puzzled. I guess I know now what they mean when they say you really don't know your neighbors."

The woman whose basement apartment was searched on 3rd Street SE was very upset Monday morning and did not give her name.

She has lived there for at least four years and lives there with her daughter, neighbors said; she has at least one son.

"I don't know what's going on," the woman said, who said that police knocked down her door without knocking beforehand, shocking her and her 12-year-old daughter.

They were both handcuffed, hands behind their backs, and forced to sit on the floor as police searched the apartment, she said. The woman said that police took one of her son's IDs, some of his papers with phone numbers on them and one of her son's white kufis (a cap).

"I said, 'go ahead and search because you're not going to find anything,'" the woman said. She said police told her they were searching for her son, whom they believed had information relating to something that happened in Maryland. They did not tell her about the connection to the Betts slaying, she said, nor did they ever show her a search warrant, she said. Both she and her daughter were very shaken up, the woman said, and she kept her daughter home from school today.

Neighbors said that more than a dozen marked and unmarked police cars and other vehicles swarmed down 3rd Street this morning around 8:30. They rushed into the entryway of the apartment building, down flights of stairs into the basement, and then on into the woman's apartment.

The police asked her if she would come with them for questioning, but she refused, she said. Her blue metal door had dents from where police knocked it down.

Betts called his sister, Jennifer Altomare, at about 10:50 p.m. on April 14, and he was still alive at 11:30 p.m., because he talked with at least one person at the time, said Capt. Paul Starks, a police spokesman.

But the 11:30 p.m. contact doesn't appear to have been with a close friend. Those who knew Betts best said in interviews that they didn't know with whom he spoke late that night. There also appears to be no record of him leaving home after he talked to his sister.

"I don't think he left his house," said another source familiar with the case.

Detectives found no indication of forced entry into Betts's house, leading them to think that Betts probably knew his killer or killers. Friends said he kept his doors locked.

Betts's home is in a residential neighborhood with houses set close to one another. It stands near an Exxon service station that faces a busy, brightly lit intersection on Georgia Avenue just inside the Capital Beltway.

Betts's vehicle, a Nissan sport-utility vehicle, was missing from his driveway when detectives arrived to investigate the killing, police said, and about 12:15 a.m. April 15, a witness saw a vehicle -- apparently not the SUV -- leaving an alley adjacent to Betts's house.

In light of that information, police said, investigators think that at least two people were involved in the killing and that it occurred within a 45-minute window.

The Post has produced an interactive timeline of the Betts killing.

This item has been updated since it was first published.

-- Dan Morse, Tom Jackman, Theola Labbé-DeBose, Maria Glod and Michael Birnbaum

By Washington Post Editors  |  May 3, 2010; 6:45 PM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse , Montgomery , Schools , The District , Theola Labbé-DeBose , Tom Jackman , Updates  
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Comments

This whole story seems to be missing quite a few details. I've heard of no ex-wives, girlfriends or even boyfriends. It seems like nothing from his personal life has even been discussed at all.

Posted by: rcfoster | May 3, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

rcfoster: And why should it be? I think the Washington Post has done a decent job of respecting his family and friend's privacy. An actual person is dead here - this isn't Law and Order.

Posted by: Aerowaz | May 3, 2010 10:35 AM | Report abuse

none of that matters. it always boils down to stupid and violent people always looking to get over. They killed him for what will amount to nothing in real dollars. So they got a $1K worth of stuff, even $5K. What's it worth for the pain and misery it cost others and the amount of time/freedom they will lose. Then to get caught using a murdered person's credit card?

Posted by: oknow1 | May 3, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Why would the Post or law enforcement report any details related to his personal life if those aren't relevant to the investigation?
Unless the woman in custody is a former girlfriend or wife it appears to be unrelated.
It will be interesting to see what, if any, relevance she is to this situation. She isn't in custody because she happened to come upon his credit cards and just needed to pick up a few things.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 3, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The fact that there were no signs of forced entry does not necessary mean that Mr. Betts knew his killer or killers. Living so close to a busy intersection and gas station made him (and his neighbors) vulnerable to anyone with malicious intent who wanted to be able to get away quickly. I think whoever killed him was or were strangers. Although I know it's dangerous, I can see myself opening the door to someone who presented themself in dire need of help.

Posted by: jackiecohan | May 3, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

This whole story seems to be missing quite a few details. I've heard of no ex-wives, girlfriends or even boyfriends. It seems like nothing from his personal life has even been discussed at all.

Posted by: rcfoster
________________

They do NOT...I repeat, they do NOT want the real story to come out on this man. It's not cool he was murdered, but this has all of the implications of something Betts did wrong and they won't let the story fly...because it may have damaging effects on the credibility of school officials, or even Rhee herself because of how and when he was brought into the DCPS. They are dancing all around this story to get a feel of how Washingtonians are going to respond to what they are hearing about this case when in reality, they know enough...they just don't want to say what happened. Voting time too close perhaps?

Now whether or not that comes out, we have yet to see.

Posted by: cbmuzik | May 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Details of his personal life may or may not be relevant but we can't judge since they haven't given us any. They are though extremely relevant to the investigation, even more so than normal since they say he apparently knew his killers. Personal details tell who a person is and what they do, the circles they socialize in and the type of people they might meet or things that they do that might lead to solving their case. Letting the public know may cause somebody to remeber something that they didn't realize they even knew.

Posted by: ronjaboy | May 3, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

This whole story seems to be missing quite a few details. I've heard of no ex-wives, girlfriends or even boyfriends. It seems like nothing from his personal life has even been discussed at all.

Posted by: rcfoster
________________

They do NOT...I repeat, they do NOT want the real story to come out on this man. It's not cool he was murdered, but this has all of the implications of something Betts did wrong and they won't let the story fly...because it may have damaging effects on the credibility of school officials, or even Rhee herself because of how and when he was brought into the DCPS. They are dancing all around this story to get a feel of how Washingtonians are going to respond to what they are hearing about this case when in reality, they know enough...they just don't want to say what happened. Voting time too close perhaps?

Now whether or not that comes out, we have yet to see.

Posted by: cbmuzik | May 3, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

----------

Some people are just single, you know. Sounded to me like he was a not atypical 30-something guy devoted to his job and his mom. Unless you know what this alleged "real story" is, cbmuzik, please stop speculating.

Posted by: gmg22 | May 3, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Glad they've finally had a breakthrough in this case.

Shame on those trying to besmirch Betts and implicate him in his own death; let the investigators do their job and please just let the poor guy rest in peace.

Posted by: FedUpInMoCo | May 3, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Killing someone for a relatively modest amount of money will always be preferable to working for a living when it comes to the criminal class.

Posted by: uncivil | May 3, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

The Post won't report it, but the Washington Blade has already pointed out that Mr. Betts was gay. The Post does a disservice to his life and to the investigation by continuing to hide this fact.

Posted by: PepperDr | May 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I am ecstatic that police have pieced together a huge part of this puzzle. Hopefully, the remaining pieces are soon to follow.

Posted by: Messiah2010 | May 3, 2010 1:35 PM | Report abuse

The Post won't report it, but the Washington Blade has already pointed out that Mr. Betts was gay. The Post does a disservice to his life and to the investigation by continuing to hide this fact.

Posted by: PepperDr | May 3, 2010 1:27 PM

===================
Because maybe the fact that he was gay has no relevance to the crime?

My bet: A former student, now a thug, asked to meet with him. He opened the door and had a gun put in his face, was led upstairs, robbed and shot. As for why....who knows but people are murdered all the time in this city for stupid reasons. Look at the drive-by shooting in SE and try to make sense over that b/c of a stolen bracelet.

Posted by: B-rod | May 3, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Surprise nobody is sticking to a black teenage thug from SE did it. That was the major theory when the case first broke and hie car was found in SE. I tulry dont thinbk being gay mattered in this case but for some reason I think drugs are involved. Maybe they should do a tox. on his body R.I.P Brother Betts

Posted by: truthseeker3 | May 3, 2010 1:59 PM | Report abuse

The Post won't report it, but the Washington Blade has already pointed out that Mr. Betts was gay. The Post does a disservice to his life and to the investigation by continuing to hide this fact.

Posted by: PepperDr | May 3, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

----------

If he was in a relationship and that fact is being glossed over for some reason, I could see being upset about this. But I'm single, live alone, and have a large circle of friends, and if I were murdered, I assume the news coverage wouldn't go out of its way to report that I am straight -- unless it was relevant (say, if someone I had been dating was a suspect). I'm not seeing any indication that that is the belief here.

Posted by: gmg22 | May 3, 2010 2:01 PM | Report abuse

my theory, he arranged to meet with someone off of craigslist for a little late night fun, and it turned into a robbery that went bad. then the perp got a neighbor/friend/relative/aquaintence to use the guys credit cards in an attempt to throw them off his trail and to make something off the robbery.

Posted by: MarilynManson | May 3, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

A man was killed - period. It does not matter if he was gay, straight, bi, trans, celibate, black, white, tan, or purple.

By all accounts, Mr. Betts was a man dedicated to his school and the welfare of his students.

What a shame that some people want to turn this tragedy into a three ring circus!

Posted by: SaysEye | May 3, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

Does it matter if Mr. Betts was gay or not? Nope. If he was, so what? Why does it matter? He was murdered in his home for what? A few bucks? Let's hope these arrests bring an end this part of the story.

Posted by: lmbscript | May 3, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

I agree with B-rod and SaysEye. And now that someone who is definitely connected to the events of that evening has been caught, detectives are on the right trail to the killer(s). Technology has a way of incriminating that is hard to refute.

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 3, 2010 2:37 PM | Report abuse

Of course it matters if Betts was gay especially if he had a thing for young black males. He easily could have been hustled and killed by some young thug. Happens all the time. To suggest being gay has no bearing is living in a PC fantasy world.

Posted by: cleancut77 | May 3, 2010 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Rhee is evidently calling the shots as to what WaPo will and will not report about this story. We will probably only get the truth and full story from the DC Examiner and DC Blade.

Posted by: checkered1 | May 3, 2010 2:57 PM | Report abuse

All of you "his lifestyle doesn't matter" people are going to be very surprised to see how this thing plays out.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 3, 2010 3:01 PM | Report abuse

It is not just a matter of gossip that he was gay. It is one of the angles the police are following, like any legitamate investigation would. The fact that the Post won't report the truth says more about the Post than it does about Mr. Betts. As a gay man, he had just as much right to security as anyone else. He also has the same right to have the perpetrator caught. Hiding the fact that he is gay does not provide the public with sufficient information to assist in the investigation of this terrible crime.

Posted by: PepperDr | May 3, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

@BigDaddy651

Ummm... You aren't allowed to "pick up a few things" with other peoples' credit cards, no matter how you come across them.

And, when they happen to be high profile murder victims, you can bet on being in prison real quick.

Posted by: dc-chi-guy | May 3, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

I think rcfoster is trying to suggest the police are arresting the wrong people.

Of course, rcfoster, all of us know more than the police, right? I mean, we read a story in the paper and can clearly see that those guys investigating the case in detail are morons.

Maybe if they just read the paper or gave you a call they would solve more of these cases!

Maybe you should open a business. You would be the first media detective!!!

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | May 3, 2010 4:04 PM | Report abuse

The guy was murdered for money and credit cards. Let's not turn it into an episode Guiding Light. The only thing that matters is his senseless killing by thoughtless slugs and their capture.

Posted by: jckdoors | May 3, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

The fact that Mr. Betts was gay is relevant because it is quite possible Mr. Betts met a stranger for what he thought was a sexual encounter and lost his life.

Posted by: Silly_Willy_Bulldog | May 3, 2010 4:16 PM | Report abuse

If he was gay, outing him in relation to his murder will only matter if it had something to do with his murder.

Would you expect the Post to have this in a story: "A man who had a girlfriend was found murdered last night. Several strangers, at least one of whom also had a girlfriend, are suspected in the case..."?

So why should they report that way if the victim is gay?

If he was gay, this does not look like a case of his being murdered because he picked up the wrong person or had a fight with his boy friend (and we all know how gay men can be when they have a fight with their boyfriends, right???!!) so why even bring it up?

If you really want to speculate about something, how about this: we already know Brian Betts cared deeply about kids in general and about his kids in particular. What if one of the suspects knew this or heard about it from a friend - knock on his door and he will let you in... But kids and guns do not mix. They demand money, he refuses and now it is a murder.

I know that is boring and doesn't make for good gossip but I would almost be willing to bet money that it turns out an awful lot like that when it goes to trial

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | May 3, 2010 4:18 PM | Report abuse

I agree with cbmuzik. I too think there is more to this crime than what they are telling the public. The fact that nothing has been disclosed about his personal life is very important and made me think when I first read about this story that something is not adding up. If there is more to this crime, then the public has the right to know. What really led to this man's murder? Did he put himself in a position where he could be killed, or was this just something random? Whatever the case, the public has the right to know.

Posted by: UNKNOWN13 | May 3, 2010 4:21 PM | Report abuse

It's a gay pick up gone bad. It is my opinion that this guy was a fudge packer of sorts and picked up the wrong guy.

Check out his cookies on his computer and follow the yellow brick road.

Posted by: Special_One40 | May 3, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

The way the arrest record reads is a A woman & Mother perpetuated this crime.

Perhaps it was a Mother protecting her child from someone she believed 'turned her child out' to the other side.

Notice no names are being used of the men in question speaks VOLUMES. Are they underage? Students? Ex students? Was Mr Bets molesting them?

A whole lot more left to come out on this story..

Posted by: digtldesk | May 3, 2010 4:31 PM | Report abuse

The way the arrest record reads is a A woman & Mother perpetuated this crime.

Perhaps it was a Mother protecting her child from someone she believed 'turned her child out' to the other side.

Notice no names are being used of the men in question speaks VOLUMES. Are they underage? Students? Ex students? Was Mr Betts molesting them?

A whole lot more left to come out on this story..

Posted by: digtldesk | May 3, 2010 4:32 PM | Report abuse

I see more of DC finest Citizens are under arrest. Lock all three up for life. Even the low-life Mom who used a murdered man's stolen credit card. I'm sure she bought $111 worth of booze, cigaretts, and chicken wings.

Posted by: espnfan | May 3, 2010 4:33 PM | Report abuse

A well-known, but not so well-publicized fact about the neighborhood where this woman was arrested in Ward 4: There are quite a few "undercover thugs" who live in this neighborhood.

They are unemployed, undereducated, disconnected, and part-time drug dealers who hustle around for cash here and there, but they live with their mothers or grandmothers and generally hang out on Kennedy Street or upper GA Ave. Their mothers protect them from any deep police inquiry and provided they don't disrupt what is a generally quiet, safe (and increasingly gentrified area) of Brightwood, no one gives them much attention.

But they ARE HERE - and continue to make the area "transitional". I'm not surprised the mother would have used the card (even if without knowledge that it was stolen) if her son allegedly gave it to her to use.

Anyone who lives in this area sees these "quasi-thugs" around all the time and the fact that they probably noticed Betts traveling through, shopping, or communicating with a student (?) or otherwise in the area, tracked him down and stalked him back to a somewhat familiar area of "just-over-the line in Silver Spring" doesn't surprise me.

Obviously, the jury is out (literally and figuratively) on exactly what happened - this is all speculation and premature before a hearing, but the current facts of this arrest today don't shock me at all.

The assertions of "Betts was gay" is just some ridiculous distraction offered by people who don't want to recognize that the babies of the crack era (not crack babies, mind you, but people who grew up "in the crack game" - a game that was rampant on Kennedy Street in the late 80s and early 90s)) are still with us - now they are just grown up, nihilistic 20-25 year old wanna be gangsters and living right under (or next to) their law-abiding neighbors.

A sad situation all around.

Posted by: dcresident21 | May 3, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

Wow, this is dumb.

Why use a stolen credit card in these days of surveillance cameras?

Cuing WTOP: "And nooooow, knuckleheads in the news!"

Posted by: bs2004 | May 3, 2010 4:39 PM | Report abuse

dcresident21, I respectfully disagree. I live near that area and there is nothing undercover about the thugs. They are as brazen as any other DC thugs and commit murders relatively frequently. But of course, its our fault for living in the ghetto, we become third class citizens...

Posted by: mendelsonmustgo | May 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I think Betts was killed because he was having a 4some with Artura Williams, her son and his friend.

See how silly it can get? The bottom line is Betts was killed for what ends up being $111 worth of unhealthy junk food @ Giant. It doesn't matter that he was or might have been gay or if he had a thing for tender young thugs. Does that mean he deserved to be killed? No. Put these fools (including the trifling mama spending on somebody's credit card that she KNEW wasn't hers) under the jail.

Posted by: doug_e_crunk | May 3, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

The amount of homophobia on this board is appalling. Go post somewhere else.

Posted by: Aerowaz | May 3, 2010 4:43 PM | Report abuse

dc-chi,
No kidding Captain Obvious...like we didn't all know that using anyone's credit card let alone a murder victim's isn't acceptable.
Sounds as though it was a family affair with regard to criminal involvement.
Can't wait for some defense lawyer to try to give us all the reasons these folks weren't actually responsible.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | May 3, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

I knew Brian casually and he was an extremely nice guy. Drug deal gone bad, bad hookup from Craigslist, pedophilia, etc. I find these theories appalling. While anything is possible, until the investigation comes to the full light of day it won't be known what really transpired. Certainly doesn't sound like anything that Brian would have been involved in to me.

I only hope that Brian's family isn't reading any of this. How would your mother or father like to read a term like "fudge packer" in reference to you if you were found brutally murdered.

A man is dead. Eventually the cause of that death will be public knowledge. To drag his poor dead body through the mud with theories strikes me as the lowest of the low.

Posted by: NapoleonVA | May 3, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

"The arrests came after authorities on Monday morning charged a 46-year-old District woman with using Betts's credit card. One of those charged in the killing is the woman's son, the source said."
Bad apple from a rotten tree.

Posted by: seaduck2001 | May 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

"She was a hard-working lady. She worked two jobs. Whatever they're trying to say she did she didn't do. She's a good mother and a good child," the woman said

--------------------------------------------

The mom sounds like piece of human garbage, using a stolen credit card provided by her son.

Didn't she notice who's name was on it?

I hope she goes to jail for a long time, like the rest of that nasty brood.

Posted by: kenk3 | May 3, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Despite the fact that this is turning out to be a textbook D.C. murder - teenage thugs rob and kill someone for a trivial amount of money and then dumps the victim's car in an alley - the commentors cannot help themselves to wildly speculate about totally baseless conspiracy theories. According to these people, Michelle Rhee is so powerful that in addition to running the D.C. school system she is also secretly controlling the Montgomery County police and the Washington Post to further some pro-homosexual agenda. Give it a rest.

Posted by: buffysummers | May 3, 2010 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Why do black people tend to be so homophobic?

Its a shame, they spread AIDS because they're forced to be on the downlow.

Posted by: kenk3 | May 3, 2010 5:06 PM | Report abuse

It appears that the police in both jurisdictions have done a very good job in arresting the parties involved in the murder of Principal Betts. I hope they are careful and go by the books; don't make a mistake and give the lawyers of the perps a legal out for these losers. Betts had a lot of kids who adored him. He had a gift and the kids knew it.

Posted by: skinfreak | May 3, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

I grew up Betts' neighborhood I am F-ING PISSED off that once again trash from DC are coming up to the suburbs to rob and murder people. I hope these pieces of human garbage get the royal treatment in prison.

Three murders in 8 years in same damn house...ridiculous.

Posted by: dwolfe1519 | May 3, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

"When she wasn't at work, she was home, asleep."

except the two times she was captured on video using a stolen credit card of a murder victim...other that she is a hard worker.....good person, good mom...happy mothers day

Posted by: TBONE86 | May 3, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

As I stated at the time of the murder, its very simple folks. Another white person killed by blacks........is anyone surprised at all? There was NEVER a doubt!

Posted by: msg8568 | May 3, 2010 5:40 PM | Report abuse

The missing piece to this is story is that Mr. Betts was known for being on Adam4Adam and soliciting blk males from a prostitution area in DC. My thoery he picked up the wrong dates this time.

Posted by: kvveritas | May 3, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The missing piece to this is story is that Mr. Betts was known for being on Adam4Adam and soliciting blk males from a prostitution area in DC. My thoery he picked up the wrong dates this time.

Posted by: kvveritas


Shhhhhh. Weast and Rhee do not want that information out there.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 3, 2010 5:48 PM | Report abuse

Artura Otey Williams is arrested for using a stolen credit card. OK--clear enough. BUT, what the hell is an 'Otey'?

Another long-time DC resident doing her thang?

Posted by: wagtdn | May 3, 2010 5:59 PM | Report abuse

Betts picked up thw wrong dates and took them back to his crib. The news needs to share what was found on that pc.

Posted by: kvveritas | May 3, 2010 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Why do people think that as members of "the public" they deserve all the info police have in an unsolved murder case? Too much TV perhaps. I think Mr. Betts's sexual orientation probably will prove to be irrelevant, and shame on those who decided his death likely resulted from some sexually motivated action or sexual behavior on his part. I think there probably was some connection between the suspects and Mr. Betts -perhaps one or more is a former student, or friend of a student, and knew of Mr. Betts's reputation as a nice guy who was willing to help young folks. There was a phone call (made or received by Mr. Betts not long before his death) that hasn't been further identified by the police. I suspect that call will be linked to the murder. Big Daddy651 wrote he "can't wait for some defense lawyer to try to give us all the reasons these folks weren't actually responsible." How about alleging Mr. Betts tried to enagage in sex with one or more suspect, which, of course, would give any young thugs justification for shooting Mr. Betts. Or maybe we'll be lucky and the
murderers will just fess up. The police are about to speak on air so I'll defer to them.

Posted by: Msjes | May 3, 2010 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Hey! Bigdaddy. If you found someone elses credit card and you needed a few things would you use it? I don't care if she did or didn't have anything to do with the murder. It is just wrong.

Posted by: bruceg1211 | May 3, 2010 6:10 PM | Report abuse

The news just mentioned that Betts met the boys off a phone chat line. Hmmmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by: kvveritas | May 3, 2010 6:11 PM | Report abuse

dcresident21, I agree with mendelsonmustgo. There's no truth to your comment. Are you an undercover thug yourself or are you referring to black men who practice homosexual behavior on the downlow?

I don't give a hoot about Mr. Bretts sexuality. According to his colleagues, he was a nice person and law abiding. We all have skeletons in our closets and what people do in the private life between other consenting adults is no one's business.


Posted by: RushLimbaurg | May 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

There you go. The chief just said that Betts met them on a sex chat line.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 3, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Sexuality is no issue here.

What matters is the filthy Knickers have been caught.

Sadly (It IS Montgomery County) there may be no convictions and the sentences will be light if there are convictions.

These Knickers should hang.

Posted by: Etek | May 3, 2010 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Wow! I guess I was wrong based on the police press conference indicating that the previously unidentified phone call was to a chat line that (in answer to a question) was "sexual or social" in nature. Police believe robbery was the motive for participation by the suspects. Makes me angry with Mr. Betts and very sad that he, who had so much to give to the youth of the area and was loved by students and colleagues, did something so foolish and dangerous that it likely resulted in his death. I hope, but don't think, this will be a wake-up call to those (straight and gay) who engage in this type of potentially deadly activity.

Posted by: Msjes | May 3, 2010 6:31 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean that sexuality has no bearing? He MET his murderers in a gay chat room. Obviously he was setting up a gay romp with two black boys.

Posted by: MKadyman | May 3, 2010 6:32 PM | Report abuse

This is a very sad story. I hope these two men spend their lives in an 8X10 cell. I suspect Mr. Betts just answered the door unknowingly. Too bad he didn't own a gun. At least he could have opened the door armed. My thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends.

Posted by: tcj28 | May 3, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Artura Otey Williams ws arrested for using a stolen credit card. Question: What the hell is an 'Otey'? The gay community is not going to be pleased with the results of this investigation.

Posted by: wagtdn | May 3, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

I really do think it's appalling that some of you posting are passing judgement on a man beloved by hundreds of children, former and current.

You know what, if this was a sex thing gone bad, SO EFFING WHAT?!? I'm sure you all have some nasty skeletons in your closet... that pick-up at the bar? Your best friend's girlfriend or wife?

The fact of the matter is that a man's murder has been solved, and I for one am grateful for the time and effort that DC and Montgomery County police have put into this.

Posted by: penance091 | May 3, 2010 6:35 PM | Report abuse

Poor bastard wanted his knob cleaned and he got his clock cleaned instead.

The truth is that meeting people socially in public is a dying art and interest. Just call up your local blow job hotline and take your chances with life or death. Hello McFly.

Posted by: backseatreviewer | May 3, 2010 6:36 PM | Report abuse


Sharif, Alante and Artura. I guess nothing more has to be said.


Posted by: mortified469 | May 3, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

MKadyman - Your story has evolved as you have gone along. You started with speculation and now you are sure?

What is your issue??????

I mean, other than being a sick sychophant

Posted by: TOMMYBASEBALL | May 3, 2010 6:39 PM | Report abuse

They went and used the credit card. Brilliant. These scum who have never contributed a day in their lives snuff out a man that always did for a few bucks. Hang em high.

Posted by: TheDubb | May 3, 2010 6:40 PM | Report abuse

If the police had said "credit cards are missing" then everyone would know and perhaps the card would not have been used. Sometimes withholding some info helps the police do their job!

Posted by: DecafDrinker | May 3, 2010 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Apparently some of you are not familiar with the inner workings of inner city life. The woman they arrested more than likely had nothing to do with the murder or even knew about it. It is very common for stolen credit cards to hit the streets in a matter of minutes (which is why they warn you to report stolen/loss credit cards immediately). She probably got the card from one of her "associates" and used it thinking she was getting a "hookup" instead she is facing felony and possibly accessory to murder charges.

Posted by: KEERYT | May 3, 2010 6:55 PM | Report abuse

"Question: What the hell is an 'Otey'? "

A maiden or family name, perhaps? Both are pretty common as middle names.

Nothing excuses using a stolen credit card, of course (or encouraging a son's law-breaking), but making fun of the woman's name serves no purpose, other than unnecessary race-baiting. I also suspect it's race-baiting based on a false premise. Since a google search reveals quite a bit of Otey family history from the South, the answer might well be: "the name of a slaveholder." Once again, that doesn't excuse anything a possible descendant of one of the Otey family slaves -- and/or a master named Otey -- did, but it does add a certain historical perspective on what you seem to be assuming is one of those "strange black names." I'm guessing there are some white Oteys very proud of their long-established name and family history out there.

Posted by: nvanative | May 3, 2010 7:16 PM | Report abuse

This is a really sad story. He seemed like a lonely guy who gave so much to his students and to the community. Clearly he wanted some company. What makes the story all the more tragic is that someone took advantage of his basic human need. Even more tragic and unbelievable are the disgusting, inhumane, and caustic comments on this site. Crime happens everywhere to everyone. Whether its Goldman Sachs or street thugs. The one thing these scum have in common is their inability to consider the repurcussions of their actions. What you scum have in common is your cowardly, asinine prejudices and judgmental leanings. I hope your families are proud of you... now leave this guy's family alone.

Posted by: lk11 | May 3, 2010 7:26 PM | Report abuse

mmurphy6 I couldn't have said it better. Now where are those trolls who were totally wrong on this case? I see at least one who has the balls to admit that he/she was wrong. Any death by a crime is horrible and it doesn't matter the color of the perpetrator or victim, but I guess those other trolls have move on to another crime committed by someone of color to display their ignorance.

Posted by: no_turning_back | May 3, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

I cannot believe the things that are being written on this blog about Mr. Bretts sexuality. For those who are saying blacks are homophobic should get their facts right. On WTOP's blog, whites have said some of the most vile and homophobic things about this man's death. WTOP deleted all the comments and now there cannot be any comments made on the article.
Being a homosexual or gay is still a difficult lifestyle for many and reading these vile comments, I see why many gays regardless of race stay in the comment.

He who's without sin, cast the first stone. May this man's soul rest in peace now that these hoodlums has been captured.

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | May 3, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Correction:

Being a homosexual or gay is still a difficult lifestyle for many and reading these vile comments, I see why many gays regardless of race stay in the closet.

He who's without sin, cast the first stone. May this man's soul rest in peace now that these hoodlums has been captured.

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | May 3, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

My guess is that Mr. Betts may have been regularly soliciting sex from young men online and ended up connecting with 2 or more young black perpetrators who were looking to rob and kill someone like Betts. With that said, no matter what Betts was doing HE DIDN'T DESERVE TO BE KILLED!

In my mind it all comes back to the perpetrating mindset of young blacks, male and female, always looking to take advantage of or steal from someone and always end up making dumbask decisions in the process that often lead to death as it did in this case.

It's not all young blacks but it's WAY TOO MANY and in many cases you need look no further than the parents, such as the mother of one of the perps who somehow obtained and used the credit card of a murdered man, or the mother who came with the standard line by black moms that "my son is a good boy". They need to come up with a new line because in most cases these hands-off moms don't know their little devils like they think they do.

Posted by: keedrow | May 3, 2010 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Please forgive me -- inlieu of IMMEDIATE hanging -- use them to plug the leaking BP oil well

Posted by: hbw2000 | May 3, 2010 7:53 PM | Report abuse

its time to send a message to all murders in this country -- you will be executed IMMEDIATELY and if determined innocent later, well an announcement on page 6 of the WP

Posted by: hbw2000 | May 3, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

"A woman who answered the phone at a home in Southeast Washington that was a former address of Artura Williams identified herself as Wiliams's mother, but would not give her name.

"She was a hard-working lady. She worked two jobs. Whatever they're trying to say she did she didn't do. She's a good mother and a good child," the woman said."

NO. SHE WAS A BAD WOMAN AND A BAD PARENT. SHE DID NOT INSTILL GOOD VALUES IN HER CHILDREN... WHERE WAS DAD? ALL CHILDREN NEED A REAL MOTHER AND A REAL FATHER. WHY ARE WE AFRAID TO SAY THIS? UNTIL WE FACE UP TO THIS MORE INNOCENT PEOPLE WILL DIE. THIS WOMAN MAKES ME SICK.

BILL COSBY WAS RIGHT. LISTEN PEOPLE. LISTEN.

Posted by: nolib1 | May 3, 2010 8:15 PM | Report abuse

I know it! Check out my posts, Dude was a gay. As to a few of you who asserts that just because it was recognized that he was perhaps gay, does not deem that person making the assertion a homophobic.

Live and let live is my motto. I can care less about a persons sexual orientation, but you had to put it in the mix because it's relavent.

Also, it's some lessons to be learned in this case. This online business is crazy. Trying to make a connection online can be deadly. I harbor no ill will towards gays.

It's not my life style, but I am not knocking it. If that's you, rock on, and be careful.

Posted by: Special_One40 | May 3, 2010 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Bringing up his sexuality was not about being homophobic. It was about presenting an obvious missing gap in the press coverage of this case. And, as it turns out, I was correct--this murder was related to his lifestyle. It was almost obvious and I can't see why people think that it was so out of the question. 40 something, good looking single man, no forced entry into his home--the killer was invited in, two young men seen driving his car. Duh!! Maybe you santimonious twits should get a clue and stop calling anyone who brings up the obvious a homophobe.

Posted by: PepperDr | May 3, 2010 8:21 PM | Report abuse

YEAH - FRY THEM! THEN HANG THEM -- then throw them into the Potomac

Posted by: hbw2000 | May 3, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

How sad that somebody who apparently had such a fulfilling, rewarding professional life had to resort to anonymous contacts via a sex chat line, which ultimately led to his death.

Posted by: WashingtonDame | May 3, 2010 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Agree: Killing someone for a relatively modest amount of money will always be preferable to working for a living when it comes to the criminal class.

As I said, before, hang them, and the Mother(s), in front of DC Superior Court.

Stupid. Even, to the point where they did not think credit card transactions are video taped. Stupid! Hang them!

Posted by: Morgantoo | May 3, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I've notice many news outlets or articles like on AOL are not saying Mr. Bretts alleged to have met these men on a gay chatline or Mr. Betts was gay.

http://www.aolnews.com/crime/article/police-arrest-3-in-slaying-of-beloved-dc-principal-brian-betts/19462902?icid=main|compaq-laptop|dl1|link1|http%3A%2F%2Fwww.aolnews.com%2Fcrime%2Farticle%2Fpolice-arrest-3-in-slaying-of-beloved-dc-principal-brian-betts%2F19462902

Posted by: DaddyGraceFishSandwich | May 3, 2010 8:38 PM | Report abuse

Another criminal family affair in DC. How unbelievably sad. And of course it will be made out that the victim is to blame to excuse the horrible act that was committed. This is another unbelievably cruel, heinous, and animalistic act by people who make their living by victimizing other innocent, good people, and then finding exuses for their low-life actions. These are horrible people from horrible families, who profit from murdering another human being. No excuses. I hope they rot in prison, and never have another moment's peace for the rest of eternity.

Posted by: mradams | May 3, 2010 9:06 PM | Report abuse

Why is it that when liberal homosexuals seek young boys (and are members of the homosexual community in the capacity of a teacher or other non-religious position) there is an out pouring of sympathy. But, when homosexual Catholic priests (who are also perverts and deserve a fate worse than death) are found guilty, the whole religion is held up to scrutiny even though the homosexual acts are at odds with the Church's teaching and are so few in number compare to public school teachers?

Never mind, the answer is obvious; liberals will do anything to destroy all religions which have been the moral fabric of this nation since its inception.

Posted by: nolib1 | May 3, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

I wish that the Post would follow up on what truly is a newsworthy story here, namely, the literal explosion over the past five years in the use by gay males of anonymous "hook up" venues such as Craigslist. I challenge the Post to peruse the Personals/"Men Seeking Men" ads on any particular evening, decode the "PNP," "geT to the point," "420," "generous," ad inf. references. Instead of heading to a known street corner or park for prostitution and/or nihilistic promiscuous anonymous sexual encounters, now one heads to Craigslist, or AOL or a telephone "chat line." And predators lurk. Add a particular taste, perhaps, for "down low" young black men, or for meth tweakers, and you have a recipe for disaster, like the one that appears to have played out with Mr. Betts. These sites have become a real scourge on the community. And if you look at the Craigslist ads say in the Bay Area, that are posted from midnight to the early morning, they are populated nearly entirely for entreaties for drugs or unprotected sex. No wonder the incidence of HIV infection is skyrocketing again in young gay men. The lowlifes apparently responsible for his death, spawned by a mother who would use the credit card of her son's murder victim -- there are a lot more of them out there, waiting ....

Posted by: Quizzical | May 3, 2010 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Any surprises here? DC school principal with a hankering for minority youth gets in way, way over his head. Figured it out the first time I saw his pic.

Posted by: wagtdn | May 3, 2010 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Both males are 18yo....juvie system must not have worked AGAIN. I'm sure they graduated to the adult system....the POST needs to do some digging to see if these kids were with DYRS.

Posted by: DCJUSTICE | May 3, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

Today, is a sad reminder that Mayor-for-life Barry's constituent coaching has been a disaster to those who, actually, "fell for his lies."

While the rest of us (black, white, latino, gay, straight, thug, etc. = working-class folks) moved on, "that" segment is JUST NOT GETTING IT!

My thanks to others, who agree. No matter which race, sexual orientation, neighborhood, school, political influence.

Posted by: Morgantoo | May 3, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure the progressive media, commentators, and the talking heads will again blame the system, the government, failed juvenile agencies, etc., for this tragic event. I think the majority of the public, however, understands the causes and too often suffers their consequences. When young people run loose with no parental guidance or supervision, this becomes just another sad story in the naked city.

Posted by: sero1 | May 3, 2010 9:58 PM | Report abuse


nolib1 foolishly wrote: "Never mind, the answer is obvious; liberals will do anything to destroy all religions which have been the moral fabric of this nation since its inception."

-------------------------------------------------

Oh right, and those strands in your "moral fabric of this nation" included slavery, segregation, genocidal acts against Native Indians, hysteria against homosexuals, two-faced bigotry against other immigrants, environmental destruction, economic disparity and denial of upward mobility, etc., etc., etc.

Yep, America is very religious, "christian" is probably what you would call it.

Posted by: rasterfreeart | May 3, 2010 10:07 PM | Report abuse


nolib1 foolishly wrote: "Never mind, the answer is obvious; liberals will do anything to destroy all religions which have been the moral fabric of this nation since its inception."

-------------------------------------------------

Oh right, and those strands in your "moral fabric of this nation" included slavery, segregation, genocidal acts against Native Indians, hysteria against homosexuals, two-faced bigotry against other immigrants, environmental destruction, economic disparity and denial of upward mobility, etc., etc., etc.

Yep, America is very religious, "christian" is probably what you would call it.

Posted by: rasterfreeart | May 3, 2010 10:08 PM | Report abuse

RushLimbaurg - did you even read my post?

When I mention "undercover" I'm not talking about gay people. I'm talking about the fact that many of these thugs/ criminals/ lawbreakers - call them what you will - act in a less than disruptive manner during certain hours, but are still committing criminal acts while their relatives (usually mothers or grandmothers) are allowing it to occur without consequences (such as kicking them out of the homes in which they reside).

mendelsonmustgo at least took the time to read my post and has a legitimate counterpoint - he believes they are not "undercover" in their criminal dealings - and are rather right out in the open about their negative activity. I can at least respect (and agree, to a point) with that point of view.

The truth is - I don't give a hoot about Mr. Betts' sexuality - as I mentioned in my post. I use the term thug to reflect criminals - not to a media-driven slang term for homosexuals. That has nothing to do with what is a tragic and unfortunate crime by hateful people.

RushLimbaurg, read and get your facts straight BEFORE you respond. For the record, I'm an African-American with a family (straight, if it matters) and this is the type of activity that makes me upset about choosing to live in the City (not that you can "run" from this type of criminal behavior - hell, Betts lived in the 'burbs).

To mendelsonmustgo's point, when this type of overt criminality is prevalent, how is one supposed to reasonably raise a family or expect peace in their community? This type of behavior needs to stop through the community's outright rejection of the continued "looking the other way" attitude with regard to this criminal behavior.


Posted by: RushLimbaurg | May 3, 2010 6:14 PM

Posted by: dcresident21 | May 3, 2010 10:44 PM | Report abuse

Ho Hum.....just another white person killed by criminal blacks......big deal....just wait until this day's over, there will be plenty more, all over the country........quit acting like your surprised about any of this.

Posted by: msg8568 | May 4, 2010 9:17 AM | Report abuse

If he was gay, outing him in relation to his murder will only matter if it had something to do with his murder.

Would you expect the Post to have this in a story: "A man who had a girlfriend was found murdered last night. Several strangers, at least one of whom also had a girlfriend, are suspected in the case..."?
_____________

Here's what I would expect: "A single man in his 40s who frequented single bars and internet social sex sites was found murdered in his home tonight. The man was a principal at a historically troubled DC public school brought in from Md by Chan. Rhee to turn the school around. Police are interviewing patrons of the single's bars and searching the victim's e-mails and social network posts for any possible connections to the slaying."

The question isn't whether or not he was gay--it was whether a school principal is sexually promiscuous and cruising. And all that that implies. Wake up and smell the coffee, people. Hanging around certain kinds of people, places and things carries consequences.

Posted by: calhern | May 4, 2010 9:46 AM | Report abuse

What matters is the man was killed. What matters is he was seemingly dedicated to the education of students, no matter what his personal life may have been. What matters is students will no longer have this person advocating on their behalf. I didn't know the man or his educational accomplishments except for what I have read and heard on the news, but I do know that anyone who is dedicated to the educational excellence of our nations students is a person who will be sorely missed. That is what matters.

Posted by: alaskan2 | May 4, 2010 1:48 PM | Report abuse

Brian Betts might have been a gay male, but this doesn't give these "savages" the right to kill him. For those that call me a racist for using the term "savages", I refer to all regardless of race as "savages", if they commit a horrific crime.

Gays and lesbians have sexual needs and desires like heterosexuals do. Unfortunately, the gay life style seems to be a lonely life style and society pressures about being married with children doesn't make it easy for gays or lesbians.

What Brain Betts did in his private life with consenting adults is none of my business. There are a lot of straight men that is over 40 and prefer young legal age women 18 to 25. My neighbor is 54 years old and he was having sex with his 26 year old colleague. I am married, but if I were single, I wouldn't want to be in a relationship with a young woman 26 and I am approaching 50. Many of us have gay and lesbian brothers, sisters, daughters, sons, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers, etc. Do we love them any less? Their sexuality is a small part of who they are. I personally don't support gay marriage, but it's now legal in the District of Columbia and I will not protest against it. If these "savages" are found guilty, I would like to see them tortured to death.

Please let Mr. Brian Betts spirit rest in peace. Hopefully he's in a better place than here on earth, because we are living in he$$ on earth. There's so much crazy sh&t and so much stress in the world. The United States is becoming a third world country and we are going down hill daily. We are living in the last days on earth before mankind destroys us all. Guess what, I look forward to the world ending. LOL LOL

Posted by: Ward4DC | May 4, 2010 8:02 PM | Report abuse

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