crime Politics

Embedded Podcast —Inside the Capitol Siege

You may have seen fragments of video footage from the siege on the capital; now hear from the reporters who were inside.

crime culture history Politics religion

The Title of Liberty

Despite LDS church officials distancing themselves from fringe conspiracy theories and congratulating incoming President elect Biden, we still witness the embarrassment of a Mormon proudly participating in yesterday’s debacle and broadcasting their association with the church publicly by flying the “title of liberty” pictured above and cosplaying as a warrior from the Book of Mormon.

From Wikipedia:

Moroni [a character from the Book of Mormon] is associated with the “title of liberty”, a standard that he raised to rally the Nephites to defend their liberties from a group of dissenters who wanted to establish their leader as a king. Moroni was so angry with Amalickiah’s dissention and wicked influence that he tore his coat and wrote upon it, “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children.” With those words, he rallied his people to defend their families and their freedom and drive out the armies of Amalickiah. Moroni put to death any dissenters who did not flee and would not support the cause of freedom, and his ” title of liberty” was raised over every Nephite tower.

I guess I’m more disgusted by the so called Saints participating in this madness than others because of my background in the church and the sensitivity church members have with regard to fighting against the United States government. See also Articles of Faith: “12 We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.”

There are lunatics within any large enough group of people, but I even know some — heck, am related to them — that would not surprise me to hear they went to this level. (By his body size, I certainly don’t think this is someone that I know.)

As I mentioned previously, it shocks me the level of support Mormons give Trump.

Update: These tweets sum it up for me:


Let’s Crack Zodiac

I didn’t know much about the Zodiac killer before hearing that one of his ciphers has been solved this week (some 51 years later) so after watching the video below I did a little research via Wikipedia’s entry on the killer which provides a succinct primer:

The Zodiac Killer (or simply Zodiac or the Zodiac) is the pseudonym of an American serial killer who operated in Northern California from at least the late 1960s to the early 1970s. His identity remains unknown. The killer originated the name in a series of taunting letters and cards sent to the San Francisco Bay Area press. These letters included four cryptograms (or ciphers).

The Zodiac murdered five known victims in Benicia, Vallejo, Napa County, and San Francisco, respectively, between December 1968 and October 1969. He targeted young couples, with two of the men surviving attempted murder. He also murdered a male cab driver. The Zodiac himself once claimed to have murdered 37 victims.

Famous for sending taunting letters to California newspapers — one of the messages consisted of a series of letters and symbols in a code that no one could decipher. Now a team of amateur code breakers operating in three different countries have finally solved the letter known as cipher Z340.

You don’t want to miss this:

Further interesting details at

Also, the FBI thinks the word “sooher” at the end of the message is actually “sooner”. Misspellings make for an extra hard code to break perfectly.

(via Miss Cellania, Waxy, and Metafilter)

crime family

Scary Clown on Venice Beach

My sister and two of her kids were in Los Angeles over the weekend to watch the Premier Lacrosse League All Star Game. After picking up her rental car, first thing they did was hit up Venice Beach near Santa Monica pier. She was having a good time with her boys when four helicopters (at least one police) showed up, and surrounded what she described as a scary clown guy that had been in a slow-speed police pursuit. Although he attracted a crowd, my sister said it was frightening and she wanted nothing to do with the action. It took a while but eventually an officer followed the man onto the beach, waited for more officers to arrive and they arrested the man.

Full story after the jump.

advertising crime humor

ShamWow Guy in Prison

Vince Shlomi, the phenomenally successful television pitchman for products like the ShamWow and Slap Chop, was arrested at a swank Miami hotel last March after a violent confrontation with a prostitute.

From The Smoking Gun:

MARCH 27 – Meet Vince Shlomi. He’s probably better known to you as the ShamWow Guy, the ubiquitous television pitchman who has been phenomenally successful peddling absorbent towels and food choppers. Shlomi, 44, was arrested last month on a felony battery charge following a violent confrontation with a prostitute in his South Beach hotel room. According to an arrest affidavit, Shlomi met Sasha Harris, 26, at a Miami Beach nightclub on February 7 and subsequently retired with her to his $750 room at the lavish Setai hotel. Shlomi told cops he paid Harris about $1000 in cash after she "propositioned him for straight sex." Shlomi said that when he kissed Harris, she suddenly "bit his tongue and would not let go." Shlomi then punched Harris several times until she released his tongue.

For those of you that are not familiar with Vince:

[Vince with Slap Chop – YouTube]

Here he is peddling the ShamWow:

[ShamWow – YouTube]

I’ve saved the best for last. Guess what he’s doing now that he’s in prison?

[Shamwow Guy in Prison – CollegeHumor]

crime environment

Exxon Valdez 20 Years Later

dead whale from Exxon Valdez oil spill

Last Tuesday marked the twenty-year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil disaster that polluted 2000km (1200 miles) of Alaskan coastline.

Most people assume that Exxon followed through with the many promises to clean it up and pay out proper restitution to those who were damaged by the accident. Investigative reporter Greg Palast says those assumptions are wrong.

Twenty years later, the oil is still lingering in the environment, Exxon has whittled down its court ordered fees by billions, it’s rigged the system to actually collect some of that money back, and to top it all off, many rightful claimants are dead.

Two years after the spill, Otto Harrison, General Manager of Exxon USA, told Evanoff and me to forget about a fishing boat for Uncle Paul. Exxon was immortal and Natives were not. The company would litigate for 20 years.

They did. Only now, two decades on, Exxon has finally begun its payout of the court award — but only ten cents on the dollar. And Uncle Paul’s boat? No matter. Paul’s dead. So are a third of the fishermen owed the money.

article crime

The Untold Story of the World’s Biggest Diamond Heist

In February 2003, Leonardo Notarbartolo, was arrested in connection with a break-in to a vault two floors beneath the Antwerp Diamond Center. The thieves were thought to have made off with an estimated $100 million worth of diamonds, gold, jewelry, and other spoils.

Wired News shares the incredible story:

The vault was thought to be impenetrable. It was protected by 10 layers of security, including infrared heat detectors, Doppler radar, a magnetic field, a seismic sensor, and a lock with 100 million possible combinations. The robbery was called the heist of the century, and even now the police can’t explain exactly how it was done.

The loot was never found, but based on circumstantial evidence, Notarbartolo was sentenced to 10 years. He has always denied having anything to do with the crime and has refused to discuss his case with journalists, preferring to remain silent for the past six years.

Until now.

The video is great, but the article delves into the captivating details.

crime family

Argentine Mugging Attempt

My brother Gary is down in Argentina this month taking photos and visiting old friends. Today a couple of hooligans, about 15 or 16 years old, tried to rob him. He punched one of them in the face and then made a run for it when they pulled a knife.

Read his story.

crime friends

Woman Loses Finger in Pit Bull Attack

Kelli’s parents have a friendly Irish Setter named Riley. A couple months ago, while taking a walk with Kelli’s mom, their family pet was attacked by a vicious pit-bull. Despite attempts to separate the attacker from Riley, by hitting the wild dog, she was unable to get him to release his clamped jaws.

Luckily a woman driving by in a van saw the incident and helped to separate the two dogs, finally getting Riley into the safety of her vehicle.

Suddenly a man appeared in a blue sports car, claimed the dog as his brother’s, and apologized for neglecting to keep him in control.
Riley with StichesLong story short, after a vet bill of a few hundred dollars (that Kelli’s folks paid themselves) and some minor cuts to Kelli’s mom’s hand, Riley has healed up and the only lasting damage appeared to be psychological.

Today the Medicine Hat News has reported another attack on the same street by a dog of the same description. This time not only did the dog attack another dog, described as a small Shih Tsu, but in the scuffle the dog bit off a woman’s finger.

See the article after the jump:


The Lost Camera Situation

Using digital technology is a great way to share life’s little adventures. A digital camera, a flickr account, and a blog are pretty much all you need, to show off those great vacation photos from Hawaii.

You don’t even have to actually take your own pictures. That’s sort of what someone named Judith decided she was going to do. She went on a trip to Hawaii and things were going great until she lost her very expensive camera.

However, since Flickr is full of pictures from Hawaii, she decided to create a trip journal with the pictures of strangers who had taken similar photographs. Things weren’t great but she was making the best of a bad situation.

But then something unexpected happened! Things were great again because she was contacted by someone (from Canada I might add) who had found a camera which fit the description perfectly.

But then things were bad again because the people with the camera decided they’d rather not do the right thing after all. (Can I just mention how embarrassing it is that they are from Canada?)

The Internet mob is raging and they want names, email addresses and police action! Judith has decided to refrain from publishing personal information but that doesn’t mean she’s not still trying to get her camera back.

And if that weren’t enough, check out this weird twist over at BoingBoing “some guy claiming to be a “lawer” (sic) is “threatening legal action” against Corry Doctorow for publishing the story. Apparently, the so-called barrister doesn’t know the difference between “libel” and “slander” nor does he apparently consider the part of the libel statute that requires that a plaintiff be referenced in a way that is identifiable to be a factor.

The reporters have started leaving comments on Judith’s blog asking for interviews. I predict that this is a story we’ll be hearing more about, and I hope that the crummy people change their mind and give back the camera. It’s the least they could do after making us Canadians look so bad.