‘In Cold Blood’ Killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith Exhumed in Kansas

Time.com: ‘In Cold Blood’ Killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith Exhumed in Kansas in an effort to solve slayings of a Florida family killed weeks later.


Published in: on January 1, 2013 at 7:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

The New Neuroscience behind Psychopathy

BBC News: Dr. Kent Kiehl of my alma mater, University of New Mexico seems to think that the empathy or emotion that psychopaths lack in the midst of committing horrific crimes “may in fact be linked to the reason [they] committed these acts.” Kiehl’s studies – on subjects such as serial killer Brian Dugan –  reveal that psychopathy “involve[s] a lack of development in these [emotional] regions [of the brain] which may be genetically determined.” Quite possibly they literally lack the capacity for emotion and have no concept of the harm they can or have caused.

So, then, how do we treat those children who are setting fires, hurting animals, and hurting other humans while displaying little or no remorse and prevent them from continuing down a dark path? It is suggested in the article that some hope “to develop a specific diagnosis for these children – callous and unemotional disorder – and to develop programmes and treatments specifically geared to their condition. In essence, these children have to be painstakingly taught reactions which the rest of us have automatically.”

My question is, would this work, and shouldn’t we start now in identifying and maintaining support systems at an early age for those kids who display a marked lack of empathy or remorse? Prevention saves lives.

German right-wing extremist arrested in “terror probe”

NYT:  On Sunday, German authorities arrested a 37-year old suspect identified only as “Holder G.” who is believed to be a member of a group identified as the National Socialist Underground.

The arrest comes on the heels of authorities discovering the existence of the group in early November 2011; they suspect the group to be a right-wing terror organization responsible for the deaths of Turkish or Greek businesspeople and a policewoman over the past decade.

Many of the murders were originally thought to be related to organized crime instead of being politically or ideologically motivated.

Published in: on November 13, 2011 at 12:30 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Happy Birthday, Culper Ring 355

The blog is as of this month, three years old – we’re renewing our efforts to blog more frequently, although with graduate school and work it gets a bit difficult. Happy Birthday, Culper Ring 355!

Published in: on November 12, 2011 at 5:01 pm  Leave a Comment  
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More unmanned drones patrolling U.S.- Mexico border

NYT: We’re used to hearing about the presence of unmanned drones in Iraq and Afghanistan but not so much in the war on drugs.

Good news: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol is amping up what’s being called the “Predator Program” – the use of unmanned drone aircraft that is “playing a larger role in the nation’s border security.”

Two drones are currently based in Texas and one will be based in Arizona by the new year 2012. Six in total are currently available for deployment. So far they’ve logged more than 10,000 flight hours and aided in nabbing 46,600 pounds of drugs.

Published in: on November 12, 2011 at 11:26 am  Leave a Comment  
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More on Iran’s alleged nuclear program…

WSJ: the International Atomic Energy Agency reports that Iran has begun deploying so-called second-generation centrifuges at its largest uranium-enrichment facility at Natanz, which could allow the country to produce nuclear fuel at three times its current rate.

Published in: on September 4, 2011 at 11:37 am  Leave a Comment  
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Joint security op in Jalulah nets 2 Al Qaeda in Iraq in Jalulah

War on Terror News: Iraq Security Forces (ISF) and U.S. advisers were searching dozens of buildings in Jalulah as part of a joint security operation to find an alleged Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI) member suspected of involvement in assassinations, kidnappings, insurgent financing, and IED attacks, among other things.

According to U.S. Forces – Iraq PAO, “information and evidence gathered…led ISF to i.d. and arrest two suspected AQI criminal associates.”

Here’s hoping they find their main target as well.

July 4th: Miller House where Washington strategized won’t be saved

In honor of the birth of our country (and a weird synchronicity with this blog):

NYT reports that in White Plains, New York, the “Westchester County executive has vetoed funding to save the farmhouse dating to 1738 where George Washington slept and plotted strategy during the Battle of White Plains in 1776.” The farmhouse has been designated a National Historic Landmark.

Hopefully funds can be raised privately to save this invaluable piece of American history.

Happy Independence Day! Apologies to my readers for not posting lately, things have been hectic. However, I couldn’t miss this prescient post in honor of the birth of our great nation.

Note: This blog was named after The Culper Ring, a spy ring organized under the orders of (then) General George Washington. Its task was to infiltrate the British-controlled New York City and to report on troop activity and plans. The Ring performed covert ops until the end of the Revolutionary War. An operative known as “355″ aided and assisted the Culper Ring in its operations. “355″ was the group’s code for “lady.”

Published in: on July 4, 2010 at 6:52 pm  Comments (1)  
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Fallout grows following Israeli raid

NYT: After Israeli actions aboard the flotilla trying to breach the blockade of Gaza, 600+ of the activists aboard remain in custody in southern Israel and international pressure is intensifying for Israel’s blockade of Gaza to end.

NYT reports that Israel has said its commandos fired only in self-defense after being attacked by activists wielding knives and clubs as they boarded the Turkish ship, and the video I’ve seen of the raid seems to suggest this is true (will post as soon as I can find it)

NYPD draws legal heat for its internal “stop and frisk” database

NY Daily News: NYPD is getting sued for keeping an internal database of names collected from “stop and frisks.” We’ll see how it plays out.

Mullah Mohammed Omar captured?

According to Big Government, yes. It’s been said that the Taliban leader and AQ ally has been detained by Pakistani operatives. Since March. (!!)

H/T: Rhetorican

Links between Times Square plot and Pakistan’s Tehrik-e Taliban?

“The manner in which the Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) videos were posted, the criminal complaint against [Faisal] Shahzad, and the relationships between militant groups in Waziristan” may “increase the likelihood that the TTP has an operational connection to the Times Square attack.” @ criticalthreats.org.

Mumbai terrorist Ajmal Kasab sentenced to death

Dawn.com: An Indian judge sentenced Ajmal Kasab to death for his role in the 2008 Mumbai attacks. Kasab was the sole terrorist taken alive in the wake of the siege.

Times Square car bomb discovered Saturday, possible links to South Park investigated

NYT: “A crude car bomb of propane, gasoline and fireworks was discovered in a smoking Nissan Pathfinder in the heart of Times Square on Saturday evening…”

The Pathfinder was parked with its hazard lights on and engine running, and “looked like it was in the process of detonating but had malfunctioned.”

This NYC T-shirt vendor and Vietnam vet discovered it and promptly reported it to mounted police. When interviewed by press about his role in saving the day, he only commented, “If you see something, say something.” Kudos to that guy.

Police still have no suspect or motive.

Times Square map loc: Nissan Pathfinder, image: NYT

Update: The would-be car bomb was at the corner of West 45th St. and Broadway, right around the corner from one of Viacom’s offices. Rhetorican kindly pointed out that Comedy Central  – home of South Park – is one of Viacom’s brands. (map of Nissan Pathfinder at left, GoogleMap of Viacom’s office below)

Islamic militants targeted and threatened South Park creators for depicting the prophet Muhammad after their 200th episode focused in part on how to depict the prophet Muhammad without being targeted and threatened by Islamic militants.

Update 2: BBC News beat me to it.

Thanks for messing it up, CSI

CSI has left its viewers “simultaneously over-informed, under-informed and misinformed about forensic investigation science by prime-time cop shows.”

Now, since everyone and their mom watches it, they either go and sit on juries and bring their pseudo knowledge of and misinformation on forensics with them. OR they go and commit a crime and change their behavior so that “even as the criminals leave fewer traces of themselves behind, a backlog of cold-case evidence is building up.”

Result: an “unfortunate legal train wreck.” (BoingBoing)

Dear CSI: make up some blatantly wrong forensic scientific techniques and use ’em in your show. Do us all a favor.

H/T: Rhetorican (via Insty). The Rhetorican has a popular blog on media, technology, and politics – give him a visit.

Published in: on April 29, 2010 at 7:54 am  Leave a Comment  
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Iran allegedly tests new missiles

CNN: Iran has reportedly tested 5 new coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles in a last stage of its military maneuvers in the Persian Gulf. The missiles allegedly were fired simultaneously and struck a single target at the same time.

Hossein Salami, Deputy Chief of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard told Iranian media that the exercises were geared toward demonstrating Iran’s “strength, will and national resolve to defend independence and territorial integrity.”

16 arrested after attacks on Riverside County task force

@ nationalterroralert.com: On the heels of recent booby trap attacks on an anti-gang task force in Hemet, CA, Riverside County police made 16 arrests and seized 16 firearms after raiding 35 locations.

Hemet City Manager Brian Nakamura: “We’ve apprehended the individuals we believe are related to this crime.”

Can algorithms generate the best intelligence?

Can Iarpa’s “computational model enhance human predictive skills”? @ Wired Danger Room.