Check marks the spot! A recovery program for one of the rarest butterfly species in Southern California, the Quino checkerspot, has reached an important milestone. A team of biologists from the San Diego Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), Conservation Biology Institute and San Diego State University observed multiple adult butterflies, following the first-ever release of larvae into their native range in the San Diego Wildlife Refuge earlier this year. The sightings of adult butterflies in the habitat is an early sign of success for the recovery effort for this precious pollinator.

“In the five years that we have partnered on this project, I have personally seen a total of six Quino checkerspot butterflies in the wild, in multiple habitats,” said Paige Howorth, associate curator of invertebrates at the San Diego Zoo. “Observing more than 35 butterflies flying in one day on the reintroduction site is extraordinary—it’s a welcome measure of hope, after years of drought and uncertainty for this species.”

The work to protect the Quino checkerspot butterfly continues during the second year of the assisted rearing program at the San Diego Zoo. Biologists collected 12 females in eastern San Diego County early last week to provide a foundation for the rearing of larvae at the Zoo. The wild adult butterflies were selected in the field based on an assessment of their body condition: vigorous, slightly older females that appeared to have already mated were chosen for the project. In this way, the butterflies can contribute eggs to both the wild population and the rearing project at the Zoo.

“I spotted this location a while ago and took a shot of it but to me it felt that it required a human presence to make it more emotional,” photographer Ian Howorth remembers of this picture, “I asked Tamsin and Reed (who are a couple) to just start kissing and then would ask them to stop. Then take a shot. I would then ask them to start kissing again. This went on for about an hour or so. I felt it was important for them to resume kissing each time after I fired the shutter, as even though the shot as a whole is staged, the look and the emotion in Tamsin’s eyes are, to me, very real.”


“We have an album done, it’s done”

 “There’s gonna be a single released probably around the 21st of this month, but we have a whole new album ready to go. It’s gonna be out over the summer.”

“It’s different and cool and I think it’s a different step for us but that I think our fans are really gonna like,” Howorth continued. “Stylistically, I think we went a little bit more raw, you know — like, not so much campiness like ‘Sex Metal Barbie.’ Not that there was anything wrong with that — we’re always trying to experiment and do something different — but it’s more serious, I guess, and a little more stripped down. There’s still electronics and stuff, and it’s still In This Moment, but it’s a little more stripped down, I guess, and maybe swampy and bluesy a little bit in certain elements, but still metal, you know, still us.”

Chris Howorth

A Shocking Triple Murder that Inspired Another

Brothers Bryan and David Freeman developed quite the rebellious streak when they became teenagers. Most of their anger was against their mother Brenda, a devoted Jeovah’s witness, and when Bryan was 17 and David 16, that resentment exploded in the most terrible way.

The brothers had embraced the neo-nazi subculture and had become skinheads. The night of February 26th, 1995, they were in the basement of the Freeman’s house in Lehigh Valley with their cousin Nelson Birdwell III when Brenda came down to tell them to keep the noise down. Bryan then grabbed his mother, stuffed some shorts in her mouth and stabbed her repeatedly, killing her.

David and Nelson, who was 18, then went upstairs and killed father Dennis, who was asleep, with an aluminium baseball bat. Then they murdered David’s little brother Erik, who was 11, with a pick ax handle.

David and Bryan pleaded guilty to the murder of their parents and were sentenced to life in prison. Nelson was too for the murder of Dennis, but the trial didn’t determine which one killed Erik.

The Freemans were captured three days after the murders. A day after that, another tragedy happened in the PA area. 

Jeffrey Howorth, then 16, killed his parents George and Susan with a hunting rifle. In his bedroom, police found a journal where he expressed admiration for what the Freemans had done and expressed desire to do the same. The jury found him not guilty by reason of insanity, and he’s still under state supervision in a psychiatric hospital.