An employee of the Royal Canadian Mint stands accused of smuggling $180,000-worth of gold out of the institution in his rectum, reports Kelley Egan of the Ottawa Citizen, "evading multiple levels of detection with a time-honoured prison trick."
“Appalling,” was the conclusion of defence lawyer Gary Barnes, who described the Crown’s case as an underwhelming collection of circumstantial evidence.
“This is the Royal Canadian Mint, your Honour, and one would think they should have the highest security measures imaginable,” Barnes said in his closing submission.
“And here the gold is left sitting around in open buckets.”
Some crimes have a smoking gun. But this one had a coating gunge.
Investigators also found a container of vaseline in his locker and the trial was presented with the prospect that a puck could be concealed in an anal cavity and not be detected by the wand. In preparation for these proceedings, in fact, a security employee actually tested the idea, Barnes said. Lawrence did not take the stand — as is his legal right — and the Crown was not able to definitively establish how the gold pucks made their way out of the facility.
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The rise and fall of Theranos is gripping stuff. The $700m startup touted a revolutionary one-prick suite of blood tests that never worked well. But it managed to keep its failures hidden, writes Vanity Fair's Nick Bilton, thanks to the secrecy and controlling policies of its founder, Elizabeth Holmes. Holmes seems to have been aware of the technology's failure from an early stage, but was committed to it in a way that suggests a cult more than a company. Read the rest
Penn State is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hiring Joe Paterno, the coach who helped his school rack up countless victories and his assistant cover up countless rapes.
The plans for exactly what Penn State will do is unknown, other than stating that the program will be "commemorating the 50th anniversary of Coach Paterno's first game as Penn State head coach" before the game. ... The Nittany Lions, until this point, seemed to want to distance themselves publicly from Paterno since his last game in 2011, most notably taking down his statue outside Beaver Stadium.
Now, the program is looking to honor the former coach, who died in 2012, for the 50th anniversary of his first game with Penn State in what is a controversial choice.
Paterno was fired in 2011 after it emerged that during his tenure, Jerry Sandusky had assaulted dozens of youngsters in his care. Sandusky was ultimately convicted on 45 separate charges. Though Paterno claimed to have been ignorant of his actions—pretending at one point not even to know what "sodomy" means—it later emerged he knew of Sandusky's activities since the 1970s. At least two victims accused Paterno, who died in 2012, of telling them not to go to the authorities. Read the rest
Tens of thousands of rape kits remain untested. Samantha Bee wonders why the time is taken to complete the kits, a lengthy and unpleasant process, but authorities and politicians are so enthusiastic to avoid the results—even after it's been shown how effective they are in tracking down suspects, and even after being given the resources to do so. Read the rest
After porn actress Stoya claimed that James Deen raped her, nine other women came forward with stories of his violent misdeeds. With Deen's career not quite over, Zak Smith profiled him for "A Very Old And Important American Magazine"—whose lawyers got cold feet about the results. So on Medium it goes. Read the rest
Break out the puddin' pops, he's going to jail.
Famed comedian Bill Cosby was charged with alleged aggravated indecent assault today, authorities said. The Montgomery County District Attorney's Office announced its decision this morning in Norristown, Pennsylvania.
Here's video of the press conference:
The charges regard the 2004 Andrea Constand case, soon to hit the statute of limitations. Cosby has admitted drugging other women with Quaaludes but otherwise protests his innocence. Dozens of women have accused Cosby of sexual assault; he's sued several claiming defamation. Read the rest
After a dispute with its driver, a gentleman in Florida disembarked a bus and headbutted it. He was rendered unconscious by the attack, but not long enough to be arrested. Read the rest
"My Life After Manson": Patricia Krenwinkel talks from prison about her experience in the Manson Family on the 45th anniversary of the Tate-Labianca Murders. Read the rest
A 69 year-old Malaysian woman, an Irishwoman, 57, and a Briton, 30, were all rescued from a house in south London this week, reports the BBC. A couple, both 67, are under arrest—and accused of holding the women as slaves for 30 years
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Murder ballads are the true crime novels of the 16th-19th centuries. Lyrics telling the story of a murder were written, printed on broadsheets, and sold within days of the crime. Paul Slade is a UK journalist with a fascination for the history of murder ballads in the US and Europe. He maintains this great resource on the topic. Above, enjoy classic murder ballad "The Knoxville Girl" as sung by the Wilburn Brothers in 1959. While "The Knoxville Girl" is an Appalachian ballad, its roots can be traced back to 17th century England. Here's Slade on his love for Murder Ballads:
Cheerfully vulgar, reveling in gore, and always with an eye on the main chance, these songs were tabloid newspapers set to music, carrying news of all the latest 'orrible murders to an insatiable public.
People get stabbed, bludgeoned or shot in every verse, but the songs telling their tale never die
Then there's the fact that murder ballads never stop mutating, morphing to suit local place names as they cross and re-cross the Atlantic, and changing with the times as they move down the decades to fascinate each generation's biggest musical stars. Victims are bludgeoned, stabbed or shot in every verse and killers are often hanged, but the songs themselves never die.
Murder Ballads Read the rest
Cookie Monster was arrested Sunday after allegedly shoving a child in New York's Times Square when his mother did not tip him for posing with the boy.
Monster, 33, was charged with endangering the welfare of 2-year old Samay Katkar, who had wandered over to the blue-furred beast when his parents ventured into town for a weekend trip. "The next thing I know, Cookie Monster had already picked up my son and was like, 'Come on, take a picture!'", Kurada told the New York Daily News. Read the rest
A Florida polo tycoon named John Goodman has hit a hitch in his plan to adopt his 42-year-old girlfriend so that his kids and ex-wife won't be able to keep him from writing her into his will. The court says he failed to disclose important information, but there's no word on whether that will have have any bearing on his manslaughter appeal stemming from his conviction for a drunken hit-and-run killing in 2010, or on his apparent plan to keep his assets from the family of the dead man by transferring them to his girlfriend/daughter.
What an enterprising gentleman Mr Goodman appears to be.
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A Florida appeals court ruled yesterday that John Goodman (not the actor John Goodman, the Florida polo tycoon John Goodman, who founded something called the International Polo Club) committed a fraud on the court when he failed to notify it, or the opposing parties in a pending lawsuit, about his plan to adopt his girlfriend and thereby give her access to a substantial trust fund. The trust was one in which "all Goodman's children were to share equally," so if his girlfriend also became his child … you get the idea. The "Adoption Agreement" also gave the girlfriend/daughter almost $17 million in additional assets plus an unlimited right to ask for more money from the trust, not a bad right to have if you can get it.
This concerned Goodman's two existing children and his ex-wife for obvious reasons, and also bothered the parents of Scott Wilson.
Filmmaker Casey Neistat writes in the NYT about his recurring project to steal his own bicycle in really obvious ways in places across New York, to see if anyone intervenes. Very few people do.
I recently spent a couple of days conducting a bike theft experiment, which I first tried with my brother Van in 2005. I locked my own bike up and then proceeded to steal it, using brazen means — like a giant crowbar — in audacious locations, including directly in front of a police station. I wanted to find out whether onlookers or the cops would intervene. What you see here in my film are the results.
Solutions to the bike theft problem are hard to find. More bike racks in better-lit areas, stronger locks and bike garages all help. But ultimately, greater public awareness may be the only way to substantially curb theft. If someone saw a car being stolen, they would surely call the police. Why should a bike be any different?
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