Jan. 17, 2013 Christian Science Monitor
Moscow -- One of Russia's top organized crime bosses was gunned down in a classic contract hit on a Moscow street Wednesday, raising fears that Russia's notorious mafia gangs – which seemed to fade from view during the Vladimir Putin era – may be about to erupt onto the streets again.
Aslan Usoyan, whose nickname was "Grandpa (Dyed) Khasan," was shot in broad daylight as he exited his favorite downtown Moscow restaurant. He was killed by a chillingly professional assassin who had rented an apartment across the street months earlier, left behind an untraceable military-style sniper rifle and six spent cartridges, and who managed to dodge multiple security cameras when he made his escape.
Mr. Usoyan had been one of the last of the fabled Soviet-era underworld breed known as vori v zakone, or "thieves-in-law," whose gangs virtually ruled Russia's fledgling banking and business communities during the wild 1990s, and whose bloody turf wars spread mayhem around Russia and, to some extent, throughout the world.
Russia's hardened crime reporters and other experts were hardly shocked by the killing, which was the third attempt on Usoyan's life. But as they mulled over the event Thursday they appeared to disagree over what it means and what might come next.
Jan. 17, 2013 CBS
CHICAGO — On the same day when the city of Chicago is paying out $32 million to settle two police abuse cases, a new report details the extent of police crime, corruption and cover-ups.
UIC professors Dick Simpson and John Hagedorn traced police misconduct over 50 years and found more than 300 officers in that time had been convicted of serious crimes, a third of those for illegal drug dealing, weapons sales, and gang activity.
Hagedorn says it’s no wonder Chicago has a notorious gang problem.
“The gang problem has always been serious in Chicago, in part, because the problem of police corruption has always been so serious,” he said.
Simpson says there’s a history of cover ups and indifference to corruption and crime by cops.
“Even when the police superintendent does recommend the firing of police officers, the police board overturns his recommendation 63 percent of the time.”
Among the report’s recommendations: replacing the police board with an elected board and requiring officers to report misconduct by colleagues as a way of ending the code of silence.
Jan. 17, 2013 Washington Post
The fate of a married D.C. police officer charged with killing his mistress and their 11-month-old daughter will soon be in the hands of twelve Prince George’s County residents.
Attorneys rested their cases in the trial of Richmond Phillips, who is facing two first-degree murder charges and other related counts, on Thursday morning. Defense attorneys called no witnesses, and Phillips did not testify.
After both sides deliver closing arguments, scheduled to begin at 1 p.m., the case will head to the jury.
Prosecutors have said Phillips, 40, shot and killed 20-year-old Wynetta Wright outside a Hillcrest Heights comunity center in May 2011 because he did not want to pay her child support.
The slaying occurred hours before Phillips was to submit a DNA sample that would ultimately prove he was the father of Wright’s daughter, Jaylin Wright.
After killing Wynetta Wright, prosecutors have said, Phillips drove Jaylin in Wynetta Wright’s SUV to a nearby apartment complex and left her in the hot vehicle to die. He then lied to investigators probing her disappearance and death, prosecutors said.
Defense attorneys have acknowledged Phillips lied several times to investigators but said he did so to cover up an affair, not a murder. They have said Phillips met with Wynetta Wright in the hours before she was killed but left her alone in a dangerous area to take another daughter to school.
Jan. 16, 2013 Associated Pess
NEW YORK -- Federal authorities have charged 32 people, including a dozen alleged mobsters and associates, with using threats of violence and shakedowns to control garbage pickup routes in New York City's suburbs.
FBI agents arrested 30 of the defendants on Wednesday on racketeering conspiracy, extortion and other counts during morning raids around the city and its northern suburbs, as well as in New Jersey. Two more were expected to surrender later in the day.
An indictment identifies 12 of the defendants as either official members or associates of the Genovese, Gambino and Luchese organized crime families. The crime families have a long tradition of infiltrating and extorting trash collection companies at a cost partly borne by paying customers.
"In addition to the violence that often accompanies their schemes, the economic impact amounts to a mob tax on goods and services," George C. Venizelos, head of New York's FBI office, said in a statement.
Court papers allege the extortion ring controlled several trash hauling companies in Westchester, Rockland and Nassau counties in New York, and in Bergen and Passaic counties in New Jersey. The men extorted protection money from the companies and told them which routes they could use, the papers say.
Newspaper account of the heist
On January 17, 1950, a team of eleven thieves, in a precisely timed and choreographed strike, steals more than $2 million from the Brinks Armored Car depot in Boston, Massachusetts. The Great Brinks Robbery, as it quickly became known, was the almost perfect crime. Ironically, only days before the statute of limitations were set to expire on the crime, the culprits were finally caught.
Jan. 16, 2013 Yahoo
"I will put everything I’ve got into this,” Obama, standing alongside Vice President Joe Biden, promised an audience that included relatives of the first-graders slaughtered at Sandy Hook Elementary School, survivors of other mass shootings and elected officials.
"While there is no law, or set of laws, that can prevent every senseless act of violence completely, no piece of legislation that will prevent every tragedy, every act of evil, if there’s even one thing we can do to reduce this violence, if there’s even one life that can be saved, then we’ve got an obligation to try," Obama said in his speech. "And I’m going to do my part."
The president declared himself a firm believer in the Second Amendment and denounced those who will cast his "common-sense" approach as "a tyrannical, all-out assault on liberty." He also warned those inclined to support his strategy that passage "will be difficult."
“This will not happen unless the American people demand it. If parents and teachers, police officers and pastors, if hunters and sportsmen, if responsible gun owners, if Americans of every background stand up and say, ‘Enough, we’ve suffered too much pain and care too much about our children to allow this to continue,' then change will come," he said. "That’s what it’s going to take."
Bowing to political reality, Obama’s proposals included a wave of 23 executive actions that circumvent Congress, where most Republicans and a few Democrats have balked at sweeping new restrictions they say could trample constitutional gun rights. The potent National Rifle Association lobby has also pledged to defeat new gun control measures.
Albert Fish aka the Moon Maniac
On January 16, 1936, Albert Fish the infamous “Moon Maniac” is executed at Sing Sing prison in New York. Fish was one of America's most notorious and disturbed killers. Authorities believe that Fish killed as many as 10 children and then ate their remains. Fish went to the electric chair with great anticipation, telling guards, "It will be the supreme thrill, the only one I haven't tried."
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