Megan Rosenbloom at Lapham's Quarterly delves into anthropodermic bibliopegy, the strange history of books bound in human skin, like this pocket book created in 1829 from murderer William Burke of the Burke and Hare murders. Read the rest
UK-based NGO Global Witness reports that at least 185 environmental activists were murdered last year around the globe, and two-thirds of those were in Latin America. According to the report: Read the rest
On Monday night, 19 year old Austin Kelly Harrouff of Florida went homicidally berserk for reasons yet unknown. He stabbed to death a random couple twice his age, also attacking a neighbor who tried to intervene. Then Austin began biting the dead man's face off.
Horrible new details are out today. When Austin's frightened mom called 911 to report his erratic, menacing behavior with family, she told the emergency dispatcher that her son was wearing a Donald Trump “Make America Great Again” hat when he wandered off into the night ranting about being a superhero. And in a YouTube video uploaded before the attack, he spoke to the camera about bodybuilding and steroids, and of taking “a lot of shrooms.”
A person familiar with the family gave reporters two snapchats Austin sent out hours before the attack. The snapchats show him making faces for the camera with the words "Trump" and "the horse" captioning the images.
A very bad man in Maine is charged with a very weird murder. Prosecutors say Bruce Akers used a machete to try and decapitate a neighbor (is "nearly decapitating" worse? because that's what happened), then buried the victim's remains together with the partially decomposed carcasses of deer he killed previously.
When Purdue Pharma's patent on the MS Contin was close to expiry, the Sackler family who owned the company spent millions trying to find a product that could replace the profits they'd lose from generic competition on MS Contin: the result was Oxycontin, a drug that went on to kill Americans at epidemic scale. Read the rest
Up in the manicured hills of Los Feliz, a neighborhood that boasts at least three famous murder houses, the one with the weirdest history may be the Perelson house... where, deep in the night of December 6, 1959, a husband and father of three lost his fragile grip and went terribly, shockingly crazy. But the story only starts there.
Why did Harold Perelson snap? What does it mean when, without warning, the safety of a family home is shattered from within? And how do you explain what's happened to the house since?
This week on HOME: Stories From L.A., a mystery that's endured for almost 60 years, and the crime that set it in motion.
In 2013, Ana Biocini called the Oakland police because she'd heard a noise and thought there might be an intruder in the house. When the police arrived, they handcuffed her brother, Hernan Jaramillo, "without any lawful reason or justification," dragged him 20 feet down the sidewalk, threw him facedown into the ground, and three officers knelt on him while he begged for breath. The 51 year old man died at the scene.
Albuquerque police officer Jeremy Dear was ordered to wear a body-camera after many of the city's residents complained about their encounters with him. Afterward, he routinely failed to plug in the camera. His camera was not running when he shot and killed a 19-year-old girl in 2014. Read the rest
One attack took place at the University of California Merced campus: 5 stabbed, suspect commits suicide by cop. Another attack in San Diego, in a mixed residential and business area north of the city core known as Banker's Hill. The San Diego shooting is an "active situation" at the time of this blog post. Read the rest
In the Mexican state of Zacatecas, authorities announced today they have found the severed heads of four men. The heads were left in Styrofoam coolers, along with gang messages that appear to have been written by members of one drug cartel, directed at a rival cartel.
I was ready to love Murder from the moment the game opened on a female police lieutenant waking from a rain-soaked cyberpunk nightmare about murderous robots, and walking out on her balcony to smoke a cigarette over the light-spattered skyscrapers of Future Tokyo. "Yes," I thought, "I'm in." Sadly, I spoke a little too soon.
Developed by Peter Moorhead, the creator behind the abandoned astronaut game Stranded, Murder is another brief, point-and-click adventure illustrated with beautiful pixel art. This time around, Moorehead promises players a "short story" that delves into some pretty lofty ideas: "the intersection of morality and sentience, in a future where both are commodities."
The moral crux of the story revolves around the sentient service robots of Murder's near-future world, and whether humans can ethically use them for unpaid labor. If that sounds familiar, it should. It's an idea that has been explored rather extensively by some very talented science fiction writers, and even trickled far enough into the mainstream to inspire a Will Smith movie. That doesn't meant there isn't anything left to say about it, only that the notion of robot sentience and the civil rights implications around it aren't exactly fresh ideas, and the mere mention of them is not enough to carry a story, even a short one.
Ostensibly, the game is a murder mystery; as Lieutenant Motomeru Minori, you're tasked with investigating a brutal killing, the latest in a string of mysterious deaths. But "investigate" might be a strong word—you visit one crime scene, exchange a few one-liners with some other cops, and that's about it. Read the rest
Authorities in Tennessee say an 11-year-old boy has been detained on first-degree murder charges after shooting and killing an 8-year-old neighbor with a shotgun because she would not show him her pet puppies.
The gun belonged to the boy's father. The two kids went to the same school.
Neighbors interviewed by local news reporters identified the victim as Maykayla Dyer.
"Wanting to see a puppy, the little girl laughed and told him no... and that was it," said neighbor Chasity Arwood.
"Watching the Tennessee football game, heard the bang," Arwood said. "And then everybody screaming that he shot her baby girl."
Florence Pinkney, 48, facing a judge in 1955 after being convicted of manslaughter for shooting her husband: "I'm sorry. It won't happen again." Read the rest
WARNING: The video above graphically depicts a murder, including scenes of a man bleeding to death after being shot by a police officer. 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