Ken Lay & Enron. Bernie Madoff. Bernie Ebbers & WorldCom. What is it about CEOs that makes them uniquely capable of pulling off the most audacious & expensive kind of white collar crime? Control Fraud Theory
has the answer. Via the ever-enlightening Bruce Schneier
The National Library of Medicine has put a selection of murder pamphlets from the late 1600s to the late 1800s
These pamphlets have been a rich source for historians of medicine, crime novelists, and cultural historians, who mine them for evidence to illuminate the history of class, gender, race, the law, the city, crime, religion and other topics. The murder pamphlets in the NLM's collection address cases connected to forensic medicine, especially cases in which doctors were accused of committing-or were the victims of-murder. [more inside]
"The mist — visible only under ultraviolet light — carries DNA markers particular to the location, enabling the police to match the burglar with the place burgled. Now, a sign on the front door of the McDonald’s prominently warns potential thieves of the spray’s presence: 'You Steal, You’re Marked
25 most dangerous neighborhoods 2010.
Click through the maps for some more specific data.
Greater Manchester Police
every single incident they deal with over a 24-hour period to Twitter. Due to the high volume of incidents, they're posting them over three different Twitter accounts: one two three
. [more inside]
The Chicago Tribune
, which has been having a few problems of its own (previously
), has a grimly fascinating continuing feature called Mugs in the News
in which people’s mug shots are linked to stories describing their alleged crimes. Photos are numbered and accessed from main page
(no direct links, alas). Man drunk and texting, four children in car (7). Chicago politician (5). Aggravated child pornography (9). Child molesters (17,18,22). Happy teacher (21). Ninja shoplifter (23). Bad Buddhist (113). Aggravated battery of a police officer, attempted aggravated assault of a police officer, resisting a police officer, driving under the influence of drugs, reckless driving, failing to reduce speed, improper traffic lane usage, disregarding a traffic control light and disregarding a stop sign (12). Other MetaFilter Mugshots (previously 1 2
A team of researchers at Iowa State University has found that a murder costs more than $17.25 Million
to society. [via
In an ideal world, you’d imagine that someone who harmed more people would deserve a harsher treatment
: a new paper by Loran F. Nordgren and Mary McDonnell, The Scope-Severity Paradox, suggests people find crime with fewer
victims more severe than those with more
victims. [PDF link
] [more inside]
Why do people confess to crimes they don't commit?
UVA Law Professor Brandon Garrett
has been researching the contamination effect in interrogation. Modern interrogation practices are informed by the (copyrighted) Reid Technique
. John R. Reid and Associates, Inc. responds to critics
A gang of thieves dubbed "the vacuum burglars"
has struck for the fifteenth time in France, drilling a hole in the pneumatic tube that siphons money from the checkout to the strong-room. They then sucked rolls of cash totalling £60,000 from the safe without even having to break its lock. A classic exploitation of a vulnerability in a system. But is it worth it to fix? via, via [more inside]
When a thief stole a backpack and a GPS unit from Amanda Enayati's car, he picked the wrong target to mess with
. [more inside]
If you see someone walking towards you late at night, on a dark street, wearing a big NY on their cap, watch out. The New York times examines a link between Yankees clothing and criminal behavior.
Mets fans say we told you so.
Is there a link between Jay-Z, the Yankees and criminality
? "Criminologists, sports marketing analysts, consumer psychologists and Yankees fans have developed their own theories, with some attributing the trend to the popularity of the caps among gangsta rappers and others wondering whether criminals are identifying with the team's aura of money, power and success."
An ABC Investigative Unit team hit the streets of western Sydney, where young people are struggling to break a vicious cycle of unemployment and family breakdown, to find out what's being done to stop them from falling through the cracks. In a great article by ABC reporters Eleanor Bell and Ed Giles
, they found that the lack of resources, infrastructure and support for families in these communities is getting worse, not better but that despite this, many locals are still proud of their community.
A man believed to be a MI6 employee has been found murdered in a flat in Pimlico
. [more inside]
Arguably, DC's first punk band
was the father/son duo called White Boy
. The two, Mr Ott and Jake Whipp
(real names: James & Glenn Kowalski) self released their records
own label, Doodly Squat
are also known to be the first punk
record owned by Minor Threat frontman Ian Mackaye.
The full story of White Boy is much darker
and hasn't been fully put together in the collective recollection of the band. [more inside]
In 2009, New Orleans, Louisiana learned that it had the unwelcome distinction of once again being the murder capital of the United States
according to the FBI's homicide data.
New Orleans' newspaper The Times-Picayune
even has a special map for keeping track of murders
(with associated twitter account
). [more inside]
RIP Trinity Square
, Gateshead - a Brutalist
car park made famous
for it's appearance
in the classic
British crime drama Get Carter
is being demolished
Police in Orlando, Florida, frustrated with an "epidemic"
of false allegations of rape, threaten arrest for all future false reports. The problems of this Florida community reflect research
that shows a disproportionately high
rate of false accusations of rape relative to other crimes, though studies on the issue are far from uniform
, and frequently the center of controversy
. [more inside]
In jail? Post bail
. No matter your crime, interest, or affiliation, there's a bail bond agent for you.
Suspect in Snow White's demise? Grumpy's
); Mob? No prob. Goodfellas, Godfather's? Godfather's! [more inside]
Bernie Madoff - Free At Last
While incarcerated for 150 years for a $65 Billion dollar Ponzi scheme, Berine Madoff creates his own version of the events that led to his arrest and becomes a local celebrity at the Butner Federal Correctional Complex
. (via metachat
For almost 20 years, Art Williams, Jr.
was one of the country's eminent currency counterfeiters. His greatest achievement: counterfeiting the new (at the time) $100 bill (PDF link)
. [more inside]
In 1994, Leon Dash
, while still at the Washington Post, wrote a Pulitzer winning series
of articles about a woman named Rosa Lee Cunningham. [more inside]
Norway's penal system has gathered some attention recently, as the new Halden prison
just opened. The $217 million facility will house 252 prisoners, some long-term and some short. The new prison is notable for, among other things, use of armoured glass instead of bars on windows, natural lighting
and single-inmate cells with private showers, TVs and access to a gym and a sound studio. There was also an art budget, and Norwegian street artist Dolk
was commisioned to decorate some of the walls. The Norwegian penal system is similar to the other Scandinavian countries', with no death penalty, and a "life" sentence of 21 years. In Norway there are no privately run incarceration facilities, and the opening of the rather plush-seeming Halden prison spurred some discussion, but garnered no big controversy. [more inside]
Arguing Three Strikes.
A defense lawyer (and co-founder of Stanford's unique Criminal Defense Clinic
), and a tough
-on-crime Republican D.A.
make for unusual allies in the move to reform California's Three Strikes law. [more inside]
Dirty Old Women
is an attempt to figure out why older female teachers sleep with younger boys. [more inside]
Who would have thought it? The UK has withdrawn
the 500 Euro
note after an investigation by SOCA
discovered that 90% of the notes in circulation were linked to crime. Nicknames the ‘Bin Laden
’ (you know its out there somewhere) the purple note worth $630 is a favourite of the criminally minded due to its ultra-portability and acceptance throughout mainland Europe. Drug investigations
in Latin America time and time again turn up large amounts of currency in this form. According
to Columbian financial regulators 234K Euros was legally imported and declared into the country but trails of 600M Euros being exported were discovered. Whilst money laundering and fraud relating to the Euro is nothing
new the decision to put into circulation such a high note must now be being questioned at the highest levels.
New York city in the 19th century was famous for it's corruption, criminals and "Gangs of New York."
All of them knew exactly who to call when they were in trouble, the law firm of Howe and Hummel
. [more inside]
It's been estimated that the average UK adult is now registered on more than 700 databases and is caught many times each day by nearly five million CCTV cameras. So how hard would it be for an average citizen to disappear completely?
That’s the subject
of a new documentary film: Erasing David
, (Trailer: YouTube
) which premieres this evening in the UK on More4
. It's also now available worldwide online at the iTunes store and through several Video On Demand services
, as well as through Good Screenings
. [more inside]
The Daily News has posted a 215 image gallery of photos by serial killer Rodney Acala 66,
convicted of the murders of 4 women and a girl in California. Authorities suspect there may be many more victims; possibly up to 20, killed between the years of 1971 to `79. The NYPD has released the photos in hopes of identifying possible victims & closing a bunch of cold cases. Thus informed, I find these photos deeply haunting; most are basic, boilerplate snapshots typical of their era, while others have a bizarre dreamlike quality (i.e.- in #3 in the posted series a young woman appears unfocused & wraithlike, her raised arms framed by trees, in #9 a subject bending over backwards at first appears to hung upside down, mouth vanished by foliage) several subjects in the series appear again & again. Alcala's photos reveal him as a pretentious manipulative hack, whose unintended best are evidence of the beast within. 21 women featured in a previous series of 120 shots have been found alive.
The Rise and Fall of Frank Ma, Last of New York's Asian Godfathers:
How a Chinese immigrant became a crime lord, ordered a hit that left the wrong men dead, sparked a 16-year international investigation and finally landed in prison for the rest of his life.
“But I decided on the Mona Lisa, which was the smallest painting and the easiest to transport.”
“So there was no chance,” asked the court, “that you decided on it because it was the most valuable painting?” - From Vanity Fair, the twisting, engaging story of how the Mona Lisa was stolen in broad daylight in 1911. (via)
writes in the London Review of Books on the James Bulger murder
It really should be read in conjunction with his earlier piece from 1993
to fully appreciate his stance. Previously   [more inside]
A year ago, Aaron Vargas
walked into Darrell McNeil's
trailer and shot him in the chest with a .44 caliber black powder revolver. For the next half hour, Vargas prevented McNeil's bewildered and horrified wife from calling the police while he watched McNeil die. Jury selection for Vargas's trial begins April 12th;
the D.A. is seeking 50 years to life. Meanwhile, the citizens of Vargas's and McNeil's hometown - including McNeil's daughter, son, stepson, and aforementioned widow - have rallied together
in support of justice for the victim. But he's not who you might think.
(Some links may be NSFW.)
Parachuting through the Austrian night sky to land on the roof of an castle to steal the Star of Empress Sisi
is just the start of the adventures depicted in a fantastic article
in Wired on the exploits of one Gerald Blanchard, Criminal Mastermind.
Last November 23rd, upwards of 64 people (including at least 34 journalists) were killed
in the Philippines. It has become known as the Maguindanao Massacre
. [more inside]
Boston College sociology professor Lisa Dodson
does research on poverty, public policy, and low-income work and family life. Recently her research took a different turn, as she discovered through interviews with U.S. managers in charge of low-income workers that some of them feel "(a) sense of unfairness (...) as a supervisor, making enough to live comfortably while overseeing workers who couldn’t feed their families on the money they earned. That inequality, he told her, tainted his job, making him feel complicit in an unfair system that paid hard workers too little to cover basic needs." Professor Dobson talks about this phenomenon, and how it plays out in that some managers undermine the system, in interviews in the Boston Globe
and on public radio
. [more inside]
"Using the legal standard of "reckless behavior" all a district attorney needs to show is that a woman behaved in a manner that is thought to cause miscarriage, even if she didn't intend to lose the pregnancy. Drink too much alcohol and have a miscarriage? Under the new law such actions could be cause for prosecution."
A new Utah law now makes intentional behavior leading to miscarriage or "reckless" behavior leading to miscarriage a crime punishable by life in prison.
So what is an enterprising cocaine cartel to do when tight airport and border security threaten to cause one to miss out on a massive boom in european cocaine use
? Well, for starters one sets up shop on Africa's west coast where the police often aren't paid for months and the 4 cars of some country's police force can mostly sit idle due to a lack of gas money
. Oh, and in Guinea Bissau
- no coast guard! In addition to bringing even more corruption
to Africa, the status of being the transhipment point
of about 3/4 of all cocaine heading to Europe brings a Miami-style economic stimulus
. And as colombian cartels are generally more concerned with getting cocaine out of Colombia at a profit than getting it all the way to its destination, we're probably only a few years away from a senegalese Scarface