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Posts tagged crime

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Mugshots built from DNA data

Sara Reardon, Nature:

Leaving a hair at a crime scene could one day be as damning as leaving a photograph of your face. Researchers have developed a computer program that can create a crude three-dimensional (3D) model of a face from a DNA sample.

There’s still a whole lot we don’t know about how our genes end up making us who we are, so the team went about it the only way we know how: with a mountain of statistics applied to genomes and facial scans.

Reardon also talks about a Chinese team doing much the same work.

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Australia's "Thunder From Down Under" all-male revue apprehends alleged thief in Las Vegas

AP report:

A man who tried to make off with a suitcase full of costumes and props used by the all-male revue “Thunder From Down Under” fired a shot at the head of one member of the Australian group before being subdued, Las Vegas police said Wednesday.

The thief pulled a .44-caliber Magnum handgun before another cast member jostled his hand, police said in an arrest report that provided a dramatic account of the behind-the-scenes fight Tuesday evening at the Excalibur Hotel and Casino.

The bullet struck a wall, the gun fell to the floor, and six well-muscled members of the revue held the man until security arrived, the report said.

I wonder if the arrest report really did state in those words that the men in the revue were “well-muscled.”

I mean, it’s not factually incorrect. Just maybe not entirely relevant to the matter at hand.

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Palo Alto man Googles himself, surrenders to police after finding he's on 'most wanted' site

David DeBolt, San Jose Mercury News:

Google Christopher Viatafa and with no digging at all you’ll find he’s wanted by San Leandro police. That’s exactly what the 27-year-old Palo Alto man discovered this month.

The first result of his search led to the Northern California’s Most Wanted website, where his picture appeared along with the charges he’s facing, authorities said Friday. Accused of doing wrong, authorities said Viatafa then did what was right: He turned himself in to police.

The system works!

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Police arrest suspect in New Orleans Mother's Day shooting

Lateef Mungin, CNN:

New Orleans police said they arrested a suspect in the Mother’s Day shooting that left 19 people wounded this week.

In a post on its Facebook page, the police department identified the man taken into custody as Akein Scott, 19. It did not provide any more details on the arrest.

I was just reading an opinion piece by David Dennis for the Guardian that mentioned the killer was still at large; news of the arrest came out a few hours after that was published.

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Hate crime: Police record attacks on punks, emos and goths

BBC News:

A police force has begun recording attacks on members of subcultures, such as goths and emos, as hate crimes.

Greater Manchester Police (GMP) is the first force in the UK to treat the offences in such a way.

Previously hate crimes were only registered for offences against race, religion, disability, sexual orientation or transgender identity.

Even without this new addition, Manchester still recognizes more hate crimes than my state does, as Nevada’s statue doesn’t cover transgender people (although that might change soon).

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Troy Knapp, a Ghost in the Backcountry

Jacob Baynham writing for Men’s Journal about Troy Knapp:

For years, a violent drifter with a long arrest record has roamed the wilderness of southern Utah, trapping what he eats, raiding weekend cabins for supplies, and evading one of the biggest manhunts in the West. He’s armed, dangerous, and desperate to stay free. What would it take to bring him in alive?

As it turns out, all it took was him encountering a father and son who were hiking back after a hunting outing; he was arrested after they identified him to authorities, just a few days before this story’s issue was due to hit newsstands. Baynham’s story is compelling, alternating between admiration for the man’s outdoorsmanship ability and matter-of-fact reporting of his crimes and bizarre behavior:

Immediately after identifying Knapp, sheriffs in 10 counties, along with U.S Marshals, launched one of the biggest manhunts in the West. Being pursued ignited Knapp’s rage. His break-ins became more frequent and sinister. He left behind bullet-riddled cabins and threatening notes for his pursuers. “Hey, sheriff, fuck you!” one note read. “Gonna put you in the ground!” He doodled swastikas in the margin. He destroyed religious icons and defaced pictures. In one cabin, he defecated in a pan on the floor.

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Yakuza 3 reviewed by Yakuza

I totally missed this until now, but in 2010, Jake Adelstein, author of neato book Tokyo Vice, used his yakuza contacts for the noblest of purposes: reviewing the accuracy of SEGA’s video game Yakuza 3:

M: I like the fact that you power up by eating real food. Shio ramen gives you a lot of power — CC Lemon, not as much. It all makes sense.

S: The breaded pork cutlet bento box is like mega power. More than ramen. That’s accurate.

K: Kiryu is fighting all the time. He’s gotta be a fucking idiot. No yakuza is going to run around getting into fistfights like that. Especially not an executive type. He’ll wind up in jail or in the hospital or dead, maybe even whacked by his own people for being a troublemaker. These days, he’d probably get kicked out before even going to jail. Guys like that start gang wars and nobody wants that now. When a yakuza gets into a fight, it’s serious business.

One of the most amazing things I’ve ever read.

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U.S. and U.K. Entangled in Legal Battle to Release Former IRA Militants' Stories

Kira Kay reporting for PBS Newshour:

In 2001, a group of academics set out to collect the oral history of Northern Ireland’s combatants, they say to record the truth, before it was too late.

Interviewees like William Smith were promised that their testimony would remain confidential until their deaths. And that’s how it went for years, the tapes hidden away under lock and key on Boston College’s campus.

But in 2010, that all changed, after infamous IRA commander Brendan Hughes died and his interviews were released.

And then, last summer, a bombshell: The U.S. Department of Justice, acting on behalf of United Kingdom law enforcement, subpoenaed the tapes of several interview subjects who were still alive.

This is a hard one. The piece points out that these legal acts can cause (and, in fact, are causing) future informants not to cooperate. But then, how do you balance the desire and need for justice?

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Traveller arrested smuggling live hummingbirds in his trousers

Wil Longbottom writing for the Daily Mail:

This Dutch traveller was caught trying to smuggle more than a dozen live hummingbirds in special pouches sewn into the inside of his underwear at Rochambeau airport in Cayenne, French Guiana.

The birds were individually wrapped in cloth and taped up to prevent them from ‘escaping’ from their sweaty travel container.

There are pictures. Whether you want them or not.