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"You must be Eddie"

The day Chris Kyle died - an account of the fateful gun range encounter between the subject of the film "American Sniper" and fellow veteran Eddie Ray Routh. Routh has received a life sentence for killing Kyle and freind Chad Littlefield, with a jury finding his claims of PTSD to be "an excuse".
posted by Artw on Feb 25, 2015 - 35 comments

It makes me happy. You put that in the paper, Dad will be mad.

When your father is the BTK serial killer, forgiveness is not tidy
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 25, 2015 - 38 comments

Lead to crime -- 19th Century style

Lead Paint. It's been noted here before, but here's a new lead->crime connection, based on barn color:
Red (Iron oxide) good.
White (Lead) bad.
Here's where and when. And the year-old gasoline-soaked earlier Mother Jones citation [more inside]
posted by hexatron on Feb 24, 2015 - 32 comments

The grim nightmare of successfully banning booze

Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald recently did an AMA on Citizenfour, their Oscar winning documentary about Snowden and the NSA scandal. Among the highlights is Snowden discussing the relationship between people and their governments and how enforcing the law too well actually can have severe drawbacks.
posted by Drinky Die on Feb 24, 2015 - 22 comments

"I wish there were people who were honest crooks."

Dark Leviathan: The Silk Road might have started as a libertarian experiment, but it was doomed to end as a fiefdom run by pirate kings
posted by Sticherbeast on Feb 22, 2015 - 42 comments

From Chicago to Gitmo

A Chicago detective who led one of the most shocking acts of torture ever conducted at Guantánamo Bay was responsible for implementing a disturbingly similar, years-long regime of brutality to elicit murder confessions from minority Americans. Part one. Part two. This is not the first time the Chicago police have been accused of torture.
posted by AceRock on Feb 19, 2015 - 36 comments

The Assassin in the Vineyard

Who would poison the vines of La Romanée-Conti, the tiny, centuries-old vineyard that produces what most agree is Burgundy’s finest, rarest, and most expensive wine? [more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Feb 13, 2015 - 21 comments

How the War on Drugs targeted Billie Holiday

The Hunting of Billie Holiday. "How Lady Day found herself in the middle of the Federal Bureau of Narcotics’ early fight for survival." [more inside]
posted by homunculus on Jan 29, 2015 - 9 comments

Tick Tick Boom

Along the western coast of England, under a half-moon hidden by clouds, a dark Audi sports car with fabricated plates followed an empty road toward a Barclays bank. Inside were five men, dressed all in black, and their gear: crowbars, power tools, coils of flexible tubing, and two large tanks of explosive gas. It was 1:51 a.m. The job would take just under seven minutes.
posted by Chrysostom on Jan 29, 2015 - 39 comments

“And all of a sudden, it’s a homicide.”

A Twist in the Murder of a 97-Year-Old Man: He Was Knifed 5 Decades Ago: [New York Times]
The New York medical examiner determined that an operation after a stabbing in the 1950s led to Antonio Ciccarello’s death in September at 97. The police have opened a murder investigation.

posted by Fizz on Jan 25, 2015 - 23 comments

Restoring a Punched Monet Painting

Three years ago, a man punched a hole in a Monet painting as it hung in Ireland's National Gallery. Conservationists have restored it. This is their story. [more inside]
posted by cmchap on Jan 23, 2015 - 21 comments

Je est un braqueur de banque.

Inspired by Rimbaud, video artist and former MIT professor Joe Gibbons robbed two banks as an "art project" (and for the money).
posted by twirlip on Jan 14, 2015 - 35 comments

Something cold about this investigation

Locals couldn’t understand why police hunting the murderer of a 13-year-old girl were taking DNA samples of elderly women. A high profile Italian murder investigation exposes the secrets of more than one family, with controversial collateral damage. [more inside]
posted by Hypatia on Jan 13, 2015 - 26 comments

All They Need Now Is a Groovy Van and a Talking Dog...

George Rodrigue's painting Wendy and Me was stolen from a New Orleans gallery on Tuesday. The painting, one of the late artist's famous Blue Dog series, was valued at approximately $250,000. But the story had a happy ending later that evening when the members of local punk band Stereo Fire Empire, on their way home from a gig, discovered the painting and another artwork abandoned on a sidewalk. Guitarist (and apparent art aficionado) Even Diez recognized Wendy and Me and knew it had been stolen. The band turned the paintings in to police in what they admit is basically a real-life Scooby Doo episode .
posted by Naberius on Jan 8, 2015 - 31 comments

Radioactive blood

Nerdist talks to Sam Raimi about fruit, his career in retail sales, how he got started making movies, the links between comedy and horror, the Evil Dead TV show and of course why Spider-Man 3 was "awful".
posted by Artw on Jan 3, 2015 - 41 comments

Smuggling Lego is the new Smuggling Diamonds

Teeny, tiny, blockity, sellaby, black markety. A new underground currency has hit the market. Lego and Lego sets. Unrelated, go head, suffer a Lego firewalk. I dare you.
posted by headspace on Dec 29, 2014 - 34 comments

Best crime reporting 2014

Longreads Best Crime Reporting of 2014 [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Dec 28, 2014 - 6 comments

“Those buildings were taken down not long after I took that picture.”

"Demolished: the end of Chicago's Public Housing" A look back at Chicago's 20th-century public housing high-rises, and how they were taken down. Also an interesting form of web presentation. (SLNPR)
posted by doctornemo on Dec 27, 2014 - 8 comments

Deputizing the Hive Mind

In Serial withdrawal? Well, perhaps you can help the Toronto police out. Inspired by the success of the Serial podcast, Toronto police are tweeting out clues in the unsolved murder of Mike Pimentel.
posted by Mrs. Rattery on Dec 18, 2014 - 24 comments

Lennon Lacy

The FBI announced today that they will open an investigation into the death of 17 year old Lennon Lacy. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Dec 12, 2014 - 39 comments

Dave's Killer Bread

"We see the good in everyone, and we believe in offering jobs to felons who have shown a commitment to turning their lives around. Our goal is to serve as an example to other employers that being a convicted felon should not be a deterrent to finding gainful employment. Our success with this practice shows that there is a largely untapped pool of loyal and hardworking people who simply have made bad decisions in their past. Currently about one-third of our workforce are felons. "
posted by Juliet Banana on Dec 2, 2014 - 22 comments

"The Little Big Man of the London underworld"

RIP 'Mad' Frankie Fraser aka The Dentist, ex enforcer for the Richardson gang and declared Britain's 'most dangerous man' by two Home Secretaries, spending 42 years in prison. In his later years he found work as an after dinner speaker, television personality and tour guide (last year he received an Asbo after an argument in his old people's home over someone sitting in his favourite chair)
posted by fearfulsymmetry on Nov 27, 2014 - 21 comments

I See Bad Things In Your Future

When is fortune-telling a crime? When it's prosecuted as fraud. [more inside]
posted by Charity Garfein on Nov 18, 2014 - 52 comments

"I challenge anyone to say it is not a goal worth working for."

The Marshall Project launched Sunday to provide "high-quality journalism about the American criminal justice system" and "amplify the national conversation about criminal justice." Helmed by Bill Keller, their first investigative piece was published in August and their second in October, but today they have several new feature pieces: Obama's Prison Crisis, Waiting for Ferguson, Right and Left Unite on Drug Sentencing. What Could Possibly Go Wrong?, The Men Who Should Have Been Free, Eric Holder on His Legacy, His Regrets, and His Feelings About the Death Penalty, and Dying in Attica. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by anotherpanacea on Nov 18, 2014 - 5 comments

How bad lawyering and an unforgiving law cost death row inmates

Death by deadline.
posted by T.D. Strange on Nov 16, 2014 - 9 comments

"Limitless wealth was a craft project."

The Great Paper Caper: Wells Tower (previously) reports on how one guy in Canada, Frank Bourassa, manufactured over $200 million in counterfeit U.S. twenty-dollar bills and more-or-less got away with it.
posted by Cash4Lead on Oct 28, 2014 - 21 comments

The plant crime of the century

In January, one of the last remaining specimens of a nearly extinct water lily was stolen from Kew Gardens. Collectors and nursery owners continued to beg Magdalena for the plant. “All the time,” he said. “All the time.” He sensed that people were willing to break the rules. “When there is no way of getting it, people grow sick and obsessed.” When the water lily was taken from the Princess of Wales Conservatory, Magdalena wasn’t shocked in the slightest. “What surprised me is that it took so long,” he said.
posted by Horace Rumpole on Oct 28, 2014 - 24 comments

“Can I do anything to help?” - “Trade kids with me.”

By Noon They’d Both Be In Heaven By Hanna Rosin
KELLI STAPLETON, whose teenage daughter was autistic and prone to violent rages, had come to fear for her life. So she made a decision that perhaps only she could justify.
posted by davidstandaford on Oct 21, 2014 - 118 comments

To Raise, Love, and Lose a Black Child

Jordan Davis's mother, Lucia McBath, reflects on the guilty verdict in his murderer's trial. by Ta-Nehisi Coates (SLAtlantic) [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 8, 2014 - 18 comments

The One Crime the Media Won't Blame on Black Men

Among other common myths and misconceptions regarding serial murder in America, one curious myth bears closer examination: the idea, propagated heavily in the media, that serial killers are almost always white men. This fascinating (though weirdly formatted) essay discusses this phenomenon, and suggests possible reasons for the anonymity of African-American serial killers, including historical racial bias, stereotypical media portrayals of African-Americans, and the FBI’s promotion of static ethnocentric criminal profiling. [more inside]
posted by showbiz_liz on Oct 7, 2014 - 32 comments

How a Squad of Ex-Cops Fights Police Abuses

In 1997, Smith retired from the police force. He needed a job to help cover his two daughters' college expenses, so he signed up as an investigator in the Broward County Public Defender's Office. He had little idea that he'd end up a key player in a bold experiment in criminal justice, one that aims to give tens of thousands of people who can't afford lawyers a fighting chance in a system stacked against them. It's an effort that suggests new ways for court-appointed attorneys to get at the truth, despite their insane caseloads. And a big part of it is getting former cops to police the police.
posted by ellieBOA on Sep 23, 2014 - 25 comments

He also fights crime

Since 2009, a statue of Buddha has been quietly reducing criminal activity and increasing community in one Oakland neighborhood.
posted by Lexica on Sep 17, 2014 - 47 comments

Time erases everything

It’s a Secret: My Time with Charles Sobhraj, the Bikini Killer by the grate Gary Indiana.
posted by Potomac Avenue on Sep 11, 2014 - 20 comments

I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious.

I just freed an innocent man from death row. And I’m still furious. "Some people expect me to feel satisfied, or even happy. The truth is: I am angry. I am angry that we live in a world where two disabled boys can have their lives stolen from them, where cops can lie and intimidate with impunity, where innocent people can be condemned to die and where injustice is so difficult to bring to light. As I lie awake at night, mulling over the maddening details of this case, I wonder: How many more Henry McCollums are still imprisoned, waiting for help that will never come?" [more inside]
posted by scody on Sep 8, 2014 - 110 comments

A new trend in violence in The Big Easy

It was just after dark when Michael Martin, 56, was walking back to his home in New Orleans’ Marigny neighborhood, after helping a friend move... That's when he was jumped by a group of 13-year-olds and kicked, punched, and choked unconscious. He's not alone. It turns out that New Orleans middle schoolers are beating the shit out of artists and gays.
posted by shivohum on Aug 21, 2014 - 72 comments

When he heard the song of the chickadees, he could finally relax

GQ: The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. "For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend - or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest." [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Aug 20, 2014 - 39 comments

"Captivated" on HBO

'"The good news is we solved the murder of your husband. The bad news is you're under arrest.' Everyone's a noir hero!" A new HBO documentary explores what happens when the media are mixed up in a crime from the very beginning-- with fiction and film added in for good measure. A local news writer is incensed with HBO for bringing it all up again. (She will not be watching the documentary.)
posted by BibiRose on Aug 19, 2014 - 36 comments

He actually looks as if he expects to win a case.

DA Hamilton Burger may be the best-known loser of early TV, but his portrayer William Talman's life (content excerpted from the Perry Mason TV show book) was far more interesting. At the height of his fame in 1960, Talman arrested at a nude pot party, and was fired and blacklisted as a result. It took Raymond Burr, the cast, and the fans to eventually get him his job back. At the end of his life, on the verge of dying, he made a powerful anti-smoking PSA (the PSA itself)
posted by julen on Aug 3, 2014 - 23 comments

Mack

"No one knew who killed (13 year-old) Mackenzie Howard that cold February night last year — and people were terrified that the killer was still in their midst. But in the remote community of Kake, only accessible by air or boat, there was no law enforcement officer."
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Aug 3, 2014 - 19 comments

The truth is stranger than fiction

From behind the New Yorker's temporarily removed paywall, a postmodern murder mystery from Poland in 2007.
posted by ellieBOA on Jul 25, 2014 - 10 comments

"Sharing is not a crime"

Colombian student Diego Gomez faces four to eight years in prison for sharing an academic article online. [more inside]
posted by sockermom on Jul 24, 2014 - 23 comments

Tozai Mystery Best 100

In 1985, the Mystery Writers of Japan (plus "508 people who love mystery novels") assembled two separate lists of the 100 best mystery novels: one each for the books of the East and West. A revised list came out in 2012. Both Western lists are remarkable for their comparative lack of overlap with the "100 best" lists produced by the American and British mystery writers associations. The Eastern lists are remarkable for the fact that fewer than a quarter of their entries have been translated into English. [more inside]
posted by Iridic on Jul 18, 2014 - 14 comments

"A system that serves no penological purpose... is unconstitutional."

A federal judge declared California's death penalty unconstitutional Wednesday, saying delays of 25 years or more in deciding appeals and carrying out occasional executions have created an arbitrary and irrational system that serves no legitimate purpose. Executions in California have already been on hold since 2006, due to problems with the procedures associated with lethal injection. If the ruling is upheld, California will join 18 other states (plus D.C.) that have abolished capital punishment. (Read the court's opinion here.)
posted by scody on Jul 16, 2014 - 46 comments

The Boring Generation

The staid young: Oh! you pretty things. The Economist on how young people are not the alcohol ridden hooligans they were thought to be (and how changing parenting styles, amongst other factors, may have contributed).
posted by tavegyl on Jul 14, 2014 - 56 comments

Blood in the Streets: A Conversation About Gun Violence in Chicago

"...writing for The Daily Beast, Roland Martin proposed a solution to the surging violence on Chicago's South and West Sides: Send the National Guard to Chicago." "This idea of the powerful causing the problem and then swooping in to benevolently gift us the "solution" is offensive. You can't make up for systemic deprivation through law enforcement. Law enforcement doesn't have the nuance, it doesn't have the tools, and it doesn't actually work." - Josie Duffy in conversation with Ernest Wilkins, Jamilah Lemieux, Jason Parham, and Kiese Laymon. [more inside]
posted by artof.mulata on Jul 11, 2014 - 61 comments

Murderpeg

"Winnipeg is the capital of Manitoba, Canada — and for 16 of the past 33 years, it has also been the country's murder capital. The prairie city is home to just under 800,000 people, about 10 percent of whom are Aboriginal, meaning Winnipeg boasts the largest urban Aboriginal population in Canada. Largely impoverished and facing continual discrimination, the community has given rise to violent Aboriginal street gangs." Vice reports (17 mins).
posted by stbalbach on Jul 11, 2014 - 30 comments

Women, Pants, and the Backlash

Margaret Perry's review of Women in Pants provides an interesting overview of those women (in the Western world) who chose to wore pants in the 19th and early 20th centuries when the standard gender norm dictated dresses for girls and women. R.S. Fleming has a great collection of Victorian women-in-pants images, particularly in non-American military garb. See also: Welsh pit miners, women fighting in the US Civil War (and support-staff), this cattle thief/gunfighter, some cowgirls, and Dr. Mary Walker - here she is in more traditionally masculine dress (second picture). In France, the artist Rosa Bonheur had to get permission from the police to wear pants (picture) while sketching in public (her license), while adventurer/archaeologist Jane Dieulafoy got a lifetime exemption to wear pants from France. [more inside]
posted by julen on Jul 9, 2014 - 25 comments

Who knew "predatory remodeling" was a thing to worry about?

I bought my first home, only to become a victim of predatory remodeling.
This is the story of how I got tricked by malicious criminals into buying a house that had been illegally remodeled to cover up multiple building code violations. 50% of the house is unusable, and will require as much as $100,000 in repairs to undo the faulty work.

Yes, the home was inspected before it was purchased, and the inspector did find some problems as expected. But most of the problems described below were cleverly hidden behind finished drywall, carpeting, and concrete where the inspector couldn't see them. All of this was done intentionally by the house "flipper" and remodeler to turn a profit on a house that is riddled with code violations.
[more inside]
posted by Lexica on Jul 9, 2014 - 103 comments

Murder, She Wrote

Calvin Trillin profiles Edna Buchanan, Pulitzer Prize-winning crime reporter for the Miami Herald during its heyday.
posted by valkane on Jul 7, 2014 - 6 comments

I wasn’t preparing to survive another attack, but rather to execute one.

(tw: rape) Kathleen Hale reflects on her assault, the subsequent trial, and the relationship between predators and prey.
posted by Juliet Banana on Jun 28, 2014 - 28 comments

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