Former UVA Cop Charged With Rape: Sean Michael Horn Faces Bond Hearing Today

Charlottesville, VA-  Sean Michael Horn, 42, current Albemarle County reserve deputy and former police officer for the University of Virginia  as well as the Albemarle Sheriffs Office was arrested last evening for rape. The arrest  follows an extensive investigation conducted by the prosecutors office.

While there has been no specifics released, and it is the policy of www.blinkoncrime not to identify alleged victims of sexual crimes,  we have learned that a complaint of rape against Horn was received in the Fall of 2011.


The arrest follows what can only be described as a series of chaotic incidents and events affecting Albemarle county law enforcement officers since 2009 at a minimum.

Following the death of 18 year old Greene County resident Colby Eppard on New Years Day 2010 by police gunfire, 7 Albemarle county officers were either suspended and/or demoted.  Caleb Marden, a decorated sharp-shooter who served in Iraq was fired.   Denise Lunsord,  prosecutor for Albemarle county and North Garden resident, cleared all officers of any wrongdoing from the incident.

Eppard allegedly stole a neighboring Greene County patrol car and traveled almost 60 miles to Albemarle county. Although off duty Greene Sgt Randall Snead  was out of his jurisdiction, Snead was among the officers in pursuit of Eppard and participated in the ambush to stop the teen.  Snead’s former mentor and Sherriff, Willie Morris,  committed suicide on January 28th.

Although he was on desk assignment pending the investigation of Eppard’s death, Snead responded to the scene of Morris’s home where he was located and rushed to the hospital.  Morris was removed from life sustaining efforts without ever regaining consciousness.    A suicide note blamed his tinnitus condition.

In a recent election, Steve Smith won the Sheriff slot running against Snead, and has since met with controversy after releasing nearly all of his staff.   An email criticizing Smith was received by several news outlets from a previously fired Albemarle County Lt. Scott Cox, then a Greene county deputy who has since been released.   Horn has Sheriff Smith listed as a friend on his facebook profile.  Cox was among the Albemarle County Officers who was demoted after 18 years of service in the scandal.

Albemarle county is also the home of The Anchorage Farm,  where murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was recovered after exhaustive searches of the areas surrounding the JPJ arena, UVA campus and private LE searches failed to locate her.   Harrington disappeared from a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena on October 17, 2009 after being refused re-entry by security.  DNA evidence has linked the Harrington case to a suspect in an unsolved rape in Fairfax, VA in 2005.  Former lead detective now retired, Lt. Rader,  has only indicated that forensic link means that Morgan came into contact with that individual prior to leaving Charlottesville.

Efforts to confirm whether Sean Horn was working the event as a UVA officer that evening have not been returned.

Corrine Geller,  public information officer for the Virginia State Police,  whose agency leads the probe into Morgan’s homicide responded to our inquiry as to whether or not Horn was a target of their continuing investigation this morning:

“The investigation remains ongoing at this time. I’m not able to comment on who our agents have or have not looked into during the course of their investigation.”

Horn lists Virginia Tech among his educational credentials on his facebook account, where Harrington was a junior at the time of her disappearance.  It is not known if the two were acquainted.

Horn is being held in the Albemarle Regional jail pending his bond hearing today.

Check back to for updates.





Two Years Cold-Morgan Harrington Murder: Two Women, Two Locations, Too Long

Girl In The Hayfield

Morgan Dana Harrington was the ingenue of artist and adjunct professor at Virginia Tech, Jane Lillian Vance.

She was scheduled to travel with her to Nepal in the Spring of 2010 while continuing to pursue her Education degree in her third year as a Hokie.

Morgan would not make that trip, and Vance would complete her latest work in her former students honor, last week.

With her Mother Gil’s help, albeit posthumously, Morgan is indeed educating children; the underprivileged children of Zambia.   In April, 2010,  Gil Harrington carried some of her beloved daughter’s ashes during the Orphan Medical Network International (OMNI) pilgrimage to Zambia.   After raising donations for the Morgan Harrington Educational Wing, Morgan’s ashes were mixed with the concrete foundation of the school bearing her name.

At 5’6” ,  with breck-girl locks and eyes like briolette  faceted tourmaline’s,  Morgan was a stunning beauty.

Behind her neon smile was the burgeoning sophistication of a girl beyond her years and peers.

This gilded lily stood out.

On the grounds of the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Virginia while attending a Metallica concert with her friends, unfortunately, she also caught the eye of a dangerous predator.    The cost of admission to the events that followed, would be her life.

Devoid of her ticket to return inside the presumed safety of the venue and old friends,  Morgan scored the unwilling and unalterable ticket to the cross-hairs of a Medium Build, 6’ African American sexual sadist who has likely spent the last four years honing his skills.

“Sketch” was interrupted by a passerby during a vicious beating and sexual assault in Fairfax on September 24, 2005.  His DNA is linked to both victims.

Lights, Cameras, 400 Blue Phones

According to JPJ and UVA security guidelines, all hired security must be law enforcement.

In addition to the regularly scheduled patrol assignments of UVA PD, events such as the Metallica concert required additional security posts which were hired via a security request when the date was booked.  Although additional UVA officers were working the night of October 17, there has never been a statement regarding any observations  from that evening on their behalf by Melissa Fielding, Investigative Lieutenant.

However, in a private meeting that included UVA PD staff, shortly after Morgan’s disappearance, an attendee speaking to on the condition of anonymity, told me he heard Fielding tell someone openly that Harrington’s car never left Harrisonburg, or JMU, and that it was a different friends car that was driven to the arena and hers had been accounted for.

In response to another UVA PD staffer loudly offering  that he heard that Morgan was behaving “obnoxiously” during the trip to JPJ, which resulted in a tiff between the friends and the reason she ultimately left the concert, Fielding snapped “That was still no reason to leave her.”

When pressed as to why she thought they still believed Morgan’s car was not a factor when Lt Rader of the Virginia State Police (VSP) and Dr. Harrington, Morgan’s Father, both confirmed her car was the vehicle the foursome traveled in,  she repeated that information was incorrect with no further explanation.  While VSP was leading the investigation at this point, it certainly still begs the question as to why the original agency tasked with her disappearance, and still assisting, would have such important misinformation circulating in an active investigation and ongoing search.

According to the Office of the Executive Vice President of UVA,  UVAPD security personnel are also responsible for surveillance on grounds.  The central monitoring  area, which is linked to the security cameras in several lots and public areas, is located in the central parking garage.  There is no information available on the storage medium of recorded footage from the cameras, and requests for information were deferred to VSP.

The University of Virginia uses technology to improve security on Grounds. University Police install video cameras in several parking lots and public areas. Additional cameras may be installed in the future. Security cameras will be connected to a central control room operated by the Police Department in the new Central Grounds Parking Garage. The purpose for using the cameras is to reduce incidents of crime while limiting the need to expand the Police Department.

VSP is not discussing the specificity of what they have or do not have regarding footage supplied by JPJ/UVA.

With the exception of course that out of everything that has “been supplied to them”, there are no images of Morgan whatsoever.

Stationed inside the arena,  is UVA PD security, non-police event security run by RMC Events,  security staff employed directly by Metallica, UVA facilities management personnel, and contracted vendors to both JPJ and UVA.   Firemarshall, zoning, and University guidelines also require EMT attendance. (more…)

Morgan Harrington Murder Two Years Cold, Amanda Knox Update: Blink, Clint Van Zandt Live With Dana Pretzer (PODCAST UPDATED)


Morgan Harrington disappeared from John Paul Jones arena two years ago Monday October 17, 2011.

Morgan was found murdered in a remote section of  a 700 acre farm in North Garden, VA, where she went undetected previously for three months.

Blink, Editor In Chief, discusses the  SAVE THE NEXT GIRL campaign developed and launched by her parents, Dr. Dan Harrington and Gil Harrington along with other scheduled advocacy events in observation of the two year anniversary of her disappearance and murder; which remains unsolved.

A Preview:  Morgan Harrington Murder: Two Women,  Two Locations,  Two Years- Too Long.  (Publishing tomorrow)

As you have come to expect, Blink and team take a closer look into the investigation of Morgan’s murder.

Blink analyzes the ties to the unsolved Fairfax rape and assault, the participation of  the Law Enforcement agencies involved,  concerns about some of the UVA contractor and employee access  and asks the question nobody wants to:

Was the Enemy From Within?

Clint Van Zandt,  NBC analyst and former FBI profiler discusses the release of Amanda Knox and murder of Meredith Kercher from his former on scene perspective.  Clint was inside the house in Perugia, and shares his experience with out host, Dana Pretzer.

Previous coverage:

Inspiring Vigilance: The Murder Of Morgan Harrington One Year Later

Charlottesville, VA– Sunday October 17 marks the one-year anniversary of the worst day of Dan and Gil Harrington’s lives. Although they were not yet aware of the horror that had befallen their Roanoke, VA family, the next morning their daughter’s purse was found on the grounds of the University of Virginia Lanigan Field. Morgan Dana Harrington had vanished.


While attending a Metallica concert with friends Sarah Snead, Amelia Melvin and Dan Cassagne with tickets purchased 6 months earlier by Morgan’s Dad, Morgan, for reasons unknown, was outside John Paul Jones arena at approximately 8:45PM.

Morgan attempted to re-enter the arena but could not locate her ticket and was denied access to return to the venue.  Shortly thereafter, Sarah called Morgan at 8:48PM looking for her and was told she could not get back in and would be attempting to locate a ride, according to Snead. 

Various witness accounts and in some cases corroborating statements from Virginia State Police (VSP), place Morgan in different areas of the adjacent parking lots of JPJ over the following 45 minutes, moving toward the far perimeter of UVA property.

 According to the VSP, there is a witness statement that a person matching Morgan’s description was seen hitchhiking alone on the Copeley bridge at approximately 9:30PM.

After several private law enforcement searches and two volunteer based efforts organized by the Harrington’s failed to locate her, Morgan Harrington’s remains were discovered by a prominent Charlottesville land owner on his remote 700 acre farm in Albemarle County,  8 miles South of JPJ arena, on January 26th, 2010.  Morgan’s death has been classified as a homicide, however her cause of death has not been released.

Until July, the case seemed to be at a virtual standstill from an investigative perspective, in fact the only arrest to date is that of a man who provided a false lead to VSP, and was prosecuted for it.

On July 1st, as a direct result of an article linking Morgan’s case to an unsolved sexual assault case in 2005 in Fairfax, VA published by, a sketch of a man forensically linked to both the Fairfax case and that of Morgan Harrington was released by the Virginia State Police, albeit grudgingly, at first.

Behind the scenes, Dan and Gil Harrington, who were made aware of the connection a few weeks earlier, were adamant the sketch was critical to developing leads and warning others and demanded the sketch be posted on the VSP website; it was uploaded later that afternoon at Dr. Harrington’s request.

Virginia State Police have not commented publicly on the case in several months, but in a private correspondence with a concerned reader, Lt. Joe Rader, leading the investigation for VSP,  said not only is the case not cold, but he has recently assigned additional manpower to it.

Dan and Gil Harrington, Morgan’s bereaved parents, along with Morgan’s beloved brother Alex, have spent the last year keeping Morgan’s case alive through the development of their own family blog, TV and radio appearances, and most recently, a meeting regarding safety concerns with new University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan.  This Sunday, a memorial plaque to promote safety and honor Morgan Harrington is being presented to the Harrington’s on the Copely bridge.


Note From the Editor

“How would you describe the Harrington’s?”  I am asked this question frequently.

I always respond the same way.  “I would not”. 

The grace and poise these parents have shown in the face of the worst conceivable tragedy to befall a parent is not something I could wordsmith or articulate. 

If the question comes from someone I feel may help their cause, I offer to make the introduction, but I would never presume to speak for them.

The Harrington’s have created a legacy in memory of Morgan that only parents of a 20-year-old blossoming artist, music loving, budding educator could.


Morgan Harrington Photo chosen by and courtesy of The Harrington Family Library

Elizabeth Morten, Madeline Tanner and Jason Mateos, contributing editors to

Madeline Tanner, copy editor

Images By Klaasend Editorial: UVA Violated The Jeanne Clery Act AND Failed To Report Another Sex Crime

Charlottesville, VA– Late Tuesday evening, prompted by questions by the Editor In Chief of about a recent rape which occurred at the DZ sorority on Chancellor Street, The University of Virginia sent out an alert to students.

However, as required of UVA by the Clery Act, the alert was 10 days late. Charlottesville Police recorded a police report of a forcible rape on September 17, 2010. 

The Jeanne Clery Act, founded by her parents, Howard and Connie Clery, is a Federal Law applicable to all Higher Learning Institutions that participate in Federal funding assistance which requires mandatory reporting for specified crimes.

Constance and Howard Clery founders of Security ON Campus, Inc. after their 19 year old daughter Jeanne was brutally raped, tortured and murdered while sleeping in her dorm on April 5, 1986.

Fellow Lehigh University co-eds propped 3 different doors open, in violation of security rules, unknowingly allowing her killer access.

The bill which became a Federal law, was based on the fact that 38 different violent offenses occurred at Lehigh U that the student body was never made aware of prior to Clery’s murder. Had they been, it is almost certain not only would the automatic locking doors have been inaccessible, but parents and students combined would have demanded security upgrades to prevent such a heinous event.

Following the email that went to 23,000 students at 11:01 PM September 28, Allen Groves, Dean of Students, and Lt. Melissa Fielding of the University Police Department, held an impromptu press conference Wednesday, as a follow up to the email alert with some additional background information.