If you're not pissed off at the assassination of The Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, you should be.
As a permanent resident of the United States, Khashoggi should be protected by the U.S. Government, just like any United States citizen. But, instead of pouring pressure on Saudi Arabia to bring the perpetrators of Khashoggi's slaughter to justice, there's nothing but the flapping of gums over "rogue killers." Money, as always, is being put ahead of the sanctity of human life and the rule of law. Khashoggi's murder is also an attack on the freedom of the press. His brave, unwavering reports on corruption and human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia made him a target for the Saudi royal family and the nation's intelligence apparatus. He was killed for telling the truth. We can't force our governments to take action over Khashoggi's murder. But we can make our outrage known to those responsible for doing business with Saudi Arabia.
The Future Investment Initiative (FII) is a conference being held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 23rd. Rich people will talk about rich people things to make themselves even more rich. The event is the work of Public Investment fund--one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world. The PIF is a mechanism by which our aforementioned invest in things that only rich people can afford to spend their money on in order to be even more rich. The FII's October 23rd event is an orgy of money-grubbing elitists talking about how to secure further funding, build assets, and control even more of the world's wealth than the ultra-rich already do. Read the rest
It's Columbus Day: a holiday slapped together to celebrate a raping, murdering, plunder-horny opportunist that's been dead for hundreds of years. Columbus, Ohio? It was named after the gold loving bastard. Despite this, for the first time since the city's founding in 1812, Columbus Day won't be celebrated there. Instead, the city's government has opted to throw the days off that are typically allotted to the holiday at something far more important: honoring the United States' veterans.
From AP News:
Ohio’s capital city, population 860,000, will be open for business Monday after observing Columbus Day probably “for as long as it had been in existence,” said Robin Davis, a spokeswoman for Democratic Mayor Andrew Ginther. City offices will close instead on Veterans Day, which falls on Nov. 12 this year.
“We have a number of veterans who work for the city, and there are so many here in Columbus,” Davis said. “We thought it was important to honor them with that day off.” And, she said, the city doesn’t have the budget to give its 8,500 employees both days off, she said.
The way that city of Columbus gave the shaft to Columbus Day is absolutely genius. According to the AP, instead of having a public vote over whether or not the city should abolish the observation of the holiday--something that has, in other locales, drawn protests, and a whack of political moaning--they opted to announce, late last week, that they were shifting the city's stock of holiday hours from the contentious holiday to be used on Veteran's Day in November. Read the rest
A Portland, Oregon-based romance novelist has been charged with a crime she once wrote about. Read the rest
Lana Sue Clayton allegedly poisoned her husband's drinking water with eye drops, rendering him dead.
Via USA Today:
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Lana Sue Clayton is charged with murder and unlawful malicious tampering of food after autopsy tests revealed her husband, Stephen, died from poisonous levels of tetrahydrozoline — an ingredient in over-the-counter eye drops.
Clayton, 52, admitted to police she snuck eye drops into her husbands' water between July 19 and July 21.
Tetrahydrozoline poisoning can induce comas, stop breathing, blur vision and cause seizures, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. Children who swallow even 1 to 2 milliliters can suffer “serious adverse events." It's added to eye drops and nasal sprays to reduce redness.
Stephen Clayton died on July 21 at their home in Clover from the poisoning. A motive for the poisoning wasn't clear.
This post is going to be super upsetting if you are a cat person. I am sorry. Read the rest
Attacks by paramilitary forces against civilians continue in Nicaragua, for the third consecutive month. Dictator Daniel Ortega blames a “murderous, coup-mongering satanic sect” for the months-long popular uprising against his government. Read the rest
According to researcher Kaeli Swift of the University of Washington's Avian Conservation Laboratory, crows hold "funerals." When they see a corpse of their own kind they gather together and squawk loudly. To determine what they may be doing, Swift displayed a taxidermied dead crow to other crows. On some days though, she wore a creepy mask and wig. After multiple experiments with and without her disguise or the dead bird, the crows appeared to remember "the experience with the mask and dead crow and now connected the area with danger." From Deep Look:
And here’s what Swift said makes that really interesting: These new mobs (she encountered even weeks later) contained crows that had never seen the masked Swift with the dead crow. But they still learned to avoid the masked figure.
Learning directly from each other, rather than through individual experience, is called social learning.
“By participating in these funerals, crows can get information about new dangers without taking the risk,” Swift said.
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In November, 1970, just outside the Norwegian town of Bergen, two kids found the partially burnt remains of a woman's body. Surrounding the woman's remains were a number of objects: some bottles of water, a rubber boot and a burnt newspaper. All of the labels had been removed from the woman's clothing. Why the woman – known in Norway as the Isdal Woman, named for the remote valley that she was found in – died or who she was has been a mystery for close to 50 years.
Norwegian journalist Marit Higraff and BBC documentary maker Neil McCarthy are working to shed light on the Isdal Woman's very, very cold case. Working together, they've produced a new podcast called Death in Ice Valley. The first episode is available to download or stream, right now.
During the course of the podcast, Higraff and McCarthy will talk to those that investigated the crime back in the day, as well as forensic experts and anyone else they feel might propel them towards the answer of who the Isdal Woman was and why she died. But they're not stopping there. Listeners of the podcast are invited to talk to one another and the podcast's producers about the case on social media, in the hope that a breakthrough for the case could be crowdsourced.
I listened to the first episode yesterday. It starts slow, as many BBC radio productions often do. But the questions that the pair of journalists raise surrounding the Isdal Woman's death and what they uncovered, even in the first episode, has compelled me to continue with the series to see how things turn out. Read the rest
The Auschwitz Memorial Archives preserves 38,916 photos of registered prisoners: 31,969 photos of men & 6,947 photos of women. These photographs were taken from the first quarter of 1941 until spring 1943. In total, 400,000 people were registered as prisoners of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. The math on this suggests that we've got photos of less than 10% of the prisoners that were held, murdered, or, if they were very lucky, survived the camp. The lives of each and every one of these individuals deserves to be honored. In collaboration with photo restoration and colorization specialist Marina Amaral and the Auschwitz Memorial Museum, I'm working on a project that aims to do exactly that.
Faces of Auschwitz is a project that will tell the story of each of the 38,916 registered prisoners that we have photos of, based on what records of their lives we have. Each week, we'll talk about the story of another prisoner of Auschwitz. Some will have survived. A few managed to escape. Most of those we profile will have died behind the barbed wire perimeter of the concentration camp. Marina's talents in photo restoration and colorization will breathe new life into the fading pictures of prisoners, bringing their faces into the modern era, while at the same time, ensuring that the colors used in the process are historically accurate.
While the Auschwitz Concentration Camp is infamously known for its role in Nazi Germany's plans to eradicate European Jewry, other groups were also tortured and senselessly murdered inside the camp’s walls as well: members of Poland's leadership, intellectuals, clergy and resistance activists, Sinti & Roma, Soviet POWs, Jehovah witnesses and homosexuals. Read the rest
As a child in 1942, Mireille Knoll escaped the capture of Jews by police in occupied France during The Vélodrome d'Hiver roundup. The majority of those arrested during the roundup were sent to Auschwitz, where they were killed. Her evasion of France's Nazi puppet police force during the second world war allowed her to survive the horrors of the Holocaust, unlike so many of her neighbors and relations. But she couldn't escape racism. Her time on earth came to an end this past week after she was stabbed 11 times and left to die in her burning apartment, in Paris, France. She was 85 years old.
According to the The Washington Post, Knoll's murder has French journalists and Jewish advocacy groups concerned that, given the area and brutality in which her life was ended, there could be reasonable grounds for the murder to be considered a hate crime. As in North America, Anti-Semitic hate crimes have been on the rise in France. In the past year, bigots and fascists who were once too afraid to show their hate in public have made their way into the mainstream, emboldened by the politics of our times.
From the Washington Post:
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Jewish advocacy groups were quick to put the case within the context of rising anti-Semitism in France and to point out the similarities to another high-profile case being investigated as anti-Semitic: the April 2017 killing of Sarah Halimi, a 66-year-old Orthodox Jewish physician and kindergarten teacher who was beaten in her apartment and then thrown out a window.
Last year, photographer Jim Young visited murder scenes and memorials in Chicago and documented what he saw with an instant camera. Last year, there were 650 murders in the area with 90 percent of them involving guns. Enough. “Though most of the [memorials] are gone,” Young says, “their photographs will be forever, and I hope memories [of the victims] will be, too.” See the series at FOTO: "Behind the Bullets"
On Sept. 21, Manuel Hernandez was in a car when a minivan pulled up beside him. Someone in that van opened fire, killing the 30-year-old father of two girls. Pictured: the shattered glass of a nearby restaurant, hit by a stray bullet.
Twin sisters Addison and Makayla Henning loved riding their bikes. They were just shy of 6 years old when their mother, Celisa Henning, shot them in a murder-suicide on Aug. 31, 2017. The twins’ grandmother said Celisa Henning had suffered health issues resulting from a car crash in 2015.
Damien Santoyo, 14, was killed by shots fired from a car while he stood on the steps of an apartment with two other boys on Aug. 6. His killers had reportedly yelled gang slogans as they drove by, but relatives said Santoyo was not involved in any gang activity. A football player in junior high school, he was weeks from beginning high school.
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Sandra Louise Garner, 55, of Maypearl, Texas, was arrested this week for allegedly murdering her husband, Jon Garner.
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Charles Manson, the infamous cult leader whose followers killed 9 people in 1969, died today at age 83.
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On September 6, 1949, Howard Unruh murdered 13 people in downtown Philadelphia. It's considered the first mass shooting in US history. Tragically, it wasn't the last. From a 2015 article about Unruh in Smithsonian:
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In a few hours, on the morning of Tuesday, September 6, Unruh would embark upon his “Walk of Death,” murdering 13 people and wounding three others in a 20-minute rampage before being hauled off by police after a dangerous firefight. A somewhat forgotten man outside of criminology circles and local old-timers, Unruh was an early chapter in the tragically-all-too-familiar American story of an angry man with a gun, inflicting carnage...
“There have been notorious killers since America was founded, but you didn’t have the mass shooting phenomenon before Unruh’s time because people didn’t have access to semi-automatic weaponry,” says Harold Schechter, a true crime novelist who has written about infamous murderers going back to the 19th-century.
While the terminology is a bit fungible, Unruh is generally regarded as the first of the “lone wolf” type of modern mass murderers, the template for the school and workplace shooters who have dominated the coverage of the more than 1,000 victims since 2013. Unruh was a distinctive personality type, one that has also come to define those who have followed in his bloody footsteps.
“Unruh really matches the mass murder profile. He had a rigid temperament, an inability to accept frustration or people not treating him as well as he wanted, and a feeling of isolation, all things people accept and move on from,” says Katherine Ramsland, a professor of forensic psychology and the director of the master of arts in criminal justice at DeSales University, as well as the author of some 60 nonfiction books including Inside the Mind of Mass Murderers: Why They Kill.
Privacy International interviewed 57 sources for their report on the link between surveillance and torture and murder in Kenya, including 32 law enforcement, military or intelligence officers with direct firsthand knowledge of the programs. Read the rest
After two homeless men were murdered in Las Vegas by the same method, cops put out a bait mannequin that looked like a homeless man sleeping under a blanket. During the stakeout, Shane Shindler began beating the mannequin with a hammer similar to the weapon used in the other deaths. Read the rest
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