“When it comes to Kentucky bourbon, Pappy Van Winkle is among the most exclusive. You can’t get it unless you’re exceptionally lucky, exceptionally wealthy, or willing to break the law.” Criminal
Investigators made an arson determination in the fire that damaged the home of two Democratic Party leaders — San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher and former state legislator Lorena Gonzalez. NBCNews
A New Jersey man on Friday became the first person to plead guilty to assaulting a law enforcement officer during the Jan. 6 Capitol riot.
Scott Fairlamb’s attorneys say prosecutors will ask for a sentence of 3-1/2 to 4-1/2 years for the Jan. 6 riots, in which he participated in assaulting a police officer. “A video showed Fairlamb holding a collapsible baton and shouting, ‘What [do] patriots do? We f—— disarm them and then we storm the f—— Capitol!'”
3.5-4.5 years seems like a light sentence, but all he did was participate in an assault on the US Capitol with a goal of murdering the Vice President and Speaker of the House and overturning election results. Good thing for him he didn’t do anything super-serious, like paying with a possibly counterfeit $20 bill or selling loose cigarettes.
Mexico sued US gunmakers, arguing the companies’ “negligent and illegal commercial practices have unleashed tremendous bloodshed in Mexico.” [E. Eduardo Castillo and Christopher Sherman/AP]
Things I Learned About Police Work From The Wire’s David Simon [Preston Kutney]
An innocent man left alone in an interrogation room will remain fully awake, rubbing his eyes, staring at the cubicle walls and scratching himself in dark, forbidden places. A guilty man left alone in an interrogation room goes to sleep.
Sarah Marshall wrote a 2015 profile of Ted Bundy, who launched the myth of the serial killer into pop consciousness.
More than 30 years after he was put to death, Ted Bundy lives on as a remorseless, evil superman. But in reality he was a pathetic, self-hating, broken creature, who put to lie the myth of the psychopath.
In myth, the psychopath is coldly rational and superior to his victims and other mortal humans. In reality, according to the lawyers who knew him best, Bundy was incapable of behaving rationally in anything.
Ted Bundy is the textbook psychopath who shows us how to recognize the evil in our midst. His story is the story we all know. And yet the longer you listen to it—and listen not just to the legend, but to the people who knew Ted Bundy, and even to the man himself—the more you will find yourself hearing the story of a man who was not a mastermind, was not a genius, and who seems to have understood as little about what motivated him as the people around him did. As you draw closer to its center—and closer and closer to the demon core—you may begin to feel that the longer you spend inside this story, the less sense you can find.
Bundy was initially a folk hero when he escaped police custody.
After he was captured in Florida, Ted Bundy changed, in the public eye, from an outlaw to a monster….
“That he most probably looked normal and walked among us seemed the greatest of horrors,” a Florida State student wrote in the The Florida Flambeau.
Thomas Harris, a “crime desk reporter turned thriller author” observed Bundy’s trial, which “influenced his creation of Hannibal Lecter, the cold, calculating, erudite villain of the best-selling series that included ‘The Silence of the Lambs.’”
Today, the diagnosis of “psychopath” is meted out as freely in the courtroom as it is during prime time, and its effect is always the same: instant dehumanization.
When it comes to assigning blame, no designation could be more comforting. The psychopath is born bad. Nothing can fix him. Society cannot be at fault, and there is no point in wondering whether timely treatment could have averted the inevitable. He does what he wants to do. He knows it is wrong. He can control himself; he simply chooses not to. The idea that the psychopath is somehow more deserving of blame because he was born bad—that his lack of empathy serves as proof of his evil, despite a diagnosis that says he cannot feel it, no matter how he tries—is a paradox few have attempted to address.
Are serial killers unusual monsters? Unfortunately, violence, including minder, torture, and rape, are normal human behaviors. We call serial killers monsters because they kill, torture, and rape without government authority. Even the US had proven willing to torture people it’s decided are terrorists.
Marshall is now co-host of the wonderful You’re Wrong About podcast.
He refused to give up his coveted Twitter handle. Then he was ‘swatted’ and died of a heart attack. [Timothy Bella at The Washington Post]
Shane Sonderman was sentenced to five years in prison after mounting harassment campaigns against multiple people to try to steal their social media handles, causing the death of one of his victims.
Sonderman was convicted for the death of￼￼ Mark Herring, 60, who owned the @tennessee handle on Twitter.
Sonderman “swatted” Herring￼—called the local police in Tennessee from Sonderman‘s location in the UK, and claimed there was a murder going on in at Herring’s home, and that Herring was dangerous.￼￼
Authorities were called to the Sumner County address in April 2020 in response to a report that a woman had been fatally shot and pipe bombs would go off if officers arrived, according to court records….
Emergency responders were dispatched, and when they arrived at Herring’s home, guns drawn, they called for Herring to walk toward them, keeping his hands visible. As he did so, Herring appeared to lose his balance and fell to the ground, unresponsive,” prosecutors wrote. “Mr. Herring died of a heart attack at gunpoint.”
Corinna Fitch, Herring’s eldest daughter, told The Washington Post “she and her family are angry over a sentence that she described as ‘a slap on the wrist.’” She’s right.
Advocates of decriminalizing prostitution say it would provide sex workers the same rights as other workers. But Kathi Hardy, a former sex worker and recovering addict who leads the Survivor Leader Network of San Diego, says decriminalization doesn’t help. [JW August at Times of San Diego]
The You’re Wrong about podcast did two lengthy episodes making a powerful case that human trafficking statistics are wildly exaggerated. [Wayfair and human trafficking statistics]
I don’t have an opinion on this because I don’t know enough. I realize I could get kicked off the internet for admitting that.