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Archive for the ‘Crime’ Category

"Hmm. Maybe I shuold just rip his heart out."

“Hmm. Maybe I should just rip his heart out.”

Via Richard Iorio. That touch-move rule is the source of so many fatal chess games

An Italian man allegedly cut open his Dublin landlord’s chest and tried to eat his heart following a fight over a chess match.

Saverio Bellante, 34, was charged Monday with murder. Police say he admitted his guilt after being arrested Sunday at the home he shared with Tom O’Gorman, a policy researcher for a conservative Catholic think tank in Ireland.

Pathologists said the 39-year-old victim suffered dozens of severe knife wounds to his head and chest, which had been cut fully open. Ireland’s senior pathologist determined that the heart remained, but a lung was missing.

Police offered no explanation for what happened to the lung. Evidence suggested that O’Gorman’s prone head and body also were bludgeoned with a dumbbell.

In the old days, Alekhine used to throw his king against the wall in disgust after a loss. Now, if you can’t beat your foe, you just eat his heart.

So much more civilized.

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Dungeons Dragons Dark Creeper

Aside from being weird in itself, the idea of hiring assassins to kill someone’s online character is just full of wonderful possibilities for stories:

According to reports, a man in China became so exasperated by the amount of time that his unemployed son was spending playing World of Warcraft that he decided to do something about it. It seems that the lad had quit a software development job after just three months, and was doing nothing to find another one.

Showing, perhaps, a rather limited understanding of how these things work, Mr Feng hoped that killing the 23-year-old’s character off repeatedly would put him off playing altogether – and hired virtual assassins to do just that.

According to the Sanqing Daily, he managed to find killers who were at a much higher level than his son – despite all his hours of game play.

In fact, I’d swear there was a Japanese anime series on a similar idea.

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You have to admit, there’s a certain justice:

Police had identified 17-year-old Santos Ramos as the possible culprit in the attack on 35-year-old Leandra Arias Janco Sunday in a Quechua community near the municipality of Colquechaca, said Jose Luis Barrios, the chief prosecutor in Potosi province where the community is located.

Enraged, more than 200 community members seized Ramos and buried him alive alongside his alleged victim Wednesday night, according to Barrios. He said residents on Thursday blocked the road to the community, preventing police and prosecutors from reaching it.

A local reporter for an indigenous radio station, who would only speak on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisals, told The AP that Ramos was tied up at the woman’s funeral. Mourners threw him into the open grave, placed the woman’s coffin in it and filled the grave with earth.

I’m not without sympathy, given the atrocity inflicted on the woman. Still, it sounds like this was done after the man was only  identified as a suspect, not convicted in a court of law where he would have been able to present a defense. This isn’t (just) sanctimony on my part: the Rule of Law, under which life and property are protected for all and everyone gets their day in court, is essential to national stability and prosperity. Without it, you simply have mob rule, the stronger dominating the weaker, and the near-anarchy of a Hobbesian state of nature.

And trial by lynch-mob.

To be fair, the Bolivian court system in Bolivia is corrupt, and the villagers may well have felt that they would never have received justice and so had to take it into their own hands. Like I wrote, I can sympathize, even if I don’t approve. (In fact, the villagers should be prosecuted, but, being Bolivia, the government probably doesn’t want a regional revolt on its hands.)

On another note, what an ending for a horror story, straight out of Poe or Machen: buried alive with your victim, whose spirit may be looking for her own justice…

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Amazingly, this wasn’t in San Francisco:

The Catholic priest busted for allegedly dealing crystal meth was suspended after church officials discovered he was a cross-dresser who was having sex in the rectory at Bridgeport’s St. Augustine Cathedral.

Monsignor Kevin Wallin was relieved of his duties in May, but the Roman Catholic Diocese of Bridgeport had continued to pay him a stipend until his Jan. 3 arrest — a day he was planning to fly to London on vacation.

Now dubbed “Msgr. Meth” by some, Wallin seemed to live a life that easily could have been ripped from the script of “Breaking Bad,” the popular AMC series about a high school chemistry teacher turned crystal methamphetamine producer. At one point, Wallin was selling upwards of $9,000 of meth a week, according to his indictment.

I predict this winds up either as an episode of “Justified” or its own show on the FX Network next year.

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It’s not my style to praise thugs and possible murderers:

On the day Baltimore Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis announced he would be retiring after this season, my thoughts drifted back to a bitterly cold winter day in a cemetery in Akron, Ohio.

That’s where Richard Lollar was buried and where his bespectacled grandmother, Joyce Lollar, showed me his grave more than a decade ago.

As I wrote then, she crunched through the snow with leafless trees etched against a gray Midwestern skyline. A frozen drizzle fell from above. With her shoe, she scraped the snow and the ice and the dirt from her grandson’s grave site and said a short prayer that ended with: “We miss you, Richard. We love you.”

(…)

Joyce raised Richard Lollar, who was left dead in the street in the early morning hours on Jan. 31, 2000, — a few hours after the Rams defeated the Titans in one of the most thrilling Super Bowls in history. And then came one of the most chilling post-Super Bowl scenes in history. A brawl outside the Cobalt Lounge, an upscale Atlanta nightclub, turned into gory spectacle of steely knives, mangled flesh and a river of blood. The 24-year-old Lollar and his 21-year-old boyhood buddy from Akron, Jacinth Baker, were both stabbed multiple times in the heart, the knives savagely twisted into their vital organs. The killers knew exactly what they were doing.

Lewis, his two good friends — Reginald Oakley and Joseph Sweeting — and nine others sped away from the crime scene in a 40-foot Lincoln limousine. Lewis, Oakley and Sweeting were charged with the killings and cleared in a controversial court decision that still leaves many questions unanswered.

At the very least, Lewis knows what happened that night. Until he comes clean and owns up to his part, he can go to Hell.

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His Majesty does not seem amused.

His Majesty does not seem amused.

As in the capital of Ancient Egypt. It seems the mystery surrounding the death of Pharaoh Ramses III has been solved:

Conspirators murdered Egyptian King Ramesses III by slitting his throat, experts now believe, based on a new forensic analysis.

The first CT scans to examine the king’s mummy reveal a cut to the neck deep enough to be fatal.

The secret has been hidden for centuries by the bandages covering the mummy’s throat that could not be removed for preservation’s sake.

The work may end at least one of the controversies surrounding his death.

Precisely how he died has been hotly debated by historians.

Ancient documents including the Judicial Papyrus of Turin say that in 1155BC members of his harem attempted to kill him as part of a palace coup.

Apparently there was a dispute over which of his sons (from different wives) would inherit the throne on Papa’s death. The losing mother and son weren’t happy and arranged for Ramses to get a second mouth. The article is quite worth reading; the forensic work was impressive.

Oh, and the conspirators? They got theirs:

The trial documents[8] show that many individuals were implicated in the plot.[9] Chief among them were Queen Tey and her son Pentaweret, Ramesses’ chief of the chamber, Pebekkamen, seven royal butlers (a respectable state office), two Treasury overseers, two Army standard bearers, two royal scribes and a herald. There is little doubt that all of the main conspirators were executed: some of the condemned were given the option of committing suicide (possibly by poison) rather than being put to death.[10] According to the surviving trials transcripts, 3 separate trials were started in total while 38 people were sentenced to death.[11] The tombs of Tiy and her son Pentaweret were robbed and their names erased to prevent them from enjoying an afterlife. The Egyptians did such a thorough job of this that the only references to them are the trial documents and what remains of their tombs.

Some of the accused harem women tried to seduce the members of the judiciary who tried them but were caught in the act. Judges who took part in the carousing were severely punished.[12]

Pentawere looks to have been strangled in an execution, so it doesn’t appear he was allowed suicide. Perhaps he was granted the right to choose the manner of his death, in deference to his rank.  It seems some mercy was shown him since, as the BBC article mentions, it looks like the unknown youth buried with Ramses III is Pentawere, although his body wasn’t given royal treatment.

Still this would have let him enter the afterlife. Many of the other conspirators, however, weren’t so “lucky:” they were burned alive and their ashes scattered in the streets. In the Ancient Egyptian religion, this meant their souls were destroyed too, as only mummification allowed survival after death. Thus, it wasn’t just execution, it was utter eradication. (Sorry, no link. Saw it yesterday but can’t find it, now.)

Now that’s what I call “extreme justice.”

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The happy couple.

The happy couple.

We ain’t got nuthin’ on the Big Apple. I mean how can you top a fireman with a pre-op tranny prostitute “girlfriend,” both of whom had been accused and acquitted of strangling other transsexuals, including the girlfriend’s transsexual pimp?

Now they’ve both been acquitted of throttling transsexuals.

Kinky FDNY hunk Taylor Murphy, who successfully fought off felony strangulation charges brought by his jealous, blond, pre-op transsexual ex-girlfriend, is now dating another woman wannabe with a far more serious strangulation on her rap sheet.

Brunette pre-op transsexual Wanda Batista, 32, was all smiling and supportive of Murphy as she walked arm-in-arm with him at Manhattan Supreme Court last week, batting her eyelashes and calling him her “giant teddy bear.”

But in December 2004, the towering Batista was tried on charges she had fatally choked her transsexual pimp — and in a bizarre karmic twist, Batista was acquitted by a Brooklyn jury, just as her beefy fireman would be in Manhattan eight years later.

We in the Golden State are going to have to bring our A-game to beat this. Thankfully, we have San Francisco on our side.

Read the rest at the New York Post.

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I realize it’s only February, but surely guys who think it’s a good idea to saw off one of their hands to bilk an insurance company should make the list, no?

A South Carolina man may want to think twice next time someone offers him a helping hand.

Gerald B. Hardin, 34, was charged with six crimes, including mail fraud after he, along with another suspect, allegedly cut off a person’s hand with a polesaw in May of 2008 so the three of them could collect an insurance payout.

The State reported that the man was transported to the hospital, where doctors were unsuccessful in re-attaching his hand.

The men received a payout of more than $670,000 from a homeowners policy and three other policies covering accidental death and dismemberment, according to the indictment.

I’m trying to imagine how anyone could think this would be a great idea, and even more how someone could agree to be the “victim.” And I’m failing. I suspect mass quantities of beer were involved.

And, when you think about it, they really blew it; had one of them died, they could have gone for a Darwin Award!

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Man Eats Cocaine From Brother’s Butt, Dies

Both brothers were taken into custody on allegations they had drugs in their car.

But police told Charleston, S.C., TV station WCIV there were additional drugs hidden in 23-year-old Deangelo Mitchell’s backside.

Officers said Deangelo Mitchell convinced his brother, 20-year-old Wayne Mitchell, to swallow the ounce of cocaine to hide the evidence. He died soon afterward.

Just try to tell me this isn’t a Darwin Awards finalist.

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I’ve always been interested in old, unsolved crimes — the so-called “cold cases.” Partly it’s the historian in me (by inclination and education), partly it’s natural curiosity about a puzzle (“Who dunnit?” And why?), and also it’s that unsatisfying feeling of Justice left undone, that no one has been held to account for what they did. I’ve even co-written a spec script for the now-canceled CBS series Cold Case about a 50-year old crime of mistaken identity and murder. (And we did a darned fine job, if I say so, myself.)

So you can imagine my interest in the news regarding the murder of little Maria Ridulph in 1957. Imagine: two young girls are playing outside  in a town that could have come straight out of the world of Norman Rockwell, a time when you didn’t have to lock your doors and children could play out of sight of their parents. Then a young man comes up to them and offers to play with them. Maria’s friend runs home to get some mittens and, when she comes back, both the young man and Maria are gone.

It was a case that captured national attention — even J. Edgar Hoover and President Eisenhower received daily updates. But Maria wasn’t found in time; her remains were discovered months later, over 100 miles away.

What had happened to her? Who dunnit?

Now, at last, we may get some answers:

Police suspected [Jack Daniel] McCullough, who lived less than two blocks from the Ridulphs and who fit the description of the man said to have approached the girls, Thomas said Friday. But McCullough seemed to have an alibi, claiming he took the train from Rockford to Chicago the day of the abduction.

His story fell apart last year after investigators reinterviewed a woman who dated him in 1957 and asked her to search through some personal items, the Seattle Times reported, citing court documents. She found an unused train ticket from Rockford to Chicago dated the day the girl went missing.

“Once his alibi crumbled, we found about a dozen other facts that helped us build our case,” Thomas said.

McCullough is now 71 and is awaiting extradition to Illinois. Ironically, this accused murderer went on to become a police officer, in which role he apparently went on to victimize others.

But it’s fascinating both how the case broke –an unused train ticket saved by an old girlfriend destroyed his alibi– and that investigators kept looking into this year after year, for over two generations, never completely giving up on the quest to do right by a 7-year old who never had the chance to grow up and have children of her own.

Of course, this won’t bring her back to life, nor give back to her friends and family what was ripped from them so long ago. But, even decades later, it’s right that the truth may at last have come out and her killer finally may be called to account.

Of Interest: An old article on LAPD’s cold case unit.

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Britain has long hosted it’s fair share of serial killers: Jack the Ripper, Leather Apron, and Dr. Harold Shipman, to name just a few. Now we have a new entry — the Crossbow Cannibal of Leeds:

A British man who admitted to shooting his prostitute victims in the head with a crossbow before dismembering and eating them was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, according to several British news reports.

Stephen Griffiths, 40, who called himself “The Crossbow Cannibal,” pleaded guilty to murdering Susan Rushworth, 43, Shelley Armitage 31, and Suzanne Blamires, 36, the U.K. daily Guardian reports.

Griffiths was caught when a building supervisor spotted him in the act on closed circuit television in Bradford, near the city of Leeds, in northern England, the Guardian reports.

“(The supervisor) saw an image of someone on the third floor dragging a person into flat 33,” prosecutor Robert Smith said.

Shortly afterwards, a woman ran from the apartment and fell to the floor, the Guardian reports. Griffiths shot her with a crossbow as she lay on the floor, and dragged her into the flat by a leg.

Griffiths allegedly “toasted” the death by raising a can of drink to the closed circuit security camera, the U.K. daily Telegraph reports.

The killer claims to have been working on a PhD in Criminology. I take it this was a “how to” course of study? Reportedly neighbors referred to him as “the Weirdo.” At least he wasn’t one of those quiet types whom you’d never suspect…

RELATED: Not to be outdone, Philadelphia has just announced its own serial-killer infestation – the Kensington Strangler. (via Gabriel Malor)

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This is a real news item:

Wrestling midgets killed by fake hookers

The world of Mexican midget wrestling is in mourning after two of its most famous stars were apparently poisoned by fake prostitutes.

Brothers in armlocks Alberto and Alejandro Pérez Jiménez were found dead in a hotel room after being drugged and robbed.

The women who spiked the twins’ drinks are thought to be members of an organised crime gang who pose as prostitutes to attract victims.

They normally just knock out their victims but the dose proved too much for Alberto – aka ‘La Parkita’ (Little Death) and Alejandro – aka ‘Espectrito II’.

The 36-year-olds were veteran stars of the ‘Lucha Mini’ world of midget wrestling.

Click to see the wonderful accompanying picture.

As a friend said, “Thank God they were identified as fake hookers — heaven forbid a real hooker be implicated in such a crime!”

Okay, robbery and murder is not a joking matter… But this is!

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Spy games?

His body was stuffed in a locked duffel bag, and the police think his death may be suspicious?

Piffle. It’s an obvious case of accidental suicide while trying to hide from an annoying neighbor:

Jeff Stein, the Washington Post’s SpyTalk blogger, says that unnamed “U.S. intelligence officials” have downplayed the possibility that British code-breaker Gareth Williams – who worked closely with the U.S. National Security Agency at Fort Meade and American intelligence officials in Kabul – was assassinated.

But back in London, where the naked, decomposing body of the 31-year-old “math genius” was found August 23 in a padlocked duffel bag in the bathroom of an apartment kept as a “safe house” by Britain’s M16, police are not so sure.“Murder detectives say they are still looking at whether Gareth Williams may have been killed by a foreign intelligence agency seeking to stop his work on intercepting messages and code-breaking,” according to the Daily Telegraph.

Williams was “on loan” to M16 from Britain’s top-secret Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), and reportedly played a “key role” overseeing Echelon, a secret electronic network that links satellites and super computers in Britain, the U.S. and other Western allies that eavesdrop on terrorist networks.

Nothing to see here, move along… Whistling

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Okay, I’ve heard of stores and producers tracking purchases to see who’s buying what (What do you think those grocery store member’s cards are for?), but to plant a GPS tracking device in detergent so the manufacturer’s ad agency can follow you home is going a bit far:

Unilever’s Omo detergent is adding an unusual ingredient to its two-pound detergent box in Brazil: a GPS device that allows its promotions agency Bullet to track shoppers and follow them to their front doors.

Starting next week, consumers who buy one of the GPS-implanted detergent boxes will be surprised at home, given a pocket video camera as a prize and invited to bring their families to enjoy a day of Unilever-sponsored outdoor fun. The promotion, called Try Something New With Omo, is in keeping with the brand’s international “Dirt is Good” positioning that encourages parents to let their kids have a good time even if they get dirty.

(…)

Fernando Figueiredo, Bullet’s president, said the GPS device is activated when a shopper removes the detergent carton from the supermarket shelf. Fifty Omo boxes implanted with GPS devices have been scattered around Brazil, and Mr. Figueiredo has teams in 35 Brazilian cities ready to leap into action when a box is activated. The nearest team can reach the shopper’s home “within hours or days,” and if they’re really close by, “they may get to your house as soon as you do,” he said.

Once there, the teams have portable equipment that lets them go floor by floor in apartment buildings until they find the correct unit, he said.

Brazil has a very high crime rate; can you imagine how a woman going home from the market will feel if she notices she’s being followed, or there’s an unexpected knock at the door from someone claiming to be there to give her a prize?

Why do I have a feeling this will end in tears?

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Okay, granted this is a serious news item about a narrowly-averted serious crime, but check out the victim’s brother in this video:

Dude, we’re talking reality TV star. 🙂

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Ah, the love of a good mother: fresh cooked food, a tender word or two, wiping your tears when you skin your knee, and punching you in the gut because she wants to dump you to pursue a career as a stripper:

(Click here to watch the report.)

Police officers arrested a 29-year-old Surprise woman after she reportedly told police she didn’t want her children any longer and punched her 11-year-old son in the stomach in front of officers.

On Friday, police received a call from an 11-year-old boy who said his mother was packing and moving to California and wasn’t taking him or his 6-year-old brother with her.

When police officers arrived, they contacted the 11-year-old outside the family’s apartment in the 16600 block of North Greasewood Street.

According to police spokesman Sgt. Mark Ortega, the boy’s mother, Christina Muniz, came out and told officers that she was “sick of her children” and wanted the police to take them so she can “have fun and play.”

Somehow, I don’t think the court will be giving her back the children — lucky for them.

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So, a few minutes after I got home this evening, I heard lots of sirens and then helicopters overhead. Naturally, I had to go see what was up. This is what I found, just a few yards from where I live:

Lots of LAPD:

And still more were arriving:

While, behind the police barrier tape, some were talking and waiting for who-knew-what:

This many cops probably meant there was a gun involved, so I thought it best to stay behind the fence and keep the nice officers between me and… whoever they were looking for.

And, to add a surreal moment to this Southland scene, as I ran through the grounds of my building to get that last shot of cops in action, I passed our swimming pool … and two women passionately kissing.

Only in LA. 🙂

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Via Breitbart:

Insane killer escapes on field trip to county fair

A criminally insane killer from eastern Washington is on the run after escaping during a field trip to the county fair that his mental hospital organized.

Why such a dangerous person was out in public was a question many, including Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire, were asking as authorities searched for Phillip Arnold Paul.

Authorities at Eastern State Hospital, where Paul is a patient, are being criticized for allowing him to visit the fair despite his violent criminal past and a history of trying to escape.

An insane killer? Escaped at the fair? You just know that, when he’s caught (and let’s hope it’s soon), he’ll be wearing a clown suit.

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And I love the headline:

Man with Spears tattoo steals earring-wearing dog

Fri Aug 21, 7:47 pm ET

WILTON MANORS, Fla. – A man with a tattoo of Britney Spears‘ name on his arm or neck allegedly stole a Chihuahua with pink earrings from a South Florida gay bar. Brian Dortort, 48, said Thursday he has spent weeks searching for his 4-month-old pooch, named Hudson Hayward Hemingway. The dog, about the size of a softball, was in a specialty pet bag.

And I thought these things only happened in California… For the rest of the story, click here.

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It’s a good thing for the victim that her rapist got hungry:

Chris Turner normally wouldn’t drive into the remote Tennessee mountains just to deliver a pizza. The one time he did, he came upon a scene that drained the color from his face and made him “numb from head to toe” – a woman with her hands tied, silently begging him to call 911.

And bravo for Mr. Turner for taking a chance and getting involved. There’s no doubt in my mind that he saved the young woman’s life and likely spared many other women a similar fate.

PS. Yes, this is the first post in a long while. This is my personal blog and, well, I really haven’t that much to say about myself. I’ll try to be a bit more diligent in the future.

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