April 4, 2001
[urban myth] Pickled Penis — Is John Dillinger’s 23 inch penis stored at a museum in Washington? ‘The bulge in the center of the photo (Dillinger’s arm) was supposedly mistaken by contemporary viewers of fuzzy newspaper photos for his penis, thus starting the tale of an incredibly well-endowed John Dillinger. (How he managed to die in a fully erect state was a question the public either didn’t ponder or else attributed to some rather strange misunderstandings about the process of rigor mortis.)’ [kinda via Blogadoon]
April 3, 2001
[rail] The Guardian studies the story behind the cracked rail which caused the Hatfield train disaster…. ‘The public mood, so far as one can tell, would like big fish in the net and a charge of corporate manslaughter. That is unlikely; as someone close to the Hatfield investigation said to me, you would need to find a piece of paper with such improbable words written on it as “Do not repair this track, we can’t afford it. Yrs sincerely, The Fat Controller.” More likely is a charge of manslaughter – culpable homicide – against individuals lower down the ladder, or their prosecution for a breach of the Health and Safety at Work Act.’
February 26, 2001
[crime] Blood Money — more proof that life is vastly weirder than any Guy Ritchie movie… ‘Well, somebody tipped off The Sweeney – Scotland Yard’s Flying Squad – that at least some of the 6,800 gold ingots stolen from the Brink’s-Mat high security warehouse in Heathrow on 26 November 1983, had been hidden underneath farm buildings or a cabbage patch in a Sussex village called Ore. Would Ore be the place where Kenny stashed his gold ingots? Bit obvious, eh? Not if you know that whenever you walked into Kenny Noye’s old mansion in Kent, Shirley Bassey’s rendition of ‘Goldfinger’ blasted out of the stereo.’
February 13, 2001
[internet] Disturbing report on the BBC’s Panorama about an internet community of paedophiles called Wonderland… Here’s a transcript of the TV programme. ‘The first thing anyone does when they get online is go looking for the porn, it’s just one of those things. And I found that fairly easily and within 24 hours I’d found the child porn as well. I didn’t expect to find it at first, I thought well it’s an urban myth, it’s just something you hear about on the news and there it was, it was sitting in front of me. I had people I could talk to. I had people that I could trade images with as well. But I had friends. I’d never had so many friends. I had friends all over the world.’ [Related Links: RegisterPaedophile says why he loves the Net, BBC NewsPaedophiles’ vast ‘lending library’]
February 4, 2001
[fraud] A reckoning at the Russia house, SW16. Fascinating look at a massive credit card fraud operation run by a Russian in London… ‘Confident they now had enough information, officers carried out dawn raids on addresses across London, including those of the two main suspects, but even they were surprised by what was found at Tanov’s home. The 33-year-old Russian had turned a small bedroom into a credit card factory, at a cost of no more than 3,000, complete with computers, embossers and hologram making equipment, capable of producing near perfect replicas of Visa, Amex and Master Card.’ [via Beesley]
January 10, 2001
[final request] The final meal requests and last statements of prisoners on death row in Texas. ‘1 jar of dill pickles’Stacey Lawton. [thanks to Micky]
January 8, 2001
[shipman] The true evil of this killer doctor. Interesting comments from Nicci Gerrard in the Observer on the Shipman Murders… ‘The Wests were murderous sexual sadists, performing unimaginable acts of torture on their young victims. But while there has never been a case quite like it, most of us have some understanding of sex as potentially dark and perverse and scarily powerful. The couple gave us a collective wince of terror, as if their monstrous actions offered a glimpse into a hidden side of our psyche. We called them evil and unnatural to comfort ourselves, because we feared they were human, like us – though it was a humanity taken to extremes and unravelled before our eyes. Harold Shipman does not do this. He offers us no glimpse into ourselves. He will not become a symbol of anything; his story spreads few ripples. His voice is dry, neutral. His face is blank. His eyes are polite and empty. His lips are closed. His heart is a mystery.’
January 6, 2001
[murder] The Guardian speculates on Harold Shipman’s state of mind‘David Canter, director of the Centre for Investigative Psychology in Liverpool, raised the chilling possibility that it could be a forerunner of cases to come. The theory is that as the human race in the 21st century thinks of itself increasingly as nothing more than a collection of physical bodies in an evermore materialistic society, then there will be individuals on the extremes who come to believe they are dealing not with people but with objects. He said: “This is one of the arguments for the increase of serial killers.” Is it possible Shipman came to see his patients as nothing but objects, no more valuable than his lists?’ [Related Links: The Shipman Murders from BBC News]
December 1, 2000
[crime] The Jigsaw Man — Interesting profile of the man who inspired Robbie Coltrane’s Cracker… ‘The hearing will concentrate on the role of Britton in the investigation into the killing of Rachel Nickell on Wimbledon Common in London. One allegation is that he offered support and advice to the police not backed by accepted scientific practice as they prepared a “honeytrap” for the prime suspect; he is also accused of having exaggerated claims about the effectiveness of his methods.’
November 15, 2000
[distractions] UK Gangsters and Hardmen Webring. Dave Courtney: ‘I drove to Woolwick station and said to the geezer behind the counter, “can I have a return ticket, please?” “Where to, guv?” he chirped cheerily, so I shot back with my best puzzled look… “back here, you daft bastard,” I said and marched out, chuckling my nuts off.’
October 30, 2000
[news] Guardian Unlimited has an interesting overview of the whole Jamie Bulger case. From An ugly tabloid threat: ‘”The idea that the two boys – now almost men – could soon be free will horrify every parent,” says the Sun, before asking: “Where is the justice for James’s parents?” Then, in a scandalous aside after noting that the lord chief justice, Lord Woolf, had remarked that the boys were “making progress”, the Sun said: “Who cares? After what they did, the idea that they will be corrupted if they aren’t freed is laughable.” In other words, the paper believes that the boys who committed a foul murder aged 10, and who eight years later have shown extreme remorse for their crime and no propensity to violence ever since, should go to an adult jail. It doesn’t matter what happens to them there. The Sun doesn’t care. Let them suffer.’
October 29, 2000
[news] The Sunday Times profiles “The Bulger Killers” — Robert Thompson and Jon Venables. ‘The cost of keeping a young offender in such a unit has been estimated at £100,000 a year, and both youths have improved educationally. Thompson passed five GCSEs and has developed talents for design, painting, textiles, computer studies and catering. As a project to create an “object of beauty”, he once designed and cut a wedding dress, sewing and beading it himself.’
October 10, 2000
[yugoslavia] Guardian Unlimited looks at the corruption surrounding Slobodan Milosevic’s family‘Three days ago Marko and his family left Pozarevac, the Milosevics’ home town, in three black jeeps. As he did, rioters looted his internet cafe and destroyed advertising for his disco Madonna. His nearby lurid Disney-esque theme park, Bambiland, has been closed since the summer, thanks to a popular boycott.’
October 3, 2000
[mugshots] The G-Files present a Celebrity Mug Shot Gallery‘Like anyone else charged with a crime, celebrities must be photographed by police after being arrested, and those images then become a matter of public record.’
September 18, 2000
[books] Crime Magazine asks if In Cold Blood is a dishonest book. Interesting look at the story behind the creation of the book — but be warned… the page contains some disturbing images. ‘However, early on I’d like to raise the question of Capote’s basic honesty in writing this book. He set out to write a masterpiece, yet he took no notes. He recounts lengthy, complex conversations – sans notes. Capote told Plimpton that he had trained himself to do this – that, for a year and a half prior to embarking on the book, he had a friend read passages from a book to him, for an hour or two a day, then he would write down what he had heard – and in his estimation he had a unique facility for accurately remembering interviews, with an accuracy quotient of 95 percent. Which any newspaper reporter can tell you is horse feathers.’
September 7, 2000
[lone nut] Following on from an earlier post… Guardian Unlimited’s Netnotes covers Mark Chapman. More from the John Lennon’s Murder Site: ‘Two days later, he is watching television, when the picture goes blank and “Thou Shalt Not Kill” appears across the screen. It is the sixth Commandment, as written in The Gospel of St. Mark – his Gospel, and Mark Chapman is shocked at the intensity of the experience, and sees it as an example of synchronicity, giving him a message to go back to reading the Bible.’
September 5, 2000
[murder] GuardianUnlimited profiles Tony Martin. ‘He described his thrombosis (responsible for the limp), his run-down farm, his closest companions (three rottweilers), his love of travel, farming at night, his love of solitude. This disconnected rambling ranging across his life often returned to the first thing he had said that day; what was happening to him was surreal, beyond his control, not his responsibility.’
[lennon] Guardian Unlimited reports that John Lennon’s murderer is about to apply for parole. ‘Chapman has said that he killed Lennon to be famous. “I had to usurp someone else’s importance, someone else’s success,” he said. “I was Mr Nobody until I killed the biggest somebody on earth.”‘ [Related Link: Lennon/Chapman website covering ‘the parallels, coincidences and strange synchronicities that brought together John Lennon and Mark Chapman on December 8th 1980.’]
August 11, 2000
[Mr Blue] Excellent Edward Bunker retrospective in Crime Time ‘But apart from his friendship with Louise Wallis, Bunker continued to hang-out with low lifes: pimps, whores, dope-addicts and boosters. He tried heroin and then began selling crudely-harvested marijuana. While out on a delivery a police pulled up alongside him, indicating him to stop. Bunker drove off but crashed into a car and a mail truck. Apprehended by the law, he was sent to LA county jail.’ [via Beesley]
July 19, 2000
[children] A father talks about his daughter’s reaction to the muder of Sarah Payne. ‘When I arrive home my daughter has more news about Sarah. “She’s dead,” she says. “It’s really sad isn’t it Daddy?” she says. Yes, I say, it’s horrible, and prepare for one of those painful conversations about why anyone could do this. But she walks off. A couple of minutes later she calls me back. “Daddy, have you seen the fairy house I made?” she asks.’
July 3, 2000
[murder] BBC News reports that murder suspect put plan to kill wife on Psion palmtop. ‘Prosecutor Jonathan Laidlaw told the jury at Inner London Crown Court Mr Debruin wrote what looked like a macabre checklist for the killing on his Psion organiser which read: “Rubber gloves. Throat. Take telephone off hook. Purse out with contents spread about.”‘
June 22, 2000
[unabomber] Nice article on the Unabomber at Harvard — where he was psychologically tested (to destruction?). “When, soon after, Kaczynski began to worry about the possibility of mind control, he was not giving vent to paranoid delusions. In view of Murray’s experiment, he was not only rational but right. The university and the psychiatric establishment had been willing accomplices in an experiment that had treated human beings as guinea pigs, and had treated them brutally. Here is a powerful logical foundation for Kaczynski’s latterly expressed conviction that academics, in particular scientists, were thoroughly compromised servants of “the system”, employed in the development of techniques for the behavioral control of populations.”
June 21, 2000
[violence] Jeremy Paxman on football violence in This is London. “Perhaps he is as blameless as many of those arrested have claimed. But what seems to have shocked the British authorities is that so many of those accused by the Belgians do not fit the stereotype. “Some of those who have been sent back,” the Home Secretary gulped in a radio interview, “are barristers and engineers.” The shock with which Mr Straw – himself a barrister, as, of course, is our Prime Minister – had received this intelligence was audible in his voice.”
June 19, 2000
[crime] newsUnlimited on Identity Theft. “You, meanwhile, know nothing of this until – several months later – debt collection agencies begin to harass you. Life becomes Kafkaesque. You inform the police – but they can’t see that you are the victim of any crime. The law holds you liable only for the first $50 on the phoney credit cards and nothing on the other bills. The cops can’t get involved with working out who is the real you. There are drug dealers and paedophiles out there. Take it to Mr Visa and Mr AT&T, they say.”
June 4, 2000
[murder] newsUnlimited covers a nasty murder on a bridge in London last year. “‘We’ll never know what happened that night,’ she said. ‘It seems inexplicable. I believe there was a group dynamic which forced them to do what they did. Peer pressure and a boy shouting “throw them in the river” was enough to create an atmosphere in which there was no going back. It will have been one person who started it and the others would have followed like sheep.'”
May 27, 2000
[only in america] Texas prisoner attempts to sell seats to his own execution on ebay reports newsUnlimited. “Years ago Bob Dylan wrote in his song Desolation Row that “they’re selling postcards of the hanging”. Toney might concede that that still has more of a ring to it than “they’re selling tickets to the lethal injection”. “
May 17, 2000
[nasty] BBC News reports that anthrax has been linked to a spate of deaths in Europe of heroin addicts.
April 13, 2000
Two murders that won’t go away : Sam Sheppard is still a fugitive. Jeffrey MacDonald still protests his innocence… MacDonald’s pregnant wife and two children were murdered in Feb 1970 a month before I was born… over thirty years ago. Murders cast long shadows, I guess.
April 6, 2000
[uk] newsunlimited has an interesting profile of Charlie Kray [Text Only] who died recently. Here’s the Guardian’s Obit [Text Only].
March 12, 2000
The Sunday Times has a profile of Ian Brady. Why bother?
March 9, 2000
A life in Crime — Ian Rankin on crime novels. “Here’s the scoop: crime writing is sexy.”
March 8, 2000
Watching the Detective – interview with the detective leading the murder hunt for Jill Dando.