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“So your wallet is in your pocket?”

Apollo Robbins is a spectacular pickpocket whose work extends to neuroscience, the military and magic.
posted by xowie on Dec 31, 2012 - 27 comments

 

Stranger Than Bayhem

They were local bodybuilders with a penchant for steroids, strippers, and quick cash. And they became expert in the use of a peculiar motivational tool: Torture.
"Pain & Gain" [part 1, part 2, part 3] [print version: 1,2,3], a series of articles from 1999-2000, chronicles a true life story of kidnapping, torture, extortion and murder. Just the thing to inspire a "small" "character-driven" action-comedy from noted auteur Michael Bay. [Trailer]
posted by dersins on Dec 20, 2012 - 27 comments

All in the game

Donnie Andrews, the basis for Omar in The Wire, dies age 58.
posted by Artw on Dec 15, 2012 - 21 comments

Maybe somewhere down the line Congress will relieve the people in your position.......

Life Without Parole: Four Inmates' Stories
posted by lalochezia on Dec 13, 2012 - 26 comments

Gene Weingarten: "Since 1979, Brian Murtagh has fought to keep convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald in prison"

Gene Weingarten: Since 1979, Brian Murtagh has fought to keep convicted murderer Jeffrey MacDonald in prison. (Here is the single-page link.) Warning: graphic details of the murders of Colette MacDonald and her two small children. [more inside]
posted by flex on Dec 10, 2012 - 40 comments

Can Murder Be Tracked Like An Infectious Disease?

Researchers found that the pattern of murder in Newark, NJ is very similar in pattern to the spread of an infectious disease. Could this research show law enforcement a new way to predict where murders will occur?
posted by reenum on Dec 6, 2012 - 14 comments

If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to fear.

Facewatch is the National low level crime reporting and image sharing system for businesses. (Vimeo)

One UK-based firm has combined facial recognition and CCTV technology to give businesses the ability to identify and track "repeat offenders" on-site. With endorsements from Philadelphia's police commissioner, the Chief Crown Prosecutor of London and Crimestoppers among others, the technology gotten its fair share of press. (And yes, there's an app for that.)
posted by beaucoupkevin on Nov 20, 2012 - 19 comments

Polls for pols for Peelers

England and Wales go to the polls today...or do they? [more inside]
posted by Jehan on Nov 15, 2012 - 48 comments

The Law & Order Database

The Law & Order Database is complete. Which characters had the highest success rate?
posted by Egg Shen on Nov 14, 2012 - 26 comments

Coronet Instructional Films

From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating, popularity, preparing for being drafted, and shyness, as well as to children on following the law, the value of quietness in school, and appreciating our parents. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health, what kind of people live in America, how to keep a job, supervising women workers, the nature of capitalism, and the plantation System in Southern life. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Nov 1, 2012 - 41 comments

Invisible People

He was methodical, he rode the highways, and he preyed on teenage girls. Girls who'd run away. Girls no one would miss. In the summer of 1985, the author was such a girl. One night on I-95, she hitched a ride from a stranger and endured the most terrifying moments of her life. Now, years later, she returns to the scenes of her fugitive youth looking for clues to that terror—and the girls who lost their lives to it - The Truck Stop Killer
posted by Artw on Oct 28, 2012 - 23 comments

Corpora delicti

CSI: Parthenon: A questioner asks historians how a murder case would be solved and prosecuted in the era of their expertise. Answers for : Colonial Boston, Norman Ireland, 19th Century Imperial China, Ancient Athens, 14th-Century England, 13th century England, Victorian England, Rome. (Via Reddit's AskHistorians; whole thread.)
posted by Diablevert on Oct 27, 2012 - 18 comments

Crime's Grand Tour

Crime fiction is a magnifying glass that reveals the fingerprints of history. From Holmes and Poirot to Montalbano and the rise of Scandi-noir, Mark Lawson investigates the long tradition of European super-sleuths and their role in turbulent times. [more inside]
posted by shoesfullofdust on Oct 27, 2012 - 12 comments

"If I Could Go Back In Time, I Wouldn't Report My Rape"

"Why had I thought I’d be immune to being called a slut, whore, homewrecker, protected from having my motives and intentions questioned, from being treated as if I were the criminal? And by my own attorney, no less."
posted by Pope Guilty on Oct 17, 2012 - 82 comments

Ephemeral New York

Ephemeral New York 'chronicles an ever-changing, constantly reinvented city through photos, newspaper archives, and other scraps and artifacts that have been edged into New York’s collective remainder bin.' [more inside]
posted by zarq on Oct 11, 2012 - 5 comments

How To Steal The Space Shuttle: A Step-By-Step Guide

How To Steal The Space Shuttle: A Step-By-Step Guide
posted by Egg Shen on Oct 5, 2012 - 33 comments

Plurality

Plurality... in 2023, the Grid knows who you are and where you go at all times. A short near future sci-fi movie (15 min).
posted by crunchland on Oct 4, 2012 - 23 comments

Jailhouse interview with DC sniper Lee Malvo

“I was a monster,” Malvo said. “If you look up the definition, that’s what a monster is. I was a ghoul. I was a thief. I stole people’s lives. I did someone else’s bidding just because they said so. . . . There is no rhyme or reason or sense.”
posted by silby on Sep 30, 2012 - 158 comments

#bloodbath

#bloodbath: how social media might have changed one of history's most infamous crime sprees
posted by Artw on Sep 24, 2012 - 18 comments

Crowd sourced crime solving in SF

Yesterday, a cello was stolen from the San Francisco conservatory. Today, the musician's dad is trying to use surveillance pics and a Reddit post to find the thieves. The Huffington Post has since picked up the photos as well. Will crowd-sourced crime solving work?
posted by kellybird on Sep 18, 2012 - 32 comments

Pawns in the War on Drugs

Sarah Stillman for the New Yorker on confidential informants and the ends they meet -- "Gaither was tortured, beaten with a bat, shot with a pistol and a shotgun, run over by a car, and dragged by a chain through the woods." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Aug 28, 2012 - 84 comments

Manufacturing Company Becomes a Design Firm, Rips Off Designers?

Boingboing has the short version of a sad story in which some young independent designers have an unexpectedly successful Kickstarter for a novel idea for a pen. Young designers turn to Joiga, an American-Chinese manufacturing firm that "minimizes the risk of turning an idea into a market-ready product." Joiga underdelivers, causing massive delays for the designers. One year later, a new "men's gift" company offers a bad copy of the designers' pen made with the same plans at the same factories. The sad and sorry punchline? The manufacturing company and the men's gift company are run by the same guy, Allen Arseneau. Long version at Notcot.
posted by cloudscratcher on Aug 23, 2012 - 52 comments

Le Caméléon

On June 13, 1994, blond-haired, blue-eyed Nicholas Barclay was reported missing from his home near San Antonio, Texas. He was 13 years old. In October 1997, the family received a call from a man in Spain informing them their son had been found after having escaped from a child prostitution ring. Nicholas' half-sister immediately boarded a flight to Spain, where she was reunited with her brother and brought him back with her to Texas. There were a few things though, that seemed a bit off... [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Aug 17, 2012 - 53 comments

Mugshot Yourself

Mugshot Yourself: Meet 1864's greatest rogues, then become one yourself. Try your face on different mugshots, and add the best of them to Copper's growing collection of New York's most notorious. Con men, petty thieves, prostitutes...Oh, and you.(via BBCAmerica)
posted by ColdChef on Aug 12, 2012 - 21 comments

Gu Kailai's trial ends

Gu Kailai's trial has concluded but no verdict has been delivered. Many things about the political background of the murder trial, and Gu Kailai's personal motives, remain unclear, although it is said that Gu has not disputed the charge that she killed Neil Heywood. [more inside]
posted by BibiRose on Aug 10, 2012 - 15 comments

We're changing our image.

Panhandling in Arcata tests the city's tolerance. 'Long known as the "Berkeley of the North," Arcata traditionally has welcomed the downtrodden, embraced the leftist fringe and fostered a live-and-let-live ethos.' 'But balancing the comfort of the haves with tolerance for the have-nots has come down to a complex question of just who is worthy of help.' 'Councilwoman Susan Ornelas reflected the community's torn conscience: "While we're a progressive town and we're very open-hearted," she said, "we have limits on our tolerance."' 'A report last fall by the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty found that slightly more than half of 234 cities surveyed had bans on aggressive panhandling, the same proportion had outlawed it in specific areas, and one-fourth forbade begging citywide.' [more inside]
posted by VikingSword on Aug 7, 2012 - 162 comments

An introduction to cult movies

"What is a cult film? A cult film is one that has a passionate following, but does not appeal to everyone. James Bond movies are not cult films, but chainsaw movies are. Just because a film has become a cult movie does not automatically guarantee quality. Some are very bad; others are very, very good. Some make an awful lot of money at the box office; others make no money at all. Some are considered quality films; others are exploitation movies. One thing cult movies do have in common is that they are all genre films - for example gangster films or westerns. They also have a tendency to slosh over from one genre into another, so that a science fiction film might also be a detective movie, or vice versa. They share common themes as well, themes that are found in all drama: love, murder and greed." - of the British TV film slots accompanied by an introduction perhaps the most celebrated is Moviedrome, running between 1988 and 2000 and presented first by Repo Man director Alex Cox and then film critic Mark Cousins. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Aug 3, 2012 - 88 comments

District of Wonders

In need of a regular dose of audio short fiction, whether it's horror, crime, or pulp fantasy? Welcome to the District of Wonders, a collection of podcasts spun off from the award winning StarShipSofa (previously, previosly).
posted by Artw on Jul 27, 2012 - 9 comments

Sexless Males Screw Society

Why Polygamy is Bad for Society "A new study out of the University of British Columbia documents how societies have systematically evolved away from polygamy because of the social problems it causes. The Canadian researchers are really talking about polygyny, which is the term for one man with multiple wives, and which is by far the most common expression of polygamy. Women are usually thought of as the primary victims of polygynous marriages, but as cultural anthropologist Joe Henrich documents, the institution also causes problems for the young, low-status males denied wives by older, wealthy men who have hoarded all the women. And those young men create problems for everybody."
posted by bookman117 on Jul 19, 2012 - 190 comments

Jobs not Jails

"We don’t hire homies to bake bread. We bake bread to hire homies"--Father Gregory Boyle, Jesuit Priest and founder of Homeboy Industries. [more inside]
posted by apricot on Jul 16, 2012 - 23 comments

"The more ghoulish and extreme the show becomes, ...the more accurately it captures the reality of the cartels and their business."

The Uncannily Accurate Depiction of the Meth Trade in “Breaking Bad”
posted by reenum on Jul 16, 2012 - 58 comments

"The justice system is invisible, unable to deter or heal."

In July 2007, NPR published a two part series (direct links: 1, 2) about a four year old uninvestigated rape case at the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation. Sparked in part by a 2006 report (pdf) from Amnesty International that included a startling statistic: "One in three Native American women will be raped in her lifetime," NPR's investigation led to the reopening of the case and Congressional hearings. In February 2011, Harper's published an update of sorts: Tiny Little Laws: A Plague of Sexual Violence in Indian Country (Via)
posted by zarq on Jul 6, 2012 - 14 comments

“Might just as well say I’m dead.”

Quartavious Davis of Florida, now twenty, has been sentenced to 162 years without parole for his role in several armed robberies during which he discharged a firearm but no one was hurt. He was a teenager at the time of the crimes and had no previous record. The Supreme Court has recently ruled that mandatory life sentences without parole for juveniles constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment." Davis was 18 and 19 at the time of the crimes, and the sentence was discretionary, so this ruling does not apply.
posted by 256 on Jul 4, 2012 - 195 comments

"During the proceedings, the prosecutor took the time to mention that no other printer in the world could do what Kuhl had done."

Hans-Jurgen Kuhl was able to create "shockingly perfect" copies of the American $100 bill by using his artistic talents to conquer the various security features present in the bill.
posted by reenum on Jul 4, 2012 - 28 comments

Faster and Furiouser

"The truth about the Fast and Furious scandal: A Fortune investigation reveals that the ATF never intentionally allowed guns to fall into the hands of Mexican drug cartels. How the world came to believe just the opposite is a tale of rivalry, murder, and political bloodlust." [more inside]
posted by andoatnp on Jun 27, 2012 - 63 comments

Little Rascals

Child mugshots from the 1800s
posted by hermitosis on Jun 22, 2012 - 58 comments

"It is unlikely, I think, that this will generate a lot of media publicity," [Judge] Baer sighed to the jury in his preliminary instructions.

The Scam Wall Street Learned from the Mafia is Matt Taibbi's take on the recent convictions in the municipal bond bid-rigging case of United States v. Dominick P. Carollo, Steven E. Goldberg, and Peter S. Grimm. These three fraudsters are among the fifteen convicted so far with regard to the federal government's investigation into nationwide municipal bond bid-rigging schemes. [more inside]
posted by Sticherbeast on Jun 22, 2012 - 45 comments

A Case So Cold It Was Blue

"A Case So Cold It Was Blue" is about Sherri Rasmussen's unsolved murder. [more inside]
posted by Avenger50 on Jun 20, 2012 - 17 comments

More Stand-Your-Ground, More Murder

In addition to removing the duty to retreat when outside the home, Florida's 2005 "Stand Your Ground" law removed the civil liability to offenders who had acted within the law and added a presumption of reasonable belief of imminent harm necessitating a lethal response. These three elements were present in over 20 other state laws similar to Florida's. The following NBER working paper by two Texas A&M economists provides new statistical evidence that these laws caused a 7 to 9 percent increase in homicides and non-negligent manslaughter. Consider this post a companion to this previously, as well as this previously. [more inside]
posted by scunning on Jun 14, 2012 - 40 comments

You're gonna like this guy. He's all right. He's a good fella. He's one of us.

Informant, former wiseguy and goodfella Henry Hill (website, Wikipedia) has been made dead by illness. He was not a schnook.
posted by Artw on Jun 12, 2012 - 33 comments

Who Killed the Family Moore, why and what's the reason for?

The Ax Murderer Who Got Away - Shortly after midnight on June 10, 1912—one hundred years ago this week—a stranger hefting an ax lifted the latch on the back door of a two-story timber house in the little Iowa town of Villisca. [more inside]
posted by IvoShandor on Jun 11, 2012 - 14 comments

Gingerbread House

"There was a time when the woods near Duva ate girls. It’s been many years since any child was taken. But still, on nights like these, when the wind comes cold from Tsibeya, mothers hold their daughters tight and warn them not to stray too far from home. “Be back before dark,” they whisper. “The trees are hungry tonight.” Tor.com brings us some short horror/fairy tale fiction from Leigh Bardugo, "The Witch of Duva: A Ravkan Folk Tale."
posted by The Whelk on Jun 8, 2012 - 29 comments

The legacy of Stand Your Ground

In 2005, Florida passed controversial "Stand Your Ground" legislation, allowing homeowners to defend their property with lethal force. While the Trayvon Martin case focused national attention on the law, roughly two hundred cases have used it as a key part of the defense. In a new investigative report, The Tampa Bay Times catalogs the past six years of "Stand your Ground" cases and highlights the law's troubling and unexpected results.
posted by verb on Jun 8, 2012 - 152 comments

Makers of All Things

3D printing can now make replacement jaws, thousands of user-designed widgets, electromechanical computers - but also ATM skimmer fronts, handcuff keys and gun parts. But can you own the shape of a thing? (Previously on the Blue.)
posted by Zarkonnen on Jun 1, 2012 - 40 comments

The trick is to rob them in ways that are systematic, impersonal, and almost impossible to trace to individual perpetrators.

How Corporations and Local Governments Use the Poor As Piggy Banks. Barbara Ehrenreich (previously) talks about how the cycle of poverty is perpetuated by wage theft, municipal/criminal fines, and debtors prisons.
posted by desjardins on May 20, 2012 - 85 comments

Governments Can Stop Prison Rape

In other positive criminal justice news, the US Department of Justice has issued long overdue rules for combating sexual assault of prisoners in federal, state, and local penitentiaries. [more inside]
posted by Cash4Lead on May 18, 2012 - 31 comments

A Tale of Two Carlos

Los Tocayos Carlos - a comprehensive investigation by Columbia Law School Professor James Liebman and a team of students which uncovers evidence that Carlos DeLuna, a poor Hispanic man with childlike intelligence who was executed in Texas in 1989, was innocent. The issue of The Columbia Human Rights Law Review, entirely dedicated to this investigation, is available at this website.
posted by Gyan on May 14, 2012 - 42 comments

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try, try, try, try, try again: black Mississippi man tried six times for the same crime.
posted by Evilspork on May 10, 2012 - 33 comments

Uncatchable

George Wright, America's most elusive fugitive, ran for forty years. He ran from the cops after escaping from prison. He ran from the feds after the most brazen hijacking in history. He ran from the authorities on three continents, hiding out and blending in wherever he went. It was a historic run—and now that it's over, he might just pull off the greatest escape of all.
posted by vidur on May 3, 2012 - 75 comments

Agent Zero Is Dead

Finally, Gilbert Arenas reveals the whole story behind the infamous Washington Wizards guns in the locker room incident.
posted by reenum on Apr 14, 2012 - 37 comments

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