by BJW Nashe

Abdulrahman Zeitoun’s roller coaster ride during the past decade — through the ups and downs of running a business, surviving a hurricane disaster, enduring injustice, and achieving fame — came to a screeching halt in July 2012 when he was arrested for assaulting his ex-wife, Kathy Zeitoun, and then charged with plotting to have her murdered.

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by Patrick H. Moore

The list of radio and television personalities who have had their lives cut short by murder includes Bob Crane, the incredibly popular Los Angeles morning radio personality, circa 1960, and the star of “Hogan’s Heroes.” Crane was bludgeoned to death in a Scottsdale, Arizona hotel room in 1978, a crime that remains unsolved to this day.

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by BJW Nashe

Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen’s death-trip punk romance culminated in her murder in October, 1978, followed by his death from a heroin overdose in early 1979. For thirty years, the prevailing view held that Sid, the troubled Sex Pistols’ bassist, was the one who fatally stabbed Nancy in their room at Manhattan’s infamous Chelsea Hotel. In 2009, a documentary film called Who Killed Nancy? was released, which drew upon “new evidence” to show that Vicious was most likely innocent of the murder. Several news outlets followed up with stories questioning the established version of events. The main point was that Sid was too incapacitated from drugs to kill anyone on the night of Nancy’s death, so comatose from the massive dose of sedatives (30 Tuinals) he had gobbled that he couldn’t even lift a knife, let alone stab anyone.

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by Darcia Helle

Met Her on the Mountain: A Forty-Year Quest to Solve the Appalachian Cold-Case Murder of Nancy Morgan is as much a cultural study as a true crime story. Author Mark I. Pinsky takes us deep into the Appalachian Mountains of Madison County, North Carolina. In some ways, the lifestyle there will feel just as foreign to Americans as the tradition of lips plates of some African tribes.

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compiled by Patrick H. Moore

Henry Lee Lucas (the real life inspiration for Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer) loved confessing to murders whether he’d committed them or not. At one point he claimed to have whacked over 300 people. All his life he was desperate for attention and when someone was kind enough to give him the time of day, as likely as not he would murder them (or claim later he had murdered them) for thanks.

henry7This is a case where “nurture” may well trump “nature.” Henry was born in 1936 and his childhood was abominable. Like Charles Manson’s mother, his mother Viola turned tricks for a living. Apparently, there weren’t any motels handy; Henry spent his formative years watching Mom service her clients right there on the dirt floor of their hardscrabble cabin in Blacksburg, Virginia. As if this wasn’t bad enough, Henry’s dad Anderson Lucas also had to watch. You see, poor Anderson had lost his legs in a railroad accident and couldn’t get around too well.

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by Robert Parmer

We live in a country still unfortunately filled with some social, physical health, and mental health stigmas. America doesn’t have the best track record when it comes to these types of shaming behaviors and that is, to put it lightly, disappointing. When it comes to the way our country’s police force deals with people struggling with mental health illnesses, the problem is one that has bloomed into something almost unimaginable.

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by Darcia Helle

To the living we owe respect, but to the dead we owe only the truth. ~ Voltaire

If books and TV shows like the Rizzoli and Isles series are to be believed, then medical examiners are crime-fighting heroes who find all the answers hidden within the murder victim’s body, while also pretty much dictating the investigative process. The ladies also wear 5-inch Manolo Blahnik heels while performing autopsies and wandering through crime scenes. Today we’ll take a look at the history of autopsies, and learn whether medical examiners are as vital in solving murders as Maura Isles and her $800 shoes would like us to believe.

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by Starks Shrink

Donna Kay Tapani paid three misfits to murder Martha Gail Fulton, the wife of her former lover, George Fulton. That’s the simplest story; the motivations and complexities of this case run much deeper than what’s readily apparent on the surface.

Gail Garza was a devout Catholic girl who grew up in small town Texas. She met George and they dated but she still maintained her college aspirations and completed a degree in speech pathology. In the meantime, George went off to West Point and a career in the Army. He reunited with Gail and they soon married, anticipating a typical peripatetic military existence.

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by Darcia Helle

In our modern world of supermax prisons overflowing with gang members, it might be difficult to imagine Alcatraz as a place criminals feared. But the men who spent time locked away on that now famous island prison would probably tell us that today’s inmates have it easy.

The small, rocky island of Alcatraz is located in San Francisco Bay, and sat unused until 1847, when the US Army claimed it as a military fortification. Initially a symbol of military strength, the fortress of Alcatraz included long-range iron cannons and 15-inch Rodman guns. Within twenty years, the modernization of weaponry rendered these defenses, and therefore the fortress, obsolete. At about the same time, the Army found itself in need of a military prison. The natural isolation made Alcatraz the ideal location for this purpose, and soon the fortress was transformed. In 1861, the island of Alcatraz began its 102-year history of housing prisoners, first as an army penitentiary and then as a federal prison.

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by Zachary Evans

There are countless portrayals of criminal justice, criminology, and criminal investigations in popular culture today. Shows like CSI have become ratings juggernauts, while ones like True Detective have ruled critically. While these stand primarily as forms of entertainment, they still inform public perception of real-world crime solving. In the last year, a new voice emerged in true crime entertainment in the podcast Serial, and in a few short months, became an incredibly important piece of pop culture.

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