On Wednesday, William Van Poyck was executed
by the state of Florida for murdering a prison guard during a botched 1987 attempt to free an imprisoned friend. Poyck spent 25 years in solitary confinement on death row, during which time he wrote to his sister about his life in prison. Since 2005 she has published those letters to a blog called Death Row Diary
. 'Poyck used to write about everything from the novels and history books he was reading and shows he watched on PBS to the state of the world and his own philosophy of life – punctuated by news of the deaths of those around him, from illness, suicide, and execution.' Excerpts
. His final letter.
posted by zarq
on Jun 13, 2013 -
What started as a report of a convenience store robbery near the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology last night has sprawled into a chaotic manhunt for the perpetrators of the recent terrorist attack on the Boston Marathon
The deadly pursuit, involving a policeman's murder, a carjacking, a violent chase with thrown explosives, and the death of one suspect
, has resulted in Governor Deval Patrick
ordering an unprecedented lockdown of the entire Boston metropolitan area
as an army of law enforcement searches house by house for the remaining gunman.
The Associated Press has identified the duo as Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, and his 19-year-old brother Dzhokhar A. Tsarnaev
, who remains at large. Both are immigrants
from wartorn Chechnya
in southwestern Russia.
The Guardian liveblog is good for quick updates, and Reddit's updating crowdsourced timeline of events
that has often outpaced mainstream media coverage of the situation. You can also get real-time reports straight from the (Java-based) local police scanner
posted by Rhaomi
on Apr 19, 2013 -
Greg Fleniken was a decent, honorable, smart, and successful man whom people liked. The sort of man nobody would murder—yet somebody had. But why? And how had The Body in Room 348
received its internal injuries? [more inside]
posted by zarq
on Apr 11, 2013 -
When it hits you, no matter how much you expect it, it comes as a surprise — a literal shock, like a baseball bat swung hard and squarely into the small of your back. That sensation — which is actually two sharp steel barbs piercing your skin and shooting electricity into your central nervous system — is followed by the harshest, most violent charlie horse you can imagine coursing through your entire body. With the pain comes the terrifying awareness that you are completely helpless. You cannot move. You lose control of almost everything and the only place you can go is down, face first to the floor.
That’s what it feels like to be hit with a Taser.
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Apr 5, 2013 -
VOISEOVER: In a Citey wher thers Somuchcrimes , theDetetcive is onthe Case... DETETCIVE: Stop crimeing! VOISEOVER: But Oneproblam... Crimer!
(Single link Twitter feed.)
posted by oliverburkeman
on Mar 30, 2013 -
"Twelve years ago, Portugal eliminated criminal penalties for drug users. Since then, those caught with small amounts of marijuana, cocaine or heroin go unindicted and possession is a misdemeanor on par with illegal parking. Experts are pleased with the results
." [more inside]
posted by vidur
on Mar 27, 2013 -
Meet the men who spy on women through their webcams - "If you are unlucky enough to have your computer infected with a RAT, prepare to be sold or traded to the kind of person who enters forums to ask, "Can I get some slaves for my rat please? I got 2 bucks lol I will give it to you :b" At that point, the indignities you will suffer—and the horrific website images you may see—will be limited only by the imagination of that most terrifying person: a 14-year-old boy with an unsupervised Internet connection."
posted by madamjujujive
on Mar 10, 2013 -
Kevin Pang's profile
of Chicago chef Curtis Duffy recounts how Duffy emerged from a turbulent family life to become a Michelin-starred chef. [more inside]
posted by BibiRose
on Feb 24, 2013 -
Sexual Assault In The U.S. Military
is the focus of a serious contender for Best Documentary Feature at this year's Academy Awards. The Invisible War
is a groundbreaking investigative doc that sheds light on the under-reported epidemic of sexual abuse against female members of the military
, as well as the lack of punitive action in these crimes: of the 8 percent of sexual assault cases that are prosecuted in the military, only 2 percent result in convictions. A female soldier in a combat zone is more likely to be raped by a fellow soldier than killed by enemy fire.
By official estimates
from The Department of Defense, 19,000 violent sexual crimes occurred in the military in 2011 alone
. Sexual assault is grossly under-reported
in the military. In 2011, 3,191 assaults were reported when its likely that somewhere between 19,000 and 22,000 assaults occurred.
The women in the film speak about the physical and mental abuse they underwent while serving in the military - and about the the lawsuit they joined and the verdict in which their experiences were labeled "occupational hazards".
The film is already garnering much attention, especially as front-running Oscar Nominee - and lawmakers are taking notice. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic
on Feb 19, 2013 -
My Eight Years with a Gun
"If the government was powerless to stop this onslaught, then the gun in my pocket was a declaration that the city had broken the social contract."
posted by bitmage
on Feb 7, 2013 -
Experts often suggest that crime resembles an epidemic. But what kind? Karl Smith, a professor of public economics and government at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, has a good rule of thumb for categorizing epidemics: If it spreads along lines of communication, he says, the cause is information. Think Bieber Fever. If it travels along major transportation routes, the cause is microbial. Think influenza. If it spreads out like a fan, the cause is an insect. Think malaria. But if it's everywhere, all at once—as both the rise of crime in the '60s and '70s and the fall of crime in the '90s seemed to be—the cause is a molecule. [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Jan 3, 2013 -
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
], 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
" action-comedy from noted auteur
Michael Bay. [Trailer
posted by dersins
on Dec 20, 2012 -
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
, 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 -