I guess child predators are worse than vigilante mobs. But it’s a close call. [Brandy Zadrozny] https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/he-lures-alleged-child-predators-shames-them-facebook-now-one-n953856
Background checks alone don’t significantly reduce gun violence. [German Lopez] https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2019/1/9/18171909/universal-background-checks-hr-8-gun-violence-democrats
A would-be robber targeted a woman mixed martial arts fighter, Polyana Viana. It did not go well for him. https://www.buzzfeed.com/javiermoreno/a-man-tried-to-rob-a-female-ufc-fighter-and-it-didnt-go?utm_source=nextdraft&utm_medium=email
Singaporean border guards stop a man trying to smuggle kittens in his pants. And you thought your workweek was off to a good start. https://www.theregister.co.uk/2019/01/07/smuggling_cats_in_trousers/
Profile of Charlie Santore, licensed safecracker in Los Angeles.
Geoff Manaugh at https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/12/professional-safecracker-reveals-his-craft/577897/:
“Everybody has a box,” Santore said to me one day over lunch. “They have some place where they keep things and they don’t want anybody else to know what’s in there.” His hands were blackened with metal dust from a jewel safe he had drilled that morning. “There’s something sort of esoteric or ambiguous about that,” he continued, “like the safe is someone’s little space—someone’s psyche—and not everyone’s psyche is a clean place, you know?”
Elaad Israeli, a 35-year-old safecracker with Precision Lock & Safe in Queens, told me that he almost got arrested after unwittingly helping a man rob his own father: The guy’s ID matched the name of the safe’s owner, but it turned out to be a case of Junior ripping off Senior. John Greenan, a 58-year-old safecracker at Fink Safe & Lock in Chicago, told me about cracking safes at the Federal Reserve building, as well as a long-sealed vault door in the basement of a Chicago cathedral (inside, he found a treasure trove of gold chalices and ritual ware). The 34-year-old Wayne Winton from Tri-County Locksmith once saw an old safe being used as a side table at a Colorado newspaper office. Nobody knew what was inside. Winton offered to crack it—and when the door swung open, they found unpublished photos of the serial killer Ted Bundy.
Wonderful article about finding philosophical outlook in unexpected places.
On the Criminal podcast, host Phoebe Judge spends a day riding along with an Austin, Texas, police officer. https://thisiscriminal.com/episode-102-ride-along-11-2-2018/ Night and day compared with the dysfunctional, dystopian Cleveland criminal justice system portrayed in the Serial podcast. https://serialpodcast.org/
Despite rumors of a border crisis, San Diego has both the lowest murder rate and overall violent crime rate of the 30 largest American cities in 2018. And other border cities are nearly as safe.
It’s as if the border crisis is a colossal lie told by a President whose previous career was as a con man.
Suicide is an impulsive act. Half of suicide survivors report planning their deaths for less than ten minutes. States like Connecticut that have passed background check laws for handguns have seen precipitous drops in firearm suicides, and states with more lax gun laws experience higher gun mortality of all types. States that have repealed background checks for handguns saw increases in firearm suicides.
The most gun-suicidal populations are older white men and veterans. Guns are only used in a small minority of suicide attempts, but half of all successful suicides are firearm suicides.
By Cory Doctorow at https://boingboing.net/2018/12/28/gun-deaths.html
Mass shooters often go on credit card spending sprees just before their murders, but that doesn’t mean banks and credit card companies should flag everybody who spends a lot at gun shops. [Cory Doctorow] https://boingboing.net/2018/12/26/surveillance-chokepoints.html
Cheryl Crane is a retired real estate broker and writer. She married her partner of 40 years, Joyce LeRoy, in 2014. Crane is most famous for something she did as a teen-anger. Crane killed her mother’s abusive lover to protect her mother. Crane’s mother was Lana Turner and the lover was small-time gangster Johnny Stompanato.
John Stompanato Jr. was a low-level gangster in an abusive relationship with Lana Turner. He was stabbed to death by Turner’s teen-age daughter, who was protecting her mother.
Authorities have identified the remains of a man buried in the basement of a Long Island home for 57 years as George Caroll. They say he died of blunt force trauma to the head. Now it’s a murder investigation.
A hell of a whodunnit in Lake Grove, not far from where I grew up. I covered Lake Grove for a community newspaper in the 1980s.
Trump to America: You can commit any crime with impunity if you have enough money. That’s always been true but the President isn’t supposed to say it out loud.
I still can’t believe East County voters went for this jamoke. If it had been ANY OTHER REPUBLICAN NOT ACTUALLY UNDER INDICTMENT, I would’ve shrugged it off. Conservative district. Uphill battle. But this clown?
What makes it particularly painful is that Ammar Campa-Najjar would’ve made a terrific Congressman.
And he will make a terrific Congressman, once Hunter is in prison, where you don’t have to worry about paying for food, lodging, or clothes.
Bruce Schneier is skeptical of the Bloomberg supply-chain attack on Apple and Amazon servers, among others. He said if it was true, we’d have seen a photo of the chip by now.
That raises a good thumb rule for judging the veracity of any explosive investigative report. Particularly high-profile sexual harassment charges, like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein. Corroborating reports start to come out after the initial expose.
The Fox: When Martin McNally met another plane hijacker in prison, they started coming up with a plan to escape using the very thing that got them there in the first place. [Criminal podcast]
In 1971, “DB Cooper” hijacked a plane from Portland, Oregon and eventually parachuted into the Pacific Northwest wilderness with $200,000 strapped to his body. He was never seen again. The D.B. Cooper tale continues to thrive in popular culture while sparking a seemingly endless stream of theories about the mystery man’s identity. In fact, a new suspect was put forward just this week!
Saudi prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for five people involved in killing and dismembering journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The Saudis continue to maintain this was a rogue operation. [CNN]
Police want courts to compel Amazon to turn over Alexa recordings from the scene of a grisly double murder in a New Hampshire home – if those recordings even exist. [Meagan Flynn/The Washington Post]
30-year-old Dutch tourist Klaas Haijtema says he thought the loudspeaker was a bunch of kids playing loud music and disturbing his sleep, so he unplugged it. He was sentenced to three months’ hard labor and fined $80. His lawyer says the Buddhist monks were the ones breaking the law by using loudspeakers after 9 pm. Even the Buddhist center’s neighbors say the place is too darn loud. (Saw Nang, The New York Times)
Deep End of the Pool, This American Life: “Host Ira Glass talks to Aaryn Zhou. When she was nine, her father threw her into the deep end of pool to teach her to swim. In this classic sink-or-swim scenario, she sank.”
Also, a flamboyant Louisiana lawyer with no criminal law experience is ordered by the court to take on the defense of a man facing 20 years to life for burglary. How is this not a movie?