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The Secret Life of Sam Hurd

It just hasn't been a good month for the Chicago Bears. First they lost Jay Cutler and Matt Forte to injuries, and yesterday wide receiver Sam Hurd was arrested in an undercover drug sting, after an investigation that began in July 2011.
posted by SisterHavana on Dec 16, 2011 - 60 comments

Non Uncaged

Last month How Did This Get Made (previously) held a live panel discussion of Superman III, a movie that started as a bizarre pitch involving everyone from Brainiac to Supergirl and Mr. Mxyzptlk, and ended up as a Richard Pryor vehicle. However for some truly crazy stories you may want to skip ahead to part II, where they are joined by Jack O'Halloran - Non from Superman I and II, boxer and son of the head of Murder, Inc. - who talks at length about his life, the movies, and choking Christopher Reeve.
posted by Artw on Dec 16, 2011 - 30 comments

"Bob Shuter, suburban vigilante. Driven by rage to wage a one-man war on the underworld of Kent, Bob Shuter is... The Reprisalizer."

"You're going nowhere, son. Just you, me ad the walls. So wipe that bloody grin off before it's shot off, and don't slouch. You toe rag. You bin. Pay attention when I break you. And break you I will, boy. You're in my manor, now." Buck up! It's Terry Finch's THE REPRISALIZER! Follow Bob Shuter, whose mission of reprisal against his brother's killers, their families, associates, progeny and property takes him across the desolate wasteland of 70s Britain, primarily Kent AKA FINCHLAND. Finch, writer of The Reprisalizer and DRAW!, the cowboy whose name means death, is soon to be the subject of a major motion picture from Matthew Holness, creator of Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
posted by Artw on Dec 13, 2011 - 15 comments

Australia's school for killers

More than 35 violent deaths have been linked to men who attended an abusive boys' home in regional Australia, the Tamworth Institution for Boys.
posted by puffl on Dec 13, 2011 - 7 comments

"Wheelchair Hell"

"Imagine 12 men in a dorm all in diapers and sitting in their own feces," he says. "It smelled like a combination of what people had for lunch that day and pus from people's open wounds. I've been in a wheelchair now for three years, and the jail is by far the worst place I've ever seen for a disabled person." -- L.A. Weekly on "Wheelchair Hell" in the L.A. County Men's Jail
posted by bardic on Dec 8, 2011 - 42 comments

Meet Benjaman Kyle

On August 31, 2004, a naked, bruised man was discovered behind a Burger King at the intersection of Interstate 95 and Highway 17 in Richmond Hill, Georgia. He had no memory of who he was. Fingerprint and DNA searches were unsuccessful. His identity continues to remain missing.
posted by vidur on Dec 5, 2011 - 90 comments

"Interestingly, she advanced in a male dominated field by co-opting the feminine tradition of miniatures."

"The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death": an exploration of a collection of eighteen miniature crime scene models that were built in the 1940's and 50's by a progressive criminologist Frances Glessner Lee (1878 – 1962). The models, which were based on actual homicides, suicides, and accidental deaths, were created to train detectives to assess visual evidence. This seven-year project culminated in an exhibition and a book The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (The Monacelli Press, 2004). [Image Gallery]
posted by Fizz on Nov 27, 2011 - 29 comments

The name Kevin is now illegal. Why not use Alan instead? It suits you.

"London Bridge is currently closed to the public and a section 60 in place due to the presence of a depressed swan." - The Metropolitan Police Twitter Feed: Giving you the lowdown on all the criminal shit that's going down in London town. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on Nov 23, 2011 - 29 comments

"...compromised and inequitable..."

Governor John Kitzhaber halts all executions in Oregon [more inside]
posted by OverlappingElvis on Nov 22, 2011 - 49 comments

Michael Mann's "Heat"

Although [Michael] Mann has said he was inspired by a true story from Chicago in the late 1960s, the film is no gritty realist number about desperate thievery. Rather, HEAT is a high-gloss creature of its time, utilizing the classic "duel between cop and robber"... to thematize lifestyle issues in the mid-1990s. Specifically I argue that, for all its slickness and emphasis on style and personality, HEAT is a film about work and its increasing personal costs. For the characters in HEAT, work provides excitement* and challenge, but it ultimately excludes any emotional life outside of the demands of the job. *That's the shootout scene
posted by Trurl on Nov 21, 2011 - 108 comments

påske-krim

How do you write crime fiction in the wake of a massacre? The mass slaughter on Utøya in July shook Norway to its core. Now the country's crime writers must come to terms with what happened…
posted by infini on Nov 20, 2011 - 16 comments

Investigation into Natalie Wood's death re-opened

Homicide detectives who have reopened an investigation into the death of Natalie Wood after three decades said on Friday that the film star's husband, actor Robert Wagner, was not considered a suspect. [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Nov 18, 2011 - 48 comments

"To elevate the world from mediocrity to greatness"

lululemon athletica, the "yoga-inspired athletic apparel company", has rapidly become a brand fixture in the Pacific Northwest since its founding by Chip Wilson in 1998. Recently, a strange ode to Ayn Rand appeared on their website, and a "Who Is John Galt?" advertising campaign has adorned company packaging this November. Meanwhile, one of their employees has been convicted in the bizarre murder of a co-worker, in which the employees of a neighbouring Apple Store ignored the victim's cries for help.
posted by mek on Nov 14, 2011 - 111 comments

The durable Mike Malloy

In 1933, Anthony Marino, Joe Murphy, Frank Pasqua and Dan Kriesberg decided to make money by taking out life insurance on drunks and then letting the victims drink themselves to death. Then they encountered Mike Malloy...
posted by reenum on Nov 11, 2011 - 17 comments

3. Respond Immediately and Escape

Three Principles of Self-Defense, by Sam Harris
posted by rollick on Nov 9, 2011 - 157 comments

William Friedkin's "To Live and Die in L.A."

After 25 years I revisited To Live and Die In L.A. (1985), William Friedkin's cynical, fatalistic, hardboiled and high-energy crime noir about corruption and survival in the city of no angels. The script is literate, the characters are believable, the performances are brutally honest, the unpredictable twists keep coming, the action never stops, and the car chase is shot for real without any fake process. (spoilers)
posted by Trurl on Nov 4, 2011 - 60 comments

Myra Hindley

My purpose here has been to inquire into mediated understandings of Hindley, and to question how popular texts delineate between the deeds of a human being and the way those deeds are culturally inscribed. The task is neither conclusive nor complete, for monsters are illusive. There is always some part of them that evades both enunciation and comprehension.
posted by Trurl on Oct 30, 2011 - 15 comments

Does crime still pay?

Why has crime in the US fallen, despite rising unemployment? [more inside]
posted by BobbyVan on Oct 25, 2011 - 74 comments

"I Will Never Again Harm Another Human Being"

Over the objections of federal prosecutors and Ronald Reagan's family, John Hinckley, Jr. is on the verge of freedom. "Which should prevail—the belief that anyone who tries to kill a President should never be free? Or a judicial system that rests on laws that spell out pathways to wellness and freedom for people deemed mentally ill when they commit violent acts?"
posted by yankeefog on Oct 14, 2011 - 100 comments

The Rebirth of One Eyed Jacks: The Impact and Legality of Sweepstakes Cafes in the USA

Internet Sweepstakes Cafes have opened in strip malls and retail areas throughout United States of America in the 2000s to become a $10 to $15 billion industry. [more inside]
posted by fizzix on Oct 12, 2011 - 111 comments

Zimmerman Telegram 2.0?

Following a months-long investigation, the Department of Justice has announced the existence of a well-funded plot "conceived, sponsored and directed" by "high-ranking members of the Iranian government" to assassinate Saudi Arabian ambassador Adel Al-Jubeir on U.S. soil in conjunction with informants in Mexican drug cartel Los Zetas. The "Hollywood" plot, revealed in an afternoon press conference and described in a detailed 21-page complaint [PDF], is alleged to have involved an attack on the Saudi and Israeli embassies in Washington, D.C. One suspect, naturalized American citizen Arbab Arbabsiar, has been arrested, while co-conspirator and Quds Force member Gholam Shakuri remains at large. Iranian officials were quick to label the charges a "fabrication" intended to distract from America's economic troubles.
posted by Rhaomi on Oct 11, 2011 - 251 comments

Aberrican Me - Ross Capicchioni

Ross Capicchioni's story - Parts 1 and 2 - contains violent descriptions
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Oct 6, 2011 - 26 comments

Light in the Darkness

Not in Our Town [autoplay 1hr PBS video]: the story of how the community of Patchogue, NY responded to the murder of Marcelo Lucero [more inside]
posted by peeedro on Sep 23, 2011 - 9 comments

Full Tilt Ponzi

U.S. Alleges Full Tilt Poker was Ponzi Scheme. The Justice Department has filed suite against popular online poker site Full Tilt Poker, asserting that money players believed to be stored in their accounts was actually diverted to the site's owners, with money from new players being used to pay off bets when necessary. Reaction from the poker community when the site was first shut down in April. Reaction now. Always good for a contrarian spin, Deadspin says the Ponzi scheme is really all the Justice Department's fault.
posted by escabeche on Sep 20, 2011 - 79 comments

Troy Davis execution imminent

In 1991, Troy Davis was convicted and sentenced to death for the 1989 murder of policeman Mark MacPhail in a Savannah, Georgia parking lot. Since then, seven of the nine prosecution eyewitnesses have recanted all or part of their testimony, with some citing pressure from the police to make false statements. An exception is Sylvester "Redd" Coles, who made the initial report of Davis’s guilt, and is regarded by the defense as the chief suspect. New witnesses have sworn affidavits that Coles confessed the crime to them. An array of figures have called for a stay of execution, including death-penalty supporters Senator Bob Barr and former FBI director William S. Sessions. Today, the Georgia Board of Pardons and Paroles denied clemency; barring action from the District Attorney, Davis is set to be executed by lethal injection tomorrow at 7pm. [Previously]
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 on Sep 20, 2011 - 432 comments

The Cybercrime of Sextortion

Sextortion /sekˈstɔː(r)ʃ(ə)n/ noun The extortion and/or blackmail of an individual, wherein the item or service requested/demanded is the performance of a sexual act.

He seeded P2P networks with popular-sounding song titles that were actually malware; when someone downloaded and executed the file, their machine was infected and would open itself to his control. He took over 129 different computers for a total of 230 victims. Forty-four of the victims were juveniles. How an omniscient Internet "sextortionist" ruined the lives of teen girls. [Sextortionism, previously discussed on Mefi (working link to Sextortion at Eisenhower High article and an update).]
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear on Sep 8, 2011 - 35 comments

"Everyone has pain. It's your job to find it."

Start a home business, get rich quick, win financial freedom! If you watch late-night TV, you've heard it all before. But what's the story behind these slick pitchmen and their dubious schemes? Enter The Salty Droid, your ornery metal guide to the corrupt underworld of scam-marketing scum. This charmingly acerbic bot (owned and operated by mild-mannered Chicago dog-lover Jason Michael Jones [inter-view, long talk + transcript]) is a valiant crusader against the vile con-men who bankrupt the elderly and the desperate with beautiful lies. Exposed so far: A shadowy "Syndicate" of frauduct-pushing personality cults polluting the media with blogspam and woo-woo talking points. Boiler rooms in the Utah desert where telemarketers farm credit from easy targets with cunning, probing scripts [PDF]. Powerful politicians bought wholesale. Believers left to die in fraudulent new-age vision quests. It's a soul-crushing beat, enough to make one feel like a regular catcher-bot in the digital rye. But somebody's got to do it -- preferably someone with plasma nunchucks and titanium skin.
posted by Rhaomi on Aug 31, 2011 - 47 comments

Something Foul Is Afoot

Human foot washes up on beach near Vancouver for 11th time in four years Previously - The DNA matchup - previously again
posted by The Whelk on Aug 31, 2011 - 120 comments

Ultimately, there is no separating Vick from his circumstances: his race, parents, economics and opportunities.

What if Michael Vick were white? The cover of the September issue of ESPN The Magazine features an image of the Philadelphia Eagles quarterback, but another picture might end up getting more attention. [more inside]
posted by furiousxgeorge on Aug 25, 2011 - 171 comments

UK London Met police proposed undemocratic refusal of bail to all arrested in London riots.

London Metropolitan Police formulated policy of refusing bail to all arrested in London riots which might have influenced high remand in custody rate.
posted by maiamaia on Aug 22, 2011 - 30 comments

Want To Go For A Hike?

The perfect location for the perfect crime. Due to a loophole in the US Constitution there is an area of Yellowstone Park where you may be able to get away with a major crime. U Michigan Prof Brian C Kalt looks into this loophole and gauges your chance at success. Someone has tried. [more inside]
posted by stp123 on Aug 21, 2011 - 36 comments

Nickel and Dimed, 10 years later.

Barbara Ehrenreich, author of the the 2001 bestseller "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By In America", releases a new afterward for the tenth anniversary edition of the book, focusing on what has changed in the last 10 years. The conclusion: Poverty has since turned into an American crime. [more inside]
posted by windbox on Aug 11, 2011 - 178 comments

Ah, now there's the inflated sense of self-esteem!

The Secret History of Guns. "The Ku Klux Klan, Ronald Reagan, and, for most of its history, the NRA all worked to control guns. The Founding Fathers? They required gun ownership—and regulated it. And no group has more fiercely advocated the right to bear loaded weapons in public than the Black Panthers—the true pioneers of the modern pro-gun movement. In the battle over gun rights in America, both sides have distorted history and the law, and there’s no resolution in sight." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Aug 10, 2011 - 36 comments

"I do not anticipate that another Charles Ponzi will ever appear in the financial world"

On July 23, 1920, Charles Ponzi hired former Boston Post journalist William H. McMasters as his publicist, who quickly realized that his new client was defrauding the public. Just ten days later, McMasters wrote an exposé published in the Post that led to Ponzi's ultimate downfall. The newspaper won a Pulitzer. McMasters was The Man Who Time (Almost) Forgot (Via) [more inside]
posted by zarq on Aug 10, 2011 - 11 comments

Does digital writing leave fingerprints?

"When legal teams need to prove or disprove the authorship of key texts, they call in the forensic linguists. Scholars in the field have tackled the disputed origins of some prestigious works, from Shakespearean sonnets to the Federalist Papers."
Decoding Your E-Mail Personality Ben Zimmer, of Language Log discusses the Facebook case and forensic linguistics in the NY Times. [more inside]
posted by iamkimiam on Aug 2, 2011 - 13 comments

Idle Hands Are The Devil's Playthings

Dimorio McDowell had a lot of time on his hands in prison. So, he decided to start up his own retail fraud and ID theft ring, defrauding his victims of almost $1 million before investigators caught up to him.
posted by reenum on Aug 2, 2011 - 21 comments

Frank Bender and the "team of experts whose consultative skills and talents are always free"

When forensic sculptor Frank Bender, Esquire's Man of the Month in April 2004, died this week the world mourned one of the foremost skull-to-face recreationists. What fewer people knew was that his passing created an opening in The Vidocq Society a members-only crime-solving organization he co-founded in 1990, dedicated to working on long-unsolved murders. Membership is limited to 82 members, one for each year of Inspector Vidocq's life. The organization does have a newsletter available online and guests and associates sometimes tag along to their monthly luncheons, Cuisine & Crime Solving.
posted by jessamyn on Jul 31, 2011 - 18 comments

Find a place to trash.

When EJ was called out of town for work, she decided to use couchsurfing site AirBnB to rent her home out for the week. She took care to lock up her valuables (money, passport, iPod, grandmother's jewelry) in a closet. She came home to find her tenants had systematically looted & trashed the place. They got to the closet through a hole they made in the wall & even cut the tags off her pillows. AirBnB has made sympathetic statements but EJ remains devastated.
posted by scalefree on Jul 29, 2011 - 132 comments

Has the Code of The Zodiac Killer Been Cracked?

Corey Starliper of Tewksbury, Massachusetts believes he has solved the last Zodiac serial killer cipher and has identified the person who terrorized northern California in the late '60s. "Zodiac sent encrypted communication to area newspapers, taking credit for the killings and warning of more to come ..." His most famous: a 340-character cipher, "was mailed to the San Francisco Chronicle, according to zodiackillerfacts.com. To this day, the cipher has not been completely cracked. Starliper, however, believes he has found the solution to that code." [more inside]
posted by ericb on Jul 24, 2011 - 56 comments

So You Think You Can Solve The Kennedy Assassination

Want to (dis)prove who killed JFK? Start with the 5 million pages of material in the National Archives' Assassination Records Collection1. Better review the 26 volumes of hearings and exhibits published by the Warren Commission. And each frame of the Zapruder film2. And just to be on the safe side, the operating manual for his then top-of-the-line Bell & Howell 414PD camera. (1: previously, but with outdated link. 2: related) [more inside]
posted by Trurl on Jul 23, 2011 - 73 comments

"The thing I regret most that I cannot change -- except by what I do now -- was drafting the death penalty initiative."

"The way I look at it, what I created can and may already have resulted in the [execution] of an innocent person." Donald Heller is partly responsible for turning California's death row into the most populous and expensive in the nation. So why'd the lawyer known as "Mad Dog" change his mind?
posted by scody on Jul 16, 2011 - 24 comments

Why the NYT still rules

Blockbuster: DSK may be freed Friday as the rape case against him collapses The NYT reports prosecutors found the chambermaid was involved with drug dealers, possible extortion. previously
posted by CunningLinguist on Jun 30, 2011 - 337 comments

James "Whitey" Bulger found.

James "Whitey" Bulger has been arrested in California. [more inside]
posted by rmd1023 on Jun 23, 2011 - 93 comments

Of sound mind and but not so much sound body

Life imitates O'Henry's "The Cop and the Anthem" (tl;dr): James Verone robbed a bank to get health care while in jail. In a similar move, Nathan Bootz, Superintendent of Ithaca Public Schools, "proposed to make his school a prison" to increase the state's spending per-student to the same level as it spends per-prisoner in the jails.
posted by autopilot on Jun 20, 2011 - 37 comments

Criminals are dumb.

Your Sweet Justice story for the day: In February, K.C. was riding her bike home from work. While waiting at a stop light, she felt a slight bump from the car behind her, followed by laughter from within. K.C. wasn't looking for a fight, and did her best to ignore this. Disappointed with his failure to elicit a response, the driver bumped her again, this time a bit harder. This is when K.C. pulled out her police badge, and things started to get weird...
posted by schmod on Jun 14, 2011 - 94 comments

Money and politics in the First State

It started with a warehouse in the town of Milford. Now the investigation of Delaware businessman Christopher Tigani has expanded from a shady land deal to $200,000 in illegal campaign contributions to everybody from state legislators to Vice President Joe Biden. [more inside]
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish on Jun 13, 2011 - 29 comments

The Polite Society

"The argument is straightforward: When less legal work is available, more illegal 'work' takes place. ... But there have long been difficulties with the notion that unemployment causes crime. " Author James Q. Wilson on crime, law enforcement and the economy.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing on Jun 9, 2011 - 13 comments

So is the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man correlated to a crimefighter?

Can marshmallows be the link that helps explain falling crime rates and increased environmental cleanliness? It seems that falling environmental lead levels may lead kids to have have more activity in their brains' frontal cortices. After following the kids from the marshmallow experiment for over 40 years, Walter Mischel found that those that could resist immediately eating the marshmallow were more likely to have increased activity in that area of their brains. These kids were also more likely to later exhibit such things as increased SAT scores and fewer anger management issues. [more inside]
posted by BevosAngryGhost on Jun 2, 2011 - 63 comments

"The girls who were detained were not like your daughter or mine."

Amnesty International first reported in March that Egyptian authorities were conducting "virginity tests" on female protestors. Today, military authorities admitted that these tests took place and tried to defend the practice.
posted by reenum on May 31, 2011 - 90 comments

Dog Day Afternoons

“I have to admit, I admired her style,” . . . “the most awesome robbery ever.” . . . “twisted, intellectually bright, dysfunctional individuals who outsmarted themselves” . . . "from threats to farce to violence" . . . "He smelled really good." . . . Slate and Longform.org team up to being you the tales of five remarkable bank heists.
posted by chaff on May 30, 2011 - 21 comments

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