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:
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...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.
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:
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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.
A Brazilian prison inmate whose attempt to escape jail dressed as his own teen daughter went internet-viral has been found dead in his cell of an apparent hanging. Read the rest
Brazilian drug lord Clauvino da Silva attempted to escape a Rio de Janeiro prison on Saturday by impersonating his teenage daughter. From The Guardian:
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hen Silva – AKA Baixinho (“Shorty”) – requested the return of his daughter’s ID card at the prison entrance, officers saw through his low-budget disguise and asked him to strip in front of the cameras.
Reports on Monday said the 42-year-old drug trafficker had been moved to solitary confinement but was unlikely to face extra prison time since his unsuccessful bid for freedom had not involved violence.
His daughter, Ana Gabriele Leandro da Silva, who had remained behind in the prison as part of the ruse, seemed to have been less lucky.
According to Rio newspaper Extra she will be charged with abetting prison escape, a crime punishable with up to two years in prison. Seven other visitors – including a pregnant woman suspected of smuggling the disguise into the jail – are also being investigated.
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:
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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.’”
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.
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.
Police in Guthrie, Oklahoma arrested Stephen Jennings and Rachael Rivera after pulling them over due to an expired license tag. Turns out, the car was reported stolen. Also turns out that inside the car, the pair had a pet rattlesnake, a gun, open bottle of Kentucky Deluxe, and "a canister of radioactive powdered uranium." From KFOR:
"When that happens of course, we call in a company that deals with that specifically and it`s taken safely into possession," (Guthrie Police Sgt. Anthony) Gibbs said. "The uranium is the wild card in that situation."
The uranium hasn't resulted in charges. Guthrie police are still trying to figure out exactly what the suspects were going to use it for. There are no charges from the rattlesnake either.
"It happens to be rattlesnake season at the time, so he can be in possession of this rattlesnake because he has a valid lifetime hunting and fishing license," Sgt. Gibbs said.
"Logan Co. man allegedly driving stolen vehicle filled with uranium, a rattlesnake, and Kentucky Deluxe" (KFOR via Fark)
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Police in Southington, Connecticut arrested Joshua Moore who is accused of robbing numerous ATMs of $200,000-$300,000 in cash. How would Moore have accessed the machines? He got the right tool for the job.
According to the investigators, "the suspect utilized a battery powered hydraulic spreader similar to what is used by firefighters during vehicle extrications (Jaws of Life) to gain access into the ATM machine."
And where would Moore have gotten such a thing? eBay, 'natch.
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Even though these Thai tourists in London's Cambridge Circus were recording themselves on video, a glamorous group of pickpockets went for it anyway.
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This is some artful cop dodgery. The low-key curb sit is a perfect touch.
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Zain Qaiser, from Barking in London, scammed millions of pounds out of website visitors and is off to jail. He may be the world's most prolific ransomware distributor, reports the BBC, exposed in a trial that focused on easy-to-blackmail porn site visitors.
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Qaiser, 24, was jailed for more than six years at Kingston Crown Court. The court heard he is the most prolific cyber criminal to be sentenced in the UK. Judge Timothy Lamb QC said: "The harm caused by your offending was extensive - so extensive that there does not appear to be a reported case involving anything comparable." ...
Qaiser was first arrested almost five years ago - but the case has been delayed because of the complexity of the investigation and mental health concerns. Initially working from his bedroom at his family home in Barking, Qaiser began to make money through "ransomware" attacks when he was only 17 years old.
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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Martin Shkreli, infamous for hiking the prices of life-saving drugs and jailed on unrelated fraud charges, is in solitary confinement. The Wall Street Journal reported that he was running businessess from inside using a contraband phone.
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One source close to Shkreli’s legal team said the fraudster was in the special housing unit (SHU) a week and a half after the article was published on March 7, but the source had not received an update on his status. But according to Justin Liverman, a fellow inmate and ex-member of notorious hacker crew Crackas With Attitude, Shkreli was indeed put in solitary and was still there as of Sunday. “Martin is in the SHU,” Liverman told Forbes.
According to the Journal, Shkreli was operating his business, Phoenixus AG, via a cellphone. The company appears to be a reincarnation of Turing Pharmaceuticals AG, which jacked up the prices of rare drugs to the fury of patients, doctors and insurers. In one of the worst examples, Turing increased the cost of a pill for patients with HIV/AIDS from $13.50 to $750.
A Palm Beach, Florida gentleman robbed his "friend" of a rare coin collection and dropped much of it into a Coinstar machine for just the face value in bills. According to the Palm Beach Post, Shane Anthony Mele, 40, confessed to robbing Michael Johnson's office of many items totaling $350,000 in value, including around 100,000 coins, "some worth just a little and some extremely valuable." From the Palm Beach Post:
(Mele) told investigators he took some coins to South Florida Coins & Jewelry in Lake Worth, where he said he got about $4,000. The store’s owner, George Hornberg, told The Palm Beach Post on Tuesday the total actually was $2,330.
Mele told police he dumped the rest of the collectibles in “Coin Star” machines at area grocery stores. People often trade large stashes of loose coins for store credit, minus a fee of as much as 11.9 percent.
That means if he dropped in the 33 presidential coins, valued at $1,000 each, he got about $29.30.
image: "Presidential $1 Coin Program" by Bill Koslosky, MD
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Good luck escaping from this one.
A drug trafficker was able to hide from authorities for 15 years by, incredibly, replacing the skin on his fingertips with micro-implants. The procedure took several years to complete, according to The Guardian.
The man, whose name hasn't been released, was from Spain but was posing as both a Peruvian and sometimes Croatian citizen using fake ID.
Via The Guardian:
“The suspect had modified and changed his fingerprints to such an extent that they were no longer recognisable,” said the statement.
“As well as cutting and burning, he had used micro-implants of skin. He had also had a hair transplant to avoid being recognised.”
A police spokeswoman told the Guardian: “He’d used very sophisticated methods to alter the fingerprints of both hands so that he couldn’t be identified. He used skin implants to change the shape of his prints so that the scars beneath couldn’t be detected. It was a very sophisticated, specialist process that took place over a number of years.”
He was arrested on Tuesday while carrying two encrypted phones.
Image: By Frettie - Own work, CC BY 3.0, Link Read the rest
On Saturday night, Casper the Friendly Ghost attempted to rob a Ramada Inn in Wayne, New Jersey. According to police, the ghost jumped over the reception desk, pried open the cash drawer, and ran off with the dough. Eventually though, police determined that the ghost was not actually Casper, and not even a real specter, but rather a 59-year-old gentleman named Joseph Elder who was a guest staying at the hotel.
""... [Elder] attempted to conceal his identity with a Casper the ghost style bed sheet with holes cut out," the police said.
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A Cincinnati gentleman, running from a police officer who spotted him shoplifting from Walmart, accidentally ran right to the rear entrance of the nearby police station.
According to police, "(Jeremy) Roberts made what can only be described as a tactical error and ran directly to the rear of the Cincinnati Police Department ... District 3 station, which is located just south of Walmart... and where he was 'greeted by numerous officers.'"
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