In America, if you’re going to die, especially before your time, it better be by natural causes and not require a whole lot of investigation to support that finding. Because, if your death is the result of foul play but there’s no glaring evidence of blunt force trauma, it’ll probably be through either good luck or powerful connections that it’s ever ruled a homicide.
Why is that? Well, for starters, there are tons of dead bodies piling up out there and a dearth of medical examiners to perform thorough autopsies on them.
It’s also about money.
Expediency in making death determinations is one of the major reasons that the relationship between a local police department and the coroner’s office is so “tight.” Cops are often the first to be called to the scene whenever a corpse is found, and their opinions greatly influence how closely forensic pathologists in turn look at that body once it’s been transported to the morgue and placed on a slab.
If, for instance, a deceased young male is fished out of the river after he vanished from a nearby pub or party, then, unless the lad’s also missing his head or bullet-ridden, his death is almost instantly ruled an “accidental drowning.” This will be true, regardless of how suspicious his initial disappearance might have been, or whether the non-recreational water fatality occurred during a cold-weather month.
Open, shut and certified: “The guy was drunk, went to the water for some fresh air, slipped on a rock, fell in, and died.”
At its best, law enforcement working side by side like this with a medical examiner so to expedite a cause of death is arguably an economical and efficient arrangement which can quickly dispose of those cases where there clearly is “no sign of foul play” involved.
But, at its worst, this coziness presents a situation that’s just rife for corruption and cover ups...
Face it, you don’t have to live very long to discover that people with the courage to follow their convictions are a pretty uncommon breed.
You don’t have to look very far either to see that other important species are also becoming equally rare these days, thanks to the unwavering industrialization of the planet and, as a consequence, the steady deterioration of Earth’s vulnerable ecosystems.
Famed fugitive from justice and wildlife researcher, Rebecca J. Rubin, was barely in her twenties when she decided to bravely act on her belief that world corporations and their “puppet” governments were wantonly exploiting global resources and inflicting widespread environmental devastation in their wake.
These are the true eco-terrorists in her opinion, not herself or the Earth Liberation Front, an elusive group of skilled arsonists of which she is a card-carrying member.
Sought for over a decade by the FBI for her and ELF’s anti-corporate misdeeds and methods, Rubin finally surrendered to authorities yesterday at the Canadian border, thus ending her role in a campaign of economic sabotage that is estimated to have inflicted over $40,000,000 worth of losses on the enemy.
A drop in the bucket really, when compared to the billions of dollars of damages derived from just one oil spill, or those wrought this year alone by super-storms, droughts, floods and wildfires, the legacy of environmental plundering and degradation that began in the 19th century during the Industrial Revolution.
Self-confessed teenage psycho-killer Austin Reed Sigg has another hearing today, as justice for Jessica Ridgeway begins to clumsily meander through the criminal court system like a drunk on a binge.
Gag orders issued by the judge, though standard practice of late, aren’t helping much, either. Because of that restriction, both the prosecution and defense remain mum on exactly what to expect from today's proceedings or where the case is ultimately headed, and when it might get there.
The matter, crystal clear when the youth was first apprehended, is becoming murky already, as measures are taken to push it off the public’s radar so the jury pool doesn’t get tainted.
Will Sigg cop a plea well before then and spare the county the expense of a dragged out trial, maybe cough up another victim or two in hopes of sweetening the deal? Or will the 17 criminal charges he faces be transferred to the juvenile court where he could expect to receive total privacy and far more lenient sentencing if convicted?
Great game between Buffalo and Miami on November 15, 2012. The sprawling Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park NY, home to the Buffalo Bills, was packed for a Thursday night, and the Bills sent the Dolphins packing too, already laying down the groundwork for their defeat by halftime. Final score when the bout was over: 19 to 14.
And one dead.
"We didn't make any plays. It was not a good offensive performance. We had nothing going on,” Miami Dolphins coach Joe Philbin curtly conceded the next day.
True, true, all true. But the far more intriguing matter that nobody dared ask him about pertained to the odd disappearance and drowning of a 26-year-old Miami fan just behind the stadium.
That line of questioning would’ve been like rubbing salt in fresh wounds though, because everyone knows Joe Philbin lost his own son, Michael, in the exact same manner in January 2012. Philbin was with the Green Bay Packers at the time, and his boy was only 21 when he disappeared and drowned.
Nov. 16, 2012
The Statistics, and How To Avoid Becoming One
It’s a parent’s greatest fear, magnified for most Americans in 1979 when six-year-old Etan Patz vanished on his way to kindergarten, and recently exacerbated by the brutal abduction and murder of Colorado schoolgirl Jessica Ridgeway in October 2012.
A child being permanently snatched by a stranger, or even assaulted and killed by them, is the worst case scenario imaginable, and, ever since the Patz boy’s mysterious disappearance, the kind that everybody is on guard for now. An abduction of this extreme nature is formally classified as a “Stereotypical” kidnapping, but, despite the collective terror about it happening all the time, it’s also the most uncommon. In fact, only about 100 to 120 kids per year go missing under such awful circumstances.
A comfort to know in an era that feels at times so utterly lawless, and figures which should offer worried families some peace of mind, but, unfortunately, this is as far as the good news goes regarding child abductions.
With the purpose of writing about true crime in an authoritative, fact-based manner, veteran journalists J. J. Maloney and J. Patrick O’Connor launched Crime Magazine in November of 1998. Their goal was to cover all aspects of true crime: from organized crime to serial killers, from capital punishment to prisons, from historical crimes to celebrity crime, from assassinations to government corruption, from justice issues to innocent cases, from crime films to books about crime. Read More