138 posts tagged with crime and murder.
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The worst of the worst.

Where the Death Penalty Still Lives. In the U.S., 20 states and the District of Columbia have abolished capital punishment and four others have imposed a moratorium on executions. Of the 26 states that remain, only 14 handed down death sentences last year for a total of 50 across the country — less than half the number six years before. California, which issued more than one-quarter of last year’s death sentences, hasn’t actually executed anyone since 2006. A new geography of capital punishment is taking shape, with just two percent of the nation’s counties now accounting for a majority of the people sitting on death row. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 25, 2016 - 18 comments

Munchausen and Murder

Dee Dee Wanted Her Daughter To Be Sick, Gypsy Wanted Her Mom To Be Murdered Dee Dee Blancharde was a model parent: a tireless single mom taking care of her gravely ill child. But after Dee Dee was killed, it turned out things weren’t as they appeared — and her daughter Gypsy had never been sick at all.
posted by xingcat on Aug 19, 2016 - 79 comments

“I truly love keeping the wolf from the lambs.”

The retired cops investigating unsolved murders in one of America’s most violent cities. by Christopher Pomorski [The Guardian] A former murder capital of the US, Camden, New Jersey has created its first cold case squad. Can solving old killings help restore an embattled community’s trust in law and order? [more inside]
posted by Fizz on Apr 24, 2016 - 4 comments

Kitty Genovese's killer dies

"Winston Moseley, who stalked, raped and killed Kitty Genovese in a prolonged knife attack in New York in 1964 while neighbors failed to act on her desperate cries for help — a nightmarish tableau that came to symbolize urban apathy in America — died on March 28, in prison." (NYT link) [more inside]
posted by John Cohen on Apr 4, 2016 - 16 comments

My cellie is dead. I killed him.

The Deadly Consequences of Solitary With a Cellmate. "The 4'8"-by-10'8" space was originally built for one, but as Menard became increasingly overcrowded and guards sent more people to solitary, the prison bolted in a second bunk. The two men would have to eat, sleep, and defecate inches from one another for nearly 24 hours a day in a space smaller than a parking spot, if a parking spot had walls made of cement and steel on all sides. With a toilet, sink, shelf, and beds, the men were left with a sliver of space about a foot-and-a-half wide to maneuver around each other. If one stood, the other had to sit."
posted by Rumple on Mar 30, 2016 - 57 comments

The Mastermind

"My immediate reaction upon discovering this connection was a sudden and irrational fear: Le Roux was something new, a self-made cartel boss whose origins were not in family connections but in code. Not just any code, but encryption software that would play a role in world events a dozen years after he created it. I stared at the address on the screen, a post-office box in Manila, left now with a still larger mystery: What had turned the earnest, brilliant programmer into an international criminal, with a trail of bodies in his wake?" [more inside]
posted by kaibutsu on Mar 29, 2016 - 69 comments

'...follow the law or you’re no better than the crook.'

Inside the Snitch Tank. After his arrest for the worst mass shooting in Orange County, CA history, Scott Dekraai poured out his feelings to a jailhouse informant. But instead of nailing down a death-penalty conviction against a confessed killer who was arrested with murder weapons in his car, the bugging of Dekraai’s cell touched off a legal storm over prosecutorial misconduct and the misuse of jailhouse informants which has delayed justice and drawn national attention. The Orange County Register has set up an extensive website to accompany their ongoing investigation and report.
posted by zarq on Jan 13, 2016 - 17 comments

The Long Fall of Phoebe Jonchuck

"He was a schemer who used the courts for profit and revenge. He was a paranoid, angry meth addict who had been arrested for battery and domestic violence seven times. He had been involuntarily committed, by his family’s count. And yet, in its report on Phoebe’s death, the Florida Department of Children and Families concluded, “There was nothing in the preceding several years that could have reasonably been interpreted as predictive of such an event.
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Jan 8, 2016 - 13 comments


Baltimore's City Paper came out today with a list of all 344 people murdered in the Baltimore City this year with a small description of each incident. "The editorial staff at City Paper looked to the Vietnam Memorial for inspiration this week for the following reasons: Because almost every day the police department announces the latest homicide, because every week the paper runs the death tally in Murder Ink, because there were more homicides this year than in the previous 22, because the numbers keep rising, because each single homicide is the story of a life with a ripple effect on a family and neighborhood, because we wish we could do a proper obituary for each person killed but lack the editorial resources, because we wish to acknowledge each death, because we are hopeful that cumulative murders and the visual impact of sheer numbers and names will move readers to action, because we have faith in this city and its ability to do so much better than it does, because we hope people will be shocked out of their complacency, because something has to change, we have dedicated this entire issue to a list of the 344 murders in Baltimore this year. There will be no arts coverage, no columns, no photos. We are in mourning."
posted by josher71 on Jan 6, 2016 - 39 comments

Murder in the Alps

Four dead, an ever-expanding list of suspects, dozens of detectives on the case. Three years after the fact, a mysterious shooting in the French Alps has evolved into one of the most confounding, globe-spanning criminal investigations in decades.
posted by Chrysostom on Oct 14, 2015 - 59 comments

“I know you’re going to solve it. You always do.”

Relentless: Putnam County Sheriff Howard Sills chases a killer
In Putnam County, everybody knows Howard Sills, and Howard Sills knows everybody—except who brutally murdered an elderly couple on Lake Oconee last May. After four decades of always getting his man, has the sheriff met his match?
posted by andoatnp on Aug 25, 2015 - 23 comments

The End of the Sixties

You Must Remember This: Charles Manson's Hollywood - Karina Longworth's podcast on the hidden history of Hollywood (previously, previously) takes an an in depth look at the darker side of the 60s. [more inside]
posted by Artw on Aug 12, 2015 - 53 comments

Fatal police shootings in 2015 approaching 400 nationwide

The Washington Post is compiling a database of every fatal shooting by police in 2015, as well as of every officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.
Overall, blacks were killed at three times the rate of whites or other minorities when adjusting by the population of the census tracts where the shootings occurred.
posted by Little Dawn on May 31, 2015 - 74 comments

How private DNA data led Idaho cops on a wild goose chase

... and linked an innocent man to a 20-year-old murder case. Analysis by the EFF of the case of Michael Usry, a New Orleans filmmaker whose father's DNA profile in a non-profit DNA database, which he had been assured would remain private, dragged him into a grisly unsolved murder case. [more inside]
posted by daisyk on May 3, 2015 - 40 comments

Like Serial? You'll love The Jinx.

As HBO's "The Jinx: The Life and Deaths of Robert Durst" airs, the LA district attorney reopens the inquiry into the death of Robert Durst friend Susan Berman [more inside]
posted by triggerfinger on Mar 9, 2015 - 38 comments

"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

“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

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

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

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

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


"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

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

Twenty years after infamous Bronco chase, O.J. Simpson still a mystery

Simpson is in Lovelock because he was convicted of kidnapping and armed robbery in Nevada in 2008; he's serving a sentence of up to 33 years, with the possibility of parole in 2017. He will turn 67 next month, but the O.J. personage who remains a cultural touchstone is much younger. That one was born 20 years ago this week, on June 17, 1994, a day that spawned a series of events that are as ingrained in Americana as anything that happened at Valley Forge or in Dealey Plaza. Sports Illustrated tackles Orenthal James Simpson.
posted by porn in the woods on Jun 13, 2014 - 140 comments

"I wish girls were attracted to me. I don’t know why they aren’t."

California drive-by shooting: 'Son of Hunger Games assistant director' Elliot Rodger suspected of killing six in attack. Rodger embarked on his shooting spree hours after posting an online video detailing his plans for "retribution" for rejection by women. [more inside]
posted by a fiendish thingy on May 24, 2014 - 1771 comments

The Effect of Medical Marijuana Laws on Crime

"Debate has surrounded the legalization of marijuana for medical purposes for decades. Some have argued medical marijuana legalization (MML) poses a threat to public health and safety, perhaps also affecting crime rates ... we analyzed the association between state MML and state crime rates ... Results did not indicate a crime exacerbating effect of MML on any of the Part I offenses. Alternatively, state MML may be correlated with a reduction in homicide and assault rates, net of other covariates." (Press Release) [more inside]
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth on Mar 27, 2014 - 22 comments


Freddie Lee Hall, as a child, had been classified as "mentally retarded"; he is illiterate, cannot cook for himself, bathe independently, clean his clothes, and is unable to handle his own finances. Halll was sentenced to death for murdering Karol Hurst, a 21-year-old pregnant woman who was abducted leaving a Leesburg, Fla., grocery store in 1978. His guilt is not at issue; what is at issue, before the Supreme Court this morning, is whether the Florida Supreme Court's definition of mental retardation (having an IQ of 70 or less) was correctly applied to Hall, who has tested at an IQ of 71. [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Mar 3, 2014 - 136 comments

In honour of Loretta

26 year-old Inuk woman Loretta Saunders was working on an Honours thesis studying the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal women of Canada. Her supervisor called her proposal "the most beautifully written and cared-for assignment I had ever read in seven years of university teaching." Two weeks ago, Loretta disappeared and fell out of contact with family and friends. Yesterday police confirmed that her body had been found in the median of the Trans-Canada Highway. Her disappearance is now being treated as a homicide. [more inside]
posted by Catchfire on Feb 27, 2014 - 90 comments

Chiraq, Drillinois

WorldStar HipHop has released a 40 minute mini-documentary on violence in Chicago and the young rappers who are a part of the scene surrounding it. The Field: Chicago features appearances from up-and-coming rappers such as Lil Durk, Lil Reese, King Louie, Lil Bibby, Katie Got Bandz, and more. [more inside]
posted by gucci mane on Jan 9, 2014 - 15 comments

If you put up posters in the right place, witnesses know.

After 22 years, an arrest has been made in the 1991 murder of "Baby Hope." [more inside]
posted by roomthreeseventeen on Oct 13, 2013 - 30 comments

"I know it’s happened to someone else."

Kelli Stapleton kept a candid blog about the struggles of raising Issy, a teenager with autism who suffers frequent violent episodes. A newspaper profile from earlier this spring detailed the family's trouble accessing the professional help Issy requires. Kelli admitted in her most recent blog post on September 3rd: "I have to admit that I’m suffering from a severe case of battle fatigue." Later that day, [Kelli's husband] received a message from Kelli that police described as "despondent". Kelli Stapleton is now under arrest on charges of attempted murder and Issy remains hospitalized after what appears to be a failed murder/suicide. Bloggers from the national autism community have responded.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero on Sep 7, 2013 - 190 comments

The Gangster In The Huddle

Paul Solotaroff of Rolling Stone investigates the life of former New England Patriots player Aaron Hernandez and the path he took from NFL player to murder suspect.
posted by reenum on Aug 28, 2013 - 32 comments

Sharin' Morningstar Keenan. Please remember that name.

For 30 years, an ex-con drifter from Saskatchewan named Dennis Melvyn Howe has eluded police in connection with the abduction, rape and murder of a 9 year old Toronto girl. In 2008, an Idaho man named Robert James Miller wrote two long, bizarre posts on the forum at unsolvedcanada.ca. He claimed to have identified Howe and turned him in after seeing a 1998 episode of America's Most Wanted. The FBI is now investigating the possibility that Miller himself is Dennis Melvyn Howe. [more inside]
posted by mannequito on Jul 22, 2013 - 16 comments

"When I saw his body and what it was like, I knew I couldn't say no."

Willie Reed, key witness in the Emmett Till case, has died in Chicago at age 76. Reed was an 18-year-old sharecropper who witnessed Emmett Till's murder in August 1955. Despite being threatened at gunpoint by J.W. Milam, one of Till's killers, Reed came forward to serve as a surprise witness for the prosecution at trial [PDF of Reed's testimony]. [more inside]
posted by liketitanic on Jul 20, 2013 - 66 comments

His final words were "Set me free."

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 - 161 comments

Boston in lockdown as hunt for marathon bombers unfolds

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 - 4937 comments

The Christopher Dorner Manhunt

Timeline: Christopher Dorner is a former U.S. marine and police officer with the Los Angeles Police Department. He is wanted in the largest manhunt in LAPD history. Dorner is wanted for the alleged murder of a police officer and a young couple from Irvine (though evidence linking the murders to him is still largely circumstantial). During the ongoing investigation, LAPD officers have wounded various civilians in three separate cases of mistaken identity. In once incident, officers fired dozens of shots at a car in Torrance, CA, wounding two women who were delivering newspapers. [more inside]
posted by fantodstic on Feb 10, 2013 - 724 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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