Fleeing Las Vegas

On July 13, 1997, a man called a Las Vegas, Nevada, hospital requesting aid. Saying his girlfriend had just given birth in a hotel room, he asked the hospital to send an ambulance. When the receptionist began asking questions, the caller abruptly hung up.

Approximately an hour later, the man called 911 and told the same story. He requested an ambulance but asked that they not involve the police. When he was asked to provide more information, he again hung up.

Suspicious, the 911 dispatcher contacted the police, and within five minutes, a police officer and an ambulance arrived at the Lady Luck Hotel.

When the personnel entered the room, they found a man and woman lying on a bed. Both were calm. The responders were disgusted by where the newborn baby was found. The infant lay face down in the toilet.

The couple was identified as 35-year-old Kevin Woo and his 30-year-old girlfriend, Kristine Westin. They claimed the baby had been born dead while Westin was on the toilet.

Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin were drug addicts and shoplifted expensive merchandise from department stores to finance their addiction. Each had previously served time in prison for theft and had warrants out for their arrest. As repeat offenders, they were looking at significant jail time.

Three days before the baby’s birth, Westin and Woo arrived in Las Vegas and were up to their old tricks. They are believed to have stolen money from several retail stores before spending the next 72 hours doing their usual partying, drinking, and drugs. It was business as usual until the premature birth of their child.

Woo followed in his car as Westin was transported to the hospital. As police questioned him at the hospital, Woo grew nervous and excused himself, ironically, to use the bathroom. He never returned.

When questioning Westin, police were struck by her calm demeanor. She repeatedly inquired about her belongings in the hotel room. However, the woman who had just given birth made no inquiries of her baby and appeared to have no remorse over the death.

With the cause of the baby’s death still undetermined, investigators had no grounds to arrest Westin. Because she was fine physically, the hospital had no medical reason to detain her. That evening, she checked herself out.

A pathologist determined the cause of the male infant’s death was asphyxiation. The air in his lungs and stomach meant he had been born alive. The pathologist wrote, “An effort to breathe, at least a gasp, had to have taken place.” Also, “He [the baby] had to have been outside of the mother to get air.”

Cocaine and a cocaine by-product were found in the baby’s bloodstream, meaning Westin had ingested the drug within 24 hours of the infant’s birth. Investigators could not determine the amount of cocaine in her system and the frequency of her drug use. Nor could it be determined whether the drugs caused the premature birth. However, they did discover that 40 minutes had elapsed from the time the infant was born until Woo called 911.

The pathologist said the baby could have lived had he been removed from the water immediately or within a few seconds. He concluded his report by stating, “By allowing it to stay in the water without any obvious effort to resuscitate it places this in the non-accidental area and is therefore homicidal.”

When Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin arrived in Las Vegas, they were minor league crooks wanted on shoplifting charges. The couple’s sins were more severe by the time they left sin city. Westin and Woo had graduated to charges of carjacking, child abuse, and, potentially, murder.

Two days after the charges were filed, Woo and Westin are believed to have stolen a pickup truck in Henderson, Nevada. It was found abandoned in Los Angeles three days later.

For nearly six years, Kevin Woo and Kristine Westin eluded detection. It was their old habits that led to their downfall.

In March of 2003, Westin was arrested in Lynwood, Washington, for shoplifting. The police then tracked Woo to the motel where the fugitive couple was living. After a thirty-hour stand-off, Woo put a bullet in his head.

In her nearly six years on the run, Westin had been arrested twice in California and Washington on shoplifting and burglary charges. Each time, she produced false identification and was released before authorities learned her true identity.

Kristine Westin eventually plead guilty to felony child abuse and involuntary manslaughter. She was sentenced to twenty-four years in prison but was released for good behavior after undergoing treatment for her drug addiction. She served eight and a half years.

The Las Vegas Chapter of the Knights of Columbus named Woo and Westin’s son Kyle gave him a proper burial.


THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.

Further Info:
Las Vegas Sun
Seattle Times
Unsolved Mysteries


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Check out My Friend Ori Spado’s new book!

The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Hollywood Fixer

In this revised edition of The Accidental Gangster, author Orlando “Ori” Spado honestly recounts his humble beginnings from the small town of Rome in upstate New York to becoming known as The Mob Boss of Hollywood. This candid account documents his fall from the life of a well-known Hollywood fixer who mixed with A-List celebrities to serving 62 months in a federal prison and ultimately making a determined comeback. The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Hollywood Fixer includes personal letters, new photos, additional text and corrected material from The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Mob Boss of Hollywood.

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Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED


Tragedy in the South Pacific

Professional athletes are idolized by many and even worshiped by some. Their talents and riches all too often make fans believe they are immune to the troubles faced by the rest of us. But athletes are human beings, and they are susceptible to dangers such as crime as much as anyone.

Bison Dele was an eight-year veteran of the National Basketball Association (NBA.) His talent had made him a multimillionaire and, eager to pursue new adventures, he quit the game at age 30.

In his eight-year NBA career, Bison had done much traveling, not just of the basketball violation. Most of what he saw, however, were hotel rooms and basketball arenas. He now wanted to travel worldwide and enjoy the natural sights of our beautiful world.

Bison walked away from basketball in his athletic prime. Shortly after setting sail from Tahiti in 2002, he was, most assuredly, murdered in the prime of his life.

Bison Dele was born Brian Williams. His father, Geno Williams, was, for a time, a singer with The Platters, one of the first popular early rock’n’roll bands.

Whereas his dad was a singing star, Brian became a sports star. At California’s Santa Monica High School, he excelled at track and field before a growth spurt led him to the sport, which would ultimately make him millions of dollars. By his senior year, he had grown to 6’10 and was the star of the basketball team. College recruiters were setting a course to Santa Monica.

Brian chose to play college basketball for the University of Maryland, where he had a great freshman season, averaging 12.5 points and six rebounds a game. However, he longed to be closer to home and transferred to the University of Arizona. After being required to sit out the 1988-89 season, Brian played two years for the Wildcats and posted similar averages of 12.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

As the college recruiters had stampeded to Santa Monica, NBA scouts were now trekking to Tucson. Brian Williams had the talent to play basketball at the highest level.

Brian was the 10th pick in the first round of the 1991 NBA Draft by the Orlando Magic. He only played sparingly, however, in two seasons with the Magic.

Brian was traded to the Denver Nuggets for the 1993-94 season. His play improved in his two seasons with the Nuggets, as he averaged eight points and five rebounds per game.

The following year, when he came home to play for the Los Angeles Clippers, his game improved even more, as he averaged nearly 16 points and seven rebounds per game.

Brian sat out most of the 1997-98 season due to a contract dispute. With only nine games remaining in the regular season, the reigning champion Chicago Bulls signed him for the playoff run. Brian proved a valuable reserve in the playoffs, providing solid play coming off the bench.

Brian earned a championship ring as the Bulls won their second of three consecutive NBA titles.

The following season was Brian’s best NBA campaign. As the starting center on the Detroit Pistons, he achieved career highs in averaging 16 points and nearly nine rebounds per game.

After his career season, Brian Williams changed his name to Bison Dele to honor his Native American and African ancestry. He played one more injury-plagued-season with the Pistons, averaging a respectable 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds per game.

To almost everyone’s surprise, the 30-year-old Bison, in the prime of his career, retired from the NBA before the start of the 1999–2000 season. In so doing, he walked away from a remaining five-year contract that would have paid him $36 million.

Life after basketball was not dull. Bison traveled to Lebanon, the Mediterranean, and the Australian outback. He also conquered both the sky and the water as he obtained a pilot’s license and learned to sail. The air and the land were all right, but Bison particularly loved roaming the waters. He purchased a catamaran and planned to sail the Seven Seas.

Bison called his boat the “Hakuna Matata,” after the popular song in the Disney movie “The Lion King.” The Swahili phrase means “No trouble,” but Bison’s ride on his prized vessel proved to be a voyage of the damned.

On July 6, 2002, Bison, his girlfriend Serena Karlan, his brother Miles Dabord (born Kevin Williams), and skipper Bertrand Saldo, set sail from Tahiti aboard the Hakuna Matata. Two weeks later, on July 20, the Hakuna Matata arrived back in Tahiti. Only one person, however, was aboard.

As soon as he hit the land, Dabord, the lone sailor, hit the road before he could be questioned about his missing crewmates. Investigators soon learned why.

Dabord had forged his brother’s signature and used his passport as identification to buy $152,000 (in Unites States money) in gold. Mexican police found Dabord had stayed at a Tijuana hotel in August of 2002, approximately one month after the group set sail. Two days before, the Hakuna Matata, which had been registered in Tahiti under another name, was found off the Tahitian coast with its nameplate removed. Furthermore, the catamaran was riddled with possible patched bullet holes.

On September 5, 2002, Dabord was located in Phoenix, Arizona, miles away from where he had fled from the Hakuna Matata.

Under questioning, Dabord claimed he and his brother had gotten into an argument and that Serena had been accidentally hit and died when her head struck part of the boat. Dabord said a panicked Bison then killed Skipper Saldo as he began to report her death to the Coast Guard. Dabord then claimed his brother attempted to kill him and that he had shot Bison in self-defense. Dabord said he threw the three bodies overboard.

Authorities were not buying Dabord’s tale of the South Pacific, but with no bodies, they didn’t have any evidence to charge him with a crime.

Three weeks later, on September 27, Dabord took his life by overdosing on insulin. With his death, the chances of finding the bodies of the Hakuna Matata crew mates likely died as well.

Because Tahiti, where the Hakuna Matata set sail, is part of French Polynesia, French authorities are assisting the Coast Guard and the FBI in the investigation. The joint efforts have concluded that Bison, Serena, and Captain Saldo were likely murdered and thrown overboard by Dabord or forced at gunpoint by Dabord into the ocean where they drowned.

The law enforcement agencies believe Dabord likely dumped the bodies in the middle, and deepest part of the Pacific Ocean, meaning it will be highly unlikely they will ever be found.

I could not find a picture of Captain Bertrand Saldo.

Further Reading:
ABC News

THIS LIST OF LINKS IS NOT AN ALL-ENCOMPASSING SOURCE CITING. ALL OF THE INFORMATION USED IN THIS ARTICLE CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE. LINKS BELOW WERE USED AS SOURCES AND ARE RECOMMENDED READING FOR SYNOVA’S READERS. SYNOVA STRIVES TO CITE ALL THE SOURCES USED DURING HER CASE STUDY, BUT OCCASIONALLY A SOURCE MAY BE MISSED BY MISTAKE. IT IS NOT INTENTIONAL, AND NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT IS INTENDED.


More photos for this case can be found on Synova’s Patreon page! Check them using the button below Synova’s Patreon Page

Synova’s Patreon

Support Synova’s Cause:

EACH WEEK SYNOVA HIGHLIGHTS OBSCURE COLD CASES ON HER BLOG AS A VICTIMS’ ADVOCATE WITH MISSOURI MISSING ORGANIZATION. SHE NEVER CHARGES FOR HER SERVICES. IF YOU’D LIKE TO SUPPORT HER IN THIS WORTHY CAUSE, PLEASE CHECK OUT THE AFFILIATE LINKS ON THIS PAGE. BY PURCHASING ONE OF HER BOOKS, OR USING THESE LINKS YOU WILL BE SUPPORTING SYNOVA’S WORK ON COLD CASES AND WILL ENSURE HER ABILITY TO CONTINUE TO GIVE A VOICE TO THE VICTIM’S FAMILY.


Check out My Friend Ori Spado’s new book!

The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Hollywood Fixer

In this revised edition of The Accidental Gangster, author Orlando “Ori” Spado honestly recounts his humble beginnings from the small town of Rome in upstate New York to becoming known as The Mob Boss of Hollywood. This candid account documents his fall from the life of a well-known Hollywood fixer who mixed with A-List celebrities to serving 62 months in a federal prison and ultimately making a determined comeback. The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Hollywood Fixer includes personal letters, new photos, additional text and corrected material from The Accidental Gangster: From Insurance Salesman to Mob Boss of Hollywood.

Get Your Copy Today!


If you enjoy this content don’t forget to sign up for The Racketeer, Synova’s Weekly True Crime Newsletter. You will receive exclusive content directly in your inbox. As a gift for joining you will also receive the Grim Justice ebook free.

SIGN UP HERE


More About Our Wonderful Guest Blogger:

Ian Granstra is a writer and a native Iowan now living in  Arkansas.Growing up, he enjoyed watching real-life crime shows and further researching the stories featured. He wrote about many of them on his personal Facebook page, and several people suggested he should start a group featuring his writings. Ian founded the Facebook group “Murders, Missing People and More Mysteries” in August of 2018 he writes about many cold cases. The group also features many current criminal cases in the news. When Ian isn’t writing, he enjoys exercising, traveling and collecting sports cards. He’s also a big animal lover (his Facebook nickname is “beagle lover.”)


ALL INFORMATION USED TO CREATE THIS CONTENT IS A MATTER OF PUBLIC RECORD AND CAN BE EASILY FOUND ONLINE OR CAN BE VERIFIED BY THE GUEST BLOGGER. ANY PARTICIPATION OR ALLEGED INVOLVEMENT OF ANY PARTY MENTIONED WITHIN THIS SITE IS PURELY SPECULATION. AS THE LAW STATES, AN INDIVIDUAL IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. I DO NOT OWN THE PHOTOS USED IN THIS POST. ALL PHOTOS ARE USED UNDER THE FAIR USE ACT. NO COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT INTENDED. ANY AND ALL OPINIONS ARE THAT OF THE GUEST BLOGGER AND DON’T NECESSARILY REFLECT THE VIEWS OF SYNOVA INK©2017-2020. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED