Why are people like Isaiah Kalebu—people diagnosed with serious psychological problems and accused of violent crimes—allowed to remain free until trial? [more inside]
What do Cliff Edwards (1928), Lloyd Price (circa 1959), The Rulers (1967), R.L. Burnside (late 1980s/ early 1990s), Grateful Dead (live in 1993), and Nick Cave (live in 1996) have in common? If nothing else, they all sang some variation of the crime of Lee Shelton, also known as Stack O'Lee, Stagolee, Stack-a-Lee , Stackerlee, Stagger Lee and other names, with as many variations in the details of that fateful night. Join MeFite Paul Slade with his journalistic narrations of murder ballads, tales of Secret London (previously), and other works of long-form journalism (which may or may not be ideal for the web, previously). [via mefi projects; more clips and bits inside] [more inside]
The lynching of gays in Iraq is on the rise, according to ambassador Christopher Hill's testimony before the house today."Hamizi, a computer science graduate, is at the cutting edge of a new wave of violence against gay men in Iraq. Made up of hardline extremists, Hamizi's group and others like it are believed to be responsible for the deaths of more than 130 gay Iraqi men since the beginning of the year alone." WARNING: GRAPHIC IMAGE, POSSIBLY NSFW
This is the only level in the game and you will die a lot.
Murder: New York City. A map pinpointing murders in the five boroughs of NYC from 2003-09. Broken down by time of day, weapon used, age, sex and ethnicity of both victim and perpetrator. Not surprisingly, in the heat of summer the body count rises. [more inside]
In 1947, Thomas Ley, a virulently sectarian, pro-hanging Australian politician, died in Broadmoor Criminal Lunatic Asylum, where he had been sent after being sentenced to death for murder. It was probably not his first.
A family tries to cope after their son is killed for being gay Remarkable family. Interesting, layered documentary but bad translation.
Back in the late Pleistocene epoch 100,000 years ago, the 2000 book contended, men who carried rape genes had a reproductive and evolutionary edge over men who did not: they sired children not only with willing mates, but also with unwilling ones, allowing them to leave more offspring (also carrying rape genes) who were similarly more likely to survive and reproduce, unto the nth generation. That would be us. And that is why we carry rape genes today. The family trees of prehistoric men lacking rape genes petered out. Newsweek's Sharon Begley examines evolutionary psychology and some of its most controversial theories (and how they are being rethought) in Don't Blame The Caveman.
George Tiller, whose Wichita, KS clinic specializes in late-term abortions, was shot to death this morning on his way to church. Tiller was previously shot and wounded in 1995. (previously on MeFi)
In a case reminiscent of Bernard Goetz, pharmacist Jerome Ersland was held up by two gun-wielding men, shot one of them in the head, and then, when the other had left, shot the prone man several more times, killing him (store security video). Now he's being charged with first-degree murder, and is the center of intense controversy about whether he engaged in legitimate self-defense by making absolutely sure his attacker was incapacitated or in an unjustifiable vigilante-style execution. Complicating matters is the fact that Jerome is white and the robbers black.
Ok, stop me if you’ve heard this one: an ex-cop accused of killing his fourth wife gets engaged a fifth time and tries to get a job in a brothel on a reality t.v. show (video), but before he can, he's arrested today for killing his third wife. [more inside]
Six Years after the murder of Lana Clarkson, Phil Spector has been found guilty. (previously) [more inside]
They sold out Shea Stadium faster than The Beatles. They played benefit concerts for Bosnia. And they're about to embark upon their 40th anniversary tour. To prepare, here's everything you always wanted to know about Grand Funk Railroad. [more inside]
The bumping off of a famous person is the sort of oyster that any detective delights to open, so you can just bet the family jewels that I was pretty much elated when my Chief, the late Thomas Lee Woolwine, District Attorney of Los Angeles County, called me into his private office on the morning of February 3rd, 1922, and assigned me to represent his office in the investigation of this greatest of all murder mysteries. -- Excerpted from an article archived at Taylorology, a site exploring the life and death of William Desmond Taylor, a silent movie actor and director whose unsolved murder was among the earliest Hollywood true crime scandals. Researcher Bruce Long first published his accumulated information about the case as a small fanzine which evolved into a monthly electronic newsletter and is now a vast archive of articles and interviews, official documents, photos, and more. Although the Taylor case is the main focus, there's also a wealth of supplemental information about the silent film industry and its stars. [more inside]
"This was a symbolic killing," Adkisson wrote. "Who I wanted to kill was every Democrat in the Senate and House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg's book. I'd like to kill everyone in the mainstream media. But I knew these people were inaccessible to me. [more inside]
"Then I started stripping and cleaning. I told myself it would help sell the flat. How could anyone think of buying it? But I also imagined that if I cleaned long enough and hard enough, the dull patina of dried blood that seemed to cling to every surface would finally go. I hoped that if I emptied the flat of its objects, and pared back its contents to nothing, I would uncover the place that I grew up in, before Ivor was the old man, before he was a legend. I couldn’t find that place, and I didn’t think I would find it in the boxes and among the papers either." David Goldblatt traces his murdered father's life through unpaid bills and unopened letters.
Astronomer Tycho Brahe was one of the more colorful characters of the scientific Renaissance. He lost his nose in a duel; flouted the rules of Danish nobility and married a commoner; built, on the island of Hven, Uraniborg, the best astronomical observatory of his day; kept a beer-drinking pet moose; and amassed the data that would ultimately allow Johannes Kepler to derive the three laws of planetary motion. His chief sponsor had been Danish king Frederick II, but Frederick's heir, Christian IV, quarreled with Tycho and kicked him out of Hven. Insulted, Brahe left Denmark for Prague and the sponsorship of Rudolph II. New evidence has emerged suggesting that the offended king may have had Tycho assassinated. [more inside]
"Well behaved women rarely make history," said Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. Scandalous Women brings you the lives, loves, and sexual adventures of some of the most fascinating women who rocked the world. Like Olimpia Maidalchini who managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican; or Elizabeth Armistead, wife of a cabinet minister, courtesan to many. Read the bios and follow the tales of nearly a hundred women of scandalous pursuit from Mata Hari to Typhoid Mary.
Lasantha Wickrematunge's last editorial [via bb] as part of the Sri Lankan Sunday Leader. Lasantha was shot on the way to work, but seems to have had a piece ready for just this situation. In a country where the state boasts about bombing radio stations, two journalists were executed in 2008 and five in 2007 the fact that this killing took place in broad daylight after state media called the paper unpatriotic has led to accusations of governmental involvement.
Early on New Year's Day, Oscar Grant was involved in a scuffle with an older man he hadn't previously met. The fighting continued and when the train reached Fruitvale, BART police stopped the fight and took Grant and several others into custody. The officers were armed with stun guns as well as sidearms. Three BART officers then proceed to place Grant face down to handcuff him, then one of them stands up, draws his weapon and shoots him in the back. Graphic video of the incident.
Ellie Nesler, "Vigilante Mom", dead at 56. From her arrest in April 1993 to her conviction on manslaughter charges six months later, Nesler's image morphed from avenger and victim to talk-show trophy and movie-of-the-week heroine, and finally to meth-head and motorcycle mama. The movie-of-the-week earned bad reviews. Her long, strange story is over, but the son she declared she was protecting grew up to commit murder himself. In prison for 25-to-life, he has a myspace page.
How to best show your love if you're a rockabilly singer in the 50's? First, claim you might cry. Or die. Or commit suicide. If that doesn't work, you can threaten her vaguely, threaten her with a baseball bat, or even threaten her with death. Oh, you're female? Try the gun/sex metaphor (NSFW images) or just go hog wild and claim you'll blow his head off with nitro. Touched on previously. [more inside]
An antidote to the holly jolly malaise: Few Christmas carols contain as much blood and suffering as "Down in yon forest." It was first documented in England by Ralph Vaughan Williams, but John Jacob Niles found an even gorier version in North Carolina (Alfred Deller's rendition). [more inside]
"Night of terror - Madness and lunacy in Athens" reads the headline of one Greek newspaper this morning; "Night of agony and terror - Athens, Pireaus and Thessaloniki at the mercy of hooded individuals" reads another, and the rest follow suite. Three days of mass protests, demonstrations... and finally rioting, rampage and looting across Greece have followed Saturday's fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy by police in Athens' bohemian/anarchist neighborhood of Exarchia. [more inside]
With that meeting, Mr. Allo took his first step into an intricate trap. The deeply strange tale of one very determined woman's quest to overturn her son's conviction for murder.
For many people who lived in Houston in the early 1970s, trick or treat brings up memories of "The Candy Man," serial killer Dean Corll. He, along with accomplices David Brooks and Wayne Henley (YouTube), kidnapped, raped, and tortured to death 27 boys between the ages of thirteen and eighteen between 1970 and 1973. Thirty-seven years after the bodies of their victims were discovered in mass graves in southwest Houston and the Bolivar Peninsula, three still were unidentified until recently when the efforts of forensic anthropologist Sharon Derrick identified victim ML73-3349, now known to be Randall Lee Harvey.
Scotland Yard thinks it knows who killed Bulgarian dissident writer Georgi Markov with a ricin-tipped umbrella on the streets of London 30 years ago this month. Police are hoping to press charges against the man known as Agent Picadilly, who received a secret medal for his services. Interest in the case was sparked by "Kill the Wanderer", a book by journalist Hristo Hristov, who gained access to the archives of the former Bulgarian security service. Bulgaria has extended its own investigation, just as the statute of limitations on the Markov murder was set to expire.
In the wake of The Scarlet Pimpernel, countless figures have flamboyantly stalked the night. Among them were the scofflaw Arsene Lupin and his more violent contemporary, Fantomas. So influential was the latter that imitators soon arose, plying their merciless wiles on others. Among them were Fu Manchu, the nefarious Dr. Mabuse, the hooded Diabolik, and Matt Wagoner's Grendel. Not even Donald Duck was immune from the seductive lure of crime. [more inside]
Noseybonk Returns. This is not horrifying news unless you know who he was. Then it becomes endearingly nightmarish. As with V, the man in the mask is Noseybonk. [more inside]
She robs, she injects herself with heroin, she flits across borders like a ghost, she seems to kill with almost professional precision, she leaves clues and bodies – and she has no identity. [more inside]
Blood on the Mountain; part 2. In 1981 Randall Smith killed two hikers along the Appalachian Trail and served 15 years for second-degree murder. Two months ago Scott Johnston and Sean Farmer were camping along the trail when a man walked into their campsite. It was Randall Smith. And he was carrying a .22. [more inside]
Hans Reiser leads police to the body of his wife. Software engineer Hans Reiser, who was convicted in the murder of his wife, Nina, long denied he killed her. His defense was based on the theory that she was hiding out in her native Russia and her body could not be found. Today, in a possible exchange for a shorter sentence he led police to the shallow grave of Nina Reiser, just a moment's drive from the house he lived in with his mother and two children. Previously, previously.
"Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country." American Murder Mystery. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4.
NURSE CHILD WANTED, OR TO ADOPT -- The Advertiser, a Widow with a little family of her own, and moderate allowance from her late husband's friends, would be glad to accept the charge of a young child. Age no object. If sickly would receive a parent's care. Terms, Fifteen Shillings a month; or would adopt entirely if under two months for the small sum of Twelve pounds. This kindly nineteenth-century advertisement had a hidden meaning. If a woman paid her adoption fee to a baby farmer and handed over her infant, no one ever had to worry about that baby, ever again. [more inside]
More than 100 nations have reached an agreement on a treaty which would ban current designs of cluster bombs. Naturally, the most militant nations (USA, Russia, China, India, Pakistan) have refused to negotiate (creating significant interoperability issues for allied nations such as the UK to the USA). The Cluster Munition Coalition is an excellent resource about the issue. [more inside]
Performance Artist Killed on Peace Trip. Pippa Bacca, performance artist, and friend wearing white wedding dresses, planned to hitchhike from Italy to the Balkans to the Middle East to send a message of peace and “marriage between different peoples and nations.” After three weeks on the road, Pippa Bacca was killed by a driver who offered her a ride. Her naked body was found and local authorities said Ms. Bacca had been raped and strangled.
What happens when a US President declares war on a concept? In 1964, Canadian photojournalist Hugh O'Connor traveled to eastern Kentucky to document the battlefields of Lyndon Johnson's war on poverty and was shot for trespassing. The incident is the subject of a wonderful documentary, Stranger with a Camera by filmmaker Elizabeth Barrett, produced by Appalshop, a non-profit organization in Whitesburg, Kentucky, that works with local artists to promote self-representation in media and the expediency of culture to counteract a stagnating local economy. Makes you think twice about nostalgic representations of poor Appalachian coal miners plucking their banjo strings in the hollers, doesn't it?
The Woman Behind the Camera. Film maker Errol Morris, and the New Yorker's Philip Gourevitch look at Sabrina Harman, photographer, and Army MP in Iraq. [more inside]
Baarle-Hertog/Baarle-Nassau has been previously mentioned in MeFi. A historical quirk and geographical jigsaw, these days the complicated border criscrossing this Belgo-Dutch town had become little more than a tourist attraction. What happens, however, when a dead body is found, and nobody knows in which country it lies?
Kevin Ray Underwood found guilty of first degree murder in the April 2006 killing of 10-year-old Jamie Rose Bolin. The jury only needed 20 minutes to decide on his guilt. Previously on Metafilter, because he linked here. How could a seemingly normal, albeit "single, bored and lonely", young man become a cannabalistic child rapist and murderer? Exhibits: The blog he kept for almost four years up until the day after the murder. A collection of misc information about Underwood, including (near the bottom) the text of an online chat he had with a friend after killing Bolin. An extremely disturbing transcript of his confession to the FBI. Video footage of the trial. Deliberations will begin Monday as to whether or not he will be sentenced to death.
Google mashup: Last year's homicides in Baltimore. Depressed yet? Try looking at it in Black and White. [more inside]