Thieves attempt to sell off stolen comic book collection... at the victim's own comic shop

In Saint Louis, thieves broke into Martin Casas's storage locker and snatched his comic book collection. Then they took the comics to a local comic shop to sell them. Thing is, Casas owns the shop. From the Riverfront Times:

...A Chesterfield woman called within days of the storage locker burglary and asked if Apotheosis might want to buy a box of her comics. Encouraged by a store employee, she dropped off the box on Friday for review and left her name and phone number. Casas arrived shortly after she left to see what she had brought. As soon as he saw the box, he knew.

He had written "Cap" on the side, designating it as a box of Captain America comics. Inside, he searched for one particular comic, the third installment of the Captain America Truth series. He had gotten it years ago and knew his copy had a small red mark on the corner.

"Sure enough, there's that book," Casas says. "It's my box."

He called the cops first, and then the woman. She apparently had no idea she was trying to sell the comics back to their rightful owner, so Casas played dumb.

"This is a great collection," he told her on the phone. "You've got at least a couple hundred dollars in comics there."

He arranged a meeting for 10 a.m. the next morning, Friday. But before he hung up, he asked if she might have any more, as he was interested in buying whatever he could for the shop.

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Charles Manson's deeply dark and twisted interpretation of The Beatles' "White Album"

Fifty years ago today, the Manson Family carried out the grisly Tate-Labianca murders that essentially crushed the hippie dream with a tragic nightmare starring failed songwriter and psychopath Charles Manson. At Manson's trial, prosecutor Vincent Bugliosi argued that the cult leader was inspired by his misreading of The Beatles' White Album. Indeed, "Healter Skelter” [sic] had been smeared in blood on the LaBiancas’ refrigerator. Over at Rolling Stone, Kory Grow does a track-by-track analysis of Manson's bizarre misinterpretation of The White Album. From Rolling Stone:

Although he would deny being into the Beatles years later (“I am a Bing Crosby fan,” he declared in 1985 – despite inmates at a prison Manson stayed at in the early Sixties claiming he was obsessed with the Beatles), Manson discussed the group enough with his followers that his warped reading of the Fab Four’s most adventurous album resounded throughout the trial. Bugliosi interviewed several Manson Family members, including those who were not facing criminal charges, and found consistency in their descriptions of his mythology surrounding the White Album and the garbled connections he made between it and the Book of Revelations, which depict end-times.

“This music is bringing on the revolution, the unorganized overthrow of the establishment,” Manson told Rolling Stone in 1970. “The Beatles know [what’s happening] in the sense that the subconscious knows.”

“From the beginning, Charlie believed the Beatles’ music carried an important message – to us,” Manson Family member Paul Watkins wrote in his book, My Life With Charles Manson.

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Judge orders man not to brag that he threw an iguana at a Perkins restaurant manager

Earlier this year in Painesville, Ohio, police arrested a gentleman after he took out his pet iguana, named Copper, swung her around by her tail, and hurled her at the manager of a Perkins restaurant. Arnold Teeter, 49, pleaded guilty to animal cruelty, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct. A judge has just sentenced Teeter to 90 days in jail with 77 days suspended, five years of probation, and he must also pay restitution to the Lake Humane Society that cared for Copper who lost part of her tail. But that's not all:

The judge also entered a handful of other stipulations. Tetters is not allowed to publicize about what he did or why he did it. He’s not allowed to seek media attention about the case and he can’t brag about what happened.

"Judge tells man who threw iguana at fellow Painesville Perkins manager to stop bragging about it" (Cleveland.com) Read the rest

Man ordered to retrieve the refrigerator he threw down a cliff

A man in Almeria, Spain, disposed of an old fridge by throwing it down a steep incline. Thinking it amusing, he had video recorded of the act and posted to social media. It went viral, the authorities found out about it, and he has now been fined—and ordered to retrieve the fridge.

He was fined €45,000 (£41,000; $50,000) and made to dispose of the appliance appropriately. An associate of the man filmed the fly-tipping incident and is heard in the clip joking about recycling as the fridge tumbles down the cliff. "We're going to recycle it!" he said. "How many twists and turns has it done?"

Fifty thousand dollars for fly tipping! Not fucking around in Spain, are they? Read the rest

Nice woodchipper stolen, replaced with cheaper model

The nice woodchipper in West Pittston, Pa., was replaced in the night with a less nice model. Police say they don't know who stole the nice one, but if you do, they'd like to hear from you.

If anyone can identify the owner of this wood chipper please contact the West Pittston Police. They dropped this wood chipper off at the West Pittston Public Works Department and stole the Borough’s wood chipper. If you know the person(s) who owned this wood chipper please call the West Pittston Police Chief Michael Turner at 570-655-7780 ext. 306 or you can send a Facebook message and you will remain anonymous. Thank you.

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A true crime book for every US state

If you appreciate the true crime genre, this New York Times feature is a fantastic checklist of books to read. Tina Jordan and Ross MacDonald selected one true crime book to represent each of the fifty United States. I live in California and really enjoyed Jeffrey Toobin's “American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst." But even having grown up in Ohio, I hadn't heard of the heinous crimes of Billy Mulligan who “became the first person in this country’s history to be declared not guilty by reason of insanity on the grounds of a psychiatric diagnosis of ‘multiple personality.’” Here are a few more from the article that I've now added to my reading list:

Utah

Mikal Gilmore, “Shot in the Heart”

“A compelling volume that traces the sad, violent history of the Gilmore family and shows, in its author’s words, ‘how its webwork of dark secrets and failed hopes helped create the legacy that, in part, became my brother’s impetus to murder.’”

Louisiana

Ethan Brown, “Murder in the Bayou: Who Killed the Women Known as the Jeff Davis 8?”

The women — “all prostitutes and drug addicts, which made them vulnerable and defenseless, expendable in a jurisdiction that’s centrally positioned along the route of the Gulf Coast drug trade” — were killed between 2005 and 2009.

Oklahoma

David Grann, “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI”

“Grann’s book, about how dozens of members of the Osage Indian nation in Oklahoma in the 1920s were shot, poisoned or blown to bits by rapacious whites who coveted the oil under their land, is close to impeccable.

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Man with selfie stick films pickpockets, who get nabbed by cops

A man with a selfie-stick recorded a video of himself and his wife as they strolled through a park in Mallorca, Spain. He also inadvertently recorded another man and a woman (dressed in white) attempting to pick their bags and pockets. At the end of the video, undercover cops arrest the pickpockets.

Side note: I think the video recording software digitally erases the selfie stick. You can see the shadow of the stick but not the stick itself.

[via Reddit] Read the rest

No jail time for man who sexually assaulted 11-year-old girl and infected her with STD

Joseph Meili, a Missouri man who admitted sexually molesting an 11 year old girl, received five years' probation and has a shot at getting the charge expunged. KFOR reports that his semen was found in the girl's underwear, she tested positive for chlamydia after their encounter, and that he claims she "catfished" him.

Prosecutors recommended Meili serve 120 days in a sex offender treatment program and up to seven years in prison. But Judge Calvin R. Holden sentenced him to just five years of supervised probation

His attorney, Scott Pierson, not only blames the child but suggests Meili himself is a victim of injustice.

Pierson told HuffPost that the girl had reached out to his client online and “catfished” him by claiming to be older than she was.

“He felt horrible about the entire incident,” Pierson said. “He’s going to be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life ... It’s a tough case. Neither side is really going to get justice here.”

There's evidently a problem with the judge, Calvin R. Holden, who has a longstanding reputation for letting men convicted of violent sex crimes walk free. Read the rest

Scammer in silicone mask fooled world's rich into thinking he was French cabinet minister

Ceci n'est pas une ministre. It's a scammer in a silicone mask.

"Everything about the story is exceptional," said Delphine Meillet, lawyer to Mr Le Drian, who is now France's foreign minister. "They dared to take on the identity of a serving French minister. Then they called up CEOs and heads of government round the world and asked for vast amounts of money. The nerve of it!"

Why Jean-Yves Le Drian was chosen has not been fully explained.

A well-respected local politician is elevated to one of the most powerful positions in France, but keeps his head down and gets on with the job instead of making an international media personality of himself. The perfect target for a most audacious identity theft. Read the rest

Meme-obsessed gunman killed after opening fire in Dallas courtroom

22-year-old Brian Isaack Clyde reportedly opened fire in Dallas's federal courthouse today and was killed by cops shortly thereafter.

From his Facebook feed, a few months ago: a photo of a man posing with a rifle in medieval armor, his anime waifu bodypillow nestled in one arm.

An initial search of public records did not uncover a criminal history.

There is nothing in The Onion that will not be made literally true as the dark enlightement encroaches. Read the rest

Manson family member Leslie Van Houten denied parole

Yesterday, California Governor Gavin Newsom denied Manson family member Leslie Van Houten's request for parole. This is the third time in three years that the California parole board has recommended Van Houten for parole. Former Governor Jerry Brown said no to the previous requests in 2016 and 2018. Van Houten is serving a sentence of life in prison for participating in the murders of Leno and Rosemary LaBianca in 1969 at Manson's direction. From CNN:

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said in a parole release review that despite Van Houten's productive time in prison -- she earned a bachelor's and master's degrees and completed "extensive" self-help programming -- the negative factors of her involvement in the murders outweighed the positive factors.

"Ms. Van Houten and the Manson family committed some of the most notorious and brutal killings in California history," Newsom said. "When considered as a whole, I find the evidence shows that she currently poses an unreasonable danger to society if released from prison at this time."

Newson said he understood Van Houten was 19 at the time of the crime and that a psychologist who evaluated her said it was likely "her involvement in the life offense was significantly impacted by characteristics of youth, including impulsivity, the inability to adequately foresee the long-term consequences of her behavior and the inability to manage her emotions that resulted from trauma."

Newson said that "without a deeper understanding of what led her to submit to Mr. Manson and participate in these horrific murders, I cannot be sure that Ms.

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Assange sentenced to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was sentenced Wednesday to 50 weeks in jail for skipping bail. Assange took refuge in London's Ecuadorean embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden over two alleged sexual assaults, but was finally handed to the police earlier this month.

Sentencing him, Judge Deborah Taylor told Assange it was difficult to envisage a more serious example of the offence.

"By hiding in the embassy you deliberately put yourself out of reach, while remaining in the UK," she said.

She said this had "undoubtedly" affected the progress of the Swedish proceedings.

His continued residence at the embassy and bringing him to justice had cost taxpayers £16m, she added.

Assange apologized thus:

I apologise unreservedly to those who consider that I have disrespected them by the way I have pursued my case.

This is not what I wanted or intended.

I found myself struggling with terrifying circumstances for which neither I nor those from whom I sought advice could work out any remedy.

I did what I thought at the time was the best and perhaps the only thing that could be done - which I hoped might lead to a legal resolution being reached between Ecuador and Sweden that would protect me from the worst of my fears.

I regret the course that this took; the difficulties were instead compounded and impacted upon very many others.

Whilst the difficulties I now face may have become even greater, nevertheless it is right for me to say this now.

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Watch this motorcycle thief evade the fuzz

This is some artful cop dodgery. The low-key curb sit is a perfect touch.

(r/videos) Read the rest

Coyote chases off burglar

In Downey, California, southeast of Los Angeles, a gentleman breaking into a car was chased off by a neighborhood watch-coyote. Video evidence above. My favorite part is the thief peeking around the cars to see if the coyote was awaiting his return.

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Man attempts to walk an ATM home with him

This video depicts a man walking a presumed-stolen ATM down the street, then trying to haul it onto a bus.

"I'll split it with you," he says to the bus driver. The bus driver closes the doors, thereby declining the offer.

"We coulda made money together!" the man remonstrates as the bus pulls away. Read the rest

Man jailed for 2 years after DDOSing telescope forum that banned him

Banned from the Cloudy Nights telescope forums, IT consultant David Goodyear angrily posted its address on a skeevy hacking site with a request it get nailed. It was down for more than a week thanks to the resulting DDOS. The FBI knocked on his door. They made a show of being friendly and amused by the whole thing, and because middle-aged IT consultants think they're smarter than anyone else, Goodyear admitted everything while giving the officers a tour of his telescope collection. Now he's in jail for two years.

A jury found Goodyear responsible for one count of “intentional damage to a protected computer.” A judge sentenced him to a $2,500 fine, $27,352 in restitution, and 26 months in prison.

[Cloudy Nights' Michael] Bieler had assumed the case was closed until the FBI arrested Goodyear a year later and summoned Bieler to court. He was shocked when he learned about the length of the sentence. He never wanted Goodyear to be imprisoned at all, let alone for two years. “Honestly, I think it’s extreme, what happened,” he says. “We actually asked in our letter [to the court] that he not get prison time. We just wanted him to stop attacking our website.”

The 34-year-old Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), which tech policy expert Tim Wu has called “the worst law in technology,” is controversial for many reasons. One of the most common is its harsh sentencing rules.

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Trailer for new Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron

Following director Joseph Berlinger's Netflix docu-series "Conversations with a Killer: The Ted Bundy Tapes," he brings us "Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile," a Ted Bundy biopic starring Zac Efron as the alluring and horrible serial killer. The story is apparently told from the viewpoint of Bundy's girlfriend Elizabeth Kloepfer, played by Lily Collins.

Coming to Netflix on May 3.

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