Category Archives: crime

Jeffrey Epstein commits suicide in jail

UPDATE: The NYT updated report says that Epstein was on suicide watch, but had been taken off it, though I have no idea why—nor are officials forthcoming about it: But one federal prison official with knowledge of the incident said Mr. Epstein had been taken off suicide watch a few days ago, and was being […]

Another mass shooting, this time in Texas

UPDATE: The news now says that at least 19 people are dead and 40 injured; the gunman, now in custody, is a 21-year-old man who used a semiautomatic, assault-style rifle. The motive is still unknown. ___________________ From CNN, a bulletin (click on screenshot). So far news is scanty. How many deaths will it take till […]

Regardless of your politics, theft is theft and assault is assault

Civil disobedience is the act of breaking the law to make a statement about politics or justice, trying to effect social change by calling public attention to your grievance. An essential part of the act is to accept the legal consequences of  breaking the law. The difference between those who practiced civil disobedience in the […]

Should the college-admissions scam participants get jail time?

On the news tonight, and now via CNN, I learned that thirteen parents and college staff who participated in the college-admissions scam, falsifying college applications to improve kids’ chances, have pleaded guilty. These include the best-known participant, actor Felicity Huffman. I suspect that others like Lori Laughlin will follow shortly with similar pleas, for there’s […]

A mystery: Why were all charges against Jussie Smollet dropped?

I just learned this from CNN (click on screenshot): As you probably know, Smollett was charged with 16 felony counts for faking a racist and homophobic attack on himself, and according to the Chicago Police, they had him dead to rights, including the cooperation of the fake “attackers” and a copy of the check Smollett […]

Adam Rutherford calls the Jack the Ripper identification “a joke”

This morning I reported on a genetic analysis of the identity of Jack the Ripper, arrived at by analyzing DNA from sperm and bloodstains on a shawl found at one of the murder sites. I didn’t think much of the paper, but Adam Rutherford, a respected geneticist and author, thinks even less. In fact, he […]

The affair of Jussie Smollett

UPDATE: Reuters reports that Smollett staged the attack because he was dissatisfied with his salary on Empire. (It must have been substantial, though!). This motive apparently comes not from Smollett, of course, but probably from the two “assailants” he hired. And it gets even weirder. Smollett wrote a CHECK to pay off his assailants, or so this […]

Armed robbers apprehended at the U of C after a chase and a crash; school paper publishes photo of one suspect; students use the incident to criticize our armed cops

We had a bit of excitement here on Monday when, sitting at my desk, I got three successive email alerts from the campus authorities that there were criminal suspects loose on campus. The final one was that they were apprehended. But the first ones, like this, were a bit scary: Shelter in place! That sounds […]

Package thief owned by tech geek

UPDATE (2019): Reader Bryan writes me that at least 2 of the 5 packages may not represent real thefts, but favors done by friends of the people who left the packages on their porch. This tweet tells the tale: I posted this as a comment response to my recent viral tweet/video but I’m posting it […]

A misguided execution of a cognitively disabled prisoner

This report, from the science journal Nature (click on screenshot) shows what happens when punishment is purely retributive. The story: Vernon Madison killed a police officer in Alabama in 1985. He was sentenced to death.  In the ensuing 33 years on death row, Madison has had multiple strokes that have left him without any memory […]