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US Couple Kidnapped near Mexico City


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In 2016, there were 771 kidnapping cases in the country involving people connected to the U.S., according to the OSAC, including citizens, legal permanent residents and other cases in which an extortion call was made to the U.S. and police (or former law enforcement officials) have been implicated in many of these incidents.


When Jennifer and Frank Massabki traveled to Mexico in May 2017, they had recently gotten engaged and were looking for potential locations to host their wedding later that year. But after what occurred over the next few days, they didn’t know if they ever wanted to set foot in the country again.

The couple rented a car from an American company in Mexico City and had been on the road for about an hour when another vehicle rear-ended them. When Frank got out to talk to the driver, two men with weapons descended upon them and took them hostage in their car, according to a police report filed with Mexico City officials.

The men commanded the couple to remove all of their jewelry and blindfolded Frank as the assailants drove them to a second location. “This is going to get a lot worse for you,” Jennifer recalls one attacker telling her (she and Frank are both fluent in Spanish).

The kidnappers told the Massabkis to start thinking of people to call in the U.S. for a ransom. After hours of being held hostage, several violent altercations, and a failed attempted rape, the two were able to free themselves. Frank ran and found police who returned to get Jennifer, who was hiding in a tree from her attackers.

The couple filed a police report, which MarketWatch reviewed for this story, and flew back to the U.S. for medical treatment, including an emergency surgery on Jennifer’s nose, which was broken during a fight with her attackers.


Edited by Dinki-di
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Maybe I'm just a pussy but it seems that going deep into Mexico and wandering around the countrysides for "adventures" is pretty fucking dangerous. Failed rape attempt seems unlikely though...I guess you wouldn't want to admit to being successfully raped if they police aren't going to do anything about it. I get why they tried,  according to the picture that guy is pretty hunky.

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On 5/11/2018 at 5:26 PM, Sportsbar said:

That’s what absolutely sucks about Mexico. It would be a super experience to explore  all of Mex but it just isn’t safe!!!!!

 If it were safe, I’d rather also travel to countryside and get to know the country beyond the touristy parts. Unfortunately Mexico isn’t like western Europe we can do thatUnfortunately Mexico isn’t like western Europe we can do that

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As these two European biker tourists found out the hard way.......the dam Changos fist reported they fell off the cliff and died with zero signs of foul play.........when a relative investigated he find out one biker dude was beheaded and had his foot cut off..........dam Changos.........

Cycling tourists were robbed, murdered in Mexico: authorities

Cycling tourists were robbed, murdered in Mexico: authorities


Two European bicyclists found dead in a ravine in southern Mexico were robbed and murdered, authorities say, despite earlier claims they plunged to their deaths in an accident.

Prosecutor Luis Alberto Sanchez said the bodies of Krzystof Chmielewski, of Poland, and Holger Hagenbusch, of Germany, were found at the bottom of a cliff in Chiapas state, the BBC reported.

Chmielewski, 37, was shot in the head and found on April 26 about 130 feet below the road he’d been traveling on. Hagenbusch, 43, likely died from a head wound sustained during a beating and wasn’t discovered until May 4.

The announcement, on Friday, was the latest report to shock the crime-ridden country.

Last month, Mexican rapper Christian Omar Palma Gutierrez’ confessed to dissolving the bodies of three film students in acid at the behest of a drug cartel. On April 27, about 12,000 people gathered in Guadalajara to protest the murders of the three and the rise in crime.

Most of the victims have been young people. At least 15,516 people between the ages of 13 and 29 are officially missing.

Violent cartel-related murders continue to spike in the nation, which saw over 25,000 killings in 2017, setting an all-time record.

In the case of the bike riders, authorities initially blamed the victims, saying they lost control and fell off the cliff. They also claimed there were no signs of foul play.

But after Hagenbusch’s brother went to Mexico to identify his sibling’s body, he learned Chmielewski “was decapitated and had a foot missing,” according to his Facebook post.



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4 hours ago, Peewee said:

Fell off the cliff and died wont affect the economy as to.

Wow, Mexico had 15,893 people fall off of cliffs last year :fat_face_surprised:

Must be all that cliff diving in Acapulco and Mazatlan :bald_head:

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On 5/20/2018 at 4:17 AM, Dinki-di said:

Wow, Mexico had 15,893 people fall off of cliffs last year :fat_face_surprised:

Must be all that cliff diving in Acapulco and Mazatlan :bald_head:

It is a double edged sword.  The fact that they don't follow rules and are unwilling to enforce their laws is why we are able to go their and take advantage of their economy.  If Mexicans followed and enforced their laws, it would probably be no different than visiting Canada (with better weather).  None of us would likely be interested in visiting.  You think these beautiful young women would be interested in fat old gringos if Mexican men had good paying jobs and paid child support every week?   How many on here are hoping Lopez Obrador becomes president just so it becomes cheaper?

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I'm stuck on my tablet this weekend, so I'll try to elaborate more later. But this kidnapping story reeks on so many levels. I'm sure there's waaayyy more to it than is being reported.

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2 hours ago, PhordPhan said:

But this kidnapping story reeks on so many levels. I'm sure there's waaayyy more to it than is being reported.


I also have some questions about this. First why did they wait a year to go public with their story.?  Second why are they being so vague about the location ie a hour's drive from Mexico City.  On the other hand the modus operandi intentionally rear ending a vehicle has been previously reported in Mexico.

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On 5/27/2018 at 11:44 AM, PhordPhan said:

I'm stuck on my tablet this weekend, so I'll try to elaborate more later. But this kidnapping story reeks on so many levels. I'm sure there's waaayyy more to it than is being reported.

I'm not so sure there's more to this than stated.  Why should there be?  You get away from the resorts and it becomes very poor very fast.  And where there's poverty there's crime.  Make it Mexico, with the current drug war culture on top of it (life is cheap), and you're really asking for it.   It's not like the press hasn't reported on it, USA Today is single-handedly trying to destroy tourism in the resorts by exaggerating the problems with tainted alcohol and the drug killings. 

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First, I'll say that kidnapping is a big problem in Mexico, and other countries south of the border. I don't want to minimize the problems this couple went through.

Now, the thing that bothers me first, is that the "Mexico is a dangerous shithole" crowd in the press is a lot like the anti-death penalty crowd. The anti-death penalty press crowd picks some poster boy like Tookie Williams and holds them up as some sort of model citizen and that's why the death penalty should be abolished. Then somebody dredges up the truth, that the guy was a hoodlum with a penchant for killing convenience store clerks with a shotgun, among other things. By the same token, the anti-Mexico press bunch hold up some story of a kidnapping, or mysterious death by alcohol, or shot in Ixtapa, or whatever, as proof one shouldn't set foot in the country. Then the truth eventually bubbles up from the murk but by then they've moved on to the next shiny object. IMO, this story is one of them.

The thrust of the story is that some innocent couple went to Mexico to plan their wedding and were kidnapped, totally at random, by a Mexican gang. Ipso facto, it could happen to anyone at any time. I hold that this was not a random act by random thugs.

Let's just look at some facts, assuming the story is accurate. (I could find nothing further on this, except for this exact story replicated on a few sites.)

The guy is a Miami-area attorney. He looks pretty prosperous. His wife appears to be some strain of Latina.

They both speak Spanish. Maybe not totally weird, but this indicates a likelihood of family who also speak Spanish.

They want to plan a large wedding in Mexico City.

They were robbed and kidnapped while driving a rental car.

Let's see. I know other couples who are fluent in Spanish. None of them ever contemplated a wedding in Mexico. Why? None of them had ties to Mexico. OTOH, if Rocky the Flying Squirrel and I decided to wed, the wedding most certainly would be held in Mexico City, or closeby, because all her family lives there.

I know for a fact there are lots of very nice wedding venues in, and around, the Miami area. But our intrepid couple have to actually do location scouting to find a venue in Mexico City large enough to cater their wedding. This seems to me that this was going to be a pretty elaborate affair. Now I don't know how many of their USA-based friends would be willing to fly-yyy down to Mexico-oh-oh-oh (a blatant theft from Paul Simon) for a wedding, but I'm pretty sure a shitload of family would show up for the free booze and grub.

Many of us have been through the Mexico City airport. It's pretty big, and throngs of gringos go through there every day. Of course, this couple doesn't look like typical gringos from Des Moines. They both look Latino. So, are gangs of thugs hanging around the airport, probably in the luggage area, waiting for gringos or other targets of opportunity? I suppose it's possible, but I'm skeptical.

They rented a car from an "American company." From the looks of these two, I doubt it was a SEAT subcompact. It may not have been a Mercedes, but it was probably a fairly decent car. OK, it is plausible that there are criminals observing rental agencies, who watch for prosperous-looking people renting nicer cars. Or, an agent is in cahoots with said gang of criminals. Mr. and Mrs. Moneybags drive off, are followed by said gang, jacked up, robbed, etc. The problem I have with this scenario is that these two couldn't have been their first, and last, victims. We had a few people sickened/dead from allegedly bad alcohol in a Mexican resort and we all heard about it. Surely if other gringos were getting hijacked and kidnapped after renting a car at an "American company," we'd have heard about a few, no?

They drove for a hour. Nothing in the article indicated they drove out of town, into the tulies, for an hour. Hell, in DF you can probably drive an hour and only get a couple of miles, depending on time of day. Anyway, they were rear-ended. When the guy gets out to check, he's jumped by several armed men. Now this is NOT a random act. This sort of thing takes practice and coordination. It doesn't say where the "two men" who "descended upon them" came from. Maybe the same car that rear-ended them, maybe not. In any case, they were being followed. Something made these criminals target them.

The first thing the robbers said was to remove their jewelry. Hmmm. I would hazard a guess that the lady had a huge sparkler on her finger. After all, she was recently engaged to a prosperous attorney. Earrings and necklace? Possibly. What sort of bling would a Miami-based attorney be wearing? Dunno, but if he was, it was probably expensive. What's the first rule for traveling in a poor foreign country? Remove the bling. If Rocky the Flying Squirrel and I ever get hijacked in my beat-up Honda, they'll get some cheap tianguis-sourced costume jewelry and a cheap ($40 when new) Timex. Methinks these robbers got a lot more than that.

Interestingly, they blindfolded him, but not her. Why? Could this have been in inside job? I hate to be so cynical, but there it is. Violent altercations? Attempted rape? Several guys with guns couldn't rape one woman? During the "violent altercations" nobody got shot? Hell, the Mexican gangs shoot people for critical Facebook posts. But they won't shoot a guy who's engaging in a "violent altercation" with them?

The crooks demand they come up with a list of people in the States who might pay a ransom. What tipped them that there was anybody in the States who gave a fart in a windstorm about these two? I doubt crooks kidnap people at random and just hope they have a rich relative somewhere. There's no indication they made that list, or that anybody was contacted for a ransom. They escaped after several hours and some "violent altercations" in which nobody was shot, but the lady's nose was broken.

Anyway, this is overlong. But my takeaway is that the whole thing smells like the Ensenada fish market, and that this was absolutely not some random crime on the mean streets of Mexico. I think the robbers knew they were coming. I suspect they were tipped off. Maybe by a greedy family member? To me it was clear they were targeted by a coordinated gang, but something went south and they never got their money. And the reason for that, I suspect, was that this was a gang of amateurs. They knew the couple was coming, they were able to kidnap them. But, like the dog chasing the car, they didn't know what to do with them when they caught them. Through incompetence they let them escape. Maybe they didn't expect the guy to put up a fight and had no idea what to do. It certainly doesn't sound like a professional gang of kidnappers, backed by the police department, as the story would have you believe. Weirdly, this whole thing reminds me of the movie Man on Fire, with Denzel Washington. It's all about a fake kidnapping gone wrong in Mexico City.

Edited by PhordPhan
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This story sounds fishy and extremely biased to me. Either it didn't happen at all, or they're leaving out some important details. Either way, it's unfortunate that they are misrepresenting how dangerous Mexico City is for tourists. Mexico gets 10+ million tourists a year. I felt the nicer parts of Mexico City are very safe. 

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This story caught my attention as I have a Battle Buddy that decided to move to this place when he retired........He cut himself out of social media......he told everybody that if they wish to find him.......go to this place and ask about him......I guess everybody knows him there...........

Cliff notes of this sad story:

  • Retired American couple living here
  • Heard noise outside his house..........as he investigated he was shot 18 times.
  • His female partner was also shot and killed
  • Ex-racer Roger Mears was / is his neighbor who found them


U.S. couple found shot to death in Bahia de los Angeles



Like their fellow Americans in Bahía de los Angeles, Jo Anne Butler and Ray Ball kept returning, year after year, drawn by the small-town feel, the area’s stark natural beauty, the warm Gulf of California waters that lapped almost at their door, friends said.

But the shooting deaths of the two U.S. retirees together with their dog early Saturday at their waterfront house south of town has shattered the tranquility of this community some 380 miles from the U.S. border. Sustained largely by tourism and fishing, Bahía has a year-round population of 1,000, but is also a part-time residence for more than 100 Americans, according to local authorities.


“We have no memory of having a shooting here,” said Tom Mitchell, a San Diego resident who has had a home in Bahía de los Angeles for four decades. “This has taken it to a level that no one here has experienced.”

Friends and authorities said Monday that the killings appear to be over a boat — a 22-foot McKee Craft with a Yamaha 250 outboard motor that the couple kept at their house and frequently used for fishing excursions.


“It was an attempted robbery, and an individual went to defend his property, and that’s when they shot him,” said Octavio López, the delegado, or top local government official, in a telephone interview from Bahia de los Angeles. “This is the first time we’ve had something like this happen.”

A neighbor who remained fearful and asked that his name be withheld said he had been awoken at about midnight by gunfire that “sounded like somebody pounding on a metal roof.” Looking outside, he saw a SUV pulling a boat toward the water, “and the thing just buried itself in the sand.”

Unable to move the vessel, the thieves abandoned it, said the neighbor. He then heard them fire more shots, he said.

Realizing this was Ball’s boat, two neighbors went to investigate, and found the couple’s bodies in the house, near a back door. Neighbor Roger Mears, the former off-road racing champion, was the first to discover his friends had been killed, said his wife, Carol. “This has been devastating,” she said.

An initial report by the Baja California Attorney General’s Office recorded the deaths at 2:46 a.m. Saturday. Investigators counted 18 gunshot wounds on Ball’s body, while Butler had two gunshot wounds to her left leg, the report said. Also at the scene, investigators found a dozen shell casings from a 9mm weapon.

Jo Ann Butler and Ray Ball are pictured together in this section of her blog describing their lives in Bahia de los Angeles.
Jo Ann Butler and Ray Ball are pictured together in this section of her blog describing their lives in Bahia de los Angeles. (Mccutchen, John R. /)

Butler, 69, and Ball, 72, were not married but had been a couple for about 14 years. She was a former school teacher and accomplished artist, while he had worked as a contractor, and was a gifted craftsman who built custom furniture, said Bill Boyce, a friend of Ball’s since college days and part-time resident of Bahia de los Angeles since the 1980s.

“It’s so surreal and beautiful,” Boyce said of the quiet community. “Every day you wake up and it just grabs your soul.”

Jo Anne Butler wrote in a blog for family and friends that Ball had first come to Bahía in the late 1980s “and fell in love with the beauty and the world-class fishing.” After visiting in 2003, she said that she had become equally captivated.

A lifelong craftswoman specializing in stained glass, Butler wrote that “the natural beauty of this place is a constant source of ideas and inspiration.”

A year ago, she sold her house in Escondido, and they purchased a new home in Prescott, Arizona. But they also kept their house in Mexico.

Authorities are not discussing the chain of events leading to the killings, saying that they remain under investigation. But friends and neighbors said that it appeared that Ball had heard a noise, and gone to check, holding a bat in his hand. He apparently was shot as he opened the back door, they said.

“Ray was a guy who would have protected his place and his belongings, this was not surprising to me that he was trying to protect what he had,” said Boyce.

“This was so out of character for our community,” said Mitchell, another longtime friend and neighbor. “These guys didn’t hesitate to kill. They basically murdered both of them.”

In January, another U.S. citizen was killed in Bahía de los Angeles. Charles Crabtree was struck repeatedly with a hammer on his head and body outside his trailer in the Campo Amigo park. The 28-year-old suspect was captured, and is currently behind bars, authorities said.

On Monday, community members met with the municipal delegate, and the local police commander, pressing for a greater law enforcement presence. Bahía de los Angeles is part of the municipality of Ensenada, and on Wednesday, residents are expecting to meet with Mayor Marco Antonio Novelo.




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that really sucks


i fish there several times a year and am very good friends with a pangero and his family


i stay at their home and they treat me like family


quite a few years ago, a woman who owned a hotel in Bahia de los angeles, was murdered on the highway.  She was in her vehicle with her husband and multiple rounds were fired. He was not injured


this is the type of place you’d live in peace and tranquility for the rest of your life.  No one ever expects any crime there.  

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