Crime And Law Enforcement
Tuesday, December 01, 2009
The Seattle Police department is reporting that they have shot and killed Maurice Clemmons, the man accused of killing four police officers over the weekend. Past convictions for robberies, burglaries and thefts plaster his rap sheet. We speak to KUOW reporter Patricia Murphy, who has been following this story out in Seattle, and New York Times reporter Kate Zernike, who is writing the story for today's Times.
Listen to our earlier interview with KUOW reporter Liz Jones:
Monday, November 16, 2009
Fifty years ago today, Truman Capote came across an article in The New York Times about an entire family murdered in their Kansas home. He immediately began to investigate the crime and write what became the first major piece of literary non-fiction: "In Cold Blood." Patricia Cornwell, best-selling crime writer, and true-crime television journalist Bill Kurtis talk with us about Capote's work, why it remains popular and how it helped launch our national obsession with true-crime journalism.
Thursday, November 12, 2009
At a memorial for victims of the Fort Hood shootings, President Obama said the killer will "be met with justice in this world and the next." We focus on the legal challenges for the alleged shooter, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, in this world. Hasan will probably face a long and complex trial, but only after an equally complex assessment of his mental health. We speak with Eugene Fidell, who teaches military law at Yale Law School and is president of the National Institute of Military Justice. We also speak to New York Times national security reporter Scott Shane, who gives us the latest on the case.
Friday, November 06, 2009
What drives a man, a psychiatrist trained in the stresses specific to military personnel, to pick up a gun and shoot fellow soldiers? We may never know what really drove Major Nidal Hasan to his crimes, but a portrait of the alleged shooter at Fort Hood in Texas is beginning to emerge. The Washington Post has a story which says that Hasan used to pray every day at the Muslim Community Center in Silver Spring, Md. Christian Davenport from The Washington Post joins us with more.
Here's the profile that the Associated Press has put together so far:
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Yesterday, 50-year-old registered sex offender Anthony Sowell was formally charged with murder and rape in Ohio's Cuyahoga County Court. The story of Sowell's arrest and arraignment on charges of killing 11 victims and living with their corpses has stunned Cleveland residents. Dan Moulthrop, host of WCPN's Sound of Ideas, joins us to discuss Cleveland's reactions to their own home-grown serial killer.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
A suspect has been arrested in the murder of Yale pharmacology graduate student Annie Le. Raymond Clark, who the police called a "person of interest" in the investigation earlier in the week, was taken into custody after DNA evidence linked him to the killing of Le. Clark was a lab technician in the building where Le worked and where her body was found on Sunday. According to police, a digital trail of swipe card access records led them to suspect Clark, who was then found with scratch marks on his body, police say. He is being held on a $3 million bond. Le was to be married the day her body was found. The Yale community has been deeply shaken by the crime. Thomas Kaplan, the editor of the Yale Daily News, gives us his reaction.
Friday, September 04, 2009
The U.S. Forest Service said that arson started the wildfires still burning north of Los Angeles, having already destroyed 250 square miles of forest and killing two firefighters. A federal homicide investigation is underway. We talk to Steve Julian, Morning Edition host for KPCC in Pasadena, California, with the latest report.
Friday, September 04, 2009
A drug gang stormed a Mexican rehab clinic this week, killing 18 people. The execution was one of the most violent recent incidents in that country's brutal drug war. Time Magazine journalist Ioan Grillo has covered Mexican drug cartels for a long time, and he talks with us about why clinics are being hit and the future of Mexico’s grueling fight against the cartels.
“The general message the cartels send out to the public all the time with this kind of brutal murder...is don’t dare mess with us, don’t dare stand up against us: we will take you down.” — Ioan Grillo, Time Magazine journalist who has covered Mexican drug cartels for a long time
Thursday, September 03, 2009
S.E.C. Inspector General David Kotz released a report stating that the agency had missed numerous opportunities to bust Bernie Madoff and his 16-year Ponzi scheme. Madoff's scam cost investors billions of dollars, shuffling money away from retirement funds, charitable donations, and trusts. Madoff is currently serving a 150-year sentence for his crimes, but what can the S.E.C. do to redeem themselves? We talk to David Scheer, S.E.C. reporter for Bloomberg News.
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Pharmaceutical mega-corporation Pfizer has agreed to pay $2.3 billion in civil and criminal penalties for its unlawful drug promotions. The company will pay the largest health care fraud fine in history for aiming their advertising dollars at patients, not doctors; promoting off-label uses of their drugs without FDA approval; and creating and distributing phony "independent" medical educational materials. The products at the heart of the case include Bextra, a drug approved to treat arthritis but marketed for other uses; and Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant promoted as a smoking cessation aid. Pfizer's agreement to pay the penalty for their intent to defraud marks the culmination of a long and complex case. Tony West is the assistant attorney general for the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. He worked on the case and joins us to talk about drugs, advertising, and the law.
Monday, August 31, 2009
The story of Jaycee Dugard's abduction is disturbing enough for adults, but what about kids? How do you explain and interpret such a horrific and frightening story to a child? We're joined this morning by Linda Blair, a child psychologist and author of the book “Straight Talking."
Friday, August 28, 2009
Police in California have been searching a house where a woman was apparently held prisoner for 18 years after being abducted as an 11-year-old. The police say the abducted woman, Jaycee Dugard, and her two children – allegedly fathered by her captor, convicted sex-offender Philip Garrido – had been living in concealed outbuildings and tents. Police also say the children have never been to school or seen a doctor.
In 1991, 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard was forced into a car on her way to school and not heard of again... until she walked into a San Francisco police station earlier this week with her alleged abductor and their children. Following this extraordinary case is Clint Van Zandt, a former FBI profiler who served as a special agent with the FBI for 25 years. He’s now President of Van Zandt Associates, a risk and threat assessment group.
Friday, August 21, 2009
Former New York Giants wide-reciever Plaxico Burress accepted a plea bargain yesterday which will send him to prison for 2 years after pleading guilty to a weapons charge. As you might remember, Burress walked into a nightclub in New York City last November with a gun tucked in the waistband of his sweat pants. The gun slipped, and as Burress grabbed for it, he accidentally shot a bullet into his own leg. Burress' Florida gun license was expired; he had no license to carry a gun in New York.
Also making headlines is Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, who broke his own world record in the 100m dash. Again.
Joining us is Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, The Takeaway's sports contributor, along with New York Giants fan and family-law attorney Jeff Blank.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
In a newly-released paper in the journal Forensic Science International: Genetics, scientists in Tel Aviv, Israel, describe how they have found a process to fabricate DNA. The process involved removing DNA from a woman’s blood sample and adding DNA from a different person. The process was so easy, they say, that any biology undergraduate has the tools to engineer his or her own crime scene. (DNA evidence left at crime scenes has been considered nearly incontrovertible in the past; this process raises questions about its reliability going forward.)
We talk to Timothy Bestor, a professor of genetics and development at the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University, and Tania Simoncelli, a science advisor at the American Civil Liberties Union.
Friday, August 14, 2009
On Wednesday this week, we speculated on what would happen next in the career of former NFL star-turned-rehabilitated-felon, Michael Vick. Coincidentally, on Thursday his next step was announced: he will return to professional football after signing with the Philadelphia Eagles. The Takeaway's sports contributor Ibrahim Abdul-Matin joins us to forecast how the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will fare in his new job, along with some notes on the PGA.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi was convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, in 1988, and sentenced to life in prison in a Scottish jail. Now suffering from terminal cancer, he is expected to be released on compassionate grounds next week. How are the families of the victims reacting to the news? The Takeaway speaks with Susan Cohen, mother of 20-year old victim Theodora Cohen and co-author of Pan Am 103: The Bombing, the Betrayals, and a Bereaved Family's Search for Justice.
Friday, July 24, 2009
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 17, 2009
Forensic scientists have begun sorting the remains of hundreds of cadavers that were taken from their graves at Burr Oak Cemetery in the Chicago suburb of Alsip, Illinois. Four workers have been arrested for the alleged grave selling plot. Officials now estimate that close to 300 graves at the traditionally-black cemetery were tampered with. Family members of people buried there are trying to learn whether their loved ones' resting places were desecrated. Terry Dean of Oak Park, Illinois, has several family members buried at Burr Oak. He joins The Takeaway with his story. Also joining the conversation is Gary Laderman, author of Rest in Peace: A Cultural History of Death and the Funeral Home in Twentieth-Century America and Sacred Matters: Celebrity Worship, Sexual Ecstasies, The Living Dead and Other Signs of Religious Life in the United States.
"Who would think that you would have to check, not visit, but check to make sure that your relatives are still there? We lost them once and now we've lost them again."
—Terry Dean on recent grave tamperings