Welcome to Mystery Crime Blog

In 1998, if someone had told me I would be spending the next eight years of my life involved in injustice, I would have said "You are stark raving mad!". Well, I am here to eat those words.

In 1997, a friend was telling me about twin sisters, Betty Wilson and Peggy Lowe, from Alabama who were arrested and tried for supposedly hiring an alcoholic, drug addict con-man, James Dennison White, to kill Betty's wealthy husband, Dr. Jack Wilson, who was a very well-liked and well-known eye doctor in Huntsville. Both sisters were tried on the same evidence and lying testimony. Betty was convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole because she was a rich bitch and slept with a black man in Alabama. Peggy, the saintly one, was acquitted. The convicted con-man, who never really admitted to killing the doctor, has come up for parole several times but is still incarcerated.

After spending six years studying this case including both trial transcripts, putting up an extensive website (http://hankford.com/bettywilson) and spending the remaining two years putting together a book about this case Killer For Hire - The Final Chapter of the Alabama Twins Murder Case, I, as many others, believe that the real killer of the doctor is walking around free. Neither of the twin sisters had a motive to have the good doctor put away but the doctor's ex-wife and son did.

As time permits, I hope to present other similar cases of injustice along with information on books, movies, TV shows, video games, etc., related to mystery crime. In the meantime please visit http://mysterycrimescene.com/.

Have Gun, Will Travel: The Big-Money World of Private Security

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Private Security
Source: SecurityDegreeHub.com
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Real Justice: Young, Innocent and in Prison: The Story of Robert Baltovich (Lorimer Real Justice)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Real Justice: Young, Innocent and in Prison: The Story of Robert Baltovich (Lorimer Real Justice)

Real Justice: Young, Innocent and in Prison: The Story of Robert Baltovich (Lorimer Real Justice) At twenty-five, Rob Baltovich lost the love of his life, Elizabeth Bain. That was bad enough. Then he was arrested, jailed, sent to trial for murder, convicted and sent to prison—for life.

Throughout his years in prison, Rob maintained that he was innocent, refusing to admit to a crime he didn't commit. The result was he was never granted parole. Finally, his luck began to turn when he hired new lawyers who believed in him. Not only did they get Rob acquitted, they also made a strong case that the real murderer was the infamous serial killer Paul Bernardo.

Author Jeff Mitchell tells much of the story in Baltovich's own words. In this book, young readers will discover how this tragic miscarriage of justice happened—and how the legal system can right its own wrongs when lawyers and judges are willing to re-examine a case with fresh eyes.

List Price: $ 12.95
Price: $4.17

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Mystery Stories, Print Or Audio Books, Are Timeless In Suspense

In 1819, author E.T.A Hoffmann wrote a brilliant novel "Das Fraulein von Scuderi" a highly suspenseful, well written plot of twists and turns with believable characters and descriptive terrains, which became a back drop for many authors to emulate. It is widely thought that Edgar Allen Poe's novel, "The Murders in the Rue Morgue," was influenced by Hoffmann's work. Writers of all genres can usually agree that they have been influenced by earlier works. Arthur Conan Doyle was one such writer. His "Sherlock Holmes" books inspired not only future writers but Hollywood as well.

It was during this time, (the 1920s), that the dime novels were in full swing. These novels were printed on cheap pulp paper (hence the name "pulp fiction") and were affordable to all. Mystery and suspense became a huge favorite and continued to inspire authors such as Agatha Christie and juvenile mystery writers, Edward Statemeyer , "Hardy Boys" Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, "Nancy Drew."

The pulp fiction mysteries were massively popular and by the 1930s and 40s, many more authors were added to the writing circuit, writers such as Dashiell Hammett "The Maltese Falcon" and "Red Harvest", Lester Dent, "Doc Savage", L. Ron Hubbard "Dead Men Kill, Carnival of Death and Brass Keys to Murder."

Mystery stories evolved to include detective or crime stories, supernatural mystery, hard-boiled detective, thriller mystery, suspense or murder mystery and even horror. There is a basic element of "whodunit" in most of the stories.

Man is a curious creature that has a need to know the "how, what, when, who or why" and mystery writers can play on this need. A good writer can lead you slowly to the shower curtain where one knows something bad stands behind it, but still, we must pull it back and see who stands there, all while the heart is pounding with anticipation.

Our love affair with mystery was not lost on Hollywood. Many great television shows have been solving mysteries. Shows like Ellery Queen or the highly popular Alfred Hitchcock mystery suspense series. Perry Mason was a character created by Erle Stanley Gardner in the 1930s and his early novels created a power house attorney played by actor Raymond Burr. His portrayal of Perry Mason was extraordinarily popular and although attempts were made to recreate his character with other actors, no one could play the part successfully.

During the hay day of radio theater, mystery stories were hugely popular. Compellingly crafted stories could keep one riveted and involved with the characters. Fast forward to today and we have modern technology in the form of ipods and mp3 players upon which audio books can be enjoyed of which there are many stories to choose from.

Mystery stories will never go out of style, and as long as there are writers, there will be audiences that will enjoy them.

Frederick Hail is a passionate advocate of lifelong learning through audio books on cd collections. Galaxy Press Publishing, publisher of "The Golden Age Stories" and all genres of pulp fiction stories and novels, offers a convenient subscription service, so you never have to miss an issue. It's a pulp fiction lover's dream!

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Women Maoists in India face harassment and torture in rebel ranks and mainstream culture

Friday, April 25, 2014

Maoist women in India face a sexism double whammy: in mainstream Indian culture, and within the alternative Maosit culture to which they have dedicated their lives. All too many women join rebel Maoist groups to help overthrow India’s semi-colonial, semi-feudal government only to discover that they have jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

Life has never been easy for most women in India. Relentless and grinding poverty, and widespread displacement of locals from their land by big-business interests, are problems that hit women as hard as or harder than they do men. But women also suffer from the gender inequality that is inherent in Indian culture. So it is little wonder that many women have joined the effort to create a better world through a ‘people’s war’.

For many of India’s women Maoists, however, life in the ranks of the rebel forces can mean physical abuse, sexual exploitation and harassment and, in some cases, torture. Even worse, some women, upon surrendering to authorities, find they get no sympathy, just more exploitation. Some have allegedly been gang-raped by police while in custody.

In the news

In recent years there have been several news stories about atrocities against women and girls within the Maoist rebel groups. These experiences have persuaded many women to give up fighting the ‘good fight’ and return to mainstream society.

For instance, back in March of 2010 two female Maoist cadres, who surrendered in the Keonjhar district of Orissa, alleged mental and physical abuse by their seniors. Police officials reported that the two had told them that other women cadres were being tortured. and that Maoist forces molested women and girls during their raids in villages in the night.

More recently, two women Maoists surrendered to Malkangiri district police, claiming they had been harassed and tortured by senior ultras. They had originally been persuaded to join the Maoist organisation by leaders who were impressed by their social and creative skills. The women put those skills to use attracting others into the organisation through cultural activities. Women are often used for these purposes, though many are fully trained in weapons and tactical maneuvers as well.

It seems that women just can’t catch a break. Furthermore, a November 2013 BBC News India piece quoted a former rebel commander from the eastern state of Bihar: ‘We had women from 16 to 40 years of age in our group. Almost all those I knew had experienced some form of sexual abuse or exploitation when they had stepped outside their homes to work or at the hands of security forces.’ The former commander noted that, although the women had originally joined the Maoist organisations to seek revenge against abuses in mainstream society, many had become disillusioned and were leaving the ranks – in large part because of abuse by their organisations’ male leaders.

Women’s growing role as insurgents and counter-insurgents

India’s Maoists are sometimes also known as ‘Naxalites’, a reference to the Naxalbari insurrection conducted by radical Maoist peasants in West Bengal in 1967. The present Communist Party of India was founded in September of 2004, a merger of the Communist Party of India (Marxist-Leninist) People’s War (People’s War Group), and the Maoist Communist Centre of India (MCCI). They operate mostly in India’s central and eastern regions, demanding land and jobs for the poor. Ultimately the Maoists want to establish a communist society by overthrowing the Indian government. Not surprisingly they are officially designated by various governing bodies of India as a ‘terrorist organisation’ and an ‘unlawful association’.

In recent years an increasing number of women have joined ‘the movement’; a phenomenon that most analysts attribute to the worsening conditions in rural India. In fact female commanders have come to constitute almost half of the armed cadre of Maoists. And, although it is difficult to get a head count of the women killed in encounters, it’s safe to say that as their participation grows, more female casualties are likely.

But despite their bravery in battle and their willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for the cause, women still have difficulty getting respect from their fellow fighters, or from the authorities to whom some surrender when life as a rebel becomes unbearable.

Of course women aren’t the only ones who are brutalised when Maoists clash with law enforcement. In fact, attempts are being made to alleviate some of the problems, such as hiring women police officers to help address some of the human rights violations in Maoist-affected areas. Recently a survey was conducted in 322 locations across India, for the purpose of assessing public perception of women police officers. The results were presented in February 2014 during a conference held in Guwahati by the director who noted that there had been multiple complaints against “rude policemen who participate in human rights abuses”. Survey respondents indicated that they believed a female officer could handle any situation in a better manner than a man, and could also communicate more effectively with locals.

That’s just a drop in the bucket. It fails to address the problems that women rebels face within their organisations, and does not even begin to tackle the deep-seated problems that gave rise to the rebellions in the first place.

It could happen anywhere

Much of the world remains unaware of the suffering faced by India’s female Maoist rebels. It’s an issue that makes the news only occasionally and doesn’t capture worldwide headlines, as much as genocide or natural disasters or even celebrity sex scandals. Moreover, many people are unsympathetic to the Maoist political ideology as well as the rebels’ tactics, so Maoist women in India may not present as the most sympathetic victims in the eyes of many people.

Yet the fact remains that India, the world’s largest democracy, has serious internal problems that won’t be fixed easily, rebels or no rebels. A female Maoist being raped or tortured in India – whether at the hands of her fellow freedom fighters or by mainstream law enforcement – cannot simply be dismissed as “someone else’s problem”. What happens to her can and does happen everywhere in the world.


This guest post was contributed by Daphne Holmes at StrifeBlog.Org.

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Guest Post: 5 Reasons Why Rape Victims Struggle for Justice

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Throughout history rape has been recognized as a crime, although criminal codes – and the very definition of rape – have varied from culture to culture and from one era to another. Whether rape victims get justice has always depended upon where (and when) they lived. In the modern-day United States we like to think we are relatively enlightened in this regard. We have the advantage of heightened educational and legislative efforts over the past forty years, driven largely by the feminist and human rights movements. Groundbreaking books such as Susan Brownmiller’s classic 1975 work, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape, explored the dynamics of rape. Contrary to the subtitle, Brownmiller’s book tackled not just male-on-female rape, but also homosexual rape (particularly in prisons) and the sexual assault of children. The net result of four decades of education is that attitudes and laws are more protective of the victims than they used to be, at least in the U.S. and many other First World countries.

In many parts of the world, however, it is a different story: attitudes, practices, and laws remain relatively unsympathetic to the victims. Rape victims in India, and in countries in the Middle East and Africa are often victimized as much by archaic laws and traditions as they are by their assailants. There are numerous other examples of injustice as well, and not necessarily just in Third World countries. Gender and economic inequality inherent in some of these cultures almost guarantee that rape victims will not get justice. This is an issue worthy of continued attention by international advocacy and activist groups.

But we in the U.S. have no room for complacency, for many rape victims still face an uphill battle in their pursuit of justice. For several reasons, rape remains an egregiously underreported – and under-prosecuted – crime, even in the U.S. Here are five reasons that many rape victims in the U.S. still struggle for justice.

1. Even defining “rape” can still be a challenge. At one time, rape was chiefly thought of as a male-on-female offense involving forcible vaginal penetration. In the 1970s and 1980s, widespread legislation reform expanded the definition, defining rape in more gender-neutral terms and encompassing other acts besides forcible vaginal penetration, as well as various types of sexual abuse that don’t necessarily involve force at all. But this didn’t necessarily make justice easier to pursue or obtain. Even though rape and sexual assault are covered by the Federal Criminal Code (Title 18, Chapter 109A, Sections 2241-2233)), laws vary from state to state, and antiquated laws remain on the books in some states. Rape statutes in the U.S. still tend to require lack of consent or physical force or both – overlooking the fact that coercive manipulation can and does result in grievously inappropriate sexual contact that under more enlightened laws might be considered criminal. This isn’t just a problem for public health officials who are trying to compile sexual assault statistics. It can be a very real problem for prosecutors and victims as well.

2. Victim blaming is still alive and well. Historically defense attorneys, who would for all practical purposes put the alleged victim on trial, used the old “blame-the-victim” strategy. Their reasoning was that if they could demonstrate that the victim’s appearance and/or behavior (even past behavior) was somehow responsible for the crime, it would make the perpetrator more sympathetic to a jury. Although so-called rape shield laws have modified this practice in the courtroom, culturally we haven’t come such a long way, judging from the insensitive – and this is putting it kindly – remarks made by some foot-in-mouth politicians and radio hosts. The blame-the-victim attitude is alive and well, and it’s unrealistic to think that law enforcement and juries are completely uninfluenced by this attitude.

3. Many victims blame themselves. As if it weren’t bad enough that others might “blame the victim,” many victims still tend to blame themselves. Rape is a traumatic violation, whether it is forcible rape by a stranger, coercion or manipulation by someone in a position of power, or “date rape.” Victims are often ashamed and embarrassed and hold themselves responsible, at least in part, for what happened to them. Even if they have the courage to report the attack, many victims are so embarrassed or intimidated that they decline to press charges or refuse to give law enforcement enough information to result in an arrest, say nothing of a trial and conviction.

4. Many rapists target victims who are easily intimidated and/or whose credibility can easily be questioned. Though modern statutes may reflect the reality that not every case of sexual assault involves force and violence, it can still be difficult for prosecutors to persuade juries that seemingly consensual, or coerced but nonviolent, sex is actually an offense worth convicting. Complicating the matter is the fact that many rapists target victims who won’t be likely to fight back. They may target young, timid, mentally or emotionally challenged or otherwise vulnerable victims. Or they will seek out victims whose credibility can easily be disputed or who can be made to appear unsympathetic to a jury. Targeting such victims makes it less likely that the rapist will even be charged, much less tried and convicted.

5. False accusations do occur, and they cloud the picture more than we like to admit. Every time there’s a news story about an athlete falsely accused of rape, it reinforces the perception that false accusations are a relatively commonplace occurrence. And the ongoing controversy over “false memories,” only strengthens the perception among many that sexual abuse accusations should always be taken with a grain of salt. Certainly false accusations occur, and most assuredly they can wreck the life of the accused. This problem should never be taken lightly. But the truth is that false rape accusations remain relatively rare. Unfortunately, every time a dramatic story comes to the public attention there is a little bit of backlash, and arguably an increase in cynicism towards all who make rape accusations. This can discourage real victims from coming forward.

The law, like civilization itself, is a work in progress, or so we like to think. And although we’ve made a lot of progress in recent years, we still have a way to go before all victims of rape and sexual assault are able to get justice.

For more information: This 2000 report by the National Violence Again Women Prevention Research Center, Medical University of South Carolina, provides some history of rape legislation in the U.S.

Author: Daphne Holmes contributed this guest post at CrimLawPractionerBlog.

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Five Ways to Prevent Drug Abuse Among Kids

This is a guest post from Daphne Holmes at EssexAdapt.Org .

One of disadvantages parents face when striving to keep their households drug-free, is that the playing field has changed drastically, compared to the drug culture parents were exposed to in their younger years. Much of the guidance parents are able to provide to their kids comes from their personal experiences with similar circumstances. Sharing lessons they learned grappling with the same issues their kids are facing today helps parents guide their children through trying times. But combatting drug abuse requires parents to tackle issues they have little experience with, placing them in unfamiliar territory.

For starters, there are new drugs on the street today that were not available a generation ago. Methamphetamine and Ecstasy, for example, plague communities nationwide – and these are not the only go-to drugs tempting young people. Heroin is making a strong comeback, partially resulting from a spike in recreational use of prescription drugs like Oxycodone. As anti-abuse countermeasures have made it harder to acquire prescription versions, Heroin has stepped in as an inexpensive way to fill the void, leading to abuse and tragic deaths among users.

Hyper-connectivity also works against parents fighting drug abuse. Communication is at the heart of access, so the drug supply-chain is thriving, bringing hard drugs to even the most remote communities. And for many parents, the evolution of the drug scene continues outside their frames of reference, so accepting that their own kids might be at risk is a stretch.

Despite its changing face, confronting drug abuse head-on remains the best approach, relying on several proven strategies for combating the epidemic.

Educate Kids and Parents – Glossing over drug use issues with superficial lip-service does not go far enough to recognize the nuances of experimentation and abuse among kids. In order to further positive outcomes among their children, parents must become authorities on drug use and abuse. Not only is their credibility at stake with the kids they are trying to influence, but in order to fight abuse parents must have a solid grasp of the risks, contributing factors, and dangers of using particular drugs.

Once parents understand what they are facing, they are better prepared to control the anti-drug message with authority, in ways kids cannot refute. Local law enforcement and civic agencies conduct informative meet-ups with parents, to help them understand drug issues facing the community. Whether adults-only, or events shared with school-aged children, parents are well-served by these educational opportunities.

Communication goes both Ways - Laying down the rules and turning a blind eye to the drug issues children and teens face is not an effective strategy for reducing abuse among kids. Instead, parents must keep a two-way line of communication active, so kids remain comfortable discussing drug issues at home. Questions will undoubtedly arise, so rather than seeking answers from peers or experimentation, children should feel at-ease discussing sensitive drug issues with parents.

In many cases, kids start using drugs to cope with other pressures they are facing, like anxiety, depression, and anger. Helping them reconcile these and other social issues stems from open communication, which gives kids the best chance of staying drug-free.

Set the Right Example – Parents furnish role models for their own children and also provide general examples of conduct for young people outside their families to emulate. Nothing supports your anti-drug message more clearly than personal behavior illustrating your commitment to a drug-free home.

Monitor Kids and Access – Parents’ supervisory roles extend over behavior leading to drug use, but they also share responsibility for monitoring access to drugs; especially prescription medication kept in the home. .

Drug use sometimes starts as a child’s effort to fit-in with a particular social group at school. Parents committed to curbing drug use are active members of their children’s social spheres. Getting to know their friends and supervising activities are the only ways for parents to keep kids on the right paths, so actively monitoring relationships helps prevent drug abuse. And since prescription abuse among young people is a growing concern, unused medication needs to be stored under lock and key, to prevent unauthorized access of prescriptions, leading to illicit use.

Encourage Positive Outcomes – Boredom is often cited as a precipitating factor in drug use among kids. Instead of allowing kids to fall into drug use for the sake of “something to do” parents are better served by approaches that reinforce and encourage positive activities. Hobbies, sports and other childhood distractions are rewarding on their own, but they also distract kids away from peer pressure, and the drug use that sometimes follows. Replacing negative opportunities with positive outcomes is a sure-fire strategy for reducing drug abuse among kids.

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Criminal States of America

Courtesy of Viviana Shafrin at CrimimalJusticeDegreeHub.com
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Game Theory: Are Gamers Killing Video Games?

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Support the show & get some FREE TV! ▻ http://www.huluplus.com/matpat So people didn't like Virtual Boy and aren't buying the Wii U. Well, in PART 2 of our "... Video Rating: 4 / 5

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