Category Crime

Crazy California Laws

You often hear the line, “We are a nation of laws,” and it’s usually associated with someone breaking one of those laws. But what is a law, really? I mean, sure, we know they are the boundary lines for living in a civilized society. Rules like, hey, don’t murder people, or don’t take shit that […]

Private Prisons in Crime Fiction

Build it and they shall come… Private prisons have been a popular recurring theme in crime fiction and television drama. Most of the stories I’ve come across involve some smoky backroom deal between a corrupt judge and a private prison operator. Newly sentenced offenders, often kids, are portrayed as victims who wouldn’t have come to […]

Hostage Negotiation & Customer Service

I was an FBI trained hostage negotiator working in the state prison system. Every day inside the “big house” and perhaps even more so, later in my career, in the halls of the state captiol, I put these skills to the test. I convinced hard core felons to give up their weapons and surrender, let […]

All The Justice You Can Buy

I had a bit of a “Get Off My Lawn” moment this week. When we last circled around the campfire, we talked about the tale of convicted drug trafficker, Alice Johnson and a push for clemency on her behalf by the Queen of the Selfie, Kim Kardashian. There’s the link, if you want to check […]

Celebrity Prison Reform

This week, in the bizzaro world of celebrity political influence, Kim Kardashian had a meeting in the White House to discuss prison reform. Yes, you read that right, the Queen of vapid, self-absorbed empty brands, met to discuss of all things–prison reform. Not that we don’t have a national system that is overdue for a […]

DNA and the Search for Justice in the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer Case

A little over a week ago, DNA evidence was used to arrest Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. for a laundry list of crimes that occurred from the early 1970’s through 1986. The series of rapes and murders were savage, and captured the imagination and fear of Californians. When would the East Area Rapist/Golden State Killer strike […]

Arrest of the Golden State Killer/East Area Rapist Brings Sacramento Serial Killers Back in Focus

The morning of April 25, 2018 marked the end of a decades long search for one of California’s ┬ámost prolific and violent serial criminals. Joseph James DeAngelo, Jr. was arrested at his home in the Sacramento suburb of Citrus Heights. DeAngelo’s alleged crimes earned the title of the The East Area Rapist, The Original Night […]

Spiraling Prison Costs

It’s no great state secret that maintaining a prison system is expensive. Since California has the largest prison system in the nation, it should also be no surprise that it is the most costly. The official state budget for the operation of the California prison system is teetering on $12 Billion annually–nearly $2 Billion more […]

When FBI Serial Killer Profiles Don’t Work

Serial killers are in the news again because of the long-awaited demise of Charles Manson and the November 29th arrest of Howell Emmanuel Donaldson III, the 24-year-old man accused of four murders in the Seminole Heights neighborhood of Tampa, Florida. The Donaldson arrest came after a 51-day manhunt for the South Florida killer. The McDonald’s […]

Paying Gang Members to Not Pull the Trigger

I’ve talked about Sacramento crime here before and how we seem to be the birthplace of violent crime and most notably, a magnet for serial killers. The Violent crime rate — which includes the number of homicides, rape, robbery, and assault — was 716.3 per 100,000 people in 2016. Nationally, the violent crime rate was […]