Boing Boing 

Police questioning techniques make it easy to elicit false accusations


Horrified psychologists discontinued a study into how police interrogation tactics can create unshakable false memories of crimes; but it turns out that police questioning tactics are even better at elicting false accusations of crimes that never even occurred.

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Police interrogation techniques generate false memories of committing crimes


Psychologists terminated a study that showed the ease of implanting false memories of committing terrible, violent crimes in the recent past in their subjects -- the experiment was terminated because some subjects couldn't be convinced that they hadn't committed the crime after they were told the truth.

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Cop who switched off traffic cam in order to make illegal threats will keep his job


Niles, OH Patrolman Todd Mobley followed an acquaintance home in his cruiser and yanked him out of the car and threatened his life; when another cop arrived, Mobley had the cop turn off his dashcam and continued his illegal behavior; he has served a 30 day suspension and is back on the job.

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Family fake-kidnapped 6-year-old to teach him to mistrust strangers

The Troy, MO family of a six-year-old boy staged a kidnapping in which they terrorized him and made him believe that he would be sold into sex slavery, because they wanted to convince him not to be so "nice" to strangers.

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License Expired: an unauthorized James Bond anthology

Now that the James Bond novels and character have entered the public domain in most of the world (but not the USA), David Nickle and Madeline Ashby teamed up to edit "License Expired," an anthology of unauthorized 007 stories for the Canadian press Chizine.

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The cops who shot a homeless man have been charged with murder

Two Albuquerque police officers who shot and killed a mentally ill homeless camper last year have been charged with murder.

The encounter was caught on video that appears to show disproportionate use of force, although the Albuquerque Police Department continued to insist the shooting was justified for months following the incident.

Now the APD's luck appears to have run out. Prosecutors have announced that two officers who fired lethal rounds into Boyd's body, Keith Sandy and Dominique Perez, will be charged with murder.

Blackmail paradoxes

From Futility Closet:

We covered one paradox regarding blackmail in 2010: If it’s legal for me to reveal your secret, and it’s legal for me to ask you for money, why is it illegal for me to demand payment to keep your secret? In the words of Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren, “Why do two rights make a wrong?”

Here’s a second paradox: If you had initiated the same transaction — if you had offered to pay me for my silence, and I’d agreed — then we’d have the same outcome, but this time it’s legal. “It is considered paradoxical that the sale of secrecy is legal if it takes the form of a bribe, yet is illegal where the sale of secrecy takes the form of blackmail,” writes Loyola University economist Walter Block. “Why should the legality of a sale of secrecy depend entirely upon who initiates the transaction? Why is bribery legal but blackmail not?”

TX SWAT team beats, deafens nude man in his own home, lies about arrest; judge declines to punish cops or DA


A well-meaning friend of Chad Chadwick called the Missouri City, TX police to say that he was afraid that Chadwick was having emotional difficulties; the cops lied to a judge to say that they had reason to believe Chadwick was heavily armed, then they sent a SWAT-team to his house (where he was asleep in the tub), beat 11 kinds of shit out of him, gave him permanent hearing loss, held him in solitary confinement, fraudulently accused him of resisting arrest, and tried to have him imprisoned -- he was acquitted, but a judge wouldn't punish the cops or the DA, because "There is no freestanding constitutional right to be free from malicious prosecution."

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WATCH: Man allegedly faked heart attack so friend could allegedly steal toys

Two men in Florida were arrested after police examined a surveillance video that showed one of the men leaving a Walmart with a shopping cart loaded with toys while another man laid on the floor near the exit clutching his chest. After the man with the shopping cart left the store, the other got up from the floor and walked out.

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Judge convicted of planting meth on woman who reported him for harassment

Bryant Cochran was chief judge of Murray County Magistrate Court when a woman reported him for hitting on her while she entered his chambers to take out assault warrants following an attack on her.

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New York City's worst landlords


The Village Voice rounds up the ten cruellest, most outright criminal landlords in the five boroughs for 2014, including voyeurs, arsonists, thugs and bullies -- and then there's Robin Shimoff:

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Furry convention evacuated after chlorine-gas attack


The 15th Midwest Furfest was evacuated last week after 19 attendees were hospitalized by chlorine gas at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare Hotel; hazmat technicians cleared out an "intentional gas attack" apparatus in the 9th floor stairwell.

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Brian Krebs's "Spam Nation"

In Spam Nation: The Inside Story of Organized Cybercrime-from Global Epidemic to Your Front Door, Brian Krebs offers a fascinating look at the mass-scale cybercrime that underpins the spam in your inbox and provides an inside peek at a violent fight among its principle players. Cory Doctorow reviews.

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Car thief employs getaway skateboard

"Experienced skateboarders we talked to gave him low marks." [via]

Wall Street phishers show how dangerous good syntax and a good pitch can be


Major Wall Street institutions were cracked wide open by a phishing scam from FIN4, a hacker group that, unlike its competition, can write convincingly and employs some basic smarts about why people open attachments.

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John Oliver on Civil Forfeiture

As always, John Oliver's take on something newsworthy, corrupt, and jaw-droppingly absurd manages to nail it straight through the beating heart.

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DC cops budget their asset forfeiture income years in advance


The DC force plans out how much stuff they'll steal from the public through the corrupt "asset forfeiture" program years in advance, almost as though they don't rely on crime to seize assets, but rather just arbitrarily grab stuff from people and sell it to pay their bills.

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Just look at this felonious banana charge.

Just look at it: "A man is facing a felony menacing charge after two western Colorado sheriff's deputies say he pointed a banana at them and they thought it was a gun. (Thanks, Libbi!)

Growing movement against Mafia extortion

palermo

Not long ago, 80 percent of shops in Palermo, Sicily were paying pizzo, or protection money, to the Mafia. But a growing movement is putting a serious dent in the pizzo racket. A group of activists is encouraging business to resist Mafia shakedowns, and it seems to be working. It's called Addiopizzo -- Italian for "Goodbye, protection money."

The turning point came when the owner of a rural pub decided not to pay pizzo and as a result started to lose fearful customers. Addiopizzo started organizing outings to his bar every Saturday night, both to show their support and to keep cash flowing his way. The villagers started returning to the pub, and the mob, faced with mass defiance, decided to leave the place alone.

This evolved into a formal strategy: a reverse boycott of businesses that publicly promised not to pay protection money. Addiopizzo assembled a list of 3,500 people who had agreed to patronize places that rejected pizzo. With that in hand, the group was able to convince several enterprises to take a no-pizzo pledge and to put up an orange sticker advertising their stance. (Addiopizzo then found itself developing an investigatory arm, to make sure the owners were keeping their promises.) With time, the lists of both the anti-pizzo companies and the anti-pizzo customers grew longer. When the mafia retaliated by burning down a warehouse belonging to a business that had taken the pledge, Addiopizzo organized public support for the victims: collecting funds for unemployed workers, holding demonstrations against the assault, and using Italy's anti-mafia compensation laws to secure a new warehouse from the government. By refusing to pay for protection, the company had acquired a different sort of protection.

Image: BJS

Bumfights creator accused of stealing remains of dead children from Thai hospital museum


Johann writes, "One of the creators of notorious millennial website Bumfights has is accused of stealing preserved child body parts and flayed tattoos from the notorious Bangkok Black museum at the medical faculty of Siriraj Hospital. Then he attempted to DHL his swag back to the States, he has now fled to Cambodia."

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Italian scientists acquitted of culpability in L'Aquila quake


Seven natural disaster specialists had previously been convicted of manslaughter for not being emphatic enough about the 2009 quake, which killed 309 people, but that conviction's been overturned by an appeals court.

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A guide to Serial: the best podcast in the world

Serial is a podcast about a murder that happened in 1999. It's produced by This American Life and it's the best podcast series I've listened to.

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Chip-and-PIN cards let nearby fraudsters steal $1M at a time

Visa's new Paywave chip-and-PIN credit-cards have a $1M limit on foreign-currency transactions that can be verified "in-card," meaning that someone who gets close enough to your UK wallet can simply wave a phone at it and charge a megabuck to it without raising any realtime security alerts.

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21K Kansans' votes will be suppressed this election

To combat the virtually nonexistent crime of voter fraud, 21,000 Kansans (including veterans) who registered as voters will be turned away from the polls, have their votes registered as "provisional."

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My grandmother, the poisoner


Now that his grandmother has dementia and lives on a ward, John Reed has finally confronted his memories of growing up with her and concluded that all the people and animals that died around her were probably deliberately poisoned, and that's why whenever he'd visit her and eat her weird "health food," he'd fall asleep for days at a time, sometimes waking up in a hospital with near-fatal breathing problems.

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Cybercrooks sell stolen rewards points at 99.9% discount

Enough Hilton Hhonors points to cover $1200 worth of stays can be bought for $12, and the crooks who're inside your account can use your associated credit-card to buy more points and more hotel rooms for themselves.

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Surveillance and stalkers: how the Internet supercharges gendered violence


85% of domestic violence shelters work with women who have been GPS-tracked by their abusers; 75% have clients who were attacked with hidden mobile surveillance apps; cops routinely steal and share nude selfies from the phones of women pulled over in traffic stops, and NSA spies used agency's massive, illegal surveillance apparatus to stalk women they were sexually attracted to, a practice that was dubbed "LOVEINT."

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The story of Venice's "gentleman thief" and an amazing art heist

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At Epic, a captivating and beautifully-designed longform true story about Venice's "Gentlemen Thief" Vincenzo Pipino: "Magicians, Mafiosos, a Missing Painting, and the Heist of a Lifetime, by Joshua Davis and David Wolman.

UK Tories propose life sentences for using a computer to "damage the economy"

Under a proposed "computer crime bill," if you use a computer in the commission of an offense that damages "national security, human welfare, the economy or the environment" you could face a life sentence.

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Carl Hiaasen's "Skink No Surrender"

Carl Hiaasen’s novels are treasures of hilarity, violence, comeuppance and ardent love for Florida wilderness. The very best of them feature “Skink,” a wild man of the woods with a fantastic history and a twisted sense of justice. With Skink No Surrender, Hiaasen brings his greatest character to a new generation by transforming the violent, profane anti-hero into the star of a young adult novel.

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