Virtual child traps online pedophiles
10:14 am

Current Events

Terre des Hommes

Terre des Hommes—an international charity which concentrates on children’s rights based in the Netherlands—has created a virtual 10-year-old girl “from the Philippines” named “Sweetie.” 

Sweetie was designed to track down—and hopefully convict—online pedophiles who use “webcam child sex tourism.”

I’m not sure where Terre des Hommes got these numbers, but they state at any given moment there are least 750,000 pedophiles online. That’s a staggering number of nonces with webcams, IMO.

Warning: This video may be upsetting to some viewers.

Via reddit

Posted by Tara McGinley | Discussion
‘Interviews Before Execution’: Fascinating, disturbing Chinese talk show
03:13 pm


Interviews Before Execution

Interviews Before Execution
China and the United States are both among the countries that execute the most prisoners annually—but only one of them has ever had a TV talk show dedicated to presenting the death row inmates in a personal way. (According to Amnesty International, China executes the most people by more than an order of magnitude over its #2 competition, Pakistan. The United States is #6 on the list.)

From 2006 to 2012, the Henan Legal Channel in China’s landlocked Henan province ran a weekly TV show called Interviews Before Execution, with an appealing host named Ding Yu, who became something of a star because of the show. She has interviewed more than 200 inmates on the show. In March 2012, BBC Two, on its This World series, aired an hour-long documentary on Interviews Before Execution; with its typical light touch, the Chinese authorities, fearful of embarrassment in the international arena, quickly moved to cancel the show.

In China, citizens can be executed for any one 55 offenses, including endagering public security and “economic crimes” such as embezzlement, but Interviews Before Execution focuses almost entirely on brutal murder cases. Most of the prisoners are glumly contrite, resigned to their fate, inarticulate about the motives that led to the crimes. Providing an instructive snapshot into China’s sexual mores was Ding Yu’s extended interview with Bao Rongting, a homosexual man who was convicted of murdering his mother. In China, homosexuality was a criminal offense as late as 1999. The Bao Rongting episodes of Interviews Before Execution were a huge ratings success. Since 2007 a new safeguard has been introduced: all capital cases must be sent to the Supreme Court for review—it does happen that they occasionally return cases to the lower courts for further investigation.
Interviews Before Execution
Interviews Before Execution is a fascinating mixture of good, old-fashioned reporting, TV sensationalism, and an undefinable quality that is uniquely poignant and human. In its tone, the show feels like a cross between America’s Most Wanted and a Barbara Walters special. Regardless of one’s feelings about the death penalty—count me against—it’s difficult not to think that the show’s positive effects outweight its negative ones. As none other than Albert Camus pointed out (in “Reflections on the Guillotine”), if you argue for the death penalty because of its deterrent effects, it’s a contradiction to conduct the executions and everything surrounding them far from public view, as is done in the United States. Whatever your position, the show has featured some incredibly compelling television, and even if the viewers’ reactions may feel comparable to rubber-necking, the show does permit the audience to get to know convicted murders not as statistics but as complex members of the human race.

The BBC2 documentary is linked below; it’s one of the most interesting and powerful hours of TV I can remember watching.

Posted by Martin Schneider | Discussion
Mug shots of female criminals from early 20th century Australia
07:02 am


Mug Shots

Alice Adeline Cooke was convicted of bigamy. Aged 24, Alice had several aliases and at least two husbands.

Intriguing mug shots of female criminals, taken directly after they were arrested and charged at a police station in New South Wales, Australia, from around the turn of the twentieth century.

The photographs come from the Sydney Justice and Police Museum.
Alice Clarke, April 3rd, 1916, arrested and convicted for selling liquor without a license.
Amy Lee. January 30th, 1930, arrested for being a “victim to the foul practice” of taking cocaine.
More after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Bauhaus’ Peter Murphy gets 3 years probation, community service for meth possession and hit and run
11:23 am


Peter Murphy

Bela Lugosi plead…

You probably recall the trouble Bauhaus frontman Peter Murphy got into back in March when he was arrested in Glendale, California for driving under the influence of drugs, hit-and-run and possessing crystal meth. Police reports said he appeared confused and even had difficulty recalling what day it was.

Although the goth legend initially pleaded not guilty to all three charges, he changed his tune when he was sentenced on October 10 in a Los Angeles court. Murphy plead no contest to misdemeanor hit-and-run driving and guilty to the methamphetamine possession charge, as reported by Glendale News.

The singer must also attend 45 days of Narcotics Anonymous meetings, perform ten days of community service and submit to random drug tests.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Sex workers of Montreal’s WWII era Red Light District, a collection of mugshots
07:32 am



mug shot
My favorite, because of that grin. Ruby Taylor, arrested in 1942 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
The romantic idea of American prohibition hinges on the myth of an accessible, safe speakeasy for every soul in need of a booze-enhanced nightlife. In actuality, raids on speakeasies were incredibly common, and although owners often bribed police and city officials, actually finding and patronizing a speakeasy could be a real risk for your average Joe. Lesser known were the vacation drinkers, who would migrate up to Montreal on holiday, as it quickly became known as a friendly city of vice for rambunctious Americans. But Montreal had more than an opportunistic liquor economy to boast of.

Montreal looked and sounded like Europe, from the architecture to the French language and culture, giving one’s debauchery the feel of an exotic vacation. Of course, the bedfellows of alcohol (gambling, organized crime, radical politics, and prostitution) also flourished, in spite of a burgeoning movement to purge the city of sin. While moralistic committees for social reform began to organize in 1918, it was only a year later that prohibition went into effect in the US, completely steamrolling (and subsequently exacerbating), the growing anti-vice sentiment.

By the time alcohol became legal again in the States, Montreal was already a sort of Euro-Reno, famous for its brothels. With a sudden rise in venereal disease, the public sentiment on working girls became particularly hostile, and perception of prostitution went from pitying to vitriolic: no longer were they considered poor girls down on their luck, but pathological hussies, tearing apart the very moral fiber of fair Montreal!

Eventually a a full-scale investigation was launched to weed out the corruption and sever the mob ties and various illegal economies. (By 1953, the Commission of Investigation On Public Morality had thrown many a cop in prison, and Montreal was starting to clean up.) Regardless, the laws regarding prostitution were pretty forgiving. Of course, there were still arrests, the records of which are fascinating.

The photos below are of madams, prostitutes, and brothel managers arrested in attempts at a crackdown. It’s amazing how French the fashions appear to be, from darkly-colored geometric cupid’s bows to the snug sweaters and Edith Piaf eyebrows. Many of them are listed as “arrested in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution,” which would seem to suggest either a large brothel bust, or the cops hassling an individual prostitute to get information for a larger case. If there’s any emotional theme to these headshots, it’s how unimpressed all the women seem to be with the authority that’s arresting them.
mug shot
Anna Labelle, aka Mme Émile Beauchamp, the most powerful madam in Montreal during the WWII. She would drive to the courthouse in a Cadillac wearing a mink coat. Her clients were often from the same police force that busted her.
mug shot
Annie Parker, arrested in 1941 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
mug shot
FleuretteDubois, arrested in 1942 for keeping a brothel.
mug shot
Irène Lavallée, arrested in 1940 in connection with an investigation in connection with prostitution.
mug shot
Liliane Brown, aka Ida Katz, arrested either in 1930 or 1940, high level madam.
mug shot
Mary Shepperd, arrested in 1940 as part of an investigation in connection with prostitution.
Via Archives de la Ville de Montréal

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
Alex Jones claims ‘globalist conspiracy’ out to discredit… Alex Jones
01:17 pm


Alex Jones

There needs to be a new classification of mental illness to describe whatever it is that paranoid radio conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, and he alone, seems to suffer from. When Glenn Beck thinks you’re nuts, baby, you’re off your fucking rocker.

On his Infowars show today, the unhinged radio ranter gave his own perfectly plausible explanation of what happened during this morning’s massacre:

“You better believe that even if they’re just pure jihadis that did this, even connected to Al-Qaeda groups out of the Middle East being commanded by the leader of Al-Qaeda last Friday to attack the United States… even if that’s the case, you can believe, like the last three or four cases, they’re going to try to connect it to and yours truly, part of the long-term demonization campaign.”

I like how Jones always makes sure to plug his website. He’s crazy all right, crazy like a fox.

And just plain crazy, too:

“If you want to wonder how big this radio show is, even separate from the website, it’s the fact that they try to pin, I’d say, about half the major crimes, we get brought into it. It’s because we’ve got their number, we know who the globalists are, we know what their program is. And they’re very concerned that we be discredited so that people will not look at what we cover on the radio show, the Infowars nightly news and on the websites.”

Jones believes the Navy Yard shooting was done by a “patsy” as part of a diversionary “false flag” maneuver of some sort.

“This is how you would stage a false flag, and then you go back and enter part of the FBI team,” Jones ranted “They responded minutes after, really, but it took three hours for this to start winding down.”

Via Media Matters

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
Old New York crime photographs superimposed on their present day locations
09:31 am


New York

The past inhabits the present in Marc A. Hermann’s composite images of crime scene photographs overlaid on their present day locations.

Above: 497 Dean Street, Brooklyn. A distraught Edna Egbert battles the police on the ledge of her home.
427 1/2 Hicks Street, Brooklyn. Gangster Salvatore Santoro met a violent death on January 31, 1957.
923 44th Street, Brooklyn. Gangster Frankie Yale dead after a car crash, July 1, 1928.
More then and now crime pix, after the jump…

Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Stan Getz on Jazz, drugs and robbery: ‘I’m sorry for the crazy thing I did’
08:22 am


Stan Getz

In April 1954, Stan Getz wrote from the jail ward of the Los Angeles General Hospital to the Editor of DownBeat magazine explaining how he had been busted in Seattle for (as Popsie Randolph put it) “holdin’ up a drugstore to get money to buy some stuff.”

Getz was one of the most talented saxophonists of his day, and had been a featured tenor sax since he was sixteen-years-old. He was also addicted to heroin, which caused the various behavioral antics that led Zoot Sims to describe him as “a nice bunch of guys.”

According to drummer Don Lamond, Getz’s early career success had never allowed him “a chance to grow up.”

“And you know how it was during the war. There weren’t any bands. There was nobody for these kids to dig except for a few guys who happened to be around, and some of those guys were on junk. And you know how kids are. Everything their idols did was right. So the kids did it too.

“Stan was an impressionable kid like many of them. And he was a spoiled kid, coddled all his life. The tragedy is that I can’t think of anyone who has more talent. Stan is a natural musician. He has a fabulous ear, imagination, a retentive memory. What else do you need?”

At a loose end in Seattle in 1954, Getz needed junk.

In his letter to Down Beat, Getz began by declaring he had many things to say, “excluding excuses, regrets, and promises.”

Promises from me at this point mean nothing; starting when I am released is when my actions will count.

His actions in Seattle was what he wanted to explain, and to understand.

What happened in Seattle was inevitable. Me coming to the end of my rope. I shouldn’t have been withdrawing myself from narcotics while working and traveling. With the aid of barbiturates, I thought I could do it. Seattle was the eighth day of the tour and I could stand no more. (Stan you said no excuses.) Going into this drugstore, I demanded more narcotics. I said I had a gun (didn’t).

The lady behind the counter evidently didn’t believe I had a gun so she told another customer. He, in turn, took a look at me and laughed, saying, ‘Lady, he’s kidding you. He has no gun.’ I guess I didn’t look the part. Having flopped at my first ‘caper’ (one of the terms I’ve learned up here), I left the store and went to my hotel. When I was in my room I decided to call the store and apologize. In doing so, the call was traced and my incarceration followed.

The woman behind-the-counter was Mary Brewster. When she asked to see Getz’s gun, he fled the drugstore, and ran directly to his hotel across the street, as other customers watched. When Getz ‘phoned Mary to apologize, a policeman was listening in. Gettz said:

“I’m sorry for the crazy thing I did. I’ve never done anything like that before. I’m not a stick-up man. I’m from a good family. I’m going to commit myself on Wednesday.” Brewster asks “Why don’t you commit yourself today?” “I can’t. If I don’t get drugs, I’ll kill.

The cop on the phone spoke up, pretending to be a doctor and asked if he can help. Stan blurted out his life’s story. The “doctor” said he was coming right over to help. Locked in his room, despairing and ashamed, Stan tried to kill himself by swallowing a fistful of barbiturates. The police knocked on his door minutes later, and run him in for booking. A photograph of Stan in the back seat of a patrol car, looking sick and scared, was flashed over the news wire services. The overdose of barbiturates took effect minutes after he was locked up and he collapsed.

In his letter to Down Beat, Getz explained explained his attempted suicide.

My ‘dope poisoning’ was sixty grains of a long-acting barbiturate that I swallowed en route to jail. I’d had enough of me and my antics.

An emergency tracheotomy was carried out to save Getz’s life. When he came round from his drug coma three days later, he found himself lying on a hospital bed at the Harbor Haven County Hospital, with a breathing tube in his throat.

Getz was sentenced to six months in jail, and three years probation. In his summing-up, the judge said:

“You have talent, family and a good background, but despite an income of a thousand dollars a week, you are not only broke, but your family is living under deplorable conditions. They are sleeping on the floor while you travel in luxury spending money on yourself - and doing what comes naturally.

“You’re a poor excuse for a man. If you can’t behave yourself, someone else is going to have to look after you… It’s time you grew up.”

Getz was admitted to the jail ward at the LA General Hospital, where his detox began. At the very moment he was being processed to the prison ward, his addicted wife was downstairs, giving birth to their daughter Beverly.

In jail, Getz received incredible support (through letters, telegrams and ‘phonecalls) that helped him through his moment of despair. Though he was not a religious man, the experience showed him that “there was a God, not above us but here on earth in the warm hearts of people.”



Posted by Paul Gallagher | Discussion
Juarez’s vigilante ‘Diana, hunter of bus drivers,’ goes all ‘Thelma and Louise’
02:14 pm


Ciudad Juarez

The now gone “Diana” Facebook page

It sounds like a comic book plot or like something from a Tarantino movie. But it’s real.

A middle-aged woman wearing all black and a blond wig has taken it upon herself to avenge the on-going sexual abuse of female bus passengers in the city of Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, right across the border from El Paso, Texas (the city across The Bridge in the FX crime drama).

Last Wednesday and Thursday “Diana” boarded a public bus and shot the driver in the head with a pistol and walked away. A witness claims she told the second victim, “You guys think you’re real bad, don’t you?” before shooting him.

She then sent e-mails to Mexican media outlets with the handle “Diana, the hunter of bus drivers.”  There was a Facebook page under that name, now removed.

She wrote in her e-mail:

I myself and other women have suffered in silence but we can’t stay quiet anymore. We were victims of sexual violence by the drivers on the night shift on the routes to the maquilas [assembly plants in the city]. I am the instrument of vengeance for several women.

Several bus drivers were arrested in connection with the mass rape and murder of women in the city from the 1990’s to the early 2000’s. Hundreds of women disappeared after boarding public buses. Their bodies were found weeks or months later, dumped in the desert or vacant lots.

Local and Chihuahua state police are planning on putting undercover agents on city buses to hasten the capture of Diana. Maybe they should also consider devoting more energy and resources to ensuring the safety of women just trying to get to work.

Via The Guardian

The City of Lost Girls documentary, below:


Posted by Kimberly J. Bright | Discussion
‘They’ll Be Laughing in Moscow and Beijing’ over Scotland Yard’s idiotic Snowden blunder

British Labour MP Tom Watson wrote a scathing must-read essay for on L’affaire Miranda and the news that some boneheads from Scotland Yard thought getting all heavy at The Guardian offices was, like, a good idea:

We still don’t know the full circumstances surrounding David Miranda’s detention at Heathrow airport but I think we probably know enough to conclude that: a) he is not a terrorist and b) it is not a coincidence that he is Glenn Greenwald’s partner.

I think that we can also usefully assume that the spooks did not find enough to detain David Miranda under any UK law and that Greenwald and The Guardian are not dumb enough to forget to make copies of the files that prove illegal state surveillance.

The spooks are not going to get the NSA files back; that genie is well and truly out of the bottle. So why do it? The conclusion must be, as Greenwald speculates, that we were just roughing up his boyfriend in order to psyche him out. I am no Carrie Mathieson but I think the wrong case officer is in charge of this investigation if they think this will shut Greenwald up. He thrives on this stuff. The UK intelligence services have created a global audience for the spectacle of him beating them with a big stick of indignant rebuke.

And they have horrified people across Westminster who know the “inside.” As a former defence minister I have authorised special forces to conduct hostage rescues, covert military entry to foil terrorist plots, as well as approved nuclear submarines to travel to places you do not want to know. So I think I can assess an ill-conceived plan when I see one. And this was a howler.

LOL! Real Tom Watson’s full editorial at

Thank you Michael Backes of Los Angeles, California!

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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