commentary by Patrick H. Moore

I’ve noticed that one of the trickiest parts of being married is when my wife comes up and interrupts whatever I’m doing because she needs to discuss something “important”. In order to keep the peace, I yank myself out of my reverie and try to look attentive. I say “try to look attentive” because the appalling truth is, I generally don’t want to be bothered.

My wife, however, very much wants me to be bothered; whatever is on her mind is of paramount importance to her and I better damned well pay attention.

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by BJW Nashe

Carlos Castaneda’s journey from anthropology student to famous author to New Age cult leader makes for a strange tale that is far more disturbing than anything found in his bestselling books.

At the peak of his career, Castaneda crossed over an invisible line. He turned his back on the clear light of humane, rational thought, and stepped into a shadowy realm of manipulation, secrecy, and lies. It’s tempting to compare this to the metaphorical leap into the abyss that figures so heavily in his writings. Yet Castaneda’s real-life leap had consequences that were quite different from the magical escapades depicted in his writing. Once he became rich and famous and began facing scrutiny, Castaneda shunned the limelight and spent the next two-and-a-half decades pursuing a bizarre alternative lifestyle largely hidden from the public. He proclaimed himself a shaman and a sorcerer and assumed the role of a mysterious guru surrounded by a group of close followers.

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compiled by Patrick H. Moore

An eminent University of Pittsburgh neuroscientist, Robert Ferrante, has allegedly done a very foolish thing. According to a criminal complaint filed in July of 2013, Ferrante poisoned his wife, Autumn Klein, with cyanide. The professor, who is the head of women’s neurology at the university’s medical school, is accused of insisting that Autumn, 41, drink a creatine supplement reportedly laced with the poison that he claimed would help her conceive a second child.

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commentary by Patrick Moore

Six months ago I received a lecture for casting aspersions upon foster parents and Child Protective Services’ case workers. The woman who criticized my criticism pointed out that I was focusing on bad foster parents and corrupt case workers rather than realizing that these miscreants are the exception, not the rule. I took the advice to heart and have since bent over backwards to be fair and balanced with respect to this issue.

abee7Yesterday, however, the Huffington Post and other media sources reported a case of such shocking malpractice (for lack of a better word) on the part of the Los Angeles County child welfare workers that the mind recoils in horror. (In fairness, this is not a foster care case; rather, it is perhaps the most horrific case of child abuse by a biological mother and her boyfriend that I have ever encountered.)

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by Darcia Helle

You’ve probably fantasized about your dream home. Most of us do. You might want a spacious mansion, a decadent penthouse, or an old farmhouse. Chances are you won’t be fantasizing about a Murder Castle. It’s even less likely that you’ll be designing and building one. But H.H. Holmes did just that.

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by Patrick H. Moore

On February 6th, 2012, the 15-year-old victim in this reckless endangerment case (her identity is protected because of her age) decided she couldn’t take it anymore. After several years of being starved and held prisoner in a Madison, Wisconsin basement by her abusive stepmother, Melinda Drabek-Chritton, the girl ran away from home, all 68 pounds of her. A good Samaritan found her barefooted, clad only in pajamas. He called the police.

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commentary by Patrick H. Moore

I’m always amused by the cockamamie notion that fathers have to be weird about their daughters’ boyfriends. For example, in another lifetime, I used to work as an estimator in a sheet metal shop at Land’s End down by the East Palo Alto junkyards in Northern California.

annon11Our General Manager, who was known as Big Pat, and I were more or less pals. We’d play basketball at lunch and talk about the Lakers and the Warriors. Dude knew everything about sports and had been an ace pitcher as a kid who was not at all shy about resorting to the old brush back when the situation called for it. In fact, he told me with considerable pride that he had once nailed two batters in a row to get out of a jam, no mean feat.

Dude also gleefully described how he was going to handle his daughters’ boyfriends (he had three little girls).

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by Robert Emmett Murphy, Jr.

Presidential hopeful, and longest-ever sitting Texas Governor, Rick Perry, has been indicted for two felonies and is facing a potential (but improbable) 109 years in prison. His supporters are screaming witch-hunt. His detractors say its long-over-due.

Please relax while, to the best of my ability, I explain what this is about…twice. Because this story has an easy version, and a complicated version. And after I give you both versions, there will be even more to explain.

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by Patrick H. Moore

Here at All Things Crime Blog we come across some very weird cases — some of which, of course, are very disturbing. There’s nothing funny, for example, about a 250 pound sadist plotting to sexually molest and cannibalize a young boy. Once in a while, however, we discover a case which — while undeniably sad and disturbing — can also be viewed as darkly amusing. The case of Meloney and Michael Selleneit of Centerville, Utah fits into this category and is unlike any case I have ever encountered, reading more like a Philip K. Dick novel than a true crime story.

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by Lise LaSalle

Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering an older movie called “Six Degrees of Separation”, a film adaptation of a play written by Pulitzer Prize winner John Guare. The story was inspired by real-life con artist David Hampton who impersonated Sidney Poitier’s son and managed to fool many people in upper crust circles.  In the movie, Stockard Channing was magnificent playing a socialite married to art dealer Donald Sutherland. Will Smith got jiggy with it and gave a super performance in the role of David Hampton. This movie is a real gem.

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